The Odd Couple

I’ll be the first to say that when you wake up in the middle of the night having to pee like your life depends on it and your Asperger’s sister who has no sense of time or urgency is sitting in the bathroom and you can hear her ripping a square of toilet paper at a time after BEGGING to get into the bathroom “just to pee less than a minute!!!” it really makes you mad. Then you hear the toilet paper ripping stop, and you knock on the door hurriedly again, she starts up again…after a little while, you’re in the hallway doing a dramatic pee dance and she EVENTUALLY finishes. You run into the bathroom, pee, wash hands and when you come out she’s in the kitchen STILL washing her hands. I don’t care how insensitive it sounds, when it’s YOUR sister, and you know how high functioning she is, how spoiled she acts and how much you work to take care of her and the rest of your family she still rolls her eyes and won’t even look at you, in the middle of the night…it REALLY makes you mad.

Since there are no anti-PO’d medications (waka waka), I just asked my brand new psychiatrist this past Monday to refill my prescriptions for Luvox and Lamictal and asked him to put me back on ADHD medication. He had a file in hand from the hospital I used to see my doctor at before she moved to Colorado which specifically listed ADHD as a diagnosis and wrote about how we had talked about my very expensive time-consuming ADHD testing and how she was going to try me on Strattera, and he still acted like he wanted to ask me to get ADHD testing before he gave me any medicine. I was ready to swing at him, particularly because he had the attitude of one of those “I really give no F’s about you whatsoever” attitudes. He’s the kind of guy that made me jump into the psych field out of the business field and blow the last several years of my life working toward my bachelors. Mind you, I haven’t seen a psychiatrist in a little over a year and my GP had been refilling my OCD/Bipolar cocktail and had finally gotten sick of it, but I’d been off Ritalin most of the past year and my ADHD wreaked havoc on most of my life. I was determined to get back on it, and I have, and I’m thankful. I kind of wish the guy tweaked my Luvox prescription, because my intrusive thoughts have been getting out of control the past several months, but we’ll see what happens in the future med wise. I literally have no time for myself, let alone therapy by the way. I’m hoping that session 2 with this guy is a lot better than session 1. I’ll see him in another twenty-some days.

My current struggle since I last blogged has been that the stress at work has triggered a major depressive episode. The doctor asked how many manic episodes I’ve had in my life and I replied that I get one every year or two, but I have a worse problem with depression. He asked if I’d tried Latuda or another antidepressant. I said no, and was expecting him to prescribe one, but he didn’t. I was too anxious at the time to speak up about it, but next month I plan on it. AFTER a little research on Latuda, in particular.

I stumbled upon an article the other day, the full text here, which is entitled, “Bipolar patients’ brain cells predict response to Lithium”. The sample size for the study wasn’t very large, which lowers validity, but it was an interesting read. The scientists collected skin samples from clinically diagnosed BP patients and turned the cells into neurons (don’t ask me how the heck they did THAT) and compared them to the neurons from “healthy people”‘. They tested the cells’ response to a Lithium bath, and found a diversity in excitability of the cells. Lithium didn’t do much for me, because like I said, I have a larger problem with depression than I do mania, which is why I’m on Lamictal, which I highly recommend trying if you’ve got the same problem. Our body chemistries are all different, but it’s got a high success rate among people with my kind of problem. On that note, my own research is driving me insane, because I work overtime all week at the CILA, then cram my efforts into lit reviews and test preparation just to find out that I need to re-do something or add more to my paper before I can run my tests. I’m doing a capstone right now, which is the last thing I need to graduate. The stress between that and work has taken me back to the mindset where I really just wish I could live off disability comfortably. I’m sure that the way American economy is going, disability funds are going to quickly evaporate, so even if I were to get on it, I doubt it’d be something I could benefit from the rest of my life. It’s frustrating enough to be a late twenties adult (eh, just being an adult in general), let alone a Bipolar one with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD.

Besides the obsessive skin picking that’s super embarrassing to admit I’m succumbing to again lately, my house is benefiting from my re-decorating and cleaning of the place (as much as is tolerated by the rest of my family). I think back to when I was a kid, undiagnosed with all this junk, and how on a monthly basis I’d spend an entire day ripping my bedroom to shreds in order to re-organize the whole thing. Scrubbing the walls, re-lining up my stuffed animals in a different order, dusting…Now, with my sister having grown into her Asperger’s and us still sharing a room in the same house since she was born, I can’t touch half the stuff in the room, and it drives me insane, but I still mess with what I can. (Insert the “Odd Couple” theme song here). Boy oh boy does it feel good to even move one or two things around every other night. Now onward to my last work day into a weekend where I plan on suffering through more paper editing, and lecturing myself on how I need to stop isolating myself and spend physical time with my friends if I want to keep them. Then there’s supporting my long time boyfriend who is having a bigger problem with depression than I am, and handles it WAY worse than I do…

“I can’t take it anymore, Felix, I’m cracking up. Everything you do irritates me. And when you’re not here, the things I know you’re gonna do when you come in irritate me. You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Ungar!” -Oscar Madison, 1968 film, The Odd Couple.


12 thoughts on “The Odd Couple

  1. Barbie, I am in awe of your strength. I’m sure you don’t realize how strong you are , but you are functioning at an amazingly high level given all of the things you struggle with.

    Do you have plans to continue your education? I sure hope so. You have valuable experience to draw from and could be a great help to others.

    I’m waiting to hear from a prospective employer, as I can’t wait to leave my current job. The suspense is killing me.

    Love the Odd Couple reference. Thanks for the chuckle.

    • I would love to continue my education, but I don’t know how I’ll afford it time wise or otherwise. One step at a time I suppose, but that’s always been the plan. GOOD LUCK and I hope that you hear from this prospective employer. My prayers and good vibrations are sending out to you that all goes well.

  2. Oh dear. I can very much relate with you on the whole sister thing. My sister does not have Asperger’s, but she acts incredibly young for her age and we fight almost all the time. We drive each other insane. Thank God I don’t have to share a room with her, but we both still live at home together. I love her, but wow – sometimes – well you know. it’s hard.

    and as for the depression. I have been dealing with really bad depression for the past several months and my new psychiatrist just put me on latuda and I’m coming off of some other medication at the same time. i’ll let you know if I like latuda. though I know it’s different for everyone. but so far so good. I haven’t notices much at all – only been on it for about a week. I need to e-mail you. I’ve been so isolated even from blogging because I got ride of yet another blog. I don’t know why I do these things lol. hang in there girl. big hug.

  3. I think we’re pretty much in the same boat. 😉 Except that my house is trashed (currently) and I haven’t yet begun my Capstone. And for the love of all things Holy- anything but the Lit Review! (Runs away screaming.)

    It seems like all we do is research, write, revise, recheck the citations, and start it all over again, eh? But we’re climbing mountains. ;0)

    I’ll never forget the “summer of hell” in which I suffered a complete breakdown. After being hauled into the 3rd floor (wasn’t THAT fun), I was given a new round of meds, sent to outpatient therapy, and was back in school the following week (post-breakdown) facing 21 credit hours.

    Crazy schmazy…I kicked ass that semester! I think it’s utterly cool though that we’re quite literally becoming our own doctors. Dude, you’re freaking awesome! Keep on keeping on. You’re still really young. It gets better as you get older, it really does. In my 30’s, I was still (woo-hoo)…a little bit out there. But in my mid 40’s, I’ve slayed the dragon and am off all pharmaceutical meds. I do take my own medicinal regimen, but it’s holistic and naturale. :0) Things DO get better as the years roll on. And things start making sense. I admire your tenacity and ability to care for all those around you, including your sister. KEEP KICKING ASS.

    p.s. Your writing is the shit these days! Really impressive stuff. 🙂

    • I prefer the lit review to the stats x100! We ARE climbing mountains! My adviser told me that there will ALWAYS be more revisions, and so I’ve lowered my hopes of this round of fixes being ‘the last’. I read that some supplement companies are being tossed out of Whole Foods for being ‘fake’ or something of the sort. Well…I more skimmed. But let me know what brand and things you take. I feel like you have told me but I totally don’t have the memory…probably because of the amount of medication I’m on LOL! THANK YOU LADY ABOUT THE WRITING COMMENT! I get mopey that even though I write and I like writing and I think I’m good at writing, I feel like no one will ever take me seriously because I didn’t go to school for writing, but your appreciation for what I revise and revise and revise to publish here makes me happy 🙂

  4. Stopped by to say thanks for the like. I have friends that are bi-polar and a year ago one stopped taking their meds causing him to go psycho on facebook. I don’t go through it myself, but I can sympathize a little with those who do.

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