Adventures in Seroquel Tapering for the Groggy Blogger and more…


T.G.I.M.? Thank God  it’s Monday?  I think not!  Mondays are usually the toughest day of the week for me, but maybe this one will be different.  At least I don’t have to rush the kids to school, and that’s a big plus for this groggy blogger.  More on my grogginess follows in this post; oh yes, it’s a primary theme, although get ready – other topics will be discussed and an exam given at the end. 😉

I’m thankful to have a more leisurely pace in our household this week.  There was a steady buzz of frenetic activity over the past five days.  Between having my two young girls out of school, hosting family from out-of-town, and adjusting to our super-energetic puppy’s needs, last week was challenging and at times even heartbreaking.  One day was plain-old-Nightmare On Elm Street Part VI, but blogging about that awful day really helped me.  After I received wonderful comments of support in this blog, I was able to move on with my day better than I would have done in the past.

Now, as I type this post, there is a beautiful sort of quiet in the room.  I hear the sounds of cars and motorcycles off in the distance, for we live directly above a scenic mountain highway, but at this point the traffic sounds akin to a rushing stream.  For the next hour it’s just me and Lucy puppy, who is nibbling contentedly on a puppy chew.  My husband took the girls to swim at the community pool, and I’m so, so grateful to have this solitude.

Most of us bloggers need to have quiet time away from other noisy humans – you don’t realize how vital this alone time is until it’s gone!  If I want to write anything except maybe a grocery list, I must have quiet.  I wish with all my heart that I could be like the author Madeleine L’Engle, who was able to write well with all kinds of distractions.  She wrote backstage on Broadway when she worked as a character actress, she scribbled on trains, journaled in hotel lobbies, etc. Unfortunately, I can’t write if my two kids are around unless I have headphones on, and that usually hasn’t worked out for me.

Along the lines of writing and solitude, a few minutes ago I watched an interesting, brief YouTube video of the writer John Irving.  I’ve never read his work, but I’ve heard about this famous writer for many years.  The video is called “How to Tell if You’re A Writer”, and Irving validated certain points for me regarding writing in general.  It was an inspiring minute & twenty seconds, and it’s definitely worth the time to watch if you’re a writer!

Meanwhile, in exciting medication management news, last night I dropped down from 100mg/night to 50 mg of Seroquel (quetiapine).  Seroquel has been a godsend to me.  When I had a terrible, bizarre type of agitated insomnia last fall, my psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel.  I was completely skeptical that it would help me, but I was desperate to get some sleep.  Not to sound like a drama queen, but from past experience I knew if I didn’t sleep, I’d wind up back in the hospital.  So I started taking the Seroquel and I was profoundly relieved to find that it worked very well.  The only side effect that has bugged me is mild-to-moderate daytime grogginess until noon or so.

I’ve been meaning to drop from 100mg to 50 mg of Seroquel for literally months now.  My psychiatrist was totally on board with my decision.  However, I procrastinated tapering because I felt paranoid that changing my dose would throw off the wonderful, antidepressant effect of the lithium and Parnate (MAOI) I’ve been taking since last fall.  I voiced my concern with my psychiatrist and he told me that it was highly unlikely that my reducing Seroquel would bring on depression. I trust this man literally with my life, so I decided to go for it.

The 50% reduction has worked well so far; I slept well last night, but it has been less than twenty-four hours since I changed my dose! Only time will tell if this adjustment is effective for me in the long run.  My fingers and toes and eyeballs are crossed that it works just fine.

One good omen is that today I only had one cup of coffee instead of my usual three (sometimes even more – yes, I admit it!) hefty-sized mugs.  I’ve been drinking all this coffee because I love the taste, but also the large amount of caffeine has cut my grogginess down a bit. What amazes me is that I didn’t even realize that I drank 2/3 less of my usual amount of coffee until just now, 2:30 p.m., so that’s an encouraging sign!

The past week has been different for me in other ways in terms of my daily routine.  I’ve cut down my Facebook notifications & “following” option (which I still don’t totally understand, I’m embarrassed to tell you!) Lately I’ve only wished to keep track of the doings and likings etc. of people I’m actively involved with.  I’ve reduced my Twitter surfing too.   (Did you know that you can “mute” people on Twitter?  If you don’t, write me a comment and I’ll explain it! 😉  Or someone else can explain it…and I bet they’ll do a better job of it.)

Changing my social media habits frees up more time for me to be with my family, read other blogs, read books, write, and play with Lucy Puppy. And, ahem, to watch my trashy television shows.  I don’t want to stop being on social media – no way! I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again –  I’ve been using Facebook & Twitter too much.  It’s going to take me all summer to figure out a happier medium between online fun, mundane real-life responsibilities, and real-life fun!  At least I have hope I can work out a better balance of virtual and real-life activity.

Finally, I can’t thank you enough for reading this blog.  It’s a joy to know that I have loyal readers who I consider to be kindred spirits. The other day I hopped on another blogger’s post and I noticed there were 162 comments made within a day.  At first my heart sank, and I seethed in emerald green jealousy.  But then I realized that if I was that mega-blogger, there would be no way I could ever reply to all those comments.  Moreover, I probably wouldn’t read them all unless I was on speed or something, and the lovely give & take between blogger and followers would be non-existent.  At least for me.

At any rate my point is I’m glad for your comments, and I read every one.  Sometimes I take more time than I’d like to reply to you, but I promise I will.  I love having you, my followers, and I wish each of you a fulfilling blogging experience and a great day –  you deserve it!

All my best to you!