Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Ok, well, maybe I have some strong feelings about this, LOL. Today, DH went to see his nurse practitioner that prescribes his meds. And today she was joined by a real psychiatrist from out of town via webcam (really cool). DH was equipped with a lengthy letter from me describing all the ups and downs just like I've described them here for you. All the hope, all the depression, the spending, the anger, the back pain, all of it was in there. And I wrote it in a way that only said what had happened, not how I thought or felt about it, just my observations was all.

DH reported the following:
The psychiatrist feels that all the people who have thought that DH's problem was mainly depressive, with "a little bipolar" (that's what his therapist says)....and the hospital last year, and all the people since them (ok, the psychiatrist didn't say anything about all the other people, that was my thought, LOL)....well, he believes that DH has full-fledged bipolar and it is severely uncontrolled. And that perhaps some of his current meds are contributing to the problem, because they have tended to focus on the depression and not recognize the mood swings as much as they should have.

Ok. Well, duh, I have been telling them that since the very first time that DH saw a Dr. about his depression, way before all the spending, way before all the stuff I'm having such a tough time handling.....all the "experts", when I brought it up, tended to discount my ideas, because he didn't have full-fledged mania, where he believed that Jesus was sending messages via CB radio or whatever. I got the idea that basically, even though I went to Google, typed in all of his symptoms and always came up with "Bipolar", that I was one of those "know-it-alls" who do too much thinking and that I should leave it to the people who know what they're talking about. So I did. After all, I don't know anything about bipolar, really, and if the therapist says he's "only a little bipolar", well, who am I to quibble?????

But I'm not at all bitter at having spent the last year and a half trying to get DH better without them treating him adequately for the main problem, am I?

So they have finally put him on Lithium. Finally. When DH first started taking Prozac, it was for mood swings. So was the Lamictal (that was for the "little bit of bipolar"). The things I have been reading about Lithium give me some superb hope that maybe this was the answer all along. I'm angry that it took this long. But I did read that it takes the average bipolar patient 18 months to get the correct diagnosis....I guess we're right on schedule, right?

Yay us....the psychiatrist says we should know in a week if the Lithium is helping, and he is going to see DH again in 2 weeks to evaluate.

After reading on WebMD about Lithium, I'm really excited. And kind of afraid to be excited. And kind of mad. And kind of relieved. And a little hopeful. And kind of feeling a little foolish, too, for leaving things to the "experts".

What a jumble of feelings I have about all of this.


perphila said...

Excuse me a moment because I am going to swear...what he hell does it mean to be "a little bipolar" ? It makes me want to scream. I know exactly what you mean about trying to get the "experts" to see what you are seeing. When my husband came home from his doctor the first time he told me the doctor felt he was "borderline bipolar". What the heck? You are right to be cautious about the lithium. It has had great results for a lot of people but who knows how it will be for DH. I know I thought, good he is on some medication he will be ok. Things got worse for him and us. He was also perscribed Lithium but he said he didn't feel comfortable taking it and never got it filled. I should have gone with him to the doctor and told him right from the start what he was doing but didn't until it was too late. Even so, the doctor saw and heard enough from HIM so say and perscribe what he did only to now totally reverse himself. I know I should walk away but I want so much for my husband to be well. I pray this helps you. Even if this doesn't work there IS something that will and so far it sounds like you have a good doctor for him. Keep working together and things will eventually work out.

Pann said...

I can't believe that it took this long to give the lithium a try.

When I was in college, I was taught in Psych 101 that lithium is the main drug used to treat bipolar.

Not that I am any kind of expert, but ... geez.

I will keep my fingers crossed for your DH. Sounds like his depression/mania is severe.

Anonymous said...

I am new to blogging but just wanted to say "hello" and that I am in the same boat right now. Not with a depressed DH, but with extreme pain.

Sometimes, I think webMD might be a curse and a blessing. A blessing in that by the time you "self-diagnos" yourself, and the doctors FINALLY prescribe something, you've already read up about it.

The curse is that you are wondering why the doctors are taking so long at coming up with the conclusions you've already come up with months and months earlier.

I had printed off lots of information about fibermyalgia and RH but the doctors that I went to see about it took an additional 2 years to do anything about it. In fact, when I presented the work I had done on my own to my doctor, he didn't even bother to look at it...he just clipped it underneath his writing tablet and kept talking about what he thought. SO, I figured "well, since he is doctor, he would know more than me"...two years later, I just wanted to scream "I told you so"!!!!