Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Health’

I’m a monster…

…because i explained to my daughter that she is old enough to think about having her first pelvic and pap smear. i explained what they are for, how they do it, and that it doesn’t hurt.

she burst out in tears, saying, ‘i don’t want it! Ever! ‘ and then ran upstairs to her boyfriends place.

i really didn’t think i was going to cause her to dissolve like that. i am not quite sure what to do now…i don’t want to freak her out again, but i do want her to accept that this is part of being a woman, taking care of your female parts.

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


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



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.

Don’t Know What to Do, Pt. 2

Ok, so where was I?  Oh, yes…so, after I returned home, across the country, I just couldn’t bear the thought of my family living in that environment.  I knew they needed help, to get rid of the hoard, to get and keep the house clean, to help them bathe and take them to appointments and errands.  And to make sure they put their feet up and actually go to bed and take their pills.

So, I searched out on the internet where to begin, and found the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and was directed to the local AAA for their region, aka ‘Milestones’.  So, I talked to them, and had a very interested and helpful counselor.  She told me they do what is called ‘Options Counseling’ for the elderly who are either at risk for or are self-neglecting.  That fits my family exactly.  They don’t have the authority to remove anyone unless a judge or doctor has ruled them incompetent.  So, my making this call had nothing to do with using POA, nor did it have anything to do with removal.  It simply was a way for my family to be told what would need to be done to make the house habitable so they could stay there after the leave the nursing home where they are for rehab.  I also found that while the Police will be more than happy to do a wellness check, if the home is habitable, and the family has not been found incompetent, then even the police can do nothing.  So all I have done is ask for an outside party to explain that they really need to make their house habitable so they can stay there, since they don’t want to listen to me.

Well, I tried to call them at the nursing home, but when they found out it was me calling, they told the nurses they didn’t want to talk to me.  So, I tried again last night, and just got told they were busy.  So I tried again today, and one was sleeping and the other being showered.  (If she really accepted a real shower, I am impressed by the staff there!!).  So, they are avoiding me, and are not being very subtle about it.  So, I guess I am persona non grata since I care about their well-being.  And it’s not only them, it’s my step-mother too.  She is my late father’s wife, who was like my family’s own son.  He would never have allowed them to live as they are now.  He would have cleaned the house out himself or moved them to a facility.  Not because he would be upset, because he would just never let them live in such an intolerable state.  His wife, R, has been pushing to get them out of their home for the last 3 years since my dad died, and now that I am in agreement with her, and am actively pushing AAA and Milestones and the doctor to help get them into a home or to fix up their own home, she is suddenly on their side, suddenly against them having a habitable home or moving to a nursing home.  She is suddenly not on my side of my family’s best interest.  She is not returning my phone calls, not replying to my emails, and told the lady at AAA that I was no longer POA (even tho talking to AAA/Milestones does not require POA, nor does asking them to provide Options Counseling)….but she and the sisters have failed to put in writing that I am not POA any longer and have failed to execute a new POA without my name, and have not told the healthcare providers that are caring for them that I am no longer their POA….so I question the validity of the statement by my step-mom to the AAA that I am no longer POA for the sisters.  But that aside, I have done nothing that requires the use of POA in the first place!!

So, I get why my cousins, the sisters, are upset with me, because they don’t want to have to change, don’t want to get rid of the hoard or have someone clean the house and them and take them places.  But they need it.  And if they don’t accept it, they are self-neglecting, and maybe I can get a doctor or judge to agree.  But what I don’t get is why my step-mom has made such an about face after being so gung-ho on getting them moved.  Why does she suddenly want them to stay in such an environment, without help, when she’s been pushing for just that for 3 years?  Why is she shunning me just as the cousins are?  These two sisters are my only family outside of my kids, and she is helping turn them away from me when all I am trying to do is make sure they take care of themselves and live in decent quarters and have the help they need.  I would do this for anyone I saw or knew who needed help.  This is just what people do.  Right?  blue confused emoticon

Don’t Know What to Do, Pt. 1

Ok, so I went to see my only family (other than my kids) for the month of June.  They are truly my second cousins, but they raised my dad from a young child, so they are really more like parents or grandparents.  They are pretty elderly now, and  I was worried that my kids and I might not get another chance for all of us to see them again.  I was also hoping we could help them out with things that might need done around the house and such.

Well, when we got there, we discovered that in the last 3 years, they have become full-fledged hoarders.  The front rooms, (dinette, kitchen, defunct dining room and living room) were stacked waist high along all the edges, leaving open spots for the stove and sink, and a path to each of the 2 bathrooms.  The hall, which runs the full length of the house, was filled with stuff and was impassable.  The back rooms (the 4 bedrooms) were so filled with stuff that all but one was impossible to even open the door more than a few inches.  That one, the one that opened enough to enter it, was filled all along the edges but did have a path carved out to the bed, but the bed itself was covered in bags and bags and bags of stuff as well.  And it wasn’t just the piles of bags and loose items and junk and trash all mixed in everywhere, it was the filth.  The dirt, the nastiness, the dust that was so deep you could use it as quilt batting.

We were told we would have to either sleep in the recliner chairs or use the mobile home (trailer) in the back yard, which used to be one of the sisters’ homes when her husband was still alive.  We opted to use the trailer, as it had a proper bed and 2 full recliners.  Unfortunately, it didn’t have heat, gas (no stove), or water.  Of course, we kept being told we would get water the next day, and the next, and the next….so, that led to us using the toilet more than we would have, and let’s just say, it was not pleasant.  It did give us a brief respite from the sisters, tho, which was needed by the end of each day.  Even had we stayed in the house, we would not have been allowed to use the shower (it too was full of boxes and bags and dust more than half an inch thick).  So, we ended up using the spigot outside the back of the house and a bucket to have our showers.  This meant soaking whatever we were wearing, and soaping up and rinsing and same with hair and shaving…then, to bring everything back to the trailer and change into dry things again.  Let’s just say, it was quite a production.

About a week after we arrived, one of the sisters was told she needed to be admitted to the hospital for urgent diuresing;  that is, her legs were so swollen they were raw and dripping fluid, and fluid was backing up into her abdomen causing her blood pressure to be quite high (especially considering she has had a pacemaker put in a few years ago) and leading to concerns that she may develop fluid in her lungs.  These are all potentially deadly or at least serious conditions.  She finally agreed to go, and was getting better (since she was actually taking her meds and spending time with her legs up and sleeping in a bed at night, which she refuses to do when at home).

Her sister, staying home alone, was very upset.  We decided to sleep on the floor and recliner in the house after all to keep her company and visit with her.  Plus take her to visit at the hospital, and do errands.  As the days went on to about a week, sister B started becoming more and more confused, but I was unable to reorient her.  By the end of the month, we had to leave as I had bills to pay, my son had work scheduled, etc.  But we knew sister A would be getting out of the hospital in 2-3 days, so we thought with their 2 main helper/friends, that sister B would be ok til then.

So, we went on home.  Once home, I couldn’t stand the thought of them living like that, in those conditions.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to force them to move, I just want their home clean and sanitary and safe, in short, habitable.  And that’s when it really hit the fan.

Moving AGAIN!

Yes, fellow readers, I know I just moved last August, but I’ll be moving again this August.  This is the strangest move I have ever made.  We are moving approximately 1 block away, to a smaller complex that looks a bit rundown from the outside, but the insides are wonderful!  And the rent is actually really cheap!! (not like where I am at the moment, where the rent is cheap, but the water bill kills you every month, making it not so cheap).  So, cheaper, nicer, bigger inside, one block away.  Where I am at currently, well, it looks nice on the outside, but the insides are very cramped.  And oh yeah, the constant police presence has taken a toll on me as well.  I don’t try to be stuck up, but when you have the police in your complex at least 3 times a week, and sometimes they have SWAT and police chopper overhead too, well, it seems that maybe its not the best place to be.  Last night, SWAT was here, surrounding a building, using a megaphone to draw out 3 people in an apartment.  They said things like “Come out with your hands up.  If you drop your hands, I’ll shoot you.”  and ” keep your back to me while going down the stairs.  If you turn around, I will set this dog on you and he will bite you and drag you to me.”

So, for the reasons of a) cheaper rent, b) bigger apartment, and c) less police presence, we are moving, AGAIN, only a block away.  My son is not at all pleased with the idea.  He says everytime we move, I say that it will be better than where we leave, and that it’s never true so we should just stay put.  He also says its too much work for only a block away.  He is my main muscle, who does most of the heavy lifting.  So, I hope he will still give his best since we are moving anyway.

My daughter is thrilled beyond words, excited beyond belief.  Her best friend, and also SO, lives over in the new place.  So, ya, now she won’t have to walk a whole block to see him, now she’ll just be a few doors away.  So, she is all for the short hop, even if it means moving everything again.

The real question is, am I really able to go through a whole move, again?  We have moved just about every year of the last 7.  And my son is right, it’s never better, even though it should have been.  No matter what, the we have never been able to reap the reward of the move.  I don’t want to put them through another move and find out I’m not saving any more money, it isn’t nice or clean enough or whatever.  I want it to work, at least for 2 more years.  Oh well, here we go again!

Just a Quick Post

I am really happy that I am feeling good again.  I felt really good today, and was able to do some cleaning even, which I have not been able to get myself to do for quite a while.  🙂  Then I went through all the books I kept from college, texts, short stories, etc.  that I have been hanging onto for 15 yrs.  Well, I have never, not once, opened more than a handful of the 2 bookcases full of books.  So, I decided there was no longer any reason to keep me hanging onto them after all this time, just sitting there, collecting dust.  So, I gave most of them to my daughter, who promptly decided to sell them to the local bookstore, which buys used books and movies, etc. for some pocket money, since she’s too young to work, and too old to want to depend on mom scratching together a few dollars.

Anyway, somehow, getting rid of most of those books, coupled with feeling well and energetic lately, really made me feel like I was/am clearing out the debris (of the old life) and paving the way to new, better, one.  I literally feel lighter, physically and emotionally.  I don’t think I have been able to say that or feel this for nearly 8 years.

And I just wanted to share.  🙂mixed wild flowers

Jumble of Emotions

Hi All!  I am feeling really pretty good today.  This is starting to happen more often now, and I’m starting to recognize it faster, and I’m starting to believe that even if I acknowledge it, it will most likely still be there!  I  was always afraid to believe I really was feeling good, because it seemed like when I did do that, it would just as quickly and mysteriously disappear again.  So, its nice to know it won’t just disappear.dark mixed lite brite flowers

I am experiencing a bunch of emotions all at once right now tho.  I am embarking on two adventures.  First, in June, me and my kids are roadtripping from Arizona to Iowa and we are staying with the last of my family.  We plan on being there for three weeks.  I have lots of anxiety about this trip.  Some is negative, but lots is positive.  Of course, I’m worried about finances, about hoping we don’t overspend or have an unexpected expense.   I am worried about the bills still getting paid, especially since there is no internet or cell phone at our destination (it is what you might call a ‘rustic’ locale), but I can always drive into the nearest city of any size about 25mi away, and use the wifi at the library.  I plan on doing that about every 3rd day.  And, my family there is the last of my line, and they are now very elderly, so this may be the last time any of us sees either of them.

My second adventure is probably moving a block over.  I can actually see the new place from my current place.  It is just up the street about a block.  There are some worries about the thought of moving there, tho.  The complex is actually only 3 buildings, in the shape of an H (or a tie-fighter if you prefer).  There is a pool under the crossbar.  There is a very small 2 washer, 2 dryer laundry room.  And the yard and surrounding area maintenance is a little less than desired.  Not exactly bad, but not really nice either.  But the apartment!  Oh, my!  it is probably about 1000+ square feet, 2 beds and 2 baths.  There are closets in every room (those of you not familiar with desert architecture may not understand why that is so great a feature!).  So, closets in all the rooms, a large kitchen plus an eat in area that does not use any of the actual kitchen space.  The bathrooms are both good size, and you can actually do more than stand in spot and pivot around (like where I am currently).  And both bedrooms are larger than what we have now.  So, my son will get the regular bedroom, and its about the same as what he has now.  My daughter and I share the master bedroom, and currently, we have only enough room to squeeze between the beds and along the bottom of the beds to get out the door.  The new master bedroom is roomier and should give us more room than the minimum to squeeze between the beds, so that my daughter can have more space to spread out her teenage girl self, and of course, for having more friends over at the same time!  Even better, if you pay a single $200 deposit, you can have as many animals in your unit as you want, and there is NO montly pet rent fee per pet.  This is great for me, because I currently have a cat who is designated as my Emotional Support Animal (ESA), so she is completely free (even of deposit), but I had been considering getting a new dog (i have a hole left in my from when my last dog, also my ESA at the time, passed away almost a year ago.  So, if I don’t have to pay pet rent, then it will be so much easier for me to afford to have a regular pet, which I can’t do at my current place, as there is both a deposit and a monthly fee.  I would really like to have a dog again.  So, there is a lot to like about moving next door.  Oh, and did I mention that not only is it larger (by about 1/3 more), and has no pet rent, but the rent is the same AND I would not have to pay Water, Sewer, Trash (which I currently pay close to $100 in addition to my rent each month).  That would mean that in addition to being larger, and no pet rent, but I would also be paying almost $100/mo LESS each month to the landlord due to not having a water bill.mixed wild flowers

So, negatives include having to go through the whole collecting boxes from WalMart in the middle of the night, putting them all together, packing everything into them, and renting a Uhaul truck to fill with the filled boxes and then drive it 1 block away to unload it all over again, and then unload the boxes and put everything in its place again.  That is a lot of work.  Plus, we have moved 4 times already since we came to Arizona in 2008, and according to my son “every move has only left us in worse and worse places, so we might as well stay put”.  Now on the other hand, my daughter really wants to move, because her sweetheart lives in the same place (that is how we even know about this place!), so then all they would have to do to see each other is step out the door and walk a few feet to the other’s door.  I must say, I am mostly in favor of moving, even though it is such a short distance away, and seems like such a waste of effort, time and money for so little a move.  I am really positive about having more space, more closets, no water bill (save me $100 ea mon!), and no pet rent, so I can get another dog.  But I hate to admit that I think my son might have hit upon a truth–we have moved to both cheaper, smaller, and less nice places each time we have moved.  Of course, that because our income has been either staying the same or declining as well.  Anyway, his words kind of haunt me, lingering in my head when I try to think of the positives of this move.  And I have worries that he may be right.  Maybe I am making another mistake that doesn’t need to be made.  Maybe I should quit looking for a fix, for something better, and just stay with what I have, what (mostly) works.  There is also the cost of coming up with first month rent and deposit, which could very well sink me and make me overdrawn.  That would be a very touchy and delicate balancing act, that logically and mathematically would and should work, but may always be tipped over by any unexpected bumps.

Well, ok that is what’s been going on with me.  I think I am starting to feel happy more often.  I think it might be sticking around now.  And I’m just all sorts of happy and excited but being torn in the other direction at the same time of not wanting to ruin what I’ve go now for something I hope will, should, could be better, but might not be.  So, I am feeling kind of torn and jumbled and not sure which way to go.  I wish there was an easy way to decide, to not take a chance that isn’t going to pan out in the end.  I guess I’ll just have to ‘let this sit’ like so many other things, and see where it leads.

lite brite flowers mixed

Love Letter to Myself


The Perfection of my Imperfections: A Love Letter to Myself

I wish you would
love your body
it carried you through the pain

love your legs
all thirty four inches of them
(impossible to buy jeans for)
.they are beautiful

love your hips
the softness of barely-there love handles
(stretch-marked and pliable)
.they are beautiful

love your belly
a curve of soft across the bones of your body
(warm and delicate)
.it is beautiful

love your face
the cut of your jaw as your cheeks dimple
(those moles that you hate)
.it is beautiful

love your hands
long fingers and broken nails
(wind-bitten skin and paper cuts)
.they are beautiful

love your hair
the strength of it unyielding
(unfashionable and wild)
.it is beautiful


i wish you would
love yourself

with the power that you love
but your own skin

your body is imperfectly perfect
and it is beautiful

~ Unknown

(found on kate is rising)

lite brite flowers mixedHeres something I never thought Id be saying, much less doing.  A few days ago, while running errands, I returned to my car only to find it wouldnt start.  I didnt believe it was the battery.  I called my roadside assist, and the fellow who came also agreed it was not the battery, instead he felt it was most likely the starter.  So, he took a crow bar, stuck it straight down into the engine compartment somewhere and pounded the top end of it with a hammer several times.  Then, magically, my car started right up!  The fellow had me come to the engine area, and showed me where he had put one end of the crowbar, and explained, when the starter is first beginning to go bad, if you hit it and cause enough jiggling/vibrations, it frees it and lets the fly wheel turn to start the engine.  Wow!  That was so simple, and so cool!  He said whether it would do it or not again was anyone’s guess—it might do it next time I start it, it might not do it for months.

Well, today my son (who is sharing my car cause we are still trying to replace his recently totaled car) went to go to work, but the engine wouldn’t start!  Ha!  I knew why, and how to fix it!  Ha!  But, we didn’t have any pole or bar long enough to reach the starter.  So, I tried my upstairs neighbor, a young guy who frequently asks me for aluminum foil (??), searched and hunted, and low and behold, he came up with some kind of pole about as long as a crow bar—my son put it in place and hammered it, while I tried to start it, and Yes!, it actually worked!mixed wild flowers

I feel quite smug now, that I was the only one of 3 young men who knew how to make your starter work when it won’t.  Sometimes, I not only amaze myself, but others who can’t believe I would know either!

Well, that was today, and I did feel pretty smart about it.  Pleased with myself even.  But in the rest of life, things are going along nicely too.  I can’t say I’m just happy and bubbly, BUT, I am not being sucked under, I’m just having a nice float instead. Not really heading anywhere specific, just floating along watching the world and not feeling like I’m about to drown.  I’m trying really hard not to think about anything I might face in the future, and just enjoy the moment.

dark mixed lite brite flowers

Tag Cloud

Dearest Someone,

writing through chaos


Keeping positive in a unforgiving world when you are different.

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