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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How tired is Just Me?

[If you happen to encounter weirdness in formatting or a link saying the blog is down there is some work being done to my template in the next few days.  It will be back and hopefully better.]

Just me is soooooooo tired that she cancelled counseling, and relatively at the last minute too.  I never do that.  I'm very aware of the financial assistance I am given, and so I try to never cancel when I know it means Dr.Mind might have had a chance to see someone else and actually earn money that hour.  But today I did.  I worked and when I realized I had no energy whatsoever and that getting home at bedtime would be impossible I cancelled.

I did go have supper at my mom's and saw my sister and niece for a bit.  That was good but I shouldn't have because it made me more tired.  And I'm working Saturday and Sunday to make up for my days off because I'll not even have enough PTO acquired when I have surgery to cover one week off, much less the 2 that I need to take.  My short term disability doesn't kick in fast enough to help, so I'm just going to be unpaid for 6 days.  Which is not my idea of fun.  Thankfully I do have the help that is July being the 3 paycheck month, which is a very good thing as I should be able to squirrel much of that away and I'll defer my huge student loan for a month.  It is so much that a little more added to the payment won't matter.  My niece remains adorable.  The other day I sang her a song that is really a shortened version of a much nicer song my sister sings to her.  It's about a frog and involves sticking your tongue out a bunch of times.  This also is the baby sign for frog.  So as soon as she saw me she grinned and stuck her tongue out.  Apparently rather than Aunt Jen I am the frog lady.  She's  awesome though; I mean how smart is remembering that so clearly?  She's also cracking me up because she's standing without support, except she likes to hold something to pretend she has support.  At one point she was supporting herself with my medic alert necklace.  Now that's stable.....But she has a point, why fall before you can walk if you don't have to, if all kinds of adults are there to hang onto however pointlessly?  I love that little girl so very much. I wish I could see her more.  Someday when I  can sell this house and move to where I work I'll only be 45-60 minutes from her.  By then she'll be old enough to spend weekends with Aunt Frog.  I  can't wait.

I'm praying for a good resolution to some scheduling issues.  There have been issues with this for a long time and I started being much more assertive last week.  There were more today, things that frustrate me because I'm not supposed to schedule myself to keep things more central and somehow I was scheduled to go hours away from one place to another.  I really, really hope someone listens.  I didn't do a full load today and am still exhausted; I suspect I'm going to be tired for a while now, maybe even until my surgery. I think between blood loss, hormones going crazy, pain, and asthma I don't have much chance for a while.  So hopefully I am wrong, but it's something I'll have to see to believe and am trying to adjust to the idea that I'm just not going to feel great until surgery in 7.5 weeks and then of course it will take a few days before I recover.  As I understand it I'm going to be under anesthesia for an hour or even a few more if there is anything to remove, like endometriosis or my ovary or both, and the dr. warned me that I'll not feel great for several days afterward and that is without the part where I'll have been off of my MAOI and probably will miss a dose of lithium as well, which isn't a big deal but when one med is off everything matters more.  (If I'm not allowed fluids and take lithium I tend to become a little confused and toxic sx  appear, like clumsiness, difficulty finding words, etc.  That is ok in a way because my mom will be driving, but it's not good when i need to make informed decisions at the hospital and it makes me look drunk which is not idea when going into surgery; they tend to like people sober.  If I take it and get IV fluids early in the morning I'll be fine but I can't go very long without liquid.  This is something Dr. Brain gets to figure out.)

I seem to be getting sleepy so I'm going to see where that leads.  6 or 7 hours of sleep sound pretty wonderful right now....

Trauma and Compassion

[If you happen to encounter weirdness in formatting or a link saying the blog is down there is some work being done to my template in the next few days.  It will be back and hopefully better.]

After my scary heavy period and feeling absolutely horrible I called to see my gynecologist yesterday.  They said she was booked and the only option was a man, was I ok with a man?  I told them I'd be ok but that I couldn't  have a pelvic done by a man.   So I  got there and was horrified when they told me I had to have a pelvic with the male dr.   I said no but he came in to talk, most of which involved trying to convince me that I should go to see a psychologist and get over my fear, and that all the tx plans in place aren't going to help anyway.  I think he was building up to telling me I need a hysterectomy.  Thankfully that's when the other dr. stopped him.  After a lot of discussion the very, very kind nurse got upset with the receptionist for doing that and tracked down my doctor who told her I should have been put on her schedule to begin with.  So I spent 30 minutes wearing a sheet and  being thankful for her.

She was so nice, never mad a fuss about my swollen red eyes, had a new plan to hopefully solve this all, and has carefully be sending everything to Dr. Brain for approval.  We discussed the narrow options when I can't have the standard treatments for cysts and that trying anything while I'm already knocked out makes more sense than repeating the process in a few months.  So, when I have my surgery I'll have general anesthesia.  Dr. Removal Guru will get the growth out and take biopsies if needed.  Dr. Gets It will do a quick test that gives her a look into my bladder for why I have blood my urine.  One of them will put in a mirena IUD which should slow or stop my periods over time.  This is contingent on Dr.Brain as we've always agreed no hormones period, but at this point I'd rather go through removing it than to not try and it's not easy to get int there in  my case unless I'm under.  I'll then have laparascopy with focus on the painful ovary, removal of same if warranted and assessment for endometriosis or any other cause of pain and extra blood loss.

All that is good.  The male doctor, he just was not getting it.  He was all fake supportiveness but I know the difference and this wasn't it.  He also was trying steer me away from the recommendations of 2 people who have actually opened my chart and that isn't right.   But I was so blessed that Dr. Gets It did comTe see me because I was otherwise going to have to go pay an ER copay when I could have had Dr. Body's partner, or even Dr. Body, do an exam.

So I had a rough day.  But it's over now and I am so, so happy about that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

This is getting old

I wound up at home again today, dealing with quite a bit of pain thanks to my ovarian cyst.  The whole set of messed up things inside has now conspired to make my cycle completely unpredictable and at least before I had some clue that I would have the pain about this time and this time each month.  Now that seems to have changed, which kind of makes it harder.  Only a few more months to go. For now I just hope tomorrow feels a little better since I'm working no matter what.   I have to.  Plus it isn't like it takes care of the pain to stay home; I just wind up sleeping through it, can take vicodin if forced to, and can be in the position that is most comfortable.  However it still is going to hurt for a few days and I'm going to be exhausted.  I'm so tired of being tired.

Whiny post, sorry.  Out of strength.  Just completely, totally out.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


There have been a couple of ways that the place I work for has been peripherally in the news lately.  I went looking for the articles this weekend and got a very, very unhappy surprise instead.

There's this one man who works for my company who I frankly find a little creepy.  He used to touch me too much (aka at all), he is very socially awkward, and he annoys me in other small ways.  Nothing huge, just not my favorite person to be with which is so are with my coworkers that it seems bigger than it is.

So what pops up nearly immediately but his online personal ad?  With descriptions like what a good kisser he is. EWWWWWWW.  I cannot tell you how gross that idea is.

And this is undeniably about the meanest blog ever but I'm never going to be able to look at this guy again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Today I found out my niece won't be afraid of me this time because she can point to "where's Aunt Jen?" in a picture.  Awesome. I feel so, so big.

Sadly I didn't get to share that or the other happy stuff with Dr. Mind like I wanted. I also had some heavy stuff to start.  Instead a work issue that I found out about at 6:45 right before I went in made me so mad that we had a pointless (not really, just not what I wanted) session talking about that and other things frustrating me and making me angry.  Then, just because it wasn't all bad enough and I was leaving feeling mad because work consumed time I wanted for something far different I managed to hit my glass of water rather than picking it up, throwing 32 ozs. plus of water around Dr. Mind's office.  So we spent a good 10 minutes crawling around the floor cleaning up.  For the 2nd time in a couple months as I spilled sprite all over the place another day.  So then I  left fighting tears and with him trying to tell me it was no big deal except it was because it was a last straw.  Then I got home and responding to the work issues maturely took another hour so I'm now trying to get to sleep so at 4 AM I'm wide awake to write notes.  And if they are late I'm going to tell them it is because I spent a couple hours crying due to this ongoing frustrating situation plus trying to deal wtih it and I just didn't make it.  Still goes as a negative on my tracking but whatever.

Tomorrow at least I know I'll be done relatively early since I have a PM meeting that is to be done by 5 or earlier, so I can be sure of being home by 6:30.  That lets me get lots of rest for Saturday, which is haircut and trip to see my niece.  I want to see her once more while she's a baby, not a toddler and since walking is close and she turns one in less than a month it's time.  I bought her some clothes today that were size  24 months and 2T for fall and winter.  She's getting so big.  And so, so, so cute.

And now I need to get to sleep.hopefully sleep comes.  Last night I wound up awake until valium worked about 1:30  AM.   Not good.


Please, please note that this is not intended in any way to embarrass or upset anyone.  This is just my policy and since it came up I'm going to share.

MissBee posted recently about her new blog and would I read/promote it.  The answer is, no.  I will read it.  However, 2 years ago I got hurt very badly on the internet.  A woman posted a blog about her decision to carry to birth a baby who was diagnosed with fatal developmental issues.  She wrote a lovely blog.  She went from 0 to a zillion readers in no time.  And then the baby didn't come and didn't come.  It was born with few signs of the illnesses she had described.  And then things crumbled on the blog as people realized the miracle baby was a doll.  Nobody knows how much this woman earned from her little scam.  It was later found she was posting on any blog remotely related to dying babies or that was popular with Christian women and using false names to seek readers.  She had ads and people making donations and it was a wonderful scam.  She got away with it too, just to make it worse.  It hurt.  A lot.  So I don't trust blogs on face value anymore.

I am not accusing MissBee of anything and while I will read your blog when I have time this weekend I have not yet.  However, to earn my support I need several things:  1)  I need to know you.  Telling me you've read my posts but not referencing them in any way does not show me you have any idea what I've written.  I don't expect you to read 1500 posts, but show me you are reading and not just commenting on every blog that might get you traffic.  2)  You need to hang around here and participate for a while.  Again, I need to know you.  3)  You need to have an established blog.  I'm not telling people who come here because what I say somehow helps them to somewhere that I don't know just like I'm not going to recommend a dr. I don't know.

Again, this has nothing to do with this individual, and while i've probably offended you 20 ways MissBee I hope do stick around and see what's going on here, get to know me, and then I'll be happy to endorse you if I feel it's appropriate.  This just has to do with the ethics I use with blogging and Michal please comment and help explain the pain of the whole April Rose thing.  We made mistakes but the thing about mistakes is you learn to not pass them on.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Asthma versus MAOI

Today was a little scary.  My asthma flared badly, I used my medication liberally, the nurse at the allergist's office clearly didn't know  what I was talking about referencing "is that safe with my MAOI?" so instead gave me "shut the psych patient up" answer.  I didn't do what she said since she was clearly guessing, so it never occurred to me that use of meds hours later would cause my blood pressure to go up.  Therefore I had a headache for many hours before I checked my blood pressure and it was pretty high for me.  It's better now and doctors have been contacted, but clearly finding a balance between blood pressure and asthma is going to be a struggle.  I can't even just take a blood pressure med as my blood pressure runs low normally.

Not so relaxing.  I think I am finally sleepy though.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Continuing education-not

I have  the lowest caseload I've ever had right now so I spent part of the afternoon on continuing education stuff.  I had several behavioral health courses to take and decided to get them over with, knowing they were likely to have parts that annoyed me.  They did.

They had one part that made me nearly laugh aloud.  The general statement was that bipolar sometimes manifests in mixed states, explained what they are and why they are dangerous as well as I've seen this done, and then stated that people in mixed episodes generally need to be hospitalized and have limited potential for benefitting from treatment while mixed.  I actually had to stop myself from going to show someone to laugh at this.  I have been in a mixed episode for most of the last 10 years or longer and the only time I've been hospitalized it was for one of the rare times I was "only" depressed.  And I have benefitted greatly from treatment while mixed; I think one of the criteria used by my doctors for pushing hospitalization not benefitting in therapy while feeling horrible.  Granted it was not quite the type of therapy our agency provides and I will admit that at times it becomes necessary for treatment to be more supportive than anything else (have I been showering? paying bills?  getting sleep?  taking meds and using PRNs to make myself sleep even when I don't want to). How am I coping with _____?  Therapy is basic usually while mixed, but not always; it was during a long mixed episode that I learned to trust Dr. Mind sort of, to cry without panicking and forcing it to stop, and how to communicate to him how I felt.  I learned to use guided relaxation while mixed despite failing at this many times before that.  And I work mixed a lot.  So I think they need to check their facts.  I'm sure it has to do with there aren't a ton of people who have the severe, long, combined with rapid cycling mixed episodes that I  do, and so I've learned to live with them more than someone who has one every few years which is more what the course was describing.

The other part where I wound up laughing was when I scrolled into the medication section.  One glance and I thought  "lithium" and sure enough it was.  The funniest part is there are 3 forms of lithium: capsules that are regular release which I took for many years until I'd thrown up so much lithium that even smelling the capsules made me gag; Lithobid/generics thereof which is time release; and Eskalith/generics thereof which is also time release but slightly different, I think it si not as gradual or controlled as lithobid.  I've been on all of them and for whatever reason when I changed to Eskalith to get the dosage that it is available in only in eskalith, thus saving me from cutting pills when I wasn't well it turned out that I tolerate Eskalith better than either of the others.  I think that's mostly association; I think I was using the capsules when I got toxic, and was  on lithobid during the months of fighting to get a dose I could tolerate  once we knew I had to be on lithium to manage even  at a tiny dose, and then eskalith started as an attempt to get a more precise dose and has worked out to be the best way for me to take it.

Regardless this all made me think about if I was given a bowl of psychotropics I could probably identify a majority because of being on so many.

Falling asleep, better go.

Pure, unadulterated cuteness

My mom is at my sister's babysitting today.  I called to tell her something and she put my niece on the phone.  My niece who heard my voice and grinned and then when I kept talking started clapping her hands.  Enough sweetness to kill.....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Something happy

I know I've been a bit gripey on here lately.  Chalk it up to this:  Brenda the cyst typically hurts for a few days around ovulation, then backs off until the day before my period and hurts badly then.  That's what I assumed, with every reason to support my assumption, was happening Friday.  Except that I don't think Brenda even did what she usually does as the pain has been much less than usual.  So either my cycle is totally messed up and I have another 2 weeks and then more Brenda pain, or I have serious PMS.  Given the 8 lb. weight gain in the last week or so I know I'm hoping for pms.  There's just no pattern to this.  Which is the reason the surgery looks so good......

But I'm going to see my sister and niece Saturday.   I told my sister I want to take them out to lunch.  She said great, and while we're out  WILL YOU WATCH THE  BABY so she can get her hair cut.  I'm not just a beach sitter with lots of back-up.  I'm really, truly Aunt Jen, allowed to make decisions and everything.  I truly never dreamed she'd trust me with the baby and instead I'm one of the limited few who is allowed--limited as in a friend of my sister's who has a degree and years of experience in infant development, grandmothers, probably an uncle who lives with them although I'm not sure, and me.  

So excited........

huh, angry again

Today I called 911 for a patient.  This is a woman I know well.  I know her well enough to see subleties.  I know her well enough to know what she normally looks like and can do.  So along come the paramedics who actually told her that I made her sound worse than she is.  Excuse me????  How many hours have they spent with her so that they can hear if her speech changes, or if she can't use one leg?  Why does she have to have advanced stroke symptoms before they believe they exist?  And given that I have more clinical training and given their ages much more experience than they have, they can just shut up.  (This same crew last year insisted my equipment was wrong because I called due to very low oxygen, then spent 20 minutes working to get the man's oxygen up.  As we all know, get the oxygen up, lethargy will decrease.  By the time they got there I had him in better shape; they insisted I didn't know how to read oxygen levels (stick probe on finger.  Turn on.  Wait.  Got it) or that my probe was wrong.  No way could I actually use clinical skills to help my patient improve.

It makes me so, so mad.  Especially since today I went to the patient's home because when she didn't answer the phone after a zillion calls I was worried as this is atypical.  I went there to be sure she wasn't in trouble and well, since she realized something was wrong but totally lacked concern (goes with strokes sometimes), she may not have called for help until something bad, like a fall, happened.  Or worse.  Again, I went there because I know my patient and I knew something was wrong and I was right.  Yet to those stinking paramedics I was overreacting.  Which is bad because that's what they'll tell the drs. at the hospital and that will weigh in the assessment of my patient, regardless of what I thought or the nurse at the dr's office thought.

But at least I'm saying I'm mad.  Twice in a week yet.

Mood swings

Even though I've slept a lot I'm tired.  I just want to not have to do anything for a while and that's goofy since I just go back from vacation.  I'm also very sensitive, never the best thing.  I imagine this is hormonal.

I just had one of those things where I was on vacation and nobody told me something important so therefore I've been doing something wrong and annoying someone who apparently thought I was ignoring what I had been told to do.  Which is just not that big of a deal, except that it is very frustrating because I try so hard to do the correct thing, which makes it seem worse than it is.  I want to go see Dr. Mind except that I don't think adding in extra time to the day is going to make it any better.

I just really want to have another 3 days to rest.  In 2 weeks I get a 3 day weekend but may have no choice but to spend much of it cleaning.  We'll see how I feel by then though.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I hate waiting

Back in March when my endometrial guest was found the ultrasound was ready as being either a polyp or a type of fibroid that kind of buries itself in the wall of the uterus with polyp being more likely per the radiologist.  I've been suspicious since talking to my dr. that she feels it is a fibroid; she turned the surgery over to a fibroid expert since fibroids aren't her area of expertise.  Well, tonight I needed some information my dr. so looked her webpage.  She lists polyp removal as an area of expertise.  That means that as I suspected since she always calls it a polyp/fibroid that she thinks it is a fibroid.  No big difference especially with the fibroid expert doing the removal, and I think it is a bloodier procedure and probably a little more sore for me, but whatever, just so it's out.

Regardless, with this new hint I feel more impatient than ever to have this done with. 2 months and 3 days.  I think.

no, no, no (aka please pray)

rSo it's 12:30 AM.  Why is the bipolar woman with strict orders to sleep as much as possible on weekends, not to mention having had crappy sleep last night, plus the whole cyst thing awake?  It's called albuterol.  It's my best friend.  It's also not a good thing to use a lot of at night.  And tonight I had to.  My asthma is flaring.  I had a drippy nose earlier and my head hurts.  All signs that the tremendously feared first cold with asthma may have come to pass.  And on a weekend, of course, which means no Dr. Body if I need him. Somewhere I have antibiotics.  I am ashamed to say I can't find them.  It's not time to take them as if I start them I have to finish and I took enough antibiotics during whooping cough and the trying to make sure my early asthma sx weren't secondary infection period to last me for at least a whole year.  But without cold meds they are my old real defense, that and the nasal rinse bottle, if things progress. Because I've had a few hits of my inhaler (which I've used a lot today resulting in shaking, poor typing, a rapid heartbeat and some agitation') and 2 nebulizer treatments this evening I didn't even take psych meds until not long ago so that they have a chance of helping. I probably should take my PRN klonopin or valium but will wait a bit for that yet as I don't want to knock myself out totally if I'm getting sick.  Thank God tomorrow is Sunday and I can sleep.

I'm terrified to get a cold.  I know someday I will but I'm not ready.  Really, really not ready in fact.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


 An observation made Thursday evening before all the pain began:  There's something magical about rainbows.  As a Christian this is so, but also just when you drive as much as I do there's lots of chances to watch for that surprising hint of color that blossoms into something amazing, or is amazing in it's own right, even if nothing happens to it.  It's one of my favorite things in nature.

But the really, really weird thing?  I drive 800 miles per week, hence observe a lot of weather.  In the last 4 years, the years of my life I can remember, the ONLY times I have seen a rainbow have been on the way from (once to) see Dr. Mind.  And during that time I have seen amazing things, like the day that I drove about 25 miles watching double rainbows both completely across the sky.  Or the time I saw rainbows from 2 angles, also simultaneously (making me a terrible driver).  And the weirdest thing?  As a Christian I believe rainbows are a sign of God's promise, basically, to be there for us.  And every rainbow I have seen in these last 4 years has been on a day that I cried.

(This post may or may not be a sign of things we will discuss soon).

Getting smarter

It only took me 4 or 5 months, but I have managed to figure out this stupid cyst thing.  Thanks to pain meds I seem to have slept through the worst pain yesterday.  Hopefully I'll succeed in managing the rest of today.  I was up in the night for a while but that was my cat.  She's not felt well for several days and wasn't eating much; she made up for it by eating like a teenage boy yesterday.  When she woke me for the 2nd time in the night I kept grumbling about no way did she eat the prior can already.  She had.  I realized then that the worst pain was gone. Now I'm tired (mainly thanks to the cat) but so much more comfortable than yesterday.

Now I have to get ready and go to work.  Thanks to one person not answering and one person who I don't have a phone number and tried to contact several people with access who didn't answer so I can't see them I only have 3 visits.  No so good for my productivity but great for my not really wanting to work today.  I will see if the one person wants a late appointment but am pretty sure not calling back means no with them.

And as far as productivty goes, whatever.  I am tired.  I hurt.  I didn't take a sick day.  We'll survive.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Maybe an explanation

So I was so upset last night and really overwhelmed.  It was a bit weird as it wasn't anything I've not talked about many times before and thought I was comfortable with.  I thought it had to do with my patient, my frustration with my mother, the weird breathing doctor (I truly don't know what he is) appointment, and I'm sure all of those came into play.  But this morning I woke up feeling off.  Turns out Brenda the cyst decided to attack today.  So I stayed home, took vicodin, and slept a lot and then have read and generally done anything to try to stay comfortable.  Which means not sitting upright.  The pain is manageable and thanks to vicodin hadn't gotten as bad as other months, although it still is not fun.  I'm going to take some more vicodin here in a few minutes and then hopefully will sleep through it if it goes into the next step (or I've already missed it because of the meds, hard to know.)  Regardless, Brenda has 2 months to live and I will be so glad to get rid of her.

On the positive side, some time to think has let me decide how I really feel and that my anger and hurt are real and reasonable, and that it may be time to spend more time going through things Dr. Mind and I have talked about but this time trying to deal with the anger.  Being able to say I'm angry is a pretty new skill for me and I realized that the onset of anger yesterday was partly because I am angry about some things that occurred regarding the patient who died.  I am left with questions about how well I was listened to when raising significant concerns a week ago (not within my company) and if that may have had anything to do with the mysterious way in which she died.  I also, like I said, have only really started dealing with anger well in the last year or so and I think I may need to tell some old stories with the focus on anger versus the less scary emotions I've talked about before.

On the plus side I keep thinking today how amazing it is that I have reached the point that I feel safe enough with Dr. Mind to share anger with him.  Anger was a bad word to me for so very long that this truly is huge.  The fact that I really truly started trusting him pretty fully 3 years ago (after over a 2 years of treatment and several months of that specifically directed at increasing my trust) and am just now ready to do this says a lot about how big it si for me to consider talking about this.  But it is time, I just know that feels right.  It's kind of like last night, I started talking about the year I hurt myself and ended my running career.  I've told that story before, several times.  This was the first time that I seamlessly included the broken ankle I did not know about until just over a year ago in that story.  It sounded so weird to say "that was the year I broke my ankle and then hurt my knee and I never ran track again" and have it come out as a natural sentence. But it is my history, even though I didn't know it, so it's good to say that.

Anyway, I need to get that vicodin in me so I can be ready to go work tomorrow.  Easy day I think; one person I need more information before I can see so that depends on someone answering emails.  Then one person's caregiver needs to call me to arrange a time.  So I may have only a few people, all of whom are ones I really enjoy.

Please pray that Brenda has already ruptured and the pain now is just from fluid in my abdomen or that she ruptures in my sleep and by tomorrow the pain is only fluid.  It still hurts quite a bit but when the fluid stage is reached it's more about tylenol and positioning than anything else.  I don't think it has popped yet.  Could be wrong; time will tell.  It likes to mess with me and pop when I'm trying to sleep.   Clearly I've decided Brenda is a very smart cyst who is able to calculate.  My cyst, my thinking I guess.

Did I mention the hot flashes? Thanks to the hormones put off by whatever is growing in my uterus, the fact that Brenda comes with PMS, and for all I know Brenda's own abilities I spend Brenda days burning up and sweating, then cold.  Which is really fun when you are supposed to be watching for fever.  I don't have one, so I just blame Brenda.  (BTW, if someone ever hurt you I strongly suggest naming something that is about to be viciously pried from your body after him or her.  I feel better ever time I threaten Brenda with laparascopic sized knives.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Such was my evening.  I was doing fine and then my lung dr. appt was very confusing (more later, I just stopped crying because I'm so frustrated) and then counseling was going along on the nice even relaxed keel that I've been maintaining lately because I did not feel like digging around, and then all this stuff popped out and I cried and struggled and and still am upset.   In fact I'm upset enough I think I'm going to call to see if Dr. Mind has an opening on Monday evening as this counts as a week is a long time.  There's a long backstory that I can't really share most of because of confidentiality, but this week one day my last patient was fine when I saw her, on a vent soon after and dead in 48 hours.  I'm nearly undoubtedly the last person she ever saw or spoke to.  Which is haunting; what were the last words I (anyone) spoke to her?  Did anything that night help her the next day if she was aware of what was going on for part of the time she was dying?  I know I made her laugh once.  Was that enough?  (please don't answer these questions or try to make me feel better.  I know it's not my fault, etc., I'm just sad.  For whatever reason my way of coping with all the death in my career has been to shove it aside and eventually someone will die and it will hit me hard and I mourn a lot of people.  This is that death.  )

Then I managed to stumble into something painful with my relationship with my mother when I was trying to handle this and that in turn erupted into gallons of anger coming out.  For some reason this time I am just so angry at Children's Services.  When I was in high school I got counseling through them.  Used to make my geometry teacher so mad when I got pulled weekly and he had to be shown the legal documents that said I was to have this time.  But a lot of crap happened.  My mother was friends with the person who treated me, putting her in a bad spot.  She did a number of not good things, inappropriate things, to avoid hurting my mother.  One of them was closing my case and burying it when she left when I was 17.  Somewhere is a filed that says my case was resolved.  It is probably next to the numerous reports filed about our family when I was growing up, next to the even more numerous ones filed about the safety of my little brother given what our family was like.  One of those is from me.  Others are from neighbors, teachers, coaches, and many others.  They never were even investigated.  Another thing the counselor did was to tell me that she had a dilemma because our situation was not appropriate for my sister and I.  So she offered me a choice of foster care.  What you do think I chose?  It was not until years later that I learned that placing us would not have happened because we had a stable parent and the pedophile would have been removed and sent to jail. I lived for years with guilt because I could have done something to protect my sister. But the truth is it should never, ever have been the decision a 14 year old was asked to make, nor should it have been framed dramatically as it was.  My beloved grandmother was dying, there was no way I was going to foster care.  Period.  What struck me hardest today was the reason that so much was covered up:  my mother was afraid she would get in trouble for not reporting my father's abuse of the girl he later married because she was a mandated reporter and didn't report abuse in her own home.  That reason also justified why I was not assessed by mental health professionals (specifically a psychiatrist) despite my suicidal behaviors and the recommendations of teachers, guidance counselor, and coaches who knew me well.  Would anyone have found my bipolar?  I truly don't know.  It was very hard to find when I was a few years older, but perhaps without years of practice at covering it someone might have seen through it.  Or perhaps that sad, suicidal child might have been more honest than the young adult version who survived years of abuse simultaneously developing a sense of self that thought the symptoms were part of my personality.  Beats me.  I just know that tonight I talked about this, a repeat story for Dr. Mind, but suddenly I was so, so angry at caseworker who chose to sentence me and my sister and my father's girlfriend and my mother and later my baby brother to years of abuse.

I just don't know.  Memories can really stink.  I know I need to deal with them and with the anger, but ugh.   It was one hard afternoon.  And now I'm about half asleep, so more tomorrow.


Michal asked on the last post if a new treatment came for my birthmark would I do it.  I said no.  No thought, no hesitation, just no.

Which has made me think a lot tonight.  I'm gathering stuff for morning,trying to gauge how much sleep I need and how much paperwork can be left over for morning to still make my early meeting and taking my handful of pills and reading the email sent to Dr. Brain that is going to require input from the makers of my medication on whether allergy shots are safe for me if they are recommended.  (long story short:  with the first bunch of allergy shots and then at intervals as things are changed (if I understand this correctly which I probably don't since I've done no reading) they have to be really careful you don't have an excessive reaction.  If you do you'll get an epipen shot and be fine.  However, I can't have epinephrine.  So now we're trying to figure out what happens if I need a small amount.

That led to the thought of I wouldn't change my birth defect.  I don't know myself without it. But what about my bipolar disorder?  If it could be gone tomorrow, or in a month or even in a year would I get rid of it?  Part of me shouts YES.  Part of me says, more quietly, No.  Bipolar makes everything hard.  It makes me live abnormally and it often hurts me.  However like my birthmark it is something I believe always has been with me.  I believe it was  the beginnings of this illness when I cried relentlessly and did not sleep as a tiny infant for 8 months.  I believe it was the illness growing when I was "overly sensitive" as a young child.  Have I ever admitted that I have never seen all of the Wizard of Oz, gone anywhere near Old Yeller, and had a long list of movies I wasn't allowed to see as a child b/c they upset me?  I can't think of any others, but there were a number.  Things are exacerbated by the abuse, but I had characteristics of bipolar from the day I was born.  Many of those characteristics were in sensory integration issues, again hard to know what is bipolar and what is abuse.  When I remember being a child, besides the fear and disgust and abuse related stuff, I remember anger.   I hid it most of the time, sat on it well because it was dangerous not to, but it was there, always.  It popped out sometimes  and I was able to hurt people with anger/rage.  Mostly it came out in my diary until my father read that.  The rage then grew inside me for years, pretty much until the last year or so when I started to be able to say to Dr. Mind that I was angry about this or that happening.

I wish I did not remember that sad, hurt,  confused, raging angry child, but I do and that tells me how deeply bipolar runs in me. In effect, bipolar is part of my past and present. It is very different now than a few years ago, but it still has the power to knock me to my knees or flatten me in bed or make me cry without knowing why.  Bipolar makes me feel everything more and that can been good or bad. Bipolar has changed my outlook on life.  In some ways it has made me a better person; in others it has made me everything I don't want to be.  It has taken things that I miss greatly; more than anything I miss the incredibly fast, ironic sense of humor I had once that is now tamed by meds, age,  and unclear thought processes where I can be aware of my funny response but by the time it comes out it's not funny.

As odd as it sounds bipolar is sometimes a security blanket, a reason to accept the differences in my that aren't always the fault of the disorder.  It is an explanation, something that lets me know that the things that are damaged in me are not only because I was abused.  It lets me know that I'm not just a misfit as I thought for 25 years.  It lets me accept things that have no connection to bipolar either; after you learn to accept that you are at times going to say or do awful things that you can't control it becomes much easier to accept smaller things about yourself that you dislike, like in my case shyness.

Bipolar has taught me a lot and while some of it is not very useful unless you are mentally ill, some of it is really good to know in the course of life.  I have become a good advocate for myself and am able to negotiate a tricky healthcare system because I had to learn.  I have learned to fight for what I need and to insist that I make the decisions about my own body.  For someone with my past that is HUGE.   I've not mastered that yet, but for me to have any ability in that area is a very big deal.  I have learned to accept my very less than perfect self.  I've learned to be angry at my circumstances and yet able to hold onto faith.  I've learned to listen to my intuitions and to monitor my body and mind.  I've learned to be strong.  Bipolar has taught me trust, because I've had to trust to survive.

In many ways bipolar has made me who I am.  That has both good and bad parts, although 5 years ago I would have said it was all bad, that bipolar had taken who I wanted to be and all the dreams I had and thrown them away.  But now I know those were just dreams, dreams that weren't meant to happen.  And I can live with that because there are other things in my life now.

So I don't think I'd give up this disease now.  If I could erase time and never have gotten the wrong genes, the wrong parents, the wrong environment to grow up in then I would certainly choose to not have this, but since I do have to live with it I have accepted it so much that I can't imagine living without it.  It has made my life complicated and unusual, and without it I would have a lot more free time and money, but those things have never been there because I've always had huge medical bills and I've been doing the 1-2 times/week counseling plus monthly psychiatrist visit for so long I can't remember it not being part of my life.  That's partially because I've been doing it since I moved here and so it's part of life as I know it in these 8 years here.

I never thought I'd say that.......

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On being calico

A long time ago I got interested in the experience of having a birthmark like mine ( a large portwine stain).  I grew up aware I was different in a lot of ways and although it hurt horribly when someone made fun of it, to a large extent my classmates didn't.  I was bullied plenty, but not usually for the birthmark.  Sometimes, and it always hurt a lot and I can remember most of those nasty statements, but mainly being birthmarked was so normal to my class of 100, most of whom were together from kindergarten through high school graduation, that they never thought much of it.  When it was used to hurt it was used deliberately.  Although I've always been aware of it, I wasn't really allowed to question its' effect on me. This mainly was for a simple reason:  when I was a kid there were no treatments.  The best option, so to speak, was to tattoo it normal skin color, but it would never tan and the darkening of the birthmark with age might easily show through eventually.  No thanks.

So sometime in late college/early grad school I got involved in an online group for people with or family members of those with, portwine stains.  One of the members referred to it as being calico, which has always stuck with me.  Through years on the newsgroup I learned how rare this kind of birthmark is when located where mine is.  I learned to accept and treat the pain I'd always experienced when it got cold, and I learned it was ok to say that this hurt.  I learned laser treatments had come a long way and that even my birthmark, in a very untreatable area with characteristics that made success less likely, could be treated with at least some fading possible and also the bleeders that had grown on my finger and thumb could be killed off for at least a few years.  I eventually had 2 treatments with a laser, hoping for fading that didn't happen, but  mostly glad to see the bleeders go away.  They were not fun; twice I woke covered in blood because the thing had burst open while I slept and a vascular birthmark bleeds a lot when given a chance.   I was still a student, on student insurance, which meant no coverage, but I had an awesome doctor who donated his time and so I had the treatments done at the cost of the procedure room at the hospital.

I had 2 treatments done, knowing that killing the bleeders was the main thing and that if that was managed then any fading was gravy.  Fading did not happen.  There was a tiny place that faded slightly for while.  The treatments were hard because this is my hand and I need to use it. So I stopped when the bleeders were gone and have been thankful since.

I got our family's professional pictures back this week.  They're great but my birthmark was airbrushed.  In one picture it was removed from my whole hand except that it's visible in my thumbnail and in the odd shape the extra blood flow gave my thumb. It's really weird.  I was really upset for a while, esp. because I remember when I was little photographers always tried to hide it under my other hand.  I'm not furious now, but it still feels like that picture contains and amputated part of me.

Self-acceptance is a great thing.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

So many possible titles

  • Bak!Bak!Bak!
  • Is it April Fool's?
  • Really?  I mean, REAllY?
  • Haha, Dr. Body is funny
  • Guess what I didn't get for vacation?
  • The last straw:Revisited
Backstory:  The week I was forced to admit how serious/dangerous my asthma is I did some reading.  It's hard for me to find info on asthma that applies and is useful because of the complexities of my bipolar and because my asthma is atypical, probably because of it's cause, not that we know that yet.  I found something that said that if you had any childhood illnesses like chicken pox you were not sure you'd had that you should be tested for immunity.   I honestly don't know why, that didn't stick.  So I talked to Dr. Body and he agreed and wrote the orders.  I had the test done before vacation and today the results came back.

Backstory to the Backstory:  My older brother is 11 years older than me.  When I was 4 months old he got chicken pox horribly.  My mother decided to spare me the pain and so let me be exposed. I caught it but only had a few pox, never a fever or felt bad or anything.  Years later I learned that due to still having her immunicty I may not have developed my own.  However there is ample proof I've had it; in 2nd grade all but 7 of us were out with it at once.  I shared a room with my sister through the contagious and sick periods when she had when I was 9.  When I was 18 I had a babysitting job through the county.  Two kids came down with chicken pox while I was babysitting.  I held both of them that day, multiple days before, and multiple days of illness.  I was in the clear.
Today my test results came back.  As I'm sure you have guessed, I am not immune to chicken pox. Chicken pox is a serious illness for an adult and that's without the other issues I have.  The shot is not for adults; I don't know if there is a way around that.  I think Dr. Body is checking; he said if this came back with the slight chance of no immunity he'd see. I told him that if I get it while still emotionally coping with this last year that I will wind up in isolation on a psych unit because too much is too much.  And THAT would be too much.

I have also asked for him to do immunity titers or redo any shots that I may have any chance of having not processed correctly or that there's a chance of catching the disease, particularly the measles, mumps, rubella one.

I'm so glad we did the test that neither of us thought was important.  Knowing doesn't really help, you can't avoid it just like you can't avoid whooping cough b/c of the long time between exposure and getting sick.  We now just have to make sure I don't get it.  Right now I'm a little scared to leave home; I knew there was some chance I might not be immune to whooping cough and look how that turned out.  However, REALLY?????

Monday, June 06, 2011

Since everyone loves the ocean

But first, I found this hysterical:

This cooler which I bought for work, holds 3 3liter bottles.  It is big.

It also is just big enough to hold my meds, including the spares that I had to take and the large boxes of meds for my nebulizer.

This was a very short walk from our rental cottage, after hiking through a little nature preserve thing.

Sunset over the dunes

Sunset over the ocean.  I discovered my little ELPH camera has a low light setting and it was actually pretty dark when this was taken.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Don't wanna

I have never wanted so badly to not go back to work.  I'm tired.  My toes hurt.  And I'm emotionally not ready to the onslaught of things to catch up on that awaits me.  I love this job but I dread trying to catch up, which will be a huge part of the next few days.

I also hate waiting for things (sheets and comforter) to dry.  And I hate paying bills although I just very successfully managed to do that; apparently I tried to get ahead with my last pay making this one easy to pay down debts and the like.  Which I do enjoy, greatly.

Busy week ahead; tomorrow will be lots of office work then a frantic trip to Dr. Mind, then notes then bed.  All week will be catch-up.  And then Thursday is Dr. Mind again, and Saturday is Dr. Brain.  So out of the cave and into the forest.

I hate complaining.  I really love work.  I just dread the disorganization that will have over taken everything.

Basically I am a wimp.

That was exciting

my left shift key is gone so please forgive the weird capitalization.

Yesterday evening I was innocently playing on the computer/doing laundry when it started storming.  It stormed hard for some time; I half-paid attention.  Until I heard tornado sirens.  Tornado sirens?  I did even know we HAD tornado sirens.  I scooped up cat one, put her in the basement, grabbed cat 2 and put him down and then grabbed the suitcase I thought in my near-panic held my netbook and my cell phone and climbed under the basement stairs.  It stormed so heavily I could hear the storm from my very underground basement.  I did not, however, have news.  I called my mother a zillion times before I got through and then had to wait several minutes before she could check weather.  I had a tornado warning about to expire.  I came upstairs eventually, just in time for hail.  I think the 2 severe storms that seemed to stall here lasted 2 hours.  i've had more fun.

I'll be buying several weather radios this week...

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Separation anxiety

I just put in a load of laundry, fed my wormies and changed the kitty litty boxes.  This led to 20 minutes of crying by one of my cats until I came upstairs.  A little traumatized anyone?

Tired anyone?

I left the island where we stayed at 11:00 Thursday morning.  With a few stops along the way I left the Outer Banks about 3, with a Garmin-detour making me really leave at 4.  I don't know that I took the best route, so I drove another 6 hours that day, then 6 yesterday.  If took longer bit because I wanted to is left out then it really took me the same amount of time despite some weird choices by Garmin (I've now seen Duke University.  I'm not sure that would be considered a detour around cities, but whatever, especially since the way down I also had a 2.75 hour ferry ride that pretty much is the equivalent of my trip up the Outer Banks on Thursday.  Then I got my cats, drove home again, and eventually unloaded everything but my camera and drug things in.  I crashed and napped a few hours, then slept for the night early without meds.  I woke up about 8 and have napped briefly but honestly feel too tired to nap or anything else.  I have done very little today but cuddle with my (smelly) cats.  one of them is making me laugh.  He's big and doesn't fit most cat beds easily.  He also prefers to sleep on the other corner of my bed, which I thought was love for me until I realized it was really love for my weird lamp that does sunrise/sunset functions and emits a lot of heat.  Problem is that although I do no think I am allergic to my cats I shouldn't have the hair in my face.  So I bought him a small dog bed to have on "his side" of my bed and he absolutely loves it.  He also absolutely loves me for coming home and has rarely not been touching me since yesterday.  The other cat hasn't been very far away.  Frankly I wish they'd switch since she is less smelly.  I think tonight is going to have to be swipe the cats with a washcloth night.  I had upsetting them after a hard week but they smell horrible.  (Each had anesthesia for dental work.  I expect they peed while coming out of anesthesia and laid in it.  Which is gross when the cat comes home, but when they are moved back into a communal crate and remain in a confusing new environment I don't think they clean themselves as readily and this turns into Smelly Cats, My life versus Smelly Cat(s), the song.

As for the trip I was sad about one thing:  as you know I was a camp counselor at a camp for children and adults with special needs while in college, leading to my career decision.  One of my favorite parts of camp was waking to the sight of fog all over the mountains from the streams on the mountains.  Driving down I was in the mountains in the late evening then early morning and got to see lots of this.  Was I smart enough to take a picture?  No.  I hoped to get some on the way home but was simply too wiped out to get going early enough.

I can't believe vacation is over.  And not only is it over but that's pretty much it for this year because I have surgery in August that will take everything I accumulate by then and may take more depending on how they decide to sedate/anesthetize me.  Dr. Brain is advocating for me, but if I have to have a general then I will have to be off the MAOI for 5 days before, which means a gradual restart and an additional week off work to allow gradual re-introduction and adjustment as well as mood swing recovery along with surgical recovery. Some of my surgery is undecided based on the behavior of THE CYST and I am clueless about that.  I have pain every few weeks like clockwork but it seems less.  However I am not to be trusted about pain.  It may be less, I may be used to it, I may be in shutdown mode.  So I have no idea what happens there.  Hopefully I'll have some 3 day weekends later in the year but that will be about it.  So I'm sad for this to end, yet it was so wonderful.

Today however I feel drugged.  Very, very drugged.  Which si fine.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Diaper Genie

Something else I didn't mention about being an aunt: sometimes you get to look really cool. For a couple years now I've been using a natural product that is environmentally and socioeconomically friendly.  As my allergies have developed they have morphed into my chief cleaning agent, soap and even shampoo.  My niece is cloth diapered and has had an odor that has lingered.  Repeated "try what I use" has not had a result.  But on vacation my sister used my detergent and the odor is gone.  Hahahaha.

My niece has also always been a water fountain; she takes it in happily then it pours back out.  Using my swallowing therapy skills I suggested a straw and cup and now she consumes water.

I am home finally, worn out with a car to unload, and one ticked off cat and one who has been crying for the past 2 hours.  My Garmin freakishly predicted my arrival to the minute.  I'm still stunned by that.  My cats did ok at the vets; the sick one lost a litlte weight and the not sick one smells like he slept in pee, and neither is thrilled with me, but they've also had shots,physicials, and teeth cleanings, plus I'd guess they weren't fed per my instructions judging from what I got back, but I know they did get good care.

Man, that is a LONG drive though.

B, you are right, my sister's pregnancy was so hard for me.  I thought she'd never trust me with the baby, and that I would be excluded from her life.  I thought that all the hurts of the past were insurmountable.  I'm sure learning of the pregnancy within weeks of getting out of the hospital did not make it easier as I was so aware of the restrictions on my life as I adjusted to life with dietary restrictions and meds that can harm me and I was so incredibly anxious anyway.  I did very tearfully share my fears with my sister and also that I needed her to know I was hurting for myself but rejoicing for her as I had to face the reality for the first time that I would not have children and how desperately I wanted them.  This also included a weird discussion with Dr. Brain that I probably never wrote about, that although pregnancy would not be ideal for me if I was serious about wanting a baby and acted THEN she'd support me in becoming a single mother as long as I knew it would be extremely challenging and that I did not have much time left.  I suppose this would be because any pregnancy at this point would involve donor sperm and procedures, but I promised myself I would not be a bipolar parent before I even knew how serious this is, and while that's not a universal thing, for me it is right.  I also don't think the said procedures would be all that good for me.  So life will continue without kids.  And having that in my face was really hard especially because it felt like my sister, in not experiencing some of what I did and in not having it damage her life so badly because she didn't get the bipolar genes, was getting everything she wanted in life and I wasn't.  Being part of the difficult end to her pregnancy made me understand that every story has challenges involved and that life can hurt her too, in it's own ways.

I remember you as guessing so close to her name that I thought it was pretty much right on.  Which I"m still impressed by.  There aren't many little "Annes" out there........

I just caught my broken toe on a box on the floor.  it really does not feel good now.  i now need to drag in my stuff from the trip.  Ugh.  i did nap a few hours until my smelly cat felt he should lick me to show how glad he is to be home instead of that vet where did I know that he got shots, and anesthesia and his TEETH CLEANED????? How dare they......

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Jean Grey-You'll love being an aunt.  Because of my relationship issues with my sister I thought it could be a disaster but instead I have gotten closer to my sister and her husband and love my niece, who loves me right back.  I am never going to forget how special those gummy kisses yesterday were, nor the look on her face when she woke up from her nap to me (only about the 5th person this has happened with) and decided it was ok to snuggle and rock instead of crying, then soon turned to "OK, Aunt Jen is really good about spoiling me and playing.  Let's play!" and I'm so glad to have had that free afternoon with her just before breaking my toes.  That didn't stop me from doing what I wanted with her but it sure made it less comfortable to walk laps.  It's also fun to use your OT skills with them.  One of the best things I've done in my life is decide when she was a few months old that my sister's theory about minimal toys wasn't good for her and so I bought a play mat and souped it up and she loved it.

Michal-I don't know why things aren't working for you.  I checked; you weren't in the spam or anything and I haven't blocked you (I don't think I can even if I want to).

Whoever asked, yes my toes are (were) taped.  I am on my way home now and stopped to get the tape off because my foot has swollen being down all day and that means the tape was killing me.  I am currently tape free and hobbling more and will sleep with a nightlight so I can go to the bathroom safely but no tape until it's shoe time.

Anyway, I need to do sleepy things; I still have a lot of driving tomorrow.  I have to get my cats by 5 from the vets and have at least 6 hours of driving, I think.  Ugh.  I think I came the most convoluted route ever.  I have no idea where all I've been today.

More to come......

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Tonight is my last night here.  It's been a wonderful time.  And yet as always there is drama.  I didn't expect less. Having the proper expectations has been very, very good.

The best part, far and away, has been that I really, really know my niece now.  I get big smiles when I enter a room, I have made her laugh and laugh, I've given her a bath and "pat, pat, pat"ed the water with her.  I've heard her first words in the weeks they are new.  I've watched her approximate about 200 more words and try hard to figure out this talking thing.  I've seen her crawl everywhere and have logged miles helping her toddle around the house holding my fingers, always stopping to look at favorite things in the house.  I watched her try to walk up a wall to her favorite, this very guady, smiling sun in the entryway.  It did not work.  I've gotten to snuggle and rock the baby who does not snuggle, literally for the first time, and today she was comfortable enough to bury her head in my shoulder when feeling shy.  Best of all, this afternoon I got 3 very, very gummy wide open mouth kisses.

I've also had fun.  I've spent time at the beach 3 days, walked to a nature preserve thing and through it to the sound and played like kids in the ocean with my sister and her husband.  For years I've not been able to tolerate the sun and heat, but we actually found a beach where there is enough breeze I've managed afternoons there.  That part is incredible.

I've read a book and a half; I've barely read a book since Emsam and the increased energy entered my life.  During this last 8 months I've not been able to read much because I fell asleep every time I tried.

I've had a few naps, desperately needed ones.

I've been able to have something of a break from asthma.  I've had to do my treatments and keep an inhaler with me, but it's been used once a day, one day not at all, and those have all be  en either smokers I didn't anticipate or stores that sold strongly scented candles/incense/soaps.  Away from quite so many allergens I've been able to gain some confidence in my ability to recognize the start of a reaction and to treat it immediately. I've also learned why the nebulizer treatments are valuable, although I've been rather lax with them, doing 2-3 daily rather than 4.

The sad things are both big and little.  On the little side there is a fireplace in the kitchen here that was never finished.  It sticks way out and we all tripped over it.  Last night I tried to walk around the table that is in the middle of the kitchen to get food, tripped over it and heard that dreadful snap of breaking bone.  I will never know how I calmly got the 3 feet to the other end of the kitchen and put my plate down, controlled the tears that came automatically but wouldn't help the baby, and finally when asked if I was ok said "I think I broke my toe.  I heard it."  followed by every horrified adult saying "I did too".  There are 2 broken but in my usual weird manner of handling pain I didn't notice the one that is broken more severely even hurting until I had eaten and dared to look.  The other very, very good thing is that Dr. Body keeps me supplied with vicodin because he says it is wrong to have no option but tylenol, ever, when that isn't effective for something like this when motrin may help someone else but I can't take it.  I just let him know when I'm using it so that if I am random drug tested for work he is able to say he did give me to ok to use it.  The ok was really given in about 2006, but he verifies it again each time I take one so that I can honestly say it was ok'd.

The worse thing is my brother.  He and his wife are mid-divorce and he is grieving.  He is also drinking way, way too much and with an enormous family history of alcoholism this scares me.  We're talking steady drinking, pretty much all day and he does not get drunk, ever.  This is clearly not good.  Not much I can do except pray I'm wrong in what I'm seeing, but I'm seeing a functional alcoholic.  He could have been doing this for years, I don't know, but what I do know is that it is very, very concerning to see up close.

So the positive far outweigh the negatives if the whole "can't control my brother's decisions" thing is factored in, and I will always, always be glad for the time with my niece, if nothing else, and that's certainly not the only thing.  Even the drive down was a very good thing with time spent listening to books on tape and time spent thinking/praying/unwinding after so many months of stress.  I dread going back to work if only because this has been a big thing to look forward to for a very long time and now the next time I have is my surgery.  I would not be surprised if some invasive testing for the various issues related to asthma is also done, so that makes looking forward to going back hard.  I don't want to live for vacations, but I also very much need time off and alone and haven't had enough of that with all the sickness.

And now I'm about asleep so I'd better take adavantage of that, and more to come later.