Daily Archives: December 18, 2015

Time for Geriatric Psychiatric Hospitalization


Tuesday I took my mother from her stroke rehab to the hospital for a swallow test. When we returned to her stroke rehab afterwards, she refused to get out of my car. She went so far as to throw my car into park when I was driving toward the entrance. I warned her that her behavior was dangerous and that if she continued she might end up psychiatrically hospitalized.

To get my mom out of my car, the stroke rehab facility had up to ten different staff members try to cajole her out of the car and back to her room. Two Orange County sheriffs were called to see if she would listen to them (not really their job).

Finally the paramedics came. A handsome young paramedic took my mother’s vitals and monitored her heart rate. She refused a wheelchair and pointed to their gurney. After a three hour standoff, the paramedics wheeled her back into the rehab facility on a gurney.

On Wednesday, my mother’s rehab doctor called and informed me that she refused food, drink, medication and all stroke rehab treatment (speech, occupational and physical therapy). He recommended a psychiatric evaluation and checked for a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can result in confusion, a delirium-like state, agitation, hallucinations and behavioral changes.

After her psychiatric evaluation, she was transferred to a small inpatient psychiatric facility with expertise in working with geriatric patients. Maybe my mother will finally get the help that she needs. Unfortunately, psychiatric hospitalization relies heavily on group therapy, a format which she cannot benefit from for she cannot talk due to her stroke.

Filed under: About Mental Health, Dementia, Family, Health, Involuntary Hospitalization, Mental Illness Tagged: aging, geriatric psychiatry, psychiatric hospitalization, Sandwich Generation, stroke, uti

Low-Dose Buprenorphine Found to Decrease Suicidal Ideation, but Experts Remain Cautious

This article reports that low doses (up to .44 mg/day) of Buprenorphine can reduce suicidal ideation in people who have been having thoughts of suicide many times a day for over a week. However the psychiatrists remain cautious about using Buprenorphine because of the high potential of abusing it. Ar the same time, these researchers say that it is time to start using drugs for off label uses if they can be helpful for people. They cite the use of Ketamibe for depression as an example. It can treat severe, unremitting depression, yet it can also be highly addictive. 

clockwise round mt eyelash

My first ever counselling psychologist (shoowahhh maaaan back round the millennium, on the toes of Table Mountain) said some things that stuck (to my hungry, velcro ego)… “in primitive times you’d have been called something like old – woman – who – carries – the – sorrow, and people would go to you, to tell … Continue reading clockwise round mt eyelash

Going With The Flow

I am neither happy nor sad. I am just…going with the flow. Life goes on and all. Did eight hours in the dish yesterday cos R had to go out of town to see his new stepgranddaughter and I was ok with that. This couple lost a baby at 22 weeks last Christmas, they deserved a better memory for this one.

Eight hours in the dish pretty much rendered me useless last night. Drained, tapped, put on the charger, no juice left. I didn’t want a Mangorita, I didn’t want company, I just wanted…my bubble. And my kid and I read a bunch together to fill in her monthly book sheet, so that wasn’t too stressful. I was medicated and in fort blankie by 9 p.m. Just…wiped the fuck out.

Now I could go all McMuggle on myself and ask what the hell I did that made me exhausted…I think all of us with mental issues know, it’s rarely about the physical part. I used to work 12 hour shifts, constant movement, lifting heavy stuff, I’d be sore and stuff but…the wiped out part comes from dealing with the petri dish world. Not because everyone is an icky ebola carrying monkey but because keeping up with that pace is toxic to my mental health. I can spew sunshine and poop puppies til a dozen therapists rejoice but it doesn’t change facts.

I can to an extent function “normally”. The cost to my psyche, however, and the triggers to my mental state, rarely make it seem like anything but “this costs more than it is giving.” If one day takes two days to recover…Yeah, not much of a trade off.

My dad called last night. No mention was made of the shunning. Mainly because I was too damned tired to deal with their denials and lies. Come get the spawn, let her have her weekend with them and do her church program. When they bring her back, I am definitely saying something to stepmonster. And I will be recording it because I am fed the fuck up with the way the so called “sane” people get away with saying whatever they want and they are believed because I can’t possibly ever perceive things correctly as I am “not sane.”

I wonder how long McMuggles could survive on our side of the fence, being doubted, questioned, and outright maligned constantly.

Paperwork for the support hearing came in. I won’t forget the date. It’s on my birthday.

One of R’s friends works  with the donor, knows his new gf. Apparently she’s been married over a dozen times and leaves once the men refuse to pay for everything. I hope they live happily ever after together because vapid people deserve each other. Odd he can’t afford his own kids but can help support her kid. I must be crazy to have an issue with that. Though I’d forego any financial support if he’d just sign away his rights and let us be. It’s been four years, you live a mile away from us, and you can’t even mail your kid a birthday card. You pretty much deserve no rights.

If you think about it, it’s insane. You have a storage locker and don’t pay for it after a certain amount of time, they can sell your shit, your rights are gone. Yet you can leave kids behind, not pay a cent, repeatedly, yet you always get legal rights to them. So kids are less important than a storage unit. Duly noted. People need to be taught you don’t get a break or a do over. You have a kid, you take care of them or you’re out. You don’t just get to walk away cos “it’s too stressful” so you can have a break then resume parenting. I’d like to say this issue only started once I had a kid, but I’ve always felt this way. You get fined for not having tags on a dog, but if you abandon your child…meh, pay this percent of your income and you can still see them every other weekend and all summer, pfft.

I gotta get my shit together before appearing in court. Hopefully el shrinko will have a thought on how to tame down the Cymbalta/focalin anxiety. I just need to be level, which means…Lithium. Hate it. But being a livewire isn’t working either. Least when I was on Lithium, I didn’t have the monthly nine days of tears and rage breakdowns. It apparently numbs brain chemicals and hormones.

Why work on a better mood stabilizer with fewer side effects when people NEEEEED the newest smart phone that fixes you toast, cures acne, and serves as a sex toy when in vibrate mode…Priorities, people.

That’s all I’ve got at this time. I did find this interesting article (through Reddit, go figure, finding something intelligent on there) and thought I’d share. It’s about how the stigma of depression can be even worse for black women. It’s a well written piece.   Pay no mind to it being on Cosmo, I just think the writer’s style is a lot like mine plus she rocks out to Faith No More. Kindred spirits. 

And  I too, cannot be depressed, because I am funny.

I really wish people would stop bringing my looks into it.



Caribbean Queen

After flying on cramped airplanes, waiting in looooong lines to board, and otherwise being treated like cattle, I have decided that travel itself sucks. But oh, was that week-long cruise worth it! Will and I got to see parts of the world we’d only seen in pictures…bought new wedding rings in Cozumel…played in the surf on Grand Cayman…shopped and drove around Montego Bay in colorful Jamaica. And on the last night of the cruise, our son-in-law performed a renewal of our marriage vows. Not that we’ve ever lacked for romance, but this was arguably the most romantic thing we’ve done since he proposed to me in the shower over 35 years ago.

The cruise ship experience was also wonderful. I swear, you can’t walk 50 feet without bumping into a buffet or a waiter with a tray full of tropical drinks. I don’t think I was hungry for a second…food was EVERYWHERE. And I have to admit I’m glad I didn’t try this during the first decade or two of sobriety, because they really push the booze and I might have given in to temptation were I not so invested in remaining abstinent. Fortunately, they also had yummy drinks that came sans alcohol, and I enjoyed my strawberry daiquiris and my pina coladas and my non-alcoholic beer without a bit of guilt. (Except for the fact that I probably gained five pounds just from consuming fluids!)

Another cool feature on the ship was the combination pool/entertainment center in the middle of everything. Several nights we sat out under the stars watching recent movies like Jurassic World and The Martian on the huge screen over the pool. Other times, Ethan and Clark and I hung out together in one of the many hot tubs (Will chose not to). And speaking of whom, he was enjoying all of this as if he were a pardoned life prisoner…I’ve rarely seen him so happy and carefree, and to make things even better, he felt unusually well throughout the entire vacation. God was that good to us.

Then there was the casino, where I managed to lose $200 of my hard-earned money over two nights (I only play the nickel and quarter slots), and the formal dining room where tables were assigned and the menu changed every night. Clark encouraged me to try new foods—something I am VERY reluctant to do under normal circumstances—and I found that some of them were actually very good.

Naturally, I sat out in the sun on one of the three days we had good weather and tried to get a summer’s worth of tanning in a single afternoon. And of course I got the requisite sunburn because my sunscreen had been confiscated at the airport. It turned brown by the next morning but has since peeled; still, you can tell I’ve “been somewhere” because I’m not pasty white like I was. Too bad it’s December, it’ll be a long time before I have the opportunity to get a little color again. In fact, it was hard to remember that it’s December even with all the decorations around the ship, because it was like 85 degrees even when it rained. And rain it did: we just about drowned in Mexico, and we saw a couple of magnificent lightning storms at sea.

But what amazed me the most was the intense indigo blue of the Caribbean Sea, and the teal green shallow waters where you could see all sorts of fish swimming around. Pictures can’t possibly do it justice. I’ve never seen water like that in my life. Such incredible beauty! It made an impression I’ll never forget, even if I don’t get to see those waters again in this life. Now I have another tool in my box of coping skills to use whenever I’m anxious or upset: I’ll just visualize the waters and the feeling of wonder when I saw them for the first time.

There’s a lot more to this story, but I figured that was enough for now. I’m sorry I didn’t post immediately after we got back, but I was so thoroughly used up by the end of the vacation that I just didn’t have the energy to do much of anything for a couple of days. Tomorrow I see Dr. Awesomesauce, so there’ll be more material from that meeting I’m sure.  I know I’m losing readers because I haven’t kept up with the blog very well; I’m going to try to do better in the future even though I’m totally asymptomatic and having a tough time writing about bipolar when I’ve never felt less bipolar in my life.

So for right now you get to read my travelogue. Hope you don’t mind. :-)








Lessons from Frida

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like […]

Backside Learning Center

Backside is the learning center for Churchill Downs. Yes where the Kentucky Derby is run! I go there every week and tutor kids and help them with their homework. We had our holiday party today and each one of us was in charge of buying presents for one student. I bought presents for my favorite student, Darwin! He is adorable and so smart. It is a pleasure helping him in any subject. I told him all about how he was named after the most famous biologist in the world! I won’t be back to BLC till after Jan. 7th, after I get back from Pakistan, so I’m really happy I saw all the children today.