abstract, abstractexpressiomism, acrylics, anxiety, art, art therapy, artist, bipolar, chronic illness, colorful, contemporary art, depression, fibromyalgia, fine art, health, mental illness, modern art, painting, spinal stenosis, traditional art

Mental health and an abstract painting

 I found out this morning that because of insurance issues I can’t see my psychiatrist of 15 years anymore. The same is true for my therapist. They have covered these things for all this time. 

All of the mental health help I was considered out of network. They changed the the policy to be that out of network mental health coverage is no longer covered at all. Each of the various appointments are at least $400.

Obviously that’s not an option. I don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll ask my Dr and therapist for recommendations of Drs that are in network.

I can’t believe it. Anyone that who is treated for mental illness will understand why I am so upset.

I am overwhelmed. I say this as the caption of this painting because I was pretty happy when I was painting. It was art therapy . I get help for my bipolar and my fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis from that.

Now that’s all the therapy I have.

Acrylics on canvas. 16″x20″

IMG_20170806_115741_258

 

 

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art, bipolar, blogging, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, health, Life, Movies, watercolors, weightloss

spontaneous blog post

I’m laying on the couch all propped up with pillows with a heating pad behind me. I took an mmj edible and a prescription NSAID.

My back is a bitch. My spine problems are acting up. I can just hear L4 and L5 screaming. Sometimes it’s like needles poking inside or sometimes an intense ache or a feeling of extreme tightness or it can be something that feels like a great deal of pressure.  It occurs to me that I should check out things specifically for lumbar support.

Low back pain is the most common medical ailment. That’s what a doctor told me when I saw him a few years ago, for….low back pain. He told me to take Ibuprofen. If he had paid a little more attention, maybe he would have been able to see that I needed more than to just take Ibuprofen. I’m sure he was right about his statistic, but he never even asked questions about my pain or any specifics. Doctors probably see a few people a day who say they have low back pain. I can see how they have an automatic answer for the problem, but that doesn’t keep me from feeling some measure of bitterness

I got the feeling that he thought all the low back potential patients were drug seekers. I have to admit that I would have been glad if he had given me painkillers but that’s not why I went to see him and I didn’t ask for them.

ANYWAY, lol, I didn’t go to the movies this week because there was nothing to see. I was very disappointed; I love going to the movies, it’s such a treat! Maybe if I have a couple of weeks (there’s nothing good showing this week either) without going, it will keep it a treat. Wow, though–July and August are going to be fab movie months!

Netflix has become a really close friend. I think most chronically ill people would agree. I’ve been having a fibromyagia flare, a spinal stenosis flare, and my newly coined term, a depression flare. So I’ve been watching anything that seems mildly interesting.

I was able to keep creating through everything. That’s a sanity saver. I painted every day! Lately I am using my Japanese watercolors on watercolor paper. For the last two years when I painted with watercolors, which was a lot, I used Yupo, a synthetic paper that isn’t pourous.

I need to start working in my watercolor journal with watercolor pens again. It turned out that I liked the first set of those pens, which I bought spontaneously when I was in the art store for some paint, enough to get another set a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to finish this watercolor journal and get another. I like making these as epic gifts or to sell.

I’m on a plateau in my weightloss journey. I’m mostly 57 pounds (26kg) down but right now I’m going up a pound or two and down a pound or two. I’m eating sparsely to try to getting back to losing weight. Basically I’m maintaining my weight which is enough for me to feel ok, in the short term.

Saying how much I have lost and that there is more to go, is really really hard because saying that shows that I was pretty damn big and I’m not small in the least now. I’ve never said that on the interwebz before.

That’s enough for now.
Happy weekend!

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!