Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Are you sure these aren't placebos?

Two weeks ago I broke down and paid full-price out of pocket to go to the psychiatrist. I knew that my bipolar disorder and depression was getting out of hande and I needed to be put on medication again. Well, I expected to get the same medication I was on last time. We went through all the motions, and she asked me all sorts of questions. We decided that I needed to get back on Depakote for the BP. Cool, it worked last time, I hoped it would work this time. As she was writing out the prescription, she asked me if I had any other medical conditions. Without hesitation I said I had PCOS. Her eyes got real big and she said "I can't give you Depakote anymore.". I was puzzled, but she didn't look like she wanted to go into detail, so I didn't ask. I knew I could find out online that evening. So she gave me Equetro instead.

I got home that night and googled "Depakote and PCOS". Immediately I found this:
"Because divalproex (Depakote) was widely used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, the possibility that it might cause PCOS was of great concern when this began to surface as an issue. There was resistance to admit that the medication might indeed be a cause. But the evidence slowly became more solid (e.g. Morrell 2008), and now there is little debate -- although articles on this subject almost always emphasize the connection between bipolar disorder and PCOS. In other words, bipolar disorder itself can cause PCOS; then medications like divalproex (Depakote) just increase the risk that PCOS will develop"

Yup. Isn't that lovely? Then I started counting. I went to this doctor and was prescribed Depakote in late 2006. I was diagnosed with PCOS in early 2007. I know that this is a short time frame to claim that my doctor is the reason I have it. So I have decided to believe that she just made it worse. I am not holding this against her, because at the time, there was no way she could have known. I guess the most upsetting part is knowing that the medication I was taking to stabilize my mood so I could be a good mom is part of the reason that I am having so much difficulty becoming a mom. It's one of those catch-22 situations. My life seems to be full of those.

But anywho, back to the new medication. Of course, before I took the first pill I did lots of googling to make sure that there wasn't any problems with this medication. I have not seen any yet, but I plan on checking often.

I have been on Equetro for 2 weeks. I know that it takes a while for the full effects to be seen, but I expected to see some small glimmer of hope by now. I asked Hubs  and he said that he did. He said my mood swings weren't as drastic, and that I didn't angry as easily. I'm not sure if I believe him. I saw the looks on friends' faces this weekend at a party when I got frustrated. They've seen me get frustrated before. They've seen me get MAD. But I have NEVER seen that look of horror on their face. I didn't have the courage to ask them what was wrong, because honestly, I didn't want to know. I'd much rather pretend it didn't happen.

The one thing that did happen this weekend that I was surprised about was my decision to go to Hurst Stars and Stripes for the 4th. I hate public events. Too many people, long lines, crowds rushing to their cars afterwards, and the the horrific traffic. But we had friends over and I didn't want to be the reason they didn't do anything, so we went. I checked out several different events before choosing the one in Hurst. It had a lot of provisions set up to ease the traffic and what not.

We parked at NE Mall and got to ride an air conditioned charter bus to the park. We took camping chairs with us. Once we got off the bus, I led the way around the back of the event to the food area for drinks. The lines were horrendous! It was difficult to determine where one line ended and another began. But I found a vending stand that had three people taking orders at each window, so there were only 1-2 people in each line instead of 100. We got 4 drinks and nachos for $11. I then found a large clear grassy area in the back corner, far away from the band. We didn't care too much, because we were there for the fireworks, not the music, and it allowed us to smoke without bothering other people. No one was downwind of our cigarettes. We hung out for about an hour before they announced that the fireworks were about to start. They told everyone to turn south for the best view. Well guess where we were? As far south as we could go. We turned around and we were seriously less than 50 feet from the fireworks. It was AWESOME. And to top it off - my camera, the one Hubs bought me for my birthday, has a fireworks setting! I took over 160 photos! There were some crappy ones, but most of them turned out awesome! This one is the coolest, IMO. It looks like a face! (Link to the rest of the pics.)

After the show was over, we started to head back to the buses. We managed to get on the first bus back, and were home an hour earlier than we had expected. So I guess I can't say that the medication isn't working at all, because my normal, non-medicated self would have stayed at home and watched fireworks on tv. It's a glimmer of hope in a long, dark tunnel. Maybe, just maybe, this stuff might work. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping these aren't just placebos.