Advice for those with bipolar disorder:

1. Develop a strong faith life.
2. Take EVERYTHING AS DIRECTED.
3. Communicate with your doctor. Be honest; if you are hearing things he needs to know, and it's a very easy fix! I know!
4. You're going to have to deal with side effects: remember they are worth it.
5. You are DEAD without your medication.
6. Avoid drugs and alcohol: they are mood poison.
7. Learn to laugh at yourself and ride the waves.
8. Proper sleep is vital; don't neglect it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"I don't see why they made you come in"

We had a tiring day. 

Our first driver was late.  He had a fresh cup of coffee and a half-eaten pastry in his console, so I had a pretty good guess what took him to long.  [sigh]  I didn't say anything to him, or Ron (just you). 

We had to go downtown.  It isn't a long ride if you take the freeway.  Houston's laid out like a spiderweb, with freeways going out in "spokes" from the center, surrounded by two circular freeways, 610 and the Beltway.  It's a pretty good system and we traveled late enough that we didn't really encounter any traffic. 

We got in, checked in, and sat down.  We waited with a couple of legally blind guys, another guy in a wheelchair, a very old man on a walker, and a guy with a cane.  They called names, we were almost last.  The very old man told us some war stories about WW2.  A young black man was very impressed he had served, and made a point of coming over and thanking him. 

I put $20 on my bus card.  I am good for almost a hundred bus rides now. 

We were getting pretty close to our pickup, Ron got worried and checked with the clerk.  We were next. 

A nice lady opened the door and mangled our last name.  We smilingly corrected her and went back.  I made a point of telling her Ron couldn't go anywhere without me pushing him.  She nodded.  She sat down and went through the paperwork and we confirmed all the health problems.  She gaped at us. 

"I don't see why" she said "They made you come in". 

"He's not getting better". I said dryly.  She nodded.  I didn't bother to mention that Ron gets a little worse every couple years. 

Ron mentioned he had been promised he would get a lifetime approval this time.  She said she would work to make that happen, but it might take a couple weeks to get the approval letter. 

She took us out to the waiting area.  I ran to the deli and got some junk food, so I could take my pills. 

We had a long ride home but the driver really enjoyed us.  He said we were fun, that's nice to hear. 

When we got home I took the stopper out of the bathtub.  The pop up stopper had failed.  We have to unscrew it to get the tub to drain.  Since Ron likes baths, that's a problem. 

We went to Home Depot and got a couple of new stoppers (something will work) and a set of stainless washer hoses.  I didn't want to take a chance on the installers "forgetting" the stainless hoses. 

Apparently "everyone" is now saying to replace them every 5 years.  Boy, God really had my back because my current hoses are just about 15 years old. 

I also got some washing machine cleaner because I will need it, now that I have an HE washer.  Not really thrilled with an HE, but I don't have a choice.  I "could" "Maybe" get the old washer repaired but it would probably cost as much as my new washer, and I don't see the sense in that.  I would be particularly upset if I paid someone $200 to come out, only to find they don't make the part anymore! 

I plan to keep a jar by the washer and put in $1 every time I do a load.  By the time the washer needs replacing, I'll have enough money to pay for it.  I meant to do it with the last washer but it got folded into my emergency fund and used on things like dying cats and hospital bills. 

[sigh]  Anyway, we got all that and checked out.  Our ride home came pretty fast so we enjoyed that.  It was about 3:30 so I tried to take a nap.  I got a little rest, but Torbie came in meowing loudly and walking on me, and then #6 made some noise. 

About #6, they still have that annoying light but I have apparently gotten used to it.  To my knowledge, it's not waking me up (motion detector light, one of the lights points right at the back of my house and both my bedroom windows). 

I have had a good atmosphere for sleep but between Ron's pending operation, Ron's drinking, Ron's Dad dying, and worries about my new washer, I'm kind of a wreck these days.  I am sleeping what I would term "OK". 

Doc would be happy with that. 

All I ever needed was a ride to Walmart

We had a quiet night.  I just had weird dreams about the new washer. 

Apparently you can only buy the "new" kind.  I just hope it does the job for me. 

Facebook has become a bizarre place for me, full of images of Ron's Dad.  I am FB friends with one of Ron's cousins, and a nephew.  They are both putting up a lot of images which end up in my feed, especially as they have so many comments and "likes".  Strange.  I haven't seen the man in years, and now he's everywhere. 

From a salvation standpoint, I just don't know.  He certainly had fruits of the spirit.  But he never told me "Jesus is my savior" so who knows.  I am assuming he is in Heaven.  I am certainly talking that way to Ron, who has talked a little. 

I reminded Ron how much his Dad liked our cats, and Ron said he would enjoy all the ones we had in Heaven.  That was about it for our discussion.  I'm starting to think Ron did all his grieving years ago. 

I am a little sad, I will miss him, I'm really sorry things ended the way they did.  I am sorry his other children made him choose between us.  But, from his perspective, he did the right thing.  We can't even drive.  They (the other kids) could "help" and he made the "logical" decision.  It's still sad, though. 

All this because I wouldn't put Ron in a nursing home.  I tried to tell them, all I ever needed was a ride to Walmart.  That's it.  I didn't need butt wipers, people to bathe Ron, or anything like that.  I didn't even need people to feed Ron, although his Dad did a little.  I just needed people to be there, emotionally, for Ron and me, and to give me the occasional ride to Walmart. 

STUPID.  A whole family wrecked over selfish brats. 

But it happens a lot, I'm told.  Duty battles with selfish, selfish wins, and anyone who opposes the selfish path is made an "It" and blamed for every problem. 

STUPID. 

I don't think I have written that word so many times in a blog, ever.  I tell you one thing, I will not be going to that funeral because I would give his siblings holy hell for cutting us out.  Ron was crushed.  He got over it, but they hurt him.  Ron would call it my Mama Bear/Pit Bull side.  I am fiercely protective of Ron. 

I just wish I could "protect" him from alcohol.  [sigh]

Today's a day off, so to speak.  We need to go downtown and do some paratransit procedures to get Ron "recertified".  An evaluator basically has to certify that Ron cannot ride the bus by himself. 

He's blind.  He uses a wheelchair.  Of course he can't. 

In case you were ever wondering, Ron it totally blind.  He can't even see sunlight.  He can feel it on his face but that's it. 

This blog has a very bitter, angry, tone to it.  I didn't realize I was still so angry about Ron's family mistreating him.  I love Ron and would do nearly anything for him, and to know that people who claimed to love Ron not only wouldn't do anything, but actively tried to hurt him, just makes me boil. 

And I can't even talk to Ron about this. 

[sigh]  I'm going to go buy some Bible Promise books.  I want to hand them out at the hospital when Ron has his surgery. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ron's Dad died - a ticking blackout

Ron's dad died in a nursing home (I presume, I have very few details).  He was over 90 years old.  He had dementia. 

He was really the only relative of Ron's who was kind to me, after Ron's accident, who actually showed up and tried to help.  He used to feed my cat French fries and boy she loved them.  I never knew that about her.  He was very kind and gentle to me and Ron, but when forced to choose between Ron and his siblings, chose the siblings. 

I suppose he and his wife felt the siblings would be more of a "help".  As it turns out, when the dementia manifested the "kids" put both "Mom and Dad" into a nursing home.  In a bad area, at that. 

Even if I could crawl in Ron's head and see his issues, I wouldn't.  Right now he is stoic but he may have a blackout.  He had a blackout when Bubba died, grieving horribly.  Bubba is the black cat in my photo album. 

I wonder, what does this mean to me?  To his drinking?  I wish I knew, but then again, I don't. 

I slept OK last night and got up early for work.  I wore black shorts and a black t-shirt.  The driver was surprised we were going to work.  When there's a good chance I'll be crawling around on the floor, I'd better have something casual.  I checked all the machines, they didn't need much, helped Ron, he didn't need much, and stocked what I could.  We chatted at the other vendor and conducted business as usual. 

We had a little more time than we needed.  We came home and I took a nap.  Ron woke me up, talking on the phone.  I was furious but confined my "expressions" to shutting his door firmly.  When he got up, I asked him, nicely, to please shut his door if he's going to talk on the phone during my nap. 

We went to the appliance store.  I did a lot of research online, and came to the conclusion that all the washers and dryers offered had bad reviews.  The best I could find was 4 stars at $800 for one.  Even then, it didn't have a lot of reviews. 

I wish I could say I fell in love with One.  Found The One.  Can't say that I did, but I kept getting drawn to one unit.  It has about the same reviews as the others, people either love it or hate it.  Some had problems with it breaking.  Ron's solution to that was the purchase of an extended warranty. 

We got the pair and I hope they are reliable.  We spent nearly a month of my pay.  The salesman was very nice and I am glad he got our commission. 

We left and came home.  I did some housework, made Ron another protein shake, etc. 

He started drinking.  I hope this doesn't end badly.  He was already yelling nonsense at me a couple minutes ago, something about the water bowl (which I already filled). 

I feel like I am listening to a timer ticking down to The Blackout.  If he got that upset over a cat, he's bound to have some strong feelings about his Dad.  I know I would. 

Do I expect a blackout, or hope against hope he will restrain himself? 

Well, I had to tell him.  How awful for Ron if he heard about his Dad from someone else. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday

Well, I accomplished my goals today, I got some rest, and I did some housework. 

I slept in until 7:30 and woke up with a headache.  I did some organizing and cleaning (for once I had some energy), in spite of the headache.  Taking the Excedrin helped.  

I hung up my wet clothes (on things in the house) and let them dry, then hung them up on hangers and put them away.  I cleaned the litterboxes, kind of a pissy ambience to the house, and sorted through some clothes in the laundry room. 

I have some clothes on a rod in the laundry room.  They tend to be my "dressier" clothes, a suit, some blazers, stuff like that.  I got rid of about 1/3 to 1/2 of it.  I haven't worn the business clothes in over 15 years, and most of it was too small anyway. 

Funny to think, I thought I was "fat" when I was wearing a medium.  I bagged it up for the Salvation Army.  They can put it to good use. 

Ron mentioned the new appliances (washer/dryer) might not fit in the laundry room, so I did some measuring.  They'll fit. 

My front door is 30 inches wide, the laundry room 31 inches wide.  The units are about 28 inches wide. 

I took my pills when my head felt better.  Doc says it doesn't matter when I take them, as long as I take them daily. 

After that, I laid down for a nap.  It was a bit of a guess, because sometimes my antidepressant won't let me sleep, but the depression won out and I had a pretty good nap. 

I woke up and noticed I need to change the sheets on Ron's bed.  He bled all over them the other night and I'm sure blood has soaked into the mattress.  His mattress is in terrible shape, but he loves it, and as long as he's drinking I guess he can keep it. 

I won't go into details.  Ron knows I talk about a lot but there are some things he has asked me not to share.  I try to respect that. 

I watched Flipping Las Vegas, it's always fun to watch Scott blow up over the latest disaster.  I watched a little bit of  "Married at First Sight" and watching "Red", but not really into it. 

The cats are good.  Torbie stole my computer chair when I got up, a while ago.  The headache still won't die. 

I rolled up one of the outside blinds because the wind was making it bang against the house.  We can't have that, the last thing we need is a broken window. 

Anyway, that's it for now.  I plan to go to bed early. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A taste of the good stuff

The migraine stuck around through this morning, and I had to go buy 50 cases of inventory. 

"This" I thought, "Is going to suck"

I got up, got ready, and took some Excedrin.  I am still spotting so that makes almost 2 weeks. 

I haven't really thought I might be premenopausal, sure, I could be, but was I?  Now I'm beginning to think I am. 

Do I care?  No.  My only concern is that my cycle will become less predictable as I get closer to The End. 

I waited on my morning pills, knowing I would have a vomiting migraine if I took my antidepressant.  Nothing, nothing, is sadder to me than being depressed, with a migraine.  And I can't take my antidepressant because of the migraine. 

Our first ride was aggravating.  If there is room, the client is allowed to "transfer" from the wheelchair into a regular seat and ride along with the other passengers. 

I opened the door so Ron could transfer, to find a young man sitting there glaring at me.  I asked him to move over so Ron could sit in the cab (I could have been nicer). 

"He be in a wheelchair.  He can stay in it" the young man replied.  I was furious. 

"Fine" I replied, and slammed the door.  The guy had a tantrum because I slammed the door, I could have hurt him, etc.  I made sure to check he didn't have anything sticking out before I shut the door. 

The driver was an immigrant, one of those guys who defers to everyone and won't set any rules.  So he made Ron ride in the back. 

The young man continued to tantrum.  He finally calmed down and his grandmother (?), riding next to him, tried to work him up again by telling him it wasn't worth it, calm down, in such a way as to get him upset again. 

He said that was "just a taste" of what he could do and he was "fine now" he was going to "give it to Jesus".  Yeah, right, I thought.  If you're a Christian you have a terrible witness, refusing to move for a blind man in a wheelchair and then having a tantrum like that. 

Then the grandmother proceeded to tell him she had been right about his ex girlfriend, she "had a weight on her" and "Was fooling around with that baby daddy", etc.  It's like she was trying to get him to blow.  I just couldn't understand her "logic".  I was so happy to get out of there. 

I went to the warehouse and looked around.  I decided to get some powdered peanut butter powder.  I have heard good things about it online and decided to try it with my soy protein powder to make some shakes for Ron. 

Ron will drink a protein shake if 1.  It doesn't have lactose (which cuts out all the whey and casein ones) and 2.  It tastes good.  I wasn't sure how it would taste but I decided to give it a shot. 

I made him a vanilla/pb shake later and he loved it.  He drank nearly the whole thing, getting an easy 30 grams of protein, so I'm very glad I did it.  Ron is going to need a lot of protein before and after his surgery.  Not to mention all the blood he lost this week, he's got to replenish that. 

So, back to work: I got everything to work, into the building.  I did my stocking, including the coffee machine, and made the machines look good.  I recruited Ron to help me stock the pastry.  I have to bend over to stock, but he can just do it straight from his wheelchair. 

We finally finished.  We went home.  I took my morning pills, a nap, and then a shower, because I had gotten pretty sweaty working.  I put a fan in the bathroom to help it vent. 

We went to Sears and looked around at the washers/dryers.  I am not excited about buying a new one, I worry it will be a piece of crap, but I don't have a choice.  My washer is on it's last leg and the dryer won't dry.  It works, it just doesn't heat. 

I found one I noticed last time.  It is HE, which I have heard bad things about.  It has very mixed reviews (the washer), people either love it or they hate it.  Everyone, though, loves the dryer.  That's good to know. 

I finally bought a decent set of cotton sheets (well, Ron bought them), and hung them on the back of the wheelchair.  They are 300 count, 100% cotton.  That should work. 

I am tired of my cotton/poly sheets.  They don't breathe and I feel suffocated.  I will take whatever I can get to help me sleep better. 

Years ago, about 20 years in fact, I worked at a high end linen shop.  It really spoiled me for good towels and sheets.  Before, I never knew of cared what I was using, but after I had a taste of the good stuff, I was hooked.  I tend to have 1 set of nicer sheets that I literally wear out. 

One thing I found upsetting, when I got my new bed, it is 9 inches deep (the mattress), so my old sheets didn't work anymore.  My old mattress was only 4 inches deep so any sheet would work.  I might as well donate them, I guess.  After I check them out and make sure they are OK to donate. 

I am hard on my toys. 

The mall was crazy, very loud and overwhelming.  We bought some dinner at Taco Bell and ate it in a rush.  Both Ron and I were really happy to get out of there. 

Our ride was surprisingly on time, considering it was later in the day on a weekend.  We had a straight ride home. 

I am doing some laundry in my old washer (it usually works, but has "not worked" enough for me to realize I need a new one), mainly my new sheets. 

We don't have any trips for tomorrow so maybe I will sleep in, and then work on house cleaning and organizing.  I'm not sure but I'll tell you. 

You can always count on me to tell you! 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Dropped his fork

Migraine today. 

Woke up OK at 3. 

Went to work at 4. 

Worked my butt off, got delivery, came home. 

Took a nap, woke up with migraine. 

Went to the bank did banking. 

Showed Ron's "enabler" (the guy who helps him get vodka) a photo of the kitchen after Ron's blackout.  He almost dropped his fork. 

Ate dinner with him and Ron, came home. 

The headache is bad enough I took some Phenergan, hopefully that will help. 

Going to bed. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

3 card monte

Work went OK yesterday.  We went to the warehouse first and bought 25 pounds of coffee, then we went to work.  It took a while. 

After we came home, Ron "promised" me a "quiet night" and was quiet.  He still says he has "solved" the whole falling-off-the walker issue by saying he will simply sit on the floor when he drinks, instead. 

Not really a solution, reminds me of 3-card monte, where the card gets shifted around and around.  He's attacking symptoms and not addressing the real problem.  But I leave that to God.  The more I nag, the more he will resist admitting he has a problem and proving me "right". 

Today we went out for breakfast.  We have to get up at 2 AM tomorrow so it's going to be an early night.  Breakfast went fine except for when Ron had to use the toilet.  I pushed him into the men's room, up to the handicapped stall.  Ron jiggled the handle and some guy started yelling he was in there.  Ron asked him if he could move to a regular stall, as he was in a wheelchair (which I'm sure the guy could see), and needed to use the toilet.  The guy said no, and got a real attitude (I think because I was there). 

I was furious but I wasn't going to let Ron have an accident because someone was unprintable.  I took Ron to the ladies room.  There was a woman in the handicapped stall.  She was not disabled.  AGH!  Ron was the only disabled person in the entire restaurant. 

She was nice enough to hurry it up and make way for us, so I pushed Ron in the stall and guarded the door.  Ron took care of his business and everyone's happy. 

I am not sorry.  If you keep my husband from using the men's room I will take him to the ladies.  And I won't be sorry about it, I will shove him in there and let him do what needs to happen. 

I make no apologies.  If we can have transgenders in the ladies room we can certainly have a blind cripple. 

Our handyman came out, and is in the process of fixing up the bathroom ceiling mold/paint issue.  He cleaned it with mold killer and bleach, is going to use mold killing primer, and will then put a regular bathroom top coat. 

He's at the store, getting the paint, because, as I told him "I only have orange paint" (for the house).  Orange paint in a light blue bathroom would be horrible. 

"Ron wouldn't mind" said Greg.  I had to laugh.  He's right. 

I feel bad, though, I forgot to give him a Gatorade.  I hear thunder so I'm glad he is working inside today. 

So, probably no nap today but that's OK.  I will get a load off my mind and that's more important. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A bloody blackout

It looked like a crime scene, a huge pool of blood, spatters, and a smear headed up the hall in my direction.  I followed the trail to Ron's room and found another, wide, smear on his door.  Ron was covered in blood and looked like a murder victim. 

He fell of his walker, during a blackout.   

I got him up (he was awake, sober, and totally unaware of the carnage), and got him in the bath.  When he got out, the bath was red.  He cut the back of his head.  It's scabbed over already.  You only have a 4 hour window to sew up a laceration, if you wait too long it's just too late.  So it will have to heal up naturally.  Ron will just have to be careful brushing. 

Ron would say he was kidding, but he blamed me for the blackout "You wouldn't watch a movie with me.  You better watch one tonight or I'll have another one".  That sounds an awful lot like blaming, and threats. 

After the bath, I began the mop.  That took a while.  I used Lysol lemon something-or-other.  It did the job, it just took a while. I had to change the mop water as it got bloody. 

I kept thinking this is what a family of a murder victim must feel, as they clean up the blood.  Some came off in large flakes, some just dissolved on the mop.  It was taxing. 

I poured out the last bucket of blood-water and rinsed my mop, storing it in the usual spot. 

I was sweaty, and due for a shower anyway, Ron had finished in the bath.  So I had my shower.  Then I dried off and did my God Time.  I'm still on my cycle, it has been over a week now (mostly daily spotting). 

Ron just told me he has learned he will sit on the floor when he drinks, not the walker.  He is teasing me about hitting him last night. 

And the day has only started.