Daily Archives: January 6, 2016

Snot, Cough, Sleep. Repeat.

Being sick sucks!  Big-time!  For us Bipolars or Depressed Persons, it can cause a resurgence in our mental health symptoms as well.  For me, I tend to get very mental whenever I run a fever, losing all perspective and going straight to suicidality.  Fortunately, this flu doesn’t feature a fever, or if it does, my daily dose of meloxicam (all day painkiller) is counter-acting it, because I haven’t gone completely mental, for which I am grateful.  I have pretty much calmly accepted that all I can do is lay in bed, cough, blow out snot, and sleep.  Not too much eating, maybe a light snack per day, and no coffee or light therapy.  Just sleep.  Knocked on your ass much?  Why yes, yes I have been.

Because I am an asshole, I remember having a fleeting thought last week that “I wish I could get sick so that I could check out of life for a couple of days.”  I KNOW!!  Totally assholian!!!  So, on the off chance, or the maybe-chance, or the probable-chance that I can create these things with my thoughts, let me state loud and proud a few more wishes that I’d like to bring into reality:  1.  I wish I’d come into roughly one million dollars (Dr. Evil voice);  2.  I wish I’d meet a hundilyicious hunkety-hunk of a man who fuckin’ LOVES me;  3. I wish I’d lose twenty five more pounds and keep it off.  Not much, eh?  I think these things can TOTALLY happen!

Well I feel like a new person, I just took a shower for the first time in….five days?  I know, don’t judge.  I was gross.  I am off to make my famous fruit-and-veggie smoothie, the cornerstone of my healthy diet.  Hey, let me know how the hell YOU are, eh?  Peach to the outs, homies!

 


Filed under: Bipolar, bipolar sick, Psychology Shmyshmology, Sick Sucks! Tagged: Bipolar, Hope, Humor, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

just another ward 13 Wednesday

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Do you ever get that variety of stress where you feel quite stoned? The state hospital I go to is around an hour’s drive away and this morning was the first time I did it alone. Feeling zoned out worked in my favour, because it’s a calm place to…

Chopped Liver (The Writing Rejection Merry-Go-Round)

  “Bubbeleh, is my writing chopped liver???”   DEDICATION: This post goes out to all writers who don’t give up on the publishing game. Lucy and I salute you!I mean….   Recently I emailed an essay to a local magazine that publishes personal essays and poetry. The publication has a special interest in pieces about writing and life … Continue reading Chopped Liver (The Writing Rejection Merry-Go-Round)

It’s Alive!

I feel a little like Peter Boyle’s monster at the end there.  “Who the hell is the idiot screaming?”  But, the idiot would also be me (less some of Gene Wilder’s hair), bellowing the news to the world.  I admit to ambivalence in making such a bold announcement after being sick for three months. It makes me want to touch wood, spit over my shoulder, or at least wear a hat when I go outside.

Also, I seem to be suffering from a weird kind of amnesia, like not being able to remember what I was talking about after someone interrupts me.  The thought was insightful, choice, but damn if it isn’t gone.  So I just stand and gawp, waiting for the brilliance to return. What was I doing three months ago?  No clue.

Maybe it’s not even relevant anymore.  That’s what I tell myself instead of panicking. Let’s just start by unlocking these steel straps, I tell my mad scientist, and we’ll see what happens next.

So, this week I went back to my water aerobics class, because I remember I used to like the water, and I blew the dust off my journal, and I started to plan.  Because, you know, I gotta have a plan.

Which reminds me that I got a Squatty Potty sometime during the haze of pneumonia.  But that’s a different post.  And, no, that’s not me demonstrating the healthful benefits.  I don’t wear white (But click on the link to the Squatty Potty commercial.  You won’t be sorry).HappySquatter-SquattyEccoStool

Anyway… what was I saying?

A Plan.  Right.

All I’ve been able to do so far is babble in my journal.  What’s important to me now?   What needs my attention?  What’s happening?  Where am I?

Getting my strength back and building my immune system came up a lot.  So did paying attention to how winter seems to be sapping Vyvanse’s effectiveness. And maybe I should see if I have any money in the bank.  So much more to consider now than whether I can sit at my table and sort beads for a half hour.

And speaking of those beads… I sure had fun making zodiac cards for the friend who sent me the Bead Box—so much so that I made some for myself.

Capricorn Odor

So, maybe Fun should be part of The Plan, too.  I’ll put it in the hopper (no Squatty Potty humor intended).


A Good Week

SNOW CACTUS Winter Cholla

So I think I had a decent week. Not stellar…but decent. I am on the couch a lot less and when I am there I am usually writing or listening to a book. There’s not a lot of just lying immobile. Big improvement.

A friend of mine had a sister who died about a week ago. She was 64. I didn’t know her at all other than what I had heard through my friend. But when she was sick, this last couple of weeks, I could sure identify. She had severe mental illness. She would try to fly down stairwells, call the police to say someone had gotten shot, and was convinced her dead mother was still around. I’m not that bad, but I felt a lot of empathy for her. The doctors tried and tried but could not find the right meds. I’m not sure exactly what caused her death, other than kidney failure. She had several suicide attempts and frankly, I understand. Life must have been hell.

While she was in the hospital, my husband went to visit. I didn’t know her and hospitals upset me, so I stayed home. But I sent over my set of prayer beads for her. She was some sort of Orthodox religion and I am a Methodist so these were Protestant prayer beads. I was a little afraid her priest would throw them out. But you know what? She was buried with those in her hands. So it was okay to send them. I think it was the right thing to do.

So back to me:

I have been doing my devotionals regularly. I get up in the morning and instead of fretting, I have a little routine going. This keeps me busy till my husband gets up.

Last Wednesday we went and saw the movie “Concussion”. I liked it. I also have seen “Spotlight” recently. Two good movies if you’re the movie type.

I sewed and have been working on a quilt.

falling charms quilt

This is the first quilt I have done by myself. No class. It’s pretty simple, but a lot of sewing, of course. But I have made steady progress.

I need to improve my prayer life. I just can’t focus. I have been listening to audio books and doing pretty well with those.

Thursday I woke up at 5 and popped a Klonopin. Went back to sleep. I had been asked by a friend to meet with her and her daughter and granddaughter for lunch. The granddaughter (16) has bipolar. So I got dressed up so I didn’t look too mentally ill and met them at a restaurant.  I told them my story and they asked a lot of questions. It went well and I was flattered to be asked. My family went out for pizza to celebrate New Year’s Eve and I went with them. This is new. Prior to this I would have stayed home. I watched a bit of Ryan Seacrest and went to bed about nine. Meds.

New Year’s Day I watched the parade on TV. We started taking Christmas decorations down and I colored.

Saturday I was invited by my best friend to join a Facebook writer’s page. Lots of people on there and lots of information. That night we had a couple of people over to play “Pandemic Legacy”. It’s a board game. I lasted three hours but they all kept going. I sewed that day, showered, and overate.

Sunday I got up and decided at first to ditch church. Then I felt better and we went to the late service. I got a compliment on my new haircut. (This has happened a few times, so this must be a good style.) I sewed a little, made a menu and grocery list. I plan on getting back into cooking more from scratch for the family.

Monday I tried to work on my book. It just isn’t going anywhere and I think I have given up, at least temporarily. It’s a good story, but I have no idea how to end it. It’s about 48K words at this point. I want to incorporate some mental illness plot lines in there. Not sure. I lost a pound! I had to go to the Social Security office to deal with my mother’s last check. We waited two hours. Ick!

Yesterday I saw another movie “Carol”. If you like character driven movies, this is for you. It’s about a gay woman who is married and her trials. My friend took me to this movie and I got up beforehand and showered. I’m better on the showering and the hair.

So Wednesday is blog day and I am writing to you.

One of my blog friends told me they are running Blogging 101 in February. I need to take it to clean and spruce things up around here. WP has also made some changes I need to understand.

Love to you all and hope you are having a good week.

lily

 

just another ward 13 Wednesday

Do you ever get that variety of stress where you feel quite stoned? The state hospital I go to is around an hour’s drive away and this morning was the […]

The Pensioner, the Urn, & the Number 99 Bus

Christmas tree with Corn Exchange, Doncaster, Jan 2016

Christmas tree with Corn Exchange, Doncaster, Jan 2016

Some short futuristic fiction to round off the season

The Pensioner, the Urn, & the Number 99 Bus

My list specifies Mr McNeely – Mr McNoFeely, she called him – but a footnote from our Deborah says that he retired in 2023, so you’ll have to do.

Do for what? Well, insults, for starters. She said to say that the X99 doesn’t sound like a bus, it’s more like an ice cream what’s been squashed, or maybe retired. Yeah, like McNeely.

What did you say your name is again? You didn’t? Oh well, at my age – 105 next month by the way, you needn’t send a card, just buy me a pint at Tap next time you see me, that’ll be fine – your memory starts to slip a bit. You’ll find out, provided you don’t get too comical with your passengers.

Oh you didn’t? I see. This? Oh, this is my wife. Don’t she look festive, with that bit of tinsel draped round her. She always loved Christmastime, did our Dorcas. Can’t stand it, meself.

The Soroptomist Choir, Corn Exchange: Dec 2015

The Soroptomist Choir, Corn Exchange: Dec 2015

No, she’s not an urn, she’s ashes now, bless her – has been 10 year now. But you can’t really decorate ashes, can you? Doesn’t make for such a good photograph either.

The photograph? It’s here…let me just dig round in me pockets for a moment … there! I figured, given she turned 100 on New Year’s Day, bit a tinsel would make for a nice photo. She always liked to look her best, did Dorcas, except of course for when she couldn’t be asked. Then, she’d knock around house all day – doing chores, mind, and reading, and such – in that bloody dressing gown.

Funny. Never reckoned I’d miss sight of a 90-year-old woman in a 40 year old dressing gown.

Any way, she did like to look nice for a photo. Which is why I put the tinsel on, see. I thought about a bauble or two, but our Harry reckoned –

What’s picture for? Why her bus pass, of course. See, they put the age up, then up some more, and – well, you get the picture. I know you look to be no more than 19, but even you must remember –

40? Really? I reckon you can buy me that pint next year, after all. If we both make it, that is.

Let it shine: December 2015

Let it shine: December 2015

Anyway, when wife made will, she were just turned 67 – still working, of course. At least she lived long enough to have her pension, and –

Don’t rush me, lad, I’ll get there.

Anyway, wife says to me, Harry – our Debs named her oldest after me, you see – Harry, if I pop me clogs before I get that bus pass age, I want you to promise me, when I turn whatever age it is – 100, as it turned out – when I’d get me pass, I want you to take the urn, and –

You get the picture. Yes, the one in my hand. Our Debs had it laminated specially for the occasion: it being her mum’s 100th and all.

Window display, Floristry tea shop, Doncaster 2015

Window display, Floristry tea shop, Doncaster 2015

I see…not able to make corporate decisions at this level. Yes….Do you mind if me and the wife’s remains stay on bus til railway station? So as I can get on to item two on list?

Why yes, it is her railcard: how did you guess? Yes, I do know that railways were nationalised under Corbyn, then privatised again under that bloke with the hair – yes, that’s the chap – then renationalised again under Liberals 15 year ago. Just because I have to turn telly up to 11 to hear it doesn’t mean I don’t follow news.

Up to eleven…it’s a joke, lad. No? Never mind. Busy day, busy day. Never reckoned when I married her 75 year ago that she’d still be keeping me busy. After railway, I’ve got instructions to pop to a cake shop, then use both our railcards down to London to – what does list say again, oh yes “shove it in face of oldest remaining banker who’s not been replaced by a robot”.

Hmm, may prove a bit tricky, that.

St Pancras Church, London

St Pancras Church, London

If you enjoyed this story, check out my short story collections “What! No Pudding?” and “Koi Carpe Diem“, both currently available on e-book from Amazon. A print version of “Koi Carpe” is available locally from myself.

“A Yorkshireman in Ohio”, a sequel to “Koi Carpe Diem”, will be available in the spring.

 

 

I am the outlier.

In research we commonly deal with outliers.

Pesky scores that vary wildly from the general sample. They don’t fit into the norm. Their very presence can compromise the dataset. In my line of work outliers generally signal one of two things; a participant with radical views, or someone taking the piss.

Best to get rid of the sucker.

outlier

But recently I realised that I am the outlier.

I am the nuance that doctors dismiss, reject, or refer, or tell me bluntly “I don’t know what to do with you”.

I am the difficult patient who doesn’t fit into the medical framework. Who doesn’t present the way others do. Who doesn’t respond to treatment in the manner expected.

Pharmaceutical psychiatric treatment has little success with me. Antidepressants make me suicidal. Antipsychotics have never stopped the voices. Sleeping pills fail to put me to sleep.

I’m tested for epilepsy because my psychosis is ”abnormal”. I’m “high functioning” to the point of rejection from doctors and hospitals because I am not sick enough. I’m misdiagnosed. I’m turned away. I don’t fit the stereotype of ”bipolar”; whatever that may be. Then I fall down to the darkest, bleakest most dreadful depths and the doctors don’t believe I will be able to function. But I do.

I am the outlier.

I am diagnosed with a rare subform of a rare autoimmune disease that no one has ever heard of. Random allergies that make no sense. Hubster marvels how I can chow down a spicy curry no problem, but end up in hospital after a sandwich. I’m told I need medication, I’m given a poor prognosis. And now, undedicated with no treatment other than dietary changes I shouldn’t be in remission. But I am.

I am the outlier.

After years of trying to have a child, and seven or so early miscarriages under my belt I seek medical assistance. At first no one takes me seriously because I am not even thirty. Then, at 29 years old it is discovered that my reproductive years are ending. I’m to descend into premature menopause. This doesn’t run in the family.

I am the outlier.

Suddenly I’m being thrust into the world of IVF.. ‘I’m told I need to act now. I’m told I need high doses of medication. Friends my age spend their money on holidays and drinks. We spend our money on medical bills.

Then I start the process and am told my bloodwork is bad. That IVF isn’t possible. That it may never be possible for me.

I am the outlier.

And as I put my hands on my growing belly, knowing of the tiny heart beating inside, I know that you, little one, are an outlier too.

The one that arrived the very month when I was told it wasn’t possible. The one that came when I had all but given up. The one that blessed me with its presence naturally, the very cycle IVF was cancelled. The one I didn’t lose.

You are my little outlier. The most beautiful outlier there ever was. Every child is a miracle, but you are an extra special. You beat the odds.

Together we may not be representative of the population. We may have different needs to others. We may be the outliers.

But who wants to be average anyway?

20160102_121904_20160102131151605.jpg

 

 

 

 

 


I am the outlier.

In research we commonly deal with outliers.

Pesky scores that vary wildly from the general sample. They don’t fit into the norm. Their very presence can compromise the dataset. In my line of work outliers generally signal one of two things; a participant with radical views, or someone taking the piss.

Best to get rid of the sucker.

outlier

But recently I realised that I am the outlier.

I am the nuance that doctors dismiss, reject, or refer, or tell me bluntly “I don’t know what to do with you”.

I am the difficult patient who doesn’t fit into the medical framework. Who doesn’t present the way others do. Who doesn’t respond to treatment in the manner expected.

Pharmaceutical psychiatric treatment has little success with me. Antidepressants make me suicidal. Antipsychotics have never stopped the voices. Sleeping pills fail to put me to sleep.

I’m tested for epilepsy because my psychosis is ”abnormal”. I’m “high functioning” to the point of rejection from doctors and hospitals because I am not sick enough. I’m misdiagnosed. I’m turned away. I don’t fit the stereotype of ”bipolar”; whatever that may be. Then I fall down to the darkest, bleakest most dreadful depths and the doctors don’t believe I will be able to function. But I do.

I am the outlier.

I am diagnosed with a rare subform of a rare autoimmune disease that no one has ever heard of. Random allergies that make no sense. Hubster marvels how I can chow down a spicy curry no problem, but end up in hospital after a sandwich. I’m told I need medication, I’m given a poor prognosis. And now, undedicated with no treatment other than dietary changes I shouldn’t be in remission. But I am.

I am the outlier.

After years of trying to have a child, and seven or so early miscarriages under my belt I seek medical assistance. At first no one takes me seriously because I am not even thirty. Then, at 29 years old it is discovered that my reproductive years are ending. I’m to descend into premature menopause. This doesn’t run in the family.

I am the outlier.

Suddenly I’m being thrust into the world of IVF.. ‘I’m told I need to act now. I’m told I need high doses of medication. Friends my age spend their money on holidays and drinks. We spend our money on medical bills.

Then I start the process and am told my bloodwork is bad. That IVF isn’t possible. That it may never be possible for me.

I am the outlier.

And as I put my hands on my growing belly, knowing of the tiny heart beating inside, I know that you, little one, are an outlier too.

The one that arrived the very month when I was told it wasn’t possible. The one that came when I had all but given up. The one that blessed me with its presence naturally, the very cycle IVF was cancelled. The one I didn’t lose.

You are my little outlier. The most beautiful outlier there ever was. Every child is a miracle, but you are an extra special. You beat the odds.

Together we may not be representative of the population. We may have different needs to others. We may be the outliers.

But who wants to be average anyway?

20160102_121904_20160102131151605.jpg

 

 

 

 

 


I am the outlier.

In research we commonly deal with outliers.

Pesky scores that vary wildly from the general sample. They don’t fit into the norm. Their very presence can compromise the dataset. In my line of work outliers generally signal one of two things; a participant with radical views, or someone taking the piss.

Best to get rid of the sucker.

outlier

But recently I realised that I am the outlier.

I am the nuance that doctors dismiss, reject, or refer, or tell me bluntly “I don’t know what to do with you”.

I am the difficult patient who doesn’t fit into the medical framework. Who doesn’t present the way others do. Who doesn’t respond to treatment in the manner expected.

Pharmaceutical psychiatric treatment has little success with me. Antidepressants make me suicidal. Antipsychotics have never stopped the voices. Sleeping pills fail to put me to sleep.

I’m tested for epilepsy because my psychosis is ”abnormal”. I’m “high functioning” to the point of rejection from doctors and hospitals because I am not sick enough. I’m misdiagnosed. I’m turned away. I don’t fit the stereotype of ”bipolar”; whatever that may be. Then I fall down to the darkest, bleakest most dreadful depths and the doctors don’t believe I will be able to function. But I do.

I am the outlier.

I am diagnosed with a rare subform of a rare autoimmune disease that no one has ever heard of. Random allergies that make no sense. Hubster marvels how I can chow down a spicy curry no problem, but end up in hospital after a sandwich. I’m told I need medication, I’m given a poor prognosis. And now, undedicated with no treatment other than dietary changes I shouldn’t be in remission. But I am.

I am the outlier.

After years of trying to have a child, and seven or so early miscarriages under my belt I seek medical assistance. At first no one takes me seriously because I am not even thirty. Then, at 29 years old it is discovered that my reproductive years are ending. I’m to descend into premature menopause. This doesn’t run in the family.

I am the outlier.

Suddenly I’m being thrust into the world of IVF.. ‘I’m told I need to act now. I’m told I need high doses of medication. Friends my age spend their money on holidays and drinks. We spend our money on medical bills.

Then I start the process and am told my bloodwork is bad. That IVF isn’t possible. That it may never be possible for me.

I am the outlier.

And as I put my hands on my growing belly, knowing of the tiny heart beating inside, I know that you, little one, are an outlier too.

The one that arrived the very month when I was told it wasn’t possible. The one that came when I had all but given up. The one that blessed me with its presence naturally, the very cycle IVF was cancelled. The one I didn’t lose.

You are my little outlier. The most beautiful outlier there ever was. Every child is a miracle, but you are an extra special. You beat the odds.

Together we may not be representative of the population. We may have different needs to others. We may be the outliers.

But who wants to be average anyway?

20160102_121904_20160102131151605.jpg