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  1. Hi everyone! Get ready for a long one. First off, I figure I should start out with my current cocktail. Without further adieu, I take the following on a daily basis: 50 mgs Vyvanse, AM 100 mgs Lamictal, AM Multivitamin, AM 100 mgs Tegretol, lunchtime 150 mgs Zoloft, Bedtime 200 mgs Tegretol, Bedtime 2000 mgs Vitamin D, Bedtime .25 mgs / .5 mgs Klonipin (depending on anxiety level), bedtime Prilosec OTC, bedtime Bit of history. I've been on crazy meds for close to 20 years now. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 10 years old, depression at 14, and bipolar at 18. I've been on meds for them ever since then and pretty much, if you name it, I've been on it with few exceptions. I sort of grew up in a family where if there was something wrong, you threw a pill at it and hoped for the best. I had the Tegretol added to the mix when I lost my job as an office manager for a non-emergency medical transportation company in July of last year. My moods were all over the place, and for the most part I was depressed over losing my job and not being able to find another one. My GP decided that adding Tegretol might not be a bad idea as it was cheap and should help my Lamictal get my moods back to where they needed to be. The first few weeks of taking Tegretol were hellacious, between the nausea, dizziness, and numbness and tingling in my mouth. I got through that, and everything seemed okay. After a while, we decided that I could start backing off of the Tegretol, but every time I tried cutting it down by a quarter of a tablet (50 mgs), my anxiety and mood went crazy. I was anxious and depressed as all hell, and my boyfriend was ready to cut and run. (I've since gotten rid of him, thank God.) Anyway, I left him shortly after having some bloodwork done that came back showing a heightened level of protein in my blood. I had an immunoelectrophoresis done, and that showed that I had an M-spike in my blood, heightened level of globulins, and my immunoglobulin-G was way higher than it should have been. I was referred to an oncologist who did more bloodwork and a bone marrow biopsy (ouch, ouch, ouch). The tests came back negative for bone marrow cancer (huzzah!), and I was diagnosed with MGUS, Monoclonal Gammopathy of Unknown Significance. Basically, one of my antibodies went on a cloning spree and created plasma cells that took up residence in my bone marrow. I have 10% plasma cells in my bone marrow, and they don't treat it until it hits 25%, so I'm okay. (There's a 1% chance that someone under 35 will get MGUS. It usually affects African American men over 55. I'm a 30 year old caucasian female. Go figure.) A few weeks after the awesome news that I didn't have cancer, I came down with the stomach flu that was going around. I went to my GP after feeling lethargic and just plain awful all day long, and it turned out I was slightly dehydrated. My specific gravity was higher than it should have been, meaning my kidneys were working a bit too hard, there was a bit of white blood cells in my urine, and so I was given 2 liters of saline intravenously. Okay, not fun, but no big deal. 2 weeks later, I went into work at the usual 7:30 AM (I work for Wow, a phone/internet/cable company as a tech support rep). I was wicked dizzy, nauseated, and felt like I was in a daze. Customers would ask me questions that I knew the answers to, but for some reason I couldn't pull the answers out of my head. I left work and went to my doctor, knowing that something wasn't quite right. They did another urinalysis since they gave me saline last visit, and it turned out I was "bone dry dehydrated," as my doctor said. My specific gravity was through the roof, and so I was given another 2 bags of saline. Roughly 3 weeks later, the same thing happened. After this visit, I called my oncologist who had me come in later that week. I did a 24 hour urine collection (so gross) as well as more bloodwork, and when everything came back, it was determined that my protein levels were the same as they were before, and my calcium levels were fine as well. (He suspected hypercalcemia, which is one of the stages of bone marrow cancer where they start treatment) In between the time where he did the tests and we got the results, I wound up at the ER getting 2 more bags of saline because *drum roll*, you guessed it! More dehydration. My oncologist was stumped, so he sent me to a nephrologist who has currently ordered tests. I go back and see him around the end of this month. Really long story short, my blood work will come back fine. My electrolytes are right where they need to be, and with the exception of a Vitamin D deficiency (hence the Vitamin D supplement), my metabolic profile is darn near perfect. The only oddity was one test that came back showing that I have ANA in my blood (anti-nuclear antibodies) with a pattern that would suggest SLE (a form of Lupus). My nephrologist has me going in a week to have bloodwork done to eliminate Lupus as a possible cause for this crap, and he did mention that 35% of people in America have ANA in their blood and don't even know it, so it's possible that it's not a huge deal. In the meantime, everyone is stumped. The only thing I can think of is that being on all these medications for the past 20 years is catching up to me, and perhaps my kidneys are acting up? Having a high specific gravity simply means that my kidneys are holding on to a lot of fluid and salt. What's weird though is that after getting 2 bags of saline, I feel 150% better. The nephrologist said that's because it flushes out my kidneys, sort of like an oil change. I apologize for the insanely long post, but does anyone have any input? I'm thinking it may be time to cut back on some of my meds, but I'm going to see a doc on Friday to make sure and do it under his supervision. MGUS, Lupus, ANA, M-spikes... I can't help but wonder if some of this crap is related to taking crazy meds for the past 20 years. Any thoughts? Sorry for the crazy long post. Thanks!
  2. hello... i am a 31 years old woman living with bipolar1 disorder and lupus (systemic lupus erythematosis is an autoimmune illness that attacks the body's own organs, tissues, cells). i have been diagnosed with lupus since i was 17 and had it attack the brain and was hospitalised in the mental ward for 2 months when i was 19. that's when the psych meds started... after many unsuccessful attempts to be medicated, eventually abilify made its way into my life... i have been on it for 3 years and even tho i am grateful for it taking away the turbulance of moods and psychosis (from lupus) and mania etc, i feel resentful of it making me put on 20kgs... i have had weight issues most my life and body image issues most my life too so 20kgs is just unbearable. at the moment i am depressed and not very hopeful with my future. the psych doc said that there is no other choice but to take the medication because i react very badly to almost everything else... i major in psychology in a bachelor of arts.. but its too research oriented and i hate maths.. so when it comes to statistics and lab reports i just cringe. therefore i dont get good results and cannot go for higher education and fulfill my desire to help other people like myself struggling with mental illness. but i heard that i can take the next best thing which is masters in counselling. it will be more oriented towards community work and social work but i am hoping to have a chat with the co-ordinator and maybe get a better idea of it (in australia psychology and counselling are not the same thing.. you can't be a psychologist if your training is in counselling only but you can be a counseller if u are a certified psychologist.. go figure). other than that i havent touched my passion for music for a very very long time... i miss it and it always feels like a part of myself is missing... i find that with the abilify i am not so passionate with anything... i have 1 family member who is my mother, the rest are in another country and i dont talk to them at all... my other adopted family is my 2 bunny rabbits whom i love very very much... they are my babies. and i currently have 5 mice too. they like running on the wheel... lol i live in a city apartment funded by my mother... without her constant financial support i would sure to be on the streets. i have very few friends... but the tiny few are very loyal and long term friends. i have had a bf for almost 2 years now who is very very supportive and loving of everything i do. i like salsa dancing and latin music, balards, r n b (at least 90s r n b lol) and good singers and quality music. not that much of a fan of top 40s but sometimes a song catches my attention. i like horse riding but have not been for a very long time. i also like swimming and seeing movies... i used to like nature but there's too many bugs in it.. lol i like asian foods and have some intolerances... if i were to wish for anything for myself right now i would wish for a solid, reasonably paid career where i can feel some purpose to my life because atm i feel none... wishing everyone happy holidays and hope u'v have a great xmas and nye celebration to come xoxo
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