What I need: meds and sleep

My poor husband. Being married to someone who has Bipolar Disorder has got to be a teeny bit nerve-wracking at times.

Take last week for instance. I contracted Baby Girl’s lovely stomach bug and on Wednesday night (really, the wee hours of Thursday morning) was up puking my guts out from 1am until 4am. It was horrendous. I swore up and down that I don’t think I want to have another baby because throwing up is the most awful thing in the world and I know I’d have morning sickness if we decided to go for #3.

The next morning I tried my hardest to get the kids up for Mom’s Morning Out but I could barely walk ten feet without my head spinning. My husband had a 9am meeting that he HAD to be at, so I decided that I’d just keep the kids home and would let them watch TV all day until he could come home early in the afternoon.

And then I remembered my wonderful Mother-in-law. She’s retired and she loves the kids and they adore her. I called and she said she would of course come over to watch them so that I could catch up on my sleep.

I couldn’t even make the kids breakfast. My husband gave Mister Man a bowl of cereal and Baby Girl a sippy cup of milk and he was out the door. They were distracted with the TV until my Mother-in-law arrived and I crawled back in to bed. I didn’t even come out until almost 2pm.

By then I only had a few hours until my husband would get home. I hadn’t been able to eat anything, but was able to drink apple juice on ice. It tasted like pure heaven but it was bad news for my blood sugar. My husband got home around 4:30pm and I went straight back to bed. He made me a piece of toast and I was able to keep it down, but my body still ached from the heaving the night before and then there were the chills. I couldn’t get warm despite two layers of clothes, socks, and a fuzzy bathrobe. Under covers. Eventually I fell asleep again.

I woke up at 9:30pm and picked up my phone next to me in bed to text my husband so he would check on me. He came up and when I was so delirious in the way I was asking him to get my phone charger, he started to get concerned.

Not about the stomach bug I had. He was concerned that I may be manic. I could hear it in his voice.

He tried to force me to take my Lithium, but I refused. I got angry. I called him names for trying to force me.

I realized I had forgotten to call his mom back about the next day and whether she should come help me again, so he offered to call her. He’d stay home with me and the kids.

When he came back up with another piece of toast for me, I took a bite and apologized for my rant. I was just so afraid of the medication making me throw up again like I had the night before. I promised to take it the following night. I know how much I need it.

Just not when my stomach is rejecting anything that goes into it.


Sleep is my #1 trigger. I know this after years of managing my illness. As much of a night owl that I am, I cannot pull all-nighters like I did in college anymore. I can’t even take care of multiple newborn feeding shifts (lucky for me). Because of this, I do everything I can to protect my sleep. If I don’t, my health is at risk. Same thing with taking my medication. I may just need a small amount of Lithium every night, but if I go a week without it, I am most-likely going to become manic.

I don’t blame my husband for trying to get me to take my medication and for worrying that I could have been becoming manic. He is just doing his job of looking out for my well-being and our family’s well-being. I am very thankful that he realized that my irrational behavior was due to my frustration in him not being able to find my cell phone charger and also my haywire blood sugar levels from surviving on nothing but apple juice and a piece of toast all day. He is a wonderful, loving partner and father to our kids who has done a tremendous job of helping me to manage my illness.

Within a few days my sleep was back to normal and my stomach is almost back to normal. I was only off my medication for one night do to this nasty stomach bug (which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, btw). This week I am preparing for Daylight savings by going to bed a little earlier each night starting tomorrow. The following weekend (St. Patty’s weekend!) I am heading to a memoir writer’s retreat in Seattle and this will be a bit of a challenge for me, sleep-wise. But I am well-prepared and I have my trusty sleep-aid to use since the time change will definitely disrupt my sleep. When I get home on the 18th I’ll have a good week of work to do on my sleep to get back on schedule, but I know I will be okay.

I am a fighter. I monitor my sleep and take my medication because it is my responsibility to my self, my spouse and my family.

And it’s getting to be past my bedtime, so I need to wrap this post up so that I can log some quality ZZZZ’s.


  1. Your medication argument mirrors exactly what my husband and I go through when I’m sick (physically or otherwise). It’s nice to know we aren’t alone in this.

  2. Glad you are feeling better! Stomach flu is the worst, we all had it in a one week period during Valentine’s Day and it was enough to make me feel like a zombie the following week

  3. Judy Fryer says:

    So sorry you have had to go through this nasty bug….sickness is the worst but then having to consider meds and sleep and children and and and and , makes it ten times harder but you did it and you have a plan to keep yourself healthy…….excellent job! Hugs.

  4. I always forget about the most basic self-care need: sleep. I manage my anxiety so much better when I am well rested. Thank you for this post. I needed that reminder.

    • Jen, I know what you mean. I think as mom’s we naturally just push our need for sleep to the side, putting off things for ourselves until after the kids are asleep. But we really need to invest in our sleep because it keeps us healthy.

  5. I haven’t slept good in days. I knew that this storm was brewing weeks ago. I’m ready to blow through my walls a la Road Runner style.
    Sleep is so so very important and I’m glad that your husband knows your triggers. That is so helpful because sometimes we need reminding :)

    • Kim!! So great to hear from you!! Yes, I definitely need reminding sometimes. I took a nap this afternoon for 20 minutes and then was late on my work conf call, but it was sooo worth it. I hope you can get some good sleep in. It does wonders for us, doesn’t it? Missed you, my friend. xoxo

  6. Sleep is such a huge trigger for me too. I even try to get a nap in during the day during my kids nap times. I cling hard to my sleep just like you, man things have changed so much

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