These are my thoughts. They are not meant to make sense. They are my echo into the woods. I am the tree that falls, and it is here that I make a sound.
Most recent babblings

The history of babble of the modern psychotic blonde

Warps to others, warped and otherwise
Sanity Optional
Sunday, January 30, 2005

Sleep

I've had some weird things in my sleep during the past while. It's not been just this week while I've been awaiting the job offer (which I got and I'll detail later in another post if I remember), it's been for some time, but this week seems particularly full of these events.

First off, I sleep and then I get these huge...I dunno - TWITCHES. It's like my entire body goes into one giant spasm, or as if I had fallen off a building and hit the ground. Of course it wakes me up. Sometimes not completely awake, but enough to go "Hey, stop doing that, stupid body."

The other thing, and Rob said this has been for months now, I have taken to chuckling in my sleep. Rob'll be lying in bed, watching TV, and I'll be asleep beside him. Rather than talking, I'll just chuckle, like I've just caught someone trying to pull a fast one on me and I'm full of disdain for their puny attempt. The first time it happened he thought - what the hell? He heard the sound but when he looked over, there was me, blank faced and drooling. Then it happened again, a few minutes later. Since then, he said it happenes at least once a week or so. He said it just confirms my weirdness. Like I needed confirmation :-)

Tomorrow is Adam's audition for the school for the arts. I'm gonna hit the hay relatively early (took my Seroquel 20 minutes ago and it's not kicked in yet, but there's still plenty of time), and be ready to go when his dad drops him off at 8 tomorrow morning.



Saturday, January 29, 2005

Put Down the Camera!

This is too funny.
Friday, January 28, 2005

Change in the wind

I have a job offer coming down the pipe for me shortly. It would be working for the man that hired me at a job about 6 years ago. I worked for that company for about 4 years, but left because of management/ownership changes that were painting me into a corner (to advance, I was going to need an engineering degree, something I don't have and have no intention of getting any time soon). Things went south at that company when this man (Alan) was moved to a different department. Since then, about 6 months ago, he was let go after 18 years in a political shake up. He's at a competitor now and has wooed me with thoughts of moving to his new company.

His daughter is autistic and diagnosed as clinically depressed. He understands and knows of my bipolar diagnosis and I wouldn't have to hide things as much. The only drag is the job is 4 times the distance from my house (I currently drive 12 km one way - this would be 46).

My current job is a stress powder keg. We've hired a new guy to replace my "partner" in the department who has now moved to outside sales. Because the new guy is, well, new, his learning curve is quite steep and I'm shouldering the work for two people, essentially. The deadlines don't care about that, though, and I'm sinking fast. My boss, the president of the company, is keeping an eye and is aware, but the other sales rep I support, also a part owner of the company, doesn't give a tinkers cuss about that, only about how my lateness with deadline submission affects his overall bottom dollar.

I can sense myself ramping into hypomania, and it was evident in my having difficulty falling asleep last night at my normal time. I even went downstairs and double checked three times that I did in fact take my Seroquel, which usually knocks me out within about 1/2 hr. But no. 1 1/2 hrs later I was still awake.

Tonight is Power Skating class (a class to work on hockey skating skills - a 50 minute class of intense physical activity). Hopefully this helps sweat out some of the hypomania and gets me to settle a bit. I also am aware that the anticipation of the job offer only adds to my internal machine gearing up.

Like they said in the movie Anger Management "WOOOOOsahhhhhh".....breathe in....breathe out.

Later gators
Saturday, January 22, 2005

Business

I've actually sold three pieces of my jewellry this week on eBay. I'm shocked. :-)

I'm not making a mint at it by any stretch of the imagination, but my intent is to start small, even if I have to lose a bit of cash at first, and get a sense of what people are really willing to pay. Then I will set up an eBay store and just keep steady stock.

If anyone is interested in seeing pieces, you can do an Advanced Search on eBay and search for blondzila68 (that would be me :-)).

The making of the jewellry keeps me out of trouble and satisfies the low grade mania (hypomania) that has been darting around me for the past week or so. So it's win-win.

Cold Sun

It's been brilliantly cold lately.

For those of you who have never lived through a snowy winter (never mind a Canadian one), you have to understand that it is a different sun that sits in the sky.

Summer sun is yellow, and the light seems almost liquid, turning the air itself into warm syrup. The asphalt shimmers. The dust in the fields softens the line of telephone poles soldiering along the country roads.

Winter sun is almost white. The light it gives is hard, crystalline. And when there is snow on the ground, the light is painful. You shield your eyes from it as you would an explosion, but this blast brings tears to your squinting eyes. The reflected light is everywhere, providing no shade, no solace. And it is on these days, when the sky is wide and the sun seems impossibly bright, that it is the coldest. Without the clouds for insulation, the temperatures plummet. As the clouds roll in with the change of weather comes the wind. Its serrated edge cuts through layers, freezes the breath right on your lips, leaving even the hairs in your nose rigid with ice.

But I really believe that this life we lead here makes us appreciate the warmth of summer, and makes us hardier, stronger, with more stamina. We play in this weather. We work in this weather. We know that even the harshest of times have their end. Spring comes every year.

Jail Bypass

Courtesy of nutz'so:

It seems the courts, at least in this particular jurisdiction, are getting smarter.

This article states that an average of 20% of jailed inmates have a history of mental illness. I understand that the jail population of the United States is at an all time high and is constantly growing. Keeping a correction facility running is an expensive proposition. And the more crowded they are, the more institutional violence there will be (simply due to the powder keg effect), and the more learned criminalization will occur. We teach our inmates to be better criminals in such environments. I also believe that in overcrowded conditions, simply due to practical considerations, some may be granted parole when they are really borderline cases.

By reducing, potentially up to 20%, the population of correctional facilities, this allows the jails to do more effectively what they were designed to do: to both punish and to rehabilitate (if possible).

But criminal matters with regards to mental health are not necessarily cut and dried issues.

A quick perusal of google shows that Toronto's had this kind of set up for some time. I remember watching a great show on the CBC last fall called "This Is Wonderland", a show set in Toronto's Old City Hall Courts. The storylines that would touch on the mental health courts could be hilarious, but also heartbreaking.

I remember watching one episode where a man (aside: the same actor that played "Nobody" in the movie Dead Man with Johnny Depp) was on trial for assault against his bipolar common-law wife. She was refusing to take her medications and was entering psychotic mania. Her mate got physical with her in an attempt to restrain her. The neighbours called the cops. The man stood in the docket, calm, collected. His wife sat in the visitors benches, the stereotypical picture of a mentally ill woman: hair askew, shaking, eyes wide, darting, furtive movements. The Crown Attorney kept harping on how there was zero tolerance in our society for spousal abuse. The man calmly said how he didn't abuse her: he loved her and was trying to help her. It cut zero ice. He was sentenced to some jail time.

In the hall, his wife caught up with the defense attorney.

"What am I going to do without him?" she pleaded. "I need him. He helps me with everything. Without him I can't remember to take my medication. What am I going to do without him?"

No one had any answer for her.

It was a very intense show.

Jailing the mentally ill is rarely appropriate (violent behaviour being the likely exception). And I think the step toward mental health diversions rather than criminal court is a very healthy one indeed.
Sunday, January 16, 2005

Return of the Evil Intruder

I came home from hockey and let Blue out for a pee, and wham, she goes chasing after something. I bring her back in (whatever it was got away) and I went to one of the side windows on the other side of the fence. This is what I saw. Posted by Hello
Oh man....man oh man...let me go!!!! said Blue. Nothing doing. Poor bunny. Posted by Hello
This is the real intruder. The picture has been enhanced somewhat - it's dark out and I had a 65 pound dog trying to go through the window I'm taking the picture through at the same time as me taking the picture, which is exactly as confusing and uncomfortable as it sounds. Posted by Hello
Blue shut her eyes, and muttered, Fer chrissake, put down the camera. The other dogs will laugh. Why do you insist on recording my shame....Because I can, Blue. Just because I can. Posted by Hello
Wednesday, January 12, 2005

So it begins.

I've begun to write again. This blog I put in a separate category - I don't lessen it, believe me, because sometimes this blog and knowing that people read and might even give a hoot about what they read, that keeps me going sometimes.

No, I've begun to write again the way my son meant. The way I used to spend hours as a kid, and a teen.

It's rusty, the machinery, but I started. Just a little.

Let's see if I can make it a habit.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mom, I'm a Pretty Lucky Kid

Says Adam tonight while I'm making dinner.

"Why's that?" I ask.

"Well, I've got a pretty good family and I'm happy and I know what I want to be when I grow up. I'm not going to be one of those people who become a plumber or a garbage man but always wanted to be an astronaut or something." (he meant no offence to any of the above professions).

I said "then I guess you are pretty lucky".

He asked "Didn't you want to be something when you were my age? Did you always want to do (he named the job I do now, a dry, technical sales job)?"

I laughed. "No. Not even close. I wanted to be a writer."

"Well, why didn't you? How's that book coming that you told me you were writing?" he asked.

"Book? Oh, Adam, that was long ago. I forgot all about it."

"Oh," he shrugged.

And that was that.

Sometimes messages come from the most unlikely, unbidden sources. Let's see what I can do with it.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Tale of The Evil Intruder

Strange things have been a foot here lately...holes in the back yard for one... Posted by Hello
For a while, we've been noticing foot prints, definitely not mine (thought I'd like to think I was dainty, I'm not even that freakin close), and for sure not the dog's. And one evening we found out just what it was. Posted by Hello
We were eating dinner and Blue went beserk. She was yelling at us: INTRUDER! INTRUDER! She sloughed off her guise as a mild mannered neurotic house dog and became (dunh-dunh-dunh) FUNKY KILLER WOLF! Posted by Hello
Blue grinned a happy grin: I know I'm the Funky Killer Wolf who can get the Evil Intruder! Let me go! Let me go! Posted by Hello
Our intruder may have been drawn possibly by my left over garden (truth: carrot scraps were found all over the hole it was digging, but they're buried by further snowfall now). Posted by Hello
And it was dark, so it was hard to see for us measly humans, but Blue certainly knew it was there. This is a good likeness of our evil intruder, Posted by Hello
We banged on the window and the sliding door to try to get our intruder to leave, but it was either stoic or insane. Rob held tight to the Funky Killer Wolf as best he could (her being so strong and superhero-like now) and opened the door. The Evil Intruder heard Death announcing itself with stupid yelps, oops, no, sorry Blue, Heroic barks, and it fled like the wind. But Blue was out in a flash, confident in her hunting skills. I'm a funky killer Wolf, sings Blue, and you're not. Watch how good I am!!! Posted by Hello
This is a concept drawing of what Rob, Adam and I saw as Blue flashed out the door. Run, Bugs Run ! Posted by Hello
The wolf that was Blue howled in fear and rage as the Evil Bunny escaped. How could such a little thing escape such a fine-tuned machine such as Blue? (by the way, Blue said, are there any more Jerky treats??? I'll give you my paw...) Posted by Hello
Blue went through an entire box of Kleenex describing to the police artist what our intruder looked like. This is his sketch of the culprit based on a teary-eyed Blue's description. Please note the evil dark eyes and crouch, ready to spring on unsuspecting mild-mannered house dogs. . Posted by Hello
This is Blue now. She swears the Monster Rabbit just overpowered her. Swears the thing was six feet tall and monstrous. We just nod and politely go along. Poor dog. Therapy begins next week. It's a group concept lead by Huckleberry Hound entitled: "Getting in Touch with your Inner Puppy: a Modern Dog's guide to Accepting Your True Urban Self"  Posted by Hello
Friday, January 07, 2005

Bad Medicine

I saw the pdoc Wednesday. My latest blood tests show elevated liver enzymes and something called "mild macrocytosis". The two groupings combined point toward a potential problem with my liver, possibly caused by the valproic acid I take to keep me stable.

I have to see my family doctor Tuesday evening to discuss it. The pdoc wouldn't tell me much. Said it's up the the family physician to take further tests and determine if I need to see a hematologist (liver specialist I think).

SO, being the Internet Being that I am, I've scared myself stupid by researching the blood test results (the pdoc gave me a copy to give to my family dr).

Apparently the results I have are very common for a chronic alcoholic. It also points to something called a fatty liver. Great. I stop drinking years ago and my liver gets fat. Sumthin aint right. (sigh) My "research" shows that the damage is reversible in a certain percentage of patients (percentage depending on many factors).

I'm trying to be blase about it until I get actual informed opinions rather than my own wild conjecture. But it does come to a catch 22:

If the medication is causing the liver damage, I need to come off the medication.
The doctor will not entertain anything other than Lithium or Valproic acid, both known to potentially cause liver trouble with a small percentage of patients (I asked about Topamax - he doesn't like it. Said it's not as effective a mood stabilizer for someone prone to mania such as me).

The catch is, if I come off the meds, I will sure as shootin' be back to my manic self within short order.

Life is full of these neat little surprises.
Saturday, January 01, 2005

Blogger Idol Week 4 - Resolutions

I think it's an essential part of human nature to always be dissatisfied with an element of ourselves. If we weren't, we would cease to try, we would drown in atrophy, and stasis, true stasis, is death. We resolve to be better, and choose the beginning of a new year as a symbol of the newness, the better us, we reach for.

All that said, my resolutions always go for crap. Always.

Admit it. So do yours. C'mon.

The infinitesmally small number of you who actually keep your New Year's Resolutions belong to the same golden group who lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life, who quit smoking cold turkey and never have a craving, who stop drinking without AA and own a bar (NORM!). And bully for you for succeeding.

If I was going to make resolutions this year, they'd be pretty simple. But nothing in my life is simple anymore. *sigh* My illness has been on my mind a lot lately. But if a resolution is something that I want to improve about myself, here goes:

First: I resolve to remember to take my medication when I'm supposed to (for those who don't get that, read the blurb under the "Sanity Optional"...it should make sense). But the damned things have an effect on my memory so....ummm...

where was I again?

Second: I resolve to be more honest with my doctor about how my moods have been controlled. ummmm....wait....what was that first resolution again?

Third: I resolve to remember that I don't wear my diagnosis on my forehead like a scarlet letter, so that people really aren't staring at me as often as I think (did I ever tell you the paranoia that comes with bipolar disorder? dunno...I forget...see resolution number one).

Four: I resolve to be more kind to myself, and remember that I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to stigmatizing my illness. I am still a good person, I am still a good mother, I am still a good wife....but as my husband said tonight, I just sleep earlier because of the drugs.

Five: I resolve to thank my lucky stars every day that my worst problem in life is this illness. I still have a husband who loves me (and they say I'm crazy), a son who stays out of trouble and does decently in school, a roof over my head, food to eat and a decent paying job.

My last resolution will be easiest to keep. I resolve to tell you, Internet, thanks for listening to me babble, for giving me an ear and a laugh and a shoulder.

So thanks :-)

Two more days

Just a quickie.

I have today and tomorrow left before I've got to go back to work.

Bleh.

But the time off has been great.

I wish I could win the lottery. Chances of that happening however are slim and none: I don't buy tickets.

Oh well. Two more days. That's my mantra for now.

Copyright © 2005 Blondzila (because no one else would own this).

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