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.


distraught over the dog

Blue is alive and happy and well. I am alive. I wasn’t sure i wanted to write about this, but i’m hoping by putting it to paper that i can let go of some of the bad feelings.

This past weekend blue and i went to the farm for our (nearly) daily walk. She decidedly needs the off leash exercise and the socialization with her 3 cousins. For most of the walk the pack stayed within earshot or sight. At the apex of our route, 3 of them took off quietly, leaving me with the great dane who never strays far. OK, i thought – they’ll be back shortly. I decided to continue walking back to the truck because they can catch up quickly.

But, on the way back, my anxiety ramped up and by the time i got to the truck i was sobbing. I have and have had moderately bad, somewhat irrational fear that she will either end up run over, shot dead or just disappear – never to be found. These fears are not without some basis in possibility as one day , on a walk, i got a call from a stranger who had found blue running along the highway just off the farm property. She was unhurt and oblivious to my concerns about her safety. I didn’t walk her on that side of the farm for weeks, terrified she would, in the end, return to the road and be killed. I lost my 11 month old GSP to a car probably 12 years ago now and i can still remember the thud and feeling her heart stop on the side of the road that day.

It doesn’t take much these days to start my anxiety. In part, i believe, because blue was given to me to help with my depression from losing my 11 yo GSP to illness. I did not have (or know) that i had MH issues before her death sent me to hell.

Now, i am the one in this relationship with separation anxiety. And it is so bad.

Long story short, i sat on the tailgate, sobbing uncontrollably for about 45 mins. until i caught sight of her across the field – looking for me. Even when i got her in my hands i could not stop crying and i wasn’t ‘right’ until the next day.

I’ve told my T multiple times that ‘the dog is going to kill me’ and i firmly believe it. As i sat, waiting, i became suicidal knowing i could not live if she dies. I don’t know how to stop these thoughts. I started taking CBD paste recently in an attempt to lessen my anxiety but i don’t see much change in my thinking. I have some leftover buspar that i may try.

I can’t (don’t want to) condemn her to a life without her friends or unrestrained exercise because she would suffer and become unhappy. I just can’t do it. But every day that comes i have to decide if we are going or not. Like the pain of childbirth, i seem to forget how truly bad it is when she is out of sight for more than a few mins. and soon i am distraught until i have her back safely (so far).

Today, i agreed to go to the farm to let my sister’s dogs out since she is away and my bil is working all day. I am terrified. How can i make this better? If she dies, i will follow.


adventures in trucking

There is a spider living inside of my truck.  I’ve never seen her but her silken handiwork gives her away.  So far, i’ve only found strands in front of the steering wheel going from somewhere to somewhere else.  Have never seen any dead or paralyzed insect meals awaiting their fate.  Although there was a rather frenetic mosquito trying to exit through the window next to my ear the other day.  I can go days without leaving the house so i’m not sure how long it had been trapped inside the cab.  Since i can’t stand mosquitoes, i smashed it against the unyielding window probably denying my arachnid passenger the chance of a meal.  Tough titties or tough spinnerets, whatever.

After i bought the truck i was [delusionally] trying to protect the seats from the inevitable dog mess.  You know –  horse shit, deer shit and all the other shit that dogs routinely roll in and unfortunately, often eat.   To that end, i covered my cloth seats with a thin fleece blanket that also happened to match the inside. I failed to foresee that as Blue moved across the blanket from me to her side, she was generating a static charge.   A few shocks later and  now she won’t just lay down as we travel to the farm for her walks;  she INSISTS on trying to squeeze her 45 pounds onto my lap as i’m trying to drive.  Because i’m easy, i have learned to accommodate her neediness.  OK, i caved.   Since she’s anxious anyway, any deviation on my part from the road onto the goddamned rumble strips sends her leaping up in dismay.  It’s bad enough to know other drivers are judging me for my lack of concentration but i don’t appreciate the dog adding her 2 cents.


The other problem with having her  mostly on my lap is that when i need to make a turn, i have to suck in my belly fat to make room to move the wheel.   Way to body shame, Blue.


One very annoying ‘feature’ that comes included is that the tail gate locks when you lock up the truck, but it doesn’t unlock when i unlock the door UNLESS i double click the unlock button on the remote.  Some nonsense about helping to prevent tail gate theft.  All i know is that when i get to the dump with my trash, i want the motherfucking tail gate to open.  So, i either have to shut off the truck, remove the key and double click the remote or remember to bring the second remote along for the ride.  Pisses me off.


A poor design somehow led Ford to put the panic/alarm button right next to the lock button on the remote.  Can’t remember how many times i’ve set it off by accident [and my big thumbs].


I’m getting used to the auto start and stop feature on the truck.  Luckily it’s function can be disabled for city driving.  Since i am country driving, i can see that it does help to conserve fuel when sitting at traffic lights but it’s taken months for Blue to adjust to it without her leaping up from my  lap every time the engine restarts.


I also stubbornly admit that i have grown to enjoy the automatic transmission even though i still occasionally reach for the stick.   The power windows are also nice as long as i don’t strangle Blue putting them up.


Overall, i’m glad i bought the new truck and i’m very glad i didn’t end up being filmed by Live PD  for reckless driving or reckless endangerment or reckless one-thing-or-another because i drive with a dog wedged between my gut and the wheel.  I don’t think the excuse of ‘my dog made me do it’ is gonna fly with a county sheriff.







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!



mystery solved

For a couple of months i’ve been periodically finding “water” under the trash can in my kitchen.  I searched the can – no moisture inside, so not leaking from there.  I then assumed it must be coming from my 24 year old refrigerator, 2 appliances away.  Damn, damn – well i knew i’d eventually have to replace some [all?] of these appliances.


But, like the procrastinator i am, i decided there was no big rush.


Occasionally, during these same past few months, i would hear a kinda crashy sound somewhere in the house.  I could never find the source of this noise and since the dog didn’t seem bothered [or even to hear the sound], i began to think i was making it up.  Ah well, nothing new there.  So on i lived in quiet wondering.


Until today.   Today, as before, i heard the sound, went into the kitchen to see what had fallen, and found nothing.  But, 5 mins later i returned to the kitchen and found wetness again under the trash can.  As i began to mop it up a couple of soda cans roll out of the side of one of maybe 6 cases of diet soda stacked  RIGHT NEXT TO THE TRASH.  Oooooh….!


When i bothered to look closely, i could see that several of the cardboard boxes were warped and a bit squished.  Upon closer inspection, i found almost a dozen of the cans had ruptured and leaked their contents.  I checked the expiration dates and most were ‘best by 10/16’,  so not that old.   I quit drinking diet soda about 6 months ago and harbored the idea that i would donate them to a food bank or something.  Of course, i hadn’t gotten around to it.   When i decided to quit, i had just stocked up and bought 6 or 7 cases while they were on sale.  Figures.  Just like buying 2 boxes of Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix with chocolate chips right before starting a no chocolate diet.


Anyway, i knew that now was the time to go ahead and get rid of all of the soda.  Can’t [shouldn’t] donate things that might explode, right?    As i started to open each can to drain, they showed me how unstable they were.  Really fizzy mini- IED type unstable. Walls dripping.   I should have been wearing eye protection.   Who knew diet soda had such a dark side?


Now, an hour later, the floor is no longer sticky, the walls are clean,  i’m not worried that my ancient ‘fridge is getting ready to kick the bucket and i know i’m not crazy.  Well….






OK. Sometimes when i’m sad i know why and sometimes i don’t. At the moment, i am fully aware of the reasons for my despair but i have no idea what to do about it, except write it out here. If i find that it has made any difference, i may share it with my therapist on Friday. Or not. It’s hard to admit the cause is because of my own failures, as both a caregiver and a daughter.

Last week, my brother-in-law got the news that his 90-something year old mom was actively dying. The next morning he flew to her home and her side. He is the youngest, with 4 siblings. My sister joined them the following day after arranging for someone to take care of the farm and their critters. They don’t ask me anymore, i must be unreliable nowadays.

No problems until one of his sisters posted a picture on Facebook of him curled up next to his mom in her bed. They’re both smiling. I burst into tears.

When my mom was dying at home under hospice care, almost 3 years ago, i joined my brother and sister to offer comfort to her and the family and say goodbye. But i discovered that i felt nothing, i had no emotions, and i had no idea how to be supportive or caring.

I spent most of my life as a nurse and later as a vet, but when the people in my world needed me to step up and be a caregiver, to help guide them and her through death, i failed. I simply detached and watched as the others tended to her physical and emotional needs. I was useless. She died hours after i came home.

So, when i saw the picture of my BIL and his mom, i remembered how i couldn’t be that person for my mom. And i hate myself for it.


face to face or internet therapy?

There were some things i should have said to my therapist last time we met[last week.] 45 minutes after i got home i texted him with an apology, telling him i should have told him how sad i am but that i just couldn’t. I told him not to reply because i only wanted “someone to know” that i was sad. I apologized because by not telling him how i felt, i was wasting his time and not being honest. And then i cried until i felt better.

Today, I considered writing about the reasons i feel sad here. I haven’t decided whether i will or not, but in the meantime i started thinking about how spilling my guts [sharing my thoughts] here accomplishes the same thing as telling a therapist.

Usually, when i do express a painful emotion or thought to him, he nods that a} he heard me or b} he understands but, as a rule, not a lot else. I can accomplish that by posting here. I don’t need anyone to reply or comment to feel heard or better. {I do appreciate when people take the time to comment or send a like, though.} It’s just that i need to get it out of my head. I think i might be more honest and edit less on a post because it’s anonymous and there are no faces to try to interpret. Sometimes, i get more support here. Fellow travelers seem to know what to say. Also, i don’t need an appt. here, i don’t have to drive anywhere, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.