Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘anger’

No More Mothering

Y’know, I was prepared to mother my kids right up til the end of their senior year, and to help them get started on their own life adventure.  But I guess that is not how it was meant to be.  My kids have already made it clear they don’t want mothering, or at least they don’t want me for their mother, anymore.

My daughter has depression, mood disorder NOS, anxiety, and ADD.  It was only at the beginning of this year that I realized she actually had ADD, and I got her on meds.  Then, it became clear she is depressed and I have always known she has anxiety.  So, I, being the dutiful and caring mom I like to think I am, took her to a psychiatrist and now she is on meds.  So, you would think she would maybe appreciate all that I do for her, all that I help her with and all of the things I allow her to do to give her as much freedom as possible.

But if you thought that, then you would be wrong.  Because apparently, she IS thankful for the meds, but she is NOT  thankful for me reminding her to take them 3x/day.  I tried to see if she could remember to take them on her own, but she can’t.  So, I started getting up in the morning when she is getting ready for school, so that I can remind her to take her AM meds before she leaves.  Well, on the 3rd day of that, when I came out to the living room, she was eating cereal and told me she was not going to take her meds for a while yet.  And I said nothing, but did go get her pill and a cup of water and sat it next to her so she wouldn’t forget.  As soon as I put it down, she slammed down her cereal, picked up her pill and took some water.  But she did it so abruptly, so violently, that she made herself gag before she swallowed the pill.  She managed to keep in, and finally got it down.  Then she says, “There!  Are you happy now?!” and instead of eating, getting ready, etc, she immediately throws herself out of the house to go to her SO a block over.  They go to school together.

If you think that is all she does, then you’d be wrong there too.  She came home from school, and I said, “Hi! How are you?  How was your day today?”  Now, if you’re like me, that is often how you greet someone when you haven’t seen them for most of the day.  And generally, you expect a response indicating how things went for them and how they are feeling now.  Silly me, who has only been asking that question to her for 13+ years, I asked her that and she glared at me, and absolutely refused to respond.  I said, “Hey, now!  This is not a highly personal, challenging or difficult question, and I deserve to be treated with respect when I speak to you, and I deserve it because I’m your mom and I love you, and you should know enough to treat me with respect.  And hey, what is the big deal anyway–I just want to know how you are today.  Why is this a problem?”  Well first she stalked into our shared room, and laid on her bed in the dark.  Then after a bit, I went in and asked her why it was such a big thing to answer me about how she is today.  I just wanted to know what the big deal was about telling me if it was a bad day, or a good day, cause I sure can’t see any reason that answering that is gonna hurt her, so why not just say something instead of making it such a big deal?”  She spat her words out at me when she replied, “Because you never understand, you never get it, you just get angry so I might as well not talk to you.”  translation3

Ok, so, let me get this straight.  I am the parent she has had her whole life that saw problems and fixed them.  I knew as a child she had issues with sitting still, staying focused, reading and comprehension, handwriting.  I am the parent who sat with her for hours and worked on all these issues day in and day out.  I’m the one who saw she might have ADD and who got her tested, and got her meds.  I’m the parent who saw she had depression and anxiety, and took her to the psychiatrist (keep in mind that she WANTED me to do these things.  When I realized she might need this kind of help, I spoke with her about it, and she was so thankful and so desperate to get these helps).  So, she has been so happy that I have been able to see her needs and get her the help for them that she needs, and she has been improving overall.  So, ok, I’m the parent who has always worked with her and fixed her problems.  But now, I’M the person who ‘ doesn’t understand, doesn’t get it, and only gets angry at her for sharing?’  What?!  Where does this come from–it’s not even based in anything remotely resembling reality.  For fuck’s sake, why can’t I get my kid to tell me how her day was?  Am I really that out of line to ask that?

And that’s not even the end of it.  I am very lenient about letting her go places as long as I know where, and that she has her bus pass and her keys, just in case.  So, if she comes to me at 5pm and says she wants to go sleep over at so and so’s, I’m pretty cool with it.  Usually I even drive her there.  If she says she just wants so and so to come over and spend the night, I usually just say sure.  So, yesterday, her friend called and asked if my daughter could spend the nite there.  I said sure, even tho it was a 30min drive to her friend’s.  So, that was Saturday afternoon.  I expected to hear from her, whether she was staying an extra nite or not, one way or the other.  But Sunday passed until it was 9pm, and I finally called over there.  Her friend said, oh, ya, she and my daughter had just decided to make it one more night and her parents would bring my daughter home tomorrow.  Well, although I didn’t say it, or show it, I sure felt how my daughter just doesn’t care about me at all.  She didn’t even think she needed to call and ask if it was ok if she stayed there one more night.  She didn’t even effing bother to ASK ME!

I don’t know why she hates me so much when I’ve always been the one on her side, who has her back, who gets her whatever she needs.  I don’t know why she thinks I deserve this.  I don’t know what I could have done to deserve this.  But this makes me FURIOUS, to be treated this way by her.  I have tried to talk to her, but she just pretends I’m not there, that she can’t hear me.  I only see two choices.  Force my mothering on her, no matter how much she hates it and me.  Or, give her what she says she wants–me to go away.  Where I don’t care about her meds, I don’t care about her psychiatrist appointments, where I don’t fill her prescriptions, where I don’t care about anything about her anymore, and she can just do it all on her own.  And I’ll just treat her like some random person living in my house, like a border, that I don’t care what happens to them or what they do, because they mean nothing to me.  She can have it how she wants it, all on her own.

I keep alternating between forcing mothering and abdicating the role entirely.  And it’s not just my daughter, its my 17 y/o son too.  He has chosen a radically different, radically cult-like religion.  I don’t care if he chooses to be religious (I’m not) but the one he has chosen is so cultish, he is like an entirely different person than he was a year ago.  Now, he has given up belief in science for belief in this church’s dogma.  Now he eschews evolution, big bang, and the age of the earth and of humans.  There is no debating with him, no discussion of perspectives.  Now, with him, anything his church has taught on is the one and only truth.  He will not debate or argue positions with you.  Oh no, instead he beats at you and clubs you over and over with his perspective, never giving a basis or evidence.  He ignores your own evidence from having lived for 40+ years, or from science (because we all know that science is all made up anyway, and only the bible is true, word for word!)  Eventually you tell him you agree, because it is the only way to finally end the discussion, even if you don’t mean it, you say it, just to make him stop.  He refused to buy me some ice cream today (he’s using my car cause his is in the shop), because 1) its Sunday (and we all know you can’t do work on Sunday, and buying ice cream is just too effing much work).  So, he uses my car and lives in my house and eats my food and gets his room and laundry cleaned by me.  He even gets to use my car (when the one I bought him is broke down) but yet he can’t buy me some ice cream (I was paying even!)

So, between the two of them I just don’t know what to do.  Do I keep on mothering as though they are not hurtful, shameful, snotty jerks who don’t want me in their lives anymore, or, do I throw up my hands and just say, ‘fine, you win.  you don’t want to be mothered?  No, problem.  I’m done mothering the both of you. Start doing it all on your own if that’s what you want.

All of this is very hurtful to me.  I know teens are difficult.  But I’m not talking about the regular issues, like, arguing about curfew, or arguing about where they can go, or  when they get to use the car, or arguing about doing homework, or grades.  No, we are not arguing about the typical teenage angst and teenage stuff.  We are arguing about basic respect for another human (much less mother!), we are arguing that my son’s belief is the only valid one, that I am nothing.  We are arguing about basic decency to others, especially those who  have helped you.  My son has only 1.5 yrs left under my roof.  My daughter has 2.5.  I can’t keep going like this.  Something needs to change.

i give you my heart imagesacrifice for something better

What I Almost Let Happen

This post may be *Triggering*

This post may be *Triggering*


So you all know how I’ve had a bunch of stressful, upsetting events over the last 10 days or so.  Each one felt like it was the end of the world, because I never had time to recuperate between things happening.  So, even though some things were not so big, my reaction to them was, cause I hadn’t yet recovered from the previous item.

So, I went in for a med check, and also to decide if I will be changing off of lithium and onto something else, since I have some issues with the lithium causing my body to have problems.   You all probably remember how upset I was about that, and that I finally decided that no matter the physical troubles, I want to keep my mind intact more.  So, no changing off lithium.  Better to live short, but have my mind, than the other way round.  What’s the point of living, if you are not in your right mind?  That sounds more like torture to me.

So, she asked how I’ve been doing recently, so I tell her, well, really, not that great.  Have you been depressed?  Oh, yes, yes i have, I say.  Well, how depressed–have you been suicidal?  Oh, yes, I say.  I have been, but now that nothing has happened today, I feel ok today.  But yesterday, I really did feel suicidal.  Do you have a plan?  yes, I do.  What is it?  Well, if I told you, you would take steps to prevent me from using my plan, so I’m not saying what my plan is.  At this point, I realize I’ve been a bit snappish and snarky.  I do that with people in authority, cause I’m afraid they will not provide me with what I need.  Anyway, I actually realized I was doing  it, so I stopped for a minute and apologized for being snappy and snarky, and I explained how people in authority are a trigger for me, and I was afraid and that’s why I did it, and now, I’m apologizing.  She says, Ok, but you already did it.  You can’t take it back.  So I accept it, but nothing is different, cause you already did it.  So, I got kind of offended.  Usually, when I realized I have been in the wrong, and I apologize, the person accepts it, and they move on, leaving that in the past.  But that is not what she did.  So, I became miffed with her for being so rude, and I grabbed my purse and started to leave, saying, well, if that’s how it is, then we have nothing more to say to each other, and I will just be going.  That’s when it happened.  She said, Oh, you aren’t going anywhere.  What said I.  The only place you’re going right now is into the hospital.  What!!!??? I say.  Why?  Oh, because you said you were suicidal.  I said I was suicidal yesterday, because something happened.  But I also said I am ok today, because it has gone well.  sacrifice for something better

So, she said I could talk to a case manager, to see if they agreed with her or me, or, if I didn’t talk to a case manager, I would be sent to the hospital right away.  So my case manager was out sick that day.  So I had to talk to the ‘blue dot’, or head of all the case managers.  Fortunately, she was very good and patient, and she allowed me all the time I needed to explain my reasons for being triggered, and to explain why I am so adamant about not being hospitalized or having police sent to my home ( in other posts I discuss how I was forced by police, who broke into my home, to go to the psych er for eval, and then the police said I abandoned my kids, and they were put into foster care in various situations for a year. I simply will not allow this to happen again. )  So, after an hour or so, I had given her my background to explain how I reacted, why I was snarky, why I said yes, I was suicidal yesterday, but today I’m ok.  So, once she had the full story of how I did what I did today, she agreed with me that I wasn’t suicidal at the moment, and did not need to be sent to the hospital.  But first, she had to clear it with her boss, the ‘red dot’.  Red dot was not willing to agree with blue dot about having me admitted immediately, but after blue dot spoke with her for a bit, red dot said that she must have me speak with Crisis Line and agree to have them monitor me over the weekend by phone.  So, obviously, Crisis phone calls were my only possible choice, since going to the hospital was out of the question.  So, blue dot and I spoke to Crisis on the phone, and I had to agree to receive phone calls each evening (Fri, Sat, and Sun) anytime from 7-9pm.  If I did not answer during that time when they called, police would be dispatched to take me to hospital immediately.  So, I was sitting home, by the phone,  every night this weekend.  And I assured them each night that I was not going to kill myself or hurt anyone.  My clinic will start doing the phone checks on me starting tomorrow.

So, the moral of this story is, never admit how you are really feeling, or you will lose complete control over everything in your life, possibly even lose your kids as well.  I know I came out of this lucky, cause I know how close I came to maybe losing my kids once again.  But it really sucks you can’t be honest about how you feel, because you’re afraid of losing your family.  How can you really get better if you’re not honest?anger_plus_sadness_flower_by_hikari_dragonslayer-d38bu5jsad pony

Im So Stupid

ok, thanks to everyone who commented and gave support about the whole insurance fiasco post.

but now i am really feeling stupid, as i found out, after long time on hold, that they didnt actually mean ‘physical’ health when they said ‘physical health’.  no, really.  it was my bad.  i shoulda been able to tell the difference between those two.  ‘physical’, not ‘physical’.  right.  so what ‘physical’ really means is any physical issue that is caused by a mental health issue.  thus, those specific physical issues will be treated as mental health issues, and therefore covered by the behavioral health agency for medicaid beneficiaries.  all other ‘normal physical health issues’ will be covered by the regular medicaid plan you already have, and that plan is not being affected or changed.   since that plan is not being changed, then my medicare plan does not need to change either. so, all you really had to know was what ‘physical’ really meant (ala shades of clinton–re: what does ‘is’ mean?)  so, if you know they are only referring to physical issues caused by mental health issues, then you would not have freaked your shit out and plummeted to the bottom of a canyon without your chute.  cuz you would have known your other physical health plans for medicaid and medicare were being untouched.

so, like i said, feeling pretty stupid and sheepish now.  all that hulabaloo, and fuss i made, and it wasnt even anything. you would think id feel relieved and happy and normal now, but im not.  im still really fragile, really labile, just feels like im holding onto the top of a skyscraper with my big toes, and any slight breeze, involuntary muscle movement, and i will be pitched forward into the yawning chasm.  i cant get down to safety, lest i fall.  so i cling tighter with my toes, hoping i wont move, hoping i wont let go.  for today, i have been pulled off the safely of the ledge i thought id found just the other day.  i thought i had reached a small but stable place to start to feel better, but it was not meant to last, so here i am clinging desperately again.  i think i am just too broken to be fixed.  and i hate the world i am in.

I knew I Shoulda Kept My Mouth Shut

sad ponyi should never have said i was feeling the teensiest tinsiest bit better, a tad bit happy even.  because after i spent a great session i went home and found out that the agency that will be providing behavioural health services to the state Medicaid beneficiaries has been changed effective April 1.  OK, no so bad by itself.  but the then the letter says since MI is going to now be providing all Medicaid people with mental healthcare, they decided it would also be more efficient (and allow them to more closely monitor their conditions) that they will force any people who are ‘SMI”, or Seriously Mentally Ill (basically if you are unable to really work a real job full time due to mental illness—and that is me—)  all Medicaid mental health beneficiaries who are SMI will be forced to change their Medicaid insurance plan to the MI plan as well (the one that will be providing general mental health and SMI—if you are SMI, you will also be forced to use MI plan for all you PHYSICAL healthcare as well.  If i am forced to change to their Medicaid physical health plan, then i will automatically be dumped from my Medicare plan since, it is a dual plan, meaning my current plan gives me all my Medicare and Mediciad physical health coverage.  If i am forced to drop my physical Medicaid plan because I am SMI, then I will also be forced to drop my Medicare plan, and the only plan I will be able to get for my Medicare services would just happen to be, yes, you guessed it, the new MI plan.  So, because my mental health care is categorized as SMI, and MI is now going to provide all SMI and regular mental health Medicaid services, I will be forced to change my Medicaid physical health plan as well.  And, if I am forced to do that, then I will also be forced to drop my Medicare plan and again go to the MI plan.

I have seldom felt more raped, abused, beaten and whipped than I do right now.  I no longer have choice of Medicaid physical health plans, I no longer have choice of Medicare physical plans, and it is all because I am listed as SMI instead of ‘regular mental health’.  So, this insurance plan gets to force anyone listed as SMI to take all of their insurances, but those listed as general mental health get to choose their Medicaid plans and if they are on Medicare, they also get to choose that plan.  But not us SMI–apparently since we are such a ‘sick’ population, we dont’ get the right of choice in healthcare, on insurance, rx, or on doctors.  I will have to stop seeing all my doctors.  All.  And get all new ones covered by MI instead.  Why should I be persecuted just because I have a more Serious Mental Illness than some?  Why should my choice of insurance and doctors be taken from me?  What will I do without my therapist?  I have been working with her almost 3 yrs and I am just going to be forced to change within the next 6 mo.  And i will lose my psychiatrist, my case manager, my nurse, not too mention all of my non mental health related providers.

Well, I shouldnt have talked about starting to feel better.  I should have known something like this would come along.  It always does.  And now it has.  And now i wish i never started to heal, to feel better, i wont win anyway.  i wont accept what they say. and since i cant keep seeing my therapist, or any other providers, there is nothing for me to gain–only lose, i wont let them win by forcing me to take something i dont want instead, i wont roll over and play dead, i wont let them control me.  so maybe i die,but they lose to. anger_plus_sadness_flower_by_hikari_dragonslayer-d38bu5jthey wont make me say ‘thank you may i have some more’ either.  they’ll see what happens when they try to take away control from the people they are supposedly trying to help.  even one person refusing to be abused by them and dying will be enough to make the state take a look at what they are allowing MI to do underneath their very noses to the ‘vulnerable’ population they claim to be serving.

I Thought I Made a Friend

but I was wrong.  My daughter’s best friend and SO, K, has a really great mom.  Turns out she and I have lots in common, including mental health diagnoses.  Our kids are also a lot a like.  This felt so right when I got to know J.  But now I found out from my daughter, that J only tolerates me, that she finds me too ‘chatty’.  That when one of her cats died recently, she thought of calling me for support but decided against it because I talk too much and she didn’t want that.  sad pony

Well, if you can’t make a friend who shares 3 mental health diagnoses, who shares being a single mom to a kid who is also dealing with mood disorders, whose kids go to the same school, who basically is so similar to yourself, then who can you make friends with?  I’ve always been called a chatter box by my parents when I was young, by teachers in high school and middle school and grade school.  But I have to feel really comfortable and really trust the person I’m talking to to be able to ‘chatter’ like that.  In college, I went weeks without saying a word.  For 6 years I have not had any friend at all, and could only talk to my kids.

Any way, if you can’t make friends with someone so similar to you, who CAN you make friends with?  I guess I should just learn to be silent even with people I am comfortable with, and then maybe I could make a friend.  But what’s a friend for, if you can’t talk?  So, I guess, I continue on alone.

Sitting With It

Well, so I have decided to fall back to my old standard for when I can’t make a decision on some topic.  I find that ‘sitting with it’ often allows the decision/answer to float itself to the top of my brain, presenting the answer to me.  The only thing with that though is that I never know just how long I will have to sit until it all gels and the purified answer rises to the surface.  I am kind of antsy, and kind of in a hurry to resolve this situation about whether or not to stick with the wonderfully working, slowly killing me, lithium.  The anxiety is really bad, with this decision hanging over my head.  I wish my brain would hurry up and tell me what to do, cuz the waiting is killing me.

Eeny meeny miny mo....

Eeny meeny miny mo….


Well, I can’t seem to keep focused on the issues in front of me to deal with—my daughter’s mental health issues, my son’s God-complex issues, andthe blue pill or the red pill my own mental-health v. physical health issues.  Everytime I try to think on what the best plan of action is for any of these issues, my brain just stops, just hits a brickwall and I can’t get anywhere with deciding.  So, I have come to a stop-gap sort of response instead.  These are not the ‘best’ possible choices, these are just the only things I can manage to come up with at the moment, and it will at least help me delay needing a solid answer to these things for a while.

sacrifice for something betterSo, I will do all that is required for my daughter, and put her first.  I will no longer fight or even become disgruntled with my son.  Instead, I am going to treat him like a casual acquaintance whom I don’t mind having around, but I don’t really want to get to know any better.  And well, as for me—that was the hardest one to grapple with.  I think I have grudgingly come to the place where I am not going to deal with any potential change of meds to improve my physical health issues.  I simply cannot conceive of not have my mental health relatively stable by giving up lithium.  There may indeed come a time when my physical health becomes so poor, that I may again have to revisit this issue.  Maybe when I am looking at dying, I might feel different about the potential decrease in my mental health and stability.  Maybe then, I may decide losing a bit of sanity is worth increasing my life by a bit.  Or maybe not.  I won’t know til I get there, and I guess I’ve only taken the second leg of the race so far.  I guess we’ll see how the rest of the race pans out.  But at this point, I’m sticking with mental health all the way.



My Son Has a God Complex

Oh, god, what do I do now?!  My son thinks he knows everything about everybody else, thinks he is smarter than doctors, and thinks mental illness is a weakness in one’s constitution that they could stop having by only believing they don’t have it.  He thinks he is omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent.

Tonight he condescended to tell my daughter and myself that 1)not only does he know more about mental illness than she or I do, 2) but that he also knows how to help her (and me, as an afterthought) become un-depressed by just using magical thinking (I think I’m happy, I think I’m happy) and of course, 3) that he knows mental illness is just a creation of man (for what purpose, I’m stymied–but then humans are stupid little beings who need a god’s guidance).god doesnt exist

He deigned to hold court with us, telling my suicidal, cutting, daughter that she was making up her depression.  That all she needs to do is think positive, live well, and be outgoing and social instead of introverted and a loner.  PS–if you don’t already know this from other posts, my daughter, H, has and always will be, the most outgoing, friendly person you will ever meet.  She has always spent more time out than in–has always ran headlong into anything interesting or different or new.  She has always had dozens of friends, and has always spent lots of time with them.  She has never been a homebody or one to sit still.  So, for my ‘god’/son to tell her its in her head and all she has to do is be outgoing, well, duh.  She already is and it doesn’t change the fact she is depressed!  god_is_disappointed_in_you_cover_lg

He went on to say that psychiatrists and psychologists, and therapists are all quacks, and he will personally never see one, but then, he won’t have to, since he said he’ll never be depressed because he won’t let it happen.  He also said that psych meds are ridiculous, because all they do is addict people so they can’t function without them.  So, when I tried to counter by saying a few years ago, I was very ill with my bipolar illness, but then I got on my current meds, and I am so much better, a different person even.  He said, ya, that’s how they hook you.  But then you have to keep taking them because you’re addicted now.  So, you don’t really need them now, but you are hooked.  So I said, but if I stop, I’ll get sick again.  And he said, that because you’re addicted.  There is no countering with him.  There is no logical debate of facts, theories and outcomes.  There is only ‘A knows all, A is always right’.  He has an answer for everything, even if it makes no sense and cannot be supported.  He won’t budge, won’t see the error of his thinking.  He even denied that mental illness are a chemical disorder, sometimes combined with trauma, life events, and heredity.  He said that he is not predisposed to mental illnesses, even though I have bipolar and depression and PTSD.  I even compared mental illnesses to diabetes and heart diseases and other things like thyroid or COPD.  He told me they are the same!!  That once a person is out of the hospital following a heart attack, that they no longer need to take meds!!  He even went on to say that people with diabetes don’t need insulin!!!  He supported this by saying they didn’t have those issues when they were born, when they were five, or even teens.  So that means they don’t really have those illnesses…they, like mentally ill persons, are simply weak and only need meds during a crisis, but not afterward for longterm maintenance.  He is insane!!!                god like, yes

I don’t know what to do with him, or even if there is anything I can possibly do at all.  He is 17, and can’t wait to get out.  Until recently, he has never been like this.  I raised him to think logically, to gather information, to form a supported opinion.  I raised him to be respectful of others’ perspectives.  I raised him to be kind and caring and compassionate.  I raised him to think for himself.  But, ever since he has joined a certain church, he has become a person I do not recognize, and no longer want to know.  Where is the clever, brilliant, kind young man I raised all these years?  I feel as though I have lost him forever, as though he is gone from my life completely, even though he will be with me for one more year.

This saddens me so greatly, I cannot express in words.  I feel like I am mourning, but he is still here.  I don’t know this person he has become, and I don’t like him.  I want my son back.  I miss him.  And I feel like I must be a terrible mother, have done something awful somewhere along the line, to have lost him like this.religious differences 2

Whose Illness is More Important?

Not suicidal, just dead 2Recently, I have been struggling with physical issues (moderately severe) caused by the only drug that adequately manages my bipolar disorder.  I always was aware that this day might come, that I might have to make a choice between mental health and physical health.  That in and of itself is hard enough to deal with, causing me much mental distress, that is not even yet solved.  I don’t even know if I can solve it so the situation would be acceptable.

Then there’s my daughter’s bf (female to male transgender) and his mom.  Twice now I have taken in the bf (K) for a week each time, when his Mom had to be hospitalized (psych).  This last time, while his mom was in, and he was staying with me, he became suicidal and I had to have him admitted as well.  Then, my daughter’s therapist recommended she be looked at by a psychiatrist for possible mood disorder.  I then learn my daughter has been cutting, and is suicidal also.

I am so torn.  I feel like I need to go into the hospital just for my quandary alone. happy pills I feel so hopeless about my own future, no matter what I do about my meds.  The kids are almost grown, they could make it without me.  But I feel selfish to even think about putting myself into the hospital when she is struggling so.  When she might very well go into the hospital any day at this point.  So, I think I should make my own troubles go to the back of the line of things to take care of in my head.  At least until my daughter is out of danger and is stable again.

They say on airplanes that if there is an emergency and the oxygen masks drop down, that if you have children or other dependents, you should put your own mask on first, because if you do your children first, you may die and there would be no one to care for your kids, and so everyone would die because you took care of your kids first.

So, do I defer my own current troubles, and take care of my daughter’s?  Or do I save myself first (by going to the hospital) and then take care of my daughter’s troubles?  Could she wait that long?  Is it right to make her wait like that?  What about me?

the blue pill or the red pill

Of Course I’m Fat! And of Course It’s Because I’m Crazy!

stapuff marshmallow manSo, long story short.  Because I take lithium, my body holds it and stupidly gets rid of the real salt.  That makes my potassium go super high.  So to keep the potassium down, i have to eat a low potassium diet and keep my lithium stable and see nephrologist to make sure it all stays in balance.

So, two weeks ago, my feet swelled up quite a lot, at least 3+ non pitting.  Even going up above my ankles.  So I finally got to see the nephro today and show him my ankles.  I asked what it could be from, if I needed tests to find out.  He said to me well, according to your chart, a year ago you were 22lbs lighter.  So, the reason you’re ankles and feet are swollen so much is because you are overweight and your body can’t keep up with it.  What you really need to do is go home, cut down on the carbs, the salt, the calories and the potassium–then start exercising.

I got a little tetchy at this point and queitly said through clenched teeth, are you telling me you are not going to run any tests or try any drugs to attempt to treat my huge feet?  Because I am fat, and so, that means there’s nothing wrong with me having hugely swollen feet?  to which he very nicely and roundaboutly basically said, yes.

At which point my amount of tetchyness dissolved immediately into a full waterworks with tears dripping down my face, and me trying to hold in my sobs and not make any (unseemly) noise.  To which he responded by saying, well, you are certainly labile today.  I can’t understand why that would be.  I don’t see why you are so upset, you gained the weight.  I think this appointment will be the last we’ll have.

To which I said, I’m upset because my feet are grossly swollen and have been for over 2 weeks, and regardless of how much I weigh, they still need to treated because this is not normal.  And I am scared, and frustrated, and don’t want to get sicker or have more problems, and I want you to help figure out what’s wrong and fix it, and I’m not getting that are going to do that.  Granted, it didn’t really come out like that though.  I was still trying to hold in my bawling, sniffling and leaking eyes.

He left the room and then came back and said you can go now, we’re done.  So I went to my car and cried for 10 minutes before I could see to drive. I tried holding back the rest of the tears until I got home, when I realized I wasn’t 100% sure he was going to still follow me after what he said in the exam room.  I finally got connected to the office, and I asked if he was still intending to follow me.  She asked why would I think that he wouldn’t–so I said because he said so.  She left and returned, telling me I must be mistaken, because she just asked him and he said Oh, she must have misunderstood me!  Of course I am following her, AND, I am sending her to have her legs examined for valve prolapse/vericose veins AND I am cautiously starting her on diuretics AND I want to see her in 6 weeks.

So, my 41 y/o feet are a large amount swollen, and the reason is “I’m fat”..and there is nothing else to be done about it.  And when I cry because all my fears, frustrations and have just been summarily dismissed as ‘nothing/nothing important’ and then my emotions are dismissed as occurring only due to my being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  If any other person without a known mental illness had been there, he would never have assumed their raw emotions were just a symptom of their mental illness.  He would assume they were valid emotions.  He would assume they were worried, scared, afraid of having a serious problem.  He would have offered them the available possible causes and treatments.  He would not threaten them with not seeing them again.  He would definitely not have discounted their experience of the situation or their fears and concerns.

So my advice to you is DONT GET FAT.  DONT GET SWOLLEN FEET.  DONT SHOW/HAVE EMOTIONS or the doctor won’t take you seriously. They will dismiss your complaints, your symptoms, and any information or emotion you share, as being only due to your mental illness.  They do not think you are credible and will discount everything.

I am going to find a way to have someone accompany me to all my appointments from now on, to act on my behalf as both a witness, someone who can keep track of what has been said and done by me and by the doctor.  Someone who won’t let me be discounted  and unvalidated but will call the doctor on it.  Someone that if I start to cry or get tetchy will smooth things over so things don’t get carried away.  I’ve thought about doing this for a long time, but I was managing to get through each appointment as it came, so I never went any further than thinking.  Now I’m really gonna do it.

I have to go now.  my leg is numb up to my hip, and foot is tingling so strong I can’t stand it.  But it’s ok, I’m just fat.  I’ll just go lose some weight right now.sad pony

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