Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, September 29, 2007


1. I have a blog addiction. Not just my own, but others. I seem to especially choose blogs written by people who are around my age, professionals, with young children: the things I would have hoped to have in my life if I hadn’t gotten sick.

2. I go to therapy regularly and work hard, but I’m not an easy patient. Until this therapist I have never lasted more than 4 sessions with someone who tried to tell me what to do or gave me homework.

3. I have an incredibly strong sense of smell. When we were kids if one of my friends left socks at our house my mother would wash it and have me smell it; if it belonged to someone else I could pick up the other detergent. I love the smells of tomato plants, geraniums, and gasoline.

4. I am almost done Christmas shopping. It is not even October yet. (I do this for my own sanity, not because I support all the decorations that are already out in stores.)

5. When I was a little girl I was at a friend’s house and we tried to catch frogs. I was really into what I was doing, lost my balance, and fell into the frog pond. Her parents had to clean me up with a hose and send me home. It was one of the most embarrassing moments ever because everyone laughed at me. I think they assumed I did it intentionally.

6. I have never watched a basketball game although in high school I attended every home game for 3 years. I sold candy, and I was totally happy with that.

Friday, September 28, 2007

TMI--You've been warned

I can't believe I'm putting this on the internet, but I guess editing parts of the experience takes away from the honest look at bipolar I want. I have been frustrated many, many times when I've not been able to find anecdotal information about various side effects. Even lithium toxicity isn't described anywhere I ever found (as of several years ago) well enough that I knew when I had it.

The internet also provides my best chance of having someone tell me that my side effects are/are not normal or that they'll go away soon. Also, this is my record, the only place I have a day-to-day account of how this all progresses.

Anyway, this post is somewhat female based, so be ready. I'm having a problem with Seroquel. I think it's making my body believe I am pregnant (not a chance). I have some weird food issues, which is not a big deal. I get full quickly and nauseous if I eat one bite more. I am very opposed to certain foods. I'm very attracted to others. I'm gaining weight left and right, and am not sure where it's all going. But what really bugs me is the my breasts are getting larger and they HURT. Much more than PMS ever hurts. My nip**ples are so sensitive that my shirts can make them hurt.

I'm a bit freaked out by this. I'm not interested in larger breasts, and larger painful breasts really isn't up my alley.

I'd love to know that this goes away..........Anyone?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"BIG" problem (pun intended)

I put off Seroquel for a long time. When given choices I always put it just above Zyprexa and Clozaril, my last ditch choices. Clozaril is a last ditch for anyone. Zyprexa is a last ditch for me because of the risk of weight gain. I've already gained a lot of weight during this journey (on and off so many meds doesn't help) and years of drinking too much juice, etc. (I now like Splenda but aspartame makes me sick so diet stuff hasn't been a big option). I have a scary family history of diabetes and I imagine Zyprexa to be a golden ticket to insulin. Seroquel also causes weight gain and I have seen many people very sedated on it. So I really didn't want to take it.

This summer I already watched my weight sneak up. Not surprising I guess with a 33% increase in my depakote dose. I've tried to ignore it. But I had this weight that I DID NOT WANT to cross, EVER, and I crossed it. Risperdal put water weight on and I don't think that's all gone. But Seroquel is working its magic too.

And so now, I am really feeling fat. I have no pants except yoga pants (and tie scrubs, but I'm not wearing those anywhere for a while. Plus my scrub shirts don't fit). I've progressed to needing women's sizes, but I don't have the right frame for them and things don't fit well.

My hormones are also very messed up and angry and wreaking havoc in retaliation for the abuse. That doesn't help much.

When does it stop? I'm willing to accept weight gain because it is quite preferential to feeling like I have the last few weeks. But how much?

Also, how does one learn to adjust to looking totally different than you did? I haven't even figured this out for the weight I gained over the years, much less going back to work knowing I'm going to look much fatter than when I got sick.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not going to starve

I am trying to keep a handle on my energy output this mania, using it so I don't totally lose control, but not letting it escalate into dangerous or overly ambitious projects. I've somehow wound up doing a lot of canning/freezing food. Not really sure why, but it is soothing. Well, most of it has been. Yesterday and today I peeled and cored 20 lbs of apples for applesauce. I have no clue how but I managed to peel 3 of my fingers. One cut especially really stings. And I actually made so much apple puree that I'm stuck until I can get a larger pan. I hope my mom has one that will hold all my apples plus a whole lot of water. I can't easily divide it because my recipe is based on lbs of apples, not cups of puree. I could, I suppose, measure it all and attempt to find a ratio to calculate with, but that's a lot more work than the bigger pan idea. This is just going to be a ton of applesauce.

Little worried here because I'm not sleepy yet. I actually am pretty wired. Not a surprise, tonight will be the night I know if I need to increase my Seroquel dose again, but I just hate the feeling. I think I hate the suspense as much as anything. The psychologist says I'm impatient, but I'm not sure there is way to be impatient when you're talking about your life being on hold. I'm actually going to say right now what I fear: I am afraid this is going to drag on forever, that 2 weeks will be up on Saturday and I'm still having some significant issues. I know things will change as they need to and are supposed to change, and I know I can take sooooooooo much more medication, but I just miss feeling in control. Too much at once. I haven't talked about my meeting with voc. rehab this week, but it didn't leave me feeling any more hopeful than I already do.

Carbohydrates here I come. Let the magic sleepiness begin.

People are so weird

I was awakened this morning by the phone. Because it was a number I didn't know I didn't answer, but when the person started leaving a message for her son that sounded fairly important on my machine I picked up and told her it was a wrong number. She demanded, in a voice that sounded like I was lying and how dare I, to know who I was. I simply repeated "well, not your son, I'm sorry", and she banged her phone down in my ear.

I may be manic, but even I know not to go off on someone at the other end when I dial wrong...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I haven't said much about my nightmares. They are a huge part of why I am not sleeping well; I keep waking up screaming. I'm very upset by them, having trouble talking about them, and horrified that my mind is being so deviant. Bipolar started this way for me, except then there were apparent reasons for the nightmares that no longer are really prominent issues in my life. Nonetheless, the last few weeks have been constant screaming and waking up very upset, many times per night.

I had not even admitted to my psychologist that I was having them. I did that much at least this week. I just don't want to talk to him about things that might trigger actual feelings. For me, mania doesn't seem to have a lot of emotions involved. (Except anger). Depression is a swarm of emotions. Because I generally wind up mixed, I can be pretty sure that I'll combine agitation and emotions.

This time I've been very agitated but the emotions have stayed at bay. However, it's been because I've been forcing them to and not admitting that I have feelings. I finally realized this is because I am afraid to talk about anything that might let the depression do it's part because I'm scared that if I talk to the psychologist about feeling bad that I'll be out of work even longer than already scheduled. In my mind I know I may well be off longer, that going back too soon just means I'll be sick again faster. But my heart says NO.

Thursday I have to talk to the psychologist and get help with this part. This is where I am always amazed how hard it can be, even with years of practice.

Good news

I finally slept. I increased the med dose, so I won't know for several days if it really is enough or if it's just the initial hit plus finally getting tired enough, but the sleep felt so good. I hope tonight is as good.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A headline I did not need

So I am trying to recover from the last nightmare I had and waiting for my lunch to cook, and cruising through the news. It's now been a month since I have slept well and more than that since a nice solid night's sleep. I am tired. And out pops this headline: Lack of sleep may be deadly, research shows. I'm not about to read the article, everything else is coming out in my dreams and I've been through a painful bout of believing wakefulness would kill me before, but really? Did not need this.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another day down

This probably will be disconnected. My mind is running on several tracks at fast speeds tonight. My choice activity today didn't help much with slowing things. I've been doing a lot of canning; it has worked well until today but today was stressful and I'm all wound up again. I've so far canned 15 pints of green beans (about 12 lbs) and 27 pints of spaghetti sauce (30 lbs of tomatoes). I honestly think so much cutting has helped me handle the desire to hurt myself.

I have a few random questions. They have no relationship to anything, but again, my mind is working overtime.

-As a healthcare worker I can easily confirm the superstition about full moons being absolutely crazy. There are days I can tell the moon is full just by what is occurring around me. What I've never noticed is myself being more symptomatic at the full moon. I've also never paid a lot of attention to it. Has anyone noticed an effect on how you feel?

-I have never given out what state I live in. Some of you may know from sitemeter, but I now come up as United States after changing providers. I told one person, once. So how on earth do I get so many people from this state? It is probably the most popular, regardless of referral source (usually google or the like), or very close to it. Do we have a high proportion of bipolar here for some freak reason?

May be back later. Hope not. I am going to contact my doctor again, but tomorrow night I'm increasing the med unless told not to. I have to get more sleep and I wouldn't mind being about to be still for just a while.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

All I want is answers

I got a little better sleep last night. I had 2 4 hour chunks, which felt much better. Today I canned/froze 12 lbs of green beans. I just finished slicing and cutting out bad spots on 10 lbs of second tomatoes; I've got 10 more lbs to go when my hand uncramps. Tomorrow those will become spaghetti sauce.

I am frustrated because I feel like I'm not getting help. I don't know what I want from most people except my doctor and I realized why she hasn't been in touch so she gets until Tuesday before I'm really mad at her. My psychologist hasn't done anything wrong; I didn't even ask for an extra appointment which i could have done, so being angry with him is just me being mad.

I just want someone to tell me "this is how this goes away". I always get confused. I feel better if I stay busy, but what level is busy and what level is feeding the fire? Is it better to stay sedated during the day and not do anything at all but sit around and be miserable because I still can't sleep, or is it better to do things and know this risks increasing the agitation? What I'm doing now seems reasonable, but last year I was practically ready to pull down my whole house singlehandedly and argued vehemently that this was quite reasonable. All I know for sure is that this dose of Seroquel isn't the answer.

And unfortunately that tonight is one of my I really want to rip my hair out nights. Guess I'll be playing medication roulette...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Getting in touch with the farm girl

I have found something I can succeed at while dealing with this. I'm struggling because sleeping 2 hours and then up for 30-60 minutes leaves me quite tired, but not nearly as tired as you'd think. The mania erases some of it, and being off work and having less need for energy makes things tolerable. In fact, I feel sort of strange that I'm not working, even though I know I'd be a total wreck in 2 days if I tried.

I really need more seroquel at bedtime. Normally my doctor is ok with me increasing things, and I was given boundaries with this, but I was so manic they aren't clear and I think I'm supposed to take a daytime dose next, but that doesn't make sense when I can't sleep.

I tend to be pretty agitated in the time of night I should be sleepy. For a week or so I have been shredding the phone book to stay busy. I found something even better yesterday: snapping green beans. I'll have about 10 lbs or so done tomorrow and my mom is going to teach me to can. Not sure what comes after that, but the beans have been great the last few days.

Can't wait to see the psychologist because I need help sorting out what I feel. I keep starting to cry for no good reason, then I can't. I know this is a hallmark of a mixed episode for me and that anything strange right now may be related to not sleeping well.

But I also need to hear that there is truth my logical mind says, which is that I haven't sleep properly in a month and the majority of the sleep I get is in my morning nap and afternoon nap, and I am working very hard to be awake the rest of the (day) time so that I don't throw things off even worse, and that this is reason to not work. I'm struggling to trust myself that I truly cannot read a book and follow it, or to follow directions. I got lost in a town I know as well as my own tonight. Because I still have energy, because I am not crying even when I want to, it feels like I should try going back to work. I think that's partly me feeling like I need to shut up and accept that this may be as good as it gets, and although I will no longer believe every episode heals completely, I'm not about to give up this early.

I hate my psychiatrist's new practice. She went from her own practice to a huge teaching hospital. The new place has benefits, but times like this are really hard because I used to be able to count on fast responses when things were bad, and now I often feel like crap for several days waiting to hear from her. I don't handle this well because I never know when I should assume I've been forgotten (happens a good bit) or let it go longer. I'm afraid of her secretary so I only will use email to talk to her, and this week I've felt like I've waited and waited and waited, and not heard from approximately anyone, making not hearing from her worse.

I don't want to even think about my bedroom......

Thursday, September 20, 2007

who needs sleep anyway?

I got myself removed from the jury pool. Thanks be to God! Jury duty at this point in my life would be akin to torture. 10 solid days of torture.

I also have my disability papers and they are ready to go as soon as I find out my psychiatrist's address. I have her email memorized, I carry her fax and phone numbers, but the address I have is for the non-central clinic where I see her, not her real office. I'm just impressed because this is the fastest that the paperwork ever got to me. I may even get benefits on time this time instead of the horror that was last time.

I never got more than a few consequetive hours of sleep and the nightmares continued. Waiting to hear from the doctor. At least my thinking is much less out of control today.

Just so mixed up......

Houston, we have a problem

It is just after 6 AM. I took my meds at 9 PM. I was awake until 2:45. I've been up at least 3 times since then. Two of those times I woke up screaming after my brain came up with dreams I assume are a form of the psychosis my chemistry in my head is trying to fuel.

Also, my legs are swelling, something that is traditionally a bad sign. I have so very far to increase the dose, I'm trying not to panic, but this scares me.

Off to try to sleep yet again,
Just Me

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I'm feeling bad tonight. I'm going to take my meds and see if I sleep and if I can sleep through the night. I have been up 6 consecutive hours today and have showered and repaired my toilet, so I met my goals. I'm just more frustrated with reality. I think I'd hoped after I slept the first night or two that I would respond all the way on Seroquel, right at this nice low dose, and all would be well. Last night made that seem less likely. Today the manic stuff is stronger. I know this means nothing about the efficacy of the med, I'm only on 100 mgs, but I'm tired and cranky and desperately needing "real" sleep. So then it turns back into all sorts of negative thinking, and I just want to avoid that. I'm going to take meds and if they don't work properly I'll see if my therapist has any free time for me tomorrow, but if he doesn't it won't be until Monday.

Do the rest of you need to go through a "let it out" phase on the way down? That's where I am, I think. It seems like after I get particularly manic I always hit a place where I need to cry and let out a lot of the bad stuff. But letting go is always so hard...Yet even I can see I'm holding it together maybe a bit too well....

Getting old

One of the things that really hit me this time was that my ability to handle being manic is declining as time passes. I thought it was just less tolerance for the disease, meds, worsening of the symptoms, but then I realized something: I am getting older. We all know this disease worsens with age. I had never thought much about the disease and age interacting, but it makes sense. I am far more tired now as my body recovers from the episode than I would have been at 22. In fact at 21 I went a whole summer with almost no sleep. I was working very hard that summer, I was a camp counselor with special needs kids and doing an internship for college, but I was manic as could be and I truly don't remember ever really noticing not sleeping. A lot of college was the same way; I would have preferred sleeping, but I was ok. At 22 I went 3 weeks with a total of 4 hours of solid sleep and some shorter naps. Thanks a lot, Zoloft. (Looking back I see how naive I was; I didn't know yet that doctors don't know everything and that if something goes really wrong with a new med it is ok to stop taking it). There is absolutely no way I could do that now, no matter how manic. These last few weeks felt as if I would die and I was at least sleeping a couple hours a night.

I know I am well into my 30s now, and although most people still think I'm in my early 20s, people are starting to get closer to my real age because I act too mature to be in my early 20s. (I look young because I have a young face and curly hair and am short. I don't wear makeup which doesn't help me any). I know that I have grey hairs too numerous to just pull out now and that the number has increased slowly but steadily. I just didn't realize how aging affects energy, even when manic. Every day right now I'm partly tired from seroquel, but I'm also just amazingly tired from the abuse to my body from not sleeping.

Today I'm a little concerned about things because I didn't sleep well last night. I was awake every 90 min-2 hours and up for a while. That's not much better than before Seroquel, and the main difference in how tired I am is that all I have done was shower and make a grilled cheese (much less stressful than working) and I didn't get up until 2. Probably need a bigger dose; waiting for doctor approval. On the other hand, it's not manic rushing back because I could easily sleep right now. Trying not to, but it's hard because I sleep if I sit anywhere besides this upright chair.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


They were not kidding with the name of this drug. Everything that has been raging in me feels very muffled. It's weird in that I can still feel some of it, but it is so distant I couldn't really care less. However, at least so far it is not the same zombie feeling I had on Geodon, the only anti-psychotic I've tolerated enough to have a sense of what it might feel like.

I am sleeping enough that I just woke up on the couch and had to reorient myself totally. Everything blurs. It doesn't help that I still am too manic to watch TV much and far too sleepy to read, so there isn't much I do that doesn't turn into sleep in some way. For the moment I'm trying to shower routinely and do one functional thing per day. Today I made a huge pot of veggie soup. It turned out great. I'm excited about this because I wanted to make it based on a Weight Watchers recipe my mom uses, but I wanted a little more taste without adding calories. I did it. Only thing is that it tastes like it needs lima beans. Funny since I don't like lima beans. I guess I'm just used to them being in veggie soup.

Last night was a good experience. One of the major things we've worked on in therapy in the last 18 months has been my gaining the skills to monitor myself and to know when I needed help, when I needed to stop and get things together again, and to not pressure myself into being very ill before others decided I was done. I did all of these things this time. I'm pretty proud of myself. My therapist also made a big deal about it. Which I deserve; this was a very big change.

I also talked a lot about how much I have wanted to hurt myself some of these recent days. I struggle to do that. I manged though to get through "the questions" with honesty, and admit that after flushing a ton of pills I had not admitted to anyone, including myself, I had been hoarding for years, back in the spring, I am now more willing to be hospitalized. I understand more now how easily I can make the wrong split-second decision.

And now, well, I was up 20 minutes. I'm getting sleepy again and I keep writing this and not posting because I fall asleep, so let's get this up.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I am moving so slowly. I slept pretty well so now I just have to see if this dose will continue to be enough for me. I hate the feeling of changing so abruptly from flying to this puddle of a person, too tired to do anything but sleep and stare. So far today I ate lunch and took a shower so my psychologist doesn't see how icky I truly am at the moment.

On the other hand, the med is working. I would much, much rather be sleepy than manic. Last week scared me. I am very proud of myself because I did exactly what I'm supposed to do and assessed things exactly as I should have (forcing myself into working this week probably would have meant something not good because I was truly losing it) and hopefully all better will come much faster because of that.

At the same time I am trying to make myself be very aware that I have had so many crazy reactions and not reacting well at all that an initial response means nothing except that I got an initial response and the consequent break from the symptoms. Five days from now this may be doing nothing; my manias fight back and I think the whole mixed episode thing makes them harder to beat because whatever the doctor attacks the other side fights back. However, Seroquel is a new med for me, and one benefit is a huge variance in doses. The ability to range doses greatly is why Depakote works well for me. So hopefully we'll get there.

I'm off soon to buy some sweats and the like. I keep almost no casual clothing for any season around at home because I rarely use it. I don't feel like wearing jeans all day, so time to shop. I hope I find some good stuff; don't have the energy to look hard.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thus far

One Seroquel down. Thus far I have:
  • Learned I need a higher dose. I slept more soundly than I have been, but still woke at least once and had a very hard time drifting off. I tried a really low dose to start though so this is not a surprise.
  • Learned I am not deathly allergic. Always nice to know.
  • Awakened to a query from work: where's the eval you did yesterday? Unfortunately the answer was "in my head, I forgot to write it down", so I had to go up and write it out.
  • I had to get my mom to drive me because I'm so groggy. Hate that.
  • Work made me feel like screaming "I'm on leave, ask someone else". Not at the thing I didn't do or anything to do with my company, but because I was jumped on with questions as soon as I walked in the door.
  • Seroquel may possibily have some GI effects for me. Ick.
  • Decided playing with my blog's appearance is fun and I may use this as the thing to do throughout the next few weeks. I never knew how easy the template thing was.
  • Probably best of all, I am finally less agitated. So far the crying has not commenced either.

Welcome to my repainted home

I am feeling loopy but am awake when I should be sleeping. An ativan should do this nicely and this means tomorrow I'll double the Seroquel dose.

I found a new blog format. I have things I like and don't like and would love input. I want something that is very gentle on the senses because some sites are so overwhelming I can't read them, and this particular one now may be too bright. I just have to sleep. NOW. So it stays. But as I play please give me feedback. This isn't any fun alone! (And remember you people need to keep me not bored for a month or so....)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Phase two

Today I saw the psychiatrist. I'm sure that my plight was pretty clear just looking at me; I honestly can't remember when I showered last but have a bad feeling it was Thursday night. I know I looked rumply and tired and unhappy. I was in some of my fitful sleep when it was time to wake up and was behind this morning. Anyway, looking back she had quoted me last time with some words that show this was starting a month ago, which makes sense since it hit hard 10 days later.

I'm starting Seroquel tonight. I'm also on disability for a while, probably about a month. The length depends on how I tolerate Seroquel. Then there will probably be some rearranging of my other meds if tolerated.

I feel so much better because well, first because she didn't tell me to quit goofing off and I'd be ok. She gave me so much sympathy about how hard mixed states are, and how hard rapid cycling mixed states are. I needed so badly to hear that I'm being strong, because right now it feels more like I'm just losing my mind.

The super high part of this is ending and the crash is starting; that's good in many ways, but it is also not at all easy to endure. I'm so glad that now hopefully the worst of the crashing will be caused by the med and I'll sleep through it.

I'm also grateful because I got everything in place at work in only a few hours. I am not as concerned about being off now.

Also, I didn't understand that I couldn't change absolutely anything I wanted about the blogger templates with their new easy thing. I want something different but have no skills to make it happen. This isn't it. I am researching and will be doing something different soon I hope; so for now bear with me as it may be different frequently, depending on how sleepy I am.

Friday, September 14, 2007

And to add crap to crap

I made it through today. I can't focus and the agitation remains bad, but I knew I could do one day. And I did.

But guess what came in the mail? Jury duty! During the time I have scheduled to be on vacation in another state. A state which requires the use of the already purchased plane ticket to access.

I know I can medically get out of it, but one more hassle so not needed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

one more day

This is so hard. In some ways I feel like this is happening to someone else, because I still am having better awareness of the mania earlier than I usually do. I feel fairly sure nobody is going to get it why I'm off, assuming I go on disability after I see the doctor. I don't think there is much chance of that not happening, especially because of the latest symptoms. The hyperawareness of everything has been bad for a while. The last 2 days the visual sensitivity has kicked up and I'm noticeably jumping whenever people move in a way I don't anticipate or when anything is in my peripheral vision. But one reason I think I need to take time off work is that I am seeing things moving that don't exist and it makes driving not good. My driving is going downhill rapidly because my accuracy is also decreasing. Around here you have to be pretty wary at night because of deer, and I simply can't. I'm also afraid of passing, merging, etc.

I continue to want to do anything, anyway, that will MAKE.IT.STOP. I am kicking into self-protective mode time after time, but if things get much worse I am going to have to do my absolute least favorite thing in the world and go through the "does Just Me have to go to the hospital?" inquistion every time I see the psychologist. It's already started to an extent, but if I have to tell him how much of the time I'm fighting this I'm going to wind up having to talk to him about it. And for whatever reason, that's my my embarrassing topic. It's easier for me to talk to the male psychologist about my gynecological panic attacks than this. We did have a conversation about it when I was well that I hope will make me feel less threatened, but I just remember last year he was telling me I may need hospitalization and being so matter of fact. I was furious, and the madder I got the more firm he got. Ultimately I got out of it with a lot of promises and agreements to have others checking on me and stuff.

Partly this is hard because I'm aware I am very manic. I do not remember ever going to level from manic. Typically mania like this is the predecessor of a lot of badness. If it follows the usual I will eventually turn into a bad mixed episode, and then that will be another battle as I try to get through that without either overtreating my depression and causing mania or undertreating the depression.

And yes, I'm jumping the gun to think I'm going there, but I also know my body's routines. Cycling does get its name from a good source......

One more day and then I'll finally see the psychiatrist. She'll fix it all.......

Nothing pretty here

Today was a little more manageable. However, my mind is still going a million miles per hour and the only reason today was more manageable was that I had a lot on my plate that kept me from needing to be still. It was a fly through many evals day, which is the best thing for me on days when I'm flying because the interaction is automatic, the thinking is automatic for the most part, and there is less chance of the patient not cooperating or something requiring a lot of patience from me on day 1.

I got my meds changed to less antidepressant (scares me to death because that means essentially nothing will be there when this crashes, and all highs become lows in my history thus far) and no Risperdal because it wasn't working well and it WAS making me swell. Thing is I'm not sure about sleep. I think I'm going to throw in some Ativan.

The good news of the day is that I do have short term disability benefits right now. That is really, really good news. One less thing to worry about if needed.

I have yet another killer headache. Anyone ever had very high depakote levels and headaches? That seems like the logical source here, although certainly not the only possibility. I just know they really hurt. They are so weird because they will always be a specific area that includes the eye but they don't have a preference for either side like migraines do.

2 more days in the week.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Don't have a title

Today was slightly better, I guess. I got pretty angry with a deli worker over something that was store policy, not her fault. She was not being really nice, but I wasn't either.

I'm really, really wanting to do things that aren't good ideas. I just want to hit walls. I want to feel pain and let anger out. I bought a punchy thing last year, but it doesn't work very well. I am not a danger to myself, I can control this, I just want to feel something besides over-bottled anxiety. The worst I do to myself is that I seem to feel less pain when manic and do things like yesterday I squeezed my arm during my therapy session. By the end I had bruises I didn't feel. I also burned myself without feeling it one day.

Interestingly I also want a cigarette. This is pretty odd because I do not and NEVER HAVE smoked. Not even one drag. I have no clue what smoking feels like. But someone my body has decided it would help. I realize many to most mentally ill people self-medicate this way (trust me, my old job got pretty gross at times for non-smokers), but that my body would decide it's a good idea with no basis for the idea is bizarre.

I called to find out my disability options today and am waiting for a callback. I do not see myself being able to keep working much past this week unless something changes. This is, for various reasons, really crummy timing, but I need to not be trying to do a job and forgetting to do half of it. Seriously, today I forgot to treat one side of my patient until he reminded me. That is bad.

Probably be back in a few hours when I can't sleep. I know, negativity, but it's well earned these last few weeks.

Manic stupidity

Today was horrible. It wouldn't have been a good day at all, in any way, without mania to make it so hard to handle. As it was I was popping anxiety pills like candy and having no results.

My head is spinning. I'm not even going to really write tonight because of it. I also have a horrible headache (migrainesque, I suspect related to my depakote level and/or starting Risperdal) that won't stop which is killing me. I made everything worse by screwing up my med times. I usually go for about 9. I couldn't take them then because my head hurt to the point of nausea. I laid down close to 10 and laid still for a very, very long time. Leave it to me to drift off at 11:30, just as the pain started to ease. For me the mania goes and goes and goes until I crash and sleep a few hours or I crash into another mood level for a while; I think that was my crash. I woke up at 12:30, scared to death from a psychoticish dream, and took meds. That means tomorrow will probably be all screwy too. I'm wide awake now......

I feel like I was too manic to even benefit from the therapy appointment I had hoped would somehow "make it better". Either that or I wanted him to say I was ok and just hyping myself up for no reason. Instead we talked about how I might find a way to get time off soon. I have vacation in 4 weeks.

Sadly, I also have 4 weeks until I have FMLA or short-term disability has finished the pre-existing condition phase. Only 4 lonely weeks. This is especially bad because this is the 2nd job in a row that this has happened with; the other job I was 8 weeks from eligibility and by a miracle they decided to pay the benefits. But I was only off 6 weeks. Hopefully this time if it turns into a time won't be long, but the decision has been firmly made by me that I want to do whatever it takes the next time. My current company has been a bit less happy to put up with my differences, so I am not relying on help. They don't get bipolar and don't plan to try.

Anyway, I question my own abilities to write in sentences. Hopefully will have something happier tomorrow.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I just got home from spending time with my mom. I was glad to finally have time, although I got the time by being manic enough to override the effects of the Risperdal. That part is not so good.

It was sad though because we talked about something we frequently discuss these days: my future. She is very open to me living with her eventually, maybe sooner than eventually, and we'll share her aging and my needs. It is a good plan and I know how fortunate I am that I have a cushion.

But it's also so strange that she is planning remodeling all around how to give me space and privacy without destroying her home. I know she likes her independence, as I do mine, and it hurts that she is going to have to think of giving it up. It also makes me feel guilty that she's going to have to invest quite a bit of money in this.

There are a lot of other things that I hadn't considered as problems much, like I will stay there and someday she will be gone and I'll be there alone with hired assistance. But that means I'll take my siblings' inheritance. I already am afraid they'll get stuck with me, (and in our cases stuck is the right term), but I don't want to cause problems. There is truth that even now I am there for my mother much more than the siblings just out of distance, but that still leave a lot of room for hurting.

These are the kinds of things mania makes me worry about incessantly so I'll stop, but I do feel bad for other victims of this disease: our families.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Benefit from my grogginess

I've been reading blogs today. I don't have the focus to read my book (I'm going to have to start entirely over because I'm confused), and I'm sleepy but not sleeping finally. In fact, getting a bit worried about that part. But anyway, I was glad to follow some link because I found a page that's pretty interesting, Everyone Needs Therapy. It's written by a PhD social worker therapist. She has many interesting thoughts and stories, and one post is good enough to earn a link. It's about cognitive behavioral therapy. This is something that has been shown to actually work with bipolars, and I'm all for anything with that claim. Especially when it doesn't involve meds. The only problem is that I have struggled to "get it". It doesn't matter how much it is written out for me or that I'm given things to practice with, I seem to struggle to absorb it well enough to apply it after I leave the psychologist's office. This explanation got me closer to understanding, and maybe someday this will be workable for me. Anyway, check out this for specifics.

Anyone else?

I think I might be calming down. We'll see. I have actually been awake today instead of completely unconscious from the Risperdal. I haven't done much, which I'm taking as a good thing. I am still very aware of noise and very much preferring silence. Even my very quiet neighborhood is too loud.

I am in that weird place where I'm too sedated to do anything, yet not necessarily sleeping all the time. I've been thinking about many random things, but one of them is something that I think of from time to time. I had a physical done with a new doctor several years ago, and as he went through things he noted I was bipolar, then asked about my birthmark, which is large and in an unusual area. He was rather fascinated by the idea that I had two rare situations and whether there might be a link. Of course I had no idea. But what he doesn't know is that those aren't the only way my body has had significant little glitches. I have a weird eye (wall-eye, I think it would be called in the venacular). At least one of my knee had just enough of a deviation in how things were attached that a small injury destroyed it. Etc.

All of these things have been significant enough to need treatment or to be obviously visible. None of them are "normal". I realize that everyone has a variety of ways we're put together differently, and that assymetry is part of the human form, but I sometimes wonder if there is a link between all of these things and my ilness? Even further, if there's a link between the weird parts of my body, my illness, and my crazy med reactions.

Out of curiousity does anyone else have weirdnesses?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So tired

So, so tired. I have now had 2 doses, about to take the 3rd, of Risperdal. It is helping, but I am just exhausted. Today was also hot, which doesn't help much. I FINALLY have a 2 day weekend this week, and I am so ready.

It's weird to be manic and this tired. I'm very used to mixed episodes, but something in my meds works now so that those only happen when the predominant feature would like to be depression. This time I just want to be manic. Well, I don't want to, but it wants to be manic. The med is doing exactly what I want it to, but it certainly makes me sleepy. Sleeping through mania still seems weird, even though it's the point. I think I always forget this part.

I realized finally today why I have such a hard time with needing a lot more support from the psychologist than I should during and after episodes. I just did something for the first time that was really good; I looked ahead and saw what was happening and got help immediately. As this progresses I have the ability to look inside and be reasonably accurate about what is going on, but it becomes harder to make myself look long or hard because I don't like what I see. I also do not have a good ability (need to work on this) to do what the psychologist makes me do and break down different things to show exactly how I feel. So I guess that's my next path.

For now, I am going to cut everything I wanted to do tonight short and go to bed. I bet I don't read 15 pages.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thank God

The Risperdal last night seems to have helped. I woke up this morning groggy but somewhat less manic than I have been. I at least am willing to work; yesterday I wanted to never go back. I am calmer and less sensitive to noises today. Unfortunately I'm also dizzy; hopefully that wears off pretty soon.

I hope today goes better than yesterday...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Just another manic Tuesday

I'm staring at a bottle of Risperdal. In about 5 minutes some of it will be traveling through my system. It's odd to both be glad to have it (made it with a big 3 minutes to spare to the pharmacy thanks to shameless speeding) and dreading taking it. I am afraid of side effects, which haven't been pretty with this in the past (at 1 mg and I'm only taking .25). I'm not sure I remember if .25 works; what I do recall clearly is that I'll probably feel good just about the time the side effects start. Hopefully by then the entire episode will be chased off.

Today was hard enough I ran to the psychologist. Mania is so embarrassing in public. I'm cranky and tired and can't sit still and can't focus, and nobody really understands, and I'm certain to make at least one wrong move that I then am angry at myself for making. I have a feeling half the time others don't even see what I'm in anything like I think it, so then I later think I said something wrong when that's not how it really appeared. (Jon, I think you addressed this today).

Also, mania makes me bolder. (This will sound paranoid but it based on reality). If you are someone I work with and you've found me, please email me (masterofirony@roadrunner.com). I've had a few hits from a town of about 25 people that is just outside where I work, and it seems highly coincidental. I don't care, you're welcome here, I don't want to know what your interest in bipolar is, I just want to know who knows/if someone knows.

Off to take risperdal. And live in fear.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

And now I hate Mania

So I do dumb things when manic. Can't think + rapidity=stupidity. This one is a clincher though...

My house tends to heat up late in the day. I almost made it through today without air conditioning, but eventually realized I was just too hot and was going to make it worse by doing laundry. So I turned it on. Except I didn't look and I turned the HEAT on. I've been pouring sweat for an hour. Guess I now know why....

Stupid, stupid, stupid....

Drugged (and why I hate holidays)

I seem to at least have gained control of what is happening. I have been taking enough anxiety med to stay pretty sedated. When I'm awake I've got manic symptoms, but forced sleep is good because it protects me from doing things that just help make me more manic.

I still don't have risperdal. I don't know if it was called in yet. I was so groggy I didn't make it to "safe to drive" until the pharmacy's short hours were over, and it was about that point that I realized they won't be open tomorrow. So I guess drugged is the way it will be a few more days.

Nonetheles, better than out of control.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Yes, I'm manic. Nobody doubts this anymore. It took a double dose (allowed, of course) of my anti-anxiety med last night to go to sleep. I did eventually sleep. But it is definetely there. Noises are painful, the thoughts won't stop, etc.

The good thing is that so far I've done what I've spent the last year of therapy learning to do better, and everything is in place to get better. I've done the 2 things I'm supposed to do: react immediately and don't panic. I have a tendency to want to not admit a cycle has started until it is fairly severe because of intense fear that it will be the next bad one. I know in my head that I'll have more mild cycles, but they still frighten me.

I used to think I was reacting as fast as possible, but I wasn't. I was waiting for substantial symptoms. My general guideline is 2-3 days of insomnia=time to do something drastic but if I'm careful I can stop it sooner. I get that now. This particular time was really tricky to catch because it looked weird. I knew on Monday that I might well be starting to cycle. I would have been certain it was depression though because of all the sleeping.

I was also correct that my depakote level was high. This makes it official that 3000 mg is it for me probably, which was pretty much going to be true anyway because it's about the most sedation I can handle from one drug.

That leaves me even more glad to be reacting fast; we're going to try something different: a few days of Risperdal then stopping it. Risperdal makes me feel really good; it's a favorite med in fact. The problem is that if I take as little as 1 mg (not much) my blood pressure skyrockets and my feet and legs swell immensely. This is sad because it's likely it would make a large difference if I could take it routinely. So hopefully getting it in and out quickly will allow me to get better fast without having to buy new shoes. I hate the extra-wide width shoes that were the only ones to comfortably fit and which had enough support to make my 12 hours/day use bearable.

This leaves me with 2 things. One is that I wish I just had the capacity to tolerate atypicals. That would just be so much simpler; I'd take it constantly and hate it and never believe I'd wish for the ability to take it. (Isn't life funny?) The second is that this is going to require me to trust my doctor very, very much. Trust is not my best feature even when I'm not feeling paranoid.

So we'll see what happens. I think I wanted to say more, but writing is hard when I'm manic, the big old dose of sedation I took a while ago is kicking in, and I'm afraid this makes no sense.

More later. Hopefully not tonight though!