Heather runs the gamut as she blogs on managing her bipolar disorder, coming to terms with medication, sharing her faith, her latest project, and stocking the vending machines for her husband, who's blind. "1 Corinthians 4:12-13 (New International Version)
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world."
Once, a person on a message board strongly implied I made up aspects of my life. Yes, sometimes my life is unbelievable, but I truly have a 4 foot long stuffed brown bear in my living room. We named him "Henry" - we've had him for over 4 years. I have a bigger bookcase, and I moved him over by the front door, but other than that he looks the same.
Precious! That's Frosty in my lap. I get lots of lovies out of him. Such a sweet boy. These are all in my slideshow if you're observant, but I thought I'd put stills out too. These are all 2005 vintage.
My famous low-carb vending machine. Yes, you can put a paperback in a vending machine. Yes, they all sold. Sadly, the machine only averaged about $20 a month in sales. Ron made me convert it to regular snacks after a year or so. It was a great concept, but mainstream America just wasn't ready for the concept. I hope to one day fill all my snack machines with low-carb goodies.
Today I saw my psychiatrist for my tune up. Overall, it went great.
My aunt encouraged me to try some pink hair color - temporary, so I did. It was fun. I can check that off my list of things to do. Most people seemed to like it.
I brought some chocolate for the office staff, they are really sweet gals and have a good time at work. I brought a bag of Ron's beloved pretzels for the Dr.
He complimented me on my continuing weight loss and I told him about the low blood pressure I've been having. I asked if I could cut my Lexapros in half. He said yes. Yay!
I don't care about the money, I'll pay whatever it takes to keep me sane, but if I can lose some side effects I'll do it! I also mentioned my blood sugar readings, 110 and 117 when I checked. He wants me to keep an eye on that, which I'll do happily. I would rather deal with it early than end up needing an amputation because I was an idiot.
Speaking of idocity, my gallbladder's been "intermit…
In this economy, everyone loves Walmart. Today I went to Walmart.
We had to work today (usually our day off) because I see my psychiatrist tomorrow. I consider my visits "tune-ups". My blood pressure's been a little low, and maybe he needs to know my fasting glucose is 117. I do want to show off my new figure.
So, after work, Ron and I went to Burger King. He can actually eat more and somewhat enjoy his food. I went to a beauty supply store because they have an awesome collection of belts. The belts run $4-5. I can actually afford them.
I had bought a "large" which, happily, proved to be "too large". I'm going to donate it. I got a few belts, silver, black, red, pink, cobalt, and orange. I got them all in MEDIUM! You'll see at least one of them within a few days. I'm doing new progress pictures tomorrow. I also got some temporary hair color. It'll be fun to be "hot pink" tomorrow. I'm very excited about th…
I am ashamed to admit I don't have the 10 commandments memorized. I could probably get them all down, in order, but I don't "know" them the way I should.
One I do know, is #7. Don't steal.
When I was a teenager, I shoplifted. Probably a few hundred dollar's worth of merchandise total. I was caught and "dealt with".
I could excuse myself by saying I was taking an antidepressant without a mood stabilizer, which made me "manic". I had no respect for rules and authority as a result. I was sick, but I knew it was wrong when I did it.
I have very few secrets - my life is an open book and you can read it all in my blogs. It's up to you to decide if that's a good thing.
So, how did my sin affect my life? Well, I was stolen from on several occasions. My husband was stolen from. Some thug broke into our stockroom and stole $500 in quarters. We even knew who did it - he told us "They didn't take all the money, only half!&…
I'm becoming more of an advocate for bipolar disorder. I enjoy educating people. I find that a good thing.
I'm a Christian who believes that everything I have comes from God. How am I using what He gave me?
Here's a funny story. Back in 1998-99 I got manic for charity. I donated so much to one charity I was invited to a formal dinner! I volunteered at an agency that dealt with abused children. I gave 2/3 of my closet to various charities.
I like that now. It's "cute". After that fiasco, where I almost had the electricity cut off because I'd given too much to a charity, I was more cautious.
I didn't really do any kind of "planned giving" other than calling up the Salvation Army now and then and asking them to "Take it away!".
I was recently reading a message board and a woman referred to a violent ex-husband as "going bipolar" on her. I sent her a message:
I found your comment about XH "Going bipolar" very hurtful. Bipolar disorder does not always equate to mental and physical abuse. Please be careful - bipolar is an illness, not an adjective to describe horrible behavior. It is an incredibly treatable illness, too. I have it myself. It is EXTREMELY offensive to use it the way you did. It stigmatizes everyone with bipolar disorder, including very responsible, kind and loving people such as myself. He may have had bipolar illness, and he chose not to get it treated, I'll guess he probably factored drugs and alcohol into the equation, which made him hateful, but people are not hateful because they have bipolar illness. The best way I heard it described is "It makes you more of what you are". I gave too much money to charity and wouldn't shut up when I was manic. I know i…
My music makes me incredibly happy. There's nothing I love better than living my life to a soundtrack. Today at work Ron had a small personal crisis. I had to drop everything I needed to help him. I had a lot more work as a result.
It's easy, as a caregiver, to get into the whole resentment loop. I have to watch myself. Let me put on my drama queen crown: I do so much. He doesn't appreciate me... except he does. :P I'm a fairly royal pain myself, today Ron had to remind me to feed the cats and fill up their water bowl... both bowls were almost completely empty. No wonder they kept begging for treats!
Part of my glamourous job as Mrs. Ron/assistant manager [our] Vending Company involves taking out a rolling dumpster cart. 16 cubic feet. I take it about a quarter of a mile, then dump it into the compactor. I tilt it back up, and take it back down the hall to our stockroom.
Fortunately, I had my tunes. I've got about 100 tracks on my MP3 player. As I …
Today I saw two men with obvious severe mental illness. Guy #1 was manic, grandiose (the senator calls him for economic advice), talking his head off, very loud and aggressive, getting into other people's personal space, and almost shouting. If I were a good Christian I'd say I prayed for him. I just prayed to GET AWAY from him.
I met another man on the bus. He was convinced he knew me (Delusions). I just said "I have one of those faces". He kept asking intrusive questions but I managed to dodge him and escape as the bus approached my stop.
Then, on a message board, I read a post by someone who claimed "I have bipolar disorder, but I handle it naturally". What the HELL?
I mean, to me, those guys are the boogeymen of unmedication. If I go off my pills, I'll make them look like amateur night. It would undoubtably end with police, handcuffs, mental hospital. If it went well. Ending badly? Probably in the morgue.
About 6 years ago, I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some life-changing advice. My husband, already disabled and now badly injured, prostrate in a hospital bed. I stayed with him 24/7 (a doctor wrote orders) and helped with gentle reality orientation, general company, and outright spoiliing. He always did better when I was around, so I was bound and determined to stay with him as much as possible.
One day, out of clean clothes and about to start my cycle, I realized I needed to go home. I felt like the worst wife ever. I was going to abandon my husband in his hour of need. How could I think about things like lonely housecats, checking the mail, and toiletries at a time like this? How could I?
I very apologetically explained that I'd be leaving when the new nurse aide came in. She frowned at me. "How long will you be gone?" I told her, only a few hours. She sniffed "Not good enough". I continued to explain, I was so sorry, but I really NEEDE…
I am so sick of my damned gallbladder. I had a horrible attack last night and today. Finally, it passed (ha ha). I hate it! Agonizing pain! No insurance!
The little bastard has been acting up ever since I started losing weight - almost a year now. Hey, I warned you I'd be using bad language.
See, I'll get it taken care of, when it's the right time. That time is the moment when my symptoms indicate "It's time to go to the hospital" - like a fever, turning yellow, really bad abdominal pain, vomiting, or nausea. Currently I just get this horrible drilling pain, about a 5 on a 1-10, constant, occasionally getting worse. I'll go to "County" and they'll hopefully get the little booger out once and for all, happy ending. I just hope the stones aren't so big they have to do a big incision.
ENOUGH ALREADY! Don't I have enough grief in my life, God? Huh? I gotta suffer some MORE? And assuming I get the surgery, who's going t…
Warning, this post will cover some biological functions and discuss, in detail, symptoms of my "mental illness". OK, you're warned.
Before I got treated for my bipolar disorder, I had "psychotic features". I'd feel things on my skin, like crawling bugs all up and down my legs. One day I bumped a fire ant nest and didn't notice until they began biting me, because I'd become so accustomed to the crawling sensations. I also had paranoid delusions - They were out to get me. I'd see people who weren't there, especially out of the corner of my eye, and most annoyingly, hear music, laughter and other sounds that didn't exist. It was ghastly.
So, how does that lead to a "Milk Bra"? Well, my doctor prescribed Risperdal for my psychotic symptoms. It works very well. If I'm completely exhausted I may get a recurrence, but another tablet takes care of them quickly.
Risperdal has some side effects. It can contribute to heart p…
I'm listening to Newsboys on my computer as I type. I spent most of the day helping my husband download tunes - he got some gift cards for Christmas. Ron said I could download a few tunes for myself, so I did.
I just finished listening to a nifty tune "Wake the Dead" by Family Force 5. It's addictive. I keep clicking on it again and again. "Play" "Play". What else did I get?
Group 1 Crew, "Live out Loud" - kind of hip-hoppy, some rap. I love it too. It's very danceable. I keep thinking, listening to today's music, how great it would be for running.
116 Clique; "Fanatics Raggaeton". "I'm not extreme, I'm redeemed with faith!" A very tasty change of pace on my player. Even the most die-hard conservative Christian couldn't object to the lyrics.
I also got more Skillet - "Those Nights". I have a huge amount of Skillet on my player, great group. Ron did listen to one song and wa…
I woke up today with a horrible migraine. A good thing about migraines - they help you put things in perspective. If I can move my head without agonizing throbs of pain, eat and savor my food, look at lights, enjoy fragrances, and listen to anything without pain, life is wonderful!
I also made a resolution to avoid vexations to my spirit. Something about the physical pain made me realize I was being an idiot to engage idiots. I'm very happy with my decision.
I suffered, as usual, for about 12 hours. I took one phenergan tablet (25 mg), 2 coated asprin, and 2 Alka-Seltzer total. Finally, the pain receded around 5 PM.
Life is wonderful when I don't have a migraine. It's even better, though, when I'm medicated, so I made sure to take both of today's lithium with my dinner. I'm very groggy, dizzy, and mellow feeling right now. I'm also very tired.
Today wasn't a total write off, I made good decisions about my life, spoiled my husband and cats, and …
On New Year's Eve, my husband set his hair on fire accidentally while lighting firecrackers. He holds the fuse next to his ear, lights the lighter, listens for the fuse to hiss, and throws it. Instead of a hissing noise, he heard a roaring noise and realized he'd caught his hair on fire. He put it out and you can't even tell - no lasting damage.
I shared the story, with a humorous bent, and people got incredibly upset. Analogies were made "Just like they would let a child light fireworks, I shouldn't have let my husband light them either." My husband has the capacity of a small child? No, he's a grown man with legal rights. I don't "let" him do anything, he makes his own decisions.
If he wants to set his hair on fire, it's his God-given right, just as it's his right to light fireworks, play with power tools, use knives, cook, and do electrical work. My dishwasher works great - because Ron fixed a lousy splice and bad ground …