I saw my pdoc earlier this week.  I told her that I was reluctant to say this, but I think I might be stable at the moment.  Why am I reluctant?  Because I didn’t want to jinx myself.  I’m still reluctant to post this subject.  Stability is weird.  It feels foreign to me.  I can be happy and laugh, without going overboard.  I can think at a quiet pace, without my thoughts rushing ahead of me.  I can be sad without being immobilized.

My doctor is also treating me with Straterra for ADD.  This also appears to be helping with my focus.  I don’t get up and do other things four or five times in a two paragraph email message.  My thoughts are slow, compared to what I am used to. But I feel like I can finish this post without running and doing a dozen other things at the same time.  Maybe that’s just called multi-tasking, but that has always been beyond me.  And honestly, I don’t think multi-tasking is good for anyone.  You do a dozen things at once, but do they all get done right?  Doesn’t it take some focus to complete a task well?  I’m so used to hyperfocusing, that I don’t even know the correct answer for those questions.

Maybe this is the time to work on me.  Time to work on more core issues.  Things that are too hot to touch when in an extreme state.  I need to come to terms with my past, my childhood, and my mistakes.  I need to learn but not mourn.  This is the perfect time for CBT.  I need to dig deeper into my psyche while I have the opportunity to do so without it blowing up in my face.

I am afraid.  I am afraid that this plateau won’t last.  Stability has only come to me in spurts: a week or two here and there.  I don’t predict it lasting, although that would be nice. Or would it?  I once had a therapist tell me that I have so much drama in my life because I seek drama. I never thought that I seek drama, but it always seemed to me that drama finds me.  But is there a kernel of truth in there?  Maybe when I was younger but I am too old for that crap now.  But I do wonder… Do I know what to do with myself on a daily basis if I’m not fighting depression or mania?

I don’t call myself in recovery though, because I will never fully recover from bipolar disorder.  I think of bipolar as a relapsing/remitting illness.  And right now, I appear to be in remission.  I don’t know how long it will last, but hopefully long enough that I don’t feel so foreign to myself.  Some part of me worries – who am I without my bipolar?  Am I still an interesting person?  Will my friends still like me?  Will I like me?

So many philosophical questions, things that can only be answered by time.  I hope I don’t become so mellow as to be boring.  I hate boring.  But I guess it’s time to find out who I am beneath this layer of illness called bipolar.

Two Months

It’s been 2 months since the surgery on my elbow. I’ve gotten better but I don’t see myself going back to work. In part, I just don’t want to. But more importantly, I don’t see myself being capable of the physical aspects of my job. The arm still hurts a lot when I try to do things. Still can’t type or write, but those motions are getting a bit easier. Stress on the arm is causing pain. Small things like getting soap out of a pump dispenser. But they’ve got me up to 2lb weights in PT so that’s something. I’ve only got 3 more sessions of PT left before I “graduate” to a home program. Seriously? No more PT?

Talked with my (psych) therapist today. She had some suggestions as to how to approach the doctor. Just tell him about my pain problems and that my employer (co-workers mostly) don’t respect work restrictions. I don’t know if it will make any difference. I just don’t want to damage this arm again. It has cost me too much in time, money, stress, and happiness for it not to be fixed properly.

My worker’s comp injury has been giving me grief again over the past few days. I don’t know why. Doing too much? Will I ever get back to normal???

On the mental side of things, I seem to be stable at a mild depression. My doc & I decided to change the Celexa back to Paxil. I’m taking it at night with my Klonopin and that seems to help with the side effects, but it’s only been a week so I can’t say with complete certainty that it will fix the problem. It’s only a matter of time with the Paxil. It will start to help after about 2 weeks and will slowly ramp into mania if it’s not controlled. So this will be a good test for the Geodon. We are also decreasing my Lamictal to see if it improves my memory and estrogen levels. I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since my hysterectomy. Lamictal and HRT interfere and each makes the other weaker. Since my current dose of Lamictal is far above therapeutic levels, we are going to lower it and see what happens. Wish me luck.

I guess that’s all for now. I have PT tomorrow so we’ll see what that brings.

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OK, so I’ve been working really hard at PT and I can almost eat by myself. (I’ve got 1-2 inches to go before I can reach my mouth with a fork.) When I asked the doctor about restrictions, he said to ask my PT. Weight restrictions are a can of soup and range of motion only. The doctor and PT say no typing or writing. Certain motions are restricted and others are encouraged, but the biggest things are no weight and no strain that would result in elongation of the tendon. I’m still supposed to wear the sling when I go out in public.

So imagine my surprise when I talked to the doctor’s nurse today about driving and she said I could be driving now. WHAT THE %*^# ?!?!?!!! This strikes me as something that flies in the face of ALL of my other restrictions. So I talked to my PT and she agrees that driving is not a good idea. The way she put it is: do you feel you could steer out of the way in an emergency situation? No. I don’t think I could even turn a corner. I get nervous just thinking about it.

I feel the nurse is giving me different information than the doctor and I don’t know how to approach him about it. DH, who believes that everyone is fundamentally good, calls this nurse a bitch. I think one of you (Lulu?) called her evil. I think she is just incompetent. Why give medical advice that contradicts everyone else? With this nurse’s attitude, how do ANY of his patients get better? Once I’m better, I plan to report her to the facility. In the meantime, I still need her to fill out my damn paperwork.

I am so frustrated right now that I can’t even focus on writing this post. I think every day I get more and more terrified of going back to work. I think I need a Klonopin now.