Daily Archives: March 7, 2014

Saving Face, or You Can Die From That?

Once when my psychiatrist was changing my medication (again), he warned me about the possible side effects. I know that doctors don’t often do this, because they are afraid that the patient will imagine that all the side effects have indeed appeared. So when he wanted to talk about side effects, I perked up my little ears and listened.

“If you notice a rash starting, stop the drug immediately,” Dr. R. said. “It could be fatal.”

I had never heard of a fatal skin rash before. I had no idea that a skin rash could be fatal.

“Don’t look at pictures on the Internet,” he said. “It’s really gross.”

Terrific. I might be getting a really gross, possibly fatal skin rash. I probably should have asked for an increased dosage on the anxiety meds.

Of course I looked it up as soon as I got home. (I did try to avoid pictures, though, even though they might help me tell the difference between heat rash and the deadly one.)

The condition is called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and apparently the rash is just the beginning. It’s possible for your skin to fall off, starting with your face. That’s probably the fatal part, as I imagine you’d be prone to infections, plus your insides would now be your outsides. And yes, that would be really gross.

I enlisted my husband’s help. “If you notice my skin starting to shred, or see a big piece of it lying on the floor, do let me know,” I requested. “Maybe pick it up and save it.” Then we debated the merits of duct tape vs. Gorilla Glue for reattaching it.

That was a few years ago. I am still taking the medication and I still have an adequate supply of skin. Now there are commercials on TV for various drugs, and they list the side effects. (I’m sure you’ve noticed that they are often worse than the condition they’re prescribed for.) I always get a little nostalgic when they list “fatal skin rash” among the possibilities. And just a teensy bit smug because I know what they mean.

The commercials could be fatal too, though. I might die laughing if the next ad was one for Gorilla Glue.

P.S. I apologize sincerely to anyone reading this who has, or knows someone who has, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and does not appreciate my attitude.


Taking Stock

I was poking through my Livejournal a bit today; that’s where I daily post, ’cause locked down and ‘safe’ and ‘private’. I’ve also got a 750words.com account I use for brain dumping, but that’s just that — brain dumping in its purest form (which is actually incredibly useful for helping me converse about things that annoy me after the fact, and just to get things out of my head that I didn’t realize were there). But yes, the LJ is my daily log, and I had been going back through it to backtag some posts relating to a continued incident with a person to make it easier to reference for myself, and just general scanning of things.

What have I learned?

Well, turns out my chronic fatigue has totally been getting worse. I saw that I was reporting a sharp decrease in energy in September/October, and I know that’s been getting worse. I thought that was the case, but I hadn’t been completely sure either. You know how it goes — when you’re looking backwards, unless it’s a specific flashpoint of bad, you sort of half-convince yourself that maybe you’ve been exaggerating to yourself. Turns out, nope, ha ha. Things have been pretty crap, and while I hope that it picks up and I can manage to say, do dishes on the regular, I’m not counting on anything.

I’ve also been able to note that my mental health has totally and utterly crapped out in a massive way since coming off of my meds — big surprise, that. It wasn’t so bad coming off of the sertraline (Zoloft), mind. Yes, I was a bit wibbly, but no real harm done. Coming off of the quetiapine (Seroquel), on the other hand? Jaysus, there are no words. Mind, I’m still doing better than non-pregnant non-medicated, but my anxiety is climbing back through the roof, it’s harder to ignore my OCD, and jeez, my sleep. My poor poor sleep. That’s sort of getting better, but my husband continues to park himself on the couch to be on the safe side. I’m also wondering if my combination will be nearly as effective after Pregnancy Roulette finishes rampaging through my body, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there; I figure as long as I get back on the Seroquel immediately, that should head off the worst of potential postpartum mood drama.

But yeah, spoons… I’ve heard of spoons. I’ve not seen one in awhile though. I’m annoyed ’cause I would like to be of vague use, but that risks too much of a vicious cycle ’cause getting annoyed at being annoyed at being mad at being angry, and I’d rather not get on that ride. I’m too tired for any rides. So instead, I just try to take a deep breath and be easy on myself. If I can manage to do more than drool on my desk, then I celebrate that. Otherwise… well. I don’t need to go pushing myself off the deep end when I’m already dangling off the edge of the diving board, I reckon. I’m okay, as long as I don’t really do anything or deal with anything. It’s not ideal, but it’s better to accept the status quo for what it is and hope that better will come.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

<3

The post Taking Stock appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Technical Difficulties

Blog is currently f****d up!  Working on it

The post Technical Difficulties appeared first on Depression and Bipolar Disorder:.

Ten Days Lockdown: A New Beginning

Day seven of being in lockdown arrived and I was fully relaxed and ready to go home. Most of the friends I made had been released. Darryl was an exception. Darryl was from a family of Hollywood icons, but had been the black sheep of the family for most of his life due to his … Continue reading »

The post Ten Days Lockdown: A New Beginning appeared first on Depression and Bipolar Disorder:.

Music & Lyrics


The Verve - Never Wanna See You Cry 


I don't like the way that you say you feel fine
when you look so down
And I don't like the way that the pills you take
they just keep you down
Shiny little minds
Trying to find my way in life
String of broken hearts
Well they still made it
You ready to start?
Never wanna see you cry
No, I never wanna hold you with tears in your eyes
Never wanna see you burn
There's so much I gotta tell you
So much that you'll learn
I'm dying, dying, baby, dying
To get close to you
But sometimes, sometimes the wall you built
You know, I can't get through
Shiny little minds
Trying to find my way in life
String of broken hearts
Well they still made it
You ready to start?
I never wanna see you cry
No, I never wanna hold you with tears in my eyes
Never wanna see you die
There's so much I gotta tell you
So much that you'll learn
Cause I never wanna see you cry'
No I never wanna see you die
No I never wanna see you cry
No I never wanna see you cry
Cause I never wanna see you cry
No I never wanna see you cry
No I never wanna see you die
Oh I never wanna see you die...


Ash Wednesday…or giving up for Lent

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40 day period of fasting, repentance, and spiritual discipline before Easter, not including Sundays.  There are posts on line, which I find credible, that state that bipolar individuals should not fast.  I think that makes sense. We need to keep in balance everything we can control, like food.

But what about abstaining from one substance?  Common substances given up for Lent are coffee and sugar. While neither of which is good for bipolar individuals, suddenly stopping them is not good either, for obvious reasons.

I have decided to give up for Lent.  I tried to give up coffee and mindlessly made my routine cup before dawn on Wednesday morning.  As my daughter said, "I blew it."  I intended to cut out sugar but impulsively went after 2 Dunkin' Donuts yesterday afternoon...and I don't even like them.  Again, she's a "better Christian" than I am.

Some Christians choose to 'take on,' rather than 'give up.' something for Lent.  I had planned on starting a practice of Centering Prayer, but lately I've been too manic or agitated to sit for 20 minutes in silence, consenting and intending to just be in the presence of God.  I can manage maybe 5 minutes.

If you have followed my blog at all, you are aware that I am all over the place.  Lots of plans, best of intentions, failure and defeat.  I think the most genuine and hopeful gesture I can make is resignation.  I give up for Lent.

Taking care of myself, wherever I am.

It occurs to me that I may not change.  This may be how it is going to be for however long I remain alive.  (deep sigh.)  Medications are not working like they used to.  I have been on them for too long.  I might as well not be on medication, or so it seems.  I cycle wildly and rapidly, regardless.

I can not stay in bed all day.  I do not sleep.  Even at night I do not sleep.  My hands and feet are constantly in motion.  I wake up stiff from being in motion all night.

So what do I do?

I make plans, plans of how best to take care of myself, depending on what state of disorder I am in.  For example, when I am manic, I will be careful not to start any new projects or make any new goals.  They tend to be unrealistic, overwhelming, and disappointing.  Also when I am manic, I will take advantage of the energy and get some exercise.  Long vigorous walks tend to burn out the jitters.  Walking and talking with someone makes it even better.  Manic energy is also good for cleaning out places like the basement, shoving stuff around and sweeping up dust and dirt.  Manic energy is good for mopping floors.  It is not good for filing paperwork, unless I am taking on the entire filing system.

If I had a good yard, manic energy might be good for gardening.  HOWEVER, over the years I have spent thousands of dollars at garden supply stores.  Not a good place for me.  So, I must limit my 'gardening' to raking, weeding, pruning, and sweeping.

Depression is good for inspirational reading, slow walks, writing, catching up on movies, watching the dog breathe, watching the snow fall, belly breathing, meditation, hand-washing dishes, clothes, windows.

Mixed states are tricky.  If I am depressed and agitated, it may be best to nap.  I'm not sleeping my life away, just this short phase of my life.  If I am manic and full of negative energy, I can write blogs or letters that I just don't post or mail.  And walk.

Today, I intend to look into what diets are best for which states of disorder.  In the meantime, I will head back down to the basement and work on the studio.

Taking care of myself, wherever I am.

It occurs to me that I may not change.  This may be how it is going to be for however long I remain alive.  (deep sigh.)  Medications are not working like they used to.  I have been on them for too long.  I might as well not be on medication, or so it seems.  I cycle wildly and rapidly, regardless.

I can not stay in bed all day.  I do not sleep.  Even at night I do not sleep.  My hands and feet are constantly in motion.  I wake up stiff from being in motion all night.

So what do I do?

I make plans, plans of how best to take care of myself, depending on what state of disorder I am in.  For example, when I am manic, I will be careful not to start any new projects or make any new goals.  They tend to be unrealistic, overwhelming, and disappointing.  Also when I am manic, I will take advantage of the energy and get some exercise.  Long vigorous walks tend to burn out the jitters.  Walking and talking with someone makes it even better.  Manic energy is also good for cleaning out places like the basement, shoving stuff around and sweeping up dust and dirt.  Manic energy is good for mopping floors.  It is not good for filing paperwork, unless I am taking on the entire filing system.

If I had a good yard, manic energy might be good for gardening.  HOWEVER, over the years I have spent thousands of dollars at garden supply stores.  Not a good place for me.  So, I must limit my 'gardening' to raking, weeding, pruning, and sweeping.

Depression is good for inspirational reading, slow walks, writing, catching up on movies, watching the dog breathe, watching the snow fall, belly breathing, meditation, hand-washing dishes, clothes, windows.

Mixed states are tricky.  If I am depressed and agitated, it may be best to nap.  I'm not sleeping my life away, just this short phase of my life.  If I am manic and full of negative energy, I can write blogs or letters that I just don't post or mail.  And walk.

Today, I intend to look into what diets are best for which states of disorder.  In the meantime, I will head back down to the basement and work on the studio.

Uterine Prolapse — I’m a Little Obsessed

Last week I wrote about how much I've been hurting, that I was going to see the doctor, and that I was afraid I'd need surgery or they'd find nothing wrong and I'd get no answers.

Well, I did get an answer and I do need surgery.

I have uterine prolapse.  Prolapse means to fall out of place.  Basically, my uterus is falling out.

Take a minute to wrap your brain around that.  An internal part of my body is no longer where it's supposed to be and is on a path that will eventually take it outside of me.  Yeah, kind of funny and creepy at the same time.

And I'm having difficulty thinking about anything else.

I meet with the surgeon on April 23.  We'll discuss my options then.  But, of course, I've already researched it a ton online.

It used to be that the standard answer to this problem was a hysterectomy.  Now there is an option for reparative surgery, much like a hernia repair.  There are pros and cons to both options and several types of hysterectomies possible.  My brain is swimming with possibilities and trying to anticipate the negatives of every choice possible.

But I can't decide anything until I get more specifics on my case when I meet with the surgeon.  In six and a half weeks.  Doesn't that seem like a long time?

It does to me, too.  But that was his first opening for a consult and I've heard good things about him and my life doesn't facilitate surgery any time in the next month anyway, so I'm sticking with that plan.

But I have to find a way to pay attention to other things.

Okay, so I only found out four days ago.  I guess it's okay to take some time to adjust.  At least I've noticed that I'm not attending to anything else.  Maybe that's the first step.

So tomorrow I'll start making a list of the things I think of that I need to pay attention to.  And I'll try to pay attention to at least one thing a day that doesn't involve my uterus.  But I think it's unrealistic to expect that I can just move on with life and forget about it.

Because it still hurts.  And it's not where it's supposed to be.  And that kind of freaks me out.

From Darkness To Light

Music: Supernatural Radio (online)
Drink:  Water

Yesterday morning in the darkness, just before the rain came down hard, I managed to get out to the starbucks by the light of the moon. I passed a homeless neighbor that was just waking up, and I was too shy to ask her what her name was, but I told her mine. I asked if she would accept a handful of the starbucks "free coffee" coffee bags, and she did. She smiled from under her ton of blankets and sleeping bag, thanked me, and I told her to have a good morning.

I only got a bit wet in my hoodie on my way to starbucks, but didn't mind. I'd normally freak over it had I been out in the daylight. Very irritating for me. VERY. I only had a coffee and sat in a corner next to a window. Water was leaking in from the ceiling nearby. The reflection of light off the billion litle raindrops set against the dark skies on the glass looked like billions of stars in the partial clearing. I realized then that I forgot my phone, and that the alarm was going to go off at home, and wake up my spouse, so I got out of there pretty quickly. I think my walking song was:

Stuck in the Middle - Stealer's Wheel

Later on, after my therapist appointment, I felt pretty damn proud for not crying again. Just big welled-up tears in my eyes as I looked toward the ceiling while there. Somehow, when I do that, my eyes seem to suck them back in. Another runny nose, and that was it. I tried with all my might and willpower not to cry that whole session, and I didn't crack. Afterward, I was swept away to the drugstore and to grocery store. I needed an Rx, and my husband was crazy/angry hungry. You know how some people get that way? All pissed off if they don't eat? And they take their angry shit out on you. Does not compute with me. I'd rather have hunger pains any day, all day.

We ran into the drugstore, where somebody spray painted "Stick it to the man!" on the sidewalk nearby in huge blue letters. It's kind of comforting to know that it's been there for at least a couple of years. After dropping off my Rx, I was whisked away into the grocery store, the back out across the street to the drugstore. Perfect timing. My full month of clonazepam was waiting for me. Fucking finally!

When we left, I had my purse sitting on my lap as well as a bag of groceries for extra added feeling of "safety" sitting in the front seat on the way home. My spouse drives like a maniac, just like everybody else does, and complains about everybody else, just like the rest of the world does. I can't fucking stand to hear about it.

We got a few blocks down to a semi-major intersection where people were waiting for the "walk" light on both sides of the street, and he tried to whip around and make a right turn before they crossed, just after the "walk" light turned. I screamed and put my left arm out to try to stop him, which I managed to do. I said "You CAN'T FUCKING DO THAT! PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY! YOU COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE!" I was wearing my sunglasses, and tears began streaming down behind them. WHAT. THE. FUCK.... So my list of shit that caused me PTSD isn't gone or going to go away, I realized. I wept silently behind my sunglasses the rest of the way home, and into the homestead. I remembered that my voice and breathing had changed during that whole thing. I got no reaction from the spouse but "There wasn't anyone crossing yet". 

Does he remember, know or care about my PTSD? Is he just oblivious to this shit or does he purposefully ignore it? I tend to think he's oblivious, that he put his own blinders on many years ago as a kind of coping mechanism for his own shit. Sez Dr Idunno. 

I just didn't want to deal with it anymore.Just wipe the tears and be done with it. Forget it fast, before you start wanting a fucking drink or something (seven). 

From Darkness
 To Light

The light, the light, where is the light in all of this? Oh yes, I woke up in a lighter mood than yesterday, but decided it was too rainy and windy to go out. Later I remembered the good coffee deed that I did. That made me smile. 

I failed at exercise today, but there's always tomorrow, and always tomorrow morning to sneak out around 5.30ish to get outside for coffee and a smoke. I do like being out in the dark by my
self like that.

I received an unsolicited hug from the spouse. There is my daughter. I have a roof over my head, plenty of food and clothing, a computer, a bed, electricity, and money coming in that I can share with my daughter (in college). The spouse gave me a $100 to send to her today. My crazy cat. I got to wear comfy, stretchy workout pants/clothes all day. I've got plenty of saltines for my nausea. I have lots to be thankful for, in fact, too much.

I need to go through my clothes and shoes, and see what I can donate to the charity shop down the street. I'm going to need some huge bags. I became quite the little hoarder when I was living alone in my studio of crazy with the insane online shoe/boot buying problem.