“Unfortunately your body does not seem to metabolise the medication properly” sez Ms Doctor worriedly, looking at my results.
After two weeks of the same dosage of valproic acid, week 1 my level in blood is 77, week 2 it is 57. I haven’t skipped any dose, I haven’t been drinking, I haven’t had aspirin or grapefruit juice. That seems to about exhaust possible reasons. So the dosage was raised AGAIN, and now the side effects are here AGAIN, and I am depressed AGAIN, and being suicidal really does get old after a while but I won’t get an antidepressant until the level has been between 80 and 100 for two weeks. Which so far hasn’t happened at all. So I got home, and in the evening swallowed my five elephant-sized pills, and then went to update my mood chart and discovered I either lost it or left it at her office. Which improved my mood SO MUCH you can’t believe.
I’m really sorry that I haven’t got good news. I am bored of myself being stably depressed too. I don’t even want to bother my friends anymore, because every time they ask how I am doing, I have to say “not too well really”. My mood these days ranges aaaaaall the way between “totally depressed” and “quite depressed”. Drive goes aaaaaall the way from “none” to “a tiny bit”. Suicidality — from “a bit” to “a lot”. So, yeah, stabilising. But still noticing signs of hypomania; problems concentrating, racing thoughts, ooh shiny —
— and the financial situation of mine is the sort that requires me to have meetings with a social worker to discuss it.
It’s a very different feeling to go from “high flying, adored” all the way to the gutter. I’ve been poor before, which in a way makes it easier, I guess. Still, finding out I am officially below poverty level for the country I live in is… interesting. My benefits are enough for the house, OR for the bills and food. They are not enough for both. Yet I am lucky to have benefits at all, as measly as they are. I know someone who didn’t, and couldn’t decide whether it’s better to go out of the house so collectors can’t find her, or to stay in in case they try to break in and take her stuff. I am not in danger of that YET.
In the middle of all this, I finally read “Marbles” by Ellen Forney and it is the best book on bipolar I have read so far. I could relate to everything except the family bits. It also made me quite scared of what to expect — it took Ellen years to get properly stable on the meds, and she has to continue monitoring herself for, well, ever. Still, if a bipolar person can write a book like “Marbles”, maybe I am not totally doomed yet.
I’ll post a proper review, I promise, when I feel better. Been depressed for a week non-stop now, and this post has taken me three days to write. Apols.