So I’m coming off of Lamictal. I’ve been taking it for my seizure disorder, but it is causing me to have suicidal ideation and horrific depressed feelings, just like last time I took it, back in 2009.
This means I have to call Dr. R, my epileptologist, and see about getting on either a different seizure med for pregnancy or we might try a very low dose of Topamax, since it’s the only seizure med that seems to have any real efficacy for my seizures.
For those of you who are concerned about birth defects and whatnot with Topamax and our baby – we are being as careful as we can be, which is why we were trying to switch to Lamictal to begin with. The sorts of birth defects that are common with epilepsy medicines, like cleft palate, are usually 1% without seizure meds and are about 3% with seizure meds. Taking high amounts of folic acid and keeping up the Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet are supposed to help.
Right now, I’m trying my best not to feel disheartened and worried about what it takes to carry a child. I’ve already come down 20 mg of Cymbalta (from 90 mg to 70), and that’s a good start. I come down another 10 mg next week. I’m moving down 10 mg a month so that it doesn’t hurt too badly… which is why I’ll be down to no Cymbalta by February. Then comes the Nortriptyline, 10 mg a month, done in April, and I ought to be good to go, assuming that during that time, I’m also coming off of Topamax by a goodly amount. The less of the drug that is in my system, the better.
I haven’t written for the last couple of days because I have felt like there wasn’t really anything to say that was worth writing down. One moment, I’m okay, and the next moment, I’m in tears. Being on steroids for the MS relapse I’m having doesn’t help the mood swings one bit.
When I write on this blog, it’s my goal to share useful information that will somehow help people.
I don’t know if hearing about my struggles with medication help or not, but at least the people who care about me the most will know exactly what’s going on.
I crumpled down in a dark closet today, just like I used to when I was obsessed with killing myself, thinking that I am unworthy of carrying life, today, and that there is no way that I’ll be able to be a mother. It was when I mindfully realized that I was repeating that hateful, self-hate-filled pattern that I was able to let Adam in and we talked about how the steroids and Lamictal were affecting me.
If I hadn’t started meditating again, I might have thought that these emotions were real and that I really wanted to die again – like when I had been hospitalized, but I am happy overall. I love my life. I love my husband, and I want to expand our family. I am simply emotionally exhausted from the pain of MS (which is getting better thanks to the medrol pack that I’m on), the unexpected nature of the seizures that I have, and the isolation that I throw myself into when I think that I’m not performing up to the standards that I set for myself — especially when I set those standards arbitrarily and high.
I have an appointment tomorrow with my MS neurologist, Dr. J, and I’m hoping he’ll agree with me and Adam on our choice to take Lamictal out of the routine. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t.
I’ve also realized that my life seems kind of lame, in that “She just does housework” kind of way — but I am still practicing instruments and songwriting, and that’s not lame at all.
Making a career is just not at the forefront of my mind because my immediate health is sort of right in my face — and what I really want out of life is to be a good mother, and to teach my children, and to love my home and my husband and my family as best as I am able… I just want to be healthy and effective at bringing happiness to those I love. So right now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom with no children. I’m working on making the babies and getting better at life skills – some of which I’ve got down, and some of which, I need practice with.
At the end of the day, my life is totally focused on feeling better, making food, making house, making music, and making babies. And I know, without a doubt, that’s worth living for.
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You are a wonderful friend, Amy. Thank you so much for your thoughts!
I was told I had MS at 16 year old , a year and half later I had my first grand mal siezure. I am now 34 and had lot of ups and downs threw the years.
I was on Lamictal for about 7 years, I did not have depression when I was on it. but it did not control my siezures very well I even had an VNS implant put in March of 2005,four months after my first son was born. That did not seem help either. In 2009 I went off of Lamictal and got on Keppra. My doctor told me either it works for people or it does not and it worked for me. Keppra was my miracle drug, it has almost been three years since I have had grand mal . this will be the longest I have ever gone without having seizures since I started having them. I hope you get your family you are hoping for.
I tried Keppra when I first started having seizures, and unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. Topamax has been great — the only problem is that it’s no good for pregnancy. Otherwise, I would just stay on it!
Thanks for sharing, Jen! 🙂 I’m so happy for you that it’s been 3 years since a seizure! That gives me great hope.