Unfortunately an adverse effect of Lamictal that I thought was gone forever after I got below 150 mg in my withdrawal has returned. The horrible nausea is back. I don’t get it. It’s the same nausea, but it left me for about 2 months. I seem to have gotten sensitive once again to the remaining 125 mg of Lamictal in my system. For many years I’ve had bouts of nausea that kept me home from work and then once starting to take the Lamictal all at night I awoke at night for years with awful nausea about 50% of the time. Those days are back. I was so happy when it remitted a couple of months ago but it seems my body has adjusted to the new level in my blood and is again reacting with toxicity.
I can’t continue my withdrawals because I am not sleeping so I can only deal with the nausea as I did for so many years. It’s also been 2 months of essentially really crappy sleep. I’ve gotten a full nights sleep here and there, but now it’s been at least a week and, like I said, the better part of 2 months.
This lack of sleep leaves me drained and even more fatigued than the withdrawals/chronic fatigue already had me. It’s hard to be inspired to keep up the blog. I’ve determined that I will recover from this setback and then resume withdrawal much more slowly. And by that I mean tapers of less than 10% of current dose. I mean tapers of 3 – 5 %. I’m tired of suffering. And I won’t resume the tapering until I feel good for a while. Well, relatively good anyway. “Good” is absolutely a relative concept at this point. I’m often in bed all day—but due to physical symptoms—nausea, dizziness, weakness etc. It’s frightening. At this point I’m seeing the taper could go on for a few more years. I’ve been at it for four years. But with the 10% rule the tapers are ever smaller and smaller—so even though I’m off well more than 50% of my meds it may take an equal amount of time to finish it off. I’m determined to be able to start making commitments again and not be so debilitated—so the only option is to slow down to a snails pace.
I’ve done two experiments. In order to see if any of my supplements were causing adverse effects. First I went off all of my supplements except my amino acids which I believed were helping me sleep. Nothing was bothering me except a high dose of B-6 which caused mild stimulation. So then after that I cut out all my amino acids. I slept worse. So I know that my supplements are causing no problems and at least helping to some degree. It seems the withdrawals are what is at issue, plain and simple.
I’m angry and sick and tired of all psychiatrists and doctors — conventional, natural, holistic or orthomolecular. Virtually every doctor I’ve seen have had such huge ego involvement that when their suggestions haven’t worked they’ve had the gall to blame me for my problems. That somehow I wasn’t following their directions just right. That’s infuriating as I am the most “compliant” alternative medicine patient you can imagine. I feel I’m on my own now. I always have been I realize, but it’s good to come to terms with understanding my care is truly in my hands.
I have to say here as an aside, people who choose similar alternative means of care as I have, don’t in general have these same problems because they haven’t had to go through such an extensive and frankly, dangerous withdrawal process. These solutions do work for many many people. It’s the complicated withdrawal that is making my situation, well, so complicated.
I am seeing one more Integrative Psychiatric PA. I’m seeing him only because I want a Lyme disease test done. Just to rule it out. The extreme fatigue accompanied with some psychiatric symptoms can be associated with Lyme and I’ve lived in tic infested areas my whole life. I exhibit at least half of the possible symptoms of Lyme. It’s been suggested a number of times that I get it checked out.
I also intend to utilize this doctor as someone to knock my ideas up against. I asked the receptionist if he would be open to this. I explained I had it with looking to find answers from doctors, but that I needed a partner to occasionally draw blood or ask about specific dosage amounts of supplements, etc. She said he is willing to work that way. I’ve been to this practice before and was less than enthused with the care I got, but I’ve not met this man yet and I also put myself at their mercy in the past which I refuse to ever do again with any doctor. For now I’ll just get my Lyme work up and continue on.
I still, of course, still have my conventional doctor who prescribes the meds I’m tapering and as they say in the south, “bless his heart,” he trusts me and believes in my self-determination. He is the most generous and egoless doctor I’ve had—and yes he is a conventional psychiatrist. He is an exception to all the psych docs I’ve ever seen in my life.
Eventually I hope to be so exhausted I simply can’t help but fall asleep good and hard night after night.