Health of a different sort

It’s that time again! Yep, I have my 3-month psychiatrist checkup today.

How fast those three months fly by. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was there? Okay, maybe it hasn’t flown by quite that fast…but it doesn’t seem like three months.

I’d like to think I’ve been doing okay. Aside from not having the motivation to work on cosplay, which I don’t think is related to the bipolar disorder, I think I’ve been doing okay. I haven’t had any severe manic or depressive states that I can recall since my last visit. Been pretty stable.

There is one thing I want to discuss with my doctor, though: a new weight loss prescription I saw a commercial for not too long ago. It’s a combination of two psychiatric drugs, and I’ve been on one of these drugs before. I really think it could help me cut my cravings and stop just stuffing my face all the time.

I don’t trust most (okay, all) over-the-counter weight loss supplements/drugs. A lot of it isn’t FDA regulated like prescription meds are, and there’s no telling how they’d react with my prescription medicines. I’d rather, if my doctor would allow, take the new prescription and try that. So fingers crossed!

I saw my rheumatologist the other day and learned that she thinks I need a chest x-ray. Yep, the cough is still here, though it’s getting better every day, and she is I think concerned that it could be related to one of my RA meds. Fun. Except x-rays can be expensive. And it’s the beginning of the year, so of course I haven’t even come close to meeting my deductible. Yuck.

We’ll see how the cough does in the next week. If it’s still there, I might get that x-pensive ray. Maybe. We’ll see.

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The Great Weight Debate

I’ve been morbidly obese for probably close to two years now, and while exercise is fleeting at best (going out walking in the winter sucks), hunger and cravings are exponential. Especially the cravings.

There’s a new drug on the market that I’ve seen commercials for…well, not new-new, but a new combination of two older drugs that have previously been used to treat addiction and mental illness. Hell, I’m already crazy and I’m addicted to food and caffeine, so why not give it a shot?

Next time I’m at the doctor’s (which is sometime this month), I plan on asking about this prescription to see if it’s something I can try. I mean, can’t hurt, right? I’ve even been one of the two meds before (for OCD behaviors like cutting and picking at my skin). So it’s likely safe to take with my other meds, and if the other part of the combination drug might interact with my other meds the doctor would be able to tell me.

Here’s where the PSA comes in: do not take diet pills or any such medications without consulting with a doctor. Seriously. Don’t do it. It’s dangerous as shit and most of the over-the-counter stuff isn’t really FDA regulated as strongly as prescriptions are. Some OTC stuff isn’t even FDA regulated at all, meaning there’s no QC as far as how much of what is in it or the quality of the ingredients. Even prescriptions can be dangerous, so talking with a doctor is a must. Talk with your pharmacist, too. Licensed medical professionals. People with medical and pharmaceutical degrees. Not your second cousin twice removed’s best friend who you kind of know on Facebook. Not even me. Half the time I’m talking out of my ass, but here I’m serious. Talk. With. Your. Doctor.

If you’re overweight (or even think you are), you need to see a doctor on a regular basis anyway. Get your annual physical, get weighed (as much as it sucks to do), get tested for diabetes and heart disease and any other things that can be affected by weight gain.

A lot of people try to recommend over-the-counter stuff to me for weight loss, and I flat-out turn them down. I mean, I take enough meds as it is between the bipolar disorder and the rheumatoid arthritis…do I really want to take some random OTC drug that may or may not severely interact with one of my other meds? Uh, no. I do not. I want to stay sane and safe.

I risk enough drinking as much caffeine as I do. I take a prescription stimulant to stay awake during the day because I have a tendency to nod off at random times if I don’t. No lie–they even tested my blood for narcolepsy years ago because of this. No narcolepsy associated antigen was found, but lemme tell you, if I don’t get my prescription and/or don’t have any caffeine, I’m zonked. I fell asleep a few times watching Rogue One recently. A freaking Star Wars movie! How can I do that? Well, I didn’t drink any caffeine before going to the movie. Zzzzz. Oops. But that lends to addiction, and to risk of heart problems because my pulse rate is usually sky high even at rest. So another PSA: don’t be a dumbass like me and OD on caffeine.

Anywho, to make a long story even longer, be smart about medications. Even if you think you have no other choice besides OTC “miracle” meds or miscellaneous herbal stuff, talk with your doctor. I want y’all to be safe. I want me to be safe. So I’m taking the plunge and asking about this new medication. It may be costly (most new meds are, sadly), but if I want to get serious about losing this weight I’ve got to cut my cravings, and I just do not have the self control for it. Who knows, maybe losing the weight will help me sleep better…maybe it will amp up my energy enough to where I don’t need the caffeine as much. Maybe I’ll fit into that corset for Phoenix Comicon a little better.

Lotsa maybes, but nothing’s certain until you try.

Just try responsibly.