Manic Monday

I can’t say it’s a “Manic Monday” because I am neither manic nor is it Monday.  You might be wondering why I chose to go by Manic Monday.  Well, there is a story behind the phrase, but the blog name and my pen name are the same because basically I was rather stumped by the whole setup process in WordPress.  (Go ahead, laugh, it’s OK.)  Having bungled it from the beginning, and after making a few friends in the neighborhood, it didn’t seem like I should put forth the effort to change anything at this stage.  Besides, I’m not sure I can come up with a more creative name anyway.

On to the story behind the name… you may recognize “Manic Monday” because it’s a song by The Bangles.  A song from my teenage years – so you can estimate my age now.  They were never a favorite but I did like The Bangles.  (I was more of a Duran Duran girl at the time.)  However, when my obession with this song started about a year ago I actually was manic.  I didn’t recognize it for a long time – until after my new neurologist point it out.  That’s when I started writing this blog.

Things at work had been pretty rough for about a year.  It’s difficult when your supervisor is a narcissistic bully.  I went through a lot of depression, abuse PTSD and just general instability.  My health was rapidly going downhill with symptoms that still can’t be explained but had me convinced that I would be in a wheelchair within a few years.  The symptoms suddenly subsided sometime in April or May and I hope they stay that way.  But in January 2011, my previous neurologist prescribed me Cymbalta for the neuropathy pain.  A red flag should have gone up but didn’t.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Cymbalta, it is a strong anti-depressant that is also used to treat neuropathy.  I took the minimum dose for about two weeks.  It didn’t help with the neuropathy so I quit.  I don’t know if this is what started my mania, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it had an impact.  I don’t know when my mania actually started.  I was so worried about losing feeling in my legs that any mental health signs were lost.  For all I know, the mania and Cymbalta might not be related. I was only taking Lamictal for my bipolar so I had nothing to prevent mania. All I know is that by the time I met my psychiatrist in July I was coming down off of a manic high.  Not a euphoric mania either – I think that’s why I didn’t recognize it.

Wow, I really got off topic here.  What I was aiming for was not a bio but rather why I like this song now.  It’s because I hated going to work. And our manager started cracking down on people coming in late – well, except for the narcissist – he’s always the exception to every rule.  So you can imagine these lyrics…

But I can’t be late
‘Cause then I guess I just won’t get paid
These are the days
When you wish your bed was already made

I never make my bed.

Got to be to work by nine
And if I had an air-o-plane
I still couldn’t make it on time
‘Cause it takes me so long
Just to figure out what I’m gonna wear

It takes me forever to get ready in the morning.  I can’t figure out what to wear, and even when I decide the night before, something goes wrong and I have to start over.  It takes me about an hour and a half – longer if I wear makeup or eat.

As time went on and every day seemed like a “Monday” I started thinking of this song every time the alarm clock went off.  Eventually, I made a ringtone for my alarm.  I don’t know if I will still feel like every day is a “Manic Monday” once I go back to work.  We’ll find out in about a month.


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Writing

Writing has been very difficult for me lately. Even though I can now type with two hands, I feel like I have nothing to say. A little bit of depression, I fear. So the question is: why isn’t the Paxil working? It’s always worked like a charm, easing the sadness away starting at two weeks. It’s been three now, and I am getting used to the side effects, but it’s NOT working. WHY?????????

There is another factor in this equation, and that is that we lowered my Lamictal a bit. I’m still above the therapeutic dose so I should be fine. We did this to see if it would improve my memory and my estrogen levels. Yes on the estrogen, still unknown on the memory. But Klonopin reduces memory too – so just call me screwed. (For those of you on Xanax, it can cause memory impairment too. Maybe all the benzos do.)

I’m a little wound up today because the nurse didn’t fax in my paperwork last Friday. Or if she did, then the fax didn’t go through. I don’t know what to do. I left her a message on Friday, but she hasn’t called me back yet. Since the doctor is in the office today, she will be hard to get a hold of, but tomorrow is her desk-day so I may be able to get a hold of her then. I can keep checking my work email too just in case she sent it in but hasn’t bothered to call me. If she tries to tell me that she never got it, well, that’s a problem with their office. I dropped it off, paid my $5 and have a receipt. I have a few more days on the paperwork, but it’s got to get in there soon. I hate dealing with big places with stupid rules. I’m not sure it’s worth it, even if they are supposed to be “the best”.

Sorry this is another rant-day but I needed to get that off my chest. I will try to post something interesting one of these days.

Personal Blog Copyright

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Four Things

I have a tendency to forget things. Whether it’s a result of medication, too much on my mind, or just old age, I don’t know. As a coping mechanism, I try to make lists. But my lists get so long they get overwhelming. And when I’m overwhelmed, I don’t get anything done. (This happens a lot during mania – I start everything and finish nothing.) I also have to confess, I’m a lousy multitasker. I’m very detail oriented, sometimes to the brink of overkill, but I have to be able to focus and not be distracted by things. (This is also why I hate having a pass-through office; too many distractions.)

Since I’m easily overwhelmed, I need to find ways of avoiding it while still accomplishing something. I started doing something over the past couple days that I think I will continue. I make a list with four things that need to be done and I have one day to do them. There may be a hundred things that deserve to be on my list, but I narrow it down to four. I complete those four and then I feel a sense of accomplishment. I may even feel enough accomplishment to keep going with other tasks, but I have not committed myself to it, hence I can avoid feeling overwhelmed.

I don’t know if this will work long term, but at least it’s a start. Do you have any organization tips to share?


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2.5

It’s been 2.5 weeks (or so) since my surgery and I haven’t written in over a week.  Nothing’s happened.  That’s not true – lots of things have happened:  I got my splint off, I started PT,  I’ve even been out of the house a couple times. I haven’t written about any of this because it doesn’t seem like something worthy of writing. But that’s not fair to you.  It’s not my place to determine whether my blog is a waste of your time or not.  It’s your time to do with as you please. If you wish to read it, then the least I can do is write it.

I think the true cause of this attitude is because the depression is returning.  It’s not a train barreling down the tracks at me like before.  It’s slowly creeping up behind me, carrying a cloak of darkness.  It’s a silent stalker, waiting for me to pause in my step, so it can work its dark magic.  Tendrils of familiar sadness flowing over me, binding my arms, slowly dragging me to the ground.  I’m fighting to keep moving but it’s not easy.

The physical is taking a toll on me as well. I can’t use my right hand for much of anything.  My arm doesn’t straighten all the way.  I can’t lift it to my mouth because it won’t go past my chest.  If I try to make a fist, I can get the tips of my (long) nails to just touch my palm.  Last night I was in a lot of pain.  I took a Percocet but it didn’t do any good.  It didn’t even make me tired.

My electronic communication is limited to left-handed typing and dictation because I can’t type or write with my right hand.  It’s taken me an hour to get this far in my post.  I have to ask for help with almost everything.  No wonder I’m depressed.  Maybe it’s situational, but it still feels the same.  Wisps of darkness enveloping me, beginning to drag me into its murky depths.  I feel like I am living in a cocoon, cut off from the rest of the world.

We increased my antidepressant but I have a hunch Celexa just isn’t going to work for me.  Sure wish I could go back to Paxil, but it will render the Percocet useless so it’s no good until after this surgery recovery is over.  I hate being so limited and dependent.  I am trying to stay upbeat but it is hard.  I am trying to be thankful for the small things but that gets hard too.  I am thankful that I have a good surgeon.  I am thankful for good doctors. I am thankful that my Dad is doing OK.  I am really thankful to have a good husband.  It’s the little things that help.  Like knowing someone will read this – so I don’t feel quite so alone.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Under the Knife

I get my elbow reattached in the morning.  I’m not sure there is enough Klonopin for me to deal with this. There are a million things going on in my head, but I don’t feel manic.  I do feel anxious.  VERY anxious.  I called the pre-op department today because I had forgotten to tell them about my Lyrica and I mentioned that have severe PTSD from a past medical trauma.  (For a brief description see Donation: One Slightly Used Gallbladder.)  She asked what the trauma was from and I said a car accident that nearly killed me. I told her how I get very upset and start shaking and my blood pressure goes up, etc.  Then she asked what time I was due to be at the center and I said 7:30am.  She said not to worry, I would be the first one on the schedule and they would get me set up with an IV and a sedative.  I forgot to ask if my husband can come back and keep me company while I wait for the surgeon and anesthesiologist to make their rounds.

I’m already trembling, how will I survive the hour long drive down there?  And I certainly hope they give me something to keep the pain at bay for the long drive home.  (I’m assuming that I will get a script but it will take time to fill and I still have to get home.)  I’ve prepped a pillow for the car ride and a spare bottle of old Lortab in case they won’t give me a parting dose for the ride.  I have backups upon backups and still I don’t feel safe. I worry about the procedure, I worry about the recovery, I worry about everything.  Worrying doesn’t do any good, I know, but how do I stop it?

Today I was really busy with therapist & doctors appointments and the like.  I just settled down to write this about an hour ago.  Just to update on other things – worker’s comp appointment wasn’t as bad as I feared.  He is sending me to a hand specialist to check but it seems that I have inflammation in the wrist joint that will probably go away over time.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  Oh and I was able to get a copy of my job description from my nurse case manager.  I’ve never had one before.  It’s interesting to note that my job description (as a professional with a PhD) is the same description as the technician’s job.  Remind me again why I went to college for 10 years???

Thank you all for the good thoughts for tomorrow.  I’ll post when I can.

Bipolar 1.5

I saw my psychiatrist yesterday.  It was my 3 week checkup on the new Geodon dose.  She asked how the Celexa was doing, but I said I didn’t think I could adequately answer that question since it’s only been a week since I titrated off the Paxil and onto it.  So another followup in 2 weeks to check on the Celexa.  I think this “medication soup”, as I called it, is bringing my moods into line.  But I wonder… how much control do I really want?  Will I never get excited about things?  Will I never experience sadness again?  Yes, I want to feel better but I don’t want to lose myself in the process.

So we talked about a lot of things, and my time even went over by 10 minutes.  I love talking to her.  I feel completely respected, almost as if we are equals, but at the same time master and student.  We talked about panic disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  She read snippets from the DSMV-IV.  We agreed that since my anxiety problems are not something that happens more often than half a week, and usually stem from specific events or situations, I do not suffer from GAD.  (I do have OCD.) We talked about medications and we talked about bipolar.

Then I asked her the question: do you think I am bipolar type I or type II or NOS? I was originally diagnosed NOS, but I’m not sure that has much meaning to it. She took a moment to collect her thoughts and then she said, I think your symptoms resemble bipolar type I more so than type II… but it’s really a spectrum… She pulled out a copy of Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology where he describes the bipolar spectrum and read some of the classifications to me.  But at that point, my brain had stopped listening.  I had the answer to a question that’s plagued me for a long time, but I’m not sure I really wanted it answered.

My first reaction to the call was to make light of it and say, “Well, if you’re going to do it, you may as well go all the way!” This is not meant as a slight to any BP IIs out there, it’s more of a statement as to my coping mechanisms.  I affectionately refer to my time in outpatient therapy as Daycare for Psychos.  I have my chill pill (Klonopin), my crazy pill (Lamictal), and now I need good names for Geodon and my antidepressant.  I once introduced myself to a pair of interns at the neurologist’s office with, “Hi! I’m crazy.”  (The neurologist politely corrected me saying that I wasn’t crazy but rather bipolar.)  Labeling myself, my medications, my experiences with these terms somehow lessens the emotional blow.

Yes, this is the same woman who won’t tell her best friends that she is bipolar.

Because I don’t trust them or because I don’t trust myself?  I don’t know.  Silence is a burden, but it is better than ridicule or pity.  I don’t want to be known as the bipolar friend.  One of my friends already has a bipolar friend and I hear about her every so often.  All the crazy things this woman thinks and does.  When we bought our house, our realator wouldn’t shut up about her crazy ex-daughter-in-law who was bipolar.  I think I wrap myself with twisted humor as a shield against the true face of stigma.

While my brain and my soul are still wrapping themselves around the idea of being bipolar I or perhaps bipolar 1.5 might be a better description, I still have to contend with my impending surgery.  I will try to post a little something tomorrow as it is my last day of two-handedness for a while, but if I can’t eek out the time, I guess I’ll report in when I can get the iPad to cooperate with WordPress.  (It ate half of my original post.)  Good thoughts requested for Thursday AM! 🙂

Surgery Date

I have a date for the surgery on my elbow: Nov 10th.  I’m not looking forward to this – I’m not sure my medical PTSD is actually made any better by repeated exposure to hospitals.  I am better than I used to be.  There was a time when I couldn’t walk into a hospital.  I’m used to going to the ER at my local hospital in the wee hours of the morning.  They are actually not too busy then and the nursing staff is quite nice.  (Last time I had a really hot male nurse- woo!  😉 )  But back to surgery… that’s a whole different ball game.  Based on previous experience, I don’t seem to react well to anesthesia.  And I certainly don’t react well to pain.

This new nurse, the one for the surgeon, is not nearly as supportive as the one for the specialist.  I was trying to schedule my surgery date and she said she could fit me in next week, but when I told her I wanted November, her attitude changed rapidly.  I didn’t tell her this, but I have a wedding to go to and I have worker’s comp doctor appointments and I just can’t handle that much medical all at once.  Then she starts asking if I’m working, and why not, and I’m trying to explain it to her – it’s political – etc.  “We usually don’t do paperwork if your employer takes you off work.”  So I’m trying to explain that it’s a requirement by my employer that I have paperwork and her tone keeps getting snottier with every question.  I finally just asked her to talk to another nurse, the one who works with the specialist I’ve been seeing, because she understands the situation.  By the end of it, this nurse was snarling and I was so rattled that it hadn’t occurred to me that the simple explanation is:  I have work restrictions but my employer does not wish to accommodate them.  That’s why I’m not at work.  Why can’t they just look at my damn chart?

This new nurse probably figures that I am just trying to get out of work.  Part of me is, I suppose, but mostly, I’m just trying to get to a point where I can deal with the surgery emotionally.  Should I call her back? Should I change it?  Should I explain it in a letter submitted with the paperwork that I am going to drop off? I don’t know. My brain is going to explode.

But they don’t want me back to work until I am 100%.  And then I am sure they intend to torture me with tasks that require a lot of manual labor.  They tout safety but they don’t mean it – it’s more get the job done and if someone gets hurt, let’s sweep it under the rug or pretend it’s their fault.  That happened the first time I was hurt at work.  The head of safety was so pissed that I submitted it as an incident that he said further incidents should be reported to him first before they go into the system. What the fuck?  (Please pardon my language.)  If they hadn’t been pushing me to violate my work restrictions, then I wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place.  And if you get hurt, well, they will find a way to toss you into the bottom 10% and put your job in jeopardy.

I had such a nice weekend – the Paxil is finally starting to work – and now this. I’m so upset that I took a Klonopin and I haven’t done that in days, maybe even a week.  The only good thing about today is that I get to see my councilor tonight.  God, I wish I could get drunk.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.