Bipolar and Panic?

Hi, hullo and greetings to y’all!

Wow. Here I am again. I mean “wow” because that’s how things tend to be. I struggled so hard last year to keep my brain together and spending time angry, confused, abandoned and really isolated that it never occurred to me that I was… acting normal.

Yeah, Kind of odd. I know that.

I have an objective, errr… an intent I suppose, to tell you what’s been going on in my head and my life just briefly before I fall asleep. At least that’s the plan. The sleep part is for sure the plan.

I just finished a challenging and possibly lifechanging 10 week webinar course that taught us about how coming together like that in the small group setting to learn about each other and about the particulars of our experiences, what we hoped to learn from the course, and more. I acknowledged that I have ADHD. It was easy to finally feel like I wasn’t a fraud because you know what? Every single other person there has it too.

I feel liberated from those few people who felt that just because I was told that I had these extra letters following close behind the other letters following me, didn’t mean I was trying to be lazy or milk the system. OMG! Milk the system. For what? My monthly stipend of less than $800 a month.

<Do you see how random I’m being? No? I am trying very hard to sound like I’m at least trying to make sense.>

Two things for tonight:

  1. ADHD is a serious learning disability that have a potentially devastating impact on myself and those around me. Worse yet…
  2. Bipolar Type 1 is the name of my little world that has no bounds. I’ve come up against the idea that there is no research or course of treatment suggested when the client has both Bipolar Type 1 and ADHD together.
  3. Sorry, there is a third one after all. If no one knows how to treat both diseases in the same person’s head at the same time… Yeah, I don’t want to go there just now.
  4. Geeze. I’ve been hysterically everyday so far this week. I’m just sure that if anyone were to look into my ears you’d see my brain turning to liquid!

{Remind me to tell you about the breakthrough I had with my bonkers Med Provider and about hysteria just underneath the skin the next time we talk.}

Knowing what I do about Bipolar, and now what I’ve learned about ADHD I think I’m justified in saying that… I’m screwed. <Wait! That should have been in caps… sec.> I’M SCREWED!

Treatment for one can make the other worse and so forth and so on till well after the serpent has eaten its own tail.

It isn’t as though I want to be unemployable. It just happens that this is my reality in the here and now. My shouting at walls to make them move over … now, that sounds silly even to me.

Please pardon me. I’ve been sleeping an hour or so a night then I will eventually fall doing something like sitting straight up or using my laptop or talking. So, then I crash and sleep for two whole days. Why is this such a problem if I’m on disability? That’s way too loaded of a question to talk about while I’m falling asleep. But it will be part of my next visit with you… very soon.

I’ll be posting a link to Eric’s podcast and his webinar soon incase you’re interested. The cool thing was that I found a whole ton of stuff that I could apply from one illness to the other.

Sleep well my friends. Sleep well.

 

Robin

 

Bipolar – Lesson Learned

Just a quickie…

Illustration:
There is a white car just up the hill on a flat street who is totally and completely stuck. He’s in slush. He’s also been revving his engine and spinning out for the last half hour or so. It has been going on so long I finally got up to look. As I looked up the road (our house is at the beginning of a fairly good sized hill) and saw the car, a family car calmly drove straight down our hill. No problem.

Lesson to All of Us:
They say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
They should also say, “If it’s broke, FIX IT.”

Warning:
The consequences of disregarding the lesson and doing the same thing over and over(You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?) and always getting the same result is pure insanity.

Are you going to heed the warning? Or embrace insanity?

We MUST learn to change and adapt. If we don’t, if we allow our condition to deteriorate, it’s our own damn fault if we crash and burn.

@This assumes you’re stable or doing well enough to fight it.

Learning What Mental Illness Looks Like on Me

During the last few months I’ve begun to realize how I wear my illnesses.

What I mean is that I’ve always been pretty aware of what’s been going on in my head, but I have never looked at myself from the outside – in.

Because of this new awareness and the sense of warning and alarm that’s come with it, I’m going to post what I was originally going to post tomorrow. I’ve made so many changes and worked on it so long that what was supposed to be a simple thing has tied my brain in knots.

I can “see” these imaginary knots in my head. That’s just fine. What you might see when you read the finished post will probably be different than I intended.

I don’t want you to read any of my posts and be turned off by it because it sounds like I’m unhinged. I might be, but I don’t usually want people to know about that. I like to think that I’ll give you some kind of warning if that happens.

I’m lear.ning what I might seem to be saying to someone when I hear myself say something I think is completely innocent but turns out to be something horrible.

So, when I’ve slept, had some exercise, eaten and warmed up my brain I’ll try to talk about what’s on my mind right now.

Yeah. Clean out the memory cache. Power down for the night.

It’s time to stop myself from doing anything else, but go to sleep.

Goodnight friends

Robin

Opioid Dependence and Mental Illness

Pile of pills

I’m not an addict. I’m not! I’m mentally ill. I have Bipolar Disorder. I also suffer from chronic pain in my lower back.

My primary care doctor (PC… PCD? Uhh… let’s go with MD) had been prescribing me oxycodone for the server and persistent (chronic) pain that I’ve had for years. After being active and doing something super strenuous like gardening for 15 minutes I think I’m dying. I’m exaggerating of course, but when I work as hard as Atlas does while holding up the world my eyes leak, I whimper and sit down. Sometimes I end up laying on the floor. The floor is such a very bad idea. If I straighten my legs my whimpering becomes desperate and I realize I’m crying. If I forget myself and straighten my legs I’m done. I can’t move. The pain paralyzes me.

I’m NOT an addict.

When I can think again, I try to find my phone. If I can’t find it right away I feel the panic rising and it triggers thoughts and emotions I thought I’d had under control.

This last time I thought I was managing my mania and depression (mixed state, rapid cycling) pretty well. I haven’t bought piles and piles of books on ducks or Oprah or how to be an astronaut. Honestly, I really haven’t. But please, don’t ask me what I’m thinking about. Also, I’ve been able to get out of bed AND wake-up in the morning and even go for walks. My depression skips through the dandelions with the mania comingling into a mixed state, which is always confusing.

I’m not an addict.

After many months of giving me a legal way to get my the Oxycodone I take for pain legally, and for free. The label on the bottle says I’m to take the little unassuming pills three times a day. They are 20 mg. Currently, I’ve convinced the assistant fellow at the pain clinic to reduce my Oxycodone to 20 mg twice a day.

I’m not an addict.

I’m mentally ill. I have Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, chronic pain, and other stuff.

I was referred to a pain chronic clinic… ah… chronic pain clinic, where my Oxycodone prescription was reissued. A five-minute verbal probe, that’s what it took for the doctor to determine whether or not I needed the narcotic. We didn’t talk about Bipolar Disorder or any potential interactions the Oxycodone might have with drugs that are meant to manage my wild emotions or tame my fantastic panic attacks. I’m not certain she has any record of my current medications. She asked questions, and I quickly tailored my answers to fit what I thought she was waiting to hear. She made a few notes on a paper as small as her palm. I wondered if she was actually making notes that she could refer to later. She thought for a few seconds and then wrote the prescription. I sighed in relief.

I’m not an addict.

A while later, like over a year or maybe two, I’m still taking the narcotic. The clinic has new owners and staff. They no longer asked me questions. Sometimes they required a urine test. Then, they stopped asking me anything at all. We spent my appointment chatting. I started asking if we could please try to figure out what was causing the pain and try to deal with it by correcting the problem. I wanted the pain to stop.

They didn’t listen. They wrote the prescription without hesitation.

I’m telling you, I’m not an addict.

My mental health drug dispenser began paying attention after I updated her about my drugs and included Oxycodone in the list. She stopped talking about whether or not my meds were working to stabilize my moods and started talking about “Black box” warnings.

She had my attention. I started to panic.

At the time I had over five medical people prescribing medications. They didn’t know what the other office prescribed me. They relied on me to tell them the truth. I didn’t have to tell anyone I was taking Oxycodone. That got me thinking.

I’m not an addict.

Later…

I’m still asking the medical folks to figure out the cause of my chronic lower back pain. I’m still not getting results. I’m getting way too much Oxycodone every bloody month.

Because I can, I’ve been researching my of collages of illnesses, disorders, and psychological malfunctions.

Ah ha! Black box warning. Do NOT take anti-anxiety medication (benzine’s) – death may result.

Oxycodone 20 mg

I recently saw Dr. T, my very superior knee surgeon. He saw the condition of my spine when he was looking at the x-rays of my hips. He was making certain that my persistent knee pain, post second replacement, wasn’t being caused by anything running amock in my hips. He was eliminating any possible cause of my knee pain before he even considering using surgery to further correct the inept effort Dr. B made the initial knee replacement. Dr. B successfully replaced my knee, but that’s where the project ended.

It sucked. My leg from the knee down, well, it kind of turned the wrong way.

Dr. T corrected the first replacement. He tried to minimize the damage his surgery could do while trying not to blow up my entire joint… okay, the joint that was already gone.

Dr. T showed me the x-rays he’d just had taken and explained where and why he left Dr. B’s “efforts,” while replacing the replacement. A month ago we tried a shot to relieve the pain and keep from having to have surgery again.

Nope. I’ve had no relief from the pain. In fact, my brain was overjoyed and thought that my knee was doing awesome. Holy cow! I should NOT have knelt down like that! Looks like surgery is probably what our next conversation will be about. I’ll need to be on pain medication again…. I intend to be off Oxycodine ASAP. I would really like to have some kind of painkiller to take after surgery – assuming I have it. Always be prepared! Sigh…

I’m not an addict.

After my constant complaining about my back pain that happens every time, I do regular human type activities involving the lower back. I’ve finally had x-rays of my back taken. Holy heck. Next stop is at a spine doctor.

The online personal information provided by my medical organization includes this: Opioid Dependence.

My chronic pain clinic instructs me to continue taking the Oxycodone. I haven’t been able to identify any specific relief from the pain in a long time. I have never felt any “fun” results from taking it. It has never made me feel sleepy.

I have found that taking Oxycodone at bedtime with the medication I take for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) helps me to get to sleep and not wake up in agony caused by the RLS.

Am I an addict?

“Taking opioids over a long period of time produces dependence, such that when people stop taking the drug, they have physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal (such as muscle cramping, diarrhea, and anxiety). Dependence is not the same thing as addiction; although everyone who takes opioids for an extended period will become dependent, only a small percentage also experience the compulsive, continuing need for the drug that characterizes addiction.”*

I’m mentally ill. In my opinion taking any medication, especially one that alters my brain chemistry (opioids do this), should be thought about and discussed with other medical personnel who are also responsible for my continued living – and to live my best life.

Am I an addict?

No.

I have Opioid Dependence.

Dependence. I can live with that, but look, let’s get rid of that too. Okay?

{I have Bipolar Disorder. I’m a little manic now. I’m using it to write and post while I can. So, for now, I will post often because tomorrow, I may be depressed and unable to say what’s on my mind. I may not have anything on my mind.}

* https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/opioid-addiction

Un-niche-able – the Next Day

tday_across_honey_streetI have an announcement to make. I’m going to be 56 for a few more months…. or is it 55? Well anyway, I have ADHD and am a manic bipolar individual so let me think on it for a bit okay? Sigh. It’s late and I’m tired and the dog wants to know why in the world I haven’t taken her out yet! Sorry baby. That’s the dog baby. Um, her name is actually Bailey. Uhh. Slow down! That’s the manic bit – obsessing on one thing and going on and on.

[And this would be a big change in the conversation.]  You know sometimes things become clear, oh so clear… and then their bellies bust right out of those tight pants and they know how convoluted they are. [What??] I mean honestly… I spent almost two hours tonight preparing some documents everso carefully. I was so sure that anyone who could use a crayon could follow it… or I thought so.

I was supposed to be studying. I really want to finish this course! I’m learning so much. But, nope. It’s been hours and I still haven’t started. It very much annoys me. Oh and the documents I’ve been making so “clear” were for my Mom. No pressure. No expectations that I can’t possibly meet. Actually, I’m not sure she has any expectations of me other than the negative ones. The expectations that all end in failure.

I’m un-niche-able. I’m sorry. No one’s going to suffocate me in expectations of failure anymore. This is my un-niche and I’m keeping it!

I spent all this time getting it set up for her so that we wouldn’t have any conflict, as we always do when it comes to going over this stuff. I thought I’d made it so clear this time. She could just print it all and follow along with the notes that were even colorfully numbered. I even put the name of each file right in the text of the email so she could see where everything came from.

It was all very clear. Just read the email first, as requested, print it, then open and print all the pdfs that were attached. Simple? Not on your life.

I’m sorry if I sound rather like a petulant child, but I kind of feel like one. Huh. There has to be another way.

And this brings me to what I’m ruminating on tonight.

Why are people so uninterested in learning about each other?

At T-Day, I tried to explain to a family member (who will have a psych degree this summer) about how I was diagnosed with ADHD about two years ago, but besides giving me medication they haven’t taught me anything about the illness or how it might interplay with Bipolar Disorder. It seems to me that the ADHD mixed with my ever-present manic-ness would be kind of interesting.

Fascinating stuff. Right? For a psych major? UUUUUuuuummmmmmMMMM NOPE! Not on your bloody life. Talk about a snub and a dismissal. OMG! I totally forgot she’s royalty. EEeerrrttt! Stop right now! I guess I shouldn’t go down that road. Insults from childhood are coming to mind. Ick.

So what’s the deal? As I am finally embracing my un-niche-able-ness I’m getting pretty excited. When I’m excited, as you might guess, I want to “share the good news” with at least someone… if it can’t be with everyone. I was brave and I settled on just one someone. I hoped it was a safe someone. I miss judged. Next time, I’ll think longer on who I trust with my soft underbelly. Get my drift?

You already spotted the Un-Niche all over my face right? Yep. It was the royalty.

Dang. How do I slow this bus down a bit?