Friday, 4 May 2012

Why I'm Turning Into A Woman

I THINK I KNOW WHY I am turning into a woman now. At least on one side of my chest. RISPERIDONE the antipsychotic I took on-off for nearly a year DOES cause "gynecomastia" in men and boys!

I was getting money out of the cash point at 1am last night when I heard a woman's voice yelling "that dog looks like a donkey!" It was a friend of mine. Drunk out of her head. Wanting a can of dogfood for a man she later claimed was trying to sleaze her up. She was so out of it in MY corner shop ~ picking up jars of peas, slurring on about pet food which it eventually transpired they don't sell (they don't sell breakfast cereal either) and I could tell if we didn't leave quick we were going to get chucked out. So we had to go a few shops down for Pedigree Chum and then the giant dog was too nervous to touch it! She has liver cirrhosis so bad it looks like she's pregnant. And she told me the symptoms of that were real heavy sweats (which I get, but blamed on my methadone wearing off too quickly because methadone does cure them; then again opiates cure a multitude of symptoms (not just pain) so that doesn't necessarily mean anything... also episodic extreme fatigue (yes) ~ but then again I got diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome 16 years ago and I always assumed it was just that. I'm hep C negative. Yes I did used to drink enough to get memory black outs. But that was years ago. I still drink. I was drinking yesterday and the alcohol was making me feel ill. My tolerance for it seemed to have fallen (which is a sign of liver disease). When I knocked it back I felt really high ~ more like a drugs high than a feeling you'd expect from drink... followed by horrible dehydration. And I had to knock back double the volume of water compared to cyder and even then I didn't feel 100%. Ukh. What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm totally off the drink today, by the way.

 We went back to her flat and she had a really good grope of my tit and kept comparing it to hers. It doesn't even look like a woman's breast, not even one that would score 1/10 in terms of size. I pressed down her fingers and said "feel it. There's something else there." And she said "It's not a lump. It feels like a bit of gristle." And that is exactly how it feels. The word "cyst" means "bladder" (hence cystitis). There's nothing round and bladder-like about this and no way is that "normal" breast tissue.

I just looked up symptoms of alcoholic liver disease and though they do point out how nonspecific they can be, I get a lot of them. Including this weird nausea-like feeling. No jaundice though. If they think they're giving me a torturous liver biopsy without general anaesthesia... well I'm 50:50. Would I even bother having one? Bearing in mind they insert a terrifying knitting needle length contraption that tears out a chunk of liver. It's like the device they use for testing cheese, but in miniature. Liver biopsies REALLY HURT. Another friend of mine had one and now has to go for another. And she says this time they've promised her general anaesthetic. Though everything this person says has to be taken with a pinch of salt. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of treatment for alcoholic liver problems anyhow. Which is even less reason to bother with a biopsy.

Another reason I didn't think I had anything wrong with me for weeks, despite what I now see as "symptoms" was that the nasty drug quetiapine (Seroquel) made me ill all the time. And as y'all know I'm prone to depression. In certain "episodes" I get quite a strong feeling of malaise. For lack of any specific symptoms I told myself it was all in my head. As for quetiapine: the first week on that coincided with flu-type symptoms and heavy sweats. Weeks later I was still getting excessive drowsiness, faintness, dots in front of the eyes (like when migraine is coming on) and the type of brain fog associated with hepatitis C and CFS/ME. Then I found out that of all things the athelete's foot spray I was applying every day was messing up metabolism of the Seroquel. When I stopped that I felt better ~ but not completely well. The same symptoms persisted. Just to a lower degree. I need to find some mental treatment that works, surely. One day I might really need it. I've met loads of people on olanzopine (Zyprexa) and they don't seem to moan about side-effects.  Another possible route for the mental health is mood stabilizers. But lithium, the commonest one, sounds horrible. Anyway it's not good for rapid cycling and a lot of my "episodes" are pretty short. I just get lots of them close together, without necessarily any period of truly "normal" mood in between. A lot of people on mood stabilizers say that even if they do flatten out the mood completely (rather than just reducing the amplitude of the manic-depressive cycles) they tend to leave them feeling slightly depressed all the time. Well that's bloody wonderful.

Anyway what am I talking about here? I've been posting for too long. Anna Grace if you're reading this, change your comments setting. You got zero comments last time because your old blog is set to "team members only". Whoever your "team members" are, I'm not one of them. And why, Anna did you say you were in Hawaii a few weeks ago. And now you're telling us you've been in Wisconsin the whole time?

Anyway I've got to go. If your weekend can't be great then may it be tolerable :-)


bugerlugs63 said...

Do you think you might feel crap because you were getting money out of the cash machine at 1am?
For what it's worth, I think you would need to get off all of the medS (legal and illegal) then give yourself six months to stabilize, before you would know what your true symptoms or moods are.
Just doing one bag of gear and then none the next day, or booze, then no booze, (anti-pschos/no anti-psychos) is enough to make you feel like shit with sweats etc.
I've had a few cysts over the years, none have been round and smooth and "Normal" breast tissue can sometimes be quite hard and lumpy depending on hormone levels.
You're jumping the gun again onto liver biopsies . . .and how painful they are.
I know it's hard to not dwell on these things, but it won't help one bit. I sound like a stuck record but I believe you would benefit from focusing on something outside of yourself . . . the books? Anything.
I thought the photo of Anna was a blonde Dawn French.
Have a good weekend Gledwood, I do actually believe that if you gave yourself a chance, you could be healthy in body and mind. Really yes.
with love x

bugerlugs63 said...

ps . . . having just read your comment at Lou's, I realise my above comment will sound very much like that of an "idiot, inexperienced, patronising, drug worker"
But I do have a bit of experience . . . and you'll never know if this crap that so many people suggest would work . . . until you try it. Really try it.
I know you'll say you have tried it, But inside, do you believe you have?

Akelamalu said...

You're never going to be totally well after all the abuse you've put your body through are you Gleds? On drugs and drink one day and not the next isn't going to make you feel any better either. You need to really make up your mind what you want to do honey. x

Gledwood said...

BUGGERLUGS: My friend actually HAD the 2nd biopsy and said it was different and way less painful than the first.

I'm scared of going without any antipsycho pills after the severe mood episode got so intense it was like my mind getting blown apart. If I ever get severely racing thoughts I need SOMETHING that can calm me down. Just something that won't make me grow tits!!!

As for the drugs: bored of 'em anyway...

AKELAMALU: what you say is very commonsensical. I am smiling inanely. And a bit guiltily...