Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Less Soda, More CALM

So, do you remember how I was planning on giving up soda?

Yeah. It's easier said than done, apparently.

It's a worthy goal and I'll report my progress: I've only had soda three times since the beginning of June. Including right now. Right now I'm drinking a deliciously forbidden Dr. Pepper (full octane, not even diet...I'm a badass). Anyway...not perfect, but I went from drinking soda every day, sometimes twice or three times a day, to thrice in one month. That's an amazing improvement, yes?

Interestingly, I haven't lost a damn pound.

The reason I've gotten soda three times is this: I switched to a new medication. You'll see the connection in a few minutes.

Now, I really hate to mess around with my psych meds, since I'm more or less stable and new ones could possibly throw me off balance, and really, who has time for that? Not me.

But the Risperdal was really bad for me. In fact, I'd tried to go off of it once before, without replacing it with anything else. That was a disaster.

But even though that happened, I still really wanted to get away from this particular medication.

Enter Abilify.

Abililfy is supposedly more weight neutral (I gained 50 pounds in two months when I started the Risperdal), has a lower impact on blood sugar and cholesterol, and Mim had tried it for a little while and LOVED it (she went off it because it's not generic and she doesn't have insurance, and she couldn't afford it. It's something like $700 a month. If that's not something blatantly wrong with the healthcare system here, then I don't know what is...). So, I wanted to give it a try, as a replacement for the Risperdal.

The insurance company, of course, wanted me to jump through hoops to get it covered. They wanted me to try a different atypical antipsychotic, which is what Risperdal and Abilify both are, one that is generic and would cost them less. I was fine with that; I mean, for all I knew the Seroquel they wanted me to try would be even better for me. Everyone's brain chemistry is different, so with psych meds you really never know if something is going to make you better or worse. It sucks, sure, but what can you do about it? At least we have psychotropic medication. A hundred years ago I would have been lobotomized or something equally heinous.

So I tried the Seroquel. For only one day. Because I felt drunk. DUH-RUNK. And I went to work that way. It was BAD. I called the doctor and left a semi-rambling message about how I felt funny and I can't work or drive like this, blah blah blah. I probably sounded like a total lush, all slurring and whatnot.

Fortunately, that's all it took for them to approve the Abilify.

So how's it working out for me?

Well, my anxiety level is the lowest it's ever been in my life. No joke. Just that is the reason I will keep taking this as long as I need to, which might be forever.

Side effects so far: I feel a little bit more tired than I did on the Risperdal. I can deal with this. As soon as the new carpet gets installed (a post for another day) I plan on moving my treadmill back in from the garage and getting my ass on there for at least a few minutes every day. I think that'll help me feel more awake overall. That's the reason for the soda, by the way: I'm soooooo groggy some mornings. I really needed caffeine a few times, and coffee doesn't always sound good to me. There's a little bit of dry mouth, but I'm trying to drink more water anyway. Intestines don't seem happy with it, but since I live with IBS this is really something I'm used to dealing with. Appetite is down a bit, and motivation to get things done is down a bit, which is probably why I can't motivate myself to get on here and write about what's happening (and there ARE happenings, I assure you), and both of these things are probably related to being more tired all the time.

I'm hoping that the combination of the new medication, less soda, and getting some exercise will help me lose some of this weight that I gained when I started the Risperdal. We'll see.


Knight Rider said...

Now I want a soda.

kim said...

Abilify really helped me when I needed it added to Lexapro. I'm not on it anymore (mostly because of the whole pregnancy/fertility treatments thing) but it was really a lifesaver.