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, July 31, 2009

Feeling better

The combination of knowing I have work and the increased antidepressant starting to help made this a decent day. I'm excited about my new job. I think this is a good change without totally changing everything about work. I didn't want to do that, but I did want a degree of change.

There are so many good things about this job. It is a TON more money. I'm going to be able to get out of debt and hopefully save up a down payment for a new car. I have to get a new car before too much longer; mine has 152,000 miles on it. So far it doesn't show any signs of wearing out, but it also won't last forever. It has downsides, like I don't get paid vacation, but I also really need to commit to a year of working hard at this rate and try to fix the financial situation I've been in after spending 9 months in 2 years on disability. It's a good chance to try out some different things, and I can even try different practice areas if I want to. On the other hand, trying to learn to save money so I can have a week off from time to time will be challenging. For now I'm going to keep remembering I've had what will be 3 weeks off now, so further time off can just wait. The other tough thing is a really high productivity requirement. We'll see how that works as we go.

Regardless, I'm excited. Whatever happens it can't wind up more painful than my last job. I'm wondering if I will EVER get over being mad at them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I interviewed for a job as a traveling therapist today. That means I will work on a 13 week contract, then will work on a new contract, maybe in the same place or maybe elsewhere. This has the option to turn permanent.

I'm very, very excited. I have a lot of paperwork and stuff to get done, then I'll start in about a week.

The only bad part was that I tripped on the elevator and sprained my ankle. Talk about embarrassing moments. It hurt so much and I tried so hard to not show it. It's ok, but it still hurts.

I had my physical done today. I couldn't pee for the urine test. They made me drink a ton of water and pace around for a while. It was not pleasant because it wasn't that I didn't have to pee, I just couldn't do it with someone standing outside listening.

Then I saw Dr. Mind and notified him of how this is all his fault. He suggested I terminate him. It appears he doesn't take me seriously. :)

The last stop was the eye doctor. I actually don't have to get new glasses. They fixed the ones I have so they fit and I didn't have much change, so I get to wait a year. This never happens to me.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better today. Just tired. But that's the stress going away I think. Well, that and I've been up since 5 and didn't get home until 5:30 pm. Hopefully tomorrow is even better. My antidepressant increase should be kicking in by tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Big Day

Tomorrow I have an interview for the traveling position. I was told it would be a phone interview, but they want to meet me, and really that's better anyway. I like seeing where I am going to be. The interview is at 8, so I have to leave pretty early. That's ok though, not like I'm sleeping anyway. Then I'll probably get my physical done at urgent care. I'll kill some time after that somehow, then I see Dr. Mind. After that is over I drive down to home and have an eye doctor appt. in the evening. It will be a busy day, but busy is good. Better than moping. Better than waiting for the antidepressants to work.

If I'm offered this job tomorrow I'm going to take it. It's got too much that I need, including benefits from day one, meaning I can probably avoid paying COBRA. For those who've never had to do that, COBRA is very expensive.

So, some of this stress may improve tomorrow. I really, really hope so.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I heard back from Dr. Brain and got permission to increase my anti-depressant today and once more if needed. This is frightening territory as too much anti-depressant makes me manic. I do not need manic, especially because with my history of mixed episodes I might not switch from depressed to manic but instead become mixed and mixed is torture. I hate mania, but mixed is much, much, much worse.

It's going to be hard next week. Dr. Brain and Dr. Mind both are on vacation. Usually they go a week apart, coincidentally (they aren't in the same practice or anything). I can still contact Dr. Brain, but I will not do that unless it's desperate, and if it's desperate I'll contact the pager.

I just got the suicide lecture. I hate being in a place where that comes out.

I just wish I could blink and make this end.


I didn't hear from job-I-want today. Not a good sign. I posted my resume on a search site, and within 2 hours I heard from 2 companies. I'm actually un-posting the resume I was told it will be attracting 50 plus calls in a couple days. I can't take that.

I did find out about 1 job I think I may accept. It's a traveling company. That means I'd work somewhere 13 weeks, then either committ to 13 more or go somewhere else. I think that this might be a good thing. I've not had good experiences in the last 2 jobs, and this lets me "try out". The worst thing would be a chance at not having a placement, but apparently that is rare. It would mean frequent change, which isn't my favorite thing, but at the same time it would mean less getting hurt. And it can turn permanent. It also has good things like promised 40 hours at a rate $4/hr over what I've been making and insurance on day 1. I'm probably going to have a phone interview tomorrow. And chances are good I'll take it.

On the down side, my depression is worsening. I emailed Dr. Brain and I see Dr. Mind in 2 days. Hopefully something medical can be done. But this is tricky because I'm already on more antidepressant than ever before and I'm sensitive to antidepressants in a way that means I am at risk for mania. She'll want to adjust my mood stabilizers but I can't be sedated. So, I have no idea what happens.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The day I feel saddest

My interview went very well. They want to hire me. They just don't know that they can come up with enough hours. They are working on it, and if they find a way it's mine, but no committment yet. They did tell me they wouldn't have advertised the position if they didn't think they could come up with hours, but they also have a logical set of problems created by some nasty changes in my state's budget for reimbursement. They told me 2 months ago I'd be hired in a heartbeat. But it's now.

I have to keep searching while I wait, and if I get an offer I'll have to take it. And that kills, because this company is what I need to succeed.

Really depressed tonight.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sensory Integration

So it turns out that my sensory issues have no problem coming back up when I'm stressed enough. I'm not really sure why that surprises me. Noise is driving me batty. I need to start a load of laundry so my clothes for my interview tomorrow have been washed (I tend to break out from chemicals in new clothes if they aren't washed in my "safe" detergent--I am only able to tolerate Tide and Cheer and have been like that since birth.) and I don't want to have to listen to the washer. I am aware of seemingly every noise my neighbors make. And, the biggest sign of all, I want to be under my weighted blanket all the time. I don't have TV, but I have been watching DVDs of old Friends episodes for several hours/day just because I can be under my blanket during that. I even have the A/C lower than usual to allow this.

I finally got some sleep last night. However, I'm afraid to take the medication again because it apparently made me very, very shaky. Not the best thing when you are interviewing and need to appear calm and together.

I just hope I can stay a little calmer. I'm grinding my teeth terribly and getting serious headaches nearly every day from it. I don't need that. Nor do I like risking more tooth damage. I have a feeling I'm going to need another root canal this fall, and I would prefer to keep it to one per year or less. I suspect that I'm probably facing root canals for most molars eventually, but one at a time is good.

I'm hoping to get in to see Dr. Mind tomorrow. I have to be very near him for my appt, and so I'm hoping that I can combine 2 trips up to the Big City. We'll see. I gave that as the reason on the message I left, but the truth is that I also just need the support. All this waiting is really, really hard.

Ack, just realized I'm late for meds. Not good. And I guess I must do that stupid laundry.

More tomorrow after the big 2nd interview. Please pray/think of me/whatever you do about 10:00 EST....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Well, one thing is ok

I saw Dr. Brain today. I'm depressed but within what is expected for what the last week has been. I'm done well. I'm going to start taking more antihistamine (which I use for anxiety) at bedtime, and I need to start eating more than 1 meal per day but otherwise I'm ok. Not so ok that I don't have permission to interrupt her vacation, and a warning that there are 4 days in the next few weeks where I should call the resident's pager (and a promise that my call should actually be answered this time; last year I took too much medicine for 2 days accidentally and when I realized I tried to call in and nobody answered) and I know exactly what days those are. (Again, have I ever mentioned I have the best doctor in the world?)

38 more hours until interview 2........

Friday, July 24, 2009

How Just Me Becomes Poverty Stricken

So obviously money is a huge concern at the moment. I have one more paycheck coming, in a week. And I have a rather small amount of money in my account. Plus I've got the whole buying-clothes thing going on.

Hopefully I'll be starting work nice and soon, but that's impossible to guess. So, in the last 6 hours I've discovered I wasted $30. First I bought whitening stuff for my teeth, per my mom's request. I think my teeth need more frequent professional cleanings with the bite guard combined with my meds. So I bought it, brought it home, and used it. Only then did I realize the side of the box states that it won't work on veneers, and thanks to the damage to my teeth from lithium I have veneers on my front teeth. So, waste of money. Then I happened to look at my checking account and discovered that when I did a "free" credit check a couple months ago I accidentally signed up for a $15 per month stupid service.

One thing that I guess is good, being home, bored, and anxious sure is helping my blog....

Come Monday, it'll be all right????

Monday I am to go to the city again, this time to the corporate office of place where I interviewed. I'm to meet the vice president and apparently discuss how they can work it out to give me a full-time position. It sounds positive, but this step wasn't mentioned before and it makes me nervous.

I spent the afternoon buying clothes. Regardless of how this works out I need things that fit, and nothing does because I've lost so much weight. I have some scrubs but they aren't in the best shape. Plus they are the color I had to wear per uniform at the old job and I am so, so tired of that color. And nobody was wearing scrubs when I had my interview, so if I get this job it appears regular clothes are a better choice. I like regular clothes more anyway. I got some good deals at Kohls, but I still need to do more tomorrow. I can't find shoes I like and I need at least 2 more pairs of pants. I think I'm going to try Dansko shoes. I already know I have to spend a bundle on shoes, so I might as well get really good ones. I can't wear cheap shoes because of a bad knee that needs support. Plus when buying sandals last week I discovered my feet turn in pretty badly, so I need support for that too.

I have been grinding my teeth all day and my face and neck are aching. I've had my bite plate in for the last 3 hours which has only sort of helped. Stress is not fun.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's Dr. Mind's Fault

I just realized what caused me to be fired. Last Thursday I wrote about him discussing trying to reduce my treatment to 3x/month and how superstitious I felt about that. I wrote:

The problem is that every time we've tried to reduce something has happened. Last year it was getting fired. In January or February we tried again; immediately something happened that made it not work.

Sure enough, that's not going to work. And the reason seems awfully familiar....

Not today

I still haven't heard. I'm losing my mind. I'm going to call tomorrow. For now though I am going absolutely crazy.

I did see a rainbow so beautiful I stopped my car to look and to take pictures. That was nice.

Then I dropped a box in a mailbox and it got stuck and clogged the whole box. Well, I guess you can stick letter in, but nobody is getting a box in until someone removes mine. Oops. I have no idea how it got stuck; it went in, so it should have done its thing.

I'm just glad I didn't write my return address on there.

Killing Me

I'm still waiting to hear. It has now been 24 hours. Which isn't that long in the scheme of things I guess, but knowing a probable answer but not a fact is really, really hard. It doesn't seem reasonable to be applying for other jobs right now if the first thing I'll be doing is turning them down. But at the same time, I don't know what to do with myself.

I want this job. I even want the full-time working part.

On the other hand, I just found out that if I'd been able to keep the insurance I was on I would have had unlimited psychiatrist visits because of a biological basis, which would have meant covered counseling. I'm still getting covered counseling until new insurance starts (hopefully Sept.) and it has covered visits too but the other coverage is better. Oh well.

More to come...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Looking hopeful

My interview went as well as could be hoped for. He told me he is recommending hiring me and I might hear today. That didn't happen, so I'm assuming he didn't get it approved yet, which he said might be difficult.

My fears to this point were for naught. I was just honest about my last job and he accepted that. I'm not sure what happens with the job before that, but I found a way to be vague about it on my application. Hopefully it will work.

I'll be going back to working full-time and 5 days, but hopefully I'll get a shortened day in there. This is going to be hard but I think I can handle it now.

The best part is that even if they don't offer me much more money I'll make more. Partly this is because I'll be working more hours, and partly this is because the benefits are much, much cheaper. I like that. AND the mental health (and all health) insurance is better. So, it's a good thing from that perspective.

More when I know more.

Feeling like a Wet Cat

My nerves are on high. This interview couldn't come soon enough (I leave in an hour). I barely slept all night.

I am not so much anxious about the interview but I am very anxious about a few questions he might ask. He knows leaving my last job wasn't totally my idea. That one I can explain away. But the job before that (which I was fired from because of bipolar but of course I can't say that) I'm not sure how to explain. I'm also nervous about the discussion surrounding how much I'll work. Dr. Brain wants me to have a minimum of 1/2 day off during the week. I'm hoping to either work out that I'll do 4 9 hour days and 1 4 hour day, or 4 9 hour days. I'd love to stick to 32 hours but I need more income. Even if I get a higher pay rate I need to make as much as I can.

I just can't wait until this is OVER. And I don't mean just this one, I mean job-in-hand-wearing-scrubs over.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Maybe looking up

I spoke to a recruiter who I'd emailed with yesterday. The job sounds good. It's more laid-back than where I've been in the last few years, and a lot more of the work would be with the long-term patients that I'm most experienced with (and who I do best at treating). It is half the daily driving. According to Mapquest it's 43 minutes, which means less than 4o more than likely. It's also near Dr. Mind, so even if I am working 5 days/week it will be easier to see him. They also seem really interested; they offerred to interview me today. I was already gone from home so I couldn't, but truthfully I wouldn't have been able to go anyway because I've lost so much weight now that practically nothing but some rather old scrubs fit. Once I have work I'm going to have to do some shopping. So my mom and I went shopping and found an outfit I really like that looks nice. Plus it is 3 pants sizes smaller than I was 7 months ago. I'm a size 16! I thought I'd left that behind forever. The only problem is that I have so much muscle in my shoulders and arms from lifting people all day that it's hard to find shirts that fit. But that's a happy problem.

I'm also discovering that unemployment is really, really confusing. There are many hoops to jump through and they aren't easy to follow. And I'm not sure I'm even going to get paid anything; if I understand I won't be paid for this week because it's my qualifying week, and if things work out I'm going to be working next week or the week after for sure. I hope. I'm sort of hoping to not start until like the middle of next week, just because I'm emotionally not in my best spot ever. I'm on more antidepressant now, and I think that it will be ok, but that won't totally kick in for a few more days. And the shock value of the last few days has been high. Regardless I won't be looking a gift horse in the mouth.

I'm waiting for one load of laundry to finish drying so I can put the other in. I'm getting really tired. That's a good thing; I didn't take any ativan today and so falling asleep independently and relatively early is a good thing.

More tomorrow afternoon......

Monday, July 20, 2009

One step

Today I spoke to a recruiter, heard from another recruiter, contacted another, and have a list of a few more. I also applied for unemployment. I also got all kinds of annoying news, like I was not given a true answer when I asked if they would accept a resignation rather than firing me. I was told that this was an HR call. Well, HR acted like it was the dumbest thing they'd ever heard and it was the supervisor's call. So, they'll just have to pay unemployment. They said they wouldn't contest it. Well, they better not. It is a bit hard to fight it when they will not tell you a reason for letting you go. "It's not working out" not being a reason, at least in my book.

I saw Dr. Mind today. He was speechless. Which about goes with how I feel. I also feel depressed. Big surprise there. I'm not eating. I just am not the least bit hungry. All I've had to eat today is a brownie, most of a cucumber, a tiny bit of soup, and a roll. This is not good. I'm going to make myself eat some cereal in a few minutes with my meds.

For the most part I feel like crying and crying, but I'm scared to even start. I'm scared of letting this depression take off. I know I don't really control it, but I am afraid of what will happen. I'm not pushing tremendously hard on the jobs this week. I need a little time to recover.

This just makes no sense. I don't want to go into the backstory here, but it was one of those situations where the only thing that was going on was not something where I was wrong. I think it was easier to shut me up than it was to deal with the real issue. I could never prove this, but I think it is true.

Anyway, not liking life much right now.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I don't know what to say

I just don't know what to say. The other time I was fired at least I knew why. I felt strongly that the reasons were wrong and that it was because of my illness. This time I simply don't know. I thought I've been doing just fine. Apparently not. There were some issues, ethical ones, that I've been trying to deal with, and maybe they didn't like that. But I know on that point that I was correct in what I was doing. It might be that this is for the best, as if something hadn't happened to change the ethical problems I probably would have decided to leave. This spares me making that decision. But I just don't understand. I cannot believe they refused to give a reason.

I'm in total shock right now. I feel like I've had it with therapy. But I'm not qualified to do anything else. And there are certain big downfalls to trying to change to something else. Including that I have no idea what else I would do better at.

So instead I'm just hating life.

Friday, July 17, 2009


So, I no longer have a job. I don't want to talk about it. They wouldn't tell me why I don't have a job, just that I don't. So, there it is. Doing the best I've done in years, I still apparently suck.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Therapy Superstitions

I have been in counseling for much of the last 15 years. Most of that time I've gone weekly. A total of about a year was bi-weekly. And several months long ago was 4 times/week for long sessions (extenuating circumstances). There was a period from 1998-2002 that it was off and on and more off than on. Since 2002 I have been going to the same counseling practice. I have seen each of 2 therapists for 3 1/2 years of that time.

Counseling is expensive. On a reduced rate fee I pay $260/month, plus gas to drive 100 miles. The entire result of mental illness is crushingly expensive. With new insurance I'm going to have to pay for two psychiatric visits/year, totaling $500 out of pocket plus co-pays. And I'm facing a fight to get 2 of my meds paid for. The thing that is good is that my new insurance has a low deductible, low co-pay for dr visits, and labs are covered at 100%. So hopefully the savings on those things will balance the other.

Over the last while we have discussed many times reducing my frequency to bi-monthly, or even 3 times per month with the week I go to the psychiatrist off. Today that came up again.

The problem is that every time we've tried to reduce something has happened. Last year it was getting fired. In January or February we tried again; immediately something happened that made it not work.

This summer we've had a period of alternating weeks due to scheduling. I've been fine. So of course today cutting back came up again. This time I don't even want to. I'll think about it, but I'm so tired of failing at that. I honestly think I'd rather be overly dependent on counseling for a while. I don't want to disrupt what is working.

I feel weird about giving in on this, but I also feel that for now that's right. I still have time before we can be totally sure giving up Depakote works. And after that it will be just about time for SAD season, then holidays, and so I really am not comfortable messing with the status quo until about March.

So, I'm the dependent patient.......

Saturday, July 11, 2009


OK, time for some participation. You can email me privately (masterofironyatattdotnet) or comment. I'm just thinking here and even if everyone gives me the same feedback I'm going to make my own decision.

This blog has changed. A lot. It started with a very, very sick author. For years the blog was about the nightmare of med resistance, allergies, and raging mental illness. Over the last nearly 2 years I very slowly got better. Now I'm actually living a LIFE and am oh, yeah bipolar. Nobody really thought that would happen. Sure, they told me things could be better. But this life I have now isn't how anyone thought things would go. I spent YEARS waiting to get stable enough to tolerate surgery for a VNS (vagal nerve stimulator; a last ditch treatment with a not great success rate but well worth it if nothing else works). Now I'm too well to qualify. Not that long ago my doctor was looking into ECT at my request because there didn't seem to be other options.

Something I feel weird about is that the readership here has changed. Back when I was so sick and there was lots of drama I had people who read regularly and were ongoing readers for years. Some started reading soon after I started writing in Jan. 2006. Over the last few months as I've been doing so well those readers aren't around anymore. I will admit freely to having very hurt feelings because I feel like now that my life isn't a tragedy people don't want to come here.

At the same time my traffic has been the same or even higher lately. However it seems most people are coming in on searches and then leaving, never to return. I just seem to be a hit more for certain things.

So, what I need from you are answers. Let me know if my interpretation is wrong. Do you come to visit in and out or did you just land here and won't be back? If you are bipolar/mentally ill do you find value here?

I'm not begging for praise. I'm pretty sure nobody is going to just say "close down." I understand reticence there. But please let me know if I'm writing for anyone who wants to hear what *I* am saying, or if this is just more words among the frightening number that make up the internet.

Happiness Is...

One of 2 things...

-Being able to carry all your bedtime meds at once
-Having exactly the right number of stool softener pills left in the bottle you brought to a conference without counting (less would cause pain; more would be ruined by melting in the car tomorrow)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sad day

When you work in my field, obviously you get pretty used to people dying. If there is a way to get "used to" that. You learn to cope, and you learn that if you let yourself get extremely attached you will hurt. I got hit very hard with a reminder of that 5 years ago when I got very close to a patient and he had a sudden heart attack at dinner and died. I very nearly walked in on them prepping the body, and I was not able to make myself go say good-bye. I figure that (given his situation) I'm probably just about the only person who remembers him, and I make sure that every April 28 is Norman day in my heart.

Every so often though a death just stuns us all. That happened today. This man has been worrying us a bit because he has been very down since a friend at the nursing home died. Today at lunch he was his usual congenial self, making a fuss about my driving too far and telling someone else she always ignored him. 45 minutes later they were doing CPR. 15 minutes later he had not responded to CPR or having his heart shocked, the fire department was there doing everything they could, and nothing had happened. We pretty much knew then, but he was taken to the hospital and pronounced there.

CPR doesn't happen very often. In fact in thinking back I only have been aware of 3 times it has been done in my presence (in the building), excluding "only" Heimlich maneuvers. A couple years ago someone choked to death at dinner and CPR was started and her family asked that it continue until they could say good-bye. That was terrible because some of the resuscitation happened right in front of the other patients while they ate and then the coroner was in and the police and it was rather traumatic for the patients who didn't know what exactly was happening and we can't just tell them anything. I spent the evening helping calm people down. The other time was another choking incident and that patient actually survived, although she had brain damage from the lack of oxygen.

Honestly I'm glad that once CPR started that he didn't survive. CPR saves lives, but it also carries a risk of brain damage once it goes on very long. It is often ugly.

But I'm very sad about this man's death. He was special. For the first 2 months he was with us he called my "company name 2" because the PT assistant was "company name" and our company name is on the top of our name tags so he felt it was pointless to read further. It was hilarious.

I just hope he is in heaven now, enjoying a plate of broccoli and ketchup, something he actually did enjoy quite a bit. (EVERYTHING with ketchup).

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Updated Info

Just in case anyone wants to contact me, my email has changed slightly. See sidebar for details.

I got rid of the cable company!:)

Friday, July 03, 2009


As you may know I've been working hard at losing weight since my January bloodwork showed that I had a high glucose level and if it didn't come down quickly I'd need diabetic testing. I'm at risk both because of family history and because I'm on an atypical antipsychotic. This risk was then increased because of being quite overweight thanks to meds.

I started a diabetic-based diet (low glycemic index) in January. That was also when my Depakote taper started. I lost 25 lbs in the next three months. By March I was at a Depakote level my doctor wanted to try for a few months since coming off too fast wouldn't help anything. Then I had some mild depression in the spring and quit following the diet so closely. However I have continued to slowly lose weight, presumably because I'm eating better than I was even when I'm not at my best.

In the last week and a half I've cut my Depakote in half. I also didn't eat much for several days, but that is over with. Since the dose had gone down I thought this morning I'd weigh myself, just to see what happened.

I'm now at 33.5 lbs less than I was in January. And this is probably not a totally accurate weight since I've got some water weight at the moment.

I'm so excited!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Tonight I will decrease my Depakote dose yet again. In January I took 6 pills per night. Tonight I was be taking 1 1/2. In 4 more days I'll take 1, 4 days after that 1/2, and in 12 days I will be done. That is assuming nothing happens to make me taper more slowly, but thus far the only thing that has happened is that I'm having some hand tremors. That's liveable.

It's odd to come off meds feeling so good. Because of my allergies and insensitivities I've had to come off many things cold turkey. That has tended to be unpleasant. I also take an older antidepressant (actually in terms of antidepressants I take a REALLY old one) and if I miss 2 doses I start feeling pretty odd. So I'm trained to expect side effects when changing things.

This is good. It is so good.