Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 15: Up to 50 mgs, and Reflections on the First Two Weeks.

Today I titrated up to 50 mgs of lamictal.

I've been at 25 mgs for two weeks.  Before starting lamictal, I was definitely experiencing mild mood swings, mostly between anxiety and the kind of sadness that tells me I'm not in The Black Pit of Depression yet, but I could find myself circling it if I'm not careful.  The lasting cognitive effects and "flattening" I'd experienced on Lexapro had finally abated.

Since starting lamictal, my mood has stabilized and improved somewhat, and so far there doesn't seem to be any negative effects on my attention, motivation, or focus (thank the gods!).  The only cognitive effect was some word-finding issues, and drawing a visual blank regarding a recipe I'd made many times before, but I only experienced this on one particular day.

I felt anxious for most of the day yesterday (day 14) -- the first anxiety I've felt since starting lamictal.  It was mostly centered on my financial situation.  I've started a new phase in my weightlifting routine (I'm working from New Rules of Lifting for Women) and I've reached a point where working out without proper equipment is no longer possible (I've been half-assing it for the first stage with DIY equipment).  Exercise is an important part of keeping my mood stable, and weight training is something I enjoy and therefore stick with, so I'll need to invest in a barbell sometime soon.  I'm fretting about how to do this.

With the advent of the Stage 2 in my workout plan, experienced my first delayed onset muscle stiffness (DOMS) since starting lamictal.  In a way it was reassuring.  In the back of my head, I'd been concerned that the lack of muscle stiffness might lead to overtraining in some way. I thought that my body might not be registering pain the way it should, and failing to give me warning signs of impending injury.

After yesterday's workout, which included a lifting routine as well as interval training, I was plenty sore. Using the foam roller hurt quite a bit.  Still, it wasn't as bad as it ever used to be -- I used to curse like a jaybird every single time I was rolling out the muscles in my legs (cursing has been scientifically proven to lessen pain!).  Yesterday, though it hurt quite a bit, I got by with just saying "OW ow ow ow ow!" instead of my usual "OW @#^&! ^#@&$ *%^%$#@!".  Today, perhaps due to the increase in dosage, I'm feeling some stiffness, but no pain at all.

I feel like I'm having an unusually difficulty time resetting my body from my late night a few days ago.  I don't know if this is the medication or not; insomnia is a pretty common side effect of lamictal, but so far it hasn't bothered me.  This morning I had to get up at a reasonable hour (10 am ... yeah, I know) to get to the Farmers Market.  It meant only getting about 7 hours of sleep, which is less that I really need, but might make it easier to be in bed by 1 am tonight.  Here's hoping.

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