Thoughts while reading
I have been re-reading Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison’s memoir of her bipolar illness. I read the part where she describes coming to terms with her need to take medication and how she lost a patient through suicide. I had highlighted the chapter, probably because I saw there was no point in keeping myself alive. I had always said I was to die by my own hand. I had come terribly close last December. I don’t know why I am still here.
Last night, after I ended my blog, I got the results of my MRI of the past week. It said that I had a large volume of fluid in my spinal canal. It also said that I had arachnoiditis, basically clumping of the cauda equina nerves. This occurred post operatively. I don’t know if this is going to go away. I know that it is a painful condition. I guess it is good that I already am on pain medication because without, I would probably be really hurting and be stuck without pain management. I am to see my primary next week. I want to ask him to increase my immediate release dose so that I am taking the same dose for extended release and for breakthrough. I don’t know if he is going to be open to it. I figure I don’t have much to lose by asking.
I had made some notes about the book on an index card I am using as a bookmark. There is a lot of stuff that is important to know if you read this book. One is that treatment of a mental illness is as good as the medication treating it. Lithium is very good for bipolar/manic depressive illness. I am finding that duloxetine finally is working for me for my depressive illness. I don’t have bipolar disorder. I have recurrent major depression and it has taken a lot of trial and error to find a medication that works for me. I currently take 50 mg and it seems to work. My symptoms are lower than they were though I am still in the severe range. It is just that I don’t always feel every symptom of depression every day. Some days I can feel it more than others so results will vary. But Jamison’s take on medication is something every patient goes through when they have to take medication for their illness. The struggle to stay on medication is real. You can’t change my mind on this. Everyone I have ever known struggles with being on medication, even more so with psych meds. The stigma that you should “fight” without it kills me. It is what keeps a lot of people in pain because they feel they shouldn’t be on medication for whatever reason, usually because they don’t want to feel “weak”. I call bullshit. You are far from weak if some pill will help you with your problem. Unless the medication you are using is the problem, that is a whole other can of beans.