Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘depression’

IM DONE!


I HAVE HAD IT WITH MY DOCTOR, WITH MY CASE MANAGER, WITH THE WHOLE DAMN CLINIC!  I REFUSE TO GO THERE ANYMORE, EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE ONLY CLINIC I AM ALLOWED TO GO TO.  NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE

HERE IN AZ, IF YOU ARE ON MEDICAID, AND YOU ARE DETERMINED TO BE ‘SMI’ (SERIOUSLY MENTALLY ILL)  YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO GO TO ONE OF FIVE CLINICS FOR ‘SMI’S.  YOU ARE ASSIGNED TO THE ONE CLOSEST TO YOU, AND CANNOT JUST SWITCH.  ALSO, THEY ARE ALL RUN BY THE SAME AGENCY THAT CONTRACTS FOR MENTAL HEALTHCARE FOR MEDICAID FOR THE STATE.  SO THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.

SO I HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS FOR WHERE TO RECEIVE MENTAL HEALTH CARE.  I CANNOT GO TO A ‘GENERAL POPULATION’ MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC, BECAUSE I AM ‘SMI’.  I CANNOT GO TO A DOCTOR WHO IS IN MY MEDICARE PROVIDER LIST, BECAUSE THEY DON’T ACCEPT MEDICAID PAYMENTS.  SO I WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE MONTHLY PREMIUM MYSELF FOR MEDICARE PART B, AND I WOULD HAVE TO MEET THE DEDUCTIBLE FOR PART B AS WELL BEFORE MEDICARE WOULD PAY ITS 50% FOR MENTAL HEALTH CARE.  IF I USE A PROVIDER FROM AN SMI CLINIC, THEN MY MEDICAID IS ACCEPTED, AND THE TOTAL BILL IS PAID.  ALSO, IF I GO TO AN SMI CLINIC, MEDICAID WILL PAY MY PART B DEDUCTIBLES AND PREMIUMS AND COPAYS.

SO I HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE THAN TO STOP SEEING A PSYCHIATRIST, SINCE I REFUSE TO KEEP BEING TREATED LIKE CRAP AND NOT HAVING MY NEEDS MET AT THE SMI CLINIC THAT IS THE ONLY ONE I AM ALLOWED TO USE.

SINCE I AM NO LONGER GOING TO GO THERE, I CAN NOT GET MEDS ANYMORE.  SINCE I AM NOT GOING THERE, I CANNOT GET TEGRETOL LABS DONE SO MY NEPHROLIGIST DOES NOT KNOW HOW MUCH TO ADJUST MY MEDS FOR THE ACIDOSIS AND EDEMA I HAVE THAT WAS CAUSED BY THE LITHIUM AND WORSENED BY THE SWITCH OFF OF IT TO FIRST DEPOKATE AND NOW TEGRETOL.  SO HE CANNOT HELP ME IF I CANT GET PSYCHIATRIC LABS DONE.

OF COURSE, THIS ALSO MEANS THAT I CANNOT FINISH MY PHP PROGRAM (PARTIAL HOSPITALIZATION), BECAUSE IN ORDER TO BE IN IT, YOU MUST HAVE AN OUTPATIENT PRESCRIBING PROVIDER.  AND SINCE I NO LONGER DO, WELL, THAT AVENUE IS NOW CLOSED TOO.

SO I AM NO LONGER SEEING ANY DOCS OR GETTING ANY MEDS OR PARTICIPATING IN THE PHP PROGRAM.  I AM GOING IT ALONE, SINCE I AM THE ONLY PERSON I CAN COUNT ON TO BE ON MY SIDE. IT IS TRUE WHAT THEY SAY–ALWAYS LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER ONE, CAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL.

I WILL DO ALL THE THINGS I KNOW TO DO TO TRY TO STAY STABLE, AND IF I CANT, WELL, I CAN ACCEPT THAT I WILL HAVE MANIC AND DEPRESSED AND MIXED EPISODES AND THAT I WILL JUST HAVE TO TOUGH MY WAY THROUGH THEM OR GIVE IN.  AT LEAST I WILL NOT HAVE ANY EXPECTATIONS OF THE DOCTORS OR BE DEPENDENT ON THEM FOR THINGS THAT THEY FAIL TO DO, FOR FAILING TO LISTEN TO ME AND MY SYMPTOMS.  I WILL TAKE CARE OF ME FROM NOW ON, WITH EPISODES OR NOT, AND DO THE BEST I CAN.

OF COURSE, I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT THE SMI CLINICS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PETITION AND COURT ORDER ANY PATIENT WHO REFUSES TREATMENT AND REFUSES TO TAKE MEDS OR KEEP APPOINTMENTS.  IN OTHER WORDS, BECAUSE YOU ARE SMI, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY THAT YOU DONT HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TREATMENT AND THEY CAN COMMIT YOU.  I SAY, BRING IT ON, BITCHES!  

NO WE AINT GONNA TAKE IT

I Am a Wild Animal


Emergency-AppointmentI am a wild animal, and I can’t keep it inside. All my life I have tried, so hard, to keep it in deep inside. But when I have fallen into my manic, mixed, depressive, sometimes psychotic episodes, I can’t keep it in. The wild, feral animal that I really am escapes and I can’t call it back in.

I have started over so many times. Every time the animal escapes, I have to pick up the pieces of my life, the parts I have destroyed, the people I have attacked for no purpose. I lose it all, and I start again. Now I am tired. I am losing control over the animal inside, it is growing stronger. I don’t care if I hide it. I don’t care if I take meds to help keep it sedated. I don’t care anymore. I want to quit fighting myself and let the animal take over.animal-attack

But that would be wrong. I would hurt people and that can’t be tolerated. So just let me end us both, the animal that is gaining the upper hand, and me, who is too weak to do anything. Let us just go forever. Finally. No more struggles.

Better, I Guess…


Ok, so I had my Emergency Clinic Appointment, the one to try to help me get more stable after the first 2 weeks of being on Depakote from Lithium.  As you probably noticed in my recent posts, my mind has been all over the place, like it was full of live wires not attached just sending shocks and sparks everywhere.  I couldn’t even see through all the brain activity or hear through it to barely perceive the ‘real’ world that everyone all agrees is there, that everyone sees, the table, the tv, the computer, the room.  It was as if I was about to pass out, when all the colors invade your ability to sense, until the feeling either passes or they give you the smelling salts…and the smelling salts actually make all that distortion fade away and your brain goes back to seeing the world around you properly again, and you ‘wake’ up.  Except, of course, nothing works on a bipolar brain that is like that when it is like that, so you just keep going without actually seeing or perceiving, on the verge of passing out.  Emergency-Appointment

So they gave me an increase in the amount and frequency of trazodone, which i usually was taking only as a prn when and if i noticed i was getting nervous, jittery or anxious during the day. now i take it at a higher dose, and i do it 3x/day.  They also added ambien for sleep, cause with my brain malfunctioning, I haven’t been made tired by my normal seroquel at night.  not only did they add the ambien, they doubled the dose of the seroquel on the idea that more of it would also help with my sleep and it would also add to the anti-psychotic support of the depakote.  But they want to still keep going with the depakote and not go back to the lithium.  And they wanted me to stop the cymbalta, the only antidepressant that has ever worked.  I was afraid to lower or stop it since it has really kept the depression from being strong while I was on the lithium.  But they thought it was feeding the mixed state I’m in.  I think getting off it or lowering it might make me go from a mixed state to a constant depressive state right now.  And if I was unable to get out of a bipolar depression, I might actually be a danger to myself in the very near future.  At least in the mixed state, I am going from one extreme to the other, and I know the depression won’t last, and neither will the mania.  Even though still being in the mixed state is horrible, is almost impossible to function in at all.  Stringing words together to make sentences is such a challenge, so difficult to concentrate, to think.  So hopeless feeling, can’t stay like this either.happy pills

So, now that I’m taking the new mix, I am still not being made tired at night, not with the extra seroquel, or the extra trazodone, or the ambien.  It is taking 1-2 hours for me to fall asleep after taking them.  But during the day I am much more somnolent, much more removed from the world. I am kind of like a zombie, but I can still get up and do things, just a lot slower and harder to think through what I am doing.  And it feels like most of my emotions, my feelings in relation to any situation I’m in, are extremely blunted.  I smile when something is really funny, but no more.  I make no movement or change when something is very sad.  I can think clearer, but it takes so long to put together the thoughts.  My brain is so wrapped in cotton or saran wrapped it seems to be protected from any emotions at all, but the smallest, in response to the world around me.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

So, I guess I’m feeling better.  No big ups or downs.  No running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  No crying endlessly for no reason, wishing with all my might I could go to the hospital or find a place alone to end my sadness.  But knowing I can’t because what would happen to my kids?  But now although I am ‘stable’, I am also removed, slowed, and dulled and blunted.  I lack almost all emotional response.  And I am still not sleeping well. This is not how I want to live either.  So, is it really better?

I wonder if I will ever be able to get back on lithium?  Or if they will just keep adjusting my peripheral meds until it is more tolerable?  How long until I feel like myself again? (if ever).  Was it all my mistake when I gave in to the pressure from my psych doc to try other mood stabilizers? Maybe I should have stood my ground, even though it seemed to be childish?

So, my next appointment is in 8 days.  Guess we’ll see then.

bipolar image chart

I Think I’m a Bad Bad Girl


So, y’all probably know I’m moving on Monday, so we are packing starting today.  And y’all probably know I’m all wonky from switching meds and its not working right now.uhaul

So, I found out I could take a Title Loan that I already had and have it refinanced at a different Title Loan company for less interest and shorter terms.  Plus, a little bit more cash too, for the deposit on the new apartment.  So, I really wanted to get this done today, so all my ducks would be in a row on Monday.  But they needed 3 personal references.  Well, as it turns out, I don’t actually know 3 people on a ‘personal’ level.  I mean, I know doctors, and nurses, and clinicians, and other caregivers.  But I only know 2 people who are actually willing to say they know me, they are not caregivers, and they think I’m reliable enough to give a Title Loan to.  So, that about shot my whole day, and burst every bubble I had left, and I about lost it right that moment.50percent-less  So, eventually, after 3 hours, and after running through my cell phone contact list for the nth time, I finally thought, “Why don’t I call my Case Manager at my Mental Health Clinic, and maybe she will do it,” following the logic that my Case Manager is someone who can help me access resources in the community, and stand up to say I’m a real person, and do it professionally, because it is a way of advocating for me, a way of getting me resources, etc.  So, I took a big breath and a big chance, and I called her up at the clinic, and she was actually in (!!) and so I asked, and she was very nice and said, “Sure”, right away.  I was so thrilled.  But then, after I hung up, I told the agent she could call my CM at the clinic to verify me,  and the agent says, “No, it has to be a call the agent makes to the other person’s reference’s cell phone or home phone.”  So, I call back to the clinic, get my CM, and tell  her that, and she is suddenly very displeased, maybe distant sounding.  Not exactly angry, or mad, but not happy.  She tells me she never gives her numbers out to clients, so I say, that’s ok, I don’t mind that, I get that.  And I do.  But how was I going to get this to work now?  So, the agent person finally agrees to talk to my CM on my cell at the clinic just to get my CM’s cell number and then call her back to prove it was her.  So, that was it, I got the money then.

But right away, I felt so so bad.  I knew right away I had crossed the line, expecting others to do things for me that I don’t have a right to expect.  Pushing whatever relationship I have with someone to the edge, just milking it to get absolutely everything I can from it.  Sucking them dry.  Abusing them and taking advantage wherever I see I can.  I know she must be mad at me now, I know she must think badly of me.  She is probably really thinking how she went so out of her way to help me on Thursday, by getting me in to an ER appointment at the clinic for my meds being wrong on Monday that I just took that from her, and now I’m just take take taking by getting her to be a reference to my Title Loan. sad pony How can I be a grown up woman and only know 2 people (personally) who will admit to knowing me and thinking that I am not a serial killer?  My ex wouldn’t even answer his phone, my only living family (the elderly sisters who are my  cousins, whom I recently saw, and whom have now been bullied, threatened and intimidated to not talk to me by my step mom) refused to answer the phone as well…because they knew it was me by the caller ID.  So, those 3 people, step mom, cousins, and ex…not one would be a reference for me to get a Title Loan.  So, I have only 2 people who even admit to knowing me, and to thinking I’m an ok human being.

And now, I know, I’m not a good person.  I’m nothing but a bother, a burden.  And I just can’t stop taking, pushing people further and further away because I just don’t know when it’s too much.  I should have known not to call my CM.  I should have known before I tried that it was inappropriate, that it was a violation of the client relationship thingy, that I was crossing too many boundaries.  And now, I’ve been bad.  Very bad.  I know I’m very naughty.  I feel so guilty about this.

Maybe I can quit thinking of this while I make myself pack for our move on Monday.  Think I’m gonna go to bed soon–not feeling very manic tonight (finally, ffs!) since I have been up for the last several days but not able to be organized or productive.

Eeny meeny miny mo....

Eeny meeny miny mo….

well time to head off to bed 🙂

Bad Time of Year?


Just seem to be noticing that lots of us in blog land are feeling more scrambled and out of control than normal.  maybe its the coming of the fall, maybe the days starting to get shorter.  i don’t really know.  but i hope all of us start to get back to our normal level of discomfort really soon.  this is tiring and wearing and i am about done.

all because i felt some real or imagined pressure from some rather real doc to change my mood stabilizer.  anyway altho i resisted i gave in eventually feeling that i was acting like a child with a tantrum by not even considering other options that who knows might work just as well.  well, i was wrong.  i should have stuck to my guns.  i feel like crap, im not thinking worth a shit and im swinging on that old pendulum rapid, slow, erattically and not even in a straight line back and forth!  i’m swing forward and backward and sideways too.  and i just don’t know what to do until they get my power in my brain turned back on so its functioning right and those damn zig zag lightning bolts and yells and screams and tears and pictures of everything flashing in my eyes goes away and ‘normal’ returns once again.

normal, which isn’t even normal.  which is still somehow outside the pale of where most people live, normal for me for bipolar everywhere, where normal is no more electric bolts in your brain, no more images flashes thoughts screaming and racing around.  but no more feeling either, every inside passion, every fire, tamped down.  don’t want this, this crazy in my head, but don’t feel alive when i’m well.

they talk, they all talk about recovery but there is really no such thing.  for normal is never normal,  it’s just less insane.  its never ok, it’s never gone.  it’s just not as bad as what might be.  it’s flat, it’s plain, it’s black and white, maybe a few shades of gray.  but it is not normal.  it just looks like normal and it’s the best we got, so we better take it, baby, while it’s hot.

 

“Mercedes Benz” by janis joplin

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?
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Everybody!
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

That’s it!

“Me & Bobby McGee” by janis joplin

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train
And I’s feeling nearly as faded as my jeans.
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained,
It rode us all the way to New Orleans.I pulled my harp from and my dirty red bandanna,
I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues.
Windshield wipers slapping time, I was holding Bobby’s hand in mine,
We sang every song that driver knew.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.
images
From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun,
Hey, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.
Through all kinds of weather, through everything that we done,
Hey Bobby baby kept me from the cold.

One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away,
He’s looking for that home and I hope he finds it,
But I’d trade all of my tomorrows for one single yesterday
To be holding Bobby’s body next to mine.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah,
But feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
Hey, feeling good was good enough for me, hmm hmm,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

La la la, la la la la, la la la, la la la la
La la la la la Bobby McGee.
La la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la, Bobby McGee, la.

La La la, la la la la la la,
La La la la la la la la la, hey now Bobby now Bobby McGee yeah.
Na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na na na na
Hey now Bobby now, Bobby McGee, yeah.

Lord, I’m calling my lover, calling my man,
I said I’m calling my lover just the best I can,
C’mon, where is Bobby now, where is Bobby McGee, yeah,
Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, Lord!

Yeah! Whew!

Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee.

“What Good Can Drinkin’ Do”by janis joplin

What good can drinkin’ do, what good can drinkin’ do?
Lord, I drink all night but the next day I still feel blue

There’s a glass on the table, they say it’s gonna ease all my pain,
And there’s a glass on the table, they say it’s gonna ease all my pain
But I drink it down, an’ the next day I feel the same

Gimme whiskey, gimme bourbon, give me gin
Oh, gimme whiskey, give me bourbon, gimme gin
‘Cause it don’t matter what I’m drinkin’, Lord, as long as it drown this sorrow I’m in
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I start drinking Friday, I start drinking Friday night
Lord, I start drinking Friday, start drinking Friday night
But then I wake up on Sunday, child, there ain’t nothin’ that’s right

My man he left me, child, he left me here
Yeah, my good man left me, went away and left me here
Lord, I’m feelin’ lowdown, just give me another glass of beer

What good can drinkin’ do, what good can drinkin’ do?
Well, I drink all night but the next day I still feel blue!

you can substitute any other part of your life, other than a man, and her songs still ring just as true, still hit those same notes of struggle and pain and the desperate hope for something better, for some bit of happiness.

 

Maybe…


Maybe I’m not really sick anymore.  Maybe I just learned it’s easier to say I am.

Maybe if I just tried again, got up on that horse again, I could be someone.

Maybe I was never sick to begin with, just sick of life.

Maybe I’m really better now, Maybe things are better now,

But I won’t give them or me a chance to grow, a chance to bloom, to afraid to fail

Again.

 

What will happen if I open the door, Open the door to life again?

What will happen if I step outside, step outside of my safe place again?

Step outside into the real world again, with expectations, obligations, and responsibilities?

Where I have to perform like the elephants at the zoo and the monkeys at the circus?

 

What if I make mistakes, What if I can’t perform anymore?

What if I can’t make the grade, fail to beat the score, can’t move fast enough anymore

Can’t keep up with the pace, find myself again failing the race.

Lose my place, keep trying anew, finding I can’t make a fit anywhere.

 

Things going wrong, haywire again, find myself stuck back inside

Unable to venture out, unable to win, the bar too high that was once so near.

Finding I’m back at the bottom, but this time there is no net

No one believes I can’t make it yet.  They say I’ve had time enough

To get back into that groove, can’t keep quitting when it gets too tough.

 

No more support, no more kindness, no more safety net to catch me now.

End up back in my head, can’t get out ever again

Can’t leave my shelter, my safe space, I know now

No one will believe me if I try again and fail.

 

They will say she is just not ill, She is just too lazy

To do her share.  She is selfish, expects the world to

Work for her and us to tell her so.  She wants to wallow

In her despair, Brought on by her own failures.

 

The system will say she had her chance, that if she had been telling the truth

She never would have tried again.  She just could have stayed inside, no one

Ever questioning the tide.

 

But maybe I was wrong, all those years ago…

Maybe I wasn’t really sick, just swallowed up in my own sadness,

In my inability to change my life.  Maybe I just gave up, gave in,

To my inner world that said I’d never win.

 

Maybe I should have kept trying, and I would not be so stuck today

On whether I deserve a second chance at life, or whether I should stay.

Inside.  Safe.

 

So I’ll never know if I could have won, Never know if I could do it again.

The risk is just too high, can’t be a failure all over again.

Once is enough, and done is done.

Metabolic Weight Loss, Instability, Regrets and the General Pointlessness of Things


So, I am partway way through my 3rd week of 4 of Metabolic Weight Loss nutrition and exercise program.  Have I lost any weight?  No, I had lost 1 lb, but then I switched from Lithium to Depakote, whose side effect turns out to be salt and water retention!  No kidding!  I jumped out of the frying pan  (lithium) just so that I could jump into the fire ( depakote).  Stopping the lithium was supposed to stop the ‘voltage dependent drug-induced R(enal) T(ubular) A(cidosis)’ that was characterized by my body thinking lithium was Salt, and wasting the real Salt instead, leaving way too much Potassium in the body that can’t bind with lithium like it is supposed to do with real salt.  So, my nephrologist was in agreement with me that since the lithium was so effective in stabilizing me, then we should stay on it as long as possible.  However, my psychiatrist felt that it was imprudent to do that, and really pushed and pushed for me to change off the lithium to anything else.  So, after like 6 months, I finally gave in to her and agreed to switch to depokate.

Well, we expected the hyperkalemia (excess potassium) to resolve, since my body would not be wasting its own real salt anymore since there would be no lithium to trick it.  So, all my symptoms were supposed to recede and be ‘normal’ again.  But what ended up happening is that my feet just grow bigger and fatter and more and more painful all the way up to just under my knees.  I look like I’m walking on big giant stubs.    Sleeping or putting them up does little to nothing to help them go down.  I had to fight with my psychiatrist and my nephrologist just to get an earlier appointment to see my nephrologist sooner.  Then my Case Manager at my mental health clinic insisted I acknowledge how she had made it all come together so I could see my nephro sooner, because she talked my psychiatrist into talking to my nephro about the swelling issues.  Except, I saw my nephro yesterday, and he had never heard of either my case manager or my psychiatrist or my clinic and the only reason I got in to see him earlier was because he heard my messages and was concerned about what I described going on.  So, my new case manager is not just trying to grub for acknowledgement and validation from me, her client, but she also lies about what she does ( and probably about what she doesn’t do, too).  Neither she nor my psychiatrist had anything to do with me getting my nephro to see me sooner.  It was ALL me!  That means, I am really failing to be getting the help and support of my psych team and they are not doing any of the communication between providers that they are supposed to do and the follow up too.  That means I am doing all the coordination and pushing and organizing all on my own.  So what good is it to be determined as SMI (Seriously Mentally Ill) and then being told to go to ma particular clinic for all your cares so that everything will be coordinated and followed up on so you, as a SMI person, will not have to fight the system with each interaction or symptom or whatever.  So that you, the disabled person, will supposedly be getting help to do and stay on top of all these things and not have to get stressed out and can concentrate on getting better, more stable, more ready to return to work or volunteering, etc.  But they don’t.  They just keep pretending and taking all the credit and leave you to fight all the battles on your own just like as if you had no SMI designation or had no Disabled designation, or were a regular working person contributing to the community with little more than small issues to be dealt with, not the large ones of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc.  But now that I am recognized as disabled and SMI, I have no choice to what services I can receive.  I am forced to go to 1 out of 1 clinic, and I am forced to work with the ‘team’ I am assigned (Psychiatrist, Nurse, Case Manager, and, on some teams, you even have to accept the primary care doc that is on your team–you can’t even go out into the community to choose your regular doc!  Every doc you see must be in the clinic is where they are going with this.  They even have a pharmacy you must use in the clinic as well).  And now, I have no choice over any healthcare providers at all.  I am lucky they have not yet put me on a team with a primary care doc, or a nephro specialist.

So, anyway, back to the original point.  I finally got thru to my nephro that I needed him to see me, and he did.  He is such a great and awesome doc–my best doc by far.  Wish he could be my doc for everything!  So, he is concerned that my body is not recovering like it should be.  Now that the fake salt, lithium, is out of my system, I should hold a normal amount of salt in my system to bind with the potassium.  They should both be at about the same ratio.  I should not have to worry about the hyperkalemia anymore, nor should I have to worry about hypernatremia.  But, I am definitely having hypernatremia issues—that is, way way too much salt leading to this huge swelling.  This should not be happening, except there is a rare possibility that I am having a a rare side effect of the new med, the depakote. Once in a great while, some people get the side effect of intense swelling and salt retention.  Hah!  I let them talk me out of taking a med that we had gotten well controlled that worked wonders for my stability, just so I could avoid the future potential pitfalls of that med on my kidneys, and now I’m on a new med, which is not causing me heart and liver issues by retaining salt and water!   And now, this is not well controlled the way the lithium and its side effects were.  And the depakote is not stabilizing me as well as the lithium was either.

So, back to the original point.  How am I expected to stay and maintain a healthy weight, a healthy body, and a healthy attidude and move forward in my mental health recovery when this is what I’m dealing with?  I can’t lose weight cause all the mood stabilizers have that as an effect.  Most of them also have really bad effects on me like the lithium leading to the kidney problem and the depakote leading to the heart problem.  And if I’m forced to keep gaining weight, and I am having difficulties with all the related side effects, then how would I be able to lose weight, even with the metabolic stuff?  And if I can’t stay sane and lose weight and deal with the heart and or kidney or whatever other issues would happen….then how am I supposed to stay positive enough to move forward and become a productive citizen again?  Is it the illness, the side effects, the meds, or the complications…that keep me disabled?  That keep me from being a useful human being again?  And damn it, I am tired of suffering and tired of my life never being able to move ahead.  Tired of being unable to do things.  Tired, so tired.  Something has got to give.  No matter what I do to get better, something else is sacrificed to make it happen.  So there is always something never getting better.

And I am not the mother I thought I could be, and I am barely holding on to life for my kids.  No, really, I mean if my ex misses one support payment because he changes jobs, or something else, we could end up on the street.  And I am certainly not capable of raising a family like that for the next 2 years.  I couldn’t even take care of me in that state for a month.  I live in fear of this every month.  I just found out my ex is moving to California from Az, where we all currently have been.  But his agency can’t find him computer programming work in Az, so they found him a spot in a place in Cali.  But he’s not happy with it, it won’t meet the cost of living changes.  And he’ll be looking for a new job once he’s there.  When he switches jobs, a new court order must be petitioned by me, then the court takes several months from time of filing to rule on it, then the court orders the employer to hold the money and pay it to the state the custodial parent is in.  Then the state processes the funds and distributes them to me.  So, if he even misses one normal payment of the 2x/mo….we are evicted.  We lose our car insurance and can’t drive.  Our house of cards falls apart.

So, I think I have made mistake after mistake, leading to a tenuous existence from which my grip will surely slide sooner or later.  I should never have quit working.  I should never have stopped the lithium.  I should never have gone down this path.  Where to go now, to start over or push on, I don’t know.

Safe


What is it to be ‘safe’?  For me, it is complex, that’s what it is.  It means knowing I have a roof over my head from month to month.  It means knowing I have (any) transportation to get where I need to go.  It means knowing I have enough food for the month.  And just maybe, if I’m lucky, it means having TV and internet, and maybe phone.  It means not being hurt by someone, by anyone, by any situation or encounter or environment.  basic be safe

Jeez, I guess I ask for a lot.  I don’t think I have ever felt ‘safe’ in all those areas, ever, once in my life.  I have always been on the run, fleeing from one ‘unsafe’ to the next, promised ‘safe’, only to find that it was also ‘unsafe’ in some way.  What I really want is just once, once, to be ‘safe’ about everything.  I feel like I have put in twice my number of years trying to find ‘safe’ while everyone else seems to put in half the amount of time and effort and they actually manage to achieve it.  I am still looking for it.  I am still running scared.  And I’m getting older.  And tireder.  And slower.  And don’t feel like playing this game anymore.  I don’t feel like searching and running anymore.  I want to rest.  I want to sleep.  I want to have something worth having.  A reason to stay.  To wake up every day.  Let-me-take-you-someplace-Kate-Someplace-you-ll-be-Safe-caskett-32437245-500-700

I actually had a therapist to whom I confided that I felt I ran twice as far, twice as fast with twice the effort and ended up treading water, compared to other people.  He agreed.  He said it was true.  He said those of us with PTSD, with BiPolar, with Trauma and Depression, have that as a common experience.  That it takes a lot to make it all pay off.  He wasn’t even able to assure me that all that work would ever pay off.  That I would ever find that elusive ‘safe’.

Does it even exist for us?  for me?  blue confused emoticonbe-safe rain clouds

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

Ah’m So Tarred


As many of you know, I have had a lot of stressors in the last 10 days or so.  One of them is my daughter’s friend/SO has been staying with us for a week now.  I really don’t mind him staying.  He’s a good kid and doesn’t do anything wrong.  He’s staying here though, because his Mom is in the hospital again.  Psych unit.  This is the third time in 6 months, which is fine, except I’ve been having my own difficulties, like almost being involuntarily admitted to the psych unit myself.

But mostly, I am just so tired.  If any of you out thereblue confused emoticon are familiar with Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, you’ll remember when Madeline, as a burlesque dancer, in Blazing Saddles performed the song ‘Ah’m soo tarred of playing the game, soo tarred ….. Ah’m so tarred’.  Well, she has it nailed just how I’ve been feeling for 3 days now.  I wake up and find it takes much effort just to sit up, the same to stand, or horrors, to walk.  I am feeling so tired I just haven’t even been able to take care of my house.  No dishes getting done, no cleaning.  I did have to force myself to the store today, and even though I had my daughter and her SO help me, it took me twice as long as usual.  Tonight I finally had to run the dishwasher twice (meaning 2x of loading and emptying) now it’s on its 3rd run.  Finally wiped counters and swept floors and emptied trash.  this took me about 2 hours, which is about 1.5 hours longer than normal.  And I’m still tired.  Still so hard to reach for my water or soda, or to head to the kitchen or bathroom.  I wish I knew what was making me feel like I’ve been hit by a mac truck.  Even getting up and about out to shop didn’t help get me feeling back to normal energy.

Part of me is wondering, thinking that maybe this malaise is related to having felt suicidal recently.  There are other possible causes though, but that is what my mind has latched onto as most likely explanation.

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