Switching things around

17 May

I’d like to start off this post with a little disclaimer. I am not a doctor, and therefore, what you are about to read is in no way, shape, or form, medical advice. I just feel a need to write about it, and since this is my blog, that is exactly what I am going to do.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an evening med-taker. Back when I used to be on multiple meds, the combination would make me sleepy, so my doctor would always recommend taking the cocktail of pills at bedtime.

But it’s been over a year and a half since I’ve just been taking good ‘ol Lithium {and Ambien as needed, which turns out to be once a month or so, sometimes less}. And lately, I’ve been noticing that by the end of the day – twelve hours straight of just me and the kids – I am so burnt out. My irritability is through the roof, and I’m sometimes snapping at the kids if they do something that gets on my nerves {which, by the end of 12 hours is practically everything, I have to admit}.

I last had my blood levels checked about two weeks ago. You have to get your blood drawn 8-12 hours after your last dose, so for me that meant that I had to get an appointment at the lab before 10am since I usually take my pill around 9-10pm. I made an appointment online and it just happened to work out that I got a 9:30 spot. Two kiddos in tow, I kept them entertained in the waiting room with the ipad {TocaBoca Doctor is great, btw!}.

The waiting room was packed, so by the time the phlebotomist got around to drawing my blood, it was almost 10am. I had taken my Lithium at 10pm the night before, so I was certain my level was going to be really low.

Sure enough, a few days later my psychiatrist called to say that yes, my level was low, but that is okay since it’s working for me.

I thought about how I had been feeling mentally lately, and decided to make a small change in my regimen for my own mental health. I decided that it wasn’t really doing me much good taking my pill before bed, because then the highest concentration of the medication was running through my blood while I was sleeping.

Doesn’t make much sense, right? Why have all that good medicine at its peak in your blood while you’re sleeping, only to be at its lowest levels during the hours of the day you spend awake and busy?

Let me clarify, that I know full well that when you take a daily medication like Lithium, it remains fairly constant in your bloodstream over the course of time. But for me, I just wanted to try out my theory that if I took my pill in the morning, by having the highest daily concentration of the medicine in my body during the daytime hours, maybe that would help keep my mood more steady and even when I am awake. Basically, when I need it most.

I am happy to report that since making this change on Monday, I’ve felt better. Felt like I’ve had more patience. Felt more calm and steady. Felt like a better mom, even. With my little man going through a rough case of picky-eater syndrome and the “Terrible 3’s”, I so needed this change in my mental health.

This is what I needed. And I’m so glad it’s working for me.


5 Responses to “Switching things around”

  1. postpartumandpigtails May 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Although I take something completely different (zoloft) for & ocd & anxiety, I take mine before bed but have always wondered the same thing. I feel completely exhausted & sometimes snappy by the end of the day & now you got me thinking if it may work better taking it during the day! I will let you know how it goes for me if I end up trying :)

  2. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) May 18, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    i am a night taker and a morning taker…..I have to cover both ends :)

    • BipolarMomLife May 18, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. :-) Hugs, my friend. Had so much fun chatting yesterday. You make me smile. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. xoxo

  3. britneyana May 18, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    I am a night taker (lexapro) because it made me sleepy, and because its when I remember best. It is working for me right now.

    • BipolarMomLife May 18, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      Hi Britney ~ whatever works for you is what you should do. {I’m a poet and I know it! } :) Happy Friday!

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