It wound up being a very encouraging visit with the pdoc today. No meds were changed, although one was increased. W was also told to take the meds even earlier in the evening, so that he will hopefully fall asleep once he lays down, and not toss and turn for an hour. All his levels (thyroid, lithium, vitamin D), were good. So nothing drastic was done.
But as the pdoc asked us about our story, how W was feeling, and the like, he began to talk with us a bit. And he started saying some things that were very encouraging to both of us.
1. He has another patient with BP that spent 3 months in the hospital; he didn’t even know who he was. And now he’s out, living a normal life, and only on 2 medications!! (W is currently on about 7+)
2. That since we’ve just moved here 1.5 years ago, that W is still dealing with a number of underlying stressors that are most likely making his recovery take so much longer.
3. That many people, even those not suffering from a mental illness, usually move away from the area we live in within 2-3 years of moving down here. That even he, who has lived here over 23 years, does not feel fully connected.
*and as a neat aside, he was very familiar with my hometown, and grew up only about a half hour away. I always love meeting fellow people from my home state. 🙂
4. That BP will not rule W’s life. It is just like dealing with stress. Everyone needs to learn how to do it.
It’s like the pdoc took a light and shined it on this monster that the bipolar was turning into, and showed us for what it really was. Something that is manageable. That doesn’t rule our life. That W will recover from, and go on to lead a normal life.
It may not sound like much, but it was exactly what we needed to hear. That W will not be like this forever. That we will get the meds figured out. That there are other factors that are keeping him depressed..and he encouraged us to think of the long term. When W is doing better. And what will be the best choices for our family as a whole.
The pdoc seemed very positive about the idea to move back to W’s hometown. He even suggested trying to move before winter, if we can. I need to research into how that might effect his eligibility for his short term disability benefits, but if we can do it, I am open to it.
When we left, W seemed much more positive. I felt more hopeful, too.