the pills are alive with the sound of puking

All you need is a medical dictionary, to lend a sense of gravity to things, amirite? I was contemplating my evening head rushes (med rushes) and thought I’d check on their formal name – orthostatic hypotension. Worst side effect of the orthodizzy hyporushes? Accidental falls.

Now I’m starting posts with digression, what next…


Well, this post is another of those that are for me. Just a record of this whole fun process, in case I need to look back. This is my boringpolar, badpolar, bloodypolar, bi-fucking-polar, bitepolar medtime story.

To test some or other theory, I’m taking all my meds in the evening at the moment. Because my brain sees that as a lamotrigine increase, I’m back with that old favourite side effect, acid reflux. It rears its peevish head each time the dose increases and is nasty to get through, but it’s gone within a week. That plus the head rushes turn my evenings into uncomfortable ones at the moment. Lamotrigine isn’t supposed to cause head rushes at all, but it was the only common denominator while I had morning and evening head rushes, and now that the timing has changed, the morning ones have stopped. If I snack on my meds around bedtime, it’s all too revolting to try to sleep. Sunset seems to be the time, so there’s enough time to groan through it while there are distractions around.

Meds cocktail, that’s what they call it… The list of ingredients changes from time to time, but it’s always served shaken, on the rocks. Images online show attractive piles of pills, as cheerful as jellybeans. I keep hoping mine will be that way, but I’m stuck on an endless conveyor belt of boring medication – white, ochre, beige. Fucking beige ffs, as if bipolar depression wasn’t depressing enough. Considering how much the meds cost, you’d think big pharmacy could easily churn out some pretty ones, the way they do for kids. My first psychotropic medication, sugar coated and smiling. Or maybe some black ones with teeny white skulls, so you’d know you were in for some nasty side effects. They put the pall in palliative for sure.


Back to sunset, sundowners at sunset (lol). I take my pills and something to wash them down with and my phone in case the sunset is worth photographing, tonight I downed the downers with naartjie juice. How very South African of me. I always swallow the lamotrigine first. I buy 200mg tablets, which is the cheapest option and they’re about as big as my face. They’re the fucking beige ones; of course they are. I break them in half (they’re soft enough not to need cutting) so I have four of those to slurp. I used to be able to take lots at once, but by the end of a month of lithium side effects, my throat rebelled. I get those down and then the two sets aline (ochre), which seems almost pleasant by then, because they’re smaller. The chlorpromazine tabs are small and glossy and white, they’re the bedtime meds, if I remember. The only capsules I have are white too, they’re sulpuride, prn for anxiety.

I gotta get back to taking my whassupplements in the morning (zinc, magnesium, probiotics). I gotta work out how I’m gonna use the probiotic powder once the capsules run out; it’s animal stuff, exactly the same formula as the human one and a fraction of the cost. Cost… I don’t have medical aid. It looks like I might be able to get lamotrigine and chlorpromazine courtesy of the taxpayer, which would be a mission, but very worthwhile. Just under a grand a month (ZAR – around 100 USD) hits me hard.


My psychiatrist tells me that I get a lot of the more unusual side effects, she’s written a paper about me. I’m so proud *rolls eyes*. They include horrible breathlessness on seroquel and a loony situation with lithium, where my kidneys coped better than fine all the way to 1000mg and then, while they were still coping beautifully, my stomach fell apart in all directions. I might be going on to a small dose of lithium in future, to combat the cognitive fuckups I’m currently enjoying. Ha fucking ha.

I’m not special, everyone who journeys through bipolar medication, that hellish hamster wheel, goes through horrible stuff. Meds with side effects, meds for the side effects, lucky dip meds that may or may not hit the spot. The meds-go-round, they call it, the search for that magic combination that’ll create the holy grail of stability. The combination that’s almost guaranteed to stop working at some point. I’ve only been doing this for a year – a year is nothing. I wouldn’t be on this trip at all if one simple antidepressant hadn’t hurled me into the worst and longest meltdown I’ve ever experienced. It took a few years after that to get the joyous diagnosis. Thank fuck I have my psychiatrist and bloggers to hold my hand through it all.

Ellen Forney illustrated it perfectly, I’m definitely still at the pain in the ass stage.

Ellen Forney, Marbles

Blind regards,
Blahpolar (suffering olympics gold medallist)


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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

55 thoughts on “the pills are alive with the sound of puking”

  1. I’ve long compared Lamictal to being the size of a hubcap in 200mg form. I get almost giddy when my pharmacy runs out of the enormous white ones and gets the smaller blue ones from a different manufacturer. Damn, how sad am I.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had pretty bad reflux when I first started on my current meds, I used some calcium bentonite clay (pascalite) in the mornings which helped. I only took about a 1/4 tsp in my morning tea, and eventually my body got used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What happened to the unicorn?? :(
    Also this is proof positive that I was absolutely right last year when I told my GP to fuck off when he tried anything and everything to put me on standard antidepressants, telling me “I don’t have to write it on your medical records…” as if that was the issue or remotely reassuring that this was a safe idea.
    My meltdown was caused by the contraceptive pill (which I didn’t remotely want to take, but he told me would stabilize my mood – I knew NOTHING about any of this at the time and went along with it). My mood instability went from being one week of the month to all the time. His solution was the antidepressants. I decided instead to just stopped taking the pill and mysteriously improved dramatically, then nosedived again, and now each new thing I do just buys me a few weeks then stops working again.
    Still not king.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve tried loads of antidepressants, I’m on one now and I’d hate to lose it. It was just one antidepressant that fucked me up. Contraceptives as mood stabilisers?! Wow. BRB going to put a condom over my head. Really sorry to hear about your meds….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Still waiting for actual peer-reviewed evidence based meds, I may even get an appointment with a real psychiatrist in the next few weeks, but my doctor has recently retired and there’s a real danger I might have to return to that other doc again as there were only two at the practice and they haven’t replaced her.
        That is sad about your unicorn. You should have a hug (if you partake in such things). Everyone should have a goat and a unicorn (so you can tell people “you don’t get my goat. Nobody gets the goat bitches” and then run away with your goat intact).
        Have another unicorn. I have spares: (this one’s not mine but the computer seems to take umbrage to me trying to stuff a cuddly toy unicorn down the USB port; I can’t think why).

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I should have thought of this when your pdoc suggested this all in the evening regime but you weren’t puking yet (so far as I know). My doctor said I could take my meds once a day (the anti-convulsants that I normally split) but that I should take them with a little food because they can upset the stomach. Maybe try having a piece of toast or something. Sorry stupid me I should have mentioned this but only just remembered. I decided to stick with twice a day because my issue was not head rushes but simply forgetting. Shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah bro, it’s OK, I just put puking I to the title because it fit ;) the side effects are limited to head rushes and acid reflux. I’m seeing her again pretty soon, so I’ll stick it out till then. Was just thinking about you and hoping that you were having a good Saturday night.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hate the huge ones. Hate them. Hate them. I also hate the ones that make my hair fall off. And the headaches. Most of all, however, I hate the fact that the ones that keep me stable (read:no hypomania) can sometimes make me sad (read:depressed), and the ones for the depression can make me hypomanic. Still tweaking. Sigh. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is tweaking anything like twerking? I’m still tweaking too. Which one/s made your hire fall out? I’m very happy to say I haven’t encountered that side effect.


      1. Good; I wrote that comment on the elliptical which is why it was short (lucky for you) but wanted to add that I’ve had TERRIBLE acid reflux from pregnancy of all things and my heart goes out to you. My Dad had it as well, tho he wasn’t pregnant!!!! Probably a med side effect although there could have been other reasons. I remember it made him absolutely miserable. So hope you’re feeling much better today (tonight) When-oh-when will I remember the time change. Xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s late afternoon /early evening and I’ve just swallowed the meds. I’ve been dizzy most of the afternoon, so idk whether I’ll even notice any extra. We’ll see how the acid reflux behaves too. Thanks lots for the support. I just hope I’m not pregnant :0

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Fuck – being dizzy is *not* cool. That sucks eggs. At least you don’t have to go drive anywhere (Shit, I hope not) but still, that sounds grim. :( I’m truly sorry and even though you know I’m not religious, I’m actually praying for you. To whom? Not sure. But g-damn, I want you to feel better. Enough of these fucking evil side effects!

            If you are preggers, can you name your lovechild “Tommyjohn” (I’m in a warped mood today…although I could see you writing back, “What else is new?”) Or what about “Dyane Jr.”???

            Liked by 1 person

            1. No acid reflux tonight though! Faaaantastic. And I can cope with the dizzy, I’m as tough as old boots really, I just whinge a lot.

              It’s way more likely to be immaculate conception than any other type, so I guess I’ll call it Jebus. And Dyane Jr. Reminds me of Dinosaur Jr. Lol…

              Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s the B-word again..see not just me. I think they don’t make them look like jelly beans so the kids that are lucky enough to have mentally unstable parents don’t mistake them for jelly beans and have a snack on a rainbow of anti-depressants/convulsants/psychotics.

    It’d be cute if they had tiny little padlocks on them with really tiny keys….now THAT would make it a more interesting experience. Or, or, put them in the Russian doll thingies…so that you forget you’re actually gonna get meds once the smallest doll is uncovered. Meh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hrmmm good point about the attractive pills. Most of mine come in cardboard boxes, easily accessible to any kids I might be hallucinating at the time ;D I think if I had to open wooden dolls to get at my meds I’d explode with irritation, I’m already too lazy to put them into daily doses. Maybe if I paint ‘fuck bipolar’ on the pill tray I’ll be more motivated. Or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugh I feel ya on the big pills. I can’t remember if it was wellbutrin or zoloft, but when I got at a higher dose it was like something you’d give a horse. Didn’t even match up size-wise to a double dose of the smaller pills. Must be their subtle way of saying “hey, stop being so depressed.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So revolting….. I’m refining my dream demands of beeeeeeg pharma –

      What do we want?
      Cheaper meds with less side effects that are easy to swallow and not beige!
      When do we want it?
      Next time we need a prescription refilled!


      Liked by 1 person

  8. 1) Okay, here goes: obviously the title takes the cake. So funny and not the sort of association one would imagine with “The Sound of Music”

    2) Head rushes = med rushes how do you come up with this while miserable? Gandalf only knows…

    3) “snack on my meds around bedtime” ha ha ha – it made me laugh, it just did. I do it too!

    4) pills being black with little white skulls – OMG – that would be hillllarious! And so honest. Instant bestseller!

    5) “they put the pall in paliative” (I snorted at that one – just air, mind you, not coke! I was exercising for Galadirel’s sake!)

    6) “Sundowners at sunset” – and we ain’t talking alcohol!. Loved it

    7) “whatssupplements” – do you see what I mean? One shits ‘n giggly bit after another!

    This, my friend, was NOT a boringpolar bedtime story.
    Anything but.

    I want more of these posts!!!!!!
    Greedy, goofy me!

    Or perhaps you could write a tale of the famous CRUISEVOLTAN history?

    (You may be going, “Huh?” I’d understand why you would. I need more coffee. It’s bloody 7:30 AM here and some loud fireworks kept me up last night. It’s fire season in these extremely dry hills – too bad the fireworks didn’t blot out the dumbfucks who lit them. They were most likely disciples of the C.D.L.)


    p.s. Dad took Gaviscon for the acid reflux but it didn’t do much….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gaviscon is what I have here too, and yeah, it doesn’t do much, but it adds a little flavour to the old wince and wait routine. Thanks so much for the very cool comment. Julie Andrews went to rehab years ago and that got me started singing the piiiiiiiiiills are alive…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Holy freakin’ shit. Did she really go to rehab? I read her memoir “Home” when it came out, but that’s only the early days. I HOPE she writes a follow-up memoir including her rehab experience – that would be a dream-come-true. Thanks for clueing me in! (You’re welcome btw!)

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I choke on my lamotrigine every day — it’s too fricking big to swallow! I also notice head rushes with it, but I take mine in the morning. thanks for sharing your esperience — at least we can all swallow these meds with a bit of a sense of humour!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meds the size of our heads :D

      It’s useful to hear I’m not the only one who gets head rushes, since my shrink was adamant that it couldn’t be down to the lamotrigine. Poor woman is going to have to deal with me having yet another odd side effect.


  10. I don’t really have much experience with meds but I thought this post was great. I couldn’t help but smile at the opposing suggestions of brightly coloured pills and scar-looking ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh gosh, I hope your pill taking miseries subside as quickly as Tinker Bell’s flights! And my psychiatrist tells me the same thing about the unusualness of my side effects, grrrrrrr! BTW I knew this was you when I saw it on my reader, all it said was bipolarblogger network, no name! I’m saying that as a compliment because your writing style is so unique and distinctive that I can recognize it without a name! :-))) Love and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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