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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here we go

This week hasn't been that bad really, yet I've not written much.  It all has to do with dreading tomorrow.  Tomorrow is trial by fire day for me.

I grind my teeth. Then  I break them.  I have a bite guard but I can't wear it all the time depending on how gaggy I am. The joke at my dentist's office is that I get a crown a year.  About 15 years ago when I was a camp counselor an autistic child who was agitated from noise made a beeline for a more open area and was running while raising his hands to his ears.  He ran smack into me and his rising arms hit under my chin, slamming my mouth shut and breaking the top off my tooth.  My dental practice at the time was a father/son deal.  The son was great, I loved him.  The father was a bit beyond where he should have been practicing. I know that because each time a tooth breaks and they get inside they find a messed up filling.  Most of my fillings have been replaced or crowned now so hopefully this will let up, but he repaired the broken tooth.  He slapped some bonding on it and called it done.  Fast forward to this year and I broke the bonding off, probably grinding.  I went to the dentist expecting to get it re-bonded but he just smoothed it off and said bonding wouldn't work because the tooth was essentially shattered, and that it would gradually crumble and I'd need a crown.  Within 3 weeks of this prediction I woke up with my lip shredded because the tooth broke more and had a sharp edge.  So tomorrow is the crown, at least part one of it.  I also have this odd feeling he said something about a root canal, but I'm hoping I made that up.

I painfully put aside the $500 co-pay (money that I could use elsewhere in the great debt resolution 2010, plus I need new shoes.  Mine hurt.  A lot.  Apparently I'm going wear shoes out really fast until my ankle is fixed.  Yippee.)  And tomorrow I'll go and medicate myself for the anxiety, keeping the remainder of what Dr. Brain said I could take where others can access it.  They'll go through their whole routine of making everything the same and making sure  I'm as comfortable and relaxed as possible, they'll numb me (with extra shots because I can't have regular numbing with the MAOI) and then let me sit for quite a while until I am extremely numb, and then I'll have to deal with horrible sounds, fighting gagging, holding still when someone messes with me, etc.  I know the dentist isn't holding me down, but it is similar.  And the whole time I sit there I know that he knows that it is highly likely not only sexually abused but that oral sex was part of what happened to me.  Because people who act like I do are likely to have that history.  I found that out accidentally, had it confirmed by Dr. Mind who said that the only thing he really knew before he was given the great list of things that happened to me was that this was likely, and while they are wonderful and so kind, it is emotionally so hard to have my face messed with and not be able to move.

So tomorrow isn't much fun.

I've also been working hard on figuring out what to negotiate for on Friday.  Which is scary as I hate negotiating, yet I also am taking a humongous pay cut no matter what (unless they are insanely generous) and so I have all kinds of data and reasoning, and I'm nervous about it.

Today I left before dawn and got home just after the sun set.I did go to the fabric store for a few minutes, but such a long, long day.  I still have 30 minutes of paperwork I'm avoiding.  Tomorrow I'll undoubtedly rest a lot, and then I see Dr. Mind in the evening unless I'm hurting too much.  However, i really need to see the billing person as my stupid insurance has now marked all claims for therapy for the whole year rejected.  Which is a HUGE amount of money that I wouldn't have minded paying visit to visit, but in a lump sum it's a lot to handle.  We spent literally months trying to get them to understand they were paying what they shouldn't (they paid in-network when Dr. Mind isn't) and eventually gave up.  I suspect they've now discovered the mistake and are demanding the $ back.

I have to finish those notes now.  I'm going to be sleepy very soon.

More tomorrow unless I'm too high on Vicodin.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More on however you say the name of this place I live

I had been considering this for a while but decided to go for it last week.

During times I am well enough I'd like this blog to reflect my life a little.  More than work and illness and treatments, the things beyond that.  One of the things that I truly treasure and which I am becoming more attuned to as I work in the most rural places imaginable is my Appalachian culture.

There are ways that I have been pulled away from the culture.  Growing up with an English teacher I never used some of the slang, although I do/did drop the"g' from "ing" and have a number of characteristics of my speech that are pure Appalachian.  However, I (sadly) worked hard to get rid of some of it in college because I wanted nothing to do with my past, and then in grad school my accent changed because people in Michigan talk very differently than how I did.  For whatever reason I am totally unable to re-learn colloquial vowels,so that everyone thinks my name is some variation of "Jan" rather than Jen.  I can't hear it, although others do, that last bit of Michigan in there.  In college I had a professor from Appalachia as well and my roommate would tease me  after his classes because I'd leave with the accent much stronger.  There are other ways I'm "different":  educated, female and educated, the level of education I have, female homeowner (especially back when i first owned the house in my twenties), unmarried, childless and intending to stay that way,and I've lived a significant part of my life outside of this culture.

But I also see it all the time.  I have patients who speak traditional Appalachian, and I'll give you some of those phrases when my meds aren't kicking in sometime.

But for now, as soon as I get around to it, I'm going to start sharing some of what I see on my daily trips around the countryside.  The trick is that all photos are taken from a moving car.  I haven't looked so see what I've captured, and I know I missed one I really want:  the camper with a portapotty where someone lives.  That one I'll have to keep  trying.  I also have to avoid my patients' homes and possessions. However, there are still thousands of things to see.  Some of what I want to capture is the beauty of rolling hills as far as you can see, the rural churches that are almost more frequently seen than farmhouses; the lovely colors as fall comes (although this is going to be a bland fall due to lack of rain) and hopefully I can find a way to show the craziness of the wealth that is interspersed with the poverty.  There's literally one place I know of with a home worth at least $250000 HERE (lots more elsewhere) side by side with shacks.  It's kind of weird.

I'll bring my camera in soon an we'll see what I've gotten so far.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Michal Part II

Thanks for the reminder. It depends what part of Appalachia you live in how you say it, I think. More southern, Tennesee area people use the Appa LATCHA thing. I say it App a LA(long A) shu. I live on the edge of it, that might mean our way is really weird. The funny books as long as you look for Janet Evanovich and Stephanie Plum series you get the right ones. They are all named numerically, I think it's One for the Money and I know no other titles. Lean Mean 16? They truly are enough to get heavy laughter out of me every time I'eve read one except in the hospital last year when I couldn't follow. Later that book did turn out to be funny.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What not to do to assess your progress in recovering from an epidose

So if you have torn 2 ligaments in your ankle beyond repair (except the surgical variety) and know that if you hurt it again you have to have major, many weeks of disability, surgery that you also know you'll be having in a couple years anyway, and the best way to keep your ankle safe is to wear a bulky brace every time you walk on uneven ground, it's really not smart to a)  go outside without the brace, turning your ankle.  Not badly, but every time that happens a little more damage can occur to the already useless ligaments.  And tearing a 3rd ligament means REALLY major surgery.  b)  Drop a crockpot, catch it but not the lid, and have the lid come down hard on the inside of your ankle, causing a 4 inch long bruise that includes the area where the brace is tighest and where the edge of the hard plastic rubs.

Now I get to pad the stupid thing Monday.  I have pain patches that probably would do it but I hate to waste a pain patch (none addictive med) if I don't need to.

Oh, and while you drop the crock pot also knock over another container full of soup all over the floor in front of the fridge.

Then, later, decide things aren't bad enough and go back to the kitchen for fresh cider, your favorite fall treat.  Bump your cup and watch cider fly all over the other half of the kitchen.

Know your episode is lifting when you don't cry for 3 hours.  Or even 3 minutes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Meet Michal

(Who has one of my favorite names, still :).

1. I speak Swedish.
I speak Appalachian??    I have nothing to compare to that one.  I took German in high school, but it was from a Danish woman so I spoke horrible, limited German at graduation with a Danish accent.  Not good.  I was SO GLAD to not have to take a language in college, first because science majors didn't have to, and when I added my 2nd degree (pysch) I had enough years in high school to opt out.  I had the German teacher for another class and loved him and would have been horrified to speak my hideous German in his prescence.  Language is not my gift (see I'm Appalachian, sometimes we barely speak English).

2. I was a National Ski Patroller back in the day.

I have such coordinated readers.  What are you doing on this page?:)
3. My grandkids are fifth generation Seattle (area) residents which isn't common anymore!

Wow.  Growing up I was 4th generation in my town, which wasn't unusual but wasn't common either although I was more unusual in being 4th generation on both sides.  I have no idea how my great-grandmother wound up in that town after immigrating from England and I know only that my great-grandfather played professional baseball before become small town postmaster.  I never knew either of them and didn't want to from what I've heard.  I did know and love another great-grandma and she was pure Appalachian.  I have a pt. now who reminds me greatly of her.  I hadn't realized that, but she does.

But now I've moved so many times I don't belong anywhere.  And in this town I will NEVER belong.  After 7 years I'm still an outsider, a newcomer, etc.

What is your favorite color?
Green.  Sometimes blue.  Like all routines that I adhere tightly to I have a thing about owning blue cars.  This goes so deep that once Dr. Mind had me draw something representing how my manic mind felt.  I drew a racetrack with a car and he identified it as a car mainly because it was blue.  I don't know why I like that kind of routine but I do.  The first car I drove a lot (my mom's) was blue.  My first car was red, but I didn't pick it.  My 2nd and 3rd were blue and my new car will be blue as well.  But I have to watch it or I wear far too much green.  I've been working on branching out in clothing from blue, green, cream and that's about it to include pastels, purples, etc.  This is all probably part of why Dr. Mind thinks I have mild OCD, huh?

 How is it looking for your upcoming vacation? 
Vacation is on.  They seem to understand how badly I need it. I had so much overtime I added a day away, so it's me, my kitties, my sewing machine, trees,and the wildlife at the feeder on my 5 acres allotted to my cabin from Sunday until Thursday morning.  I am so excited.  

Do you ever watch t.v? 
I own a tv, but 2 or 3 years ago realized that with the virtual end of sitcoms and the 10th year of ER (I didn't miss a single episode for 10 years, but after Noah Wyle left never made it through another), that there was nothing that interested  me but re-runs of a few sitcoms.  So I unplugged the cable and decided if 6 months passed and I hadn't plugged it in then I was done with cable.  I paid so little attention that 8 months passed before I even remembered.  So I don't have TV.  I was DVDs, mostly Friends or Everybody Loves Raymond, over and over, because very few shows hold my attention and mostly those are on while I"m doing something repetitive like cleaning the kitchen and need distraction.  Movies almost never do because I can't focus that long, esp. not while sitting still.  I am forced to watch a lot of tv while working.  I've seen more Judge Joe Brown, Judge Judy, Judge whoever to qualify me to replace them upon retirement.  I've also been forced into watching episodes of the really whacky talk shows, like Jerry Springer, that are horrifying.  But truly it's amazing how little I miss TV.
Favorite books?
I have stopped reading much in the last year.  I wasn't able  to for so long and it never came back.  I think partly though this is because I listen to books on CD in the car for at least 4 hours per day, average.  I enjoy a wide variety.  I like mysteries, although less so in the last year.  Right now I'm listening to John Grisham, who I always like, especially his non-legal books.  I really like Jodi Picoult because I always wind up thinking after her books.  Her latest I want to write a post on; it is the best explanation of sensory processing dysfunction and what the world feels like to someone like me that I've encountered, ever, including professional training.  James Patterson is generally good;I've been a reader of his stuff from before he was remotely popular.  I heard one Anne Lamott and want to hear/read more.  I've listened to several Anne Rivers Siddons lately and those are good.  I love Pat Conroy.  I also love the Stephanie Plum  books by Janet Evanovich.  There is sexual content that may not be for everyone but there is also humor that when I first heard one of  her books (#6, it was the first I could find) I laughed so hard I had to pull over to regain control because I was crying.  I will always be grateful to the nurse who suggested her; those books get me through depression frequently.
Sorry I didn't get yours done this morning.  I was doing 3 things at once and suddenly it was time to leave.

Meet Anneheuser

1. I became a dancer at 40, much to my surprise.

I always wanted to dance.  I won't be doing that now with the stupid ankle injury though.  I did get a ballet thing for my Wii. Now I just need to have time and energy to use the wii.2. I love to sing in choirs.
You can't meet a worse singer.  Seriously.  Even I hate hearing me sing.

3. I just pulled off my bookshelves a selection of books covering the world's major and some of the minor religions for a friend.

I have so little non-fiction.  I used to, but somehow as life as gone on and I've been too ill to comprehend it I've moved far away from it.  I really don't read even fiction much now. I listen to so many books on CD while working and commuting I think it's kind of my book quota.  I have started throwing in classics that I never read because we didn't have  "real" literature in high school where we read and learned about books (school couldn't afford  books, nor could families) and I had one literature class in college that made no sense since I had no foundation in literature from high school as they assumed and there isn't a remedial literature class.
No questions right now but I danced tonight and am tired.
Exercise......I miss it.  I know sometime soon, but I miss it....

Meet WinnyNinnyPoo

I am going to do this individually, because you are all pretty regular here and deserve recognition.  I tend to stink at answering comments, something I'm trying to do better at.  I have comment moderation off now, which makes it easier for me to do this. I think.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

1. I'm always tired.

sounds about right to me....I will be so glad when I'm declared stable enough to be less medicated.  I hate being tired constantly.2. Amish people live next door.

Did I ever tell you that I used to work in a county with one of the highest Amish populations in the country?  So I had Amish patients and Amish co-workers.  In fact, remember the reality show "Amish in the City"?  I worked with one of the stars of that show after it was over, until she moved away for nurses' training.  I learned a lot doing that, because I had to learn to manage Amish clothing to help them learn. Let's just say they do not get dressed in a rush when they are running late.....I also learned that by appealing to someone to appeal to the church I could actually get permission for my patients to wear English clothes (sweats usually) while healing if they couldn't manage their regular clothes. I don't remember doing this for any women, but did for men several times.  I've also lived on the edge of Pennsylvania's Amish country.  I also experienced first hand the high rate of bipolar disorder in the Amish population.  It tended to be severe and was sad.

3. I love fall.
Me too!  I think I mainly love it because I finally won't feel tired and sick from heat all the time. Assuming fall ever comes here.  It's been in the mid-90s all week.

Are there any other bipolar individuals in your family? [I have a relative who is bipolar, and her father is bipolar]

Probably.  My father is nearly definitely bipolar, and like me he'd be severe mixed type.  There are many ways we differ in illness (including my actual diagnosis and agreement to treatment and he would just be paranoid and run away if confronted with it, and he is much more impulsive and violent than I ever was.  But the fear that his rage could become mine is something I am just now starting to work on.  (OK, something I just realized as I typed that).  I know I don't seem scary now, but I had my moments years ago of being 63"of sheer rage.

My mother also thinks her mother is probably bipolar.  I've never met this grandmother because when she was about my age she moved to Florida after her divorce, then brought my aunt and uncle back up here to stay with relatives, I think "for the summer".  During that time she just walked out on her life.  Either she was on drugs or suspected of it,  and she was assumed to be dead when my whole childhood.  When I was 19 she suddenly called first her sister then her mother.  She's spent the last 16 years being manipulative.  My mother went to visit her last year and found her to be horribly selfish before anything else.  I've spoken to her on the phone once, but that it is all the contact I'll ever have.  There's nowhere to start.

I also have at least one cousin with probably bipolar/diagnosis of bipolar?  I'm not sure which; I've not seen this cousin in 20 years.  Her brother told me that he's nearly positive and again a glance at her life shows the likelihood of it.  Or he said she'd been diagnosed.  I can't remember.

And I have an uncle who lived a bipolar-like existence; he just died.  Again, hadn't seen him in 20 years so this is based on faint memories and family stories.  On the other hand he was the one my grandfather severely abused in that generation.  I don't know about sexually, but physically it was severe.

So genetically I had little chance.  That's part of why I'll not have children, I will not pass this on and it would be quite likely.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Turn

I have a great deal on my mind right now.  It was an intense hour with Dr.Mind.  Poor Dr. Mind, I don't think he was hoping for me to go into a huge deep topic quite yet, but he rebounded fast but won't let me committ to doing this until I've reacted for a few days.

So instead of my just posting nothing, your turn.  You can be anonymous, but let's play 2 games.  You can play one or both.  Game one is tell us 3 random things about you.  Again, keep it as anonymous as you'd like. Game two is ask me anything.  I think there is almost literally nothing I've not written about so I'm an open book. What do you want to know?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The next step

Tomorrow I see Dr. Mind.  I'm apparently going to never get through the post about last week, but Dr. Mind said some incredibly nice things about me, including that I'm one of the strongest people he has known.  We have worked quite a bit on my accepting that I deserve credit for where I am, but this came from seemingly nowhere and means a ton because Dr. Mind does not hand out compliments easily.  He said I almost never have complained in the last 4 1/2 years.  Clearly he does not read my blog :).  But since I remember a dark time when I was feeling better and he was interpreting most of what I said to have a negative slant when it wasn't intended that way, this is a big, big deal.  I remember back then saying to him "You seem to think I see everything negatively.  Do you know that I have a sarcastic sense of humor?  And sometimes I'm trying to be funny and you see it as something bad."  And then we had a difficult discussion all those years ago about he didn't know that about me, he didn't know anything but the very sick person I'd been most of the time he knew me.  So going to see Dr. Mind is a feel-good proposition.  Sort of.  Because the compliments won't continue now, we're going to go to the hard stuff again.

I've talked here about being angry with my mother, and I have with him as well.  But I just figured out this weekend, based on the "I can't drive because I'm too groggy/But the food was expensive" conversation that my mother has assigned roles.  I realized earlier this summer that she thinks I have an extremely negative outlook because I won't say my illness will go away.  But in her mind I am "the sick one".  And her maintenance of that has meant that my problems with my sister have a great deal to do with her, because she has assumed everything I've said has been me making things bad even when she has seen it, and she doesn't stand up for me.  I'm sure there is more but I'm getting sleepy.

Oh, but one big huge piece of news:  I have a cubicle!  After almost 5 months of using other people's desks I have my very own desk/cubicle.  Hooray!!!!!!!!!This means I can actually not carry everything I might ever need in my car.  I am so happy.......

And now, goodnight.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I just fired my handyman.  He actually had the nerve to email that yes, he came on Saturday and my car was here but I wasn't home (I was sleeping.  However, I'm pretty sure I was awake when he came as my cat reacted).  He claims he took the papers but there wasn't a check in the mailbox.

Problems with this:
1)  There WAS a check in there. I very carefully put in there.
2)  He took the papers and didn't do the work.  Why????????
         2a)He may have been confused by not being home, but in that case you call me, you do the work anyway since I wasn't supposed to be home and everything needed was outside,
3)  My mom pointed out he may well have cashed the check, knows it hasn't cleared and therefore is hoping I"ll pay him again for the same job.  It's a good point since I'd assume he knows he's is finished here.
4)  There was too much protestation in the email.  I don't know was used 3 times in 4 sentences.
He does too know.

He also sent her an email that was a whole different story than mine, about how he got fired, doesn't understand why, must have been so good he threatened his boss, needs work desperately.  Well, I *know* why he got fired; he didn't show for his shift over the weekend, during the time he was busy stealing from me.  It's like he thinks we don't talk.


Monday, September 20, 2010


I had a moment of sheer panic today when I was looking at check 1020 made out to the handyman and so was the bank and their check read $100 more than  mine.  Then out of nowhere I discovered I'd inadvertently ordered duplicated numbers on my checks and there were 2 1020 checks written to the handyman.

I bought new locks and will install them in the morning.  Just what I want to do at 4 am, but I'm supposed to be in bed now and I'm nothing if not compliant.  And the thing does need done before I go tomorrow so I don't worry.

Surprisingly my trust isn't as shaken as I thought.  I'm going to contact the local church to see if anyone is interested, maybe a high school kid.  As soon as that check is cashed and I can see the signatures I am ready to write an email ending his employment.  I know what it will say:  simply that I'm sorry that he felt he needed to take money, that I would have been happy to help him out had he asked, and that after this and the multiple no-shows particularly on something I'd told him had a very specific deadline I have no choice but to not offer him more work.  If he does cash the check I'll probably tell him that I am not reporting him to the police and that he should take that as the one time life will give him grace on such a thing, and that asking for help is much higher than stealing what isn't his.   Worded differently, but that's the point.  For that matter he could have EARNED that money in no time; the mailbox job was maybe an hour of work.  And had he asked I could have come up with a few more jobs similar to that.   Instead he has now cost me one evening of upset, time I have to still spend going through my banking and making sure nothing in my house is missing; $70 of new locks and a simple alarm system because I have every intention of scaring him if he thinks he's coming in here, and time and effort to install those locks.  Not that I wanted to do anything else anyway...........

The thing is that overall, I'm starting to do well again, although I'm exhausted.  I had a friend confide some scary stuff that had been being kept from me so I wouldn't get upset and I was able to gently tell the friend that I don't need protection anymore as hard as that is to adjust to.  I did confront my mother yesterday, even though it didn't go well.  The regional person who assesses documentation said that mine was so good the only problem was that sometimes I document too much (carryover from nursing homes I suspect) and that's an awesome compliment.  And I have a sweet kitty curled up in arms while I write and another laying on my side, and that's a pretty good life.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

So much for trust

I've worked so hard on trust, and fortunately what I've learned mostly will stick.  But I had my trust shaken to the core this evening.  This has NOT been a good day.......

I've talked about the kid I hired for odd jobs.  I was so proud to trust him enough to let him be in my home alone.  I even at one point left a key out for him.  But when he didn't come for some reason or another I brought it in.  Thank God.  Sometime after that he mentioned something about "picking it up" that I ignored; he certainly was not getting a key permanently.  Anyway, I had to cancel big stuff on him a while back because of money and because of my episode. I'd asked him though to come by and put up a mailbox for me.  Which he has proceeded to not do, repeatedly, but always with a good reason.  He was supposed to come today.  Again.  Because of rapidly changing plans I've had the things to do it sitting outside for about a week, which the directions and a check clipped together inside.

As I said I slept most of today.  At one point I knew the cat had pulled down the curtains in the living room, but that happens.  So I ignored it and it wasn't until later when I was fixing the curtains that I thought to look out to see if he had done his job.  I was horrified to see the  stuff still on the porch with the mailbox open and moved.  Sure enough, all the papers were gone.

A series of text messages and phone calls with his fiance revealed that he disappeared Friday night.  He called into work with a story about a sick grandfather that wasn't true (I've had that excuse before too) and switched shifts, and then never showed for that shift.  Apparently nobody knows where he is.

I don't know that he stole it.  It could have been a kid.  I suspect otherwise, and that he grabbed everything when the cat pulled down the curtain.  I'm not going to stop payment, I'm going to let it be cashed and compare the writing to a previous check on the signature part.  Essentially I'm letting him hang himself with it.   From there I don't  know.  I may file a police report, but it seems like so little to wreck someone's life over. I wish he'd asked.  If I knew he needed 24 stinking dollars I would have given him $50.  But stealing means no more work for him.  No showing AGAIN and causing me to have to pay for a PO Box which makes my life difficult for another 6 months (I can't pick up packages because I am gone while they are open except on Saturdays) is enough.  I can paint myself if I have to; I can't be on and off a ladder but I bet I can find a sturdy something to stand on  instead.

Anyway, that's the end of my really crappy day.  Tomorrow has to be better.......

So angry

I'm beginning to realize that this episode of mine partly has to do with how incredibly angry I am with my mother.  Somehow my niece's birth made a lot of this much more real, or caused repeats of things that I'd gotten over being mad about.

Today was a great example of why I am so angry.  We were supposed to have a family thing today.  My sister's family came yesterday to avoid a huge amount of driving in one day with the baby.  I already knew I wasn't going to get a huge day of rest because I had to get my hair cut and some stuff like that.  Then my cat woke me at 3 and I couldn't get back to sleep.  And then I fell apart after the loss of my expensive bra, and napped a little,but not enough.  I'd already decided to go down last night for a while because I wanted to see my niece and knew I could do that better if it weren't crowded, and I knew as long as I slept Saturday night I could be done for an hour or so today.  I'd already warned my mother about this, as well as that I had promised Dr. Mind to do nothing stupid like not take meds in whatever dose was needed if I wasn't sleeeping even if it meant missing out today.  She was away.  So I went down, made supper, visited after people came for a while and went home to bed and then couldn't sleep.

Well, last night was bad.  I had to heavily knock myself out.  And when I still couldn't walk straight at 10 I called my mom to tell her I probably wasn't going to make it although I'd try.  Her response?  (This totally sealed the deal on why I am so mad at her.  I can barely think of a more insensitive thing).  "But I spent $25 on salmon!  I don't want to waste it!".  Yeah, thanks for the concern.  Glad you care that I fell like I took a horse tranquilizer.  Glad you care that maybe I don't want to miss out but that I have to.  Again.  And that you knew this was possible because I've said it all along.  I know in her mind she thinks I saw the baby last night and that's all I care about.  When really I wanted to do this differently but well, my family doctor says that the meds I'm normally on are way more than he's ever seen an awake person take.  And when I am taking the "I can't sleep" dose I am taking 50 mg less than the maximum possible dose of seroquel period (although people do take more) and 150 mg over the official max dose for my version.  So it's going to knock me out.

I just called again.  She's pouting.  That's the best way I can describe.  No concern about how I feel, very chilly with me, and rather than answer questions "I put pictures up on facebook".  Thanks...In the meantime the meds didn't wear off until 4, I still feel wiped out and am going to start getting ready for bed now (7 pm), and we've added tremendous guilt.

I think she does 2 things.  One is she often defines me by my illness. My pain at not getting along with my sister as I'd like to?  The problem has something to do with what is wrong with me.  She's never going to say that, but I know it is what she thinks.  The second is that she thinks I use it as an excuse to avoid things, like lots of people including my sister-in-law.  Again, NOT TRUE.  I go to what I can, and I use meds to get me through them.  But when I say I can't it is because I can't.  And I am tired to death of her mindset that I'm lying or manipulating the truth.  I cannot remember EVER using bipolar to get out of something, because I promised myself years ago that I would do whatever I could realistically do as long as I could do it.  I knew I'd miss out on things and I don't want to miss out on more than I had to.  Plus I miss enough because of it, I don't want it to be the go-to reason.  And I really resent the feeling I do use it, because of how hard I try NOT to do that.

I can't believe she doesn't think I wanted to try today.  I have had her birthday gifts waiting for months.  And I wanted to give them to her.  And despite what she thinks, while my family is hard for me to tolerate for long, I don't purposefully avoid them.  I do, however, do what I've been taught to do and monitor what I can handle.  Today it was clear driving was not going to happen.  So that was it. Plus i desperately needed more sleep.

I can't believe how frsutrated I am right now.  And so very tired..........

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So much for that post

I've been working on a post about how Dr. Mind gave me a really nice gift this week with some words.  I'll post it later.  Right now I've crashed from "doing better" back to crying.  Why?  Well, I've been up since 3.  My cat.  Again.  I'm going to nap soon, but am doing something else first.

Anyway, I ordered some bras because I was getting heat rash from underwires.  I had to search pretty hard to find non-underwire bras that are still very supportive, but I did.  One of them, the expensive one, was too big and so I returned it.  I wanted to insure and certify, but they can't do that and the postmaster implied certification was plenty.  So when it came back to me I was a little concerned.  I never even began to guess how bad it really was though.  The envelope was ripped open from the bottom during shipping and the Dallas post-office sent it back with the word "empty" on it.  So I'm out $70 because I listened to the postmaster and some pervert probably has my bra since it looks as if the envelope may have been opened purposefully.  The seams weren't stressed when I sent it and they have been very neatly opened everywhere except where I taped the top before I sent it.

I will now be using UPS or FedEx for all shipping......

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I fell asleep at 9:30 and woke about 2 and was sort of in and out from there.  But I more or less got 7 hours of sleep, even though it was broken.  Even 5 solid hours is a major improvement though.  My mood is much better.

The only problem is I can't figure out how to not need to work on Saturday, at least without missing seeing pts. who need to be seen, unless I can get some refusals for tomorrow.

This is stressful.  I hate it.  I also didn't actually charge my laptop last night, I thought it was plugged in but it was loose so I'm going to have no charge on it all day.  Blagh.

At least I feel better.  Way too tired, but better..........

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Praise God

I fell asleep at 9:30 last night and slept soundly until 3:30.  Which is SIX HOURS of sleep.  I needed that so much.

So happy today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Live and learn

I have been finding out the last few weeks whenever it thinks about raining why my podiatrist says eventually I'll choose to operate on my ankle.  The arthritis HURTS.  I don't know if this is my new attempts to be aware of pain, or if it is because the pain is truly bad but last night I bravely emailed Dr. Body that I was ready to say something hurt and could I please try this new-ish treatment (it's a lidocaine patch that I had several patients successfully use for arthritis last year). And he said yes.   So in a few days I'll have pain relief option because I was able to see that something hurt too much to just tolerate it.  This is a very, very good thing.

I also suspect that I'll be having surgery in the summer of 2012.........I'll have FMLA and be past my short term disability pre-existing clause by then and ankle surgery and ice seem like a bad mix, plus summer is always harder for me to work, so if the pain continues I have that to look forward to.

I never thought that the arthritis would hurt so much.  I know it probably seems worse with my exhaustion and unstable mood right now, but still, it really hurts.

Regardless I'm really proud of myself because I admitted something hurt, first to me, then to a doctor, and I asked for something I can have so  we didn't have the usual pain-med dance.

Yay me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

When paranoia and reality collide.

I'm confused.  I hate being confused like this.

Here is what I know:  About a week ago I was quite disturbed because I was fairly sure I could hear a neighbor beating their dog.  I couldn't prove it, I couldn't even figure out where I was hearing this from. (I live on a hillside that they made a circular street which goes up and around.  I live at the bottom middle.  There are about 8 houses on the loop and our backyards all connect.  There are also houses across the street from the 8 houses in the cluster, more up on the top of the hill than down here.  That's a lot of places noises can come from).  I was really upset because I couldn't do anything about it, but I also wasn't sure.  For all I knew I was hearing 2 unrelated noises.  I have a big thing about animals being hurt, as in it completely freaks me out, so I don't always trust myself on that.

Those who were reading last fall and didn't lose the whole thing in the midst of my hospitalization saga may remember that just before that happened I had started to talk to Dr. Mind about my terror of guns.  I am pretty much phobic about them, and as we talked it because clear that I quite probably have had some terrifying experience with them that I don't remember.  I tend to link this to my fear of animals being hurt.  Where I come from, even here, culturally many people think euthenasia of pets is ludicrous.  When Fluffy gets sick or starts peeing every where or you just don't want Fluffy any more you um, take care of it.  People think it is ridiculous to pay for the vet to do it in a kinder way.  My suspicion is that I was exposed to something of this sort, whether it was on purpose to frighten me (child molester), someone not realizing I was around, or someone not caring I was there.  There's a lot of ways it could have happened, and it may not even have been an animal; guns were used to threaten people in my home as well.

Anyway, this weekend I woke up to the sound of gunshot followed by a dog yelping and whining, followed by another shot, a weaker yelp, then nothing.  So I'm fairly sure I heard someone shoot their dog.  Except that I am so far into this mixed episode that I can't trust that I didn't make that totally up.  Which is very frustrating.  I haven't dealt with too much paranoia for a while; mainly that was part of my life back in the days of no meds working.  And back then it was dreadful.  Even showers terrified me because I was sure someone would come into the bathroom and attack me (real part of my life), or that the floor wouldn't hold the tub and I'd fall through the floor into the basement (I was hyperaware of dry rot).

It's when paranoia may well be true that it is hardest.  I have no way to judge, and I don't know what is worse:  having that be true or having it be a very paranoid way of glomming together unrelated events.   Well, obviously it's worse if it is true, but at the same time making that up is also pretty scary.........

Anyway, time to start the exciting what does it take to sleep tonight routine.


I finally fell asleep last night after taking the so-called weekend dose of Seroquel (because it's a lot to handle when I have to wake up).  I woke up ok this morning, although I really want to go back to sleep.  Not sure how to handle that.  I would love to exercise, and that would wake me up, but it would also make me more tired because I don't have the energy right now to add things on to my life.

So instead I'm just really, really sleepy.  And I have no idea how to fix that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not good

After a really long time with Dr. Brain yesterday we had this plan.  I was going to reduce my potentially-mania-inducing patch dose during the week while taking the Seroquel dose I'd discovered I could tolerate well (700 mg).  Then on weekends I'd up my patch, hopefully giving enough boost to prevent bad depression, as well as upping the Seroquel to 750, which knocks me out thoroughly, letting me make up sleep lost during the week.

That was a great plan, but now 700 of Seroquel isn't knocking me out.  So I went back up to my full patch dose and took the 750 of Seroquel, work night or not.  Hopefully that will put me out soon.

I don't like this.  Maxing out on Seroquel could begin a major nightmare. So could too much sedation.

I hate not knowing how to make myself feel better.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Last night I had no idea if I took meds or not.  I must have, as I finally, finally slept 12 hours.  I honestly don't feel super now but am attributing that to tired.  I can't beleive I slept through alarms and my cat turning on verbal narration on  my computer (grr).

I have to go see Dr.Brain here in just a little bit,and then this weekend is hopefully rest and get my space bar to work normally weekend. (stupid cat. She's adventure happy lately.  I have the cold air return vents off in 2 places from the painting. I heard this crazy noise the other day. It was the cat in the duct work.  All typos are courtesy of her as she's insistnet on helping here.).

I got an email yesterday that I have qualified for my company trip next spring.  3 days at a resort in Mexico,totally free including flight.  Too bad I'm quitting......

Anyway, I need to get ready for Dr.Brain.  I just don't want to-sooooooooooooo tired.........

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This is making me CRAZY

Two nights ago I got to sleep around 9:30. Therefore I woke at 2:30 and got 50 very broken more minutes of sleep.  Now apparently I'm acclimated to 700 mgs of Seroquel and I'm wide awake at 9:30, despite having left home at 7, worked my butt off until 6:15 after starting at my first pt. on the way down to work, and I came to the motel and did the whole days' paperwork completiong.  I've had my meds, including my max of Seroquel.  And I'm wide awake and anxious.  Not good.

I know that my body has incredible powers when it comes to soaking up sedatives.  But really????????????  This is insane.  I am so extremely tired and yet I'm just not sleepy.

Today I also had to accept that my medical expenses for the year are not over. 2 months ago a bonded area on one of my front teeth snapped off.  My dentist said it was from grinding my teeth and that the whole tooth was broken all over and it should have been crowned originally and that it would probably crumble and get sharp edges and I'd need a crown.  I woke up to a shredded lip this morning, so I'm working on scheduling the stupid crown.  That will be 3 in 3 years and they are expensive.  I am going to be very close to $3000 from ready to buy a car (I hope) this weekend and this is not going to help.  I don't really know where this money is coming from.  Oh well, it will appear somehow, even if it is my overtime pay rather than sending all of that to Discover.

I got the neatest deal online.  My sister wanted to cloth diaper.  My mother and I gave them 6, I gave her 3 more, and she bought a few.  Nobody else got them for her.  So that means she is having to mix in disposables and I could see how sad that made them.  The diapers she wanted changed styles and I found them on sale, buy 6 get 2 free.  Christmas! I thought. Well, I then got an email that they are out of the old ones but are going to give me 8 of the new ones for the sale cost, saving me $36.  I'm so happy.  I love saving money.

And I think I might fall asleep if I roll over and read something.  Time to try anyway.  I hate to drag out more meds but I may have to.  I guess the good this is with my paperwork done I can sleep late if I can.

Something with substance soon, I promise. I have Dr. Mind tomorrow and Dr. Brain Saturday so between them something is sure to come up.

Monday, September 06, 2010

More about my mother/Update on me

This really just came up with Dr. Mind last week.  So it's still new to me and I'm not sure where we'll go with it.  But among all the other things that come up if I decide to go near the "my mother hurts me" door, which I haven't done much but seem to be a lot lately as I learn gradually to use the word "angry".  I think that there are a lot of times that I still believe her not-realistic versions of things, and I have to start focusing on the fact that she is not only infallible, she also has an extreme capacity for denial.  And with that capacity she can sound very confident and matter-of-fact and just right, when really she is very, very wrong.  But I don't always look for what is wrong in her statements, even if they hurt me.  I think(?) I wrote on here last week about finally figuring out that her years of promising that my sister and I will be good friends someday was not true.  Dr. Mind was somewhat horrified by this, pointing out that first, she can't know this, second, she's making promises about other people, not herself, and third it is unfair to both my sister and I to make this almost a directive.  For so long part of why I've tried so hard with my sister is that I thought I was supposed to,and that if I tried hard enough I could fix everything.  Not true, as it turns out.  In reality I can't do more than I do.  I initiate emails.  I initiate contact.  I make a big effort to be involved with my niece.  And my sister does little back.  In fact I got the baby something that apparently has kept her content for hours at a time, letting my sister actually work without trying to nurse at the same time, and my sister has told my mom all about how much she loves it but I've not heard a thing., except from my mother.  But I'm only 50% of the relationship and if she doesn't try it doesn't matter what I hope for.  Which is a concept I find painful as sometimes it seems like life is all about not getting what I hope for, but that's another topic for when I'm not mid-mixed episode which does give everything a negative slant.

I had labs today, and hopefully will find out I need more thyroid medication.  That would actually not be surprising since I've got several symptoms of out-of-whack thyroid, and since it's easy to fix it would be a very good thing. I also had a lithium level and a test to be sure my body, mainly my kidneys are handling things with the extra lithium.

I also heard from Dr. Brain and I have possibly been thrusting myself into klonopin withdrawl.  Apparently on the dose I'm taking you can't just take what you wish without risking withdrawl symtpoms.  Gotta say, I'm proud of myself for that one.

Anyway, it's so good she's being very involved as this feels like the edge is near and I cannot go over it.  Not now.  Hopefully I'll respond to this much medication and all will improve this week.  We'll see.

More of what I was saying last night

First, to anonymous, I really appreciate how respectful you are trying to be.  I used to get so tired of people telling me my family life sounded like a soap opera.  It was awful, and obviously there is an unease that goes with having your family be known as "one of THOSE PERVERT teachers".  

I think that when something is written on here it is immediately up for discussion, unless I ask otherwise, which I have done from time to time.  In fact I hope to have discussion.  I find other people's opinions very helpful because sometimes my thinking isn't very clear.  Also, other people don't have all the emotional engagement that I do.  Sometimes the emotional engagement is bad.  I know that I will ignore my mother hurting me frequently because I can't stand the idea of giving up both my parents.  And selfishly I need help from her sometimes.  But also she has tried.  She doesn't get it, and she doesn't often follow through with what she should, but she tries.  Last year when I was too sick for Thanksgiving she managed to arrange for it to just be her and I and we ate a roast, nothing fancy or tricky.  That gets her a lot of credit.  Where she loses credit is that she wasn't a good mother in many ways when I was a kid; she tends to be judgmental and decides that I'm being negative when I am being factual, or that I don't interpret things right (ie my sister being mean to me).  She think she can read my symptoms but she couldn't be further from the truth a lot, nor can she come to any level of understanding about how sick I really am at times.  However, I also know that sometimes this is simply her denial, her fear that the things she did caused this or made it worse.  And there is no way to know.

I need to go to get blood drawn then see a few patients, so I'm going to stop writing and get moving.

(Essentially the point here:  as long as you are fair and polite I don't care what is said here; I like new ideas. If I'm not well enough to want other's input I will always say so).

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Answer to a good question

Anonymous wrote (and others have probably wondered):

I have wondered about your relationship with your mom... from the comments you have made, specifically last fall, it seems very obvious she doesn't understand your medical condition. Or, that she doesn't want to. Then this lack of understanding translates to "what do I tell so and so...." or "come and watch my dog no matter HOW you are feeling" - Arghh! It has to be frustrating. And you also must be a very forgiving person. I cannot say I would be as willing to have a relationship with anyone who did not take extreme measures to stop the abuse of a little girl. And then, to see that the ramifications were dealt with properly. It was a different time then, but still... that you are able to forgive her makes you even that much more amazing in my eyes! I will be reading, but I am not sure I should make comments like this. After all, it's not a novel, it is your life. Too, I am wondering if my thoughts are rude, destructive , and/or insensitive.

It's a good question.  The answer is no, it does not bother me.  My  mother has done some horrible things and said some incredibly insensitive ones.  What upset me yesterday is a great example.  After I found out that my parents had known I was being sexually abused and they did nothing I was so angry that I finally cut things off with my father permanently and minimized my discussions with my mother.  I then chose to go to graduate school far away.  Being away from her was only one reason for my move.  All of my reasons were good and  valid and most importantly extremely important to me because every decision I've made about my life since then has been mainly based around "can my illness and I do this?".

I actually benefit from hearing people say something she has done is wrong, insensitive, unkind, etc.  Because of how I grew up it's very hard for me to just know these things sometimes.  And one of the things that I will have to address some day soon with Dr. Mind is how very angry I am with my mother.

Everything is so complex with her.  We went a long time without much of a relationship.  Now I just try to be realistic; she has significant limitations in what understands; she has a lot of feelings of guilt, and she does try to help. She just isn't built to help without hurting sometimes.  This doesn't negate the past and that there is a huge amount I have refused to deal with in this topic, but I've just made a decision over the years to try to accept who she is, even if she can't do the same for me.

I'll write more on this tomorrow or soon.  I'm falling asleep sitting up as my meds kicked in about 5 minutes ago.

I am only responsible for me......

One of the things that happens when I feel like I do right now is that I feel guilty for everything.  I want all these things to work just like they do when I feel ok and they can't.  My house is a mess.  But I'm not well enough to clean; I need rest more.  Yesterday I had a meltdown because my curtains keep falling down thanks to my purchase of these curtain hangers my mom thinks are wonderful and which I hate with a passion.  I did finally discover my low-vision cat is pulling on them when she tries to get her paws on the windowsill to pull up, but there's still nothing like coming home, going into the bathroom and getting your clothes off to put on pajamas, going to get the pajamas and discovering your bedroom has no curtains, exposing you to about 7 neighboring homes.

Part of what happened yesterday was that my mother made me very, very angry.  Angry like I rarely/never let myself become.  I didn't feel like showing her how I felt or how much she'd hurt my feelings, so instead I was just hurt.  Later I tried to write a letter but I am too afraid of saying things wrong, because I do, often, so instead I will wind up using this as something to learn from with Dr.Mind, except that it leaves unsaid so much that I am so upset with her about.  Also included in this is the fact that the whole thing is that she feels hurt because of a decision I made nearly 11 years ago.  The fact that I was upset with her played a role, but in her mind it's apparently all about her and she therefore condemns it.  And in reality it is something I'm so glad I decided (it's all about where I went to grad school) , not only because it was the right decision for me, but because it was the only time as an adult that I will ever make a huge decision and not have weigh in mental illness.

And then,just to make me feel worse, I had an email from my handyman.  Yesterday I'd emailed in response to one from him that I had left the things for a job on my porch.  He apparently didn't get this and emailed in the middle of the night he'd like to come today as he has to pay for a $150 textbook.  Which was kind of guilt trip, as he was supposed to make $150 doing painting for me and I held off because of my own finances/not feeling well/house is a wreck, and I feel bad but I do not need guilt trips.  I have a lot coming up financially with a job change and need to buy a new car and my working very hard at paying off debt to increase my credit score to allow paying for the car.  And I'm happy to give him work, but I can't be his bank.  I want to finish my house too, but I have to make decisions about my financial situation first and foremost, and I also have to take care of my own health before anything else.  I didn't get his email until now (because I refused to look at emails unless they were from Dr. Brain, all day), but regardless, I can't help feeling bad.  Not too bad, because I know that my mom has been trying to get hold of him about finishing something he started at her house, but still, I need a handyman who doesn't NEED me.)

And I was all happy because I bought a jar of mixed olives at the grocery yesterday and had every intention of putting them in my lunches this week as I try to be a slightly healthier eater.  When I feel like I do right now I let myself eat whatever sounds good because I tend to stop eating if I don't.  But I can't take the olives because I didn't pay attention that they had seeds and I can't drive and eat olives without seeds without risking breaking teeth.  So much for that bright idea....

Life isn't all bad, and I know I sound like I think it is right now.  I'm frustrated because I hate having mixed episodes and I hate needing more meds.  I was doing well at meeting the "1 year of stability and we can start  to try decreasing meds" regime rule and in the last few months that went totally away.  I was on high dose Seroquel, now I'm on extremely high dose Seroquel.  But I also had a really good time with my niece yesterday and got to see one smile and a few half smiles, as well as snuggling a sleeping baby for a really long time.  She's very into facial expressions right now and that's so much fun. I also modified a baby play mat to make it give more variety and first got an incredible deal at the consignment store (I got the mat and all the things I added to it for less than half the cost of the actual mat) and my niece LOVES it.  Apparently she started smiling as soon as she was on it and was talking to it and just absolutely in love immediately.  And that makes me happy.  And I'm so grateful for my amazing Dr. Brain who responded very quickly to my request for help and listened until we figured out what I could take, and I see her this week so she'll help more then  It also helps so much to know that she knows if I"m calling I'm in bad shape.   And Dr. Mind got me in last week and will listen and let me cry and make me feel better about my mother this week.  And I love my job, although hopefully I can keep it to less hours this week.  Last week was way too much.

And speaking of jobs, I need to take my meds and make sure I have enough clean scrubs to get through a day or two.  I'm working at least part of a day tomorrow, and I really don't want to do laundry today.  I think I'm ok but it is hard to be sure from here;I can see tops in my clothes but not if there are pants.  really I should wash some scrubs and my sheets.  But I don't want to.......We'll see.  I really need to try to stay awake a while long to take lithium late so I don't have to from labs quite so early.

Thank you all for listening, and caring.  This blog is one of my best sources of strength.  Way back when I started it I took 3 months from the time I picked a name and started playing with formatting to work up the courage to say a word.  Now when I'm upset it's you all are one of the first places I turn.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I am not ok

I just increased my Seroquel dose again.  I'm at the (drugged into occuring) end of 3.5 hours of crying. I had reasons but  not 3.5 hours worth.  These mood swings scare me; they are so fast.  (sorry if put in the wrong word or have typos, I'm getting sleepy from lots of meds).

Will explain more tomorrow.

Making a List

I'm going to go be Aunt Jen for a while today so I got up early.  (Well, that and I always get up early, but often on weekends I can get a little more sleep after being up an hour or so, and the last 2 days since increasing my seroquel I have gone back to sleep both mornings.  But my body is adjusting (and it is helping at least some), so I'm gradually recovering.  I hope.

Anyway, I've been starting to buy lots of long-sleeve t-shirts to wear under scrubs during the winter and had a bunch of new ones to wash, along with some baby things.  As I did so I was making mental to-do list.  Part of that list was trying to figure out if any of my family has a pet crate I can borrow on my vacation.  Which made me start mentally planning things I need to buy for that.  As I was sorting those new t-shirts I realized that this is the first of what I imagine will be many times that the contrast between this year and last year at this time will be huge.

I fell in long with this style of t-shirt last year when I had to buy a lot of casual clothes for the psych ward.  When I knew I was going there I had a lot of things I knew I needed (I usually don't have a ton of  casual stuff because I don't need it), so I hit sales every week to build up my supply and check things off the list.

And the difference between these 2 lists, ironically planned for one year apart although I went to the hospital prior to the planned date, is so huge.  I like this one better.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

And they all fall down

(Written Wednesday) I think I hit a bottom today.  Not my worst bottom.  Not even close.  But a bottom bad enough to call Dr. Brain for help, something I think I've done 4 times in the last 3 years, and one of those was a request to be hospitalized. I am doing so crummily that someone at work asked if I was ok because I've been so quiet.  That scared me.  I brushed it off as tired, but it's more.  Much more.

(Written Thursday) Thankfully Dr.Brain and I figured out a plan.  The issue was I needed more mood stabilizer, fast, without side effects.  After considering a lot of options I asked if I could take more extended release Seroquel.  For some reason (probably the hospital) I thought I couldn't have any more than I take.  Not true, especially for me.  And Seroquel XR (don't remember about the other kind) works FAST.  I slept better last night than I have in forever and woke up feeling better. I even went back to sleep for an hour. I made it through the day without frequent doses of Klonopin, and it was a very stressful day; I had to call 911 and send a patient to the hospital with a possible heart attack.  The meant something I'd never realized until today:  I had to be there and be ready to do CPR.  If he coded I was in charge.  Ironically I had to cancel my CPR class today and believe me, you don't want me doing CPR on you.  Thankfully he was still ok when the paramedics got there, but it was scary.  And I handled it, even managing to keep the family from seeing my panic.

I actually managed to feel productive today, I made small talk which is a good sign, and I got a nice compliment from a nurse, who told me I have been assessment skills than some nurses.  I'm pretty sure that has to do with first more training in assessment than an LPN even if it is theoretically differently aimed; I still know how to make an overall clinical assessment, and second, I've got a lot of years of practice under my belt.

I also did something really big. I told them yesterday that I very much need vacation between this contract and starting working for them.  I had previously said I'd wait if I didn't have an assistant; I now have changed that to "I really need a break".  I've not had actual time off (just a few sick days, a few days of many medical appts, and what Dr. Mind calls my trip to the spa in Cleveland last year. I think a spa that only lets you shower with an inch wide strip of low pressure water because a shower head would be dangerous is not much of a spa).  And today I followed Dr. Brain's strong suggestion and booked the most remote cabin I could find (around a state park or two) for several days in November.  I can take my cats, and it has no phone, no cellular, no internet.  Just a tv/DVD, fireplace, hot tub, and wildlife feeding station to watch. No guests allowed. It's not remotely camping; it's gorgeous.  It's very, very isolated and I will be forced to just relax because there will be nothing else to do.  I can hike if the weather is ok, and  I may take some sewing, but I'm mainly just going to relax.  A lot.  If I find I can swing it financially and it's possible I may add a day or two on.  I need that time desperately.

So I'm feeling like there is hope.  Tuesday Dr. Mind asked if I was afraid when I admitted I was cycling.  I said no but I lied (he loves it when I do that).  I was actually beyond fear; too much correlation to this time last year when nothing was helping my depression and  I had to realize (nearly exactly a year ago) that I was going to go on the MAOI and that I also was probably going to be in the hospital.  The problem with having been through that is that while I know there was a specific reason (med failure) that I was so sick, ever since I learned that I could feel like I did for those 3 weeks I was sickest I want run away if there is any chance that could repeat.  Of course there is, but it helps a lot to see that things can improve quickly with the right tweaks.  I hate hopelessness.  Yet I realistically know I'm not 100% well nor will I continue to feel as good as most of today was for a while.

And now it is time to practice that sleep thing I think.....