Monthly Archives: December 2014

Rite Of Passage

Daddy had game night with the girls tonight.  They played Candy Land, Princess Monopoly Jr, and so on and so forth.

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I was on the treadmill for most of it, but joined in just in time to introduce SPOONS.  We played several rounds open handed.  It was fun.  I got the first 4 of a kind and had a blast seeing how long it took anyone to notice a spoon was missing.  It was a little challenging for Patrice, hard to know King, Queen, Jack when you are learning letters K, Q, J.  But she hung in there.

And it was a rite of passage.  A move with my girls toward the grown up games, the slow move away from the 7 versions of Memory we currently have.

I know there are still several years of Junior Versions in my future, but today, today was the beginning of a new era.

Let Me Apologize

Dear Doctor,

Let me apologize.  I did not mean to bother you when I looked up my test results on-line, as all of the hospital system literature, and you yourself, have told me to do.  I didn’t mean to upset you when I asked you why you were okay with my levels being below therapeutic levels, since you never mentioned in my appointment 3 days before that was what you wanted to see, expected to see.

It was also not my intention to bother you by calling your office too often.  I’m just fighting for my life.  I’m just a mom with three little girls who would like to beat the Bipolar back enough to live to see them grow up.  I am just a mom wanting to see who my children will become.  I am just a mom fighting three months of depression.  I’m just a mom who is weary in the battle.  I am just looking for help.  I am just a mom who packed her bag last week to check herself into the hospital for help knowing full well I may miss Christmas with my family.  I’m just a mom willing to miss one Christmas so I can be here for the next one and hopefully many after that.

I ask a lot of questions.  That’s who I am.  I want to understand what medications I am taking and why.  And for every one I think to ask during my 15 minute appointment, my husband has twice that many for me when I get home.  It is not my intention to question your authority, just to know what is being doing to my body with all these medications.

I’m sorry that you don’t feel like I trust you.  We’ve known each other two months.  I am having a hard time with any relationship, including this one, during this long, complicated depressive episode. So, no, I don’t trust you just yet.  I can only remedy that by asking a lot of questions and it would really help if I saw some results and wasn’t chastised for being inquisitive.

I’m sorry to end your day on a sour note, having to talk to me, but I am fighting for this Christmas and many after it.

I’ll try not to bother you too much, but for the ability to stay here for these girls, I will call as many times, and as often as I need to.

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Your scared and frustrated patient.

Where Is That Post?

I had this great post written in my head.  I thought about writing some of it down. I just knew I would remember it.

Alas, it is gone.

I could tell you how I made dinner, but then I’d be taking credit from the drive-thru lady

Or wait, I could tell you how I spent joyful hours wrapping presents for Christmas.  But there again, I abhor wrapping presents and I do a terrible job.

I could tell you about how for the last 4 years I have been thinking, how can people be depressed for months on end.  Now I can tell you how the first three months of that on end goes.  Rotten.  Every day is too much work.  Every day is too hard.  Every day is too full of meds that don’t seem to work.  Then I could apologize to anyone I have ever judged concerning their depression.

Then I could tell you about how my faith is making this such an easier road to bear and that I have figured out where my faith in God belongs in this quagmire.  Then I could be branded with a scarlet L for LIAR.

I could tell you all these things, and more, but they weren’t the post I was going to write, so I’ll just bid you adieu.

It’s Late But While It Is Still Today

It’s late on December 16th.  I need to go to bed.  My brain likes to wake up around 2 and kids like to find their way to me around 7.

But I’m awake.  Gorging myself on cake.  Chocolate cake with Chocolate frosting.

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The kids had some, hubby had some.  I did a lot of the damage.  And honestly, I want to clean the rest of it off too.

I can’t let go of today.

July 7, 2004 my dad died in a single vehicle crash.

He wasn’t at my wedding.  He wasn’t there to meet any of my kids.  He isn’t here to see me fight depression with all I’ve got.  He’s not here to admit he fought depression, round after round.  With no help.  On his own.

But that’s not really why I can’t go to bed and I want to make myself sick with cake.

When my daddy died, my brother-in-law said, “don’t grieve forever.”  And I knew/know what he meant.  And I don’t.  I think of my daddy often, but I am not overtaken on a daily basis.  But there are a couple days I let myself grieve.   I give myself permission to think about him, to ruminate about all he has missed and to wish he were here to be the man I am continuously learning he was.

His birthday, today for 45 more minutes, is one of those days.

He was 52, almost 53 when he died.  He hated having a winter birthday, hated celebrating inside, but he liked chocolate cake, so that is what I give my girls of the grandpa they never knew.  We eat cake, too much cake, overloaded with chocolate.

It’s odd, but it’s my way of saying “I love you daddy.”

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And for today, for the few minutes it is still today, I will let myself grieve, the best way I know how.

“I love you daddy.  Thank you for teaching me my alphabet, thank you for teaching me to tie my shoes, and ride a horse and a bike, and respect authority, and drive a car, and change the oil and brakes on said car.  Thank you for forgiving my debt on the new engine the car needed on that Christmas long ago.  You thought it was bad that you hadn’t gotten me a gift I could unwrap.  I thought it was the best feeling ever to have that weight of debt off my shoulders.  Thank you for listening to me cry when I wasn’t chosen for leadership at college, thank you for giving me a new lamp to replace one you had given me years before.  Thank you for being a strong, steady voice of reason.  I love you daddy.”


Happy 63rd Birthday in Heaven.  I hope parties in heaven are amazing!!!!

I love hearing new stories of my daddy from family and friends.

Keep them coming!

Wump Bump Thump

Yesterday morning started with a plan.  It was my rest day for PiYo so I thought I would get up and get my running in before the day got away from me.

I got dressed.  I walked to the top of the stairs.  And the next thing I knew I was falling down the stairs.  All of them.  I made contact with all 12 of them.

My poor girls heard the thumping, the yelling, and came running.  I landed on my back when I finally came to a rest at the bottom.  Caitlyn said, “mama, are you okay?  Mama, what can I do?  How do I help?”

“Nothing sweetie.  I’ll get up in a minute, but look, my phone didn’t break!”

Thankfully neither did I.

I have bruises that are going to make me pretty colorful for a while, but it could have been so much worse.

And the bonus of the whole deal?  Hubby and I think I might have tripped on my jeans…because of the weight I have lost they are even longer than normal and get under my feet.

Bye, bye mom jeans.  You have given your last gift with that tumble.

Dear Medical Community


I am writing as much to the insurance companies as the physicians themselves.

Let me start by saying, there are amazing doctors in every discipline out there.  I know there are.  I am privileged to be seen, or have been seen, by some and to know some on a personal level.  I also know, that our level of care here in developed nations is much better than many, many places.

But my eyes are still overflowing with tears.  I am trying to find a doctor who cares to help all of me.  Who understands mental illness.  Who knows it affects all areas of my life, but not to write off all medical issues to the Bipolar Disorder.  Yes, that happens more than you care to admit.  You give your history, you mention Bipolar and suddenly, all you need is some Valium.  Never mind that such treatment helps not at all and shows you to be disrespectful to me and my healthcare when you can’t understand that maybe, not being able so swallow might be caused by something other than an anxiety attack.  Call me crazy, which I am sure you do, but I might be pretty aware of my anxiety level and how it typically manifests. You might find listening to me a just a bit useful.  You might find your bedside manner improves when you care about the words that come out of your patients’ mouth.

Those of you who live with mental illness, if you have a doctor who gives a damn, hang on, at all costs, because most don’t.  I had one that I thought did.  My insurance changed due to job loss.  He doesn’t take the new one.  When I approached him about a cash scale I was told he only accepted full payment, you know the amount he does NOT get from my insurance company, and that I should look elsewhere.  Pretty much what I was afraid of but I had really thought he cared.  I am more than a little devastated to find out he is just a good actor when you are sitting in his office.

Yeah, that’s what I needed to find out–he didn’t/doesn’t care either.  It isn’t about the patient, it is about the dollars.

Just go to the hospital.  Yeah.  Would you like to know what happens there?  A body cavity search, most things taken away from you, a doctor who comes in once a day with no plan whatsoever on how to treat you; his plan is likely to take you off all meds and send you home.  Trust me, the hospital is not for care, it is to make sure someone is watching you so they can’t be held liable for your death by suicide.  It truly has nothing to do with taking care of the person, just saving face.  And each time you go, just brings more stigma and shame.  So please, don’t tell me the hospital is going to help me, they are not.  And if you happen to go on the weekend, the level of care plummets even further.

I was told again by a doctor office today  that I can’t be seen because of the type of insurance I have, and that they will not work with me for cash pay, when I know they have in other instances. I have been crying ever since.

Right now I see a doctor who is trying.  My appointments are 15 minutes long.  Not much time to sort out what is going on and happening.  And I am seeing a student therapist.  It’s okay for the 8 weeks until they rotate out.  But, that amount of time gives you time to maybe begin to trust the person, not to make progress.

Get help, I hear.  Take care of yourself, I’m told.  So I try, I do.  I take the meds that have a myriad of side effects, I exercise til I can’t think, I do the next right things, but that doesn’t always cut it.

You see, I have these three little girls and this amazing hubby and a circle of friends and family who love me.  I want to be there for them, but the battle is long, the battle is hard.  I need a doctor to come alongside me and to listen and care, to go beyond meds to understand how my issues manifest so maybe they can actually be treated correctly and wholly.

I’m okay, I am not giving up, but each door that slams in my face just proves again, there is very little hope, for me, for many.

Dear healthcare works and insurance companies, please give us hope.  Please.


Want To See A Show…

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Feeling A Bit More Content

Bipolar is a mean jerk.  I am telling  you, nasty.

One day you’re okay.  Settled.  Nearly at peace.

But there is always this niggling fear…when is it down, or up, coming back?  How bad will it be?  Will you survive either one?

Both sides make your mind so loud.  I must do, do, do in order to try and SHUT IT UP.

I exercise (Yay running), I cook, I craft.  If it involves channeling my energy into something and distracting my mind–giving me a break.

Well lately, things have been very challenging.  There have been lots of med changes, lots of hope, and then things get bad again, but I am channeling all of it the best I can.

I am loom knitting (making hats, and recently baby cocoons–Think big upside down hat that baby is cozy–gave one to friends recently who use it all the time with their newest member).  I also got a book to learn how to use other looms to make blankets and shawls and purses.  I got a food dehydrator on clearance months ago, and just pulled it out.  I have done apples and pineapple is in there right now.  I feel so, so cool making our own fruit snacks.  And I am running.  I knocked out a mile today while watching Law and Order Criminal Intent.  And homeschool has gotten a little more fun.  We are doing crafts again and lapbooks.  That feels good.

I’m hiding.  But it is productive hiding and that is a small victory.

And that is good by me.


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Library Time

I love our library.  They have a lot and they offer a lot.

The bottom floor is an entire kids area with fun educational computer games, an area to color with homemade crayons, an area to put on puppet shows, lego table and car/train table for the kids to play with.

They also have book clubs.  The kids who sign up get a free book to take home and read, then they come back on the scheduled day to discuss the book, do a craft and have a snack.  We just did an A to Z Mystery.  It was a fun book.

Caitlyn loves the read to the dogs program.  It is for independent readers.  Once a month volunteers bring their dogs and the kids get to read to them.  Caitlyn loves having the time with a dog.  I love seeing her excited about reading.

They have story time each week, different educational seminars (we’re going to check out the series on the mind), music times, and lego groups.

It is fun to see all the ways they draw people in.  I am proud to patronize our library and pay the ever so often late fee.

Do you have a great library?  Do your kids enjoy going there?  What is your favorite kids activity they offer?