Season Changing, Where The Fuck Will My Mood Go?

bEE

Oh my GARSHES can I feel the season changing, and I have Seasonal Affective Disorder worse than anyone else I have ever seen. I think Dr. Drugs would sign off on that statement as well. He makes it a practice to tell me how fragile my mood is. Thanks, my good Doctor! Anyhoo, I can sure feel the change, I mean FEEL it, with the days shortening. That’s the first thing I notice. My brain is like, “Light, don’t gooooooo!” Then, it is cooling off. Boo. Hoo. As I was taking a walk (slow walk, having just had a gigantor two-week pain episode), I thought to myself, can I gracefully walk through this season? Better yet, can I just plain WALK through this season change? Without a crash? Without a hospitalization? That is the question.

I can’t run to Florida this winter. I am living with my sister and her two kids now, happily ensconced in my own giant finished basement we call The Apartment, SO HAPPY to be with my belongings again, and fully participating in the family unit. I’m committed to taking my nephew to sewing class on Monday afternoons (so proud of him, that’s another story, but he’s seen me sewing and begged to learn), and I take my niece to and from school on Thursdays and Fridays. So I can’t just run off. Apart from that, I fill my days with oodles of medical and mental health appointments, see my parents, home projects (I love being productive), and, here’s a happy announcement, CREATIVE PROJECTS!!! Yes, as I suspected, a FUCKING DRUG was what was robbing me of my creativity for the last year and a half. My sisters and Dr. Drugs like to remind me that Clozaril saved my life, and maybe it did, but it sure robbed me of a lot of shit in the process. Now that I’m off it, my creativity has returned, which equals opportunities for joy and satisfaction in a job well done. At the moment, I am doing some sewing projects for my niece’s bedroom. So far, I have recovered a chair cushion and re-created a fabric basket (that goes in a wicker basket) in matching fabric. Now I am working on basket #2, and subsequent to that I will cover some lampshades. Once that’s done, Niece’s room will be so wildly and awesomely matchy-matchy, I might just explode with pleasure. That sounds like an orgasm. I guess it’s a creative orgasm.

Another personality trait that I feel returning is the socializing desire. While on Clozaril, I either did not want to socialize, or when in Florida I was lonely and wanted friends, but still did not want to socialize, but I forced myself. Now, I can visualize seeing my friends and spending time with them. I am chatting with them online. I want to spend time with friends. I’m actually making plans to spend time with friends. All good stuff that I hope to continue through the winter. I’m hoping to get into an exercise habit, and keep it going through the winter, because I find that exercise helps my depression between 50 and 95%, i.e. I am fifty to ninety five percent happier when I exercise. Face it. It just fucking helps the mood! Even if it’s a slow, lazy walk. Getting my ass out there helps. I’ve already bought a new down coat for winter that I think will help, and next I need to find a super-good pair of boots with good traction, and a good fit. If only Altra, my new favorite shoe company, would make boots!! I have asked them, but so far they have said “no”. They don’t know the market they’re missing out on!!!

Well I finally have the house to myself and some time to myself, the kids have gone off with their father for the weekend, and my dear sister is at work. I am going to go enjoy some sewing and then later on, of course, a walk. Above is a pic from a walk earlier in the week. Hope your week has been fantastical, or at least, didn’t suck! PEACH OUT HOMIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m A Carpenter Now! And A Hacker!

I know I said in my last post that my sister, her two kids and I moved into a new house last month. Not a new house per se, but new for us. Well, I am happy to report that I am becoming quite the carpenter!! I have done the usual hanging of pictures, putting up closet shelves and anchoring them to the wall, etc. That’s old hat. But! My poor sister doesn’t have any storage space since I’m in her basement. So we need to create storage in the garage. I brought a GIGANTOR set of metal shelves (kind of like kitchen shelves) which we put in the garage and M promptly filled, and I mean stuffed full! I scoped out Wally World (I hate that place but the prices! I know, no ethics) and found some shelves that were six feet tall and four feet wide, that could hold 4,000 pounds. Overkill? Perhaps. M went and purchased them after five attempts at getting customer service. Those shelves are heavier than SHIT! Finally she had to call the store…from within the store! And she’s like . . . yeah . . . I can’t get anyone to come help me pick up these shelves and put them on a cart so I can pay for them. They shouldn’t make you work so hard to give them money!! I sometimes yell this at people when I get really bad customer service. It’s TRUE!

To make a short story long, I assembled the shelves over the weekend, and the design was, how do I say this . . . STUPID? So it really really really needed to be anchored and I mean ANCHORED to the studs in the garage so that stuff wouldn’t fall off the high shelves onto people’s heads. Or so that the shelves themselves (looky there I made a rhyme) didn’t fall onto people’s heads. Wellllll I hadn’t showered so I just put on a hat and took myself to Home Depot and got lucky-lucky! Not sex-lucky, man would that have been fun! But weird. At Home Depot. I got lucky in that I found a guy to measure and cut me some 2×4’s and he was so nice. So I got my wood, my hardware, etc, easy, cheap and fast. (That’s what HE said).

So I got those 2×4’s into the studs, then anchored the shelves to the 2×4’s and they are SOLID! SOLID AS A ROCK! (Remember that song?) Ahhhhh a job well-done feels so good!!!

Yesterday, a whole different story. Get ready for a left turn. The easiest way to say this is that I’ve become a Kiddie-Hacker. My niece and nephew have been on their computers NON-STOP and we’re like, WTF are they doing??? They’re either on their computers or their phones, and when they’re on their phones they have headphones. My nephew is 14 and my niece is 10. My niece had the monitor of the desktop computer (nephew has a laptop) turned perpendicular to the wall, i.e. she wanted to make double-sure that we didn’t see ANYTHING she was doing. So…..I went looking yesterday to try to figure it out. And what I found was stomach turning.

I found that in this particular video game she was playing, she was lying about her age, and where it asks for a parent’s email address, she had put her own. There were inappropriate messages from other players. Then I hacked into her email and found emails to her friends that would make her Aunt proud, there were so many fucks, hells, and shits, if not for the fact that she’s TEN YEARS OLD!!! I passed it on to her poor mother to deal with, along with her email password. It was a troubling day, to say the least. It makes me think that there’s an opportunity out there, to help parents check out what their kids are doing. So many parents are not as technically savvy as their kids. And so many kids, my niece included, seem so much more innocent than they are!

In other areas of life, I am glad, GLAD to say that I’ve lost ten pounds so far since getting off that fucker Clozaril. I am trying to exercise every day, and I’m also working on my diet, i.e. wayyyyy less sugar, and eating fruits and vegetables every day. Foreign concepts that I’m trying to make my own. Dr. Drugs is having a BLAST tinkering with his chemistry experiment that is me and I’ve been seeing him every two weeks because he keeps making so many damn changes to my drug regimen. I’m seeing my therapist every week and that’s just fabulous. I guess that’s about it!! You’re caught up. What’s new in your world??

Off The Clozaril! Off The Clozaril!!

Stop the presses!! I am off the demon drug that has kept me alive – but just barely. Why the fuck do psychiatrists consider that acceptable? I walk in and say, I’m not seeing anyone, I don’t want to do anything, I’m not exercising, I’m eating six meals a day, I’ve gained 33 pounds, and they say “But you’re alive.” C’mon now, fuckers!! There’s got to be something better than that!! And there IS!! For some unknown reason, Dr. Drugs started me on Lithium, and then, out of complete desperation (I’m tired of the giant pregnant stomach I’ve grown), I started tapering off the Clozaril. And ya know what? I started to FEEL BETTER!! I started to get some initiative back. I started having energy. I started EXERCISING!! Of my own volition! Hell, I exercised TWICE today!! Don’t worry, it’s not a manic episode, it was just some walking. Oh, and my brain works!! I made a pretty snazzy spreadsheet (mentioned previously) with some nested IF/THEN/ELSE statements! I haven’t done that shit in a couple of years!! I didn’t even know if I could. Well, I can!! Next off, a programming class for making iPhone apps. Just to try it.

Well it’s good to feel some optimism. REALLY good. My message for you today is, if your meds aren’t working and your pdoc says No to change, tell him/her to fuck off. Go for the change. Things can be better and things MUST be better!! These are our LIVES!!! Peach out homies.

I’m A Little Bit Proud

Well. I am finally kicking Clozaril’s ass to the curb and it is doing me GOOD!! The magic formula has been to be on Lithium instead. The whole year and a half that I have been on Clozaril, it has been such an energy suck, as well as causing me to gain thirty luscious pounds. I have been fighting and fighting for forever to get off this devil drug, and have felt so fucking defeated by it. There was one earlier effort to get off the Clozaril which resulted in a prompt return of the suicidal ideation. I think the Lithium is what’s keeping my head above water. More than that, though, I have ENERGY again, and INITIATIVE!!! Oh it’s so exciting when it’s been gone for so long. I have been in a drug-induced hibernation – just barely existing, for the last year and a half. ENOUGH, I say!!

I was a bit scared to go see Dr. Drugs at the end of last week, since I undertook my medication regime change all on my own. Goddammit, I was desperate!! I couldn’t gain another pound!! Nevertheless (a sorely underused word that I intend to use in all of my blogs from here on out), nevertheless nevertheless, I started tapering off the Clozaril and was rewarded with a greatly reduced number of hours slept each night – 12-13 hours down to 10 or so, what a time-saver! I also was waking up with some vim, some vigor, and some pep in my step! As in, I started walking and hiking again! It feels great!

I have to segway here and talk for a minute about my poor feet, in particular my toes, which would rub together when I walked and blister like fucking CRAZY!! Or, with the newest pair of shoes I bought, Asics wide-width, the toes of my right foot just started falling asleep. Do I need to tell you how much these conditions increased the suck level of exercising?? It’s really been a low-down dirty bummer. So my little brother, also known as Bro-Bro, has been going on and on about Altra’s for years. YEARS. And I finally took my formidable ass down to the Boulder Running Company a couple of weeks ago and got myself outfitted with some Altras, which are known for their super-wide toe box. Their theory is, let the toes be! Let ’em sit there! Don’t squish ’em! And the verdict is: HALLELUJAH!!! My toes are so fucking happy!! I can walk for hours now!!! Moral of the story? If you have toe issues, get yourself some Altras. You can thank me later.

So I STILL haven’t said why I’m actually PROUD of myself! Wellllllll my therapist and I were talking about how it would be nice if I kept some kind of log of all the shit I’m taking (meds, supplements, etc) and how I felt daily. You know, as the meds change, how does the mood change? The energy level? Pain level? SOOOOO I made this slammin’ spreadsheet that logs on a daily basis all of the medicine I take, all of the supplements, my mood, energy level, pain level, whether or not I exercised, whether or not I wanted to exercise….and here’s the piece de resistance… I made a spreadsheet of the Beck Depression Inventory and set it up to score itself (because I’m nerdy like that) so now I have even more objective information to correlate with all of these other variables. I’m calling the whole thing Self-Monitoring and it’s setup to be done (and done easily) at the end of every day. I’m very proud of my creation!! I think it will provide some pretty valuable information and help me see, well in advance, when I’m headed off a cliff, so that I can hopefully turn left.

Well, that’s about it from here in lovely Boulder, Colorado. What’s new in your neck of the woods?

A Sore Jaw. And Not Even A Fun Reason For It!

I’ve been eating on the left side of my mouth since last Wednesday, when the great dental bankruptcy experience began.  Off came a bridge, out came a tooth, in went a silicone plug to aid healing, and then stitches.  The instructions were, eat soft foods, only on the left side.  Almost a week later, my jaw is sore.  I guess from only eating on one side?  Fuck if I know.  I can think of much funner ways to get a sore jaw. (Cue Barbara Streisand singing Memorieeeessssssssss).  DAMN I miss the perverted life I lived when I was manic!

Now I eat oatmeal, pudding and yogurt.  I drink smoothies.  I don’t even drink alcohol, since my epic New Year’s Day hangover.  Yeah.  I thought that Grey Goose didn’t give me hangovers.  I guess half a bottle does.  So the other half sits in my freezer, waiting for a lapse in judgment.  I’ve got one marijuana lozenge left, then I’ll be back to total Straightsville.  Sometimes it hits me:  I really need a life!

I have a little more than a month left in Florida, then it’s back to Colorado.  Back to family.  Friends.  Marijuana stores.  And what else?  I need to come up with a plan.  I’m seeing the “Couldn’t Give Less Of A Shit” psychiatrist today, can’t wait!  In the meantime I need to get to the beach and get a walk in.   <———— Since this was written, the rain stole my hopes for a walk.

I don’t usually do this, but I’ve taken all day to write this shitty little post.  And I have to say, I may have to re-think the part about the psychiatrist not giving a shit.  When he was going over my bloodwork (required for the Clozaril) he noticed that my white blood cell count had gone up.  This is just based on his remembering my count from a month ago.  This is a guy who sees probably four clients per hour.  Thirty-two clients per day.  Six hundred and forty clients in a month. I have to say, I was floored!!  He just remembered??  Even I had no idea…

I talked to the doc about doing TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) instead of ECT.  He said he could do it, but the initial treatment is five days per week for six weeks.  That is not feasible since I’m only here for another month.  So I guess I’ll just keep up the ECT maintenance treatments for now, and then look into TMS when I get back to Colorado.  The big benefit of TMS is that no anesthesia is required.

I am going back to the dentist tomorrow, not sure what he’s going to do but I’m a very nervous dental patient.  I’m going to try to get some exercise in before the appointment tomorrow.  That, and meditation.  We’ll see how it goes!  Hope you’re all having a delicious week!  Peaches!

From Radical Forgiveness to Walgreens, I Fucking Hate You!

Oh Walgreens! You motherfucker!! You know what a pain in the ass it is to get Clozaril. You have to get bloodwork every two weeks (every week for the first six months). The bloodwork gets sent to your doctor and to the pharmacy. Then the pharmacy refills the prescription. Two weeks’ worth of medicine. Right? Wrong! It doesn’t work that way in Florida! In Florida, the doctor has to fax a specific Clozaril Access Form to the pharmacy. Did anyone tell me this? NO! When I called the pharmacy yesterday to see if they’d received my labwork, they said Yes, they had, and my prescription was ready. Then I got an email from Walgreens saying my prescription for Clozaril was ready. TWO CONFIRMATIONS that my prescription was ready. So, I go to pick it up. Is it ready? NO! Because they didn’t get that fucking form from my doctor. Why in God’s name did Walgreens tell me TWICE that the prescription was ready? It’s one of life’s great mysteries. So here I sit, two doses of Clozaril left, phone message left for my doctor in Colorado, panicking because if I miss a dose of Clozaril it’s curtains, people!! My mood will crash! And being out in Florida, away from my support system, this just CANNOT HAPPEN!!! Jesus Christ why oh WHY is it such a fucking pain in the ass to be on Clozaril???? And Walgreens (Walgreens in Florida, specifically), I fucking hate you.

The Pot Pain Patch is Purdy Nice

In my last post I mentioned my awesome bingeing capacity thanks to the Clozaril I take every night.  So I got a CBN Pain Patch from the dispensary to try to force myself to fall asleep faster and miss the food cravings that Clozaril induces.  So far, after three nights, I think the pain patch is doing its job, as far as helping with pain and helping me to fall asleep quickly.

I tried an Indica lozenge last night as well, and I woke up in the middle of the night hungry as hell.  So I think that’s a “No” on the Indica lozenges.

I had ECT yesterday, feeling kind of flat today.  Hope all is well in your world!

Pain, Pain Go Away!

I have been having a terrible time with bingeing on food, either carbs or just plain sugar. Some of it feels like an addiction, like I’m medicating my feelings. Definitely some of it is due to the Clozaril I take for mood stabilization. It gives me pot-like munchies and makes me hungry as hell. Sometimes I wake up at 5 in the morning so hungry that I have to go eat something before I can go back to sleep until around 9 am. This has been torture for me. I feel like I’m watching a train wreck and I can’t do anything about it. I’ve gained more than twenty pounds since I started the Clozaril in February. UNACCEPTABLE!!!

I’ve also had lots & lots of pain thanks to over-taxing my back during the move I just had. I’m icing my back a lot but all in all it makes me very achy and I just feel impaired.

So after therapy today I went to my local marijuana dispensary and just told them: I take a medication that makes me want to eat and I need something that will knock me on my ass and make me fall asleep. If I fall asleep I can’t eat, right? They offered me a bunch of different options, all edibles (I hate to smoke it). One of them that I’m going to try tonight is a patch, and it has specific compounds that are supposed to help with pain (Yay!). And it should make me really sleepy. I’m so achy even after taking two Tramadols that I want to put the patch on right now but I need to wait until closer to bedtime. I REALLY hope this sucker works. It was $20 but you cut the patch into eight pieces. So that’s $2.50 per night if it works. That’s expensive but if it gets me off the porkin’ out rollercoaster it’s worth it. I will report back tomorrow!

Hope all is well in your world. Peaches!

Hello And Fuck You, Clozaril!

Well my mood has crashed and burned BIG TIME!!!!!  Low, low, low, can barely stop crying….it sucks.  I texted Dr. BigHeart and he said I have to go back on the fucking Clozaril and if it doesn’t perk me back up I might have to check in to the hospital for a few days.  My response?  “Fuck!!!!!”  I only had half a tablet of Clozaril on hand and I can’t get more without bloodwork so I texted Dr. BigHeart again and he asked me to come to the hospital at 7:30 am on Monday for a zap, they’ll draw the blood for me so I can get the prescription and get back on the Weight Gain Highway.  This is all so disheartening, I can’t even tell you.

Today I am driving my parents out of town for my niece’s 8th birthday party, so that will be a good distraction.  Hopefully I can hold my shit together.  I’ll stay with my parents tonight and they’ll drive me to the hospital tomorrow morning for ECT.  Ah, the life of a Bipolar.  It just keeps getting BETTER and BETTER!

Good Bye and Fuck You, Clozaril!

Haystack

Well I had a Sizzle (ECT) last Friday and I told Dr. BigHeart that I absolutely had to go off the Clozaril.  In addition to it being the world’s biggest pain in the ass to be on, (having to get blood drawn every single week, chasing after the lab to fax it to the pharmacy, picking up one week’s worth of pills every week), I also couldn’t stop gaining weight due to the pot-like munchies.  Dr. BigHeart agreed to let me taper off.  So I’m on a half-dose this week, then after that, finito!  I’ve been a bit stuck in the mud this week, watching kind of a lot of shit tv and beating myself up for it.  But tonight I have a DBT Group get-together at my house again (I think, I’ve been texting everyone and haven’t heard back except for one sorry) so I have to move around and spruce up the house today, and go to Trader Joe’s and pick up some snickety-snacks, because I AM the Hostess with the Mostest!  I also need to get to the Library because I am out of reading material.  So yeah, I have to leave the house and do things.

I went to Grill Night at this beautiful country nine-hole golf course last night called Haystack.  Grill Night means they cook up a bunch of yummy shit on the grill and have live music, it’s a really fun summery thing to do.  This is a picture, that’s Haystack Mountain.  Isn’t it beautiful?  You could smell the flowers from inside, it’s pure heaven.  Hey, here’s an idea!  ENJOY THE DAY.  Yeah.

 

My First Free Day

Well my first day of freedom has involved a whole lotta nothin’.  I feel grogged out from the Clozaril, and I’m having a hard time motivating myself to do anything besides sit here with my laptop and fuck around.  I don’t know if I can handle this medicine!  The pharmacist only gave me one weeks’ worth of it, since a blood test is required EVERY WEEK to take this medicine.  The pharmacist also had to register me with the company that makes Clozaril, so they can monitor me.  That’s heavy-duty.

My sister just called, she will be home soon and we will walk over to my house together.  I really need to catch up on mail and bills.  Feeling a little overwhelmed.  All in all it’s a great feeling to be out of the looney bin, though.  Just easing back to life….slowly.  Good to see you all 🙂 🙂 🙂