clozapine encounters of the third kind

The first question I ask on being offered a new approach to palliative care for bipolar disorder, is can it be found in a cool context (academic, historical and or popular for preference)? I did some sensible reading too, especially around its use as monotherapy, which is where I’m at. It passes muster as an option.

My own private idiot’s guide:
The side effects.
The concise breakdown.
Geek hipster credentials.

Uh. Yeah. No cool located. Have a gander at this little slice of tedium.

As for reality (what fragments I can see), well it’s far too soon to tell you anything other than that medication intersections can be very fucking uncomfortable, which is hardly news. We really are bulletproof cyborgs compared to the muggles in terms of the wild, wild medigoround ride. Diarrhoea? Yay, weight loss possibility. Brain zaps? Shhhh honey, mommy’s being a lightsaber. Brb barfing up my lunch. And. So. On.

So what are you up to this weekend?

Oh it’s another packed and glamorous weekend in the blahcave. Let’s see…. I’m hanging out with my homies – the big white telephone, gallons of water, ginger tea, the couch etc. It will feature much gazing towards the horizon in the hopes that there actually is one. Dear Santa, please could I have a pair of sea legs…

And so on. And on. And on. Literally ad nauseam and incredibly lifelike figuratively ad infinitum.

What happens to your leftover meds? Theoretically, mine go to my psychiatrist to give to other broke ass cash paying patients like me. Honestly, I give her the ones that wouldn’t fit neatly into an overdose (even though an OD on my psych meds isn’t in the game plan at all). Yes babies, I went there. Admit it, you’ve stashed pills too, at least once in your life and I’m betting that a good few of you have sizeable stashes of meds at various levels of expiry right now. Because how the fuck else are we supposed to roll. There’s more than enough commonality to declare it all a social problem if you ask me.

See, society? Look what you made us do, when you left us having to weave our own safety nets from the debris you give us…

It isn’t what anyone plans or imagines for themselves, or their children, or whoever. And no matter how much love and time and money any of us give it, there is ultimately sweet fuck all to be done about it. Anyone feeling the urge right now to say
– it gets better
– it’s a manageable disorder
– you got this
– there’s been so much progress in the field of medicine
– it’ll be ok
or any of those flavours, kindly make your way to the back of that queue there. The Medication Nation Army will be along to deal with you shortly.

Shrinks one and two were meeting to discuss me yesterday, wonder how that went. I have a lurking fear of comments like, “she’s such a drama queen of a hypochondriac!”

I’m spaced right the fuck out right now, in all this meds stuff; I wonder where the hell my centre of gravity is. Actually I’m going to just shut the fuck up and hit publish.

Don’t console me. Don’t make me regret airing this load of laundry. Please.

Oh yeah. Fuck Christmas.

OK. Publish.

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Published by

blahpolar

battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

62 thoughts on “clozapine encounters of the third kind”

  1. Blah you must really be distressed if you hesitated for a moment to punch publish. I – we – savor your bipolaprose like a fine wine; okay, bad simile for me, retracted. But seriously, so good to be hearing from you again, inhaling deep draughts of your truth telling and wondrousness of mind. Fuck Christmas indeed, I feel like we all want to run screaming into the woods round now, as the peoples and families hum and surge. Super hug to Q and goblets overflowing of Love. — pencils in Clozapine in New Med Possibility journal; immediately crosses out; re-pencils; crosses out; re-pencils; loses afternoon — ;) ;) ;)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Caught me on Beeps. No worries Blah, I’m doing very well indeed. My turn to love on and worry over tribe after all the love and worry I was given :)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol!!! Oh man the oatmeal is just the best ever. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve linked people to his apostrophe stuff – never saw the nards cards before though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An eloquent dissertation on why I don’t want a med change as much as I question the efficacy of what was for such a very long time my saving grace. Oh the on ramps and the off ramps of the intersection of treatment plans. My thoughts are with you.

    I want to say fuck Christmas too. My only problem is that I am not a grinch in a vacuum. So a string of lights will probably appear somewhere before the month is out…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. PS, if I did not have my children and family to consider and make me feel required to put on a modest show of spirit, I would happily ignore Christmas this year. In a vacuum I would be able to be miserable to my hearts content.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I know, when family is absent, the loss is felt. This year it is more a sense of worry given how fragile things are with my stubborn parents. It will be okay. And the rest is out of my hands.
          PS you do have an ex in Canada who loves you dearly. This morning I was asked “When did you last have a really deep conversation with someone?” Being in the depth of stinkin’ thinkin’ depression style I remembered that week at your place… lots of great conversations, in the car, at the cafe, in your lounge. Thanks my friend.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. My mom is home from the hospital and is getting stronger. Dad won’t let her go anywhere. Meanwhile he is rapidly declining. My brothers and I are just watching. Getting mad doesn’t help.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I luuuuuuuuuuuurve you. (No, I’m not drunk nor espresso-shotted)

    I will keep my platitudes hidden; but I can’t help writing that I wish you could “suffer never”. (Finn Brothers song)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Clozaril is the last house on the street for schizophrenics and schizo affectives and -also is the one atypical antipsychotic that has practically zero risk for creating tardive dyskinesia, which I got from a year on Geodon. Clozaril has its’ own set of risks, weight gain, is twice as likely to cause weight gain, metabolic syndrome, high blood sugar and diabetes then abilify, Geodon, invega, Risperdal and Seroquel, and you don’t have to be overweight to get full blown diabetes, either.

    I’m on it for Tardive Dyskinesia and it serves three purpose: sleep, zeroing out the unfortunate symptoms of TD, (see IBPF’s YouTube Page “Tardive Dyskinesia part 1, & 2 for more on Tardive Dyskinesia a 40-60% risk of taking atypical antipsychotics for years. Let’s face it, if we are given these drugs, we ususally need them long-term. You should know what you are getting into, and how to get treatment if you get it. It’s not as easy as it would seem)

    Back to Clozaril’s benefits for me: I sleep, my moods are stable, and I have no thrashing about of legs and arms, or horribly horribly ugly lip smacking (called mouth of snakes) or neck and low back involuntary spasms.

    On the downside, I have to work like hell to keep weight down, gained 60 my first year, took it off and now have a prediabetic situation.

    Compare it to lithium though, where after long term treatment, the kidneys can be ruined. There is a popular bipolar writer who after 20 years of treatment from lithium, has been told to get off of it or get on a transplant list. And even if she moves over to Depakote or Tegretol, they are hard on internal eliminatory organs also.

    All things considered, I am happy with the seat on the Titanic that I have. I’ve had a great life.
    Tegretol and Cloz and Lamictal are my mood stabilizers and other than the yearly 4 mo lapse into bipolar depression……and waiting around to see if med adjustments or changes will work, I have a pretty good life.

    I worked for the first 12 years of my dx in alternative radio, as a music director and disc jockey. I wrote about music for Hits and The Arizona Republic. Now I write for NewLifeOutlook, IBPF, bphope.com and am working on a book or too.
    So few people are on Clozaril due to monthly lab hassles. Many doctors just won’t deal with it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks ten thousand times for your comments, lots of useful stuff there. Your comments about TD reminded me of this, from the overview link: “… because it didn’t cause movement disorders, people were suspicious about its efficacy, because in the 1960s, antipsychotics were given to people until they developed movement disorder and then that was felt to be the right dose to be on. With clozapine, you never get movement disorder, there was a lack of confidence about it.”

      Very cool to have your overview alongside the one in the link actually.

      Like

  5. HOW DO YOU KNOW I HAVE A— yeah, we all do. Let’s face it. I’ll have to check this all out later. Overdosing on hot cocoa, spiked with wine, which I never thought would taste good, but does. A buzz without being obvious. Because lately the meds aren’t cutting it. Thankful I see the pdoc in a few days so spice up this mix, or nuke it. You’re NOT showing up on my reader feed so I’m gonna unfollow and re-follow to see if WP gets their ass sorted. Efffff.

    Liked by 4 people

              1. Thank you, thank you *bows*
                Missed ya
                “Now, regroup regroup!! We are going to push forward and push the enemy back! Remember-they will try to entice you with newer and better medication! So use your bed pans, bath basins, and food trays to protect yourselves! No, Morgue, no sporks.” *mounts her pegacorn, pull out The One Sword* For Frodo!

                Liked by 2 people

  6. You wrote: What happens to your leftover meds?

    My reply: Using a magic mirror to peer into my closet I see…

    I have nothing more to add to this except to say that if they call you, “a borderline” it means they consider you ‘high maintenance’ and have decided to blame you for the economic limits that make it difficult to provide adequate treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yikes! I just got a bulletin regarding FDA statement on Clozapine guidelines. I’ll read it and if it says anything we urgently need to know, I’ll post it. Sending feel-better wishes. Oh: I really like that you used the word “palliation,” since what we have is a chronic terminal painful incurable illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I checked your blog, guess it wasn’t an urgent bulletin. Thanks for the good wishes and ja… palliative is the word I try to remember to use. And even that seems to be an unattainable goal. Meh.

      Like

      1. Oh. The bulletin is urgent, but my blog has to wait until I get where there is internet access, which there isn’t. The bulletin describes the current fiasco caused by the “powers that be” deciding to centralize the registries of prescribers, pharmacies, and labs so that all of the above can be on the same page. However, due to the lumbering juggernaut-like lurching of the system, physicians and nurses are spending hours on hold waiting to get hooked into the new “system,” since it can only be done by phone. In the meantime, new scripts are being delayed because the old system no longer works. That’s all.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dear America,
          Congratulations on the progress you’re making in your journey from first to third world status – achieving it by method of sophisticated tech is a masterstroke baby. Masterstroke.
          Regards,
          Africa

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a box full of meds under my dresser. Just in case. Because, you never know…. We have this nifty program where the cops accept medications twice a year. I always have an intention of going and dumping my pills there, but like I said, you just never know.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The concept is to keep prescription drugs off the streets and out of the hands of our youth. Also to “protect the environment” by not flushing them down the toilet. Twice a year, the cops accept rx’s with no questions asked. The only thing they will not accept is insulin needles and I believe insulin. You dump all your pills in a bag, and then they all get incinerated. Some pharmacies do this too. But it is a big program for the police departments. I really need to get up off my ass and take them there the next time they have the program. I have kids, Part of me is embarrassed though, because I have so many that I would probably look like some kind of druggie. I’ve gotta get over that. I hope that explains it better?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve definitely stashed meds for a possible OD escape clause situation. Then one stupid day when I was feeling “better” I got rid of them. Wtf was I thinking? Now I have to start all over. And I’m actually taking my meds right now so there’s no hope there to keep any for later. I’m kicking myself now. It wasn’t that I’d even ever OD (maybe) but it was comforting knowing the possibility was there. Like a security blanket.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My reasoning is that at least there are meds to take for non-lethal oblivion when needed. Ja it’s all fucked up, we’re all fucked up, the whole fucking world is all fucked up.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Bravo! And yes, fuck Christmas. After careful thought on the video, it seems the shrink is causing much anxiety. So, if the ineffective med-pushing shrink would take a step back and see that 3 days without the drug and patient feels fine, patient could then rid themselves of the anxiety meds as the shrink is causing the anxiety over not taking the drugs, so rid self of shrink too, ugh, I need a nap. Very well written post, good luck, sincerely.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “See, society? Look what you made us do, when you left us having to weave our own safety nets from the debris you give us… ” Love that line so much <3

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Somehow you always seem to make me feel better. Not sure what that’s about?!! Sometimes I wonder if part of my problem is my past medication use. Years and years on high doses of benzos. My nervous system has to screwed up. And I still have hundred, possibly thousands stashed away that I never took. Not sure why I keep them. Just in case as it seems I’ve had many a reasons to take them just in case. So anyways, when my dad was in hospice we had to get rid of his just in stashed meds. Oh my gosh, I can’t even tell you how much he had saved up. The nurse had us dump the the thousands of pills into clumping kitty litter and add hot water. Keeps people from taking them huh?!! Merry Christmas. <3

    Like

    1. I don’t know, but I do know that I feel quite in tune with your thought processes and that you’re one of the people I can comment on without worrying in case I offend you. I constantly offend people.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Me? Stash pills? Nevvah! *kicks them under the bed* Seriously, some are from, like, 2009….

    You know, I don’t think they would describe you as a drama queen. You are very, hm, down to earth and specific and focused about your condition. That’s why it’s such a breath of fresh air to talk with you about it. I don’t know how you are during therapy sessions, and I never witnessed you at your worst (and vice versa, because we put on our strong skinsuits around other people), but you are analytical and have distance to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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