The Truth Isn’t Always Nice

Here’s the story, ending with the last few days…

About 13 years ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD, now that I look back I clearly had BPD. I was put on Celexa which was life changing. I was laid back, but too numb I guess. 10 years ago I was put on a prescription for weight loss. I felt so much better overall. I lost weight, I had energy and no side effects.

October 11′, only 4 months after I became “crazy”, I was admitted to 2-North for the second time. I was on a million drugs that had severe side effects, hadn’t slept in days. I don’t remember a lot of it. I know the reason why I was admitted but not all the details. I don’t want to know all the details.

The doctor (the only good doctor and now he’s gone) told Mark that I tested positive for amphetemines which sounds bad but was just the weight loss medication, phenteramine. He said that sometimes the med changes and has meth like side effects. He thought it was contributing to what was going on, that I looked like I was on meth.(nice) I probably did. I felt bugs crawling under my skin so I would pick, especially at my face. I was sure I was dying. I couldn’t see my own reflection in the mirror, I was so messed up. I can’t explain how bad it was. I was taken off the phen cold turkey. (different doctor) The withdrawals after being on a medication for 10yrs weren’t fun.

It took a little while, but I started to miss my “prescription meth”. I want to lose weight but was also hoping that it might have the same good effects it had before all the bad medications. I didn’t ever ask for it, had a pretty good idea what any of my doctors would say.

This October I was telling my primary care doctor that I still wanted to lose at least 20 pounds. He started writing a prescription. I asked him as he was writing what it was for. He told me it was for phenteramine. I know he said some stuff after that about it not being a “fix all” or something. All I was thinking is OMG! I knew Mark would freak so I picked it up, paid in cash thinking I would just take it. But I couldn’t. I handed it over to Mark who said before even thinking about it I needed to talk to J and D.

I talked to J a few days later. He remembered the phen. He said I was on a lot of meds before so who knows, but made it clear that he wasn’t a doctor and to ask D. Either 2 or 5 weeks later, I don’t remember when, I asked D about it. Fully expecting a CLEAR no, but was extremely surprised. He said that I did have higher risk of more anxiety because of how it was before and would have to watch it closely, but it was fine to try. I told him that I felt more “normal”, or stable maybe, while on it. He said he actually has several clients on phen or similar, the mixture with another mood stabilizer helps to even them out. (Everyone said there were no other options, wonder what ELSE there is!) He said it was definitely worth a shot but again needed to monitor closely.

Mark wasn’t so sure, I didn’t expect him to be. He did some research and talked to a few people. I didn’t. It sounded like the phenteramine was frequently used longer than 6-8weeks. (probably not 10 yrs though I’m guessing) I was angry because we’d been told this drug was basically meth and had been the cause of all these problems. Mark and I talked and decided it was worth a try. It could cause increased anxiety, if it did I wanted off.

I started it the 1st. The first 2 days were good, no difference. The 3rd day I had more trouble breathing, common when I get anxiety and a lot was going on. No increased anxiety at night though. It got a little better, that weekend was good. I felt invisible bugs but they went away when I took the klonapin. There were other little things that I could shrug off.

I think it was Monday night when things changed. I felt different. I tried to sleep but kept thinking I just needed to take a bath. I got up around 3. Mark woke up, he never does. I told him I had to take a bath, If I didn’t stay up I was going to die. I was delusional. (I had to get some of this from Mark) It was so terrifying I was beyond crying. Mark told me to ask God if it was safe to go to sleep. It was, but I couldn’t. Out of nowhere I knew I had to tell Mark that I needed to get off the phen, that it was killing me. I hadn’t even been thinking about it. I tried making deals with God, I was just delusional, it wasn’t killing me. I’d talk to Mark in the morning… But then I remembered while in this crazy state that last October all I needed to do was take a bath, and I did. Knowing what could have happened had I taken a bath that night scared the living shit out of me. I didn’t want to die. I told Mark about the phen then fell asleep. I asked about it all in the morning. Mark said that I was definitely delusional and was hallucinating. I saw things that weren’t there. But the part about the phenteramine was true. It was killing me, just like last time.

Tuesday night… (nights are the worst) I again knew I was going to die. I had to stay awake. When I was at 2-North I remember taking a shower, holding my legs rocking back and forth knowing I was dying. I beyond crazy, begging God to get me out. Tuesday night I sat in our shower for hours (a good water heater I guess) rocking back and forth knowing I was dying, begging God to get me out.

I was supposed to taper, take another pill Wednesday. I told Mark I would rather deal with withdrawals than another night like those. Wednesday night was more of a withdrawal night, 2 days out. Same as last time. Big anxiety but no delusions or hallucinations. I still have a little bit of a hard time breathing but it’s getting better, no big withdrawals.

If I hadn’t tried it we’d never have known if it would have helped, if the problem had been the other medications more than the phenteramine. Now I know. It works for others, worked for me for a long time. It doesn’t anymore.

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