Medications and Doubt

I’ve been off the aripiprazole for a week and a half.  Not in a planned, measured way; my GP, since I moved house (three months ago) is all the way across London, and I neglected to pick up a prescription.  I got one yesterday, finally.

I’m OK, happy, but I’m struggling to wake up in the morning.  Work hasbecome tiring.  This is partly due to office politics and partly because dragging myself across London to deal with other people’s medication, other people’s needs, is exhausting all by itself when- I have to admit- by not taking the aripiprazole, I am not really looking after myself properly.  So I tired more easily, so my fuse is shorter, so my enthusiasm is muted and sometimes I just can’t be bothered.

We had training on Friday about a potentially extremely toxic medication prescribed to people with “treatment resistant schizophrenia”.  This medication can actually result in death: and I deal with it, with our residents, every single day.  The nurse running the training said to us that we were ‘at the thin end of the wedge’, underpaid considering the amount of responsibility we hold, not over money, not over paperwork but over the fragile globes that are Other People’s Lives.  And that scares me: to be so responsible for something so important, to be human and therefore subject to flaw, to tiredness and overwork, to misjudgement and mistakes.  It’s frightening to wield such power and yes, we are underpaid, but that bothers me a lot less than the simple fact that we are fallibly, undoubtedly human.

When I miss my medication, when I drink, when I mess around, those things are on me.  They are my own personal risk.  When someone else misses a dose because of me?  That’s on me, too.  It hasn’t happened yet.  It might never happen, and I pray that it doesn’t.  But the very possibility of it makes me sick to my skin, from the inside out.

I believe I am a caring person and I am told that I am also a person who makes a difference in other people’s lives. These things buoy me up.  They make me believe that I am doing a good job.  That in itself is a beautiful satisfaction and I still love what I do.

It’s just… I’m so, so tired.  And tiredness leads to jadedness and worse, leads to mistakes.  Mistakes I cannot afford to make.  This makes me nervous, edgy, and gets in the way of the confidence I have built, slowly, over the six months- six months!- of being employed.  Sometimes makes me wonder… If I am cut out for work at all.

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5 thoughts on “Medications and Doubt

  1. I”m a Paramedic and I deeply understand this post. I am also on the same medications. Sometimes I feel like a caricature of a person when I work with my patients. I feel so happy. So energized. If only that feeling lasted all of the time, right? You wouldn’t be in the field you’re in if you weren’t a caring person. Don’t doubt that. I sincerely hope that you can find a balance so you don’t have to deal with the tiredness. Sometimes I feel so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. But I ask myself, Am I tired from my day or actually tired from my own inner demon?

    • Thanks so much for your comment. It’s made my day. Wow- a paramedic! That’s pretty amazing. I know that confusion between inner demons and tiring days so well. How do you deal with it?x

      • It’s a struggle. It’s been 4 years since my diagnosis and if you read my last blog you’ll know what happened. I take a combination of medicines. My cocktail, so to speak. As I said in my comment, when I’m with patients I am, what I feel is my best self. I have two children and since my son had so many bullies at school (see second blog) I have to put on a strong front at home. I can say honestly that I’m not my best self all of the time when I’m home. Is it adrenaline that helps me at work? Sometimes, but a lot of my days aren’t those crazy, lights and sirens kind of days. That’s just the cool stuff you see on TV. 🙂 And to be completely honest, I take adderall. It’s prescribed by the same doc that manages my three other meds. It helps me so much. My tiredness is gone. And it counteracts the extreme hunger that Abilify gave me initially. (I gained so much weight, I was embarrassed to go outside, but the med worked. What a double edged sword, right? Adderall isn’t for everyone and I know it can have some side effects for people with a combo diagnosis of anxiety and bipolar, but it works for me. If I feel like a panic attack might come, I can always take a half of my Klonipin and it passes without any problem. I hope this helps. I love your blog! I’m a blog virgin, so I’m not sure of what I’m doing. So, if it’s wrong, let me know. I love the honesty here. Facebook is such a pile of bullshit that other than the fact that I get to keep up with my childhood friends, I’d delete it. Keep your head up, Becky Bee. Your combo of meds is out there. Don’t give up! Will it “fix” or silence our “demon”? No. But, it sure as hell muffles his ass!!

  2. I am also on meds for an anxiety disorder. I think it’s very mature and caring of you to question yourself and be aware of your own limitations. I suspect you are much better at your job than you realise. xo

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