Tag Archives: chronic pain

Bipolar – Anxiety Rising

Standard

(Sept. 04) I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to begin writing this and I’ve been getting nowhere. School is coming and I’m stressed out about that.

I have tremendous back pain and I go to a pain management doctor for my pain medication. The doctor that I’ve been seeing for like two years has stopped working in pain management and has opened a family practice. She was great. She really worked with me and worked to manage my pain knowing that I have Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, GAD, ADHD and so on. She was the one who prescribed my chill pill (medication anxiety) that I started taking during the school year last year when I had an anxiety meltdown.

The new pain management doctor started out by accusing me of selling my oxycodone and refused to refill my chill pill. I had a prescription of Oxycodone at the pharmacy to pick up which she didn’t take into account. I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t like her. I don’t trust her with my health. My next visit to her she accused me of breaking my pain management contract by not bringing in the second pain medication I’m on. I was never told to bring the bottle in with me. Oxycodone yes, the other stuff, no.

My back has been bothering me.

My facial tick is back. It comes with anxiety like snow falls in the mountains… when the cold and precipitation is sufficient, the snow comes. Actually the vicious tick came with my beginning to take Gabapentin gain instead of Lyrica (Gabapentin can also be used for anxiety as well as for FM, which is why I tried taking it again).

FAST FORWARD TO TODAY Sept 28

I’ve been taking my chill pill daily. I survived my first day of classes because of the pill. I usually wake up in a cold sweat whenever anything remotely stressful is going to happen during the day. Like, for instance, going back to school.

Anxiety is such a huge part of my being right now that although I’ve lived in my new house for about two months I haven’t been to the grocery store by myself even once. I needed to buy some poetry books from the bookstore about 20 minutes from my house and instead of just going and getting them I called my eldest daughter and bribed her (I’d buy her a book if she’d come with me) to come with me. I just find it stressful to do things alone. I do not have a rational reason. I’ve done all the thinking and reasoning about my anxiety that my counselor and I have come up with and the anxiety does nothing but get worse.

I stopped taking the Gabapentin and the facial tick immediately started going away. When I’m stressed it comes back. I hope it isn’t permanent.

I see my med. Provider (the gal who manages my mental health medications) Sara in the morning. I’m asking her for something to treat the sever anxiety on a long term basis. The chill pill is great but it’s for a crisis and not meant for long-term consumption.

I get so wigged out about things that earlier tonight I already mapped out in my head the route that I would take to get to see Sara and then called my daughter to make sure that I could get to the grocery store from where I was coming from. I’m planning on going to get some milk on my way home in the morning. I need to do it on my own. I think if I have the chill pill I can.

It’s amazing. I wish I could take it all the time. I’ve been having to use it to go to sleep at night. When I don’t take it I’m awake until after 2 or 3 in the morning. Then I wake up sweating. I’ve even resorted to listening to relaxing meditative music/waves on YouTube all night. I found a channel on my TV provider to listen to that works as well called Soundscapes.

The struggle I’m having with anxiety is so severe that I’ve not been willing to blog and that makes me sad. My counselor has put forth the idea that perhaps my mania is manifesting as anxiety and that It’s really part of my Bipolar Disorder. I sort of hope that’s the case. If it is, I’m confident we can deal with it.

Why haven’t I been in to see my med. Provider sooner? She’s been booked. It’s been over a month since I last saw her. I’ve talked to her on the phone and my counselor talked to her on my behalf too.

Hopefully tomorrow I can communicate clearly how absolutely painful this anxiety is. My counselor is supposed to go to that meeting with me. I hope she can actually make it. It would give Sara a clearer picture of what’s going on with me.

Now, I’m going to listen to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” then I’m going to go to bed. I might read for a few minutes. Maybe one or two. Seriously, that’s as long as I’ll read.

I have high expectations for my visit with Sara and Rebecca (my counselor) in the morning. We got this. I have to believe, we got this.

A Bipolar House Hunting & Being Successful

Standard

3falling
I got up yesterday close to on time and took the Bailey out and fed the cats. Bailey doesn’t eat early in the day. It distresses me I have to admit it. Yesterday afternoon we went house hunting. It’s been almost a month since the broker last took us out. The market here is really low on inventory. Houses are being bought the day they go on the market. You can imagine I might be feeling some stress about this. I am.

I spent time playing ball with Bailey before we went out. She helps me calm down. We played soccer. I kick it and she catches it and brings it back. We play in the house. When I down size I probably won’t be able to kick the ball around like this. We’re looking for a place with a fenced yard.

I’m stressed. I took a chill pill before I left to meet my mom because I started to feel really anxious. I started tapping my legs violently, which is one of the physical signs I’m having anxiety. After playing ball and taking the pill I started to calm down.

I chose to be positive about looking for houses yesterday. I don’t mean that I believed that because I was thinking positively that we’d find a house. What I do mean is that I chose to go looking with my broker and my mother and be positive towards them and the situation in general. I accepted that we might find the perfect house. I accepted we might not find anything remotely good. We saw some interesting houses. Let’s just leave it at that. We’re still looking.

As of yesterday I hadn’t seen my son in a couple weeks. Since he’s moved out and into town I don’t see him much. Sometimes I feel like seeing me is more like I’m a chore that needs to be done. I know that’s how he feels when grandma asks him to do something – like she’s a chore he doesn’t want to give his time off from work to. I feel that he feels that way towards me too. It makes me sad. He does mow my lawn every other week and I’m thankful for that because with my back pain and arthritis I can’t do it myself.

Today I met with my brother at Shari’s restaurant. I’d gone over his business website and taken notes about changes I’d make and problems I found. It needs a lot of work. I was kind of hoping he’d pay me a little for doing it, but he didn’t. I got a strawberry lemonade out of it and an hour of time with him. I don’t see him very often.

I would say I’ve had a successful week. Success doesn’t always come in making a lot of money or getting a new job. Sometimes success comes in little packages like being able to get the medicine down the cat’s throat and not all over her.

Although my brother didn’t think to pay me I still look at it as a success. I set out to survey the website and take complete notes and I did it. Then I wanted to meet with him and communicate to him what I’d found and make recommendations. I did that too. I wanted to go to the mattress store and exchange my mattress and I did that. Another success. Now I’m blogging. Another success. I have another project that’s important to me that I’ll work on next.

What kind of successes have you had this week? Today? It’s hard when I’m sad/depressed to feel like I’ve been successful, but when I’m fair and I really think about it I can see them. Being bipolar doesn’t mean I can’t be successful. But sometimes, I have to look for successes a little more closely.

I refuse to give up. I’m going to keep pushing and poking things till I reach my main goal. It’s not easy. I’m tired and my arthritis is flaring up in my shoulders, elbows and hands. It would be easy to just watch TV tonight. But I’m not going to do that just yet. I’m going to move forward towards my main goal.

I’m a little depressed. We’re probably going to have to put down one of my cats soon, so as I say, depressed. But I’m not going to give up. Excuse me now please, I have something I need to work on. I’ll see you soon dear Reader.

Bipolar Stress and a Tick

Standard
Barney panties_001

Some days I feel like I’m walking aroud with panties on my head too.

I’ve stated ticking again. Last year I had a facial tick so bad that often I couldn’t be understood. When my kids were around they would sometimes have to interpret for me. It was horrible. We thought at first that it was one of my medications (I take a lot), but we ruled them out.

Eventually I discovered that it was stress causing it. I don’t know what changed, but after reaching a super intense point, it started to go away. One day I realized it was gone.

I decided to take this quarter off from school so we could look for house and because of family matters so I expected my stress level to be lower, so I was surprised when I started ticking again.

I’m afraid that it will worsen. The thought of it terrifies me.

I’ve spent hours upon hours learning about myself and my various illnesses so it frustrating me to have this happen. I thought I was doing better than this.

What to do? I need to stop this before it gets out of control. Besides the changes I’ve just mentioned I have a new counselor too and that causes me stress.

I am often feeling on the edge of anger and depression.

I asked myself what I can do to stop my stress from getting out of control. Here’s my plan.

Ask myself what’s bothering me and why it’s bothering me.

Talk to my counselor for guidance.

Keep taking my chill pills.

Try to do mindfulness and/or meditation.

This last one is key I think.

Perhaps confessing my struggle here will turn out to be cathartic.

I’m going to go back to the basics and evaluate the different areas of my life to see if I can determine if something I’m ignoring is what’s bothering me.

I suspect that adding all the stressors in my life up will show that they are all the problem together and I need to fight back. On my own I’m going to exercise and work my dog more and give mindfulness another try… or maybe meditation a try.

For some reason the thought of mindfulness stresses me. This proves how logical mental illness is. I don’t know much about PTSD but both counsellors think I have it. Perhaps I should look into it too.

I just realized that my son decided to move out about 2 months ago and moved out about three weeks ago. The stress of him moving out is probably impacting me more than I realizing. I have only lived on my own for six months once in the 80s.

Maybe I’m scared of being alone.

Late breaking news – another destabilization – my chronic pain management doctor is moving and handing me off to an associate. There are a lot of deep emotions that go along with chronic pain. The idea that my treatment might change terrifies me.

New counselor, new pain management specialist, living alone. Great.

I can do this.

As always any input or ideas are welcome. I love getting email from you. This would be an especially good time to hear from you my friends.

My First Day as a Grown-Up

Standard

maks balloon

Apparently I set my alarm wrong or didn’t set it at all because at 9:32 my youngest daughter Sydney called and scared the snot out of me. I was so confused and I dropped the phone and missed the call. Oops. I got the phone off the light stand and onto the bed with me so I could call her back but she beat me.

You should know that while I’m only 53 I have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and I’ve had cataracts removed and I wear full dentures. I ain’t got no choppers. This is interesting to know because of what happened next. Getting the phone in the first place was painful and I almost dropped it behind the bed because of the arthritis in my hands. Morning is especially bad for my hands.

Sydney called before I could call her. She was very excited and upset. I was still effectively asleep. She launched into her problem which has nothing to do with my morning in general so we’ll skip that.

I was trying hard to sound like she hadn’t woke me up, but it was no use. In morning especially trying to talk without my teeth in is like talking to me drunk with mashed potatoes in my mouth. Fortunately Sydney can translate most of what I say so that’s good. Thankfully I don’t have to make up a story of why I sound like I’m drunk.

Next I try to get out of bed. This is not as simple as you would think. I’ve had my right knee replaced twice so I’m careful getting out of bed because I don’t want to skip forward in time and have to have the other one done especially since I live alone now. I tried to get my feet to the floor but I couldn’t slide off the bed.

During the day, I can sit on the side of the bed and my feet dangle a good ten inches above the floor. On a normal morning I can’t find the floor. I couldn’t find the floor today. I swear this bloody memory foam mattress conforms to where I’m sitting and won’t let my butt go. So there I sat, trying without success to scooch over to the edge of the bed where I could work at getting off the bed. No luck.

So I try switching it up and go for trying to get just one bun closer to the edge. Finally, a little movement. Slowly I start the long and slow effort to the edge, all of four inches to the edge. I made it! I was finally sitting with my legs dangling over the edge of the bed. I leaned back and started the fearful journey of trying to fall towards the floor. It always seems like it is farther away from my feet every morning.

Yeah!!! I make it to the floor.

Next, the pain and stiffness of the arthritis in my legs and ankles speaks up and rudely tries to make me stand there like an old woman frozen in place. I wonder how my hair looks.

Eventually I make it to the living room and sit on the stool and slowly put my shoes on. It’s painful to bend over and pull my feet up on my knee to get my shoes on.

Eventually, success!

Why am I putting my shoes on without socks on and teeth in? Gotta take the doggie out to do her business. Then she wouldn’t poop. I’m out there getting my feet wet in the lumpy thickish dewy grass and fast getting annoyed. I give up and we go back in the house.

Ah ha! I remembered to feed the cats when I came back in the house. They’re food is downstairs so it’s not like I normally think about feeding them, which, is now my job.

The cats were Kyle’s job. Of course, now that job falls to me. None of the kids took a cat with them. I want them to take the cats with them! I tend to forget to feed them and when that happens Maks, the older of the two, goes in the kitchen and opens and closes the cabinet doors and lets them bang shut and do it over and over until you get up and feed them. Little asses.

My dog is a heeler/kelpie, meaning, she’s a herding dog. She loves to herd the cats. Somehow she knows when they cats are doing something wrong and chases them downstairs at full speed. It’s pretty funny. So if I’ve gone to bed all I have to do is open my bedroom door and poof! The cats are downstairs. Then I go feed them. If I have to be woken up it’s good to know the culprit that woke me up is getting theirs for doing it.

Sometimes Maks (cat) plays with helium balloons. I got one for Valentine’s Day from the kids. The cat takes hold of the string and takes it around the house. When I had my first knee replaced he started bringing all the balloons to me at night. The record of overnight balloon commando maneuvers was 15. He grabs them by the bottom of the string and carries them into a bedroom. The balloon in the picture ended up in Kyle’s room all the way downstairs this time. I don’t know why he does it, but it is so funny.

Now that my Oxycodone, Ritalin and my other pain pill have kicked in I feel like a human. Now would be the time to take Bailey out, but she can’t wait this long.

My first night alone was good. My two youngest kids both called to make sure I was okay. I love them. Kyle reminded me to feed the cats, which I had already done. Yeah me! We’ll see how I do tonight.

What am I going to do today? I’m going to work on my writing projects. I’ve been neglecting them. Fortunately, using the computer isn’t impacted by my prematurely aging body. I wonder how my brain is doing. I do have some mental health issues, a whole bowl of alphabet soup full of them, but I don’t have any old people brain issues. I’m awesome!

And thus began day one of my new life living on my own.

Ew, now it’s my job to do the litter box. I hate that.

Bipolar – What is it?

Standard

I thought it might be a good time to share with you what I think is one of the best explanations of what Bipolar Disorder is that I’ve come across in all the years I’ve known I have (am?) it. Read on:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
(NIMH Bipolar)

I admit that when I was a single parent of three young children life was less than fun. I was very sick. I spent what time I could be “normal” growing my kids up so they would be productive and good members of our society. More than that, I wanted their lives have the potential to make a difference somehow.

Despite my Bipolar (Type 1) I kept at it making memories when I couldn’t buy the kids stuff their friends and exploring their world around them. They had me at home and my “mostly” full attention all the time. Most kids don’t get that do they? Today, years later, most of my kid’s friends come from broken, dysfunctional and unhealthy families. We try to make our home a haven for these kids, welcoming them in if they behave like good people. We have standards we maintain here. No drugs, no dating my kids, and we encourage the kids not to be sexually active. Okay, the kids themselves try to encourage that. Why? Because it messes them up more. If they have a bad family life you can bet that heavy dating isn’t going to be the answer. The answer comes from within. Just like it does for you and I.

I have Bipolar Disorder in Aces and Spades… Full on and all the time. Yet, today I’m under the supervision of competent med provider and counselor (mostly lol) and you know what I suffered the affects from today? My ADHD. Yep. Like wow. My Bipolar is in order for the time being (and I take all my meds). Now to deal with the ADHD.

I cleaned house today. Until my back pain (I have chronic back pain and FM) and my right thumb (arthritis) slowed me down and demanded my painkiller and muscle relaxer.

It’s a fine line I walk with my meds. (Each person who prescribes for me knows all the other drugs I’m on. Still I check for drug interactions. That would suck.) Managing the pain in my brain and the pain in my body is difficult to do.

Here’s what I’ve learned. Drugs meant for one thing do NOT help for the other thing. Painkillers do not help Bipolar Disorder. This is what I remind myself of so I keep on the narrow track:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
(NIMH Bipolar)

You would do well to remember this too my friend, no matter what else happens or what else you suffer from, this Bipolar is a different beast and you’d best not forget it nor neglect it lest it eat your life to bits.

I invite you to visit my re-blog of this blog on Facebook under Redux 2.0. Share this blog with your friends if you think it would help them or help them understand you.

Here you will always have the truth as I find it and as I discover it within myself. I will always try my best to be honest with you.

Write me, I answer all emails. I’m pleased to receive them.

Be well. Remember there is hope for you as there is hope for me…. take one hour at a time.

Your friend, Robin

Bipolar – Mom of Almost All Post-Teens

Standard

I’ve been, acted, had Bipolar Disorder as long as I can remember. I always knew something terrible was just… off with myself. You remember the classic symptoms everyone takes on the on-line tests to see if they’re bipolar? Let me share a few:
http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/bipolarquiz.htm

http://www2.organizedwisdom.com/quiz/take/3/Am_I_Bipolar

There are dozens and dozens more but I’d rather share this with you…(I’ll get back to the kids in a minute)

What does a doctor need to know to diagnose bipolar disorder?

A bipolar disorder diagnosis is made only by taking careful note of symptoms, including their severity, length, and frequency. “Mood swings” from day to day or moment to moment do not necessarily indicate a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  Rather, the diagnosis hinges on having periods of unusual elevation or irritability in mood that are coupled with increases in energy, sleeplessness, and fast thinking or speech. The patient’s symptoms are fully assessed using specific criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-IV.

In making the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, the psychiatrist or other mental health expert will ask you questions about your personal and family history of mental illness and bipolar disorder. Because bipolar disorder sometimes has a genetic component, family history can be helpful in making a diagnosis. Most people with bipolar disorder, though, do not have a family history of bipolar disorder.

Also, the doctor will ask detailed questions about your bipolar symptoms. Other questions may focus on reasoning, memory, ability to express yourself, and ability to maintain relationships.
(http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-disorder-diagnosis)
 
Jessica, who is 22 and is in the Air Force, Kyle who is 19 and attends UW at T (or UWT), and Sydney who is 17 and is a senior in an advanced high school, runs much of the internship program for the high schools in her district and works part-time all grew up with me. All of me.
 
All of me GREW to be very over weight for my height, very lonely and very much in the grip of my disorder. Even so I chose the email address “supermomforever….” That’s what I think, what I thought when they were young, about myself. I would protect and grow up my babies the best that I could and they would grow up to be amazing and individual people regardless of what happened to me. I knew If I was hospitalized once my chances for going back increased and it didn’t seem to me that people really got better after hospital stays, they stabilized. Our disorder is a disorder. It doesn’t ever “go away”. 
 
In my “semi-controlled full on manic” state that lasted for what seemed like years (I think it was) I founded a company, learned from the ground up how to run all the complicated software that was necessary, blah, blah…. I was an ultra over achiever. Let’s leave it at that okay? Then I blew the whole thing up and had my Explorer repossessed. Then we were evicted. (This is where I’m supposed to say “things couldn’t get worse” right? Forget about it.)
 
The last 7 years or so have been very depressing. I’ve had my right knee replaced twice… yes the same knee… because the first one didn’t work. Figure that out. Now that will help you lose weight. I have chronic pain to the extent that I now go to a pain management clinic. 
 
Yesterday I submitted an application to UWT. I’m very excited to go back to school. I hope I’m accepted. It will be good for my brain and get me out of this bloody house. I’ll meet real people! 
 
Today I took major steps to reinvent parts of my old company (the one I imploded) with the help of my son’s desk top computer (from a school grant), some art work I was missing (a lot) and tonight – the software I needed!!!! 
 
Not to put a damper on things, but I haven’t eaten all week accept for today. I’m depressed. My father is dying and that could happen soon. And yet…
 
…. I’m still being that supermomforever…. I’m making sure the kids spend time with him as we can and that Jessica stays in the loop so she can fly home when the time comes. We’re a pretty tight-nit family. We stay in contact throughout each of our own days and the hours we keep are definitely not the same. 
 
I talked about the bipolar tests. I just wanted to remind you of some of our symptoms and introduce you to WebMD. They’ve gotten it righter recently than wrong. 
 
Supermomforever…. my kids will always remember losing the truck and being evicted. It changed us all. They will always remember my physical difficulties and my disorders many that they may be. 
 
The one single thing I want them to remember is this: family will always be there for you. At the end of the day when the dust settles you call home and talk. When I have a bad few hours I call a kid or text one of them. We are family. 
 
My ex-mother-in-law always said I’m good at creating and making good memories. We couldn’t afford to go places or buy things so instead I got creative and made memories and I hope drew us together for all of our lives. 
 
This was way longer than I intended. “Shh…” I tell myself, “It’s ok”. 
 
My kids are all nearly post-teens. Somedays I worry I’ve wrecked them for life. Left marks on their souls that will never fade. But no, they have grown to be this age and do these things because I somehow did it right. Through all my pain and insanity I got enough of parenting right to have great adult children. 
 
Now, I’m afraid to be alone. But that’s for another day. 
 
Good night friends.

Bipolar – Handling an Insane Schedule and Still Having Fun

Standard

I tend to forget a very important fact when I’m busy and especially when I’m going to be driving… I have chronic pain in my back and I tend to forget to take my Oxycodone. Or, if I’m going to be driving, I don’t take it. Late this afternoon I remembered I was in pain (I also take Lyrica for FM and have OA so go figure with all the pain right?), I remembered and I took my pain killer. Quickly I was able to do house work and things I had stopped doing again, like moving around like I’m not a super old and very cranky woman.

I’m not high. Just experiencing less pain. It’s makes such a difference with the Lyrica and Oxy and the anti-inflammatory they have me on for my OA.

Back to the really important stuff: The Magical How to Be Too Busy and Still Have Fun.

Since my last post things have gotten more complicated and because I neglected to take some of my meds as prescribed I started being angry for no good reason and wanting to lash out. Took my meds…. I’m ok now. I can’t stress enough that we have to take our meds. You don’t think you need them? Especially during this next 30 days or so then you are nuts and a dope. Take your meds.

Starting last
Saturday  – Afternoon at my parents just to visit (my dad has stage four cancer and they “say” he has 6 – 12 months left) My brother and I are trying to spend time with them as much as possible.

Sunday (today) – Early family dinner at my parents with Tony and Mat too (my brother and his partner)

Monday – Take Kyle to the bus at 7:50 (the transit bus line stops exactly 8 minutes before our house)
– Take Syd to friend’s house so friend can get Syd to work on time (Kyle and I will be heading to Seattle)
– Pick up kyle at UWT at 11:00
– Arrive at UW medical center to get my new dentures (only Kyle and Syd know I’m getting them now)
– Drive through Seattle/Tacoma traffic through rush hour home. Usually takes 2 to 2.5 hours. Crazy drive. Seatac is almost that far.
– Pick up Sydney at end of bus route at 6:00 or find her a ride home

Tuesday – Sydney Braces for teeth…. orthodontist appt. at 7:50 a.m.
– 3:00 Sydney works till 5
– Kyle school then works till 5
– My brother’s birthday – at Bob’s Burgers (Where everyone will see my new teeth and that I cannot work them very well yet. So funny!)

Wednesday – Pick up “Carol”, my friend for lunch at Seatac during her layover. Actually, I’m picking up Jessica (my other daughter) from the airport and sneaking her home to surprise her sibs. 1:15 p.m.
– 3:00 Sydney works till 5

Thursday – Thanksgiving where I will again try to eat and talk with my new face. I anticipate talking funny for a bit and eating… carefully. lol
– Dinner at my brother and Mat’s at 4:30. It will be a banquet for kings and queens. They always throw amazing parties. The food is amazing. But then, they have lots of money.

Sat – Sun Syd is supposed to work on a project with a girl from school…. only she doesn’t know her sister will be leaving Monday. OMG!

I think those are the highlights. All the while I will be thinking of my dad and how he’s doing. And that the stress of all these secrets is making my brain burn like a torch lighting the way to a wondrous gift: family… and taking my meds as prescribed every day. Even the stupid ones that want to be taken 3 times a day. Uh. Don’t you hate those? Makes me bonkers.

My friend Carol and Jessica are the only ones that know what’s going on. No, Jessica doesn’t know I’m coming to the airport with my face in (dentures, it really changes your face).

Now more how to survive Thanksgiving tips that I use myself:
Play games – I don’t care if they’re card games with others or computer games by yourself. Play something!
Breath – from deep down in the belly when you feel the stress monster coming for you.
Ask for a hug – you don’t even need to say why. Just ask for one… or give one, maybe more than one!
Eat properly, and drink lots of water. No booze. NO BOOZE. Seriously. Don’t drink it.
Get enough sleep.
Smile. Smile for others if you can’t for yourself. Don’t bring your world down to your mood if you’re cranky.
Meditate, pray, be still… recharge yourself. Go to your happy place.
Oh, and do not over eat.

And then the next day will come and what you did the day before will still be with you so make wise choices.

Lastly, if you have a service dog avail them of their services. It’s what you have them for! Mine is sleeping soundly in her place at the foot and her side of my bed. Even with her cone on she knows when I need her. (She had her girl bits removed and wants to lick it too much) So that damn cone  is another stressor for us all. It makes it very difficult to train her with it on.

I’ve taken on a lot this week. I’ve decided I can make it work if I take my time and keep things separated. I believe I can do this. I even have a separate schedule in my desk in my room for Jessica coming. If I mess that up the game will be blown. Normally, I wouldn’t do this much, but Jess and I decided she should come home for a quick visit now and a longer one in December in case something happens with my dad; her grandpa.

She just became a Senior Airman in the USAF. I’m so proud of her! Her new stripes and all that are so cool. I can’t wait to see the picture of her in her blues besides her selfie. lol

And now the test. Can I follow my own plans to succeed? Have I set myself up for a huge fall? I don’t think so. I’m having to focus on others;  always a good thing. Focus. That’s important. I’ve got to stay focused and balanced and ask for help when I need it. Sometimes that’s hard to do.

Let me know how you fair this week my friend. I’ll tell you how I do when I’m through next Monday.

May you escape the nibble of a turkey on the end of your nose. May you eat said turkey instead. May you stuff your bird with stuffing . And may you spend time with loved ones, even if it’s only by phone or Hangout or… thinking of them. A little bit of love goes a long way. May you succeed in all your goals

Ciao,

Robin

Bipolar – Dealing with Insurance Co.

Standard

Greetings Friend!

I don’t really  like to complain or make this a place to vent, but I want to give you the basics… It isn’t always health care insurance that sucks.

Since my son’s car “wreck” over a week ago the tow truck company lost the car. Then we found the car. Then our insurance company (we have the same one as him) connected me with my rep. Next, his rep. called me after my rep. concluded business with me since it was now his insurance co (we share National General) I had to talk to “Reggie”. He’s a bit of a moron and lazy from what I could tell in our awkward interactions. I’m pretty sure he lied to me about when the car was re-towed to their impound lot and when (later) specialist would inspect the car and determine fi they should fix it or total it. Reggie had no idea. You know who did? The rental car company.

Enterprise car rentals called me yesterday to ask if I would like to look at any of the used cars they sell. They could easily hook me up with one of their sales people. I’m like “what?”  He let me know the car was totalled.

I called Reggie. He had no idea. He told me he was now handing me off to another guy who would make me an offer on the wrecked car.

Then, the Monday after the accident the insurance company (National General) called (another guy) to offer my son $1500 to settle his PIP claim. Seems like it’s a little fast, don’t you. Haven’t heard from him again. Oh, we got a letter in the mail saying he couldn’t reach us.

Bull

Sigh.

So now I’m waiting for the guy to offer me cash for my smashed car and I’m going to call the PIP dude. Dang.

All this while, I mean all of it, I’m going back and forth with the Financial Aid department at my son’s college. OMG!

When will this all stop?

I had an anxiety sort of attack and didn’t go to an appointment I needed to go to. I just couldn’t deal with any more.

Have you had a day like this lately? Oh and my service dog in training was on the high energy going bonkers side all day. She exhausted me. She figures out mental games as fast as I invent them.

It’s Thursday now. Feels like I’ve had three or four Mondays. Today I’m going to go get pictures from Walmart. I might stop by my parents to show them. The pictures are from a coffee can I have saved all the rolls of film I couldn’t afford to get developed from when the kids were little.

Memories.

The lumbar shot I had Monday seems to be helping my back. Now all the muscles that have been affected by the chronic pain… are still in chronic pain. I have a long goad ahead of me to recovery. When I have days like Wed. was, it makes it really hard to do that. My brain just hasn’t been engaging on things I want and have to do. I don’t think that helps my mood at all.

I’m depressed.

Thursday, today, will be a better day. Right?

Your friend,

Robin

Bipolar and Chronic Pain Just Plain Suck

Standard

Monday my Bipolar brain took a chance an had a lumbar steroid shot to attempt to relieve massive pain I’ve been experiencing for years. I respond quickly to medications and other treatments and it’s been this way with the lumbar shot. By the next morning I was experiencing muscle cramps and painful spasms. Although I wanted, in my strange way, to think something had gone wrong I decided that these things were happening because my body was moving more freely because there was less pain. Even a slightly longer reach or stretching a muscle beyond what it has been doing for the last 25 years.

The second night my back lit up. All the nerves in my lower back were on fire again. I got an ice pack and sat in my recliner (which my mother thoughtfully gifted to me) and tried to ride out the storm. No such luck. Kyle was staying up late playing a game on the X-box and for the first time he saw a little of the hell my body puts me through. I thought I could get it to calm down with the ice. No such luck. I was reclining in the chair to better freeze the painful area. I couldn’t stand it any longer and I started kicking my legs and groan with the pain.

My anxiety level was reaching critical mass and I felt I was losing control. My mind was unable to restrain or reign in my response to the pain. It was excruciating. I asked Kyle to rinse out the tub for me (Bailey, the puppy, loves to play in the tub when she’s not having a bath.). Not knowing what else to do he did so quickly. I climbed in before the water got more than a few inches deep. I sat with my back to the spigot and the water turned hot. I was so tired I kept falling asleep.

I don’t know why I didn’t use the heating pad. That’s what it’s for really. That and the big ice packs. I think when the pain becomes so great that we can no longer think clearly. Also being Bipolar I’m not always prepared for nor able to deal with such pain. I was so drowsy. I walked close to the wall so I wouldn’t fall down the stairs. Finally I realized I’d not taken anything for my back all evening because I was feeling better. I jumped the gun.

I keep a record of when and what and how much of each drug I take during the say so I don’t over or underdose. I was way under.

Today I asked Kyle if he’d ever seen me like that, in that much pain. He hadn’t. I told him how this was only some of the pain I have been in. If it had been any worse I wouldn’t have reclined my chair because I knew I would break it. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to. I know he is starting to understand.

This, this is Kyle in the first grade. Today he is a sophomore at UWT (University of Washington at Tacoma)
kyle1st-grade

I’ve tried to hide my infirmities from my kids as they’ve grown up. The fits of anger and depression, the aggression and the manias… I couldn’t hide them all the time. Maybe never. I’m not sure. Today all three are remarkable individuals.

Raising them I was in constant physical and mental pain. I nearly lost myself. Today, for the first time in…. forever I put away the groceries anfter shopping and wasn’t in any pain. No pain in my physical body at all.

I had no idea how much pain I’d been in… until after some of it was gone.

It is my hope, that now that some of the chronic pain is alleviated my work to balance my mind will be more successful.

My friend, I have learned many lessons from this experience with ongoing pain. I didn’t know I was blinded by the pain. I didn’t know the pain made my mind, my Bipolar mind, more messy. If you experience other pain in your body that can be addressed, pain so great it alters your daily activities including you need to be doing with your kids. Myself… I couldn’t even stand long enough to cook. When coaching softball my pain was like a monster. I’m sure I wasn’t very effective. I cared a lot about those kids though. I just thought the pain was part of carting around sports equipment. I was wrong.

Consider your body… has it got a hold on your mind? On your Bipolar behavior?

Be well my friend.

Bipolar Mom – Breaking it Down

Standard

Sometimes you gotta make a list and then follow with a goat and a horse. 

The last 5 days on speed dial:
Friday – Son in 1st accident: not his fault. Emergency room visit: deep bruising. Car towed.
Saturday – Car lost at random impound lot.
Monday – AAA finally finds car. Insurance finally connected to car and myself (same insurance companies for both drivers)
Monday -I get Lumbar shot (steroid) to try to ease chronic pain.
Tuesday – Father diagnosed with cancer and being sent for a PET scan (today-Wed.)
Tuesday – Spoke on phone to my good friend C in FL. It was good.
Tuesday – Youngest daughter who goes to one of the SOTA high schools spoke to a thousand people in a conference on internships.
Wednesday – Eldest daughter enrolled in community college of the (whatever the military call it. sorry, hon, mom forgets.;0)
Wednesday – Visit with Chronic Pain mgmt. clinic: muscles are spasmed, new med. Father having PET scan.
Tomorrow – Med provider appt.

YESTERDAY – (That would be Tuesday for those of you keeping track.) The people that own a few acres on the hill in front of our house have planted horses. They have two and a pony. I’m not sure why. We had horses and we rode them all the time. (Let me interject here that these people did not have goats.)

I and my puppy Bailey were looking out the front windows to see what some commotion was all about. We heard a very angry mother screaming: “You can’t chase them like dogs! They’re goats!” We saw a white-ish horse run back and forth and back and forth and faster and faster. We saw a dirty horse attempt to do the same but it did look like someone had it on a long lead.

The two goats did goat things and were happy jumping here and there and making goat sounds. I was laughing too hard by that time to be sure what was going on. We saw the pony do what ponies do best…. whatever the hell they want. On and on it went. We got tired and sat down.

This morning I took each of the two kids still at home to the bus at different times. I went to my appointments and ran errands. I came home. Had lunch and played with Bailey. . . . I’m not going to tell you life keeps going and everything is going to be okay or that I’m awesome because that would be me talking out someone else’s top hat. No, this is what I will leave you with for now.

I swear to god I just heard those goats again.   ;0)

Your friend, Robin