Sharing germs

I started feeling ill – sore throat – on Thanksgiving day morning. I got rapidly worse and had to cancel dinner plans with my sister and brother-in-law that evening. Just as well, i thought at the time, because i was fighting with my BIL over hunting on the farm. I told my sister to tell her husband that i would fight with him another day. He has always accused my family of choosing not to fight it out when issues arise, but i intend to show him i’m quite capable of it when i feel better.

My symptoms have been limited to upper respiratory so i’m thinking a cold or perhaps a flu virus. What has surprised me is that i seem to have passed the infection onto my dog, Blue. She was well for the first 2 days of my crapiness – which made play with her (which she demands) tedious. But, on Sunday she refused to get out of my bed, refused to eat, drank water once and was moving stiffly, as if in pain. She’s clearly ill.

I did a very little research and, while rare, it seems that we can share cold and flu viruses. I did not know (or maybe remember) this.
She did eat a tiny bit this morning so i think she’ll be ok.

In general things are slowly changing. The work on the house continues as we are now laying the wood floors. But everything goes too slow for me.

I found a psychiatric nurse practitioner for med management and will not darken the door of my shrink again. She’s been changing my meds around and that has fucked me up a bit. At first she wanted to “put a cap” on my hypomania with Abilfy but i gained 6 pounds in 3 weeks and i said no more. Next she decided to try Depakote but after 3 weeks i felt dissociated most of the time. So, for now, i’ve increased my Wellbutrin and frankly hope to get some of my “hypo” energy back. I need it if i’m going to last through my house remodel. Doc


thank you blue and brain….

Oh my god, oh my god….

Earlier, Blue was sniffing around the woodpile on my carport, which she often does when hunting blue-tailed skinks. This time, however, she was unusually jumpy and not as vocal. And for good reason, because as the next door neighbor kids i hired to move the wood got into the pile a bit, we all heard the telltale sound of a snake shaking it’s tail in the leaves as a warning.

Turns out there were two juvenile copperheads in the pile of wood and accumulated leaves!!!!! Both about a foot and a half long and quite capable of delivering a dangerous bite. Poor things. They tried to warn us off, but both lost their heads in the end.

Because i do shit like this, when their heads were safely detached from their body i used a stick to open one’s mouth and check out the fangs. So cool. The fangs were about a half inch long, which seemed long but i guess they have to be long enough to get through fur and skin. By this time, Blue was going apeshit in the kitchen, so i let her out and gave her a body to do what dogs do with snakes. She’s been “playing” with it for about an hour now. “STFU with the barking Blue, i know about the snake – i gave it to you”.

I cleared away all the leaves and empty sunflower seed shells (i get why the snakes were there) and the kids re-piled the wood and i’ve stopped shaking and sweating.

So, thank you Blue for not giving up and for acting different enough for me to notice and thank you brain for not blowing off her anomalous behavior.


PS: while all the snake business was unfolding, i got a text from my sister telling me that my reminder for next weeks’ psych. appt was called to my father, my childhood abuser. WTF? So much for HIPPA and their rules. According to the office supervisor, she offered that “they must have taken his number from hospital paperwork ( from YEARS before ). I am freaking pissed off. I’m serial.

my new provider – maybe

I waited 9 weeks for an appt. with my first ever psychiatric nurse practitioner. I have a soft spot for nurses – used to be one – but she is associated with the SOB psychiatrist i came to despise while inpt. locally a few years ago. However, my T assured me, when he suggested the NP, that the SOB only sees pts. in the next county over. (If you’re wrong i will kill you, David.)

I decided to try someone else after finally seeing that my pdoc of 5 years was really not trying anymore (or maybe that is me). At any rate, at my last visit with him when i was clearly manic, he told me to call if i wanted some seroquel otherwise come back in 3 months. I’m fairly new to the notion of bipolarity but from reading the blogs of sufferers it seems that most folks DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT when they feel mania approaching or find it in residence.

The visit went well, she called me by my preferred name (not my official name which i’ve always hated and try to pretend i can’t hear), and she took her time to get to know me and i wasn’t a complete lunatic – OK, maybe just a little but hey look at where i was.

I rated myself a 12 on the 0(fatally depressed) to 20(fatally manic) scale with 10 being ‘normal’. We reviewed my arms – length list of previously tried meds. and she suggested i start aripiprazole again as a “mood stabilizer’ because ‘what goes up, must come down’. I’ve heard that somewhere.

BUT…. aripiprazole is an AT antipsychotic, not really a mood stabilizer in the strict sense and i’m feeling lied to. Lying to me is so very much a deal breaker. This drug has anti-manic properties and honestly i’m quite enjoying my hypomania after being crippled so long by depression. I don’t want it to end yet (ever).

Maybe i don’t understand. Does medicating to prevent depression have to mean eradicating the mania, even if it is mild and desirable? Maybe the dosage is the key to the desired effect of antidepressant. Maybe at my dosage my mania will be untouched.

For now, i will take it. This fucking med costs almost $900.00 for a 1 month supply and thankfully Medicare covered all but $88.00. But, sadly, if i come to believe that my PNP is trying to lie to me again, i will have to runn oft – homage to O’ Brother, where art thou?


PS : I asked her if she would prescribe medical marijuana for me and sadly she cited her experiences with “young people who became psychotic after smoking pot” and said no. Damn. I will have to keep looking.

F33.1, still?

I saw my shrink again last week.  It had been 3 months since our last encounter when i told him i was stopping all my meds.  He told me then to come back in 3 months [last week] but i honestly didn’t believe i would ever see him again.


I began to wean off of my meds and almost immediately started into a hypomanic phase. My first, no-denying-it manic episode and it’s been [mostly] lovely.   I was convinced that my MDD was actually bipolar disorder, something my T has asserted for a while.   It’s been, like, 2 months and everyday that i wake up and feel the energy and the smile on my face, i rejoice.  I have been depressed for so long  [YEARS] that it feels like this is a gift.


The triangle relationship i have had between myself, my shrink, and my T,  however, is not a gift, not cool, and  probably not going to continue.  It seems that my shrink and T used to work together on the inpatient psych floor of my local community hospital and consequently and unfortunately,  neither can stand the other.   This dynamic has, over time, made it really hard for me.  There have been times when i really needed my T to share info/thoughts with my shrink but it never happens.  You know, coordinated care and all that crap.


So, anyway,  i was obviously hypomanic last week when i returned to get my ‘if you won’t take meds,then piss off” speech.  To his credit, he did notice my animated mood, asking me “are you on illicit drugs?”   Um, no.  Followed by “has anyone ever told you that you are bipolar?”  Um, yes [just not you].  I told him that i was having great difficulty staying asleep and was smoking pot in the wee hours just to get back to sleep.  He nodded, flipping back  and forth through my file, and told me to take hydroxyzine.  He also said that if i felt “out of control” that we might need the “big guns” – he mentioned seroquel, zyprexa, and risperidal.  No thanks, but i felt that at the least he was in agreement with a bipolar diagnosis.


But as i was checked out at the front desk, i saw that my dx code was still F33.1 – is MDD, recurrent, moderate.



I now have an appt. with a psych nurse practitioner at the end of september.  Time for another opinion, i think.  Plus, nurses rock!