anxiety, bipolar, chronic illness, depression, fibromyalgia, health, illness, mental illness, Movies, tv

TV?

When I was a kid my parents had me write in a journal what I watched on TV and how long I spent watching. I was only allowed 8 hours per week, including Saturday morning cartoons!

I didn’t know what my classmates were talking about when they got excited about shows they watched every night. I was amazed when they talked about watching TV all day on Saturdays.

My parents were both teachers and were left wing idealists. So I was raised differently from my friends. We never had any junk food around, I wasn’t allowed to eat sugar cereal and I had to drink diet soda. All these things don’t seem like that much, but together, especially the way kids latch onto anything they see as different, like me. Not only was I weird because I had very little experience with pop culture, but I really liked the learning part of school too! god forbid a kid cares about what is being taught​!

My whole life, as an adult, and even when I was in university, I didn’t watch much TV and rarely went to the movies. If someone turned on a TV I’d leave the room (I did watch Twin Peaks and Ren and Stimpy and a bit of MTV. That was when they showed music videos and bizarre, wonderful things like Liquid TV)

Even my favorite shows weren’t imporant to me. I could pass a few weeks and not watch anything.

For many years I didn’t even own a tv. When my husband insisted on buying a big tv I had a fit! I made him put it in the computer room. He liked to play console games on it, too. That seemed like a reasonable use of a tv.

My huz and I had many little conflicts about him wanting us to watch things together and I didn’t. I didn’t want him to watch anything at, but I was very insecure and had to be in the same room as my husband. Poor guy! I followed him around crying.

Having a tablet and Netflix made it all change. I could watch things alone, and I didn’t have to compromise on what to watch. Netflix original shows provided excellent content that actually kept my interest.

now I watch a couple of hours a day and I go to the movies at least once a week. Considering how bored I get, being stuck at home with my illnesses keeping me from doing things most people do, watching stuff is a bit of a life saver. It makes time pass more quickly.

I ‘ve had to tell myself that watching TV isn’t morally wrong!

anxiety, chronic illness, chronic pain, disabled, drugs, health, illness, medical marijuana, surgery

epidural steroid injection

on thursday i am going to have my sixth epidural  steroid injection. the injection helps control the pain from the problems in my back. i have spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal column which causes some if the discs to get squashed (like my technical term?) and pinch nerves.

i have problems at L4 and L5 as well as the sacroiliac joint. my pain doctor performs the procedure.

they say “procedure” but to me it seems a lot like surgery! i have to fast, stop taking NSAIDS several days before, etc.  i go to the surgery center and change into a hospital gown, a icky  papery shower cap sort of thing to gather up my hair. they give you cool socks with treads on the bottom. i love them. i’ve quite a collection now.

two nurses come in and put you under a blanket from a warmer, oh jeez that feels good. no matter how hot it outside, it’s freezing cold in the surgery center, plus it’s just reassuring to have a warm blanket over you. they put in an iv and ask me a million questions. even though i’ve done this many times, i still feel a little scared each time.

the nurses are so very very nice. when the doctor finishes her previous case she comes in and talks to me and then they roll me into the OR which is incredibly cold. i have to roll over onto the operating table and lay on my tummy. there is a head rest, like they use during massages. they start giving me fentynal and versed–conscious sedation. you are high as a kite, so it’s almost fun. lol

i hate laying there for 45 minutes with basically nothing on, my butt just hanging out, uncovered. joy. luckily the drugs make you not care too much because i find it extremely discomforting to be nude in a room full of people. there are lots of nurses. the doctor wears a lead apron because they use a giant x-ray  machine that is mounted  on the ceiling and tilts around as they need it to. that’s how they know exactly where  to inject the cortisone…pretty important since they’re putting it in my spine. the injections hurt some going in, but after that it’s not too bad.

when they’re done i get back on the gurney, more embarrassment because the hospital gown is totally open and practically flapping around as you move. then everybody gets to see everything!  i’m sure they don’t give a shit, seen it a million times. but i do! once you’re on the gurney they immediately drown you in warm blankets. the feeling is so good, like the drugs, it’s almost worth it just for that. lol

in the recovery room they put ice packs on your back, keep you awhile for making sure your vitals are good and you’re not going to have a bad reaction or flip out or whatever.

omg i have to pee once i get out of the operating room, so that’s a priority! another time i had this surgery, the surgeon was an hour an half late so i feel asleep. i woke up  and they were rolling me into the OR and i had to pee bad, i mean really really bad. but we were practically there so i couldn’t say anything. it was horrible!  i was pretty sure i would wet myself on the table. that’s not so good for a sterile environment. thank goodness the drugs made it so i didn’t feel like i had to pee. when i got out of surgery, i didn’t have to pee badly, go figure!

you don’t stay in the recovery long and your ride comes and takes you home. you have to have someone stay with you for 24 hours. then the back pain kicks in. it’s pretty unfun for a few days. i’ve got quite a bit of various medical marijuana edibles for that time.

after that, you wait. sometimes the injections work and sometimes they don’t. it’s a crap shoot. last one keep my pain low for about 9 months! most of the others did nothing. but i’ll try anything time after and after.  the pain is very motivating.

so now i get to worry about it until 8am on thursday. 😦

i’ll be ok though, i always am. 🙂

anxiety, bipolar, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, driving, drugs, fatigue, fibromyalgia, health, mental illness, oakland california, spinal stenosis, stress relief

Last night I didn’t sleep at all. My knee and leg pain are coming back strong. I don’t know why Monday and Tuesday weren’t too bad, but yesterday and today, my-oh-my! The pain and painsomnia spurred me to go back to the dispensary for more edibles. Ahhh…

It rained here this morning! Rain in  California virtually unheard of between April and October. Crazy! The drive up to Oakland was pretty rainy. I felt more novelty than the fear I usually get when I drive on the Freeway. I’m so used to that drive that nothing about it freaks me out. there are​ parts with 8 narrow lanes, no shoulder and a line of merging trucks.

I got capsules full of ground up cannabis which is toasted sesame oil. They work like edibles but aren’t high sugar/ high calorie. That keeps me from eating the edibles just cause they taste good! I’ve been known to do that!

The pain is already improving!I’m tired! Maybe I’ll watch TV or draw. Damn, my eyes hurt!

How is your afternoon?

anxiety, bipolar, chronic illness, depression, fatigue, fibromyalgia, health, illness, insomnia, mania, mental illness, psychiatry, spinal stenosis, stress relief

group (therapy)

i used to go to group, but then something horrible happened there and i stopped going.  the thing that happened…oh wait, i signed a document saying i am not supposed to talk about what anybody says in group. i guess you’ll just have to not know! my psychiatrist has been nagging me to go group for, literally, years.

about a month ago i decided try to do something about getting myself out of the hole i was hiding, and torturing myself while i was there. had been like that…bad anxiety, depression, both manic and depressive episodes (mixed episodes), not sleeping much, eating badly, and on and on  for a very long time.

at that time i started to go to group again. it’s been very helpful at getting myself out of the house. we talk, and and relate with each other and cry. we usually end doing something mindful, like guided mediation, to settle ourselves down from a taxing hour.

i’m able to go to group because it’s totally free form. you can show up or leave while it’s going on. sometimes i just sit and doodle, listening. sometimes it’s two people, sometimes it’s 10.

i need all the help my medical team can give me! i see my pain doctor tomorrow.

have a great evening!

anxiety, art, bipolar, chronic illness, chronic pain, comics, depression, fatigue, fibromyalgia, illness, medical marijuana, medicine, mental illness, Movies, spinal stenosis, writing

the state of my mind this week 2

i think it’s been longer than a week since i wrote about the state of my mind. as usual, no one mood can last for long. bipolar is a bitch. if there’s a theme, like in this case, it was the procedure, i moaned and groaned , as you who read this blog will know..

i stayed up most of the night before the because i was so anxious. the middle of the night is the worst.

i woke peter up an hour before he had to take me to the doctor for the injections. i thought he should hang out with me because i was so worried. good grief! who wants to hang out with someone in that state! peter took good care of me the all through the aftermath.. he brought me everything i needed, cooked foods i love and often came down from where he was gaming, and later was sleeping, to it visit me on the couch.

for this set of injections i decided to use the newish Synvisk One. the reaction to injections is the kind of pain i’ve been going through. since it is too horrible to go through it 3 weeks (it takes quite a while to recover from one) i was so worried the pain would be the with 6ml, the whole dose from the small shots, at once. would it it be 3 worse? would the recover be 3x as badly. i couldn’t imagine that.

the shots were bad, though not 3x as bad! the needle getting to the joint with the needle was the same, really effing bad. the difference was that there was so much medicine and it was so thick she had to push it slowly into the center of the joint. she got me talking about me losing a lot of weight which is a great way to distract me. i did a lot of deep breathing while i was waiting because there were two giant needles full of something that looked solid.

long story short, all of that went ok. huzzy took me home and i ate a 200mg THC medical marijuana edible. it did exactly what i wanted to happen. i was asleep all day, until the huz woke me up for dinner, but i didn’t eat (unless you call eating another pot snack) and was in and out til bedtime. i slept on the couch for two days because getting upstairs to the bedroom was impossible.and i needed to be able to be near music and tv , art supplies and comic books and medical marijuana thing i could possibly want, down stairs!

i continued with the edibles. the pain was so powerful that i never got remotely high. i took some cannabis oil, a oral dose, and then i smoked a joint. i got through it without screaming or going to the hospital or making my husband want to divorce me! i took more edibles and then some capsules that act like an edible. that’s pretty amazing! the large doses of edibles, etc, kept the pain low enough to avoid the fentenyl and dilaudid i got at the hospital. the last three times scared badly. this time when the pain was at it’s worst i cried out loud and held my husbands hand hard.

i got these shots for years and never had much pain, some, but nothing like
this time. the last 2 times the terrible pain happened again but i had no idea why. later i asked the surgeon and she was very cavalier about it, and said different people had them like i was before the medicine started making me want to die during the recovery period.

before i scheduled these injections, one in each knee, i wanted to find out more, like if i got something nobody else got, or is there a quickfix?
i checked out a couple of arthritis forums. when i looked for “Synvisk side effects” bingo! there were pages of people saying they got my same horrible reactions i did. many of the people who posted said a few days of helll, then no arthris pain for a year.

i think i’m doing pretty well today, because…..!!!!!!

!!!!!!!…….because i got to see Wonder Woman. i’ve been waiting and waiting. it kicked ass! the heroine was fantastic. so were the other actors and actresses. this one was well done enough that it was easy to lose all track of reality. it depends entirely on the director to make this work. they did it right this time. diana is the kind of warrior who cares so much so that ….oops i almost gave something away! better stop there!

i’ve been very into painting with watercolors. i paint a couple times a day and a doodle all the time. i’m wearing gloves to preserve my manicure. vanity!
of a gel medicine that acts as a cushion between the bones where cartilage used to be (it’s gone or part way gone when you have pain).

for this set of injections i decided to use the newish Synvisk One. the reaction to it is too horrible to go through it 3 weeks (it takes quite a while to recover from one) i was so worried the pain would be the with 6ml, the whole dose from the small shots, at once. would it it be 3 worse? would the recover be 3x as badly. i couldn’t imagine that. the shot

the shots were bad, though not 3x as bad! the needle getting to the joint with the needle was the same, really effing bad. the difference was that there was so much medicine and it was so thick she had to push it slowly into the center of the joint. she got me talking about me losing a lot of weight which is a great way to distract me. i did a lot of deep breathing while i was waiting because there were two giant needles full of something that looked solid.

long story short, all of that went ok. huzzy took me home and i ate a 200mg mmj edible. it did exactly what i wanted to happen. i was asleep all day, until the huz woke me up for dinner, but i didn’t eat (unless you call eating another pot snack and was in and out til bedtime. i slept on the couch for two days because getting upstairs to the bedroom was impossible. needed to be able to be near music and tv , art supplies and comic books and medical marijuana thing i could possibly want.

i continued with the edibles. the pain was so powerful that i never got remotely high. i took some cannabis oil, a oral dose, and then i smoked a joint. i got through it without screaming or going to the hospital or making my husband want to divorce me! i took more edibles and then some capsules that act like an edible. that’s pretty amazingz! the large doses of edibles, etc, kept the pain low enough to avoid the fentenyl and dilaudid the hospital. but i really needed it, i was scared.

i got these shots for years and never had much pain, some, but nothing like this, the last 2 times it happened i had no idea why. later i asked the surgeon and she was very cavalier about it, and said different people had them like i was before the medicine started making me want to die during the recovery period. i think i’m doing pretty well today, because…..!!!!!!

!!!!!!!…….because i got to see Wonder Woman. i’ve been waiting and waiting. it kicked ass! the heroine was fantastic. so were the other actors and actresses. this one was well done enough that it was easy to lose all track of reality. that’s one of my personally are movies and tv that are unreal, meant to be unreal, but everything else is realistic. it depends entirely on the director to make this work. they did it right this time. diana is the kind of warrior who cares so much so that ….oops i almost gave something away! better stop there!

anxiety, bipolar, child abuse, depression, drugs, mania, mental illness, substance abuse

no more wire hangers 3

is anyone getting the titles of the posts in this series?

my mother knew she had mental illness issues, but she refused to see a psychiatrist or a therapist. we convinced her to go to a couple therapists to find one she felt she could talk with. she went to meet two and her excuses for not going was that she was sure one had ulterior motives and the other had an office that made her anxious.

when i had panic attacks growing up (we didn’t know that’s what they were at the time) she got angry at me. in retrospect i think it was it was because she was scared when she saw me going through that. i’ve seen her have panic attacks and oh boy have i seen her anxious.she was afraid that somewhere inside her was me. she didn’t want to  go through what i went through with my depression and mania. two psychiatrists told me, after long talks about my mother, that she was bipolar, too. i’m not surprised, but having a doctor say it shed light on things and made me feel validated

she even self medicated, like i did. she was obsessed with this shitty white wine. she drank glass after glass all evening while she watched courtroom dramas and true crime shows. after i went to university she bought a new house that she has since defaulted on. the house was a gorgeous Victorian in downtown St. Louis. it was in a neighborhood that was transitioning from a gutted ghetto into lovely restored houses. good old gentrification. her house was already transformed when she bought it.  it was gorgeous but it had three stories. she usually watched tv and drank in a family room on the second floor and also in her bedroom on the third floor. guess who had to fetch the wine?

drinking was her second drug of choice, the first  was nicotine.  by now, she will have smoked almost 60 years, two or more packs a day. she was a professional smoker. she chain smoked 24/7. she drowned her sorrows in wine, cigarettes, and taking it all out on me.

i’ve already said i’m a recovering alcoholic, i’ve been clean for 15 years. when i went home to visit (my dad lived in St. Louis and i was tied to my mother by a mental bond i had to fight to break, so i still kept coming back. she encouraged me to drink. she prepared by laying in a supply of beer, gin (she had cocktails after work, too; gin and tonics…one or two) champagne and vodka plus a few bottles of decent wine for dinners. she encouraged me to drink. pushed me to drink. i  jumped back into the hole of drunkenness to avoid having to deal with her. i can’t  put it all off on my. i was thrilled to have time away from my husband so i could drink my fill. i had to be very honest with him to keep our relationship working well and i wanted both he and I to be happy. i made the decisions to drink the alcohol she bought, but it was damned hard, too hard. i embraced it.

hangovers were hell so my mother gave me a bottle of codeine to use to take them away. i took a few in the morning. went back to sleep, woke and puked, went back to sleep and got up feeling pretty good.

we went out drinking too. she liked to show off my tattoos and piercings when we were bar hopping, hoping to look cool. at home she hated the tattoos.

Mommy Dearest.

anxiety, bipolar, depression, writing

Tid-bit of Trauma from the past

the homeowner’s association sent two men to look at the leak in the roof. i was the only one home and having strangers in the house, even when my husband was home, scared the crap out of me. rain was predicted for the following day so we HAD to have them take care of the problem right away.

by the time they got there i was already a panicky mess. they pulled up in the driveway and got out of a really ratty station wagon. i had expected a truck with a roofer’s logo and workmen in uniforms with their names embroidered over the pocket.

i ran down the stairs with a lump in my throat and let them in. they started going upstairs after muttering something. i started to hyperventilate. they carried a ladder in, opened the door to the attic, which was in the ceiling, and climbed up.

i dashed into the computer room and shut my eyes repeating “it’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok…” over and over under my breath. when i opened my eyes, a couple of minutes later, the ladder was gone!!!! the attic door was shut. their car was still in the driveway.

i heard them walking around above me, in the attic. i felt like i’d been punched in the gut. i grabbed my phone and called my huz. when he answered i was already babbling, sobbing high-pitched hysteria. he tried to calm me down, but it was hopeless. i begged him to come home. he agreed and i went and curled up in the bedroom closet.

when he finally got home he found me there with my hands over my ears. he told me they’d been on the roof all the time i thought they were in the attic. he sent them on their way and hugged me tight.