Saturday, January 31, 2009

I took these photos this morning, Jan. 31, 2009

I feel the photo below is the most flattering. It was taken yesterday.


Pink hair photo from Thursday. Look, my shoes match my hair!






In case you ever wondered, this is what a REAL man looks like:
How do you like my pink hair? Now I can check it off my list of things I've always wanted to do.


This sign makes me so happy, every time I see it. They only recently came out with them.






Thursday, January 29, 2009

Henry the bear

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.


Here's a few of our vending machines. In order from left to right: Snack 1, Food 1, Food 3, Snack 2, and Soda 1. 2 Rowe Snacks, 2 Rowe foods, and a Dixie-Narco soda machine. We stuck a bill changer between the two food machines, and got rid of that box, but otherwise it looks the same.
I hope you enjoyed my blast from the past; a little glimpse of my everyday life today. When I get my pink-hair photos (just for today) I'll post 'em.



Tune-up

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 "intermittent" the last little while. I don't want to go to the hospital and my symptoms come and go. I don't want to have a big circus getting to the hospital and no symptoms! No thanks! I figure God will make it obvious if and when I need to go.

In the meantime, less antidepressant! Like I told the doc, if I need it, I'll increase it. it will be obvious if I'm not getting enough - I'll get depressed! I just want to minimize icky side effects.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Everybody loves Walmart

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 the possibilities of the belts for work. I am very limited in what I can wear in my vending job. Today I squatted down on the floor, then lay on the floor and reached under a machine. I often squeeze behind/between machines. I take out big, messy, rolling dumpsters and squat down to dump them. I empty 13 gallon trash bags of used coffee grounds.

So, the word of the day is cheap, durable, and cute. I generally pair a brightly colored, inexpensive tshirt with Walmart jeans and sneakers. Now I can slap on a cute belt. The last time I did that, with the too-large-"large", I got loads of compliments on my weight loss. So, I guess it's OK fashion wise.

I had loads of fun. I also got a cute linen dress, and a cute silk dress, at Salvation Army. I was so tired I forgot I put MY hat in the basket, so I paid for it, too. [laugh] It's a donation. The dresses are a little small but I feel they're attainable sizes. They only cost $7 for the both, and they're in perfect shape.

Then my little rolling cart and I went to Walmart. I tried on some jeans, but the fitting room mirror was not kind today. I kept thinking, I used to look a lot worse but I still thought I looked pretty bad.

Well, I'm not a supermodel and God has his own Design for me. I am taking good care of the body He gave me and that's what matters.

I got exciting things like light bulbs, cat food, etc. As I passed the bathroom, I noticed one lady sitting at the computer applying for a job. Someone else was waiting to use the computer after her. As I left the bathroom, the second person was now applying and a third person was waiting!

A sign of the times. Fortunately, Walmart was pretty quiet on a Wednesday afternoon. Who bought my Slimfast Low Carb Vanilla? Who? I almost cried.

I got pretty medicated towards the end. I didn't want to dare a depoisit, and I actually lost a hamburger while waiting on my cab. Thank God I don't have children!

Ron had some biscuits for dinner tonight and Frosty actually stole one and licked the butter off. I wish I'd had my camera.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Seventh Commandment

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!" - something only the thief would know (and not something we had disclosed). It was horrible to work with this man and know he was a thief, had stolen $500 of hard-earned money from my blind husband in a wheelchair and we didn't have the evidence to prosecute.

God dealt with him, though. He had invested thousands of dollars into his car, and it mysteriously erupted in flames, on the Beltway, and was burned to a crisp. The man was furious. I told him "Now you know how we felt". God really does repay, you know.

So, I know what it feels like to have a short register, because some short-change artist told me I didn't give him proper change; or I gave too much money back and someone didn't return it. I know how it feels to have a crackhead break into my garage and drag off my lawnmower as I scream invective at him, stark naked, standing in my driveway (before medication -wink).

I "aim" to be a very honest person. To be completely honest, I recently went shopping at a craft store. I wasn't charged for something I bought. It cost $2. I've been near the store, and I haven't gone in there and fixed it up. That's not cool. I need to make that right. It's been weeks.

Today I went to Walmart. I like eating at the McDonalds. I know the people there and they understand my odd way of eating. They've seen me lose 60 pounds.

I had some business at the Walmart, running errands for Ron. Then, he went home on Metrolift. I had a 32 ounce soda cup, filled with iced tea. I took it to the Post Office, a bit of a walk.

After I finished my business, I put the package in my cart and went to the McDonalds. "I'd like to buy a refill" I said, as I held up my cup.

Fifty-four cents. That's a small price to pay. The sign is very clear "No refills after leaving restaurant", so I purchase my refills. It was delicious, cold and refreshing, and lasted me through my shopping and all the way home.

I'm a sinner, we all are, but I aim to keep as many commandments as I can. I don't ever intend to steal anything.

So, I'll buy my refills and go to the craft store when I get paid.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things to do

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've been considering donating a small part of my paycheck to charity every month. So far, I have a few contenders:
#1 http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf They're definitely getting a cut.
#2 http://www.sohmission.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=195 "He who is kind to the poor, lends to the Lord" - our local rescue mission. My Dad works for a similar type agency.
#3. http://www.namonline.org/site/c.ktJYJ7MNIuE/b.2035351/k.C767/About_Us.htm I like what they do, they're local. I actually didn't notice them for a while but something happened I'll diclose later. Not overtly faith-based.
#4. I've always liked Doctors without Borders. http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
#5. How can I forget the FAS Community Resource Center? Theresa does amazing work on educating America and beyond about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (she adopted a child with FAS, one of the first to be formally diagnosed). http://www.come-over.to/FASCRC/
#6 I'd like to do some kind of Bible/help persecuted Christians thing eventually.
#7 Going back to one of my original thoughts, I'd like to donate to NAMI - they do advocacy and education for the "mentally ill". http://www.nami.org/ They do good work.

OK, now to tell my story about the Northwest Assistance Ministries. We've only been there a few times, riding with another paratransit client. This client is an older lady, very opinionated.

My lithium acts as a diuretic and I have to "go" every couple hours without fail. One day I had been riding around for over an hour, the driver had gone over many speed bumps into this other lady's apartment complex, then out again, stuck in traffic. I was about to pop. This lady lectured me about proper bladder control and told me not to take my medication when I'd be out in public. I'm not doing that! She was very critical of me.

I told the driver I had go, who let me out at a Burger King. I ran inside while he ferried the client to her destination. Dropping me off only took about 30 seconds, but every time we've seen the woman since then I always get the "Oh, you're the one who couldn't wait to go to the bathroom" in a harsh, judging tone of voice. I am a sensitive soul.

I find it hurtful that she constantly does that. Anyway, every time we pick her up she goes to NAM. God put it in my heart that I should pray for her (which I do) and that I should consider donating to NAM.

But I didn't want to donate to a program that helps women like HER! But wait, a minute, isn't there something in the Bible?

Matthew 5:44-46
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Mat 5:45
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mat 5:46
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

So, I'm going to donate because God wants me to do so. I won't even mention it the next time we pick her up.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Going bipolar

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 it wasn't your intent to be hurtful; but it's very painful for people who do have a valid mental illness, under treatment, at a great personal and physical cost, to be lumped in with your violent XH. Thank you


She replied, basically stating "All you people are alike, you can't make me change my mind". Well, I disagree.

I stand by what I said. I know many people with bipolar illness who WOULD have "gone bipolar" on the woman for making that statement. I'm a Christian. I pointed it out, told her I'd pray for her, I plan to pray for her, and I'll leave it up to God to handle her bigotry.

Please, it's an illness, not an adjective.

Thanks.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My music

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 came back, I was singing along with "Don't Bring me Down" by ELO. It was about 7 AM. I had gotten to work at 4:30.

A few Postal Workers stopped, did double takes, and smiled. One or two pointedly avoided me. [shrug] Oh, well. My singing is pretty awful, my dance moves even worse. I listened to my tunes as I helped Ron, filled the vending machines, did the "menial" job of unloading our pallet, and verified that the recalled peanut butter crackers were NOT in our vending machines.

After work, an exciting outside wait for a half hour in the cold. It wasn't too bad. I had my tunes.

And, best of all, this afternoon I finally figured out how to tell Windows Media Player to "find" all the tunes on my hard drive. Instead of the same old tracks, I have hours and hours of fun. I've been listening non-stop ever since. I can hear my music in the kitchen, doing dishes, making coffee, surfing Ebay, and feeding the cats for a change.

I'm glad something so simple can give me so much joy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Boogeymen

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.

I can't fathom risking your mind like that! It's anethema to me. I have nightmares I can't find my pills, the thought literally terrifies me.

Perhaps it because my illness was so hideous. By the time I was diagnosed, I had rapid cycling, mixed episodes (which means I'm far more likely to suicide), delusions, hallucinations, and felt like I was living in hell. Hell was inside my brain.

I'll never forget the relief I felt when I discovered Hell had a name (Bipolar) and a treatment! I resolved, as I read one terrifying side effect after another, that I didn't care if I puked all day, my hair fell out, and I never did any needlework again, as long as I could get some relief.

While my medication is somewhat toxic, causes fatigue, and has definitely impacted my blood sugar regulation, it's so much better than Before. My hair's fine. I can embroider, spin, knit, and crochet. Most importantly, I can type. I'm a little slower, I've noticed, but that's fine.

I work for Ron, and he's happy with my performance. That's what matters.

From everything I've read, I'm in the minority. Many people with bipolar disorder don't want medication... and the ones who do take it often aren't consistent in their dosing.

I'm a freak, if I can swallow I'm taking my pills. I set alarms. I get anxious if I'm down to 100 lithium tablets.

I'll stay a freak. I don't want to ever act like those guys I met today.

Again.

I know I did, for years. One of the first things I did when I escaped guy #1? I called Ron and thanked him for being so faithful.

God knows I would have run like hell, just like I did today.

"Take a day off for yourself"

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 NEEDED to go, I'd be back as soon as possible.

"No, you don't understand" she explained in a beautiful Jamaican accent. "You aren't taking enough time away from him." I gaped at her. I'd never heard this before. She continued "I have helped with a lot of homecare, people like you and your husband. Your heart is in the right place, you want to do everything for him. But you can't. If you try to do everything, you will hurt yourself, and him."

It made a hell of a lot of sense. "The best thing you can do, for both of you, is to take a day off for yourself. The whole day. Go out. Don't think about him at all. Do whatever you want, but don't worry about him. He will be fine. It is far better for you to go out and rest than to stay and burn out." I explained there was no POSSIBLE way I could take the whole day off. She frowned.

"OK, a half day then. Mr. Ron!" She leaned over Ron's bed and bellowed at him (he's somewhat deaf, too). "Mr Ron! Your wife is going out!" Ron murmured a protest. "You want a happy wife? One who stays with you? You let her go out once a week, you MAKE her do it. If you don't do this for her, she won't be any good for you. You love her right?" Ron agreed "Then, once a week, you send her out to have fun! You listen to me!" She turned to me again.

"If you no good to you, you no good to him. You both remember that, you be fine. OK?"

I am utterly convinced, to this day, that woman was sent by God. If more caregivers (and patients) received her loving advice, think of all the peace and harmony! Families living together, caregivers happily giving, knowing that they also receive, happiness all around.

Instead, so many caregivers try to do do do it all. I have to do it on my own! I CAN'T ASK FOR HELP! Then they burn out, at best they end up with a crippling depression perhaps, everyday a miserable chore to endure.

The last month has been crazy for me. My father almost died, my husband's no better, my transportation options are pretty limited, both cats were sick, and sales were terrible last month. I didn't get my day out a few weeks running - too many other "Important" things to do.

Well, today I did it. Ron sent me off with a smile, and I finally did simple things like get a haircut, go to the thrift store, and check out that new beauty supply store. I ate 4 delicious flame broiled beef patties and went to the sporting goods store. I went to a different grocery store and bought myself some berries and cream. I bought incense, and a cute new belt. I drank a lot of diet soda and showed a hairdresser, restaurant manager, and convenience store clerk my "before" photos.

As I took my shower tonight, I burned my new "rose" incense (after shutting Ron's door) and enjoyed myself immensely. Tomorrow? A lot of running around at work, take out the dumpster, call in a food order, and go home after work.

I'm ready for it, now. Thanks to my "day off".

Thank you, whoever you are.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heather complains and uses bad language re: gallbladder

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 to take care of Ron and the business? I have a lot of heavy lifting at work. Not many people I'd trust with my keys, very few to be blunt.

I am tired of hurting, and I've had too many times where I went to the hospital with agonizing abdominal pain, only to have the stone pass before I was seen. Or I was told, just go home and rest. Yes, that's why I sacrificed a whole day of my life waiting in your crappy waiting room with sick people, so I could hear you tell me that and then bill me for a thousand dollars!

THAT'S why I'm going to make damned sure I'm half-dead before I go to the hospital.

I wish I could take it out myself!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Milk Bras

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 problems, and diabetes. It also raises prolactin levels. Prolactin - here's a link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prolactin . Eventually, I might get a breast, ovary, or pancreatic cancer but I assure you it's a lot riskier for me to be unmedicated than to worry about "maybes" 30 years in the future. With my meds, I'll have a future.

I tend to retain water in my breasts, quite a bit, in the 2 weeks before my period now. I attribute that to the prolactin. Rarely, when I'm ovulating, my breasts will make and express milk. Yes, human milk. All of a sudden I get a little spontaneous "squirt" into my bra. I don't know about anyone else, but whatever it is I make is a disgusting shade of greenish brown and stains my bras.

Hence, milk bras. If they have a milk stain (inside the cup only, I don't make that much milk) I will wear them when I'm ovulating, just in case. It's only happened maybe 6 times in the couple years I've been taking the medication. I know someone who expressed lots of milk every day while she took Risperdal, so I feel fortunate.

Antipsychotics have a terrifying list of side effects, so I'm not switching. I can handle the swollen breasts and the occasional milky outburst. Oddly enough, I can't squeeze out any milk, it just comes out when it feels like it.

As I lose weight, I lose sizes too. I was a 40 band size when I started, now I can wear a 35. As I drop bra sizes, I dispose of them. Bras in good condition go to a thrift store, but the milk bras get tossed out.

I have a few more to toss out, I discovered today. Oh, well. It's a lot better than being "crazy".

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ron and cats. Look in his left armpit, that's Frosty.



Progress pics! Here I am in November, on the loading dock at work. Note the glamorous backdrop.

Here's another front shot. Note my header - the "News Center" at work.

The picture below was taken 5 months before, the one on top. Black top - June. Purple top - November. You can sure notice the weight loss!




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 was shocked to learn that the group is half women, and one of them's the drummer. He used to be a drummer way back so he was impressed.

All this got me thinking how BLESSED I am to live in this country. In America, I can pay for and download whatever songs I want, be it "Wake the Dead" or "It's my Perogative" - I got 2 versions of that'n. Having Christian music on my computer, talking about it on my blog, and carrying it on my person is all perfectly legal. It's my right.

Many other countries are not so blessed. Let's take a sec to pray for those Christians, huh?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Take nothing for granted

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 took care of Heather. I had a great chat with Mom and Dad, planned my next craft project - embroidery, and even washed all my bedding.

I love my little titanium ring guard. I purchased it on Ebay. It's wonderful. I love how the CZ's sparkle, yet it isn't too flashy. I take it off to cook, and wear it the rest of the time. Titanium is an incredibly durable metal, so I don't have to worry about hurting it.

Now I just need to decide how to spend next week's internet budget. More iron-on transfers for my embroidery? Plain pillowcases so I can make Mom that cute embroidered parakeet pillow? Some Dr Bronners rose soap liquid? Bar? Both?

Since I'm properly medicated it's a fun dilemma, instead of something to plague me or compel me to try to buy it all. Like I told Mom tonight, I have the occasional nightmare where I can't find my medication. It's horrible.

My doctor has great faith in me as well. Come to think, I bet he'd love an embroidered pillow too.

Ron's wailing (humorously) that he's got a cat in his bed. Too bad I won't "rescue" him.

Friday, January 2, 2009

He's blind, so what?

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 years ago. Everytime I need it, I turn it on and it works. Because Ron does electrical work.

The cats enjoy their condo because he does carpentry work (not so much these days), and every day I sit in a chair he assembled a few years ago. Guess what? They all work fine.

Some people continued to be outraged. Others didn't see what the fuss was about. What it came to, I feel, was as simple as this: the average person thinks that someone who's blind, or otherwise disabled, is incapable of making their own choices. They should be wrapped in a protective cocoon and not allowed to do anything "dangerous".

That's not what America's about. America is about independence, self-determination, and the God-given right to set one's hair on fire if they so choose, lighting firecrackers on New Years Eve.

I can't fix what's wrong with him.

I slept OK, once I got to sleep, and woke up right about the time of my alarm clock.  It hadn't been set properly, apparently.  I got ...