The Post About Nothing…

November 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Unfortunately my literary voice is still gone. Once upon a time I had so much to say and it all seemed so important–so much so that I started a blog. Now, I am silent. I’m sure my voice will return some day.

I can say that I have a new doctor. I think he’s over 70. He has running trophies for men in the 70-75 age class. That’s four for four doctors who have been elderly men since I first started seeing mental health professionals. That doesn’t strike me as a good sign for Ontario if too many of our specialists are close to retirement. Maybe it’s just my luck.

Well I had my hopes up that this post would go on for a while, but it’s puttering out, so I think it’s time to put it out of its misery. Thanks for reading!


Status Report #13 (Lamotrigine and Lactose Ad Nauseam)

May 20, 2012 3 comments

Here’s the latest update: it’s a week since I’ve stopped the standard Lamotrigine and I still can’t drink lactose-free milk. Last time I stopped taking a lactose-bearing drug (Perphenazine) I was almost immediately able to go back to lactose-free milk. Oh well, I’ll be patient.

I saw my psychiatrist (pdoc) and he put me on chewable Lamictal, but it’s a children’s medication and it only comes in 2mg tablets. The therapeutic dose for an adult is apparently 200mg, so it means I’m going to be chewing a lot of tablets (I guess). It’s either that or don’t take the medication.

My pdoc also put me back on Risperdal, but this time on the oral solution–which is also lactose-free. This means I can get off the Modecate and the Amantadine. Again, I am taking the Modecate instead of the Risperdal because it is lactose-free. I am taking the Amantadine to counter the trembling caused by the Modecate. So instead of two meds I’m now going to take one: Risperdal.

Heaven help me if I ever lose my drug plan because all these oral and chewable alternatives only exist for the name brand versions. You can’t seem to get an oral solution or a chewable form of the generic Lamotrigine or Risperidone.

I wonder what lactose-intolerant people are supposed to do with all these meds that make us sick, and the answer is we’re not a big enough share of the market to matter. They just don’t care about us one way or the other. I guess since we’re not dying it’s not a pressing issue.

Well let me get serious for a moment. When I was taking the lactose-bearing meds my bowel was so inflamed that my rectum was prolapsed (part of my butt was outside my body). Let me assure you how painful that is. I had to take a spare pair of pants with me wherever I went in case some dairy slipped by my notice (sometimes the day before) and I didn’t make it to the washroom on time. Sometimes I just had to walk around with an obvious stain and put something under me where I sat. There was no alternative. Do you go home from work just because you’ve had a little “accident”?

I can’t consume anything that doesn’t have ingredients listed on it and I have memorized a long list of ingredients that are dairy but don’t say they are dairy. I have memorized what I can eat at fast food restaurants (nothing at A&W, Taco Bell, or KFC; almost nothing at McDonald’s or Harvey’s). I have learned to eat pizza without cheese, for example.

It’s no different than if I was allergic to dairy, except I won’t die if I mess up. So in that way I’m very lucky. It’s just that to know it’s the side-effect of a medication and that it’s caused by a totally non-essential non-active ingredient, that makes it infuriating.

Lamotrigine Revisited…

May 10, 2012 3 comments

I was doing great on Lamotrigine and really looking forward to using it–then the usual complication reared its ugly head. The medication is loaded with lactose. I didn’t notice with one tablet, and I thought it was other things with two tablets, but with three tablets I had a non-stop lactose reaction. So I went back down to two tablets, but the reaction didn’t go away. I went down to one tablet (after all I had been on two for two weeks and three for only two days) and still kept having a bad lactose reaction. Tonight has been about a week and I’m going to go off entirely.

My psychiatrist, who is retiring next month, is impossible to get a hold of, so I feel like I’m on my own. I don’t like taking myself off a med on my own, but I had no choice in this case. Maybe my next psychiatrist will put me on the one of the lactose-free versions of the drug (chewable Lamictal or dissolving Lamictal).

I’m not Dead Yet…

April 27, 2012 4 comments

I’m feeling better.

I’ve been using up all my creativity at work and coming home, walking the dogs, and watching TV episodes on my computer, and going to bed at 8pm. I haven’t had much to say lately.

I am up to 50mg of Lamotrigine and I think the only side-effects are are runny nose. I’m extremely lucky.

I have had such bad tremors that I can barely operate a mouse, but my pdoc thinks that is the Modecate and is cutting me back to 12mg every three weeks. We’ll see how that goes.

I could really use some hypomania right now.

Whatever Happened to Jake…

April 18, 2012 2 comments

Jake, as you may remember is the boy I fostered for a month and tried to adopt. He had been terribly neglected and abused by his mother and other caregivers.

One of Jake’s big problems was that he couldn’t be left alone with other children because he would sexually assault them. He saw his own neglect and sexual assault as a liberating experience and he wanted to “liberate” other children. Nothing could convince him that this thinking was wrong.

One of the features of the average foster home is the presence of other children, and therefore one of the advantages of my home (with my husband and I) was the absence of other children. We were literally Jake’s last chance before a group home (and his last chance at a normal environment). We came to accept the fact that we were usually last on the list. At least we were on the list.

Unfortunately, there were a number of other circumstances. Jake’s mother still had a lot of say in his life and she insisted that he go to a Catholic school (which are publicly funded here in Ontario). My husband and I are two gay men, so we are unusually sensitive to even the appearance of sexual impropriety with regards to children. Jake had already made several scenes in public that we were kidnapping him.

When Jake started sexually assaulting his male classmates all my husband and I saw were fingers pointing back at us. My husband, who is Catholic, also had all that guilt to deal with because it was happening in a Catholic school. We made a mutual decision that we couldn’t go forward with Jake.

Unfortunately, once we gave Jake back we were no longer entitled to have any part in his life. Nevertheless, there is a website in Ontario for hard to place children and Jake was soon on it. I watched him for a year before I couldn’t look any longer. Giving Jake up is the biggest regret of my life.

April 17, 2012 Leave a comment

I tried to help a victim of childhood sexual abuse as a foster parent. It is totally devastating to a child. Even if you can’t see any obvious harm it robs the child of his or her childhood in so many ways. It is always harmful and wrong.

Summer Solstice Musings

So do I.

Sexual abuse is a horrible thing AT ANY age. But when it’s done to children, I find it particularly despicable.

As an MD in my native country, I saw many cases of child sexual abuse. I used to work at a third level hospital and what I saw broke my heart. Some children even needed extensive reconstructive surgery. I vowed to some day do something about it.  And while I know that support for victims and their families is extremely valuable, I’m more interested in prevention.

The opportunity finally came in September 2010 when I saw a tweet from @VoiceFound on the #Ottawa feed inviting people to attend a workshop on Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention!

I did a little research, concluded the thing was legit, and signed up for the workshop.

View original post 353 more words

Categories: bipolar, sex, violence

The Strangest Things Tick People Off

April 17, 2012 3 comments

A paving contractor left a flier in my mailbox today and on the back was a handy set of “Canadian-to-Metric” conversion tables. He’ll never get my business; and here’s why.

There is not, and never was, a Canadian measurement system. We were part of the British Empire and so we used the Imperial measurement system. Whoever made up the flier has just spat (undoubtedly in ignorance) on a part of my heritage. Yes, I’m serious. Anyway, I think the word they were looking for was “American”. So many people use “Canadian” and “American” interchangeably these days. Another pet-peeve. I have nothing against America, but Canada is not America. I doubt America wants to be mistaken for Canada either.

In the early 1970s the USA was making moves to adopt Metric, so Canada followed suit. By 1976 Canada had officially switched over while the USA backed out. The Canadian system of measurement is Metric and has been for 26 years. I wish troglodytes like these pavers would face reality at long last.

Yes, I am a Metric snob. I think Metric is better. I understand that many people work in industries (like paving) dominated by American products and the American measurement system. Still I go to Lowes and Home Depot in Virginia. Many American products these days are trilingual and have Metric measurements alongside American ones.

It drives me crazier (than I already am) to see people in Canada still dragging their feet about Metric at this late date. It drives me even crazier when they make up stuff and get it wrong. Ignorance burns!

By the way, I know American measures fairly well. I spend a lot of time in the USA and I think in American while I’m there. It’s easier than converting all the time. When in Rome, after all…