Showing posts from June, 2007

Not another one!

Yesterday I woke up with a headache. "Oh, no" I thought, "Not another migraine!" The only "new" food I'd eaten - a few muffins from an oat bran muffin mix. It didn't have any of my trigger foods so I thought I'd be OK.

Yesterday was supposed to be "Walmart, work, Taco Bell, home". I made it to Walmart. Ron needed more 13 gallon trash bags. By the time I got to Walmart I realized a smart Heather would get herself a new 5 gallon pail & lid - just in case.

I just barely made it home before the violent, miserable, retching up my toenails ensued. Took a phenergan (I love whoever disovered phenergan), curled up in bed with my ice bag (thank you Ron!). Slept a couple hours. Woke up, sick again, another ice bag, more phenergan. Repeat.

I love my 5-gallon buckets. They're so trusty and dependable when I need them. Stalwart buddies, they're there to take the worst I've got to offer, a dependable prop when I need the…

Heather spins up trouble for Bubba

Well, I still haven't gotten my 2 spinning books. WAAAAAH! Evil Heather says that's what I get for trusting it to the Postal Service, haven't I seen enough at the processing center? WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?

Thank you, I feel better. If you'll recall, a while back I got a top-whorl drop spindle, some wool fiber, and one spinning book. I did it. I have yards and yards of yarn wound onto the base of my spindle. So pretty and soft, so much potential, so many things it could be. Yummy.

And then Bubba (large black shorthair male cat rescued in 2003) got into my wool batt and dragged it all over the floor. He loves his batt. It's so enticing, so exciting, so wooly. He loves to bite and chew on the batt, rolling around on his back, all 4 paws jerking away at the fiber.

I just don't have the heart to remove the whole toy, so I'm spinning it up slowly. Then I'll buy some cheap stuff and put that in the basket, instead. He looks so cute.

Yay! I get paid …

"Hell Trips"

Several of our Metrolift trips this week have been bad - "Hell trips". I don't mind waiting on a pickup; but I do mind waiting 2 hours when I have an imminent delivery, then a bunch of finger-pointing from the driver on how it's all our fault.

I'm the person who's waiting outside, knitting or reading. I'm outside 15 minutes before my pickup time, just like they tell me to. I see the ride, I wave at the vehicle (drivers tend to go in the wrong parking lot at work otherwise). I smile, I'm ready to go, I help my husband. The driver just has to - drive. It doesn't matter if the driver's late, I assume everyone's a nice guy/gal.

One exception saw me waving several times in the cold and rain - it was freezing, driving up and down the street right past us for an hour and it's cold and did I mention it was raining? When he finally deigned to stop he yelled at us for giving "bad information" -- he didn't get a smile. I tol…

I'm rich!

Every now and then Ron and I ride with a driver who is absolutely convinced we are rich. "Ooooh, you gotta lotta money, huh?" said with a knowing wink. Combined, Ron and I take home about half what he makes, but he'll never believe it.

I am rich, in the things that matter. I have a loving God who cares about me, and a loving, supportive family. A husband who cherishes me and values me. Co-workers I like and respect, who feel the same about me. A quiet home in a safe neighborhood, good doctors I trust and respect, and two handsome kitties to sleep in my bed.

However, I take home about $600 a month. I've got room and board included since I'm married to the boss. My idea of a good time is reading a used inspirational romance novel (about a quarter at my local store), or maybe taking my knitting (cost, about 10 cents an hour) to Taco Bell and yakking at Ron. Our favorite date is "Burger King and Half-Price Books (for Heather), on her way back, Heathe…

Bubba's having fits

Poor Bubba is having fits in the window. We had a cool front come in, so we opened the windows that have screens. It's probably about 70-something degrees right now.

"I've" got Cardinals (the birds, not the team) in "My" Red-tip Photina (Cardinals and Red-tip, no wonder they live there). Unlike most homeowners or landscaper types, I prefer a more natural look to "my" hedges. I don't believe in butchering the poor things to quivering stumps, and ruthlessly whacking any vestige of nature. I HATE bushes like that. So I thin them out as needed, and confine them to a general area, but I don't hack them. I've had sparrows and the cardinals nesting in them as a result.

I love birds, always have, always will. I do feel bad for them because we have 2 alley cats. Ron and I can tell when Bubba's under the red-tip, frightening the birds - they scold him like you wouldn't believe. The mockingbirds love to follow Ron around after h…

I skunked the driver

Riding the Metrolift paratransit service, you encounter various "types". The "Practical" an outgoing, no-nonsense female driver, she's the one who can eat a hamburger, talk to dispatch, and navigate hellish traffic in a downpour. The Talker, who'd have a seizure if they had to hang up. The older white guy, a little off-beat, but a really nice guy.

Today, we rode with a "Refrigerator". I have a theory that "Refrigerators" had a poverty-stricken childhood. They never had air conditioning, or, if they did, it was carefully rationed. They probably never got enough to eat, either, although "Refrigerators" tend to be average-weight. Their parents each worked 2 jobs to pay the bills and never had enough time for them, although they had loving homes. They are addicted to keeping their vehicle as cold as possible. To them, 60 degrees is ideal. They're the reason Ron always brings a coat when we ride, especially in the sum…

I would be depressed

I've never had this experience until I started taking my pills; I can tell that if I weren't taking them, I'd be seriously depressed. This time (since I got upgraded to 900 mg of Lithium a day) it's even better. The only real symptom I have is not wanting to take a shower.

I like to take my shower at night and let my hair air-dry. Then, I use an elastic to pull it back into my trademark ponytail. But when I'm cycling into depression, I don't want to shower. I have to (pardon, my age is showing) like, force myself to shower. It feels so taxing.

I'm incredibly serious when I say, it's so refreshing to only deal with fatigue and I-don't-want-to-shower. Maybe a stiff joint or some digestive weirdness (very common with any depression), but that's it. Normal is very underrated. It's, (again), like, wow. This rules. I hope I do get used to this.

Since I'm a "rapid cycler" and my illness was undiagnosed for so long, I don&…

Today was much better

Today was much better.

Ron was upset about a property tax thing. We made up; settled up, and it was $500 less than he'd expected to pay. We got some good BBQ today on the way home and had a good time with out buddy Chuck.

I got 2 of my Alibris books. I'm reading up on spinning with a high-whorl drop spindle (which I've ordered from Paradise). I got a confirmation email from Walton's (I figure God is allowing shipping delays to remind me that I'm still a bit manic). I can probably expect the Walton's in a week or two (fine). They have awesome shipping rates, very low. Yeee-haw.

Dr P called. From the questions, I gathered my (Lithium) levels were low. The migraine Sunday didn't help; if I can't take my Lithium the level drops. So, I did some research and found a compounding pharmacy that will, get this, make me a lithium suppository. They had some very appropriate questions (why? What do you hope to accomplish? "Keep my Lithium level fro…

Heather gets her blood test and whines on other topics

I finally got my lithium blood test. Thank you, Quest Diagnostics. They were great. As far as I'm concerned, the $60 was money well spent. I was especially happy when the technician made such a nice quick poke. No jabbing around and apologizing, no long owie... just wham. I looked down and the large tube was filling, then I'm done and out of there. The Daffy Duck bandaid was, however, a disappointment. It fell off and I had to get another bandaid out of my purse.

I didn't get a T-shirt or a snack. And they didn't even thank me for donating! Waaah! It all came together really well and I was very happy when I saw she drew the blood exactly 12 hours after my last dose. I plan to go there again for my next test and I'd tell anyone about my happy experience. It was a very professional, high-quality place. Only I would bring my own hamburger to eat afterwards, along with a 20-ounce soda to wash it and my pills down. If I don't take my lithium and lexap…

That which doesn't kill me...

Saturday was awesome. Really, a wonderful day. I went shopping at Walmart, made my deposit, and came home and purchased the stuff I've been wanting for a while. I even got my nifty new-to-me digital camera from Mom and Dad! For dessert, I had a delicious treat, sugar-free cherry pie filling on top of sugar free vanilla ice cream. Ron loved it too, he licked the bowl clean. All in all, a very good day.

Sunday we had planned on going to work, then Burger King, Half-Price books (for me, while Ron's at Burger King), and Ron wanted to get some falafel to go from the deli that shares the parking lot with the Burger King. It would have been a lot of fun.

However, the cherries in the cherry pie filling? They were dyed with Red #40. For some reason, I didn't check the label. DUMB DUMB DUMB. Red #40, Yellow #5 and anything to do with nuts, are all migraine triggers.

Yesterday, I was laid up with a horrible kicker of a migraine. Every time I turned or adjusted my position…

Last night

Generally, I am a Fox TV fan. I like most of their nightime dramas; interesting, not trashy. Characters that don't try to be quirky, they just are - intelligent TV. Even when I was suicidal, the "King of the Hill/Simpsons" block at 6 PM was a lifesaver.

Last night, I watched "Standoff". It's a very good program. I like the "regulars" and the story lines are all different. I don't feel like I'm watching the same program over and over. I'm not going to "spoil" the episode.

One of the main characters was a Paranoid Schizophrenic with paranoid delusions. In many regards, he could have been me. And it's SAD. It's sad that anyone has to go through this. I've never felt like I could trust my brain, as far back as I remember. When my Dad built us all a tree house (I must have been about 7), I was afraid to use it because I had delusions my 4 year old "little brother" was going to kill me by pushing m…

"You don't have to be a cat forever."

I earned my title as the "Junk Food Queen" today by purchasing $180 worth of candy bars and stuffing them into the snack machines.

My derigeur bipolar update: Today I was supposed to get my lithium level tested. I stayed up late last night so I could take my Lithium as late as possible (midnight, as it has to be 10-12 hours since my last dose at the time of the test). I took a nap in the afternoon. Got up 6 hours later (that'll make me manic, alright). Had a great trip to Sam's Club. Nice driver.

Got the candy bars. Went outside. Another nice driver and good trip. Left Ron outside with the candy. Ran in, got the cart, loaded the cart, went in. We got to work late so we didn't have long before our next pickup, to go to the hospital. Stuffed candy bars into 2 snack machines. They look good. Snack 2 can shut down if people hit it, so I decided to invest my time in machines that won't go "Out of Service" if they smack it a few times (hey, i…


I was reading my lab papers (I go for my Lithium level test tomorrow) today. I think "we" may need to up my lithium some more, last night I spent hours online looking at meat sticks. Yah. Glorybee, who sells the most delicious hard honey candy with a soft honey center... mmmm. That's easy. I love their products and I have a terrible weakness for honey. I am thinking of buying some candy for my doctor's staff. And one tiny bag for me...

Anyway, I looked at my papers. My "Diagnosis Code" is 296.6. Being a curious little booger, I just looked it up.

"296.6 Bipolar I disorder, most recent episode (or current) mixed
Manic-depressive psychosis, circular type, mixed" What does it mean? First of all, Bipolar, well that's where I go too fast or too slow. Type one is the most severe form.

"In some people, however, symptoms of mania and depression may occur together in what is called a mixed bipolar state. Symptoms of a mixed state often …


I believe in honesty. A couple hours ago while I was at a cookie shop I overheard something that aggravates me to no end.

Ron and I used to run a deli. We sold Macadamia nut cookies, chocolate chip, and oatmeal rasin (we'd buy them at Sam's Club and repackage them).

"I want one of the Macadamian nut cookies, too" I heard.

Macadamia is singular. Macadamia. "Macadamian" is NOT A WORD! It just makes you sound like an ignorant SLUG!

AGH! I just had to get that out of my system. I used to have such a hard time getting the cookies and handing them over to the customers without saying "It's Macadamia cookies." Or saying "No. We don't sell Macadamian. We only sell Macadamia cookies." But even before my pills, I'd bite my tongue and hand them over with a smile.


Thank you. I needed to get that out of my system.

Hey, I used to call basil "BUH-sil". It's not the bad English that aggravates me…

Llama hat

I told Ron about my idea for the llama hat. He loves it. He has a vivid memory of being spat on and menaced by a llama when he was a little boy.

I told him that, when I'm proficient, I'd like to get some llama fiber, spin it, and knit him a hat. "You'll be nice and warm while you think about a naked llama running around somewhere." He loves it; more than I'd hoped.

I already ordered some used books on spinning from I'll have a few days to read them, and then, after I get paid Friday (and make my deposit), I'm going to get some fiber and a drop spindle. I love learning new things. It will be a lot of fun spinning my own yarn. I get to enjoy it several times over, during the spin process, dyeing (I have ideas of doing indigo over a natural gray), and knitting it up into a warm and cozy product.

I think I'll use my first batch to knit myself some legwarmers. It doesn't matter if they're a little "Rustic" - I th…

"What are you?"

One of the worst questions I ever received came in a letter. My childhood friend had looked me up and was curious about my life. He was happy to hear I was happily married, gainfully employed, and a homeowner. The gist of the question was "What are you? What are your religious beliefs? I've heard you talk about prayer."

I was very discouraged. I am a Born-Again-Christian-Jesus-Christ-as-my-lord-and-savior-confess-repent-forgive-all-my-sins-love-God-love-your-neighbor-as-yourself-keep-the-commandments Christian. OK?

Agh. My spiritual gift is not evangelism. My spiritual gift is nurturing. I feel I put it to good use. God sees what I do and knows my heart.

I just had to get this out. I never want to hear that question again.

"Drink Responsibly"

My brain was damaged by alcohol before I was even born. It has a couple of names, FAS, ARND, but the result's the same. For a while after I learned of my diagnosis, I was furious at "Big Booze".

"They ruined my life before I even had one. How dare they? Someone should file a class-action lawsuit!" To some degree it's true. I'm a Born-Again-Christian and God has a way of letting me know when I need an "attitude adjustment".

Mine came as I watched a 300+ pound customer buying a couple of sodas and candy bars out of our vending machines. How dare I sell such damaging items! Couldn't I see I was ruining that man's health? Sugar is addictive and destructive. Don't I know how many people die of obesity-complications every year? Well. They're adults. They're making their own decisions.

God forgive me, our best customers are the fattest customers. We offer healthy options; fla…

Hot enough for ya?

UGH. I know my pills make me sensitive to heat but all I want to do in this post is whine. Now I know heat indices of 100's are bad, but they didn't used to be this bad. I actually used to like days like this. SHUDDER.

Good news! For most of today I felt exceptionally clear and sharp. I don't always trust my "feelings" so I told Ron and he agreed. I felt like I was a big help at work today and we both got a lot accomplished. It's nice not to feel so medicated. I'm always going to take side effects over symptoms but I'm glad they're both abating.

YAY! I got my debit card. Tomorrow I turn it on. I was going to make a deposit but the bank's only open in the afternoons - DUH! I'm glad the bank's inside my Wal-mart. I need to get some more Lithium later on this week anyway. I'm planning what I'd like to get.

It's funny; I thought of another thing I've noticed. As I was planning my purchases (some used books o…

"How much money do you have left?"

Well, my cocktail of drugs (5 pills a day now) is obviously working. Today, someone we know was just having an awful day. I gave him $5.

I told Ron later and he agreed with my sentiment/reason for doing so. God didn't put me here to be selfish. He did ask me "How much money do you have left?". $70, I told him. Ron was blown away. For me, it's an amazing feat, especially when I'm manic. It's a good thing I always shunned credit cards. I get paid legally, has to be Friday, but it will probably be earlier - Ron's a nice guy, the bank is always busy on Friday, and I hate shopping on paydays. UGH. I'd rather go hungry.

My only real vestiges of mania are:
1. Feeling extra chatty and outgoing.
2. Shopping online, but not spending (Thank God for Lithium and a $40 balance on the debit card, which has yet to arrive anyway).
3. Some odd dreams. Last night, it involved a tornado, then I had to fly somewhere but before I could fly I had to get a bloo…

"Suicide by Heather"

You've heard of suicide by cop, where someone will brandish a weapon at police just to get killed. Ugh. Well, I just experienced a wasp who chose "Suicide by Heather". He/she/it got into the house. I tried to persuade it to leave. I even opened the hot garage door and waited patiently, coaxing DUMMY to leave. No, it wanted to fly at my head and make me scream, then head towards my "dearly beloved" blind, shirtless, husband down the hall. That was it, I said "I guess you want to die, then.", shut the garage door and got the spray. I am such a softhearted person that I actually felt sorry for the accursed thing writhing on it's back in the window sill.

Ron, don't put your hand in the window!

Regarding the birds, Bubba brought me two dead ones this morning. They were quite plump and juicy looking, I'm surprised he didn't eat them. I don't recognize them, and as Polly (my aunt) says, maybe he's God's bird population c…

"Grandfather waves"

Today I went to go see my P-Doc (aka Psychiatrist, the MD who deals with my brain). He's an awesome dude, I love him to death.

This morning, we went to Ikea, had some breakfast, I did a little shopping (accidentally bought a FLAT sheet instead of fitted, agh!). I got some organizer stuff, came home, good trips. Went to see my Doc. Pretty obvious to me and Ron all day that yeah, I'm still pretty manic (even on the reduced antidepressant).

We ate at the wonderful deli in the building where my doctor has his offices, and the Doc had some great recommendations for me:
Increase my Lithium.Get a Lithium level blood test. Keep taking reduced antidepressant.Increase antipsychotic (which works awesomely). I call him in a week, and see him in about a month. My hands are shaking a little more and I didn't eat enough with the 600 mg dose I took with "dinner" but I am very happy. I already feel a lot better and that mental "itchiness" and compulsive talking…

"I don't tell you not to see"

This happened on Sunday, the 3rd. We're at work. Ron wants to change a "Flavor Strip" on our soda vending machine ("Soda 3"). It's a good old Vendo, very reliable. However, the Lipton just wasn't selling.

Ron had me get the "Flavor Strips" (the label that goes behind the clear plastic button you push to get your soda) for our Vendos. I read off the flavors and he decided he's going to put 7up instead.

We go into the breakroom. It's not very large, maybe 15 feet square. A TV is mounted on the wall in one corner, and our soda machine is in the other corner on the same wall. The TV is turned up extremely loud, and Ron (who's 30% deaf - nerve deafness) starts complaining and asking the guy to PLEASE TURN IT DOWN! The guy, with maintenance, isn't exactly warm and cuddly on the best of days, and today's no exception.

Ron asks him to turn it down again, this man is on a break and we have to work there (turns out later the…

"He wants to see you"

AGH. My day started out pretty well. I discovered two active, unharmed, baby mockingbirds in the kitchen. First time ever. The cats brought them in through the cat door. I locked up the cats and scooped up the birds, placing them into a bowl. They started peeping at me, little mouths open wide enough to hold a grape (God only knows how long the poor things had been there before I woke up). I didn't want to put them out on the lawn, so I brought the bowl into my computer room. I booted the PC and logged on (dialup). Googled "rescue baby wild birds". Got a boatload of good links.

Get this, you feed baby wild songbirds - moistened dry cat or dog food. I'm here to say, they were digging it. They'd gulp it down and peep for more, climbing over each other to reach "Mama Hand". It's a beautiful memory I'll cherish. My links said that since they are fledged (full coat of feathers, which is how I recognized they're Mockingbirds), just p…

"Hurricane Dip"

Well, it's the second day of hurricane season. My sister in Florida is making her "Hurricane Dip" and preparing for possible power outages, and I made a great discovery at Walmart! "My" Wal-mart had the 5-gallon bucket lids! I have about 8 or so buckets... they're handy for everything from scrap yarn storage to "barf bucket" during my more hideous migraines. Now I've got the capability to store over 40 gallons (I also have some other containers) of water should we experience a disaster. Of course I'd wash them out with bleach and air-dry before using them to store water, duh.

I also reopened my internet debit card account. I plan to get some stuff from Waltons in a week or two just to finish off my kit. When I'm finally, finally done I'll get some instant soy milk at Whole Foods. Ha, it would be ironic if I were killed in a disaster and the looters got my kit. And yes, I took my pills today. I'v…

"I don't want to use you"

Wednesday at work, we had a transportation screw-up. Only 1 hour at work, and I had to help Ron stock the machines, unload 2 pallets, receive a large soda order, and help out with other things. I suggested to Ron that I handle the more "active" job of unloading the sodas. I can manage the mania better if I'm active or engaged in something, otherwise my thoughts run wild.

"I don't want to use you." he replied. Trust me, I told him, I'm doing us both a favor. So I offloaded all the bottled soda and about 60 cases of canned soda; all in the period of 15 minutes. I tell you, I earned my pay.

I love that my medication can help me go from a manic, rabid, paranoid fight-picker to a calmer, more capable (albeit hyper) person. Days like today, when I slept 10 hours, went out to eat, came home, slept 4 more hours, and I'm still tired - well. I remind myself it's a trade off. I don't want to be sick.

This morning, in fact, I had a nightmare. …