Friday, December 1, 2006

Doing it anyway

And so the fun begins...

My history is not exactly that of your average 32 year old, at least where I live. Maybe if I lived in NY City, I wouldn't be able to say such a thing, but living in a city that claims to be the most enlightened city in the US allows me to claim abnormality. Perhaps, that's why I have started this blog. In my search through Google I couldn't find anyone else who was blogging or sharing an experience that even remotely matched my own. When I say that I am over-educated, I mean that I have gone to school for too many years and still don't have a decent job (OK, so that's not so unusual even in my town of enlightenment and too many universities). So, yes, I am still in school. A glutton for punishment you might say, or perhaps simply an insane masochist whose chosen torture involves swarms of preppy twenty-somethings who have trouble avoiding the word "like". Besides my age and my mental illness, my divorce sets me further apart from my peers. My first husband provided a lot of fun during my twenties, but he also had a tendency to fuck other women. Once he filled me in on that minor detail I got the divorce that I never, ever thought I would want or need.

Fast forward a few years, and I have married a man who endured the same adulterous insult from his first wife. A match made in... let's see...not heaven because I don't believe in all of that, but perhaps a match made right here in the real world where nothing goes as planned. After a couple of years watching me manage a somewhat unmanageable series of bipolar manic and depressive episodes, he is still here with me and as dedicated as ever. And, what do you know, he still wants to have kids with me. So we stopped looking for more old dogs to adopt and started the exciting and unpredictable process of reducing my medication.

I met with my psychiatrist first to tell her of my plan to conceive and she had such encouraging things to say. Her initial approach was to convince me to adopt a child instead. A fine idea, which I have every intention of exploring once I have $20,000 in the bank and a law degree to start the process. In the meantime, I figured I would start trying to have a baby the old-fashioned way, sex and lots of it. So once I told her adoption was not a current option, she reluctantly outlined the process for going off of my medications. This was going to be loads of fun, I could tell right away. I am what professionals consider "high risk". While we did finally find the right cocktail to keep me upright, it was a complicated journey. For now, I will spare us all the details of my illness until a later time. Let's just say that I have sampled most drugs, legal and not, to try to control the wild undulations of my mood. Once I convinced myself that the not so legal drugs weren't working and convinced my doctors that Zoloft wasn't quite cutting it either, we eventually got it right. My drug salad of choice included Depakote, Effexor, Seroquel, Topamax, and Klonopin. Oh, my medicine cabinet is fat and happy. This drug combo worked great for me, as long as I was compliant, but they don't work so well for a fetus, or even an embryo for that matter. So six months ago I started down the very long road to becoming drug free. It was somewhat similar to Disneyland's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Without the thought of a bouncing, smiling baby at the end, I surely would have disembarked way before the ride came to a complete stop.

Today, I am on a smidgen of Effexor and a bit of Seroquel, and I still don't feel the urge to put my husband's head through a wall. I consider the six months of drug weaning quite a success considering I didn't have even one suicide attempt and only experienced one cutting episode. Not bad, all things considered. So we are finally ready to start trying. The added bonus of going off all of the drugs is that my sex drive has returned better than ever. Thirty minutes to lift off is a thing of the past. Happy times are here again.

So the practicing has begun as we gear up for my calculated ovulation. We have a few days to go still, but I lay on my back afterwards for 30 minutes just in case. Honestly, I am terrified to know that it usually takes fertile women about a year to conceive. Given my mental history and need for mood regulating drugs, I really don't have that kind of time. I have been reading Julie's blog, "A little pregnant", to remind myself that things never go as planned and that I am not the only one operating under harried circumstances. Unfortunately this doesn't exactly make me feel any better, but it does give me perspective. At least while I am off the drugs, I am just crazy enough to try...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My name is Mary Davis and i would like to show you my personal experience with Topamax.

I am 46 years old. Have been on Topamax for 30 days now. I would not take this for migraines. I've tried everything for migraines but this was by far the worst experience I've had with any medication. I'm sticking with my Imitrex injections.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
I had the tingling feeling in my hands and feet. But I also kept having memory issues. Friends kept teasing me and saying I was on Dopamax. I thought it would get better. One day I started having constant seizures and ended up in Neurology ICU for five days. Almost killed me! It wasn't until they had me completely off Topamax that I finally became coherent. I remember nothing while in the hospital ICU. I was totally out of it.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Mary Davis

Topamax Prescription Information