Financial help for Transgender Bipolar 1 Wife and I

Financial help for Transgender Bipolar 1 Wife and I

From Steve Zoeller

Wife was convinced by new internet friends to get off her medications that help her bipolar 1, causing the worst manic and depression phase she’s ever had to deal with. We just need help.

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Wife was convinced by new internet friends to get off her medications that help her bipolar 1, causing the worst manic and depression phase she’s ever had to deal with. We just need help.

My name is Steve and I'm asking for help for my wife, Sammy.

Sammy was diagnosed with bipolar depression 1, PTSD and a few other mental health issues back in 2018. She always knew she had these things due to genetics and past trauma, but was never able to get the help she needed due to the general price of mental health in the states. Finally, a few scares later and her family finally getting insurance she was able to see doctors and get medicated for the help she needed. But, that was just the start of the battle. For the next little while doctors tested various medications with her to see what would work for her, the two medications that finally worked was latuda and lamotrigine, they started her on lower doses until they found a right MG amount that worked best for her.

For the next couple of years up until early 2021 she lived with her parents in the states and was generally in an okay place, her manic phases and depression phases would sometimes randomly pop up due to her medications running out and CVS never having her medicine when she needed it, but those phases were generally treatable and went away in not even a couple of weeks after getting her meds again, she would always be aware that she was either in a manic or depression phase, which helped a lot for her when they hit because she could understand sometimes the things she was seeing or the feeling she felt weren’t reality.

Now that the backstory is slightly said, it brings us to July 2021. Back in January of 2021 we both decided it would make the most sense for her to move to Canada and live with me and have her sign up for a permanent residency, I was working at the time and finding an apartment was fairly easy, I also have a car and other items that would be a lot harder to move to the states than what she has, but the general reason was moving to the states would have just been more difficult and even possibly impossible due to her not being able to support me financially, she was in school and definitely wouldn’t be able to get a job that would pay the requirement for my stay and her caretaking me.

Of course moving to a country when you already have a pretty good medical wall in the country you used to reside in would always be a hard decision, but thankfully Canada is pretty good in terms of medical and mental health, so her fear was quickly squashed when she was able to see a doctor, give them her medical files and get the medications she’s used to, problem is we didn’t have private insurance at the time, we don’t actually have private insurance until august 1st, so the bills started ramping up. Her latuda, lamotrigine, adhd meds, and a few other meds were pretty high in terms of price, comparing to what she’d normally need to pay the states. Now, in a precovid world she could have just flown down to the states when she was close to running out of meds, stay down with her parents for a week then come back up with a three month supply of all her meds, but because Covid is a thing, travelling isn’t the safest bet and we didn’t know if she would always be able to come back, it’s also not normally recommended to leave Canada once you send in your PR application as you can sometimes have issues coming back into the country, or possibly miss any important dates to meet with a government doctor and any government officials she possibly would need to see.

Now at the time it wasn’t the largest deal, I worked a pretty okay job full time and was able to get us by, paying all our bills, rent, any food, and her medications. We didn’t have a whole lot to spare by the end of the month but we knew it was only temporary due to her insurance kicking in eventually.

Sadly this is where it took a different turn I don’t think anyone was expecting. In the third week of June I started noticing some patterns of a manic phase and depression phase start to hit her, I wasn’t totally alarmed at the time as stated before she was pretty good about handling them in the past and they would go away after a couple of weeks or even a week, she would focus on school 24/7 or a video game or really anything that peaked her interest until the phases ended, which at least made me know she’s safe because she never threatened to hurt herself. So I was expecting it to go away pretty soon, or at least have the symptoms get better each day. That didn’t happen, they got worse. Worse to a point where she was in constant fear of her life and my life. It turns out she was convinced by a few internet friends she met recently were trying to convince her to get off her meds, “if you get off them you’ll be happier, you’ll be able to show the love to your husband that he truly deserves” this of course was a form of gaslighting and an abuse tactic by her now ex-friends. If you know anything about bipolar you can’t just stop your meds cold turkey, you may be able to reduce your dosage with medical supervision but generally you’re on those meds for the rest of your life’s. She’s always feared she can’t show true love to me, but she makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. She told her now ex-friends with full confidence that nothing negative would come out of it, but they were able to convince her things would be better getting off them. I only found out around day 8 that she was off all her bipolar medications after getting it out of her, at first I was upset at her, but later my anger was towards her ex-friends as they knew what it would cause when she stopped them cold turkey.

After learning that she was off of them for so long I decided to take a leave from work, as for the first time since I knew her she said to me on various occasions that life would be better if she was dead. The depression phase took a new, yet scary turn. I started to make sure she was taking her meds, giving it to her during dinner time since that’s when latuda is generally most effective, after that I was hoping I’d see some progress after a week like normal, even talking to a few doctors and friends that know more about bipolar than me. Yet, it didn’t. It progressively got worse. She started having these fears that people were after her, some days it was her own friends, some days it was the FBI, some days it was the government, she couldn’t go outside anymore due to that fear, and when she did just to go for walks she thought everyone was an “actor” out to get her, to hurt her. It came to a now turning point when she started to point the finger at me, that I never loved her, that I was an actor sent by someone to bait her into loving me, it was hard to hear but I didn’t take it personal as I knew that wasn’t the real “Sammy” it was a fraud. But I also knew something was wrong, as these meds always worked for her so why didn’t it work now? Well, she was convinced by a few people on Reddit that she should break her latuda in half, now if you know anything about latuda you’re never supposed to break it in half, or else it just won’t work, it becomes useless. She of course knew that when she was mentally sane, but when you’re manic and depressed you don’t truly know what you’re doing. You can’t tell from reality and fiction.

When I figured this out, I had to give her three options moving forward, she takes her meds, while eating dinner, isn’t allowed to go to the bathroom for 45 minutes (sounds harsh but I did it to know she wasn’t purging) after taking them and doesn’t randomly leave the house. Option two would be the hospital route, if she didn’t believe in herself to take her medications and get better she’d need to willingly submit herself to a hospital so they could make sure she’s taking them, scary but it’s less scary when you remember she talked about wanting to die and kill herself a few times already. Third option would be going to the hospital with police assistance, I never expected and still don’t expect to have to use this option but I needed to bring it to her attention to let her know I wasn’t joking around and that I couldn’t and wouldn’t enable her behaviour of not having her try and get better.

Now this leads into why I’m starting this post. As stated before I had to take a leave from work, something I figured would last a week now turned into almost a month, which is almost a month of not making any money at all, while still needing to pay all expenses and her medicine too, with now needing to pay for a psychiatrist and therapist without insurance for the time being, as I’m sure you can imagine that isn’t a pleasant bill to see. So I started needing to use my credit cards to pay for things, which normally I hate doing but this is an emergency, I’ve dug myself into a fairly large hole but I know with time I can get myself out of it, it’s my responsibility as her husband to take care of her when these things happen, I knew that getting into a relationship with her. Adding to even more issues in my personal life with my family and my own medical expenses it’s all been a large bill that sees no end in sight. I can’t confidently go back to work until I know the worst part of this manic depression phase is over, and sadly I don’t have the luxury of being able to work from home. So why not bring her to a hospital? That way I could work and know she’s being taken care of? Well, that would probably have been the plan if she was Canadian, had her PR, or had her workers permit by now as then she could get under my Alberta Health, since she doesn’t have any of that, the hospital bill would be way larger than the bills I’m currently dealing with.

I don’t normally like asking for help, hell I don’t like asking for anything even a pair of socks. With my PTSD whenever I was given something as a kid it always came back to me in a negative way, people using their “kindness” to get things from me. That put a practical mental block on my brain that I’m still dealing with even today with my therapist, so it comes with great shame and fear but I need help. I can’t risk having her get off her meds again, nor can I risk her not seeing a therapist, and I definitely can’t risk losing the place we’re staying at. We’ve both worked so hard to finally achieve our dream of living our life together and I’m slowly seeing it start to drift apart due to this, and it crushes me on a daily basis. So with this, I’m asking for any help.

Thank you if you got this far.

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