initial impressions

by lifeonaxis1

I’ve had 600 mg of lithium since last night and I’m already experiencing effects like thirst, dry mouth, and frequent urination.  I’ve also got a strange aftertaste that isn’t normal.

I am also noticing some things I didn’t anticipate, like feeling more hypomanic.  I feel restless and distracted.  It’s hard for me to follow my own train of thought, let alone that of my students.  Several times I’ve had to ask them to repeat their questions.  During the student presentation, I just hoped they were getting information right because many times I realized I had no idea what was going on.  I was going to give one of my favorite talks today but I am too disorganized.  I am having trouble forming sentences and sometimes have to correct my words.  Once I realized the disorganization in my thought and speech patterns, I realized there was no way I could lead a discussion.  I am worried: how am I supposed to provide timely grades?  I need to create a study guide for this week’s exam too, but I can’t imagine sitting and focusing on anything.  What about my extra-teaching responsibilities?  Thankfully, I had a backup documentary that corresponded with today’s material, which we’re watching now.  I’m really just counting down the minutes until I can get back home.

This agitated feeling is combined with the strange sensation that I would really like to take a nap.  Sleep for the rest of the day, perhaps.  I got 8 hours of sleep last night, but it was from 7p to 3a, so by the time I had to get up for class I was ready to go back to bed.

Another interesting and unpleasant change in experience that I’ve noticed lately (not just associated with lithium use) is that I am very sensitive to sound and light at times.  Two nights ago, I had to tell my ex-boyfriend to lower his voice.  It sounded like every syllable reverberated in my head and that there was even an echo in the room.  Same thing today: I noticed it right away when I walked in class.  The fluorescent light was on and my students started talking to me right away.  I winced at how loud it sounded.  Even shuffling papers or the tick of the clock seem unnaturally loud.

As the minutes ticked by, quite obviously I might add, my anxiety steadily increased.  So I reached out to ex-boyfriend so that perhaps he could give me some support and relief.  I hadn’t yet told him about my decision to take lithium and I was honestly surprised about his reaction.  In fact, it ended up stressing me out more.  He even just stopped responding mid-conversation.  You may be wondering why I expect my “ex” to be supportive.  We are technically broken up at this point, but we are working toward resolution and getting back together.  More on that later.

I’m so frustrated I’m going so far as to share part of the conversation here:

Ex-boyfriend (XBF): Here
 me: thank you
XBF: But it shows youre offline
 me: yeah
  i’m here
  i forgot
  so i feel really uncomfortable
  everything is loud
  and i have blurry vision
  and i’m kinda freaking out about teaching class
  i started lithium because my symptoms have been out of control and prozac isn’t helping at all
  lithium at slow doses is also used for resistant depression
  and besides i’m exhibiting hypomanic symptoms
  its dysphoric hypomania which fucking blows
XBF: I am wee aware of lithium
 me: ?
XBF: Well*
 me: why
XBF: One sec

5 minutes
me: i can’t follow what my students are saying
XBF: Im back
  Ya thats lithium
  I thought you said you might be bipolar 2
 me: what?
   it’s not lithium this was happening before
  i am bipolar 2
  and you’re stressing me out because it feels like you’re doubting me
XBF: Yes bipolar 2
 me: i am already freaking out
XBF: Im doubting a “doctor” who prescribed lithium as an early attempt to treat bipolar 2
  Thats practically off label
  Ill never doubt you
me: no it’s not
XBF: I just hope you choose to get a second opinion
 me: i am
XBF: Because i care about you
 me: i made calls yesterday
 me: i’m waiting for return calls
  babe i need your support i’m stressed
why do you know about lithium

7 minutes
me: …
fyi this is a really bad time to bail in the middle of a conversation without any freaking warning
well f you too

Any words of guidance or support would be welcomed–about the lithium, not the ex.  🙂