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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Annual Nerve-wracking experience

Every year I struggle with holidays. Different holidays have different reasons for the struggle. I have trouble with family gatherings due to noise and generally decreased social skills. I get sad with some holidays for things I never had or will never have.

Fourth of July though, is another story. Fourth of July is the holiday where my nerves nearly kill me. Fireworks are my sworn enemy. My neighbors are already setting them off, making me want to post a large sign in my backyard: It's not even JULY yet. Not that they care. They'll set them off for 2 months if they have them. And every.single.time I will jump.

I will be becoming increasingly grouchy this week.....

Monday, June 29, 2009

700 Club

I deleted some posts that I decided were a bit more personal than I wanted to get, so this is post 700, the 2nd time. There's a tradition that many bloggers participate in that at post 100 they post 100 things about me. I tried this, but didn't get to 100.

Tonight I ran across this version of the same thing and it seemed like fun. You just put the things you've done in bold (starred with this set-up as bold doesn't show) and those you haven't stay normal. So, here goes:

Started your own blog *

Slept under the stars *

Played in a band*

Visited Hawaii

Watched a meteor shower*

Given more than you can afford to charity*

Been to Disneyland/world

Climbed a mountain*

Held a praying mantis

Sang a solo

Bungee jumped

Visited Paris

Watched a lightning storm at sea

Taught yourself an art from scratch

Adopted a child

Had food poisoning*

Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

Seen the Mona Lisa in France

Slept on an overnight train

Had a pillow fight*


Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

Built a snow fort*

Held a lamb*

Gone skinny dipping

Been to a Broadway show in NY

Ran a Marathon (one of the things you couldn't pay me to do)

Been in three states at once

Ridden in a gondola in Venice

Seen a total eclipse*

Watched a sunrise or sunset*

Hit a home run

Been on a Cruise

Seen Niagra Falls in Person*

Visited the birthplace of your Ancestors

Seen an Amish community*

Taught yourself a new language

Had enough money to be truly satisfied

Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

Gone rock climbing

Seen Michelangelo’s David

Sung karaoke

Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

Visited Africa

Walked on a beach by moonlight*

Been transported in an ambulance

Had your portrait painted

Gone deep sea fishing

Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

Kissed in the rain

Played in the mud*

Been to Grace Kelley’s grave in Monaco

Gone to a drive-in theater (one of my favorite summertime things)

Been in a movie

Visited the Great Wall of China

Started a business

Taken a martial arts class*

Swam in the Mediterranean Sea

Visited Russia

Served at a soup kitchen

Sold Girl Scout cookies*

Gone whale watching*

Gotten flowers for no reason

Donated blood, platelets or plasma

Gone sky diving

Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

Bounced a check*

Saved a favorite childhood toy*

Visited the Lincoln Memorial*

Eaten Caviar (one of the you couldn't pay me to do it things)

Pieced a quilt

Stood in Times Square

Toured the Everglades

Been fired from a job*

Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

Broken a bone*

Been on a speeding motorcycle

Seen the Grand Canyon in person

Published a book (sort of; my thesis is in a library somewhere)*

Visited the Vatican

Bought a brand new car*

Walked in Jerusalem (albeit not the one you're thinking of)*

Had your picture in the newspaper*

Read the entire Bible*

Visited the White House*

Killed and prepared my own meat

Had chickenpox*

Saved someone’s life (with 2 other people)*

Sat on a jury

Met someone famous

Joined a book club

Lost a loved one *

Had a baby

Seen the Alamo in person

Swam in the Great Salt Lake

Been involved in a law suit

Owned a cell phone*

Been stung by a bee*

If you want to play let me know where you posted.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I've had quite a few new readers lately, so I'm going to back up a little bit and explain my past in a few sentences. Basically I was diagnosed with bipolar 7 years ago. From that time on treatment was challenging. I have been on 40 plus medications at many, many doses. I either react very, very strongly to meds, or I don't react unless I'm at an incredibly high dose. I've got many allergies and have twice been in the emergency room with bad reactions. I've had a severe lithium toxicity and gone on to continue taking low-dose lithium because without it I am simply ill. My kidneys have some damage which means that my use of lithium is very carefully monitored.

About 2 years ago I was down to almost no remaining drugs left to try and was facing longterm disability and waiting for science to catch up to me. Out of desperation we tried one of those drugs and it worked. (That was Seroquel). I remained on enormous combinations of Seroquel and Depakote, along with a bunch of other meds. I go to a huge and famous teaching hospital, and for a long time was taking the highest combination of those 2 meds of any female patient. And I am small. The only problem was that I was exhausted all the time, even with medication in the morning to help with that. Then a year ago I read about this new version of Seroquel, Seroquel XR. I begged to be put on it. My doctor hesitated to let me, the poster child for caution with new meds, be the first she'd had on anything. But after 2 months of whining she agreed and I started it very soon after it came out. In fact, it was quite hard to find. The first few days I took too much accidentally due to an adjustment in how many pills it took to get my dose. After the dose was fixed I was still far too tired so I cut it in half until the weekend. By the weekend I was feeling really good on 1/2 the medication I'd been on. And soon the difference in my life was very visible to everyone. I was happy again. I didn't have mood swings and if I did they were tiny. I was enjoying life. I came off anxiety meds except for as needed. I endured being fired without a major episode and got a new job and started within 2 weeks. I'm handling much more stress at work/more responsibility without issues.

In January I got tired of being tired, and with permission started reducing my Depakote. At this point I'm on less than half of what I was on then. It's continued to make me tired, and so I asked to come off it totally. My doctor agreed and so in the next few weeks I'll encounter my 2nd miracle: I'll be on minimal meds.

I can hardly believe this is happening to ME. More to come. I'm dealing with stomach flu and no sleep last night today and the celebrating has been affected by this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two days down...

I am struggling this week. I'm exhausted, even though I slept all weekend. I hate summer because it does this. I think it's also my meds. For the last 6 months there's been a pattern: I take them, I'm fine for a while, I cycle a tiny bit (not enough to matter, just enough for my body to change), I get this exhausted, I get mad and decrease my depakote and voila! I feel better. My doctor already agreed to get me off Depakote if I can. I emailed her a while ago to tell her I'm coming down another pill, so there. Thankfully she'll be ok with that.

I'm covering for another therapist another almost hour from home. So I returned home 14 hours after I left after driving something like 200 miles. Plus getting really, really lost. I hope there's no more admissions at that building this week. It's probably a pipe dream. I thought when I agreed to this that I was doing it last week, which would give me a full weekend to get over it. Instead it was THIS week (I think it changed) and I have to go to the psychiatrist this weekend. Which doesn't give me much recovery time. And I got home too late to take meds or to really unwind.

On the other hand, which I keep returning to, we just got new health insurance that appears too good to be true. I don't know how they did this, but I'm going to save huge amounts of money, I think. (I'll believe it when I see it). I even get some psychologist visits. Those 10 visits alone save me $450. I've been going to this counseling center 7 years. I have NEVER had a single visit that was just a co-pay. And when I have had visits covered, they covered only a tiny amount and I had to pay a huge deductible first. So, I am THRILLEd about that. The only thing that would make it better would be if my nephrologist wasn't on the plan and I had that reason to give for refusing to see him anymore. Hmmm.....

Anyway, probably time to go try to sleep. If I can. I have an obsessive-compulsive component to my issues and right now it's in full force. I brought home some fruit that apparently brought every fruit fly in the state with it. I keep killing and killing and taking out trash and they keep appearing. I am now on a mission.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quiet (and why)--Also, about anonymity

I'm spending time struggling a little with blogging. I blog anonymously. I will always blog anonymously. I cannot professionally associate my name and this disorder. I learned the hard way already that this is professional suicide.

As I've mentioned, I got hurt by an "anonymous" blogger. The scam I've referenced is the April Rose scam, and if you didn't follow or hear about it you can best learn about it here or here (scroll down). I'm hurt because I let myself emotionally believe in something that was a lie, and I hurt for someone who was lying.

I'm also hurting because people automatically started calling her bipolar as soon as this started. Even people who are bipolar started saying it. Well, I think there are probably better diagnoses for her (borderline personality disorder comes to mind, along with Munchausen-by-internet), but this is EXACTLY why people think such negative things about bipolar. There's never good publicity about being bipolar. Always the focus is on people who do terrible things.

There's a lot more talk on the internet now about not trusting people who refuse to give a name or a picture. Honestly, those things can be totally faked, just like the woman in April Rose faked maternity shots. The truth is also, I could use my first name and it wouldn't really change much. My first name is about as common as a name can be. Telling you my first name wouldn't really change how anonymous I am. But, I understand why people feel this way.

Yet I cannot be more than Just Me online. There aren't just the professional reasons. This blog could hurt other people inadvertently. My mom would die if she knew that I'd posted on the internet, even in general terms, about parts of my childhood. Those posts will be coming down, by the way. And I'm just not the type of person who can talk openly about this stuff with my real name.

So, my thoughts and feelings are kind of mixed up. I'm very, very angry. I am dealing with that anger, but it turns out that this isn't going to be a time anger is a fast process for me. Now that I'm a bit more honest with myself about my feelings that seems to be pretty true--superficial feelings are a lot faster. For some reason that anger is keeping me from my own blog. I'm reading others, but partly that's because I'm reading and now looking at each one in a new light. I've read some for many years now. How do I know you are who you say? Sarah, you might be some 75 year old man in plaid pants for all I know. So, I'm working this all out in my own mind.

Please bear with me, and I'll try to get back to normal soon. I think I'm past learning much new about this, I'm now just waiting and watching for what comes next.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Long day

My assistant blasted me out of sleep at 5:30 AM with a call that didn't need to be made, and the day kind of declined from there. Now I'm running on overtired overdrive.

I had one of those horrible moments when bipolar does something to you and reminds you that you are still not quite the same as you'd like. After being awakened at 5:30 there is no falling back to sleep for me. I can work later hours but not earlier than 9 because I agreed to be the "last one out" person. So I hung out at home. I cooked an egg for breakfast. At 10:00 tonight I went into the kitchen only to find that it was very hot and I'd left the pan on the stove, on high. I have no idea why there wasn't a fire. There was so much heat I had to turn the A/C down 3 degrees to even start to decrease the temperature.

And I'm having a hard time adjusting to the knowledge that I fell for a scam online. I spent a lot of time praying for someone who was lying and had set her blog up to make a lot of money from ads, then done a lot of things online to promote herself shamelessly, while lying about a tragic situation that didn't exist. I saw medical question marks throughout, but still, I was emotionally invested. I'm working tonight on becoming uninvested.

So, hard day around here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


People are amazing jerks. The internet is the best way possible to find this out.

Back to being silently angry....

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Saddest Excuse for a 700th Post Ever

This is post 700. I had plans for this post. I didn't know what they were specifically, but I was going to make post 700 stand out.

And then.......Every time I start having even a trace of cycling I start becoming susceptible to germs. This time has been no different, and as of a visit to urgent care this afternoon I officially have bronchitis.

I don't feel that terrible, just tired and I'm coughing so hard I have dizzy spells (probably because I'm sending my pulse sky high).

But nonetheless I'm having a fairly miserable time because I'm sick and want to sleep and am on narcotics and my neighbors are having a graduation party with live music and it keeps getting louder. Right now I'm wearing the shooting ear protectors I got when I was so manic several years ago, a t-shirt, and no pants because I keep freezing and sweating from fever and can't get the A/C right, and it sounds like the bass is in my spare bedroom. Which is about 5 feet from my bed, where I'm sitting. (Yay, laptop! Just Me joins the 21st century. It's a loaner, but a semi-permanent one and I hooked up wireless just so I could sit in bed and whine).

So, my post about the differences between post one and now will just have to wait for post 701. I think something like this happened with my 100th post as well.......

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Here goes nothing

Well, I'm wearing my orange glasses.  It's pretty weird as they distort colors.  But I am sleepy.  That has to be a good thing.  Right?  

I made it through my week of not-supposed-to-use-the-computer much.  I didn't do a great job, but I did cut back.  The glasses should let me do more.  I'm just glad I kept Dr. Mind distracted enough to not ask if I did what I was told.  Cutting back to less than 1 hour/day is asking a lot!  All my sick time in the last few years has made me pretty used to being entertained by the computer.  I don't watch tv and my attention span for reading is limited.

So, I should be popping back into the blog world a bit more.