Tag Archives: Fibromyalgia

Bipolar – Anxiety Rising

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(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.

Bipolar – What is it?

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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 – Handling an Insane Schedule and Still Having Fun

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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 – Fractured

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I don’t like to talk about the spin, the time when I free fall and cannot make myself stop. When anger and grief and pain explode in my life… not just my brain. What I think, this is what and who I am.

For the moment. Sometimes these moments can draw on for the proverbial eternity and we try to think, if we could, that we’re coming near the end, that we cannot stand this anymore.

I didn’t have more than brief moments of these things. Most of the time I have been so manic that I thought my brain would implode from shear spinning. You see my friend, I’m a mixed Bipolar 1. Those of you who aren’t familiar with this condition, congratulations. Today you win the lottery. This last few weeks have been terrible. I have been very depressed and unable to see it or deal with it. When it was suggested that this might be where my massive irritation was coming from I had a difficult time admitting that it probably was. (See how I did that? I still skirted around it.)

I have exploded, with my kids present, too many times. Recently, too many times. Okay, not exactly always at them. Sometimes just when they’re around. When I’ve considered my past I worry for the times they’ve been exposed to my insanity. Being a single mom and going ballistic for what seems now like for no reason at all leaves a mark on kids. They say it’s worse than divorce. I’m both. Bipolar and divorced. I worry for they scars they carry… because of me.

I’m a mixed state depressed and yet manic Bipolar 1. I have two kids still at home. I am alone. I have no friend to speak of accept one and we met on line and don’t speak of these things. I’m glad for that. I can be normal with her. She knows I’m Bipolar and she doesn’t care. I act rationally if a little meanderingly with her. And yet, I fear I’ll say something and she’ll walk away too. So many have that I’ve quit trying to find friends.

My family doesn’t (beyond my kids) understand. Not at all. When they care to try to… they… well they don’t. Recently I learned that when my mother took home stuff to read about Bipolar she never read them. She’s never looked it up on line. She’s now 72. She has no excuse. She knows how to use Google.

Yet we all know that even the great Google cannot explain this that we are. We are ourselves. We are great in mental volume, if not in order. We excel in emotion, if not in control.

I spent a lot of time this last few weeks in grief, anger, fear, irritation and depression. I suppose, don’t understand why I avoid that. I think it seems to my fractured mind that admitting depression means loosing the last bastion of my mind. Confusing, I know. New meds sedate me too the point where I simply cannot not sleep. This frightens me as well. You see, as my med provider put it, “We need to get your nerves calmed down.” Now, when I’m not so calm as to sleep, I’m not calm. There must be a middle ground. I must give my mind time to heal. Be patient.

My kids suffer I think. They are afraid they may have inherited my genes too much. But you know, after all of me, all of living with me, they still believe in themselves. They have ego. EGO. All three believe in themselves.

See you thought I’d never finish the “pride” letter didn’t you? Ha! They have pride in themselves that is good. It isn’t forced. It’s part of who they are. Part of their hardwiring. I asked them how they each manage to be so sure of themselves. This is what they said, each one said this:

“Mom, you taught us to believe in ourselves. You drilled it into us. You, you did this.” I did. I made them who they are. (Give this wording to me for now. I deserve it.)

I have my own ego. Ego born of an accurate estimation of ones abilities is a good thing. I’ve struggled with this thinking I’m really stupid because I never finish anything. But I have. I’ve successfully raised three amazing kids (young adults). I know what I’m good at and they are many things. I finish things when my brain lets me. One thing.

I’ve raised three amazing kids. I’ve been a wreck this week. But, I started on Lyrica for some of my physical pain. I should be scheduled soon for a shot in my spine and that should alleviate a lot of my other physical pain. My additional meds should mitigate some of my mental pain. Even though I’m up in the middle of the night again, I feel restless, but hopeful. For the moment. These moments will grow longer, this much I know from experience. I must stay the course and take all my meds every single bloody day.

I have one thing to say to you and I hope you will listen.

I’ve raised great kids. Awesome kids. I love them beyond words. I… have raised awesome kids despite myself.

My friends write to me and comment on my letter. I wish to read your thoughts. You too are important to me. Till the nest time, be well and be patient with yourself. Give yourself a chance to heal.

(Oh, and there are now 23 pot shops. (Oy veh)

Bipolar – PENS & Oxycodone

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I love pens. I really, really want to get one of those very expensive jobbies. I saw some in a gift boutique downtown Wednesday afternoon. They were 2013 models and at a bargain 50% off the normal $450 and $300. Oiy! Maybe not today. I’d love to get one for myself and one for my eldest daughter. We both love to write.

Writing can be a passionate thing. It is with me. Always with me I’m investing something of myself when I write whether it’s something blatantly obviously personal or if it’s something going on in my head that I want to talk about.

Right now I want to say something that I think is very important so sit up and read carefully. I’m putting this in terms of applying to myself so I know this from personal experience.

I have chronic pain. I have something wrong with my L4 and L5 disks, degenerative disks all the length of my spine, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. I have a twice replaced right knee (replaced twice in two years, the first time it didn’t work) known as a TKR. I am 51 years old and I must say I do not appreciate needing to go to a pain management specialist and taking narcotics… every day.

I’ve been having what i can only label as nightmares now that I’m taking closer to the prescribed amount each day. (I also take Tramadol but that gives me migraines after a few days use). I don’t normally have nightmares. I was having trouble discerning reality fro dream when I would wake up in the morning.

Tonight I woke after another “nightmare” and remember something quite startling. When I was “incarcerated” in a facility to recover for my TKR the second time because my parents were moving and my kids wouldn’t be around to care for me giving me meds and such. It was a horrible experience. Besides generally feeling like I was incarcerated I was on Oxycodone at my maximum dosage every single time I could take it. The staff were only too happy to let me have it.

Unfortunately I had several nights in which I had terrifying and convincing hallucinations. It has taken me a long time to admit they didn’t really happen. Add to that, that I don’t remember my eldest daughter calling me daily from the MacDill Air Force base where she works as an air traffic controler. We live across the country from each other and that eats at my heart. We’ve always been close and the distance is difficult. But I don’t remember her calls and I know that bothers her. She took care of me during my first recovery and had to go through my even having two blood clots below my surgical knee. That was also a nightmare.

Last night and tonight I’ve been about at the level of Oxycodone that I was at in the rehabilitation center (read: nursing home) and I’ve started having hallucinations, not nightmares.

I suspect my use of pain medications is on the way down. We’ve tried a number of things and nothing seems to help.

I have an idea that I am sure will help. Ever hear of neuroplasticity? I’m sure you’ve heard of Luminosity, that’ s neuroplasticity. For me, this will mean using mindfulness to “remap” my brain and in doing so enable my actual brain structure to interpret pain differently. It won’t seem painful to me.  I guess I could put it like that without going into detail right now. I will soon though.

Neuroplasticity is becoming my key to dealing with my much of my troubles. Think of it, how awesome it will be to control my chronic pain, Bipolar, FM and OA… at least to a degree. Many advanced meditation practitioners are known to change their brains in a manner like the mindfulness I’ve mentioned.

Mindfulness. Neuroplasticity. How great to have the possibility of using these disciplines to help myself!

I’m not likely to be drug free… but I’ll get as far as I can.

I’ll talk about Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity in depth soon. They are very important disciplines that science backs up. I mean they are both proven scientifically to work in the areas I need. They impact many other things too.  After all, they are not confined to “topics” the brain considers. They do however, change the brain in ways we cannot comprehend considering the vast expanse, the last frontier as they say. At night I’ve taken to listening to Pandora. I searched and found a Mindfulness station to listen through the night. It’s playing right now. I finally decided to subscribe. Know why? The commercials were scaring me as I slept. Ew.

Watch your consumption of drugs like Oxycodone. You could have side affects you would think would anticipate.

Be cautious. Be ever vigilant.

Catch you later.I’m trying to stay awake for a while. Those hallucinations were getting very weird. Scary.

Robin

I’m in such pain…. I’m a BP1, ADHD, PTSD, FM, OA, MOM

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Seriously though… I’m in an extraordinarly dismal pain deep in my bones I think. I’m not certain. It starts somewhere around my swollen and annoying disks down around the L-something-or-other.

Restless legs? Perhaps. Runs in the women on my mom’s side of the family.

Anxiety encouraging psychosomatic (maybe) spinal pain to radiate through Restless Legs and deep to the ass of the leg with the double times new knee.

Translation… My equal isn’t ibriumating. Get it? Equilibrium. Equal. Equal-ibrium.  New knee as in “not using it much for years and am lopsided and out of synch.)

What?

Seriously though… From my lower back down past my toes especially in my right leg and alien beastie is trying to pull the bones out of my flesh. Meat. Oh my.

Seriously though… Hurts like a “$(%*& ”   of  a    ” )(*&#_ ”   If you know what I mean.

Sitting on my bum on the floor is a feat of unsurpassed hilarity. Translation: I’m either laughing madly – or – crying with great abandon. Take your pick.

Tonight the pain started about 1:15 in the afternoon PST.   Not EST.   PST.

I took my Oxycodone and heating pad and lie down (lay down… well I wasn’t “sitting” down) on my bed while my puppy (Australian Shepherd/Heeler named Bailey, a little girl) snoozed at my feet. Literally. She slept temporarily where my feet could go on my queen sized bed. Then she slept where they also could have been. And then again. Add. Spin. Rinse. Repeat.

Where was I? Right. Bloody bleeding sickly . . . agony. Pain. Unrelenting, mind blowing, consuming… pain.

I don’t watch American Idol. Did once, when it all first began. Still have a fondness for Kelly Clarkson. The queen upon the Idol throne. I sat tonight not watching the 13th season with my son (Kyle, 19. He’s a boy.). I think I must have been doing it louder than I noticed because suddenly he sideswiped my attention from my ass to, well, to my whining. I was whimpering and whining.

I never allow myself that luxury while my kids are about. At least, not before this. Today, I’m in such pain… And it started well before bedtime.

Oh damn!  I just want to sleep.

I think, I think I’ll go soak my ass. Okay, I’ll soak everything that will fit in the tub too. Maybe some soothing heat not floating around my body will help some. Oh great bird of the universe I hope so. Damn I do hope so.

My car is in the shop. Again.

My phone is stupid and dead.

My knee is still new.

My weather is nice. Just right today.

My belly is too big.

My kids are amazing. And my puppy too.

I can see my feet again.  When I move my boobs out of the way. I’m short you know.

I’m in so much pain.

Good night.

Tomorrow is going to come whether I’ve slept or not. As it always does and always should do. I would do well to remember this.

Come on pain, time to have a bath. Pain, would you consider going down the drain? Please. No? Screw you. I’m having that bath anyway.

Again. Good night.

What’s Wrong with Me?

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All right then…. early on in my adventure in this thing called “me”… things were really rough. Actually, things have always been rough for me.

STOP!

Wow, that was horrible. I cannot relive all the horror that I’ve been through just to tell you this thing I’ve discovered.

When my kids were young and I was coming apart at the seams I struggled against myself to find peace. Some days the darkness wanted me too much it seemed. God was nothing and I was all alone. Alone in my head with myself.

The thing about me is I’m never ready to stop. Even when that’s what I’m screaming that it’s what I truly wish for.

I came across an idea, a lot of ideas. Things written and spoken that gave me the beginning of control. Control of myself… stopping.

Think about this. . . I am the only one in my head, controlling what I think and who I am. Yes, I may be admitting I’m bonkers and I’ve chosen to be bonkers… but I’m not. I’m not!

Youch! Bipolar is . . . my brain dancing to a private tune. When I’m off my meds or on something that just isn’t working for me my blessed brain runs amok. Everyday I enter into negotiations with myself to see if I’m going to cooperate. Cooperate with myself.

I am the only one who can control what I think.

Just me.

Yes there have been and will times when I don’t believe that. But it is true. My strength comes from within myself. I had to be on medication after medication and so much pain… when the drugs started helping me begin to hold on to myself, I was finally able to find an idea that would see me through this day.

I am the only one who can control what I think.

Okay, I need a little help with that from drugs, but what’s a girl to do when her brain runs bizarre?

I am the only one who can control what I think. Just me.

I won’t say I’ve been saved, because that’s not what this is about. It is about mental health, about my brain dancing Bipolar, ADHD, PTSD and always some new alphabet soup. I’ve been trying on OA and FM. We’re not on great terms just yet. And then I saw the Neurologist last week and he told me basically I’m mental. This facial tick I’ve developed over the last six months or so is my brain trying to get my attention.

Let me get this straight. My often out of control brain wants my attention so it, my brain, thought it would have a party on my face? Seriously? Sucks. He suggested I see my mental health professional. Wow. Show stopper.

My brain, with a “mental” disorder… is mental. Super sucks.

I am the only one who can control what I think. Just me.

Maybe that’s what my mind has been trying to tell me. That I need to listen to myself, that I need to learn and teach myself. I need to find whatever helps me handle me (good and healthy things) and pursue them with great vigor.

I must always remember that I am the only one who can control what I think. Just me — with a little help from my meds.

Confused yet? You are? Good. Me too.

You Can’t Have My Leg!

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It would seem that I’m not done with me yet. I’ve paralyzed myself for a long time, not willing to write, telling myself that I don’t know where to start. So many odd and terrible things have happened to me… are happening each day… that I rationed that I was waiting for a lull in the storms that are me so I could present you with a neat package all polished and not like I am now. If I were a color book I would never have drawing inside my lines.

Here I am. This is what I’m thinking tonight:

My right leg is going to fall off.

Seriously. That’s it. Oh sure, with my alphabet soup (Bipolar 1, ADHD, PTSD, FM, OA… for now) crowding me for more undeserved attention. They annoy me. Like a flock, a gaggle of Canadian Geese launching themselves at me unreserved and underrated. They scare me. They are impossible to reason with. No matter where you are if they decide you need to be chased, you’ll be chased as long as they can chase you. No lie. Your heart will pound excitedly when the medium sized birds take after you on the ground like a Disney movie gone terribly wrong.

My leg. I had my right knee totally replaced in January two years ago. By the following year it was clear that the surgery had failed. The prosthetic that was implanted in my leg bone failed to graft with the bone it was supposed to graft to which would, had it worked, have given me a working and reliable new knee.

Wrong.

August 2013 a surgeon specializing in replacing messed up knee replacements replaced my replaced and prosthetic knee. Both times I suffered terribly (differently each time). I suspect that no surgeon would appreciate me talking with any of their patients and telling them how the whole sordid mess went. (To clarify – Sordid meaning: involving ignoble actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt, sleazy, dirty, seedy, seamy, unsavory, tawdry,cheap, debased, degenerate, dishonorable, disreputable, discreditable, contemptible, ignominious, shameful, and abhorrent. The exact opposite of: respectable.)

The up-to-the-minute report is this: Friday I showed my MD that my entire surgical leg (right) was bigger than the left. No sense in studying it to see if I was imagining it. It obviously belongs on some other person’s body. This is a problem. I don’t even know what the problem is and already I realize it’s a problem. I think my name must translate in some language to “problem”. I’m certain of it.

I exposed the bare and big leg to my doc on Friday last. He sent me back to my surgeon, but not till after we get another and new authorization to see the fella. Seriously. Same leg. Obvious connection. Gotta have that new authorization. I called his office and explained the situation. The woman at his office agreed to request one for me from my MD. (Yes, I’m saying “MD” and not PP, PC or any other ridiculous set of the alphabet… again with the alphabet. He’s my doctor, my medical doctor. That’s Medical Doctor. MD.

What I didn’t realize was that my MD had that very day put in an order for me to have a vascular study done on the affected leg. They would take me as soon as today (Tuesday). Getting an appointment that fast freaked me out. (Just a little FYI.) Since my doc referred me to my surgeon I assumed he was done with me regarding this particular medical happenstance (coincidence).

That last sentence looks strange to me, but my brain refuses to use any other word.

Anyway, the surgeon didn’t order the imaging before he even saw me. I wondered if maybe he had so he would know ahead of time what might be going on. But.. no. My MD ordered it. When he starts a process that really should probably be ordered to the specialist I was being sent to I hit the “worry” button and all hell breaks loose. Again.

Today the resounding thought that pestered me like the rain does every time it soaks me when I take the puppy potty was: “They are going to take my leg off.”

Seriously. “They are going to take my leg off.” That’s what my brain has been saying all damn day.

Just to show you how badly I freak myself out living inside my head with my alphabet soup, my MD has ordered me to have a service/companion dog. This, is our puppy, my service/companion dog in training. She’s so awesome. But more about her at another time.

I’m going to jump now through the rest of the day to now. I’m having considerable back pain which has kept me from sleeping. I began to write this. I got half way through it. Suddenly I see my bedroom door open, but I see no one opening it. Ahh. It’s Maks. Maks is one of our awesome cats. Throughout all my ailments Maks has been my healing kitty. Cat. He’s too old to be a kitty. Just don’t mention that to him and we’ll all get along just fine.

Whenever (most of the time) I’ve been doing particularly terrible, like today and taking my leg off, he comes to me and loves me up. Right now he’s purring and clawing, I mean needing, my right hip. This isn’t where he normally lays. He usually takes up station keeping on my left side somewhere but since we got the puppy (Bailey) he hasn’t been up to see me very often. I’ve been having my son bring him up to me when I retire for the night so he can get used to puppy smells and sounds. It’s working. He’s beside me doing his magical cat thing. How the hell do they know when we need them? Of course I’ve heard about the cats and dogs that can smell/sense impending death or various illnesses. He thinks he’s one of these special and extraordinary furry companions. I agree with him.

He’s been urging me to pet him and love him up stabbing me gently and now snoring at me. The look of love on his face is wonderful. (I know what you’re going to say. Cats don’t make that kind of face and they don’t feel like that you bozo. And then I would tell you to shut your trap. It works for me.) I’ve been alternately petting him and waving his loose fir away and writing this. I like it. I feel better. He knows my alphabet is haunting me. I do… feel better now.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m having the vascular imaging done of my entire right leg. It’s weird and cool to watch. Stay tuned in to this same bat time, this same bat channel.

Wow, can this cat snore.

Don’t Tell Me to Be Positive When I’m Fighting to Get Out of My Own Skin

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It is so much easier to be positive, to weather the storms of everyday life and those days that turn to shit… when the fine balancing line of I who dance with (Bipolar) is made so so much harder when meds are being adjusted. That in between time when the last drug tried and worked, well, all accept the backlash… The time in between when I leave one drug and begin the search for another and another… The time when I am the most vulnerable… The time when stress becomes STRESS… The time I’m not ready to hear that my baby who serves proudly in the United States Air Force might not be coming back when we planned.

Sure there are special events I’ve spent a good amount of money on and her brother and sister will both be on vacation then, but none of that matters really.

I’m in the in between time when I am scared that if something comes up I won’t be ready/able to deal with it.

It has… and I’m not. I just spent the last little while seeing how long I could hold my breath while I tried to stop crying. There is still a reasonable chance she’ll be home then… but I’m not real reasonable right now. Not even close.

It is in this place that I find myself being reasonably medicated in regards to my overall Bipolar but not to my constant mania, not to the surprising and instant fury, not to the despair that doesn’t eat away at my soul… because I’m so manic that there isn’t time… this is where I find myself.

I imagine my other two kids (19 and 16) have a hard time understanding the relationship their older sister and I have. She and I love so many of the same things… we’re happy to sit and read books in the living room or going on a long drive. I try and then try not so hard to find things the younger two and I can do together, be together. I fail so often I can’t remember the last time we found something fun to do together or something we understood why the other liked something and felt joy at the other’s happiness. I don’t know what happened. Have I been lying to myself about what kind of mom I am? Lying about the mom I’ve been in their shadowed lives?

Shadowed lives? I just thought of this now… shadowed lives. I mean that they have grown up poor material possessions and even poorer still when I consider that they have grown up with the massive Bipolar being that is me. The shadow of the lives I wanted for them.

They say it doesn’t matter. We’re together. But it matters to me. It does matter when I hear my youngest child planning on working full-time as soon as school gets out for summer because she doesn’t feel like I can support the three of us. She believes so strongly we will be without food or a place to live. Right now she’s totally correct. I have refused to let either of her siblings work the summers before high school graduation. Why? Because these are the days when adult life kicks into gear and never looking back it never slows down. Rest, live, enjoy before … before becoming what I consider a full-fledged adult. Of course they probably are much more so than most of their friends, but that doesn’t matter. I’ll be damned if they have to work before I want them to. Know why else my baby thinks/wants a job? She wants some money of her own. Anything, something.

Back to the beginning now where I’ve wiped my face with toilet paper and rubbed my eyes too hard and I try to breathe. In two days I’ll see my med provider. Because of backlash I’m off sleeping pills and Neurontin (for Bipolar and FM). I’m running hard with sticky emotions … well … sticking to my life and driving me to my knees… to a single one.

The bloody new series “Resurrection” features a theme song that is wrenching my heart this way and that. I hear the refrain over and over taunting me and my ridiculous hold on my emotions  and my thoughts… “I’m coming home, I’m coming home…”

Toilet paper in hand I sit upon my bed. My heating pad tries in vain to ease the tight knots in my shoulders. My breathing has slowed. My tears stopped for now. I keep hearing that song… “I’m coming home…” endlessly repeating….

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
let the rain, wash away, all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
let the rain, wash away, all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
let the rain, wash away, all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
let the rain, wash away, all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
let the rain, wash away, all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
let the rain, wash away, all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming…

I’m crying again.

Sleep Freak

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It always surprises me. I don’t know why. But it does.

What is it?

The human brain, specifically my brain.

Here I am deprived of adequate sleep night after night. Finally it seems that perhaps I’m not sleeping because I’m in more pain than I realize. I had prescribed medications taken as directed at bedtime. About an hour passed I suppose when I felt my breathing changing, growing slower and slower. Finally sleep seemed to over take my manic brain.

I panicked. One eye opened. Then the other. What the hell!? I want to sleep. I have to sleep. I really really need to sleep. Yet here I was relaxed and falling asleep… and I kept waking myself up apparently on purpose. Oh not consciously on purpose, but as I lay there reopening each eye as they slid closed time after time it became clear that I was beginning to panic.

I don’t allow health care givers to give me morphine. The reason is simple, or so I thought. I have asthma and when I feel like I can’t breath I panic. Morphine slows breathing. It is a normal response to the drug. It causes me to panic.

Enter tonight’s medication regiment designed to relieve my physical pain and put my busy brain and body into a good night’s rest. Unfortunately it is this very response to the medications, the expected response, that freaks me out. I don’t have sleep apnea if you’re wondering. I snore quite a lot sometimes and I’ve had the sleep study just last summer. I’m completely normal. At least, when I sleep. Strangely I feel right asleep when they told me to even though I was hooked up to all sorts of wires and sensors.

Tonight I finally fell asleep. Somehow, for some reason I don’t really understand, I wake myself up…. I think I’m dying.

I don’t know why. Perhaps it relates to the experiences I’ve had with morphine. I can’t control my breathing. It slows way beyond my normal rate. I feel myself sliding out of control. It seems to me to be too deep. Too final. I don’t understand.

After keeping myself awake and feeling rather foolish and yet stubborn and determined to stay awake lest I sleep to death, I decided that instead of assuming that my breathing was slowing to a stop and my pulse was probably doing the same thing that I would get up and look it up on my Chrome. It would only take a few minutes and then I could be reasonable and sleep or stay awake.

Although I can’t very well take either while sleeping, which if you remember I’m not letting myself do anyway, so I tried to breath as shallowly and slowly as I thought I was fighting. I also looked up the popper rate for a sleeping adult. As expected they were normal for someone completely asleep. Very asleep. Oh they are both on the lower side of the counts, but not abnormal I think.

That’s the problem, at least part of it. “I think.” And I’m afraid.

My body and brain are so out of control that losing control of myself while simply sleeping is freaking my subconscious out. Then it wakes me up so I can panic properly.

Writing always helps me relax. Blogging or writing in my diary especially. I hope that by putting pen to paper as it were that I have convinced myself that it’s okay to sleep. That all is normal. All is well. I will not die in my sleep tonight.

Still… I am afraid and I don’t understand.

I see my counselor in the morning and my med provider after that. You can bet that this will be the first thing I’ll mention after the Fibromyalgia. Adding the new diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis to my alphabet soup of BP, ADHD and PTSD and I’m a bit whacked out. I’m going to put this down now and sleep. It is okay to sleep. I will sleep like a normal person. I suspect too that the Tramadol makes me a bit dizzy and makes me feel like I have a slight headache which is ironic since it’s a painkiller. I seem to recall that I’ve responded to it like that in the past but I’m not certain.

Add it all up and I have this terrifying feeling that if I sleep when I feel this precise way… I’ll die.

And that, isn’t something I want to do. Yet, round and round my head is still arguing with itself about the whole thing. Besides writing about it my other solution is to have a glass of milk. And I wonder that since I’m panicking maybe I should take my prescribed Diazepam.  Or, maybe it will also make me freak out that I’ve relaxed too much.

This is ridiculous.

I’m going to close my eyes now and try again. I really gotta sleep. . .