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If It Sounds Like A Duck

Wednesday, April 27, 2011



I'm not a hypochondriac. Well, maybe I am. See, I'm on a shit load of medications each day that are supposed to help keep my moods stable, take care of my anxiety, help the problems with my neck and back (that the lady on the cell phone that ran me over and totaled my motorcycle caused), and to help me sleep.

They all come with side effects and I've become hyper vigilant about all of that crap. In the last three years I've had to start and stop a myriad of medications all because of side effects. Right now I'm on a pretty good cocktail, I feel great most days.

But then cue the side effects. Some are minimal: headache, drowsiness, upset stomach, blah, blah, blah...

Some get scary: coma, death, and shit like that.

Then there are these for one of the medications I'm on:
  • dizziness, feeling light-headed, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
  • fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • tremor (uncontrolled shaking), restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • agitation, hostility, confusion;
  • increased thirst or urination, weakness, extreme hunger; or
  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer.
We can cross of the erection problem since I just don't have the equipment. Most of the others are crossed off too. But there is one that I'm a little worried about, "tremor (uncontrolled shaking), restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck."

I've noticed this weird thing that started happening a few months ago and I'm a little afraid to bring it up with the doc. She's not only going to think I'm a freak, she may just lock me up in the Behavioral Unit in Adventist Hospital.

I can't believe that I'm even going to admit this to the whole freaking blogosphere. Now before I tell you, you have to know that it doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough to freak me out.

I seem to have developed a quack. Yep, you got it, like a freaking duck. It's this weird thing with my tongue and the roof of my mouth. It's like a twitch in my tongue that causes this suction and then there's this quacking sound. It just happens. I have no idea it's coming and I can't reproduce it.

I was hoping that it wasn't noticeable to anyone else and then tonight at dinner it happened. My son's jaw dropped and he asked, "Mom, did you just quack?"

Holy Mother of God someone else heard it! All conversation stopped and I had four sets of doe eyes staring at me.

"Mom, you quacked?"

*kids trying to digest what was just said*

"Do it again! I want to hear it!"

"Does it sound anything like AFLAC?"

*hysterical laughter*

"Mom, come on.....I wanna hear!"

*pleading kids*

"You guys didn't hear her? She sounded just like a duck!"

All I could do was drop my head in my hands and wonder how in the hell I'm going to tell my psychiatrist that I have freaking fowl quack.


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Contrast

Thursday, April 21, 2011


In contrast to my thoughts, the blackened room is strangely refreshing.
The only stimuli are the continual purring of the ceiling fan above me, deep, rhythmic breathing to my left and the dimly lit clock to my right with its glaring proclamation that night has passed and early morning hours are here.

Sleep has proven elusive yet again. The breeze from the fan is chilling to my naked body but thinking of lying beneath the blanket, trying to stop the racing thoughts, is claustrophobic.

I've looked over the prescription bottles at my bedside a number of times. I've already consumed a myriad of medications during the last few hours in the attempt to attain, what tonight, seems unattainable. In my mind echos of the words, "just one more, just one more" taunt me. I fully realize that just one more could be one too many. So I wait and I write. Meanwhile the clock ticks away reminding me of my failure to stop the thoughts and rest peacefully.

Wish me luck, I'm going to give it one more chance. 


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The Lighter Side Or The Personal Side?

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm not really sure where to start, what to say, what not to say or if I should even go forward here. But dammit it's my blog and I can do pretty much what ever the hell I want to on it. I say "pretty much" because there are kids that have access to this, friends, family, blah, blah, blah..... That's one reason I have another blog. It's more personal, more racy, it's the other side of me. If you want to be considered to be part of the elite group that has access to that part of my life email me and we'll talk.

This one I try to keep on the lighter, more family friendly side, although I will address the seriousness and the stigma of bipolar when the need arises. 

But it's April and I've only written two posts. TWO! Those of you that know me know that means they, the powers that be, have been messing with my medications again and it hasn't been pretty. To make a long background story short, the docs thought I had leukemia or some other weird blood related shit because my white blood cell count kept dropping, plummeting actually. Found out it was most likely a medication I was on so I stopped it. Experimented with a shit load of other stuff. My blood count rose, but my emotional state declined.

That's about when I stopped writing and stopped being able to hold up, or repair, the crap that's been going on in my life. The depression was too enveloping and all sorts of bizarre things began happening. I won't go all into it here, but I'll say that I didn't really know which way was up and I had MAJOR, life changing decisions to make. 

I've made those decisions and will have to live with them, good or bad, right or wrong. My life will change and hopefully it will be for the better.

It's funny that when things get bad, really bad, is usually when I do my best writing. I get all poetic and shit. I guess it's that bipolar/creative combo that does it. This time I could barely function, let alone write about Sea Turtles coaxing me to follow or Unorthodox remedies for my affliction. Go read those two, they'll give you insight on some of the feelings that go along with bipolar, or maybe with just life in general.

On the brighter side, I'm going back to school to finish a degree in Political Science. Which is being a major pain in the butt. I have to arrange classes around certain motorcycle events. A major event that I never want to miss happens the same week fall term begins. Guess what's going to win out.....you got it, the motorcycle.

I'm going to take some summer classes that I can arrange around my weekend trips and try to see what can be done about fall term.

Thanks guys for sticking by me during all this crap. I can't tell you how much that means to me.

Here's to the brighter side of life, changes and all!

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I Knew She Would Die

Monday, April 11, 2011

As soon as I saw her I knew she would die. She had just been cut from my daughter's belly and was barely 2 pounds. In an effort to save the baby and my daughter the decision had been made to take the tiny girl child from what she had known as a safe place and bring her into the world of tubes, ventilators and doctors.

My daughter, Karli, had been having contractions since she was 12 weeks pregnant. She was on a first name basis with the Emergency Department and had the best specialists in the Northwest caring for her. The pregnancy was terrible and marred with bleeding, hospital visits, shots, specialists and fear.

She was only 26 weeks pregnant when Anna-Grace was taken. I remember watching the doctors and nurses try to put the ventilator into the tiny angel. She was so still, so purple, so lifeless. The tears that stained my face were tears of losing another grandchild, tears of grief, tears of a sadness I'd hoped no one else would ever feel.

The doctor that delivered her had prepared us for her imminent death and there was no joy on his face as he quickly cut the baby from my baby.




That was three years ago tomorrow, April 12. Anna-Grace surprised everyone. She was a fighter, she was a Diva, she was going to make it.

Karli seeing her baby for the first time

Holding Nana's hand



Wearing her preemie hat

Uncle Michael holding her on her first day home


Getting bigger

Then when she was 8 months old she was diagnosed with heart failure and was scheduled for an immediate surgery to repair her failing heart. Once again we prepared to lose her.

Preparing for surgery


Right after surgery

Baby Diva toes


She survived. She thrived. She kicked ass.

Today she's on the growth chart. She's only about 40%, but she's ON the chart. Before surgery she was no where close to being on the chart, we thought she was dying. She had other plans.

Today we have a hellacious, spirited, baby Diva. She throws fits, she screeches, she whines and she demands fingernail polish. But we have her.

Here are a few more pictures celebrating the spirit and fight of my granddaughter.


Big brother Jakob



First pedicure with Nana



With cousin Madeleine
Just last week. Look at the smile. The smile of a survivor.

Happy third birthday Anna-Grace Elizabeth. Your Nana loves you.

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Yes, I'm Going There

Monday, April 4, 2011

I’m not quite sure how to begin here. I guess I could tell you that my youngest child is 13, THANK GOD! Or I could tell you that I haven’t had to deal with a potty training toddler in ages. Maybe I could tell you that if I were ever to get pregnant again my first appointment would be with Dr. Kevorkian. But another pregnancy will never happen thanks to a friend of mine that’s a wonderfully skilled doctor. He gave into my throwing myself on the floor of his office, begging, pleading and crying for a hysterectomy. Thank God for Brian.

I had my oldest daughter’s kids over Thursday night and Friday. It actually went pretty well until my 2 year old, potty training granddaughter came up to me while I was applying my make up and said, “Nana I have to poop.” My first thought was, “Oh Lord God why did this have to happen on my watch?”

I don’t do poop. I don’t do vomit and I don’t do boogers, spit or snot. Been there, tried to do it and it just doesn’t work for me, or the poor kid. I was, and still am, the kind of mom that would throw a sick kid a bucket and a wet rag and say, “Dad will be home soon.”

But this was Anna-Grace. Beautiful, little, semi-sweet Anna-Grace. I was the only one around and I sure as hell wasn’t about to do poopy underwear. Being a better Nana than a mom, I pulled down her little panties and sat her little fat butt on the toilet.

Then it happened, noises that could rival the 300 pound man that had just won the chili dog eating contest at the local county fair. If you ever saw “Dumb and Dumber” you know what I mean. If you haven’t I’ve put in a little sample to set the scene.




The kid had diarrhea. Not just diarrhea, but explosive diarrhea and there was no one to deal with it but me. There was going to be shit everywhere, all over the little smiling cherub and all over my toilet. Not only was I going to have to clean her, I was going to have to survey the damage in the offended porcelain fixture.

I could feeling it coming. My eyes began to water and my stomach began to rise. See, I’m gaggy, really gaggy. I’m so gaggy that I’m the one that usually ends up puking. The seconds until she was finished seemed like hours.

I had to leave the bathroom and wait for the dreaded words, “I’m done Nana.” I wasn’t sure how I could go back in to take care of her. The odor was wafting out into the bedroom. I was retching. I was crying.

I had flashbacks of my Dad having to change my brother’s dirty cloth diapers. Dad would have some sort of make shift mask wrapped tightly around his face in an attempt to keep the smell from reaching his nostrils. It never quite worked. Dad would toss the crap filled cloth diaper in the trash can while running from my poor diaperless brother. It would be several minutes before Dad could compose himself to finish the job and have Eric cleaned, usually by holding him under the faucet, diapered and on his way.

I was at the foot of my bed looking at the sweet face, framed with brown curls, smiling at me from around the corner. I knew what I had to do.  I had to take in a breath deep enough to get the job done without having to breathe in the toxic fog while I was in there.

I was able to get Anna-Grace cleaned up with that one breath, then I happened to glance in the toilet. I started to gag, not just gag, but uncontrollably gag to the point that I had a feeling I was going to lose it.

I grabbed up the baby and sprinted out of the bathroom. I sat her down, caught my breath and formulated a plan to get back into the bathroom to flush the toilet. It wasn’t helping matters that I was continuing to gag. Dammit Dad! Why did I get your weak stomach?

There was only one plan I could come up with and that was to take another deep breath and close my eyes. No way was I going to chance seeing what had just come out of my granddaughter one more time.

I dashed in, flushed the toilet and dashed out, stubbing my toe in the process. I also got a whiff of what was left of the baby's intestinal contents. Forget my make up, I wasn’t going back in that bathroom for the rest of the day. And Nana has a new rule: no more kids can stay until they can wipe their own bottoms!




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