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Showing posts from July, 2009

Garden bed adventures

I've had some fun and excitement digging up my garden beds. While digging up garden beds 1 and 5, for instance, I encountered a bag of trash, styrofoam cups (the environmentalists aren't kidding when they say they don't break down), shingles, and large chunks of concrete buried in the yard.

Garden bed 5 also produced a long metal chain, leading to a large dog collar. I found out years later the first homeowner bred pitbulls in the yard for 10 years. As a result, my soil had "unusually high" fertility, and I have a marked reluctance to grow root crops.

Garden bed 3 had the cursed pear tree. I kept cutting it off at the roots, it kept resprouting, and sending annoying invaders into beds 2 and 3. I finally dug a massive hole, crawled underneath the stump with my portable folding saw, and sawed at every root I could find. It was a horrible, messy, sloppy job. I made a blood offering to the garden when I sawed my hand by mistake. It took me years to get rid of…

"Coming to terms with medication"

Today I'm not up, or down. Ron's playing James Taylor, who's also bipolar. "Fire and Rain"

Not up or down. Today, I'm baseline - babble-speak for a normal mood, as it were. Today, I realized that an average mood for me, is going to be exhausted.

I love a properly medicated mania. Housecleaning, yardwork, I'm full of energy. It all gets done. Then I get depressed or baseline and I hardly have the energy to wipe my butt.

I'm not whining today; I met a waitress who "Didn't like" what lithium "Did to her" and is now running around unmedicated. She had a pretty good mania going, I was a little envious.

Now Ron's playing "Gloria" - which we feel also describes someone with bipolar disorder. I think of the homeless guy under the overpass "They said I was bipolar, and gave me pink pills (lithium), but I didn't like them so I stopped." Now he's an alcoholic, living under an overpass, begging for b…

Caregiver burnout

I just googled "caregiver burnout". The first website was a "hired help" agency. The second, also commercial in nature. It advised me to "stay involved in hobbies".

I like this site, I'll quote from it:
Providing care for a family member in need is a centuries-old act of kindness, love, and loyalty.
caregiving – if they come at all – are intangible and far off, and often there is no hope for a happy outcome.
Know your limits. Be realistic about how much of your time and yourself you can give. Set clear limits, and communicate those limits to doctors, family members, and other people involved.
Accept your feelings. Caregiving can trigger a host of difficult emotions, including anger, fear, resentment, guilt, helplessness, and grief. As long as you don’t compromise the well-being of the care receiver, allow yourself to feel what you feel.
Confide in others. Talk to people about what you feel; don’t keep your emotions bottled up. Caregiver support groups ar…

I'm not a drug addict

I recently realized a sore point, and I decided to "get it out".

Discrimination is alive and well. I can see why so many people are so secretive about hiding their mental illness.

Imagine this scenario: You go to the hospital. You HATE hospitals. You don't fear them but you really hate everything they represent, sickness and debility... crises, expenses, death. But you feel lousy enough that you finally head on into the ER.

You're in agonizing pain. They want your medical history. You give it. Drugs taken, Lithium, etc. Medical conditions: bipolar disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome. You can almost see the switch in their head.

They get brusque. You go to the chair and wait.

Someone comes in, you're scared. They examine you and you tell them the whole meds/bipolar thing. They go away. Finally, someone comes back. They draw blood and go away. You never do see a doctor... and when you see the medical assistant they tell you "Don't worry, w…

When did I know?

Before I start this, I need to say my mood is fine; I'm just contemplating.

As I checked the mail today, I saw the sporting goods catalog. They featured a handgun, on sale.

Three years ago, almost this time, I got another catalog. I saw the shotguns were "only" about $100. First thought, I could afford that. I found the page irresistable.

That gun would make suicide so easy. I was enthralled by that gun, enchanted, and mesmerized. I couldn't stop thinking about that gun. No more pain, for the cost of gun and shells! I could end my pain - that day! I couldn't stop thinking about the gun or planning my suicide.

I battled it for about 2 weeks, and decided to see my doctor. The rest is history. I was diagnosed and eventually received proper treatment. I'm not suicidal anymore, even when I cycle depressed.

In fact, I can predict that a "basic" depression will run about 2 weeks, followed by a 1-2 week mania, then about a month of baseline moo…

Message from God

I've been reading my Bible since I could read, nearly 30 years. I've been running depressed lately, I injured my dominant wrist, and feeling very unappreciated by my husband. Was it really him? The depression? Hard to say, but today he did say he wants to "repair" our relationship.

I have a couple "Read the Bible in a Year" tracts. I hand most of them out, but I kept 2 for myself. With all my programs combined, I probably read it 3-4 times a year, actually.

Occasionally I get redundancies... a chapter I read yesterday, on program 1, is on the menu for program 2 today. That happened to me this week.

First, I need to talk about the book of Job. I hate the book, actually. I find it incredibly depressing. Job was a very good man, the Bible says "He was blameless and upright, he feared (respected) God and shunned evil (Job 1:1). God and the Devil are talking, and God says "No man in the world is more devout than Job" (1:8). Satan repl…
I had a lot of fun today. I drank 3 powerade zeros when I got home, during and after my shower!
Out. 97 degrees. Sunny. ack!

Price Tag

Today I got toxic. I wasn't surprised. It's been exceptionally hot (heat index in mid 100's), humid, and sunny. I've been outside quite a bit. I'm probably a bit dehydrated.

On top of that, while battling a horrendous depression, I upped my lithium. Ugh. The two circumstances collided today and I'm still reeling.

Queasy! Queasy! Belching! Cramps! Gastric issues! Ugh! Lots of sighing and groaning, lots of pepto onboard, and out came the Powerade Zero and Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock - both wonderful products. I'm resting and trying to coddle myself.

I've been drinking, and drinking, and drinking some more, because the kidneys eliminate Lithium. I need to get my levels down. The toxic and therapeutic doses run awfully close together, it would be fascinating, if one day, they could develop a portable meter like my glucometer (blood sugar meter). I could stick my finger, or pee on a stick, and see my lithium level.

However, the depression…