Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Photo time!

Sorry it took me so long. http://picasaweb.google.com/RCHeather/June2009##

I'm feeling better now.. whacked it with lotsa lithium. Which comes with it's own baggage. :p
Bad day - deppression kicking me hard. i took xtra lithium.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where's the Sacrifice?

Today I had a drug interaction. I took a chromium supplement with my lithium, and the chromium magnified the lithium side effects.

I walked around stupid all day, running into walls, running over my feet with my hand-cart at work, and hardly able to articulate my thoughts. It was pretty awful, I was happy to come home and go to bed.

So grateful that I COULD just go to bed. So grateful I don't have a child depending on me!

I took a nap for a few hours. When I woke up, I still felt fairly crappy. As I looked at my clock, I realized it was PILL TIME. I had to take more of what had made me ill, or risk getting "sick".

Days like today I can see why people give up and stop their bipolar medication. It's hard to take the long view when you forget to pull your underwear down in the bathroom, and you have to stand up again, battling dizziness, to do so. It's hard when people stare at you or you can't communicate a simple thought to a co-worker or your spouse. It's hard when you forget what key opens the stockroom.

And yet, I got up and fixed some food. I cooked the meat that had the sell-by date of today. I put that up in the fridge, did the dishes, and cut up some cheese for a snack. I peeled some grapefruit and added that to my cheese plate. Did I mention I was queasy, too?

I sat down and watched my "monster movie" as I ate my cheese and grapefruit - it's an excellent snack, I'm glad I decided to "try" grapefruit. It's good for my fasting blood sugars too.

Anyway, I ate my food and took my pills. Why? Because I told my husband: I can be stupid, or I can be scary. I don't want to be scary. No one avoids me when I'm like this... they all seem very patient and understanding. Ron thanks me for the "sacrifices" I make.

Gee, let's think. I'm giving up Bad Thoughts, Delusions, Hallucinations, feeling out of control, feeling like I could never depend on my own mind, my husband in fear of me, pissing people off because I was just so damned grumpy, attitudes, picking fights with strangers, and suicidal depressions. Where's the sacrifice?

I thank God every day that my illness got so bad. Taking my pills is the easiest thing I do every day. I know what to expect if I don't!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

That's not going to happen

I logged into one of those "social networking" sites; my family wanted me to join so I did. I was somewhat disturbed by using my real, full name; but I want to be involved in their online adventures. I'm flattered they want me around, I wasn't easy to love for a very long time.

I logged in and was informed that I could now have people who are searching for "Houston Heather" - my blog and message board "handle" on the site, find my real name and statistics. That's not going to happen.

Earlier this year, I was harassed and threatened by some people who felt I wasn't a good wife to Ron. I dared to let him set off firecrackers, and I was "unfit". Totally disregarding the fact that my husband is a grown man who manages his business, does his own accounting, and pays all our bills; it was akin to letting a small child play with a loaded handgun.

They actually threatened to report us to adult protective services, and perhaps they did. I would pay to hear that conversation!

Until that point, I might have been willing to have my two identities merge - well, I don't want the Houston Chronicle gang knowing my last name, but the other message boards seemed harmless enough.

No more. Sadly, we do live in the end times. Whack jobs abound. People don't always take their pills, or have the awareness that they need medication. Some people have very empty lives and choose to fill them by judging how other people live theirs.

So, I won't be putting "Houston Heather" as a handle on that website. Sorry.

Stood up!

I had a good pattern going, and I messed it up. I've stood poor Jesus up every day for about a week, and worse than that, when I do spend time with Him it's pretty cursory.

I'm embarrassed to admit I spent more time reading a meat cookbook in bed the other night, than I did studying my Bible! I don't know how God would feel about it, but I think Bible study/devotionals are a lot like working out. You have to get into the habit, maintain the habit, and get back in the habit if you stop.

I'm not sure how I'll tweak my schedule. I think after I get home, before watching TV, is a good possibility. First thing in the morning and last thing at night? Not working! I'm always too tired.

And poor Jesus is waiting for me... alone.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yesterday I set the ribs on fire

Yesterday, I set the ribs on fire. Too close to the coals.

I'd gone to work, went to Walmart, gone home, and fired up the smoker I just bought. I didn't have enough room for the pork butt roast (I think they call it a picnic shoulder? It was 4 pounds) AND the "Riblets", so I put the riblets on a lower shelf, closer to the coals.

I went out to check on them and the flames were licking at the pork roast, over a foot above the ribs! I carefully moved the roast rack, retrieved the grill basket containing the riblets, and removed the still-flaming riblets to the safety of a metal pan in the yard. I'd left the metal pan there for safety purposes, good thing. A few minutes later, the riblets were still flaming, so I put them out with the hose. One riblet was somewhat salavagable, Ron ate it and proclaimed it delicious, but "I won't eat this" holding up a crispy coal that had been edible meat.

The pork roast came out great, I stabbed it and stuffed garlic in the holes. I placed it so the fat plate was on top, to baste the meat as it cooked. I seasoned it properly, although to be honest all I really tasted was pork and garlic. I cooked it for about 3 hours until the internal temperature was over 165.

Ron disassambled the roast for me and put it into containers. The remaining leftovers will be frozen after I eat my breakfast tomorrow.

Today? I went to Foodtown first, and bought more delicious meat. I wanted a "Brisket Junior" a small brisket I could practice with to learn the secrets of good meat! I don't want to marry a large cut of meat, and to be honest I don't want to eat it all either. I'd die of boredom, no matter how tasty. So, I found a 1.5 pound brisket for about $4.

I've been wanting to get a wok, so I also bought stir fry beef. I'd picked up some delicious veggies, so I wanted to to kebabs, and I found beef tips all ready for kebabs (the label told me). All I need to do for them, soak some skewers, make a marinade, marinate the meat, cut up veggies, and impale same. Then cook until proper meat temp.

I considered pork chops, because Ron loved the smoked chops I prepared yesterday (the roast was done, the coals were hot, and the chops were in the fridge), but I didn't see any boneless ones in a small package. I also considered making some more "CheddarBurgers" but they grind the meat themselves at Foodtown, and they don't use chemicals. You only get a one-day sell by date.

I'll get the ground meat on Saturday, the day I cook the burgers. It's worth the trouble. I really want my meat to be free of flavor "enhancers" and preservatives if at all possible.

Three meats, plus sausage and leftovers. PLENTY of meat to get me to payday, and delicious veggies too. I got Ron the all-beef hot dogs he'd wanted.

I'm really looking forward to the kebabs. I'd decided to get myself a wok today, too.

I like the idea of preparing a stir-fry on a hot night. The meal is done in a few minutes, once you finish your food prep. You can cook about any meat, too.

But first, I had to get home from Foodtown. I did and put up the groceries, then out again.

Ron wanted some vitamins, and socks. That meant Walmart.

I had to wait with a rather unpleasant couple at the bus stop. They were both alcoholics, and she told me she had taken lithium. I had no trouble believing she was bipolar, because they had a vicious argument while seated next to me.

AWKWARD! I called Ron, just to remind them "I have a cell phone and I can call the cops, too." I would have walked to another bus stop but it would have been too far, and it didn't have a bench. To quote Ron, I had to suck it up.

The bus finally came and I went to Walmart. I got pretty dizzy walking across the parking lot but I lived. Plenty of exercise today!

I deliberated over "digestive products" and magnesium tablets, finally realized I could combine both needs, save money, and get some Epsom salts. So far, so good.

I got the stuff Ron wanted and stuffed it in my hand cart. I realized I could only meet Ron at Starbucks if I went "straight" (2 buses) from Walmart. If I'd made my stop at the Vietnamese market I'd be late. He would only be there 30 minutes and he couldn't change anything.

So, I went straight. He got there first and he bought me a heavy whipping cream thing. We had a good time, nice to know we can have simple pleasures. It was good to see him. The cab came to take him home, and he left.

NOW, I went to the market. I had good rides, not too long to wait. They didn't get all weird over my handcart. I got a lovely stainless wok, some chili paste, and some leafy green veggies. I recognized one of them as "Edible Chrystanthemum" - although the label wasn't in English. The other item, a bunch of leafy greens, looked like it belonged to the mustard family. It was nice and crunchy. I like the stems.

I'd brought an insulated tote bag for the greens. They never would have made it across the parking lot! I also had a large frozen "ice pack" item. It's a plastic rectangle filled with a substance. When frozen, it stays cold forever. I used that to chill the greens.

I forgot about them for a while after I got home, but they still seem perky. Yay! I hate wasting food.

I got home with my wok, my veggies, and my miscellaneous. I'd taken my lithium at Starbucks, I was fairly irritable.

I realized I needed lithium, NOW, and I had it. I felt better as it was absorbed by my system. It never ceases to amaze me, I have a pill. I can take this tablet, every day, multiple times a day, and all the Bad Thoughts and Bad Times are gone. No more Bad Days. No more battling constant suicidal impulses. I can't remember the last time I wanted to hurt myself.

It's a constant joy. Ron mentioned I seem to get so much enjoyment out of life. I told him, it's only in the last few years that I've been able to LIVE.

I can depend on my mind! If I get a hiccup or a shimmy, I just take a tablet and it goes away. How joyous! Every day is a constant joy, knowing it's going to be a good day.

I've been running a little depressed. I want to spend all day in bed, I want to sit and brood. I want to have pity parties for myself. But that won't help.

I'll take my lithium, and stay busy. I'll go with my latest interest of the moment, nurture myself with interesting meals - that edible chrysanthemum stir-fry was GOOD! I'll take care of myself, and appreciate myself for who I am. I am an original soul.

I'm the only Heather! Yesterday, I set the ribs on fire, today I bought a wok. Who knows what I'll do tomorrow but I know it'll be an adventure.

You can't do that!

When I was a teenager, newly diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, in Special Education classes, "they" told me I'd never live independently. "They" wanted to teach me to ride the bus, a task I figured out on my own. "They" wanted me in subsidized housing.

Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with subsidized housing. People need a safe place to live; and if they can't afford it due to disability, ignorance, or high cost of living, then by all means support them. The nice thing about the program is that it takes 30% of your income, so you're not getting it for free. [shrug] If I ever truly needed help with housing, I'd do it.

In fact, I was on Medicare briefly to pay for my wisdom teeth. The case worker said I could get food stamps, but I told her "I have enough to eat, thank you" and declined. "They" would have been horrified.

"They" would have told me that being bipolar and FAS, I was doomed to a difficult life, plagued by addiction and most likely one incarceration. Sorry.

I was smart enough to listen to Mom; "Don't drink, Heather, you'll ruin your life". A few drinks later, hallucinations, bad thoughts, I realized she was right!

They also told me I'd never lose weight taking mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants, but I've hit one of my measurement goals just this morning. Yet again, they were wrong. My doctor brags on me every chance he gets.

"They" would undoubtably tell me to stay home on a hot day, but I won't listen today either. I like pushing limits.

It's a good thing, when "They'd" given up all hope for my husband I successfully rehabilitated him after his head injury. Good thing I'm stubborn!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A fan mail to Western Safety

I am hoping you'll put this up on the board somewhere so the wonderful people who made item 45735 (the 16" wide wheelchair) can read this.

My husband is blind. He was in an accident, had a stroke, and now has peripheral nerve disease. He can't really walk outside of our home. We were going on a cruise this year and realized his old wheelchair would never make the trip. The chair would have to get shoved on and off a cab, into a plane's cargo hold, out of the cargo hold, through an airport, under a bus, out from under the bus... you get the idea. It would also have to be a comfortable ride for him, and easy pushing for me.

We bought your 16" wide wheelchair from Harbor Freight tools, just for the trip. I'm happy to announce it performed perfectly. It survived very rough handling without a scratch, easy to push, easy to ride, squashed up nice and neat to fit at the foot of his bed, easy enough for him to push himself around (and he's only got one good arm!). All in all, excellent.

Thanks to all you wonderful people, my husband and I had a FANTASTIC trip. Now he wants to ride a Greyhound, take a cab, and go on another cruise ship in a few months. You've really helped him regain his independence.

Thank you so much! We couldn't have done it without you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hi got up @ 5, ran, saw dolphins. hips down half inch. ate s-f cake w lunch. it was ok but no more not worth it. goin 4 walk pics later - h

2 days in one, again

Yesterday was pretty uneventful.  We went to the warehouse, got our supplies, went to work and stocked.  Jack will be out of town next wee...