Archive for July, 2011

Seems I’ve been only talking about ME for the past couple weeks anyway, so why not add to the theme of things today.

My sweet friend posted about herself (Myself), so it seemed fitting that I title my next blog post the same way.   I kind of need to catch up and give a little overview of how I’ve been feeling with the new meds.

Let me just start by saying I FEEL MUCH BETTER…oh, isn’t that nice to hear?  It’s music to my ears quite frankly.   I am in no way 100%, but dang…it’ feels good.  No depressive downs, no angry ups…Just me MYSELF and I.

It’s been rough though, the combination of these meds really mess with my head and my tummy.   Headaches and nausea were constant in the first week, matter of fact they are finally just recently subsiding.   I don’t drink much pop (I hate carbonation) but I drank a 12 pack of Ginger Ale, and ate almost an entire box of crackers during that time.  Nothing sounded good, nothing tasted good and I was hungry but couldn’t eat.  However, it’s looking like it all might have been really worth it.

I still am tired (and have taken a nap every day) but I’ve managed to get some work done around the house that really needed done.  Like LAUNDRY.  Yesterday my mom even offered to do some at her house, but I declined…I really need to accomplish things on my own again.  I even shaved my legs!  (LOL HM!)

I’ve had some pretty happy days, laughing, giggling and finding fun, which just makes my heart smile.  I know that I have a long road ahead of me, but I think I might see the light at the end of the tunnel this time.  If I don’t make it to that light my next step has to be another doctor who can really hone in on my symptoms.   I’m sure you are probably wondering why I didn’t go that route in the first place.   Because it’s scary damn it.  That’s why.

I also had the doc call me in a One Touch Glucose Montoring System, so I could poke my finger regularly…mostly to see if my headaches were being caused by low blood sugar or just because I’m prone to them.  I figured out how to use the darn thing yesterday morning, and my blood sugar was 107.  THAT is way awesome since I feel like a heroine addict sometimes with my sugar intake.   That was a serious statement, but I try to make light of it because it’s such a horrible thought.   The Metformin must be doing it’s job too.

See, win win for the most part.

 

It’s been a good week for the most part.

Monday went to the doc without real incident.  That was nice.  Got some good news, some bad news and some sound advice.   Guess that is all a plus.   She put me on some new meds, one of them hasn’t even hit the TV yet it’s so new (Viibryd).  It has both the anti-depressant and the anti-psychotic both in one.   It doesn’t come without side effects BUT one of them is NOT rapid weight gain.  Amen.  For those of you who haven’t seen me, where it’s been obvious, I’ll just lay it on the line in print.   I’ve gained 33 pounds in 3 months.  It’s not been pretty.

I’m not diabetic (yet, thankfully) but she put me on Metformin to help with the carb craving and to try and stabilize my blood sugar levels a little bit.  I think it’s already helping a ton.  I’m sure having the Penguins here for the past several days hasn’t hurt any.   Mom Penguin is a retired nurse, and Big Penguin is diabetic, so she has him very well under control and they’ve been so good taking care of me.  They brought me some Sugar Twin, which you can’t get in the US (it tastes so much better than any of the other sweetners) and have helped us make some good food choices, some diabetic meals (without missing out on anything yummy) and have even poked my finger for me to see how I’m doing.   120 thankyouverymuch!

My moods haven’t hit a yucky low since last weekend, so I’m excited about that.  Those hours, days etc. are so hard on everyone around me…that is not even mentioning how hard they are on me.    I’d love to see them go away completely.   Wishful thinking but I’ll just hope for “less” than I’ve been having and be totally happy with that.

I’ve been reading a blog again that I haven’t read in quite sometime (geeze I hope that means I’m on my way back), and the gal that’s writing is letting out some stories from her past that really have had a hold on her.  She’s finding some freedom, which in turn (though they are truly heartbreaking) is helping me on some level.   Helping me realize some of the things that have really hurt me that maybe I need to let go of myself.  I intend to email her and thank her soon.

On a more UP note.  Hubby and I had our pictures taken, the night we went to the doctor.   It was tough embracing my weight but I decided I didn’t care.   We needed some pictures that show our family and friends who we really are.  How our marriage is as great as we try and tell everyone it is.   The one stable constant.  Our photographer (Daniel Rosenthal @ Yellow Line Photography) gave us all 500 pictures that he took.  A few of them are posed, and those ones we weren’t as excited about but we have such a great variety to choose from.  I can’t wait to show them all off.   Daniel ROCKS people.  Absolutely ROCKS!

Yesterday afternoon the Penguins took us on a little scenic mountain train ride that we have NEVER been on, and we only live 30 minutes from…what were we thinking?  It’s called Thunder Mountain Line.  They treated us to the First Class Brunch Train Ride.  It was wonderful.  Our own special meal car (without kids, and there were a ton of them), and our own special outside viewing car.  Waitstaff, bartenders and one staff member even came out and took pictures of everyone for them.   So neat.  3 hours without “the outside world”…so relaxing.

Today I hope is just as good as the last few.  I am excited to get back in the swing of things.

 

 

Wrote this yesterday about an hour before my doctors appt.  I didn’t share it with her, mostly because she already knew…it was a good visit.  Meds changed up again, and some other recommendations…we’ll see.

 

Unresolved

It’s a blessing and a shame, I’m alone in my head

No one should bare this burden I tread

The rushing of thoughts that race through my brain

Can someone please help find what’s causing this pain?

If wanting and wishing for it to quickly retreat

Would be the solution, I would have this thing beat

What did I do to be given this curse

I’m afraid that the future just holds something worse.

Each day is a struggle, will it be a good day or bad

I simply can’t stop the feelings, so sad

With family and friends I try to put on a mask

It’s a struggle and a fight to complete that task.

I feel so alone inside this crazed mind

The happiness and smiles are impossible to find

Lonely I stare from behind my own skin

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, there is NO WIN.

Do you realize I don’t set out to be lost

I’d give anything to feel normal, no matter the cost

I can’t just be fake with a smile and grace,

There’s no vacancy in “My Happy Place”.

When I’m silly and goofy and make others laugh

People have fun with THAT other half

But she’s lost, I’m lost…we’re lost in our self

I know this is not good for my family or health.

I beg and I plead for an answer today

Please put me together again in some way

I can’t take a minute more of these feelings inside

Wouldn’t it be better for me to just hide?

In less than 12 hours, I should be sitting in front of my Doc (poor gal doesn’t know what she’s in for), and my family all wants to go with me.

Why am I going to the Doc?   Well, about my last post…I actually jumped the gun a bit, to be honest.  Must have been having an “ok” morning.  Didn’t last long.  Spent several hours hashing it out (sharing) with Hubby and agreed it was a good idea to see her again, ASAP.

As for my family all going…I’m nervous.  I don’t even know the 1/2 of what they’re all thinking/feeling.  A couple family members haven’t been comfortable coming to me to tell me their concerns (they’ve gone to Hubby), and as for my own Mom…I think she tried to come to me, but I shut her down pretty quick.  I’d already heard enough the night before while talking to Hubby about things, that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I felt ganged up on.  I do know that wasn’t the case, but it’s how I felt at that moment.

So, I’m a bit worse for wear tonight/this morning.   I can’t sleep, my head doesn’t seem to want to take a break, and rest.  I think I just want this all to end.  End may not be the right word…maybe level out…but at any rate, any good thoughts; prayers; chants or words of encouragment would be great.

(Maybe a few for my Doc too, she’s going to have her hands full)


 

Growing up I loved riding roller coasters.   I loved the tickle in my tummy, the breeze in my hair…even the bugs smacking against my face.  But the older I get the less eager I am to ride them.  The nausea, the imaginary pain up my back, the fear of vomit splatter from the people around me…not to mention flying off the rails into the amusement park’s parking lot.

Since my early 20’s, I’ve known depression.  I do know it runs in our family and I also know how much of a SCREAM it can be.  Both literally and figuratively.  I have been riding this emotional roller coaster for so long that I’ve become aware of the slow moving ups and the crashing downs.  Can’t say I prefer either of them.   Maybe I’d enjoy something more along the lines of a trolley ride through the park we call life.  I could get used to watching all the chaos as it goes by, but not having to deal with each and every dropped ice cream cone, crying baby or lost child.  Not asking for much, am I?

So then I wake up.

I have recently been diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder (on the UP side, I’m not alone – Hubby’s girlfriend Catherine Zeta Jones has too!) and it’s taken some time to really let it sink in and grasp.   I’m not the Bipolar person, where you see the ups and down distinctively.   My mania is more of a hypo-mania meaning  a regular day is my euphoria (up).  Happy, satisfied and content.  But my depressive side of the spectrum is the low, the-very-low.  Not want to get out of bed  – low.   Sitting in a zombie state (Hubby said I look that way, even though I don’t like to think that’s possible) for hours – low.  It’s hard to shake.

Thankfully, I know when it’s time to see the doctor, time for some help getting the ole gal some much needed repairs.   But as Mothers, and Parents do, we tend to put ourselves off and try and continue to take care of everyone else and the maintenance THEY need before our own.  Caution!  Train Wreck Ahead!  My coaster finally crashed and I didn’t have much of a choice.  Time for emergency measures.  Thank goodness for guard rails.  (Like my Hubby and Mom.)

We’ve tried so many meds over the past few months, the first round was to pull me out of the dredges, and try and find a starting place.   What I have been struggling to understand is why would you give someone with Bipolar Disorder – Schizophrenic medication?  Doc’s line of thinking was that we’d exhausted an entire medication class, so we needed to upgrade.   Ok.  At that point, I would have tried ANYTHING (even bungee jumping) to feel better.

I spent a ton of time dwelling on that medication decision, trying to convince myself that I wasn’t schizophrenic.  But with that line of thinking, i was worried I really was.   Still with US?  LOL.

This new medication (Risperdal) is a “mood stabilizer”…and that is just what I needed.  Add to this cocktail, the depression meds, the anxiety meds, the birth control (for the hormones) and the Vitamin D3 (My Sunshine Vitamin) and I’m coasting along this track pretty well.   I’m not 100% but I don’t think I’ll ever achieve that, nor have I ever been.  My main concern is staying as close to normal as I can for longer periods of time.   I don’t like feeling like a zombie.  I don’t like being afraid that I’m going to fly off into the parking lot at any RANDOM moment.  The slow ups, are at least an up.  Right?  And if if the medication can help with the crashing downs, making them a little more tolerable for everyone, then I guess someone is doing their job.   Thanks Doc.  (Unfortunately, she did however preface the new meds with “are you going to kill me if I make you gain weight”…and oh she’s gonna be in BIG trouble when I see her next!)

Finally I think we’re on to something that will work.  Might need a bit more tweaking but I can manage.  I have at least that much faith.

We all encounter roller coasters in our Amusement Parks.  We either need to take hold of the bar and pray for the best, OR we need to go down with our hands in the air, screaming with joy that we’re doing our best to enjoy what we’re dealt.

Remember that our lives are so short, take care of yourself first so that you can better care for those you love.    It’s a wonderful ride!   Live a little!   But don’t forget to bring a wet wipe, someone is SURE to throw up—it might even be YOU!

Preface:  I’m sorry about the length…it’s so many days smushed into one post…and it’s taken me almost 9 hours to write it, due to resizing pics in addition to “my life”…hope you don’t hate me 1/2 way through and can make it to the end.

Hubby and I finally (and I do mean FINALLY) were able to take some time (8 whole days to be exact) and go on a vacation together.   We had been planning for months to go to Long Beach for the Ink-n-Iron Festival (Tattoo Convention).   Something both of us wanted to go to just for the experience of it all..and boy was it an experience.  I am going to try and give the short vacation version (cuz Headless Mom wants to hear the end of it all).

We headed out on our journey to Las Vegas first.   What a boring drive, let me tell you.  We left with beautiful weather only to see storms in our future.  This picture is of  The Four Jacks, in Jackpot…just into the the Nevada border.

Nothing really except sage brush, cacti, and what I now know are (baby) Joshua Trees.  The road construction was something else.  I thought we had a lot of that here.   Geeze, at least the wait here is usually less than a minute or two but 20 minutes?  Come ON!  The roads became so straight, it was like they were forever headed to the end of the earth with no relief in sight.   I can’t say that I’d be too excited for THAT drive again to be honest.   We had a few more construction stops, they were definitely exciting.  100 degree temps, and the only shade available was from the tractor/trailers in front of us.   We did get out to stretch our legs a bit and take a couple pictures.

Just about 30 miles before Ely, NV we ran into a snag.   Lights and sirens to be exact.  Remember we are covered in tattoo’s and in an unfamiliar place, not to mention that we seem to get a ton of strange looks from people most everywhere we go, thankfully this nice policeman didn’t seem too concerned about our colorful covers. Hubby had just mentioned that he thought he should probably slow down…but that wasn’t soon enough.   Rather than 83 in a 70, he got a ticket for 75 in a 70, which won’t go on his record…halleluiah!

What a joy.   The guy was so nice though.   We couldn’t have asked for a better traffic stop.  We spent a few minutes laughing about it, and decided that rather than wait to get home to pay it, we’d just see if we could stop in Ely and pay it.  You know, get it over with first thing, so it wasn’t a bother when we got home.   Finding the courthouse was a breeze, but walking in was kinda creepy, these tattoos we have sure do bring a good number of concerned looks from police officers, lawyers and prosecutors who were standing around.  I told them as we walked by “we’re not as scary as we look”…hoping to get a smile out of them.   Whew!  It worked.  Here’s the courthouse in Ely.

Finally we got through some more construction, and then managed to make it to Vegas!   You know, Hubby and I have never been to Vegas together and while it was a great place to visit and sight see, but honestly we were glad it was just an over-nighter.   We spent some time wandering close to our hotel, into a few casino’s to (drop some cash) look around and have dinner outside (at 10:30pm) on the patio of the Paris Las Vegas at the Mon Ami Gabi and watch the water show across the street at the Bellagio.   The food was probably some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.   Our hotel was called the Vdara.  It was amazing.  Modern, different.  Our room looked similar to THIS.  It just was separated into separate rooms.  It would have been a great room to stay several days in…but we didn’t see much more of it than the BED, we were exhausted.

Redondo Beach was our next stop where we decided to find a great place for dinner (always at 10pm…we’re extremely bright).  We set off to Hermosa beach where we landed at Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta.  OMG, can you say heaven?  I could have eaten only 1/2 of the appetizer I ordered and been fine…but NO, I had to order ravioli’s too!  We shared our appetizer with the family at the table next to us.  They were very sweet.   We snapped a couple pictures the next morning from our balcony view…

Then I couldn’t help myself…I saw this next pic from far away and who, in their right mind, would MISS zooming in and capturing this picture.   This man walked around on the patio like this for quite some time.   What kind of friends would let this happen.  Mine better not!

Aweeeee…look at this happy couple.   Vacationing together for the first time in 8 years!  So happy together….

And ya know, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to get a picture of the beautiful lily bouquet in the lobby.  I even ran back in after our car was all packed up and ready to go just to get this.  They are REAL.   I wish my thumb was green, and not grey.

Pretty huh?

Queen Mary here we come!  The main destination of this wonderful vacation.   (I kind of rhymed!)  We arrived early, because we wanted to make sure we could get a Harbor View from our stateroom, and get settled in before the festivities began.   What a great idea!   We surpassed most of the security, we didn’t have to stand in line for over 5 hours just to get into the festival area, and we didn’t have to worry about missing out on any of the (People watching) set up excitement.  We stood in line (inside the gate for our wristbands, with very few others for about 30 minutes is all).

See that beatnik with the red hat?  That’s Hubby!  LOL

We spent a ton of time wandering the convention, inside the bottom of the boat were 3 floors of tattoo artists working away, it was so cool to see all the great work being done.  Outside were food booths (expensive of course), retail booths selling everything from clothes to parasols and corsets, stilettos, jewelry…not to mention the car/motorcycle show and the dusk til dawn rock-a-billy bands going full bore.

Only picture I got of the stage was this night time one…bummer!

There were gals hanging from the Queen Mary, doing acrobatic dancing from silk fabric and so many butt cheeks, you start to wonder if you’re over dressed.

We saw bikini’s, and pasties…zoot suits and pin up girls (that was part of the theme).  People watching was almost scary if you ask me.  I couldn’t dare take some of the pictures for fear of feeling like a total jerk…

This man, with all the “pins”…was one of the Judges in the Tattoo Contests.   (Hubby and I didn’t win a thing…that means (to us anyway) that there was some pretty damn good art being sported at that show!

This picture below is of Cory Miller, he owns his own shop (Six Feet Under), but you might have seen him on LA Ink…if you watch that sort of stuff.   He actually was with his family wandering around a ton.   He did also do some photo ops and autographs in the tattooing area of the boat.

I couldn’t resist zooming in on this man’s hair, it was so cool.   Cool meaning hysterical, cool meaning interesting, cool meaning that he fit in well with this crowd of peeps and just cool because it seemed to fit his demeanor.

Wild huh?

And then…commence drinking!

At the main bar, on the Queen Mary, the group of us from “home” all hung out in a little corner outside, with some great folks (Norwegians) we met through Chad and Darcy (who does our tattoos).   They traveled all the way from Norway for this convention, and to vacation.  Amazing people, so down to earth and sweet as can be.  (Sweet is probably not the word they’d have me use.  LOL)

Anyway, at one point Darcy yelled “Shirts off Party” and OMG the guy all started strippin!  Hysterical!  And I got some pictures to prove it!  Here goes!  Parental caution…I did try and crop out the pants-less guys…but it’s still a bit obvious.

Is it still there? (Above)

This last picture one of the guys (Benerrz) must have had too many Jack & Cokes because he had forgotten if he was a boy or a girl (well at least that’s what it looks like he’s doing).   And the guy standing is one of the guys from Norway.

I have to admit that there were some irritating pieces of the evenings on the boat.   Like the fact that last call was at 1:00 (and they failed to notify the TONS of people in their bar.   Then at 1:30 they started pushing everyone out.  Literally.  I can tell you that the bouncers were the biggest jerks I have ever seen.  Hate their jobs much?

So we took it outside to the sun deck.

Of course we’d ran out of sun, but found a ton more trouble…but we won’t discuss that.  I’ll just say “crew personnel only” and leave it at that.  The view was so beautiful of Long Beach…

As we were headed to the room, finally around 3:30, the four of us (Chad, Darcy, Hubby and Me) all stood by the elevator and shared some Jameson.   Here’s a great pic of the love birds – it was their Anniversary!

The following day was Hubby and my 12 year anniversary!  We spent the day just hanging around, people watching, eating and shopping.   Here’s a picture of my new tank top…where I will wear it again, I have no idea.  I couldn’t help myself.  41 years old and still need to be HIP.   It’s not the most flattering top, but dang I had fun wearing it!

I am not sure what possessed me, but I really wanted to try and get some sort of pinup look.   We walked by the booth and managed to get an appointment.  Really…I think they squeezed me in since it was our anniversary, and I have such short hair.  At any rate, I’m excited.   The gal actually airbrushed my foundation on, did my makeup then put on fake eyelashes…how fun!  Next it was to the “hair chair”…Hubby ran to another booth we had seen earlier and got me a tie for my hair – what a great guy!  Perfect!  Skulls on it!

We had a great Anniversary dinner on the boat at Chelsey Chowder House and Bar, and we asked our sweet friend L to join us.  He’s great.  None of us had room for dessert, which totally blows.  He took this picture of us.  Thanks Buddy!

On Sunday after breakfast with our friends at the Promenade Cafe, we stopped out on the deck to take a peek at the convention from above.   I was lucky enough to snap this picture of The Fly meeting Lady Gaga.  Look closely, that’s a clear to-go container.   Isn’t she adorable?

Then Chad, Hubby and Sleeping Beauty all set out for the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.  It was such a great time.  We didn’t take many pics but the few we did take were kind of neat.

We finished the day at a Hotel down the beach about 2 miles, where some of our friends were staying.  They had a nice outdoor hookah area that we took over.   It was nice because then “Sleeping Beauty” could hang with us.  When the bar closed, the Norwegians improvised!   What a riot!

According to 1/2 of the Norweigens…Vodka is for Commies….and the other 1/2 said that as soon as the Jack Daniels was gone, the others would be drinkin the Skye…These guys KNOW how to party!

Now that’s a full couch!

Veggin is what I do best!

Sleeping Beauty didn’t last long, she just needed to be hangin with the “gang”…

Gert, pronounced Gairt, (below) put his hat on Hubby, trying to make a point about judgement of others by what you’re wearing. It was really a great conversation.  I learned that night that even though Hubby and I think we’re “normal” (by our definition) that we are indeed not.

Gert, has so much love to give…we all got some!

Bennerz, one of Darcy’s friends painted this portrait of her, this was his reveal!  OMG it is so cool!  I wish she could have brought it home!

More goodbye love from Gert.  I love it!

About 3am we knew we needed to get back and get some rest, so we called a cab.  Starving we asked him to run us to the nearest convenience store to grab SOMETHING to eat.  As we were headed back to the hotel, we got pulled over and our cab driver got TWO tickets; one for not stopping at a traffic light, and one for 20 miles over the speed limit.  I think they were both a bit bogus…and he didn’t even stop the meter (there went his tip)…unfortunately for him the total of the ticket was $500.

After 3 days of convention, people watching and late night drinking fests it was time to head toward home.  But not before stopping to see  My Girl Headless Mom!  She was so kind to let us crash at her house, she’s a rockstar!  Her Headless Hubby drove all day long just to be able to meet us…what a guy!   Headless Mom and my Hubby spent the evening drinking wine…just a little…LOL – OK, a ton!   We laughed and laughed and talked and told stories, it was the BEST.    She cooked us the best dinner.  I’m serious, nothing is better than a home cooked meal when you’ve been eating restaurant food 3 times a day for a week).

Let me also tell you we woke up to BREAKFAST!   I loved staying with her, she was such a great hostess.  The Headless Boys are adorable too, and her Headless Husband finally got to see that we weren’t internet murders after all.  I hope they can come stay with us sometime soon!  Although I don’t have tangerines growing in my back yard…since we weren’t thinking about a Headless pic this time…this is the best I could do.

Thanks HM, YOU ARE THE BESTEST!

After all that fun we were in need of a little vacation, from our vacation, so we chose Lake Tahoe, NV.   The thing about Tahoe was that it was so much better than Vegas!  We got to see the casino’s without all the people…we got to see the mountains instead of the cacti, and we got a reprieve from the heat being offset by the snow.   Loved it.  The first night was just a great night to take our time doing things, and we ordered room service.  I’ve never done that before.   The next morning we took a drive through Tahoe doing a bit of sight seeing, and then took a gondola ride up to the top of the mountain.   I seemed to struggle with the going up part.  Hubby; coming down.   So we took turns taking pictures.

Honestly the drive home, looking back, seemed to go pretty quickly.  We were exhausted.  Hubby drove 2000+ miles during our little vacation, and I’m surprised his eyes weren’t using toothpicks to stay up.

I know am leaving out a lot, but this post took everything out of me.  I’m so glad I could share with you all though.  Please feel free to leave comments.  Comment love is the best, and I miss it greatly!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been almost 6 months of no blogging. I miss it. I miss every part of it. Only in the past couple weeks I have finally started catching up on some of my favorites. I even found a new one through a friend that I absolutely adore.

Wonder why I stopped. Wonder if I just felt like I’d made my self to venerable. I really can’t put my finger on it to tell you the truth. All I know is that it really was a great outlet for my thoughts.

Does anyone still come back to check in? Is that who I was writing for…others? I hope not. I hope I could share some insight into my world at least.

I suppose it’s time to start making time for something I enjoy again. One thing I look forward to -someday- is having my blog soft bound so that when I’m older and want to reminisce I will have something to help jog my memory and share with my grandchildren. That’s not even mentioning the information for generations after I’m gone. That’s a biggie.

Anyone want to help me get back on the wagon? Help me pick some posts to start? Here’s some things I want to share:

1. New Orleans-A Slumber Adventure
2. Motherhood-Will I ever be able to resign?
3. Depression, schizophrenia and the roller coaster
4. A vacation for two. Freaks a plenty!

Gosh there’s so much more. Leave a comment if there’s a particular one that sounds blog worthy.

See ya soon!