Monday, December 27, 2010


The holidays went well. No arguments or major annoyances. The weather was beautiful up until Christmas Eve. Then, it poured down rain while we were indoors, wondering how long it would last and what the drive home would be like. Then, it suddenly stopped and the skies cleared up. It was cool, but not cold, and sunny. My grandmother did not make her tamales, of course, although I've wanted her to show me how to make them so that it would then be someone else's job to make them from now on. Still, she keeps coming up with excuses. This time, it's that she didn't have my phone number. She could always have had my dad call me, but I gave her my "new" number.

The good thing for her, this time, was that she only had to make some rice and beans, and that was a lot easier and meant fewer dishes to wash afterward. She was able to spend more time with us, unlike at Thanksgiving, when she just couldn't leave it for a few minutes. It eats at her that the kitchen is dirty, so she just goes and cleans the whole time and exhausts herself. So, she did get tired and go to lie down, but she did stay for the (short) gift exchange and a little conversation. We each only got one gift (we did a variation of the "secret santa"), although my grandmother wanted to give something to everyone, and we all pooled our money to give her a gift. The major surprise was that my uncle Richard (who was not present) gave my grandmother and my father each $100! This may seem understandable from someone who makes as much as my uncle does, but he's notoriously stingy with it, so I was shocked that he was that generous. Still, it was very nice of him.

Christmas Day was a very quiet day at home with just my mother and me. It was much colder, but not cloudy, so we were fine with not going out except to walk the dogs. I made some Mexican rice and we had some tamales from HEB, the chef-made ones that we all like. I also had some beans that I took home from my grandmother's. My mom isn't a huge bean fan, so I gave her a larger portion of rice. Overall, that was nice. Very tasty and very simple. I'd given her the gift I bought her the day before, along with the dogs' gifts that I gave to them that day, too. So there were no gifts, but I was glad to relax and stay at home.

The next day (yesterday), we both went to my sister's (M, since R is out on the west coast now, and was on vacation in Vancouver with her family). Instead of more tamales, or the proposed turkey, we decided to order pizza (why not?). M put on a video of Night of the Lepus, which I could sort-of remember. It was so funny, of course, because the special effects were terrible, and the plot was outrageous. I mean, rabbits turn gigantic and are suddenly carnivores?

The good thing, I will say about these past few days is that I'm able to participate a little more. I'm still tired, but I don't feel like I'm going around in a daze. I feel more aware of my surroundings. I wish I could finally break free from the depression symptoms altogether, but I feel better than I have in a long time. I'm just soooo tired, though. I've discussed the fatigue already, so I'm sure I don't have to go into it again that I'm not sure of the cause of that. I just wish I could get more done in a day and be able to get out of bed at a decent hour. Today, I had to set my alarm for 9:00. I reset the alarm for 9:30 when it was about 9:05 and I'd hit the snooze button. At 9:30, when the alarm went off again, I hit the snooze 2 more times to end up getting out of bed at 9:40. I just couldn't make myself get up. I wish I could get up by 8:00. Of course, I don't want to be up if I'm not going to get anything done, but it takes me a long time to get motivated to do anything. That I'd like to change, also.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Dosage

I went to the doctor on Friday. I have been feeling a little better on Abilify, despite the lack of sleep. I still have no energy, but am not sure that has to do with the drug or the lack of sleep either. So, my doctor decided to raise the dosage on the Abilify. I'm to see how I do on it for 1 week, then decide whether I want to stay on it or not. So far, this only makes for my 4th day, so I'm still not sure. I have noticed that I'm nauseous at times, although that may be that I need to take it with food. Did that this morning and yesterday morning and that seems better. My sleep schedule is about the same. I don't wake up as many times during the night as I did when I first started on the drug, but I'm up longer the one or two times I do wake up and I have trouble getting to sleep initially, even.

So, I'm still not sure I'll be staying on this drug. I wish I could paint or draw or something, but that ability went when I started on it. I suppose I just need more time to make a decision, but I'm really sick of being stuck at home.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I was having a lot of side effects on the higher doses of Geodon, despite how much better I felt mood-wise. But it was time to switch. I was too sick and my tardive dyskenesia (sp?) was much, much worse. My doctor decided to switch me to Abilify. I'd heard of it, but didn't know much about it. I was willing to give it a try since I'm really tired of feeling like this and I will do just about anything to keep from being suicidal. I was supposed to cut the tablet in half to start at 1 mg, but the things were so soft that they practically disintegrated. So I started at 2 mg instead. It took a while, obviously, to feel any different really, but right off I was having trouble sleeping. I'd always taken the Geodon at night because it made me a little sleepy. But after a couple of nights of not sleeping, it was obvious I needed to take the Abilify in the morning. I did that, but I am still not sleeping as well as I'd like. I have trouble getting to sleep, and then trouble staying asleep. I wake up several times during the night and toss and turn quite a bit before going back to sleep. I will say that I've been waking up less often the longer I've been on it, which has been about 4 weeks now.

Other than that, the tardive dyskenesia is better, although not gone (I've been on these meds too long for that, I think). I'm not hallucinating like I was on Seroquel. I do somehow feel less depressed, although I didn't really think an anti-psychotic could do that. However, this drug is prescribed to go along with anti-depressants sometimes for people with depression, so maybe I shouldn't be that surprised. I don't feel 100% better, but I'm afraid to have the dosage raised because then my sleep will be interrupted again (or, more than right now).

I've also had my thyroid rechecked, and the levels are low on the free T3, but within the normal range. I don't usually do too well at that level, so my old doctor had raised the dosage on my thyroid medication. The new doctor lowered it again. I don't know whether to have a doctor raise it again. However, I'm incredibly fatigued. I can't even describe how tired I am. I can hardly do anything around the house. When I go out, I'm wiped out the rest of the day and part of the next day, if not the whole day. I can't stay out as long as I used to, either. This could be the thyroid problem, my lack of sleep on Abilify, or something as yet untested, like a complete blood count or white blood cell count. I am just not too anxious to have any more blood tests done as I've had way too many done in the past couple of months. I am phobic of needles, which means that the fear level associated with them is equivalent to what I'd feel if my life were threatened. Plus, I have a very low tolerance for pain. It's very difficult to go through this, and to have it done in very close proximity to another is especially hard. Doctors never think anything of ordering a blood test, but really it's traumatic for me every time.

Anyway, we'll have to see. I may have to concede to more blood tests to find out what's wrong. My dad bought me some multi-vitamins to see if that would help. I hope they do so that I'll know it was something easy and cheap to fix.