Daily Archives: March 2, 2017

Maybe it’s Me being…ME

The vessel that carried me through the day
Collected hours of my existence
Added structure
Gave me voice
Afforded me the gift
Of compassion
Genuine desire for advocacy
At one time
Well just yesterday
Was the very definition
Of who I am
Has washed ashore
I walked on fresh sand
Made new imprints
Carved a new path
Pebbles in my shoes
Follow me in the car
In my home
Stuck in my socks
Reminding me
Of the open road
That lay ahead
A new chapter
A new reason to get out of bed
A new job title
A new definition
Or maybe just me
Being me
In a new space

Code monkey trap

(In which I complain about my job)

Work stress is nearly unbearable right now.  Deadlines are speeding toward me.  I am juggling two different projects both with imminent due dates.  I am the more or less the sole person responsible for the success or failure of the projects.  If something goes wrong it will be my ass on the line.

It's not surprising I am not handling the stress well.  To try to make these deadlines I am working from 8 pm to 11 pm every night this week.  It doesn't look like it's going to be enough.  What's worse is that after 11 pm I feel deprived of having any time to myself so I've been staying up until 1 am.  And to get Phillip on the bus, I've got to get up at 6:10.  The ultimate trap is that during the day when I should be busting it out at work... I'm

  • Exhausted
  • Emotionally fragile from the sleep deprivation
  • Dejected about working last night
  • Pissed that I will work that night
  • Freaked out about how I'm not getting enough done

So what is the result of all that?  I am unfocused.  I am not productive.  On two days I've even walked away for two hours.  And there's the trap.  An unproductive day necessitates working that night.  The stress, exhaustion, resentment build.  The productivity drops.  The distance between Mary and I widens.


Image credit: Bear trap

Random thoughts

I’m in bed the other night thinking about something someone had said about having bipolar and having children. And while I’m having this little dark storm all of a sudden it hits me. I wasn’t supposed to be a good mom, I was supposed to be the 17-year-old who had no clue and ruined her life and didn’t know what was about to happen to her when her son was born. 

Then out of nowhere it hit me. I am a good mom. I have an 18-year-old son who is about to graduate from high school with good grades having been a part of the football team and placing fourth and stay in his weight class for Wrestling. All those times I wondered and thought about it and beat myself up because I thought I wasn’t being a good mom. Those things are true! Even when I didn’t know that I was sick and I didn’t have any medication somehow I managed to make something beautiful.

I am constantly told how lucky and blessed I am. And I am I would never say anything different. But it was a lot of work a lot of work for me something I had to try to do something that I had to fight myself with every day and still do. People understand it’s not about a lack of empathy it’s about the inability to control your emotions. It may seem like I don’t have empathy or I don’t care about someone’s life situation or their childhood or whatever. But I do I probably care more than anyone else on the planet. And I have to carry that with me every day.

I am working on being able to be more able to show my emotions without them over taking my light for my day. It’s not easy. And it’s not something that I wish every day there was just a magical pill for. But there isn’t so I just have to do the best I can with what I have every day. 

There are many times when I say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. But it’s not because I don’t care it’s because certain situations are about the other person and it’s not fair for me to drag my emotional in adequacy’s into whatever situation is happening. Like I said that because I don’t care about because I often only have two choices. Plus, when I comes to my kids I have basically zero ability to be neutral or to not want to fix something for them. Especially if it’s something that is out of their control and a major event in their life.

I will tell you it’s been tough lately. We didn’t get much of a break over Christmas with everything going on. And every time I think I’m gonna have a minute something else magically appears in that timeslot. LOL so right now I am doing my best to make sure that everything gets done that needs to be done that I’m where I need to be when I need to be there. And I’m really working on trying to adjust my attitude a little. I don’t want people around me to think about or see me in a negative light. I don’t know if they do or not. But I don’t want to cause it to be worse than it has to be.

It’s been hard just like everything seemingly and my life has been hard. It doesn’t come easy. It’s not a swift change. And most of the time I honestly have no idea if the people around me even notice. Most of the time I just feel like a bagel burden to around me. I’m pretty open about my bipolar, what else is there to do. It’s not like I can be like or doesn’t exist I’m just gonna be you know exist out here in the middle of everywhere. So I keep moving and I keep doing and I keep Carrie and I keep watching. Have you ever watched your children? You might be surprise what you see and what you find. I watched Justin during this wrestling season. And he was so good with the other kids. There were only three seniors and all three of them were really good about talking to the other kids and helping them work it out with them etc. etc. How proud can you possibly be when someone that you gave birth to is being the person that God made him to be.

I am overwhelmed with love and pride for this boy. I hope that he knows how much we love him. And are proud of him. And when I see him do these things I see myself and him so how could any of it has ever been wrong.

My son is an amazing person and amazing young man and that’s not in spite of me that’s because of me (and the rest of my amazing family). I made a lot of bad choices. But I made a lot of good choices too. And my son is a reflection of the good choices not so much the bad. One of my biggest pet peeve’s is that I hear too many people who are bipolar saybut I’m bipolar it’s not my fault. Or they have a bad attitude so they are making it hard for me. For the vast majority if you are on meds and see a doctor regularly you should be able to control some of these little issues. 

Let’s say you want to stop yelling at your kids. It doesn’t have to do with how good/bad they are it has to do with you and what you decide. And probably saying I’m never going to yell again in unreasonable. But make it an hour or 2 hours or 10 minutes if that s all the reasonably think you can do. It’s not about what you try but about your willingness to make it happen. This stands for everyone, not just people who are bipolar. And saying it isn’t gonna make it happen over night. But we DO have control, especially if we are basically medicated correctly. 

Being Bipolar is hard. Anyone that that has it or interacts closely with someone that does has seen how it has its own ups and downs and knows that it can change from seconds to second sometimes. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and it doesn’t mean we are incapable of making change and holding onto more control over our lives. 

I’m so proud of my kids. I’m so blessed that I get to see them grow and talk to them everyday. I am even more proud that I was able to do these things undiagnosed and medicated for years. It seems like the world has completely flipped upside down. Being medicated has allowed me to see what my life and emotional health was before and now. I honestly don’t know how I ever managed one day much less managed to do the good things in my life. My husband is a saint. And I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for him, his insight, and his decision to stick to what he knew was true for years. I am one very blessed lady. And while these days are hard and ful right now and I honestly need a little break I know they won’t last forever and I know each interaction is a gift and a blessing. 
Thanks for reading. Be blessed today!!


My oldest is visiting for the day–she had to come pick up some things for her spring break trip and she doesn’t have class today, so she came down.  We are going out to eat with Bob in a little while.

I still feel a little yucky today–my head is stuffy and I’m coughing.  But I went on to the grocery store and picked up everything we should need this weekend so that was nice. That’s about all I’ve accomplished today.

I haven’t had any more comments on my essay so I think everyone is going to wait until tonight and comment then.  I hope I do get more written comments that I can refer back to as I revise.  I hope everything is constructive and easy to incorporate tonight.

I feel like I need a nap.  I dont’ know if the cold meds are making me sleepy or what. I slept good last night so I’m not sure what is going on.  I hope to avoid any episodes this spring so I can go on the trip with my youngest for her school and go on my class trip for the MFA later in the summer.



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Hands Down

Do you have two hands that work?

If no, you have my deepest sympathy.

If yes, I suggest you put one of them in your pocket or behind your back.  Got it?  Good.

Now go wash your hair.

This has been my life since the summer of 1993, on and off.  Mostly on.

I’ve had four hand surgeries since then: three on my left and one on my right.

I won’t elaborate on the proximate cause of the situations leading to these surgeries.  I may finally get around to editing and posting the story of Costa Lotta Jack, the evil Appaloosa who tore my wrist bones apart back there in ’93.  Now is not the time.

Let us begin with the premise that my left wrist was destroyed in 1993 by an evil Appaloosa named Costa Lotta Jack, which lead to my first wrist reconstruction a few months later.

That repair worked so well that I was able to relearn to play the banjo and fiddle.  Not the way I played it before: I lost a lotta wrist action in that fight.  Good enough to cut a solo CD that still tops the folk charts, although it still hasn’t paid for itself.

Six or seven years later, that repair broke down.  Another reconstruction.  Lost some more range of motion with that one, but managed to keep playing music once they pulled a couple of steel pins out of my wrist.

And so on until a year ago, when I had a big crash and burn from tripping over a barrier between two campsites in the pitch black new moon dark.  The hand surgeon in Flagstaff was sure it was a tear in the joint capsule, and the MRI with contrast demonstrated the same.

And by the way, my shoulder started hurting then.  And it seemed to have jolted something loose in the minefield otherwise known as my neck.

So began my love affair with Flagstaff, Arizona, home of many orthopedists.  Hallmark of a ski town.

I got tired of running to doctors after awhile, and decided that some benign neglect might do me some good.  Or you might say I was sick of hearing that I needed this operation and that operation.  Really burnt out, if the truth be known.

Off I went, tending to this and that family emergency.  My wrist and shoulder and neck still felt bad, but not as bad as running to doctors.

When I landed in Tucson for the winter, it made sense to make friends with a local orthopedist about my shoulder, and with a hand surgeon about my wrist.

I had my initial consultations taken care of, and a return visit to the shoulder guy for an injection into my subacromial bursa, which is a fluid filled sac in the shoulder.  It didn’t help.

Then, toward the end of January, I had a terrible fall that tore the shit out of my rotator cuff and did something bad to my wrist.

I went immediately to the hand surgeon, who scheduled surgery, and to the shoulder guy, who sent me directly from his office into the nearest MRI machine.

The MRI shows two full thickness tears in my rotator cuff muscles.  As a bonus, I split the tendon to my biceps muscle in two.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had my latest hand surgery 8 days ago, I think.  I’m still a bit addled from all that has gone down, so if I get things out of order, that’s why.

I’m told that the surgeon came and talked to me after the operation.  I can’t remember anything, because I was waaaaaaaaay over-anesthetized.  That can happen, especially if the anesthesiologist doesn’t listen when you tell them there is a very big reason you resist general anesthesia.  Some of us need a much lighter hammer.

I had rented an Airbnb room in which to recover for a week, boarded Atina the Doggess, and settled in with my vaporizer and edibles (I don’t do well with opiates).  I hired people from a local home health agency to drive me to the surgery and back and go to the pharmacy and Trader Joe’s for 24 bottles of Trader Joe’s brand seltzer water.

That night, or maybe the following night, I got two phone calls, one from each of my guys.

Shoulder guy: “Well, you have two high grade tears in your rotator cuff muscles, plus your biceps tendon is split.  Other than that, your MRI looks great (except for the rough place underneath another muscle that shows it is getting squashed by something else).  You should be able to put off surgery for a few months…provided you don’t fuck it up again in the meantime.”

He didn’t use those words exactly, but that’s what he meant.

Next call was my hand guy.

“Um, how are you feeling?”

“Just peachy.  What did you find in there?”

Pregnant pause…then he said:

“Oh sweetheart….”

WTF, my surgeon is calling me sweetheart, and I want to know why.

“I’m so sorry.  I thought we were just repairing your joint capsule, but when I got in there with the scope I found that your triquetrum (one of the 8 bones in the wrist) was rattling around loose in the joint, no ligament, no cartilage, no blood supply…so I had to take it out.  Really should have done a first row carpectomy (procedure that removes a whole row of those little bones because once they’re fucked up they don’t heal), but I didn’t have a permission signed for that.   We’ll have to watch this carefully and maybe plan that operation for the future.”

Instead of bawling, I said (with considerable irony),

“Well then.  I suppose I’d better sell that new guitar.”

“Oh, no, no, don’t sell your guitar!  We’ll get you back playing!”

Nice one, Doc, but I’ve been around this block a whole bunch of times.  I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday.  I know as well as anyone else what happens when you start taking out bones.  It’s a slippery slope.

Reblog – Trademark Infringement…

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:
credit: Randy Glasbergen-http://www.glasbergen.com