Friday, December 15, 2006

Today is the day before my 17th wedding anniversary (we’ve been married HOW long?) Today, we used the equity from the sale of our Denver house to buy an Arkansas home. Bigger, newer and in a great neighborhood, and much more affordable. Today, and for several days in a row, my mood has been level and very good. Today, I’m alive and with my family, and I feel lucky to have that.

We made a couple of changes to my meds regimen. Melissa and I have learned (actually, she learned and educated me) from our psychiatric adventures that one rule holds true always: You NEVER change more than one medication at a time. Never. I was taking Risperdal in the morning and then as needed mid-day. My local pdoc changed that to 200mg at night. It seems that Risperdal has a strong sedating effect in addition to quieting mania. Better taken at night. I did that change for a couple of weeks before changing anything else. Good change. I also switched to extended release buproprion and a little more of it. I like that change too. And then, I dropped the extended release alprazolam and went to just regular alprazolam at night. Between the alprazolam and the Risperdal at night, I have no need for the Lunesta I was taking. I usually fall asleep before I’m ready. All-in-all, some good meds moves have resulted in some improved and more level mood days. (my life is tabulated in "mood days", in contrast to most people moving in "calendar days.")

I have decided, once we get moved and get life moving forward again, that I’m going to continue my diving education. I hope to start working on my Divemaster rating before spring. It should take me about a year to get through that training. Hopefully, by then, I can find a way to get to some good diving water for my certification dives (Beaver Lake is closeby. Its far from a desirable diving location. The water is murky with about 6 feetvisibilitylity and a thermal at about 30 feet. The Caribbean it ain't.) Then, if all goes as planned, I’d like to move into getting my instructor certification. Something to shoot for. Maybe, several years down the road, I can spend my winters in a warm sunny place teaching people how to dive or taking them on underwater tours of some spectacular scuba areas.

So that’s the latest update. Nothing much on the mood front. Lots going on in life generally. It will be nice to get this move done and be out of “the boxes.” It seems we’ve been living out of boxes for 8 months now, since we decided to put the house on the market in April. Whenever I need something, no matter what it is, I can be sure that its located in “the boxes.” It will be great to have a house to work on again. Lots of little home improvement projects to keep me busy. I’m still working a very meager number of hours at the liquor store. Just enough to let me feel like I’m out of the house a reasonable amount of time. Its good social interaction time.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,

Good to hear from you again. Also good to hear that you've found a med cocktail that's working for you. How are your kids? Are they adjusting to the new location by now?

Hope to see you post regularly again. Maybe with the new house and projects you'll feel more inclined.

Keep up the good work.

SallyT

11:53 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

So glad you're accepting of your situation and looking forward to the future. But look back at your last post.

There is a reason why nurses and other people in professions where their own or other people's safety depend on their mental acuity do not return to work after ECT. They know lives are in danger if they cannot remember essential information. The same is true of diving, not only for yourself but for others. Teaching anything is not a profession for someone who's had ECT. What will you do, read notes to your students? There are no notes underwater.

Think about something else, please.

8:03 AM  
Blogger DeMental said...

Grandam: Your concern noted. I've thought about the learning curve also. I have much diving and learning to do before I would be teaching qualified. That time, and the trials of getting to an instructor level, will give me a good indication of whether or not I'm able to do that kind of work. I seem to have all of my diving past education and experience in place. I also seem to be able to learn new material (and have the new material stick) pretty well (not as well as at my peak, but probably as well or better than most people.) I will let caution be my giude as I resume my diving education and explorations, and see where it leads me. Besides, the learning in diving takes place above the surface and in controlled water (pool). The real question is am I able to react to situations requiring decision making ability while under-water. That ability I will have to check out and see how my "progress" after ECT evolves. Thanks, as always, for the post.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

ECT slows psychomotor reaction time. That can affect skills such as driving. That is the finding of a new study out in January, but it it is not news to me. That is the reason I have had such trouble trying to learn to surf---it requires split second decision and action. I simply cannot think and react that fast, in a fraction of a second. I have never dived, don't know how much time you have to make decisions, but if it has to be quick, you aren't going to be able to do it.

11:17 AM  
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