Saturday, January 31, 2015

It is nice when my body is happy

The past two days I have not felt at all feverish, had no exhaustion, and my joints don't hurt. My tiny bit of tennis elbow is still there- but I won't complain.

What I should have asked the periodontist is if periodontal disease can cause fevers.

I have been better about not eating bad things recently, but not perfect. I really can't say why things are better. I suppose my body has also gotten used to the new brand of Effexor- no more tingling and light-headedness.

At one time I was sure I had lupus- but the blood work said no. That is the problem with working in healthcare- you can think of all of these possibilities. And I did once have what looked like the lupus butterfly rash- but it was only on one side of my face, and my doctor didn't know what it was. She gave me antibiotics and a steroid cream. It went away.

I wonder how long this will last- my body will be good. And I wonder if it is worth going back to the doctor next time it doesn't. The problem is, I generally feel so exhausted when it happens that I can barely manage work- trying to get to the doctor- for blood work that I suspect will be negative anyway- it just doesn't happen.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I love the ad but I won't buy the beer

I can't believe that I actually went online to youtube to look at a superbowl ad that I heard about for Budweiser. It is one of those ads that tugs on your heart strings if you love puppies (I do). I loved the ad. Unfortunately, I am not much of a beer drinker, and the few times that I do drink beer it isn't Budweiser. That isn't about to change.

Five and a half years ago, when I bought my car, I was briefly obsessed by which car to buy- and ready for all the car ads on TV- bring it on. But none of them were about any of the models that I wanted to buy- economy, compact, fuel-efficient cars. But I guess those types of cars don't need advertising- they sell themselves.

TV advertising so rarely meets the mind it is designed for. I wonder if it will survive. Perhaps with cable TV they will start to personalize the ads that we receive based upon demographic info. I can really only think of two things I have bought that were inspired by TV ads, and both were cleaning products.

So I am writing about this banality so I don't have to process my trip to the periodontist. I had a toothache with some swelling in December, the week of my breast biopsy- and I couldn't deal with a trip to the dentist- but it mostly went away after a couple of days, and then I had the holidays, and then I knew I had a dentist appointment in early January. He referred me to a periodontist- who couldn't get me in until this week- and it is worse than I feared.

I have one spot of really bad periodontitis.  Plus I have really short roots of my teeth (he wasn't the first to tell me that). If I didn't have such short roots it might be worth trying to save the tooth, but it isn't- and the two next to it will probably be lost eventually. But to stop it from spreading, I have to get them pulled sooner rather than later. And if I want to get implants- I need to get 4 teeth pulled, the way that they put them in.

I can't help wondering what if I had done something sooner. And I thought it was just one bad tooth- I didn't know how bad it was. Now I have the prospect of getting 4 teeth pulled. I'm definitely getting implants. I still have enough bone left to do that- another reason to do this sooner- before I lose it.

I do have dental insurance, but I don't know how much of this it will cover. I think that a lot of the implants will not be covered. So I am not hiking the Appalachian Trail next year, I will be paying off my teeth...

But he did say that the implants may improve my appearance. I have gaps in my teeth, especially on the bottom - I have learned to smile with my mouth closed. He said that the teeth can be made larger so there won't be the gaps- it is the front bottom teeth that will be pulled. I will have a temporary denture for several weeks and then the permanent caps for the implants.

They will submit it all to my insurance and get me an estimate before I get scheduled. I am guessing that I will have to prepay.

I have had dreams in which my teeth fell out. I guess I wasn't too far off.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I don't even know what to blame it on- there are too many things.

I had a talking to about my paperwork again on Monday. And I don't know why my paperwork is so bad right now when- until recently- my mood had been pretty good. It is like there is something broken in my brain. Or too much medication.

There is the reaction to the change in my Effexor.

There are the mixed emotions about online dating.

There is the physical stuff I have been dealing with- feeling feverish and exhausted towards the end of the day- I feel like I can barely make it home and then just want to lie in bed. I don't even know if I really have a fever- I take tylenol or Aleve at work so I can't take my temp when I get home. Sometimes my joints have really hurt- but that aspect has been improving. I haven't bothered to go to the doctor because I know all blood work will be negative- it always is- and I really don't have the energy to go to the doctor anyway.

So I decided yesterday I was going to quit my job in the spring and hike the Appalachian Trail. And then I decided I would wait a year or two- I need to be in better shape and I need to finish paying off my debts.

I don't know what I am going to do. I just want to cry. I don't even want to hike the Appalachian Trail right now- I just want to curl up in bed. But if I want to have a bed, I have to have a job to pay for that bed. That's really too bad.

I am just tired of everything right now and tired of trying. Tired of trying to keep going. Depression sucks.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Effexor Withdrawal?

A few months ago my pharmacy started giving me the brand Effexor in place of my generic because there was a problem with the generic supply from India. When I did my meds this weekend, I noticed that they had switched back to the generic. I didn't think anything of it.

Sunday I was tired, light-headed and anxious. Yesterday I was depressed, light-headed and tired and had a really bad headache- the kind I hardly ever get anymore and haven't had in months. Today I felt feverish, light-headed, super-depressed- I thought I was just getting sick. Until the tingling started. That is Effexor withdrawal. Tingling and zaps, light-headedness and mood swings.

And then I remembered putting the different colored capsules into my pill boxes this weekend. And then I got mad. OK, I am a coffee addict. If I miss a day of it I get a massive headache. But I don't want to be an Effexor addict. I don't want to go into withdrawal- and be miserable and not function well- just because I change brands to one that may be less potent. Of course, my brain will probably adapt pretty soon. But it just really has me questioning the Effexor.

The Effexor is pretty numbing. Parnate- which I was on before- was not. I wonder if there is an antidepressant that is less numbing than Effexor which would also work for me. And I don't think that lowering the dose will help- the numbing effect came at the lowest doses- where it is primarily an SSRI- I think if anything that going up on the dose helped.

I think Prozac was better, and I don't know why- it is also an SSRI. The problem was it always stopped working- but that was before I knew about light therapy. Prozac also has a lot of drug interactions. If it wasn't so sedating, I'd want to give Remeron another try- but it is too sedating, so no.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Get help taking your medication?

I went onto my health insurance website to check my health savings account balance and noticed that I have a new alert- "Get help taking your medication." Source of the information: personal health record.

Now I have various alerts that I don't bother to respond to- I am supposed to get my flu shot- I have, but it is through work so my health insurance doesn't know about it. I am supposed to get my vitamin D level checked. Maybe I will. I am supposed to track my weight- I do, but I don't share it with my health insurance company. How did this come up? Do they think that I am not taking my medication?

It is also pretty insulting, given that they are not paying for my provigil- and that has led to me skipping/cutting down on doses and running out occasionally because driving an hour when you are depressed to fill a prescription is not good.

Or perhaps my hospital- which self-insures- realizes that people are going to start having a lot more trouble managing their meds this year. Previously we could buy three months of meds at a time at the hospital pharmacy, this year it is only 1 month at a time. But the deductible at the hospital pharmacy is $1300 instead of $2500 at another retail pharmacy or mail order. Unfortunately the pharmacy has limited hours- it closes at 5pm, and I work off-site. So yes, I may just have a harder time taking my medication this year- because I will have a harder time getting my medication.

But really, what flagged me? And what kind of help do they want me to get? Do they think I am not taking my medication? I am very curious. But when I clicked on the link, it was unable to retrieve anything. Perhaps they have a new algorithm which says anyone who takes more than a certain number of medications needs help- or anyone who takes lithium, etc.

About once a month I am late for work and forget my morning meds. If I know I've done it- I often have a backup day's worth of meds in my purse- the problem is I sometimes don't realize I've done it until withdrawal kicks in. But now that I take all of my provigil at once, and put it all in with the morning meds, I don't think this will happen any more. And sometimes I deliberately try to lower something- but that is another matter, between me and my psychiatrist. I really don't need anyone's help taking my meds. Maybe when I'm 80.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What do I want?

I joined this free online dating website- only to find that I am not even sure what I want. I had one phone call and several texts with one person, only to decide that it didn't feel right. Now I am in email communication with another- but wondering if I can ever have  a relationship with someone who writes u for you!

My two relationships when I lived in the city, I wanted so much more than they did. But now- I am not sure. I am not sure I have the energy for that kind of a relationship on top of work. I'm not sure I want it. I have grown so accustomed to being alone. I am not sure what I want. There was a time I thought I wanted it all- well, except for the children part.

Those first few years when I started working and got off of disability I was so hopeful. I thought that things could only get better. I was amazed at how far I had come, and that was a source of hope. So I thought that I could wish for normal things in the future.

But somewhere along the way I realized that many things weren't getting that much easier. My mood swings didn't disappear.  I didn't have all the energy I wanted to.

And I am getting arthritis in my right knee, and I am too young for this.

Paying bills

I am paying medical bills- and they are all from last year. And I am lucky to have insurance through my work, but sometimes I don't feel so lucky. This month all of my deductibles turned over- and by deductible was raised by $500 to $2500 this year. And then yesterday I had to drive an hour for my monthly Costco run to pick up my Provigil, even though I was feeling sick, because I was going to be out. It has come down to $220, for which I am very grateful- but not nearly as cheap as when I was buying it overseas for $200 for 3 months worth. I wonder how cheap Provigil has to become before my insurance would cover it for me.

I guess I am just grumbling because I had been really good about money until the holidays- my debt getting smaller- and then December was a disaster. Although, I think I may come out even- in part because of gifts. But it would be nice if finances were not so tight. And nice if I did not have to drive an hour to get medication- also nice if I did not wait until the last minute. And yet a part of the reason for waiting to the last minute was that this way it would show up on the next credit card statement, and I have been paying that card off every month.

Yesterday I felt tired and feverish and my joints ached. My metacarpal joints in my left hand hurt really bad. Also my thumb- but that is from my messed up ligaments- it is starting to catch up with me. I taped my thumb and put on a wrist splint, pulling it up to support my MP joints. I took aleve. I went to sleep early. Today I feel a lot better.

I think I need to go on one of those detox diets. But I will settle for eliminating wheat, dairy, sugar,and highly processed food. I bought a lot of food at Costco- I got into trouble because I really didn't have much food at home. But I still don't have fresh produce. I don't buy it there because the quantities are so large that it will go bad. Today I've had a lot of rice and lentils. At work a lot of people have juicers or Vitamix's. But until I have a dishwasher, or at least a full-size kitchen sink, I am not getting one. I'll have to get my vegetables the old fashioned way- eat them.

I couldn't find my gluten-free pasta at Costco- and I don't know anywhere else that sells the brand that I like- and is one of the more healthy ones. I'll have to break down and buy something else- because I bought all this spaghetti sauce! Costco is not meant for single people.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My poor student

Sometimes I forget that not everyone is as passionate about hand therapy as I am. I don't think she wants to go into hand therapy. I am treating her as if she does. She is only a level I student, but I am having her do some things. I do a lot of talking about why I am doing the things I do. I think I explain more than she sometimes wants to know- or maybe is ready to know at her level of experience.

I taught one college course in my life, while I was a graduate student in psychology. I taught Cognitive Psychology. And it was my subject, I loved it- it was a little disappointing to see that my students just needed the credit. (It was a summer course). Most of them didn't see the awesomeness of the material. And of course I was a statistics TA for two years- a subject I like but I know I am pretty unusual in that. My students just wanted to pass. For many, it was the only math class they would take in their college career. I had to help get them through it.

 I haven't had level I students before, only level II students. So I think I am treating her a little like a level II. Still, I think she will have had a very good experience and that it will help her in her level II fieldworks- even if she never sees another hand patient in her life.

I haven't had level II students at my current job. And I really don't want them until I get better at my paperwork. I am pretty sure that going to computerized notes will make things a whole lot better. But until then- while I am struggling so much- I am not sure that I want a level II student. But I do want one again eventually.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Always the paperwork

Sunday I felt really out of it- so I had the great idea to go to sleep very early and get up at 3am to go in and do notes. I did actually get up- but then couldn't really function for a couple of hours, and didn't get in nearly as early as I meant to- and at one point during the afternoon when I had no patients I thought I was going to fall asleep at my desk and I didn't know how to stop myself. But I found a chocolate cookie and eating that helped.

It was a somewhat productive day- but not what it could have been, and I have learned my lesson about getting up at 3am. Otherwise it was a good day- I got some very good feedback from patients.

On my other front- the online dating world- I am stalled. I have had a few messages- but haven't responded to any. I realize that I am not sure what I am looking for in a man- and I am not sure that I feel ready. How did I do this before? But also, everyone is so far away. I wasn't prepared for that. Not that I thought I'd find people in my town, but hopefully less than an hour away.

I have two people who are possibilities, I think, of those who have messaged me- but both far away. But I should respond. Just to see what happens- get my feet wet. It may be worth the drive. I may not even be at this job forever, etc. It is too soon to see the future.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's nice to know that some things get better with practice

I went to a splinting workshop yesterday. I used to be the one who was the last person to finish my splint. I used to have a hard time. This time it was much easier. I did learn some things- but a lot of it was review. It was a good feeling.

Yesterday it was sunny. Today it is raining (freezing rain in the morning), and I can't wake up. I can't sleep, either- I thought I would nap. I'm just sleepy and tired. I don't want to do anything except lie around.

I want to do laundry- but I have to carry my laundry outside to the basement and I am afraid that it will get wet on the way back. I guess I can put something over it. Someday I will have my own washer and dryer. Someday.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The days are getting longer, and I feel like I have turned a corner

My mood has been pretty good recently, and I am not quite sure what to attribute it to. Maybe the ever-so-slightly lengthening days. But I have also done a couple of things with meds too- and I am taking less klonopin- although that is always a chicken and the egg question- maybe I am feeling better because I am not taking klonopin, but how is it that I don't feel such a need to take it?

Physically I don't feel good today. I think I really have to become one of those high-maintenance gluten-free people. I hardly ever eat wheat anymore. But yesterday I was lazy, I had no food at home. I stopped and bought a veggie pizza on the way home. I ate half for dinner yesterday, and half today. About half an hour ago I started having joint pain in my fingers- which I haven't had in a very long time and I have suspected was gluten. I really am sure that it is now.

Maybe that is why I have been feeling better. I have been mostly gluten free and mostly dairy free recently. I do that for my IBS- the blood test said I don't have celiac. But right now I feel like there are needles in my joints.

Tomorrow I have a splinting workshop. I wish I hadn't signed up- I need a day at home feeling good to get things done. But I figured you can never have too much practice making splints... so I signed up.

I have not yet responded to the people from the dating website. I got an attack of shyness. I felt overwhelmed. I don't know what to say, who to contact, etc. I will do it this weekend. Most of the people who contacted me are from further away than I wished- but I do live in the middle of nowhere and in the land of married with children people. So I may have to adjust my wishing when it comes to location.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Modern Life

I left my purse at work. I didn't realize this until I got home, and I just didn't feel like going back to get it. I hope it is safe. But it also had my phone in it- and I don't have a landline. I couldn't call to have them put it somewhere safe.

I usually use my cell phone as my alarm- but I do have a small travel alarm clock that worked. Mostly I worried that my mom would try to call me, and get worried. She is the only one who would worry if she can't reach me right away.

So last night I decided to venture back into online dating. At least dip my toe in. I keep waiting for my life to be better- I think then I will do it. And then in therapy the other day it hit me- at this rate, I've had my last kiss, I've had sex for the last time... well I'm too young for that. I want to find someone. Even if it takes a while, which I am guessing that it will.

So I put up a profile on the free website, POF. I didn't know what to put for my weight category- there was nothing between a few extra pounds and BBW. So I went with BBW. Which is going to screen out a whole lot of people, but maybe those who it doesn't will be okay with my body. I will probably eventually pay for one or two of the paid sites- but I don't know if I will go with Match or a BBW site.

It is hard to date when you are heavy (thank-you Zyprexa). It is hard to date when you have bipolar. It is hard to date when your body is covered with scars from a past of self-harming. I will try to be light-hearted about it, at least in the beginning.

I actually think I am not a bad catch. Except for when I am deeply depressed. I have been a good girlfriend. I have to remember that.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I gave up my lunchtime cup of coffee. I stopped waiting until lunch to take my second provigil- I take it all in the morning now. And still I am getting very anxious in the afternoons, really anxious. It happens at work, it happens on the weekends. Maybe it it is my biorhythms. Maybe it is the Zyprexa leaving my system. I don't know. I don't know what to do about it. Taking klonopin is what I am doing too frequently- but I'd rather not do it. That just seems like it could lead to more problems- more rebound effects etc.

But otherwise my mood has been pretty good recently. If I could just get rid of this..

Anxiety doesn't even feel like the right word- anxiety should be about something. This is just negative arousal. I feel it in my chest. It is like I drank way too much coffee. It isn't about anything. It is the feeling that I want to escape- not a situation. My chest feels so tight I find myself thinking that this can't even be good for me.

Probably more physical activity would help. Probably less meds would help, but I'm not sure which ones.

Je suis Charlie

I am watching the CNN coverage of the march in France in response to the terrorist attack. And it does my heart good to see it. It occurred to me that there probably places that I could have gone to be part of gatherings here in America- if I wanted to take the bus into the city. I hadn't thought of that. I wish that I had.  I am pretty sure that there is nothing in my small town!

I am disappointed in myself this morning- I got up late. My alarm went off and I couldn't get up. Maybe because I took an extra bit of klonopin yesterday- I have been anxious- I have to stop that. Taking half milligram instead of a quarter of a milligram is double the dose, even if the doses are small.

So I am trying to do some house things right now. Laundry and such. Then I have to go into work and do paperwork. And either walk outside or go to the gym, depending upon how cold it is. But I'd rather be holding a "Je suis Charlie" sign somewhere in a gathering of people doing the same. Sometimes I really miss the city.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A strange happening

I was driving home this afternoon and found that my road- a two lane rural highway- was blocked off by the police about two houses down from my house and that there were several fire trucks parked down the road. I couldn't get home.

I had two initial responses. The first- my house is on fire. And- what did I do? Leave the stove on? And so on. But then I realized that the fire trucks really seemed to be a little bit past my house (which is really a house that is converted into several apartments, one of which I rent). So I was probably okay.

My second thought was that there were so many fire trucks there with their lights all blazing- this had to be due to some kind of terrorism. But terrorism here? To paraphrase Louis Black- if the terrorists hit here, they missed.

Perhaps I can be forgiven for thinking terrorism with the news from France, as well as the fact that I have lived in two large cities. In those cities, whenever I saw too many police cars go by, I worried- at least after 9/11.

It turns out that the house across the street from me was on fire. And it was "structure engulfing fire" according to the reports on the local paper's website which got the news within a couple of hours. Fire engines from 3 townships had been called. I was right, there were a lot of fire engines. The article noted that putting out the fire was hampered by the 19 degree temperature and that icicles formed from the water. 19 is actually pretty warm compared to last week.

Eventually I got home and was very glad to see it standing and not burned.

It shouldn't have to be this hard at the end

I talked to my mom last night on the phone, and every time I do she sounds increasingly overwhelmed. She lives with her mother and is her caregiver. Until the past year my grandmother's memory was going, but she wasn't really suffering. Now she is, with various orthopedic issues and complications from uncontrolled diabetes. Also- she always refused to get hearing aids (even before her mind started to go)- so she can't hear very much. Now her vision is going too.

My grandmother is becoming increasingly difficult. This would be easier to dismiss if she had been a sweet person when she was younger- but we never got along. I always thought she was mean. And she could be. She actually got nicer for a while when she got older. But now she is difficult.

My grandmother is with-it enough to ask why she is still alive sometimes. To to me is this very rational- but to my mother it is a symptom of depression. But the truth is, it is probably too much to ask of someone to be a caretaker to someone who would rather be dead. That is depressing.

The doctors don't want to give stronger painkillers. There is not enough wrong with her (other than being 94) that might qualify her for hospice- so I don't even bring up the subject. But my mom couldn't go there right now anyway. She still thinks things are going to get better.

A few weeks ago my mom was wondering how to cheer up my grandmother and I told her to get a couple of kittens. I meant it. If that doesn't help- at least to give her some good moments during the day- then nothing will.

My mom has some help in the house- I finally convinced them to- but not enough. And my mom gets so upset when she can't get her mother out of bed until afternoon, or if she won't eat a meal, etc. When will it be time to let these things go?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Life is getting busy

I have a ton of errands to do tomorrow, plus I am taking my car in, plus I am getting a massage. And then at night I am going out with a meetup group for some live music. So much for a lazy Saturday. But it will be good- at least the massage and the music parts.

Monday I am getting a level I Occupational Therapy student for 2 weeks. I have had level II students in the past, but not recently. At a previous job. I have never had a level I student- which should be easier. I'm not really worried- except that I know that it will probably mean less paperwork time because I will be talking to my student during down time.

But I like having students. Even the people we get a lot of now- the job-shadowers getting their observation hours in so that they can go apply to OT school.  I always thought I was quiet and shy- but it turns out I love to talk about hand therapy.

I'm very excited because they are going to pay for me to go to conference this year. There is a 3 1/2 day conference in Philadelphia that I try to go to every year- although one year I decided I couldn't afford to go. It is pretty expensive, and I also have to pay for a hotel. Most years they have paid for me to go, but not always. This year they are paying. I will still have to pay for the hotel, but I really think it is worth it. I learn so much there. And I see people I went to school with an from previous jobs.

Continuing education stops me from burning out. That is the biggest thing that I have found that stops me from feeling burned out. It makes the paperwork seem worth it. It gives me that spark that keeps me going for a while. I take way more continuing ed than I need to for my credentials, and some of it on my own dime- but I feel like I need to. It keeps me going.

I love continuing education courses. But the thought of getting my clinical doctorate- no way! Not in a million years. I am so done with that kind of school.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 is off to a troubled start

I had a patient last year tell me that 2014 was a terrible year. He had a horrific year (hence he was my patient for extended rehabilitation), and I naively assumed he was talking about his personal life. I told him that 2015 could only be better. He said, no, that the world was not right, and that 2015 would be even worse.

I thought he was right. Every time I turn on the news I know he is right. This terrorist attack in France is really bad. I never thought I might die for the right to free speech- I thought that battle had been fought, and won, a long time ago for people in this country. Now there are people around the world who want to take that back. 

There was a time when wars were won and lost. Those days are over- for two reasons. First- the world will never let one nation do to another nation what it needs to do to totally defeat it. We can't bomb ISIS into the ground or nuke it. We have to worry about civilian casualties, etc. But secondly, thanks to technology, one man can now do the work of many men- and it just takes a few people to keep the violence going with modern explosives and automatic weapons. 

On other news- my DBT group was disappointing and I don't think I am going back. It is not a real DBT group- not structured, going through the modules. It is whatever we want. And I don't think the leader knows DBT that well. I didn't agree with her characterization of mindfulness.She didn't really agree with my examples of dialectics.  And- she was a little strange. Very animated, very entertaining and engaging, but I didn't find it all that helpful. In fact, at one point I felt really annoyed when she started saying that the way to tolerate work was to have a good sex life  (and this argument involved diagrams on a white board). And then I thought, maybe this was a good time to practice distress tolerance skills- but I couldn't remember what they were- we hadn't talked about them yet.

And it wasn't really a group- there were just two other people- and one won't be there next week due to a medical appointment. Not much of a group. I don't think I am going back. 

I don't really want to hear more about the sex life that I don't have at the moment. But also- if I am going to have a good sex life- it is going to be because I want to have a good sex life. Not so that I can tolerate my job. And if I am going to a DBT group, I want to do DBT. But I am very sorry- I did want a DBT group, and there really aren't any near me that are more organized. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One of my good days

I had one of those rare good days- when my mood was good, I could concentrate, I felt physically good, and I had energy. That is pretty rare. I want to hold on to these days- I try to figure out what I did differently and how to repeat it- but I really don't know. Still, they go to my head- and make me wonder what kind of life I might be capable of, if only I can have more days like this.

Tomorrow I start my DBT group. I am hoping that this is what I need. What I haven't decided is if I will continue with therapy while I am doing the group. I hope not to- because neither the group nor my therapist take insurance, and I no longer have out of network benefits. But my therapist said that sometimes DBT groups say that you have to be in individual therapy- she doesn't know how this one would work.

If I am going to need individual therapy long term, I will eventually change therapists to someone who takes my insurance. But my current therapist knows DBT, so I don't want to change now in case I need a therapist. I am hoping that after DBT I can stop therapy.

I have lousy insurance. I guess most people do these days- but mine is pretty bad. Not as bad as some of the Obamacare policies, I guess- with even higher deductibles and even narrower networks- but I was spoiled. I work in healthcare. It used to be in healthcare you had good insurance.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Messed up meds

Yesterday afternoon I felt extremely tired and even light-headed. I didn't know why- until I found my thyroid hormone pill still sitting in my pill box later that evening when taking my evening meds. I think that is the cause- I know that the time I ran out of synthroid for a few days I was exhausted and lightheaded.

Anyway by mid-afternoon I was good for nothing. Certainly not doing anything productive like housework or notes.I was really frustrated. So I thought I'd go to bed early- in the evening- and get up early. Except that the ambien didn't put me to sleep- and neither did the first klonopin I took. I gave up, stayed up a while, and eventually took more klonopin. And got up a little early, but not too early- I needed the drugs to wear off.

I did get to work an hour early to do some notes. And I did start to get an anxiety attack from klonopin withdrawal so had to take a little. But otherwise an okay day. But I have learned my lesson about trying to go to bed early. It doesn't work. And I certainly shouldn't be drugging myself with klonopin to do so.

Unless, of course, I am simply trying to knock myself out because I think I can't bear to be conscious. I've certainly been there. But not for a while.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I'm really a homebody- and that is okay. As long as I don't take it too far. I need to get out some, I need some stimulation. But to stay home with a good book- I am really okay with that. I don't need to be trying to be some social butterfly that I am not- nor do I need to judge myself for it. That said, I can take it too far.

But yesterday I spent an enjoyable day reading. What I am reading now is "Wild," the autobiographical book by Cheryl Strayer about backpacking the Pacific Coast Trail. And she literally had me laughing out loud at times, because I knew what she was talking about from my experiences backpacking. Although there is a part of me that is sorry that she wrote the book- because now if I quit my job to backpack the Appalachian Trail (which is my escape fantasy), I will be trendy.

When things are going badly, that is my escape plan. To quit my job and backpack the Appalachian Trail. I really thought that I would some day when I was a teenager- before I spent 6 months in a mental hospital and got put on psych meds. That just no longer seemed like a reasonable dream.

Now I am just so out of shape that it is not a reasonable dream- for the moment. Plus I'd have to quit my job. And then I'd have to find a way to keep my supply of meds coming. I have hiked some of the Appalachian Trail, and sometimes tell myself that I am doing it piecemeal. I will hike the whole thing in sections. But I haven't been that serious about it. The last time I tried to go backpacking it was through federal land and then they had the government shut down- and I had to cancel my trip. And I was so discouraged that I haven't gone again.

I really do have to go to the grocery store, however. It is getting pretty bare in the pantry.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Superimposing the discrete on the continuous

It is a NEW YEAR. But as far as I know, time is still continuous- the quantum mechanics guys (and gals) haven't managed to make it quantum yet. So we celebrate the turning of a page on the calendar, our man-made boundary. Too often nature gives us a continuum, and that doesn't satisfy man's need for organization, clarity, and meaning.

I think it is that way with mental illness. Mental illness is a metaphor, although not necessarily a bad one- as long as you don't take it too seriously. There are clusters and patterns to human behavior that we try to label- and keep trying with every new version of the DSM. My dyslexia would not have been an issue until humans became literate. In some more spiritual societies, there may be more room for people with hallucinations.

So the last DSM did not acknowledge dysphoric hypomania. I get it. Antidepressants are allowed to trigger hypomania's, but not mania- but in my case they have triggered mania. We can talk about prototypes, but reality is messy. I could say that my mother has schizoaffective disorder plus OCD plus generalized anxiety disorder- or I could say she has her own unique mind.

But it is a new year, and I am just glad for the day off. It is very sunny, which makes it easier to do even household chores. I have been wondering the past few days if I should move south- because it is too depressing to get out of work in the wintertime and have it be dark already. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, I just want to go home. I wonder how far south I would have to go to have enough daylight at the end of the workday in the winter to make it worth it. Light therapy helps- but isn't the same thing as getting out of work and it being light, so I am willing to go and do something.