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, January 31, 2015

And then it hit me

Yesterday I posted about being surprised when Dr. Mind called to check on me after I missed a week of therapy.  I thought it was probably related to my history of being very suicidal around this time of year and he knows that there was a lot of sadness with the holidays this year.  

The more I thought about it the more I realized that I remember only fragments from the worst of that time and then I was still having suicidal/self-harm thoughts for another year and a half after that so that it almost became normal thinking that I had learned ways to work around.

I don't know if it ever hit me until today that I could have died.  At the time of course I knew that but mostly that was what I wanted.  I did not want to live a life where I couldn't be who and what I wanted to be.  And while eventually I got help and did not hurt myself thanks to many months of extremely close monitoring (and 2 1/2 years of being on a safety plan-well, really more since even now the Crisis center's phone number is programmed into my phone and that will always be there now) I was helped to stay alive when it wasn't what I really wanted.  I don't know exactly what made me get help and go to the hospital.  I do remember admitting to Dr. Mind later that I almost didn't tell the hospital, thinking that I would leave and feel justified since I did try to get help and they didn't pick it up so it wasn't my "fault".  But I was still so sick then that I didn't understand the reality of what I nearly did.

Today that hit me rather hard.  I know the statistics.  25-50% of bipolar individuals will attempt suicide at least once.  15% succeed.  It's a deadly disease.  I just never thought that I would come so close to those statistics.  It does make me understand why I'm being watched even 3 years later.

Because I actually could have died.  

I don't know what to say beyond that.  I'm obviously glad now that I didn't.  I would have missed so much with my nieces; I never would have known the baby and Anne would never have remembered me.  And while I very much wish my life were different, even in this more painful time, life is worth living.

And I could have died.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Apparently for always

Three years ago Christmas wasn't so jolly for me.  In fact it was the complete opposite.  About a week before Christmas I requested pscyhiatric admission.  I didn't explain to anyone that I was days away from overdosing or that I very much did not want to live anymore.  My memory of that time is very blurry and I don't know what I was telling Dr. Mind but I know it wasn't the truth because I remember clearly sitting in a conference room in the hospital with my back to the glass walls and telling him while crying so hard that I wasn't moving enough for the motion-sensor lights to pick me up so I kept being plunged into darkness.  I remember Dr. Brain being at the hospital on Christmas day and although she had read my chart and seen what I had written that was essentially a suicide note I still had to tell her and I was scared she was going to be very mad at me. Instead she sat on my bed and held me while I cried for much longer than her need to see every psych patient in the hospital that day time really allowed for.  I remember her telling me that I couldn't go home without a solid safety plan and I remember talking to Dr. Mind on the phone working that out.  I remember more about that conversation although mostly that it was interrupted by the lab person coming to draw a lithium level which was a weird thing to happen during a therapy session, phone or not.  But I don't remember how I felt now really, other than worse than I hope to ever feel again.  That was a terrible time.

For a variety of reasons my just-short-of-an-attempt was taken extremely seriously and I actually did not get off precautions until about 7 or 8 months ago.  Until that time I had to keep my stock of meds locked up and Dr Mind had the key, so every week I lugged in a large metal toobox with a padlock that had the meds in it and I got a week's supply, later 2 weeks supply, out.  We got so good that I could be done in a few minutes usually while he finished his note from the prior patient and went to the bathroom.  I actually was told I needed to buy the metal box a while into the whole thing because he was afraid I'd break into the plastic one easily if I was desperate enough.  The reality was that I could jam the metal one open if I tried, which I discovered accidentally and told him about immediately.  That kind of honesty is required of me now.

One thing that changed after the hospitalization was that prior to that I had promised that I would tell him if I felt that way.  After sobbing about breaking that promise and that I didn't deserve to be trusted anymore one day he spent a long time making me believe that I didn't lie for any reason but that I was so ill.  So now the deal is that I only have to not lie if he asks me directly which never happens.

Today though was a little weird and I have a feeling it is a reminder that my past had some scary moments.  I was supposed to see Dr. Mind Monday but with the fevers I changed to today to avoid infecting him on a 3rd attempt.  I didn't know I was sick one week and last week had a night without a fever so I thought I was better.  Not so much.  Today I couldn't go because we had serious ice at the time I needed to leave.  No big deal, just a missed week which rarely happens.

Except that he called to check on me.  And I'm not completely sure why.  It was nice of him to do that but unusual to an extreme.  Except that it IS this time of year, a time that is always difficult for me and also the time that I was very dangerous to myself.  I've been doing great lately.  Everyone is pleased.  So it wasn't like he had reason to worry from anything I've said or done.  I think he just was making sure I wasn't fighting myself over swallowing scary meds in large quantities.  Which feels weird.  I know that what I went through was dangerous and serious.  I have just moved on now and don't really expect it to play much role in my life.  I just have a feeling he didn't like the timing and was afraid that the sick Jen he was a week ago was hiding things from him.

I wonder if you ever really move past that point with people who truly know how bad it was.

Monday, January 26, 2015


It is Monday.  Two Mondays ago I went to see Dr. Mind and then Dr. Brain.  When I got to Dr. Brain's I thought "huh, my throat hurts".  The same was true Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday evening I felt sick and starting running fevers.  

I am still sick.  I made it 24 hours without a fever but just now it came back.  Last night I barely slept because the drainage was so thick and icky I couldn't get comfortable.  I was up until 6 and that's with valium.

I'm not finding this funny any longer.  I already left a message cancelling Dr Mind because I am still contagious,even though I've exposed him twice, accidentally (I thought the fevers were over last week and then got one after I saw him).

I can't even think straight.  My aunt is taking my mom, cousins, their kids, my sister and her kids and I to the beach in March.  It will be good but also probably a little hard since I've not seen much of that side of the family since I was diagnosed.  One cousin and I were best friends growing up and through college and then as I got sick she pulled out of my life.  We've talked about this and I think she was just incredibly uncomfortable and didn't know what to say or do which I can understand.  I hope this lets us be friends again.  I miss her.  But this trip will be weird because it is for an underlying sad reason yet the point is to be happy again.

I paid off a credit card which made me so happy.  One more to go.  And after next month things should be a little easier financially.  Not easy but a touch better.  

I discovered tonight that I have nowhere that I can look out a window and see if it is snowing.  That's weird.  I know it is still snowing because my ankle says so and because it was supposed to do so all night but I can't see to the streetlight and my porchlight is not visible from inside so unless I want to stick my head outside I have to wait for morning to see the snow.  I got so used to living across from a street light in my old town I forgot that you can't always see snow falling at night.

And that's about it.  I have something on my mind but not for sharing until I am feeling better.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I cannot believe I spent 6 weeks on bedrest this summer.  This flu has only been a week and I'm getting really bored and cranky.  But if I get up and do things I feel worse and since I don't feel great I can't really go for worse.  Today is my 6th day of having fevers.  I sent an email to Dr. Body to be sure that fevers for so many days were ok.  He said as long as it doesn't turn into a sinus infection (something I'm kind of prone to) I just have to wait it out and it could be another week.  He told me this is the worst sickness year he has seen in many years.  I remember the year he is referring to.  One of my nursing homes lost 8/64 patients in a week and we were quarantined for I think 2 or 3 weeks-patients not allowed out of rooms, no visitors allowed, we were gowned and masked a lot.  Unpleasant for everyone.  Right now my fever is at the peak where I get all red and have chills that will become sweating through my clothes in a while.  Fun stuff.

My cats are even getting on my nerves.  They've both been needy today and I just want to be left alone.  The old one is sleeping on me now and that is fine (until the fever starts to break) but oh the pestering to be fed when there was food out and the walking on my computer and generally trying to get me to pay attention when I just wanted to rest.....we don't have many bad days but this was one I hope I forget and that we don't repeat tomorrow.

So today I cleaned up the kitchen a bit, tried to remove corrosion from my Wii balance board which I really want to start using for therapy but which I think I ruined by leaving batteries in it when I moved (way to go) and did a load of laundry.  I also cleaned up the bathroom a little bit and hung the shower curtain after it was washed.  The laundry was so I'd have clean pajamas but the fever hit before I got to get them and I don't feel like going downstairs where it is colder and I honestly think I forgot to start the dryer so I'm going to wait and start the dryer when the fever ends.  No point in showering until the fever is over for the night anyway.

I have nothing really to say.  I've been feeling bad for this woman on the ankle surgery bulletin board.  She needs the same surgeries I had but needs to be back at work in 2 1/2 weeks and doesn't have anyone to help her/drive her/etc.  Her doctor promised her a much faster recovery than I thought possible with this but it is still up in the air how she'll manage.  And I hate discouraging someone from doing this so I keep suggesting things for her to verify with the dr but in my mind I'm thinking "no, that would not be good, this isn't a good idea and I'm scared you'll wind up worse off".  Not good.  I can't get her out of my mind.  I delayed the surgery for so long because it wasn't compatible with work and then I needed the gyn procedures and then I didn't have insurance.  If I was still working I would have had to take most of a year off; I might be able to start working about now but lifting people could still be questionable.  But I can't imagine having surgery, spending 2 weeks on bedrest elevating and then jumping back into work of any kind when the leg still needs elevation all the time, you can't drive, you are still in pain, just a shower is a huge ordeal, etc.  What a sad situation.

At least influenza has me blogging.  Too bad it is boring.......

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I have another fever.  I am pretty sure I have a sinus infection although I don't have all the symptoms I usually get.  If the weather behaves I'm going to try to see the dr tomorrow but that doesn't look hopeful.

Today I saw Dr. Mind and got tired enough for him to notice just talking.  This virus is evil.  It even gave me a rash, like little kids get with viruses.  Not big, just a chunk of my abdomen was lacy red for a day or two.  Weird.  

Dr. Mind does not like exaggeration, even exaggeration when the point is being funny.  Well, that's not fair.  He doesn't like that kind of joke because he says it plays into the OCD-like anxiety I get about things.  So today I thought very hard before saying that there are about 600 steps that happen when my brother is arrested again.  And he told me in his subtle way (ha) that was too many.  But I told him I could list 600 so that was not exaggeration.  Now I feel compelled to actually prove this.  I won't since I know that wouldn't be good for me at all but there is a lot to get through.  

We talked today about how if my brother is arrested when my mom is away in a few weeks I'm not going to tell her until she is home.  She can't do anything, she couldn't get home faster without spending a ton of money on changing her discount flight and she can't do anything if she is home.  So while I know this is the right thing to do (although she'll be very angry) i'm a little afraid of what I might have to do.  It wouldn't be much exactly, getting his pets and maybe calling his attorney.  Then the cats have to go to the vet for check-ups and flea treatments before they come here and the dog would just be one more dog to take care of.  I just don't want to discuss things with the attorney or really be the one who gets that phone call.  Selfish probably but true.

I really thought I was going to fall asleep really early tonight.  I can't believe I'm still awake.  I took a nap but was still so tired.  I think my fever ruined it for me.

So tired, so achy.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What I did not need

I went from doing so extremely well a week ago to not so good this week.  Which happens; it's called being bipolar.  And since my lowest points lately are not nearly as low as a few years ago (starting to think menopause was as good for me as my gynecologist thought it might be plus thank God for huge amounts of Seroquel) I'm still ok, I guess.

Yesterday just had rough moments.  I am so sad for my aunt and cousins and can't imagine what they are going through.  And then I get sad because it is sad that I can't imagine that.  They are so close and such a loving family always.  And seeing that come out right now really emphasizes what I remember from being a child:  I wish I were part of their family.  It's just a big contrast.  In a way we've lost our father already but without grieving.  We may or may not even know if he is dead; I guess eventually we assume it.  But that 'loss' if you can even call it that gives me nothing to say to my hurting cousins now.  It's just hard to know what I'm feeling and I don't like myself for some of it because I feel like it should all be about their grief and inside I'm sad for me along with the sadness for them.

That wasn't even close to the worst moment though.  I was on facebook and saw one of my cousins' names listed as a possible friend.  This cousin is well-known for lying and creating his own reality where he can get attention through untrue stories and other less-than-appealing behaviors.  For example, we are both friend with one person on Facebook.  The man was my senior prom date, a close friend in high school and still someone I consider a good friend.  My cousin knows him.  Clear distinction there. So the man is considering buying the same kind of car I have a few months ago and my cousin gets on and writes about how I've had all kinds of trouble with mine and that mine has been a bad car.  Which is completely untrue.  I had trouble with AAA blowing the battery and some of the electrical system a couple years ago which created a bunch of drama until I made them pay for it all but that's about it.  So that leaves me having to tell my friend to ignore my cousin, the car is great.  And then yesterday morning he had tagged me in a joke about mental illness I didn't find funny, which I commented on.  He apparently meant to tag another Jennifer.  But while that's kind of an honest mistake be careful for pete's sake.  I actually have him hidden because he was being too open about the sexual aspects of his relationship a few months ago and I was icked out, especially with a 25 year age difference.

The final straw was this referral though.  I looked at it and there isn't anything identifying.  The account was just opened and so there wasn't much.  I scrolled down to the bottom and found a pornographic picture.  I reported it to facebook who notified me this morning that the picture was removed (it appears the entire account was removed) but that doesn't remove it from my brain and so I was awake all night upset and with PTSD triggered heavily.  I have no idea if this was my cousin's page.  There was an indication of yes but I couldn't tell for sure and don't want to know.  

Tonight I'm going to sleep even if it takes valium.  I'm exhausted.  Being sick and then not sleeping wasn't ideal.  I am still so disturbed.  Very, very disturbed.

PTSD is never a friend.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


I am sad tonight.  It's partly just from not feeling well.  I'm tired of feverish aching and being hot and cold and hot and cold.  I'm also very tired.  And I'm sad about my uncle.  There are a lot of crazy feelings with that; it's hard to be sad he is gone because he suffered so much.  So very, very much.  But I am sad for my aunt and cousins and his grandchildren, especially the babies who will never know him.  But none of his grandchildren will ever have known the man he was before his accident.  I am trying to tell my cousins how sorry I am and I don't know what to say.  It's a position I'll never be in, to lose a father.  In some ways I already did.  Someday I may find out he is gone.  I hope that I do.  I have accepted that this may happen via the internet in one of my occasional searches for him.  In fact that is the most likely way, by far.    But I know what my cousins had in a father and so I know what they have lost.  Sort of.  It's strange.  And mostly it just is such a blessing that for 24+ hours he has not been in that awful, painful, suffering body.  But I know my aunt is in a horrible place and again, what do you say?  

I'm afraid of what the government is going to do to social security.  Already the House has stuck a bill into their parlimentary procedures bill that makes it illegal to fund SSDI by shifting funds from other sources.  I hope that this is stopped.  I don't trust it won't be.  And if it passes and becomes a law then SSDI runs out of money in 2016 and the proposed solution is to cut benefits by 20%.  Which means in my case that I couldn't pay for treatment.  It scares me.  I've been contacting congressmen this last week and one called back and then I've been too ill to return the call.  Rand Paul made really ugly comments that pretty much dismiss mental illness as a cause for disability and indicating that he believes 50% of those on SSDI are bilking the system.  This kind of view in people who have way too much to say about my income terrifies me.  And I'm worrying way too much about this.

I asked Dr. Brain this week if I can go up on Seroquel anymore.  She said not really but when I explained that I was concerned that we should lower my dose a bit now to allow room to go up when things blow up with my brother she said that she'd be comfortable adding a small amount more short term.  It's hard to know if I can even tolerate that; what I'm on now is side effect city.  But anything is better than starting a transition to a new drug at that point.  Right now we know that the version of Seroquel I'm on goes generic in 11/2016 so sometime I'm going to have to try to change.  I want it to be when there are several options though because right now my best option is an older drug and I really don't want that.  I've had too much trouble with the cleaner atypicals to feel safe going on something less specific to brain chemistry.  The one that is most likely is better than most others (loxitane) but still not a fun drug.  So I know she'll get me through whatever happens and my doing well lately will help but it is scary.  I've known I was maxed out on everything for a long time so this isn't a surprise, just I've managed a long time without a battle.

I really need to get to sleep but I forgot to take my meds on time and don't feel sleepy.  I may take some vicodin in a while for the achiness and sleep effect.  Otherwise it's valium or not sleeping much and neither of those sounds good right now.  At the moment I'm breaking yet another fever so I have to wait that out.

I'm also hungry and not much tastes good. I had a BLT and that did taste good but now I'm out of bacon.  

So maybe I should have titled this grouchy and not just sad.  Both I think.  I just want to well, I don't know.  Feel good would be a nice step.  I don't know why this bug is making me feel so whiny; I've been much sicker.  I'm just tired of the symptoms which are annoying I think. Also I'm thinking there's a good shot this is becoming a sinus infection and I don't want to be sick next week too.  I have only had 1 sinus infection since I stopped working and it wasn't bad.  When I worked in nursing homes I had them all the time.  So even if i get one I'm kind of due but yuck.

Anyway, this is also the most boring post ever.  I think i need to quit trying to think until I am not sick.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A day late but oh so many reasons why

Yesterday was my birthday and my blog's birthday.  I am 39 and the blog is 9.  The blog's age is much more surprising to me than my own.

For many years I was rather superstitious about my birthday.  I wouldn't have called it that, I could list all the things that had happened on that day which made me a rough day.  Dr. Mind worked very, very hard with me so that I stopped dreading it and eventually came to enjoy it (nieces helped with that).  

But today was one for the superstitions I claimed I didn't have.  For one thing I have influenza.  This is our 2nd round.  I think the first time we had Influenza A and then my uncle had B and his immune system was so bad I think he was a carrier of B and my mom caught it from him.  I have now caught it from her and it is so much worse.  Fevers and body aches so bad that it took vicodin to sleep last night and it's looking like again tonight and Advil every 4 hours.  I've had stomach upset and nothing tastes good.  Even saltines taste terrible.  So I'm mostly living on sherbet which tastes ok but is so cold when my fevers go up.  So far I'm controlling the coughing by not moving much.  I don't want to have to deal with asthma meds when I feel like this.  Agitated and achy and exhausted don't go well together.  I read today, when it was too late, that if you think you have influenza this year you do and call for tamiflu.  Tomorrow is too late for it to do anything.  Even today might have been since I started having a sore throat Monday and it just took until today to build into something painful.

And then my uncle died.  In many ways this is a blessing; his suffering the last month has been beyond my ability to explain.  Horrible.  It is so good that he is finally at peace.  But my poor aunt.  I don't know how to explain their relationship except that it was a true love story, always.  That was clear to me as a tiny child and it never changed.  They were the opposite of my parents, always willing to take on 2 more girls and their family was happy together.  When I was small, when there were just 2 or 3 little girls and my brother who usually stayed at my grandparents we went to their house or they came to ours nearly every weekend.  When the last 2 babies came (5 in 3.5 years, all girls) that slowed but we still were together a lot until my aunt wouldn't have her children around my father.  
even then we had a lot of time together, it just was always at their house.  We went camping as a big group when there were 3 of us under age 2.5.  And their family did so much for us whether it was getting my sister and I away for a week in the summer or taking us places or in an incredible move the year my parents divorced there was no money for Christmas presents.  My aunt showed up with a carload of them.  They cared when that wasn't easy to find and it is so sad that she has to find a way to live without him. They were such a team that soon after his accident he was able to talk her through wiring ceiling fans and doing various home improvement tasks.  He read directions and explained and she used her hands since his didn't work well.

I haven't seen him or them much at all in the last 9 years.  But I'm still so sad tonight.

And I'm also not particularly rational because I feel like crap.  And now I'm crying which makes my nose run and I know I dropped the tissues.  So I should get those.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Today I saw Drs. Mind and Brain in one of my exhausting long days.  I actually am doing really well right now, well enough that I was offered the chance to go 2 months between seeing Dr. Brain for the first time in 12, nearly 13, years.  I didn't do that because I have too much stuff up in the air with my brother and uncle and even just that I seem to be getting sick with whatever has made my mom very ill for the last week (my throat hurts.  And I just realized I got too into the Ohio State game and forgot to take my meds so I'll never get to sleep.....off to take those now...)......So anyway (great, now the cat is throwing up so I have to clean that up and give her medication; I think she ate grain somehow today).....Anyway, getting sick.  That alone can throw my mood and if it is respiratory it means inhalers and albuterol and those make things worse too.  But anyway, I talked to both a bit about being ready for the hit that is coming when my brother is arrested again, this time for real.  I'm afraid of it.

And that led me to the thought of the week.  I mean that literally; I'm going to think about this for a week and then discuss with Dr. Mind.  He doesn't know yet.  I had all that lovely driving time (2.5 hours plus extra for rush hour plus a bunch extra for taking the wrong ramp and heading for Michigan thinking there would be a connection to the interstate I needed when there wasn't) to think.

And here's the big thought:  Dr. Mind says I can handle this, that I've handled worse things and I can draw from the strength of knowing I have done that.  I suppose that's true although right now it feels like that is a really, really bad thing and I know that is because I remember what it felt like to know at first and even though this time there won't be the shock and horror from before (especially if all goes as planned and I don't know details) my mind says that is what will happen because it was what it was like last spring.  So there's that; he's right that I have handled worse and even have handled the worse end of this.  But what I want to know is why do I have to deal with SOMETHING ELSE?  It seems like my resume for dealing with crappy stuff is pretty full.  And honestly the argument that i can deal with this because I've handled worse, that just emphasizes the point that I've done my fair share of handling things.

I try to not ever ask why me because the answer is why not me.  There's no point in asking a question that has an obvious answer.  But I think, with approval and support of Dr. Mind, I want to have one week to think about this.  I want to know his answers.  I want to have a chance to think about what has let me be so lucky as to experience extra grief and pain in life.  And I don't want the answers to be all the things about what I've learned and the strength that comes from this.  I just want to think for a while about what it would be like to NOT have my past come back and slap me in the face over and over, no matter what I do to cope with it.  I've worked very hard to deal with issues that will inevitably bubble up again when my brother is arrested.  I want to know why they can't stay put away and dealt with.

I don't want to sound like I'm asking him for permission to spend a week feeling sorry for myself because that's not what I want.  I just need to think more about the why me/why not me thing a little more than my pat answer allows.  I hate that I'm doing well, so well, for the first time in years and that this is at risk just because I care about my brother.  Most people don't find that a devastating thing to do but for me it is and it's not just devastating it has become a choice that I've had to make.  And I'm fine with my choice but I am just a little overwhelmed by what it means.

And so I want a week.  A week before dealing with this means potentially increasing my Seroquel to a level I don't even know if I can tolerate, a level that can only be temporary anyway.  I asked today because if we couldn't go up at all we needed to discuss going down a bit now which nobody wants to see because this dose works for me, even though it is very high and has some side effects I dislike.  I have no other meds that can go up and do not want to have to add an older drug when I am dealing with family needing me since the older drugs could have all sorts of other side effects and would require extremely careful monitoring because of my history of extra-pyramidal symptoms.  The extreme dose of Seroquel may have that risk as well, probably does, but we know I've been on very high doses before and for a long time now without EPS and that hasn't been true with most anti-psychotics.  So Seroquel is just a little more trusted for me.  

I don't even know exactly what I am saying or what I want.  I think I just want time to be sad that I have to face a big sadness yet again.  I hope I can make Dr. Mind understand what I'm thinking.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Life and Death

I haven't had a lot to say; there's a lot on my family's collective mind right now.  My uncle who has had numerous extremely nasty health issues since a motorcyle accident paralyzed him about 9 or 10 years ago is dying.  And sadly it hasn't been the most peaceful, slipping away in his sleep, that we all wanted for him or that he deserved.  The life he has lived since the accident has been a horror story in many ways and his death has not been an easy one.  Currently he just keeps hanging on despite having had no nutrition or fluids in many days, being on doses of pain meds that should suppress breathing, oxygen levels low enough to cause death typically, various organs have shut down and he has had end-of-life breathing patterns yet he is still here.  It is heartbreaking and it is so hard because he and my aunt are the love story everyone wishes they had.  For me personally I have not seen him more than once or twice in the last 10 years but he was so kind to us when we were children.  It takes a brave man to take on 5 girls with a 3.5 year age difference between oldest and youngest and he did it, a lot.  My favorite memory is the last time I saw him before his accident.  It was my sister's wedding and the groomsman I was supposed to dance with had no more idea than I did how to dance and my shoes were incredibly slippery which was making it even worse.  He was laughing so hard at us that he was nearly crying.  I don't think too many people paid that much attention to the sideshow but we were very close to his table and well, we were a disaster.  A huge disaster.  It is a miracle we didn't wind up laying on the dance floor, it was that bad.  So it is a kind of quiet time here, contemplative and with lots of checking in on the situation calls.  My mom went up I think 3 days in a row and then weather and a bad cold stopped her but in that time my cousins (who all have young children) have been able to fill in the gaps and my aunt doesn't need her so much and wouldn't want her there anyway.  
I have seen "bad deaths" before (isn't that an awful term?) and this isn't one of them.  They are controlling his pain although they've had to resort to injections which isn't pleasant but he can't swallow and IVs would only prolong his suffering so this is the only effective choice (they tried another way and it didn't help).  There is no screaming in agony and no pleading to not die.  Those are "bad deaths".  This is just a long one, with more suffering than seems fair after years of increasing suffering, and a body that just won't give up.

It is so weird how it all works.  My cat who I was told was so sick that I really didn't think she would survive the summer is clearly intent on living to be 20 in July.  She has gained weight, eats well, and has even gotten stronger lately (she can pull herself into my bed without using the carefully disguised step system I made for her on the other side.  She hasn't done that in a year).  She looks healthy, is a decent weight and honestly her worst problem is that I can't find glucsomaine treats without grains that make her very, very sick so her arthritis gets to her some days.  But even as I type she's saying that she'd prefer I stop and keep her warm (like that is possible with these wind chills....my heat pump is past its' ability to keep the house warm so I'm living under a pile of blankets in fleece pajamas).  She shouldn't be here.  And not to compare a pet to a human life but my uncle is young, not even 69 and he shouldn't be dying and certainly not in this manner.

And the hardest part is that life goes on.  I'm feeling good right now.  But I suspect I'm about to make a decision that will compromise that.  See my brother is going to be arrested again literally any day now.  We've passed the average and are more than living on borrowed time and for now I'm just praying it doesn't happen until my aunt doesn't need my mom as much because my mom will fall apart when this happens.  I see Dr. Brain Monday and am going to ask her if she will up my Seroquel any further if there is an issue, like not coping well with that arrest.  She might but I think it is not very likely as I'm on a very high dose, there's only one more boost to reach the maximum she prescribes for anyone ever and I have a few side effects that are my body not tolerating this as well as possible.  (OK, fine, peeing is an experience instead of something I just do.  And forget peeing and reaching into a drawer for something or petting a cat or anything; it takes full concentration.)  This has been a side effect of other meds but not quite as badly and I had very frequent UTIs with it then.  Anyway, if she can't increase if needed (and I'm not sure I'm willing to try the higher dose if not necessary because of weight gain) then I am going to ask her to lower my dose so that we have room to go up when I really need it.  I'm doing well right now and hopefully am able to wiggle a little.  The argument against this is that I started doing better than ever before when I hit this dose so why risk it, but I have nothing else to use without introducing a new med if I struggle with the inevitable--and I don't see not struggling there.

I am so glad to be done with PT.  I am so much better with less committments. I'm doing well at getting my exercises in at least 3 times per week or more and I'm making big gains still.  Things I couldn't do when I was discharged without pain and cheating are easy now.   Plus I'm not really interested in walking on ice this year and rather than going to appointments and praying for a good handicap spot it has been a blessing to just hole up inside while it is icy and scary cold.  I was so mad Monday because I was excited to get to show Dr Mind "No brace!" and although it wasn't snowy here it was in the city so I had to put my brace on in his parking lot before I could walk in it.  The lot is weird; there are 4 slots that are nice if you get them but I rarely do.  There is a top lot where mostly staff parks but I'm allowed to while physically disabled but I always forget to even look there.  And there's a lower lot with a decent walk up a little hill to get to the offices.  So it may be a while before I get to show him just a sock.

There is a DBSA support group 25 miles from here that I want to try eventually but for now I'm taking a break.  4 full months of PT along with being nearly 7 months out from the surgery that has dictated everything I do for so long has been a lot and I just need some time.  Plus I need to go back to PT eventually and it's better to do the support group after that when I won't be starting and stopping.  And the winter weather won't encourage participation.

In the final news my credit card has lost its' ability to reason.  I was just notified my credit limit was increased to an amount that is almost my entire income.  I could buy a car on this credit card.   Not a great car, but a car.  Yay for a good credit score but wow.  Back when I was working and my credit score was not quite as high but my income was 4 or 5 times this much they wouldn't increase my limit at all.  And I will be paying off another card totally in 2 weeks so may get another limit increase then.  

One of the better ideas I had when I was still employed but knew I was going to have to quit was that I applied for a couple of credit cards with my old income.  It has done wonders for my credit score and in the next months that will go up even further after the one card is paid off and old late payments come off my record.  I have great credit for someone with no ability to pay it off.......

Anyway, that's enough for now.  So much happening at once....