Mental Health – Legal Issues

Disclaimer: I am not a legal or medical professional.  Do not take this blog post in lieu of legal or medical advice.

I urge each and every one of you to designate someone for durable power of attorney and have a health care proxy.  These are cheap to do – I bought software for under $100 and made my own, had it witnessed and notarized at the bank for free.  Attorney fees will vary but can be found for ~$100-150.  You never know when it will come in handy. 

Don’t take any chances – do this for your loved ones – get a POA, health care proxy, living will/DNR, and a will.  I don’t care if you don’t have anything to will away, your personal effects have to go to someone.  Most importantly, talk over your wishes with who ever will be your POA and health care proxy.  Don’t think this doesn’t apply to you.  I know an 18 year old who had a heart attack.  If you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to write out your legal wishes.

You need someone you trust to take over your finances and/or health decisions if you are incapacitated (i.e., recovering in a mental or physical health facility).  We all need this – it’s not just mental health or just a physical health issue.  And it’s not for you.  It’s for your loved ones.

 

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Job Interview Tomorrow

OK, I have a job interview tomorrow. However, it’s not as great as it sounds. It’s to be a bank teller. Apparently, they weren’t scared off by my Ph.D. (I had to put it on my app since they are running a background check and it would have come up if I lied.) So, I applied on Thursday, they called me on Friday to set up the appointment for tomorrow. I’m really not sure what I am doing.

I didn’t lie on my application or anything, and I do need a job, and I don’t think that being a bank teller would be all that bad except for one thing: standing up all day. Yes, this should have been obvious to me. But I applied on Thursday when I had a cold and wasn’t thinking clearly. I honestly didn’t expect them to respond, at least not so soon. Now I’ve got a job interview for a job that I don’t know if I can do because I don’t know if I can stand up all day long.

Why? Because I have 3 herniated disks in my back that press on my sciatic nerve when irritated. I’ve also got a bunion in my right foot. There’s a cyst in my foot that is pressing on the toe joint. I thought the doctor said something about my bones separating too, but now I’m not sure. I don’t know. I’m too young for this crap.

Apparently not, because it says online that even teenagers can get bunions. Crap.

Regardless, my foot hurts pretty often and I’m sure standing won’t help any.

So what do I do? DH says to go and at least hear them out. I’m thinking maybe there’s the possibility of a stool to sit on from time to time when they aren’t busy. I need a job, even though it’s minimum wage, and I need health insurance. I wish now that I hadn’t applied for it. I don’t know. I am so confused.

World Mental Health Day 2012

 

Today is World Mental Health Day.  The focus this year is Depression.  As a sufferer of depression, more specifically bipolar depression, I can attest that depression is not a simple illness.  It affects you mentally, physically, socially and professionally.  It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning.  The day drags by and you don’t really care if that report gets done on time or how well it gets done.  Everything feels grey and pointless.  You want to go home and go to bed.  Just get the day over with.  You think, “I’ll start fresh tomorrow.”

But tomorrow is just like today. Another cloudy day in your dreary life.

Approximately 5-8% of the American population suffers from Major Depression Disorder (MDD) and women are twice as likely to be affected when compared to men (NAMI 2009).  MDD is often a recurring illness, as half of all sufferers will have repeated episodes.  There are also genetic risk factors for MDD.

Depression is thought to be the result of an imbalance of the neurotransmitters seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are chemical messengers in the brain.  Most antidepressants work by changing the balance of these neurotransmitters, usually by changing the sensitivity or affecting their receptor sites.  For example, SSRIs or Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors, work by blocking the reuptake receptors in the brain.  This means that the brain does not reabsorb as much seratonin as it normally would, leaving extra to float around and combat depression.

Depression is more accepted than other mental illnesses, although there is still plenty of stigma to go around.  You may have heard, “snap out of it”, “cheer up”, or “it’s not that bad”.  Yes, even trivial things are “that bad” when you are suffering from depression.  As well meaning as your family, friends or coworkers might be, if they have never suffered from depression, then they don’t understand how you can feel so down.

Depression is a serious illness and should be treated seriously.  So join me today in the battle against stigma and spread the word about World Mental Health Day.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. 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.

 

Finally caught a break…

COBRA is finally in place! After a third phone call, I spoke to someone who gave me more new information, but helped me straighten it all out. Turns out, you can’t make a payment if you are set up for direct deposit. So the nice fellow who helped me yesterday removed the direct deposit, allowed me to pay for one month with a credit card, then processed a rush with the insurance companies so that I am now covered and back covered. Additionally, my check was processed as well, which catches me up through the end of June. The same nice fellow who helped me yesterday also called me back today to tell me that everything was set up. I picked up my Paxil today and only had to spend $1.25 instead of $33 for it. *whew!* Finally!!

This week has been a little crazy, but hopefully things are settling down now. I wrote about the incident with my niece in Runaway and Runaway Part II.  She seems to be herself now, but I will track her facebook statuses more carefully from now on.  They seem to be a good indication of how things are going with her.  She doesn’t seem inclined to talk to me, and I think it’s because she is afraid that I will tell her what she doesn’t want to hear: partying is bad for her. I know how she feels.  But you have to make choices in life and some of those are related to your health.  Others are related to your career and if she keeps this drinking and partying up she won’t have the career she wants.  It’s hard to get through school with a science degree.  It’s harder to get through school with a science degree and good grades, even if you are smart.  It takes a lot of work.  She’ll tell me that she knows and is prepared, but her behavior speaks to the opposite.  There’s a big difference between a beer or two on a Friday night and being too drunk to walk without falling down.  Maybe I sound like a stick in the mud, but I’ve been where she is and I know it doesn’t work.

On to other news… I got called a BFF this week! 🙂  I’ve never been called a BFF before.  I was out shopping with a friend of mine on Wednesday, and we were looking at pillows for her new couch.  I picked up a cute one that had BFF embroidered on it and that’s when she said I was her BFF.  It took a few moments before it sunk in, and I said it back.  (It’s sorta like the L-bomb, isn’t it?)  I think a million things went through my head in those few moments.  First, I’ve always thought of myself as a loner inside.  My friendships aren’t fake, but they are limited.  For example, this friend doesn’t know I am bipolar.  She probably never will.  Which is another part of the reason why I hesitated.  Can I call someone a best friend if I can’t tell them I am bipolar?  I probably could, but I don’t want to.  You see, she is a police officer.  And I don’t want her thinking that someday she might have to be the one sitting next to me while I’m handcuffed to a chair awaiting a psych eval.  If the situation ever warrants it, I would tell her, but there’s no need to blurt it out just because we’ve determined we are BFFs.  Oh, and lastly?  I never thought I was cool enough to be called a BFF.  😉

That rounds out most of this week.  I am so happy to have insurance coverage!  And I am so excited to be called a BFF!  (I feel cool now.)  Next up – I need a job!  In the meantime, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Taking a “Day Off”

Technically, one could say I’ve been taking a day off for the past 10 months.  But today, it’s from the job hunt.  I just don’t have it in me today.  DH just tells me to do one thing each day (usually I do more) but today I feel drained and depressed.  My chances of getting an internal job at this point are almost zero.  I sent my resume to my former manager (now retired) who liked me very much and is going to check around for me (inside and outside my company).  My career really went downhill once she retired.  How is it that I do so poorly with changes in management?

I’m sliding into depression again, and I don’t think medication is going to help me this time.  I’m sleeping long hours, but they aren’t restful.  I fall asleep on the couch at least once a week.  I don’t go to bed until midnight, but then we haven’t been eating dinner until 8 or even 9pm.  (Damn time change!)  I need my meds to kick in order to sleep.  I feel stressed out all the time.  I play way too many video games.  (Arm is fixed, I can play on my own now.)  DH is still having health problems, but he’s not telling me about them.  I worry about him but I don’t know what to do.  He’s a grown man, I can’t force him to go to a doctor.

Back to the job hunt topic… I don’t know where to begin.  I’ve been thinking of a career change, maybe something that doesn’t include a lab.  But who is going to hire me?  Everyone wants an experienced person unless you’re working in Walmart. (No way is that happening!)  Besides, Walmart doesn’t hire people like me.  I would be considered “overqualified” and not willing to stay with the company. Imagine that!

Went to Lowes and returned the excess tile and other parts we didn’t use from the remodel. I got $172 back.  That’s a couple weeks worth of groceries.  I can’t believe we have to pinch pennies again, and gas is upwards of $3.50 a gallon.  Which means, fewer trips to ‘the city’ and around town even though my car gets 30mpg.  I don’t know what to do anymore.  Unemployment is going to drive me insane.

Ah well, I wish I had something better to talk about so I don’t just bore and depress you all.  I’ll think of something good soon.  I have my 100th post coming up!  I have to write something special for that.  Let me put my thinking cap on…

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. 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.

One mile

One mile isn’t really that far.  I’ve walked many miles in my life in places like Seattle, DC, Paris and Prague.  So what’s the big deal about walking a mile? I tried to walk a mile today in my neighborhood.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

I tried walking yesterday at the “Goose Park“, as I shall call it from now on, with great success.  Up and down little hills, I walked the lanes back and forth zig-zagging along the paths.  I was breaking out into a sweat after 15 minutes, after 30 I couldn’t take a step further. I was a little sore today but my psychiatrist strongly urged me to keep walking since I need to build up my stamina before I go back to work. So I took a walk today too.  If you’ve been reading along these past few weeks, you know that depression has been kicking my ass – hard.  I haven’t been doing anything, much less walking, and just getting up the energy to go for a walk with my husband when he takes the dog has been an enormous effort.  I always want to stop and rest, if I can’t find an excuse not to go in the first place.  After two days of intentionally walking – I’m exhausted.  It’s not the neuropathy this time; I’m just that out of shape.  No wonder I am putting on so much weight! 😦

My neighborhood is somewhat hilly so that 1 mile really counts for something.  But when I got home and asked my husband how far that trip is and he said a mile, I about fell over.  It felt like two!  In fact, I was sure it must have been two – how could one mile be so damn difficult?  The human body is a strange thing – it takes so much work to make it good and so little to make it fail.  Even with as poorly as my arm was before the surgery, just 10 days in a splint and I lost all range of motion.  It took 4 weeks to get just the range of motion back.  I’m still working on strength.

It wasn’t so long ago that I could walk a mile and a half in 30min without heavy breathing.  Between not working, not exercising, and depression, all I can walk is a mile.  Oh well, one mile is better than no miles.  It’s a start.


© 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.