Monday, 31 July 2017

Seroquel


Oh seroquel. Where to begin. We have had our trials.

I was put on this medication, slowly to begin with, but it fast became my main drug. I was on an extremely high dose. So much so I couldn't see that the medication was blinding me. I had little to no input to conversation, spent a lot of time staring into space and was just generally unresponsive as a human being. It took a visit from my mum to fully realise the negative impact this drug was having on me. That's when we decided to come off of seroquel. Bad move on my part. The withdrawal was incredible and I entered into a dangerous mixed state of being depressed enough to want to escape, yet manic enough to take action on it. It was a terrifying time. The story will continue on my next blog post. . . These days I take 50mg and an extra couple of tabs when I am feeling extremely anxious.

Seroquel, also known as quetiapine, is another anti-psychotic drug (my fave!).  It is approved to fight both the highs and lows of bipolar disorder. It helps with hallucinations but also calms nerves and provides clarity. It does have a sedative effect and from my experience, can make one quite drowsy.

Seroquel may also be known to cause:

* Constipation

* Upset stomach

* Blurred vision

* Dry mouth

* Weight gain

** Please keep in mind that all medication should be okayed by your health care practitioner. Side effects experienced will be different for each person and what is expressed above is from my own personal experience.


Sunday, 23 July 2017

My Crisis Management Plan




Behold, the crisis management plan. As mentioned before I work on a few handy scales, this being one of them. As you can see it is divided up into mania on the left and depression on the right. The first page lists symptoms and the second, care strategies. Both of which work on a colour coded severity scale. 

Both symptoms and care strategies have been thought out very carefully. This chart has been tweaked more times than (insert famous drug addicts name). I'm pretty sure it encompasses everything that I have experienced, and all that I know to help those experiences for the better.





This thing has been an absolute god send. I gave a copy to all of my close friends and family. It has allowed them to understand the illness and their role also. I suggest that everyone dealing with bipolar has one of these, and really takes heed when symptoms start to move into different levels.

Love xo

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

"I'm just trying to seize the moment. Trying to love the little things, even if they're hard to love. "

Too busy having fun.

Like really. 

I have been far too busy having fun to even remember that I have this illness. . .well, that's not completely true. On occasion my anxiety has come to surface, I shall explain further.



So lets recap. Summer began with a bang. I left the school semester with B's all around. Not so bad for a lass who dropped out last semester due to extreme panic attacks. We kicked off the summer shenanigans with a Vancouver trip to see one of my much loved Scottish bands, Biffy Clyro (Mon the Biff!). We continued with the Victoria Highland Games. A weekend that never fails to be an absolute beaut. I hung out with old friends, made new friends AND got some square sausage. Imagine my delight when they say they sell it by the slab!!



Then it was Tall Tree music festival in Port Renfrew. What a weekend. We could not have asked for better weather, the sun was a shining. So much amazing music and the people, the people rocked. Now here's where my anxiety kicked in. We ended up surrounded by wonderful people at our campsite. So much so, we created a little family and spent lots of time together. (Before I start the chat here, can we just reflect on a previous posted goal "socialize at every opportunity"). The first day I felt ok, I had a mini panic attack but nothing to alert the doc to. The second night our circle grew even wider and I started to feel overwhelmed. I know I was fairly quiet, and that was a new experience for festival Nat. I waited it out and pushed myself to talk to people more, eventually feeling safe once again. I don't meet a lot of new folk these days and I think it was just a tad out of my comfort zone. Again it was nothing big in the grand scheme of things but definitely something I wanted to mention. Hey, I managed through, and I have so many life long relationships because of it. What a great bunch - I love you Tall Tree 2017.



Next up on the agenda. . . MUMMA BEAR! 2 weeks filled with good quality mum time. We had such a laugh and got up to all sorts of fun; Canada day, pride, shopping, afternoon tea, mani pedi's, massages and even a 2 day trip to Seattle. Chipotle Mmmm. It was so great to have her here once again. Plus she literally comes with a suitcase full of Natalie treats. I am so spoiled, with love and candy! I had some trouble though. This time with exhaustion. From the beginning of tall tree, until the end of mums trip, was 3 whole weeks. Keep in mind I was still working in between. Every day was an activity of some kind. Again, I was overwhelmed. Toward the end of mums trip I became quiet again, withdrawn if but slightly. Nonetheless I had an amazing time, and I can only hope that mum did too.

The entire summer so far has been absolutely cracking! I'm not worried about my minor hiccups because really,  its been 7 months and that's all i've seen. Both are completely validated by the situation. Anyone would feel overwhelmed given the circumstances. And more over, I coped really well. The outcome has been a lot more horrifying in the past.

I don't know who this new person is, but I quite like her.

I really hope you've been doing well too, Love xo