Daily Archives: January 27, 2018

Liver Panel Lab Results

So, back in November both my internist and my psychiatrist wrote out lab requests for me to fill. Put it off until January because I was nervous as to what the results might be. Metabolic panel showed high triglycerides. I…

My HSA Badge (and Other Perks of Adulting)

There’s a lady in my husband’s HR department who thinks I’m completely nuts.

To be fair, she isn’t wrong.

My husband recently started working for a company that has an HSA as part of the employee benefits package. Now, you probably already know what an HSA is, because you are a mature and financially savvy adult (which I am not). For anyone who doesn’t know…it’s a health savings account. Basically, his company puts money on a debit card that we can use to purchase health related things. HOW COOL IS THAT? It’s like free money to pay for the crap that you hate using your actual money for. Now I just need a GSA (grocery savings account), a CSA (car savings account), and a BOGFMIDLSA (Buying obligatory gifts for family members I don’t like savings account)

Anyway, because I’m on a ridiculous amount of pharmaceuticals, I figured I should learn how to use my new shiny HSA thingy to pay for them. I asked my husband, and he told me to call his HR department. That’s how I started chatting with Hayley.

Hayley is the type of person who probably laughed at some point in her life…but we can’t be sure about that, and it’s probably not ever going to happen again.

To be fair, I guess HSAs aren’t super hilarious.

So I called Hayley and asked her to explain the whole “HSA situation” to me. Where do I get the card? How does money get put on the card? How do I spend said money? Then she started talking about how we could put some money in from Andy’s paycheck that would then be tax free, and my mind was blown.

“Why didn’t I know about any of this?” I said on the phone. “They don’t cover this in school. You know what? There should be a class on adulting. It could cover all the things necessary to be an adult: HSAs, insurance, how to help your friends through a divorce, dealing with your in-laws, etc. That would be a great class, you know? I would take that class.”

“Ummm…sure,” said no-humor-Hayley. “That would be…cool.”

So then we talked about HSAs some more. Finally, after I learned all I needed to know about this magical card, I said, “Awesome, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I think I’ve now earned my HSA badge.”

“Badge?” I could almost see her eyebrows raise even though we were on the phone.

“Yeah. The adulting class I told you about? We’re going to have vests. Like girl scouts. And I just got my HSA badge. Later today maybe I’ll change the oil on my car, and I could get a badge for that too. I’ll have tons of badges.”

“Okay…”

Not even a snicker.

I wanted to yell, “HAYLEY! I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT REAL BADGES! THIS IS A JOKE, EVEN THOUGH IT WOULD BE SO COOL IF I COULD ACTUALLY HAVE AN ADULTING VEST. I OBVIOUSLY CAN’T BECAUSE THE COST TO PRODUCE THE VEST AND EMBROIDER ALL THE BADGES WOULD BE COST PROHIBITIVE TO EARNING MY ‘FINANICALLY SAVVY’ BADGE, WHICH IS ONE I’VE BEEN AFTER FOR A WHILE!” But I didn’t say that because she clearly wouldn’t get it. Instead I just said, “Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Audi”

“Audi who?”

“ADIOS! HAHAHAHA.”

And then I hung up the phone.

Okay fine. I admit I didn’t do that knock knock joke. But I should have.

Come on, y’all. Who wouldn’t love a class on adulting? And badges for our adulting vests?? What badge would you want? Tell me in the comments. 😊

Coming out of my Depression: Now what?

not brokenI have been deeply depressed for the past 6 1/2 months. I am talking severely depressed where I did not leave my house other than to get groceries with my husband a few times a month. I did not talk to my friends and for the most part did not talk to my family except for family gatherings. I was even nervous at family gatherings because I did not know what I would say as there was nothing positive to talk about.

I used to get online and work on my mental health advocacy work and bipolar bandit blog and the social media attached to it when I was depressed and I did not even do that. I spent most days watching television knowing that my life was wasting away.

I had ambitions, goals, dreams and my life was not supposed to turn out this way.  I am a hard worker with high expectations of myself and dreams that I know I can accomplish if I can just get stable.

The depression was worse because none of the medicines I were taking were working for depression or mania.  I don’t discuss medications in my blogs because everyone is different.  However, I will say this, I was on four meds that were basically my last hope and at full doses and they were not preventing me from cycling.

I have written blogs about what to do when you are depressed and I was so down I could not even follow my own advice.

So, here we are now.  I had a cold and was not able to sleep sparking a manic episode.  Now what?  I admitted myself into the psychiatric hospital to avoid getting so manic that I did destructive things like using poor judgment, spending money, reaching out to people I wouldn’t do if I was depressed.

The thing that I struggle with the most is that I don’t know what the “normal” Michelle is.  Is it the one who when I first come out of depression and start feeling more like myself or is it the hypomanic one that is ready to tackle all.  All I want is to be back to the 13 year old who before I started getting depressed had her life laid out for her and had confidence she was going to reach those goals.

Despite this horrific illness, I was able to overcome many depressed and manic episodes and graduate from college and hold down several jobs. However, when the psych meds stopped helping and started causing medical problems, I was forced into disability.

This was supposed to be temporary, but almost 15 years later, I still am wasting away. I have done some things like founded Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses group on FB (largest of its kind), Mental Health Advocates United Fb page and twitter pages that go with it and a website too.  I also blog for bipolar bandit and have a FB page, Twitter page, and Pinterest page for that.  I also volunteer for an organization I started in memory of my mom called Spreading Kindness Lande Foundation.

I also worked for my dad part time for his businesses and learned digittal marketing and data base entry.

None of thees things are what I want to be doing today and back when I was 17 and had a very serious talk with God, are what God promised me and what I should be doing now. I have to have the confidence that it will be in His time.  I want to be a child psychiatrist and need to get “not depressed’ long enough to apply for classes and start doing interns etc. I know I have a lot of it down because I have been a psych patient for over 30 years and was a teacher and worked with many children with psychiatric problems for about ten years.

After I am a psychiatrist, I want to get into politics and possibly at the same time.  God promised me and keeps telling me that I will be the first female president of the United States. So far, it is still possible. I have told pretty much everyone I have ever met that and they have pretty much all said they would vote for me.  I am talking about people in psych wards and peopl on the street. Some look at me like I am crazy and technically they are right, but who says someone like me can’t run the country?

I actually put my name in nomination this past election and started a page, but was discouraged by God and told it was not the time. However, I did know that Clinton would not win because I will be the first. In fact, I have left a long detailed message on her answering machine a long time ago when she was first talking about running about how I wanted to talk to her.

I have written to all the candidates, including dropping off letter to Trump and Cruz during the last election and heard nothing. It plays along the lines of people with mental illnesses should be ignored and my letter was probably filed away as “crazy person-do not read”.

I have news for the world.  Trump is crazy. I like him, don’t get me wrong, but the things he does can be considered “abnormal” and diagnosable in the DSMV.  Many former presidents and world leaders are thought to have illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, etc.  There is no reason that someone like me who has bipolar disorder who is properly treated can’t be the president. In fact, I am better qualified because I think the majority of the problems in the United States comes down to communication and dealing with mental health crisis. I have solutions for that and have written blogs about itl.  Take the time to learn more about me and you will see that I am not just manic thinking I could some day lead the free world.

So,the title is now what? I luckily have found a new doctor and she has given me great hope that I can get stable and work on things I was set out to do. I am hopeful that my mood swings won’t be so severe and I can accomplish what God wants me to do and I am determined to do.

 

Michelle Lande Clark (on Facebook)

“Bipolar Bandit”

 

Getting over the Anxiety of Meeting a New Psychiatrist

hopeI was recently hospitalized and during that stay,  my psychiatrist and I reached a mutual agreement that it would be better if I started seeing someone else as he wasn’t sure how to help me anymore.

At discharge, I was given an appointment with a new psychiatrist.  The date was about a week after discharge and for that entire week, I was anxious about meeting the new doctor. I have had to change doctors so many times in the past mainly due to moving, but sometimes because I realized the doctor was not helping me and decided to move on.

Every new time I see a new doctor, I am honest and hopeful.  I pretty much know the questions they are going to ask and I go prepared with medications I have tried and the ones I am currently on.

This time was different.  I am at wit’s end as no medications seem to work anymore. I am on maximum doses of the last meds that have any hope, but are causing allergies and weight gain.  I believe I am medication resistant.  I told my pdoc that I was tempted to go off all of my meds since they were not working any way and he tended to agree.  I kept cycling and the only evidence I was on the medications was the persistent rash, the weight gain, and other side effects I was enduring.

So, a lot was riding on this visit. I was viewing it as my last chance to maybe find some relief from this hellish roller coaster ride I have been on for over 30 years.

I brought my list of meds, a list of all the meds that I could remember I had tried over the years, some of my discharge papers describing my action plan, a letter my dad wrote to my therapist recently and best of all my dad came with me. He has been enduring this as long as I have.  My mom would have been there too, but she passed away three years ago.

So, I am happy to say, there is HOPE!   The new doctor did something I had never heard of that was even covered by my insurance.  She took a DNA sample that is going to be compared to medications to see what ones would work or not work with me.  She then told me to go off all of my medications and prescribed me something new that I had never heard of.  (I don’t reveal medication names on my blogs, FB, groups, etc. because everyone is different.)

Reading the description of the medication, I just know it is going to work.  She also gave me another medication for anxiety that is not as harmful as the one I was taking.

I want to go on a more natural route for my illness for a long time and take vitamins for that and have tried to adjust my diet, but need guidance.  This practice has a nutritionist.  They even have yoga and I also plan to see a therapist.

It was like walking into year 2020  when there was a cure for mental illness.  I think they are on groundbreaking efforts to make it so I, along with others, won’t have to suffer anymore.

I will keep you posted.  I will get results from DNA/gene test in two weeks and will have been on new med that long too.

Bipolar Bandit

Day 1

This is day one of going off the rexulti, well tapering off it. So far so good. I mean I am not expecting any side effects yet anyhow but you never know right?

My mood has been just kind of ok, I don’t think this has anything to do with meds I just think it’s where I am in my cycle. Seems like that’s what I have is cycles. Depressed, Okay, Good, Mad. I don’t get the mad one very often. I really am kind of mellow about everything. When I do get mad it’s for a good reason.

I can’t think of anything to write about today.

The puppy has discovered cords, so now I have to really keep an eye on her. Don’t want her getting electrocuted. I have to admit it’s a little frustrating.  Plus man she can bite. I got bruises all over my hands, arms and even one on my neck. I keep stopping her and handing her a toy but it’s not working yet.

A Poem

Today I am just okay,

Tomorrow’s another day.

Maybe I’ll be glad,

That wouldn’t be half bad!

Ya silly I know, but I felt like I should write something.  Tata.