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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

What a Year

This is a strange year to reflect upon. When talking to Dr. Mind I said something about it being a bad year. He pointed out something very true: it was a very good year in some ways. The problem is that at this point the last 5 months are so overly real and I'm working so hard to cope with all that they've involved that the good stuff is harder to remember. So, in no specific order, here's 2009 (and you can remind me of other stuff if you want):

1) It was the year I really learned to supervise.

2) It was the year I put ethics above all else, even though I lost my job.

3) It was the year I swallowed my pride and used unemployment.

4) It was the year that I was able to verbally talk about many of the bad things that happened to me as a child.

5) It was the year I started to face my fears, something I'm looking forward to returning to in the next few weeks.

6) It was the year I lost 55 lbs.

7) It was the year I got off Depakote and actually had a few months I was on minimal medication.

8) It was the year Dr. Brain told me I am the highest functioning patient with the severity of illness that she's ever treated.

9) It was the year I came to terms all by myself with the idea that a major med change was necessary.

10) It was the year I managed a whole month of weaning off antidepressants.

11) It was the year I recognized that I had no choice but to be admitted to a psychiatric floor and then that it had to be done well before the planned moment.

12) It was the year I learned to speak up about my care in ways I've never had to do before because I've had doctors who have listened and I got stuck with ones who didn't.

13) It was the year I learned trust. Not trust like I should have, but trust at a new level.

14) It was the year that I learned how much the internet can help. So much caring from you all. The emails in the hospital mattered so incredibly much.

15) It was the year I learned to ask for help.

16) It was the year I learned how suicidal I can be, the year I spent much of a day crying hysterically because there was no way to kill myself in the psych unit.

17) It was the year I was assessed for suicide risk at least twice per week for 3 months.

18) It was the year my GAF (global assessment of functioning; google if interested) score hit 30.

19) It was the year I learned how severely anxiety affects my moods.

20) It was the year I flushed a whole bottle of pills I was still taking because they weren't safe to be in my home.

21) It was the year I learned about betrayal through what happened at my job.

22) It was the year I learned a whole plethora of relaxation techniques.

23) It was the year I really trusted Dr. Mind, more than I have probably ever trusted another person. In fact, I know it was; I trusted him to keep me alive during the worst of it.

24) It was the year I learned to complain and fight loud and long when medical practices make things difficult.

25) It was the year I got a reminder of what my patients are enduring as I recover from my own serious injury.

26) It was when I got my first taste of what it feels like to be older and actually have to think about things like not moving when you first stand up.

27) It was the year I started fixing my finances.

28) It was the year I fell in love with Phoenix and cacti and the desert.

29) It was the year I found bras I love, bras that fit right, for the first time ever.

30) It was the year I complied with my bite guard and haven't broken a tooth or needed a root canal or crown.

31) It was the year I realized I was so sick I need emergent care. Twice. In one night.

32) It was the year that I was so sick I was willing to poop in a cup, bag it, and drive it to the hospital at 10 pm.

33) It was the year I paid of my car, the first major thing I've ever owned outright.

34) It was the year I was smart enough to upgrade to an effecient furnace, which is looking like it will cut my bill by nearly 75%.

35) It was the year I proved you can be a therapist without putting weight on one leg.

36) It was the year I learned I can cope with becoming an aunt, despite my sadness, and that people understand more than I think they do.

37) It was the year I was well enough to sit through a 15 hour, 2 day intensive course on some pretty dry material, and loved it.

38) It was the year I was finally able to save money.

39) It was the year I could work full-time again and even handle overtime.

40) It was the year I learned about grace.

41) It was the year I was able to become goal-oriented instead of just trying to function.
42)It was the year I went 4 months without eating much besides African peanut soup, chicken/vegetable/biscuit casserole, yogurt, pudding, cereal bars, oatmeal, chocolate, milk, apple cider, and toast.
43) It was the year I was so sick that Dr. Mind came in deathly ill to be sure I was ok.
44) It was the year of 2 serious falls in 3 weeks.
45) It was the year I locked myself out of my house and the policeman broke in for me.
46) It was a year of ankle braces, cast boots, and crutches.
47) It was the year I got sick. A lot. Strept, bronchitis, sinus infections, UTIs, and the stomach virus from hell. Oh, and rule out appendicitis week.
48) It was the year I found out I'd be an aunt soon.
49) It was the year a psychiatric tech offered to tell me a joke because I was freaking out because I was so suicidal.
50) It was the year my company accidentally sent me an email about my resignation while I was hospitalized and hadn't resigned, causing a massive panic attack.
51) It was the first year in my life I didn't eat (or taste from when I was 11 months or a few year old) sauerkraut on New Year's day, as is the tradition in my family (it's against the MAOI diet).
52) It was the year I cancelled cable, got DSL, and finally got a laptop and wireless.
53) It was the year writing this got boring. Which is too bad since I'd really hoped doing this would help me remember more of January through July besides bad things from work.

Anthem Sucks

So I needed more stress, right? Because the completely exhausting schedule of adding 2 hours of PT to my day 3x/week plus an hour of Dr. Mind, and this coming week an all day trip to Dr. Brain isn't enough, especially with working both last Saturday and this. And my concerns about Dr. Brain,and my weird feelings about Dr. Mind being worried enough/caring enough to come make sure I was ok after Christmas.

I think I've said on here before that I'm going to be leaving my current job for a permanent place. I need things the contract work doesn't provide, like days off and reasonable insurance. My company pays very little of our insurance costs and then we have huge deducitbles, poor coverage, and lots of hidden costs. Thus far my ankle sprain has cost me $50 for urgent care, $25 for follow-up, who knows how much for crutches and brace one, nearly $2oo for the cast boot, and $200 for my 4 PT sessions. Part of the stress right now is that I'm working my butt off to pay down debt and PT costs $150/week. And I'm looking at being in PT for a while. In fact, I'm feeling like forever would be about right. I twisted my ankle again on Monday. I had the cast boot on so it didn't twist too badly, and I managed to catch myself (bruising the outside of my hand but whatever), but it hurts more again and feels more wobbly. So we'll see if that comes off soon. And when it does, I get to buy another (cheaper) brace......

My insurance also is doing something nasty that solved the question of stay contract or go permanent; my state passed a law making insurance companies pay for mental health coverage equally to other conditions. That is supposed to mean that my therapy and psychiatrist are the same co-pay as any other drs, and psych hospitalization is the same deductible. Well, my insurance figured out a way around. They are doing the same thing as they do with PT/OT/ST: a high co-pay and then a cap per year. That wouldn't be too bad; I'd reach it probably but would manage, assuming hospitalization isn't in that cap. However, they also capped per lifetime at just 3 years of use. And that I can't live with and won't live with.

But then they've made it worse. I've talked before about my magic med, Nuvigil, which I take to help wake up and overcome the effects of the heavy sedation. It is an expensive drug, and although many bipolar people take it for the 2 reasons I do (it boosts antidepressant efficacy and helps overcome side effects of sedation), that use is off-label. Nuvigil is a newer version of an older drug, but it is cheaper than the older one because they boosted the price of the old one before it goes generic. Nuvigil also works a lot better for me; there is no overload of energy early in the day and it lasts more evenly through the day instead of just in the morning. Plus I don't have to take the max dose, and that's a good thing always when changes are constantly possible and eventually inevitable (see, why I had to go on the patch to begin with).

So the first month of Nuvigil, October, was free through a promotion. Month 2 Dr. Brain was off work so first I got a 10 day supply of Provigil for $150 out of pocket (because it was all I had a script for thanks to the hospital messing up) and then I got Dr. Body to write a script for Nuvigil. After determining nothing could be done but hope the insurance would retro-actively approve it I paid out of pocket in November. And then spent December bugging the pharmacy and Dr. Brain to work on the pre-auth.

Dr. Brain let me know last week that she'd tried to get them to skip the part that they'd automatically deny me and require her to talk to a doctor/case manager person and they gave her a hard time about it and it wasn't looking hopeful that this would happen. When I ran out of Nuvigil I took a couple Provigil, then since I knew it wasn't going to be approved in time, opted to pay for another bottle out of pocket before the tax year ended. I then emailed Dr. Brain to let her know that I was doing this and that if she heard anything to please let me know. That was when I found out she's out this whole week. She did email me back on a cc: to her secretary to ask her to check on it.

The secretary called yesterday. My med was denied. The med that lets me get out of bed and go to work may not be covered. Hopefully my doctor can fight and win. And then we'll go through it again with new insurance when I change jobs. But there is a chance I'm paying $300/month for one med for the next 3 months or so. Need I point out I do not HAVE $300, unless I pay only minimum payments on credit cards and probably charge some PT. I'm working so hard to pay off credit cards, I really do not want that.

(It should be noted I'm being negative about Anthem when it truly is THIS policy that sucks. I've had Anthem before and been quite happy with them. But oh, I'm so tired of things requiring fighting.)

Regardless, this has been enough to cause tears. Granted I'm so tired anything can make me cry, but really.......

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This is hard

I'm now doing so well today. For one thing, I'm tired. That's what comes of the holiday, working Saturday, Sunday off, and repeating this week. Then next week I go to see Dr. Brain on Saturday, so I don't get a full weekend off for a while.

My schedule right now is just nuts. The 3 days/week I have PT I have to leave home at 6:30. That means the night before I need to have showered, ironed, etc. I get to work those days about 9:30. That should mean I'm off at 6, but things just don't work so well right now. It's a busy time of year and we've had a ton of evals. Plus my assistant at one building has been off 4 days in the last 3 weeks due to a chronic health issue that really makes me sad because she's great, but she's got to be there more. Plus the patients aren't getting treated like they should because I don't have time to cover her day and do mine. Which really bugs me. And we've had a snow storm that made driving yesterday hideous; it took twice as long to go from building to building and I shouldn't have had to do that if she'd been at work. Today I ate my lunch in the car, so I literally had no break, and I worked from 9:15 until 7 pm. The overtime is great since PT costs $150/week, but I'm exhausted.

Plus I'm just dealing with a lot. I'm very concerned about Dr. Brain. Something is very wrong there. She has never missed work in the many years I've seen her and now she's missing weeks frequently. My mind always goes to bad places, and I have no way to get reassurance until I see her the 8th. My ankle hurts, all the time pretty much, and while I'm ready to get rid of the cast boot I'm also afraid. I managed to turn my ankle yesterday wearing the boot, and now I'm more sore from banging into the support part when it twisted. So that may hold me back on getting it off. I'm working very hard in PT, I am doing what I'm told to do no matter what it feels like (unless it makes me do something with my unstable knee which i do not do, but that knee is attached to the bad ankle and it's getty achy from the therapy for the ankle.) I think a doctor filling in for my doctor may have messed up my thyroid meds, but I don't know until my doctor gets back to me.

Oh, and I've had weird electrical problems today. Strange things with the lights in my bedroom, and then my CD player in my car won't work. Which means I drive in silence. Which lets me think too much.

And my patch reactions are back suddenly out of the blue. Nothing for weeks and now I itch. I don't get it.

I had to fill a $330 script today out of pocket because my idiotic insurance is fighting about whether I need a med I've been dependent upon for something like 5 years. When I've had that insurance in the past they paid, but now it's all a battle again and they are insisting that my doctor do it their way instead of listening to her request to simply speak to my case manager, which she'll have to do anyway. And now she's off work for a while so it will get dropped again.

All in all, I'm tired. I feel like I need to be trying to deal with various things, but I'm in do what I can and sleep mode. I'm so tired that I just about added salt to my milk tonight instead of Miralax (dissolvable laxative). And it's not a tiny amount of stuff that goes in there so it would have been VERY salty milk.

And now I must force myself to iron something to wear tomorrow, and to take a shower. I'm just sooooooooooooo tired.........I'm really tempted to leave it for morning and rush. In fact i think I'm going to, and I'll deal with the consequences. I don't have to leave home until
6:45 for a change of pace, and I can take advantage of that 15 minutes, esp if I wear scrubs. I don't really have scrub pants that fit so well, but we'll deal. I see scrubs and a ponytail.

Anyway, I really need to sleep. 5:30 comes way too soon.


I've known of course that I have been very, very ill in the last months. It's hard for me to really comprehend, because my memories are getting more blurry by the day. I picked up a notebook that I used to journal in after I came home and couldn't remember feeling any of that, except for the horrible, intense, unending anxiety. I'm mainly looking at that stuff because I'm trying to make a list of questions for Dr. Brain, things that I can know are in place whenever I'd need hospitalized again, because as things stand I have a huge dread of that, even though I also have a great understanding that it may be needed sometimes.

Anyway, I have a new idea of how sick I was. Dr. Mind was very, very sick last night. He came in for one visit. Me. And he didn't even make it through that. And he called off for today also.

I know that this says a lot about how much he cares and how much he wants me all better. And it shoots my trust of him higher than ever before because clearly he's there if I need him.

But wow. I still can't believe he did that, and I still can't believe I've been sick enough to make him feel he had to try.

It's weird.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Things I wish I'd known before my psych stay Part One

This may turn into more than one post, but it is one I really want to write. It's comprised of 2 things: my memories, and a list I made while impatient. For most of the time I was there I couldn't just write a paragraph about how I felt. So I wrote lists. I think it went over 100 things before I could write enough to give a detailed explanation of what I meant.

Here goes:

1) If you are a direct admit, find out when the doctors do rounds so you are admitted by that time. If they'll come see you after you're admitted that's great, but if you'll have to wait 24 hours because you didn't know to come earlier you'll be quite frustrated.

2) If you have items that are for special needs, include a list in your suitcase of what the items are and why you need them. I think it is probably ideal to have your doctor sign this list before admission. I assumed my suitcase would be searched in front of me and I could verbally explain my weighted blanket, things to fidget with, need for my own brand of tissues (allergy), etc. Instead all those things were taken from me and it wasn't until many hours later when I got up the nerve to ask that I got them back.

3) Make sure your med orders include things to help with special circumstances, and make sure the orders are clear. I had taken ativan as a "take one, then may take up to so many per day for years". That was how the order was written, and some nurses would give it to me every 4 hours or so just so I didn't exceed the max, but others would make me wait out the even hours to get the number of doses, and that caused me to both feel crappy and to never get as much as I needed because I was allowed like 4 doses per day. Had I been able to take more when one dose didn't work, as the order was intended, I would have had all 4 per day. Instead they kept me down to effectively 2 doses per day because I didn't need it after I'd had Seroquel. This also led to me being given Seroquel then expected to be awake for a group and feeling humiliated and attacked and like I'd done something wrong because I went to bed after taking Seroquel as I've been taught to do for years.

3) Always make sure someone orders an emergency med. I want orders for an injection of something any time I'm admitted from now on. During my worst day when I wanted to die and cried for hours because I was too safe to manage it I needed something emergently. Nothing was ordered so I had to wait 30 some minutes for the dr. to answer his page, then another 30 minutes to get it from the pharmacy and have the oral pill start to work. Had I had an order for an injection I could have been calmed down and asleep within a very short time.

4) Take a blank notebook and pens. I didn't and we weren't given anything to journal with until day 4 or so. As I said I couldn't really write very well because I was too sick, but writing mere sentences helped so much.

5) Take things to do. Whether it is cards for solitaire, books to read, puzzle magazines, whatever, be ready to need gentle distractions and for there to be a lot of time to kill. Most people watched a lot of TV. I can't watch TV, so I spent much of my time in my room doing whatever would kill time. The weekends were deadly boring. Thank God I felt well enough to talk some by then or I would have not survived. We had 2 scheduled groups per day both days, one of which didn't happen either day, and one of which was labeled "activities" and turned into an incredibly boring "read to us" about guilt group.

Many more to come.

Don't know here......

Just in case, if I'm not writing much for a few days it is because I think my laptop battery is totally dead and I'm having trouble getting it to work just off AC. So I have a feeling tomorrow will involve a "quick" trip to the repair place. If it's just a battery I'll just have to live with the cost. If it's more, well that will leave me laptopless, and while I'll use my desktop it is so slow I don't have a ton of patience with it.

Not much really to say as of now. Christmas went pretty well. I spent most of it in one place with my foot up. No dogs hurt it, so that's a success.

I was so tired I slept later than I meant yesterday and didn't go to work until early afternoon.. Once there though I kicked butt and got through all my patients very rapidly. So I also got caught up on my nonbillable discharage pile.

Otherwise not much to say. Sleeping lots. Ankle very sore today.

That's it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Words I never liked to say

I have actually been working on this. Christmas has been so very hard for me for so long that I've preferred to ignore it.

So I've said this only as a polite response. This year I'm trying to mean it, for me and for you.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


So tonight I needed something for supper (I am still not hungry, starting to think it's the patch) and because I messed up what I was trying to make for my niece/nephew I wanted to get a little baby gift. So I ran into the only open place that wasn't Walmart, Target. And would you believe that on Christmas eve they have a ton of Valentine's stuff out????????? Christmas stuff is not on sale, but Valentine's stuff is quite apparent.


Hopes for Today

-Every patient will cooperate without any pushing.
-All my patients will be ready when I need them.
-PT will take all the pain away for the next 48 hours.
-No admissions. (Unlikely since one person was supposed to come yesterday and was kept "one more night" which means unless she is about to die at the moment they pick herup she'll be sent to the nursing home today. And the unfortunate thing is she is at the far nursing home and I really don't want to have to drive there).
-I'll be done in less than 8 hours.

-And most of all, that all of you will have calm, peaceful Christmas Eves.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This is why I dread this week of the year

PT for me was good. They did some pain management that really helped. I've promptly not done my exercises but I worked from 9 Am until 9 PM with a 30 minute break and over 100% productivity, including 5 evals, which included one lady who screamed at me that she hated me and hit me with both hands because I didn't want her to walk around on the cuffs of her pants that she wouldn't pull up after she peed because she was angry that I suggested she try herself. It was charming and I can't wait to treat her again. Although I suspect she'll sign herself out AMA just like she did elsewhere a few weeks ago, and I suspect there is a distinct reason why, called I think she has a drinking problem.

But I'm so, so tired. I didn't get home until 10, I still have to put a sheet and blankets and pillowcaseson my bed, I should shower, and my meds are just barely starting to work and I have to be up at 5 for more PT.

So, I should shut up, but at least I finally believe my ankle is going to heal. I'm going to wean from the cast boot to another brace in about 2 weeks and then as my ankle is stronger I'll get off the cast boot at work and then eventually teh brace, I assume.

For now, I have a cat demanding love and I can't blame her; I've worked 30 some hours in the last 3 days. Plus the commute, plus counseling, plus PT.

More tomorrow, if I survive.


It seems part of my last post came out highlighted. It did that after I spellchecked and deleted a word I couldn't get close enough to even get a suggestion. I figured it was just on my edit screen, but it wasn't. So sorry, don't know why. Blogger can be weird.

Off to PT in a few minutes.....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So many things to stress over

I'm adding more and more to my list. First and foremost: my ankle hurts. Shocking, I know, but ouch. And I start PT tomorrow, and each visit costs $50. So, bye-bye every penny of overtime I make for the next month or 2.

Second, Dr. Brain is stressing me out. I cannot imagine what she has come back to since she was off; I know she told me she was working 3 straight weekends, and she is Jewish and has been celebrating their holiday that I can't spell no matter how many times I try tonight. Plus she always gets slammed by people not handling the holidays well. But.......Back in Sept. she prescribed me a new version of a med I've taken for years. With either version I was going to need pre-authorization from my insurance. When I got out of the hospital I found out she never got it. I paid $300 and then asked her to try to get it retro-actively covered. As she asked I took the script in and started having it submitted right after my last appointment. And she hasn't done the authorization. So tomorrow I take my last pill of what I really take. I then have a small supply of the old stuff that I don't like nearly as well, and then I'm out. And without this med I cannot work because I need it to wake up. Especially when I'm this tired and work is this demanding. Which means if I don't get the approval soon I'll have to pay $300 out of pocket again.

And I'm worried about PT tomorrow. I am scared that they'll tell me to just start using the ankle normally, without the cast boot, and I cannot imagine the pain. I was nearly crying tonight it hurt so badly on the way home. I'm also afraid it will feel like a waste of time. I just don't want to spend my free time getting therapy on ME.

And my patches keep falling off. Three in the last week. I have no clue where they are, or hwen they come off, but I need them to stick. I have no clue what changed; I'm doing nothing different.

I have to do these appeals on wheelchair forms my predecessor did that were denied. Medicaid is picky so the denials happen. Back when I started I could get the chairs for anyone. Now they don't even do them, but these appeals are from the end of that time. Well, they were denied because he's an idiot. He tries to throw around big words but doesn't know what they mean, so he winds up making up diagnoses (really), and my favorite of all: Bell's palsy, which is a facial nerve paralysis that occurs and then gradually heals, he apparently didn't know what it was nor did he look it up, so he listed it as an orthopedic issue. And then we wonder why the chairs were denied..........I have one appeal done, one to go. Yippee. Hopefully the next will be as amusing.

There's more. I just can't even remember what. It's now time to get a shower and iron clothes for tomorrow since I have to leave at 6:30 for PT. It's gonna be a long, long day........

Maybe someone knows?

Guess what? This post is not going to be about pain or illness.

The year I turned 22 I found out on my 22nd birthday that my parents had known all along I had been molested as a small child, but thought that telling the person doing to it stop had effectively ended it. I also found out my father had molested more people that we were aware of, including the girl next door whose sudden stop to our close friendship had hurt me badly around middle school. I also spent the evening of my 22nd birthday trying to help my father's wife figure out how to leave him and where she could go to be safe, while keeping my 15 month old brother safe as well. And from that night on I spent the next months figuring out to keep my father out of my life and then withdrawing from him, a horrible process I don't like to recall. (Especially the part where I didn't invite him to my college graduation and he showed up anyway.....)

Anyway, for that birthday that I do not want to remember he gave me a sapphire ring. And for graduation he gave a collectible gold coin.

I have kept these things for the past 12 years because my mother says I'll want them someday. I don't think so. I think they just are painful memories and finding them triggers more painful memories.

I want to sell them. But how does one do that? How do you know you're getting a fair price? I have no idea of the initial value. Where do you do that?

I'm sure they aren't worth much, but I'm thinking I'd rather than $100 in my kitchen remodel account (I have to replace my patio door this spring, and it has leaked and damaged the floor and subfloor, so I'm also going to have that repaired and laminate put down instead of the dreadful linoleum that currently is there, linoleum I'm convinced is impossible to clean) than I would

like to have these things sitting around.

Any idea how I get this done?

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I'm having a hard time coping with this ankle thing. It feels like one more bad thing in a series of so many, and I'm so extremely tired. I'm already completely tired of it hurting and that's likely to continue for a bit yet. And tonight the pain is worse and different, the kind of pain that says "no more walking without the cast boot until at least tomorrow, and be prepared to request another x-ray". Because what I though I remembered turns out to be true when I look it up; ankle sprains can hide small fractures of the foot that show up a couple weeks later, and what I'm feeling now sound very much like a fracture acting up. It's not a big deal if that's what it is; same treatment, just longer in the cast boot. And I'm undoubtedly expecting the worst; the last months have taught me to think that way. It's something I'd unlearned once, and while I've been worse, it's hard to not think everything is going to be rotten.

Mainly I'm tired. I have been tired ever since I was sick. Really I've been tired since about July, but I did feel a little less tired when I first was back to work. But I've never recovered my energy from the GI bug, probably because as soon as I started to eat I immediately did this.

I'm dreading tomorrow because I know it will be insanely busy. Can't help it, it just will be. Essentially I'm planning on getting to work early, taking 15 minutes for lunch, and working as fast as I can. I have an appt with Dr. Mind, and my manager overbooked me without asking. Then she was mad when I said I had to leave on time. I texted her back at that point that I thought that what I did after 8 hours of work was my own business and that I didn't need to let her know about after-work plans, and besides I've had this same appointment every Monday for months now. The truth is that they're going to be in for a shock here. I'm starting PT and that will mean probably 3 days/week of that and 1 time with Dr. Mind, plus 1 time per month with Dr. Brain. I'll be doing less overtime. Physically it's just not possible. And it's not my fault they don't have anyone to do back-up. I'm willing to work over when I can, but for the next while I'm just not able to do as much.

I'm just so tired of all I write about, all I think about, all I do is work and deal with phsyical issues. I have much more to write about the psych stay. It's just no longer able to be the topic I can focus on.

By the way, since most of you haven't been around too long, this is how I am from December 1 through mid-January. Not usually this sick/hurt, but I struggle this time of year and whininess accompanies it. The truth is that I'm struggling with depression, which goes hand in hand with the holidays, and everything else is adding to it this year. The depression has been getting better, but now that I feel stuck and that my body is attacking me my patience with it is getting slim, and the depression gets worse. I'm back to crying and having other symptoms. We'll get through it, we always do, but this may not be your favorite blog and it might be the most frustrating to listen to for a bit.

Always have a back-up plan

I think that phrase may be my number 1 lesson for 2009. In fact I'm pretty certain it is.

I'm sitting here elevating my ankle, again. Yesterday it actually felt decent, and that is because I was off it all day with it elevated 99% of the time. Today is different......

I need to go to my mom's and a store or two. So I had to shovel a path to the car, get the snow off, and re-arrange things in the trunk to make space to haul Christmas gifts. I put the immobilizer on my ankle and a pair of tight boots and I did it. But it was unpleasant and stupid for me to try. Yet I don't have other options really.

I've got to find someone to do jobs like this when I can't..........

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ouch and Randomness

The walker thing is nice, but it also allows me to move more. Which is the goal. Plus I was told to start walking around home without support. Which I did last night.

I didn't honestly think about how much exercise that ankle got yesterday before I worked on walking at home some, and so I woke up aching. The morning is always worst, but today the ankle has hurt all day long, without stopping. And nearly every time it flexes it pops. Loudly and painfully. The PT I work with said that is probably the damaged ligaments rubbing over something and that I've overdone it and need to rest it more. Based on the pain I'm a little concerned that I have a small fracture in one of the bones that is just before your toe starts. But the xray was negative. Thanks to not being able to sit down much at work this is going to be an issue. I'm suddenly realizing that this boot may be part of my work life longer than I want to think, that I may be walking in a shoe outside of work for a while before I'm working with 2 shoes. Then after work I needed to run errands. I couldn't handle all of them, and I wound up using my crutch for the last two, but oh it hurt.

If anyone has used an aircast before, I'm totally confused about how much air to put in. If I put in what feels comfortable, as soon as I change positions it starts feeling like it is pushing the swelling in and hurts. Then I let air out and it's not supportive enough. I know how to use air hand splints, but this is different.

For now I'm sitting with some ice packs, and then I'll be using the immobilizer at least tonight and maybe tomorrow if it still is really sore.

I also accepted today that I am going to be in PT longer than I want. I'd hoped to make it a couple weeks and out, but I'll be surprised if I'm totally unbraced by anything at all in 2 weeks. I don't know if I'll graduate to a different brace, but for now I'm a long way from a work day without support. I was so shocked at how much it hurt today; it hasn't hurt this bad since last Friday.

Hopefully tomorrow I can keep it up and comfortable. I'm resting tomorrow. I want to cut out a pattern that I don't think is hard to cut, and that's about it. Sunday I'm going to go to my mom's and hopefully the grocery.

Signs of the times with the economy? (I live in one of the hardest hit states. When I was unemployed I was one of something like 12% of the population). In this county we have one small mall. It has one tiny version of Borders. That store is going out of business, like much of the rest of the mall. Which means that if you want a book and don't want to order online and it isn't one the grocery or Walmart carry you have to drive an hour to the city. And that's happening as our libraries are being shut down by budget cuts. I'm kind of horrified.

There was a recent story posted listing the top recession-proof jobs. Nursing was first, followed by several seasonal positions and then OT. I'm so thankful that I stumbled into something like this. Otherwise I'm sure I'd still be looking for work and trying to live on whatever tiny amount I got per week on unemployment.

Not a lot else to say. I'm fantasizing about repainting my bedroom, which I want to do this summer. I actually want to re-paint the kitchen, hall, bathroom (which is itty bitty and takes like 30 minutes) and my bedroom this summer. When I bought this house I wanted my room to be a soft peach. That is not the color it wound up. I don't know what color I'm going to go with. Very pale green? Pale blue? I like watercolory colors. I'm not a big pink person but I can see a very pale pink and accents from Target's shabby chic line, which I like. Any suggestions? The bathroom is going to be a light lavendar (already have accessories), the kitchen off-white with multi-color accents (I have a cat collection and will frame cat pictures for the walls). The office and living room are both a greenish-blue that I love. The other room will be grey soon with some calming colors added. The house is a small ranch, so the colors need the flow (another reason I hate the peach. For some reason that I think involved what color I had dark enough to cover the ugly paint that was on the hall when I bought the house it was painted peach as well. It is not a good seque into the green/blue areas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I won

After a very long and agonizing wait at the dr's office (and after spending $7 faxing the dr, the nurse and the idiot who did this) it turns out that she noticed i had a balance, not that I had been making steady payments, and somehow something I can prove I paid 9/5/09 never was credited as paid. They would not apologize or accept responsibility, but I know my dr. was frustrated with them.

My ankle is badly sprained. Which I knew when it happened. I have partial tears of several ligaments and some damage to my achilles tendon. All my worry about being told to just walk on it was for naught; I have a rocker boot now and it's perfect. All kinds of support and freedom to move some and walk more normally. I feel like a duck, (see picture), but it helps a lot.

I start PT Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be a better patient than last time I had PT, when I quit rather rapidly. This time though I know I have to so I don't hurt it worse and that will help.

I also did something big for me. I have tested positive for blood in varying amounts in my urine in every test I've had for at least 15 years. I've had some tests and know I have a thing on my kidney that dumps blood, but my doctor has wanted me to have a cystoscopy to see the inside of my bladder for years. I have refused because to do the test involves the camera going into the urethra and emotionally I can't do that. But since I was so dehydrated and the blood was really bad I've had more, and I know I have to do this. So I told him that if he finds me a doctor who will do it in an OR with twilight sedation and a hefty dose of Versed (med that makes you forget), and they promise me I will know nothing and remember nothing, I'll do it in a few months. So he's working on it, and I'm going to start getting used to the idea because he sounded pretty sure he can get the doctor to do it. They'll deal with specific, not yet stated, med requests then. I want to be pretty out of it before I even undress and I want to be sedated before entering the procedure room enough that I won't remember any of it. I want to remember coming to the hospital and leaving and that is it. There are limits to what I can tolerate and this test pushes them.

Anyway, last night was awful but today I'm much better. Exhausted since I left home at 7 to send faxes and after not getting to work until late because I had the appt then had to get fitted for the walker boot, but only one more day this week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This fury has no bounds

I am so angry still. I have written faxes to the billing person, Dr. Body, and Dr. Body's nurse. I will send them as soon as I have a place to send from. I have left a complaint with patient advocacy. I have left a message with billing. I will keep complaining to until someone does something.

I wrote down all the things I've paid them, when i talked to them and was told I was up to date, and all that my insurance has paid. I wrote down a few co-pays that might need paid but for which I have not received a single statement. Those all go to evil billing lady.

I have not had a medical statement since I paid the last one 12/9. I've checked my mail daily.

And this appointment was made a week ago so there is no excuse to not call yesterday. Or call my cell. Anything. A huge fuss WILL be made. Especially since I'm not getting sleepy because I'm upset and I've not eaten because I'm upset.

I just can't believe I have to fight for something so stupid.

The straw that broke the camel's back

I've been doing ok consdiering. Still feeling depressed but getting better, better enough to reduce Dr. Mind visits and to even want to do things sometimes. I've handled things that are stressful at work fairly well, and I've handled overtime I didn't want that has been tiring when I'm already so tired.

I've tried so hard to not get too focused on how many really hard things have happened in the last 4 months. July 17 I was fired. I spent the first week of August waiting for clearance that should have taken days but took a week to come through. I also spent August learning that my antidepressant was nearing the end, and September accepting that fact, while adjusting to a new job, with new stressors and somethings that bug me, like 2 hours I was told I'd be paid for that I never was. I spent October getting more and more depressed as I came off the med. I then spent 9 days in the psych unit, came home and continued to deal with horrible anxiety for weeks. I went back to work still feeling bad enough to be on huge doses of anxiety meds along with huge doses of antipsychotic and the other stuff. I made it 2 weeks and got very sick. I then wound up in the ER twice in one night, missed 2 days of work, had to work a Saturday plus drive 2 hours to see Dr. Brain, and didn't eat right for 2 weeks. I finally got hungry one week ago, and 24 hours later hurt my ankle. After fighting with that all week, and trust me it is NOT easy to be a therapist on crutches (and I have a 1/4 mile walk each day along with the rest), or that can't handle all the weight in the world on your leg. Then I had the weird experience with Vicodin. I had a follow-up with the dr. for my ankle for tomorrow, which I'm very nervous about because I don't know what happens next as it's not healed enough to be back to normal activity with no brace, but with a brace I'm going to get weaker, not better.

And tonight I got home at 8 pm to find a message left on my home phone (the dr's office has my cell and uses it plenty) that if I didn't call by 5 pm about a billing issue I wouldn't be allowed to see the dr tomorrow. How am I supposed to get that message in 3 hours? And the billing issue I'm nearly positive is one I've already talked to them about twice in the last few weeks; they didn't submit a bill to the right insurance and they've been told to do so twice. I have paid them a lot of bills in the last few weeks and was told that was it. I will pay the stupid thing if it lets me get my ankle checked, but that's not fair.

My appt is at 9:15. I will be going, and I will call at 9 sharp and demand to have this resolved. If they won't listen I'll be faxing the dr. and the nurse and anyone else who will listen. I will show up and refuse to leave if I have to. I can't help they don't listen to my "re-bill this" and I have paid them the co-pays I did owe and can prove it. If they'd called a day ago I wouldn't be mad, at least not this mad, but this is totally unfair and totally against what I need for my health. My ankle needs treatment. If it stays immobilized it will get weaker and not heal. If it comes out of the splint it will get hurt again because it is far too weak.

I'm furious. I am also falling apart. I cannot be strong anymore. I have tried and tried and tried and nothing works out. Ever. I'm so tired of not feeling good, and this just really triggered the depression badly again. And because of hte appt for my ankle I cancelled with Dr. Mind tomorrow. You know, because I'm doing so well. Well, all the stress just hit me and I feel very depressed suddenly. I just want to curl up and quit. Everything. That's not suicidal talking, that's just so very, very tired of nothing going right.

I can't even fax up to the dr's office because there is nowhere to fax near here that is open. I'd have to go back to the city. Which would screw up my meds. I tried to call to leave a message but they'll only page the dr for emergencies or cancel appointments. Since mine is apparently cancelled that does not do any good.

I'm never gong to get better. From anything. Obviously this is just going to go on forever.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas without tears

As of 10 minutes ago I have all Christmas presents wrapped, bagged according to family they go to (so they can be evenly distributed around the tree and we won't have trouble finding a gift for any one person at any time), and ready to lug to my car Saturday (the hard part). The only thing left is to stick my sister's gift card for her birthday in a thing when it arrives and put a bra I got my my mom at the same time I got my sister's gift card in a box where I can stick it so she'll open it privately. (I got my sister a bra gift card as she will have needs soon).

And I'm getting sleepy, and well, today I laughed hard, and really laughed, for the first time in a long time. No sadness, just laughter. And if I can feel better at this time of year, in another month when my birthday is over (it's a very hard day for me) I will be much better.

This may have an end. (or Dr. Mind has brainwashed me)

Nothing profound

Still letting my ankle heal. That doesn't lead to much excitement. Unless you like watching the bruising move around, which is not pretty.

I think I'm back to weekly visits with Dr. Mind. I'm also done with the great suicide watch of 2009. Both of these are good things.

Otherwise, just so very tired. Even though I slept all weekend I don't think it was restful sleep as I'm still so very tired. I need to do so many things and yet I just want to sleep. Which I suppose is just how "Christmas" is defined.

Just not a lot to say. I have lots to say really, just not time to organize my thoughts.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

If you are ever in need of amazement

Every Sunday my niece/nephew turns another week old. Each Sunday I read about what is happening during the upcoming week. At this point I can apparently easily start to find ultrasounds.

This baby is 9 weeks old. And it is amazing. I highly recommend doing this for a 40 week period, just to be reminded how incredible we are.

That never happened before

So I just talked to my mom on the phone. And found out it is Sunday. I slept from 9:30 Friday night until 10 AM Sunday, spent all day today thinking it was Saturday and am now very confused. And very behind since I like to have all laundry done and be ironing at this point on Sunday, if not earlier and my work clothes are just now in the washer.

I guess when I promised Dr. Mind that I would rest all weekend I meant it more than I knew.....

Also explains the huge improvement in my ankle in "just one day". It still hurts and I may still need a crutch some tomorrow, but it is a lot better. Of course. Because I stayed totally off it and kept it elevated for 2 solid days.


I can't make sense

You'll notice the marked decrease in posts this weekend. As of now toojust not able to make a post make sense. The Vicodin helps the pain, but I'm groggy and it doesn't take it totally away. I was still awake much of last night, and not only awake but confused. I did things like take the battery out of my clock and unplug it rather than just turn the alarm switch off, and I think I took 2 doses of Vicodin very close together out of confusion about what time it was. Which is probably why I feel odd this afternoon still.

Otherwise? My ankle hurts. I finally got the nerve up to look at it and no wonder, it's pretty ugly. I just took a shower, which was difficult and hurt. I can walk short distances now without crutches as long as I wear shoes. My patch from yesterday disappeared.

I'm having trouble not stewing over input I got yesterday from my supervisor that I don't agree with. She's criticizing the way I've done things for the whole time I've done this, and it's a way that works for me and has always seemed to work for my patients. At this point I plan to just let it go for a couple weeks then she'll be on maternity leave and then not the manager anymore if I'm even still there when she returns, and to remember that she has a habit of trying to tell people how to do things when she's not even qualified to do them (she's a PT assistant with no trouble telling me how to do OT; I ignore that a lot). But yesterday just wasn't the best day to hear criticism, especially by the time she got around to it. I'd been in serious pain for 24 hours by then (no Vicodin until like 9 pm last night), and this could have waited. But she's been kind of grouchy herself, which makes sense since she's as pregnant as someone can possibly be, and she lacks tact at her best. Plus she tends to get mad about things like me getting sick or spraining my ankle. And I'm in no place to listen to her well since I'm still furious that she didn't bother to take the 1 minute to fax in my timesheet while I was sick so that I missed a paycheck. Nor did she ever apologize for that.

So anyway, not my best day ever and I can't even begin to really make sense about much.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Meds are the best

So I got a nice script for vicodin and love Dr. Body more than ever before. Ice is also high on my list of loves.

I made it through the day of therapy without being able to do things. I can walk with the crutches now (a little weight on the heel of my foot), which really helps. And the vicodin is also good. I can also walk a few steps without them, although i'm restricting that to things like to the bathroom at home, except that I have my brace off so I really can't do that. At least for now until the ice is done and I put the thing back on, which I may try to not do tonight. I don't know why I'd need to sleep in it and it's uncomfortable, so I'd much rather not.

It was a long day and I'm getting groggy, but mainly I just wanted to say that it IS possible to do therapy on crutches. I wouldn't recommend it, but I survived. I'm hoping by Monday to just need one. I'll probably take both in case the pain increases through the day, but one would be so much easier.

The biggest issue now is that the only good time I could get for follow-up messes up my schedule with Dr. Mind. But hopefully I can re-schedule, and ultimately walking is more important than stress management.

More tomorrow. Sleeping now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Very short. Not sweet.

My string of difficulities continues. I tried to hurry in to see Dr. Mind tonight after being caught in a traffic mess, didn't wait for the dizziness to clear when I stood, stepped on something while dizzy, and fell, with possessions in a 5 foot radius.

This fall was worse than the last one. I skinned a knee pretty badly and sprained my ankle, also badly. I'm in an aircast and on crutches. THAT will make therapy interesting.

I just got home, need to eat and take some meds and sleep. More tomorrow because I did have some interesting thoughts while lying there waiting for my knee to get cleaned up and my ankle splinted.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Intro to December, OT style

The last 6 weeks of the year always, always are bad in therapy. Lots of sick people, usually lots of broken bones, lots of cardiac issues as snow comes, lots of elective surgery put off for when the weather is bad.

This year is as intense as usual, but my assistant at the place I spend a small part of my time is sick. So the last 2 days have been really, really insanely busy and I'm still trying to manage my life, which means that I still have to buy kitty litter and the like. And so I'm completely exhausted. I'm doing way too much and I'm not sure how to back off.

Everything is stressful. I want Christmas gifts wrapped and out of my house (I don't really wrap, we use re-usable boxes for environmental reasons), and so I've worked on that from time to time. I still don't feel wonderful, and that's stressful. People are stressing me out. I was booked into a slot with Dr. Mind this Monday that was already booked, so I've been without him for a week and that's still a long time.

This is the first time I've even gotten to try to eat whatever I called dinner before 9 pm this week.

I just feel like I don't have time for the things I WANT to do, I'm just existing and doing what has to be done beyond that. It's normal for this time of year, which is also just generally hard for me, but it's worse this year because I'm still fighting depression (more since I got sick and then was off meds and am still working my way back to my seroquel dose and even more because things are going smoothly at work and because I'm having trouble with not letting my frustration with my manager show. She is getting on my nerves constantly and it's mainly because I'm very angry with her because I just overdrafted my bank out thanks to not getting paid last week because she didn't take the 30 seconds to fax my timesheet despite repeated requests from me and my employer.

So that's why I'm quiet. I am likely to be quiet until Saturday, and more quiet than usual until Christmas is over. In general I have a hard time from now until my mid-January birthday thanks to my own set of bad memories, combined with all the stress. Hence the wanting the gift-boxing stuff done NOW.

Anyway, my food is ready and I'm trying real food for the first time in almost 2 weeks, so here goes nothing.

Monday, December 07, 2009


I have about 5 minutes of energy left. I was thinking about a comment from Michal on my post saying Dr. Body is probably about ready to run away. She basically said that he probably just really likes the challenge of me.

The funny thing about doctors is that you'd think that would be true. Yet I struggle hard to find doctors who are willing to accept me as I am: mentally ill, in control, very aware of my situation, very unwilling to be pushed around. On the other hand, the doctors I do have care very much for me and go out of their way to help.

When I was getting ready to go to the hospital Dr. Mind said something about my being a special patient to Dr. Brain. I said something about well, we spend a lot of time together and have for years. He started to say more about my being someone she really cares for and invests in, then stopped himself. Probably he realizes knowing this freaks me out a little. He's the same though. He makes sure I'm ok, going above and beyond as well. It took a long time to feel close to him. I trusted him, but I didn't feel like "hey, I'm a special patient". I do now. I've learned that he cares deeply, but also that he knows me extremely well. At this point, nearly 4 years after we met, he can look at me and tell me I'm tired; he can hear me talk for 3 minutes and know I'm badly depressed; he can tell when I feel crappy and try to cover. I was very cautious about letting this relationship get more than totally professional because the last time that didn't work out so well, but this works. We keep a barrier but I also am not "just a patient" and I know it. And Dr. Body......well, I was one of his very first patients ever. That matters. But he is so respectful of my crazy needs and limits and rules about proving meds are safe before I take them. I'm realizing I'm so comfortable with him that I'm probably going to have him do my gynecological care from now on. That's a way off before I have to decide, but I realized that I trust him so much, so why struggle with someone new just because he is male? I'm also realizing I can trust him to help in weird ways. I need a test done called a cystoscopy. Essentially it is a camera into the bladder to find out if my bladder is ok or if something adds to the blood in my urine. After the urine I produced for days after the dehydration I'm willing to admit I have to do this. There were huge clots in there for days, and it reminded me of what I see in catheter bags of very, very, very sick people. Something clearly is wrong there. But the cystoscopy is something I've refused because it involves things my sexually abused self can't handle. Finally I realized that I not only need to do this, I have a way: I need to be honest with Dr. Body and tell him I need this done by a female and I need it done with enough anesthesia and a med to make me not remember it. It's normally an office test I believe, but that won't happen for me, and I do need it. That urine was scary. I won't be doing it for a bit, first I have to recover from this, and then I have to see what happens with my insurance. If I stay a traveler it will be one thing, and if I take a permanent position it will be another.

And I'm falling asleep sitting up, so good night.

No wonder I'm frustrated

I'd hoped suicide watch 2009 was over, but yesterday when I was sick AGAIN I started not wanting to continue life if this is life. Meaning my threshhold for patience is down. A lot. And I'll have to tell Dr. Mind so, buying myself about a month more of that fun.

I am not growing nasties in my intestines. That's the good news. I got 2 more meds, one just a variation of something I was taking last week, the other one for diarrhea that I have to remember to take 3 times per day. I'm still nauseous if I eat anything not bland.

On the other hand, I am wonderfully, truly, totally done with every single little Christmas gift. I have to wrap, and two things are still on order and I have to make one internet order after I get paid, plus I have to get my sister's birthday gift card (just before Christmas), but otherwise, I am done.

Hopefully I'll actually feel like my posts I want to write soon. For now, it's time to sleep.

Don't Wanna

I am so unbelievably tired still today. I need 2 day weekends. Really, really need them in fact.
I'm hoping today goes fast so I can get to the 2 stores I need to get to to finish my Christmas shopping. I feel pressured to do that. I have no idea why, but I'm not arguing with myself. I'm sure it is related to wanting to avoid crowds at all costs.

On the other hand, I'm tired partly because the evil nightmare bug is still present. That food I ate yesterday was nice, but I'm back to a bland, mainly liquid diet and will have to contact t he dr. today. Again. That doctor will be re-thinking his extra supportive of me policy and wishing he didn't tell me he was going to be changing practices but how to find him. He's going to want to run.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Oh so much better

First, I've eaten solid food twice today. I didn't necessarily love it, but after 10 days it's rather nice to chew.

Second, I got the best sleep. I woke up as usual at 6, and that just wasn't enough rest. I took some valium and got another 6 or 7 hours of sleep, and I'll be ready to go to bed early. Which I desperately need. I need to run one load of laundry, do a little handwash, and iron for the week, but otherwise tonight is sleep night.

Not a very exciting blog the last few days. Recovery from this bug is kicking my butt. And it's my busiest time of the year.

I emailed my company to ask about what the process is if I want to seek permanent employment with my current contract. I'm not positive I do, but I want to think seriously about it. I love this traveling thing, but I also need a job with sick days. The stress of missing 2 days sick this week was unbearable, and the shorter paycheck also stinks. And then all I could think while I was waiting to find out if I was going to have to go through another antidepressant change was that I had no possible way to afford more time off. Even just with the 2 days I missed I was warned that missing too much would cancel my insurance. That's just not good. I have a chronic illness and there will be times I'm sick. Feeling constantly like I will lose my insurance/my job if I get sick frightens me too much.

I suppose that I really should get my laundry in. I have so much more to say; I want to write about Dr. Brain's reaction to some of my hospital experience, and I have some more things I want to write about regarding the experience, things I wish I'd known ahead of time and want to remember for next time.

Best news though so far: No real reaction to patches except some redness and one bump that itches a little. And that has to do with the patch curling up (I think that results in a double dose at that spot). I'm keeping a log of what is patched when, and trying to make each patch as far away on my body from the last several as I can. So far this is helping, a lot. I think the time off of them actually let my body heal enough that this works, so I guess that wasn't all bad, just scary.

More later if I wake up more. If not, going to bed in 45 minutes or so. Either way, later.

Can't believe I didn't this; I dod everything else here

Please forgive typos. My cat is aggressively sitting with her butt on the touchpad and won't move. So I can't have total control here.

So Friday two big things happened. One good, one made me very angry.

The good? Started weird. I got a letter from my mortgage company talking about my difficulties I'd told them I was having. Except I hadn't said such a thing ever. So I called to clear that up, and one of the hold options talked about having automatic weekly payments. I get paid weekly and that way cuts a lot of time and money off the debt. So I got that set up, and if I follow that plan my house will be paid of 4 1/2 years earlier with a $13000 savings, and if I add just $20 extra per month it will be 5 years soon with more savings. So now I'm excited about paying off my mortgage.

I've been crazily financially planning lately anyway. In the spring I am going to have to get a new patio door and replace the flooring. I'm pretty sure this will mean flooring and underflooring, as water had come in under my current patio door and it looks damaged. So that's a big expense. I also eventually, like within a year, want to reface my cabinets and add another one. Again, big expense, but really needs done and will drive me nuts until it is done, because one I get the new flooring down the cabinets will not match because I'm going with a wood laminate of some kind. So I have a special savings account for that, and another to accumulate money to pay my mom back money I owe her. I also having regular savings and soon need to start a retirement account. And I signed up for a plan to pay off my one credit card in a certain amount of time with automatic deductions (that I can reduce if I can't afford that much some month). So all this is good and makes me feel very goal oriented.

The bad? Well, this is more the anger provoking. When I was off I needed my time sheet sent in. I asked the manager to do it. She didn't send it on time, even after a call from my company, so I won't be paid until next week. I am not happy....

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Well, so much for tomorrow

Michal wins the prize in her comment that I'm exhausted. I'm dead sitting up.

Yesterday I didn't get home from work until 9:30, for the 4th day in a row or so. (I think maybe 9 once, but still. LATE).

Today I got up at my usual 6, went to work from 8-10:30, drove another hour to see Dr. Brain, was there 2 hours, drove back to work and worked until 6:30. I then had to go to Sam's Club. Had because I'm running out of the food I will/can eat and needed ingredients. Plus I needed cleaners after last week and I need them because I have more to disinfect yet. Then I was already so tired that I decided to try to finish a couple more errands while at least it was late enough to cut down on crowds. I needed smaller underwear and had to return a blouse that fell apart, so I went to Kohls. Kohls no longer sells the underwear that I've preferred for a very long time. (I'm a very very brand loyal woman). So finally I got some and then realized I might as well try to do my last 2 Christmas errands. Both stores were closed, so I'm doing it online even though one will have some expensive shipping, relatively anyway, and the other will take some guesswork on color. But I am not going back in stores.

So tomorrow I'd planned to get blood drawn and then visit my mom. Instead I'll be spending the day pretty much right where I am now, perched in bed, reading or napping. I still have so few foods I can eat and it zaps my energy anyway. I hoped I was done with Zofran but had to take one today midday.

Dr. Brain found more patch sites for me. Thank God. I was so glad to see her. I haven't gone more than 5 weeks without seeing her in the last 7 years, and even less time between communication. I hadn't seen her since 9/26 and had only emailed a couple times and then talked to her on the phone once earlier this week.

And now it's time to eat something and sleep, as my head is literally swimming.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Recomendation

I've talked about this before I think, way back with my 1st one. For a few reasons that aren't important I quit using it for a while, then moved on to a new one in the last few weeks.

I'm talking about my USB medical alert. It's simply a USB that you wear on a necklace or carry on a keychain (some also are bracelets or watches), and it is programmed so that you enter in all your health info. Which can be very important in an emergency.

I proved this the other night when I was far too ill to remember my drug allergies. I was able to give it to them, they plugged it into their computer, and were able to get everything they needed. The entire ER staff was really interested and really glad I had it. They'd never seen one before and a bunch of them wanted to buy them. I'm so glad I had it because it's hard to tell what med I might have taken if I hadn't had that; too many allergies to remember when groggy, and I was literally at a point of being pretty mentally confused when I got to the hospital. (Thank God for the rash or things might have gotten really bad without my realizing it was emergent that I do something).

Anyway, the one I use (there are lots) I picked because you can see screenshots of the program and I knew it was one that would fit my needs well. I really want the watch one this time, but couldn't find it in a design I liked. So the one I got comes from Critical Access, cost $19.95, and is now extremely highly recommended, now that I used it and it worked. There are ones designed more specifically for kids, and if I were buying one for a child I'd look for this, simply because what I have is kind of long and would be heavy to a child.

I do wear a standard medic alert dogtag with it because the USB doesn't have a design or words on it that indicate clearly that it is that kind of device, and because I need people to see immediately that I wear and MAOI because in an emergency they need to know before anything else that I can't have some meds. That one says in full "MAOI; Tetanus shot allergy; Muliple med allergies; see USB." It was around $10 on Ebay and I like it because it is pretty blue.

So there's a great Christmas gift.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


I should be writing about how thankful I am that psychologically I'm much, much better, Dr. Mind isn't worried about me like a few days ago, and even he, Dr. totally conservative about this, agrees that suicidal watch 2009 is about over. We'll see how much longer he assesses it, but at least the end is in sight.

But I am so, so, so tired of nausea. Dr. Mind sent me home early to go to bed. I had to finish a few things at work, then pick up a prescription (like every day lately). I got home, took meds, and ate 2 pieces of toast with jam. My mistake was thinking I was all wonderful and eating a few pieces of chocolate after work. And trying to get off the zofran. For me, I have no idea how common this is, that stuff causes serious headaches, one after each and every dose. And since I must get back on my lithium dose I can't skip it to take ibuproferon, so I'm stuck with tylenol that does nothing. The headaches are draining my ability to function. I made it until just about lunch without one, then started getting queasy, which lasted a pretty long time. Then I felt better, then had my horrid headache, then felt ok until I ate and then it was back to zofran again because I can't sleep because my 2 pieces of toast made me sick.

It has been a week tomorrow since I ate anything but: toast with small amounts of jelly, homemade chicken soup (must be homemade because of control of what is appetizing, going to have to make more), jello, nutrigrain bars, a few ginger snaps, dry cheerios, crushed ice, that idiotic bit of chocolate, and a pudding cup, which actually was a good experience. (who knows). Things are still so messed up that I'm not even wanting to drink water, which I'm usually a guzzler of. Mainly gatorade appeals, so I'm drinking lots of it, some water, and ginger ale. Which I am nearly out of and so will have to go to the store to get more tomorrow. I'm really tired of store trips this week, I keep needing meds........

If I'm not able to eat substantially more by Monday and can't get off the zofran by Monday I'll have to go back to the doctor. And that's going to open that whole appendix mess up again, I'm afraid. Or something. I'm already past the deadline for everything to be all well, but I'm assuming my taking immodium, something I really shouldn't take because of my usual opposite problem, is at partial fault there. Or something else, because there is no way nausea should last this long from a bug.

I just want to sleep. And I've got about 30 minutes before the nausea should end......Blech.

Are you real?

Baludec3, I really wanted to say thanks for the comment. I'm TRYING to do that again, to all billion of you I've not responded to in the last months.

But it turns out you link to a commercial site. So, here's your chance. I was going to delete your comment, but just in case you are not a real person who took the time to actually fill in a comment and the code just for this advertisement, you've got 24 hours to tell me that this is a mistake. Because I feel wrong just deleting.

(Michal, not real Tupperware. That's what I call all plasticware. Kind of like Kleenex. It wasn't a really disposable container, I just didn't happen to have one, but it was the only remaining piece of my first set ever, so it was a zillion years old. Believe me though, had better seal occurred to me one of my brand new set may have been sacrificed. The whole way there I kept worrying what happens if THAT leaks, no matter how much it is wrapped up. EWWWWWWWWWWWW. And I do remember burping Tupperware. In fact my mom still has one bowl that you do it to. It has been around longer than I have I think.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Beyond tired

Today was a long, long, long. My OTR friends will understand when I say 7 evals, 3 treatments, 45 minutes of travel, one day. And I still don't feel so great, so it's not like I'm brimming with energy. In fact, I'm still sucking down Zofran like candy.

Tomorrow? Another long, long day. And I have to be done by a certain time to see Dr. Mind. I refuse to compromise that. For any reason whatsoever.

At least I'm not at the hospital with a tupperware container of poop right now. So it beats yesterday. Ick.

I sent my nephew/niece it's first present today: stuff to help mommy quit throwing up. My poor sister has hit heavy morning sickness at the worst possible time of the year for her job. And she has 3 more weeks before work lets up.

So far no patch reactions. So I am probably safe. Thank God. And that's the real reason I wrote.

Here goes

In a few minutes I go back to work. Let's say I'm underimpressed. I know that I have a hugely busy day, and I'm very tired. I needed to get a stool sample in to the hospital within a very limited time frame, and while I'd assumed I was all better and didn't need to, the need demonstrated itself as I was about half-asleep, and so I had a very exciting hour dealing with that. I went in my pajamas, bare feet in fake Crocs, and after I waited for someone obnxious to register I get registered and turned it in and got home about 10, so then I was up much later than planned.

I'm also nervous that my belly isn't done exploding. I've had a couple unpleasant suprises in this direction the last 2 days and I don't want more. I'm taking a bag of clean clothes with me, in case. That's a lot of fun to think about.....

But, we'll see. At least the patch is on.

Just so very tired.......

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The patch is back

I talked to Dr. Brain (aka most incredibly wonderful doctor in the world) tonight and I'm on a reaction watch, but she thinks this is ok.

So, thank God I am back on it before I wound up in the hospital. Now it just has to work ok.

A common question answered (and a life tip)

Life tip: Do not wake up to take meds at 4 AM then partially sit up with a drink in your hand and fall back asleep. It is a cold, wet, rude awakening and you'll have to sleep the rest of your psychotropic off on the couch.

Question Answered: Why isn't anyone covering for your psychiatrist?
That's tricky. She does have people covering, and most people have been able to see these doctors if needed. Originally the hospital people said I'd see one of them, they were waiting to see who (I think they were saying she wanted me to see but that is hazy). Then they apparently talked to her and she wanted to just have me wait and see me herself.

There are good reasons for that. My situation is so complicated that anyone messing with my meds can get hairy. People do things like the hospital doctor, who I really liked a lot, who told me that I might do well trialing Lamictal again. I've had 2 bad reactions to Lamictal, including the dreaded rash (and in a pattern that makes it more likely that I could have a very severe reaction if reapproached), and although protocol says I could try again in certain conditions she feels strongly that it would be bad. So the hospital doctor immediately tried to say she was wrong and over-cautious. I emailed her to say help!!! and she told them no Lamictal. That was the thing about the hospital; she was still involved in decisions if needed. With no connection to her someone might insist on doing something not good for me, where she knows me so well that she's much less likely to upset the apple cart.

She also knows me. She knew I would get my family doctor, who she trusts, to step in and help. They've been in contact and have worked together for4 years or so, and she knows he'd help me but be careful and listen to me, which is key because I've got a pretty good idea of what is a bad idea for me, but you have to know me well enough to realize I'm pretty aware of what is going on with myself before that matters when you treat me, and to someone new, on paper, I don't look like someone who could necessarily have a good grasp on this. She knew I'd aggressively get help if needed, and that Dr. Mind would aggressively monitor me and extremely aggressively get help if he was the least bit concerned.

So I know why she didn't have me see anyone else. She probably thought that was what I'd greatly prefer, and she was right. I think probably she thought after the Lamictal incident I'd be afraid of the hospital doctor, which is reasonable but I would have been ok following up with him in actuality.

What I don't know a reason for, and which I suspect was a failiing of the hospital social worker rather than anything else, was why I wasn't given someone to call in an emergency. There is always a resident on call, but there is exactly zero chance I will trust something like this to a doctor who may have only months of experience, has never met me, has not read my records carefully, and has no clue about how allergic I can be. Plus the only time I tried the resident on call I had a bad experience (bad enough the resident was disciplined; they just ignored my call) and so I have a big trust issue there. Which means that my only choice would be to call the unit I was on and try to get them to let me talk to the doctor I saw there. Which I would do in an emergency worse than this, but it is not ideal since that doctor wouldn't exactly expect it and so wouldn't probably even remember me. Any doctor who was aware I might call in an emergency would retain some memory of me.

So there are reasons things are this way, but there also was an error in there. This being me it was not unreasonable to expect that something like this might happen. Not being negative, just realistic. Which is why I suspect that this part was the social worker assuming I'd be fine and possibly Dr. Brain not feeling well enough to precisely direct her.

We'll see Saturday I guess.