During my last two weeks of my IOP program, I had flipped into hypomania. I had stopped eating and was totally unable to sleep more than an hour or so day.
Dr. W was worried and prescribes Seroquel to make me sleep. I don't want to take the script, because I know it will put on weight, I have worked hard since Christmas to loose 12 pounds.
'It's just to help you sleep, you won't put on any weight", he assures me. I ask him for something like Ambien, something else, "No, no, I cannot give you that", but he won't tell me the reasons why.
Two days later, still on no sleep, I reluctantly fill the script, cut the pills in half like he tells me. And miracle of miracles, I sleep for a good 16 hours straight. I feel back to myself, hypomania gone.
After a week on Seroquel, I go for my weekly check at the hospital where I am attending the IOP, blood pressure monitored, blood levels checked, and then weight. I've put on 15 pounds in one week, my 12 pounds lost are back, plus an additional three. I feel like crying and indeed I do.
That night I go home and vow not to take any more Seroquel. Back to warm milk as a sleep aid. I go off it, cold turkey, and I am fine. I can still sleep. But I cannot stop eating , I cannot stop craving sugar. I am drinking over a gallon of water a day to stop the food cravings, making a food diary, an still the weight keeps coming on. And I am having problems urinating. I go to my GP and she assures me, after she gets a sample of that, everything is fine with my plumbing. But I am putting on weight, another ten pounds in 3 days. She looks at my food diary, and accuses me of either lying on it ( which I am not), or something is going haywire in my metabolism. Try to exercise more. Eat more fruit, drink more water.
The next few days, I am eating so much fruit and drinking so much water, I am living on the toilet. Indeed, I bring in a book and a radio in there to keep me company. It still hurts like heck to urinate, and I have this image in my head of King George II who died on the toilet, or my previous down stairs neighbor, who also had a heart attack and died on the toilet. I can just see my dead body on top of that, and the paramedics laughing so hard as they extract me from that, they loose their functions.
I go to Sunday dinner with my parents, and both of them make comments about how fat my face is, my fingers. I cannot even get into shoes, I'm wearing flip flops. On the scale. The number isn't bad, it's like 15 pounds of water is inside me like a sponge, unable to come out.
With all this going on, I am discharged from the IOP program, and the next day meet with a new psychiatrist. She has my records and all the meds I am on. I tell her I am not taking Seroquel anymore and she says OK. Then she starts asking me about Rispardal and wanting to put me on that, when I told her I would never ever ever take Zyprexa. I don't even want to take Ripardal. One of the side effects is weight gain. Has she not been listening? I've put on a ton of weight, even if it's water retention in the last three weeks from Seroquel.
I don't think the doctors listen to patient concerns.
I had an Aunt, who died of breast cancer a few years ago. When she was first diagnosed, she went though the Chemo like she was supposed to. The first treatment left her really sick, when she finished her second treatment, she was in agony. She phoned the doctor and asked him, "If I stop the chemo, how much longer will I live"?
She was told 6-8 months.
And with the chemo? 12-18 months.
She opted out of the chemo, stating she was over 70, and didn't want her last six months on earth to be full of pain, sickness, and side effects from the chemo. She would rather have a good six months, living each day to the fullest and go. The family totally supported her. In the end, she was on a morphine drip, totally in pain, but it was the way she wanted to go, she knew it was the way she would go either way. She had seen her husband go that way several years before.
Now take me. Every time I tell my family, I want to get off my meds, they are making me sick, they have really messed up my body and my brain, I'm told flat out, if you do , you won't live to see 50. You'll be dead within a couple of years. And I reply, statistically speaking, I should live for another 30 or 40 years. But look at all the side effects. Not to mention the grief of not having a doctor, never having a psychiatrist listen to me. My GP listens to me, as does my gynocologist. Even my dentist won't prescribe pain pills when I had a root canal two years ago, without consulting the meds I was on and making sure nothing would interfere and cause me harm.
I don't know what it is about psychiatrists. I am sure there are some good ones out there, I have actually had two in my lifetime who were caring, compassionate men, who really wanted their patients to get better. But it's like one of them once told me and this was echoed by Dr. W lately, "I couldn't become a surgeon". Or, "I just couldn't figure out what specialty I wanted, and this was the easiest one to get into". Only one told me an altruistic reason;" I wanted to help people, I had a friend/family member who suicided, and I wanted to help others".
I just want my new doctor to listen to me. If I tell them I don't want to be on a med because of weight gain, that is a serious concern. If I tell them I am tired of having a head feel like cotton balls, sleeping 16 hours a day and would like to look into holistic meds, can she work with me? If I am telling them I am concerned about a black box warning, and I am suicidal to begin with, is there anything else they can recommend?
Just treat me with respect. I treat you with respect, why can't you?