Daily Archives: May 12, 2015

Pissy Bunny

The anxiety has me wound up tight enough to snap and take off several heads in the path. I didn’t anticipate much withdrawal from Latuda because it’s an atypical antipsychotic as opposed to SSRI but guess what…I have brain zaps and numb fingers and every sound is like nails on a chalkboard and I want to play ski ball with someone’s fucking skull…

Yeah, I am a pissy bunny.

My kid, while not channeling Satan, has not been silent for one second since she got home. And every fiber of me wanted to send her outside just so I could stop cringing but she’s grounded so we must both suffer. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. I need quiet. Not silence, just calm and quiet. Not a laughing hyena-mockingbird-meth addicted cartoon character soundtrack.

In spite of aforementioned pissyness..I did a few things today I’ve been putting off. Hauled a toy kitchen outdoors for the kids to play with (destroy, same thing with these thuglings, mine leading the destructive charge.) I moved Spook’s tent into her room (after having someone put it together five months after Xmas) and ooops, it caved in and I’m not smart enough to figure it out. I’m not a putter together person. One more reason I love buying used stuff. Preassembled. I got out of my safe space and hooked up a laptop with a smashed screen to an external monitor and wham…Aside from having the fatal flaw of VD (Vista disease) the screen is the only thing wrong. Sixty bucks and I’ve got a decent shiny laptop. Okay, a second one, cos obviously I have this one I watch and write on but it runs on external sound so…The Toshiba will be the laptop that’s fully functional without a dozen peripherals.

The really fun part was trying to access it. Guy left it at the shop, said do what we wanted with it cos he wasn’t spending any money, and I jumped on its leg and humped the usb port. Then turns out…it has five accounts, all password protected. FUCK. I am so glad for freeware that gets by that shit. Now it’s been stripped of all ickiness (Apple products, browser bars, Yahoo anything, Norton) and it has been scanned for viruses and malware and is now…Deemed fit to serve my needs. Frankly, one (both) of  my desktops is probably about to keel over from my abuse so having a spare slave (which it kind of us with the external monitor to be lugged around, not so portable.) is wondermous.

UGHHHH. The brain zaps are maddening. Throw in a yappy kid on top of it and I can feel my brain wanting to escape, literally using some of gray matter as a zipper to get out and run away screaming from it all.

Day five and not so much as an “are you alive” from R. Or a reply to the text I sent him Thursday. Such a good friend. I don’t know how the man can view that behavior as okay when he expects me to be on call any time his wife or kids or other better class people aren’t there to amuse him. The break was needed for me, I’m really not feeling the whole social thing with the brain zap and numb fingers and BLINDING WHITE ANGER OF DOOM. So why do I even know it’s been 5 days? Oh, right. I’ve assimilated to my surroundings and become shallow. I haven’t had a pack of real smokes in 5 days.

On the plus side…I finally figured out that toilet seat lid thing today. I swear the Latarda was giving me air for brains. It was so simple but yesterday I may as well have been trying to perform open heart surgery.I don’t get it.

GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

One more “mommy” and I swear to the fucking sacred pegacorn I am gonna lock myself in the closet with my fingers n my ears. It’s not immature, it’s survival instinct. Especially when you’ve quietly and calmly explained at least a dozen times that you’re “not feeling well” so let’s use our soft indoor voices and not talk a bunch….Only to bulldozed by Uzi child…

Xanax. Size of a hubcap. NOW.

Now back to my shame. I avoided it up til now but I finally caved in to all the hype and watched “Empire.” Fuck. It’s actually decent. Stupid sheeple pleasing tv show pleases me so I must be a sheeplet.

Clown shoes.


Agoraphobically Yours?

Yesterday, my husband commented that he’d like for me to come into the office for a few hours to train up on some software we’re going to be using. Fair enough and all, because I need to learn how to use it. What isn’t fair is that my anxiety spiked at the thought and hasn’t come back down since. Now, it’s not that anyone there is particularly annoying or obnoxious — everyone is always kind and friendly to me. I even had someone ask with genuine interest when I was going to be coming back in on the regular last time we swung past. I managed to fumble some sort of response besides the screaming, ‘NEVER’ that was raging in the back of my head, but still.

It’s crept up on me the last couple of years. I have never been a fan of leaving the house, but it has gotten to the point where I have to take something as a security blanket when I leave. I have a lot of smallish objects that fill that remit, like my DSes, my netbook, my knitting. They all together and then some shove nicely into my messenger bag, and help me rein in the anxiety of having to not be in my safe space. I’d been doing this for years now. I’d even referred to these objects as security blankets, and of course, I have no shame in taking things with me that make it so I am able to leave the house and pretend I’m okay.

I’m not sure what made me look up agoraphobia today. I probably saw a friend mention it in passing, or perhaps something in a news article. I hadn’t realised it applied to anxiety in general about going places outside of safe spaces, and that certainly has applied to me for a long time. I remember once when I was pregnant last year that I almost had a panic attack because someone sat behind me in the pub, thereby preventing me from having a clear line of escape to the door. It was bad enough that I backed into a wall on the way out and decided to quit going earlier than was warranted. This was towards the end of my pregnancy, and I had intended to attend every session possible up to and after the birth of my kiddo. It’s my one social thing that I love and mainly feel safe at, so it’s a pretty big deal that I’d choose to miss out. I did later explain to everyone that I needed to not be blocked in and that being why I always sat where I sat, so everyone has been really super about recognizing and respecting that.

So then, what else can I do? I’m on an SSRI antidepressant, but my anxiety seems to keep getting worse lately. I’m not sure if it’s bad-bad or just a rough patch, but it probably isn’t helping me yanno, function ‘normally’. Nor do I think any sort of CBT or talking therapy is going to make it better — it seems to be getting worse the ‘better’ I get… probably because I’m in a space where I can admit my weak spots whereas before I’d bull over them to whatever detriment may occur. I guess I can just sort of be pleased that I’ve figured out that agoraphobia is likely the case, and then do some reading on it. In the meantime though, I’m seriously fine with staying home away from people. Seriously. Hope I find enough people-personing to at least work through emails, ha ha.

Hope everyone out there is doing well.

<3

Good Day Today

Had a good session with my therapist this morning,  We talked about my professional future and all my options I have opening up.  She said I seemed to really be in a good place right now and hoped that everything would soon be resolved where I could tell people about it :).  We also talked about the kids being home and how I was going to handle that.  So it was a productive session all around.

Had two very good professional things happen so far–yesterday was my first guest post for another blog called Defying Shadows.  I posted about bipolar disorder and what barriers I had in my life that I had run into as a result of it.  I hope it goes over well with their blog audience.  AND–I asked people to pray about an opportunity I had to be featured in a national magazine.  I got a return email today that the reporter wanted to chat with me over the phone and see what my story was all about. SO I am VERY thrilled with that possibility.

And my daughter fielded me a call today from a local lady that read my article in Mississippi Christian Living and wanted to tell me how much it meant to her.  I called her back and spoke to her for a minute; she said she had tried to find my blog and couldn’t, so I gave her the blog name and told her I would be thinking about her. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing–to try to help others.  I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of doing this writing, but I feel a real call on my life to try to minister to people through this blog and through creating awareness.  So the more I can do that, the better.

Hope everyone has a good day today!


other people’s poems: a lazy post

I always like good poetry, but when I’m a certain sort of moody, I need good poetry; there are times when I need songs, and others when I only want words. More often than not, a line of poetry snakes through my mind and makes like Orobouros till I pay attention properly. The majority of time, the lines come from Pablo Neruda or Osip Mandelstam, and I have to read the poem or continue to host the brainworm. Once I’ve appeased the beast, I end up reading more poems, because I find them immensely soothing. At the end of the binge, I’m calm.

(scheduled post)

Don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘etc.’ in a poem before.

Words (Anne Sexton)

Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren’t good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.

 

 

 

Après le meltdown… (Idk what gender a meltdown thinks it has).

After a great pain, a formal feeling comes… (Emily Dickinson)

After great pain, a formal feeling comes —
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs
The stiff Heart questions, was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round —
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought —
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone —

This is the Hour of Lead —
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —
First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go —

 

 

 

A rather amazingly honest open poem that doesn’t hold personal meaning for me, but which I love – I wonder if whoever it’s about ever read it.

In Paris With You (James Fenton)

Don’t talk to me of love. I’ve had an earful
And I get tearful when I’ve downed a drink or two.
I’m one of your talking wounded.
I’m a hostage. I’m maroonded.
But I’m in Paris with you.

Yes I’m angry at the way I’ve been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess I’ve been through.
I admit I’m on the rebound
And I don’t care where are we bound.
I’m in Paris with you.

Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysées
And remain here in this sleazy

Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris,
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There’s that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I’m in Paris with you.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris.
I’m in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I’m in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I’m in Paris with… all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I’m in Paris with you.

 

 

 

This is a poem that I read more than once, every single time.

Sonnet ix: There Where The Waves Shatter (Pablo Neruda)

There where the waves shatter on the restless rocks
the clear light bursts and enacts its rose,
and the sea-circle shrinks to a cluster of buds,
to one drop of blue salt, falling.

O bright magnolia bursting in the foam,
magnetic transient whose death blooms
and vanishes–being, nothingness–forever:
broken salt, dazzling lurch of the sea.

You & I, Love, together we ratify the silence,
while the sea destroys its perpetual statues,
collapses its towers of wild speed and whiteness:

because in the weavings of those invisible fabrics,
galloping water, incessant sand,
we make the only permanent tenderness.

 

This diary extract is for people who know about social awkwardness and anhedonia.

 

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Scientocracy: A Step Beyond Voting

blahpolar:

Help wanted: people to test app.

Originally posted on MadPhilosophy:

So yesterday I made a very simple little web application that I call a Scientocracy. It’s not pretty at the moment but I’m in need of testers to make sure that it works. It’s probably only going to be up for a few days if it ends up slowing down my computer because I also need to do work on this computer.

The idea is that you can write anything about your life in the text box, whether you need a new car, you need money, whatever problems you may have and like to be solved. Type as much as you want and my program will analyze what you say and prioritize it. The goal is to make a list that we can send to politicians federally, state-wide, and even locally so we can help get our problems solved.

I heard that only 18% of Americans actually vote, so maybe…

View original 14 more words

I want a New Drug…buh bye Latuda

Even as I vow to end this Latuda experiment, I am filled with guilt and shame and what ifs. What if I didn’t give it enough time? What if it’s not the med at all, it’s my hormones freaking out? If it’s such a wonder drug for others then it failed me because something is wrong with me. Will the doctor be mad and insist I increase the dose and exist this way another month?

After yesterday’s rage a holic mindset, then needing to install a new toilet seat lid and going completely blank…(I mean, I am reading directions, looking at the diagram,a fucking chimp could do it and yet my brain receptors are interpreting it as some foreign language I don’t speak..) This wasn’t going on before the Latuda, nor were the bouts of irritability and blind panics from anxiety overload. The conclusion I draw is…This shit is making me worse on every front. And the one side effect I’d kind of hoped for-help sleeping more than two hours at a time- skipped me and I’m sleeping even less now.

How many negatives from a med do you have to endure before the doctors finally say, “Okay, this isn’t for you.” Because most of them just give me this sad look, like I failed them, and ask, “What do we try next?” Um…You get a hundred and seventy five bucks for fifteen minutes of your time, YOU tell ME. (While allowing me all Veto power, which I should have exercised when he even went to Latuda zone and yet, I want to be well so desperately I’d have agreed to eat chicken feed out of his palm if promised results.) I am disgusted yet not shocked. I’ve taken enough of these atypical antipsychotics, NOT one with positive result, so an intelligent person would conclude that apparently my physiology doesn’t respond to whatever chemical coding they’re based upon. And it’s not some psychologically “I don’t want it to work” thing. I was pretty excited when they first started cross labeling and thought, ooh, things I haven’t tried yet, this could be “the one.”

So much bullshit. Proof I am delusional. Not for expecting medications to work, but thinking I am ever going to find the right combination of meds to waltz together in proper time. My meds like to slam dance with each other so there’s no choreography, just this punk rock festival of mental dysfunction bumping into one another while two meds struggle to help and the others rebel and do everything they can to make me walk in front of the bus. (And no, I have no plans to walk in front of a bus, mainly because this town is so small our “mass transit” system consists of calling ahead of time to arrange for the bus to come pick you up, and fuck, I don’t have patience for that shit.)

I was on the fence about giving up on the Latuda until this morning. (And not because I am stubborn or stupid, just because I like to be fair and give things a fair try before declaring them evil.) I was in the car taking my kid to school and she was yapping and I nearly pulled in front of someone…So that sent me into a panic and had to demand silence. Then I saw R in traffic and he just waves so smugly, all smiling, and I swear to god I only thought the “c” word, But my kid repeated it and it was like this big blank. Nooo, I didn’t say that out loud. I didn’t mean to, It was in my head….

Oh, well, no if this shit is making me crazier, fuck it all. I can’t follow monkey directions, everything makes me angry, my cat purring heighten my anxiety, now I am saying things aloud when I only intended to think them? Nope. Done. Buh bye, Latuda. Or Latarda, since it seemed to render my brain useless.

This leaves me to…What next. I should call the doctor. Then sit waiting for them to call back and tell me he wants to increase it, that’ll make the anxiety go down. (He mentioned going up to 80mg and at this point, I’m thinking, are they trying to build an army of people in clock towers with high powered rifles????) I think my course of action will be, give it a few days, let this nasty shit get out of my system, then if I am thinking with less vitriol and confusion, I can make a decision based on logic. Also, if they want me to come into the office, I am fucked, because I put my last three bucks into the car’s gas tank today and it only gets 11 miles city so I can’t make it to their office and home on that.) Can’t afford taxis or public transport, can’t rely on my so called family and friends even for a ride. It’s like I’m screwed without a kiss at every turn and I feel like a whiner for even saying so but facts are facts.

But yeah, letting it get out of my system seems like a wise move. If the issues remain, then something else is going on. If they level out, I have my culprit. I can also call my pharmacy, where I’ve been going for over ten years, and talk to one of them about side effects because they tend to know more and listen better than the doctors. If I take my posts from time of starting Latuda to going off and compare the moods, angers, anxieties…I may be able to pinpoint what’s going on. The fact alone that it can mess with a woman’s hormones-and that is a major issue for me- could well be the killing factor in my case. I’ll feel better talking to the doctor once I get back in a frame of mind that doesn’t make me feel like taking a croquet mallet to skulls. Last time I was having such intense anger issues I was pregnant. Since that’s not feasible as one would have to have a sex drive (thanks again, meds, you give so much) and a sex life for that to be possible. Leaving…hormonal imbalance. Like on the depo provera  where even I feared myself because I was all but spewing pea soup and commenting on one’s maternal figure’s ability to perform fallatio in hell in a demonic growl.

It sucks. It all just sucks. I kept reading the horror stories by those who walked the Latadu plank before me, and I kept thinking, just this microchasm of thought, “Since the popular ones don’t work for me, maybe the one that doesn’t work for everyone else will work for me.” Actually, that’s simplifying it. I don’t expect a “magic pill” to cure my ills. Because I don’t have just one disorder to be treated. That means my magic bullet is going to be comprised of several meds that all have to work together optimally. And that’s more art than science with psych meds. I don’t expect a cure, I just demand a cocktail that will put my fractured brain into pieces that fit together and work as a cohesive unit. Hell is being in a good mood all the while your fight or flight receptors are sending out red alerts that you have to be terrified of something. Hell is being at a funeral and being sad about someone dying yet mania knocks so you’re all smiles and laughter. I just want things LEVEL. I can’t make good choices if my mind is never level.

And I can honestly say, especially from the comments my beloved Morgueticians have been leaving noting the change in my writing tone since starting the Latuda…I think there’s enough evidence inside and outside to make this choice. No more Latuda.

Keeping in mind, however,for who may read this post…If you do take Latuda and it works for you…Do not take my words as some sort of slight against you or some sign you should avoid taking it. We are all individuals who respond individually. While there are certain things I’d never prescribe for my cat because my own experience was so bad…I encourage people to use what works for them, individually.

And frankly, if Latuda works for you, then you’re more magical than I and my pegacorns and sporks ;)

 


Responsibility

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I have been feeling useless, like a burden, and generally a mess. But I have decided to tackle these things head on. Instead of wallowing in the misery that these thoughts have brought on, I will look at them another way, a more constructive way. Namely by asking myself what can I do to remedy this situation? Do more, be more… How? Well, I might have been feeling depressed or anxious or a little too up and did not accomplish all I should have. So, from now on, I will do more, not go on spending sprees (nothing major, haven’t bought a Maserati yet, haha) so there is not even the least bit of worry about our finances or bills. Yes, spending sprees are a symptom (sometimes) of my bipolar disorder. Actually, I am just very extravagant, my grandfather was and my grandmother used to berate him for it. I think I inherited it from him! (When in doubt, blame it on your progenitors.) But… and yes there is a but… since I am aware of this, I can surely control it. Right? I think, therefore I am! I, very possibly, need to stop using my illness as an excuse and be more functional, carry the responsibility of mine and my family’s life on my own two shoulders. Instead of feeling bad, I am going to be happy that I have had this insight, and now I am able to do something to remedy the negative things and do more of the positives that I was already doing. Yes, tomorrow is another day! Oh gosh, what would we do without our tomorrows (ok, ok  Eckhart, don’t have a fit, I know it’ll be in the now that I will act)? And it is a day to be better than we were yesterday. To be out better selves. To be thankful for what we have in our lives. To be thankful for our loved ones. To not wallow in our misery, but LEARN, learn, learn from our missteps, and live life with responsibility, love and joy, and appreciation for all that is in our lives. Even the negative things, because they are our greatest teachers.


Get Your Tinfoil Hats Ready!

Something I haven’t really discussed in too much detail is the fact that I am a veteran’s daughter. My father fought in Vietnam in 1968 through 1969. 68 was a bad year, although honestly, they all were bad years. His generation of service was the generation of anti military protests, of being spit on and called baby killer. There were no emotional half time reunions with my grandparents and aunts. My family was just ecstatic he came home in one piece.

Dad didn’t have a plum assignment, he was drafted into the infantry not long after high school ended.He survived his tour and left. He did not want to be a career military man. He saw and did things that have caused him nightmares. He had PTSD before they had a name for it. You never approached him from behind without announcing who you were, something my mom learned shortly into their courtship. As the years went on, and he started our family with my mom, the mental anguish stopped, only to be replaced with physical ailments related to his service, specifically stemming from his exposure to Agent Orange. First it was eczema, then diabetes. The eczema morphed into psoriasis and his arthritis was re-classified as psoriatic arthritis. His ankle, injured when he stepped out of a Huey after it landed, is now misshapen by arthritis and gout. His back is 95% arthritic and riddled with bone spurs. Dad deals with it, as most men of his generation do, by just gutting it out and continuing on. But now things are different, and I am the reason why.

My father receives medical treatment through the VA. He was lucky enough to get in quickly, not being one of the thousands of people on wait lists. He was in for a check up related to his high blood pressure and diabetes management, and mentioned all of my ailments to his doctor. The doctor surprised him by saying they were hearing of more and more Vietnam veterans with children having similar problems. The doctor suggested I go in to talk to a claims representative, that I might be denied coverage at first, but that a new bill has been submitted that is due to change the coverage veterans’ children receive. When my dad advised me of this, I was skeptical (he has hearing issues in addition to all his other problems), then I started doing research as to health benefits for children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Let me say first off, this research does not produce the most cheery and uplifting results. I learned that, even as sick as I am, I am well off. I can walk and care for myself, which is more than a large percentage can say. I also lived past 30 years of age, again, putting me ahead of many others. However, I found that migraines, reproductive issues, immune system disorders, emotional and mental development problems are found in higher percentages among children of Vietnam veterans than among other groups. I also learned that the federal government is doing next to nothing to help these children. If you think the horrible treatment Veterans get is frustrating, check into what their dependents get. (Interestingly, in doing this research, I also learned my ex-fiancee was exposed to chemicals during his deployment in Iraq, which ended a few months before he and I got together. I am praying he never experiences health problems as a result of his deployment)

My father just attributed his illnesses to getting older, to making poor diet choices, to family history, etc. Now we have learned that many of these things stem from his service and exposure to Agent Orange. He complains very little when you consider all he is going through, and all he went through. He’s always been a good father, provided for his family and didn’t run around on Mom, hit us or drink. Sometimes he doesn’t know what to say when it comes to my illnesses. He’s always prided himself on being able to fix things, be it the car, the house, the yard. He can’t fix what I am going through, and it bothers him to no end. I know he is hoping that the VA may be able to help me, that the same system that is so broken and backwards can help me heal and move forward.

Is it a stretch to say that all my health problems stem from my father’s exposure to Agent Orange? Maybe, but it’s not without merit. We learn more and more about the horrible chemicals every day. There’s a reason there are so many anti Monsanto groups, many headed by children of other Vietnam veterans exposed to their company’s evil product. It’s unknown at present just how many generations will be affected by Agent Orange exposure. This legacy is yet another reason I mourn the Vietnam Veterans, even the ones still alive. Such a thankless, unnecessary war (though all wars are) and they will be victims even after they pass away.

On a related note, please do not turn a blind eye to ways you can help veterans. There are many organizations across the country that help. I am embarrassed not just by the wait times for veterans to get help through the VA, but also by the huge number of homeless veterans. But the number that makes me cry is the number 22. That is how many veterans commit suicide per day. Mind you, this is just the number of reported suicides, the number may actually be higher. We need to change this. You don’t have to be pro-military or pro-war or even pro-Second Amendment, but maybe being a little more pro-human would help all of us.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: chronic illness, family, father, mental illness, veteran

Get Your Tinfoil Hats Ready!

Something I haven’t really discussed in too much detail is the fact that I am a veteran’s daughter. My father fought in Vietnam in 1968 through 1969. 68 was a bad year, although honestly, they all were bad years. His generation of service was the generation of anti military protests, of being spit on and called baby killer. There were no emotional half time reunions with my grandparents and aunts. My family was just ecstatic he came home in one piece.

Dad didn’t have a plum assignment, he was drafted into the infantry not long after high school ended.He survived his tour and left. He did not want to be a career military man. He saw and did things that have caused him nightmares. He had PTSD before they had a name for it. You never approached him from behind without announcing who you were, something my mom learned shortly into their courtship. As the years went on, and he started our family with my mom, the mental anguish stopped, only to be replaced with physical ailments related to his service, specifically stemming from his exposure to Agent Orange. First it was eczema, then diabetes. The eczema morphed into psoriasis and his arthritis was re-classified as psoriatic arthritis. His ankle, injured when he stepped out of a Huey after it landed, is now misshapen by arthritis and gout. His back is 95% arthritic and riddled with bone spurs. Dad deals with it, as most men of his generation do, by just gutting it out and continuing on. But now things are different, and I am the reason why.

My father receives medical treatment through the VA. He was lucky enough to get in quickly, not being one of the thousands of people on wait lists. He was in for a check up related to his high blood pressure and diabetes management, and mentioned all of my ailments to his doctor. The doctor surprised him by saying they were hearing of more and more Vietnam veterans with children having similar problems. The doctor suggested I go in to talk to a claims representative, that I might be denied coverage at first, but that a new bill has been submitted that is due to change the coverage veterans’ children receive. When my dad advised me of this, I was skeptical (he has hearing issues in addition to all his other problems), then I started doing research as to health benefits for children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Let me say first off, this research does not produce the most cheery and uplifting results. I learned that, even as sick as I am, I am well off. I can walk and care for myself, which is more than a large percentage can say. I also lived past 30 years of age, again, putting me ahead of many others. However, I found that migraines, reproductive issues, immune system disorders, emotional and mental development problems are found in higher percentages among children of Vietnam veterans than among other groups. I also learned that the federal government is doing next to nothing to help these children. If you think the horrible treatment Veterans get is frustrating, check into what their dependents get. (Interestingly, in doing this research, I also learned my ex-fiancee was exposed to chemicals during his deployment in Iraq, which ended a few months before he and I got together. I am praying he never experiences health problems as a result of his deployment)

My father just attributed his illnesses to getting older, to making poor diet choices, to family history, etc. Now we have learned that many of these things stem from his service and exposure to Agent Orange. He complains very little when you consider all he is going through, and all he went through. He’s always been a good father, provided for his family and didn’t run around on Mom, hit us or drink. Sometimes he doesn’t know what to say when it comes to my illnesses. He’s always prided himself on being able to fix things, be it the car, the house, the yard. He can’t fix what I am going through, and it bothers him to no end. I know he is hoping that the VA may be able to help me, that the same system that is so broken and backwards can help me heal and move forward.

Is it a stretch to say that all my health problems stem from my father’s exposure to Agent Orange? Maybe, but it’s not without merit. We learn more and more about the horrible chemicals every day. There’s a reason there are so many anti Monsanto groups, many headed by children of other Vietnam veterans exposed to their company’s evil product. It’s unknown at present just how many generations will be affected by Agent Orange exposure. This legacy is yet another reason I mourn the Vietnam Veterans, even the ones still alive. Such a thankless, unnecessary war (though all wars are) and they will be victims even after they pass away.

On a related note, please do not turn a blind eye to ways you can help veterans. There are many organizations across the country that help. I am embarrassed not just by the wait times for veterans to get help through the VA, but also by the huge number of homeless veterans. But the number that makes me cry is the number 22. That is how many veterans commit suicide per day. Mind you, this is just the number of reported suicides, the number may actually be higher. We need to change this. You don’t have to be pro-military or pro-war or even pro-Second Amendment, but maybe being a little more pro-human would help all of us.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: chronic illness, family, father, mental illness, veteran

Get Your Tinfoil Hats Ready!

Something I haven’t really discussed in too much detail is the fact that I am a veteran’s daughter. My father fought in Vietnam in 1968 through 1969. 68 was a bad year, although honestly, they all were bad years. His generation of service was the generation of anti military protests, of being spit on and called baby killer. There were no emotional half time reunions with my grandparents and aunts. My family was just ecstatic he came home in one piece.

Dad didn’t have a plum assignment, he was drafted into the infantry not long after high school ended.He survived his tour and left. He did not want to be a career military man. He saw and did things that have caused him nightmares. He had PTSD before they had a name for it. You never approached him from behind without announcing who you were, something my mom learned shortly into their courtship. As the years went on, and he started our family with my mom, the mental anguish stopped, only to be replaced with physical ailments related to his service, specifically stemming from his exposure to Agent Orange. First it was eczema, then diabetes. The eczema morphed into psoriasis and his arthritis was re-classified as psoriatic arthritis. His ankle, injured when he stepped out of a Huey after it landed, is now misshapen by arthritis and gout. His back is 95% arthritic and riddled with bone spurs. Dad deals with it, as most men of his generation do, by just gutting it out and continuing on. But now things are different, and I am the reason why.

My father receives medical treatment through the VA. He was lucky enough to get in quickly, not being one of the thousands of people on wait lists. He was in for a check up related to his high blood pressure and diabetes management, and mentioned all of my ailments to his doctor. The doctor surprised him by saying they were hearing of more and more Vietnam veterans with children having similar problems. The doctor suggested I go in to talk to a claims representative, that I might be denied coverage at first, but that a new bill has been submitted that is due to change the coverage veterans’ children receive. When my dad advised me of this, I was skeptical (he has hearing issues in addition to all his other problems), then I started doing research as to health benefits for children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Let me say first off, this research does not produce the most cheery and uplifting results. I learned that, even as sick as I am, I am well off. I can walk and care for myself, which is more than a large percentage can say. I also lived past 30 years of age, again, putting me ahead of many others. However, I found that migraines, reproductive issues, immune system disorders, emotional and mental development problems are found in higher percentages among children of Vietnam veterans than among other groups. I also learned that the federal government is doing next to nothing to help these children. If you think the horrible treatment Veterans get is frustrating, check into what their dependents get. (Interestingly, in doing this research, I also learned my ex-fiancee was exposed to chemicals during his deployment in Iraq, which ended a few months before he and I got together. I am praying he never experiences health problems as a result of his deployment)

My father just attributed his illnesses to getting older, to making poor diet choices, to family history, etc. Now we have learned that many of these things stem from his service and exposure to Agent Orange. He complains very little when you consider all he is going through, and all he went through. He’s always been a good father, provided for his family and didn’t run around on Mom, hit us or drink. Sometimes he doesn’t know what to say when it comes to my illnesses. He’s always prided himself on being able to fix things, be it the car, the house, the yard. He can’t fix what I am going through, and it bothers him to no end. I know he is hoping that the VA may be able to help me, that the same system that is so broken and backwards can help me heal and move forward.

Is it a stretch to say that all my health problems stem from my father’s exposure to Agent Orange? Maybe, but it’s not without merit. We learn more and more about the horrible chemicals every day. There’s a reason there are so many anti Monsanto groups, many headed by children of other Vietnam veterans exposed to their company’s evil product. It’s unknown at present just how many generations will be affected by Agent Orange exposure. This legacy is yet another reason I mourn the Vietnam Veterans, even the ones still alive. Such a thankless, unnecessary war (though all wars are) and they will be victims even after they pass away.

On a related note, please do not turn a blind eye to ways you can help veterans. There are many organizations across the country that help. I am embarrassed not just by the wait times for veterans to get help through the VA, but also by the huge number of homeless veterans. But the number that makes me cry is the number 22. That is how many veterans commit suicide per day. Mind you, this is just the number of reported suicides, the number may actually be higher. We need to change this. You don’t have to be pro-military or pro-war or even pro-Second Amendment, but maybe being a little more pro-human would help all of us.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: chronic illness, family, father, mental illness, veteran