Sunday, October 30, 2011

DH stable again (kind of)

Well now that DH has been officially restored to his "regular" dose of Lithium by the pdoc, things have gotten somewhat back to normal.  He's still on the higher dose of Abilify, and that seems to be helping his motivation too.  In his appointment, the pdoc said "Your case is one of the trickiest I've seen.  You are on high doses of several drugs and there aren't a lot left to try.  I've worried that as you grow older, this combination won't be as effective as it has been.  Clearly, reducing your Lithium was not a good change.  We need to hope this works, because I'm kind of at a loss here."  That was a scary thing to hear from the pdoc who (as I found out when I googled him last weekend to see what hospital to call) is a state-renowned expert.

So I'd like to report that all is well.  And surprisingly a lot of things are.  DH's paycheck this week was $91.00 (frankly, I can't believe he's actually still employed at all).  That's quite a drop from the $400 and $500 paychecks he was receiving a couple of months ago.  But compared to lean times in the past, DH has been surprisingly understanding about how little money we have.  In the past, he would be begging me to bring him out to eat, buy him pop, buy him cigarettes....and this time, he seems to have a better understanding that those are luxuries and there is no money for that.  That's been a relief for me, because before, when we were broke, and he kept begging for stuff that I couldn't buy, I always felt kind of bad for not being able to make him happy (but intellectually I recognized that there was no way I could).  So his new attitude has taken a little of the pressure off of me.

So what's the catch?  Things are great, right?

Well, some of you who've been reading this blog for a long time might have already guessed:  Last week, DH's "back went out" and he made yet another trip to the E.R., which resulted in yet another bottle of Percocet.  I'm not sure how or why, but I'm sure it's the Percocet that's responsible for DH's improved attitude.  I'm still doling out the pills, I keep the bottle in my safe and he can only have 2 or 3 pills a day, but as soon as he started taking them, once again, he was more easy-going, more ambitious and more alert.  Once again he's concerned about his blood sugar, and has started to try to take some little steps to try to lose weight. I had mentioned this to the pdoc, thinking that maybe there was something similar in the world of psychotropic meds that could bring about a permanent change without the addictive narcotic, but the pdoc was just as puzzled as I am and didn't offer suggestions. 

I know he's got a dependency problem.  And it makes me angry.  But really, things are so much better when he's taking them, I get all mixed up when I think about it.  If he's on Percocet, there's a better chance that he'll go to work, and we'll be able to pay the bills.  There's a better chance that he'll pay attention to his blood sugar, and that will enhance the quality of life for both of us.  But there's that addiction thing.  And shouldn't he be able to achieve these things without a narcotic to prop him up?  I don't know the answer.

I hate Percocet.  And once again I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.


perphila said...

Unless you can chart it I think it will be hard to really see if the narcotic is the reason for the more laid back mood or just a quirk. Maybe it is just his meds adjustment? After reading all your recent posts one huge thing I noticed during this last episode with DH was the fact he had some self awareness that things were wrong. He didn't have this in the past and the struggle for you to such an overwhelming battle. Big picture, even with how scary things were this is a major improvement. He talked to you, was open, was willing to go to the hospital, willing to change meds, all responsible things. Maybe I am just looking for the silver lining but when you don't have that with your loved one you only wish and pray they could only see what you see. I will pray that things continue to improve for you both.

Miss Kitty said...

Wow, this has been one crazy roller-coaster for you and DH. Many hugs to you and the critters.


Miz Kizzle said...

Has your husband considered methadone for his back pain and addiction? Methadone has been much maligned but it has legitimate medical uses, including treatment of chronic pain. I have several former clients who function very well on it.
I don't like you having to dole out pills to your DH. It puts you into a caretaker position.