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

Friday, January 30, 2009

What a week

I have had quite the adventure. This has been quite a bad winter for snow, and this week, like much of the US?some segment? was horrid.

I was trapped at work for 2 nights. 2 nights in motels. One of the days I had a suitcase for. The other I had to go to Walmart to buy anything that might do. With money I don't have right now.

And the trip home 2 days after the storm started was still tricky. And another one is coming.

I am so thrilled...

Monday, January 26, 2009

How stupid can she be?

I take high doses of Depakote and Seroquel at night. I also take imipramine, which I think is sedating but which doesn't phase me. To counteract the sedation in the morning I take Provigil.

I used to get my meds through mail order, so all the bottles are identical. And Seroquel and Provigil are the same size and shape, just slightly different colors (Provigil is white, Seroquel the palest yellow).

So last night I made a "tiny" error. I've been awake since my nap Sunday afternoon.

This is one for the record books.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You won't believe this comment

Not a blog comment. That occurred to me after I wrote it. I've totally avoided negative comments. Thank God.

Working in healthcare, people sometimes tend to make light of disabilities, illnesses, differences. I do it, I don't know anyone who doesn't. However, sometimes the comments can be very cruel or insensitive to the fact that just because you work in healthcare you are not exempt from these circumstances.

I've had it happen the most back when I worked in psych. Everyone assumed that there was no chance that a staff member was every bit as mentally ill as the patients. And back then I was. Once a nurse was trying to impress me by making a big deal that he was giving Geodon to someone and it "could start their heart right away. Like that. Side effect". All I could think was "been there, done that, extrapyramidal syndrome last month". I also had the very funny experience once of having a patient who was extremely agitated. She'd been sent to us after months in a psych ward where she just beat on people. After a while I started noticing she seemed to have light sensitivity. Suddenly I remembered my eyes hurting all the time on Geodon. A well-placed suggestion to a nurse friend who I told to take the credit for a sudden "memory" and within weeks she was off Geodon and a different person.

But today takes the cake. There is an aide who from what I can see is a very nice person, does a good job, but is a bit mentally slower. Probably she had significant learning disabilities, she moves slowly, that kind of thing. Personally I don't care. I care if I see them treating the patients well and doing what needs done in a reasonable time frame. So anyway, she somehow irritated the other aide who complained to the nurse. The nurse came in the nurses' station where I was working and told me something that stunned me to the point I didn't even remember the actual words. Essentially it was "the reason to hire the handicapped is so you can laugh at them" with a giggle. I was so horrified my jaw dropped open. Usually I am very careful to not react but that one really, really offended me to my core. Which I figure is ok because it was so offensive that if I hadn't been a contract employee with nowhere to complain I would have gone to a supervisor. I still may see if anything can be done.

I only wish that it would serve a good purpose to talk about my Seroquel dosage......

Handicapped indeed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I don't believe it

So as of January 5th we were finally fully staffed in my department. As of last week I started getting to do the job I am really there to do.

One of my assistants was an "as-needed" employee with a 32 hour committment; she was not contracted in any way but was counted on as part of the full-time team. She quit without notice.

Therefore my life goes back to doing more work. I don't know how much yet, I think it will be more like it was a month ago (not terrible) than before that, but today was AWFUL and I'll probably not be blogging as much for a bit.

Too much stress.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy 3s

Today is the birthday of both myself and this blog.  We are 33 and 3 respectively.
All I can say is that I realized that that something profound has happened.  When this started it was a story of stuggling to survive with unmanageable illness.  The whole point was that I wanted people to know you could be severely mentally ill and make it. Iwound up getting a whole lot worse than I thought possible, but eventually it got so incredibly much better.  Now it's the story of living a life that is an unexpected gift after a miracle.  That will always be how I see the combined effect of both acquiring the right team of doctors, plus Seroquel XR.  I still have severe bipolar disorder and always will, and I still suppose I could get sick again (and I still react with terror and a great need for Dr. Mind if I start to), but it is no longer a constant illness. 
I'm in a brand new place right now; I have just been realizing that a long time ago I was sorting out issues from a disturbing childhood and then I got sick and "regular life" no longer mattered.  Now it is time to go back and start again trying to hit that elusive point I was at 11 years ago. 
A happy day indeed.

Join me

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I wish it would melt. In my driving adventures I get to see lots of the climate of this state and I was shocked that I have 4 inches of snow, 2 of them acquired early this morning. 30 miles south has about half that. 30 miles further has a dusting, and work has zilch. My drive was treacherous yet again. The stress is not good. But it's supposed to be cold and snowy and then VERY cold, so I'd say this is here to stay a bit.

As for melding, my old world and my new world have decided to come together in an awkward way. I am limited in what I'll say here, but let's just say in 2 ways it's pretty likely someone is going to here some not good stuff about me from someone from the job that hated me. So tomorrow I get to talk to my supervisor about why I am not comfortable treating this patient and warning her about potential rumors. I hate it. I liked it when there wasn't much risk of someone hearing bad rumors about me. I don't care if they hear things that are true, but I care about the lies.

I'm now waiting for my pajamas, which I stupidly threw in the laundry this morning (all of them) to dry so I can go to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a big ball of fun.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I hate that old song about "manic Mondays". I don't really like anything where manic is a descriptor of something other than illness. Somehow it takes away from how truly horrible mania feels to have it be a word in regular language. I don't know why; I'm allowed to be irrational sometimes. I think.

Today was supposed to be better. I woke better and got in my light time, something I've not been great at lately. The drive was bad though; very icy and slippery. Then I got stressed about something at work; essentially someone decided to try to get me in trouble. I could easily prove I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm mad. It's part of being a supervisor, I know this, people watch and sometimes resent. And what they decided I was doing wrong was really my saying something that was in a supervisory context taken out of that. My anger is just that I'm insulted that someone might even think I'd take advantage of someone else in order to not do my job. I work HARD. Just because I start late doesn't mean I don't. I don't get why someone starting really early is a hard worker, but I'm lazy for starting late. Or because I only work 32 hours but don't have kids. It's fine to be low-hour fulltime if you've got kids. If it's for personal reasons it's not ok and that's very unfair.

And I also had the frightening bank balance staring at me today of : $0.00..... I don't get paid until Friday. I have around $100 of change that I'll cash in tomorrow morning, but basically since that will be too little actually spend I'm living on about $11. I think. Good thing I drink water and got my meds refilled.....I'll have to charge Dr. Mind. Ick.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I am a tea drinker. One of the things that has been hard in the last 18 months since I gave up caffeine cold turkey (I think that's one of my proudest things I've ever done) has been that tea changed. Decaffeinated teas aren't always my favorites. I like some herbal teas but not all. My favorite teas had caffeine. I also had to give up tea in most restaurants.

I found today (and I'm sure this has been around and I've been missing it) decaf vanilla chai. Wonderfulness in a cup.

So much happier...


I've officially been back to work for one year. After being so sick that's a BIG deal, especially since there wasn't even a time we thought of me needing to not work this year.


(Also, feeling somewhat better and a lot more in control of everything.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ladies only post

After some of what I've said on this blog I'm really not embarrassed by much. Especially this time of year when I know I'm not going to greet a bunch of college students with it. But if you're uncomfortable with feminine issues, run. On the other hand, part of this is hilarious.

First, the serious: thanks for the support about the menstrual issues. As I've made it a few days through my cycle I've learned hey, I'm not depressed. I've not cried in a few days. Some of that is the whole thing with not cutting down sessions with Dr. Mind, but a lot of it is that my hormones are calming down.

Truthfully I just don't know how to handle this kind of thing. When I was on the pill before it was because I was just a bit more irritable with my period and we were eliminating all factors possible (I was newly diagnosed). I was not feeling like I was cycling for a week before my period as I do now. I was not having significant pain from cramps, which has happened every month since the summer. I've had weird periods in recent months, lasting longer than they should. And although I've had for years occasional menstrual migraines, now I can count on them near my period, sometimes for 2 weeks before. Which doesn't work. And the treatment for menstrual migraines? Depakote. So I really shouldn't have them.

I assume my hormones are changing for some reason. Probably it's my age. I had 20 years of really easy periods so now it's payback time? Who knows. What I do know is that this can't continue. I'm researching the continual pill Emilijia referred to and hoping Dr. Brain has wonderful strategies, and is willing to jump in and help with my (has never met me) gynecologist. She always helps, so that will be ok, and Dr. Body will also support me if needed.

So the funny: because the cramps were so bad yesterday I decided to try one of those theracare patches. I'd never used one before so I was reading the directions. It said WARNING: To prevent fire, follow directions exactly. Apparently using this product somehow could lead to fire. It doesn't say how, so I'm thinking it's the ultimate treatment for cramps: burn your uterus out.
Made me laugh. A lot.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


I've rested a lot today. In fact after this I'm going back to bed.

Yesterday I saw Dr. Mind. He helped me gain a lot of perspective that was greatly needed. I have a right to feel sad, I'm mourning my cat. It's a big loss for me, and how he died was traumatic. I've not been using my light much. I've not been seeing Dr. Mind as routinely as previously, and had been planning to cut my visits. We decided that I'm not there yet. The more I think about this, the more I realize I really am not ready. I need a place to talk and I need the perspective he helps with. Dealing with people can be so hard for me because I don't know how to interpret interactions, and I think I still need to have help. I don't have normal social interactions and I need someone just to talk about what is going on. I wish I were really ready to move on, but I'm not. Once he said something implyinig part of this I realized how very stressed I've been about the reduction.

Another thing that came up with Dr. Mind was that I'm not eating well. This happens when i'm depressed and it's not good for anything. Once I started paying attention I'm eating extremely poorly and very little of most of it. I'll make something then pick at it. Unacceptable. So now I'm trying to eat and to get more protein.

I also have had several emails from Dr. Body. My depakote levels were high, even for me (mine are usually maintained at a high level) and the only other time I had them this high I didn't feel good. So we backed that down a bit too. I'm allowed to increase my AD reluctantly, but am trying to hold off.

I also (this is girly so be forewarned) realized that part of my problem is my menstrual cycle. It's causing significant cycling lately along with migraines that do not help my mood one iota. I was supposed to go to the gynecologist this week but I'm cancelling that so I can talk to Dr. Mind first, then collaborate with her. I've tried the pill before but threw up a lot from it so I'm not sure what will happen, but for whatever reason this is a new factor in the illness for me. Even the last few days I've started feeling a bit better just because of hormones.

So I'm hoping that a few changes will make a big difference.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Rock. Hard Place.

I'm depressed. I've know this was happening, but I'm feeling worse every day. I only want to sleep. I cry frequently. I'm frustrated with everything. I miss my cat.

I got labs today to see if my med levels are to blame. Hopefully that's all it is.

I think I need more antidepressant, but my doctor isn't going to want me to increase. I've never handled more than I'm taking now without getting manic, and she thinks a side effect of it is why I keep getting UTIs. So I don't know what happens, because I also cannot tolerate any more of my mood stabilizers. I'm struggling with making it to work now because it is so far. I think my days of driving so far are going to self-limit. That's the first time I've admitted that, but I think it's true. Great. 3 jobs in a year. There's a great resume....