Sunday, January 11, 2009

How to ask the doctor about this?

There are some things I'd really like to know. But I know what a doctor will say. I say that stuff all the time. Bad idea, DH. Don't do it. Of course that doesn't matter to DH. He feels normal in his head. So I'd like to ask the doctor some things....


What if DH wants to have company, have a few beers, and stay up until 4am?

Yesh, no big deal for someone who is "normal".

But, with the Lithium, I/we know that alcohol can dehydrate him quickly.

And he's worked so hard to try to get himself on a day/night schedule. Staying up until 4am, for him, is not a good thing.

But he used to do that. Back when things were normal.

What I want to ask the doctor is, "If, say, DH wants to have a few beers, to feel like "one of the guys", should he still take the same amount of Lithium that night?" "How about the next day?"

and...."If DH decides that he wants to stay up until 4am, what is the best way for him to take his pills so as to do the least damage to his schedule?" If he takes his Seroquel at 4am, he's going to sleep until 4:00pm. And so on. So does he just not take any Seroquel? Or maybe a half a tablet? I might ask the doctor anyhow. I'd like to do the right(est) thing when DH does the wrong thing.

Just in case you were thinking about his pre-Lithium alcohol issues...this is not the same thing. And actually, it already happened, but I wish I knew what we should be doing. DH had 6 beers last night and stayed up until 4am. He had fun, and it was nice for him to be able to socialize a little. Took his pills at 4am. To his credit, he got up at 11am, which was earlier than I got up :-) But all day long, he complained of "not feeling good". I suggested that maybe he shouldn't have beer when he's on Lithium, and he said I was probably right. It's pretty easy for me to see that whatever is making him feel bad probably has to do with either alcohol or medications or sleep or all of the above. But he walks around saying "I don't know what's wrong with me." Oh. And his back hurts today, too.


Torina said...

I say go for it. Who cares what the doctor thinks. Your husband has the right to a regular life regardless of his mental illness and you are just trying to help him have that. That is excellent.

Elizabeth B. Alexander said...

That's a doozy of a question. I'd say explain to his friends that they should help you help him and politely leave at a decent hour. I used to have serious panic attacks if I didn't stay on a certain schedule and all my friends really helped and always understood that I had to call it quits at 1am. That may be different for men though.

Do you ever talk to his psychiatrist without DH there? That may be more productive.

Pann said...

In my experience, doctors understand that people want to drink sometimes, in spite of what medications they may be taking. It is in their patient's best interest to be honest, and docs want patients to be honest -- so ask the doc, is my advice. Just say, look how can we manage the meds? What happens if... and see what the doc says. You are doing the right thing to think about this in a responsible way, rather than just either skip doses or just ignore the side effects.

Immi said...

Yep, go for asking the doc. If DH is going to drink and stay up, it's best to find a way to help it have the least impact. Of course, if it becomes a daily thing, nothing much would work right. But once in a while, there might be a way to help it not be a disaster at least.

perphila said...

Ask the pdoc. Know the risks and consequences good and bad. Weigh the options and hide nothing from the pdoc, counselor and each other. It's all about honesty and balance in life right?

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