Those of you who are just joining, this is what's been happening. Like a dumbass, I stopped taking my crazy pills for about a month. To the shock of no-one, I started cycling again. I also started having a hard time with overeating, which is almost always due to stress in some way.
I started taking them again, gradually ramping up the dose, like before. I gained a bunch of water weight from the lithium, which I have come to find out is normal but temporary. And then I added the lamictal back in. And I remembered why I lost so much weight the first time I took it. The side effects do not last forever, and over time they get much better, but it took a long time to be able to eat normally again.
Here's what happened the first time, and is now happening again: I feel nauseated all the time. I have stomach cramps all the time. It wakes me up at night and prevents me from getting to sleep. I don't throw up, but sometimes I wish I did. Realistically, it would not help.
I become averse to most foods. Smells make me sick. Even looking at food makes me sick. I get motion sickness from any kind of transportation. Everything I make myself eat makes me sicker for hours after eating it, even water. Because of this I find myself getting dehydrated. Anything I do eat has to be liquid or mushy and bland, and I can't eat large quantities. Anything else I can't even get down. It's freaking miserable.
Last time it went on for about a month, and then the nausea gradually started to go away for periods of time. I started being able to eat a wider variety of foods, including solids. By three or four months in I can eat anything I ate before, but my stomach shrinks and I can't eat a lot until I stretch it back out. I am praying that the side effects wear off faster this time.
Last time this happened I was broke, and since I never felt hungry I didn't really care. I barely ate. I didn't expect it to continue much longer anyway. After it had gone on for a month I started really worrying about my nutrition. I saw a nutritionist, and that helped. I now have the benefit of knowing what I should be eating, and I've started going to the gym again because weight bearing exercise will help prevent loss of muscle. I am also trying much harder to eat whenever I feel able. So I'm getting more in. Not alot, but much better than I did a couple years ago. I also know what kinds of foods I am able to eat for now, which I figured out through trial and error last time, and from the nutritionist's suggestions. I lost weight much too rapidly before, but since I weigh less and eat more now it shouldn't come off that quickly again. I don't want that. It's dangerous. It scared the crap out of me last time, because I didn't know if/when it would get better.
So the only thing I can do now is hang in there and get through it. Try my best to get a varied diet and get in calories where I can. Today I blended a banana with soy milk, peanut butter and protein powder for breakfast, and for lunch I made mashed potatoes, some whole milk pudding, and applesauce with cinnamon. I have split pea soup for dinner. I bought lots of canned soups with split peas, beans and lentils because I need to get a fair amount of sodium, and that gives me lots in one shot. Plus the protein and fiber is harder for me to get in general.
In other news, mother's day is pretty bittersweet in my household because my daughter isn't here. Jeremy never knew his mom, and the woman who raised him passed away. Most holidays are hard on him. He has no family.