At times, little changes can make all the difference in the world.
It has been a couple of weeks since I finally got what I desired most this year, a real change in my medication, and finally some light going into 2018. So far I have seen major changes in my anxiety at night which have meant during my day I am not dreading going to sleep with anxiety levels through the roof.
In “Light in all the darkness” I talked about the changes my new psychiatrist made in my last doctor’s appointment. My doctor gave me the ability to take up to 4mg of Ativan a day up from just 2mg a day, which my previous dosage a few years ago was 3mg throughout my day, and it has been a success so far.
In the first few days, I took all 4mg of Ativan throughout my day just so that my body would get used to the new, and much better, dosage. Since that time I was able to adjust on normal days to take 3mg a day, and those days where I am more out of my safe space I can move up to my max dosage.
It’s not a cure-all but I think it helps in the interim so I can refocus my efforts on fighting my anxiety. I even had two different nights where I didn’t need my night time dose of Ativan (that hasn’t happened in years.) Since changing my dosage my anxiety levels have gone back down to very manageable which is great.
I still had a bad day over the last couple weeks, but I am realizing the more I talk about my issues here on my blog the less these days affect my week.
I am hitting a stretch run in my final two weeks on my last semester of 2017. I am so close to the end of my bachelor’s degree and to be honest it has been a tough and long journey. Still, 2018 is shaping up to be a good year. I will be starting my master’s program in the summer, I graduate, and I am hoping big things with my writing projects.
The other change in my medication has also helped me adjust to a better nighttime routine. Prior to my last appointment my Seroquel dosage I took every night was an interesting one. I had 100mg tablets with the option to take anywhere from 300-600mg at night. It was never the same every night and it made my sleeping schedule very erratic. Some nights 400mg would suffice to get me to sleep while others it took 500-600mg.
The upside of the higher dosage is I slept okay for six hours a night, but it would take me three hours from the time I opened my eyes to get out to bed (one of the side effects for me with more Seroquel in my system is that when I wake, the medicine is still in my system and if I fail to fully wake up for hours.) It stands to reason the lower dosage I take the better chance I have to wake in the morning in a better mood.
After explaining this to my new doctor he made the decision to change my individual dosage while still keeping the options open every night. I now can take up to three 200mg tablets at night. I have found in the last two weeks that I can sleep well enough most nights with just taking 400mg. With my original dosage, I took 300mg right away and then moved up to 600mg as needed throughout the night. It meant sometimes three hours before I would go from laying down to actual sleep.
Again its just a few weeks in so I have no idea what the long-term effects will be when it comes to the two most important medications that I take. I think the next logical step would be a change in anti-depressant because my current one just doesn’t feel like it is working.
Change is good, and I feel as if I can really look at the possibility of finally getting my social anxiety and my general anxiety back under control to a functioning level. My new nighttime routine has helped me get to sleep earlier and sleep better. I still wake up during the night way too much, but one issue at a time.
I have really felt so much better. I have been able to start my day with a small dose of Ativan and it helps me get through my late afternoon before having to take another dose. My anxiety level, which was hitting 9-10 over the last month has been a more manageable 5-7 level most days. I logged one day in the past week that was an eight, but if I can somehow get into the 3-5 range it means I am managing my anxiety again.
So that is where The Bipolar Writer is at the moment. Looking forward to getting through the next two weeks and having some much need break time from school.
Photo Credit: unsplash-logoRoss Findon