Daily Archives: February 10, 2013

Wreck This Journal – This Page is a Sign

Last year, my daughter Lauren and I started on a project together to see how each of us would interpret the same creative prompts in Wreck This Journal. you can [...]

Stigma or Witticism? You Decide.

Dearest Readers, I am in a bit of a quandary and I need your help.  As some of you know, I live under a rock and rarely come out.  On top of being Bipolar, I have lots of Aspergerian features and don’t play well with others.  (I haven’t run with scissors since second grade, though).  And on top of that, or maybe because of that, I have a lot of social anxiety and tend to run like hell when I see another human being sauntering in my general direction.  I live in a building on the side of a cliff overlooking a river, with a small dog for company.  For entertainment I see my therapist once a week.

I don’t own a TV and I don’t listen to the radio, so my only exposure to the “world at large” comes by way of social media, which I skim over, much like a gull will skim over a beach looking for edible bits.  Therefore, a lot of stuff takes me by surprise and causes me confusion, since I don’t know the social vocabulary of the television-movie-talk radio.  So I think I might have run into something from this world that I need your help parsing out, so that I can stop being upset by it.  I’m hoping that’s all it is, anyway.

When people “like” one of my posts, or follow my blog, I usually head over to their blog and graze a bit, and usually leave a “like” or a comment, because I believe that is the right thing to do and it’s a great way to find new “bloggie” friends (thanks PAZ).  So somebody recently did that, and I did that, and as I was browsing through their recent posts I found a post called “Bipolar blog.”  Wow, I got excited!  So I clicked on that one, hoping to find a new “Bipolar Bloggie” with whom I could share Bipolarness and Blogginess together.  Bleeah, I was disappointed.  What this person was talking about (and I am purposely NOT linking to her blog here because I feel it would be childish and nasty to “out” a person just because I disagree with them) is that her blog has grown SO fast and now has SO many followers, that since she tends to blog on two different subjects, she is thinking of splitting her blog into two different ones.  Thus the “bipolar blog.”  For some reason, probably because of having been stigmatized as being “crazy” all of my life on account of my bipolar illness, that really rubbed me the wrong way.

So dear readers, help me out here.  Am I just being hypersensitive to an expression that is thrown around in popular culture and has become a cliché?  I feel silly asking this, because I don’t know what popular culture is throwing around just now, but I need to get a clue whether I have reason to be upset by this person in particular or by society in general, if indeed this is a societal insensitivity rather than an individual one.  Or, alternatively, maybe it’s a clue that I just need to crawl back under my rock and work on my novel and ignore everything else.

I mean, let’s think about it another way.  Let’s say that my blog is getting really black-and-white in its thinking.  It might, since I do tend to descend into black-and-white, good-or-bad thinking.  I learned that in DBT and I’m frequently, but not frequently enough, on the watch for it.

Let’s say I’m indulging in black-and-white thinking, so what if I were to say, “listen dear readers, this blog is getting biracial, so I’m thinking of splitting it into a black blog and a white blog.”  Would that go over very well with biracial readers?  I think not.  Even though I might have intended it to be a little funny, it still is not funny, because biracial people are PEOPLE, not turns of speech, and most certainly not clichés.  Do you see where I’m coming from here?

I hope people will comment like crazy here, because I want to know what other people think about this issue that has my hackles up.

Return of the Crud

My mind-workings continue to be mainly stable and calm… but I am sure I can ‘thank’ being sick for part of that. Having something to grumble about is a great focus, ha ha. And there’s a lot to grumble about – my head continues to feel warm and dry (except for my nose, which is hot and damp). There’s assorted weird muscular aches too, and all of it serves as a great lot of mutter fodder. So don’t feel too sorry for me in my cold/flu — it’s helping keep the brain in quiet order.

And hopefully all of you out there are having good mental and physical health days. :)


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A Lighter Note

Although my emotional health has been a bit variable lately, things have been improving in terms of physical health. I’ve …

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Broken Heart Syndrome

Turns out there is such a thing.  Oh yes, we already knew that.  But I mean that medical science has now identified an actual physical abnormality of the heart organ that can occur upon hearing bad news, having a traumatic experience, losing a loved one, being in a car accident, or other extreme emotional stress.  The person experiences chest pain just the same as a “regular” heart attack, with sweating and palpitations possible, even nausea and vomiting possible.  Absolutely indistinguishable from a classic heart attack.

And unlike the usual “stress related symptoms” that get blown off by the usual players in the ED, this one has objective findings like abnormal EKG, and extremely abnormal echocardiogram.  What happens is that parts of the wall of the ventricles just plain stop working and are seen on visual tests to be ballooned out and not even participating with the otherwise coordinated movements of the heart muscle.

For  pictures and the whole medical megilla, click here.  

The good news is that as the emotional trauma and grief process resolves, so does the “broken heart syndrome,” and the physical heart does heal.  Very occasionally (1-2%), though, someone will actually die of a broken heart.

One of my dearest physician mentors had a saying:  ”Listen to the patient telling you the diagnosis.”   If your patient tells you his heart is broken, it just might be.