I Lost My Mind

Not long after I wrote my last post, I became really unwell.

That is partly why I haven’t been posting.

I had stopped the Abilify and started the Invega, and I don’t know if it was this combination or not but I came really psychotic.

It’s the most distressed I think I’ve ever been.

Basically I felt I had brain damage which was irreversible. I was convinced of it. I couldn’t think properly. I couldn’t concentrate on TV or books. My memory wasn’t good. My hand had gone rigid into a claw. All I could do was pace around; I couldn’t stop moving. I cried a lot because I was really really petrified that my brain was damaged by the Abilify.

I was having a delusion.

I nearly got sent inpatient but luckily I managed to stay out this time.

I did slowly get better with a lower dose of Invega. I feel much better now. I’m still not 100% though. I’m unable to read and when I write, I can only do short sentences and paragraphs at a time. I think it’s the medication I take.

At least I’m not having a delusion any more though. It really was the scariest thing  that ever happened to me.

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Goodbye Abilify: Hello Invega

JAN05500

Good morning paliperidone!!!

This is going to be my new medication when it arrives from the online pharmacy I get my meds from.

Thankfully, they are finally taking me off Abilify, after 3 months of agitation and anxiety and fighting to tell various psychiatrists that there is an issue. It has made me feel more anxious than I have in 10 years, and has give me facial tics which weren’t there before. I felt over-activated the whole time I was on it. I’m glad to see it go.

(Please note that Abilify works for lots of people – I’m not saying it’s a bad drug that doesn’t work – it just wasn’t for me.)

Instead, I’m going onto paliperidone, or Invega. Tapering up on that while I taper down on the Abilify. I’m concerned about my weight because that is something that can increase on this drug, though hopefully I can keep healthy by eating well and continuing to go down the gym.

I will certainly let you know how things go with the switch.

Here’s to less anxiety and depression and more good days!

PS. Anyone had any experience with Invega?

Mega Yoga Wobbles

My psychologist gave me a task, and that was to write every day (which I already do) and to do one activity out of the house a day. I’ve just joined the gym, so those go together well.

Yesterday, I decided that a yoga session would be my one activity. I had been going to the gym for the running machine for the last couple of days but this time I decided to take a class.

What could possibly go wrong?

I’m a beginner, but I’ve done yoga before, even at this gym. It was a different instructor this last though. I didn’t think that would matter too much.

As the people came in and the door was closed, it turned out that there were only 5 of us in the class and straight away my anxiety went up. Other classes had at least 20 people and I could hide far in the corner. Not this time.

The teacher then decided to do the worst thing she possibly could: she asked to go around and say who we were and what were our intentions for the yoga today. This might sound like nothing to some people, but I died inside at her words. (Even as I’m writing this, I’m reacting with physical anxiety). I find it extremely difficult to speak in front of groups of people.

As she was saying her own piece I started to shake. She picked me first. My face was twitching and ticking as I managed ‘I’m Zoe’ but the panic was just too much. I said ‘I’m going to pass’, waving my hands in front of me like I wanted to push her into oblivion. I walked away into a corner. Obviously the whole room was looking at me wondering why I was reacting that way. She made a face but said ‘ok’.

The class carried on round, saying their pieces but I heard nothing. My body had gone off like a firework. As the class started, I began to dissociate, unable to properly comprehend what the instructor was saying or doing. I began to hallucinate green circles of light and colored spots. This is not unusual when I am very anxious.

I was finding it difficult to get myself to do what she was teaching because the instructions were just not getting through to my brain. This was obviously making me even more anxious.

Not only that, but I started to shake really bad.

Both my legs went into spasm and they shook so hard I looked like I was having a fit below my waist. Here I am trying to yoga moves and I’m flipping like a fish. What makes it worse is that everyone has turned to the side and I’m at the end, so they are all looking at me.

To walk out now would make a huge scene, plus I’d have to put equipment away, so I think that the only choice I have is to calm down. I’m stuck here, so make the best of it. I try and breathe. Breeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaathe.

After a while it helps. I have the odd breakthrough spasm but it works on the whole.

Other things then happen like I forget to pick up certain equipment that everyone else is using so I sit there looking stupid while they use it. I also end up doing things the opposite way to everyone – nothing major but just another thing to make me look like the weirdo in yoga class together. Ugh. (Meanwhile I’m covered with tattoos putting me in the weird category even more).

When we’re lying on the mats in relaxation at the end, I have so many negative thoughts going through my head. I’m ALWAYS going to be DISABLED by this shit. I try to think of positive affirmations, to cut though it, like my psychologist told me, but it doesn’t work.

I’m so thankful it’s only a 45 minute class and I get out of there asap.

I’m determined not to let it break me down though, so I go into the gym area and on the running machine for 30 mins or so. That makes me feel like I’ve achieved something at least.

I just wish I didn’t have that firework of adrenaline go off in me – shaking, twitching, hallucinations, dissociation. I can’t control it.

I try not to dwell on what happened.

I will also try to go to another yoga session with a different instructor next week.

It will not stop me.

I need to get over this.

 

 

A Better Day

I had a much better day today.

I had to drive for the first time in a long time. Last time I drove I got a panic attack, and I’ve been having panic attacks even just as a passenger lately, so I was nervous about getting behind the wheel this morning.

I’m back in my car – an Acura – after driving a big Range Rover. The anxiety was gone today! I’m starting to wonder if it was the other car that was making me so anxious on the road, because it’s so big.

Anyway I drove to the doctor’s office near the air base with no issues. I waited for the doctor, made some conversation with staff, and got through my appointment with ease. I am still having issues with my face twitching when I talk to people, even if I’m feeling no anxiety (like today). I hope it goes away.

My mouth turns down at the corner too really bad and I can’t control it. I have to wipe it off my face physically with my hand. My husband notices but I’m not sure how much other people notice. Hopefully with things improving it will go, because it’s a new thing that’s only been there a month or so.

After I was done at the doctor’s, I had some car trouble. It was starting and cutting out and then it stalled on my way out of the medical base. I was really glad there were a couple of cops on the gate who helped me push the car over to the side, and they were really nice about it. I called my husband who works just a few minutes away, but while I waited it started again and seemed to run fine.

I think it was the battery being a little flat after being sat for the whole winter. I was scared to drive home in case it cut out again but it didn’t. I got home safe. And despite all those issues I still didn’t get bad anxiety and I still felt fine in the car.

From an anxiety and depression point of view, today is where I want to be. I’m not sure what has changed but I’m feeling so much better. Obviously I need to have this for a few days in a row, not just one, and maybe I should hold off on feeling excited, but it feels so good to feel good!!

I had actually gone to the doctor because I’ve had really painful shoulder blade pain for over a month now. The doctor reckons it is a rotator cuff injury from sitting badly and straining it. I personally think it’s a trapped nerve, but what do I know?! I have muscle relaxers now which are helping with the pain, but I don’t have many of them unfortunately. I have also been referred for physical therapy.

It hurts doing most things sitting or standing, such as cooking, the dishes, watching TV, being on my laptop – a lot of the things I do. Lying down is the only time it doesn’t hurt.I hope it gets better soon. I’ve never done physical therapy before so that will be interesting.

 

This Week

My energy level is rising.

It’s very slight, so hardly noticeable,

but it’s there.

I think something might go pop on Monday.

My husband goes back to work after being off for two weeks.

And things will change

I’m not quite sure how.

 

I’ll have to drive myself again.

My anxiety had got so bad I couldn’t drive.

That needs to change from tomorrow.

I’ll be going it alone again.

I think it’s going to be good for me.

 

I had been having trouble socializing lately but

last night we had people over and it was fun.

That makes me happy.

 

I’m hoping I’m coming out of the anxiety bubble now.

Since reducing my dose of Abilify it has got a little better.

Or maybe it’s the energy change I’m feeling.

At least maybe I’m close enough to be able to pull myself out.

 

I have to just do the scary things

Not avoid them.

Avoiding just makes it worse.

I am an expert in avoidance!

 

This week I will try to be brave.

I have 3 doctor’s appointments.

And I’m going back to the gym.

Plenty to do.

I should try and socialize with a couple of people too.

Let’s see how it goes.

 

Screw you anxiety.

I’m ready for you.

 

Burning Cars in my Front Yard

http://www.kmtv.com/news/local-news/three-men-save-victims-from-burning-car

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There was a huge accident in the road outside my house last night. We live next to a fairly busy road, being the corner house. I heard a car coming along at high speed and then there was a huge crash. My husband and his friend and I ran out of the house – we could see a car on fire in the road!

My husband called the cops and his friend ran over to the car to start getting people out. I could see there were people inside. My whole body was shaking – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

They were trying to get a guy out but the door was stuck – they eventually got him out the window. His jacket and clothes were burned. There was a girl sitting on the side of the road with half her hair burned off her head and blood all over her face. Another guy had blood on him too.

The car on fire was split in half, such was the impact of the crash. There was a pickup much further down the road, totally tipped onto it’s passenger side. There were beer cans all down the road.

The above news clip says 3 men saved the people, but there were more that helped. My friend being one of them – he just didn’t hang around for the news crew.

I was pretty useless and went into shock straight away. I’ve definitely never seen anything like that before up so close. I was in shock for most of the evening after that and had to take a Lorazepam.

I just can’t believe that it wasn’t worse, and I’m so thankful no one was more seriously hurt. Looking at the wreck, it’s a miracle that everyone walked away alive.

It was a pretty shocking Friday night for sure!