Quetiapine, Day 5

Day 5 of Quetiapine (25mg morning & afternoon, 100mg at night):

I spent the first couple of days inside a cloud. Just a normal kind of cloud; fluffy and light. Not a raincloud, but spoiling a potential blue sky nonetheless.

The first night, I slept quite well, though I didn’t sleep through the night. Well, I haven’t done that once in 20 years so it’s going to be a tough nut to crack. Dreams are vivid and story-like, not unpleasant or threatening. Mostly about people and places I’ve always known, with a sprinkle of absurdity.

Even after a few days I can feel the ounces and possibly lbs making themselves known to me. But here on Day 5 the light-headedness and general cloudiness has slackened a little,though with that – from Day 4 – the anxiety in particular has become more bold again and is peeping over the fence, trying to work its way back into the neighbourhood where it’ll sit on the front porch rattling the door handle, making a nuisance of itself.

I do feel already that my high and low moods have scrunched together a bit; the top and the bottom have been chipped off or squashed up towards the middle.

Ah, that sacred and mythical middle of 0 on the mood chart! Like the Grail, unattainable and tarnished but always worth a quest or two.

What Quetiapine hasn’t touched however is that dastardly OCD. It doesn’t seem to have made any impression on that yet. I realize it’s very early days but whereas I feel the meds might put up a good fight against Bipolar II as a whole, it’s quite evident that in OCD (and mine is mild) it’s met its match. Possibly ditto the insomnia, though time will tell with that.

My psychiatrist is looking to double the dose, so that’s something else to throw into the mix.

The worse thing to do is to look online for possible side effects. Yes, there are many. But they can’t apply to all users surely? There are millions of us out here! I’ve already noticed today as I begin to get accustomed to the drug and exist in slightly less of a cloud (say, cirrus as opposed to cumulus), that I have some slight shaking in my hands. And joint pain, which I used to get all the time, particularly after a bout of swine flu but which had all but disappeared on a day-to-day basis. Elbows, finger joints now. Some low-grade headaches in the afternoon, nothing I can’t handle.

It’s difficult to find the motivation to exercise when you’re in a cloud. I walked 3-4 miles yesterday, a couple of miles the day before. I wouldn’t cycle at the moment any more than I’d attempt to drive. That would be dangerous; cloudiness, greatly impaired reaction times. And I stare at the exercise bike with every intention of doing 20 mins on it, but… meh.

So it’s ‘keep on keeping on’ at the moment, ‘going with the flow’, and several other metaphors and trite motivational phrases.


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