Sunday, May 31, 2009

A complete butt

Ron's nervous about the trip.

How can I tell? He did something stupid, acted like a complete butt, and now he's hiding in his room. Actually, I yelled at him, "I'm not bothering you, why don't you leave ME alone?" Amazingly, he complied!

It's more aggravation when I don't need it. One of my devotions tells me not to hold grudges, to forgive people before I pray, etc. -laugh- Appropriate.

Here comes trouble right now, headed for the kitchen. Anyway, even if he acted like a complete butt all week, guess what? That only reflects badly on him. I know I am a kind, loving, lovable person. Jesus died for ME.

Even when I feel like Ron doesn't value or respect me, I can hang on to that.

The last time...

Well, I'm packed. The vending machines are full.

Our bags are near the front door. All I need to do, tomorrow, is pack my brush, Ron's brush and deodorant, and my devotional book!

The last time I anticipated something this much, I had an inbound hurricane! This ought to be A LOT more fun.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cheetos

I was nagging Ron about the cat treats recently. "It's like feeding a kid cheetos all the time, he needs to eat cat food!"

Ron started calling Bubba "Cheetos"now. "You are what you eat", as he doles out more treats. "He rumbles, Heather!" he'll wail as he dishes out more treats, and I'll walk in Ron's room to see a slobbering cat on Ron's pillow, inhaling cat treats.

Chuck came by today and we had a nice little visit. I told him of my concerns for Bubba, being all alone while we're gone. How I wished we could leave the cat door open.

"Heather, if you did that he'd take it as a personal challenge to fill up the house! You'd probably find an Eagle when you got home!"

So true.

Matthew 6:20

Matthew Chapter 6:19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
It's a good thing I do store up my treasures in Heaven! A neighbor just came to tell me she got burgled; and some other houses in the area have also been robbed as well. Eeek.
We'll be out of town next week, and that's prime time for a theft. Ron ordered something off the internet and it may arrive while we're gone. Someone might break in... might.
But then, Who do I trust? Really, do I have anything a criminal would value? No. Well, maybe that expired bottle of pain pills in the disaster kit but that's it.
My computer runs Windows 2000, which is a good indicator of its' age as well. Ron's computer might fetch $40, and my television is a joke. I have one DVD - disc, I don't have a player.
Worst case, I ought to pick up just so the police wouldn't be freaked out by all my junk, but I'm not worried about "my stuff". All the good stuff is in Heaven and I plan to bring all my giveaway Bibles, the ones I haven't given away yet, on the trip. They wouldn't want my Grandmother's battered old Bible, or the one I got when I was 8 years old. Interesting the "things" I value most are my Bibles!
I'm glad I do store my treasures in heaven.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My dilemma




I have two problems, actually, both involving a certain plump black cat.


First, Daddy has a problem with the cat treats. I swear, I have not seen that cat eat cat food in months! He's always begging for treats, treats treats! Ron says he doesn't feed him "many" but how many is many?


I have told both Ron and the cat that I'm not ready to lose another cat. He's got to start eating his dry food.


Which leads me to issue number 2. Bubba likes to hunt. See above rat photo. He likes to bring his prey in through the cat door and chase it around the house!
I've come home, to live mockingbirds on the bookcase! How un-Texan! Hunting the State Bird! Shame on you, Bubba!
When we leave town next week, it seems obvious that we'll have to close the pet door. We can't let Bubba bring God-knows-what into the house for 4 days. I shudder to think...
Yuck. Enough said.
However, Bubba's first "family" moved and left him to starve. They locked up the house and left, taking their bird feeder. The landlord asked what they'd planned for the cats, and they said they didn't care. I took Bubba, as a black cat he was not popular and they'd have killed him. Plus, I love black cats, and Bubba thought I was pretty cool after that first can of "Chum Bucket".
I worry he'll think we've abandoned him, too. I could take him to the vet for boarding, but he'd hate it.
I'll be closing the cat door, probably the garage cat door. Bubba will be locked in the house, with access to the locked garage. He can use the box in the garage. He won't "go" in the house, not even after a hurricane.
If Bubba somehow escapes, I'll open the garage cat door and block access to the house (I hate this option). I will move the food and water to the garage, and he'll just have to make do with outside and garage until we get home.
Poor Bubba. I wish we could bring him along!






Yes, I blogged about that.

I don't like to flush when I pee in the middle of the night. I still have lingering vestiges of "toilet monster" fear as Ron phrased it... I used to be terrified of flushing toilets due to a bad experience as a toddler. Also, it wakes Ron up, and he has a hard enough time sleeping as it is.

I always get up and pee in the middle of the night, go back to bed. Wake up, pee, back to bed. Maybe a third time. It's the lithium. It acts as a diuretic.

Boy, is it the lithium. When I went in the bathroom today it REEKED. Lithium has an off metallic odor and it's very distinctive. Ron and I kid each other that he'll know if I'm off my pills because my urine will smell pleasant!

I actually found the smell comforting when I first started my medication. Something was different, I was taking steps to heal myself. Every time I urinated I was reminded I was going to get better, because I'd already started taking my medication.

The "If it's yellow, let it mellow" is a carryover from the drought days in Northern California. When they only get 10 inches of rain a year, they don't have a lot of excess water for flushing! My parents had 4 kids - that's a lot of flushes! So, I got in the habit.

Periodically, Ron can't take the aroma anymore and demands I flush every time. I comply, except at night.

I may be 34, but I know the toilet monster is waiting to get me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Picky, picky.

Well, my theory was correct. I lost some mass in my abdomen.

Now I can wear size 10's, most anything Walmart has on the rack. Yeah! I am also a lot clearer thinking too. Thank. God!

I've had some time to think about a situation recently. I used to post a lot on a certain message board. I was very ill at the time and I wasn't banned, amazingly.

One memorable post I told a guy I could see why his wife left him! Ack!

Anyway, I tried to log back in and let them know I was "better" but I think they deleted my account. The board split and someone encouraged me to visit the "other" board.

I have visited. I was not pleased when someone doubted my salvation (not a believer himself). I had shared a very painful event where I became suicidally depressed. The person in the chat room making "Jokes" about killing my cat. The fact that the guy who was so awful to me was never publicly rebuked. Today, the fact that they were mocking people with mental illness and acting like diagnosing a mental illness is just a scam for the phamaceutical companies to make money. I find all of that offensive and objectionable. No wonder I'm the only person admitting to mental illness! Look at the stigma!

It's ironic. I don't want one board, and the other board doesn't want me! (hence, my title) You'll be seeing more of me, here, I guess! The first board, I can understand. A whole lot of drama, irritability, and hostility on my part. I was very offensive at times and I'd have deleted me too. I accept that.

I will certainly pray for them. God wants to use me in other ways, I guess. Do I really do that much good here? Or handing out Bibles? I'm still at it.

I stuck some cards into the Bibles, handwritten notes saying I'll pray for you daily! People keep trying to take them out and give them back to me! -laugh- I tell them, no, that's for you! Ron seems to enjoy "helping", I'm glad he's a partner and not opposing me.

It's hard not to develop a feeling of "No one wants me". I know it's not true. I know I'm properly medicated, too. I got a little cranky at lunch. Ron wasn't affected yet but I was feeling kind of hostile. The stares, oh, that really fried my bacon. I want to grab the person, shove their face at Ron, and say "Had enough yet?"

I've had advice on it... some say I should always be sweet and kind; others say to ignore them. I'm "repping" people with physical disabilities, and I need to be an ambassador! Today I glared at them. Such a good Christian!

Then, at lunch, I took an extra lithium. I love having the 150's, they are perfect for getting sick, but not so sick I need 300 mg. The smaller tablets are also quick release, right when I need 'em! Then I came home and took a nap. I'm washing my new shorts right now, hee hee.

So, what will I do tomorrow?

I left my cart at work, I used it at Sam's Club today to buy candy and get it into the building. I got paid today, and left my cart at work! Ack! Tomorrow I will go out and shop, probably "thrifting". I would love to get some more copies of Dr Atkins. I have a feeling everyone in the family is going to want a copy when they see me, and see what I get to eat!

I might also find some more 50 cent New Testaments. It's already Wednesday, I'd love to bring a dozen or so NT bibles with me on vacation (plus the Gospel of John's I got from a ministry). I really enjoy handing them out and everyone is so sweetly excited! I find it delightful! It's a joy to do.

But I need more to support my habit! A good habit!

I also need to figure out my knitting. I will be working on something for Mom during the trip, and I want to take some knitting on the plane/airport/journey. That means the bamboo circular, which is currently embedded in a scrap yarn project (aka Frosty's afghan). Do I pull it out? Dig around and try to find my multicolored 16 inch circular size 8? Most likely, the latter. It's around somewhere - famous last words!

Do I need hair gel? I chose not to get Ron sunscreen. I figure I can get some spray-on on the ship for him. I don't want to worry about trying to fly with an aerosol or having a leaky liquid.

I also need to cook that pot roast and clean up the kitchen. I took out the trash this morning - oddly enough, I miss Ron doing that the most out of all his chores. All the dresses are good to go. I'm washing Ron's new pants today (he wanted a more ample waist), I'll hang them up in the garment bag. Then I need to get him some t-shirts and pack them into the duffel bag.

Ron needs to call Super Shuttle and confirm. Lots of details!

I bought some extra hamburgers for my dinner tonight. All I need to do is de-bun them, heat and eat. I have tomorrow off, and I just got paid!

Yay!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Afflicted

I think everyone probably has a relative or knows someone; the one who's always griping about various medical conditions, never has a positive word to say about anything. My adopted Mom had an aunt like that... and a visit to Aunt Gloom was always a grim recitation of ailments and a list of various medical procedures to accompany same. All she ever did was complain, it seemed.

I try to take great care not to do that, but I've been feeling very afflicted recently. "I have tested thee in the furnace of affliction - Isaiah 48:10 " God is speaking.

Well, He's testing me. First it was a couple week long mixed episode, broken up by a toxic episode. Now I'm just incredibly fatigued and wonder why God needs me this way.

Is it the heat? Am I that sensitive to heat these days? Will I have to hide in the air conditioning until October? No more days out?

Part of it is just low blood pressure due to medication... and I have to watch my blood sugars too. But even when I'm resting at home in the air conditioning I still feel foggy and impaired. Afflicted.

I don't let it stop me, though. I still went to Foodtown today and handed out a couple of Bibles. Take that.

I just hope I'm more clear before our vacation, otherwise people are going to get a good eyeful of the accomodations Heather makes towards managing her illness.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

No one comes between me and God

This one's a little tricky. Yesterday I had a migraine so please forgive any mistakes.

Ron's got an annoying habit of late; and I figured out he's playing games. I'll hand out a Bible to someone, he talks about how, according to his interpretation of Revelation 21, God is coming back for us in a giant spaceship. You can imagine how that goes over with the average person.

I tried to talk to him about it, he got an attitude with me. I've decided, I will say, "Well, that's his interpretation, but you read it (the Bible) for yourself and you can draw your own conclusion." Ron can't object to that - he's always said he prides himself on being logical.

If he does damage "My Witness" than that's on him, not me. God will rebuke him, I don't need to do anything except keep handing out those Bibles! I had the thought, a few moments, ago, that perhaps people will be more drawn to read the Bibles I hand out. "If it helps her put up with him, then I've gotta read it!" God can work things like that if He wants to.

The other thing he's been doing lately, trying to shove his interpretation of End Times Doctrine down my parent's throats, every time I call them. Instead of refusing outright to "share" his "insights"; I'll suggest before I call them, that if Ron would like to speak with them he can call them directly. He can tell them everything he wants... see the payoff is in getting me annoyed and objecting to it.

If he does get "wierd" on our trip, I won't react, I'll just say "That's your interpretation" and refuse to react. I don't know the game, but it seems to be: Ron says something out of line. I object, he responds "Well GOD is the bastard!" Or, when I object, "You're getting that tone again! You're too upset, I won't talk to you." The payoff for him is when I get upset. So, I won't.

It's really aggravating that I even have to do this. Mom was saying "Oh, you have such a good marriage" and I really, really wanted to say something. If he's such a good husband.. but Ron will answer for everything he's done. God will bring it all out. My job is pleasing God, not Ron.

If I'm focused on pleasing Ron, then he's my Idol. I'm putting him before God. No one comes between me and God. God is #1. Pleasing God is #1. Generally speaking, if I am living a good biblical life I will also please others, but even if he gets upset at me, or just acts like a butt, I know I've done my best.

I just get tired of head games. Aren't we too old for this?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

F-A-N-A-T-I-C

I'm listening to one of my favorite songs, "Fanatics Raeggaton" by 116 Clique, and thinking about my role and obligations as a Christian.

Is it my job to judge? Absolutely not. Even Jesus said it wasn't his job to judge the world!

Is it my job to share my faith, in a non-offensive way. Absolutely. That's why I hand out the Bibles. I hope everyone gets as much healing and comfort from them as I do.

I need to get ready to go, but I felt I ought to share that while I was thinking about it. Have a good one!

Oh, and I need to do my Bible study! [laugh]

Today's a better day.

My mood is better and I feel great. I'm down the pounds I was up due to my cycle... and that's wrapping up as I type. I hope this sticks for a few weeks!

Hm. The sound of a very fat cat jumping outside. Must be Bubba!

Time to eat a sausage on a stick and take my pills, it ought to be a busy day today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Get all the insanity over with..

What's that supposed to mean, Heather?

Well, some days I wake up crazy. I don't like it. Generally, I've had horrible, vivid dreams all the night before. I didn't sleep well, and when I get up I'm exhausted and revved up at the same time.

I can't trust my thoughts.. I have to examine them and decide if it's "me" or illness talking. For instance, a few days ago, I was feeling very irritable. Someone smiled at me and I wanted to yell at her. That's not "me". "Heather" is a naturally outgoing, cheerful, loving person. I chat with complete strangers all the time. I love to interact. So, wanting to isolate myself and feeling hostile - that's the illness.

I do it automatically now. Now that I know I have an illness, it's easier to explain the strange thoughts I have at times.

If I feel "unusual energy" then I know I'm manic. Ha. I put my music on random play... "Control" came up. How true... I wish I did have control.

This isn't meant to be a whining, self-pitying post. Not at all. I really find it very helpful to get all this out on screen, and hope that maybe someone reading it will understand a bipolar friend, relative, or themselves better. Maybe they'll look at me going on about hallucinations and say "Wow, I thought I had it bad!", and walk away feeling better about their own problems.

I've had a nasty mixed episode for a while, over a week. Ron comments, every morning "You seem 'up'". When I catch myself wanting to snarl at him - gotta examine those responses before I let them out, I know he's right.

When, at night, everything seems vaguely hopeless and I don't want to do things I enjoy, when the dishes pile up and a shower seems harder than running a marathon, I know I'm down. Because they occur on the same day, I know I'm mixed.

Tonight I thought I'll take a bath, be kind to myself. Hopefully I can get the insanity over with before our family reunion cruise. Eventually, the joy of manic-depression, I always go back to normal sooner or later. If I have to be "whack" this month, to be OK next, I accept it. I don't like it. I don't enjoy it. But I accept it; what else can I do?

Janet sings "I'm in control!"

I'm NOT in control of my illness, the best I can hope is to manage it so it affects others as little as possible. I don't want anyone but me to suffer.

For instance, Tuesday I got miserably toxic. I felt like I was coming down with the flu, just absolutely weary and sick. My muscles twiched. I dropped things, and was very clumsy. I had to reduce my dosage or risk getting in trouble.

Ron hates to see me ill. He got upset. I told him, I'm the only one suffering right now. You aren't afraid of me. You're not screaming back at me. You're not planning to move out and divorce me. You can depend on me when I'm like this... it's the price I pay to be Heather.

Ron says it's not fair. I shouldn't have to choose between being physically ill or mentally ill. I tell him, well, this is my life. That's the choice I've got. I went 32 years without a treatment, afraid of my own mind. Now I can depend on myself. I was prepared to accept horrible side effects in exchange for "sanity".

People at work seek out my company. Drivers enjoy chatting with me. Ron feels comfortable with me at any given moment. My family accept my phone calls. That's important, it's very important... my sacrifices only impact me.

So, I'll take my bath and force myself to do fun things tonight. I'll be as kind to myself as possible and give myself permission to put off laundry until tomorrow. Eventually, the wierdness will pass. I won't have nightmares about being shot. I'll fall asleep easily. My mood will be consistent throughout the same day.

Even on a bad day, things are so much better than they were. I never allow myself to forget that.

Some would think I'm mean.

Some people are going to read this and be angry.

I recently turned in a neighbor to animal control. His son brought home a dog, and the homeowner made it clear in my hearing that he didn't want to "Spend any money" on the dog. They would dump food on the ground, no bowl. The dog was very cute, and very loving.

I'd throw him a fake milk-bone now and then, but I noticed the dog was getting thinner and thinner. When you can see BACKBONES, that's a bad sign. The dog (a pit bull) became more aggressive, barking constantly (due to hunger and neglect).

My husband called in a "Welfare Check" for the dog, and it's gone now. I'm glad. The dog deserves to be treated well, and if they can't man up to take care of the dog then they need to give it up. It's torture.

Another Metrolift passenger lives nearby. She is a dog person and has made that clear, they live in the house, sleep on the couch.

I saw a thin black cat in her yard. I asked if it was her cat "No I just feed it sometimes". Someone moved out and left the cat to starve, just like my Bubba (the black cat in my photos).

I asked if it was fixed. "No we didn't fix her" I told her about a low-cost spay and neuter program. "I don't want to go to the trouble". Why don't you call animal control and have them pick her up? "Oh, I couldn't do that!"

Oh, you're too good to send a cat to the pound, but you won't accept responsibility for it. You'll give her just enough food to keep her alive, but so little her fur is falling out (I know what a malnourished cat looks like after adopting Frosty). They're probably giving her dog food. You don't care for her but you're too chicken to call someone else to care for her.

Yeah, that's a great life for a cat. If I thought she and Bubba would get along, I'd take her in a heartbeat. I love black cats, but I promised Bubba he'd get to choose any new friends.

So, who's the bad person? I think the other lady is, but I'm sure some would say I am for "turning those people in". Notice they GLADLY gave up the dog, and he has a chance at a new life now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank you, Pharmacy Techs!

I was watching an episode of Intervention. The addict was a young man with bipolar disorder. He refused to take medication.

Watching it, I remembered I needed a refill on my medication. I called my Walmart.

Now, I'm spoiled. I call, and the tech recognizes my voice. I remind her of my birthday and she asks me what I want refilled. I tell her and she does it. The next day, I pick it up.

This tech told me I didn't have refills on some of my meds (??? One of them has like 40 refills), and seemed very confused. It made me realize how fortunate I am to have "my" people in the pharmacy.

When I see them tomorrow, I'll have a bag of Snickers in hand, because I love them. Without these wonderful folk, I'd be in BIG TROUBLE. I'd be dead, or living under an overpass.

If you work in a pharmacy, thank you. Y'all are saving lives, one pill at a time.

Glory in my infirmities?

I'm fairly overmedicated so I may ramble a bit.

Last week I handed out all the Bibles I bought, and then I ordered more. I hope I did some good for God, and allowed Him to reach people who need His peace.

However, I can't help but wonder if my evangelism sparked an attack from the devil. I had a horrible mixed episode... still have it. When I sleep, I have nightmares about sex and cannibalism, dripping blood everywhere, zombies, warewolves, etc. It's just horrible. This has happened before.

Not only that, I've been VERY irritable. A woman I didn't know greeted me today, and I got angry. Oy. I didn't let it show, I've had to be good at covering up my illness, but I couldn't help but wonder WHAT THE HECK? I'm sick. Boy, am I sick.

I hate having this illness and brain damage too, but it allows me to reach people that God would not otherwise be able to reach. So, I have to look at it like that. God needs me this way. I truly believe that with all my heart and soul. A normal, no-mental-illness Heather couldn't reach the people that I can reach. Besides, it says in the Bible, "My grace is sufficient for thee (God speaking there). Therefore (the writer says) I will GLORY in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest more fully on me." 2 Corninthians 9-10

I'm supposed to GLORY in this? Typed, no less, while I'm taking a lithium tablet?

No, no no this is what I learned: hide your disabilities... don't let on that you're weak. The weak get eaten! The weak get pecked to death in the hen-house. The weak get bullied. The weak get teased. The weak are left crying alone in their rooms.

Except, I was never alone in my room. I firmly believe that when I cry, God cries with me. I believe that I am never alone, even in dark canyons of mental illness where I can't see the sun and some weird thing is howling right behind me.

I thank God that I've carried these burdens my whole life. I've never been normal, and had my normal mind snatched away by a bipolar cycle. I've always gone up, down, mixed, and delusional as far back as I can recall. Thank God for that! It's scary enough as is, how terrifying to have a sudden onset as an adult! Perhaps while caring for children!

I've never measured up to the normative standard. I always had trouble with developmental milestones and I'm still somewhat socially impaired. I do fairly well now, thanks to Dale Carnagie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. I think it should be standard reading in every classroom. It's an incredibly easy manual. Follow the rules, people like you. If I have a botched social transaction, I can reread my book and figure out where I went wrong.

Don't talk about mental illness, Heather. Hide it. You'll frighten people. No. What's scary, me going off my medication, will never happen. I've shared my illness when I thought it was appropritate - I think a better word is "disclosed" and had people ask me what it's like. I share. Some have affected family members. I can give some advice from a fellow sufferer. I gave out my doctor's number one day... THAT lady, got out of her cab one day, came over, and thanked me personally about a month later. Wonderful!

I like to help people. I like to show them that you can have joy in your life, joy that comes from knowing God, that I'm washed clean of my sins because Jesus took the time and trouble to die for them. That no matter where I go, what scary dark corner of my mind, God is always with me. He carries my burdens.

I just have to seek out His will and do it. Right now, that seems to be witnessing and handing out Bibles. You got it, boss.

He doesn't ask for much.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm a tract-er

Last week I decided to get some New Testament Bibles and hand them out to people. I feel God's leading me to do this. What's the worst that could happen? People already know I'm different, I'm very open about my disability and mental illness. I'm obviously happily married to a very disabled man 20 years older than me. What's a "Bible Lady" stamp on top of that?

So, I got some very nice ESV New Testaments. 80 cents each. I also got some "Footprints" postcards to use as bookmarks in the Bibles. So, they get the Footprints card inside an entire New Testament. The Bibles have a nice little area "What to read when you're feeling:___" section and a salvation plan. Good. All bases covered.

I bought them, they were shipped, and got here days early. I think God may have had something to do with that [wink]. I've already given over half of them away (I ordered 35 total).

Mom and Dad encouraged me to sign up for a free service that will give me Bibles, so I did... but in the meantime I plan to take advantage of a certain free shipping offer. It's amazing how many people I meet in the course of a day, and how many of them are absolutely DELIGHTED to get a Bible. Even Ron was impressed.

Latinos love the fact that I purchased Spanish Bibles (and Footprints cards) for them. I've only had 2 refusals out of about 20 or so Bibles handed out. Surprisingly to me, everyone takes them with a smile.

Next plan is buying entire NKJV Bibles and putting some wonderful "Read through your Bible in a year" tracts inside. :) That'll make a nice gift.

"The perfect combination"

I didn't sleep well last night.  The Claratin was alive and well in my system.  It will probably come as no surprise to you that I would...