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.


canine crazies

My 2 year old dog, Blue, appears to be hallucinating today. I was having a pee earlier when she came into the bathroom and started looking intently at the tub. I pulled the shower curtain back a bit and sat and watched her.

She held her soft, brown ears up and forward as she looked inside the tub. I couldn’t hear or see a damned thing but she looked repeatedly from one spot to another a little further up the wall. I got down on my hands and knees to look from her perspective and i only found one small ant, and he wasn’t where she was looking. Occasionally, she’d glance at me. Not sure what she was asking or sharing with me.

I can’t recall any of my clients ever telling me they thought their dog was hallucinating. Cats- well, you just can’t tell. I was just reading about mental illness in animals. Maybe that’s why i noticed today, maybe she’s been hallucinating all along. Maybe it’s ‘normal’ for them.

I have always thought she has doggy ADHD, which the breed literature describes as ‘high energy.’ Mmmmm…i don’t think so.


the new way

Recently, i requested a “shingles” vaccination while in an appt. with my PCP. My mom suffered with shingles and it was ugly. My PCP asked me if i had had chickenpox as a child, i said yes, and she said OK. Then she printed out a prescription for it, signed it, and sent me on my way.

I assume i am to present this to a pharmacist of my choice. A relative stranger who i’ve really only seen working hard in the depths of the cramped pharmacy trying to avoid eye contact with an actual client.

I knew pharmacists had started offering flu shots in recent years, but aren’t they OTC or do you need an Rx as well? Do little kids still get their childhood vaccinations at the dreaded doctor’s office or do parents just drag them along to Walgreens when they’re picking out birthday cards?

I thought about sticking my arm through the pickup window’s sliding tray when i picked up my last Rx, but i think i would have had trouble getting it back out. Medicine is going to hell in a hand basket. [one of my mother’s sayings]



When i graduated from vet school a billion years ago one of the speakers used the premise of serendipity in her speech.  I haven’t thought of the word much since then until recently.  I actually got a much needed job offer from this woman [most of my classmates already had jobs lined up by graduation] and i took her up on her offer and worked happily for/with her for 13 years.


Anyway, serendipity popped back into my head because i discovered by accident that burning myself in the oven helped put the brakes on a uncomfortably manic day.   I happened  to sizzle my hand on the broiler about a week ago and immediately felt the vibration and electricity ease in my head and body.


A couple of days ago when i felt too much energy again, i purposely preheated the oven to 425,, put a pizza pan in to heat and used that to burn myself, resulting in a 2nd degree burn on my forearm.  Today my T looked at the bandage on my arm and asked me if i had cut too deep.   “No, it’s a burn, it helps slow me down.”    He frowned inside and moved on.


I did a little reading about self harm and bipolar disorder and it seems that some people use self harm during depressed and/or manic phases.  I’m certainly not advocating this behavior for anyone else, but for me it’s good to find a non-medicinal approach to slowing things down to a manageable level.