Daily Archives: July 24, 2014

Too Much Information

One of the cool things about the health system I belong to is what’s called a ‘patient portal’—a secure place online where you can access your medical records. This portal gives you the key to your lab test results, information on your meds, even what was found on imaging scans. The only downside is that you still can’t see what your doctors put in your chart, but then I don’t think I’d want to know what’s in Dr. Awesomesauce’s voluminous notes. Or my internist’s, for that matter.

So I was perusing my CT scan results the other night, and of course being as familiar with medical terminology as I am, I was able to comprehend 98% of what the radiologist was saying. This was one of those times when I almost wish I wasn’t, because the findings regarding the ovarian cysts were somewhat ominous, as was the statement “follow-up strongly recommended”. I’m already a little nervous about this as it is—the gynecologist’s office called me yesterday to see if I needed or wanted to come in sooner than the 6th—but I know I can’t sit around worrying about it because there is so much else going on in my life.

That’s what my mind says…..but the rest of me is demanding to know why the universe seems to think I need another challenge right now. Even if this one turns out to be nothing—and if you go by my history of cancer scares, the cysts are probably completely harmless—it’s going to cost more money (that I don’t have) for exams, tests, and probably surgery to remove the cysts and/or the ovaries themselves. Where do the medical bills stop? 

I also found out that I have diverticulosis, which isn’t the least bit unusual in people my age. These are little pouches that form in the intestine, which sometimes become inflamed. (That’s probably where my belly pain came from.) Additionally, I learned that I have scar tissue in the bases of both lungs, likely the result of repeated episodes of asthma and bronchitis. See what I mean about too much information? Haha!

Ah, so many diagnoses, so little time. This is not what I signed on for when I came into the world, cold and wet and undoubtedly pissed off about being ejected from my cozy little home. Some of it I can blame directly on my own bad habits, like the high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes, but I didn’t ask for “female problems”, or asthma, or back injuries. And I sure as hell didn’t ask to be cursed/blessed with bipolar disorder. But then, my husband didn’t ask for pancreatic cancer either, and he’s continuing to live and enjoy his life despite all the stress we’re both under. I could take a few lessons from him.

Speaking of positive influences: I have an appointment with Dr. A on the 4th. I have a lot to tell him, but I’m SO much better than I was when I hit bottom about a month ago—not happy with what’s going on, that’s for sure, but I have absolutely no bipolar symptoms and I’m not freaking out. (At least not yet.) Maybe it’s because I’m too busy trying to figure out what to do next and haven’t got time for the pain. And maybe—just maybe—it’s because I’m on the right medications in the right doses. Huzzah!







Cause and Effect!

Everything I do is seen through the filter of the simple fact I struggle with bi-polar disorder. Its an illness, something over which I have absolutely no control as to when it will strike, when the highs will leave me … Continue reading

Big Boy Problems

The Way it Was I remember when I started this blog. I was a mess. My only task was to live day to day. The rare times I did venture out of my home I confused easily. One day I was on a trip via bus that required I transfer from one bus to the […]

The post Big Boy Problems appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

tripolar is apparently a thing

My mood held steady today, until a few minutes ago. I think I’m just tired from the heat and being high functioning today. I went to the shop, I  hooked up the desktop, I did a load of laundry, cooked supper, mowed the lawn. While most would call this a normal day, for me, it’s a good day when my mood holds steady and I get shit done. Because some days simply aren’t like that for me.

When Bex and I went shopping last month, we saw a pin (like for a hat) that said, “Is tripolar a thing?”

Aside from being the title of a Sick Puppies album, I honestly didn’t know.

Turns out, while not official, tripolar is a term some in mental healthcare studies are leaning toward. It describes when bipolar disorder crosses over into borderline personality disorder. You have ups, downs, and your personality issues complicate it all thus making you tripolar.

I am still not sold on myself being borderline. At all. I can recognize certain traits, but for me, they are tied to the mood swings. If it’s some trait ingrained to the point of being a disorder, then I wouldn’t have a sudden change of heart between Monday and Friday. Personality doesn’t change very much even with mental disorders, at least not the kind of deep down character flaws they’re talking with BPD.

But maybe I’m deluding myself and I am borderline. I just don’t see it and I am fairly honest about myself even with myself. I even own being a bit of a sociopath. It just feels like a situation where someone has made up their mind based on limited, false information.

Kind of like when I tested positive for amphetamines and tried to tell the doctor I’ve never had uppers in my life. I had taken a cold medicine, which a lab person told me could come up as a false positive for speed. Not that doctors believe you. They believe their little lab paper and assume all patients are liars with addictions and refuse to fess up.

That’s how I’m feeling here. Like this current shrink has made a snap decision because she’s sees so many borderlines, she thinks all are.

Not like I’ve never had doctors with a jaded bias going on. My first shrink thought everyone and their dog had nothing more than simple depression, no matter what the counselor’s put in the file.

Then my favorite shrink apparently had an affinity for diagnosing most of her patients as bipolar and ADD.

Then my least favorite shrink thought mental illness was the result of poor diet, not enough exercise, and a negative attitude.

Sometimes, it feels like you can’t win. If you protest because you honestly feel they are wrong, it makes you look argumentative and unwilling to face hard truths about yourself.

But if you don’t speak up, then it becomes a repeat of the ten years I spent under the care of an inept doctor who diagnosed me wrong and gave meds that made it worse.

No win situation.

But…I do think tripolar may be a thing. Not in the way the study people are saying, though. I think between the highs, lows, and stability of bipolar disorder…That’s tripolar as fuck.