Filed under: *whinge*, Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity, Doctors! | Tags: bipolar disorder, Coping mechanisms, Depression, Oversharing, solving personal problems, taboos
Anxiety has been running rampant lately. I was warned. Dr H (psychiatrist) and Dr R (gynecologist) both warned me about mid-40′s perimenopausal nonsense and THERE IT IS.
Really for the last couple of years, but I thought I had stuff to blame it on, so didn’t take it seriously as a Disorderly Thing. However, since…oh…April or so it has been on the increase and with NOTHING to blame it on! I hate that! I need something to point fingers at and go YOUR FAULT YOU ASSHOLE! (yes, that’s exactly how I’d say it too. I confess to something of a potty mouth.) BUT THERE’S NOTHING WRONG! how’s that for gratitude…whining about nothing being wrong. BAH.
Anyway…I finally did something about it. After waiting for months for it to clear up on it’s own, like some sort of existential rash that hovered just under the surface, making an itch but not making anything…y’know…REALLY VISIBLE…I emailed my doctor, The Good Dr. H.
“Halpme!” I said. “I’m unhappy and anxious like a virgin bride 2 days before her wedding to a well hung hairy Irish guy! And it’s an arranged wedding! What were they thinking?!”
actually no. that isn’t what I said at all. What I did was list my symptoms and possible remedies based on past experience and reading the internets.
What he did was email me back within 10 minutes and ask for my pharmacy phone number.
Then I breathed a sigh of relief because to be frank, I am weary of relying on benzodiazepines and alcohol for relaxation. It was making me feel like a Stepford Wife. Mother’s Little Helpers and a martini after 5. How very…ugh. I was starting to feel like I needed to actually wear makeup and fix #4′s lunches in that fancy bento way good Japanese mothers do.
So anyway, I am getting a lovely prescription (around here it’s actually pronounced per-scrip-shun) for a lovely antidepressant that I’ve been on before and worked beautifully, so just knowing I’ll be feeling better is making me feel better.
Filed under: *whinge*, cat, Disease and infirmity, dogs! | Tags: arthritis, cats, Dachshunds, hurricane, In the Southland, Oversharing
Isaac isn’t anywhere near us. It’s way over there approaching the Mississippi delta (good grief and they aren’t fully recovered from Katrina yet, bless their hearts.)
And yet, my arthritis…it’s like…some kind of psychosomatic thing. I hear “hurricane” and go to aching. If we lived where we used to live in South Alabama, I could see it. When Opal and Alphonse (or whatever it’s name was) rolled over us I was (even at the tender age of early 30′s) pretty much incapacitated for a few days. Motrin, heating pads, frozen lasagna and a telescoping stick with which to smack the kids so I didn’t have to move (also, soft slippers to throw at them. My aim is wicked accurate). The boys were early elementary age back then and required swift justice.
But here? We don’t get them much here. Either they hit land way south or further north. But just mention it and suddenly the hands and feet, wrists and ankles, and that @%&*! left shoulder all commence to sounding like Yosemite Sam on a bender.
Feel sorry for me yet? You should.
I have Things To DO! However, y’know what? I am going to do them anyway. Shit’s gonna hurt, whether I am sitting in my comfortable recliner watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, or ambling through the grocery store, picking up Velveeta and jalapenos for Terry’s football party on Thursday. It will get done.
With complaining. Oh yes, you can betcher sweet bippy I am going to be vociferous in my complaints, and even milk it all a bit for getting work out of people. Why SHOULD I have to do all this stuff (which I am normally quite capable and even cheerfully willing to do) when there are several able-bodied males who eat the food and use the laundry (once in a while, when they run completely out of clothes) who can do it for me?
This morning is Grocery Day, with a merry trip to the store and a trunk full (you know, a Beetle’s trunk is much larger than you’d think. It’s just the opening that is ridiculously small) of provisions. I am HOPING that someone will be awake and functional when I get home, and can carry everything in. I love it when that happens.
(Pardon while I pause briefly to bellow at the 13 year old,who is half an hour late getting downstairs to do his morning chores, which aren’t as onerous as usual because someone forgot to run the dishwasher last night. I swear you’d think he had to shovel the barn and milk the cows, with all this stalling he does. His morning chores are: feed the dogs, take out the trash, empty the dishwasher…which he doesn’t have to do this morning. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.)
So, in the interest of being cheerful and Suzy Sunshine, here are some cute pictures of my animals.
Filed under: *whinge*, bits and pieces, Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity, Dream a little dream, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: bipolar disorder, Coping mechanisms, Oversharing, solving personal problems
- A way to lose 50 pounds without a diet or surgery or disease. I’d make a zillion$ if I could come up with that. Or exercise. Ye gods I am lazy.
- For ALL of my children to have a Plan. A real one, that looks like they have A Plan For The Future. You have no idea how anxious it makes me…
- A lemon scented candle that actually smells like lemons, and not like lemon scented something. I have a Yankee Candle Meyer Lemon one, and if you actually sniff the candle, it smells yummy, but burning, it’s not that great.
- To not wake up with a knot of anxiety in my stomach, or to have that knot at 2pm,or 5pm, or 8pm. I do not like having to rely on a chemical (tranquilizers or booze) to get rid of it, so most of the time I just live with the anxiety and gripe about it.
- For grass in my yard that won’t grow. Centipede grass is lovely when it’s kept cut, but yikes-a-roni…with our every-evening rains, it gets thick and tall and if the grass isn’t cut twice a week, it looks like a flippen’ jungle out there. And it’s never cut twice a week. Ever. Our neighbors give us the stink-eye because this is supposed to be a Nice Neighborhood and our yard looks like it might have a car on blocks in all that tall, tall grass.
- You know, I am not even sure I would know what Normal Work for Terry would look like at this point. I keep saying I wish his work would normalize, but every time it looks like it might, some new crisis rears it’s ugly head and there he goes again. I am just glad he’s employed, and I’ll keep it at that.
- Diet fried chicken. Don’t talk to me about oven fried chicken made with cornflakes or instant mashed potatoes. Those have their place, yes, but you know what I am saying.
This anxiety has been going on for several weeks now. It’s a low level, we’ll call it about a 3 in a scale of 1-10, with blips of 5-6, particularly in the evening. I have an appointment with The Good Dr. H in September, so I’ll discuss with him then. It’s not HORRIBLE, like the break-out-in-a-rash type (yes,I do this when stress is high enough), it’s more like one of those low level headaches where you can’t quite decide if you want to bother walking upstairs to get an aspirin. I can’t tell if it’s environmental (unlikely, since all the normal stress-causers are not around), or chemical-in-the-brain (which would be annoying as hell because frankly I am a little tired of the chemical-in-the-brain issues). At this point, my brain is looking for reasons to be anxious (to justify the anxiety) instead of it being obvious (like a kid in the hospital, or Terry’s job changing, or something) which tells me it’s likely chemical. Ugh. How annoying.
I remember, a long time ago, being anxious about nothing. Day to day, the work would get done, dinner would be on the table at 6, even a kid would break a bone and I’d deal with it calmly and rationally without any hand-flapping or grinding of teeth. It’s how it was done. Now, the cat catches the flu and I am having sleepless nights and snappishness and stomach knots. THIS SUCKS. Then, I could sit down with a huge piece of expensive Irish handkerchief linen and a piece of chalk, and have the confidence to draw out a pattern and sew together a one-of-a-kind dress for a client. Now, I can’t even make a pair of shorts for a 3 year old without being nervous that they won’t turn out right…they always do, but not without a butt-load of second guessing and worrying. What on earth is happening to me? Where has my confidence gone?
I am trying to get it back. Sewing is helping. It is something that I can do very, very well. I hope that accomplishing something, having people say “wow…you made that?” will help.
Filed under: *whinge*, Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Oversharing, responsible adult
This week has involved Back Pain. And not the usual low-back-pain-from-picking-up-heavy-boxes, either. No, this was Upper Back Pain like a hot knife between my shoulder blades. Also? Heartburnish stuff of the gall-bladder (totally self diagnosed, too) which caused a panic as I realized these were all symptoms of female heart attack.
Except I didn’t have shortness of breath, nausea or extreme fatigue…so of course I didn’t call an ambulance or go to a doctor. Because I don’t go to doctors, unless I have to. I laid in the bed (the knife-in-the-back happened in the middle of the night) and evaluated the sensation carefully. Was it spinal, like maybe a slipped disc? Or muscular, like a bad cramp? At 2 am with my back on fire it was hard to tell. I eventually determined that it was muscular.
So, the next day, I took OTC painkillers and got on the internet to play doctor. I know real doctors just LOVE that, but I love it too. There were several possibilities, but the most likely suspect was Poor Posture, Laptop Induced. Well ok. The laptop has to go to a desk and be placed high enough that the screen is eye level, and the back needs to be straight at all times. In other words, no more laptop computing.
That has helped! Also, a hard back rocking chair instead of a squishy recliner. Also, twice a day massage from my handsome and capable masseusse, which I am pretty sure will need to continue for at least a month, maybe more…we don’t want to stop too soon, y’know. Also, OTC painkillers- Aleve is helpful. Motrin works better but is kind of iffy what with the kidney situation. Did I mention twice daily massages? Oh, and doing the floors (which requires a certain degree of stooping) is Not Allowed, so the floors,what with all their low-level dog population, look awful. They really require twice weekly cleaning, which I do once a week on Tuesdays, but this back thing happened Monday so they didn’t get done and now it’s Friday and ugh, they look awful. And no, I don’t like anyone else to do them even though they would if I asked nicely.
Which has nothing to do with not wanting to burden them with my job, and everything to do with they won’t do it right and for me that is more frustrating than not having them done at all. I know that doesn’t make much sense but don’t we all have quirks that don’t make sense to anyone else even though we understand them perfectly?
What I DO have is a good bit of Season 2 of Downton Abbey to watch. And a great excuse to watch them instead of moaning around about the floors and all.
And the gallbladder thing? It has happened before, without the knife-between-the-shoulder-blades drama. Vinegar and molasses, followed by a bowl of something starchy and low fat (noodles) takes care of it. I know eventually it will need seeing to by a paid professional, but currently it’s sporadic enough that it can be managed the old fashioned way.
I used to do what everyone else my age (and older) does, and whine and complain about getting older and things aching and making noises and generally complain about getting older. I could eat better and exercise and do all those things that will keep stuff running better. I know that. Complaining about getting older isn’t really sensible if one isn’t actually doing the things to stay healthy, it’s like complaining that your feet hurt when you deliberately buy shoes that don’t fit, or complaining that your curry is too hot when you deliberately ordered the green curry instead of the panang curry. I just haven’t reached the point yet where I am willing to go the extra mile to be fit. I am not yet willing to give up the stuff that tastes good in exchange for the stuff that is really good for me…not entirely, anyway.
What I am NOT going to do anymore, well maybe not as much anyway, is gripe and complain about how body parts hurt or make noise or don’t perform up to my expectations, because seriously, it’s my own damn fault. I’m the lazy one, and no one is tying me down force feeding me Uncle Shug’s fried chicken.
Filed under: *eep!, Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity, Doctors!, He'p meh He'p meh Oh Lawzy He'p meh, Hooray!, Sometimes she thinks too much, things that make you go hmmmmm | Tags: bipolar disorder, Coping mechanisms, responsible adult, solving personal problems
For the past several weeks, I have been depressed. I don’t show it much when that happens. Not really. My psychiatrist, The Good Dr. H, once said “Peggy, you’re not a public bleeder”, and that is entirely true.
When a person has bipolar disorder, for every down there is an up. Moods are like a sine wave, up and down, as are any person’s moods, but ours tend to be WAY DOWN past feeling a bit blue into dangerous territory, and WAY UP past feeling cheerful, into equally dangerous territory.
This makes me very suspicious whenever the moods change, or certain physical symptoms occur. Did you know that there is just as much physical mess as there is mental mess? Strange but true. It also makes it easy to discern when a mood change is just a normal old “well, I’m feeling cheerful today” or if it’s “Ok, there’s a storm on the horizon and you’d better give Terry all your credit cards cuz you’re fixin’ to get reckless.”
One of the things that makes it easy to tell Cheerful from Fixin’ to Manic is a pressure of ideas. I can’t talk coherently-words come too fast and I get them mixed up and my inherent perfectionism makes me have stop and start the entire sentence all over again…sometimes several times until I get it right. Writing is ok, though, and even preferable.
Another thing is a dismissal of…let’s see how to phrase this…Comfort Zone stuff. Maybe it’s part of the inherent creativity that is typical of a mild mania (also called hypomania). For instance, I make out biweekly menus. For the past several weeks that I have been depressed (actually an understandable depression, due to family stuff), I have had a hard time making creative and interesting menus. We ate a lot of same-old-same-old, because my mind wasn’t clicking very well. Cobwebs in the clockworks, so to speak. However, yesterday the fog started to lift and I felt BETTER…I took it as the depression lifting and that was all…and the menus reflect that. Tandoori chicken wraps, Jamaican grilled chicken with grilled plantains, black bean and quinoa veggie burgers, all stuff I’ve never made before but somehow this time positively GLOWED with possibilities.
All the information out there about bipolars give warning about money- hide the credit cards, cuz we get spendy. There are anecdotes about people withdrawing their entire retirement accounts and buying a racehorse…even though they don’t have a stable or the resources to keep the horse. I don’t do that. “Spendy” for me means a new pair of shoes or maybe some fabric. My ingrained (and frustrating) and inherent Scottish Thrift is strong enough (Thank you, Agnes McCalvinox*) to prevent such silliness.
Instead of spendy, I get BUSY. If I can keep this going without letting it get out of hand (it’s what I call “riding the wave’), I will have the yard fully landscaped by Sunday afternoon, the house will be spotless inside, and all the books will be nicely arranged by topic and in heightabetical order. You see, hypomania combined with mild CDO (that’s OCD but in alphabetical order) is a very happy combination when it comes to housekeeping.
It’s also a very good thing that 2 of the members of the household are elsewhere for a couple of weeks, as fewer people in the house means fewer people to get irritated. The remaining members of the household work a lot, and have the ability to make themselves scarce for several days, should this hypomania start to get out of hand and try to turn into mania. If that happens, I have medications. However, I will not use them until Terry says I need to, because…you know what? This feels GOOD, especially on the heels of a scary depression.
Physically,when I am depressed, it hurts. It’s an achy arthritic sort of feeling, only everywhere, not just in a particular joint. It’s hard to do things because you feel so HEAVY, like you’ve gained 100 pounds overnight and your muscles aren’t accustomed to carrying that sort of weight around. It’s hard to move, and your head hurts. Stuff that aches anyway (like my hands and shoulder) hurt even more, like they’re trying to get around the allover ache and make sure you know they are still there.
Physically, when I am manic, I get twitchy. I have to move or I’ll blow up like a helium balloon and float to the ceiling…ok not literally, but that’s what it feels like inside. I call it “being carbonated”, there’s bubbles all throughout and that extra 100 pounds from the depression is lifted and another 50 pounds to go with (don’t I wish it really happened!). Trying to sit still…ain’t happening. Something is always moving- a foot tapping, fingers typing on a keyboard while foot is tapping, and the entire time thoughts are flying around. While writing this post I’ve gotten a dress planned and figured out what to do with the area of the yard right behind the brick wall that runs along the backside of the patio. I also get itchy. It feels like this soft cotton nightgown is a wool sweater, and truly,being naked would be so much more comfortable, but again, Agnes McCalvinox and Presbyterian Upbringing will allow that no more than she would allow the purchase of a racehorse.
Oh, you know what’s REALLY weird? My hair and fingernails grow twice as fast when I’m hypomanic. Like trim them twice a week fast. I have to keep the nails short because of the itchy skin, too, or I’ll claw myself to shreds.
So, what I have to do today and this weekend, is keep that cool logical bit of my brain taken care of. That is the part that made me keep a 2 year mood journal before I ever saw The Good Dr. H, the journal that detailed mood swings, sleep patterns (which also go whack with bipolar disorder) and strange reactions to events. It is the part that was able to say “Houston, we have a problem” and get me to the doctor before I did Something Drastic. It was also the part that felt tremendous relief when he said “You have a mental illness that will last the rest of your life, but we have medication that will help.” I was so…SO relieved. Being told my issues were an organic disorder and not a character flaw was…oh boy…I can’t even describe how good that felt.
I woke up at 4am this morning, with my mind going about 80tpm (thoughts per minute). I’d been plodding along at a solid 2otph(thought per hour). At first, the energy and time at 4am was cheerfully spent figuring out a dress I’d like to make, then planning changes to the herb garden, then making lists of a bunch of other stuff…and I got up at 5:30. As I trotted down stairs (I never trot at 5:30 am) it occurred that…hum…this feels like the onset of mania. So now my decision has to be…how long to ride it, when to start the medication to slow it down.
Because…dammit, this feels GOOD. I don’t want it to stop!
*Agnes McCalvinox is the name of my alter ego. She is the Calvinist Scot (thus the name) in my brain that prevents all manner of self indulgence and excessive behavior. Sometimes she gets in the way of a good time “No, you are NOT going to buy that piece of fine worsted wool because you could send that money on something more practical.” and “No, you are not going to get some Massaman curry for lunch because you have perfectly acceptable leftovers in the refrigerator at home.” Sometimes she can be a real bitch, and sometimes she really keeps me out of trouble.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity, dogs!, family, He'p meh He'p meh Oh Lawzy He'p meh, home and hearth, I feel so smart! | Tags: solving personal problems
I’m getting a new fridge. I’ve never had a side-by-side before. Never had an icemaker, either. Now I’m getting both! I’m so fancy! They’re supposed to show up late morning. I am happy that Will will be here, because I have have issues with being a woman alone at home and men-types showing up and coming inside. Call me old fashioned but there it is. Will said he’ll stand in the kitchen with my 14 inch butcher knife and growl at them.
Poor Puppy Rusty/ That Little Shit has a solution. He has had to wear a Cone of Shame because he’d gnaw on the cast on his leg. However, TCoS is awkward and makes it difficult for him to get a drink unless the water bucket is completely full. Also, he likes to sleep on the bed, and has inexplicably decided the best way to sleep is to snuggle up next to Terry. Which is difficult whilst wearing TCoS. So, last night while I was laying on my back, wide awake (about 3am) I decided what he needed was a sock to cover his splint, something tough. Denim. I have many scraps of denim. So, this morning (feeling smug at my ability to come up with a solution) I made a well fitting denim sleeve-sock that covers the splint and he cannot pull it off or chew through it. go me! And he is MUCH happier at being out of the Cone of Shame.
I was wide awake at 3am because 2 minutes earlier, I tried to turn over and heard a *CRUNCH* in my upper back, right between the shoulders. I saw white, felt nauseous, and decided the best thing to do was lay there and not move at all. Then I thought about solutions to various small problems and came up with the denim sock concept.
David, bless his heart, didn’t have a class until 9, and took #4 to school for me, while I sat in the recliner, sipping coffee and waiting for the motrin to start working. With a heating pad on my back that feels like Jesus might be giving me a back rub. Will has agreed to pick #4 up at 3. Good men, they are.
There’s a hutch in the kitchen It had to be moved over a couple of inches to make room for the new fridge, which is 2-1/2 inches wider than the old one. It holds lots of stuff. Yesterday Terry instructed me to empty it then have the boys pick it up and move it over, as the legs wouldn’t hold up to sliding over. So I emptied it, then decided I didn’t want to wait for the boys to be available to move it, and moved it myself. Which broke on of the back legs. Way to go, Rootie, see what happens when you disobey someone who nearly always knows what he’s talking about? So, today I am going to empty it again (with the boys help) and have them carry the hutch outside, and see about repairing the broken foot. I do not want my disobedience to mean lost fun time for Terry. Sorry, hon…you were right.
Filed under: *whinge*, Disease and infirmity, product endorsement | Tags: Oversharing
I have a cold. gross. It results in nasty tissues littering the floor around the trash can, but only briefly because Rusty the 7 month old Dachshund ADORES soggy tissues and collects them in his bed, along with empty toilet paper tubes, dirty socks, and the wax paper strips that you peel off panty liners before sticking them in your undies. (Necessary when you’ve had 4 kids and a cold that makes you sneeze)
And more symptoms (I love to overshare!)
A runny nose means clogged up ears. Mouth breathing due to congestion results in burping, which results in popping ears due to cloggedness, which actually feels kinda good in a sick sort of way, like that feeling you get when you stretch and your joints pop in an alarming manner. So I sit here in the recliner, with a bag of pretzels and a cup of hot coffee, cracking and popping, burping and rolling my jaw around to try and clear my ears. Everyone else is mumbling and i can’t hear anything. “How come the volume is turned up so high, Mom?” Every now and then I’ll hold my nose and mouth shut and blow, popping the ears a little bit painfully but it created a few minutes of better hearing. Mucinex helps loosen everything up, but those things are horse pills and it’s difficult to swallow them with a tender throat.
I am, kinda thankfully, not alone in this disease. Will (he’s nearly 24) and #4 (12) also have it. I doped #4 up on Dayquil and sent him to school. Oh I know, there will be people going “TSK” and accusing me of abuse and how awful it is that I am willing to risk the health of the other 20 kids in his class etc etc…but I am SICK and in no mood to deal with yet another person snuffling and blowing and touching my stuff. Will stayed in bed until 11 and now I hear him banging around upstairs, groaning and snorting and making disgusting noises that probably involve mucus and the sink drain.
Disease makes me hungry. I could go for salty foods like french fries and pretzels right now. They feel so good going down a scratchy throat. The day before yesterday, when that ominous tickle began in the back of my throat, I put together and excessively garlicky crock pot of chicken soup. Garlic and pepper, that’s what’s in order. And salt. Technically I am not to have salt, due to high blood pressure and kidney issues, but…I need it. And so it is. 2 gallons of garlic chicken soup. how much garlic? Almost more than chicken. An entire head of garlic was roasted, mashed and added, as well as a very heaping spoonful (soup spoon, not dainty wimpy teaspoon) of minced garlic from the jar. Yes, my pores reek of garlic but I’m not exactly in a Love Fifi kind of mood anyway.(refer to the tissues littering the floor and panty liners)
20 years ago, when the boys were really little, getting sick was Not An Option. They went to day care one day a week (Friday) so I could buy groceries, have lunch with Terry, and spend time doing something without interruption. Occasionally they would bring home some contagious disease and I would
fill the bathtub with Lysol and hold them by their heels to dunk them in it give them a good bath with Dial soap, a dose of vitamin C and wash all the toys down with bleach water. It worked pretty well and Terry and I didn’t get sick. I guess I’ve gotten slack with all that. David (22) was sick a couple of weeks ago, and beyond asking him to wash his hands and relieving him of kitchen responsibilities, I didn’t do much. Maybe I should have. Oh well.
There are things I have learned over the years of dealing with minor diseases. I will list them here for your edification. You’re welcome.
1. Puffs Plus tissues (the ones with the lotion in them) will go through the laundry intact. This means 2 things: you can recycle them (they’re even softer the 2nd time around) and you’d be wise not to flush them if you have a septic tank. They also come through a dachshund puppy’s digestive system relatively intact, which is kind of weird.
2. Chicken soup really IS good for a cold. Extra salt, extra pepper, extra extra garlic. Parsley is high in vitamin C so add that. Make it in a crock pot so you don’t have to watch it. Use brown rice instead of white so it doesn’t turn weird and gloppy. Use boneless skinless breasts so you don’t have to fool with anything. Just throw them in there.
3. Lemon ginger tea. I cannot stress this enough. It’s amazing on a sore throat, clears the sinuses, and you can taste it even though you are completely clogged up.
4. It’s kind of pointless to do around disinfecting everything once you’re sick,especially if others in the household are sick as well. HOWEVER, after everyone is feeling better, Bleach Stuff! Wash pillows, sheets, blankets in hot hot water and bleach them (especially the pillows and sheets) if you can. If, like me, you’re on a septic tank and bleach is bad for it, get a box of Rid-Ex and flush it the next day. It is amazing how much better you’ll feel knowing your bedding is clean. I have a vivid imagination and when we’ve been sick,I can see the germs crawling around on my pillow. It looks like ComicCon and makes me nervous. Use Lysol spray on surfaces you can’t wash, like doorknobs, counters, sinks and toilets, and don’t forget the door frames that people grab when they swing around a corner.
5. Also- Zicam. It works. It alters your tastebuds so everything tastes like metal, but it also (for me) takes a cold that would last 7-10 days and have me wretchedly miserable for 5 of those days and shortens it to 5 days and only mildly uncomfortable. Follow the directions, take one every 3 hours and don’t drink anything for 15 minutes after taking it. (this is an uncompensated endorsement)
I am very thankful that I got the house all tidied up after Christmas, because now the stuff that needs disinfecting is fairly minimal, since all the
crap decorations and piles have been put away.
For now however, I am sitting in the chair with a hot cup of coffee, listening to my ears pop with congestion, mouth breathing, and throwing tissues in the general direction of the trash can. Rusty will keep things tidy for me. If only he had thumbs and could fix me some soup…
and not cereal, either.
It’s Joints these days. Not the kind people (who aren’t like me) smoke, but the ones that song “the leg bone connecta to the knee bone” refers to.
Mornings are noisy around here. Getting out of bed sounds like the Grambling State University Drum Line
Well, ok maybe I exaggerate. Maybe it sounds more like one of the snare drummers with an occasional side order of a bass drum when a hip pops.
But the point is, my joints are NOISY. They don’t particularly hurt, they just make a lot of racket. Is this part of getting older? Will they eventually hurt?
They get stuck, and I have to stretch or twist to unstick them and first thing in the morning when I’ve been laying there all night, it’s all of them, twisting adn turning and going POW and CRUNCH and SNAP.
The other day, #4 was sitting next to me on the couch, and leaned his head over on my shoulder (the one with the torn rotator cuff that refuses to heal because I refuse to have surgery on it) and said “mom, your shoulder sounds like a bowl of rice krispies.”
Yes. The Rolling Stones are in my shoulder.
But it’s ok. I can see, I can walk (which is a vast improvement over 4 years ago) and it doesn’t really hurt. It’s just noisy and alarming to people who aren’t living with my joints, because it SOUNDS painful.
Filed under: Anger management, Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity, Doctors!, He'p meh He'p meh Oh Lawzy He'p meh, Sometimes she thinks too much, TMI, Uncategorized
I’ve written before about being bipolar, and the FUN and EXCITEMENT! that comes with it. You read about Charlie Sheen and his tiger blood, and how it’s classic mania. Catherine Zeta-Jones quietly announces she’s going into a hospital for a bit, because she’s bipolar. Anthony Michael Hall, Macy Gray, and so on. Intelligent and creative people…The Arts attract bipolar people, because we’re creative and dramatic. Mania does that, there’s so much energy in it, and intelligence, and the arts, whether it’s music or acting or anything creative, are a perfect fit for someone who’s full of energy and creative expression.
But for every up there is a down. so called “neurotypical” people, those blessed folks who’s emotional sine wave has a fairly low amplitude, sometimes have trouble understanding why we “non-neurotypicals” can’t just control ourselves. Why can’t we just see how unreasonable we’re being? What the hell is Tiger’s Blood anyway? I had a conversation sort of like this with my son a couple of days ago. He said he didn’t believe in mental illness, that we should recognize when we’re being unreasonable and make ourselves stop.
I tried that once, I saw that I was being irrational, and tried to make myself stop feeling the stuff I was feeling, and wound up with a migraine headache, vomiting and hallucinations for my efforts. Visits to the doctor, powerful medications, therapy…all because I couldn’t just make myself stop. I remember the relief I felt when The Good Dr. H announced that I was textbook perfect Bipolar 2, and would be on medication for the rest of my life. IT WAS REAL! I wasn’t just a crazy cat woman in the making!
All that Charlie Sheen business..the only difference between him and me with a lot of that was the size of his ego and access to national media. He is famous, I am not. (thankfully). I have no doubt in a while, maybe a year or two, maybe less, he’s going to wake up one morning and wonder “what the HELL was I thinking?!” and feel deep embarassment for his behavior. Oh, he may hide it behind some bluff or bluster, but it will be there. Then depression will take over. That’s how it goes.
When you’re bipolar, not only do you have the mood swings, you have the *consequences* of the mood swings. You get to, in your depression, evaluate over and over again the things you did when you were manic. You get to have people in your life say to you “what were you THINKING?!” All of that builds on itself, along with the depression, until it becomes this thick, brittle cage around your psyche that takes months (or even years) to chip through, and during that time, there’s more mood swings, more mania, more behaviors, that are like mortar slapped on top of the old stuff, making the walls of your cage thicker.
I have tried, through this 20 years of diagnosis and treatment, to always accept the consequences of my actions. I try to never lay blame on a disorder, to never say “I couldn’t help it, I’m bipolar.” The truth is, no matter *why* I do or say something, the consequences are real. And the disorder is part of me. It’s not this seperate entity, some sort of demonic possession “the Devil made me do it” excuse. It is as much a part of me as my love of cooking or delight in my marriage.
Sometimes I wish it were something Else, that I could point to and say “that wasn’t ME!”, but that would become so convenient, wouldn’t it. I could run someone down in the parking lot at Walmart, and when I was arrested, I could say “I didn’t do it, it was me disorder that made me!” But that person would be just as dead. Their family would be just as upset. They wouldn’t say “Oh she couldn’t help it, bless her heart, she’s mentally ill.” and then not press charges.
I’m mood swingy right now. Can you tell? One of the symptoms is that I start thinking too much. In an effort to keep from laying blame on some third person disorder (The Devil made me do it!) I start internalizing everything, and accepting blame for all of it, from the weeds in my garden (because I water too much) to the stress on the rest of my family (they wouldn’t be stressed if I were a Better Person), to…I don’t know…allof it. I am pretty sure if I tried hard enough I could find blame for the Saudi women not being able to drive, or the war between Croatians and Serbians. It’s easier to accept blame than it is to fight with excuses. Which totally winds up sounding like a big fat pity party.
Content warning: do not read this if you are a man of delicate sensibilities. You have been warned.
I’ve written before about the gynecological issues I’ve had in the past. Things like 10 days of copious bleeding, unremitting cramps, and snarling PMS. Well, 2 out of the 3 have been remedied. Thank You God, for giving people brains and solutions to problems.
I wrote recently (I’ll find it…give me a minute…no..too lazy and I can’t remember when I wrote it anyway) about The Procedure where the Good Doctor R, my female (YAY!) gynecologist did a thing called cryoablation on my lady parts and fixed um up good. No more cramps (well not much, just dainty little 17 yr old virgin cramps) and a mere 3 days of 17 yr old virgin bleeding.
I am reminded of the t-shirt I saw, and wanted, that said “never trust anything that bleeds for a week and doesn’t die”
anyway…yeah…all fixed up except for the snarling PMS. The cryoablation doesn’t do squat for hormone issues, and that’s what that is. I mean, I’ve always had the PMS. Before I was diagnosed with the bipolar disorder and got on lovely, lovely medication, the PMS took the form of a couple of days of genuine crazies. Now it’s just a nearly uncontrollable urge to runover people in the Walmart parking lot, and who hasn’t felt that occasionally? With cheetoes.
Or, if I don’t feel rage and aggression, I get paranoid and worrisome. I worry that my kids have all reverted back to the habits of their late adolescence and are dooming themselves to lives misspent. I will demand proof that they are behaving properly…as I define it. And, bless their hearts, they give it to me.
The good news is, here 3 months later, the cryoablation has worked. No more having to stick close to home 5 days a month for fear of embarassing myself. No more laying on the couch with a heating pad, cuddling a large bottle of Percocet. And I’m drinking a lot less too.
I still fret over the kids, snarl at bad drivers, and get wickedly sarcastic with anyone stupid enough to speak to me, for a couple of days a month, but I keep track on the calendar so I know when to warn off people I don’t want to hurt…as best I can. 46 year old bodies can be a bit irregular, but at least I can know *why* I woke up wanting cheetoes for breakfast.