Update ~ 1-27-16

Hello my lovelies!
Happy (belated) new year! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted since November, I’ve been a bad blogger. Shame on me. Today I think I have an interesting post for you all though. I’m going to be posting about my struggles with my Mental Illnesses and the other invisible illnesses that I have been diagnosed with, and at the end I’m going to link to the spoon theory because it is something that strongly applies to my life.

 

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Above is a picture of the medication I take on a daily basis. On the right in the blue boxes are my prescriptions, sectioned by “breakfast,” “lunch,” “supper,” and “bedtime”. Here is how I actually take them and what they are:
Breakfast:
Levothyroxine – 0.075 Milligram (MG) tablet – Once every morning upon waking with a full glass of water. No food, dairy, or other medications for up to an hour after taking this medication. – I have to take an hour for the best results. I would wait longer since my hormones still aren’t where they need to be, but at an hour, my blood sugar gets too low.

Lunch and Supper: I take these at 11:30 AM and PM every day. I have an alarm set on my phone so that I (usually) don’t forget these medications.:
Ziprasidone HCL (Substituted for Geodon) – 80 MG capsules – Take one capsule by mouth every 12 hours. – This is for my bipolar disorder, anxiety, and helps with my schizo-effective tendencies that I seem to have.
Topiramate: 50 MG tablets – Take two tablets by mouth twice daily. – I also take these 12 hours apart because they are preventative for headaches/migraines, and I feel like they should be taken at a steady time every day.
Buspirone: 10 MG tablets – Take one tablet by mouth twice daily. – I am freshly on this medication so I am still easing up to the dosage I’m meant to be on. Currently I’m only at half a pill twice a day, but it’s working really well so far. I did have to start out at a quarter dose rather than the half dose my doctor recommended starting with, but, she did say if I needed to start smaller that was okay, and that if I was okay on half a pill twice a day that that would be okay too. I have always been really sensitive to medications at first, and then a few months down the road I’ll get used to them and have to raise the dose. The Buspirone is to boost my psychiatric medications, and it also works with all brain chemical medications to boost them as well. (At least that’s what I was told.

Bedtime: I take these medications at 10:30 pm. I know it seems weird to have my med box set up the way I do, but it’s for ease of filling them, and for some reason it works for me, so I don’t question or mess with it.
Pantoprazole: 40 MG Tablets – Take one tablet by mouth every day. – This is for my Gastro-Esophageal Re-flux Disease, otherwise known as G.E.R.D.
Lisinopril – 10 MG tablets – Take one tablet by mouth daily – This is the first medication I was put on for high blood pressure about 2 years ago I believe, if I have my timeline right.
Clonidine – 0.1 MG Tablets – Take one to two tablets by mouth every night at bedtime – I was originally put on this as a sleep aid, but it lowered my blood pressure into a better range about a year ago when I still had pretty high blood pressure, so I kept it for that. Now my blood pressure when I see doctors is in the low range of being pretty good, but, I am pretty sure when I’m at home it’s too low because I’m constantly having my fingertips and toes freezing cold, and when I go outside or if I’m near my bedroom window, they go numb, and sometimes bright red like they’re not getting enough blood.  For example, where I live, right now it’s only about 34 degrees on the other side of the window I’m sitting next to, but in my apartment it’s about 68 degrees, and my fingers are going numb. I have always run hot so 68 should be too hot, and it is for the rest of my body, but my finger tips and toes are going numb right now.

As needed (not in the picture): Lorazepam 0.5 MG tablets – Take one tablet by mouth twice daily as needed – This is my medication for anxiety attacks. I take it as rarely as possible because it’s possible to get addicted to it, and I don’t want to become dependent on it. Lorazepam is a generic medication for Ativan.

Green Box (on the left):
This box holds my daily probiotic and azo pills to counteract the stomach side effects that some of my prescription pills seem to cause. since I started taking them I’ve seen a big difference in the way my stomach feels on a daily basis. I take azo because I can’t drink cranberry juice without my blood sugar spiking and I’ve run out of blood sugar medicine and have no more refills on it, so I take the pill form to help with that side effect. I have to fill this box twice a week though because I only have the one spare box, and need room for two extra pills, and I can’t take them at the same time, or I will upset my stomach, so I take these at 12:30 AM and PM every day.

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That right there? That’s me, steady on all of my medications, and doing really well. And before you ask, yes, I currently have blue-green hair. My friends and I call it mermaid hair. It makes me incredibly happy. I’m probably going to try purple next. So sue me. Only, it would be pointless as I’m dead broke. (That’s supposed to be funny, not mean.) My boyfriend pays for me to do my hair.

I also vape to quell the anger attacks I get from my anxiety and bipolar and just to keep myself level headed. I can’t tell you how much it helps. It’s a necessary evil for me. I don’t like being addicted to nicotine, but, I feel like vaping is better than the cigarettes I was addicted to before I switched to vaping. I started smoking cigarettes August 30th 2011, and quit on September 13th, 2014. It was really hard, and I tried doing both for a while to make quitting easier, but that only got me down to half a pack a day when at the time I decided to quit I was a a pack a day. I had to quit both cold turkey for a few months (and do it for myself, not anyone else) before it ever took hold. I think I quit about 12 times before it took hold, including with several people offering me 100 bucks if I lasted 6 months without smoking a cigarette. When I finally did it for myself, and took all nicotine out of my body, it worked for me. I’m not saying it’s how it works for everyone, but it’s what worked for me. I was nicotine free for about 6 months before I had any cravings. When those cravings hit, I talked to my boyfriend, and neither of us wanted me to go back to cigarettes, so we did some research, and went to a vape shop, and got me a better set up than I’d had when I started vaping. When I upgrade my set up, if my previous one is still in good condition, I always pass it on to someone in need, trying to quit smoking, or just starting vaping for other reasons. It’s a big thing in the vaping community to pay it forward.
I currently have an IPV D2 mod with external 18650 battery (the mod came with the silicone cover) and a Herakles tank, and I vape at a 5 mg nicotine level which means I take in a LOT less nicotine than even a light cigarette now. if I tried a cigarette now, I would probably throw up and have a migraine for a few days, just from one light cigarette, because I’m not used to it. Just passing someone smoking makes me nauseous if I can’t get away from the smoke fast enough. (My setup and battery are pictured below. My boyfriend also bought them for me as a gift.)

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However, even with all of these things helping me, sometimes I still can’t get the energy or strength to get out of bed. Sometimes I can get out of bed but the thought of leaving the house has me crippled with anxiety and sick with stress. Some days I just physically can’t bear to move a muscle – I have physical problems too, one of which is acute scoliosis that causes horrible lower back pain, and I have really awful joint pain that gets worse with certain weather. When I get my period I also get debilitating cramps that leave me bent over and gasping in pain no matter where I am or what I’m doing, as well as major mood swings, terrible fatigue, and more extreme migraines added to the chronic migraines I already have – which could probably be linked to my Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (also called PCOS for short.) Some days I just physically can not be around anyone but my boyfriend, and on really rare days, even being around him is hard because I just want to be left alone when I feel my absolute worst, and he likes to try and make me feel better when I feel really bad. I love him no matter what, and would never try to push him away though. Sometimes he actually does succeed in making me feel a tiny bit better when I feel really awful, so, I always try to let him work at making me feel better when he wants to try, because he’s really lovely, I love him, and I love that he tries to help me so much.

I learned about the spoon theory recently, and I’ve started using it to tell people how I’m feeling. It’s helped a lot (after some short explanation) and it’s a really quick easy way to tell someone how I’m feeling and if I can go to their function, or if I can come see them, or help them with something whenever they ask. Luckily, today I haven’t slept much, but I seem to have a lot of spoons right now, so I’m going to be helping one of my best friends with some housework when she’s ready to wake up. She has some health issues and invisible illnesses too, so we’re going to work together to get her stuff done so that she can get out of the bad environment she’s in right now, and move to a healthier environment as soon as possible.

If you want to learn more about the Spoon Theory, read Christine Miserandino’s often shared post about it, here. It’s where I learned the terminology and how I learned to explain what I go through on a daily basis. It may help you understand your loved ones’ experiences better if they too live with invisible (or even visible) illnesses, and sometimes just don’t have the strength to get out of bed, or, can’t make it to many things that you want to do with them. It’s not that they don’t want to spend time with you or don’t want to see you, it’s more than their illness isn’t letting them have the energy, and maybe even the physical strength that they need to be able to make it to your function, date, or hang out. They still love you, and probably desperately want to be there, but, physically, or maybe emotionally, they cannot handle it.

Thank you for reading all of this, I know I wrote a whole lot here, but talking about my illnesses and disorders takes a lot of explaining, and while I have cut down my medications a lot, I am still on quite a few medications, but, I also don’t function properly without the ones I’m on now (I know, I’ve tried other routes, even the homepathic/herbal route. I was a wreck.)
Thank you for listening/reading, and I hope you come back to read more! I will do my best to write more often and not stay away for two months again.

Love and light,
Scarlett ♥♥