Tuesday, April 30, 2013


So last Thursday (five days ago) I had this thing done to my eyes called CXL because I had a bad thing happening to my eyes (details at the links).  Before the procedure, they gave me three prescription eye drops to get and after the procedure was finished, I started using them.  They said one was a steroid but I didn't think anything about it.  They indicated the steroid was important (more about that later).  So I dutifully instilled all three eye drops four times a day.

Friday I started feeling a little . . . off.  Irritable, mostly.  But I was also tired from not being able to sleep in a motel bed so I wrote it off as being extra tired.

Saturday I was feeling really pissy.  I was down on everything ("everything about my life sucks") except when I was feeling angry and irritated.  The slightest frustration would set me off angrily.

About early afternoon Saturday I was looking at my eye drops and started wondering exactly what they were.  One was an anti-biotic that I used when I did LASIK seven years ago so I knew what that was.  But the other two were mysteries.  So I googled the name of one of them.  Now, this was simply curiosity, I hadn't made any connection between my feelings/behavior and the eye drops.  The first one I googled seemed innocuous (so much so I don't remember a thing about it now).  Then I looked at the second one.  The name of the drug was Prednisolone acetate.  I thought "That looks an awful lot like Prednisone."

Some history: I'm bi-polar (also known as manic-depressive).  I'm mildly bi-polar and was usually down unless I had a manic episode when I would be either really too happy or (more common with me) too angry.  I also didn't deal well with frustration and was the road rage king.  But I got on some meds and now my bi-polar is well controlled.

Before I knew I was bi-polar, a doctor put me on Prednisone for arthritis pain.  Oh, it killed the pain but what I remember most about that was driving 90 mph and wondering why I was going so damn slow.  What I didn't realize was Prednisone makes me cycle.  That is, I'd go waaaay up then waaaay down.

So I googled Prednisolone acetate and learned (from Wikipedia): "It is the active metabolite of the drug prednisone."  Oh, lovely, I thought.

Suddenly it all made sense.  But, since they had told me the steroid was important (my corneas could "cloud over" without it) I kept taking it.  I explained to my family what was going on so they would know.  Even so I snapped at my youngest son when he teased me a little.  At Starbucks a man was taking what to me seemed too long and I could feel the anger building.  Driving to Starbucks I got behind a couple of slow moving cars.  Now normally I'd say, "Well, the stop sign is coming up soon and maybe they'll turn or I can pass them after the stop sign if they go straight" but that day I HAD TO GET AROUND THEM.  So I did.

I also noticed that I wanted to drive fast.  Normal speeds seemed way too slow and when I'd accelerate, such as pulling onto the interstate, I couldn't judge my speed.  I'd be doing 85 when I thought I was doing closer to 70.

I went back to the doctor yesterday (had to drive to Spokane) and explained the situation.  He gave me a prescription for a different steroid which, it is hoped, I won't have a bad reaction to.  And so far, I haven't.  I'm feeling nice and evened out and mellow.

It was interesting to feel my bi-polar again.  I hated some of it (the downs, the anger) but the happy ups were fun.  I've been told that some people stop taking their meds because "being manic is fun."

At least I didn't buy a car during a manic stage.

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