Talked to my Pdoc this week and he suggested that I get my tubes tied, I'm 32 and already have a 9 year old. Has this come up with anyone else? The prime concern is with my meds, I can't for no reason get off them and if I do I can be a danger to myself and my son...
Not a Personal Choice, I've always wanted more babies. This was a highly adamant suggestion by my Pdoc... I can see were he is coming from but the thought of it almost seems like a violation.. I'm on Lithium,Abilfiy,Remeron,Xanax, and Congetin, I know this isn't good for unborns and I also know that coming off the meds is NOT good for me... I don't know what to do and at the same time I know what needs to be done, if that makes sense.
I'm horrrified, as is often the case, at the way in which some of these doctors deliver life-shattering news in the cavalier way the rest of us ask someone if they would like a cup of tea.
Number one - there are plenty of methods of contraception available that are very reliable and easily reversible - there is no reason for you to take permanent measures at any stage of your life, regardless of your own health.
Number two - if I remember rightly from your previous posts, you have only recently been diagnosed? Forgive me if I have that wrong, but if that's the case, you are still in the early stages of coming to terms with your illness and figuring out/deciding on the right way for YOU TO DEAL WITH THIS ILLNESS AND LIVE YOUR LIFE - how you do this is your personal decision and has nothing to do with anyone else.
Number three - as is always the case with bi-polar, you will be told different things by different docs. I was told by one psychiatrist that I would be on meds for life, could never have children and would never work again. I was told by another psychiatrist (who, when I look back now, may have been bi-polar herself - she was so understanding and empathatic that I wonder if she had first hand experience) that, although difficult to manage, it was possible to have more children and control the illness, although that would mean coming off all meds for a time during conception and early pregnancy.
Number four - my advice to you is not to make any big decisions for at least a year - give yourself time to adjust and learn about your illness and your life as it is now. Research self-management and complementary treatments - nutritional advice and supplements, homeopathy, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, herbalism and so on. Look for info from people who have had children with bi-polar - remember, we had kids before we were diagnosed, not before we were ill! We managed it then, without support? Why when there's a name for it can you suddenly not have children? I don't believe for a second that there is only one way of managing bi-polar - everyone is different and everyone has their own life to lead. Please don't do anything drastic until you are absolutely sure in your heart that you have looked at it from every angle and you are doing what is right for you. Even if you do decide you aren't going to have more children Dee-Nah, you don't need your tubes tying - there are plenty of other reliable methods.
I get really angry with this kind of 'oh, you have bi-polar, you can't be responsible for contraception/your love life/your major decisions any more. People with cancer refuse treatment in order to prevent harming their unborn babies, yet us with BP have to have our decisions made for us? How is that fair?
I am not saying which decision is the right one to make, that's for you to decide on, but please bear in mind that a doctor is just a doctor - these people aren't God and he/she is just doing a job like anybody else. This is your life - don't let anybody else make these massive decisions for you.
Lots of love - from an irate BP sufferer who also happens to be a bloody good mum!! xx
Picali, thanks for your reply. I have tried every birth control you could think of and they worked against me (put me in a mania mood, because of the horomones). I'm looking into a IUD that way I still have my options open more so then getting my tubes tied. I've never even gave this a thought so when it was presented to me I was taking back bit. I talked to my family about this and they seem to think this is a good idea, they are on his side for my own safetly but I also know they will support me with any decision I make.
Your right about one thing, when you are newly diagnosed every suggestion seems so extreme. I do get overwhelmed with what I can and cannot do anymore, even with my medication. I take 9 pills a day and soon to be 10 since my lithium levels are affecting my thyroid.
There are undeniable links between post partum and epic mania's / depressions for those of us with BP.
If we stay on the meds during the pregnancy we risk the health of the baby cleft palate etc which can mean many many operations and disfigurment for life - plus the chance of a child inheriting BP themselves is 1 in 7....
If you already have a child (as I do pre diagnosis) you risk being extremely ill post partum because you came off your meds thus potentially unintentionaly damaging or leaving a lasting bad memory for your existing child of your condition. Plus your partner can literally be left 'holding the baby' while you get stabilised again and how long does that take...? So providing I guess you have a loyal and large support network (other family) just in case why not?
It's crap, but those are some of the facts of it..
I chose not to risk it again which I am a little sad about, my husband had the snip instead! Why should I endure more crap I said!!!!!!
TBH, I am a good mum, I definitely have my moments of being bad mum when I'm not medicated enough or some external stressor hits (like my dads suicide) but if I had more than 1 child (I do have 3 at the w/ends) I'm not sure how well I would really cope. I find the w ends pretty difficult although it does upset the general routine I guess.