Sunday, February 27, 2011

Before and After

Well, emotionally I am back on an even keel, even though physically I am still lagging.  I have a rotten cold, but my mood is actually pretty good despite it all.  Once again, it was cleaning up my diet and increasing my Empowerplus that did the trick.  I just have no appetite these days, and it is challenging to remember to take the full dose of Empowerplus one at a time throughout the day.

But, I can remember.  Since my last post I've noticed a few things that are different between now and when I was on meds.  Remembering is one thing that is massively improved.  I never really lost any memory of the significant things, but I had a heck of a time remembering what I had done that day - what I'd eaten, whether I'd taken my prescriptions, etc.  I used to keep notepads to write everything down, and even that was hit and miss, because sometimes I forgot to write it down, or I'd see a big gap and wonder if I'd really missed a dose or just forgotten to record it.  But now the notepads are gone, and I easily remember every detail!  So that is one huge improvement over meds.

The second big thing is the expression on my face.  On the message boards we've discussed how the meds relax certain muscles in your face, so that you look stoned as well as actually being drugged out of your mind.  My driver's licence photo was black and white proof of that - I looked absolutely dreadful.  I recently received my renewal in the mail, and it was time for a new photo.  I went to get it taken that day.  I was a little worried about the new photo while waiting for it to come in the mail, but it was worth the wait.  Although these photos are designed to be unflattering, it really looked like a completely different person in the new one!  It was like my whole face was lifted, my eyes were open, I looked alive instead of mostly dead.  Which let's face it, I pretty much was back then.

The third thing to change for the better is my handwriting.  I had a bit of a tremor when I was on meds, and it was hard to write.  Now I enjoy writing and I think my handwriting is quite elegant.  A recent Reader's Digest had an article on handwriting analysis, and one of the things they said really struck me.  They said that people whose handwriting changes frequently are moody.  I remember when I was in college my notes would look completely different from one week to the next.  That would have been 15 years before I was diagnosed bipolar, but obviously the signs were there to see!  I am relieved now to see that my handwriting has been consistent through the past year, it is like independent proof that I am healed!

Now, if only my cold would go away I'd be golden!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feeling Ratty

Certainly I hoped that it would be all good news from here on in, but for over two weeks now I've been in a funk that I just can't seem to shake. 

What's going on?  Well, it started with regular PMS, and somehow things have gotten out of balance.  It may be that I haven't been eating properly.  It felt like I was fighting a cold at one point too.  For a few days my appetite was way down, so I wasn't able to take all my Empowerplus each day.

Now it seems really hard to get back on track.  The biggest issue is my motivation, which seems to have evaporated.  The past day or so it's been a little better, but for over a week now all I've been doing is watching tv.  Not a good sign.  When I do manage to start a little sewing or something, it's not holding my interest.  Also not a good sign.

For a couple of days there I even was having some vague unspecified anxiety, but thankfully that seems to have cleared up now.  I did have the feeling that I turned the corner yesterday, but today has not gone as well as I hoped.

The problem with my low appetite is that if I don't take my Empowerplus with a full meal I get quite nauseous, even after all this time on it.  But, fortunately, I have discovered that if I take just one at a time, at one to two hour intervals, I can avoid the nausea even with very little food.  So I have been doing that and I think it is helping.

I also have been experimenting with some higher tyramine foods.  You may recall that I started a low tyramine diet back in the fall.  A few weeks ago I was getting really bored with the same food all the time, and I guess I was feeling cocky.  I don't know what drives us to always test our limits.  The result has been that now I don't know what foods are ok and what foods are bad, because it doesn't seem as clear cut as it did last fall.  So that is stressful too, when you are afraid to eat and afraid not to eat.

The solution will be to pare it right down again.  To embrace boring.  I'm hoping in a week or so I'll be back to report that things have normalized again.  But right now it's pretty annoying.