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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Psych meds suck (aka,what, that was too much information?)

I know there are 500 million reasons at least that I should be and am grateful to them, and I am because they have given me a pretty nice version of life, but OH.MY.THE.STUPID.SIDE.EFFECTS.

As long time readers may recall, a major part of the decision to switch to the MAOI last year was that the dose I needed of imipramine which I was taking then caused constipation that was causing my doctor to mumble things about "colonoscopy prep" and "there's something the surgeons recommend that I can't remember but it works intensely and if nothing else works I'll find out for you" because the constipation was so severe and NOTHING was helping.

After switching to the MAOI I gradually was able to cut back my stool softener use until I needed nothing, which was impressive because I'd taken so much for so long that it seemed unlikely my body would work without.  And then things snuck up on me.  Summer came and because of my diabetes insididus it does not matter how much water I drink in the summer it doesn't prevent dehydration.  I sort of forgot that. I literally lug a 30# cooler with me each and every day and 98% of it is water (and ice).  I drink several gallons during the day and it's not enough to keep things running smoothly.  And then the stress of Anne's birth and being sick compounded things and suddenly I realized that I haven't gained 7 lbs of fat lately, as evidenced by my belly which suddenly looks 5 months pregnant.  So I started treating it this week.  And nothing happened.   So this weekend has involved some serious treatment and nothing has helped.  I've had so much fiber in the last 24 hours (along with several types of medications) that my belly should be classified as a minor explosive.  And still nothing.  Interestingly I read today that severe constipation can cause UTIs by causing urinary retention, which I have.  I'm now going to have to pay attention to if the retenion is always there or just when things aren't working.  This though is about as bad as it has ever been.  I'm actually praying for a restless night......anything can be endured to get this to stop.

If nothing else it has to stop or none of my pants are going to fit Monday........:)


Genetics are genetics and some very cute little feet.

I've lived with fear for months that my sister's genetic disposition to mood disorders might affect her after the birth of my niece.  I've felt fear that my niece might wind up with the bad genes, although she is less likely than a child of mine would be.  I don't think in our family there is a "safe" from these genes.

As I've discussed from time to time I have a birthmark that is pretty significant in size and coloration.  I also have what I suspect is a birthmark on my kidney, although that is not medically confirmed; we only know I have a vascularized area growing on my kidney and that it bleeds.  Although the kind I have is not allegedly genetic, my sister also has one which is much less significant and generally only somewhat visible and easily covered by basic foundation (it's basically a typical newborn stork bite that never faded, making it a real birthmark).

Well, I had wondered about that from time to time.  I figured that the baby had  a higher risk of birthmarks, and she does have a large stork bite that I'm suspicious will turn out to be partially portwine stain, just like her mother and I.  I forgot to think about all the other things babies can have.  And there is a chance that she has something which is not terrible, but which may impact her life in a way you don't want to think of for a 10 day old. The doctor wants scans, but it's not urgent or anything, just nerve-wracking to think of.
Regardless, please pray for these itty bitty feet and all that is attached to them. (that is my "normal" hand and the side of the birthmarked one that has splotches to small to show in this blurry picture).
Regardless, please pray for these itty bitty feet and all that is attached to them.  (Picture to come down soon, so enjoy while it lasts).

Friday, July 30, 2010

What a day

My UTI is back.  Did I mention that?  So apparently it was a UTI and I'm now on another antibiotic.  So that made the day more challenging, especially because I'm so tired and overslept.  I was awake for 2 hours but fell asleep inadvertently.  oopsie....

I had a terrible time reaching patients and then had a few challenges.  Then I finished up 110 miles from home.  That was a long, long drive.  And now I'm just very, very tired.  But that's ok because it is finally weekend and hopefully this weekend will be a little more restful than last weekend's coma.

More when I'm coherent...

So Frustrated

So a few weeks ago payroll didn't my timesheet and rather than call me they just didn't pay me.  I had fax confirmation that they received it, so I got paid that day.

Last week I used PTO while sick.  My supervisor had told me to write some information on the form so they'd pay it.  I got my check.  They didn't pay me, so now I have a good bit less money than anticipated to live on for a week.

They also lost my timesheet again last week and I have to send it all over again, although thankfully this was caught  before payday.

What is up with that?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not fun

I got a call yesterday from my doctor's office from someone who wanted me to explain what I meant in my note to him about not understanding what is going on and what  it means when I think I feel really sick and nothing shows up.  It was very awkward, esp. as I had no clue who I was talking to and she wound up pretty much talking down to me, meaning she probably was a nurse I've never met who read the thing, didn't talk to Dr Body who would have gotten the main idea, and called me instead.  She never did answer my real question, which is what thermometer is right if 3 of them give widely variant readings?  How do you know you have a fever?

Then I got a nice note from him that it was ok, sometimes they don't find the cause of illness, that it just adds up to virus, don't worry.

I do think though that I've left him out of the loop that he needs to be in, the one where I've discovered that I don't react normally to pain and I find myself lying during exams if I think that saying something does hurt would sound silly or fake.  I'm trying to get better about this but I did it again the last time.  So I made an appointment, asked for a double block of time if possible and am going to talk to him and explain this.  Because I can really get myself into a bad spot doing this, and right now it's possibly worse that ever before because I'm anxious about the process.

Between just life in general sometimes requires you go to a doctor, state symptoms, accurately respond to questions, and accurately go through an exam.  In thpe last few years my inability to do this well has resulted in almost needing IV antibiotics for a near-septic abscessed tooth, the scary-almost-got-too-confused-to-make-it-to-the-hospital with significant dehydration and way too much MAOI in my system, and my ankle being more injured than I admitted because I didn't describe the pain well.

I've improved, for a long time it took a friend  practically shaking me to get me to go to a doctor or go near one and now I'm do.  But I still need to be more honest with him.  I trust him, I've followed him everywhere, I don't know why I don't just give up and trust him fully, but that is a work in progress.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I hate to do this but....

I can't STAND the Chinese character spam.  And I'm not succeeding in dealing with it otherwise, so I'm going to moderate comments for a bit and see if I can't get it to go away.  Please do not take this personally unless you are the spammer, and if you are I think I hate you.

This is temporary and will be a pain because I don't get home to moderate until evening.  Yet it's important to my sanity that I get rid of the annoying people.

And since I woke up tired and in a bad mood (my cat insisted on eating at 2 AM).  I got a drink, fell asleep while drinking and woke when I spilled about 4 oz. of gatorade all over my bed and myself. Not fun.

And speaking of that I need to go  wash sheets.....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I've got 2 problems going here, and one is that I am spoiled and the other is that I'm overly sensitive about some things, and those 2 things have come together to STRESS.ME.OUT.

I've mentioned before that Dr. Body has always been very supportive of me.  He has always made time for me and responded to whatever I need.  He changed practices and things seemed fine.  The last 2 times I've been in there (the last few weeks due to a work physical then whatever was wrong with me last week) he's been pressured for time, and this last time left me confused.  He talked about pain meds, but instead of looking to see what I can take either he over-estimated my ability to remember (essentially nothing; I need to talk to Dr. Brain) or forgot, and didn't give me anything.  He forgot the zofran he said he'd prescribe and I had to ask at the check-out for it.  He didn't even talk to me himself about my test results.  Nobody has gotten back to me about my urine, so I assume it didn't grow anything, but it would be nice to know that.

And then I sent in a note through the computer system that frankly was hard to write and which is stressing me out more.  I'm very confused because I came out of that feeling like I was somehow making things up (read:  I'm hearing my father talk to me) or my other paranoia that I was drug-seeking (not hardly.  Hate pain meds.  They hate me.  He knows that, I've just been treated that way too many times).  But I went in having sat here in this bed watching my fever go up incrementally to the highest I've ever seen on my thermometer.  By the time I reached his office, freezing cold in 94 degree heat, without even being able to use airconditioning and wearing a sweatshirt, I did not register a fever at all.  I then bought 2 more thermometers on my way home and they get different readings as far apart a 1.5 degrees.  And while i haven't taken my temp yet while feeling better, I know I usually read at 96 something.  So 99.8, 99.9 is a definite fever, yet in his office nothing is wrong, and then I'm having horrid pain but nothing shows on the CT?  Makes no sense. (Except that is does if I had a kidney stone that I passed before he saw me or shortly afterward which hurt on teh way down but not on the way out.  I've had other suspected stones).  Or it could have been viral.  I did have something; my white count showed infection.  But I left there feeling I had screwed up.  I emailed him asking for clarification of how to know when I am sick and when I'm not, because I am afraid that this is one of those things that is going to go down as "eh, bipolar" and if that's the case I want to know when to trust myself and when not to.

I'm really upset about this.  But has he answered?  Nope.  To be fair, did I know I cried for a couple hours trying to write the note?  Nope.  But Dr. Body of the past would answer.  Period.  And does he even really know that part of why my description didn't make sense was that I am not good and trying to learn how to describe pain and I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be.  Because doing that while in pain is harder.

So I'm anxious and annoyed.  it's lovely.

Monday, July 26, 2010

No expectations, no expectations.........

So my sister was surprised when I said something about not coming to see her until the baby is a bit older.  Basically she said "just come, I'll tell you if it's a bad day".  So, next week while Dr. Mind is on vacation I'm going to go hold my niece.  Yay.

And you cannot know how good it was to type that sentence.  I am really an Aunt........That's not sunk in yet.  Getting sick so soon after didn't do much for the reality check.

Wii fit is kicking my butt. That's a good thing.  I wish I had more time to mess around; I will but haven't been able to get into a routine because of babies and illness and not being home and whatnot. I also think it was a really good idea because I think it really is working on my balance.  it is always criticizing me for not distributing my weight across my feet equally, but it also does work and give enough visual feedback that I'm gaining more of a sense of control of that ankle than I have had since I hurt it.  Of course exercising today also used some of my remaining energy after being so worn out from being sick, which probably made it harder, but, well, let's just say one of my often-repeated at work expressions is "you know the best cure for constipation is therapy".  And let's also say that I may have ignored the signs I needed to be on my meds for that and then it got worse while taking Zoftran which slows down your belly, and so I am doing everything I can think of to aid in digestion.

Now I supposed I should try to sleep.  I got distracted editing pictures of MY NIECE and time got away from me.

The land of nod

I pretty much slept from Friday evening straight until about 5 yesterday, then was back to sleep about 10:30.  And I am STILL tired.  And my belly still hurts some, although much less than 2 days ago.  Unfortunately the major way to ensure comfort is to lay on my side in exactly the right position.  Oh well, I guess it will make the day go faster to have something to focus on?  Something like that?

My urine culture should, I think, be back today.  And that will let us know if something was still brewing in there after antibiotics.

It appears I've taken 2 antibiotic pills when I shouldn't have, or the pharmacy didn't give me 2 pills.  My guess is I took them while asleep and forgot.  Regardless I'm going to be done a day early somehow.  This could explain the nausea.  Except not, because I was nauseated before I touched the Cipro.

Better get ready for work.  I'm actually afraid of what is awaiting me there.......

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I have realized......

Dr. Mind told me a few weeks ago that I have developed a rather fun habit of when I am struggling with something after a time I'll come in and tell I'm "I've realized......" and from the moment I say that I am really working my way through whatever it is.  I wish he had a clue how often those statements come from this blog.

Anyway, the last 24 hours have let me realize that I still have issues with my whole hospitalization.  A desire to start a project led to looking at the link for the psychiatric program within which I was hospitalized, including looking at pictures of the unit (and oh how they have chose angles to make that unit look bigger than it is).  Anyway, I eventually slept for about 24 hours.  I feel better somewhat, although still am definitely ill, and am still hurting if not in exactly the right position, but mainly I'm just incredibly tired.  But my dreams, after thinking just briefly about that time, were so focused on it.  And scarily so.  I wrote extensively back then about my feeling that I was isolated by being the only person with bipolar and thus treated as if I were there for depression.  Well, I must have really felt that, because in this dream I was still a kid, and I was told I was going to stay  a week.  After that week was up I was kept there for another week and then was to be transitioned to this 3 week program (probably some relationship to their intensive outpatient program that they never recommended for me) but somehow managed to get Dr. Brain to intervene and when I woke the last time (this dream went on for hours as I'd awaken, drink something, sleep more) I was trying to figure out how to make up my math classes.  I don't know the meaning beyond I have issues here, but wow.  I think a lot of this was triggered by hours and hours and hours in the hospital.  Having said that it was several hours less than I thought as I was given incorrect instructions regarding my CT scan and out of boredom showed up early and was taken right back, then I waited right there for the results to be in and a call to go through so I could talk to my dr's office.

I also have realized (ahem)  in the last 24 hours how very angry I am at my mother.  I've expressed plenty of anger at her over the years, but I hadn't realized exactly how she often treats my illness until yesterday and as sick as I was it made me really mad.  Which is what I'm supposed to be starting to talk about as apparently Dr. Mind is not unaware of this, but well, we've got a lot to discuss now.

I think I'm getting sleepy again (I've been awake 2 whole hours), so I'm going to take some meds and see if I can get back to sleep.

Oh, last big news:  I have to replace my car fairly soon.  It has a lot of miles, sounds like it's getting a transmission problem, and is not appropriate for the rural work I do, particulary once winter comes.  The parking lot of my agency looks like an SUV convention and you can tell who has not been there through winter by the few of us that still drive compact cars.  Before I can afford to do this I need to pay off 1 credit card and 2 (dwindling to small amounts) student loans, both for the additional money and the improved credit score.  Well, as of today I have 100% paid off my credit card.  I wish I were healthier so I'd be more excited.  If I can manage to make the same size payments I've been making I'll have the first loan paid off in 4-6 weeks I think.  It's so exciting, if only I were in a position to care.

Friday, July 23, 2010


One CT and some bloodwork and several Zofran and a sad discussion of my lack of ability to take pain meds and  who knows what is wrong?  I have an elevated white count, so some infection somewhere.  My urine looked ok, although that could be several doses of high dose cipro.  I'm better without the nausea and in less pain, esp if I stay in one position.  I allegedly have no fever, although I am under 3 heavy blankets with the a/c basically turned off on the hottest day of a hot summer, wearing sweats and a longsleeved shirt.  I don't believe the no-fever thing.  Maybe I didn't have one at the dr's, but I don't believe I have been fever-free and I think it was freakish that I didn't ahve one there.

Otherwise, I'm feeling very confused.  All my issues about believing myself when I'm sick or hurting have kicked in.  I have no clue what to think.  I did finally get my psych meds in and tomorrow will try the patch, assuming I'm seeming to get enough fluids.  I'm drinking lots but peeing more.  So I'm losing the hydration war.

My belly still hurts.  Not like stomachache hurts, like burning pain hurts.  Best guess, pending my not developing anythign suggestive of an appendix that was just being shy today and I doubt that having been on appendix watch 2009 and not believing it a 2nd time, is that I have a weird virus, or the urine culture will be positive.  Or I'm making the whole thing up.

Guess which I am having trouble not believing?

Sooooooo sick

I'm really, really sick.  Sick like in I'm on the way to the dr. in a little bit and I may have a CT scan and possible admission before I get home.  Sick like either this is one HUGE kidney infection or I may have a stone.  If I do I think it made it to my bladder and is stuck.  I had horrible pain in the left side yesterday but ignored it and eventually it went away although it still hurt to pee.  Now my bladder and areas south of it (I can't describe the region that hurts, it's a really weird area) are on fire, my temp keeps going up (I have had tylenol every 4 hours for 36 hours and 3 doses of Cipro (although one was like 15 minutes ago).  When I woke up 2 hours after a dose of tylenol at 6 and realized how horribly sick I was I stopped it.  I'm interpreting my thermometer based on what I normally get as a reading, but it seems to be around 100 and has been steadily climbing since I'm holding tylenol after realizing it was masking symptoms.  I'm home again, needless to say, freezing, nauseous, hurting, peeing and drinking constantly, and going to the dr. in 30 minutes.I am DREADING the part where he pushes on my bladder.  DREADING.  That can't be good.

I've also had no psych meds in 2 days and was awake nearly all night Tuesday night thanks to my mom's dog.  Consequently I'm also feeling manicky.  Also not a good thing.

More later. If I don't die.  Which I'm considering.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Seeing her was wonderful.  I held her and she fell asleep immediately, fussing only if I stopped rocking her or changed how I was moving her.  She is gorgeous.

Her name is very unusual.  For reasons known only to me I will be calling her Anne on this blog.  If you are able to guess from that (and I want to know if you can because if you can make the obscure connection you just became an awesome person in my eyes, but email me, don't guess in the comments), please email masterofirony@att.net.

Anne is actually very chubby but very short.  Even as a close to 9 lb. baby she still fits easily into newborn clothing.  She is the perfect size to hold and love.  She's a nursing champion and fusses occasionally but it's usually only because she wants to nurse.

My sister looks pale and tired, but you'd never guess she was just pregnant with a large baby.  She is going through a lot of anger and frustration with the medical birth after wanting absolutely the opposite, but she also has her beautiful little girl.

In most ways Anne is a carbon copy of my sister, right down to the exact same stork bite.  That actually concerns me a little, as I think it is large for stork bite and my sister's "stork bite" isn't really that as it never fully faded.  Genetically siblings are highly unlikely both have portwine stain, but my sister and I do, although mine is much more substantial.  I don't want my little niece to have to deal with any kind of birthmark, even if it is as light as her mom's.  My sister certainly never had hers noticed or considered a difference, but that was partially because everyone who knew her knew me and like I said, contrasting my 50plus% of my hand and wrist and areas of arm to a small pale pink area that only really shows when my sister is mad or hot is not the same.

Anyway, what I wrote the other night was so true that I'm printing it to take to Dr. Mind.  Anne isn't the source of the pain.  She's just what I wish for.  I haven't cried about her and that is good.

On the other hand, I'm home sick today.  I used to get UTIs very frequently, so frequently that I kept test strips at home and when I felt one might be bad enough to need treatment I tested.  If it was positive, and it usually was, I called Dr. Body for antibiotics.  I had so many for a while we didn't even treat them all.  I've not had one since I went off the old antidepressant last fall.  So even though I noticed my urine was smelly and dark for a few days I didn't think anything more than "lithium change".  Then last night on the way home from meeting Anne (something I was so careful to avoid infecting her with work germs that I showered, shampooed, and sprayed my shoes and ankle brace with Clorox Any Surface disinfectant) I started feeling horrible, but attributed that to the dog waking me at 2:30 AM and it was 10:30 PM.  I thought I had a migraine.  That is, until I woke to pee every 12 minutes and started having serious back pain and burning and bladder pain.  I can't keep my fever down, and I"m about to go get antibiotics when I finish typing this.  Thankfully Dr.Body didn't make me go see him even though I"m sicker than usual and haven't had one of these in months.  I love Dr. Body.  It doesn't help that for the last couple years I've been allowed one dose of advil daily b/c my lithium level was so low, and now I feel bad and can't take it anymore.  Oh well.

I need to go get those meds.  More later.  But the good thing is, I'm sick, but I'm ok.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Aunt Jen

I have a brand-new, 10 1/2 hour old niece.  I've only seen one small picture of her but she is beautiful.  She is very chubby with the chubbiest cheeks you've ever imagined on a newborn.  My sitster is recovering from surgery well.  I'll be going to see her tomorrow after work.  I can't wait. All that I'm dealing with is still there and still hurts, but I see now that it is not this little person who hurts me,it's my life.  So I'm no longer afraid to see and hold and love her, but I am afraid of how I'll feel later when I have to leave and recognize that I'm still alone.  Yet I think after seeing her picture, and after the scary things we've been through with her in the last 5 days, I actually am able to separate my hurt from my love for her.  My hurt goes much deeper than the birth of a baby, and I've been wrong to blame it on that.  Her birth has been a catalyst to make me confront many painful feelings, but it has not been the cause of those feelings.  The fear I feel about bonding with her is something I need to deal with with my sister, and the rest of the feelings are about me and my losses and the grieving I'm doing for those losses (which aren't really losses as I never had them but I am so exhausted I can't think of a better word.  I crammed a LOT into today so I could be done on time tomorrow).

I also know that I really am part of the baby's family as nobody but immediate family even knows the baby has been born.  My sister didn't want to be overwhelmed and I don't know when they will tell everyone, but I have been one of the limited people allowed to visit so soon.

And now I need to try to get some paperwork to come out of my exhausted brain so I hvae a chance of finishing up in the morning.  Sooooooooooooooo tired............

Monday, July 19, 2010


Gotta  get to sleep, but wanted to say that tomorrow at 12 pm is the big day.  Because of some interfamily politics I'm waiting until Wed. to go meet the little one.  But the time has finally come to know this child.  And I'm more ok about it than I thought, although tomorrow will be tough and I'm sure Wednesday will be as well.  However, I did notify Dr. brain that I think I"m depressed and the lithium boost has only been somewhat effective.  I'm thinking I need more of the lithium as I'm tolerating this much without any problems at all.  Perhaps my body finally has forgotten the toxicity.

Something tomorrow night for sure, although it may be a really long day between work and caring for pets in 2 homes with an horu drive between.  I'm tryign to figure out how to leave 2 days of food out for my cats and then I'll be here Thursday afternoon to feed them, but I don't know what will happen.

Too much to think about.  Including a smashed Christmas gift that arrived today, an expensive pillow that ripped open mysteriously, a really frustrating credit report incident (I'll explain that one later, it's really quite annoying).  And must sleep.  Now.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Latest word

Baby in the morning! Still holding steady with a couple signs that the doctors don't like, but stable.

Which means I really won't get to see the baby for almost a full week, assuming she lets me then (I've been firmly told I can't come until told so simply because I joked about coming soon. So I have no idea when she'll allow me to come, which is a huge source of stress because this is so hard emotionally (even before the complications) and seeing the baby for the first time is the thing I dread the most and I want that part over with.
(And yes, I CAN make this about me even with all the hard stuff that goes along. I'm gifted I think).

And waiting.

Things have stabilized. The baby's condition isn't perfect but it is acceptable and he/she is in no danger. So, after a ton of discussion and the doctor going way above and beyond to arrange things, she is going home tonight. Tomorrow she will have another scan and then will schedule the C-section at the hospital near her home, probably for tomorrow. Obviously there are benefit and detriments to this, but a huge deciding factor is that if the baby is born where it is it goes to a hospital that more or less ruined the life of another family member through enormously stupid mistakes (one of which was that they never checked for a spinal cord injury despite an injury that clearly impacted the spine and they treated him as if nothing were wrong, and due to some of what was done his level and degree of paralysis are way worse than might have been), and if it born at her local hospital it would go to the really wonderful children's hospital where my little brother's life was saved.

So, I get to stay at my own home, sadly minus my brand new sewing machine that I want to get to learn to use but probably need to be less tired anyway, and I get at least night and part of tomorrow at home.

Therefore I'm going to rest more. I have that feeling where you push for days and days and then you don't have to push and you want to sleep for 3 weeks. Which is fine since I mainly feel like that from a med change (really 2) and a week of working really, really hard since this entire next week may be intense, depending on what happens. When they do the c-section I'll go to my mom's so she can leave easily if they decide they want her. She doesn't really think she'll be leaving until the baby comes home though. I probably won't be holding the baby until next weekend. That will be hard.....

But right now all that really matters is eating and sleeping. I love the basics.....

Waiting. and waiting

My sister's baby is being a little spirited before birth. The procedure to turn it did not work. After the procedure they monitor the baby and mom and the baby was not moving. It wasn't officially in distress, just not doing what it should. At first this led to some really scary moments, but eventually they said this can happen from the stress of the procedure and that they'd just continue to monitor. On the next session the baby was still not moving enough, not practice breathing enough, and the fluid is low. So after my sister had gone without food or drink for a whole day and had been terrified all that time she had to spend the night in the hospital, and I'm sure all she could do was pay attention to the movement because how could you not? So she was awake all night. We're awaiting the next results and hopefully a decision on things will proceed; there is apparently still some chance they'll release her to have a C-section closer to home in a few days. I don't know how realistic this is and if any medical person has said it or if it's a hope, but regardless this waiting is awful. I'm not sure why they aren't just getting the baby out because clearly it's big enough, it's full-term, and it is clearly struggling inside. There also is an issue with a missing blood vessel in the cord that is a soft sign of problems and combined with the low fluid levels there is some concern being expressed, although the chances of an issue are extremely low. But again, I know if it were me I would have demanded delivery by now, because I don't like the sounds of the interior environment all that well. I don't know if they are concerned there are physical issues and think the baby is better inside than out, or what, but they sure aren't hurrying to get it out, although they are certainly prepared. I don't now what all this means. I came home to get some things and spend time with my cats and be alone for a bit since I may be spending much of the next couple weeks at my mom's depending how long my sister needs my mom. She has stairs in her house that are hard to handle when not recovering from abdominal surgery and will need help for a while just because it won't be a good idea to be up and down the stairs 47 times a day. Even if they go home now and don't deliver today I think my mom will be going to help as my sister is pretty incapacitated at this point as well as her moral being super low.

So, more later. Just don't know when later; everything depends what happens. Things can still turn into the kind of emergency where I have to be there with little notice.

For now I'm going to try to sleep and make up for last night and prepare for tonight which may be just as worrisome.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's probably that time

So tomorrow my sister has the procedure to turn the baby. However, the baby is even more breech than before and is crammed into a tight ball. Because of that and some other things I'm about 99% sure that she will have a c-section tomorrow. I'm not even sure that he'll try to turn the baby. My sister is expecting to go home after the procedure to wait out the rest of the pregnancy. I do not think this is going to happen, for a number of reasons. I'm pretty sure that by this time tomorrow I'm going to be Aunt Jen. My mother thinks I'm being negative; I think I know more about anatomy than she does.

I'm working hard on putting feelings on hold and focusing on trusting that it is ok to save the really big emotions for my time with Dr. Mind. Right now I'm still pretty numb from my lithium increase (did I mention that? I'm on more lithium because Dr. Brain (and Mind) think I'm cycling. I am, I guess, but it's weird cycling. I'm now not really cycling, but my body is slowly adjusting to the lithium and the need for extra anxiety meds, so I'm just kind of disconnected and sleepy most of the time. It feels pretty good.

So the goal for the next few days is to stay calm and let myself feel numb if that's what it takes, and then when everything is over I can go see Dr. Mind and cry as much as I need to. And then soon we're going to start talking about my anger, the scariest emotion ever. (A new realization: I am also afraid of the anger because way back, before this blog existed mostly although it didn't really stop until about 2 years ago, I just to get uncontrollably angry about stupid things. I was enraged about nothing and most people in my life eventually were hurt by it. The people most victimized were my sister and a wonderful person who has stepped into the role of father/mentor/grown-up who helped me grow up. I used to get so incredibly angry at this person who has done nothing ever but give to me without expecting anything in return, and then I was so very embarrassed. I really hurt him a few times and it's a testament to his committment to me that he never gave up, even when I'm pretty sure he would have wanted to a few times, because I know of at least twice that I really hurt him and in the kind of way there is no apology. So I'm scared to just let myself go with anger, but with Dr. Mind I can do it. The worst that happens there is I'm mean to him, which isn't really likely, and even so it wouldn't be our first skirmish.

Anyway, rapidly falling asleep. More tomorrow when I have news, which won't be until late evening probably as I have a huge work day scheduled and won't have email access unless I happen to find a McDonalds with wi-fi in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bitterness (and why I'm so touchy about it)

I've mentioned before that I attended a conservative Christian college, Grove City College. It is a very strict school with very limited and very supervised hours when dorms are not one gender only; required chapel attendance; and back when I was there Saturday classes, mainly intended to keep students on campus on weekends.

In many ways GCC was perfect for me. I met wonderful people there, had incredible experiences, grew both as a person and as a Christian, and got a good education in both of my majors. However, there was one major downfall, and that was that I was dealing with severe depression, severe anxiety, and some panic attacks during my time there. To many people there mental illness is the work of sin, or devil possession, or happens because you don't have enough faith. (To be fair I'll qualify that this may have changed in the last 15 years, although my sources say not so much). Everything about mental illness was made difficult. They didn't even have counseling available on campus until my freshman year. The counseling center was located on the boys side of campus in an area that if you were headed there you were going to counseling. It was also a small school and in general you had an idea who everyone was and you had a chance to know nearly everyone if you were social enough. I was pretty active in various things (although all lower profile organizations) and was president of 2 organizations my senior year. I also worked in the cafeteria a lot, and people knew me from that. I also spent about an hour each evening in the chapel, reading my Bible and praying. I'm so glad I did that now, as I still don't have the ability to do that in the same way. In some ways I was known. In other ways I wasn't. Because I had 2 majors I took very few electives. One of my organizations I spent a good bit of time on my junior and senior years was a support group for women who had been sexually abused. We met on Friday nights, wiping out social time to some extent, and also had prayer group I attended regularly one night/week.

Because I spent a great deal of college dealing with depression and most of my senior year very, very depressed and for quite some time fighting to stay out of the hospital (round one of that game), even though I tried to hide it I didn't always succeed. This culminated when I went home for Christmas break my senior year. I had finally agreed to try antidepressants out of desperation in September or October. I had just had the dose increased before break (which turned out to be a huge problem, although I didn't know that was the cause for several more years). I was having a hard time, a hard enough time for the psychologist to give me his email address to use as needed. That 3 weeks was horrible. I was made what I know now was manic by the antidepressant; at the time we just thought it was worsening of the insomnia I'd had for a year that seemed related to dealing with my traumatic past. I slept a total of 4 hours in 3 weeks. Otherwise I'd dose for 10 minutes and that was it. After waiting out my HMOs waiting list to see the dr. he gave me a different version of the benadryl that was not working and refused to consider the stronger meds the psychologist was suggesting because he knew that I needed sleep NOW. I was in pretty constant contact with psychologist over those weeks; I remember that he would send me goofy jokes that I later found in Reader's Digest, anything to distract me. When I started wanting to swallow the whole bottle of pills we talked on the phone for a long time and he convinced me that the only result of such an action would be vomiting and admisison to the psych unit. But the last week things got so bad in my personal life that I wound up sending an email that simply said "please get me in as soon as you can when we come back. I'll be back _________. This is really horrible and I can't write it out". That was the 2 day period in which I learned that my father had molested other children beyond the few we knew about, my father's young wife realized in my prescence that she had been a victim and needed to get herself and the baby out of that situation ASAP so I was trying to help her and the night that I confessed to my mother that my grandfather had molested me and she said she knew, had always known, but was told that if I didn't talk about it I didn't remember it. She also insisted it stopped many years before it did. That was the night before my birthday and she gave me a book I was supposed to get for my birthday to help calm me down. Nothing calmed me.

So when we got back to school it took about 2 days to realize how frighteningly depressed I was. I was immediately put on a different antidepressant that helped me sleep; I started having 1 1/2 hours of counseling 4 days/week; I had to cut my courseload to the bare minimum and took a break from all activities except support group. I spent most of the time I wasn't sleeping working on counseling homework. I had to talk to all of my professors about my need to miss class frequently; some were nice and some lectured me.

As those months passed a lot happened. I openly talked to my siblings about sexual abuse and found out that there were all these degrees of abuse throughout my group of cousins and siblings. My father's wife took my little brother and wound up in a shelter for abused women where at first there was minimal contact allowed, then that gradually increased. There was a lot going on with my father, culminating in his being put in jail for stalking his wife who had a restraining order. When that happened the psychologist was out of town, I had no clue how to cope, I had to go to the dean of women for help because one of my professors was insistent that I not be allowed to delay an exam even though I hadn't stopped crying in days and was in no shape to do this. And in the midst of all that turmoil and pain I got a package slip. Package slips were like getting 3 dozen perfect roses, only better because they usually lasted longer than a few days. I assumed it was just something from grad school. Instead it was a tape from the evangalist Charles Stanley, on teh sins of bitterness.

I very nearly lost it. I accused everyone I knew of sending it. I called the ministry and demanded to know who sent it, only to find out the person had lied and said they were me; they won't send tapes to anyone but the person ordering just to prevent what happened there. I have rarely been so badly hurt by the intentional actions of someone who has judged me, nearly certainly without knowing the whole story. I never found out where the tape came from, but I did find out that people were mean about mental illness and that many people around me truly thought I was choosing to act and live as I was those months. In reality those months were extremely painful as I spit out detail after detail of what I'd experienced growing up, plus dealt with many things that were painful in the present. I wasn't bitter. I was sad and depressed and hurting in ways that most of those kids who grew up in normal, stable families couldn't comprehend.

After that I withdrew from nearly everyone and by graduation had few friends. I can't do justice to the pain of being so extremely misunderstood and so judged, allegedly in the name of promoting what God wanted from me.

So, that is why I'm so fearly of being judged if I show my real feelings. Charming, eh?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This is my blanket qualifier

Today again was hard. I was glad for permission to take more klonopin for panic attacks as I needed it. I did get to see Dr. Mind for an extra visit and that helped. I cannot believe the comfort level I have with him now, and I need it right now.

I realized that while I have been spending months building up this intense set of reasons I am sad and angry and yes, jealous, part of the reason it is so hard for me to talk about this on the blog or in person with people is that I feel like I shouldn't complain. If I'd run into this blog 5 years ago I wouldn't have understood all the work and the sheer miracle of this person's success and I would have hated the blog and put it down to self-centered, whiny, and not willing to see how good the author had it.

Those feelings keep me from talking about some of my more intense, yet admittedly ugly feelings. I feel like I have to qualify everything (for me, not for you) and that doesn't help me feel any better.And I can't start every blog or conversation with the same thing, so here goes, once, to cover whatever comes up in the next weeks:

I realize that my life is a miracle. I realize what people who are as severely affected as I am usually live with. I've been there in some circumstances. I know that I have tons of reasons to be happy and content with my life. I know that some of my feelings are selfish or undeserved by those bearing the brunt. I know that the fact that I can feel good on meds, that we have meds that work well for me, and that I have an awesome medical teams is very unusual given my particular disease process.

I know these things and I am thankful for them and others every day. However, I also need to reserve the right to feel bad sometimes and when I do, that is ok. I know that I need to be thankful for small things, and I am. However, sometimes the loss is overpowering.

"Sometimes the loss is overpowering". That's about where we stand now, and I've put off dealing with that loss for so long that I'm fighting hard to stay where I am. And that will be why posts from me for a while may sound kind of bitter. I am not bitter. I am hurting. Huge difference, even though they can look alike.


I'm now googling "sewing machine repair" because something is going on that I can't seem to fix. I wish I could throw my hands up and go buy a new one, one with a few more features, but I can't afford it. I just bought the wii fit and I NEED that because I need exercise, but the sewing machine is secondary and hopefully easily fixed and yet I want it to work.

And since everything because major stress I'm also fighting a panic attack.

too much.......

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It all seems hard/Here goes

I am not having an easy time. You know how when you get stressed everything seems worse? Well, it's like that. I can't get my sewing machine to work. I don't know what is wrong and it is undoubtedly something simple. Regardless, that is frustrating me and frustration right now equals "really upsetting" me. I am so distracted that it just took me 4 tries to sew a snap on a bib. It should have taken 5 minutes and it took an hour. And I left a load of clothes in the washer too long and they got smelly. No big deal, except for whatever reason my washer continues to stink so I just had to pull out a whole load of wet clothes so I can run vinegar through it which hopefully stops the stink so that the load of clothes that has been washed 3 times now will smell ok and I canquit washing them. And the wet things really need to be washed because otherwise stains will set and of course it new stuff. I use a natural detergent and I think this smell is its nemesis, but I have even run a load with detergent from the store and still it stinks. I need to go get my work computer and charge it (and write a note or two) and I don't want to bother going outside, or I don't want to look ok to go outside, and yet I don't want to wait until dark.

It's dark, and the water bottles are chilling/freezing. Thanks to more lithium I had to add another gallon of water to my daily lugfest. But better hydrated than toxic.

I've been thinking about why I'm so angry and it boils down to expectations. I know that just because we expect something from life doesn't mean we'll get it, and I also believe that what occurs happens because it is God's plan, and we live by those and not our own. However.......

---I am very angry that I feel I constantly have to qualify every complaint about my life with acknowledgment that it could be so much worse and that how I'm doing now is a miracle. I'm sick of this. I don't WANT it to be a miracle that I can do little things like vacuum, having hobbies, manage to pay bills, budget money usually accurately, etc. I want to just feel able to say "you know what? This sucks. It is totally unfair that I'm seeking out positives in my ability to do the most minimal things."
--I'm angry that to manage at such a minimal level requires HUGE doses of medication. It's not like I'm I'm functioning as well as I am just because I can do this; I'm functioning like this because I follow the med procedures like an automaton, because I have Dr. Brain and Dr. Mind and Dr. Body all ready to hop if I need them. One again I've been told that it's fine to email Dr. Brain while she's on vacation because she knows I'm having a horrible time so she won't ignore my emails.
-I'm angry that I don't get to make plans. I've been able to do this a little more lately, but the truth is that it's still a crapshoot. Right now I'm focusing way less on saving money and way more on paying things off. this is good and needed if I'm buying a car soon as I need to do. However, if someone healthy decides "Ok, I'm going to pay these things off and then buy a car" they can generally assume it will work out. In my case I could get sick and not be able to work at any point. While that's typically not really true, last summer I was doing so well I came off Depakote only weeks before I was fired. And after I was fired I spent a long time struggling hard. Right now i'm so far doing ok but I'm at risk right now. I'm at so much risk I'm on more lithium, something that really been unthinkable to Dr. Brain until now.
-I'm angry because I think there are some basic things we should be able to enter life expecting. And most of them are things that I didn't ever get to experience. I believe we should be able to expect to not have repeated and intense exposure to anything sexual until we are adults and choose this for ourselves. Instead I not only would require psychological treatment to actually get to the point of having sex, I'd also require physical therapy. Or, put even more simply, if I want to use tampons, I have to have specialized PT that would require lots of driving and coping with some really bad memories.
-I'm so mad because I don't get the simplest things I want. For the last number of years I lived at home I survived because I know there was a better world out there and I could go out and experience it soon. I lived on dreams, and they weren't really unusual dreams. I was going to go to college and get a degree and fall in love and get married and have my own family, a family where nobody was sexually assaulted or beaten. When I was 12 or 13 one of my favorite games was to give myself a budget and then design my perfect nursery for my baby-to-be from the JCPenney catalog. Right now, I've been to BabiesRus for a few things lately and the main thing I"ve learned is that I can't go into the nursery section because it makes me so sad that I'll never get to pick one of those designs.
-I'm mad because while I picked my career (more or less; my final decision came down to the PhD program I was interested in had harder application than the OT one and I was so sick i was filling them out only because the psychologist did everything but fill them out for me and he offered to do that (with me, not for me) and while I do love it, there isn't really going to be much change in what I do as long as I'm an OT. I've obvisouly just changed specialities to a related one that I really like and can imagine doing for another 10 years or whatever, but I'm not going to ever get a doctorate, something I was sure was in my future, because I wouldn't be able to. I may opt to try for a specialization, giving me nothing really but a few extra letters after my name, but that would mean a lot to me. However, that requires about 6 solid months of stability before I'd try it.

At that I'm stopping as I'm falling asleep. I'm not too proud to say that I didn't plan well for when the meds would kick in and so Im cuddling up under blankets while sleeping on a towel because I missed my chance to put on sheets while still fully awak.e

oh well.........

At least the panic attacks took a break

I am so extremely exhausted today I can't even describe it. I slept about 20 hours, on and off although mainly on. I'm sure some is that I was tired, and some is the new lithium dose. Regardless I'm forcing myself to stay awake for a few hours now. I can't believe how tired I am.

This is probably also the only way my body knows to give me a break for a while. While sleeping at least I can't think. I am so incredibly exhausted that if it weren't for knowing the baby is coming and I'll probably wind up with time off given my anticipated emotional reaction to this, I can't afford to take tomorrow off no matter how lousy I feel unless the baby decides to come on it's own in that time.

Too groggy to say more. Maybe later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How you can help me, please

I saw Dr. Brain today. She thinks I'm rapid cycling, along with everything else. Which is just from stress, but at the same time it's bad enough for her to trial an increase in lithium. I have not tolerated more than the tiniest dose of lithium since my toxicity, and we were talking several months ago about possibly stopping it. It has always been one of the last things to try raising and she's avoided it for about 3 years now, but since there is no more room with Seroquel and another mood stabilizer would be drastic, we're trying this.

So, that's the first thing. If you pray, please pray that: 1)my body has forgiven lithium for their past differences, 2) that my diabetes insipidus (damage to the gland or something on the kidney that tells it to concentrate urine to retain electrolytes) doesn't go crazy because I've been allowed to stay on lithium cautiously which is very rare after that diagnosis 3)that I have no increase in side effects. Lithium causes hand tremors for me and was how I lost my patience with sewing years ago. Because I know that can happen I have a prescription ready to go if I need it, however my ability to take this will depend on my blood pressure as it will lower it and it already tends to be low from the MAOI. 4) that this works. I'm not in a very good place right now. Too many too strong feelings about too many things. 5) That the baby situation does not present itself as I'm notified at work that the baby is coming and I need to try to get through the work day. I don't think I can do that at this point, and yet I need to.

The 2nd thing is this: please be understanding. I don't really know what the next weeks hold aside from counseling is going to be working on helping me get some really strong feelings out. My sister's baby is going to be harder than I thought and I'm going to have to deal with a number of things I don't want to face, along with general concern for the health of both of them as the baby remains stubbornly breech and is enormous. It probably will be born in the next few days. All along I've known that if it happens while i"m at work I'll get a message from my mom and after work I'll go take care of her dogs and stay there until she is back home from helping.

But I do know that I am dealing with feelings that embarrass me and are very, very hard for me to talk about. Dr. Mind tells me I rarely have talked about the anger that goes with illness. And I'm very aware of that anger right now and am trying to deal with it. If summed up in one sentence i'm furious because my life has had so many things happen that hurt, a lot. It feels like in my family of 3 kids and later my half brother, I was the one who had the large birthmark (genetics), dealt with the worst sexual abuse from my grandfather, had my father still making decisions about my life for part of college in a way that while i wound up exactly what I wanted I have a whole biology degree that I didn't really want but i was too fearful of him to quit. I also got a D in calculus because when I called him to say "I'm not doing well in this, I have to option to cut back to pre-calc and then try again next semester" he told me not to quit. Duh. We knew that my high school was not academincally strong. I was in no way prepared for that class. I am the one who broke a stupid ankle and then proceeded to not treat that and ruin 2 joints in one leg. I'm the one who has to make the non-choice between surgery and wearing a huge brace. I felt like I got the opportunity to have people stare and ask endless questions with the birthmark. Now i have 2 physically freaky features and a limp to boot. My siblings bear scars as well, but they seem to run deeper in me, maybe because the sexual abuse was so much more severe, maybe because of my personality, maybe because of my illness. Regardless, I'm doing a lot of feeling like "It's not fair".

What I need (and you are all wonderful and will do this, but last year the one time I neglected to spend 8 paragraphs qualifying something I said that someone took wrong I wound up with a number of painful comments, and right now I'm not strong enough to be criticized. If you feel I really should think about something please tell me when I'm feeling better.

Right now I'm feeling constantly 24 seconds from panic. I'm back to a lot of meds for anxiety and even that's not really enough. I have no idea what I'll feel like talking about, but no matter how whiny or self-centered, please try to understand that right now I'm coping with losses that I have ignored for 10 years for the most part. And there's little that just makes it ok; Dr Brain pointed out that although it would be psychiatrically risky for me to have a baby and I would have to stay on meds through all trimesters and would probably struggle after a birth, if I really wanted to have a baby I could. Except that I wouldn't inflict myself on a child 24-7. I also wouldn't risk my own stability. And it's not like people are lining up wanting to have children with me, and even if they were the funniest (saddest) part is that I can't even have sex without physical therapy because one of the ways my body protected itself from the things that happened was by learning that if anything tries to enter the area where babies traditionally begin and emerge I have muscle spasms that prevent it and make it extremely painful. When things got so I couldn't talk about the sexual abuse anymore the biggest question on my mind was that given memories I have and what they imply, why has nobody ever found physical signs of rape (knowing there aren't always, but my body had a pretty good clue that it hadn't been completed if nothing else); my body learned to fight back. So the answer to that, I suspect, is that someone tried. And that's something else Dr. Mind and I have to talk about sometime soon, in a conversation likely to be very difficult. So no babies for me, because unless something drastically changes I do not think I have it in me to go through both psychologically difficult and a combination of physically difficult and embarrassing treatments just to let me ever have sex. I suspect that I will never do that in my life as I just have a limit to what I can work on that i shouldn't have to think about and that is past the line.

So essentially the theme around here is going to be "it's not fair". And anger. And jealousy. And resentment, and maybe even wishing that someone else had this and I didn't (more like I want someone else's life than i want them to hurt) or that if someone in my family had to get sick that it wasn't me. And while I experience all this I have to work on not hating myself for feeling that way. And I don't want to have any help in feeling that, because that hatred of myself for feeling like this has made this be put off for months and not it is time that I have to face things and I've given myself no real time to do so. ...............throw in heat, really busy work right now, learning to accept that while I have much less pain now that my ankle has developed that lovely deep ache called arthritis and it doesn't mind telling me about it, pretty much daily. It's a good thing I'm not wanting to go back to nursing homes; I think my days on my feet that many hours/day are done. And that too, while not what I want, to know that that option isn't a very good one anymore is also frustrating. I'm not interested now, but I've spent most of 10 years doing that and not being back as a strong possibility is odd. Please know I'm aware of the ugliness of these thoughts which is precisely why I've avoided them like crazy until now.

Know also that I still know that my life has very good things and that I do appreciate them. I know that it's incredible that I'm not only working but thriving, and that I'm fixing my finances and many other things. However, at the moment those things don't make up for the perfectly reasonable things I want and can't have and so I am grieving those reasonable things.

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Really Cool thing that happened today (and then the really frustrating)

Today was hard. I've fought tears all day long for no reason, and am pretty heavily medicated, like as in I took more klonopin than I'm supposed to just to function. (Which I'm really allowed occasionally). I have a call in to see Dr. Mind again ASAP if I can.

But it had one incredibly cool part. I knew my schedule for next week was going to be really intense. I figured it out and I absolutely cannot take on one more eval, even though I'm sure to get some in the next several days. I went to the director to tell her just FYI, Ot is hitting a really high caseload and is going to get pretty intense. She said "well, I guess it's time to hire you an assistant then" and started the process. And then she said that she wants me to do part of the interview process! Which means that I have in 7 weeks managed to show them the value of OT (they knew they needed it, now they love it), made it a cost-appropriate venture, and outgrown my capacity). And clearly I'm doing ok if they're willing to hire someone rather than tell me to work harder. In a nursing home I would have been told to work harder or somehow find a way to manage, preferably in 40 hours and without changing anyone's minutes.

The thing that about caused me to go into total overload (insert Dr. Mind saying "I've seen you in total overload. Is this REALLY total overload? No it is NOT and I'm not ready for that again so don't say that" was that every Friday when I wake up I check my bank account to see what my income was for the week and then I pay bills. This morning my total deposit was $100, which is my mileage reimbursement. I called and left a message with payroll and eventually got a call back saying they never got my time sheet. It was late, because they didn't send the email that it needed to be in on Monday until I was at work Friday, and then I needed special approval for overtime due to a complicated patient taking double his planned time that I couldn't get until Tuesday. Thankfully I not only had the timesheet but the fax confirmation sheet, so a couple of phone calls to the right people got it taken care of before there was even an overdraft from my mortgage payment which is automatically deducted each week. However, the near tears from that one were pretty intense and got ideal for work.

It was just one more sign that it's time to work for a company where I know the people to talk to about the issues instead of them being many states away. I believe I also will be salaried (that's definitely what I'm bargaining for) and so the stupid timesheet thing should not be a crisis.

Like I said I've had a lot of medication and it's hitting hard so I'm going to start the going to sleep process. More tomorrow. I see Dr. Brain and I hope Dr. Mind, so it should be a productive day.

Michal asks a good question

I'm going to write 2 posts here one after the other. Otherwise it will be huge and I write too many huge things anyway.

In my last post I wrote:I don't know why this is hard. But it is. Needing this is a big adjustment, and I think knowing that I could choose not to use it if I chose to do surgery is also part of it. I don't want surgery now. But I also want nobody to see what I have done.

Michal asked why I said that. I started to say "because my ankle injury is because I did something stupid". And then I realized there's more to it. So here is that answer:

What I have done just means that I feel guilty (and come to think of it angry with myself) because I did something stupid and that's what damaged the ankle. Except writing that made me realize that's not so true and that the damage was done years ago and this would have happened sometime and I really should just be thankful that God chose to let me fall in a parking lot instead of when I was holding onto a frail elderly person. Guilt over injuring myself goes back to my childhood-don't complain, you're the one who is clumsy, etc. Basically the fracture that started this (a type of fracture where I turned my ankle so hard bone snapped loose from the pressure on the ligaments) I was told was my fault. And so knowing I did something dumb (jumping up and starting to run because I was late when I know I get dizzy and must stand still) makes it feel my fault. But it's not my fault. It's probably a miracle this took this long to happen. I've been so angry with myself, and the truth is that I need to put that anger where it belongs: on my father for not letting me acknowledge a broken bone. Because that one act screwed up so many things and is likely to cost me a minimum of 4 surgeries over my life. I've had 2 on my knee and will need a replacement eventually. And someday the ankle surgery will happen. And I need to work very hard on this not being mad at me, because when my ankle surgery will happen is going to be when I do something I "shouldn't" and I sprain it again. It will inevitably happen and I need to start working right now on believing that that sprain is inevitable and I cannot go through my whole life protecting the ankle without compromising my enjoyment of life, and therefore I need to face that I'm angry this happened and that it's not anger at me, and it's not anger at God because I didn't need more bad things, it's anger because someone hurt me. Badly.

I see a lot of the use of the word anger in my future.......I've been angry a lot today and for good reason. That's the other thing, the thing I need to remember to tell Dr. Mind: along with showing anger resulting in abuse as a child, I am terrified when I am angry because of my undiagnosed/newly diagnosed years of being a furious, wrathful person with a tendency to fly into rages. It terrified me because I knew it wasn't me, but it was me and I really managed to hurt people I love sometimes. So just like crying, I have to learn how. He said yesterday when I saw I was angry that I've never really said that about my life before. Well, I guess I'm really good at hiding things then because I'm one very angry woman..........

more later about today. Both really awesome and really tough day.


I slept soundly thanks to meds. I woke up with that awful eyes-almost-swollen-shut thing, but whatever.

I realized after I woke up that I'm having trouble with more than just the baby coming into my life and my anger that I didn't get to do the things I wanted to do in life. (Please, please during this don't take the time to point out all the wonderful things or remind me how amazing I am doing. I know this. It's why I've always felt too guilty to let the anger go. And suddenly I am VERY angry).

Frankly, I'm having trouble adjusting to my ankle injury. I love Dr. Body dearly and I know he didn't have the Xray report with my old fracture, but I think he underdiagnosed the severity of the sprain. he also I'm sure figured the urgent care doctor didn't refer me to a specialist sot he Xrays must have been fine. The only way the Xrays were fine is if they didn't xray the damaged area; I had special xrays at the podiatrist and maybe the fracture was obvious on one of them but it seemed like a standard lateral view. I think the PT missed it to. Some of this might be my inability to show how much pain I have and so it didn't seem as severe as it might have. And some of the damage is quite old. Regardless I'm really sorry I didn't see a podiatrist or orthopedist immediately. I might have had surgery immediately and then I wouldn't be in today's position of brace and restrictions versus surgery.

Anyway, I now have the super brace and shoes that look more orthopedic than any I've ever had (yet I love them, although they may be returned because I think the ongoing turning my ankle in that I'm still capable of is stretching them.) I don't hurt every day anymore since I got the new brace. it's comfortable enough.

it's also a brace. It tells people "something is significantly wrong with her leg". So suddenly if I'm wearing shorts people actually let me walk past them instead of driving over me in parking lots. I guess in a mild way I have a physical disability now (although the restricts are limited mainly to my life instead of my functioning in the word-things like no ladder climbing, no walking on uneven ground with the brace, et), and after going through so long with KNOWING that I had a disability people couldn't see, having something that is like this makes me self-conscious that there is visibly something "wrong" with me.

I don't know why this is hard. But it is. Needing this is a big adjustment, and I think knowing that I could choose not to use it if I chose to do surgery is also part of it. I don't want surgery now. But I also want nobody to see what I have done.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The crying game

I'm not doing very well tonight. I knew this was coming. For a very long time every time I start to try to talk to Dr Mind about something that is on the intense side, whatever that might be, I wind up with anxiety and nightmares. Today everything that I've been feeling seems to have come out in one big huge explosion. I've been crying for nearly 3 hours, although it's slowed now because I've worn myself out.

I don't even know what all came out of my mouth tonight. Many ugly feelings, the anger, the jealousy, the resentment,the sadness that soon I'm going to hold the niece or nephew that will be so loved but also a reminder of what I don't get to have. And oh and I angry about what this stupid illness has taken from me. Very, very angry. Which isn't something I've talked much about, apparently.

We also had a review of crying 101, which is how we spent about half of the first year I was seeing Dr. Mind. Pretty literally he sat and encouraged me to cry, talked me through it, made me believe it was ok, something that I had never considered before. But over time I've gone back to how I used to be and I have avoided tears for the most part. I think I've been afraid if I started to cry that I wouldn't be able to stop. And that's somewhat true, although meds are helping and now I'm sleepy.

I was actually so upset that I was going to stay up there tonight, until I realized that while I had a suitcase with scrubs and everything I needed I did not have pills. So I came home because I didn't figure that taking a double or triple dose of klonopin was the same as taking lithium and seroquel. just a guess.

I'm too tired to keep going. I suspect this will be a weekend with lots of posts as I have a lot of thinking/coping to do. And I think a lot of crying. During the midst of all this I realized that for months I've been afraid to cry because I've been afraid that it would be a repeat of the days and days I cried without any control in the hospital. It's not easy to convince me that I'm not like that now; I know I'm not but I am scared to lose control like that ever again.

More soon.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sewing blog (Link fixed)

I have a few new pictures up at my sewing blog of cute baby stuff.

Just FYI.

If you've ever wanted to know what my weighted blanket looks like you also can get a peek at that in the background.


I've made it further into summer without heat issues than I have since starting the heavy duty psych meds (lithium? antispychotics? who knows anymore.) Today the heat got me. I'm tired and so fuzzy I don't want to walk into the kitchen to throw my blue ice packs into the freezer (ok, doing that before I"m allowed to write another word). Done. I hate that job. It's not just finding places for a ton of ice packs (i'm learning many small ones work better than a few larger ones when the cooler is in a 100 degree car all day), I also have to have the great water bottle filling, oh the last ounce poured out let's repeat that, lid-matching extravaganza. And right now I"m missing a bottle and that really annoys me. I have invested a good bit of money in these bottles, they need to STAY put (what happens is I finish one and sometimes don't shove it back into the cooler, esp. if it is morning and the cooler is full of food). Anyway, today I got so hot that I actually can't get warm now in my house which is the same temperature it always is. I also didn't drink enough which may be part of the problem. Oh well.

So I now own a Wii Fit Plus and balance board. Still working on the console. It's going to be quite disappointing when I get the first stuff and can't use it. If I lose the current auction I may have to do some considering of this and perhaps spring for a new, in my hands now, console this weekend. I have to be out anyway to see Dr. Brain and actually found a good price. I'm winning on one on ebay right now but if I don't win it I'll just buy one Saturday so I can use it. If I order it I won't have it until next week because I rarely get the mail.

Otherwise, just experiencing the usual anxiety that hits when I try to sleep. I've been having nightmares and this is how my body copes. Or something. I just wish it would stop it; hopefully Dr. Brain will be able to this weekend.

What a random post. I think my brain is on vacation......

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Ebay angst. And cinnamon

I did with the Wii Fit Plus/balance board I mentioned earlier, for about $30 less than retail. So that was a good deal. I bid on a regular Wii, but they had it set up so that if some invisible minimum wasn't met they didn't have to give the item to the highest bidder. I was the highest bidder, but I didn't meet the minimum so who knows if I'll get the console or not. If not, I'll have to bid again on another one. That's the fun that is ebay........

I have noticed that now that I'm eating anything again I'm gaining weight (shocking). Plus I'm exercising much less in the new job. So I am going back on the diet I was on prior to getting sick last summer and stopping eating. One of the things in that diet is that cinnamon helps control blood sugar levels, so I'm taking cinnamon supplements. Burping cinnamon is weird.....Beats fish oil burps, but weird.


I bid fast because it is so close to the end of the auction and didn't think carefully. I will still have to buy a wii. Duh. However, at this price I can afford it, esp. if I can find a wii console on e-bay cheap. I guess doing it this way commits me. But talk of putting cart before horse....(Yet still saving a lot on the balance board and program.....)

Ack! The stress

I just decided this weekend that I wanted a Wii fit, preferably the plus edition. I just thought eh, check e-bay. And the first item, well, if it holds for just another 1o min. I'll have won one for a very small amount of $. And it's new and all that is wrong is the box is dinged. And free shipping.

But oh, the wait........ I can't really leave the auction and oh, my. AHHHHHH!

Saturday, July 03, 2010


2004 was my first fourth of July here. When anyone familiar with the area heard that I had moved here they'd say "Make sure you see the fireworks. They're the best in Ohio!". Given the whole population 1300 in a very rural area nature of this place this seemed odd, but obediently I had a family picnic for the 4th and we watched the fireworks from my yard.

In 2005 I was having a very bad time of it (had started Risperdal in May, increased the dose upon having a horrible reaction to my sister's wedding/some things that happened that day, and then in June wound up in the ER with a sky high blood pressure and hugely swollen (+2 edema) legs. That meant no more Risperdal which I had been positively responding to without horrible issues, which had not occurred before with antipsychotics. So by July 4 I was coping with a severe mixed episode, every one of my other meds being trialed on and off to see what was causing ongoing edema and hypertension (we finally hit the right one in October, the last we tried because I had taken it for many years without issues but apparently the Risperdal sensitized me to it). Obviously that was hard on my body, and it was a very hot year. I had to have air conditioning installed just to survive because I'd get home at 9 pm and my house would be 86 or 88 degrees and I wouldn't be able to sleep until 3 am. Back then 1 am or 2 am was normal sleeping time for me, so I didn't need to lose anymore sleep. I had gone to bed at the time I usually started trying to sleep (which must have been 9 or so) per the schedule we were trying to figure out. I had to work in the morning and work was really taxing that summer with not feeling well with the mixed episode, the heat, the painfully swollen legs and frequent headaches, and a 3+ hour per day commute to work in a building with minimal air conditioning, and several hundred psychiatric patients who were on their last nerves from the heat as well, plus that summer a nursing home patient elsewhere in this state died because staff allowed her to stay in extreme heat too long, so there were these new rules about patients not being allowed outside if it was over some temperature and that just made them madder. I also was spending much of my time with someone who was very physically aggressive and trying my patience. So I went to bed, not caring about fireworks. Suddenly someone knocked on the door; my brother and sister-in-law had randomly dropped by while taking a drive around the country just to get out that day, and they wanted to see the fireworks. It was not my best moment as I was drugged and exhausted and they probably left with hurt feelings, but I was so mad to be awakened when I FINALLY got some sleep.

In 2006 I was on disability leave. I had barely been sleeping even with double doses of both kinds of ambien tacked onto huge doses of ativan and all my other meds, most of which were sedating. I was happy to get 3 hours sleep in 24 hours at that period. I was also so noise sensitive that I spent a lot of that summer in my basement in a hammock or wearing soundblockers if I was upstairs. I spent that fourth of July crying in the basement because I hate it down there, I wanted to be upstairs, I wanted to be free to do whatever I wanted, and the noises would.not.stop.

We've come a long way....I wrote this last night be fell asleep before finishing, despite lots of firecrackers from up the hill. I'll admit that it really helped to have the new windows which block a lot of sound; I didn't hear the fireworks festival until the grand finale. But overall I made it without being overwhelmed or crying or even disrupting my routine/plans.

Not bad......

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Short post because I am lying on my side and my cat is curled up on my arms and the other is on my side that is facing up. I was gone a long time and they deserve whatever they want. I left at 6;45 yesterday and got home at 10;30 tonight. I made a bad decision about picking up "a few things" from the store. Truthfully I needed to, since I'm really eating again and not as active as work has made me for years I'm gaining weight. Which is unacceptable.

I've decided to paint my room a very pale pink. The hallway is going to be a white with a touch of grey, the room next to it will be grey, and the room beside that purple and beige. I'm not a pink girl, but this will be good and what I have in mind I'll like. Anyone have any ideas of nice shades?