Daily Archives: December 9, 2015

Amazing Day

So today was an amazing day.  I spent it Christmas shopping with Bob and just had the best time.  We started and ended at our favorite coffee shop, we hit eight stores in between, and we finished almost all the shopping.  We still have a Wal-Mart run to make to finish up, but we’re largely done.  We give our angel tree presents to the church tonight so they can be given to the families.  We bought online what we couldn’t find in stores and just had a good time listening to Christmas CD”s all day and spending, spending, spending on our family for the season. We made lists and checked them off. We sang along with the CD’s, just had a good time together all day long.  Now we’re waiting to go to church tonight.

Got the news that my guest posts are up and running at Defying Shadows.com from my new media class project,.  That is such a good feeling.  I have to get an A in it if it’s good enough to get published, right?

My spirits have been up all day long.  I think part of it was spending time with Bob and part of  it was actually getting something accomplished.  I did manage a box of Christmas cards before bed last night, so that was a good feeling too to mail them off this morning.  Now I need to get serious about wrapping and bagging presents to go under the tree once we finally get it up.  Bless Bob, he tried putting it up this afternoon but it wouldn’t’ cooperate, then he started sneezing and coughing from all the dust off of it.  So it’s going to have to wait another day.

My oldest comes home from college tomorrow so I need to wrap at least a few of her gifts tonight, tree or no tree. That’ll probably wrap up the day for me today and I  will sleep good tonight.  Here’s to all of us moms trying to keep everything straight during this busy season,

 


Chinese Dragon Kites

So, I wanted to keep a record of all my interactions with the new therapist I started seeing last week. I actually really liked her, and she felt like a good fit for me (proven by the fact that on my first visit with her I broke down crying around 4-5 times). My next visit with her is tomorrow morning,… Read more →

Finally, I Cry

  
Monday, I joined my mother for music therapy after which I told her I had to take my son to school. I had a few hours before his class began, but I needed a break. Tuesday, I didn’t visit either of my parents. I cared only for my son and myself. Today I sit in the car as my son takes his one hour class, and I allow myself to cry. 


Filed under: About Mental Health, Bipolar Disorder, Dementia, Family, Health Tagged: Grief, pain, self care, stroke, stroke rehab

What’s It Like To WANT To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning

Outside of my spring/summer manic/stable periods, I find getting out of bed to be a very difficult task. Is this depression? Is it  because while I have acclimated to daywalking I am at heart  nocturnal? Is it the cold weather, short hours of daylight?

I am sure it has something correlation to my inability to stay asleep at night. That whole thing has me bent beyond belief. I lay down each night, searching for the sandman, and that is when my mind begins to spin. I will do X.Y.Z tomorrow…I will feel better once I get some rest, I’ll have the energy and willpower to go through with it…Oh and this needs done and…

So while my mind should be resting it is spinning at mache 2, robbing me of much needed revival time via sleep but even the sleep that comes is broken up into an hour here, two hours there. If  you were up every hour on the hour, does it not make sense that come that alarm bell, you’d be too tired to face the day with any true enthusiasm?

And the depression where everything is a chore, there’s never any true light at the end of the tunnel…You toss that in with lack of restorative sleep, it makes absolute sense you’d have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.

Beyond that, though…I can’t remember a time, since going on mood stabilizers, where I woke feeling “oh, yesss, another day where anything is possible.”

My hope and enthusiasm have been murdered by the depression and the mood stabilizers quashing whatever tiny amounts of joy were once there.

Which even with mood stabilizers was not always the case.

My turning point was after I had my daughter. That was when everything changed, everything worsened. And I don’t think my doctors ever really addressed how post partum depression and hormonal fluctuations just may have worsened my condition to the point that even six years later…I can’t find a new baseline because I’m not who I used to be. The entire pregnancy thing brought about physiological changes, not just psychological ones.

So do I lack the will to leap out of bed and face the day with optimism because I am just an exhausted single mom whose child requires all her energy? Or did something in my change so drastically that I don’t have the capability of leaping out of bed ready to face the day?

Make no mistake about it. I have not once regretted having my daughter. I did  not do the baby blues where all my problems were her fault due to crying and nighttime feedings and her getting more attention than me. Having her was the best choice I’ve ever made.

Yet something in my brain’s never been quite the same and the doctors don’t want to hear it, which for a woman who’s had a child yet has a history of depression, means you’re being done a disservice.

IDK. I guess I just don’t have any deeper thoughts going on this morning because I am still licking my wounds from last night’s epic fail of “forcing” the creativity urge to come out. I just know today was the third day in a row the alarm went off and I would have sold my soul and kidneys just to stay under the covers and not have to face another day of being in this same mental space. I just can’t see any hope or future here. It’s like a car stuck in mud and the more I try to floor it the deeper I am dug in. But they don’t have psychological tow trucks to drag you out of the rut.

Am I doomed to this feeling of lethargy and dread every single morning for the rest of my life?

Truth be told, I think the best thing a doctor could do would be to slowly wean me off ALL meds but Xanax, then start tackling things one at a time. If the Lamictal/lithium combo was what had the best long term success, it should be given another whirl. Then start tossing in what else may be needed. I’m so bogged down by meds and the doctor keeps telling me his goal is for me to be high functioning on as few meds as possible yet here I am proposing just that and because I am not manic, he sees no reason to throw in the lithium.

That doesn’t really help you see light of day, either, when you feel like the very person who is a lifeline to getting back on your feet, so to speak, is so set in his ways and unwilling to go out on a limb to help.

So once again I sit here and think about all the things I could be doing and it’s like to an extent I am paralyzed. I can’t seem to break outside whatever panxiety darkened room I am locked up in here.

And no, I don’t want any woe is me. Pity and sympathy have never been the point of this blog.

This is just where I am today, or at least this hour, in my mental state. Feeling dejected, exhausted, hopeless. And insult to injury everyone around is all jingle bells and bows and all I wanna do is sing, “Fa la la la, go fuck yourself.”

Though that last part is problem just my grinch DNA, can’t blame everything on being mental.

 

 


New work laptop paranoia

I haven't mentioned this yet, but the company I have worked at for ten years just got acquired by a much bigger company.  I went to Colorado for an orientation for two days.  I've had to take training courses on company harassment policy, security policy, etc.

I had to trade in my old laptop and was issued a laptop that has an encrypted hard drive.  I am unable to install any personal unapproved software which means I can't install MediaMonkey which is my favorite music player.  Even worse, after reviewing their crazy long security policy I found that I can't even store "personal entertainment files" which includes music.  How am I supposed to stay upbeat about my job without music to listen to?

What's worse is that the company has the right to scan my computer at any time to insure that I am complying with the security policy.  So now I'm paranoid they are tracking every keystroke, every website I visit, every piece of software.... everything.  Paranoia is a fantastic thing to experience on the job.  I call bullshit.

New data shows monoclonal antibodies may indeed slow the disease when given early

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pharma-watch-the-promise-of-alzheimer-s-drugs-revived/
With millions of baby boomers fast approaching old age, Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses are set to spike—and the hunt is on to find medications that can slow or halt the progression of this most common form of dementia. Many pharmaceutical companies pinned high hopes on monoclonal antibodies, drugs designed to latch onto a toxic protein that builds up in the brain of sufferers and triggers the immune system to break it down. In preliminary studies during the past decade, however, these drugs often failed to outperform placebos. Now several new analyses may have resurrected their original promise.

In July three research teams presented data at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., suggesting that monoclonal antibodies could potentially stall Alzheimer’s relentless progression—provided they could be given early enough and at high-enough doses. These experimental drugs all target beta-amyloid, a protein fragment at the heart of a widely accepted theory about how Alzheimer’s destroys memory. Every cell in the body produces beta-amyloid, but if the brain cannot clear it fast enough, it starts to clump together, gumming up synapses and amassing into neuron-killing plaques. Antiamyloid monoclonal antibodies are designed to bind to the fragments and flag them for removal by the immune system.

At the meeting, pharmaceutical company Biogen presented new findings from an ongoing study of its monoclonal candidate, aducanumab. Biogen had announced with much fanfare in March that the drug significantly reduced beta-amyloid plaques seen on PET scans and slowed cognitive impairment in 166 patients with mild Alzheimer’s. Patients on the top dose tested—10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight—maintained the highest memory scores but also experienced more localized brain swelling, a side effect linked to leaky blood vessels. So midtrial they introduced what they hoped would be a Goldilocks dose—not too much, not too little. But it was not just right. Biogen’s researchers revealed that six milligrams produced even less benefit than three milligrams on one measure of cognitive function. The search for the perfect dose, and definitive proof of the drug’s potency, will continue during an upcoming five-year study.

In the meantime, researchers at Eli Lilly described potentially encouraging results from an extension of a large failed trial of solanezumab. To highlight this monoclonal antibody’s efficacy, they focused only on patients with early disease and used a so-called delayed-start analysis—the first ever for an Alzheimer’s drug. At the start of the 3.5-year trial, they randomly assigned 1,322 patients to either placebo or active treatment. After 80 weeks, everyone in the placebo group began taking solanezumab as well.

Both groups continued to show worsening symptoms, but treatment seemed to slow the pace by about one third. Of significance, the placebo group never caught up to the cognitive scores of patients who received solanezumab from the start. The researchers interpret this finding as tantalizing evidence that the drug is mopping up beta-amyloid in the brain and tempering its toxicity. If it were simply treating symptoms, the delayed-start control group should have made the same gains as the first group—just later on. A confirmation study is under way.

And scientists at Hoffmann–La Roche have described new findings about yet another antiamyloid drug, gantenerumab. A large trial of this monoclonal antibody was canceled in December 2014, when it failed to show any measurable effects. Yet when the researchers reanalyzed the data, considering only patients with very early and rapidly progressing disease, they found that gantenerumab had reduced beta-amyloid on PET scans for that group. It also reduced levels of tau—another protein that builds up inside neurons as Alzheimer’s advances, forming tangles that fritz normal cell function.

All three reports underscore the importance of early intervention. At a certain point, it may be too late to stem the amyloid tide. Several other trials are now probing whether antiamyloid drugs might be even more powerful when used preventively. The so-called A4 study, a joint effort of the National Institutes of Health, Eli Lilly and several nonprofit organizations, is testing solanezumab in patients who do not yet display memory deficits but have increased levels of beta-amyloid on PET scans. Two more investigations are exploring solanezumab’s effect on healthy people who carry genetic mutations that put them at high risk for inheriting Alzheimer’s.

For all the rekindled hope around monoclonal antibodies, other classes of drugs in earlier stages of testing may wind up doing as much or more to help Alzheimer’s patients. “Some of the most advanced stages of development are in drugs targeting beta-amyloid,” says Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association, “but there are other clinical trials targeting insulin, tau, inflammation, and mechanisms behind neuron growth and health. We will need to identify all the biological changes taking place and intervene with all the treatments we have available—both medications and lifestyle changes—if we are going to reduce the risk or stop or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.”


Wait 13

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
A woman shambled past, smiling and singing to her god and looking bemused at the washing line looped loosely around her wrists by the family members with her. Nkosi yam… (my god) I was sitting on a bench with some people waiting for a blood test and as the…

Wait 13

A woman shambled past, smiling and singing to her god and looking bemused at the washing line looped loosely around her wrists by the family members with her. Nkosi yam… […]

I am breakable, I am also resilient and strong.

DSCN6833

With my son and his friends at his birthday a few days ago.

My beautiful, brave and remarkable  son was telling me about yesterday, he saw me lying on the ice from across the rink and thought I’d fallen and was just resting/laughing on the ice. As he got closer, he realized the skating guard and another woman were bending over me and I was not moving. Worriedly, he skated up quick and said “Mom, mom!” At which point I opened my eyes and looked blankly about. He said “What’s your name?” And I replied: Samina. He was very relieved at that. He helped me up, the first time my legs gave out from under me, but he took me off the ice and we sat on a bench. I asked him “Where am I?” He said at the Pepsi center. I asked “Why am I in Buffalo?” He said I was visiting for his birthday. I looked down at my feet and asked why I had skates on. He told me I was skating. Then I sat these a minute and said”Where am I?” And I started asking all the other questions again (my son tells this in a hilarious way, maybe I should videotape him and post it ;-) ) At that point he realized he had to get help, so he told me in no uncertain terms to STAY PUT, don’t move, and he went to the front desk and asked if they could call an ambulance, which they did. The EMTs came in, put me on a stretcher, and started doing all the EMT things. I have no recollection at all of any of the above interactions above, with my son. I do have glimpses of talking with the EMTs, and again I have no memory of the ride in the ambulance to BGH. The first thing I remember is being in a cubicle in the ER of BGH. And from then on I remember everything.

So there’s about a half hour gap in my memory and I was unconscious at least for a few seconds. Whoa! Never thought this would happen to me. I am generally very cautious. One misstep and here I am. But so very fortunately, I am whole and healthy, with only a kind of sick headache to boot, which will reportedly, be gone soon.

All my friends and family have been messaging me, calling me. It is so wonderful to get this support and know I am loved. It gives me strength and hope :-)

Thank you to all my friends and family for their concern and love. I appreciate it so much and I hope all of you know that you are well loved and appreciated by me in return.

Sorry I keep going on and on about this, but this has been an important event in my life, an event of consequence, first to show me that I am breakable, then to show me that I am also resilient and strong.

And let’s not forget my perseverance, I really do intend to, heck not just intend to, I will learn to skate well, a goal I have set for myself. And I will do it while wearing a helmet.

 


Deer In The Headlights Day

Last night when I was battling to not simply start to nod off but stay that way…I decided I’d do X,Y,and Z come morning.

After a sleep/wale/repeat cycle in which I pretty much caught sight of every hour of the clock…morning came and it was all I could do to stop hitting the snooze button. I couldn’t wait to take my kid to school, come back to blankie fort, and sleep some more.

That was nixed for when I returned…The maintenance work continues and now on both sides of me for it seems we are getting new neighbors all around. Lots of hammering, drilling, cars coming and going, doors slamming, people talking.

So I’d watch another episode of Saving Hope and tell myself…after this one, the Xanax will kick in, I’ll be good to go for a twenty minute jaunt into the dish.

I was still telling myself that at 2 p.m. by which time it was do or die cos I had to fetch my spawn.

I lost six hours of my day to pretzel gut churning, hive inducing paranoid anxiety. Not garden variety either. This was the real deal, the stuff so bad I couldn’t even pretend to go do a few household chores for if I were to leave the safety of my dim little crypt….

Well, yeah, all of us with anxiety and panic issues know we’re not going to die…It doesn’t make these bouts a bit easier. Or less humiliating. Or fill you with less self loathing or resentment and frustration.

I kicked ass yesterday.

Today, my ass got kicked.

Just so sick of it all. I’ve even started doing research on shock treatment as it’s about the only thing I’ve not tried. (Yeah, I even did a chakra alignment at one point I was so desperate, so I don’t even wanna hear how I’ve not tried hard enough to beat this shit.)

I thought this evening once my kid zonked…I might TRY to write. Ya know, sit down at the desktop keyboard, put on some music for inspiration, revisit an old storyline, breathe some new life into it.

Instead I was too nervous to listen to anything but piano instrumentals of my favorite rock songs at about a volume of 1.5. And I stared at that blank screen and blinking cursor. And I know why I am so broken down from a confidence/spiritual standpoint. Without my fiction soup escape I have no one, I have nothing. I am on my own. Left with reality. Left with people who don’t get it and can’t be bothered to care. People who’ve made that abundantly clear so many times I don’t know why I even speak to them at all.

In my writing…I create a world that is filled with havoc, strife, things are not at all perfect…But in that chaos…there’s always a couple of people with kind souls to act as a support network, a safety net, so my lead character never tumbles into this blackened hole which has become my life.

I TRIED TO FORCE CHANGE.

I TRIED TO BREAK OUT OF MY ANXIETY RIDDEN DEPRESSIVE BOX BUT…

I’m underwhelmed by humanity. Overwhelmed by anxiety and stimuli. Disgusted by people who can be so cavalier about “Oh yeah, I do that, and I’m gonna keep being an ass and doing that but it’s okay cos…” But there is no cos, it’s because they’re being assholes. Period.

Mental disturbance doesn’t give any of us the right to treat others poorly anymore than those without mental disturbance are entitled to mistreat others. So while kudos for self awareness in saying “I do that, I can be an asshole”….

DO BETTER. Try being less of an asshole.

The instant we stop trying to be better versions of ourselves is the moment we lose our right to play the “mental disorder” card. Just because you’ve kicked bunnies every second Tuesday of the year since childhood cos you had gas pains doesn’t give you the right to keep doing it, shrugging aw shucks, and blaming it on your mental bullshit.

Where do I get all high and mighty saying this shit?

Because I am here, a deer in the headlights, fighting every self protective instinct I have, battling every fiber of my being that wants to HURT OTHERS AS I HAVE BEEN HURT, because “I’m depressed” or “I’m bipolar” are not excuses for being a dick.

They are states of mind. Legit conditions.But if you’re self aware enough to recognize you kick bunnies when you have gas…You’re not too “mentally disordered” to TRY and stop doing it.

So for the love of pegacorn, could someone out there just throw me a fucking bone proving humanity is worthwhile and inspire me to write about something other than how much being alive makes me want to be dead?????

Stop kicking bunnies. Don’t be a dick. And if you can’t enlighten me with a glimpse of decency being out there somewhere…would the tribe just launch a barbwire weapon attack on me already?  I wanna tap out if bunny kicking is all life has to offer.

Yes, I am cranky. No, I am not sorry.

If nothing else maybe I can piss someone off enough they will comment something utterly vile and inane and it will inspire me to write the Misanthrope’s Guide To Slaughtering Those Who Kick Bunnies.

My soul is on life support here.

PS- if you’re not gonna dim the headlights, could you at least run me over already? Signed, Santa’s Reindeer, Bitchin’