Daily Archives: December 29, 2015

Cautiously peeking around the corner

It is appropriate that my mind has come out of its detox fog for the last week of the year. Last night I had to clarify that I did not feel well physically, since I have a cold. I’m so used to saying I feel like crap (meaning mentally), I felt that a qualifier was necessary. My mind is clear, and I am neither depressed nor manic. Feeling optimistic is something with which I am not comfortable, however that is exactly how I feel.

Two appointments with my mental health team are scheduled for the first two weeks of the new year. This will be the first time that I will bring up the question of the validity of a mental illness diagnosis. I have a great deal of apprehension about these forthcoming discussions. After several conversations with a person who has done a great deal of research on Asperger’s Syndrome/Autism Spectrum Disorder in adults, it has become evident that I need to bring up this possibility with my psychiatrist and therapist. This could be an explanation as to why no medication has ever worked for me.  Unfortunately, this is somewhat disconcerting since mental illness has been a major part of my identity for so long.

On the other hand, it’s also possible I may just be experiencing a period of stability which tricks so many people with a mental illness into a false sense of well-being. I am not medicated, I happen to feel stable, therefore I do not need medication. I find myself getting into a circuit of overthinking this subject, and at times it has become overwhelming. I feel ridiculous when I imagine the beginnings of the conversations I will have, as well as the judgmental looks and responses I expect to receive.

  • I have had numerous conversations with a non-professional which make me believe my initial diagnosis is wrong.
  • I have taken several online tests which seem to make it evident that I have Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Could it be possible that you made a mistake in your diagnosis?
  • Perhaps I agree with the definition of bipolar disorder simply because it somehow fits, in retrospect (but then could the same be said for the Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis?).

So you see, while feeling optimistic I am simultaneously uneasy.

Tagged: Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, diagnosis, medications-psychiatric, mental health

Wake-Up Call

I asked Bob this morning what time we went to bed last night because I feel more human this morning than I have in  the mornings in a LONG time.  So we will see if we can replicate it tonight.  I really hope I’ve hit upon the perfect amount of sleep.

Long day ahead of us–two hours driving up, about an hour-and-a-half there, then two hours back.  WE’ ve already planned for the oldest to do the driving because I’m not sure what kind of shape I will be in afterwards. So we will see how it all goes.

I need to go wake everyone else up so that my cleaning ladies can work once they get here this morning. Pray fo r us today with all that we have to do.  I appreciate it.


Another “Almost Was”

Used to be a phrase among my particular hippie circle: “That almost was an almost was.”

That is to say, it was a close call.

This line of storms that has caused all sorts of mayhem, from strings of tornados to floods to blizzards, has been washing over western North Carolina, where I am stuck at a campground waiting for a service appointment on Wednesday.

Yesterday I was studying the sky, watching a wall cloud slowly rotating and thinking, why, that could develop into a tornado if there was more wind shear.  I was glad it was going away from where I was, in case things progressed in a bad way.

So imagine my surprise when my mother called, just as I was leaving the vet’s office in Asheville.

As usual, no matter where I am when she calls, she screamed,

“I’m in Asheville, why?”

“Can’t you hear the radio???”  She always has the radio on.  Always.

I couldn’t hear the radio, but I could hear the unmistakable National Weather Service robot voice gravely announcing something or other.

“What’s happening, Mom?  Why is there a weather alert?”


“I’m in Asheville, why?”

“You stay there.  You just stay there.  Do you have a strong building you can take shelter in?”

Then I knew what the alert was: tornado.

“Is it a watch or a warning?”


“No, I can’t.  Tell me what it says.”

Finally she calmed down enough to repeat verbatim what the alert message said.  The tornadic radar signal showed significant rotation, moving north at 30 mph (!!!), with the campground where I’ve been staying directly in its path.  I thought of all those people in their campers, motor coaches, and especially a young family in a flimsy pop-up, all out in an open field.

“Is it on the ground?”

No, not yet.

“Well, I’ll just stay here in Asheville tonight.  One or another of the stores will let me stay in their parking lot.”

Mom was relieved.

I had to replenish my supply of canned nutrients, so I went to the nearest grocery store and stocked up.  The manager kindly gave me permission to park my camper overnight.

I got on my NOAA weather app, and sonofabitch, there it was, the characteristic  bright red “hook” signature of a developing tornado.  My weather warnings app gave the usual urgent instructions for taking shelter, getting as low as possible with as many walls between you and the outdoors as possible.

I thought ruefully of the photos of the aftermath of the F4 tornado that hit East Texas the day before yesterday.  No walls left to protect anyone.  Amazing that only…I think 12 or 14…people were killed, although there are still some missing.

This is the same storm front that spawned that string of 11 tornados, in December, for crying out loud.

I don’t care what people say the cause is…when it’s 70 degrees in December, and the weather has gone crazy, it’s global warming.

I’ve been studying tornados ever since I lived in the Mysterious Midwest and had run-ins with several.  One was huge and threw a good deal of Toledo, Ohio into Lake Erie.  One went over our heads after I convinced my then-husband to please stop watching it and jump in this handy ditch with our infant son. 

And one buzzed through my yard at night and snatched the kids’ trampoline.  It ended up in a soybean field several miles away.  I found that out when the farmer showed up with our crumpled trampoline in the back of his truck.

“This yours?”


“Thought so.”

The kids dragged it out of his truck, took it apart and put it back together again.  It was fine.  They launched each other off of it until one of them broke his arm, then I took it apart and hauled it to the dump.

My son grew phobic about tornados.  In the spring, the sky was full of rotating cells.

His step-brother used to torment him:  Look!  A tornado!  There’s another one!

My son leaned over and threw up in the manure spreader.  For years after that, every time the sky looked threatening, he got sick.

When I heard there was a potential tornado heading for Marion, of course I wanted to jump in my van and go chase it…But it was getting dark, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a tornado in the dark.  Maybe a tsunami. 

So here I sit in the grocery store parking lot.  Atina’s head rests on my knee.  She snores, oblivious to the fierce wind and rain. 

The radar shows a nasty squall line, but nothing to get excited about.

But when it comes to weather, you never really know.