Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Yesterday's Pdoc Visit

Visited the Pdoc yesterday. An interesting visit. He gave me several insights that made me sit up and take notice.

We discussed my medication, 100 mg of Lamictal. I told him the side effects are minimal, but the benefits were significant. I expressed my concern about long term effects, I'd hate to end up with Kidney or thyroid problems. He told me there was no evidence of that with this drug. I told him one of the major benefits is that I enjoy being affectionate with my wife. Not necessarily sexual, but I'm enjoying just holding her. I go to bed and snuggle with her every night, and I am REALLY enjoying that. He asked if things like her breathing used to irritate me, and he hit the nail on the head. Snoring, even just breathing would set me off. He said I'm more able to live just in the moment now, and enjoy my loved ones and surroundings. That has been a HUGE benefit to my medication. Also, I havn't blown up or gotten particularly manic since starting. If I can keep my explosive temper from my family it will be a HUGE factor.

We also talked about my obsessions, all my life it's been a series of obsessions. Everything I have gotten into, mostly leisure activities, I've gone about obsessively. I throw myself completely into it, or I don't do it. Currently it's computer related. He told me that's likely been a coping mechanism for many years. Instead of tolerating the ups and downs of bipolar disorder, I put on blinders and charge full speed into whatever activity is my obsession at the time. I stay pre-occupied with the activity, and don't have to deal with my personality turmoil. Once again, I think he hit the nail squarely on the head. I need to set some guidelines for myself where my computer use is concerned, and do my best to stick by them. My wife is concerned that if it's not this it will be something else - TV or another hobby. I'll have to stay cognizant of that, and ask for her help and support.

Lastly we talked about "substance" abuse. He asked me about drug use, there is none, of course. He's concerned about that as it's so prevalent among bipolars. We talked about alcohol, I told him, once again, that I don't have a problem, but out of respect to his judgement I have cut back. I told him I had wine over the holidays and did drink during the Cornhusker game and The Iguanas show following the game. He asked me about my cigar smoking (just on my hunting trip), and about coffee (cut back, but not eliminated). He wasn't concerned about any of my responses.

All in all it was a great, productive appointment for me.

10 comments:

Maggs said...

Glad it was a good appointment. I know what you mean about hobbies. I never know anymore when it's something that is a good idea and that I'll stick with it or if it's another grandiose idea.

Jon said...

Grandiose ideas - Maggs, you and I are in the wrong jobs. We should be sitting in offices, dreaming up the ideas that will make millions. We should have teams of workers at our beck and call to make our ideas become reality.

For me, and it sounds like maybe for you also, the ideas come easily, but the ability to pull them off does not...

Nilla said...

So, were you the type that would fly into insane rages? Just curious. I don't quite understand the thing about the "breathing" thing. Do you mean that it grates on your nerves or something?

Oh, and I'm lucky like you- the only thing I had a problem with was smoking and caffiene. I am thrilled it wasn't like CRACK or something.

Jon said...

Nilla - yes, my rage was out of control at times. I would just lose it. My head would start spinning, and I would almost black out, then boom! I'm exploding.

On the breathing or snoring, it was just an irritation thing that came between us. I would take the other side of the bed because I found it so irritating. Since starting on the meds, it doesn't bother me anymore. And it's a great thing!

I used to smoke, and it was the most difficult thing I ever did to quit. There have been studies that show smoking is a common form of self-medication for bipolars. It affects a portion of our brain that seems to help our disorder. I completely believe that.

The Queen said...

Sounds like a great appointment Jon. I know what you mean about the irritating things. I had to leave the dinner table tonight because I couldn't stand to hear my family eat, and I frequentlyu yell at hubby in bed for just breathing. I always thought I was just a bitch, but now I wonder if it isn't a BP thing.

KSHIPPYCHIC said...

I hate it when I see my husband sleeping - it really makes me mad.

lysie6211 said...

Hi*waves* new to your blog. I've actually been reading it for a while, just now commenting. I have depression but some doctors think I might have manic tendencies. Anyways...your comment about the obessions hit a chord with me. Because I just realized I tend to do the same thing.

Jon said...

Queen - What you describe is classic for me - it happened frequently prior to this med.

kshippychic - being bipolar it's RARE that I'm the first one to sleep, and RARE that I'm not the first one up. So I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. LOL - I'm embarassed to admit this, but I'd throw pillows at my sleeping wife when she got "too noisy".

Lysie - the obsessive behaviors could be indicative of bipolar disorder, BPD - borderline personality disorder, or OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder. Or it could mean you're just determined and focused. The depression you have to keep a close watch on, and maybe have a loved one help where that's concerned. But the rest, unless and until it becomes a problem in your life, I'm not sure I'd worry about it. Of course, I look at what I COULD have accomplished had I tackled my bipolar earlier...

Thanks to all for your comments!

jane said...

You & your pdoc obviously have a good rapport. I like that you're so honest with him. Sounds like the med is working. I'm in the midst of changing my anti-depressant & am not too comfortable right now. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

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