Not Bipolar

Vickie Hibler Photography©

Vickie Hibler Photography©

There’s been many changes in my life since my last blog. I’ve gone through a lot of mental changes.

I went to another psychiatrist and he took me off all my medications – Lithium, and Paxil, except Trazodone and my blood pressure pills.  Instead, he gave me Latuda a new Bipolar medication.   The problem?  It was too expensive especially living on medicare.  There was nothing left for me to take. I’ve taken just about every medication you could almost think of tand they caused hallucinations, blackouts, seizures and memory loss. I lost a lot of memory taking Lithium. So I went cold turkey and got off Lithium and Paxil and didn’t experience any manic episodes.  With hepatitis c I have to be careful with medications I can take.

After 6 months my head was clearer than it had ever been.  I thought about all the bipolar stuff and remembered a guy I met in the mental hospital who had bipolar. We talked about it a lot, and I couldn’t relate since I’ve never had manic episodes the way he did.  I saw him get really sick and it was scary.  So I thought, well maybe I was misdiagnosed and it was ADD, depression and anxiety the whole time, and not Bipolar.

I did have to go back to my old doctor and get some anxiety medicine, Clonazepam, and Paxil for depression.  This has been working rather well.  I’ve always had anxiety but never really got treated for it.  I use to have bad panic attacks in the middle of the night after my abusive relationship, which is where the Trazodone came in.

I asked the doctor if she thought it was possible that the doctor at the mental hospital classified me as bipolar after attempting suicide after becoming terribly depressed, and started binge drinking, because he wanted to call it something. And this is after my son told me he was going into the military for six years, and my boyfriend was sleeping with another woman 20 years younger.  I couldn’t take all that so I drank to make it go away.  That one trip to the mental hospital became my desolate trip through life.  I had a stamp on my head.  “I’m Bipolar.”

Advertisements

Never Give Up On Life

Battling Bipolar has been tough.  But, finding out you have cirrhosis is another battle.  It just keeps getting worse. All I can do is pray and hope things will turn out okay.  I try to have a positive outlook by leaving negativity behind. Sometimes it’s hard.

Let’s see I have Dual Bipolar, Hepatitis, Recovering Alcoholic, now I have the cirrhosis.  That disease makes my stomach turn.  It just sounds so trashy and I’m not.  This happen to a perfectly good compassionate human who unfortunately, was dealt a bad hand.  I was a great kid growing up with a loving family.  I just chose the wrong path to take in life. Should I feel sorry for myself?

Bipolar can be caused by trauma’s and I went through several of those.  My marriage was physically and mentally abusive -not sure which is worse.   The verbal abuse was so terrorizing that I believed what he said most of my life.  The abuse continued through bad relationships that I kept getting myself into.  I was raped by someone I know that I felt at the time was my fault since I let him in.  Why do we pick guys that are mean to us.  My x  husband said he loved me, but how could he do the things he did.  So I felt loving was being treated badly.  Not any more.

Today, I’m not in relationship and  haven’t been for 3 years.  I chose that until I can take care of me first.  I don’t need a man in my life telling me what to do.  I’ve become very dependent on myself.  I found out that I can get things done.  Not having a job or insurance I found ways to help with my health through different resources.  It can be done you just have to research.

Living on low income qualified me for insurance at a non profit mental clinic.  I get my Lithium and other medications free.  I found another place for my hepatitis and now my cirrhosis.  I don’t know what I would of done if I had just sat around waiting for things to happen.

I’m a caregiver for my mom and dad and I  have to be tough.  It’s so hard sometimes, because with Bipolar you can get your feelings hurt easily.  I’ll go to my room and close the door so I want have to deal with confrontation.  I have to try and maintain calm or it’ll trigger me into a mess.  I get very confused and it probably shows in my writing.  I can switch my mind quickly and then wonder what I was thinking before.  That’s why I write and keep a journal both have saved me.  Going to book stores is a great outlet.

Now, I have to be courageous with cirrhosis.  Next week I go the the liver clinic to get the rest of my results and see what happens from there.  All I can do is hope and pray there can be something done.  I don’t need any more bad news.  I have discovered god and I believe strongly the miracles he can make.  He’s already helped me quit drinking and smoking – March 14, 2009.   Heck of a deal!

Living with Parents Who Have Dementia

I don’t know about you but the bipolar is getting to me.  These last two weeks have been a bummer.  I’ve been down.  I mean down.  I get tired easy.  I take long naps and just sit and stare at the TV.  I’m not keeping up with my eBay store.   The house has been very stressful and dark.

My mom who has bipolar and dementia has been a handful.  I decided that she complains about her pains to get attention.  When we finally made her go to the doctor she was fine.  The doctor wanted to do some GI tests and she said NO.  She just wants to lay around, moan, and complain and drink her wine.

I am a recovering alcoholic and this has been difficult for me. The stress is threatening my sobriety.  I told my mom this and she said, “Well, if you drink my wine you will have to get me some more.”  I said, Mom, I’m more concerned about myself than your wine. It’s your wine that’s threatening my health.”  I was so hurt.  She just set there and looked blank. That’s what she does.  Around 3pm she gets her first glass of wine and sits and stares at the TV.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my mom but it’s getting out of control.  This morning she said, “Your dad gets mad at me when I tell him I’m not feeling well.”  I couldn’t help it but I said, “Well your never feeling good.”  We never know when you are or not.  It’s like cry wolf.”

Mom also gets mad at dad because he wants her to cook something for lunch.  She doesn’t cook dinner.  Lunch is opening a bag of stir fry, heating it up, stirring and serving it.  Then she goes and gets back in her chair.  She eats in her room and dad eats alone.

It’s really a sad situation and it breaks my heart. Dad sits in his recliner in the den watching his TV, and mom sits in her recliner in her bedroom watching her TV.   Dad feels alone and lonely. Two separate feelings.   He has vascular dementia none of this is easy.

The most difficult problem is when we discuss a problem or situation they never remember what’s said.  It’s as if I need to take notes.  I do make sure all the doctor appointments are documented, when blood tests were done, & when the next blood test is scheduled. Also, I have to keep track of their medicines.  They both take about 11-14 pills a day each.  Dad is pretty good taking his.  It’s a ritual for him every morning.

Mom hates taking pills. Sometimes she forgets on purpose and when she runs out doesn’t she doesn’t tell me.  I have to make sure I keep track of that.  It’s a full-time job!

Then, there’s me.  I have Bipolar, early stages of Dementia, Hepatitis C, Hypertension, and the list goes on.  I have a hard time taking care of me.

So why am I down?  I don’t know you tell me.

Roadblocks of Life Can Make You Stronger

Silence is Calm
Silence is Calm

It seems like every time I turn around something else is happening in my life.  Having bipolar is not fun – it takes every bit of guts to try and be strong.  My memory hasn’t been good lately and I have so much going on in my life. I actually run my own little business and it takes every concentration that I have.  Yes, I make mistakes, but we do learn from them.  Let’s see where should I start.

1) Bipolar

2) Hepatitis C

3) High Blood Pressure

4) Over the Border Diabetes’s

4) Hyperkalemia (high potassium)

5) Osteoarthritis

Plus, I’m having swelling in my legs and feet   Eight years ago, I had my bunions removed.  The doctor found cysts in my big toe joint, additionally I had osteoarthritis.  Today, it’s painful to walk on my right food.  I have to use a cane.

I broke my leg about 10 years ago – fibula, tibia and my ankle.  It’s now giving me problems.  Let’s see what else?

I committed myself to the mental hospital.  I was very depressed and lonely and started drinking every day and night.  I finally lost and tried to cut myself, but I felt an intervention so I stopped and called the doctor. I was diagnosed with Bipolar.

Yes, I’ve had a hard life and that’s not all of it.  No wonder I have bipolar, right?

I couldn’t cry before when I was drinking too much.  I was numb.  I was angry and I didn’t care.  That’s changed.

It’s okay to cry – it’s okay to feel.  That’s the way I feel.  All the stuff that has happened in my life has actually made me a stronger person.  I’ve been up and over the mountain so many times.  I just say if it’s meant to be so be it.

I cry for others when I see them so torn apart they cannot live in the existence.   I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t be strong.  Oh, there were times that I went out of control and hide.  Threatened to do something drastic, but every time something would intervene.  Then I decided it was my God who was looking over me.  That’s how I’ve been living my life.

I cry for me only when I don’t listen to the soft whispers in my ear. It’s the voice of My God.

What is it – Bipolar or Dementia? Confused!

I have a dilemma – Is it Bipolar or Dementia?  Both run in the family.  Just recently and over night I have become a caregiver for both my mom who has dementia and bipolar and dad, who was okay.  Mom has been getting worse and my dad just a month ago had a bad fall and suddenly my life changed in a split second.  My dad was walking across the parking lot then – BAM!  He fell flat on his face with the results of looking like Rocky.   He was sent to the hospital then home and then back again – he became delusional. I took him back to the hospital where he got worse and worse resulting in an onset of Alzheimer’s /dementia.  I had to feed him, bathe him, change his diapers and pray a lot.  Why did this happen?  Everything fell apart.  What do we do?  My brother and I stressed and quickly got together all papers – living will, will, finances, etc. Things we were not prepared for.  After a few weeks we had to put him in a nursing home for rehabilitation.  He had forgotten how to work, his speech was bad, and had no idea what had happen.  He didn’t even know who mom was.

After a week in the nursing home he had a stroke and was again sent to the hospital.  There, he thought he had gone on a helicopter ride with a lot of people and taken to this big building where the ceiling dropped and black dust was dropped on them.  I told him that sounded more like aliens.  He said, Well, maybe so.”

He was returned to the nursing home and is still there.  He may come home in a week.  I’m not ready.

Since all this has happen Mom has gotten worse. Crying all the time and her mania and dementia have gotten worse.  She’s even drinking more. I’m afraid for her and I have a fear that some day it will hit me if it hasn’t already.  Being an alcoholic myself makes this difficulty for me.

I’ve had to hold myself together.  It is very hard to sit and listen to my dad because he is so angry and blames people for taking his money.  It was decided that I move in – there was no other way.  Mom can’t drive, walk or make her own decisions and when dad comes home he will be disabled.  They can not stay alone together.  That could mean disaster.

As mentioned in another Blog, I have taken myself off medication for bipolar and hormones and trying to treat myself with healthy food and exercise.  It seems to be working but I slip sometimes.  The hot flashes the mania and depression.  Also, my unemployment benefits have been exhausted and will not receive any funds.  So now I’m working about 28 hours or less making 6.55 an hour.  The hours may be shortened depending on the situation at home.  I will be the cook, maid, nurse, and housekeeper.  Do I have the strength to do all this?  I find no help from other members of the family.  They have disappeared.

With all that’s going on with my parents, I don’t have time to take care of me. So I’m struggling.  I have to be strong for both of my parents.  If I fall – all will fall.

Life is Like a Roller Coaster

Since my last entry my life has been on a roller coaster.  I made the decision to stop my bipolar and hormone pills.  Both deal with the chemistry in your mine.  I wanted to do it alone.  I’m tired of pills and spending the money on them.  I have only a part time job making $6.55 an hour and collecting unemployment. With those I’m  only getting by.

After several tests from doctors I was told about my bipolar, ADD and mini strokes.  Here I was blaming the ghost for hiding items I couldn’t find.  “LOL”  I’m always loosing keys, glasses, purses and well just about anything I touch.  I try to put items in the same place everyday.  I even post notes to remind myself.  I forget to remind myself.  Maybe I should post notes not to buy wine and cigarettes all around the house.  I hate to be controlled and I’m allowing these THINGS to take over my mind!

THINGS HAVE TO Change or I’m going to go crazier.  I decide to write myself a prescription for life by exercising, eating healthier, stop smoking, stop drinking and stop the impulse buying.  Just stop going crazy!  It’s been a long road dealing with hot flashes, pain, anger and just not feeling good.  Along with my Hepatitis C it makes it a little more difficult, because it slows me down.  When I don’t drink and smoke I feel worse. The only way to feel better is to drink and smoke.  But I don’t want to.  I’m tired of it controlling my life day by day.  When I wake up in the morning I don’t know which me will show up.  I may wake up and feel great and say “I’m not going to drink, and I’m only going to think positive. Today, I’ll tell everyone to have  great day.”

One prescription I wrote myself was that I was going learn to be a business woman.  This is something  I have wanted and dreamed of for a long time, but was afraid to try it.  I’ve always felt stupid since I didn’t go to college.  I was afraid to take the TASP!

I did some research and decided to take risk and open my eBay store.  Today, I owe my business my sanity.  Opening my eBay store has been the best thing that has ever happened to me.  It gives me something that’s mine and to take charge and learn on the way.  In order to be successful you have to work hard.  I’ve been researching, reading, and studying all the things that I use to do.  I was horrible in school.   I never could comprehend words, pages, numbers or anything else.  Everything was harder for me. I feel that I had lost a job, because of my grammar skill.  I’m trying to make something of myself.  I want to make my family especially my son to be proud of his mom.  He has made me proud – now its time to make my son.

I want you to know that with disabilities this doesn’t mean you have to give up – keep trying – make yourself proud.  I feel that I’m smarter now than I have every been by teaching myself.  I want let anyone take that from me.  I have a lot to learn to be successful and I’m n ot giving up on myself.  One of those is to be a better writer.

You can always visit my eBay store to see what I have accomplished.  I’m still working on and I won’t give up.  I’m so proud of myself and I’m going to keep going forward – not backward.

A New Revelation – An Awakening – I Feel Positive! – I Feel New!

As you know from my last post I’ve been taken off my research medicine for bipolar and alcohol craving meds last Friday.  Since then I do feel a lot better.  So it seems that I was having bad trips from that med.  Soon I will give you the name – just don’t have it now.  They gave me a few of the pills to wean me off the drug so I wouldn’t have any withdrawals.  Well folks, I haven’t taken the pills – I haven’t had any withdrawals that I know of.  In fact, I have been feeling much better.  I have continued with the Lithium, but hope to wean myself of those, maybe.  I’m taking one day at a time.

I’ve had a clear head and feel more positive.  I’m more alert and happy.  Even my boss asked me why I was in such a good mood and this was at 6:30am.  Yes, I get up at 4:30am to be at work at 6:00am.  I love my job and I guess that makes a big different.

Last night something happen.  First, on my way home I started thinking about having a glass of wine and a cigarette.  Let me tell you there was a committee going off in my head really bad.  Go, don’t go, go, don’t go, etc.  I want a cig or drink, and I don’t.  I was confused on what I wanted.  I’ve been doing it so long that the habit’s just there, and that’s what I’m beginning to figure out.  I don’t get these ideas until around the same time every day. 

I ended up going and spending money on wine and cigarettes.  Yes, money – money I don’t have.  Go figure.  I got home and did some work on my eBay to get some packages out and I took some pictures to post.  The good thing is I know my work comes first.  It’s my second salary, which isn’t much right now.  Come on folks go buy something from my shop!  I’ve got great things for Christmas gifts. Sorry, I just had to vent for a minute.

It got to be 6pm, which is the happy hour.  Just like a zombie I did the ritual – get my blanket to cover of my couch so I don’t get it smoky.  Yes, you heard right.  Then I pop the top, pour wine into the glass, and get the napkin to sit under my glass on the end table.  Get the dirty ashtray and put a piece of paper under it so I want burn the couch.  Light the cigarette, take a sip.  Usually this goes on until either my wine is gone or the cigarettes – they go hand in hand.

After one glass a wine and 3 cigarettes I realized I wasn’t enjoying them – so why was I doing it.  Stinking up my house, adding calories and the cig’s didn’t even taste good – neither did the wine.  Hum…

Other reason I felt this way – Guilt.

I had an awakening or revelation or whatever you call but it’s all I’ve been thinking about.

Sunday, I went to watch the Cowboy game with my parents whom I love dearly.  First, I was feeling guilty because I needed to borrow some money.  My unemployment benefits ran out.  I was even feeling guilty about my drinking.  Then something happen that I did not expect.  Dad brought me a book – threw the book – saying you might can sell this on eBay.  It was “Alcohol Anonymous – Abuse” book.  I said where did you get that?  He replied, “You had it when you were in the rehab place.”  I fell 6 deep under.  My dad is the most important person in the world to me, and realized that I was disrespecting him for all the great things he’s done for me.  Even when I’m drinking I didn’t think my parents new. But, at that moment I just realize he knew what I was doing.  We’re blind to the people around us – you think your be sneaky and no one knows your drinking!  Honey, they know.  It’s in your actions, your speech, your lapse of memory, weight gain, changed habits, etc.  They know.

Monday morning when I woke up I thought about the book and my dad.  I said that’s it – this is the moment that I am changing my ways.  I felt so good Monday.  I work in a health club, which I love.  I worked out most of the day, and my boss said I could take some self-defense classes for FREE.  This just pumped me up.  I was full of ideas and energy all day.

Tuesday, the same thing, except when the committee sounded off.  It’s seems like it’s always Tuesday after the weekend when it happens.  It wasn’t what I wanted to do and it tasted pretty bad.  So I poured out the wine, empty the ashtray and went to bed to watch TV and read.  I felt so much better.  Actually, I felt that I reached a milestone.  One big step for mankind!

The evening ended and I got a surprise webcam call from my son.  With him was my grandson and daughter in-law.  You see they live in North Carolina – I miss them so much.  I was hoping to go and see them for Christmas, but no money.  My grandson was the cutest.  I wanted to hold him so bad. 

I’m so afraid that I’m going to miss him growing up like I did my son.  I have been rejected all my life of the good things.  Being alone.  I’ve been feeling that it was my punishment and HE (my higher power) felt it wasn’t time for me.  I believe HE got me this job to get me healthy, I believe he led me to this stage of having my own business since it’s been my dream for a long time. I believe that HE put everything in my path to get to where I am now.  I believe that HE has some great things for me if I just follow my heart and intuition (Divine Intuition). 

I think it started with the book Dad gave me and the last drink.

I hope it is a new beginning.  I know it’s not going to be easy battling both the Bipolar and the addictions.  But I will keep reach for the better good and get rid of the bad that is standing in my way.  Pray – prayers do work. I know.