Monday, January 05, 2009


It appears that I won't be able to participate in any medication trials while I'm up here. The parameters are too rigid. Yesterday, I talked about the possibility to being switched to another medication trial, that of Riluzole. Today at rounds the team I and discussed this in detail. To wit, the doctors are hesitant to involve me in the Riluzole profile for two reasons.

a) Doing so would require me to be taken off of Lithium, which as a mood regulator is the only reason I didn't get psychotic, manic, or severely depressed all of last week when I was severely sleep deprived. Furthermore, lithium was difficult to adjust to taking in the first place, and getting back on it after the profile was finished would be an additional hassle.

b) The Riluzole study is 50% active and 50% placebo. This means that one hardly gets any kind of sustained relief from the trial medication, since there's a 1 in 2 chance at all times that one could be receiving only placebo and not an active agent. To sleep, I'd be administered Ativan, which is a benzo I have abused before and one which like every other benzo I've taken that I would quickly develop a tolerance to, rendering the net result negligible and forcing me to have to go through withdrawal symptoms to get completely off of it later.

There are no easy answers when you have a chronic health condition.

I'll be up here for another two months, at minimum. There are other options: genetic profiles, brain scans, and assorted other tests. I intend to pursue these to the fullest. It does bums me out considerably that I won't be able to explore new medication options while I'm up here, but I'll be completely honest---none of the trials in which I was to participate seemed to promise much for me. Depression and mania are underlying issues to my severe generalized anxiety disorder, which has rendered me unable to sustain lasting employment or function in the outside world for more than fleeting periods of time.


Gail said...

sometimes a cliche' fits - "when one door closes another opens"

Love Gail

Utah Savage said...

I would be having all the same problems, were I in your circumstances. It is a razor's edge we walk. A dangerous high wire act. And those who would help us often seem disinterested in our history, our knowledge of our own tolerances and the fact that we don't all react the same way everyone else does to certain drugs.

For instance, my normal temperature is 89.7 or there abouts, so 98.6 is a fever for me. But when I'm sick and I get my temperature taken and it's 99.4, I have a fever over 100. But is never considered to be of concern. They rarely believe what we know about ourselves. I have been seeing the same group of professionals, and they tend to take my passion for politics as a "problem." This in itself, is political. If I'm not passionate and excited about something in the politics of my world, I'm depressed.