Sinners And Shrouds

“So, I’d like to try lurasidone,” I say as I settle onto Dr Stein’s sofa, tucking my feet up under my bottom, feeling nervous.  “A couple of my friends are on it and they think it’s a good mood stabiliser and…”

“OK,” he says, swivelling his chair round to the desk, scribbling in my notes.  “I think that’s a good idea actually as…”

“Really?” I say, surprised.  “But last time you said you didn’t want me to take it and…”

“Well, now I’ve read up on it a lot more and I’ve got a couple of other bipolar patients on it,” he says.  “So I’ve changed my mind.  The carbamazepine isn’t working.”

“Wow, that’s brilliant,” I say.  “I’m so happy.”

He laughs and his blue eyes twinkle.  “Well, I’m glad I’ve brightened your day.  So, I’ll have to check what we do about all your other drugs: remind me what else you’re on?”

“Carbamazepine – six hundred milligrams per day, obviously,” I say.  “Duloxetine: thirty milligrams a day at the moment.  And those ones I don’t like for the cancer: Letrazole – two point five or something milligrams a day.  And the Zolodex injection – think that’s eleven or so milligrams slow release over three months, not sure.”

He looks at the list.  “I’m going to have to check all those out, and it’s an expensive drug, the lurasidone.  And because I’m prescribing it to you off licence I have to make sure that…”

“What does that mean exactly, off licence?” I say.

“It means it’s not licensed for bipolar disorder in the UK,” he says.  “Although it is licensed here for schizophrenia.  So if I’m using my discretion to prescribe it for you for your illness, I have to make sure that it’s not harmful to combine it with everything else you’re on.  Oh and you’ll need an ECG and…”

“OK,” I say.  “Does it hurt?”

“No,” he says.  “That’s the procedure where they measure your heart rate by sticking pads on your chest.  The drug can cause a mild arrhythmia and…”

“Oh, OK,” I say.

“It’s a tiny risk,” he says.  “We just have to be careful.”

“Just really want to go on the drug and for it to be working before my mood is scheduled to drop in April or May so…”

“I know,” he says.  “I’ll check everything out and call you as soon as I can.”

So this is good news.  Am starting a new mood stabiliser.  Am excited.

Also on the plus side:

1.  Have won a restaurant meal for two people in a competition.  Just need to decide which lucky person accompanies me.

2. We found my missing notebook in the car.

3.  We have artichokes for supper.

4.  This cyclamen:

5.  Lost my beloved striped headband but Dr Stein’s secretary called to say they’ve found it.

6.  My fluffy monster is here and can cuddle him.

Skin is peeling off all over chest and under arm but mustn’t grumble.

The attached photo is today’s Spin outfit.  Trousers by Onzie.

Happy Wednesday everyone!
*1955.  By Jonathan Latimer.  Newspaperman Sam Clay wakes up with a hangover and a beautiful naked girl in his bed.


  1. L. Rorschach · March 9, 2016

    I hope the new med works well for you! xx How is Seb?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. samdfb1 · March 10, 2016

    Silver linings! Good luck with the new meds. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thewouldbegood · March 12, 2016

    Hello, I hope you don’t mind me leaving a comment on your blog. I have just watched the Stephen Fry programme about bipolar disorder, and I remember you from the one ten years ago. I have had (off and on!) an eating disorder, body dysmorphic disorder and depression since I was about 12 (I’m now 36), but had got on top of it. Unfortunately late last year everything came crashing down and I was hospitalised a couple of times (me being over-dramatic more than anything bad happening). I am coming out the other side now; I have a diagnosis of just anxiety and depression and am very lucky to have a great psychiatrist and psychological support also. I wanted to tell you how beautiful your writing is and how much it touched me. Your description of depression as a “panther” with its paw on your chest made me rewind the programme and listen to it again because it was so apt. That physical weight that presses on your sternum. Then you wrote about anxiety being a wren in your gullet and again, it resonated with me. You have described this perfectly and I felt “not alone” for the first time in a very long while, as it is impossible really for someone who’s not experienced this to understand. You have a real talent and I was really pleased to discover you are writing and doing what you love despite the ongoing battle with bipolar disorder and now cancer. I too love writing but my mental hoohas have drained me of confidence; I’m noe more to do what I love most (and, aside from making up raps and looking after gerbils, the only thing I am remotely good at). I wish you well with your writing, your bipolar and your cancer. You are an incredible person. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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