Daily Archives: July 15, 2016

Flight Back Home

I could have posted this unedited free-writing earlier, but I’ve been busy this week.

The day after I wrote on our flight back from Oregon, my mother was psychiatrically hospitalized for the third time since her stroke in November. Yesterday morning, I met with the treatment team at her psychiatric hospital. They do not think she needs long term psychiatric placement. They believe her memory care is the best placement for her, and that she’ll just likely need regular “tune-ups” (returns to the hospital when she refuses to take medication and deteriorates).

Escrow closed yesterday for my parents’ house. This morning I met with the financial planner to invest the proceeds from the sale on behalf of my parents and schedule regular withdrawals to pay for their care. Long term memory care is expensive.

OR Trip
Oregon was beautiful and offered a relaxing break.

Flight Back from PDX to SNA – July 8, 2016

Time to type. Matt is folded up. Eyes closed. I’m tired.

When we stopped at the 7-Eleven gas station close to PDX to fill the tank before returning our rental car, I made a pit-stop in their restroom and let a call go to voicemail. Inopportune time to take a call. My phone, in my purse, hung on the door handle which was out of reach. Didn’t want to dribble as I squatted and waddled over to answer my phone. So, I instead am describing the imagery that came to my mind as the phone rang (to temper the vulgarity of the scene, my ring tone is Take Five, love jazz). Anyway, I let it go to voicemail.

The call was from my mother’s memory care facility. Once again my mother was refusing to take her medication and was threatening violence against the nursing staff. Once again, time for psychiatric hospitalization. This is getting old. Really old.

I believe my mom currently needs long term psychiatric placement. Locked psychiatric placement. Psychiatric care 24/7. Do not know what is available. Time to reach out for help. To ask for help. I should know people who know of such places. Time to research geriatric psychiatric long term residential placement for mom. Fuck.

That’s all I have to say on the matter. I do feel myself coming to tears. I fear, too, ending up like mom. Crap.


Now I’m just spent. Had a good time this week. It was a nice break from my life, for my responsibilities, from the mess and clutter that is my life.

The mess and clutter that is our house, that is my life.

Look forward to getting away again and again and again.

Snacks and drinks are on their way. Flying on Alaska Airlines. Looking forward a cup of decaf Starbucks Pike Place.

Hubby just leaned over and landed a smooch on my cheek bone. Nice to be loved.

Son’s beef jerky smells nasty. Not an odor I enjoy. Then, again, we are in the back row next to the restrooms, so it could be worse.

While at the PDX airport, I bought Nick and me Yumm! Bowls. Nice throw back to when we lived in Eugene and ate at Cafe Yumm! So simple and so tasty. The sauce is their secret.

So… I opened my Kindle app so that I could read. Let’s see how much I read and how much I type. I am typing, so that’s good. I suppose. Not sure if writing or reading is better now. Does seem like getting things OUT rather than taking anything more IN helps.

Even if I type nonsense, I work my fingers across the keyboard. Somewhat more productive, perhaps more therapeutic, than playing Solitaire, which is what I was doing earlier. Still able to keep my fingers busy.

Fingers need to move
Energy, nervous energy
Prompts them to keep busy
Just as my thoughts, my mind
Will not be silent
My fingers will not be still
So I play Solitaire
Or now type
So I imagine crocheting
As I did long ago as a young girl
Used to crochet, needlepoint and embroider
As well as sew
Used to paint, too
Who knows? Maybe I will do so again
Do any or all of the above
Then again, maybe not
I don’t put too much stock in what I do or don’t do
Don’t have goals
Well, I do have some goals, I guess
But they are flexible

I do look forward to
And fear
Am anxious about
Attending BlogHer16
As the conference approaches
My To Do social media networking tasks
As I approach the date
Less than, a little less than, a month away
I wonder how I will cope
Need to buy myself a bag for my laptop
To carry it around
Honestly now I debate just carrying my iPad
Though my laptop has better functionality

Perhaps I will ask people
What do you do, take, when you attend a BlogHer conference?
What do you carry in your bag as you attend workshops and presentations?
I believe that that was a question I read somewhere
On Facebook perhaps
Will have to research it

So now I have three things to do
1) Research geriatric psychiatric residential placement
2) Buy a bag I can carry laptop or iPad and keyboard plus for conference(s)
3) Find out what to carry in said bag

Got my decaf coffee. Nice and strong. Maybe will trick me into feeling less tired. Interesting, I was the one who drank a few drinks and danced last night. Matthew, who stayed home and gamed with Colin, is sleeping, or resting, at least.

We went to the wedding of one of our many nieces last night. They wed under Cathedral Bridge (St. John’s Bridge). Bridge built with stunning Gothic arches and backdrop of trees along other side of river. Then we had an incredible dinner at Plaza Del Toro. So delicious. Loved it. Wish we had that kind of food in our neighborhood. Nope.

I do like the Mexican food at Taco Mesa, though. But it’s casual. Plaza Del Toro was very upscale and gourmet.

Amazing how well this keyboard works with Pages compared to other apps. In other apps, it double spaces and puts periods. Where (crap,,, take it back)..

Amusing that the keyboard would start to act up there. Guess the trick is to type slowly. I like to type more quickly. That was an awkward sentence.

Finished my coffee. Now don’t need to worry about spilling it.

Free-writing, as free as the fumes wafting from the airplane 737 restrooms right beside row 32

I can hear the toilets flush

Flight was late which was a good thing, as we were running late. Traffic was awful. Portland traffic sucks. Much like LA traffic, actually. Traffic in general sucks. Hate it. Glad Nick drove.

Matthew has asked if he can go to a community college for his first couple of years of college. Of course, he can. Do hope that he feels comfortable being more independent as time goes on, though.

I imagine that a Subaru Outback is the car I want. Thought it was the car I wanted way back when we bought the minivan, but when I sat in the back seat, I couldn’t imagine Nick feeling comfortable back there with his claustrophobia. He still has claustrophobia, but it’s tamed a bit by medication. The meds take the edge off, but the phobia remains. We have gotten much use out of our old minivan. I had thought we would build a larger family, so it was larger than what we needed, but we could go on road trips with both dogs comfortably, and haul lots of crap, including construction materials. Time for my own new car – a car with navigation and safety features including backup camera. Looking forward to a backup camera.

Time for me to bump Matthew out of his seat so that I can use the restroom. Until I return…

Time to begin our descent, so time to stop typing. Perhaps I will read…

Filed under: Dementia, Family, Involuntary Hospitalization, Medication, Mental Illness, Stroke, Writing Tagged: anxiety, caregiving, Free-writing, geriatric psychiatry, Grief, Travel, vascular dementia

Gotta Catch Em All

As I said I downloaded Pokemon go to play and get me out of the house more. Today I did just that. Me and hubby drove around a little and found some Pokemon and some gyms and other things. It was a lot of fun and we got to explore a really nice park we didn’t even know was there.

First day of my month off of weed and I already accomplished some going out. Go me. lol.

My husband says he feels silly cause we are in our forties catching Pokemon.  Yet he was having just as much fun.:) Something not only to go out but do together.:) I’m level 3 now!

Featured Blogger Contest

Jess Melancholia’s blogpost went viral! Here ‘s the link: http://www.bphope.com/blog/when-friends-and-family-dont-understand-bipolar-disorder/

The Bipolar Compass

Ready. Set. Sail!

Hello everyone. Welcome to another exciting edition of The Bipolar Compass!!

I’m here basically to say thank you for everyone who shared and viewed and commented on my latest bpHope article. I just checked right now and that shizz went bananas! It’s been shared more than 1100 times on bpHope’s  Facebook alone!!! More than 1700 shares across the Facebook realm and several hundred reactions. I didn’t think it was any good.

Sorry to toot my own horn (I ain’t sorry!) but that wasn’t supposed to be any good. I was angry when I wrote it and I wrote it at the last possible second…like…3 hours before it was supposed to go live. I was this close to just emailing the editor and being like, “Nope. No article for you this week.” Glad I didn’t. My stats have been going bonkers today.

“OK OK…blah blah blah…what’s in it for me…

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I don’t like this

There are so many positives I can find for being Bipolar. But today isn’t one of the days where I have the strength to do that. I am sitting in my car crying because of something my boss said to me. And it really wasn’t even bad. I kind of feel like I am drowning and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. I’m so pissed at my doctors stupid nurse who is a complete flake. As per the usual I am back on the merry go round and I hate it!! All I want to do is be normal. I want to have normal thoughts and feelings. I don’t want to have to TRY so hard just to do normal things. Like now. I can’t stop crying. I’m not sure why. But it’s almost like the more I tell myself to get it together the worse it gets. I don’t want to be the person that people feel sorry for. I’m tired of blowing things out of proportion and not understanding what people are talking about. I’m tired of people feeling like they have to treat me with kid gloves. I’m tired of the way I do things being wrong ALL of the time. I’m tired of people thinking they know me or know better what I should be doing. All I want to do is live my life without the constant background noise. Without feeling the need to “fix” the things around me. Without feeling like I am hurrying to get somewhere, but there’s no where to go. I feel like I am probably missing out on right now because I am always onto the next thing. I am frustrated today for about a thousand reasons. This is not a good day!! But I will get myself together and go back to work and keep fighting. Even when I don’t really want to. 

Featured Blogger Contest

Ready. Set. Sail! Hello everyone. Welcome to another exciting edition of The Bipolar Compass!! I’m here basically to say thank you for everyone who shared and viewed and commented on my latest bpHope article. I just checked right now and that shizz went bananas! It’s been shared more than 1100 times on bpHope’s  Facebook alone!!! More… More Featured Blogger Contest

The Heat Is On!

  It has been a long time since I’ve skipped writing a weekly blog post, but I almost took a break from writing today. However, I couldn’t resist the blogosphere’s lure – it’s strong, and I always feel better after I write a post. As you can guess, the reason I came close to skipping … Continue reading The Heat Is On!

Caption This Winner Announcement

We received many submissions for this weeks “Caption This.” Our celebrity judges, Bradley Cooper and Chris Hemsworth, spent many hours with me behind close doors to pick out the best submission. Bradley and Chris made their decisions early and were ready to leave. I, however, was stubborn about my choice and insisted they stay until […]

The post Caption This Winner Announcement appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Dear Gramps

I have read of such loss lately, Gramps, and just like it always does, any loss (whether it’s mine or my family’s or the guy down the road or my good friend losing her dog or a tragic ending in a book) reminds me of the late August night, almost 12 years ago, when Big Dawg came and picked me up in a raging thunderstorm to go see you one last time.

I remember I was on a low-carb diet at the time, and I had just started eating dinner — flank steak and broccoli and salad.  I still can’t use that particular seasoning rub to this day, without nearly breaking down in my kitchen.  I don’t remember exactly what was said, but whatever was said, I had hopes in my head that I was going to get to talk to you again and hear your scratchy and gruff voice say my name, Rosie.

It didn’t turn out that way.  You were wrapped in a white sheet from head to toe and on a gurney and I touched your chest and put my face close to yours and my whole world exploded and, while I don’t remember the exact details, I remember hearing a howling noise and then realizing that noise was me and shutting my eyes tight and saying something about how I had just seen you a few days before and you had been FINE.  FINE, DAMMIT.

I turned back around because I wanted to kiss your cheek before they took you away, but I was in a big empty room, just me and QoB and BD and some nursing staff.  I couldn’t tolerate that I had ruined my chance to say goodbye to you by getting overly emotional.  Whoever thought it was a good idea to wheel you off at that point was obviously a person that did not know me deeply.

The next week was a blur.  I tried to go into work, failed miserably.  Everyone around me was a complete wreck.  I can remember going through pictures to put up at the memorial service and I remember breaking down into tears time and time again.  Hysterical tears, hot tears, fast-moving, and unforgiving tears.

I still don’t remember much of that time, but I do know that I think of you all the time.  The wounds have healed over some, but I still have regret.  That I didn’t see you often enough or say thank you enough or stop by with a box of Cheez-its (our special favorite) just to say hi.  It was so hard being around Grandma, I just wanted my Grandpa back, the one who gardened on his knees for hours on end, even when he could barely walk, and the Grandpa that taught me how to drive by having me take back-roads from Topeka to Silver Lake at every opportunity.

The grandpa after the apartment with Sparky was sad, when he had to live with grandma again, when he didn’t feel as good physically, when PTSD from his time in the Navy rattled him as it never had before, when he couldn’t drive, couldn’t walk, couldn’t do whatever the hell it was he wanted to do.  Because he was like that, he was a man who did whatever he pleased.  If he wanted to whip up a bunch of refrigerator pickles, then he was going to do it, and if he felt like taking a drive or going to all of your basketball games (even though he could barely walk), then that is what he was going to do.

I find that every year that passes, I lose more of my memories of him.  Some are extremely fresh in my mind, some not so much.  In a day or maybe a week where there has been so much loss, the pang to my heart from Grandpa being gone is next-to-unbearable.  Should I be over this MUCH better 12 years down the road, yes.  I don’t need anyone to tell me that.  Some things are really hard, and this is one of those really hard things.  Every loss reminds me of him, and everytime I think of him, I am frightened by how much I don’t remember.

I hope you are proud of me, Grandpa, up on that big pontoon boat in the sky, and I am pretty sure you are.  Sometimes when I don’t feel like being tough, I think about your life and it gives me strength.  I hope you would be happy for me, too.  I have found love and love conquers all, and I know that you knew that.  It is still a month and several days until the anniversary of your death, but I wanted to be the first one to say how I miss you so, and how I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the love you poured into me when you were here.  I know you weren’t into religion or going to church, but I do believe that you and Sparky (and Mom’s childhood dogs) are out there somewhere, catching crappie after crappie, and moving around with the legs and back of a 16-year-old.

Always, Forever, Amen.  I love you.



Filed under: Gratitude Tagged: anniversary, death, grandpa, grief, lessons learned, loss, love, memory


I decided to download pokemon go on my phone to try and get out a little more. I don’t know if it will help but hubby and I are going to his mom’s Saturday and hopefully I’ll catch one or two.

I’m still quite depressed and don’t feel like doing much.