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 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......

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