Astramillie’s Weblog

Just a girl who’s bipolar trying to figure out her world

Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Bad Back and anything else that can go wrong! April 12, 2009

Filed under: Mental Health,mental illness,Uncategorized — astramillie @ 1:17 pm
Tags: , ,

I haven’t been writing at all lately.  Horrible block.  But, I have some things to write about right now.  Where to start?

OK, I’ve been on Seroquel for about 8 years.  Started taking it before it was even approved for Bipolar.  I have even given speeches praising it.  Well, that has come back to kick me in the ass.  Last blood test showed sure enough I might be joining the Diabetes club.  My levels are only at pre-diabetes numbers right now – but that’s enough to scare me into changing my diet and talk to the P-Doc about  switching meds even though I love my Seroquel. 

How can I love something that has a track record of causing a horrible illness while fixing another?  That’s the key – it fixes me.  My mania is almost non existent when I take it regularly.  Next blood test is in May, we’ll see if my sugars have been affected by my new diet (here’s a plus – its helped me lose 10 lbs!) and if I have to go cold turkey on the Seroquel if there has been no change.  Or, G-d forbid I’ve moved into actual diabetes.

The other thing that the blood work found was “critically high” LDL Cholesterol.  So, I’mworking on a low cholesterol diet as well as an anti-diabetes diet.  Scary, but not as scary as the diabetes.  We’ll know more in May.

Now, I’m Samantha so the whining can’t stop there.  My back is killing me.  For real, not some sort of hypochondriacal (word?) twinge that I’ve blown out of proportion.  I am generally spending large portions of my day flat on my back.  My last cortisone shot didn’t work.  Its now progressed from lower back to middle and I’m getting sharp pain down my right leg and arm.  I’m having two MRIs on Wednesday so we’ll know something by the end of the week.

So there you go Samantha’s health update.  There is more to update everyone on (big stuff on the relationship front), I’ll write that in another post.

 

To be a spinster or not to be November 8, 2008

So, my birthday is around the corner.  39.  Once again the ugly head of spinsterhood is facing me.  Sort of.  I’ve been seeing someone for about 5 months, but we aren’t “exclusive.”  Or at least we weren’t.  At about month 3 I started freaking out about having someone in life in a perhaps permanent way.  I told him to date other women, that I couldn’t give him what he needed.  I was being brutally honest.  I cared about him but couldn’t do a lot of the things a girlfriend should do. 

My agoraphobia stops me from going out to eat, go to the movies, really any kind of “date” thing.  Let alone go to his house where his teenage kids were.  I could down any number of Klonopins and still feel the band around my chest and labored breathing.  There is a line from a song by the Magnetic Fields that sums me up – “I’m un-boyfriendable.”  I can’t handle variations in my routine and trying to fit another person into my life is incredibly disruptive. 

He was really persistant and a few weeks ago I gave in and started seeing him again on a more regular basis.  I was still insistant that he see other people though.  Then last week I took a big breath and actually spent the night at his house.  I survived.  But, it changed how I looked at our relationship.  The simple act of spending the night with him shifted my resolve.  I don’t want him to see other women now.  Damn it, I don’t want to be here.  It doesn’t seem fair to move the goal posts on him.  I don’t want to be possessive, nor do I want to be “girly.”  But these feelings are creeping in. 

My daily patterns can’t be set in stone when another person is involved.  That scares the Hell out of me.  I depend on routine to hold myself together.  Right now I’m free floating, when I’m with him I feel safe but on my own I’m petrified. 

It doesn’t help that I’m experiencing a low level depressive cycle right now.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with the change in weather.  I’m back to going to bed by 7pm and waking up at 2am.  Crap.  I haven’t been able to write, its a struggle to do my homework.  Luckily I see the P Doc on Monday.

I guess the bottom line is that I’m safer by myself with just the obligatory cats and dog.  But, is safer better?  Isn’t happiness more likely when you risk something?  He and I are supposed to be talking today, I guess I will see how he reacts to a change in the rules.  Where is the xanax patch when you need it?

 

Where I’ve been October 5, 2008

Filed under: Mental Health,mental illness,Uncategorized — astramillie @ 6:06 pm
Tags: , ,

I haven’t written since before the hysterectomy.  I’ve been blocked.  The surgery went very well – the fibroid was honestly as big as a grapefruit.  Why do we always use fruit as our gauge?

I was getting fuzzy headed so the p. doc took me off Topomax.  The change is amazing, clear head, getting things done, and I have my short term memory back.  Yay!

Doing well this semester but I was reminded that I have a limited amount of RAM.  I was taking two classes and at the same time organizing Obama events.  Nothing was getting done well.  I was just spread to thin, I don’t have the capacity others have.  I can only concentrate on one big thing at a time.  Dropped one of the classes and gave up on my career as a campaign organizer.  Hopefully he wins without my daily help.

I even attempted a relationship – didn’t work.  I really am a spinster at heart.  I’m all for casual dating, but I don’t have it in me right now to put the proper work into a serious relationship.  But, that’s ok.  I have the dog, the two cats, and buddy the betta.  I also have a rat – but I’m looking for a new home for him, I can’t play with him like he deserves.  He’s going to live with a pre-teen boy, I hope. 

That’s all for now, just an update.  More to come…

 

Watch what you wish for;or the world’s biggest anxiety attack May 27, 2008

Well, I’ve kept quiet on this blog for a while.  I’ve been absorbing my health news.  The cm vs mm michigas was solved.  I have both.  There is a 6 cm fibroid on the outside of my uterus and 5 mm on the inside.  The gyno told me that he would remove the one on the inside since that was the one that was causing the wacky menstration.  The huge thing growing on the outside we’d just “watch” as the only way to get rid of it would be a hystorectomy.  Ummm…ok.

Now, I put on a lot of weight in the last year and a half.  Both my p-doc and GP decided that after 8 years the seroquel was causing it.  I never really bought it, but sure enough when I ramped down I lost 10 lbs pretty quickly.  But, when I gain weight I usually gain it first in my belly.  When I lose it, I lose it there first.  Not this time.  And, its not fleshy, its hard, as if I were pregnant (I’ve been waiting for someone to ask when I’m due.  I’ve seen that happen to friends, so cringeworthy).  I’m sure that’s the fibroid. 

But, that’s not the reason for my decision, its just a piece of the puzzle.

Anyway – as I’m talking to the gyno I ask “if you remove the fibroid in the uterus, what are the odds I’ll be back in your office within say, a year?”   He answered “Very good odds.”  So, I explained to him that it was found that I had some genetic anomaly that made it impossible for me to have children, and therefore had no need for my uterus.  He said “so I’m hearing that you would rather have a hysterectomy sooner than later?”  I said yes if you think I’ll have to have one later.  He told me he didn’t want to use the word “have” to.

Here is the self-fulfilling prophesy – Ever since I got the no children sentence handed down, I’ve joked that I didn’t think it was fair to have to still have periods and I might as well have a hysterectomy.  Well, guess what.

I’ve been very clinical about it.  I’ve researched the hell out of the topic.  Doctor sites, discussion boards, books from the library, and very clinical articles.  I know what I’m getting into, I’m not doing this lightly.  I was having surgery anyway.  And, would eventually have this one.  I could discuss it calmly, was  little scared, but the academic in me was in control.

Then came Saturday.

I woke up with an elephant on my chest.  I know what an anxiety attack feels like.  I know agoraphobia like I know my best friends (actually better).  It came time to walk to my parents for ironically my klonopin and Xanax, and I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t just leave my house, I couldn’t leave my bedroom.  What I was scared of in my living room I can’t explain, but it scared the hell out of me.  Luckily my mother was kind enough to bring my pills to me.  They barely dented the anxiety.  I spent the entire day in bed kind of playing on the computer reminding myself to breathe.  I was too far along for any type of relaxation exercise.  It was terrifying, I haven’t felt that way since I moved here almost 2 years ago.  Everything just hit at once I guess.

I’m better now, still have low lying anxiety.  Can walk to my parents, trying the grocery store this morning (maybe).  Does anyone know if they make either a xanx drip I can pull around with me or a klonopin patch?

 

An appointment and meds for patience? May 22, 2008

Filed under: female health,mental illness — astramillie @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , ,
OK , We all know Samantha does not wait well.  Yesterday I knew I only had one more day to wait until they said I could call.  I did start to think about my psych meds.  They are working so well right now why not meds that give you more patience?  Or make time go faster?  Or am I going down the rabbit hole?  Drink this.
 So, I’ve tried to keep busy.  It was my mother who made me call early.  The nurse was a  condescending bitch.  She told me yesterday “He’s out of the office until tomorrow, that’s only one day to wait, its not a big deal to wait that long. Just call first thing in the morning.”  Whore.  
 
Then at like 2 I get a call from their scheduler to set up a date for the procedure!?  She knows nothing about the whole thing.  But…She can’t get me in until JULY 1st!  I will literally be crawling the walls waiting for over a month.  There isn’t a Xanax big enough, I may really need the benzo drip I joke with my p-doc about.
I tell her my story from the 18 day period to the doctor not passing on the ultrasound report, so she puts me on the waiting list for June 17.  She answered a few of my questions – the ones she is allowed to.   If he goes in and the fibroid is exceptionally large, he’ll wake me up and tell me of a change of plans.  It won’t be a situation where I wake up without a uterus. 
 
So that’s where things are.  You have to love small town doctors.
 

Scared and semi-alone May 19, 2008

Filed under: female health,Mental Health,mental illness — astramillie @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

So, today I see the gyno.  My mother is going with me, which is great.  I need the support and a second pair of ears.  Its the kind of appointment where a lot of information is going to be thrown at you and I don’t know about you but there will be a slight buzzing in my ears from fright.  So its good to have someone else there to pick up info that I miss.

Because of my lifestyle, in the year and a half that I’ve lived here I’ve made 2 friends.  Neither of which are very close friends, they are older women and have grown children of their own, I’m like a novelty to them.  I have a couple of old friends from my previous life, but they aren’t the ones I would pick to be the ones who I’d still have if given the choice.  Things had gotten so bad I alienated friends I had had for 10 years or more.  I’ve made overtures towards a couple with no luck.  Yes, I have my parents.  But, I can’t pick up the phone and just chat with them.  And I’m not allowed to discuss my sister on this blog.  Enough said.  I tried to call two of the old friends yesterday and both were busy and I pretty much got blown off.  One called back and wanted to call while she was in transit somewhere, but I was at the store.  The other, was, well with her who the hell knows.

So, here it is 1 in the morning and I realize how alone I am.  How am I supposed to meet people.  People scare me.  I have three or so places that I’m not afraid to go to.  Otherwise I’m petrified to leave the house.  Why else would I go to school online?  I used to be so outgoing, made friends easily.  I had anxious periods, those periods became longer and longer until they were everyday.  Even on the amount of klonopin that I am, this fear takes over.  I’ve tried all the things you are supposed to.  Maybe I’m lazy and its easier to just live this way than do the work.  But, at this point what am I supposed to do?  Go to a cafe walk up to someone at a table and say “Hi, I’m Samantha, will you be my friend?”

Anyway, its too late right now.  I’m scared and lonely right now.  I need someone to talk to about today’s appointment and the biopsy now.  I need to talk on the phone, have someone make me laugh and forget about this underlying panic for a few minutes.  But, for a variety of reasons (which I have to honestly say I still don’t completely understand) I don’t have those type of friends anymore.  And, I miss them terribly.

 

Mania, money, and me May 18, 2008

Where did it go wrong? So, so many places.  Now, this isn’t a therapy session where I’m going to place all of the blame on my mother.  But, I learned quite a few habits from her, or what I thought were her habits.  Let’s start at the beginning, or at about age 13.

My problem with money has two parts.  Manic spending, and bad money management.  So, its illness related and situational – if you can understand the distinction.  When I was a kid my dad would go on and on about how tight money was, then the next Saturday my mother would take us shopping.  Here’s the catch – My mother had her own job.  I didn’t put that into consideration.  Next – we lived on a ranch and I was a big time 4-H’er (I’ll take a second here for you to laugh and get it out of your system) OK, so I raised cattle.  I needed to be able to buy alfalfa, grain, etc. And have a place to put the money I would earn from selling a steer or what have you.  So, at 13 I opened my first checking account.  Not a joint account, my own.  BAD IDEA.  I kept getting overdrawn.  I have this idea, that I guess started then that I can keep a tally in my head.  Well, I can’t.  Well, mom would end up giving me the money I needed to cover the overdrafts.  So, their big plan to teach me responsibility actually taught me that money comes from the sky.

I still have that theory, because in the worst of times I’ve been able to figure something out.  Yes, at times its been my parents bailing me out.  But, more often its been something more inventive (always legal, so wipe that thought out of your head), like getting an advance on financial aid checks sent to me even though my school only gives them to people who live on campus, etc.  Used to drive my ex-boyfriend crazy when all of a sudden I’d find some weird temp tutoring job right in the nick of time. 

 Yet, it doesn’t always work.  I might find enough money to keep the lights on and to be able to eat, but I’ve had three checking accounts closed and I filed for bankruptcy about 5 years ago mainly due to pay day loans (evil things).  I don’t write things down, I don’t keep receipts, paycheck stubs, tax returns, bank statements, or any of the other things you are supposed to.  I have this fantasy that I can keep it all in my head.  Why I still hold on to this fantasy I don’t understand after 25 years or so of this you’d think I’d learn.

When I’m manic, and if I have money, or some type of access to money, I generally head to Target, I get a cart and just walk around the store in a sort of daze and throw things into the cart.  In these cases I usually can keep a tally of how much I can spend.  If I realize I have too much, I’ll choose something to take out of the cart and just put it on a shelf wherever I happen to be.  As I head to the register its a rush.  While the cashier is ringing things up I’m crossing my fingers that I didn’t go over.  I rarely do.  Its almost better than sex.  When they hand me those bags, I don’t know, it must be what smoking that first hit of crack must feels like.  Then, when I get it all home, I crash.  Hopefully, I did buy something I really needed or wanted.  If I’m well enough I can do what my previous Psych doc used to tell me to do.  Take things back.

Therein lay the problem with ebay.  You can’t return items you win.  You can try and resell them.  Which I did try.  But, I bought a lot of crap that no one wanted.  That’s why I won a lot of stuff, no one else wanted it. 

After my parents realized I had pretty much hacked into our joint account to set up paypal so I could go on ebay, they were furious (obviously) and scared for me and for themselves (I had put them in financial jeopardy).  I was starting to feel better, the new meds were finally stabilizing, and realizing what I had done.  With this realization I knew that I needed someone who was tougher to watch over my money.  I also wanted to take it off my mother’s shoulders, it was killing her.  She was angry as hell, but in deep pain because she saw how ill her daughter was.  I didn’t want to inflict this on her anymore.

I’ve talked to a group of lawyers who act as conservators and money managers mainly for elderly clients, and they set up exactly what I need.  I only need a money manager, I’m in no way in need of anything as serious as a conservator.  They aren’t going to take my case because they are too expensive, but are going to help me find someone who I can afford – they already have a few names for me.  My mother acts like she doesn’t mind doing it.  But, I know once I set this up a huge weight is going to be lifted off her shoulders and our relationship is going to improve ten fold.