Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


So much has happened lately...And honestly I've been very involved with a post that I'll publish eventually but it takes time to write and so I haven't written in a long time.

So this is very quick because I'm groggy from my new migraine medication.  Here goes:
  • I started Topamax for migraine prevention.  If I can tolerate it (it has cognitive side effects) it may also be a weak mood stabilizer and can help with weight loss from psychotropic weight gain.  I'm increasing very, very slowly to decrease the risk of side effects.  This is day 2 and it just makes me tired so far.
  • My house passed inspection and is awaiting appraisal.  It closes in less than 3 weeks.
  • I made it 4 weeks without waiting to hurt myself and marked the occasion by realizing hours after I left Dr. Mind that he hadn't asked about it for the first time in many months.
  • My new niece will be here in the next 3 weeks.  Any time now really.  She is breach so my sister probably has to have another c-section.
  • My existing niece is showing signs of imitating some of the ways her mother treats me.  After I described this to Dr. Mind and he pointed out that she will treat me like her mother if I don't stop it with her mother I decided now isn't the time to take on my sister but I did make a point of letting my niece know that some of the things she said to me that day were not at all ok.  My sister pretty much let her think she can hit and bite me so those things are on my list too.  I may not be favorite Aunt Jen for a while but I am not going to be treated like that by a 3 year old.  And I love her too much for her to abuse me.
  • I am not awake enough to say more.  Topamax is an excellent sleeping pill thus far.  I won't know if it prevents migraines for 2 months unless a lower than usual dose helps.  I think that's possible because I"m on neurontin which can also help migraines but I'm on a very low dose.  Maybe they'll work together.

More later

Monday, July 15, 2013

thought(s) of the day

I just signed the contract on my house.  I'm really happy with my realtor who is paying for a requested survey out of her profits because I took a bigger hit than hoped for in price.

Proceeding now to the men probably won't care/understand section:

It always seemed like menopause should be a gift.  Since I had the hysterectomy the side effects of that are a gift.  Menopause however is ANNOYING.  One too many hot flashes and migraines lately.  My hormones seem exceptionally out of whack this month, possibly from the extra Seroquel which screwed with my hormones when I started it and possibly just because it happens, but I am at this point not agreeing to continue.  (In general this isn't that bad, this last 10 days has just been trying and I just had one of the nasty sweaty hot flashes that seems to linger for way too long instead of the ones I handle more often and accept as a part of life for now.  Ugh).

They said about 5 years from my surgery because if that kicked menopause into a higher gear (it did) that would be because of loss of some of the ovarian blood supply and the ovaries don't last very long after that.  I'm almost to a year from surgery.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Try to relate these things

First, and biggest:  I SOLD M HOUSE!  For the record 2 weeks from listing to contract.  I will close on 8/19, which is also the week my new niece is scheduled to make an appearance.  I didn't get quite the money I wanted but it was so close that the fact that Wednesday I will make my LAST mortgage payment makes up for the difference since another higher offer would more than likely require me to make several more mortgage payments.  I have enough profit to make a substantial payment to my mom for the new home and still buy appliances and furniture (since downsizing means changes and hopefully I'll be getting a couch as well since mine is not in good shape and this is the time I'll have money to buy one.  Maybe).

Second, and also biggest, I have made it 3 weeks without dangerous thoughts.  Thank God the high dose Seroquel is helping.  However it's making me gain weight and that makes me mad.I will be better off when I am buying my own groceries; my mom keeps more junk in the house than I do and when it's here and I'm on this much Seroquel I eat it.

Third, I found a very good episode of Scrubs that explains a little bit about working in medicine with mental illness.  It's Season 3 and the episode is called The Catalyst.  Michael J Fox stars as a genius doctor with severe OCD.  He goes through the episode showing his genius skills and then at the end he is trapped washing his hands over and over for hours because the stress overwhelms him and makes his disorder worsen temporarily.  But in the next episode he is back and not only helps nearly everyone with something but he also conquered his greatest fear--which happens to be a toilet on the roof of the hospital.  It is so much like what it used to be like.  Good times when I knew what I would have been as a therapist without bipolar and bad times when it was bigger than I was.  When I left my first job a COTA who I had worked with since my first day and who I was very close to gave me a reference saying I was the best OTR he had ever worked with.  That kept me going for a lot of time when I wasn't the best OTR anyone had encountered.  Looking back now I see that sometimes I was very good.  And plenty of times I was affected by my disease and I wasn't good.  I had some good periods those first few years and I think I was in control most of that time.  When I was working in psych and then years later home health I was good at what I was doing.  I was a little more stable in those years.  Well, in home health I was.  I'm not sure about the stability with psych, that was just an environment where I thrived and an exceptional employer until it was bought out by a real estate developer who handled medicine like home sales.  That didn't work.  I moved from really good to really struggling because my assistant was fired and I was working WAY too many hours until she was replaced (which happened after I was on disability.)  That period of instability stretched for about 3-4 years where I was not good at my job.  It's hard to admit now that sometimes I just wasn't good but I did what I could and I cared.  Always. But it was a fight to do my job and sometimes I didn't remove it.

I need to get back to my sewing.  Anne's birthday is Saturday (3!  Can you believe that?  THREE!) and I am trying to finish a dress for her by Wednesday.


Tuesday, July 09, 2013

In which I am NOT fishing for compliments nor bragging, despite what it sounds like

Today my mother came to my session with Dr. Mind.  It went ok.  She wasn't negative or argumentative and her only response was that maybe I should be seeing a psychologist.  (I call Dr. Mind one but he is really a licensed clinical counselor with a PhD in counseling).  Somehow I don't think there is anyone more qualified to treat me right now but it was I guess something to think about from her perspective when he explained he can't directly admit me to a hospital.  Overall it went well.

The hardest part I think was that he once again talked about my courage.  It's hard enough for me to agree to that, but sometime in the last year or so he told me that he had been thinking and realized that I'm one of the most courageous people he's known.  I deeply appreciate this.  I know it is why he has gone above and beyond to make me have the best life I could have.  I objectively know that some of what I've done has taken courage.  I easily could have run away from OT when I realized that it was not the easiest career choice for me, which was less than a year into the 10 years I did it.  I fought my way into getting appropriate treatment and good doctors when that was not at all easy at some point.  I've fought my way through nearly 70 med cocktails (I think that's right; I think it is 68 but could be off) and survived some pretty tough reactions.  I gave up working when it was clear I was done even though I nearly killed myself to avoid that decision. I battled with the Mirena and what it did to my mood and cognition for nearly a year and then decided to remove it when I knew that this meant I was probably going to return to painful and gory periods.  I went into the hysterectomy knowing that I had experienced an unexplained anesthesia reaction the year before and that all that could be done was to pray that the anesthesia with MAOI anesthesiologist had better luck.  I gave up my home.  I went through intensive PTSD therapy for a lot more sessions than it usually takes because I struggled so much.

 I have had courage.  What I don't think it that this is more courage than most people in my situation would be forced to have.  I don't feel that this is a choice, I think it is a simple choice:  do it or kill myself.  And while admittedly that has been a frequent option the last 2 years it is also true that I ave never quite reached a point where I felt that I would not feel guilty for doing it and I think that guilt means I still feel there is something to live for.  Everything I did has been because there are those 2 options for nearly anything.  I might have considered not doing OT but I needed the income to pay for my student loans and I wasn't qualified to do anything else.  I did nearly leave it in the first year to do wheelchair evaluations permanently but the job fell through.  Most of what I describe though was doing what I had to.  All the med cocktails were because the previous ones didn't work and I was hoping for something that would.  And I had that for a while.  The surgical procedures were necessary for quality of life.  Facing the things that no longer were right after the first surgery wasn't a choice but I was much more concerned with losing my job than I was with facing that things were changed for good.

I just am uncomfortable with with the "one of the most courageous people I've known" because I don't think courage and doing what is necessary to go on are the same.  I also have been so weak in the last 2 years.  I haven't been courageous enough to do this gracefully.  I can't help thinking that he could come up with many, many people much more courageous then me.  Yet I know Dr. Mind isn't big on hyperbole.  So I find this all confusing.

Yet hearing this made me tear up today.  I haven't heard much that I was doing right in a long time.  That's because it has been a long time since I was in a good, safe place and we're celebrating 2 weeks of doing ok.

In unrelated news my house went on the market last Monday, was shown on Wednesday and Friday I got an offer.  The offer was low and I have come down $5000 and the last offer was less than I will take and my realtor was told that the person wasn't likely to go higher.  So we'll now see if he takes my bottom line offer ($2000 more than he wants to pay; he really wants a bargain on this house and the $5000 lower price truly is a really, really good price for him so maybe he'll take it but I have a feeling that this is over.  It was pretty clear initially that he didn't want to pay what was worth; the first offer was $9000 below asking.  It is hard to describe the difference between houses selling for that and my house but it's huge.  We'll see tomorrow.  I want the sale to go through because he has a loan and is ready to go with a closing date in place.  That would be fabulous.  But I also don't want it to go through if I could get closer to the anticipated sale value.  So I'm ambivilant.  I am permanently attached to my phone, constantly checking for emails these days.

And with that I think it is bedtime.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

the song apparently written for me

I posted a few days ago about david m bailey, a Christian musician who graduated from the same college as I did and who became a professional musician after a diagnosis of a very aggressive brain cancer. Listening to his music has made me realize I need more of it, but it also has made me realize that he wrote a song that he could have titled "What Just Me Jen needs to hear". t's a Everything he sings in that song are things I need reassurance are ok. There was a time back when I started seeing Dr. Mind that we worked very hard for me to be able to cry. Now I cry with him often, alone occasionally, and with Dr. Brain rarely. Now that my high dose Seroquel has caused some numbing it's a lot harder to cry. But for the most part I struggle with feeling so many things because determining appropriate emotions in the middle of a whirlwind of bipolarness. It's also hard to remember that just because I'm grieving doesn't mean that I am not allowed to laugh with little Anne (who turns 3 in 3 weeks so not so little) says something funny or that just because I've been laughing somewhat hysterically because of mania doesn't mean that I am blocking the door to my sadness. It's too much when people tell me that eventually I'll get back to living more. that's overwhelming and makes me feel pressured to be better than I am. I know perhaps I'll work somehow again and I do believe that this sadness and hatred of life will end. Right now I need to just have space to be where i am and not think ahead or behind. But I am happy when this little reminder pops up on my ipod, especially since if i don't feel like listening i just press a button. Someday Ill be ready to move forward but right now my moving forward is limited to waiting for someone to want to see my house and praying it sells this month. Looking beyond that is impossible and that's fair between what I've been going through and will continue to go through combined with the numbness from my medication. That probably will go away eventually but honestly it may mean a new increase if it does because numbness is helpful right now. Anyway, time to try to sleep with the air conditioner unit making noise. Somewhere I have ear plugs but I don't know where and the noise is more than I like. We'll see. Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com