So, there are only 2 things that I’ve always struggled with, my mind and my body. Weight has always been a struggle to keep in check, for both mental and physical reasons. When I was finally correctly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 (rapid cycling) back in 2005 I started taking all sorts of drugs. My brain began to slowly stabilize but my body grew. Since I was taking a complex cocktail it was hard to pinpoint the source of the accelerated weight gain. That plus the unhealthy 100% travel lifestyle I was living at the time made it even harder to figure out. Even though I stabilized mentally, I was never happy with the drugs I was on. I always felt foggy and underwater and I knew they were contributing at some level to the weight. Years later they also started to eat through my stomach so I decided a medical overhaul was due. I took a bit of a sabbatical from the drugs, let my insides heal, and moved on to a new job, a new city, and a new psychiatrist. She was convinced that Depakote was *the* drug for me….the best for rapid cycling. When I began taking it I felt great, as if my brain was working properly for the first time ever. I was no longer under water or foggy. The thing was, the weight gain was insane. When I finally bothered to look it up (I know, I should have done that first) I realized that of all these drugs, Depakote was the most notorious of them all. Most of the bloggers I have read have tried and abandoned it for that reason.
I had a hard, unfair decision to make. Do I choose a healthy mind or a healthy body? So for the past year I chose my mind. It’s been a great year professionally but my body reached that tipping point, more like a domino effect, where I was in serious danger. My liver blood work was dangerously bad which can ironically be caused by either or both obesity and Depakote. I won’t list the trail of ailments that have plagued me the last year but let’s just say when I flipped the coin on mind vs body I may have made the wrong call. I have to do something fast. So, I’m having surgery next month…a sleeve gastrectomy (for weight loss) ,gall bladder removal (already have a huge stone and the majority of the people who have the sleeve end up losing the gall bladder anyway later on). They will also biopsy a lesion on my liver (likely unrelated but they’re right there so why not go for the organ trifecta?)
I’m hoping with this quick weight loss I will undo some of the damage I have done to my body recently. I don’t know if the Depakote will hinder my progress and whether or not it’s the culprit on my liver enzymes. I’ve dragged my feet on a drug change since my brain is so highly functioning right now but I guess a badass brain doesn’t do you much good if you are dead.
My point being, should we have to choose between mind and body? It hardly seems a fair choice, I mean, we kinda need both. Maybe I’ll get lucky post surgery and everything will fall into place. If not, I guess I will have to find a part of me to compromise….literally and figuratively. I wonder, given that choice, what the correct mind/body ratio is. Sort of makes you think. With me luck on Feb 11!