Pro Re Nata

If all else fails, I’ll just have to find a cargo of original formula 7-Up.

PRN: “Pro re nata” in Latin, literally meaning “for the thing born” and commonly used in medicine to mean “as needed” or “as the situation arises.” A term I wish I had been cognizant of from the very first, when my diagnosis was initially confirmed. Why? Because it would have given me the ability to converse with some of the more… stubborn psychiatrists I’ve had the great displeasure of meeting with over the years, in a language which they would likely have better understood and respected. For reasons I will never understand, most of the old-school shrinks insist on treating any given diagnosis in the least imaginative way possible. Lithium has been proven to work for bipolar disorder, and so lithium they insist on prescribing until the patient’s dying day. No PRN option available here: it needs to be taken daily and on a regular schedule to ensure optimal blood levels (please note: other mood stabilizers are also frequently prescribed, but lithium seems to be on top of the list). For my part, it’s mostly been effective in preventing me from feeling energetic or excited about just about anything (other than shopping of course) and generally kept me on the low end of the mood spectrum, which is where most shrinks agree is the safest alternative when dealing with BPD. In other words: their main concern is preventing the manic “highs” which for medical reasons are deemed to be the most dangerous phase and which coincidentally are often the times when patients feel their best and in many cases, most creative. I’ve asked them over and over again: Please, I beg you, there must be something better out there for me? But they never budged, leaving me no choice but to stop the treatments in hopes that I’d somehow manage to overcome my chemical deficiencies through sheer willpower, something that hasn’t proved to be entirely feasible. Until now.

Of course, it’s much too early to tell yet, but thanks to Dr. F, who has listened to me with respect and open mind and agreed to try other courses of treatment, I’ve been completely lithium-free for almost two weeks now, and we’ve decided that (for now) instead of replacing said lithium with yet another mood stabilizer which would also require regular intake and the inevitable ensuing as-yet unknown side-effects, we’ll simply augment the dosage PRN of another mood stabilizer I’ve been taking all along in very small doses (to help control anxiety), but only if and when I feel myself getting a bit too high; i.e. three days or more of talking more than I want to, feeling no need for food and sleep, having grandiose plans and countless mind-blowing ideas (what some people might compare to a cocaine high) would be my signal to augment the dosage just enough to prevent me from flying too close to the sun and getting my wings burned yet again and again.

May just work. Then again, may not. But at least we’ll get to find out. PRN: Please Refrain from Nagging me (to take drugs that don’t make me feel good). Or better yet: Please Respect (my) Nature.

4 thoughts on “Pro Re Nata

  1. I sympathize with you. My daughter suffers from mental disorders and getting the meds right is difficult to say the least. She has to have help to sleep, help to wake up, and anti-anxiety meds PRN. Part of her problems are caused by a defective thyroid gland, so she has to have that regulated regularly, too. It sometimes hurts my mother's heart to watch her struggles. I'm glad they are making some progress for you and hope it works out well!!!!

  2. What a rare and fortunate find! A doctor who actually listens to you and works with you to give the best possible treatment for you. Regular GPs are just as bad and I have had such bad experiences of doctors who will not listen and think they know best. Just this week I had to go back to the doctors twice to get what I originally said I needed – all this while I was terribly ill with a chest infection and couldn't breathe with my asthma. They seem to forget that the person who's body (and mind) it is, often knows what is working best. In essence they ignore the feedback loop for generic knowledge and common practice. It's just plain lazy. I am so glad you have found one to work with you.By the way, thanks for the recent visit. Things have been a mixture of busyness, craziness and illness my end but I hope to gte back to more regular blogging again soon.

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