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, April 30, 2011

I was so focused

I've not been writing much because I have been trying very, very hard to stay focused on 2 things: doing the bare minimum and sleeping.  I had a converation with Dr. Mind that he tells me was 2 weeks ago, I thought was one, in which I scared us both, in different ways.  When my mania is severe I have trouble talking because my mind is going faster than my tongue, or because I am thinking about 2 things at once or because new thoughts intrude and I go off on tangents and can't remember how to get back.  When this gets bad enough I either shut down in frustration or am absolutely unable to talk.  How severe this is is very indicative of how sick I am at any given time.  One of the chief factors in knowing it was time to go to the hospital early was that I could no longer talk, although at that time it was because my thoughts were so slow from depression that they were practically turned off.  When I told Dr. Mind that on the day I asked to be hospitalized he told me that the same reason was going to have him telling me it was time that day, something that I had asked him to decide for me if I couldn't at the time I first began the drug taper that led to admission.  So when I realized that my speech was that affected I knew I had to do something. Medication wise I had to see Dr. Brain first and we're actually still working on something that is helpful there (getting a lithium level done has been a mess).  That day Dr. Mind managed to help slow my thinking down enough that after I left I was able to realize I was about TROUBLE.  So I decided that much of what was bothering me was frustration with how I feel, knowing I may not feel well for months, frustration and anger at losing my ability to do things I want to do, and absolute terror.  Those thoughts kept chasing through my mind and I realized I had to stop them.  If I didn't I was going to wind up hospitalized along with feeling physically bad.  The hospital wouldn't be able to change that part, everything that can be done on that front is being done, and so a psych stay would only result in more frustration for me because I might have a better mood but not a better life. I still am very upset about various parts of my life, but for the time being I am working hard on focusing on survival mode.  I've changed things so that it might be nice to have quiet time in the morning I need more sleep and the only way to get that is at night, so I'm leaving notes to finish in the mornings.  I'm trying harder to do notes in pt's homes with variable success.  I get less time to blog, read blogs, read anything, etc., but at least I'm getting 30-40 minutes more sleep usually and that's a very big gain when you're getting only 4 hours and are supposed to get 6 minimum to stay well (not sleeping feeds mania which is unfortunate since mania deletes sleep.  It is a horrible cycle.)  I am trying really hard to handle only those things that I HAVE to handle.

This also is not something I am good at.  It means that when someone yells at me for no good reason and talks down to me and refuses to listen to what I say, I ignore it.  If i spend months plotting the perfect cake for a family thing today and the icing melted because i didn't put the thing in a cooler which the cake person told me not to do but i don't think understand how long the cake was going to have to be in the car, then I put that aside the best i can.  Etc.  These are not my talents.  But I am trying.

Today is family picture day and I need to get ready for that.  Again, no matter what staying very calm........i hope.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I have severe allergies!!!!

Yes, this is a good thing.  After a (typical for everywhere I try to get labs done) snafu I went to the hospital to get the results of the antigen testing I had done 2 weeks ago.  The antigen tested is sky high.  Truthfully this is probably somewhat falsely elevated by black mold exposure (long story but there's another good reason I have been so sick this last year), but that's also causing my asthma.  Hopefully when it is cleared then I will feel a bit better, but the truth also is that I'm allergic to everything.  Someone mowing outside the home i was in caused hours of symtptoms.   It seems like if it's airborne I'm allergic, although thankfully years of being with them has desensitized me to my cats.  I'd die if I were allergic to one or both.    But anyway, tomorrow I see my doctor for step one of how to get me on this asthma shot.

And since this is where i fell asleep i'll pick it up here tonight.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wormie Monday

I've been not feeding my worms so much which has resulted in no wormie Wednesdays, their previous feed day.  i had to back off because i was getting insects from overfeeding.  It's very complex with good insects and bad, and i have no clue which are which.

I know one exciting thing:  I'm ready to set things up to harvest my first tray of fertilizer.  I really have another about ready to go but it's going to get to sit a bit while I take care of the top one.  The thing about the top is that something weird happened: most of my big, healthy worms are gone.  This would be worrisome except I now have hundreds of babies.  It makes no sense and will make harvesting way harder as picking up babies is very, very tricky, but I have a week or so before I do that so I'm hoping they will grow a lot by then.

I just hope this works.  It takes a surprising committment to do this and you get attached, which makes knowing tons of worms died (again) hard, especially since I've not been checking in on them much while waiting for the fruit flies to back off.

oh well, it's a good distraction.  And now I must finish paperwork as I have to leave at 6:45 AM and that means doing most of it tonight.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Long time

Writing and talking are hard for me right now.  Too manic.  When I get this way my thoughts are so fast and jumbled and so far ahead of what word I'm actually saying that I get lost, have to stop and try to re-trace, and it makes me mad and embarrassed.  My focus is so poor right now that I'm having a terrible time counting people's pulses because any noise distracts me and even if it's quiet by the time 15 seconds are up I'm not entirely sure what number I *really* am on.

So I've been quiet.  But it has been far from uneventful.  Work surprised me for OT month with an edible bouquet.  That made me cry.  It was just so incredibly kind of them to do anything, and this was not just the usual "hey everyone it's ot month, have some cake", this was for ME.  They did something nice for me, not yelled at me.  I can't get used to the different approach.  What's more, they even made sure it was MAOI-friendly.

My mixed episode changed to just mania about Wednesday.  I hate being manic and it's hard to function but it's easier than 2 moods at once.  Today I think I'm slipping back to mixed though, slowly.

I saw Dr. Brain today.  She looked happy and was wearing something that showed off her newly reconstructed chest, which i bet is an amazing feeling after a year and a half of a reminder that something was wrong.  She is having me try more klonopin and getting rid of the valium.  If that's not solved things in a few days I'll get bloodwork for a lithium level (really I'll do that anyway, but we'll change my lithium if needed) and  hopefully will be able to safely get me on more.  Ever since I was toxic I've been very sensitive to lithium so it's tricky to guess what I can take.  I used to need to have my levels be very, very high, right below toxic.  After I was toxic we backed down and backed down because if I'd got hot I'd have toxicity symptoms.  Now in the last year we've been easing up a litlte.  And by a little I mean that this increase will put me at what is normally a "bottom" bloodlevel.  We changed formulas of lithium though and I've tolerated it better since, and lithium tends to stop my cycling so I desperately want more of it if i can.

There's more going on......i'll talk about it tomorrow though.  I'm tired and it's an emotional subject for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It all makes no sense

In some ways I'm feeling a bit better.  I'm eating, a little, again and that was a big concern.  I'm actually so tired I suspect I'll fall asleep much earlier than I have been tonight.  Yet I had Dr. Mind very worried because I had so much trouble talking and focusing last night.  We wound up spending a lot of time with my having to describe details of different items, usually pictures, trying to focus on minute detail.  Then I was supposed to talk about the feelings associated.  That part is harder.  I need to do my homework of this tonight still in fact.  Everything is too mixed up to assign one feeling, and the feelings I have make no sense.  Dr. Mind was concerned because he said he hadn't seen me struggle with that so much in a very long time.  He means since I was hospitalized; by the time I went to the hospital i couldn't get a whole sentence out without pausing.  But today that was better.  Today was, in fact, better.  No idea why, maybe because he really did get me calmed down last night.

So I'm worse and better at once, and I managed to REALLY freak poor Dr. Mind out because the way I said something he interpreted to me I was having hallucinations.  I suppose I should explain more to him about that, that it is just more my brain acting up than it is really a hallucination, but we'll see if I remember in a few days.

I should not take pills when this tired.  I take 2 of a lot of them and just started doling out 2 of each.  That is not a good idea.  Although I guess it's the strong ones I take 2 of and just Singulair and vitams are one.  So it's wouldn't hurt me, just wouldn't help.

The good news is the pain is over until about 10 days from now, my cat is ok still so obviously wasn't that messed up the other day, and i did enough paperwork while treating to be able to just relax tonight.  I'm working on increasing that and succeeding at least most days.

And maybe, just maybe I get my car back tomorrow.  (long, frustrated story you don't want to hear)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Some weekend

I'm exhausted.  And not just the same mood messed up exhaustion I've had, but this has been one tough weekend.  Friday night I did not sleep because of pain from the ovarian cyst.  I wanted to go to the ER but the only ER that really is equipped to safely handle my MAOI is 2 plus hours away, so I just managed.  No sleep Friday and almost none Thursday meant I HAD to sleep Saturday during the day.  I wound up taking valium.  Nothing else knocked me out.  So that did help although the pain lasted through yesterday too and some today.  But I'm still tired.  Last night I sleep ok, but for some reason it was the night after a year of having this thing that my cat realized my dawn/dusk simulating lamp is warm and tried to snuggle up to it.  Except she managed to step on the phone, specifically on speaker phone and redial.  That was NOT fun to wake to and I couldn't find the phone, then I found one but not the one she was standing on, so i had to keep rolling, stretching and grabbing--all of which my ovary wasn't fond of.  I'm extremely tired today, so tired I'm leaving my progress notes for tomorrow.  I have to do my city taxes as they have to be dropped off in the morning, and I'm waiting for my sheets and blankets to dry but then I'm going to sleep.

This should be a fun week.  It's always good when I go into a week exhausted, and I go see Dr. Mind twice and Dr. Brain once this week.  Which means not a lot of weekend.

Oh well, I get my car back, I don't have a super heavy schedule, i may have one day "off" for jury duty (grrr), and at least the stinking pain is about over.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My big step

I have no idea what will come of this.  But it's big regardless.

Last night Dr. Mind told me that I have to find a stronger support system.  He told me that he thought I should get involved with NAMI.  Although I don't remember ever talking about this with him, it's something I have resisted.  I can't do it in the county where I work b/c I work with psych patients.  In the past, long, long ago my previous therapist convinced me to talk to them.  We were looking for support, but I wanted very much to have support from other people in my situation, people who have severe illness but are working, etc. Per the therapist I contacted them, asking if they had any groups that would address the living very differently than my particular diagnosis suggests.  They were unhappy with this (not another patient, it was a nurse who ran the groups) and basically said nobody was better than anyone else.  Which isn't what I had asked, I just knew that while in grad school I had been in a sexual abuse group that I hated, didn't benefit from, and rapidly quit because everyone else believed their lives had stopped and they were stuck by their abuse and I just don't believe that at all.  So nothing I said fit in and I didn't help anyone nor did they help me.  I didn't want to repeat that.  So that was the end of that.

Well, I have searched far and wide and can't find a group that I can go to that meets when I'm not working or isn't in the city where I see Dr. Mind but on a day he doesn't work so I couldn't combine the trip.

I was up most of last night because the stupid cyst and a sick cat,  and thought a ton.  So this morning before I could chicken out because I knew I would never say this, I sent Dr. Mind a letter.  I told him I realized how desperately i need support, that it is not available,  and asked if he would help me develop a peer support group hopefully at the center and if they can't do it for liability if he'd help find a church.  i know that there are other bipolar patients in the agency; back when I was diagnosed it was a much smaller agency, still pretty new, and I was pretty much THE bipolar patient.  Over time this has changed and mostly because of success with me Dr. Mind has now gotten some reputation as good with bipolar patients. I don't know how many he has at a given time, but I know that he's not the only one who sees bipolar patients regularly there now, partly because they've developed some effective treatments based on me.  (Jen the guinea pig pretty much).  So I'm kind of hoping that I can be the leader as needed of a small support group.  I need the support desperately, I have plenty of training and practice in group leadership and when I worked in psych I did psych functioning groups so it's not something I've never done, and doing it this way means it will also likely be a Christian group which is meaningful to me.  I could never just say "help me and I'll do this", but my letter did.  Beats me what he'll think.  I suspect he'll help me although I have a feeling it will have to be not at the center b/c of liability.  I am thinking of doing this 2 Saturdays/month, earlier in the morning so I can see Dr. Brain when needed, because that's simply the only time i can add in a support group.

So, Monday night we will see what happens.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I don't know if I've ever talked about my infancy; why would I?  But this is funny, in a sad way.  I had severe "colic" (now I have been treated for severe reflux probably) and cried for 8 solid months.  I had to be held during that time and my mother slept only during the rare times I'd let her lay on the couch while maintaing pressure on my belly.  My grandma took care of me after my mom went back to work.  My grandma wanted a granddaughter more than anything in the world after 4 sons, and she had 2 older than I but they did not live locally.  So when I finally came along, 16 years into her grandmotherhood (my father was 12 years younger than his oldest brother) she wanted nothing more than to spoil me and I didn't tolerate her much until I was 7 months old.  It's not stated explicitly because she never would be so direct, but I made her life really, really tough during those first few months after my mom had to go back to work.  But this cracked me up:
"I don't know how an 8 months old child can do without sleep as she does".
If only she knew.

[ETA; And thank God she never did. My illness would have hurt her so much.  Also, although she knew later about the molesting but not to the degree or frequency or anything else, I'm so glad she didn't know what I know now with reasonable certainty: the date my grandfather first molested me.  I was 8 months old, Sept. 20, 1976.  I suspect this because the routine became as of that day that he took me upstairs and stayed upstairs while I napped, and he molested me while he had that "free time" he called his own nap time.  Although it sounds crazy I have memories that are from 8 1/2-9 months old that I know weren't fed to me as I thought I was 1 or 2 and mentioned it to my brother who was able to date it for sure and I was an infant.  I know by association with other things that I can tag with a date that he was molesting me by 11 months.  I talked very early and apparently memory starts when you can form complete thoughts.  So I was the same age exactly as my niece is now.  In that context it is even worse.]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Famous people and bipolar

Michal mentioned an actress who has been disclosing treatment for bipolar II.  i'm going to say things not as well as I'd like.  But always take such revelations with a large grain of salt.

Back when I was diagnosed BPII was a trendy diagnosis for lack of a better term.  Everyone knew someone who had it and it became this almost trendy thing to admit you had "bipolar", like it made you mysterious and brave and allowed you to be eccentric.  It also became a really good way to cover up inpatient treatment for addictions since everyone knows people with bipolar behave wildly.  For a while it seemed like the whole world had this diagnosis and I was very confused because EVERYONE had it, yet in the little world of 1 person where I lived I was totally alone.

I also will admit that I got to resent it because of comments I heard all too often about 'oh, that's no big deal, my brother's sister's mother's friend's daughter has it and she just takes ____ and she's fine."  One co-worker truly believed that if I wasn't doing well then I was off my medication.  No other reason could exist.  My infamous on this blog, soon to be ex-sister-in-law, was terrible about this, constantly telling me my doctors (at 2 of the top psych facilities in the US or even world with some of the doctors with the most expertise in bipolar anywhere consulting and my own doctor having specialization in psychopharmacology for difficult to treat pts.) were wrong and I should be on _________.  This included a huge thing about lamictal and how it was the best drug on earth.  Because of the rash pattern I had on it further use could be fatal.  So it may be the best drug ever (and I was in a clinical trial to show it is good stuff), but not so much for me.

Things improved over the last few years with this.  And I'm not saying celebrities don't have it.  I just am wary when I hear it and it has a lot to do with the people who might have a mood swing once a month being diagnosed and then criticizing me when my mood changes as often as every few minutes.  I also admit that during that period when everyone had it there were 2 things I fought ineffectively.  one was that I wanted to be treated as easily as they were.  I didn't realize we weree talking about practically a whole different disease. I also wanted for it to minimally impact my life.

Again, I am not trying to insult those with BPII or any variation that is different that mine.  I am not saying I hurt more than you or anything of the sort, just that when I was most sick comparing myself to a plethora of people who barely diagnosable disorders was painful.

As for my point about now, I guess just be wary.  Remember with April Rose everyone wanted to say Bekkah was bipolar?  Bipolar has become an excuse.  And for me it's not an excuse, it is my life.

Think i'm going to go to sleep now....I hope.

Mothers, help please?

I've talked about how my mother gets frustrated with moods and then gets angry because I'm "being negative" or  "focus on the bad stuff", etc.  As I said in my last post the last few days have been stressful on top of the mood issues.  I stupidly went to her house to drop off some stuff today and found myself talking about my day.  I was struggling and needing to talk a lot.  All I wanted was reassurance, not "that won't get you in trouble will it" or whatever.  All I want right now is someone to tell me things are going to be ok.  Dr. Mind knows this and is doing it, and Dr. Brain kind of did too in her brief email, but it's still hard.  So anyway, this resulted in her interrupting me and saying "ok, we talked about that, now let's talk about something happier."  I walked off, teary-eyed and she asked if I was mad.  I told her she would not treat other people like that, that she wouldn't say that to her sister or a friend so why was it ok to say it to me?  Why am I not allowed to need to talk as much as I need to, especially when I keep telling her I'm struggling?

Would you say that to your children, bipolar or not?

Catching up...again

It's sort of hard to really catch up.  So much is happening, my thoughts are racing, it gets difficulty to sort out mundane from important.  But let's see...I got a little more aggressive in pursuing the money my company owes me as back-pay.  It probably won't matter but I am tired of waiting given that it was approved 3 months ago and is money from December.  Money I desperately need.  I probably now look like an idiot but whatever.  i tried to be professional in my idiocy.

Work has been hard, hard, hard this week.  Between patients I don't want to see decline having declined severely to frustration with a coworker, to a stupid accusation from a caregiver who was agreeing with me while I said what I did and then turned it into my doing something wrong, but the situation is extremely messy and nobody will think I was wrong, just I am tired of well, people.  Somehow nobody thought to tell ME about this so I found out when a caregiver was very rude to me. And this isn't over yet more than likely.  The next person I called hung up on me when all I was doing was trying to determine if she was going to let me come at all, ever.  Slam.  That actually made me cry and i had to hide for a little bit.  And then there were the 2 evals that should never have been referred to me today.  But that's ok because it took 14 phone calls to set those up.  Hours of time that will look wasted and that i will not get paid much for.

Today also included a jury duty summons--for next week.  not a lot of time to gather my usual medical excuse.  So that means wasting time with Dr.Mind tomorrow for him to try.  Unless I can't tolerate not having the full session to talk in which case I guess it just is my word.  I have to send the thing tomorrow anyway to get anything there in reasonable time so it probably only depends on me anyway.  This is the 3rd time I've been called for jury duty in the last 3 years and each time it has been when I was unwell.

I started a 4th inhaler.  This is pure steroid and it's impossible to know if my body is ok with that or not since I'm so cranky anyway.  Too soon to know what my lungs think.

I saw Dr. Mind last night.  He wanted to know if i wanted him to contact Dr. Brain.  I told him I wanted to let her get back into things before I bugged her since I am stably bad.  And then I listened to my session.  I listened to myself talk of feeling hopeless, over and over.  I listened to him say I don't ever say that.  I listened to the suicide questions for the 2nd week running.  I listened to my medical hopes:  surgery and very expensive shots and while I'm glad for both I also am afraid my life is going to be tough until surgery is over and we have a huge fight to get insurance or alternative funding for the shots if I even qualify.  I listened to Dr. Mind tell me for the first time I can recall that I didn't look so good.  I listened as I tried to focus and couldn't.  And I realized that while giving her more time would be nice I'm past that.  So I emailed Dr. Brain, who is out of town but will try to find something creative to help when she gets back today.  So hopefully tomorrow or Friday I'll have some things to try.  She was so nice, she made no fuss about being busy which I know she has to be, just that she'd help me.  Tomorrow I see Dr. Mind again.  I suspect he'll be glad I did this.  My mental health has not been this precarious in a very long time, probably not since around the period I was recovering from the hospital.

I actually seem to be getting sleepy.  more tomorrow maybe.  Sleepy this early?  amazing.  Maybe every day should be so stressful.....

Monday, April 11, 2011

I give

I don't think I've made much of a secret that I'm having a tough time functioning remotely normally.  So I'm thinking it sure would be nice if other things would go smoothly.  Kind of like payment for struggling.  Instead....well, smoothly isn't happening.

Dr. Mind was off work last Thursday.  I saw him on Monday, but I already asked for an appointment for tonight.  Somehow that got confused.  I have an appointment NEXT Monday, which is good because I probably need it, but I also really needed today's appointment and am vastly confused about the mistake.  I probably was even a little grumpy on the phone about it (or whiny) but I clearly remember the conversation requesting this appointment, so I think I'm allowed.

I got the bloodwork done to find out of I am a candidate for those asthma shots.  the trick is that after we get the results then we have to take on my insurance, who will not pay for them at all, and at between $500-$2000/month depending on amount and frequency needed I can't afford them.  So more to worry about.

I got a call to start my day telling me that they missed some damage on my car and it's going to cost another $800, therefore eating half my tax refund.  i just want it back; I do not like this Rav4 that I'm renting.  It's great that I got a free upgrade (like 2-3 levels of upgrade), but it's not as nice as my car.  And the mileage stinks.  I thought the Forester was bad at 26-28; this thing is hovering around 23 mpg.  So no more complaining about that.

And then the best part....I have had SEVERE constipation for many years.  Severe like I used to take 3 meds for it and 2 were at doses off the charts.  In the hospital they were constantly making sure i really took that much.  But last fall a new med came out called Amitiza.  Dr. Body tells me it's not one that many people benefit from but for me it is fabulous and has meant the difference between pain and times I gained 10 lbs. of poop and not having to think about it.  Except that I ran out and could not find the mail order bottle.  I checked with Dr. Body; he did indeed send it the script.  I crawled everywhere looking before deciding to check the online insurance thing.  They claim they called me to tell me it wasn't covered.  I know that's not true as I would have immediatley reacted.  So now Dr. Body will have to file an appeal, and that's a bit scary as Dr. Body is a bit scattered right now, answering one question with "as I said" when he'd never referenced anything at all about this.  He also has given me confusing information a few times,etc.  But that's all to be expected with the changes in his life.  But I worry about him and an appeal; he may be too tired.

i'm not entirely cranky like this seems.  I'm sorry about that.  I just can't seem to have a day that makes me feel like "wow, that went well, life is easy" lately and I really need that.  Getting lots of rest this weekend helped a lot, but I feel like I need about 5 days of nothing but rest.  6 more weeks......

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Much needed

I heard from Dr. Body today and got much needed news.  First his baby has come home, so huge praises for that.

Second, he found a pulmonologist at least willing to give ideas, actually lots of them.  I do not have to do oral steroids. I'm adding an inhaled steroid to my other breathing meds.  I may have psych effects from that but truthfully at this point I'm not sure it will even be evident.  I think that puts me at more meds for asthma than for bipolar...I am also going to have a blood test done that will determine if I have a certain allergic response that contributes to the asthma.  If I do, and if one obstacle with my MAOI can be cleared, I will start shots for asthma.  They aren't allergy shots, they actually block the chemical that overreacts and causes the attacks.  I never thought I'd be excited to face a shot every 2-4 weeks but I am thrilled.  This is the treatment I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was hoping might work as it  does not have mood related side effects and shouldn't interact with anything else.  And my vacation is safe; he actually wants to find out what happens  when the environment is different.  So, the beach and the rest/relaxation I need so much is safe.  And the good news, if you can call it that, is that if I wind up in the psych unit right now it would be impossible to know if it even had anything to do with asthma meds.  I guess there is one small benefit to this stupid mixed episode, I'm bad enough to know that if I get a lot worse I'm going to be inpatient, and if the steroids trigger that the truth is that I won't even know for sure it's the steroids versus me getting worse.  Which is good because it will mean not immediately eliminating steroids.

So tonight I am a tiny bit less hopeless.  I'm exhausted and can't wait for tomorrow to be over, but it helped to get positive news of anything finally.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

more bad news

I was sure that Dr. Brain told me 4/8 was my next appointment.  Today I happened to sign into the computer system to see if my surgery schedule etc. was listed.  One pre-op was listed, but so was my Dr. Brain appt., on 4/23.  I assumed she was still back at work but just moved the Saturday.  I emailed her, praying to not get an auto-response.  I was pretty honest about how bad I feel.  No autoresponse for a few minutes and I actually relaxed.  Just in time for an auto-response that says she won't be back until next week and won't check messages.  I know she often says that but does check for people like me.  But I have no idea if that's true while she's sick, esp. since she's extended her leave which is a sign her surgery was more complex or painful than she hoped for.  Regardless, apparently I'm out of luck as I seriously doubt she'll get the message next week; she'll have so many she'll have to just pitch them and try again.Which leaves me in a not great place and without her help for longer.  In fact it means I'll go 2 months between visits which is totally unheard of.  It also means undoing a bunch of things I'd planned which stinks.

I'll be hiding somewhere......

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sad but True

These last months have brought up a bunch of different things that we've previously worked hard at in therapy but which will come back to haunt me if things get hard.  Sometimes it's hard for me to even recognize these things as some of them are issues conquered years ago. I just realized a really tough one is back.  I kind of knew it but it wasn't clear how badly this has happened until I took off my patch because it was itching.  That happens sometimes and I have learned that if I have one that becomes itchy it needs to come off or I'll break out under it. This one I left one for some time after I noticed itching out of a strong desire to not be patchless.  however I also accidentally wore 2 for a day last week or over the weekend and I suspect this one went over one of those sites.  Anyway, for the first time in so long I can't remember I actually got a couple hives under the patch.  These are the tiniest, least worrisome hives ever and as I said, hives are part of this unless I am extremely careful.  They are meaningless and these ones will be gone by morning probably.  But my first thought was of all the horrible things that hives could mean.  Even though this is at least the 75th time I've had a hive or two under a patch and I know full well that all that it means is I can't use that site for about a week.

My brain is far out of whack.  I also still feel very stuck for answers.  I sent Dr. Body a very brief note this morning saying that while I think we do need to figure out how I didn't communicate my desire to use steroids to him well I wanted to jump ahead and before he works too hard on pursuing steroids  he needed to know that I suspect that psychiatrically it's not the right time.  I may be and am willing to do whatever to stop this, but I also owe it to my mental health to pay attention to the fact I'm fighting a huge battle on that end.  I know Dr. Brain will have the same reaction to steroids for vacation that Dr. Mind did, and that will be that I need to go on vacation.  I can't think of anything worse for my battered psychological state that spending vacation on the locked unit knowing I should be chasing my niece in the sand.  Further, if I'm going to do steroids I need to be able to handle the resulting psychiatric effects.  Right now I can't handle anything.  I may be wrong but I am fairly sure Dr. Brain will agree with this as I am at the greatest severity I have been at in at least a year, maybe longer than that.  The asthma is not good and causes me to feel some of this but it has all turned into psychiatric issues that need to be prioritized; I've been this way with the asthma this long, I seriously doubt much is changing soon.  Asthma had its chance to be first.  Now it doesn't get that for a bit until I can cope.

I'm just so confused by too many doctors, too many issues, too many priorities and I don't know which one really is first, but my gut says psych first, quite possibly surgery 2nd since by the time I'm better from the mixed episode surgery will be approaching probably, and asthma third.  I've offered to make way for aggressive asthma treatment multiple times and haven't done it, so it just has to wait for fall now.  hospitalization or a severe attack will change that, but I'm confident now in my ability to avoid those since I have thus far.  i just want to feel better, but that's not happening right now and I guess I need to get used to that.

Especially if there truly is no pulmonologist in the world who will treat a bipolar asthmatic on MAOIs.  (it sounds so easy....)


I am not saying much these last days because I'm trying very hard to focus on resting and staying in comfortable positions and sleeping as much as I can, which is not enough per the bipolar rules.    But I am here still, feeling my  emotional status is very wobbly, and trying to cope with my anger with Dr. Body because I know that ultimately he is the perfect doctor for me, that we simply haven't communicated well somehow, and if we did miscommunicate and I had a chance at feeling better some time ago that there was some reason God prevented it.  I also realized tonight that although I have said "if I do this it will be instead of my much anticipated vacation so please choose wisely' that I really should have said "I don't know that I am psychiatrically stable enough to handle the steroids now and psychiatrically I suspect Dr. Brain is going to want me to go on vacation and get myself together more than anything else."  The more I think about it the more I realize that I am not in a good place emotionally and that until that is medically stabilized I honestly think giving up vacation for treatment after so many  months of asthma controlling my life would not be a good thing.  If it is recommended by both drs. I will do it, but that will be after a discussion of how hopeless I feel, how tired I am of life being work and sleep and deal with health issues and that I know that I'll be doing this with my polyp/fibroid through the summer, and that I also have to wait out several cycles to see if I have to go through exploding ovarian cyst again, and if so that will add more to my surgery.  Which seems like enough.

So I now have to think about  and decide with Dr. Brain what limits are appropriate.  Because yes, steroids may have been very beneficial.  We missed that.  They may help now, but there's a cost: benefit ratio to consider and I'm thinking they will lose out.  I think my mind is heading for some dark places and we need to stop that before we do things that might worsen it.  We'll see what she thinks, but I suspect I'm right.  Also, I'm not sure that take away/giving up vacation is worth the emotional consequences of a treatment causing m inpatient time when I should be at the ocean is a good thing.

So I'm thinking and doing what I can, and hopefully the other side of this is clear soon.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


Friday was not good.  Let's say it involved 7 hours/400 miles of driving, a rude Subaru dealership owner who didn't know what he was talking about and cost me a lot of time, a ruptured ovarian cyst, going to work long enough to say I couldn't work (but driving down because I never really thought i'd have to see the dr.), finding out that there's nothing to really do for my new cyst problem but see if a pattern forms in whcih case I'll have more surgery in August, sooner if needed.

It also included finding out Dr. Body and I totally have miscommunicated and while I've told him a bunch of times I'd try steroids, even asking once to do so, I think he somehow never understood I meant oral steroids although i thought that was clear enough.  And so now I find out he wanted to do them and thought I was refusing when in truth I told him several times that I don't want to but that if i need to I will and that if though I'll never be thrilled with it I trust him and that if he told me oral steroids were the best option I'd do it.  So beats me how we managed to tangle that up.  But I'm very, very upset about it.  I may wind up on oral steroids now and that means giving up my vacation.  Since the last vacation mainly involved laying around being very ill and inpatient psych versus the beach is a little difficult to handle I hope not, but I also have to get the asthma controlled.  Emotionally though that just seems hard to handle.  He is looking into the radical option (it's a shot) but needs a specialist to start it and the specialists haven't been lining up to take me.  So we'll see.  I have to find out about it anyway; I have my hopes up and then I realized that it says you need to carry an epipen if you are on this.  well, if I reacted in a doctor's office and needed an epipen that would be fine.  If I had to use one with the MAOI it may be something I could then get to an ER to treat and it may be something I can't do.  I am hoping that is an exaggerated report, or that either Dr. Brain would let me carry at all times a med to lower my bp if I had to use the epipen or that i'd be ok to get to a hospital after using it.  I don't now, although i do know if the best option for treatment without interactions or psychiatric side effects is this shot.  So we'll see what happens there but I'm hopeful.  I'm hoping this will replace the oral steroid talk since we've put it off to the point that doing it would be depressing beyond belief, esp. with my surgical extravanga in August. (if I have more ovarian cysts I get to add laparascopy to the other 2 procedures.  I'm ecstatic.)

When this post was started last night I was frustrated beyond belief.  I'm a little better now.  tired of my ovary hurting, but apparently that will take a few days to go away and for some reason being in the car makes it worse than anything else does.  I was in the car a good bit, so now it's sore.

I'm falling asleep writing so I'll post and if this doesn't make sense or completely say what i wanted to I'll write more tomorrow.