It seems that with the bipolar disorder of our loved one we deal with one challenge, and then with the snap of the fingers like a movie director clapboard clapping shut another challenge presents itself. It’s like a movie director saying, “Okay…cut… cut…scene 1…take 2!” We scurry around and make adjustments. We get into place by facing the newest challenge and readjust. The stage appears calm and all clear. Then just like that the movie director yells, “Okay…cut…for the next scene you are faced with medication adjustment. Okay folks…listen up…scene 1…take 3! Take your places please!”
Here I sit spinning and twisting my words as if I was at a spinning wheel. Somehow as I spin, twist and draw out each word I find that I cope with something that is not easy to talk about. This time I’m talking about the challenges of medication.
I like using a movie scene analogy because it seems as if things come up with little or no warning. It’s like the director saying, “Okay…we got what we wanted for that scene so we are moving on people!” However, unlike actors we are not awarded the luxury of time to prepare for the next scene. I do try though. I educate myself. I research. I peruse articles, I read books about bipolar disorder, and I talk to others going through similar experiences. And yet…I find that I am not all that prepared for the challenges as they pop up.
I feel so naïve. By now I should know that there will be times that Kim’s meds will need adjusted. I wasn’t prepared for the next adjustment though. As Kim works at finding a balance I got used to the routine. Due to circumstances I still dispense her meds so weekly she brings it to my attention that it’s time for a refill. We do this week after week and month after month. Then a negative side effect decided to rear its ugly head. This time it was severe tremors. And with that the medications had to be adjusted. Thank goodness many side effects can be reversed! With a deep sigh of relief I have hope that the newest side effect will fully reverse. I also have trepidation regarding the newest medication. With the newest medication addition and the deletion of the other many factors come into play such as changes in sleep patterns. The one medication helped with sleep. With that one gone sleep now seems out of reach for her. Now…a new medication is added to help with sleep. It’s a constant balancing act.
I find a new air of alertness as I realize that I must keep myself attuned to the fact that things could change and probably will. I have such a hard time with change, but I understand I must be open to it. I am learning that change is good even in regards to medication! We must be persistent in finding the right balance and stay attuned to the possibility that things can change. It’s interesting that it is through medication adjustments that I am learning that change can actually be good!