Not sure what to do about my meds


My connection to get the drugs that I take for bipolar is drying up and I'm not entirely sure what to do now.

I started going to CUHCC (Community University Heath Care Center) back when I was doing mplsbikelove and had virtually no income at all.  They treated me under some grant so the office visits were paid for and gave me my meds by giving me samples from the pharmaceutical companies.  The companies give out tons of samples to try and get people to take their meds, the doctors just gave me enough to keep my prescription actually filled.  I don't know if they are supposed to do that but it's kind of common from what I understand for lower income people.

Now that I'm working and have health insurance I'm still going to the same place and still getting samples.  I have a high deductible plan so it's all out of pocket for the meds for the first 3K every year.  My meds are 325-350 dollars a month for the one for bipolar, I don't know how much for the one for ADHD.  I simply don't have that kind of money so there's no way that I can afford to actually get a prescription.

I went to the clinic to pick up new meds this Friday and found out that they were nearly out of the one that I take for bipolar.  They gave me a prescription but I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to keep filling it.  I can fill it up this time because I have a little money saved up but it cuts into funds for a much needed new home computer because my home desktop is starting to show it's age. 

I did a little more research into it and found out what is happening.  The drug is actually going generic in April so the reps aren't sending out samples of it anymore because it's on the way out as a high priced medication.  You'd think this would be good but it will take time for the market to actually bring the price down from competition and other people making variants.  So I have a year or more before it's actually affordable.

I'm not entirely sure what to do.  I brought it up in Icarus yesterday and the meeting kind of took a turn towards meds and when to take them and when to not take them and different ways to keep yourself level and out of depression by use of herbs and supplements and diet changes and other behavior modifications.  It was good stuff to know, and most of the people there were supportive of going off of medications as an option, that's one of the great things about Icarus I guess.  I was also happy to note that two of the men in the group actually talked about being in open relationships, there are other people there that feel similarly about what they are looking for in a relationship and that's a good thing.

I guess I shouldn't say that I can't afford it.  I think I could afford it if I were to make the change to completely quit smoking pot.  I'm not entirely sure that I can do that.  I'm not sure which one contributes more to me being stable and 'sane' or which one helps me cope with reality the most.  Is it the weed or the magic pills from the pharmaceutical company?  I really can't say for sure.  I think the weed does more to helping me manage my depression by offering me a distraction from it.  I could be wrong.  Maybe it's not even that much of a distraction.  I'm going to have to make a decision one way or the other very soon I think, or figure out where to get an extra 300 some dollars a month.  I'm not entirely sure that I can face the emptiness of the nights and weekends without something to take the edge of and mellow me out, I have the feeling my brain will go to bad places without the weed.  It's really my last vice of any kind to help me deal with reality, there's no more drinking, there's no more cigarettes.  Really I should probably work on developing better coping mechanisms but I've never really been the best at that.

So that's where I'm at this weekend. In kind of a funk because of the meds situation and a few other things.  Trying to get some work done on the files that S has sent me to get Attributes Slider ready for the marketplace and a theme ready to release as well.  I didn't get much done yesterday at all, and today obviously I'm avoiding it, blogging instead of working.  I went out to the bike polo fundraiser last night and watched the Coldsprints.  That was fun, I think it might have been the first time I've seen it go with pretty much zero technical difficulties.  I won a gift certificate to Smitten Kitten and some lube and a "Big Sexy" zine in the raffle.  That's cool, now if only I was dating someone to make better use of the prizes.  I was out way past my normal bedtime which threw my schedule off, I didn't even make it out of bed until noon today. 

I guess that's about it that's new.  Mostly just trying to figure out what to do about the medication situation.  I do consider both of them medication, I use them both as medication.  Then again, I used to use alcohol as medication too.  It's weird I guess, not a lot of people would probably understand it.  Or maybe more people do than I'd think.  It's hard to say.  For me it does seem like a pretty big decision and both options seem about equal to me in some ways, not the same at all in others.  I have no idea what my friends would do in my situation, I don't think many of the people I know would end up in the same place actually. 

I do feel like I could handle being off the psych meds fairly well.  A lot of the things that used to get to me have gone away now, but then again that could only be because I'm on the pills.  I'm not sure.  I know my anxiety and panic attacks which were a big part of why I originally wanted some help have nearly gone away completely.  I think those I managed to learn some good coping mechanisms and proved some things to myself that made them non-issues.  I still go through some bouts of pretty deep depression but I think I've kind of proved to myself there's no point in dwelling on the main thing that makes me depressed, it's just going to be a part of my life and there's nothing at all I can do about it.  That's going to be there if I have pills or not.  And who knows, maybe something will change and bring me out of the negative cycles I get into there.

Having the Icarus project available does make me feel like going off the meds would be OK.  I don't think that I'd do it if I didn't have that support network.  That's something I never really had before, it could go a long way to keeping me from getting as deep into the depressions as I might go otherwise.