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Maybe There Will Be A Day

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It would be nice to have a day where I can be off, tired, burned out without having everyone watching me. They wonder if I'm on a downhill slide. They wonder if my meds are off. They wonder is depression is looming.

Maybe, just maybe I'm having a bad day, just like typical people have. Maybe I'm tired from the week, maybe I'm worried about the future.

Not every mood change I have can be blamed on bipolar disorder.

Maybe, just maybe it's just been a bad day. 


I Remember It Well

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

September 12, 2007. My husband and I were at a biker's event drinking beer, laughing, drooling over the gorgeous motorcycles and laughing with friends when the call came. It was a call that would change one life for eternity and the lives of the others that were left behind forever.

My daughter called. Through the music, the laughter and the roaring pipes of the Harleys, I couldn't hear her well, but I could tell she was hysterical. I walked far out into the field and put an ear plug into my free ear.

Her 18 month old son, Josiah, had fallen down the stairs at my house. They were at the hospital and the news was grim. He had a severely lacerated tongue and scans showed a broken leg, a fractured skull and bleeding in his brain.

Josiah was immediately transferred by ambulance, lights flashing and sirens screaming, to the children's trauma hospital in Portland. I couldn't think. There was nothing I could do but wait and call my dad.

I rarely write of my faith on this blog because it's personal to me and I don't want to offend anyone with differing beliefs. Tonight's an exception to my rule.

I made the call to the only parent I had left since my mother had been killed the year before. In one phone call I had been transported from a mother and grandmother into a child needing my daddy. My dad had no faith in anything he couldn't see, that he couldn't touch. We were raised in an atheistic environment, but I always had this feeling, this faith deep inside my soul.

When Dad answered the phone I began crying as I told him of the events that led to Josiah's hospitalization and what the scans showed. My dad had always been my rock. He hadn't been a good father while my brothers and I were growing up, but since my mother had been tragically taken from him he changed, our relationship changed. He had softened, he grew to know how to give and how to receive love.

He told me not to worry, that Josiah would be fine. He calmed me as I waited for the next call from my daughter. When I got off the phone with him he called Karli. The words he spoke were not the words of a man that refused to believe in faith, in something bigger than himself, they were the words of a believer.

He told her to do what she had told him to do every day since her grandmother was killed 13 months earlier. He told her to pray. He told her that God would not allow a second child of her's to die. The three of us, Karli, Dad and I exchanged many phone calls that night. In each call Dad assured us that Josiah would be fine, that God would hear our pleas. He firmly told us not to worry, but to know the baby would be fine.

A very good friend of mine is a pediatric neurologist. I called her and she jumped into action. She was at the hospital in a flash and was on top of his case. She told me the scans were bad and they didn't know what the outcome would be. His injuries were severe and the bleeding on the brain was at the top of the list.

Soon Josiah began to vomit and he was rushed for emergency scans. When my friend came back into the room with the scans she had the first scans as well and was followed by nearly a dozen awe struck doctors.

She put the first scans up for everyone to see. The scans were horrible. The fracture was clear, as was the blood pooling within his tiny skull. His leg was broken badly. Not a word was spoken as she put up the second scans, there were only gasps.

The second scans showed no fracture, no bleeding and no broken bones. The only thing they could find wrong with the tiny child was his lacerated tongue. She called me as soon as she showed the scans to Karli and her husband. Her words were "I've shown a team of doctors the first and the second scans and we have no explanation for what isn't shown in the second set of scans. Teri, the scans are perfect, Josiah is fine. I have no explanation."

The first thing that next morning I called my father and told him the news. He simply said, "I know." He said it with the conviction of someone that had a hand in the process, he said it clearly and knowingly.

That was the second to the last time I ever spoke with my father. You see, that night, September 13th, 2007, my father died.

When my brother entered my dad's house to check on him that morning he saw Dad's oxygen machine. Dad never went to bed without it. He found his cell phone, something else Dad never went to bed without. He found bowls of water scattered about the house for the dog, bowls that had never been there before.

My brother made his way into the bedroom and found my father dead. He was in a kneeling position beside his bed.

It's my firm belief that my father made a promise that night. My brothers, Karli and I firmly believe, based on our last conversations with him, that my dad made a trade. That he made a deal with God. A deal that if God would spare Josiah's life he would accept Him and would trade his own life for the life of the child.

When I next saw my Dad he was cold and lying in his casket. I kissed him, I hugged him and I thanked him for the trade he had made. I didn't lose my father that night. I gained an eternity with him.


There Are Some Things You Should Just Keep To Yourself

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I know this is one of those things but since I've already written about such topics on my blog I'm going to tackle it anyway. Besides, since when have I ever kept anything to myself?

Yes this is going to be about Starbucks and their non flushing toilets.

I had to go to the bathroom this morning during coffee and there was someone already in there so I waited. As soon as she opened the door and I saw her face I KNEW what she had done in there.

The pungent odor confirmed it, but I was determined to do my thing and get out of there before I had to breathe much at all.

I was doing ok until I unzipped my jeans and looked into the toilet. Oh gosh, I can feel my stomach rising as I write this. There was brown stained toilet paper floating in the water. I promptly threw up.

Then the thought of throwing up in a toilet with poop stained floating paper in it made me puke more. So there I was looking at crap stained toilet paper covered with fresh latte and coffee cake vomit. The more I thought about it, the more I barfed. There I stooped....looking....barfing.....looking.....barfing.

Finally I was able to stop and I tried to compose myself. I went to wash my face. Thank GOD there was a sink and mirror in there! I had mascara dripping down my face and my hair was a wreck. I looked as if I'd just come from that scene in the Exorcist.

Ok, I need to stop now. I'm feeling the need to up chuck again.



Friday, March 23, 2012

No, I do not want to sit in the front passenger seat of the car. I'd rather be in the back being driven about by some guy with a cool name and a British accent.

What a day, what a term, what a year.  If you're expecting something brilliant in this post you can click out now because I have nothing left this week.

I thought I'd take a "shotgun" approach to this post, well, because my life is all over the place right now. Nothing of substance, just pellets flying through the air and hitting me square in the face with a few in the ass.

First of all I'd like to know why parents don't teach their kids manners or respect any more. I was at my son's basketball game the other day and these four little shits about 11-12 pushed me out of the door and ran by never acknowledging they'd hit an almost old lady.

Then today I held the door open for a woman that was right me at Starbucks and that royally pissed her off! She was pissed because she thought I held the door open for her because she was old. Eh, no. I held the door open for her because it was the right thing to do. Then she nastily told me, "You go ahead since you were HERE FIRST!" Whatever. I'm sick of rude people. I should have pulled her cane right from beneath her and beat her with it.

After all that I had to come on and work on my taxes for the last two years, no not 2011, but '09 and '10 because they got royally messed up and have to be done all over again. So I've been staring at bank statements and trying to make sense of Quickbooks all day, popping valium along the way. Fun times.

In the middle of trying to make sense of it all my daughter, The Bipolar Princess, called. She had quite a bit to say. First off she warned me that I might not want to read her latest blog post, that it might "upset" me. So of course I wanted to read it, I mean if she's warning me, it had to be something bad about me, right? Ha, the bipolar mind at work. So I called her on it. She said part of it had to do with Isaiah and she didn't want me to be blindsided by it. Can I get a collective "awwww," now? My baby was thinking of me and didn't want me to have to re-live a horrific part of our lives. I still haven't read it. I might do that in a bit.

Then she went on to tell me something I can't get off my mind. You all know she has herpes and that's why Isaiah died. But what you don't know is that she has a rare blood borne form of the virus. She got some news from her doctor that has kicked me in the gut.

Evidently with the form of the virus she has it can attack any organ in her body and her brain is especially susceptible. She's at high risk of developing dementia. As if the girl hasn't gone through enough, now she has to deal with that fear, and being her mom I'm totally freaked out.

But then something really cool happened. Karli, my Bipolar Princess, found these shirts that say, "I ♥ my mom and her tattoos." So I had to get some. I bought four of them.

Now I'm in bed finally. I have a  sleeping yorkie beside me and the week behind me. I have two xanax, two valium and a Geodon at my bedside and after I watch Brothers and Sisters those will be ingested and I'll be on my way to the weekend.


Do I Look Crazy?

Monday, March 12, 2012

A few days ago my daughter, A Bipolar Princess, said someone had written her and asked what it was like having bipolar, especially since she didn't "look crazy."

It got me to wondering exactly what kind of image we that are affected with this disorder have. Take a look at this list. How many of the people on it "look crazy?" Well maybe a few of them are pretty well known for their "craziness." But I'm willing to bet that there are also a lot of names on the list that you would have never guessed suffered from Bipolar Disorder.

When I was diagnosed it really surprised me. I thought I was only having an unusually hard time after losing my parents, my grandson, and experiencing other traumatic events during a very short period of time. It took the trauma from all of that, and more, to bring my disorder into the light.

Bipolar is usually characterized as having dramatic and unpredictable mood swings. I can look back on my life and see it now. I can trace it back to about my early teens. I remember when I was about 13 I tried to ask for help. I was depressed, felt worthless and unwanted. Some of that was from parents that did the best they could, but really had no idea how to raise kids and some of it was because of my disorder. Anyway, I circled named of psychiatrists in the phone book. I remember thinking maybe my parents would see it and some how magically I would be taken care of, that they would realize I needed help, that I needed them to care. 

My dad saw the circles. He looked at me one night when the family was all together and said, "It looks like someone is trying to make us think they're crazy. What a crock of shit." I was devastated. In my family we didn't talk to our parents, they didn't talk to us. It was the only way I could think of to ask for help without talking and it was shot down. So if my parents didn't care, why should I? Don't get me wrong, my parents loved us, they were just neglectful, emotionally unavailable parents when my brothers and I were young. We had everything we needed physically, but nothing we needed emotionally.

In the family I was the one that was generally thought of as the one with poor judgement and impulsive behavior, not someone that had a condition that needed treatment. I was the one with "attention seeking behavior." Well I wonder why? I got very little attention from my parents and I, like all kids, needed it. I still have the behavior, or so I'm told, and being damn near 50 it's unlikely it's going to change.

There were dramatic ups and downs and poor judgements before, and even after, I was diagnosed. I didn't look crazy, I was just the one with the hot temper and impulsive ways. It took all of the trauma I mentioned earlier to bring everything to the surface.

I tried to numb the traumatic feelings by self medicating and running from reality. On the night that lead to my diagnosis I had taken four, only four, ambien. I wasn't trying to kill myself, I only wanted the noise to stop. I wanted to sleep. But in my hypnotic state I cut my arms. I don't remember it very well, it's all foggy and in pieces. I only cut them enough to see blood. Somehow the physical pain took away the emotional pain which was much more severe.

That night was the beginning of months of instability. My daughter was calling my friends constantly to get them to talk me through things, to help distract me from the realities of the depths of the disorder. But no one that wasn't in my very tight circle had a clue I had a serious problem.

For me, un-medicated bipolar, and the months just after diagnosis,  was like walking a tight rope. I never knew which way I would fall or if I could stay the course. It was exciting and fun and then in a flash it was dark and horrifying, not only for me, but for my family as well.

Today is a much different story. My medicinal cocktail is spot on and for the most part I'm doing better than I ever have. I've been told that I promote the usage of medications. Hell, freaking yes I do and I will continue to do so. I might not be here without them, my daughter might not be here without them. So if promoting the usage of medication is what it takes, that's what I'll do.

After I was diagnosed I made the decision that I would grab the tiger by the tail and I would win, that can't happen without medication.  I've slipped a few times, but I'm on the upswing. Being controlled by bipolar isn't an option for me. I'm going to control it, I'm going to kick it's ass the best I can. I'm going to help make people aware that we're not "crazy," we're humans with a very treatable condition. If I'm not mistaken there's not one person out there that doesn't have a demon or two to fight.

I've been told that riding a motorcycle and getting tattoos are "attention seeking, bipolar behaviors." Maybe they are, or maybe they're not. Maybe it's just me. I think I'll take me just as I am....flaws, motorcycles, tattoos, medications and all.

If you have a friend or family member with the disorder, educate yourself about it. Get to know what you can, be supportive, not judgemental. After all, what's your demon?



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, screech…rewind…in a mall far, far away, there was a Diva, a distressed Diva. Although the Diva was distressed, she didn’t know it at the time. Her new meds were about to mess with her, but she had no idea how.

She was supposed to be shopping for Christmas presents for her young bipeds when she was distracted by the beautiful shoes on display. There were so many to choose from that she lost track of time whilst trying on one pair after another. She totally forgot her husband and children were shopping at the other end of the mall and they had a scheduled time to meet and go home with their collective purchases.

The Diva was oooohing and awing over the beautiful shoes when she soon felt this little rumble in her tummy. She looked around and since she saw no one near, by near I mean within sniffing distance,  she decided to let the rumble go on its merry little way and she continued to browse.

Soon she felt something a little strange in her jeans, something a little wet, a little uncomfortable. The Diva needed to find a restroom to see what could have caused that unknown feeling.

She looked around and finally spotted the ladies lounge. She carefully made her way to the lounge trying to avoid any of the ordinary customer’s olfactory senses. Once she was in the secure little stall she lowered her jeans and to her horror found them filled with, sorry, but there’s no other word for it, she found them filled with excrement.

It wasn’t the kind you could just toss down the toilet, no it wasn’t like that at all. It was ooey, and gooey and runny and EVERYWHERE from the top of her Diva derriere to the middle of her knees.

Not knowing quite what to do she sat there a moment trying to formulate a plan. Then suddenly she realized there was only one way to attack the problem. After throwing away her lacy thong, it was un-saveable, she knew she needed remove her shoes and jeans, so she didn't make a bigger mess. She had  to make it out into the lounge to the sink, half naked, grab as many wet, soapy paper towels as she could and run back into the stall before anyone else came into the bathroom.

Just as she was about to make her quick dash to the sink several women came in. Damn it! She had to sit there burning and itching and wait while they chatted, went potty and spoke about how smelly the bathroom was.

After an eternity they left and the now sweating Diva rushed bare bottomed to the sink, grabbed lots of paper towels, wet them well and soaped them up. She dashed back into the stall to begin the horrifying task of trying to remove the mess not only from her body, but from her jeans as well.

As luck would have it she didn’t grab enough paper towels. Many, many more were going to be needed to even half-way complete the messy task. Once again when she was ready to make the run for the sink more women came in. Once again she sat there counting the seconds until they left.
Upon their departure the Diva hopped out to the sink, grabbed more wet towels and more soap.

Back in the stall she worked feverishly to clean the unthinkable mess from her clothing. She got most, but not all, of it out. She glanced at her watch and realized she had been in the bathroom for over 30 minutes and she was 20 minutes late meeting up with the rest of the family.

She could stay in the bathroom no longer. She had to find her family. She knew the smell would travel with her so she tried to stay in a crowd of people so no one could be sure from where the offending smell was wafting. 

Finally, pale and horrified, she found her family. Her astute husband realized there had been a problem, but misjudged the situation and thought someone had hurt the Diva.

The Diva told him they had to leave the mall and leave quickly. The husband was outraged thinking the Diva was keeping something from him. He continued to ask, she continued pleading to leave. Finally the Diva got her way.

Once in the parking lot the husband continued hounding the Diva about what had happened. Finally she looked him squarely in the eye and said, “I shit in my pants! Now take me home!”

The husband and all the children stood there, mouths gaping for several seconds before bursting into a unified laughter. At the time the Diva didn’t see the humor in the situation, she only wanted to go home and take a shower to clean her sticky bum and legs, and do a load of laundry.

The family, and the humiliated Diva, made it to the car and drove home, with the windows open on a cold, cold day in December.


I've Never Done This Before

Monday, March 5, 2012

So here's the deal, let's see how well you know me. Come on, there's a $25 Starbucks (of course) gift card in it for the winner.

I've got some questions for you and the one with the most correct answers will get the gift card. If there's a tie I'll have my yorkie pick from her little dog hat. Remember that kid's book,  "Go Dog Go?" You know, the one that had the dog par-tay in the tree? Not sure why I thought of that just now. Oh well the mind of a bipolar diva.

I'll link back to the posts with some answers so you've got a shot and some will jut be too easy. So ready to start? They'll begin easy and get harder as they go along. Unless my short term memory loss kicks in and I have a problem.

1) How did I get the title to my blog?
2) What kind of motorcycle do I ride?
3) What color is it?
4) Where did I meet the swinging elf?
5) What CD did I think I should put int he CD player during "The Bath?"
6) What do I HATE in my bed?
7) Where am I originally from?
8) What did I do face to leg combat with?
9) What was the post about that I thought was too important not to read?
10) What did my psychiatrist tell me to do one time?
11) What made me come unglued?
12) What did I conquer that was physically enduring, besides getting off the couch to go to Starbucks?
13) My grandson that died, what was his name?
14) What did the valet at Morton's Steakhouse do to nearly get a stiletto to the throat?
15) Why do I like handcuffs?
16) Why did I need Sacajawea?
17) Where were my kids dancing? (What Street?)
18) Why did I consider divorcing my husband?
19) What kind of sunglasses do I wear?
20) Where was I going when my motorcycle was totaled?

Ok, so contest ends March 19th.


Manic Thursday

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What a roller coaster! Bipolar usually is, it's recognizing the signals that come my way that throw me. When things go too well and I feel too good I always think a manic episode is around the corner.

Well.....HELLO mania! It's been coming on for weeks. I've been super focused, I can't stop's like I just don't have enough hours in the day. For me that's a sign I have to watch. My mood has been incredible and for the most part I feel like me on overdrive. I've been going and going and going for weeks and then I'll crash and burn for a day and do it all over again.

I had a feeling it might be mania, but was hoping I was just doing better. It's funny that when you have bipolar, good days become suspicious. I always wonder if it's real or if its mania.

Usually I love mania, I get more done, I'm happy and out going, chatty and optimistic. It's a good feeling, mostly. Who in the hell am I kidding? It's  wonderful feeling!

Last night was a for sure sign, I couldn't get to sleep until four. I had to totally drug myself to sleep and then was up four hours later,

I emailed my doc to see if he could switch my sleep meds and described everything else going on. He called back immediately and said it sounded more like an onset of mania and not sleep med burn out.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Motor-driven, can't stop moving, unusually happy, not sleeping and racing thoughts. Great, just great. Mania is awesome, EXCEPT it usually signals a fall is near.

A deep, scary, pits of hell fall. The kind of fall where you feel like you're being pulled into a vortex and no matter what you do you can't get out. Actually what's scary is that you don't want to get out, you can't think straight enough to get the strength to want to get out.

We've doubled one on my medications and I hope that will level things out. For now I'm not thinking I'm going to fall, but who in the hell knows? Only time will tell I guess.

So if I disappear for a while you'll know the black Dog, as Winston Churchill called his bipolar depression, has me in it's grips.

I used to wish I was normal, but for me this normal. I don't know any other way.

I should be selling tickets!

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