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, December 31, 2011


My cat is ok.  My first guess was correct; the blisters are from liking and pulling out her hair.  No treatment needed unless she doesn't leave it alone.  Since I have yet to see her touch the area and only found it because I happened to pick her up with my finger in the right spot I think there's a good chance she'll be fine.  I also know that she no longer can handle being left for 2 days at a time.  I know she is just now starting to trust that I'm home for real and she just doesn't have the ability to put together gaps in her care anymore.  She probably worried endlessly about who was going to feed her.  And as my mother pointed out they've had me here with them nearly constantly for moths.

I survived my trip to the vet (it's 45 minutes each way) without issues.  The cat I took in today lived with me in Michigan and got used to riding in the car every 6 months or so for trips back to Ohio (and it was two of the furthest possible points to reach, so it was a long trip).  She actually really likes car trips.  She could do without the vet though.  Still, much better than the other, huge cat who is hard to get hold of.

What else?  My blood sugar. To be clear, because my antipsychotic is a factor, as I talk about this (or please God as I don't have anything to talk about), if this is happening it is not because of the antipsychotic as a first or second cause.  It often is but I've been watched so carefully since starting it and even more carefully since being on a high dose that I know other factors are more likely to be the trigger, if anything has triggered. My family history is so bad that a doctor before Dr. Body or even the heavier psych meds told me that I needed to be checked annually because I am unlikely to NOT become diabetic eventually.  As a result and because I have been on risky meds for a long time now I get tested frequently.  We've been even more careful since I developed the diabetes insipidus issue about 5 years ago (wow.  That flew) because it can mask the symptoms of real diabetes (hence the use of diabetes in the name, confusing computers that don't have rare diagnoses listed for years).   I have fasting sugars done a few times annually, non-fasting periodically, an A1C annually, free insulin this year, and I've had 3 years of knowing that I had a pretty high non-fasting sugar at just this time of year, leading to huge weight loss.  In the last 6 months I haven't felt well enough to eat healthily or exercise and so I gained weight.  And now much sugar is back up, more alarmingly to me because it is fasting that it is now an issue.  Also diabetes would explain the headache and upset stomach that I've been fighting for the last while and blaming on lithium.  I think it is still lithium but the hospital doctor thought it was too long. However, he has been warned by Dr. Brain about my weird metabolism of the magic salt but not seen it for himself so I'm not sure that he fully understands that "this isn't typical" is meaningless for me.  My level should be much higher than it has been in nearly 6 years and the symptoms are consistent with being on a higher dose after toxicity.  I'm hoping the sugar is just back to normal when retested.  I am prepared for it not to be but equally prepared for it to improve dramatically.  So the point was that the antipsychotic is about the 4th thing in line as the cause.  If I am diabetic it may be sooner than it would have happened, but not far in age from when my uncles and now cousins were diagnosed.  I do have to start losing weight.  However right now that will be more by eliminating things I shouldn't eat from the house and replacing them with better as I get out more.  I had meant to go to a store today until my mother mentioned how crazy it was yesterday evening because of people grabbing party supplies.  I had forgotten the date.

I think I mentioned being very sad because I ordered a picture of my mom's cat who died as kind of a memorial and then it didn't turn out well.  I actually got the picture while I was in the hospital and looked at it today.  Turns out that at first glance it isn't right but if you look very long you find that from the right perspective it is actually really good.  So I'm happy about that project and will give it to her tomorrow.  I'm wanting to go down to maximize time with Anne and my sister.  It all depends on panic attacks though.

I wish blogging or email counted for Dr. Mind.  They don't.  The purpose is getting out of the house every day and interacting.  Which is important at this stage of recovery from wanting to die because it means being engaged in the world as well as having a chance or breaking any bad thought loops rather than just lying here staring at nothing and repeating the bad thoughts in my head.  His reasoning is good.  My panic attacks are a good reason to not go when I am not feeling well as until I have meds that help I am needing about 2 hours of effort to recover from each one.

Oh, and if I say something weird, consider if I might have thought I was being funny.  I keep trying to make jokes and confusing people.  Apparently I'm not there yet.

Have wonderful and safe New Years'.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh yeah, IOP the conclusion

I forgot about this not being something that you know.  Too much going on for me I guess.  Anyway, the IOP won't be happening.  The place I wanted to go just isn't right.  The other choice is even further away than I thought when I realized it wasn't an option.  It isn't at the actual hospital but at an off-campus second site that would be 95 minutes in normal traffic per Mapquest, meaning that snow and rush hour could make it 4 plus hours of driving daily.  There are no other programs.  So that means putting together something ourselves.  To make it worse the NAMI meeting I wanted to go to requires having attended a class that doesn't sound particularly appropriate for my needs at this time (would have been great in 2002).  Some of this is hard because I'm not doing this in the usual order.  Usually by almost 10 years after diagnosis you are not trying to adjust to stability that has imploded and unfortunately most people have experienced the degree of suicidalness I have just come through before.  So unless one of the Drs. feels I need to attend the course and review skills I've had for a long time there isn't at all what I need.  There is regular support group on Sunday nights; I'm not sure that it is ideal because keeping me out late (and I think this would be going both directions in the dark) isn't great.  It's sort of Dr. Mind's call at this point.  I'm taking a break for hefty decisions for a while.

Ideally the hospital social worker would be helping.  However she doesn't like me much for some reason (this isn't my first problem with her) and she just avoids helping me with anything.  They initially offered to have her get in touch with me and try to help but I didn't want to deal with her either not calling me or not being helpful; I needed to ideally be enrolled in the program and knowing what I was doing; she would have not gotten information at this point, just referred me and then the same thing that did happen would have; I would have had questions, called them, and found out that the referral wasn't appropriate.

The talk to someone thing is to get me out of the house and interacting.  I'm supposed to try to leave daily.  I think.  But that's going to depend on things like today did with panic attacks.  Until I have some anxiety meds that I can take more of if I become extremely anxious I am kind of stuck fighting those the best I can with deep breathing and decreased stimulation.  The trick is without specific destinations I start to feel panicky.  The next few days I'll be meeting this goal as tomorrow is the vet (the thing seems to be healing but I can't get a very good look, I don't know what the cause is so don't know what it is (burn vs. other injury), and for all I know it is a gross infection from chewing on herself while I wasn't here.  She also needs checked for anything else and that is not a one woman job.  If it is a burn I want to know my vet's position on her heating pad.  I thoroughly messed with it and it's warm, not hot, seems to be heating evenly and there is no indication it could burn her, particularly not rapidly enough to hurt.) and then the next 2 days I'll be at my mom's for time with my sister's family and then "Christmas".  And Tuesday is Dr. Mind day as it Thursday.  Saturday is Dr. Brain day.  So I only have to do something Wednesday and Friday.  Or I try to talk him into letting me off the hook.  Which is unlikely since isolating helped me get into this mess and isolating is dangerous.  The talking thing means just talking to clerks in the store, librarians, whatever.

My poor injured darling is screaming at me (trust me) to feed her so I guess I should since I have, according to her, caused grievous harm to her need to eat constantly by being away.  She wants to pick everything right now-what, when, and how much she eats.  Whatever cat.

There's another layer to all this by the way.  My mother is being pretty obnoxious about guilt and the moving of Christmas.  Things like saying my niece may not enjoy it now.  Things that HURT.  Dr. Mind was livid about this last night.  I've been pushing it away because it hurts but I don't know what to do about it.  He wants me to say something back, including offering a referral to counseling of her own.  While I don't think this happening I do appreciate that he was mad for me because I know it's not appropriate but I have way too much on my plate.  I need him to take her on for me.  (If I brought her in he would, gently and kindly and then she'd leave believing him to be on her side of everything.  Forever.)

And the cat is DYING she says so I must run before she is just simply a pile of hair.


 took the time to check out my labs from the hospital today.  Good thing I did.  I had 2 fasting blood sugars taken.  Both were high.  Like I may have developed diabetes thanks to weight gain high.  My family history is not good with diabetes.  At least 3/4 of my grandmother's children who lived to adulthood died from it (my father is the only one still alive and we don't know where or how he is).  My cousins who are older are developing it.  And my mom's mother had it severely and died from complications of it last summer.  My fasting sugars have always been good.  Typically I have an A1C (test of sugar metabolism going back 3 months) done annually but this year I had a free insulin instead which apparently more accurate and it was normal.  However that was 9 months and a lot of weight ago.  So I have emailed Dr. Body and expect to have more blood taken when I have my next lithium level.  I don't know how to handle this.  Those who were around about 3 years ago may remember me working very hard on a diet for those at high risk for type II diabetes and losing about 60 lbs.  Those stayed gone until this year when 25 or so crapt back on as I've eaten a very high carb/not balanced diet.

My vitamin D has also dipped below normal, despite being on supplementation.  I'd accidentally started taking more than I used to anyway (forgot it was in my multivitamin) so hopefully that will go back up with that, but it can explain some of the feeling crappy part of the last few months as it can make you feel tired.  In fact I remember being amazed when it was first found and treatment started and I suddenly felt so much better with my levels normal.  At that time the levels were done differently (I think they actually changed the lowest number they want to see) and my level was very, very low.  This surprised nobody since I hadn't been able to be outside in the sun for much of the year in many years because of the medications.  Supplementation got it back up and it had stayed, to my knowledge, at normal.

Can I say that this is very  not fair?  If it is diabetes and all signs point to the weight gain as the reasonable cause of onset then presumably getting the weight off will help.  Hard to know how much between the family history and Seroquel increasing my risk level.  

I am really missing anxiety meds today.  The antihistamine only goes so far.  This is past it.

My poor kitty

My cats stayed home alone while I was in the hospital.. My mother fed them every other day and tried to give them so attention.  But it was Christmas and so there wasn't a lot of time.  Since I got home they've been very clingy; one of them still hasn't let me out of his sight except when I left yesterday to see Dr. Mind.  My other cat is, as I've mentioned before, quite old and not in the best health and she also has periods of being very confused.  My being gone must have been very hard on her as she (I'm hoping as the other option is that her electric bed warmer burned her and that is guilt I can't stand although I think that is the deal now that I think of it).  Crap. I just discovered a hairless, blistered area on her belly.  So we're going to the vet tomorrow and I feel so bad, especially now that I'm sure she burned herself which would mean taking away the head that keeps her comfortable.  I may try to protect her with covering it, but I can't believe it hurt her; she's had the thing for years and while she uses it more now it's not like she is unable to change positions.  I probably need to check her for other injuries but right now she is so peaceful sleeping on me that it will wait.  This burn thing looks like it is relatively healed so who knows how long it's been there.  I only found it because I grabbed at it when picking her up when she wanted in the bed where I've been fighting a panic attack for several hours.  Bleck.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not bad overall

One good thing about having talked to Dr. Mind 2 times during the last 10 days is that he knows how vulnerable I'm feeling and how fearful I am of having someone scold me or be angry for all of this and how embarassed I am and ashamed of my behavior in doing everything I'd been taught to not do.  So he treated me as the delicate flower I am at the moment, mostly.  Of course this was while he packed away every sharp thing in my house.  And he made a point that nothing he is doing with helping keep either meds or sharp things away from me will stop me if I choose to hurt myself.  Oddly it's not something I'd thought about.  I knew it factually but either I am done with that part of my life and came home feeling that the safety measures are comforting (if annoying) and; I know they will be effective.  But he's right.  I could replace everything I gave him plus more.  After a week of repeatedly saying things like "I'm here because I lied" "I didn't know how to say what I felt so I hid it" "I wish I had died.  I want to die still.", or being in a group the day after Christmas (ie when the only reason you're on the psych unit is you want to die and are actively being stopped) and asked for everyone who was there because they were suicidal to raise their hands.  Every hand in the room went up.  Mine included.  And I was a lot further down the path to action that many or most of them.  I can't explain how painful I found it to find myself saying many times, saying it because I needed to hear myself say it, that I wanted to die and more than that wanted to cause it myself.  Saying the words "I had a plan" was so shocking they kept echoing in my head.  That was followed by "I had a plan and I meant to carry it out the next time it hurt too much".  That still makes me a bit sick.  But not as sick as "You know Jen if you really wanted to do this nothing I do would stop it".  Because it is true.  Because I managed to fool him before by lying and there is not much he could do to make it stop.  He's right.  This isn't something he can protect me from.  He can try, and he can decrease my ability to do something impulsive, but I can easily beat the system if I want to.  I don't. I hope I never do again.  i think if this every happens again it will be easier for me to get help; I know what those words sound like now.  I know pretty much the whole process of dealing with it and I know that my life would have been a lot less painful if I had chosen to get help weeks ago.

I'm learning that this takes a certain chunk of your life away.  Late fall/early winter Dec. 2011 is lost now.  It is so entangled with the desire to die that I can't even start to sort it out.  That part of my life was overtaken by suicide.  I don't really want to remember.  But this did not happen without a price, a price much lower than it could have been.

That was a very quiet and solemn session.  We talked a great deal.  In fact Dr. Mind thought the time was up and instead we had 15 minutes left.  There was the strong point made at the start, followed by lighter talk and the IOP thing and then back into harder stuff.  The last 15 minutes he was reading the typed and edited to eliminate what I had for dinner version of my notebooks from the hospital.  I wrote about 150 pages during that time and writing helped me work through the shame and horror I felt, take steps along the path to getting help and ending the denial that I was in big, horrible trouble, and the analysis of how I got to be in that position.  With enough time I was able to once again speak aloud of some of what I've thought and felt, and having this in his hands gives him the ability to know what I thought, how I got to today from a week ago, and lets him see things I could never say.  I also have been able to use this to point out to him ways in which I know now I had been lying/hiding/avoiding telling him and signs that this is what is going on inside.  Because I don't remember much of our last few sessions I am telling him some of this and then finding out I was using other words.  I also was able to share with him that my saying I am feeling numb is a danger sign because it seems to be code for I feel so helpless that I have no feelings because I have blocked them off.  We also talked a bit about the grieving process that I have started for my life before these last 6 months.

I'm actually feeling a bit sleepy so I'm going to go and see if I can sleep.  Probably not but I like to try when a chance arises.  It wasn't until today that I realized WHY my anxiety meds were taken away.  Duh.  If that is what I want to kill myself with why would they give me more?  I'm on antihistamines now and had to ask for those. They aren't ideal but they help except at night when I think I need more or something else.  I want to have something so I don't need sleeping pills nightly.  I see Dr. Brain next week.  So we'll see then.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I am home.  It has been a long, stressful day with the social worker screwing things up with my going to intensive outpatient.  It looks as if that may be impossible.  I'll explain later.  I am in the midst of 'suicide-proofing" my home and need to go back to that.  More later or tomorrow, just wanted to say hi from my own home.  Also, I have never liked the paint color in my bedroom.  I'd picked one and my mom had to go get it and make sure it flowed with the other rooms and what I'd chosen would not work in here.  So she picked, as I'd told her to and it was always not the mild light peach I wanted.  I never realized though until tonight that this color actually agitates me.  It is, I suppose, possible that merely being in this room is agitating after what has been going on, but I really HAVE to get this painted.  Hate it SO MUCH.  But home is so peaceful and wonderful and there is an orange cat with both paws on my leg and 45 minutes of continual purring since I sat down for a break.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PS.  I want these annoying plastic bracelets off.
1)  I want to go home!

2)  Dr. Mind and I have a safety plan worked out.

3)  I am very shaky tonight and dropped 2 toothbrushes in 20 minutes.  Yay.  I really hope this is not related in any way to my lithium levels. 

4)  Thank God for laxatives.  My belly just dropped inches and I feel sooooooo much better.

5)  I hate TV even though I keep watching it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Doing ok.  Nausea better. Cried a bit today which I've not done much of.  I have rested a lot, colored (boring), played 2 games of Sorry, and worried a lot about what "holiday cocktail" and hospital version of "prime rib" will be like.

Have good Christmases wherever you are!
Today is probably going to be a pretty quiet day for me.  I'm feeling sick from lithium and was up until 2:30 AM.  I'm hanging out in my room and trying to not move much.  Exact opposite of my last admission.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Starting to feel manic.  Not good.....Need to stay in the MIDDLE.  (need to FIND the middle).

I opened up a LOT today both with my nurse and in group.  I talked about how lying has nearly caused me to harm myself and how I lied to everyone in my life to get there.  I also realized that the lying started to get bad when confused on lithium and so then it grew out of control.

Now to stop lying.
Brief explanation:  Michal asked about my statement about making it this long by grace.  What I mean is that I have been pretty seriously (is there any other kind?) suicidal for months now and I did everything that I'm not supposed to do.  I didn't tell anyone that this felt more serious than the harmless but annoying "I wish I was dead" thinking I had been having for so long.  But after the lithium toxicity I started thinking about ways to stop living if I couldn't handle it anymore.  I wanted I guess insurance is the word that I was going to have a way to stop the cycling if nobody else could.  By the time I got here I was sitting in my room thinking about how different things could hurt me.  That's when I told on myself.  But I've been living in a very, very dangerous situation for a long time now and I was very, very stupid to do that.  I have various excuses but the truth is that I was embarrassed and didn't want to tell anyone and I didn't want to have the only way I felt was sure out of this situation stopped.

Now I am in a much safer place but things could have been so much worse and so dangerous.  I have a very long way to go to recover from this one and to develop safety plans with Dr. Mind.  I guess we also have to talk a lot about this until I am not so ashamed of thoughts I can't control.  

I feel much more raw today.  I think my numb period is over.  I think all the things I said last night to Dr. Mind made me have to feel again.  It all feels much closer, and also much scarier as I realize what I've been doing these last weeks in lying to myself and to Dr. Mind.  Only grace kept me alive.  I'm trying hard to let the emotions stay, even if it means the dreaded crying.  I'm also going to beg for a different form of anxiety med. because ativan doesn't make any difference.  I am so tired today but it is tired versus I can't move because I'm under so much weight.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I had a long, teary (finally, I cried hard) conversation with Dr. Mind on the phone tonight.  It's not much fun to explain that you've been lying to people who you aren't to lie to (with the distinct disadvantage of lying to yourself making that harder) and put yourself in a bad place because of that.  He was kind but obviously this can't go on again.  There was so much going on that I have to process, but I have now spoken with him and will again Tuesday either on the phone or in person.

Hopefully that's it for tonight.  Gonna try to watch a movie and get a shower and then go to bed.
B asked a question today that I wanted to explain.  She was saying I seem depressed, not bipolar.  There are a few things going on.  One is that I am more depressed right now than usual.  I have more depression always.  The second is the type of bipolar that I have; I am both manic and depressed at any given time most of the time (I can be only at one plane).  Right now I'm depressed but have manic spells later at night.  Those seem to be responding to treatment but occur after I'm not able to use the computer here.  However for the purposes of treatment right now depression is the main issue.  Anxiety is anxiety but also sometimes anxiety is how mania expresses itself.  And in certain mood states I feel more like posting than in others.

Make sense?
Today I found out that I'm here indefinitely, can't have more anxiety meds at the moment and a nurse accused me of putting a pill in my pocket and so I got searched, I heard "and where is it in your room?" ("my stomach?") and I'm sure my room was carefully searched instead of the usual brief sweep.  Fun stuff.

More later, gotta eat lunch.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

OK, so those who remembered the last time I was here there was a nurse who drove me nuts.  She is my nurse tonight.  Please pray that goes ok.

Otherwise we did have a group; unfortunately the topic rotation landed on the same one I did last time in this group.  But it was something.

Have I told you that my niece has pronounced herself a "toddler"?  I don't have a baby anymore.
Please tell me which anonymous you are.  2 anon, both on the West Coast and I can't see the blog to figure out who you are.  Whoever is whapping their head, stop it!  Thanks for sharing your caring though.
Next up:  I have a tough day ahead with a big discussion with my doctor I'm sure and more being stared at and I am not excited.  There haven't been groups thus far in the morning. I think the OT is on vacation.   Please pray for lots to do besides color.   There are 2 groups pending but one is nutrition (boring) and the other is sometimes good/sometimes not good.  It's also going to be chaotic around here as numerous people are leaving.  I'm glad as it will get quieter but it makes for a weird day.  I'm arguing with someone about TV volume; our room is close to the lounge and it's overly loud.  Great.

It's kind of hard to know what to say, but you all say the perfect things so I'm going to say thank you and we'll come back to this.  Love you guys

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I did give her the information in writing.  I am now on serious suicide watch; not allowed to close the door or pull curtain.  My roommate and I changed bed positions so she gets some darkness.  

I had to do this.  It is also so painful.

Gonna do something hard

I have been realizing more and more how suicidal I feel and that I have a lot of really strong desires to stop fighting.  I have no plans to hurt myself but I seem to be fighting the idea of making one.  And I'm not sure anyone really knows how bad.  My favorite nurse is working tonight so I'm hoping to talk to her later.  If not tomorrow morning.  I'll trying to talk to the dr. about it too but the nurses often listen longer, get more information and can share that with everyone.  I am having so much trouble acting like anything is wrong and I'm scared I'll be sent home before it's really addressed if someone doesn't know how serious it is.  This is why I'm here.  It's ok to talk about it because that's why I'm here.  But it's still a taboo-feeling topic.  I think it would help even if I could cry but I can't.  I want to and tears no longer come.  I forget when I quit crying.

Tough day in my head.  My niece called me (I think she had help) and that was great.

So tired of hating my life,
Well, I slept a little more last night with a big dose of ativan.  I was awake some but not as bad as it had been.  Then they gave me a big dose of ativan to relax me and so I've had a nap.  That nap was lovely.  Stupid lunch.

I saw a doctor, not my doctor, who was really good about going through everything I've ever taken and finding something I could.  I don't know how well this is going to work; it's a tiny Seroquel increase, decreasing my patch dose a bit (to see if it's agitating me) and adding another med that might make me sleepy.  I don't feel incredibly hopeful but tomorrow my "real" doctor will be here so hopefully that will get new ideas if this doesn't work.

For now I've got 15 minutes to get un-groggy before group.  Groups, by the way, one of things I needed to make me get out of bed, the person who does most of them wasn't here yesterday or today.  I really hope she's not off all week.  I need forced activity.  And i fI know this and am aware and willing I really need it.

We'll see what happens next.

Monday, December 19, 2011

And the #1 sign you need to to the psych unit.....

You wake up and think "wow, I really slept.  I feel so good, Maybe this is a dumb idea".  And then you realize you slept 3.5 hours and awoke at least once.

I'll keep posting from the hospital.  Leaving in a few minutes.

Thanks for the prayers and support.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I just decided that I might feel happier or more relaxed if I watched the video I made of my wonderful day with my niece back in November.  And it still is a great video of a great day.  However it made me cry.  Those days were hard and I was so tired and yet they were only a short period from being toxic and everything that has come after that.  Those were the days that I truly thought I could work again soon.  Now I can't even handle my simple job of waiting to hear from Dr. Brain about whether I'm going in tomorrow or Monday.  If I don't go tomorrow  I'll be able to see her for a while if I can make it down there.  But I just need to get the going and signing in part over.  Not strong enough.........

I don't want to be this brave

Admitting before someone told me that I need help is a big, huge step for me.  I've rarely if ever done so.  I know that it is right this time but I really can think of so many things I'd prefer.  I am basically forcing myself into doing many of the things I've felt impossible for so long now.  It's scary.  I want to cry but I have my emotions in lockdown.

I still don't know when I am going.  I am assuming this means Monday but hoping not.  Hopefully Dr. Brain gets back to me soon.  I know I caused all kinds of confusion yesterday and am probably not her favorite person.  I'd avoid me too frankly.  But I find it really hard to just relax when I don't know what is going on about something this big and although my family is being WONDERFUL (I know!) I hate that I'm likely to be totally messing up Christmas.  I hope that my mom will go down to my sister's to be with SOMEONE that day, or that she and my brother get together, something.

I am doing the right thing.  I am doing the right thing.  I am doing the ONLY thing.  But it still sucks.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Accepted again

I have been accepted to the psych unit.  I will be going Sunday afternoon/Monday morning.  I think.  Dr. Brain was trying to change that from today to a bed hold until then.  I dread it but I need this.  I have barely been out of bed for anything for a month.  I have not been well enough for the smallest things; I have barely even seen my mother.  I have been too sick for too long and it's time to stop and be where they make me get up, there's social pressure to brush my teeth, I have to talk to other people, etc.  The reason Dr. Mind feels stuck is that he can't physically follow me around making me interact and do things and that is what I need.  I dread it because I feel safe here but I have to get past that.  I also have to feel safe and to stop waking with panic attacks every time I do sort of sleep.

I just got back from Walmart trip 2 (I lost my wallet on trip one) and I think I'm going to break my rules and try to nap a bit since I was up all night and freaking out all morning.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I don't know what to do

I had originally planned to do a number of quick errands today:  return some things, get some food, buy some jeans that fit, get new pillows (I usually wind up folding my pillows when I sleep which does not do good things for them.  I buy lots of pillows.  I never know if buying cheap ones is better than more expensive.  The more expensive do last longer but I still ruin them faster than I should.  Nonetheless the most recent somewhat more expensive ones have lasted a while (4 months or so) so I'm going to repeat that.

The thing is that I was up until about 3, am quite tired even though when I did sleep it was soundly, and I still feel sick.  I really feel antsy though and want to leave desperately even though I know I don't have the tolerance.  So that means filling some time at home and I don't know what to do to stay busy.  I tried the logical step of sleeping but that didn't go anywhere.  I need to eat but have no interest.  It's a strange puzzle.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I restarted lithium last night per Dr. Brain.  She thinks we have just discovered basically that this is the glue that holds me together.  This was suspected and was why it wasn't stopped altogether.  Some people have it stopped after 1 toxicity.  After I had a hard time tolerating it for a while after the first one we stopped and a few months later had to re-start.  When diabetes insipidus is diagnosed the usual plan is to stop the lithium.  After 3 doctors went back and forth and I clearly stated my understanding that this may not be totally ideal for my body I was allowed to stay on.  And after a 2nd toxicity, especially with numbers like I probably had it's rare to stay on it.  I am going to have very frequent blood tests forever but the plan initially was that if I went several months and didn't need it desperately that we'd consider removing it but that it was more likely I'd need it and after those months had passed we'd try again.  Now that I've fallen totally apart we are skipping the months to recover part and getting it back.  Thus far I am sick.  I am trying to not take Zofran right now but suspect I will as nothing else I'm doing helps and not vomiting is for my benefit with the patch and my constant dehydration not matter what issues.

Regardless, I'm back on 1 whole lithium pill (instead of 1/2) and I'm sick.  This is expected but it is not fun.  It would be easier if it improved my mood immediately but that's not happening.

New plan

I got a much more coherent email from Dr. Brain.  We're going to get my lithium level up now instead of waiting as planned.  I already took the higher dose.  I also was able to ask about anxiety meds, anything that might do better than the useless klonopin.  I hate to lose Klonopin, it worked well but it's done for now.

I also was able to ask if I did have encephalopathy (I don't know if I told this story; the psychiatrist from the bad hospital stay said I had this as a defense to why he treated me the way I did; I was confused.  I know I had sx of this, but I did not know it was diagnosed.  It wasn't on my d/c papers nor was it mentioned to me.  I think he's using it to cover for his bad behavior).  However, I also still have cognitive side effects and the occasional neuro thing so maybe I did.  I just want to know so that I don't panic about any changes in the next 24 hours.  Obviously there are changes and CHANGES but I'm scared enough that I missed this before that I'll be being very, very careful for a long time.

I also realized I have a bottle of zyprexa sitting around that I paid a lot of $ for and only took for a few days.  So I asked about doing a pulse of it to see if that will trigger some stability.

I'm less scared by myself tonight.  I can't settle down, mainly because i need to cry and can't, but I managed to ask rational questions I think clearly.   I hope.  And the anxiety med thing is HUGE.

I'm suddenly sleepy.  Not ideal since I just took more meds to sleep because I was so awake.  Oh well.  Nothing planned tomorrow anyway.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

no title in my head

Well, the jerk didn't decide to come back.  This is good, although I could use someone to yell at today.  It feels like I've spent half the day on the phone.  Something I ordered from Kohls on Black Friday got lost at their warehouse.  I learned a valuable lesson; they won't off things but if you ask you'll get them.  I got a new one shipped out with priority airmail delivery at the Black Friday price and no shipping cost.  I was on the phone 35 minutes to do that, but it's worth it.

I haven't heard about the 2nd opinion.  I have no idea when to expect to hear something.  I am hoping that stopping the Latuda tonight will stop some of the symptoms.  If not by Thursday I guess I try to find out from Dr. Brain because if he's not able to see me (and this is a very busy time for psychiatrists) then I'm going to make a case for admitting me.  If nothing is changing from today I don't know if I can make it through Christmas without being admitted.  I've said this a lot of times though and been wrong.  However at this point I need a psychiatrist and the thing that usually keeps me out of the hospital is Dr. Brain and she can't do that.

I spent time on the phone with the ombudsman about my recent stay.  I heard both doctor's responses; both defended themselves on minor points and ignored the major complaints.  I heard things like "anxiety meds are not good with encephalopathy".  I had encephalopathy?  Nobody mentioned that.  Nor did anyone mention that anxiety meds weren't good for me; I would have sucked it up then.  I declined filing a formal complaint because I can't imagine that any complaint from someone with a diagnosis of confusion is going to win against a head of a department.   Mostly the psychiatrist made everything out to be my fault.  He did admit to walking out while I was talking and attributed that to being busy.  But um, "ok, I understand your concerns.  I need to ask you some questions then we'll fix those concerns.  I have limited time today", although even that would be pretty crappy given how long doctors spent with my roommate.

The drawings are helping some.  I forgot that I like art therapy.  I think I have enough to keep us busy for 2 sessions though.I think we have 2 sessions worth on "I feel so guilty because everyone keeps trying to help and I am failing".

That's about it for today unless Dr. Brain gets in touch.


So it turns out that Dr Mind is right and drawing did help.  It kept me awake a lot longer than I should be, but that was crying too. Crying is good.  I need to do that.

Now if I could just draw that cat instead of a pictorial representation of my overwhelming guilt at not getting better, repeatedly spread over 14 months.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The wrong day to pick a fight with me you jerk

I got home a little bit ago after finding out that Dr. Body could find no reason for my feeling crummy, backed up by yet more labs (things to watch after toxicity), the need to go buy (this is actually ironic given what is coming here) some larger shirts because mine aren't fitting so well right now because the so-called "nearly weight neutral" med is not for me.  I desperately opened email, praying to have something from Dr. Brain.  No, instead I had numerous comments from a post from 2007.  Specifically, this post.  You'll have to follow the link, I can't summarize it well.

First, commenting nastily on a post from four years ago strikes me as having nothing nice to say and looking for something to attack.  Second, judge not lest ye be judged?  Third, if you (jerk) read on you might notice that as my meds were adjusted and I wasn't taking huge doses of meds that cause weight gain in nearly everyone who takes them I went on to lose all the weight that I was discussing in that post.  Fourth, before you attack someone, please know who they are.

You (jerk) obviously want a reaction.  Now, considering that I'm about ____________________ far from being suicidal and not much further from needing to be hospitalized for depression, I'm so glad you felt that picking on me would help.  Thank you.  You truly made my day.

So, since you obviously want reactions, you can have some.  Jerk.

so, why not make a lifestyle change? what about people who are healthy and take measures to take care of themselves? should we be destined to wear fat clothes because the majority of our society is fat? oh yeah, that makes sense. if you're fat, do something about it. stop blaming and complaining, it does nothing, and oh yeah, your fat will still be there. geez. i feel bad for all the kids suffering from child abuse at the hands of all these ignorant, lazy, fat parents. 

Had you bothered to read this blog you might have noticed it is about being bipolar.  I have difficult to stabilize bipolar and most meds to treat bipolar result in weight gain, often a great deal of it.  I eat healthily but my body's metabolism if affected.  This is clear that when I go on certain meds I gain weight and when I go off them I lose weight.  At that particular moment I was on about the worst combination of meds for weight gain I've ever been on.  That I did not gain MORE weight was impressive.  As for what I wrote it was mainly saying that I couldn't find clothes that fit because my body size didn't fit available sizes and that this seemed odd since I'm not the only person to be short and heavy.  If you read anything, jerk, you'd know that I live in an extremely rural area and don't have many options.  Our stores are also smaller than city versions and I have trouble finding short sizes even when I am a size 10.  Or 6.  I've been heavier or not depending solely on medications for a long time.  You assume I've always been heavy.  Until psych meds I was a scrawny 118 lbs.  Did I blame anyone?  No.  I do now point out that medications were to blame, but that's the simple truth.  Did I complain?  Only that I'd like clothes that fit.  As far as child abuse, let's talk child abuse, because this is where you become INCREDIBLY INSENSITIVE JERK.  I can't HAVE children because I was abused.  And if I were I would bring them up exactly as I was in terms of food:  I did not know candy existed until kindergarten.  I love and have since I could eat vegetables, fruit and lean meats.  My favorite food at age 3 was broccoli.  I was abused but I age healthily.  My weight has nothing to do with my parents, it has to do with medications, jerk.

EATING WELL AND BEING ACTIVE A LITTLE MORE THAN NEVER is found to have essentially no negative side effects. Maybe you should ask your doctor if {edited from profanity to say that perhaps you should ask a doctor about exercise} or you guys can continue to eat yourselves to death while waiting for some "magic" solution that fits your fast,cheap,easy American lifestyle. Obesity kills-- although it is an expensive way toward population control
I am quite likely to eat more healthily than you do.  I exercise and have a job that requires a great deal of physical strength and a high activity level, even more so back then.  The only magic solutions I seek are 1) better treatments for psych issues 2) clothes that fit.  What do you know of my lifestyle, you jerk?  Obesity kills a lot slower than suicide.  That's the reason it's better to take psych meds than and possibly die earlier than not taking psych meds.  For me at least, it's an individual choice.  One of my meds beats up my kidneys as well.  I may eventually die younger from kidney failure.  I know this and have made decisions accordingly and will continue to do so as needed.

Obesity screams lack of self-respect. And if people can't take care of themselves...well, survival of the fittest speaks for itself. It's not up to anyone else but yourself to decide how long you want to live. Oh let's scream genetics all day long-- DUH, YOUR LIFESTYLE CHOICES determine to a large degree HOW your genes develop. Quit coming up with excuses to make yourself feel better...that time should be spent figuring out how to take control over your life. 

If you are such an expert on this then why don't you have the self-respect to sign this series of nasty, out of the blue assaults?  Why don't you use your expertise to develop weight neutral psych meds that are well tolerated and effective?  The experts in these diseases have been trying without much success but I'm sure you are smarter than they are.  I never mentioned genetics.  Although I do have individuals who are overweight in my family, most are not.  I was not overweight in the slightest until psych meds, and I attribute my weight issues to my psych meds.  If taking meds to stay alive and able to contribute to society (versus sitting at a computer and being nasty to a stranger without reading background anonymously, you jerk) is a lifestyle choice, then yes, I've made one.  On the other hand we try hard to keep me on more weight neutral meds because I can maintain a healthy weight on the meds I'm on now but if anything is added that causes weight gain then I gain weight.  I do indeed determine how I live and I take much more control over my life than you are likely to do, you jerk, by taking meds that do have harsh side effects and don't always make me feel great.  I have no excuses.  My meds cause weight gain.  Most psych meds do.  I've been on nearly 50 of them over the years.  There are consequences. They are worth it.

So, jerk, you got your reaction.  You got it simply because perhaps someone else who is attacked like this can find support.  In the meantime, this blog is about bipolar disorder and if you care to contribute to that then do so respectfully and you are welcome.  Otherwise go away and don't come back.  Further comments will be deleted.

Oh, and good news.  Right now I am far too depressed and emotionally turned off internally for you to hurt me. So you didn't even succeed.  Now, I am going to turn around and try to get help for my psych issues.
Next time you attack perhaps you should check out the context of who/what you are going after.  Of course being perfect you have nothing that is out of your control in your life.  Right.  You jerk.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not sure what to say

Oddly enough I was thinking that I didn't want to update because it seemed likely to make me cry when I got a request for an update.  So here we go....

I haven't really been out of bed in 3 days now.  I doubt I've been out of here more than 30 minutes at a time in all that time.  I want to cry and can't (probably a side effect).  I keep praying and waiting for Dr Brain to answer and each time an email appears I jump.  Sadly, they usually are just from Old Navy.

I think the worst part is that this feels almost normal now.  I've felt so bad for so long that expecting to feel good is a big challenge.  There is no doubt that this is becoming depression that needs treatment.  So what's new?  I know "Platituda" is just not working.  I know that this is not my fault or that I did anything to make it not work.  I don't have a high chance of things working.  "Platituda" is just not going to be my med.  I set myself up, as I usually do, by thinking an initial response is meaningful.  I know better, I just really am out of practice with med changes.

I'm having worse anxiety too that doesn't help.  Tomorrow I see Dr. Body and if I haven't heard from Dr. Brain hope that he at least can help some with that.  This visit is so likely to be a waste, but I need to know that it's not physical and that I'm not ignoring something important.  That's the lesson of the lithium toxicity.  I still don't think a single one of the symptoms I was having was enough to make it combine in anyone's mind as "hmm, this isn't quite right", but at the same time it terrifies me that I missed it so thoroughly.

Last night was bad.  Between my own sleeping issues and my cat having a bad night despite medicating her, having her exercise in the garage a few times, etc. I didn't get nearly enough sleep.  Also not helpful.  Today has been extremely anxious, probably because that was how the night went.

Tomorrow is going to be hard with Dr. Mind.   I hate having to admit to him that I've gone so far backward in a few days time.  I hate that we're going to be back to talking about am I in a safe situation, etc.  But we are.

I don't know what percentage of this is my simply needing to feel we're doing something and not having that.  This is why Dr. Brain wanted me better before she had this surgery.......But it is so hard to be so sure that something has to happen and have no way of ensuring that.  If I went to the psych hospital ER I could get admitted. I truly have no desire to do that.  If Dr. Brain wants me in there to try a new med combo that's great.  I don't want to just show up as "I'm lost without Dr. Brain and don't know where else to turn".  Yet if I have to go in I want it over with.  (May need observation to start another med).

I am just not good.  I've reached the point that saying that is almost embarassing because I am so tired of hearing myself say it, but if my mood was at a 5 at it's best I'm back to a 3- or 2. And I have no idea what to do.  Hope Dr. Mind does or that Dr. Brain answers soon.  I'm strongly wondering if she's having email at home issues.  That's happened before and would explain why my before-her-surgery-pretty-important-questions didn't get answered.  Who knows.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Not good

This morning I woke up at 4:30, presumably with a nightmare.  It finally has occurred to me that now that I have my cat comfortable enough she isn't waking me constantly that when she does wake it is always coincidental to my having had a nightmare.  I must yell or thrash around or something that wakes her.  So I couldn't get back to sleep and spent a few hours curled up in the dark doing nothing but thinking.  I realized that I am feeling a little more depressed each day and that it was better to try again to reach Dr. Brain than to sit and wait to see if she happens to get the earlier email.  So I sent her another one, trying to say this is getting worse please make it stop but without being too dramatic.  My current fears are first that this is deteriorating.  I am more depressed every day now.  The increase in medication should have worked by now and it has not.  I can feel the hopeless monster grabbing at me and finding it hard to argue with that monster, especially after spending part of the afternoon also staring at a wall along with my morning fetal position time.  I feel there is pressure as well, because we have a certain amount of time to get me better and that's it.  Well, there's long-term disability but I don't want to go there.  There's also Christmas approaching rapidly and that means stress.  If I go into the next few weeks feeling bad I know from experience I"ll come out the other side feeling really bad.

I don't know what happens from here.  I don't know if that's why I'm not hearing back; the next obvious choice has potential issues and while I told her I've read about it and am willing to try with monitoring I don't know if she ethically can do that.  I'm afraid she feels worse than anticipated and just can't check email or that her work email isn't working at home.  This is the downside to not having someone cover me; if she isn't able to help then I have no way of knowing and no way to make decisions.   She could be consulting Dr. Mind which isn't going to help a lot since I'm worse in the 2 days since I saw him.

I just want this over with.  I am so very, very tired and also so very tired of not feeling well.  I'm tired of fighting to stay awake.  I'm tired of the color of this room, one I never liked but absolutely HATE now.  My Christmas wish was for a day or days of help from people who aren't asthmatic and can help with painting, etc.  If anyone comes through on that this room is going to be the first thing done because I hate it so much right now.

I'm also tired of whining.  I'm sorry.

Friday, December 09, 2011

11 years, 3 weeks, and today

Eleven years ago today a dream of mine came true.  After practicing writing Jennifer ****, OTR/L when I needed hope for what seemed like years and accomplishing only being allowed to write Jennifer *** OTS (OT student), I graduated, earned my master's degree hood, and lost my S. For the next few months I was Jennifer ***** OT, the Jennifer **** OT/LP (Limited permit; until my board results were through), then the bulky Jennifer **** OTR/LP (passed boards, awaiting state licensure), and finally Jennifer ***** OTR/L.  I had no idea that day that my academic career was ending; I was pretty sure OT would only be a profession of mine for a while before moving on to something with a PhD.  I also had no idea that by the time I was able to take my boards, in March, I would be on the wild and crazy ride that was my emotional state until Nov. 2009 when I finally stabilized for the first real time.  I knew something wasn't right.  I had no idea that it was more than a malfunctioning antidepressant. 

Three weeks ago I was in the ER waiting for labs to come back and wondering why everyone kept repeating the same questions about could I maybe have accidentally taken some excess lithium, was I sure I was not feeling anything that resembled toxicity symptoms, and praying that it was toxicity.  I kept thinking of the luxury of a medical room and the less restrictive life than the psych unit where I'd go if I wasn't toxic.  Ha.  I actually have been much more mobile and content during both of my psych stays than I was in that medical room, and I didn't like parts of those psych stays much at all.  I was vaguely aware that I wasn't doing so well with some of the neuro testing, although the test where I finally got it was yet to come.  (There's one benefit to doing these tests on patients; you have at least an idea of what your outcome is).

Today I've remained exhausted.  This was expected as yesterday was a huge day for me.  I did manage to drag myself to the post office and discovered no paycheck (I didn't really expect it but thought there was a chance).  That's the total days' activities; I haven't even eaten much because I'm just too tired.  I feel down today as well.  I think I hoped that admitting yesterday that no, this isn't feeling as good as it should would lead to some action that would help.  But Dr. Mind basically just agreed, and I haven't heard from Dr. Brain, which worries me.  I am afraid that this means she is still not doing well after surgery and while mostly I want her well, I also am terrified that she can't handle helping me during this time which is a huge issue since someone needs to and if this med is not going to do it we need to do something different very soon if it is to have enough time to work.  Or, if we are increasing the dose, we need time to be sure that if I have askasthesia from it that I can recover from that.  I know she's help as soon as she's able, I just never asked how I would even know if she was not able.  I did finish making a calendar using all of the professional photos from our shoot in April.  My niece has changed so much!  She was a baby then, only 9 months old and next week she'll double that.  Not to mention the walking, talking, hugging, kissing (on both cheeks; she's vaguely European apparently), etc.

My bed is a mess.  I have not felt like moving to the living room today and so the bed contains my bag of dry mouth candy, a nook, 3 knitting projects in different stages of completion, instructions for knitting, my knitting bag, my cell phone, my real phone, DVD/tv remote and for some odd reason 2 boxes of tissues.I kicked the blankets off in the night so this is making it an ideal new sheet night.  I also have to shower and get my patch on; the last two haven't stuck for some reason (and I did bathe, I realized what that sounded like :), so I am going to have to do the "patches won't stick" skin care and hope that getting rid of the dry skin stops the problem.  The last 12 mg (I alternate 9 and 12) patch was a problem because I forgot that it is big enough that if I stick it where it has to absorb too much movement of my arm it comes off.  The 9 can go in the same place without a problem.  

Now if I only had the energy to even clear off my bed.........

Monday, December 05, 2011

Psychiatric hospitalization for the terrified

I have been doing several information gathering projects, trying to help us know how to proceed with my lithium toxicity.  One of the things I keep running across from 2006 was that Dr. Mind wanted me to be hospitalized and I shamelessly kept begging Dr. Brain not to make me go.  I was close enough to have a list of where the patients at the psychiatric facilities I worked out were sent when needed so that I would hopefully avoid overlapping.

I was literally phobic about the hospital for many, many years.  I don't know why exactly, I think I wanted to avoid admitting that I was mentally ill.  I also had a thing about having to do OT.  And for many years I avoided it.  I lied at times, once I screamed at a doctor until she realized I *would* fight and win if she tried to place me against my will because I knew the right phrases and I was not going in myself.  I begged my way out of it a lot of times.  I lied to myself when I needed to as well.  I was aware when I was feeling like hurting myself but thought I could squash it.  Only now I am walking into Dr. Mind's office and easily admitting that I am wanting to give up, although ever since he yelled (he was actually mad.  It made an impression) at me for not admitting this kind of thing at the beginning of a session I have always made it so it would ask at the beginning by alluding to the issues existing.

I really didn't understand that hospitalizations could be about more that suicide.  One thing that really, really helped me to start to understand this was that I knew for 3 years that unless something amazing came out the next antidepressant would be the Emsam that I use now and that going on it required hospitalization.  I also knew for those entire 3 years that I was on a tightrope with imipramine because there was a tiny difference between needed and too much and we customized a dose for all that time.  So by the time Emsam was needed I was able to fight my fears and ask questions and while I dreaded going as the time got closer and I was sicker I was glad to have somewhere safe.  The hardest part after that was that it was hard to handle parts of that admission and I was afraid of a repeat.

This fall I knew for several weeks before I was told that it was extremely likely I'd be going.  I guess I was told, just in Dr. Brain code.  I was ok with it because I was so desperate to stop needing to move and to just sleep already.  And it was a positive experience.

So I realized while doing all this research that I've written so much about my fears and reasons to avoid hospitals and the truth is that as time has passed and I've spent a total of 16 days in the hospital I see it more as a safe haven then anything else.  Granted, Dr. Brain kept me out of hospitals until there was a mood disorders unit available.  That makes an enormous difference I am sure.  For me just the quieter atmosphere of no more than 10 (at one point there were only 2 of us last time for a few hours) patients is huge. There are also a lot more freedoms, like internet access and I'm allowed to have my sensory stuff without fighting for it (just explaining extensively).

But I'm just saying if you wound up on this page because I've written a lot about the hospitalizations I've had, don't be afraid like I was.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dr. Brain

OK, something new....Time to pray for Dr.  Brain.  Tomorrow (Monday) is her hopefully final surgery/treatment for breast cancer.  This is outpatient but she said anesthesia is hard for her so please pray that it goes perfectly, that the anesthesia is easy for her this time and that she has no pain.  I suspect that is a fear since the last surgery was considerably more painful than she expected.  She's waited a long time for this to all be over.

She's a special person and I hate that she has to go through any more.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Two weeks

Two weeks ago I was checking into the ER.  I was looking around and counting about how many people were ahead of me and how sick they looked.  I was surprised that it was so few people since I've seen smaller ERs around here much busier.  I had a really, really hard time telling the woman why I was there.  This may have played in my favor by making me seem more paranoid than I was.  I sat down and within minutes was called to triage.  One nurse asked me 3 questions, realized it was psych, and got another nurse, who I am sure was a psych triage nurse.  I explained the situation, emphasizing as I would over and over that my psychiatrist thought that the hallucinations may be neurologic and that she wanted labs and a lithium level done so sent me to the ER.  I was terrified that they would automatically send me to the psych place (which is only partly psych and also regular hospital) but she'd said to go there.  I'd been planning to go to the psych place because I at least know the psych people there to some extent, it's smaller, and I feel comfortable there.  She wanted me to go to the main campus so I wasn't shunted to psych and not find out my lithium was toxic until the next day when I'd have automatically have had a level done.  She was afraid that because I have a diagnosis that they wouldn't be aggressive with medical assessment in the ER at the psych place.

Within minutes of triage I was collected by a girl who I heard ask someone "is 6 ready" and then we paused for a minute after the answer.  She took me to this tiny room with a wood door, a gurney, 2 chairs, a bedside table, and an IV pole. There was a plexiglass window that was covered by a little cloth they would check me through.  I was given a gown and the pile of blankets I asked for because that room was cold.  The IV pole was immediately removed Later, as I'd go to the bathroom I'd come to understand there were a few of these little tiny empty rooms (2 or 3) that all had locks on them and signs indicating they were not for isolation use.  They were psych rooms.  It took a bit to get used to that although frankly I was grateful.  I had privacy in my hospital gown even when I had to readjust the gurney sheet every 10 minutes because the gurney was very upright and the sheet would come off, leaving my bare skin on the plastic.  I had privacy to talk to the psych resident and anyone else who I had to tell I was hallucinating.

Because of the psych thing they didn't leave me sitting until I was fully diagnosed and deemed safe.  I had labs drawn very quickly and the IV thing put in although no IV was started for a long time. A medical person did a quick check-in and the psych resident was with me then nearly immediately for a good long time.  He actually had listened to Dr. Brain and knew my history and had read the massive amount of information she'd sent him about me and things I'd written in the previous few days.  He was very, very kind and listened so well and did not label me "psych patient".  He matter-of-factly told me me that if my labs were off I'd stay there for 2-3 days and if they weren't I'd go to psych for a few days.  I was a little surprised to find out if I went to psych I would not be allowed to take myself.  I was annoyed at myself for this because I'd packed a bag but left it in my car so I'd have no clothes or anything until I could get my mom and someone else to come up, move my car and bring my stuff.  That part didn't happen although I can't tell you how much I hated that I had my own toiletries and clean underwear in the parking lot while had to use hospital toiletries and dirty underwear for days.  Always bring clean underwear with you.  I don't know why I thought they'd let me go get stuff; I was sick and hallucinating, they probably wanted to keep some kind of close eye on me.

Anyway, the rest is the part where I found out I was toxic, the attending gave a lesson on lithium toxicity symptoms to the resident from the ER (not the psych one), and I kept saying I wasn't toxic (they didn't tell me that until everyone had poked around enough to be happy.  To my knowledge I didn't have symptoms until they were pointed out.  Well, yes, I was shaking like a leaf and had been.  No, there wasn't a good reason that I knew of.  OK, I was off balance but my balance stinks.  I was a little weak but hadn't done much.  Etc.  This is the reason I had no idea, I was justifying every single symptom.

I waited for about 3 hours after finding out about the toxicity and then went to the horrible, awful, nightmare floor where I was tortured for 2 days.  Strangely the ER was the best part, the only time I wasn't "that psych patient" and where I felt respected and that I was getting good care.  The worst part of the ER was the person who started the IV managed to have me bleed everywhere somehow.  Big deal.

I can't believe it's only been 2 weeks.  It feels like 6 years.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

To Jean

Re: med names. You are correct that the names are getting dumber.  Latuda honestly sounds to me like a medication induced attitude adjustment, which I find slightly disconcerting.  I have a feeling if I stay on it I will be learning the generic.  Won't matter, it will be forever before someone besides a psychiatrist knows what it is anyway.


I am so tired today that I wound up deciding against even getting the mail.  I'm just going to see Dr. Mind and that's it and I wish I didn't know I needed to see him because I really don't want to move.

I also get to have some fun with this itchy head thing.  I joked about putting cortisone cream on my head; the dr. told me to do so, "like gel or mousse".  Can we tell the dr. is male?  :)  I am not anxious to try this experiment so after Dr. Mind I may stop at a pharmacy and see if I can find anything less likely to leave my head gicky for days afterward.

Basically I'm grumpy right now because I want to sleep and need to go see Dr. Mind.  Sleep is so much easier.  And it's been a long time since I said THAT.  I just didn't want to cancel because things have been so unsteady for so long and I need to check in.  Plus I am letting myself sleep a lot but trying to stay awake during this part of the day to prevent trouble sleeping at bedtime.  I also promised both drs. that I would try not to miss appointments for some time after the neurontin experience caused a lot of them.

I know I need to do labs.  I feel bad about that part.  I just can't tonight.  Too much waiting.  Too tired.  It will be easier Saturday after I see Dr. Brain because it will just be a break in the trip then.

15 minutes until time to go......

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

my poor doctors

I just had to email poor Dr. Body.  Why?  Because the dehydration from the toxicity caused dry skin.  It's a side effect that I was blaming on my thyroid even 12 hours before hitting the ER.  Well, that's under control, except for my head.  My scalp itches like well, I've never had chicken pox, but they say it is itchy...it's not dandruff, there aren't scales.  Just tons and tons of dry skin that I keep scratching, making my scalp sore but not stopping the itch.  I tried treating it with OTC dandruff shampoos and made it much worse.  Really hope he has something because if he doesn't I'm going to be forced to shave my head and cover it with cortisone cream or something.  I can't tell you how crazy itchy I am, only that it needs to stop.

And my med is about to say goodnight, consistent 100% with last night.  That is good as long as it works for real.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My new med got me more consecutive sleep than I've had in a while.  Then it wore off and while I feel good to have rested I am back to being the anxiety queen.  This is in large part because I'm unsure what my work status is.  I had called in about COBRA costs as I thought I had been sent something telling me I'd be changed to COBRA.  But instead I'm still on regular status even though my leave ran out in Nov.  The tactful person said "you haven't even been "termed"" but which I assume she meant terminated.  So there are emails out to work asking if they know what is going on and also an email out asking if the need for another month off is going to be the end of me.  I don't know what I expect.  The news that I can't come back for a month can't be good. Yet I truly can't and can give proof that a lot is being done to find out what's going on and how to fix it.  I just need answers and while expecting them immediately or even today is a lot I am so tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

More later.  I think I said I'd tell you more about yesterday and I don't remember what I did say.

They helped

I will tell you more tomorrow because I didn't get home until after 11 and meds were 2 1/2 hours late and I need to seriously work on relaxing but Dr. Brain spent 2 hours with me and had re-read my garbled writting enough to get that I was saying I felt I needed a mood stabilizer before ltihium.  So we found a perfect choice that I then couldn't take because it is about the only thing on earth that interacts with Seroquel, so  I'm now the first patient she's had on a new antipsychotic (not approved yet for bipolar but desperate times).  Those hours helped me finally draw a picture for Dr. Mind that helped break down why I want to die.  And the Dr. Body wrote back about something minor and apparently he's dropping Dr. from his name now too.

I'm hoping to sleep both because of the new med and because that was a VERY long day.

More tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I think either the antihistamine that has been doing such a nice job helping me sleep lately made me agitated last night.  It eventually did in the psych stay too.  I'm glad to see Dr. Brain today. I took a full extra 2 mg dose of klonopin at 1 and still couldn't sleep despite being sleepy. I finally took a sleeping pill at 2 and I think was asleep by 2:30.  Problem was the cat woke me at 7 and I could not get back to sleep.  All these "MUST DO" things kept me awake and so I slept an hour and a half on the phone taking care of student loan stuff, insurance stuff, hospital billing, and a part for my car that is preventing oil changes because Walmart stripped the screw using the wrong tool then lied.  I wrote the check for my car payment.  I checked in with disability about my check for last week.  Etc.  Eventually I got myself to relax enough to sleep and napped for a few hours.

So now I'm going into my trip to see Dr. Brain tired. This will change to mania eventually but I wish rested were an option.

Hoping for lots of great help today.

That helps my tiredness

And so naturally after fighting to stay awake at 6 PM, and even taking meds a little early because I was so incredibly sleepy, it took a full extra dose of klonopin plus a dose of lunesta to settle down enough to sleep. And then my cat decided I should be up about 7, so now I'm hoping to get tired enough to sleep more.I hope or today will be too long and I'll have to cancel Dr. Brain.  I may call and see if they have anything different, but that probably would mean goign up tomorrow and that's not ideal either.  Nor is skipping this appointment.

I have a pretty understandable list I can shove at Dr. Brain with a "here" this is why I am struggling if I have to.

I did somewhere in there last night realize that my feelings of wanting to quit and not live anymore are more complicated.  I simply wish that I hadn't started hallucinating and had eventually had the toxicity that I just wasn't here anymore.  I keep saying this and it is true:  I won't harm myself.  I will, however, have to fight myself to not get pulled into the swampy area where this becomes hard to not think about.

I'm now in the midst of a student loan mess.  I put the huge one on forbearance when I got sick.  The forbearance ran out without my realizing it and now I can't seem to get it back on forbearance. So here in a few minutes I have to call in.  I can think of few things I'm less interested in that being on hold.  I also need to call my insurance company about why I can't logon to the webpage, my HR department about somethings, and something else.  Oh, I know, I somehow haven't gotten disabilty pay that should have come through last week. Since I have a car payment to make today and several things to pay in the next couple weeks that must be done I really am anxiuos about this.  Which reminds me to call Sears........Best do that now.

More after the doctor unless I die of mania.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

No idea what I'm about to type

Mostly, I am T.I.R.E.D.  I've been exhausted since I got out of the hospital, and this is normal plus they didn't let me sleep there via withholding meds, but for whatever reason today is even more sleepy than before.  I honestly can't remember when I got up.  I've done only a tiny bit of anything knowing I was tired.  And a minute ago I looked at the clock thinking surely it was nearly pill time and it is not quite 6:30.    In the last hour my activities have been so tiring as: reading, starting the washer and dryer (didn't even have to flip clothes), and showering.  Otherwise all I've done is start to prepare an area for my nativity scene (so excited.  I asked for one years ago and was given a gorgeous one.  Unfortunately the next Christmas I had 2 kittens and there weren't many survivors.  So last year my whole family bought me parts of the Willow Creek nativity set.  I just have to find places for my pictures of my niece and I can put it out.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day.  I have to leave about 1 to get to Dr. Brain's for my 3:40 pre-appointment.  Then I'll see her and then I'll go to see Dr. Mind for a late appointment and then drive home.  So I will be home around 10.  After 10 days of doing nothing that's going to be a LOT.  I don't know why I scheduled Dr. Mind at 8; that's an odd time for me.  I suppose he didn't have anything open although I thought I scheduled this pretty far back.  Who knows.

I had a weird dream (several in fact) last night.  The weirdest was that I was at some store and saw someone I thought was familar. They came over to my car and made sure it was me.  It was my so-called-friend who decided my illness makes me not a Christian and her husband.  The weird thing was that we had a conversation and even drove somewhere (in my Forester which I kept calling a truck(?)) together amiably.  But then we got to a field somewhere and she went with her husband and that was it.  It was like my brain had the unusual idea we should try to re-connect.  Given she thinks I'm the spawn of Satan I don't think so, but I haven't dreamed about her in years, nor consciously thought of her in a long time. Too bad too, this was always our fun part of the year (we had fun constantly but Christmas was great.  We'd watch the Mup**pet Christmas Movie and got to know it so well we both could recite most of it.  My senior year in the last weeks before serious depression took away my life for about 6 months we were laughing at our favorite part (every time someone comes in the slip on ice and fall and everyone yells don't step on the icy patch).  So I leaped up, grabbed paper, scissors and a marker and made an "icy patch"that I taped to the floor inside the door so that every time someone walked in and asked what that was we could yell "don't step on the icy patch!".  It was funnier then).  We had a bunch of Christmas traditions and sadly I don't remember any others.  Christmas service in our school chapel.  The chapel at the school I went to is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.  The Christmas service is something you get to very early or you don't go.  Oh, we did stockings for each other and you never knew when there'd be something in there.  And an advent calendar, the first I'd encoutered with candy (we had a hand-made one as kids).  We even mailed stockings to each other when I moved to Michigan and she finished her undergrad degree.  I have no idea why any of this is coming up today.  That dream was weird.  Every so often I think of how easy it would be to facebook and see if perspective has grown as she grew up.  But the hurt if not would never, ever be worth it.  Especially right now.  Oh well.

As I think about it the toxicity/screwed my meds have done something to my sleep.  I rarely remember dreams that aren't more panic attacks than dream.  My sleep study showed I spend almost no time in REM sleep.  That's typical with the meds I'm on. But lately I'm waking every day aware of dreams.  It's very odd.

Anyway, I don't even know what else there is to say.  And I need to try something else as typing is putting me to sleep.  I should just take meds and go to sleep but I try so hard to keep med time consistent that I just can't, plus it's just as likely that I'll take them and still not get to sleep until midnight or 1 AM.

Probably won't post tomorrow unless it's before I leave or I'm really wound up when I get home.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


B wrote:
Good Morning, Jen,

I respectfully disagree with your thought about never returning to work. I am sure you will. I am not sure when, but your working life is far from over. Clearly, I have no crystal ball. Nor am I a physician. Although it SEEMS like you'll never get a handle on this, I believe you 100% will. 
You know, when I read of what's happening and remember all that has happened within the last year it sometimes seems obvious to me. Again, I am no doctor - just an observer. Here's what I see...
Within the last year your body has gone through bronchitis, asthma, uterine problems, no sleep for weeks on end, appetite changes, lots of pain and then surgery. And those are just the PHYSICAL THINGS that have happened. Along with all of this comes new medicines, changing old medicines, inhalers, patches, surgical anesthesia… again, purely PHYSICAL things your body has endured.
If you look at it this way, is it no wonder your mental health has also suffered? Jen, even if you didn’t have bi-polar, do you think you’d be a-ok now? I don’t think ANYONE would be ok. Seriously! I know I wouldn’t, and that is fact. Because, these physical changes take a HUGE emotional toll – HUGE, HUGE, and HUGER.
\And now let’s consider these additional meds, physical symptoms, lack of sleep, huge anxiety etc etc etc have totally MESSED with your bi-polar meds/situation. Dear Jen – I think your body and mind just can’t keep up with it all! If I were your patient and told you the same history, do you honestly think I’d be all fine and dandy? No way. Sweet Jen – NO ONE WOULD!!!
Oh my gosh yes, this is an easy explanation from me – the one who doesn’t have to live through it and suffer through it. But can you take a step back and pretend it is someone else we are talking about? I am curious what you would say if it were me. Or Michal. Or a patient. 
I think you’d say, “yes of course you will be better” and “yes, of course you will work again after your body and mind have regulated themselves. You’ve been through the wringer and it takes time to sort it all out.” And then you’d pray for us. Just like we pray for you. -- am I close?What else would you tell us?

B, you are right.  I am still unsure about work; I'll work somewhere, somehow, but I am becoming less confident in my ability to go back to working full-time with nearly 3 hours of commuting.  Since I love my job and can't stand the idea of leaving because of my health I just feel like this is taking the career I worked for from me.  I work in a special place.  There's plenty of home health jobs and I'll find one if I need to.  But it won't be like what I love now.   But my body has been through hell and back and my brain suffers collateral damage along with having had its' own hits.  I know this.  I am just tired of saying "I'll be better when ___".  First it was the first month of whooping cough.  Then it was the 3 months it can last, although asthma was clear before that time.  Then it was the cold air.  Then it was after a pulmonologist will treat me.  (Which did make a difference).  Then it was after my surgery.  Then it was after the akasthesia.  Then it was after the Neurontin left.  Then it was when the depression caused by all that was over.  And when that point finally came I thought "Thank God, there are no more excuses".  And thus began the toxicity.  I no longer hear these words as the sound reasoning I know they are.  Instead I hear excuse after excuse.  I think of someone who doesn't seem me routinely or who has not known me except for the last 13 months and I can't imagine this seeming believable.  From that perspective how can it seem like anything but someone either exagerrating, making things up, or trying to get out of things?  I have trouble with knowing if I saw a patient's diagnosis list and it read like mine I'd tend to be almost as unwilling to just accept it as the pain management doctor who treated me last week only because he theoretically is a pyschiatrist, although he hasn't done that since I was 3.  

This all brings back memories that are hard to handle.  For years I juggled issues like this one after another and work and it was so hard.  I was constantly going through med changes, I fought to work every minute I did work, I really couldn't keep up, and I didn't do anything fun or do much ever besides see Dr. Brain montly and my mom sometimes.  So all of this stuff in the last months has just made me relive that and as I accept I'm not going to be well this week I fear what happens next.  The last 2 years are the only time I've ever had much control over how I felt, what I did for fun, how I slept, where I went (couldn't stand stores at all for a long time and was doing ok until this, etc.)  Now all that is stuff I don't have.  I know it may come back, probably will come back.  Dr. Brain told me today that it is more likely that I thought she originally was implying.  But I don't have any experience with something like this happening and then not losing something.  I have never been in this kind of position and had things work out, except for when the right meds finally decided to work.

And I am angry.  I want things to have a simple solution.  Those don't really exist for me it seems.  I think I had come to believe that I'd paid my dues, a feeling I've had before, and then it turns out that everything is out to get me again.  Dr. Body has told me he's fine with giving me work excuses for things that might not cause other people to miss work, because I do have several serious conditions.  He reminds me of that often because otherwise I convince myself that all of it is nothing.  But that also just makes me feel hopeless somehow.  Last week in the hospital when I came into the room and with each of 90000 trips to the bathroom I would look at my roommate and think she was at least 75.  She was 49.  Due to diabetes and I don't know what all she was in a similar condition to someone much, much older than herself: blind, double amputations, dementia, burns on her hands from smoking that she couldn't feel, a crazy infection, and that's just what I overheard.  I don't want to be that person.

I don't want to be the person I had to be last week.  ERs tend to be awful when bipolar; I've had more venom and prejudice aimed at me in ERs than about anywhere else and I've only been to an ER a few times.  This was pleasantly different.  Because of hallucinating I was immediately triaged and immediately placed in a room that is clearly for psych patients it was a safe room.  Odd feeling but much quieter than the rest of the ER so I didn't care.  I saw the best psych resident I ever have encountered, someone who had talked to Dr. Brain, read the extensive set of emails, records, etc. she'd sent him, and knew about me when he walked in. He was straightforward, kind, and knowledgeable.  He told me if my labs were bad I'd go to medical and if not I'd be transported to the psych hospital for a while.  He clearly, like Dr. Brain, anticipated bad labs.  The ER resident was also kind and then his supervisor came in and went through a full lithium toxicity exam so the resident could see what was missed.  He also apparently was supposed to come up with what he missed doing as suddenly he said loudly "FLUIDS!" and ran out.  I was in a bed upstiars about 6 hours after arrival.

The next 2 days were horrible.  I spent them drinking gallons of fluid, peeing, and asking over and over for my basic meds.  The above mentioned psychiatrist refused to listen to my "if I don't have my antipsychotic I can't really tell you how I feel because my mood is too mixed up with exhaustion" and instead told me missing a night of sleep never hurt anyone.  Except for someone who is bipolar and has missed 2 nights and not slept a ton otherwise in days.  He was sarcastic, telling me my level wasn't THAT high.  Well, it wasn't THAT high if it was the typical 12 hour level but a 24 hour level should be way, way lower.  My level also is maintained at the usual bottom cut-off and so that is much, much higher than if I had a more typical level.  (For reference sake we keep my level at or below half what it was kept at before toxicty #1).  

Most of my meds were either given incorrectly or not at all.  I was not ordered any anxiety meds or even tylenol.  I spent every time I saw a nurse asking "where is this med?  why is nobody giving me meds?  why am I not being treated for my baseline condition?"  The treatment for toxicity is fluids.  Normal saline is not about to treat anxiety, cycling, sleep issues or hallucinations (well, sort of; less lithium and that stopped).  But messing with antipsychotics in someone who is hallucinating is simply stupid.

I fought right up until 2 AM last Saturday night.  No, I was still fighting with morning meds at 9 AM.  I doubt anyone has ever been discharged as fast.  I was inches from pulling my own IV to speed it up.  They barely even gave me directions to leave the building.  I told them at 2 AM that Saturday night that I would leave AMA (against medical advice) if I hadn't just taken Seroquel.

I kept being told I should be in the psych unit.  Except that I wasn't have psych issues (or wouldn't have been had my meds been given properly) and therefore wasn't even a candidate for a psych floor.  Plus I don't think psych floors really like IV poles and people attached to them.  Too many safety hazards.  They didn't have a clue how to manage my condition and therefore I suffered fairly extensively.  The doctor even admitted to not knowing enough about psych meds, yet he never called in the psych resident, presumably because of ego issues.  I had a panic attack and after the dr. was paged 4 times he let me have 1/2 of a dose I take to calm  when I'm anxious, which is nothing compared to panic attack needs.  I cried.  I yelled.  At the doctor.  I'm writing a complaint.  Because so much of what happened was wrong.  Had they felt uncomfortable with insulin and withheld it they would have been in huge trouble.  They don't say all diabetes must be treated on endocrinology even if they have a broken hip.  Cleveland Clinic is highly ranked as a psych hospital and they have nurses and doctors who have no clue about psych issues, nor were they all that anxious to learn.

The end result of that hospitalization besides turning me into a wreck is that I am less comfortable with myself.  I feel like something is WRONG with ME that caused this all to happen.  I know that's not true. I know my complaint is a serious one. But the end result is I left feeling like I don't deserve equal treatment and now that equal treatment is not fixing things I also feel like treating me is pointless.  Again, I know that all this isn't true.  I just am struggling with having what I've been fighting for hte last 4 months, the idea that I don't get an equal chance because I'll keep getting sick anyway, confirmed.  And the only reason I felt like that up until this stay was that it was what my own mind was telling me.

And that, long story aside, is why I'm having trouble feeling there is hope.  I spent 3 days being told I wasn't worth having hope, wasn't worth treating with even maintenance medication. I'm vulnerable, I don't feel well, I'm not eating enough and the result of that combination is that I feel worthless and that medical resources are wasted on me.  I truly felt like that by the time I realized they didn't even properly complete putting medication in my IV so it didn't clot.  She forgot. I spent hours with an uncomfortable, useless IV because I had to have it in case of emergency, but it wouldn't have worked because it was clotted.

To make this even worse I got my level drawn today by someone who acted something like I drug her out of bed for this blood draw.  She never even told me she was going to stick me; I watch so I knew, but if I didn't I would have been mad.  She also didn't get much blood and rather than do any of a number of things to get more she mumbled it would have to do.  It better be enough.  That was my last not punctured, visible vein.

This is so long.  I'm sorry.  This is what I've been holding inside all week trying to get out in an organized manner.  That didn't happen, but it's out now.  Thank you if you managed to read all this without taking a vacation day (and more so if you did!).


I got sleepy, on my own about 11 pm. I waited a while and then tried to sleep without the additional anxiety meds I've been needing.  The end result of that was an hour later I just put the additional meds into the pill box; they are now routine until something changes.

I know I've been saying this for months but breain chemisty so, so messed up........I'm scared it can't be fixed.  I try to be positive, which I realize is hard to believe reading here, but this is the kind of thing that tells me bad issues still exist.

I don't think I've said this here before, at least not point blank, but I'm not just scared of losing my job.  I am scared I'm never going to get back to work.  Dr. Mind made me talk about this a little.  But there have been 2 periods in my life:  the one where things were managed (the last few years) and the years I fought tooth and nail to do anything.I'm back to the fighting years with the distinct change in the fact that there aren't really more meds ahead, I have rapidly changed what was working drastically and nobody knows why, I am older and more tired, and after knowing I had a chance to live pretty normally for a long time losing it hurts even more than thinking it wouldn't ever happen did.

I wish I had never had the surgery.  I didn't have a choice, blood loss and pain were ruining my life, but something happened during that surgery that was very, very bad.  I am afraid I made a decision to go into surgery with all those extra precautions and we never considered the thing that went wrong, whatever that was.

I really, really need to see Dr. Brain.  Monday is a long time off.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Good part of being bipolar

Wait 2 minutes and you will not feel the same....

Tonight I am suddenly quite mixed.  I'm exhausted but need to do things.  I spent a nice long chunk of time folding and putting away clothes and am doing laundry obsessively.  I seem to turn to laundry when I need stuff to stay busy for some reason.  The sad thing was sorting clothes and leaving out the ones I know I'd want for a hospital stay.  I don't think that will be forced upon me, but I do think it has enough potential to try to keep those clothes out of the laundry rotation if I can.  Like I said, w hat I really want is to try this week to get my lithium levels to the target and see what that does and if I'm not significantly improved when I see Dr. Brain again Saturday then I think we need to try something more drastic which with her off means I'd probably need to be inpatient, which wouldn't happen until Sunday or Monday.Who knows how she'll feel about this and I don't even know that she can set up a contingent admission, but I'm going to try to argue for this unless she has a magic pill hiding somewhere and I think that would have some up in the last few months.

At least this helps me stay awake.  I have to go get labs done 12 hours after I take lithium.  I want to make that later so that I can sleep later.  Not that I've been asleep without a lot of extra meds in a long time, but it may happen someday and I don't want to miss this lab.  I'm under firm instructions to not miss it in fact.

And the laundry just stopped.  So I'm going to get my allergy mattress cover (versus my waterproof one that resides underneath because I have memory foam which doesn't like water and I'm a klutz) dried so i can make my bed and enjoy clean sheets.

A change of topic: Mirena review at 3 months

I am boring even me, so thought we'd have at least one post about something a little different.  This may be a girls' only post unless you are a man really interested in what we used to call in college "pink stuff".  Now that feminine hygiene products come in about every color but pink that makes less sense but back then it worked well.

As you know if you've been around a while, back in August I had gynecological surgery.  There were various reasons and so a number of procedures were performed.  One of them was the placement of a Mirena IUD.  This was done because my very messed up menstrual cycle needed correction and I can't take birth control pills, both because of my age makes me a lesser candidate and because they make me crazy.  I was on them the first year I knew I had bipolar because PMS time was a bit scary, and they made me sick and they made me cycle.  There were other reasons that this was the best option for me that I don't need to share.  I will state clearly since I've had someone ask me, while the mirena is not like a typical IUD in that it releases low dose hormones, this results in the lack of a formation of a uterine lining, so it is possible to conceive a child and then have that embryo not have a place to implant.  This goes way into the politics of abortion and we're not going there because for me it's not a consideration with 0% chance of my conceiving anything.  Even if I were sexually active there would not be accidental or unassisted pregnancy.  So that's just off the table, but I know I trolled the internet intensely reading everything before the Mirena was placed, so I wanted to throw that out.

Thus far the Mirena is doing its job.  I was told I would be likely to have 6 months more of the very heavy bleeding that led to the surgery.  I have been fortunate to avoid that.  After surgery I bled for a little over a month.  This is not because of the Mirena but because of my other procedures.  I had a very weird experience of about 9 days after surgery my cramps increased as did the bleeding slightly.  I had to call the nurse line to ask if this was possibly my period.  I felt so stupid given my 20odd years of experience with cramps and menstruation but cramps seemed odd.  Turned out some people are unlucky with the D&C/mirena combination and their cycle restarts quickly.  I was one of them.  I had another period soon after the bleeding stopped that consisted of a day of spotting.  Since then I had one period that kind of freaked me out because it wasn't as gory as before but it was not shorter.  I've also had one cycle that was much lighter and shorter than before.  This is the way the thing should work, hopefully resulting in nothing in a few more months.

The one thing I didn't know about that I wish I had known was no matter what the cycle happens to include in terms of need to use pink things I would still have hormone changes and will still have PMS, even if there isn't MS.  It's not bad, but it is there and can be confusing.  The other thing is that the bleeding doesn't completely correspond to the hormone symptoms.

On the other hand, based on my response thus far my doctor thinks I may be totally without bleeding by the end of a year.  The other thing is that the Mirena is currently approved for 5 years, but other countries use it more like 7.  The plan now, because getting a new one into me would be a major production, is to leave mine in at least 7 years and hopefully that will get me to menopause.  They haven't said precisely what happens then but I believe at that point I'll be a candidate for a hysterectomy because what was learned in surgery was that my lack of ovulation leads to nastiness and the Mirena is preventing the build-up of nastiness. They told me if it weren't for the Mirena I'd be getting frequent D&Cs or having the same issues I was having before.

So I am pleased thus far and they tell me if I like it now that I'll continue to do so.  In the ER last week the psychiatric resident was a bit concerned that I was having a reaction to the hormones but that was easily disproven by my lithium level.  I haven't written too much about last week (it's coming) but the decision had been made if they found toxicity or other neurological/biochemical issues I'd go to medical and if I was just hallucinating I'd go to the psych unit for observation.  Seemed fair enough.  If I'd gone to psych I would have had a lot of assessment regarding the use of the Mirena.  So for the bipolar woman it is not ideal but it beats constant anemia that was just close to needing treatment and able to make me feel lousy but not treatable, and it beats the horror films that I was dealing with for 50% of each month.

When hormones are needed and other options are not choices this is a good thing.