The Sharp Pointy Things in Life

Whether you live with a mental illness or not, there are all sorts of events, large and small, that happen in life, that can sometimes come along and poke at the protective bubble you hold around your mind, your heart, your spirit…and sometimes, the bubble can burst.

I have been experiencing quite stable mental health for a briefly extended period, but the sharp pointy things in life today have me feeling quite down.  I have been furiously patching holes and strengthening weak spots and doing the time-honored “keep as busy as possible” routine.  Some days, that is just not enough.

I have been without one of my medications for two doses, without another for one dose.  This might not seem like a big deal, but, to me, it is HUGE.  A few missed doses can send me in a tailspin.  A few missed doses can mean the difference between a productive and upcoming Christmas-ing weekend, and a weekend spent hiding out in my couch bunker.

Still, I’m trying and pushing through.  I had the piss-poor idea to get on Facebook about an hour ago, wherein I learned of the sudden death of a former co-worker, made all the more sad because linked to that page, was the page of the obituary two years ago of her fiance, who I was also friends with at my last job.  He was killed in the line of duty on the police force.  I’m not sure what happened to her.  I know they both had very small children, and I know they both seemed like really nice and special people.

Of course, that also got me thinking about my former life working in the women’s prison, and working in mental health in general…and there was a pang in my chest and a tear in my eye and I clicked all of that mess shut and shoved it under the figurative bed.

Sadness, angst, horrific things on Facebook.  Sometimes I wonder why I belong.  Sometimes I wonder why every sad animal abuse story is on my feed, or why I pay any attention to the news.  It is distressing often, upsetting frequently.  And then there are the people, and the things they post, and the fact that I am often just shaking my head, thinking, “Hmmm, why do I even ASSOCIATE with these people?  People that could say these things, do these things, are interested in these things.”

I really think sometimes that Facebook brings out the worst in people.  I do find great inspirational sayings and funny things often, but the negative…wow, sometimes I think it really outweighs the good.

People often say, you must be careful what goes into your head.  This is why I don’t read certain books, don’t read certain magazines, listen to certain types of music, speak with certain people (at least very often).  I am, in general, very vigilant about what I feed my brain.

Except Facebook.  I let it in, every time, even when it punishes me for doing so.

Today has not been the best day.  I have fought all day to get a few prescriptions filled, and have had just ridiculous anxiety about the fact that I can’t seem to get them all taken care of.  The sharp pointy things of the day have deflated my balloon.

I’m not getting ready to go burrow my head in the covers and cry for my mama.  Instead, I’m sitting (as prescribed) in front of my sun lamp, and then I’m going to go to my aqua exercise class.  After that, who knows.  We baked a ham today, and the house smells good.  I am going to focus on that.

I am going to say:  Rosa, how can you possibly be in a bad mood when your house smells of finely roasted pig and you have family that loves you and a boyfriend that would do next to anything to make you feel better?

How, indeed?

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To Your Health

Living with a mental illness and being accident and illness-prone leave you spending long hours in doctor’s offices, in waiting rooms, in line to get your third CT this year or more “routine” labs, at the surgeon’s, at the medical supply company.  And then there’s the routine stuff — the dentist, pdoc appointment, therapy over phone, therapy in person, renew prescription, flu shot, ear infections, the dentist again.

You get the point and I am personally at a point where it feels like all I do is talk to medical and mental health professionals who prescribe tests and medication and specialists.  While all of this does aggravate me (obviously), I am grateful that I have good health insurance.  When I sigh about heading to the next appointment, I think to myself, ‘well at least I can, I have that option.’

I’m not sure what I’d do if I didn’t have any insurance.  I would probably be dead, with two broken feet.  No access to mental health care is unthinkable, unacceptable to me — as someone who has worked on the inside of the system and been a customer on the outside — because it is absolutely vital to many persons, even in a city this size, that meds, therapy, community support saves lives and improves lives and can in many cases make all the difference.

I picture me unmedicated, with my broken foot not in a cam walker, with all the gastro problems of the last year unsolved, no flu shot, no antibiotics for all the ear infections, and so on and so on and, well — I actually can  picture that.  I think you have to live the life of the uninsured or underinsured to really feel the strong pull for healthcare, that desire we all have to be (mostly) well, physically and mentally).

I spent years being underinsured and racking up credit card debt and owing debt to my parents just to pay for my medications.  Then a program was found and it turned out that if QoB laid enough battle down, she could get me on this program.  I’ve been on it for quite a while now, and have since never had to worry about prescription drug cost or what would happen if I broke my foot (again).   And now that I am on SSDI and have two years in, I just started Medicare which will improve my treatment options quite a bit.

What I want to know is — why is it that you must be disabled or elderly before you can get some really good insurance working for you?

That’s Just How it Goes

I am pleased to say that I have kept up with the Ritalin and it is working wonders.  With a little help from QoB, the house is starting to look good again and I have really been keeping up with cooking and kitchen mess.  When I went around the house and picked up laundry, I unfortunately found dirty clothes stockpiled everywhere so now I am very behind in that department.  I don’t mind doing laundry, but this pile is massive.  I’m just tackling it methodically and doing the best I can (while watching Grey’s Anatomy episodes between cycles).  Life is so hard!  Hehe.

DSB has a doctor’s appointment today to see why he always feels sick.  I think it’s the sertraline (Zoloft) that he’s on, but he is much less anxious with it.  It really sucks that medications have so many unfortunate side affects but work well on the problem they are meant to solve.  DSB is fed up, however, and is ready to get off Zoloft and try something else.  I support him in whatever he wants to do and just hope we can get him to feeling better, because, although it’s not the biggest concern I have about the medication, its killing our sex life.  Does that seem selfish?

I am still thinking about some longer-term goals I  would like to set for myself.  As I had mentioned in a previous post, Medicaid has changed in our state and is now being managed by three separate companies.  My company offers reimbursement for Weight Watchers and I am seriously considering looking into it.  I have done WW before with great success, and I am at a stage where I am going to start having serious health concerns if I don’t drop a serious amount of weight.  Right now, my labs are all fine and I don’t have many problems related to the excess weight I am carrying, but I feel like I’m a ticking time bomb in that regard.

Once my foot is better, I’d like to start walking again, getting some fresh air daily.  Walking used to be a real joy for me, but now it’s just painful.  I know I will have to start slowly, but it’s something that I know I can do.  I see blogs of beautiful women of all sizes that are running marathons and doing triathalons, and while I’m not ready for something like that nor do ever plan to be, it is inspiring that weight alone does not hold people back from their passion.

At this point, it would be nice if things were just easier by losing weight.  Like, putting socks and shoes on or fitting in a narrow bathroom stall or being able to shop off the rack.  Little things to many people, but serious annoyances to a super-sized gal like myself.  I could really go on and on and about all the minor annoyances that I have come to accept as part of everyday life, but that might get boring.

I really do feel like I am at a point mentally where I can take on that kind  of challenge, and as soon as I hit “publish post,” I’m gonna make that call to the insurance company to see just what the deal is.  Godspeed!