Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not Knowing the Name Doesn't Mean it Doesn't Have One

3355 I recently went a series of very extensive testing (MRI, CT, Xray, blood work and hours and hours of testing and interviews. My memory has been failing to the point that nearly everything I am told or hear is gone within minutes. I am also slurring my words and getting hung up mid sentence on words that seem to get stuck on my tongue. After a while they come out, or I have to change the word to get it to be spoken. I am also misidentifying objects.(ie; holding up a cup, and referring to it as a "box", then as a "biscuit", and on and on. I know these words are not correct, but somehow these words seem to come out anyway.

The fear was that I had Younger Onset Alzheimer's (Early Onset means people with the disease that are 60 and over, Younger Onset is for people under 60) All the tests came back giving me a "clean" brain; there was no visible sign of damage. No problem. End of story.

One big problem with doctors often goes by unnoticed, at least it used to be by me.You go to the doctor complaining of a number of symptoms that are causing you a problem or problems. After the doctor runs you through a series of tests, it's determined that you don't have what he thought you might. No problem, so he sends you on your way with a clean bill of health. Great, right? Wrong.

If you are like I used to be, shortly after you leave the doctor's office, you realize that, even though you don't have what the doctor thought you had, you still have the same symptoms. Nothing has been solved, so eventually you go back to the doctor, and spend more money in an attempt to locate the problem.

I still have the same problems I had when I went to the doctor. What do they think, if there is no definitive explanation (diagnosis), then your symptoms don't represent anything. Only when they continue to cause problems do they look a little further. Do they think that will be so relieved that we don't have what we might have had that we feel better, and our symptoms minimize of go away completely.

I was diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia), which can be the cause any number of mental problems. My body is unable to absorb enough B12 to function properly. Taking injections and daily prescribed supplements is supposed to slow down the problem, but whatever damage has already been done is there to stay.

The article linked to this post explains that Alzheimer's (dementia) may no be diagnosable until 4-6 years after the symptoms begin. Oh happy day!

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