Healing With Art: Part 4
The last time I made an entry (nearly a month ago) I discussed mental health, and how endometriosis can affect it. I bring this up because my 3 week hiatus was due to mental health issues.
Shortly after my last entry, I had doctor's appointments (I have one a week usually. It's as annoying as it sounds) that didn't go so well.
I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, but since I had already been managing bladder pain for several years on my own, I did not opt for any additional treatments. I was offered drug options for pain (Elmiron) and bladder instillations. To save money and my piece of mind since I've been bounced around on different drugs for the past year, I refused both. My current regimen for bladder pain is a low acid diet, plenty of water, Cystex liquid (Which you can buy here on Amazon), and gabapentin. The Cystex liquid is nice as it seems to calm down the bladder inflammation. It also helps the urgency/pressure. It contains D-Mannose, which can prevent UTIs as well. I'm not being paid to advertise this product in any way. I just happen to find it extremely useful, and also quite affordable.
The interstitial cystitis diagnosis was not a surprise to me, but the next one was.
Two weeks ago, I finally got into a psychiatrist office after waiting since August. I was told I most likely have Bipolar Disorder, and I was completely floored. I've had many episodes of hypomania and severe depression in the past, but I was only ever told I had treatment resistant depression and anxiety. In Canada, my general practitioner failed to tell me I had been diagnosed with borderline personality by at least 3 other mental health professionals. It was written in my chart, but never communicated to me, so I never received proper treatment for it. I always assumed that was the reason for my extreme mood swings (also having my reproductive organs zapped and/or removed didn't help.)
For the past couple of years, I've also become super sensitive to medications. I always end up with the uncommon or rare side effects, and they're usually too much for me to continue treatment. This happened with the medications I was started on for bipolar.
I live in a small town, and for some reason, despite being with a big company as my service provider, I don't get phone service in my apartment like.. 90% of the time. In fact, I don't get service in most of McAdoo or Hazleton, and coupled with severe anxiety about talking on the telephone (don't ask. I have no idea. I used to work in a call centre so it makes no sense to me either) I haven't been able to contact my psych about how badly I responded to the Lamictal I was put on.
You see, I take gabapentin already, and Lamictal is a similar drug. I made it to just over a week before I had to stop treatment due to the side effects. I was extremely dizzy and lightheaded and couldn't walk properly. I had balance and coordination issues. I had severe irritability, and I injured my head. My memory loss got even more severe, which led to me having to cancel a big commision, and the fatigue forced me to miss my counseling appointments. I could not function. It seems like any time I'm put on more meds or have meds changed, I can no longer function. I have a great deal of frustration about this, because I'm trying to start a career, but I need to keep putting it on hold so I can deal with side effects from drugs I don't even want to take..
To emotionally deal with all of this, I've been doing as much artwork as I can. Since Endometriosis Awareness Month will be here in only a few days, I started getting ready to promote awareness, which is something I do every March.
Right now, I'm doing portraits with a yellow/golden theme. I've done one of myself, and one of an Instagram fan so far. I'd love to do more, so if you're interested, please hit me up on Instagram. My account is on the home page. Just scroll down :)
Send me a DM and reference photo if interested. These portraits will be free of charge! Or, if you really want to chip in some money, please donate to an Endometriosis charity, such as the Endometriosis Foundation of America.