Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 41, 100 mgs of Lamictal: Feeling Better About Life

I think I may be hitting a sweet spot where the lamictal dosage is concerned.  It's been tough to track my moods in some ways because I've had a fair bit of stress since I started the titration.  The situation with my grandmother is stressful, and my mood definitely took a hit from that.  Then there's the whole deal with my marriage.

I'm feeling more optimistic about that today.  The last few days have been pretty hard.  At many points I found myself obsessing over the difficult times my husband and I have had.  I wondered if we've ever been truly happy together.  I wondered why my husband even wants to be with me, when my learning disabilities, my ADHD, and my mood disorder clearly cause him so many problems.  It's been nearly ten years since I've done this sort of thing.

I guess the mindfulness training must be paying off, because at some point I realized that I was basically thinking "depressive thoughts" about my husband and me.  My depression was causing me to undervalue the good times we've had and the good things about our relationship.  Basically, instead of thinking depressive thoughts about myself -- I'm no good, I'll never be successful, etc. -- I was thinking those thoughts about my marriage.
When I noticed I was doing this, I was able to acknowledge these thoughts and let them go.  I started to feel better.  By yesterday evening I was even feeling pretty good.

Unfortunately, the higher dose is messing with my sleep again.  The last time I looked at the clock it was nearly 4 am.  But I slept pretty well, except for being briefly awakened by the garbage truck, my alarm (which I turned off), and then a small earthquake.  The good news is that I went to sleep feeling good, and woke up feeling good, and continue to feel good.  I like feeling good.  It's good.

My appetite is still causing me problems.  Yesterday I think I mentioned that it took me four hours to eat breakfast.  A few hours after that I was actually hungry, so I ate "lunch" (at 5 pm), but I was still hungry, so I had a snack.  Then I went running at about 7:15.  My appetite was back down, but I had some soup for dinner anyway.  It was easier to finish than my breakfast had been.

When I was out on my run, I experienced something that I've noticed once or twice before.  My heart rate seemed to be much higher than it should be, given my level of exertion, and even how fast I was breathing.  I'm a bit tachycardic now too.  This happened to me last week, on the day I accidentally took 125 mgs of lamictal instead of 75.  It's not bothersome, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on.

I really wish I could get back to my regular eating schedule.  When I'm don't eat regularly, my body tends to freak out and I gain weight.  Two years ago I lost 60 lbs.  Last year, thanks to Abilify and Lexapro, I gained ten of those pounds back.  This puts me back into the "overweight" category, makes it harder to find pants that fit (and shopping for pants is stressful enough even when they do fit), and is generally annoying.  It also makes me feel like I don't have any "margin of error" as far as weight gain is concerned.  I worked really, REALLY hard to lose all that weight, and I don't want it to come back again.

There's also some new dermatitis going on with this titration.  I've mentioned previously that I seem to experience it at night, usually on the front of my thighs and my ribcage.  This time, it was also on my face.  My whole face itched, with the itching being concentrated in my chin, upper lip, nose, and forehead.  My eyes itched horribly too, and felt very dry.

However, the other skin-related side effect I've noticed is more positive -- the small lines around my mouth seem to have vanished!  First the muscle relaxation, then anti-aging skin results?  It seems too good to be true.

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