Daily Archives: March 17, 2015

bpnurse 2015-03-17 22:27:09

So here are Will and I, house-sitting for our son and son-in-law while they’re off on a cruise vacation for the next couple of weeks, with a large house full of food and conveniences at our disposal. Just like in the old days when we had plenty of everything! They also have a trash compactor, a Keurig coffeemaker, and Netflix, none of which we had in our past life. And TV…..oh Lord, how much I’ve missed TV. I didn’t even know there was a new season of Dancing With The Stars, but we were able to catch it live. Don’t get me wrong, I like our new home and am grateful beyond words that we have a roof over our heads, but it is nice to spread out a little.

The fun part so far has been figuring out how things work, including the computer I’m typing this post on. It has this wireless mouse that you literally have to bend in the middle to make it work. Weird. I also have access to my son’s laptop if I want it. In the meantime there’s the keyless deadbolt that scared me half to death this morning when I locked it and then couldn’t unlock it again for a few minutes. I could just imagine calling Ethan—he’s in Houston waiting for his connecting flight to Florida as of this writing—like he could do anything but give me the passcode again. I STILL have trouble remembering stuff like that. I did manage to unlock it after a few frantic attempts, but you can bet I used the old-fashioned door lock when we left for Will’s doctor appointment later.

The downside to all of this is, we are also dog-sitting. And fish-sitting. And snake-sitting. (Thank God we don’t actually have to DO anything with them.) One of the dogs is diabetic and we have to give her insulin shots, which is an adventure all in itself. It’s a two-person operation—you  need one to hold the dog and distract her with a treat, while the other grabs her by the scruff of her neck and pokes the needle in before she can turn around and bite. We get to perform this trick twice a day. Dogs are not the easiest of patients, so this ought to be interesting to say the least.

But we can’t knock it—in a way it’s like a “stay-cation” for us, and we’re even getting paid for it. What could be better? Well, a Caribbean cruise…..:-)

The Class That Teaches Doctors ‘Clinical Empathy’


Sheeeeesh I think it reflects badly on society that it’s necessary for doctors to learn empathy at formal courses. Can it even be taught, or is the empathy fakery?

And judging by the ‘doctors interrupt patients within 18 seconds’, what the fuckers need first is some lessons in basic good manners.

Too many assholes with god complexes in the medical field. It’s one of the reasons it’s vital to be treated by GOOD doctors. It’s why I go broke every feckin month paying pvt psychiatry bills.

Mutter rant whinge bitch moan.

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Force credits “Oncotalk,” a course required of Duke’s oncology fellows, for the unexpected accolade. Developed by medical faculty at Duke, the University of Pittsburgh, and several other medical schools, “Oncotalk” is part of a burgeoning effort to teach doctors an essential but often overlooked skill: clinical empathy. Unlike sympathy, which is defined as feeling sorry for another person, clinical empathy is the ability to stand in a patient’s shoes and to convey an understanding of the patient’s situation as well as the desire to help.


While empathy courses are rarely required in medical training, interest in them is growing, experts say, and programs are underway at Jefferson Medical College and at Columbia University School of Medicine. Columbia has pioneered a program in narrative medicine, which emphasizes the importance of understanding patients’ life stories in providing compassionate care.

While the curricula differ, most focus on self-monitoring by…

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Yesterday Was A Bad Day

Yesterday I had a horrible time getting out of bed but every time I would fall back asleep I would have dreams of trying to kill myself. It was super weird. They were incredibly vivid.

It turned out to be one of those days where I didn’t feel like I could be alone but I had no choice. I was just generally sad and confused about my dreams.

I ended up cleaning the house though and managed to walk over a mile and a half which I think is pretty good for a depressed person.

Today I again had a hard time getting out of bed, my dreams were still vivid but they were about having to do things to save my life.

My brain seems to be stuck on a theme. I’m not entirely sure why but every time something negative pops in my head I tell myself that those are not my real feelings and move past it.

My shrink says that she wants for me to be happy to wake up each day and not mind being by myself and even possibly enjoy it. I don’t know if that will happen. There isn’t a lot for me to do currently. I’m not feeling creative or explorative. I don’t want to be on my computer and I’m tired of watching the same TV shows every day.

I can’t let this get me down though. I need to figure out how to enjoy life more. I’m lucky and have my physical health. People that are worse off are living and fighting to enjoy each day so I should be able to do it.

I’m sure in time it will be different. I plan to start working out tonight, that should help. I’ve already started a low carb, high protein diet. I’m losing weight and I’m working hard to keep my house clean. Maybe I need to spend more time on myself. What do I need?

Gandalf Bogarts George Ezra’s Video

This just tickles me so much I have to share.  Now I’m a George Ezra fan for life.

“It was nerve-racking trying to act beside him,” George said later.  “I’m not an actor, and he’s phenomenal.”

But look how smooth they both are in the “Behind the Scenes” stuff.

I nominate George as an honorary Lothlórian.

spread the meme

This time, After Midnight made me do it. Um okay, vaguely suggested it and I was all over it like mud on a rhino.

Welcome to the spread the love meme machine, baby.

Disclaimer: no condoms were burst, or soap operas produced in the making of this post.

Here are the rules:
Grmfmutter rules.

1. Write 10 four-word sentences about what love means to you.
Agápe, éros, philía, storgē.
(Bro, sex, friend, family.)
Amo, amare, amavi, amatus.
Happiness real when shared.
Making love when fucking.
It shouldn’t be selfish.
Willing to work it.
Let go if asked.
Hold tight if not.
Life aches for love.

2. Share your favorite quote on love.

“I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands/and wrote my will across the sky in stars.”
(T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph)

3. Nominate 10 other bloggers to join in.
Noooooooo. You should all do it. *Barry White voice* mhm spread the luuuuuurve … ooooohhhh girl … spread … on the bread, in your bed … oops whut who said that?!

If it ain’t your raison d’etre, wtf is?


Thin Places Tour of Ireland

Island of Inishmurray off the coast of County Sligo

Island of Inishmurray off the coast of County Sligo

As an Irish Witch, I’m determined to get back to The Old Country.  2016 is the year.  I’ll start with this Spiritual tour of Ireland’s mystical places.  Then, I’ll hit the pubs.  And sing.  I’m counting on my friend, Edward (who came from County Cork, same as my great grand da), for advice and drinking exercises.

I’m SO with Colin:


“Being Irish is very much a part of who I am. I take it everywhere with me.” – Colin Farrell


Happy Irish-Love Day.

So Over Labels

It’s true. While a diagnosis is important for proper treatment…I am so sick of being labeled. Because I don’t color inside the lines and fit in the pretty little box, I am somehow less legitimately sick.
Bipolar One. Bipolar Two. Dysthymic. Cyclothymic. Borderline.

See, mental illness is a racket with advent of the pharma companies and all their pills. Don’t get me wrong. I have benefited greatly from some of these pills. (Lamictal saved me from Lithium hell and Xanax keeps me out of a clocktower.)
Still…Prozac Nation (not a slam as I am on Prozac) has bastardized legit mental illness by insisting on labels. And if you don’t fit the textbook labels, you just have a bad personality and are a malingerer.

I have, over the years, been diagnosed with every single thing listed above. Well, except borderline, I just have traits from that disorder. Except these traits so closely mimic bipolar one professional will say, no, you’re not this at all, while another will say, you have enough traits to be this.
My counselors used to tell me I was manic.
The doctor only saw me when I was at my worst thus he said dysthymic.
Then the good doctor said bipolar two.
Then the evil doctor said bipolar two but I rapid cycle like cyclothymia.
I don’t think any of them have a bloody clue.
How could they when they grace me for ten minutes in front of a tv screen and dismiss everything as anxiety?
My kingdom for a doctor to actually sit down and talk to me, rather than just read through the cornucopia of what the past revolving door of docs put in the file.
Because if you were to get your hands on your file and read what notes they take…You’d find a lot of it is their own bias and perception and has NOTHING to do with what you are going through.
Hell, there’s a “black mark” in my file where I tested positive for amphetamines. I disputed it heavily because I’d been taking cough medicine, but the doctor just dismissed it, like I am some druggy.
Personally I’ve tried cocaine (once, in my teens.) I have dabbled with pot on occasion. I had a love affair with ephedrine when I was obsessed about my weight.
I have never once used an actual amphetamine.
Yet there it is in my file, taken as fact.
One more label and one I don’t even deserve.
At least the eevil osteopath doctor who pegged me as cyclothymic-ish conceded that the cough syrup could well have caused a false positive for speed.
(And I read this AMA on Reddit where someone who works in a drug testing lab was answering questions on false positives, and apparently cough syrup/cold medicines are renowned for showing up as some sort of speed.)
Remember all that crap in school about “this will end up on your permanent record? Yeah, your psych history is a lot like that, except it’s based on perception and bias of someone else and those who follow take it as gospel.

I digress.

And I do apologize, I would love to stay on topic. I just can’t seem to. Maybe that’s the beauty of this blog. It’s an accurate representation of what it’s like inside my mind. This is how my brain circles and swirls and I am supposed to make some semblance of order out of a chaos I can’t control.

So what is my diagnosis?

Forget the diagnostic manual, the pro terminologies, and let me list my symptoms.

*** impulsive behavior, feelings of grandeur, euphoria, energy out the wazoo, obliviousness to consequences of behavior.
****irritability, anger, feelings of hatred, followed by teary outbursts, throwing things (well, prior to the Lamictal) then climbing into a bathtub or closet and hiding for days on end.
****depressions lasting six months where I barely eat, housework becomes a footnote on priority list, I don’t bathe, go out in pajamas, think everyone is out to get me, feel there is no hope in life, loss of pleasure in all things, inability to concentrate, focus, or have short term memory.
***rapid cycles most days outside the mania/depressive bouts without outside triggers in which I will bounce between ok, manic, depressed, suicidal. Fortunately, this part, I’ve gotten used to and know it will pass, eventually, I just have to not buy into the press my brain is releasing.

So…That’s the short list. I won’t even go into the anxiety issues.
But whatever label you want to stick on it…I am pretty sure six months of the year every year of not bathing more than twice a week, wearing pajamas all the time, and barely eating are NOT standard issue human behavior.
Call it what you will.

But I am sick of the labels.
I am Niki.
I struggle with my own mind.
It impacts every aspect of my existence, even my ability to take my kid to her friends’ birthday parties, school functions, skate night.
I love live music yet I can’t even manage that.
I love roller coasters. Can’t brave amusement parks.
It’s not just the stressful stuff or stuff I don’t want to do.
It’s everything.
Anyone who wants to call that normal is a moron.
I may need a diagnostic term, but it’d be nice if I could get a doctor to listen and think outside the damn DSM to figure out how to help me.

I have higher hopes of becoming a pegacorn. (don’t ask.)

Fuck labels.

People act like mental illness is both an illness and a choice

Originally posted on Autistic Shark:

– if it’s an illness then you have no valid reason to want any part of it

– you have no valid reason to want any part of what they deem ill

– and when they try to change the things you feel and think and do they are not changing you but turning you into who you actually are

– and if you disagree with them about who you actually are it’s just the illness speaking

– and when they try to change the things you feel and think and do without your consent they are not hurting you but saving you

– and if they try to change how you feel and what you think about them and what they are doing to you it is treatment

– doctors know more than patients about illness and this is an illness of what you feel and think and do…

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THe Competition

After shopping at Riverchase Galleria, we went back to the hotel for rest and relaxation before the girls had to be at the theater they were performing in by four o’clock.  Around three, we started dressing Rachel and getting her ready.  My fifteen-year-old decided to take pity on me and after I got my youngest one’s hair up in the bun, she took over spraying it, putting in the bobby pins, and doing her makeup.  She also decided she would rather be backstage with the other dancers and keeping the youngest one in performance condition instead of me doing it.  So that was a big load off my shoulders–all I had to do was go and enjoy the competition.

That turned out to be harder than I thought.  Bob and I sat through five hours solid of “jazz”, hip-hop, modern dance, and a very little ballet.  My ears were ringing from the noise, and my nerves were frayed for our girls’ chances at winning anything.  They were up against some amazing competition. Finally our girls did their first number “Tutus and Tennis Shoes” and did well enough they were nominated for an audience appreciation award you could vote on with your smartphone.  Much later, Rachel’s group came out and performed “20th Century Girl” and the younger ones performed “Slumber Party”.  Finally our other troupe performed “Chocolatte”.

All of our groups ranked at Gold or High Gold Awards at the end of the competition, while “Chocolatte” won a second place award in their overall category and “Tutus and Tennis Shoes” won a fifth place award.  So we were proud of the girls and how well they did.  I held up pretty well through the whole thing; Bob’s nerves finally got frayed at the end of the award ceremony and since Rachel was seated with us in the audience, we left early to let them get to bed by 11 p.m.

All in all a positive experience for the girls and for us.  We came home Sunday and rested since we didn’t have dance practice that afternoon.  So it was  good trip oven with my bundle of nerves about the hair and all the hoopla associated with the competition.

The Aftermath Of Splat Deluxe

In a bizarre twist of that wondermous (not) part of cyclothymic bipolar…I circled the drain for hours last night. Waiting, praying, for the moment the sun would go down, the spawn would go to sleep, and I could just fade into the nothingness of unconsciousness.
Then I got what I wanted except…I was no longer in the sleep/die mode. I was in the “why won’t my brain shut up” mode.
Two out of three ain’t bad, as Meatloaf says.
In true hypocrisy mode, after swearing not take any calls, I did answer one from my dad last night. Only because if I miss calls they tend to get freaked out, like “Oh, god, did she finally go batshit and eat her kid?” Then they have people calling and coming to my door and it’s not worth it. Sad part is, no one gave a damn if I was living or dead until I had a kid. They’d go weeks without seeing me or talking to me and it was probably then when I was at my rock bottom worst and needed the intervention.
Ass trash.
But I am proud of myself. I’d just finally gotten to sleep, after several false starts of drifting off, and the phone rang at almost ten p.m. It was R. And I hit “ignore” on the phone and promptly recoiled into sleepy land. Fuck him. He only calls when he wants something.
I am so sick of people who only have use for you when it suits them but if you need something, well, you’re out of luck. Assholes.

I woke up repeatedly during the night, nothing new there. And we are on day 12 of my kid not staying in her own bed at night so I don’t even get peace in my fucked up sleep.

I did not want to get up today. It’s still dark out when the alarm goes off, does not motivate me. But I did get up, shot some loud music into my brain, and we watched Mike and Molly as her reward for getting up, dressed, eating, and brushing her fangs.
Then I took her to school.
Now I have quiet time. I am gonna watch Castle. I am a wild woman that way.
I feel rather…drained. But not as absolutely devoid as I did yesterday.

There’s something I’ve noticed about bipolar that I don’t think has ever occurred to others.
It’s so much more than a simple “I’m in a bad mood.”
It’s this all encompassing mentality, like your brain has been draped in some dark scratchy fabric and the more you try to escape, the more enveloped you become. Kinda like trying to escape a spider web.
I mean, I cooked a big pan of chicken noodles yesterday. It sounded so good. And yet come time to eat…The mood had crashed and I barely had an appetite and the noodles may as well have been styrofoam packing peanuts.
It’s not simply a bad mood.
It’s a bad brain.Kind of like taking a sleeping pill then trying to shake off the resulting sleep. It’s an altered mental status. And it passes when it wants to, not when you bully yourself or tell yourself to suck it up or try to snort kittens and rainbows and anything that might cheer you up. Bipolar gives all that sunshine spewing self therapy the middle finger.
That simple crash in mental state ruined a meal I bothered to cook and was looking forward to a few hours before. I was going to try writing. Again, robbed of that.
It really was survival by the skin of my teeth.

I also don’t think anyone realizes the resulting anxiety that comes with bipolar two. You want so desperately to not be this way, but you can’t change the imbalance and that just causes rising panic. Why can’t I snap out of it? What is wrong with me? Lots of people have it much worse so what is my malfunction?
Much like a hallucinogen altering your perception, mental illness is the same way. And until it wears off and leaves your system, you’re its bitch.

I swear at this point if it would help, I’d go old school Beavis and Butthead and lick toads just to get out of this mind state.