Sunday, April 29, 2012

Not what I intended

Well, I'm feeling better.

I'm pretty tired, but I'll live.  I think fatigue is just going to be a part of my life, from now on, thanks to medication.

Saturday I took as a recovery day.  I noticed some red wine slopped on the tile floor and I asked Ron if he'd consider the use of a covered cup.

He gets coughing attacks, which he refuses to address.  His attitude "If I'm sick I don't want to prolong my time here, anyway.  I'd refuse whatever treatment they had, so why bother to get it diagnosed?"

Ah, I can think of several reasons.  One, what if it's contagious?  Two, what if it's something simple like allergies?  That's "accepting" Ron's "I don't want to live a minute longer than I have to" credo.

Anyway, he gets coughing attacks, and has coughed mouthfuls of wine onto family photos, all over walls, etc.  This time, he slopped it on the floor.

He has used an 8 ounce open top cup.  We all know how this goes:  I'll have one glass of wine a day.  Now, probably more like 3.  That's per Ron.

99% of the time, he is tolerable.  He's clearly intoxicated, but not hateful.  He "lets" me sleep, doesn't destroy my property, etc.

Where am I going?  Well, I asked him to consider some kind of sippy cup, a covered (I assumed it was a given at 8 ounces) cup, so if he did cough, he wouldn't splash it all over the floor.

The LAST thing I want to do after a migraine: clean spilled wine off the floor.  I will have Ron do it tomorrow.

Ron said OK, great idea.  He went and got a 20 ounce bottle, filled it with wine, and went off drinking.

NOT what I intended.

He already yelled at me once tonight for doing something I clearly didn't do.


Love of most

Ron and I remind each other of 2 Timothy Chapter 3, on a regular basis.


2 Timothy 3:1-5

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

2 Timothy 3

Difficult Times Ahead
 1 But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self,lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!


Difficult times, indeed.  I just did a profoundly depressing search on my local news site.  

I wanted to cite an article about a woman who killed her newborn, so, I input "mother kills newborn".  I got over 102 links.  

Poor, helpless infants killed in horrifying manners.  I won't detail.  If you're feeling curious you can go look it up for yourself.  

I'm sitting in my chair, struck with shock and horror; and glad I do have my faith.  

God said it WOULD get this bad.  

Matthew 24:12 
Due to the wickedness of men, the love of most will grow cold.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Haldol to the rescue

Ugh.  Hideous migraine.

When I woke up, with my head pounding, my immediate first thought: I can take my Haldol or my Phenergan (phenergan is about the only anti-nausea drug I tolerate).

I elected the Haldol.  I was curious.  Since it does help with nausea and vomiting (it's even prescribed for them), how would it help my migraine?

It worked pretty well.  I didn't start vomiting until about 4, and the longer I go the more I vomit.  So, the Haldol did a great job.  Initially.

According to my research they don't interact (and let me tell you I looked).  So, I tried to take a phenergan tablet.  And vomited.

Let's take a minute here to talk about migraine protocols.  For me, I usually ask Ron to make me an ice bag.  He's happy to do it.

I curl up in bed, my bucket handy (I left it in the tub).  I cannot get sick into a toilet.  It just doesn't work for me.  Even when I was a kid, I was always getting sick in sinks.  About the time I became a teenager, (you can tell I've had a lot of migraines), I got the trash can.

Once I got my own place, I went for my own, dedicated bucket.  I just have to be careful and wash it with water only, sometimes just the scent of cleaning products will make me sick again.

So, once I shut down my computer, I'll get the phenergan suppository.  I'll stick it... and wait.  Hopefully I'll fall asleep and wake up feeling better.

If not, at least I have my bucket.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

He forgives me

I'm back!  Did you miss me!

Boy, it's been a busy week.  Monday, I got my super urgent special ops mail package.

I might get a little money, IF I get it back quickly (it's not a scam).  I had to go to work, from work we went to, ah, call it burger town (BT).  Ron waited at BT.  He had food, drink, and bathroom access.   I walked over and got the mail.

I went back and read it, it seems fine.  From BT we went to our bank and got it notarized.  We had a wait for a while to go back to BT.

We finally got back to BT and I went back to the Post Office.  I could have just dropped the mail in a slot, but chose to hand it to a clerk and get a receipt.  It did involve money, after all.

I don't want to be the bad guy who's screwed it up!  Nope!

We got home pretty late.  Tuesday, we had off.  I slept in so late I got a headache.  I think we ran one errand and came straight home.  I also took a nap.  I did very little, I needed to recharge.  

I worked on my post-apocalyptic disaster novel.  Target: Earth.  Asteroid coming to get us.  Preppers must prepare retreat.  It's a freshman attempt, and a little obviously so, but well written over all.  I had a dream about it during my nap today, and that only happens with good books.

I never dream about the Bible, oddly enough.

Wednesday was my favorite: Snack Day!  Ron allowed me to buy all the snacks I needed.  Yay!  Then I stocked them.  Boy, that took hours, but the machines look great (I could use some crackers).   I am thrilled.  My Babies look great.

I'm getting a little sick of one machine, though.  It is my second-oldest, a Crane API snack machine.  It looks like this:  Jaws, the vending machine that bites.  It has a door problem, which has obviously been serviced many times:  The two halves of the door clamp down on the customer's hand.  Or, it allows thieves access to the inventory.  Or, the door gets stuck in the up position and won't let the product drop.  Agh.

It's on my "hit list".  Our supervisor has purchased a new snack machine, he THINKS to replace my Rowe.  Mommy's favorite.  I fight him every time.  I love that machine (just put a stuffed toy pink flamingo, where they have the "doritos" and you have "my" machine).  It is wonderful.  Rugged.  Durable.  Never shuts down.  Wonderful door.  I can even program a custom message "Thank you for supporting Ron and Heather".

So, when the boss comes to take away Baby, I'll give him the Crane (aka "Jaws") instead.  I love my Rowe.  The other one is good.  It works, most of the time.  It can go down sometimes, but it's an easy fix.

I also helped Ron, of course.  After work, we came home and then went to the Dollar Store.  Ron wanted some chips.  He really likes their brands, and the price tag.  He kept bragging about having me "The economy model".  I thought it was sweet.  We brought a folding chair instead of the wheelchair so he could sit.

No nap, pretty tired.

A couple times this week, I shorted my God Time.  I wasn't happy with that.

Since I don't have shower access yet, just the tub, it takes a while to wash my hair.  This morning, I had a choice, wash my hair, or do my God time.  I tied a bandanna over my hair and then did my God Time!  I washed my hair later.  I'm glad I did it that way, my hair was covered so no one saw it.

Today was Soda Day.  We got Ron his soda.  We had some drama (very late ride) getting there, but we finally made it.  I got Ron his sodas.

I have to chide him now and then, he feels bad about "making" me do heavy labor.  I tell him, labor isn't hard for me.  An average woman would not want to pick up heavy cases, but I'm not average.  I like doing physical labor.  Playing office politics is a lot more difficult!

Praise God I don't work in an office!  Thank You!

So, I got all his stuff in the building, the refrigerators, etc.  Ron got it all stocked, while I helped and did other things.  We finally left (it "should" have been a day off but we agreed the sodas were important).

The customers are buying a lot of bottle sodas, but very few canned.  I know I prefer a bottle, but  it's a little alarming!   Can sodas are the bill-payers around here.

But, that goes back to trusting God.  Do I?  Is He going to let me starve?  No.

Speaking of starving, after work Ron took me to our favorite taqueria for the $6 fajita special.  Yum, yum.

Oh, and we saved the chicken for Bubba.  He loves chicken fajitas.

Poor Bub.  I gave him hairball medicine, and flea medicine this week.

He forgives me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blogger has changed on me.  I'll figure it out.

I think my Dad is one of those "early adopter" types.  He loves new tech.  I still have a low-def TV.  It's interesting how the various online forums are requiring updates, Facebook Timeline, Blogger - the new thing, what ever it is.

So, what's going on in my life?  Monday, I have to take care of some urgent legal paperwork for my mother's estate.  It has a deadline, and should be very exciting, running around to a notary and all.

I still don't have my lithium blood test results.  I'll have Ron call about that, on Monday.  I think my levels are OK, though.

Depression came to call.  Booo.

I was very proud of myself, yesterday.  I watched some movies, did my God Time, sat with Ron on the porch, and had fun on the computer.  It was great.  Later on that night, I wanted to look up photos of black kittens (I don't have any baby pictures of Bubba).

I wanted to do it, but hesitated.  Why?  Because I shouldn't?  Why not?  It's not porn.  It's photos of cute black baby kittens.

So, I looked them up.  I found one that looks JUST like Bubba, when he was a kitten, and had another human.

I don't know all the social rules, but "You're not supposed to take photos of other people's pets!" is one of them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An interesting life

Today I rode with a paralyzed Spanish gangbanger.  People seem to think I have an "interesting" life.

Well, if I do, a lot of it's due to the fact I don't drive.  If I could drive, I'd be in my own car, not sharing transportation with every kind of disability in the world.

This morning, it was strokes.  Ron (who had a stroke after his accident), and I rode with 2 ladies who had also had strokes.  I gave them each a Bible, well-received.  One could hardly talk but she really lit up when she saw it.

Sadly, she wasn't very old.  That's gotta be so difficult.

Praise God I was born with all my problems.  I never had a reliable brain!  I could never depend on my moods!  I never knew how I'd wake up!  I always had my learning disability and brain damage.  I've never really "lost" it, either.

My only problem:  I seem so functional no one believes I have any damage!

Ron feels the same way about his blindness.  He never really had it to lose.  It wasn't as traumatic as it would have been if he'd had a decade of driving and then woke up blind.  No, he never drove.  He remembers colored blocks at a pre-k program, but that's it.  For him, the "real" disability is the stroke.  He had the use of his right side for 47 years, and then he didn't.

So, it was a pretty average day.  I tried to be good to my fellow humans.  Rode around with some interesting people.  Handed out some Bibles, managed my business, and, had an interesting life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How do I spend it?

Ugh.  I've got a nasty headache today.  [cue whining, fast-forward]  However, the Excedrin did the trick, the caffeine "rebooted" me and gave me enough energy to start cleaning the house.

I'm not clear on the cause of my current fatigue.  I think it's both the Haldol, and the lithium.  I'm not eliminating either, and I would far rather be tired than nauseated.

A family member said awful things happened to them on the "new" mood stabilizers, so even if I could afford it (ha!), I wouldn't want to go that route.  I just have to accept it.

Ron looked in the freezer last night, and was impressed at my collection of TV dinners.  I told him it wasn't easy to for me to accept: I don't have the energy to cook dinner, or do the dishes, so I might as well eat something precooked.  He told me I was being smart, and I am.  It's a lot healthier for me to eat a TV dinner than to sit in my chair with the spoon and the jar of peanut butter.  [wince]

I have to figure out how to budget the energy I do have.  How do I spend it?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Video Blog!



I forgot to add, one thing that brings me great joy, feeding a delicious meal to my cat. Tonight was tuna and shrimp. Boy, he loved it, and me for feeding it.

Life is a lot of work!

Video blog is uploading.

Some thoughts I had after recording.  I'd love it if I could afford to have those low carb meals delivered.  That would be great, just like a TV dinner but low carb and nutritious.  They are highly expensive.

What I'd love to do: make a bunch of low carb meals while manic but the manic energy tends to go to Bible Handouts.  Gotta pray on that, I guess.

I take a lot of vitamins.  I take a B-50, multivitamin with iron, antioxidant, mixed minerals, and folic acid.  If I had an energy problem related to vitamins, that would cover it.

I need to figure out my "Good Time".  Everyone has a best part of the day.  Early evening is, for certain, my worst.  What is my best?  Then may be cook, housework, work out during that time.

I need to download some more tunes.  Music is very good for depression.  I don't think the FDA will get me on that!  [laugh]

I need to figure out a housecleaning schedule.  Today I sweep and mop.  Today I clean the bathroom.  How often do I do dishes?  Currently, when the sink is full!  I try to be honest here.  I have heard, daily, so I should work that into "the schedule" somehow.

Do I designate a laundry day, or just do them when full?  Hm...

Life is a lot of work!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Goals for the week.

I hate to end a weekend on a sour note, so I won't.

Goals for the week: hopefully finish the bathroom and enjoy my first shower in a while.

Go to the bank and deposit the money for an old hospital bill, they do monthly debits.

Go to Walmart after work tomorrow, and pick up some low carb groceries.

I'd like to update the garden, etc., but I'll have to see.  I've been pretty fatigued lately.

Be good to myself, Ron and the cat.

You're biting me!

Ugh.  I had an unpleasant experience just now.

If you take nothing else from my blog, hopefully today's post will educate you about CAPD.  Central Auditory Processing Disorder.   Here is a link: link

I have it.  This is, basically, how it affects me:

  • have trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally, and may cope better with visually acquired information
  • have problems carrying out multi-step directions given orally; need to hear only one direction at a time
  • have poor listening skills
  • need more time to process information
"2 Corinthians 12:9
Fewer words may be perceived than were actually said, as there can be problems detecting the gaps between words, creating the sense that someone is speaking unfamiliar or nonsense words. Those suffering from APD may have problems relating what has been said with its meaning, despite obvious recognition that a word has been said, as well as repetition of the word. [happens to me frequently, I'm always saying "what?"]

Ron doesn't understand it, and doesn't want to.  The way he sees it, HE is the damaged and broken one, the martyr and victim.  I'm not saying that maliciously, but Ron was raised to think of himself as a victim, and, on several occasions, has set himself up to be victimized.  I don't think he's even aware of it.  

Lately, he talks a lot about how God "got" (blinded) him when he was a helpless baby.  I told him that is incorrect. He was born blind.  He asks why.  I tell him, because you were blind you thought more and didn't get sucked into the ignorant thug lifestyle like the other boys in your neighborhood.   I remind him we share our faith with the other drivers on the paratransit service, and the passengers.  That couldn't happen if either of us were able to drive.  

He doesn't want to hear it.  So, I tell Ron God can defend Himself.  

It just gets old, the endless I'm a poor victim routine.  Some of you may be laughing because I am CERTAIN that's how I come off at times!  I tell him, don't just sit around feeling sorry for yourself.  Volunteer at the animal shelter - play with the animals, walk them.  Volunteer at a crisis line.  He is a registered peer counselor.  Instead of (feeling sorry for yourself), reach out and help other people.  

God has done wonderful things for us lately.  I feel it is very rude and thankless of Ron to whine constantly.  I don't say that, of course.  I don't sit around all day wailing about mental illness and brain damage.  I didn't even whine about the nausea.  I'd just tell Ron "I don't want to eat" when I was queasy.  

It would be very easy to fall into the self-pity trap, but that IS NOT what God wants me to do.  God wants me to overcome, not sit there whining.  God also says His strength is made perfect in my weakness 
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.", so, I figure, that is why God made me this way.  God created me, with my problems, because I could only serve Him this way.  

Ron wants to sit around and compare himself to other people, and complain.  Not in the Bible!   In fact, the 10 Commandments tell us not to covet: anything.  Including someone's healthy body.  

Anyway, today someone had given Ron a web address.  He kept trying to play it for me.  I would rather be stung by wasps, than have someone TELL me a web address.  I told him, I can get it online.  I don't need you to tell me.  So, I got it.  

Then he told me it was wrong (he doesn't understand search engines or mirror sites).  He kept yelling the address at me.  I had him do it very slowly and he kept acting like I was being a [mean woman].  He said I was "biting" him.  I said, when you try to TELL me all this stuff, you are "biting" me!  I find it just as unpleasant!  Then he went to acting like a victim again.  

Let me tell you, it's a good thing I do have God.  Every time I ask Ron for a little help and accommodation with my problems, he starts complaining about how he "deserves better" and "Why can't I have a normal woman?"  "I'm such a victim, God hates me and stuck me with a broken woman ON TOP of blinding me!"  

Because she would have left you decades ago!  

However, I know Ron will answer for EVERYTHING.  To God.  He will feel my pain, every bit of it, with every cruel remark.  Hebrews 10:30 "Vengence is mine, I will repay' says the Lord."  


Edit: I did talk to Ron, and asked him "How would things be different if you stopped seeing yourself as a victim?"

Blood test

So, Ron got the guy to fix the outlet.  He was very nice about it.

I went for my blood test.  Boy, that wasn't much fun.  I had a lot of water onboard.  In fact, I drank so much water I had to consume extra salt!  Apparently I have very deep, rolling, veins.

I have to laugh, though.  It was pretty comical, she had my arm tied off, I'm squeezing a foam ball for all I'm worth, and all of a sudden I start getting tremors.  She thought I was scared!  I said, no, it's just a side effect of my lithium - tremors.  Just try to ignore them, I'm fine.

So, the poor tech has to draw blood on a shaking arm!  [giggle]  It wasn't very painful.  Ever given blood at  a blood bank?  That hurts a lot more.  I told her to be aggressive and she finally got it.

I had wondered if my fatigue level might be due to an anemia.  I have pretty heavy cycles.  Even though I take iron, maybe I had a problem?  I looked at my arm, at the wrong moment.  Very dark blood running down my arm.

Oooooh.  Well, it WAS very dark and thick looking, so I don't think I'm anemic.  [laugh]  And it was free. The CBC test is $50.

I asked the technician, point blank (something about the medical setting has me baring all, so to speak).  "Are you having trouble because I'm fat?"   She said, not really.  It's a factor, but not major.

I then asked if weight lifting would improve my veins.  She got very animated and said absolutely.  She loves drawing blood on weightlifters.  So, that's something I can do.  Will do.

I can donate blood, at the blood bank, in September.  I want to have better veins by then.

No results yet on the test, but last time it took 3-4 days.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I have to tell them

When Ron woke up I asked him about the whole outlet thing.

I guess you could say Ron is my "normal" test.  "Is it appropriate to..."  "Should I...."  He gives good advice.  Of course there are times I may not ask him, my go-to for that are my aunt and sister.

I have found, if I let people know I'm not up on all the social stuff, they are very kind and helpful.  However, I have to tell them!

So, he said, not a big deal.  He put the outlet cover in the tool drawer and said things would be fine, either the guys would fix it, or he would.

I got rid of my note.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Worse than the actual problem

Something happened tonight that had me a little annoyed.  The guys broke the outlet cover on an outside outlet; leaving it open to the elements.  I discovered it when I went to take out some trash.  I'm pretty upset.

Straight on the heels of the thought: should I be?  What is an appropriate level of upset?  Is this an illness issue?  Am I overreacting because my medication levels are off?  Do I need to take a pill?

I swear, the self doubt and internal interrogations are worse than the actual problem!   In my case, I left a note over the outlet, saying "Can you please fix this by Monday, when it rains?  Electricity + water + my bedroom = bad!  Thank you!"  Basically I think they just need to drill a couple of holes and screw it in.  They must have REALLY yanked on the outlet to pull two screws out of the siding and tear out the screw holes!

If it was an interior outlet, I wouldn't mind.  But, it is a safety issue.  I'm shocked they hadn't already addressed it.  My neighbor has a sprinkler that could hit that outlet.

Now, the guys have probably never seen a house like mine.  It's messy.  I get that.  To them, a messy house might seem be less deserving of care than a "nice" house.   "If you don't respect your home, why should I?"

I'm certain they don't understand low energy levels and brain damage.  Who could?  Who could understand that getting up, buying some groceries, and coming home is so exhausting that I require an hours long nap?  That work for a few hours also necessitates another nap?  That I didn't even have the energy to wash my hair today, much less do dishes?

How can I produce energy out of nothing and turn that into a perfectly kept house?  Answer: I can't.  I have to accept my limitations.  Every day is a compromise on what I manage to accomplish.

I just hope they fix the outlet tomorrow in good humor.  I don't want to offend anyone, or have my house burn down.

Cat motherhood

It took me a long time to admit I'd had a pretty raw life.   My birth mother neglected me severely.

Knowing a fact like that is awful.  I even have memories of crying in my crib, hungry, lonely, and tired.  My filthy diaper reeking.  I'd watch the sun climb the wall.  It would start in a low corner and gradually climb to the opposite side.

I LIVED for the sound of the front door; that meant someone was home.  They'd love me, feed, me, and change me.  Until then, it was just me and the cat.

My parents got the cat for my sister when I was about a year and a half old.  I don't think they realized what a friend I had in her.

I'd sob in my crib, hopeless, and lonely, starving and so very lonely.  And there she'd be.  The cat.  She loved to climb in my crib.  I'd slobber all over her, "pet" her, and lie down next to her, her purring lulling me to sleep.

When I got too grabby, she'd escape the crib.  I remember watching her groom herself, endlessly fascinated by this elegant creature.   When my parents split, my Dad made my sister give the cat up for adoption.  She did find a loving home but I grieved terribly.

You could make a good argument that the cat was a better mother to me, than my own, human mother.

Which brings me to Scarlet the cat.  Scarlett the Cat  Scarlett, repeatedly entered a burning building in order to save her kittens.  She saved all of them, at a terrible personal cost.  She was covered in burns and temporarily blind.  But she didn't care, she sniffed them all to make sure they were safe.  And then she passed out on the street.

Oh, that story makes me cry.  It's making me cry now: because I didn't have that.  My own mother was incapable of battling her illness - and I paid the cost.  Essentially, she left me in the burning building (for instance, it took me years to catch up to the growth curve).

I may have had a cat for a "mother" - but I could have done a lot worse.  And, I always had God.  Even then.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yay meds

I was really pleased with myself.

You guys know how weird I can get with the neighbor kids running around in my yard.  How I would obsess about it.  I was just so angry at the whole family, because my meds were off.

Once I got the meds right, I went pretty neutral.  Just "please keep the kids out of the yard so they don't hurt themselves or peep in the windows".

I've had some handymen over.  One was already in the bathroom when the doorbell rang.  I opened the door, expecting the other guy, and SURPRISE!  It's my neighbor and his 3 oldest kids.  Selling candy.

I got Ron, and we bought a few candy bars.  Gave them an extra dollar.  I even told the kids "You're really lucky to have a good Dad, who sells candy with you!"

They went off happy.  The neighbor was preening.  The kids were smiling.  And I was a good guy.

[fist pump]  Yay, meds!

Contemplative

Hm.  I need to stop looking at my statistics!  [snort]

Don't get me wrong, I got one lovely comment, and then a completely hateful comment with a spam link tag line.   I don't allow spam links.  I have comment moderation.  I MODERATE the comments.  That means, I do not allow spam.

Nothing hateful gets published, either, so they are out on two counts.  Agh.

Anyway, as I was cleaning tile glue off the tiles in the bathroom, I wondered how I'd approach today's blog.

Would I take the "I'm so tired of being tired" approach?  The valiant "I have a horrible illness but I'll fight it to the end."  The contemplative "I wonder why I am so tired, is it depression, some kind of illness, or just side effects?  Is it all 3?"

I think I'll go with contemplative, today.  It's a good thing I have automatic spell check.  I've slept pretty poorly, the last couple of nights.  It could be as simple as that.

The guy who's fixing our house comes by after he gets off work.  He puts in a couple hours and goes home.

I'm used to going to bed around 8.  He leaves around 9!  I've also consumed caffeine so I'd be alert when he arrived.  Happily, it's almost done now.

From the first minute, I have done everything I can to help.  Demo.  Cleanup.  I don't mind cleaning tile glue (I don't know the technical name) off the tiles, because it's my shower.  I need to own it.

Besides, I feel, like Habitat for Humanity, that people should invest some sweat into their homes.  I don't mean maintaining it.  I mean, respecting the work the guys have done by investing my own effort into helping.  Into making it look as good as possible, because, at the end of the day, it's MY bathroom.

He said most people don't help.  I found that sad.

Am I blaming this man for my sleep problems?  Absolutely not, but I think the shift in my sleep patterns is a factor.

I'm also taking 4 lithiums a day.  I had some really ugly thoughts before I did that.  I don't want to have hateful, ugly, thoughts.  I really would rather be groggy than a hater.  If I had to point a finger, I'd say that the lithium is probably 90% of my fatigue.

I forgot, I tend to be very tired when I'm at the proper lithium dose.  And this, kids, is why, if God told me to do it, I would absolutely apply for disability.  I don't feel the illness is debilitating, but the medication cocktail absolutely cripples me.

Would I stop?  You know me, I'd rather die than go off my meds.

At this point, God has made it clear, I am NOT to do so.  I'll abide by that.  Besides, I think it is important, in Ron's mind, to "support" me.  I have to say, he does a good job of that these days, both financially, and emotionally.

Sales are still abysmal.  Hopefully we'll have enough to pay me.  I need to get a lithium level and some new glasses (that will take saving, for a few pay periods).  I intend to do the lithium level this time, and save the month of May and get the eye exam and glasses (that might take a few additional pay periods).  I also need to figure out if I have to get my own ticket to my niece's wedding, so I can put that in my budget.

Praise God, I can stop worrying about the bathroom.  It really was as bad as I'd feared, but it's all beautifully restored.   About the only home repair thing I'd really like to get - put the covers over the rest of the soffit holes, maybe I can get the handyman to do that.

I heard something on the roof last night, but I'm pretty certain it was my cat.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stigma-buster

I feel my primary job in life is sharing God.  I feel my secondary "purpose" is educating people about mental illness, and the third, de-stigmatizing mental illness.

It's an illness, people.  I don't see that as a difficult concept!  [laugh]

First, I thought I'd share a few perspectives I've seen in my life.  Let me know if you scream in frustrating and recognition.

"Oh, I was depressed once, after my car broke.  It was the worst 10 minutes of my life.  I understand completely!"

"Oh, depression.  That's a made up illness, like 'autism'.  Whoever thinks they have that problem just needs a cold water bath, some more fiber, and maybe a beating.  Buck up!  You are a weak person for even thinking you have a problem!"

"Oh, I used to be depressed but it went away when I got saved.  Depression is only a spiritual battle.  You need to read some Psalms, pray, and do a fast."

"Oh, I am depressed and got suicidal.  Now I'm in the hospital because they pumped my stomach.  I'm a really weak person.  I should have been stronger.  I just let my feelings run away with me... and now look. My husband won't 'let' me get therapy or medication when I get out of here."

Here's the truth: Depression is a medical condition.  For the Christians out there, yes, the Devil uses depression to attack us, just like he uses heart attacks.  Do you view a heart attack as a spiritual problem?    Of course not.  You recognize it is a serious medical condition that requires medical help, medication, and periodic checkups.  Depression is no different.

If you found your child on the floor, having a seizure, would you tell them to go do some chores, go for a walk, or read their Bible?  Of course not!  You would get emergency medical assistance.  You would do everything in your power to make that happen, and if your child needed medicine, you'd make sure he got it ever day.

Now, let's get to adults.  If someone you know is depressed, it is a serious MEDICAL illness.  If someone you know is talking about suicide, you need to get them emergency medical help, just like you would if they had a seizure or heart attack.

Depression is a lot worse than a few bad feelings.  It's a killer.   People with my form of depression, psychotic, have a 41% mortality rate.  That's worse than many cancers.  source  If you knew I was sick, and had a 50% chance of dying, how would you treat me?

Please try to remember that as you encounter hurting souls with depression.  Yes, you might end up "coddling" someone who "isn't really sick", but as my Dad always says, "It's a lot better than the alternative".

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Signs, signs

Thank you, Biliophile!

I'm doing a little better after medication.  I'm just battling the no-energy aspect of things, feeling a little hopeless.   I battle a depression at least every month, often more.  It's just my price of admission.

I absolutely know it's my illness talking; or, as Ron says, "My motor backfires".

Speaking of, I am pretty proud of how I took care of myself.  I ate a small lasagna (the one-portion size), took my medication, and took a lovely bath with a fluffy inspirational romance novel.

I have enough energy to THINK about doing laundry, something I deeply lacked, and I have the energy to change the pillowcases.  Maybe there's a trick I don't know, but I am having a horrible time washing my (longer) hair in the bathtub.  I can't get it to lather!

I might get my solar shower thing and try hooking that up, outside, and running the hose down into the tub.  Cups of water, and dunking my head, just don't work very well.

When I was a child, and took tub baths daily, I had much shorter hair and it was very easy to keep clean.  However, being married - it seems like every man in the world, including my husband, likes a woman with long hair!

And he asked so cutely... I couldn't say no.

We listened to some music on satellite TV.  He was very excited to hear "Signs" by, the 5-Man Electrical Band.  "Signs, signs, everywhere a sign..." I had a flash to my Free Bibles sign, thought about all the LOOKS I get during a handout, and thought....

That would make a fantastic video, the song "Signs", while I handed out Bibles and waved mine around.  But I would NEVER compromise the privacy of my recipients.  That's a sacred trust.  That, and praying for them daily!

Which, happily, I've already done.  It was a little incoherent but God got the gist.

Oh, and my thoughts are better too.

I won't do anything stupid

When I'm battling a depression like this, I often think: it would be a lot easier to die for my faith, than to live for it!   No, I won't do anything stupid, as Ron says "God would kick my butt".

It's not that bad, anyway.  Miserable, yes.  Suicidal?  No.

Besides, I've learned to expect a post-Bible-handout-depression.  It seems to go with the territory.  I strike a blow for God, the devil strikes a blow.  Here's a hint: God wins.

I have plenty of battle scars, though.  In the Bible, the apostle Paul talks about the shield of faith.  I've heard it described as getting bigger, and more impressive, the more it's used.  Boy, mine must be huge!

I just hate it when I'm ruminating (you can look it up, my modem is misbehaving and I'll be "lucky" to post this) - brooding on something I'd just as soon GET OUT OF MY HEAD ALREADY!

Ugh.  I wonder, do people want to hear about this?  Today, for instance, obsessively wondering if the neighbor kids are going to run around in my yard during the Easter party.  They usually have a party, and just as usually run around in their yard.  Recently, they were running around in my yard, in huge packs, like deer or some other herd animal.  Are children herd animals?  I think so.

Anyway, if that wasn't bad enough the oldest boy was shouting unflattering comments about Ron and I trying to "trick" them into thinking we had a dog?  WHAT?   It's my yard, kid, keep out.

Not to mention no nobody was watching the 3 year old and he kept running around in my yard, by himself.  I didn't like that one bit.

So, I wrote a note to him, asking him to keep all children out of my yard, "for safety reasons".  Then, a week later, Ron had a SPECTACULAR blackout, raving madly and profanely outside, for hours.  God only knows what he did the next night, when I was gone (other than trash the bedroom).  Probably more of the same (he was extremely drunk a couple nights in a row).

So, if the note didn't do it, the raving alcoholic will probably do it.  Heck, I haven't even seen the kids in their own yard since then.  I think Dad is understands just WHY I want them on their own side of the fence.

But I just can't pry it out of my head.  AGH.  It doesn't make me feel better to put any of this out there for the world to see, but I do want people to be able to understand my thought processes.  How can you understand me, or anyone with this illness, otherwise?

Now, worst case: if I do catch the kids in my yard again I will do what I did when I had some other kids rudely climbing over my gate.

"Do you live here?"
"Who pays the mortgage on this house?"
"Did I give you permission to come into the yard?"
"Do you want me to tell your parents?"  

It worked quite well, last time.  I can also prop something against the gate, to keep anyone out, should the need arise.

Boy, my modem is really naughty today.

So, how will I handle this?

Most importantly, I will be heating up something to eat, and taking my lithium.

I will also take a nice hot bath and read a fluffy romance novel.

If I'm still a little wound up, do some cleaning.

Spiritual angle, pray, remind myself I need to take my thoughts captive (from the Bible, actually).  


2 Corinthians 10:5

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

If they do have a party, I can put on headphones.

I might also get started on my art.  I have a vision of a cross.  It has a pointy end at the bottom, which is impaling something that represents either a "Bad thought" or the word, "Thoughts".

To the left of the cross, it will say TAKE

Under the cross, (being impaled) THOUGHTS

To the right, CAPTIVE.  Somewhere in there the Bible verse 2 Cor. 10:5

I might also put a Bible up with the cross.  I haven't decided yet.

If I were the "ink" type, I bet that would make an AWESOME tattoo.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Like a virus

I think even the non-believers will have a laugh over my enthusiasm.

Today was a tough morning.  I had to get up so early, both Ron and I slept poorly (I think, too much caffeine).

Ron was pretty moody and grim.  I was sucking down Diet Mountain Dew and wishing for a mania.  I managed to do my Bible study but not the prayer part of my God Time.

We went to the grocery store, and got a few things.  I needed a few personal items (toothpaste, etc), and Ron needed to pick up some soda for work.  I got them, paid, and we went to work.

We got to work and the food machine was acting up.  It was speaking "Chinese" - unintelligible characters, flowing across the display in a very alarming manner.  I fixed it with a reboot, praise God.

Yes, I pray over the down vending machines.  And the ones that are working.  My faith is in pretty much every part of my life.

We stocked what we could; sales were bad.  It's somewhat expected for a holiday weekend, but I still have potato chips, in the snack machines, that I purchased weeks ago.  It used to be I would move a hundred count case in a week.  The case I bought?  It was a 50-count.

They picked us up to take us to the Christian bookstore.  We had a very long ride.  One woman kept interrogating the other passengers in a rather alarming manner.  I was glad Ron and I were already wearing our headphones.

The driver explained he had many more stops before he dropped us off.  I decided to do the prayer portion of my God Time.  I got that, it was a little bouncy, but I only got a little carsick.

I wasn't even 1/4 as queasy as I'd been before I started the Haldol.  Even if it didn't work, fantastically, as an antipsychotic, I would love it for getting rid of the nausea.

I'm a little queasy now, but I know that's just because I'm hungry.  I don't get hungry.  I get queasy, and then I need to eat.  Weird, huh?

We finally made it.  We went in and filled it up.

The store had signs everywhere: BIBLE SALE.  You KNOW what happened, don't you?

I found some really excellent evangelism New Testaments, normally a dollar, for 54 cents each.  I grabbed a huge armload (Ron was in the back).

A guy, sarcastically, said "I think you missed a couple down there".  I was counting.  I had enough money to buy 48, and turned to him and smiled.  "Could you get me 12 more, please?"  Then another woman wanted to know what was so exciting and I explained all the features, how it's easy to give them away, and she bought most of the rest.

Like a virus, I want to reproduce myself.  I admit it.  I love to "turn people on" to Bible Handouts.

Ron and I got some lunch (after I made my haul), and got a nice straight trip home.  Yay!

Then, praise God, I got a nap.  It was a good nap.  Just long enough.  If I sleep too long, I get nightmares.

I'm a little manic right now but that will be easily fixed with the evening dose.

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's always a good day for a Handout!

Today, Ron and I did another Bible handout.  I had approximately 100 Bibles, assorted.

I had about 30 leftover from my last handout, New Testaments.  I had about 60 "Whole" Bibles - I don't often do them because they are more expensive, and a lot bulkier, but they were donated.  I also had some Spanish, maybe 20 items.

OK, more than 100.

I slept horribly last night.  That often happens before a handout.

I loaded all my boxes into Ron's wheelchair and strapped them into place with bungee cords.  I hung two more bags, full of Bibles, on the back of the wheelchair.  I put on my reflective vest and got the signs, and we were good to go.

It was a warm day (upper 80's), so I drank a bottle of electrolyte stuff before I left the house.  I brought more, and a few bottles of soda, with me.

Ron often wonders aloud "Why can't they buy their own?"  Well, when I was backslidden (not living a Christian life or even talking to Him), I was scared to death of the religion section of the bookstore.  I was afraid if someone saw me over there, they would think I was a fanatic!

[That is hysterical now.]

I also realized, when I did look, that a lot of unBiblical stuff was out there.  And if I was scared to go on the "Bibles" aisle, how much more afraid of the Christian bookstore!  I thought they were a bunch of haters, and very expensive.  Boy, was I wrong.

Here's a hint, if you to the Christian bookstore, look for the "Outreach" section, or "Evangelism" Bibles - they are often extremely affordable.  I often suggest to a Bible-seeker: Pick up a few, see which one talks to you.  Take it home.  If you love it, get a nicer one eventually.

Anyway, back to the handout.  Since I had a hemiparetic, neuropathic, blind man in my care, I had to get him into his wheelchair before I handed out any Bibles (I did give one to the driver).  I unloaded all of it and set up; then put Ron in his wheelchair.  He can stand and walk for very limited distances.

Wow.  It was wild!  Tons of people, shouting for Bibles!  I handed out 10 before I even did my first walk (from the light to the last car in line to turn)!

I had gangsters (Bloods) requesting Bibles.  Querulous old men demanding Bibles.  Whole carloads of adults, each wanting a Bible.  You can bet I served them all.  

I had a couple of parents, requesting Bibles for their kids, and I was happy to do it.  I saw a very distraught woman, and I so desperately wanted to give her a Bible and a big hug.  She waved me off, though.  Please pray for her.  She was really hurting.

My favorite is the carload of gang members.  I'm an equal-opportunity evangelizer.

Speaking of, I picked up a few understudies.  Some young men showed up on bikes.  They attend a local church and are saved.  They wanted to help.  I had things pretty well in hand, but they shadowed me for a while.   They went off for a while and brought us some cold bottles of water, which I found refreshing.

They got a good grasp on the Bible Handout.  I would be thrilled if they "stole" the concept for themselves.

I also explained to them, and the guy trying to give me money, "I can't take any money or they can shut me down".  I saw plenty of police cars, and some unmarked vehicles with policemen in them.

That was, about the only bad thing.  A "suicide jockey"  (gasoline tanker truck driver) tried to give me some money and was very upset when I kept saying no.

Pretty soon - I'm out!  I told Ron to put his sign down but he didn't understand.  I took it away (laugh).

I mashed up the cardboard, put it in a public trash can (I am very careful about laws when doing a handout), got Ron, and got some fast food.

Then we came home, and mowed the yard.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two, brain-damaged evangelists

I'm pretty tired but I'll do my best.

A lot of weird hours.   The guys can come and work on my house after they're done with their full-time job, which means I end up going to bed later.  Even good stress is still stress, battling depression, blah, blah.

Ron and I have been getting a lot of quality time.  That's been awesome.  I really enjoy him, and we always have so much to say to each other!  It's amazing.

I've handed out a couple Bibles a day, to drivers mainly, although I did give one with a full sized candy bar, to a teller at the bank today.  That's always fun.

We had a muslim driver.  I got a No on a Bible, but Ron dropped a tract and the driver picked it up.  Ron asked him to read it "When you have time".  It's funny how God always arranges for Ron to drop a tract, if he forgets to distribute!

Two, brain damaged evangelists with fatigue issues - it gets pretty amusing at times!

Speaking of, we're doing a Bible Handout tomorrow.  Ron suggested (and I got confirmation from God) we should do some afternoon handouts.  I think it'll be good.

I'm in kind of a rut on the early morning handouts, and I think the early morning crowd is about saturated for now.  I want to be willing to work, no matter how God wants me to work.

I hope that made sense.  Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More thoughts on prepping

Being an evangelical Christian, I truly believe I will be raptured, before things hit the fan.

I have made very modest preparations for "moderate" type disasters.  I have a bug out bag.  I get 3 month refills on my medication.  I never run out of cat food.

I think it's safe to say my level of planning goes to moderate natural disasters (although I lack tarps, ladder, and duct tape), maybe a quarantine, rioting, stuff like that.  I'm really more equipped for a "bug in" situation where I stay at home for a while with Ron.

While I do believe things will get VERY bad in the future, I also believe I'll get raptured before that point arrives.  But, I have some readers who aren't saved.  What would I suggest?

That's where I'm going today.  What if you are not a born again Christian?  What would I suggest for someone facing "Tribulation" style disasters?

First - a closed mouth.  Don't talk about your "preps".  I have seen for myself, if you let people know you have anything, they will come and get it.

Two - weapons.  Get, at the very least, a shotgun and handgun.  I know very little about either.  Make sure you practice and have lots of ammo.  I have some garden tools that can double as weapons, I am comfortable with them.  I figure, worst case I might get a possum in the house but you will face far worse.

Three - water.  Store as much water as possible.  You can use empty, 2 liter soda bottles (avoid milk jugs or cleaning solution bottles), for instance.  Or you can buy one of the blue water containers and fill it up.

Four - Food.  By now you are getting hungry.  I suggest a mix of ready-to-eat, dehydrated, and home-canned foods.  One of Ron's treasures are the home-canned favorites.  All his favorite foods, cooked just the way he likes them, ready to eat at a moment's notice.  A canner is pretty cheap, less than $100.  Make sure you read the directions carefully and don't reuse the lids.  Don't forget pet food.  I keep about an extra month on hand.

Five - entertainment.  Ron has his talking books and an mp3 player.  I have my mp3 player, it runs on batteries.  I have plenty of batteries (got them at Dollar Tree).  I also have a box full of books I haven't read and my Kindle.  I am attempting to find some way to get a solar charger for the Kindle if I had to bug in for more than a few weeks, and we didn't have electricity.  I also have playing cards, dominoes, and a braille scrabble game to keep us occupied.  You can probably find plenty of entertaining items at a Dollar store.  I know I've seen some good puzzles, for instance.  I'd also suggest a Bible.  It's not boring, that's for sure.

I also imagine the Antichrist is going to make it pretty hard to buy a Bible, during the Tribulation.

Just some random thoughts.  Have a good one!

When Disaster Strikes

No, not at my house, praise God.  Tornadoes in Dallas, not very far away.

When disaster strikes; Ron always wants to call the insurance agent and chat.  She's a nice lady.  She got a kick out of his last 2 "claims" - flipped over doormats after hurricanes.

Me?  I want to do a Bible Handout.  I always think people are scared, hurting, and "shook up" - wanting answers and comfort in a scary world.  I immediately go to handout.

Last year, I sent a case of New Testaments to a woman near Joplin, for handout.  I don't know if she did.  She never said anything to me, but that's in God's hands.    The point is, I mailed them.

Now, I am itching to get up to Dallas and do a Bible Handout.  Let them know I'm praying, hand them a Bible, and, ideally, hug them.  I'm a hugger.

Does God even want me in Dallas?  Good question.  I plan to talk to the church and see if they have any "outreach" planned.  If they do, maybe I can hitch a ride.  It's not hard for me to do a Free Bibles setup.  Stick me somewhere, with some traffic, my sign, a couple cases of Bibles at my feet.  I'll pray, ideally God sends hungry souls looking for Him.

I ordered some excellent tracts from Grace and Truth - "Why Does God Allow Trouble" and "The Value of Trials".  I would love to stuff them into some Bibles.

Yeah, I may sound irreverent but I am completely committed to evangelism.  So, if you pray, pray with me and ask God to show me His will.

If I don't go to Dallas, I'll do a Houston Handout.  Oh, boy.  Maybe I could even do two!

A Houston Handout, and then a Dallas.

Oh, awesome.

Monday, April 2, 2012

They don't want a Bible in the rain.

Let's start with an update photo:


Looking good!  Dad was thrilled when I sent him this in an e-mail.

I'm battling a fair amount of depression and fatigue.  I'm not in agony, just really worn out.  Ron suggested I buy some TV dinners because I am so tired at mealtimes.  It's a lot cheaper than takeout.

Happily, one of the guys referred to me as "very easygoing and patient".  That's nice to hear.  Like I told my pharmacist, the medication gets all the credit for that!   I don't want to be an ugly person; God forgives me for my past mistakes but I have been pretty harsh at times.

But, as we can all see (sorry if you're blind), it's looking fantastic and we can see it should be finished soon!  In the meantime, my home is overrun in power tools, grout, tiles, mastic, and other things.  That's OK, I'm kind of messy anyway.

The only line I have drawn, don't block the cat food.  [snort]  I put that in a corner of the bedroom.

The guys even brought me a couple cases of Bibles to hand out.  I had planned to do them tomorrow, but it will rain, and as we all learned from the handout a few weeks ago, people don't want a Bible in the rain.

So, tentative plan, Wednesday afternoon, rush hour time.  A whole new crowd!

What have I been doing?  Saturday and Sunday, guys came over to work.  The tub faucet was tricky.  The plumbing.

Whatever they did, it works.  No leaks and it flows nicely into the tub.  I did make a barrier so water wouldn't get on the freshly laid tile.  It got on an old t-shirt, and the tile stayed dry.

I actually learned that trick from Ron, he likes to use an old shirt as a bathmat.  I had a nice bath.  So nice to just enjoy the tub, rather than worrying about when it's all going to fall in.  [shudder]  A lot of anxiety over the years.

So, I've been pretty tired, very mildly depressed (up to 4 lithiums a day).  I haven't seen much of the cat.  He's a cranky old man and doesn't like change.  I missed him.

Today, I got up and went to work.  I only handed out one Bible.  After work, we went to Walmart, but they rode us around for an hour and a half, first.  Ron was so tired he fell asleep in my lap, snoring gently.  I found him adorable.

He actually reminded me of Frosty, who used to do the same thing!    About Frosty

We finally got to Walmart.  I left Ron on "The husband bench" and went to do it.

Mission #1:  Lithium.  Got it.
Mission #2:  Snack foods for workers:  Got them.
Mission #3:  Portable DEET spray for my backpack.  Mosquitos eat me alive at work when I'm waiting on a ride.  Got it.
Mission #4:  Drinks for me.  Got them.
Mission #5:  Processed dinners for me.  Got them, I also got Ron a Night-hawk dinner because he loves them and the smell would have driven him nuts, otherwise.
Mission #6:  Bank deposit.  I have charity debits at the first of the month.
Mission #7:  Ranch chicken for Ron, and the driver, who handed me back the Bible I tried to give him.  Oh, well... he was listening to evangelical music from Africa.  It was very pretty.

We finally got home, I took a double dose of lithium (OK by Doc), and took a nap.  Imagine my joy when Mr Bubba cat got up in bed with me.  He slept with me for hours.  I was thrilled.

I really had missed him.

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 ...