Daily Archives: October 15, 2014

One thing you don’t know about me (yet)

Dearest Readers, every once in a while I get gifted with an Award.  These usually require one to do a series of tasks which, to be perfectly honest, I am not capable of doing.  Generally I thank the bestower of the Award and tell her I can’t do it, but sometimes I get ashamed and don’t say anything, which of course makes me feel even more ashamed.  Sigh.

There is a bright side: most of these awards require that you disclose 10 or so things about yourself that nobody in the Blogosphere could know.  Really?  I thought everybody knew everybody else quite intimately, after a few years of blogging together.  What a wonderful community we have!  But OK, I will concede that there are things that not everybody knows about ME.

For instance, I bet nobody knows I’ve had four (4) rabies shots.  Yep, I have, and I got them because I was attacked by a crazy dog while taking a stroll through a tiny village, while I was sojourning in India.  The nasty thing took a 3 cm x 6 cm chunk out of my right thigh.  It turned out to be a good thing it was my right thigh, as will be explained later.

Upon returning from my rambles I cleaned the wound thoroughly and picked up the phone.  I had had the good fortune to pick a retreat very near to the Louis Pasteur Institute, where they do research on rabies and how to prevent people from reliably dying of it.  Did you know that over 30,000, that’s thirty thousand, people  in India die of rabies every year?

So I called the Louis Pasteur Institute and told receptionist that I had been bitten by a crazy dog, and what should I do?  First the woman asked me if it was a street dog or a village dog.  Village dog.  Definitely has an owner?  Yes, definitely: she came out of her house and laughed at the dog biting me.  Definitely a village dog with an owner.  I can tell the quarantine officer exactly which dog it was.

We don’t do that, says the receptionist (probably a Nobel Prize winner, the place is terribly understaffed).  First of all, impossible to do, so many dogs.  Secondly, no money for that.  (He asks a few more questions about the bite, to determine the proper treatment.)

Well, he says, definitely you need the vaccine, but you do not need the immune globulin.

That was what I wanted to hear.  The immune globulin keeps the poison from spreading, but has to be injected at close intervals around the border of the wound.  They would have had to etherize me to get that done.

So all I needed was the four shots of vaccine.  I had a choice: I could either come down to the Institute and stand in a line for four or more hours to get the vaccine for free; or, if I had the means, I could go into any pharmacy and buy the vaccine.

I was shocked.  Pharmacies carrying rabies vaccine for home injection?  I kept on having to focus on the landscape around me and repeat the mantra “You’re in India!  You’re in India!”  Same in Israel:  “You’re in Israel!  You’re in Israel!”

Since I happened to be a patient in an Ayurvedic hospital, the cook was sent (don’t ask me why the cook; this is India!) to the pharmacy carrying a good chunk of my rupees, and returned with four lovely sealed vials of the vaccine, chilled and not out of date.

As I went to give myself the first injection,  yelled “OUCH” and realized what a good thing it was that the dog wound was on the right.

You see, I had broken my wrist the day before.  That’s right.  I broke my wrist on Saturday, and was bitten by a possibly rabid dog on Sunday, all while getting my health back at a lovely retreat in the Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu, South India.  That is another story, for another day.

It was much easier to soak and clean the bite wound with my left hand, than it would have been with my right, because of the location of the bite on my thigh.

But back to the rabies vaccine.

Since I couldn’t self-administer an injection with my right arm, which was broken, and my left hand is useless for anything that requires strength, because it is partially fused due to an argument with an Appaloosa horse (another time), I had to recruit someone else to do it for me.

The most logical “someone” was my Ayurvedic doctor.  I called upon him and he widened his eyes and said he’d never given an injection in his life.  What, says I, aren’t you a physician?  An Ayurvedic physician, he returns.  And Ayurveda does not have to do with injections.

Well, says I, you are going to learn.

In my cottage I had all the necessary items: alcohol, vials, syringes (you can buy those in any pharmacy), cotton, plasters, orange.

Orange?  Yes, this is how we learn to give injections.  An orange has a somewhat similar feel to it, when you stick a needle in it, to human flesh.  Now how many of you (nurses and doctors excluded) knew that little tidbit?

After he mastered jabbing the orange, it came time to jab me.  His face went pale and he broke out in a sweat.

“Libi, I think I am going to faint.”  He always called me Libi because I use my Hebrew name, Liebe or Lieba, when I am not in the States.

“No you’re not,” I said firmly.  “Get ahold of yourself.  Drink some water.  And get this over with, please, Doctor-Ji.”

He took a couple of deep breaths and grabbed hold of the syringe, stuck it in my arm way too far (I hoped he would not hit bone), and squeezed the vaccine in.  Hmm, wonder if the vaccine will work that way.  Oh well, if I die of rabies then I won’t have to suffer in this life any more.  I thanked him and he apologized several million times before he left.  Such a sweet sweet soul.  I hope I see him again before too long.

So I had two more shots in India, and another upon return to Israel.  Blood tests showed that I am now immune to rabies.  So come on, all you rabid bats, raccoons, possums, coyotes, jackals, wolverines and what have you, let’s rumble!!!!!

No, I didn’t mean that, not really.

So now you know the story of the rabies shots, and why I had them.  Perhaps I will tell you about how I broke my arm, the day before the dog bit me.  After the fact, I find it quite amusing, even though it has left me with some measure of disability.  But that’s for next time.

Mental Health: Hagan vs Tillis Letter I wrote to Hagan

haganI registered as a democrat when I turned 18 and pretty much voted down the party line until about 4 years ago when I changed my affiliation to INDEPENDENT. I have been a movie manager, grocery store clerk, cast member at Disney, and a teacher. I have lived in Germany, ND, SD, MN, CT, NY, and FL.

I have bipolar disorder and had to go on disability about ten years ago. This has given me time to focus on mental health advocacy.

I have been mistreated, taken advantage of, discriminated against, and made sicker by the current mental health system. I have specific examples that are horrific, unethical, and inhumane that I would like to share with Senator Hagan. After I share my side, I would like her to share with me what her personal beliefs are about mental illness, any experiences she has had with someone with a mental illness and what her plans are to erase stigma. Does she support the Murphy Bill? Has she met Patrick Kennedy? I would come with a list of questions gathered by the mental health advocates in the state. I also plan to bring some of them with me.

If you would rather just have me talk to her on the phone on the behalf of the mental health community, I can do that. It was suggested by The Managing Editor of the Winston Salem Journal that we have a demonstration. I can arrange for hundreds of advocates to show up at her office or I can create an event that she would attend. I will do what works the best for her as I know this is a very busy time.

My original idea was to talk to both Hagan and Tillis and let how they answered my questions about mental health be my deciding vote. However, at this moment, I will be voting for Hagan for this reason and this is HUGE and can help your campaign. I called your office and I called his office. I spoke with someone briefly from your office and left a message for Tillis. When his office called back, I was told that they could not fit such a meeting into their calendar because mental health is not important. I can give you the name and number of the person I spoke to so you can confirm that.

Last night when I came up with this idea, I was going to keep my mind open. However, I was planning to vote for Tillis because I watch Fox News and I don’t see much hope for our country if we don’t shake things up in Washington. Having another Republican in the Senate would help and that is the only reason that I would vote for him as of right now. I admit I don’t know much about either candidate and am not sure if I need to. However, now that I have decided that I am going to vote on the candidate who has the best mental health plan, I vote for Hagan.

I voted for Obama the first time and didn’t the second time. Unless I hear from Tillis that what the female on the phone said was false, I won’t vote for him. Please don’t think you have my vote won because I might not vote at all.

I am a strong mental health advocate who has a following all over the world. I am quickly learning that when you are an advocate you are forced into the political world. I love my country and the good people in it. I also see that the people with mental illnesses in our country and around the world are suffering and this should not be the case. Bill Clinton said, “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.” When someone has a mental illness, they endure a lot and the stigma adds so much more to it. We need to raise awareness, educate people about the various illnesses, let them know what symptoms to look for in others, where to go for support and let them know that there is hope and recovery when it comes to mental illness.

With Hagan’s help, I hope that we can make North Carolina a place where other states go to find out how to deal with the mentally ill. I look forward to talking to her or whoever is reading this. To reiterate, I would like to have several mental health advocates meet with her at her office in Greensboro. I also want to either have an event in her honor or have a demonstration or both. If she convinces me that she will make mental health a top priority, I will do everything in my power to get the voters to attend the demonstrations and events and would even try and raise enough money for an ad saying that the Mental Health Advocates NC support Kay Hagan.

To see what I have done:
EmbraceLifeDay@wordpress.com Event for Mental Health Awareness
Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/494927813883917/
Mental Health Advocates United FB page: https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthadvocatesunited
Bipolar Bandit Blog (some blogs are very political) http://bipolarbandit.wordpress.com/

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Short and Sweet

The only thing I can say is, I certainly hope so. That is all. All

Tomorrow is #BlogActionDay #Inequality

Blog Action Day October 16, 2014 Let's talk about #Inequality

Tomorrow is Blog Action Day. This year’s theme is #Inequality. Go to BlogActionDay.org to learn more.

What is Blog Action Day?

Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included Water, Climate Change, Poverty, Food, Power of We and Human Rights, with over 25,000 blogs taking part since 2007.

Blog Action Day will be held on October 16, 2014 and will focus on the topic Inequality. Sign up to list your blog in our official participants page.

Our tags for this year are #BAD2014 #Blogaction14, #Inequality, #Oct16

~ BlogActionDay.org

Join us on October 16 and write a blog post about inequality. I will be writing about inequality and mental health. Add your voice to the conversation.


Filed under: Discrimination, Human Rights, Mental Health Tagged: #BAD2014 #Blogaction14, #Inequality, #Oct16

I’m So Miserable

I’m depressed, I’ve been fighting it for a while. I’ve run out of things to fight with. The positives that are going on are just not enough. I need to see my shrink, which is tomorrow thank goodness. I am sure I need a med check.

Nothing seems to work for long, at least it feels that way. I know the Latuda is working but just not enough. I wish I wasn’t alone.

I know that maybe things in the back of my head are affecting my mood, but I dont know what to do about it. I am so bored and lonely. I just want to go to sleep and dream and not get up again.

It feels like such a backslide. I want to find some positives but I just see the negatives in them. Like the house right now all I can think about is I wont be able to move in there until late February or early March. Thats so long ago.

I dont want to write or paint. I did some cleaning yesterday but I cant even get up the energy to do it. Frankly I’m just tired, so tired.

Mindfulness – Being in the Present

Mindfulness-based meditation has been in the news a lot over the past year or two. Studies around the globe has shown it can reduce blood pressure, alleviate some of the effects of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Other studies have shown it likely improves decision-making, migraines and more. However, it was a study in […]

The post Mindfulness – Being in the Present appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder


Impaled on the spokes of my own mood cycle

As a kid, did you ever have the unfortunate incident of a spoke coming loose from your bicycle wheel? Ever try popping it back into place only stab yourself because it’s not as easy as it looks and damn,those things are sharp?

I’ve been there and done that.
Now I am doing it all over again with my mood cycles.
I’m edging closer to the edge of being fed up and giving up again. I was okay earlier. Then I wasn’t. No catalyst, no logic. Just Wham! The mood went down the drain and the anxiety boiled over.
I keep thinking, I really need to call the dr’s office and tell them wha5t’s going on.
Unfortunately, I no longer feel this is an option because A.) me doing so well last time “made her day” and B.), all she wants to talk about is this borderline personality disorder thing and I honestly don’t see the preponderance of evidence in my history to constitute this diagnosis, even if it is loose and “just a few traits exhibited.”
I was told 20 years ago I was personality disorder not otherwise specified because I had traits from the whole spectrum but not enough from any one disorder to be labeled as such. I accepted that because it was plausible and I could see all that in my behavior.
I read and read and the borderline thing doesn’t gel because it mimicks bipolar so closely. If it were truly a belief my personality holds true (logical or not) then why does it vary according to my mood cycle?
I know I have fixated on this and harp on it but it’s really that much of a deal for me. I fought meds for the longest time because I was sure I was just fucked up and damaged because of all I’d gone through as an adolescent and teen,being tormented at school and placed in the middle of warring parents.
i tried therapy alone, believing it was my personality.
For 20 years,the therapists and doctors insisted I have a legitimate mood disorder.
Now this p doc who hasn’t read enough of my file to know my crash and burn time is seasonal change (and definitely NOT the right time to schedule an appt 3 months in the future) wants me to believe she can gauge my personality. She doesn’t know me or my history, doesn’t even try.
It irks me to no end.
The line of protesting too much comes to mind and many people really are blind to their own flaws…I just don’t think that’s me.If anything, I am the first to fire off a long list of my flaws.

THIS is where the whole mental healthcare thing gets dangerous. When a patient feels a doctor has dismissed their legitimate concerns, placed undue pressure on them (as in my well being made her day so me not doing well would bum her out) or is simply wayyy off base but agreeing to keep the peace…
I’m not gonna get well this way. I will not make progress. I will just second guess myself, beat myself up, blame everything on my stupid personality issues, and I will continue to circle the drain because even though the doctor isn’t hearing me…the last thing I wanna do is bring anyone down by being a bummer.

Is it any wonder I feel like I am going under the surface?

The proof was this morning when I had every intention of getting up earlier than normal. I set the alarm an hour earlier, giving myself plenty of snooze button time. Except I hit snooze so many times, I ended up oversleeping.
I went to do the final check on my kid’s head lice issue…and her scalp is so dry and flaky, I couldn’t tell if it was scalp or nits and yeah, I know, scalp flakes off easily,nits are glued on. When hair is wet, it’s not that easy to tell. So I kept her home again. Irked because the nurse isn’t even there till 11:45 in the morning so even when I do take her in, she won’t be able to return for full attendance credit til the next day. Meanwhile, paranoia and anxiety are rampaging, telling me I gotta get it right or they are gonna put me in jail for not sending her to school.
Because,yeah, I need more stress as I am going under and getting impaled on mood cycle spokes.

Then I went to the shop…Only to stare off into space for two hours because he was removing malware from a laptop while hogging the desktop,desk, and phone,so I couldn’t do anything I was there to do. And when I mentioned it, I got the typical male cockswinging, “I’ll be damned if some 13 year old hacker is gonna beat me with their viruses.”
I’m supposed to be there for software yet he insists on doing it all himself. I am supposed to take down part info and place orders. He insists on triple checking and second guessing me at every turn. It’s kind of an insult to my intelligence because it is the rule, not the exception. I don’t even wanna be there at this point because I have no focus and feel sooo anxious outside my safe zone…Now this person is demanding my help but not letting me help.

Came home to off and on satan channeling fits from the kid after four days of her being pretty damned good.

All I could think about all day was coming home and getting lost in writing the book I am working on…
Now I finally have the kid to sleep…
And I am so mentally exhausted,my willpower is DOA. Not to mention the change in weather has my arthritic knees acting up so bad I have trouble standing if I knee down. I’d like to blame age but this is genetics as it started in my 20s and my mom has had two knee replacements.

every time I think there’s light on the horizon…Something puts the damper on it. I think the bottom line is, when I am stable or manic, I am superwoman-ish. When the downward spiral begins (and becomes the black abyss before you even realize it)…
I am marginally functional. I’m right back to that old point of hell where I am so anxious, even making necessary (crucial) phone calls is beyond my capability. The terror is palpable and crippling,not that any mental healthcare professional has ever understood that.
I have dreams about having a job. Because I was never more content with myself than when functional enough to maintain a job and support myself. Functional enough to go out (and not just three or four months a year) calm enough to celebrate Halloween, the only holiday I truly relish.
I am less functional this year than I was when the donor walked out and I woke up a single broke mom. Even then I decorated for Halloween.
The life has been sucked out of me and I saw it coming, but I had no idea how fast it would seize me and pull me under.
This is depression.
Usually, the anxiety lessens as the depression heightens.
Not this year. This year is all deviation.
And I am walking a tightrope without a net because I have a doctor who doesn’t listen and a family that can’t be bothered to care I have a mental illness.
And further deviation is that Bex and I have for once in 12 years synchronized our depressions rather than one of us being functional while the other is down the rabbit hole so we’re not even much use to each other.

I feel like I am drowning and there’s no lifesaver in sight.
It freaks me out.