Medication Noncompliance

July 14, 2019

 

For the most part, I have accepted that I will have to take medicine for the rest of my life.

 

There are days when I have absolutely no issue with this. I eat my dinner and take my pills, then settle in for the evening.

 

Then, there are other nights. I have a silent fight with myself. I don’t want to take my pills. I will walk over with a bottle of water and just glare at the five bottles and walk away. I refuse to take them. I will go watch another episode of Deadwood and put it off.

 

There is no reason behind this silent fight. I know I’ll give in and eventually take my pills, but the fight and resistance are there.

 

I am not one of those bipolars who think they are cured and stop taking their meds. I am very compliant when it comes to my meds, which is why this behavior is strange.

 

I become resentful that I have to take it. It’s a silent protest, even if it is just a few hours.

 

Mind you, that few hours of not being compliant can fuck up my whole next day.

 

Sometimes, it causes my mood to alter or me to sleep in late.

 

It is extremely important to try to take your meds around the same time of day each day. It allows your brain to receive the chemicals and stay as balanced as possible. If you start messing with that, you make yourself prone to swings.

 

You can set your clock to my med regimen. I am very regular with my meds. Everyone knows that.

 

The meds I previously took caused great sedation and required that I took them by five in the evening. Now, out of habit, I take my meds by five or six.

 

Last night I thought about not taking my meds. I must have looked at the bottled for about five minutes. I just stood and looked at them. I did think what it would be like to not have to be anchored by medication.

 

How would life be different?

 

I would be able to go to the movies or a show in the evening and not worry about getting home to take my meds.

 

I could, should I ever choose this, go out on a date in the evening and not worry about having to go back home and take my meds.

 

I wouldn’t have to worry about having a meal before taking my meds.

The medication makes me better is all I can argue as to why I put up with all these other inconveniences. If all I can come up with is a few of these possible scenarios, then it must not be as bad as I thought.

 

There are then the side effects of taking the medications.

 

The weight gain has been the worst side effect. The previous meds did not have such a bad side effect but new meds have packed a punch of almost eighty pounds. This weight gain, then caused my blood sugar to increase to where I am now a diabetic.

 

There are other side effects of tremors. These have started to go away but have left a strange lingering way of how I hold my left arm. The tremors started with the old medication but started again with the new ones. They have subsided but when I walk, I hold my left arm as if it were injured and sometimes point my fingers in an odd way. My arm is rigid. I am unaware that I am doing it. Sometimes, I catch myself doing it and I feel self-aware and relax my arm to a normal position. I wonder how long I had been walking around like that. I wonder who saw me walking like a spaz.

 

Memory loss is another side effect. The meds I take now do not seem to have as much of the memory loss as the old one. The older medication has me in a four year gap. I lived a four year haze. I don’t remember a lot from that time. I put in a whole drip line system for watering in my backyard but I don’t remember doing it. I don’t know how to work it. But it did do it.

 

The new meds have me a bit off too. In January, I went to get my toes done with my sister. She said I was very quiet. I don’t remember anything about the entire encounter. I don’t remember the day. I remember her birthday but I don’t remember us doing anything. That was on the new meds, but only a few months into a med change. That could be the issue.

 

There are a lot of reasons for not taking medication. There are many reasons to take the medication.

 

By taking the medication, I free myself up to being symptom free. I have been in remission of symptoms for a few months. I have had no big swings for four months. Three months completely symptom free.

 

Taking medication helps alleviate the possibility of me ending up a suicide. If I wasn’t being treated, I would likely be suicidal. Not just prone to suicidal ideations, but actually suicidal. When the meds are off, having suicidal ideations are tough, but being suicidal is deadly. It can kill you because you want to be dead and everything is telling you that you are better off dead. It makes total sense. Medication makes this better.

 

Medication makes mania manageable. Mania is hard to manage. I always thought the depression would kill me but my mania has gotten worse as I have gotten older. The older I get the tougher it hits me and the harder I spin, the longer the spells get, the louder the buzzing persists.

 

Even with medication, you get highs and lows, but they are more manageable. Sometimes you need a bump up or down in the meds, usually, it’s an up. Without the medication, the swings would be intolerable. They would swing so great and wide it would crack like the Grand Canyon.

 

Taking the meds also allows you to come out of the swing easily and not go manic to depressed so quickly.

 

Now a lot of the time, I go from manic to normal and never hit depressed. I do this all with a little med bump. The doctor gave me Ativan to treat the highs and as needed to bring me out of the mania.

 

The problem is when I’m in a high, I don’t recognize that I need to take the med to bring me down. I just assume I’m fine until someone says something to me, or I realize I just texted twenty people to see what they are up to, then I know I need a pill.

 

With all these reasons why and why not to take meds, I’m still an advocate of medication. It has saved my life. It allows me to work, be stable, for the most part, and have a life.

 

I will fight with myself again about taking my meds. It is just a fact. It may not be today or tomorrow but it will be again in the coming months. I will have a bad day and feel sorry for myself that I’m bipolar and not want to rely on medication. I will fight it. In the end, I will be compliant because I want to be healthy.

 

I know for sure I do not want to be on a psych ward with net underwear or no underwear. I’ll take the meds.

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