Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, Cancer

My world came crashing down a month ago.  I lost my best friend and mom.

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My mom and me

Mom was 90 years old, but still beautiful.   She had Merkel Cell Carcinoma cancer, and cervical cancer.  I saw her dying in front of my eyes.  It was so hard. I think about calling her everyday, because we talked just about everyday.  I feel like I lost part of me since we were so much alike.  I can see her face and that beautiful smile, laugh, and her wonderful since of humor.  I loved her so much.  Now both parents are gone. I feel so alone.

Having bipolar and depression is difficult in itself managing during difficult times. Within the last few months I found out I have fibromyalgia, and Parkinson Disease.  This has been hard too.  I ask the doctor why do older adults start getting all these bad things.

It took 5 years to finally get a diagnosis. I was going to orthopedic doctors and all they wanted to do is give me injections.  I got sick of it.  So I tried a rheumatologist.  He does not have a good bedside manner, but, he ran a bunch of test and came to the conclusion I have fibromyalgia.  I was in so much pain.  I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.  But there was other symptoms and he said, ” I don’t do that.”  I hate hearing those words.  I made an appointment with my neurologist, whom I adore. He diagnosed me with neuropathy about 6 months ago, and now Parkinson’s Disease.  He gave me some new medication, Carbidopa-levodopa that I have been taking for a few days.

My neurologist was able to see sympthoms;  tremors, my posture , walking, and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease since I was having a bad day..   I had all of the following symptoms:

PARKINSON’S DISEASE

  • Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may notice a back-and-forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger, known as a pill-rolling tremor. One characteristic of Parkinson’s disease is a tremor of your hand when it is relaxed (at rest).
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson’s disease may reduce your ability to move and slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk, or you may find it difficult to get out of a chair. Also, you may drag your feet as you try to walk, making it difficult to move.
  • Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can limit your range of motion and cause you pain.
  • Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Loss of automatic movements. In Parkinson’s disease, you may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
  • Speech changes. You may have speech problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
  • Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.

My writing has become scribbly and small.  It’s gotten hard. I’ve always had speech problems, but it’s gotten worse.  I fall off balance and also fall. When I fall I don’t have the strength to pull myself up.  My walking is bad. I walk stiff and baby steps.

I hope this is helpful to someone else.  I will talk about Fibromyalgia in another post.

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What’s Depression About

It seems like I’ve had depression since I was in high school. I have journals where I wrote about feelings of loneliness and depression. “Sadness because one has no friends or family closeness.  I could trigger easily with anger.

I have ADHD ,  and that was difficult because in school trying to learn math and English. I couldn’t even take college courses, because I feared taking the Tasp Test, when I lived in Texas.  Instead , my first job out of school was a power company.  I was always good at typing, and I was creative. But English (grammar),  and Math was not my forte.

The following is some research on depression including my own discussions.

Some people with major depression experience the symptoms of depression only once in their life. Others experience frequent relapses and recurrences. (I experience it from triggers).  Triggers were like feeling alone,lines

Alone

Why am I depressed?

no one cares, family problems, my life is going no where. it’s important to pay attention to your feelings in order to catch possible signs of a relapse. Some people recognize the signs and some can’t, like me.

If you’re feeling down because of a specific event, such as losing a job or the breakup of a relationship, it could be normal and temporary sadness. If you feel sad, despairing, teary, or “empty” every day for more than two weeks and it’s interfering with other aspects of your life, it may be clinical depression.

ADHD and Adderall

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the lit...

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the literature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I finally got medication for my ADHD  that I’ve had when I was in school since 1970.  It’s amazing that a doctor who I’ve been visiting for my bipolar finally said I needed treatment for ADHD.  I asked my parents why I was never treated for ADHD and my mom told told me there was so such thing as ADHD back in the 70’s.  I remember being very frustrated, because I couldn’t figure out Math or English.  I was great in biology and gym and that was it.  I started having the attitude that if I just pass I’d be happy.  I started to hate school and wished I never had to go back. Why not just not quit?

I did graduate by a slight grade.  I never went to college, because I had to do math all over again but first I would need to take TASP, and knew I would fail.  However, I did take photojournalism, writing and basic photography and did pretty well.  I couldn’t go any further until I took the TASP so I never went to college.

I did have some really great jobs in my past – major advertising agency, national magazine, and an international makeup company. But for some  reason things started getting worse as I got older.  I’d get confused easily, organization was difficult, misplace things, forget things, and get angry easy.  My behavior was defensive and didn’t like people telling me I did something wrong.  I would become irritated and angry. I was always a top-notch administrative assistant – when someone would tell me I did something wrong the world would end.

It got to the point with my Bipolar and my ADHD  I could no longer maintain a job..  So what was I to do?   I decided to look into social security disability.   I was checked out and was decided I could no longer work. And I can’t! I tried it – if I tried to use a cash register I would have a panic attack.  If I tried to use a phone with too many lines – I would have a panic attack. Not only was it ADHD – I had Bipolar as well including a chronic terminal disease.

My doctor prescribed Adderall and I took the dosage she gave me, which was one in the morning and 1/2 at 1pm.  I did that for a week and went crazy!  It was like being on speed like I took back in the 70’s!  I hated it.  I almost chewed my tongue off!  Also, I found myself staying up still 3 or 4 in the morning.  I did get a lot of work done, however, I felt like crap the next day. I decided to stop for a day and start over and just take a quarter in the morning and 1/4 around 1pm. If you take the second one later than that 1pm you might have a hard time going to sleep.

The 1/4 dosage worked and  I feel so much  better.  I can focus and I can actually watch a full movie without loosing my focus. I  haven’t read a book in a long time and I haven’t felt like cleaning my house plus I was totally disorganized.

If you feel that you have any of the above symptoms please check them out before it gets later in years – it could save a lot of hardship and pain.

Citalofram

Who Am I

Who Am I

I’ve been struggling a lot.  The doctor kept changing my medications, as well as I ran out of meds and couldn’t get them refilled.  I take Citalopram as my Antidepressant and Lithium for my Bipolar.  I had run out of the medication, but I thought it was my high blood pressure medication I was out of.  So for over a week in a half I didn’t realize I was going through bad withdrawals until I figure out  it was the Citalopram, I was out of.   I immediately called my doctor, but couldn’t get in until 3 more days.

I saw my doctor and she couldn’t believe I had forgotten to take my pills.  I said well you know I was so screwed up.  I didn’t know my head from my butt, at the time.  Not only did she refill my prescription she increased the dosage to 30 mg.  Then she told me she was concerned I was not getting enough Lithium in my system on one a day.  So she told me to take 3 600 mg a day, which I felt was too much.  This was new doctor and didn’t tell her that I had tried 3x’s a day and the outcome was miserable.

After a couple of days of taking Lithium 3x’s a day I started getting the shakes so bad I couldn’t hold a glass, my head was feeling light, and my stomach was sickly.   I just can’t take more than two a day.   Instead of the 3 I now take two a day and feel a little better.  With all the changes in medications and dosages no wonder my body and mind go through so many changes.  One of these days I hope to feel normal without worrying who I am the next day.

 

I Apologize For Not Being Present LatelyI

I have been in a whirlwind of life.  Everything has gone so fast but it  has been a medley of dreams that I am experiencing.  But yet I still battle bipolar every day.

Today, I heard someone tell me “She must be bipolar because he seems to be crazy.”  Of course, I didn’t say anything about  myself, but I wanted to.  I always hate that bipolar people are identified as crazy.  It’s not always true.  I have been going to doctors, therapists, staying on medications and anything I can do to keep my illness in control.

I feel that the best thing I ever did was moved to the northeast coast, North Carolina.  It’s beautiful  with the most friendliest people in the world. When I go to doctors, grocery stores, pharmacists, and most stores I feel so welcome. When I lived in Dallas I was afraid to talk to anyone.  Here, I look forward to talk to anyone I can.  It’s been the most satisfying experience I’ve ever had.

My dreams have started to come true.  I’ve always dreamed to be a  popular photographer and  to start a business in photography. I’m starting to see that come true. How did I do that?  I took my medication.

I make sure I get the medications I need.  I never stop taking  them and I always listen to what the doctor says.  I go to therapy to find out what might be causing the  problems.  I feel that I’m not too proud to listen to what doctors have to say.

If you want to get well or maybe to feel normal make sure you see a doctor.  Bipolar is not something that just goes away you need to treat it.  You need to stopped being in denial and reach out for help.

Oh Know! Another New Doctor!

Yes, I was upset when I was told that my regular doctor who prescribesmy meds for me was no longer around.  I knew that meant that I would have to start over with a new doctor explaining everything.

Today, I got to see this new doctor and I was not impressed.  First of all he was 30 minutes late.  Then I get in the office and sit down, and I noticed he was chewing gum.  I mean really chewing it!  I felt it was so unprofessional.  Then he tells me he just now opened my file.  Meaning he had a whole month since my last visit to read over my chart.  He did ask me a few questions and from those questions and answers he decided to take me off my Zoloft and put me on Celexa.  I’ve been on that before and I don’t remember much about it.  Then he said  he wanted to try this new drug which I can’t remember.  It starts with an “L.”  Not Lithium, nor Lexapro.

I took my prescription into the pharmacist to get my new medications and was told that Medicare didn’t pay for the new drug.  I asked why and was told it was an alternative and the cost was $1,000.  Yes, $1,000!  I looked at her and asked, “Are you kidding?”   Of course, I said forget it.  I’ll just take my Celexa home.  They’re going to ask the doctor if there is another similar drug.  The problem is at times I hear voices and they are usually calling my name.  It’s really weird.  I told him I think their just ghosts.  You should have seen the look on his face! 🙂

My Life is Becoming FullFilled – But I’m Scared

Just about every time I feel that life is walking a straight line with no curves I have a wreck.  I’ve been doing great on my photography, my family is great, and my personal life with my new roommate is working out great!  I couldn’t be happier as long as I stayed tamed. 🙂  Over the last two  months I’ve been invited to participate in the making of a major movie.  I’ve been playing a background extra with a lot of animation and pantomime.  In others words when the paramedic asks how I’m doing.  I cry and say I’m fine. LOL!

I’m also getting preparing for an upcoming art show where I can display my photography and sell it.  Plus, I recently went to a real life fashion show to shoot models in a very dark room.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I panicked at first, but then I felt like I fit right in.

Staying busy when I can is very valuable to me.  Before I got help with my Bipolar I couldn’t concentrate on any thing except what was in front of me.  I didn’t want to go out in public out of fear of rejection and not saying the right thing.  I always felt so stupid.  I may not have the grammar, spelling, speech, or math, but I’m a beautiful person who cares for others. That’s the most important part of ones life.