Monday, December 10, 2007

95/55, Mental Health Update

The new dosage of the medication is not going well. I am actually doing well with the diet and plan to continue it, at least to a certain extent, once I am no longer required to do so. I had no idea how much crap was in the (seemingly) healthy food that I was eating. Plus, things that I can still eat:

fresh fruits and vegetables
fresh meats
soft, young cheeses
Hagen Dasz vanilla bean and coffee light ice cream
fresh-baked breads from Central Market (most of them)
A few kinds of organic dark, dark chocolate bars
Ritter Sport dark, dark, dark chocolate

This makes for a pretty healthy and diverse diet and I really feel a lot better about what's going into my body. For the most part, Ryan is following the diet as well and he feels good about it, too. I grew up with very healthy food and I want to continue this as we try to make a baby (heh heh heh) and then grow it. I also look for certain things that are made from non-food crops (e.g. cottonseed oil) that have higher levels of pesticides, etc.

So, that's all good. Surprisingly, since it's the part that I thought would be hardest. Plus, it makes the holidays easier. I see a huge spread of food and I just have to walk past since I can't eat anything. Well, if they have fruits and of course, I can drink just about anything so I'll load up on punch to make the hostess happy. :)

The worst part of this, other than the insomnia (a few nights with ZERO sleep) is my blood pressure. I was so concerned about high blood pressure resulting from diet that I didn't expect low blood pressure to be an issue. At first it didn't connect in my brain that it was what was causing the weird things: seeing stars in the morning, after walking up 2 flights of stairs, wheezing while running, etc. But then I examined my diet currently (great, heavy on a healthy breakfast of milk, juice, buttery toast, and yogurt parfait), so it couldn't be low blood sugar. And I've been treating my asthma and running so the wheezing and such didn't make any sense. And then I did some research and found out that low blood pressure could be a very rare side effect of these meds. Out of curiosity, I've gone and used people's blood pressure machines (thanks, CVS & Kroger):
Thursday evening after work: 100/59
Saturday afternoon after babysitting: 108/63
Sunday noon after church (2 Masses): 95/55

Okay, my blood pressure is normally low, but this is ridiculous. Plus, it's really affecting my running. I'm not getting enough oxygen to my body and I've had to stop a few times to catch my breath and also when I felt dizzy and like I was going to pass out. On Saturday we had an "easy" 8 mile run and I had to stop and put my head down TWICE. Not cool at all. Plus, we have our 13-mile practice run this Saturday and I can't do it if my circulation isn't working right.

ARGH. So, I am calling and begging the psychiatrist's office to get an appointment ASAP. Don't worry, this isn't going to kill me or anything, but I am not about to continue.


* I want to ask about babies. What do I need to be taking and when should I start.
* I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder many moons ago and I am wondering if that might not be closer to the truth than I had previously thought. Everyone knows I have major depression. I also have serious anxiety, but sometimes it feels like more than just anxiety. I either cannot concentrate or I'll concentrate on something for hours. As in, my 6-hour online hat quest before our trip. And don't get me started on binges of money-spending. They're never anything disastrous, but there are times when I feel really out of control. Argh. I am nowhere near standing on the top of a ferris wheel, a la a movie of the week, but there are other forms of bipolar disorder than the really, really spectacular one that everyone knows about (Bipolar I).

For example, moods with bipolar disorder are often considered to be along a sine wave (+1, 0, -1). Everyone knows I get all the way down to -1. And I don't ever get to +1, but I think I get above zero. (Bipolar II?) This would also account for why all the meds I try don't really work well enough.

Anyway, I'm to the point where I don't care what the label is, just that I can get some help. And some sleep.


shoeaddict said...

95/55 is NOT good, Kate. You must tell your doctor. Be sure you are drinking water and staying hydrated because low bp is often a sign of dehydration.

Keep a list of your symptoms and what you were doing just before something major happened (got severly dizzy after you stood up from sitting on couch for 20 minutes).

Please keep me updated!

Anonymous said...

On the mental health tip, I highly recommend:

How I Threw My Mental Health Out with the Diapers" By Marrit Ingman

I found it very helpful. Julie has a book that helps people get pregnant. She means for them to read it, but apparently just having it in your house does the trick.

Kate said...

Tim, I have the first book on my Amazon wish list and the second at home from the library, although I am actually reading it. ;)