Mental Health

So on Wednesday, Dept. of Mental Health called me up and asked me to come in on Friday for an evaluation. I wasn’t totally thrilled about this, but whatever… I’d get through it.

On Thursday night I discovered that DMH has a patient portal website and you can view your records, test results, etc. I signed up, but needed an access code to actually get full functionality.

Friday I went in and met with a really nice woman. She was friendly without trying to be my friend, professional, and straight to the point. She made me as comfortable as possible considering all the things that were asked. The evaluation interview took about 90 minutes and I was out of mental energy at the end of it, but I mentioned a lot of things I had held back before and things my psych Dr. is still unaware of. I basically spilled everything because I figured once its out there, I can either explain it or not, but I can’t unsay it, and I have so many problems I really should be discussing with my Dr but I just don’t.

At the end she asked if there was anything I wanted to do to add to my treatment, like therapy, and I said yes. I said yes to therapy! I meet with her again next week to either definitely become one of her patients, which is what I am hoping for, or to find out whose patient I will become. Either way I’m both nervous and looking forward to it because there are so many things I need to work through. The whole thing was stressful, but I made it through and I think it will be for the better.

When I came home, I logged into the patient portal and input my access code and I found this under my diagnosis:

This is super interesting to me because never in the 8 or 9 years I’ve been going there has anyone ever mentioned Borderline Personality Disorder. Its also a tiny bit funny because this is what I self-diagnosed myself with via the internet before I ever went in to the DMH to get help.

Reading over the information on it on a government site, I’m pretty much a textbook case… and Liz pointed out that it can be hard if not impossible to tell a person with a personality disorder that they have one, but damn it! I need all the information! Gimme!

So in short, weird new-to-me diagnosis feelings, excited and scared to start therapy, but super glad to hopefully start working through some shit and move forward.

Freaking Out

Saturday I got a notice that my disability was being cancelled. I called them and not only are my payments being stopped, but my insurance is being cancelled as well. Why? Because my gynecologist says I’m not disabled. Read that again. My gynecologist says I am not disabled. I had no idea she was a qualified judge of my mental health, or that bipolar disorder and anxiety just vanish one day out of the blue.

I’m going to appeal the decision of course, but until then, this is what I’m looking at.

No insurance means no meds.

No meds means I absolutely cannot work and I will lose pretty much all functionality I have now.

If I can’t work, I definitely can’t afford to pay to get insurance to get my meds. So again, no meds.

With no meds, no functionality, I’ll be reapplying for disability again because I will be unfit for work.

I literally can’t even right now because this is such a fucking clusterfuck.

I can likely still be seen by my psych doctor without income but getting meds is super iffy. And while I would love to work, support myself, and pay my bills like most other people, I can’t even get through a jury duty summons without having panic attacks at the prospect of having to be around strangers for several days running.

I’m high functioning now because I avoid all the things that trigger me and cause me issues. I am med compliant. I do everything I can to make things easier on myself.

But being cut off from my meds and losing my disability status takes all those coping mechanisms away from me and leaves me with nothing but my mental illness.

All The Things

I’ve had another violin lesson with the lovely Faustina, and I still love it. Its challenging, but in a good way. My next (3rd) lesson is this Friday and while I’m struggling with my C note (2nd finger, 3rd string), otherwise I’m doing okay. I really should devote a little more time to practicing though. An extra half hour a wek would really make a difference, and that’s really only 5 minutes more a day if I practice 6 days a week.

My guitar I bought that I shared with you previously has been rehabbed, though I did have to rig up a fix for one of its issues. I replaced the tuning heads, the nut, the saddle, and the strings and bridge pins, but discovered after it was strung that there’s something not right with where the nut sits, and my strings were all touching the first fret. I poured, cured, and trimmed a small bit of clear resin to pad under the nut to raise it just a bit to keep the strings of the first fret. I also discovered after all of that (time, effort, money) that the neck is cracked. But it seems to be straight on the front side and playable so I will ignore it until it either gets worse or actually breaks. I’m doing the beginner’s group lesson at Guitar Center on the 17th. It will be a busy day as I will be doing that in the morning, we’ll be taking my FIL shopping after that, and then most likely going to a party in Palmdale.

My FIL has had a knack for scheduling his appointments at the only times I am actually busy, so I made and printed out calendars for him that show all the times I am not available… and he still manages to schedule things for the wrong days and times. *sigh* He scheduled one for this Friday right before my violin lesson…. there’s no way we will have time to get to his Dr’s appointment, then go out to eat, drive him home, drive back to Lancaster, and get to my lesson before 4pm, so I said we will have to go eat before the Dr’s appointment. I know he doesn’t want to get up that early but I did say noon or before 1pm when he was scheduling it and of course he scheduled it for 1pm.

When I go to my next Dr’s appointment I am asking to be taken off of the Trileptal. I don’t feel like it did anything to curb my mild mania, and honestly, I don’t want to take something that seems to do nothing for me. I closed my last credit card down so its going to take a lot of effort for me to do any crazy spending now, and really that’s all I do now if I’m somewhat manic.

I finished this blanket this morning- it was supposed to only be a baby blanket between 36″ and 42″ wide but nope. Once again my color plan took over and it grew and grew. It would be great over a couch or on a twin sized bed. I had to buy another skein of the red to finish it because I literally ran out with 15″ to go before it was done. Ugh. Oh well. At least its a nice red.

 

We are trying to eat a bit better and I stocked up on fruits and veggies this last shopping trip. There will be no excuses for eating like crap. When I bought all the groceries yesterday, the cashier rang up almost all of my fruits and vegetables wrong, but it ended up being to my benefit and I really didn’t feel like correcting her with almost every produce item she typed in.

 

 

New Meds, Ukulele Tune-Up, Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday I had an appointment with my psych doctor, where we discussed I feel fucking fantastic, but strongly suspect I am somewhat manic due to the condition of my one credit card account. Its fairly hemorrhaging money, and spending money is something I do when I’m manic. He suggested trying me on a low dose of Trileptol along with my other meds (Geodon and Zoloft) to see if it balances me out. The mania started around the same time as the Zoloft did. Ugh.

Part of me is like “Just go back on Wellbutrin! You were stable then!” but I had so many side effects from it which is why I went off of it. I really hope this works though, because I am getting tired of making changes and trying to find the magical “this works”.

Last night I decided to very carefully make some adjustments to my DIY kit ukulele and try to tune up the set-up a bit and make it play better. I carefully removed the nut and the saddle and sanded them both down (from the bottom) and reinstalled them. I also gently removed the neck from the body and reglued it, and made it sit a little flatter, and the same thing with the bridge. It seems to play better now, though I realized I actually installed the bridge in not quite the right spot, which means my intonation is a bit off. I didn’t realize when I put it together that the location of the bridge was that important. Eventually I might see about measuring that out (maybe when I change my strings?) and placing at a more optimal position.

Today is mine and Mattie’s 7th anniversary. 7 years with this guy and we’re both still alive! LOL Sashi will be 6 in a few weeks. We got her when we had been together about a year, but I still can’t believe she’s a middle-aged dog now. I have a small gift I made Mattie, and he’s cooking me dinner tonight- chicken, steak, cole slaw, wine. Hopefully the wine doesn’t mix badly with my new medication.

Donating Blood

After finding out there is a blood donation center here at our local hospital and that I was probably eligible to donate, I drove over last Tuesday morning to see. Its something I’ve wanted to do for some time but never had.

It took me almost twenty minutes to get into the hospital and find the right building because someone had hit a utility pole in front of the hospital that morning and the main street its on was mostly blocked off. Once I got in there, I did the questionnaire, and I was in the comfy chair all ready to get poked… and then the power went out.

With no power they don’t have reliable blood storage, so I got sent home. But ten minutes after I got home, they called me back, so I hopped back in the car again. This time we were in business!

No one warned me they use a 16 gauge needle for donations- something about not damaging the actual cells in the blood I guess. I think a 14 gauge is used for implanting microchips so that’s a pretty big freaking needle. And I have tiny veins.

The lady had to keep fiddling with it, but I gave my pint and say down to enjoy my snack. It was like being in kindergarten again. Cookies and juice… LOL. After that I drove home and went on with my day. I’m super glad I finally did it though and will definitely do it again!

Post-Surgery Update

My last post was a few days ago, telling you about my tubal ligation experience. As of today (4 days after) I have virtually no pain but I do feel some tightness in my lower abdomen here and there. The vaginal bleeding stopped after the second day, and aside from getting tired really easily, I feel pretty damned good.

I never did fill my painkiller Rxs and i think I took a total of 1200mg of ibuprofen the day of surgery in two doses, 1000mg the second day in 3 doses, and 200mg the third day before we went out to a party.

My care sheet basically says “resume normal activity” and then has a whole section with things like “no driving” “no exercise” “no lifting”…. so I’m really not sure what normal daily activities I’m actually allowed to do. I’m just trying to do what I can, without causing myself pain or strain, and trying not to complete exhaust myself in the process.

Tomorrow I am taking Mattie’s dad to a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, so hopefully that won’t wear me out too badly as we have pool later that night.

Tubal Ligation is Done!

Several months ago I started the process to get a tubal ligation. Once I found out the process, it turned out to be easier than I expected. My first stop was Planned Parenthood. They did the mandatory 30 minute counseling session with me to make sure I understood that sterilization is permanent and that I really did not want kids. That part was super easy.

Then I went to my primary doctor and requested a referral to a gynecologist. There was some hold up there with my insurance until I requested my medical records from Planned Parenthood and had my primary doctor send in the proof of the counseling session.

The next hold up was 3 times I was referred to the wrong kind of doctor. I finally got my referral to a gynecologist and she did an exam and asked me a lot of questions. When she heard that there is mental illness on both sides of my relationship, she agreed that that alone was an excellent reason to give me the go ahead. I wasn’t going to judge her idea of a good reason to sterilize me; I was just glad that she agreed to do it.

The next few weeks were filled with driving all over the place (did I mention the doctor I was referred to was an hour’s drive away from me?) to pick things up, have tests run, and in general drive me batty. I was thankfully able to do my EKG and bloodwork where I live, but had to drive down below to get my chest x-ray.

That was a week ago. Yesterday I went in for the actual surgery at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. It felt like I was waiting in holding for hours, but once they put me under, I blinked and it was done. I freaked out a little when I woke up in recovery because for a few minutes I couldn’t really move and I couldn’t do more than just moan and whimper. I think they paralytic they give you for surgery was still in me a bit. When I could move better and actually talk, I spent 15 minutes cracking what could only be truly awful jokes because no one laughed. I’m so glad no one was there to record that.

The surgery itself went great. No problems, and just two tiny incisions. One in my bellybutton and one right above my pubic area. When we left the hospital, our first stop was to go to Arby’s. I was starving after my fast (the day before I was only allowed clear liquids and jello) and a turkey sandwich never tasted so good!

We stopped by the pharmacy, but I ended up not getting my pain med Rxs filled because the doctor wrote them on the same sheet, and Norco is nearly impossible to get here, and when the Rxs are written like that they have to fill both of them at the same time. Instead I just bought menstrual pads and a bottle of ibuprofen. The menstrual pads were because apparently after this surgery you bleed from your vagina and there is a big “don’t put things in your vagina” warning on the printout for after care… LOL. After that we were on our way home.

After we were home I kinda felt like I got kicked in the stomach by a horse, which is pretty much how bad menstrual cramps can feel. I was tired too, but not tired enough to actually sleep. Mattie and I stayed up kinda late watching TV on Hulu and then went to bed. At first I couldn’t get comfortable but then I knocked out pretty quickly.

This morning I woke up and I felt like I had a brutal workout at the gym yesterday and did about a thousand sit-ups. I took 600mg of ibuprofen and after about an hour felt quite a bit better. I’m still sore of course and I feel like an old lady, but its honestly not that bad and I wouldn’t die if I didn’t have anything for pain.

I’m super relieved that I did it. I’m glad I won’t have to worry about an accidental pregnancy. And as someone I follow on Instagram said, “Welcome to Sterile Club!” LOL I did however have a few naysayers along the way. I had a few private messages from friends when I talked about wanting this done on Facebook saying I was too young and I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m 35 years old people. I’ve never wanted kids. And one of the surgical nurses insisted I would be back in a few years to have it reversed, or that I could always rent a womb, or do in vitro fertilization. She also questioned me if my boyfriend was really on board with this. On the other hand, when I saw my new psych doctor the day before my surgery, he applauded me for making a conscious decision to prevent unwanted pregnancies when so many people who shouldn’t have kids just keep popping out babies.

But its done, and I’m glad. Now to just recover and get back to normal! I’m planning on doing some knitting during my downtime. 🙂

So Damned Tired

I’m going to blame the Zoloft because that’s all that has changed. Since I started taking it, I fall asleep by 11pm every night, wake up at 6am most mornings, and then take a 2 hour nap around 11am  and feel like I could easily sleep another two hours. I’m so tired all the time and I am hoping this passes in a few weeks because being this tired any time I am awake really sucks.

Yesterday I took my bag of donations to Grace Thrift and dropped them off, plus visited several other thrift stores in hopes of finding a great deal on something I could actually use. I found several yards still on the bolt of a cute flannel print I had bought years ago (but I didn’t need it so left it) and a huge bag of novelty yarns (all of the varieties I’ve recently gotten rid of because I hate them) and three bags of knitting needles (but they all looked mismatched). I didn’t come home with one single thing.

On the upside I have gotten more done in cleaning up my craft room. After donating that bag of stuff, I was able to throw away more trash and I sorted a few more items into the basket I’ve set aside for Tracy. I also finally found a table that I can use to both store my sewing machines, and take up less space in my craft room. This is the one I ordered.

table1

It measure about 20″ deep by 39″ wide with the leaf down. With the leaf up, it measures 63″ wide, which is still smaller then my current folding table.

table2

I plan to leave my Janome on the top of it all the time and store my Brother on the shelf inside the cabinet when I’m not using it since I don’t use it as much. I can keep my sewing books in the cabinet to the right and plus all my buttons and things like scissors, pins, tape measures, et cetera can all go into the trays inside the big door. The biggest appeal is of course it is smalled in every direction, so I will have more floor space in my room.

The only thing I will really need to find to make my craft room perfect is a good chair, but the cheapie folding chair I’m currently using does okay. Its not the worst but not the best either.

I have about a week before either my new craft table or my cubical shelves I ordered last week arrive, but expect new photos of my craft room once I get them and get them built and set up.

Hello! Or Something

This morning we had the plumber out to take a look at three issues we were having with the water. We’ve had no cold water to the washer for months, which means I’ve had to fill the washer from the hose, which as you can imagine, gets old quickly, and because there’s no cold water going in, our washer skips the rinse cycle. We’ve been unable to take baths because almost no water will come out of the bathtub tap. Barely a trickle. And the water to the swamp cooler can’t be turned off all the way- minor enough in the grand scheme of things, but something that needed fixing. The plumbers were here about an hour and a half and fixed everything for us, so hopefully we can go awhile before we need to call them out again.

I got 3 of my things I’ve ordered recently in the mail today- Curvy Girl Crochet (which honestly I’m a little disappointed in most of the designs- they are typical fat girl styles and don’t properly show off the right curves), a skein of Bernat Blanket in Vintage White that after a gift card redemption I got for $0.08, and a beautiful ball of Knit Picks Chroma in North Woods which I can’t stop looking at. I’ve got 4 more small items coming (3 more books and 2 skeins of lovely, lovely yarn) and I found (and ordered) the shelving unit I wanted for the other side of my craft room at Target at a slightly lower price than even Closetmaid offers. I am having it shipped to Target to pick up so hopefully it will arrive sooner than having their painfully slow shipping sent to my house.

I seem to be doing okay on the Zoloft so far. It seems to be helping curb my ever present anxiety a bit more and I am sleeping better than before. I’m also pretty sure I’ve entered another manic phase though and we will need to try upping the dosage of my Geodon the next time I go in to see my doctor. In other doctor related news, I got the okay from my insurance to schedule my surgery for tubal ligation so will call to make the appointment on Monday. I need to let that doctor know about the changes to my medications as well.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time the last few days cleaning, sorting, organizing, and throwing out a ton of stuff from my craft room. Basically I threw out 2 trash bags full of cheap, icky, 60’s and 70’s polyester knit fabrics in various states of being turned into shirts and dresses by my grandmother. I took the time to remove all the pins from the bundles and removed the occasional paper pattern piece from them as well- the pins for me, and the mismatched pattern pieces for an art project for Tracy. I also bagged up half a bag of clothing and yarn to donate to thrift. The bag I had of finished sewing projects I was able to store in the bottom drawer of my fabric storage which cleared up quite a bit of space. I’m hoping to get my craft room looking fabulous in the next week or so and as organized as it can get.

That’s all I’ve got for now so until next time… 🙂

Guinea Pig

Yesterday I had my appointment with my psych doctor and it went well. I explained to him that in hindsight I felt going off of the Wellbutrin and not trying another anti-depressant was a mistake, that I felt I had been going downhill over the last six months, culminating in a couple of weeks of crying and some very negative thoughts. I also told him in less than a year I’ve gained 90 pounds, because to put it simply, I eat my feelings and I’ve not been well. Of course it took months for me to see it for myself because I never see it until I’m about thirty feet underground.

He pointed out that I’ve been having manic depressive cycles which I should not be, and we decided to try Zoloft and see where that leaves me. Later we may try increasing my dose of Geodon as well if this doesn’t control my cycling. I took the first dose of the Zoloft last night.

After I picked up my new Rx, I stopped by Michael’s and found two skeins of yarn I liked in the clearance aisle, plus got some others that were on sale, plus I had a 20% off coupon. I also got two rubber stamps for $1.00 each.

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One of my clearance yarns. I've been wanting to try this yarn for a while but it's rather expensive for am acrylic yarn so hadn't gotten any until now.

We had pool league last night and I did terrible. 16 points across all 4 games, my best game being a 6. Just not a good night for me or really anyone on our team. We only won one set.

After we left pool, we stopped by Berry Star and got frozen yogurt. I tracked all my food yesterday and managed to stay under my limits. I’m trying to use up all the meat in the freezer before I buy more, and I think we have about 5 days left – I think we will run out right before the end of the month.

After we got home, Mattie went right to bed, and I fed the dogs, did the dishes, took the dogs out to potty, put some purchased craft supplies away, put the dishes away, checked the mail, sorted out and threw away Mattie’s holey socks, and put the laundry away. It was a lot of stuff but it only took about 45 minutes to do. Then I finally got to bed.