Monday, April 28, 2008

Bipolar and Diabetes

I can't tell you how worried I am about DH being diabetic. With all the pop he has been drinking these last couple of years, I'm not surprised, but I'm worried. There are so many things he needs to remember to do and not do, and with his memory problems and his mood issues, it's very scary.

But so far, so good. I am so glad this happened AFTER he started the Lithium, I feel like if it had happened before, when he was so depressed, or so out of control, he might even be dead now and I would never have had any way to help.

Anyhow, we had a talk about "That Guy" and me "nagging" him. DH told me he had a headache. Normally I would have asked him if he wanted an aspirin, or if he had drank enough water, but I didn't say anything except "oh." I think he was starting to see that maybe he had gotten angry about something that he really didn't want to stop. 10pm came, I didn't bother asking him if he remembered to take his pills. I just let him forget. And when he told me that he didn't take them until 3am, I just said "oh." I didn't wake him up for his appointment the next day, so he missed that. Later that night, he came up to me ("That Guy" was gone by now, but his effects were still there) and said "I'm hungry." and I just said "oh." And he sat down right there and said "when you do that, I don't feel like you care." So I asked him how he would like me to respond. He couldn't answer without saying that he likes when I "remind" him of things. So I knew that "That Guy" wasn't around any more.

Anyhow, I've still been kind of unsure of myself as far as "reminding" goes, I really don't want to do something that upsets him, and even though I know it was "That Guy" that was upset, I'm still kind of gun-shy. So that has been another worry for me with the diabetes, how on earth is he going to remember to do what he's supposed to do? And how much reminding A]am I going to have to do?

But he's been doing really good. He's been looking at labels and being really careful about his carbs, and, did I mention that he's switched to sugar-free pop?
I think his next appointment with the nurse practitioner re: meds is on May 1. I'm hoping there's something they can tweark so that we get rid of "That Guy" once and for all.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Well, the bipolar tantrum is over....

DH's "slip" back into "That Guy" mode ended last night. He's back to being DH again. I am still convinced that the Lithium is wonderful. He is doing a lot more, and (when not in "That Guy" mode) is a lot more approachable, too. I was able to gently point out that he had spent all that money this past week, and he didn't get angry, or defensive, he just did an "Oh, I didn't realize that at all...." then he tried to remember what he spent all the money on, but he couldn't remember.

I do think I am going to call the gym and find out if they really did tell him he couldn't wear his old shoes there, I have never heard of such a thing, but then again, it's been years since I've belonged to a gym, so I guess until I know otherwise, I'll give it the benefit of a doubt....

Oh--and one more thing.....DH went to Spenders, and usually when he gets home, he wakes me up to tell me all about it, but today he didn't, and when I asked him about the meeting, he just said "It was good." I didn't press him, of course, it's none of my business, really, but I thought it was unusual for him to not want to share that....then he journaled for about an hour--like I said, none of my business, but I have to confess I'm curious, for sure...

These ups and downs are hard, very hard. I do enjoy the ups very much, but not the weird "gotta spend and angry too" ups....it's been very nice, though, the good days that the Lithium has brought, maybe they can tweak things somehow, so that "That Guy" can go jump in a lake or something....now that they've finally started treating him for the real problem...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Good thing I didn't bet the farm, huh?

Well, as I knew he would, "That Guy" is back. I just got off the phone with him. And I need to back up a little so you understand everything.

First off, DH's therapist is supposedly ADAMANT that DH join a gym so that he gets some exercise. I told DH I would pay for a month at the gym in town. Last night I got him a coupon for a free week at that gym. About a month ago, he said he didn't have any sweatpants to wear to the gym (I know it was another way to get me to spend money, but just in case he really was using them as an excuse, I found some sweatpants at WalMart for $3 that were his size.) Then, he told Jim that he needed MORE sweatpants (can you believe it?) and Jim bought him 3 more pairs. So, with that in mind,

Today, he woke me up to tell me that he needs new shoes for the gym. Now, DH wears a size that is not commonly found at Walmart, so his shoes are usually pretty expensive (by my standards, anyhow)....usually upwards of $50), so I was extremely hesitant to rush out and buy shoes "for the gym". I told him that I did not have the money for shoes right now, we need to wait until payday, and I might not even have it then. He'd just have to make due, maybe he could walk or exercise at home, if he couldn't go to the gym without the shoes. He said "Jim's got the money, I can just tell him you'll pay him back." I argued with him for a while longer, but DH and Jim took my car and GOT SHOES. Ok, fine. I'll figure out a way to make it work.

Then, DH didn't understand why I wasn't all that happy to see his new shoes. So I tried to explain. It was futile, of course. I gave him a check to pay for his therapist, and he told me he was going to cancel, anyhow. Then he said he didn't have enough gas to get to therapy (20 miles away). I let that go, because earlier this week, I knew DH had $40 in his pocket. PLUS a $10 gift card from the grocery store. PLUS I gave him $20 to get a $10 haircut, and he told me himself that he went out to eat with that. So too bad if he has no gas. That's how things work if you spend all your money on stupid stuff.

So, anyhow, I gave him a call while I was on the way to work, and he was moping around about how he didn't have any gas at all, not even enough to make it into town. I didn't volunteer much, I am so sick of handing him money....it's time he shaped up. Then I commented on how nice a day it was (74*F, no mosquitos, nice little breeze, sunny) and he said "I'm just trying to figure out how I'm going to find some more gas." I told him he would do well to do something outside and enjoy the day, because the next three days are supposed to be in the 40's and 50's and lots of rain. He ignored me, and shortly after, my cell phone lost the signal.

So, cut to the phone call tonite. I'm still not all that thrilled about all of the above, but I'm thinking that maybe he's come out of it by now, so I call him, and he's too busy watching a movie to talk to me. Then he called me back and told me this: Ever since he got ths shoes, I've been wanting to start a fight. And the phone was ringing all day today. And he was driving and almost hit Kirby. And I nagged him when I "ordered him to go outside" and put him in a bad mood. I told him I'd talk about it when DH came back. And I don't want to talk to "That Guy". So that set him off, with "how come every time I'm angry at you, you say it's "That Guy"? I said "because DH doesn't get angry over stuff like this." And that made him more angry and he said that it wasn't "That Guy" all the time (but of course I knew, this time it WAS "That Guy") who gets mad. I said "you're probably right." and decided that there was basically nothing more I could say in this silly stupid argument, so I stopped saying anything except agreeing with him. So he let me go.

I think that even though I relish all the good days that he has had with the Lithium, I'm finding my frustration tolerance level very low now when "That Guy" does show up. I'm thinking that's a bad thing, because now, I'm so fed up, I just want to say "screw you" and that isn't going to help anything. I suppose I'll need to write this all down for his nurse practitioner, but DH has no idea when his next appointment is, and since I "nag" him so much, I've decided that it's his problem to take care of. Right now, I have just "had it" with him. Maybe he doesn't have a high enough dose of Lithium. Maybe he needs a supplemental bipolar med. Maybe he's just one of those people who the meds don't really help. I don't know. All I know is that I'm sick to death of this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Amazing, really

Well, DH is still doing pretty good! The Lithium has changed so many things, I'm not sure I can cover all of them in this post, but I will try to cover the most important ones, anyhow....

First, after the diabetes diagnosis, DH has been drinking a LOT more water than he used to. But even better than that, he's switched to diet pop. So now, instead of the calories of 12-18 full-blown Cokes, he's getting 0. Yayyyy!!!! And all the water makes it cheaper still!!!

Second, he's been getting up in the morning. He's been cleaning, he's been noticing things. He's started to talk about the future again. He's being more adamant about finding a job. He "was going to go out" and look for a job today, but apparently he ran out of time, as he had my car and I had to go to work (or that's what he says)...I think he still isn't making smart choices with his time or his money, but things are so much better than I ever thought they would be again....

Now, here's a conversation I had with him just last night.
DH: I feel really good.
Me: That Lithium is really great, isn't it?
DH: Yes, it feels....it feels....like I've been gone for two years and now I'm back. And all this stuff is messed up. I know I did it, but it doesn't feel like it could have been me. And I feel like I can fix these things eventually. I feel like I've been in a fog and all of a sudden the fog has lifted....

How cool is that?

On the downside, he did have a little "mood swing" today, he left to "get a haircut and find a job" (he did get a haircut, but spent his job-hunting time eating a 4-piece fried chicken dinner (not a smart financial choice for someone who only had $20 pre-haircut to his name....) anyhow, he got home and I was still asleep and he got mad because I hadn't let the dogs out (my logic is, why should I let the dogs out, since he was the one that was up already....) anyhow....I had no idea that it was that big of a deal, but apparently it was, so I just left him being mad, and I came into the bedroom 15 minutes later, and he said "I don't feel right". I asked him if he was having a mood swing, and he said he thought so. Then about 15 minutes after that, he said he felt better, but I left anyhow. So the mood swings are still there, they're just not all day long and absolutely furious about things lately....I'll take the improvement any day, but I wish they'd go away completely, and he would just get mad over "normal" things, like regular people.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Oi Vey!

Well, today the appraiser came out to our house to discuss the value of our house. (If you remember--hopefully I've mentioned it--we had to have the house appraised so that we could accurately list it as an asset for DH's bankruptcy). Let me give you a few facts about our house first....we pay taxes on a $170,000 property (house and land). In 2003 it was appraised at $140,000, we thought that was probably high at the time, but...whatever. Our mortgage was for $123,000, with 10% down. It was just last year that we paid it down to where we no longer had to have the dreaded PMI on there any more. I've been paying extra whenever I can, and right now we owe about $109,000. It's been a good feeling to see the balance down that low so quickly.

But the appraiser just knocked the wind out of my sails completely. $99,000 was what he said our house/land is now worth!!!!! Oi Vey!!!! We are one of those people that you read about, "upside down on the mortgage"!!! Luckily we have a fixed rate and it's a good one, and I am still managing to make the payment on time, even with DH not working....we have no plans to move, so I don't know why this is bothering me so much, but it is. I knew that when all of this economic downturn was through, our house would be worth a lot less than we'd ever expected....but I didn't expect it to happen this soon!!!!

There is a silver lining in the cloud, though, because now I can take the appraisal down to the assessor's office and start paying taxes on a $100,000 house instead of the $170,000 that they've got us pegged for right now, so that should shave a few bucks off the over-all mortgage payment, right? I can see the good in that....but I'm really disturbed by the appraisal....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What I found out today

Now I'm not sure if you all know this or not, but DH goes to see his therapist every week. For a while there, before they gave him the Lithium, he was going to DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy) once a week also. When DH first started going to therapy, they charged him a $20 copay. They made quite a big deal of it, and if he got behind more than one week, they refused to let him schedule any more appointments. One time (surprise) he bounced one of his own checks (this was when he was still working) for a copay for therapy. Then they wouldn't take his checks any more, but they still insisted on the $20 copay, or no more appointments. That $20 every week was very hard to come up with at the time, as it has taken me a year and a half (right up until about two months ago) to finally be able to pay the bills and not have to do the "which one will we pay this month" thing. But at some point, they didn't ask for the copay any more. DH speculated that it was because he wasn't working, and perhaps his income ($0) qualified him for reduced fee(s)?

I have to admit, I didn't press very hard to find out more about this at the time. If they didn't ask DH for the money, and he still got to go to therapy every week, then it was much easier for me. LOL. Let this be a lesson to all of you who prefer to "pay later". I kind of knew, in the back of my head, but hoped I was wrong.

But today, DH was informed that he has a $720 bill for unpaid copays. And not only that, but they will no longer allow him to make appointments without having made the copay right then and there. Argh. I am hoping that I can work something out with them that will be gentle. This is my own "head in the sand" fault, really. And the bankruptcy attorney has said that this bill is probably going to get put on my shoulders because if DH claims it in his bankruptcy, he probably won't be able to go to therapy there any more, and we can't have that, at least not until he's really, really stable....another day, another bill, right?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm dissatisfied tonite. (So what's new, right?)

First off, Jim has got to go. I am so incredibly tired of him being there every single day, I'm really afraid it's going to start showing :-( He's done all sorts of nice stuff for us, but jeez Louies, he's sure worn out his welcome!!! He was only going to stay a "few weeks" and now it's been 6 months. And I have had it. He doesn't clean anything, he does fix things once in a while, but I did not marry him. I did not even select him as a permanent couch ornament. I want to take this time, where DH is progressively getting a little better, and relish it as a family, or, better yet, as a couple. I so much want to snuggle on the couch with DH and DD. But Jim lives on the couch. I went the whole winter without being able to fall asleep in front of the fireplace, because he was out there all the time. And that is one of my simple pleasures, falling asleep on the couch with the fire roaring, smelling the wood smoke, feeling the warmth...ok, I guess 'nuff said about that.

Also, though, and this is kind of concerning me, just in the last couple of days I've been wishing that I had a DH who was my equal. A DH who worked, who didn't have to beg me for money, and a DH who was not mentally ill. I don't have anyone in mind, if that's what you're thinking, it's been more of a "my life would be so much easier/better/fun if I had a DH who was like, well, if he was like DH was when we got married. I'm feeling very discontented. And I started to get myself into one of those "look at how awful your life has turned out--you had so much promise!" moods again, and then gave myself a mental kick and told myself that "my life is what I make of it, and my marriage does not define me." I'd like to say I cheered up after that, but actually, my next thought was, "but what fun are all these things if I've got a DH that I can't share things with?" Then I told myself to shut up.

I've been trying to eat better and get more exercise, but it's very hard with the way I work all the time and drive so far. Some days I've been doing ok, though. My little goal that I wrote down is to eat two fruits or vegetables every day. I know that's not what the "Food Pyramid" says I should have, but if I do that every day, it's a lot more than my typical meal consists of....i.e., Spaghettios, ramen, cereal, peanut butter sandwiches....you get the picture...anyhow, I believe that if I can make some changes that make me feel good, maybe I won't feel so disappointed in everything.

Buying Lithium stock :-)

First of all, I have been giving thought to an Al-Anon type program for me. I'm recognizing that I definitely have a need for it, I'm just not sure how I am going to be capable of adding that into my schedule. The one that's closest to my house is 30 miles away, so I currently don't have a plan :-( I have such a tough time drawing the line between helping DH fix something he didn't realize he was doing and wanting to say "no, never again, sorry", I really need some help with this. I know I do. I think I am going to try to get a book on codependency from the library.

But here's some other stuff--we had to have the house appraised. DH's bankruptcy attorney asked how much the house is taxed for ($170,000), then he asked how much we owe ($109,000) and asked how much we think it's worth--is it really worth $170,000?
Of course not. It's falling apart. The basement leaks like Hurricane Katrina. The roof was old when we moved in 8 years ago and we have done nothing with it since. It looks ugly on the outside and although it looks better on the inside, the last year and a half with no maintenance whatsoever is taking its toll, for sure. So if it's even worth $130,000 you will be able to knock me over with a feather!

Anyhow, since we have 6 dogs and 10 cats, the house needed some cleaning before the appraiser came over. I had resigned myself to getting home from work and then staying up and cleaning to beat the band for the rest of the day. But DH really surprised me and cleaned the house from top to bottom, sparkly clean. He hasn't done that since he first started getting sick, I was so thrilled....I kept getting this "He's back to his old self" feeling, and I kept telling it (that feeling) to go play in traffic :-) Having him do something like that feels wonderful, and so close to normal. But I know better and need to see small consistent changes, not large amazing ones--it did cross my mind that the cleaning was the result of a manic state and not even a "healthy DH". I don't think it was, but it's a possibility that I am not willing to completely discount.
But it felt good anyhow....so the appraiser came, and the first thing he said when he saw our animals was that his daughter has 15 indoor cats, LOL....that was pretty funny....so that (the appraisal)'s over with, and, if DH remains somewhat healthy, he is planning on doing the credit counseling for the bankruptcy case tomorrow before I go to work. This is truly more progress than we've made on this bankruptcy thing in the previous 5 months!!! (Quite probably, though, the attorney is either a) out of clients/money or b) getting closer to the statutory deadline(s) and has been calling our house more often, so he's harder to ignore!)

As far as his brother's guitar goes, I opted to give DH $65 to keep from losing it. (You're probably shaking your head and rolling your eyes, because you knew I would, right?) (sigh) I told myself that all the cleaning that he did would have costed me a lot more than that if I would've paid someone, and the fact that I didn't have to do it, well, I guess that was worth some, too, so I didn't feel as resentful about giving him money as I have in the past.

I know the Lithium is working. So much is happening that hasn't happened for so long....but he is still having an occasional mood swing--the other day, DD was lying about not having homework (she's a really bad liar but still does it all the time) and when he called her on it, and she continued to lie, he got disproportionately angry at her, hugely angry, but this is a pretty common thing in our house (DD lying, that is--it's part of the FASD, sometimes they have a tough time seeing consequences and they have a tough time discerning the truth from a lie and how each affects other people) so anyhow, he got really angry, said some swear words to DD, she ran crying to her room, and then DH took a Lorazepam, which calmed him down almost immediately, and he went in and talked to DD and apologized. So it's still there....but it's easier, for sure. I ought to buy stock in that Lithium :-) "That Guy" never would apologize, because he's always right!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The truth comes out...

Well, DH went to Spenders (after a lot of prodding by me--he didn't want to get out of bed) and he came home to tell me how great it was and how glad he was that he went. The topic was "Taking Responsibility" and he said he really got a lot out of it. He told me how he understands why I am the "parent" in our relationship, but that he hates it. I told him that the "parenting" would probably disappear if I saw him making consistently good financial decisions. He said he understood, and that his drug of choice has mostly always been food. And that's where most of his debt came from and where most of his spending still is currently. He told me that he spent all of the $50 his mom sent him on food. I had suspected that, since that's been the way things have gone for quite a while, but I was hoping I was wrong. He talked about maybe giving up the Emotions Anonymous group and maybe trying an Overeaters Anonymous. I am all for that, I guess someone in his Spenders group already goes to that, so he would know someone.

Anyhow, while we were having an honest, straightforward conversation, DH decided to tell me this: "I know you aren't going to like this, but I have to tell you something. Remember how my brother asked me to hang on to his guitar for him while he got his stuff moved and his divorce done and all that? Well, back before Lithium, I wanted to go out to eat and you wouldn't give me any money. I think this was in January or sometime around then....? Anyhow, I pawned his guitar for $65 so that I could go out to eat. The guy just called and said I have until Monday to get the guitar back."

I didn't know what to say. Honestly, he's like a little kid who waits until "Mom" is in a good mood before he tells her he broke her fine china vase. I hadn't seen the guitar for a while, but I had just assumed that DH put it away so that DD wouldn't play with it or something like that. I just sighed. I don't know how to handle these things. Do I let his brother's guitar go, knowing that I can save it? Do I let DH deal with the fallout of his stupidity? Do I rescue him? I already told him "never again" when I unpawned his other stuff. I wish I had a little therapist to tell me what the best thing to do is....If I say "tough luck", then I'm a meanie. If I say, "Ok, lets go take care of this", then what does that make me? A pansy? LOL

What I decided to do was this: The appraiser is coming to appraise the house on Monday afternoon. We need to have a LOT of things cleaned before then. I am not a good cleaner, and also, I work a lot more than DH does currently, so I told him if he would clean the porch, plus the cat litter box room, plus the bathroom, I would get the guitar out of the pawnshop for him. I don't know if that was the "right thing to do", but I really don't know what the "right thing" is.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What do you think?

Today, before I was out of bed, DH asked me for money for gas. However, he told me yesterday, that his mom had wired him some money, fifty dollars, to be exact. So, being as how he had more money than I did, I didn't see why I should put money in his gas tank so that he can have "fun money". And when I tried to explain that to him, he got offended, got in his truck and drove off. Me, wide awake now, I thought, "Well, "That Guy" is back again...I guess things are back to 'normal'".

Then DH came back, only 10 minutes later, which was very unusual for "That Guy". And he wasn't mad any more, he acted like nothing happened. I didn't know what to make of it.

Then, DH and Jim cleaned the yard up!

But, then, when I called DH to remind him to take his Lithium at 10pm, he asked me for gas money instead, but was very nice and non-pouty about it. I explained once again, that as his mom wired him $50, he had more money than I did. He said he wanted to get his hair cut and buy cigarettes. And he didn't whine, it was just like he was explaining his reasons. So I told him I'd give him some money tomorrow.

DD's therapy was intense. We spent most of the hour with DD's therapist trying to explain to DD why it was not ok for us to allow her to go to her bio mom's right now. Then, DD got angry with her, too. But the therapist is really good, and helped us write up a "Procedural Plan" for how to handle visits for the next few weeks. And then we added on a little "addendum" at the end, stating that if the visiting plans result in emotional or behavioral issues with DD, then we will simply reschedule next time. And we put it all in writing. And DD is still angry with me, and with her therapist. But not much I can do about that!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Job, no job

Well, it appeared that whatever was going on with DH was some kind of stomach bug, he (for the most part) felt better, with some dizziness and nausea still, but he was getting back to "the new normal".

So today he had to go and have a D.O.T. physical, so that he could drive the truck full of hazardous materials (fertilizer stuff, etc.) for his new job.

His blood sugar was 541. They wanted to put him in the hospital right away, but of course when he really should go, he won't....anyhow, they took his blood sugar about an hour later, 480. I don't know much about diabetes, but the medical staff were quite alarmed.

So. The gist of the day is, 1) he failed the physical, because from the best guess of the doctor he saw, the Lithium, being a salt, is changing his electrolytes and now he is diabetic. (I'm not sure of the physiology of all that, in case I said it wrong, that's just how I understood it.) He has to see the diabetes nurse on the 15th to start on insulin. Until then, he is taking Metformin, which is a pill that helps diabetics regulate their blood sugar. From what I understand, the tentative plan is that since he refused to be hospitalized, he will take the Metformin until he starts the insulin. 2) he is probably going to lose this job before he even gets to start, because he failed the physical. So far he's been afraid to call his new boss to find out for sure.

So the good and the bad of Lithium: He handled this setback amazingly well. Like a normal person almost. He got sad, but he didn't get that "the world is ending" sad. He did allude to the possibility that this is his only chance at a job, and when I reminded him that there are lots of jobs out there, and now that he's feeling better from the Lithium, he can go and apply for them, and he agreed with me. So one thing, if this had happened pre-Lithium, it would've been much, much worse.

Of course, it seems to the the general consensus that it's the Lithium causing this problem.

And the "stomach bug"? We now think it was related to blood sugar.

But even DH now admits that Lithium is doing for him what no other drug has done, and he doesn't want to give it up for anything.

Sigh. If it's not one thing, it's another, isn't it?

P.S. I'm over my mad at DD now. And I managed to be calm. She has therapy tomorrow, and that's good. And she has an appointment with the nurse practitioner on Friday--she needs one of her meds refilled, but there's a new nurse practitioner for kids, and she hasn't met DD yet, so she wanted DD's primary doctor to prescribe the meds, the primary doctor is refusing too....so in the meantime, DD is stuck without meds that are rather important and the lack thereof probably played a big part in her behavior this past week....I hope we can get it all straightened out...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Maybe not such a bad idea!

OK, this is a "bad mom" moment.

After I typed up that last post, I thought some more about the skateboard and decided that maybe I should've gotten her one, because she would have what she "really wanted" and then I would have the mean satisfaction of seeing her never ever be able to use it.

I know, malicious. But right now I'm not feeling very loving.

I do always get over it. But I'm glad I have a little time before I have to, LOL.

Remind me again why I did this?

You know, during all this time, when DH has been so unstable, DD's therapist and I have given thanks for the fact that she is stable for the time being. It was almost a miracle, her behaviors really settled down right as DH's got out of hand. I don't know how I could have handled two of them being out of control at once, that's for sure.

I don't think I've specifically told you what DD's disabilities are, she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Which basically means that she can have little insight into the consequences of her behavior, and also that she can be very defiant beyond what a normal kid would be. And you would have thought that while DH was at his worst, the insecurity of all that would've caused DD to act up, but the exact opposite happened. For about a year, she was almost a "normal" kid. She didn't get suspended from school, no angry parents stormed over to our house because she choked their kid, she passed all of her classes, and all was well. I guess I kind of got lulled into complacency.

DH has been more stable since starting the Lithium than he has been in probably two years. So now, apparently, it is DD's turn. I wrote about her tantrum yesterday about not being allowed to go to her bio mom's. Well, after she apologized to me for that, she managed to call her bio mom and tell the bio mom that "Carol says I can NEVER visit you again. Why? Because she said so. And she says that I don't deserve anything for my birthday either. And she wouldn't let me call you."

(The part about me not letting her call her bio mom is true, because I knew what she was planning on saying. But of course that part wasn't mentioned.)

Needless to say, bio mom was a little upset, and she has a rather low intellectual capacity, so it didn't really occur to her that maybe this matter should not involve DD but should involve the adults....so she said a bunch of choice things to DD about me, and of course DD says "Guess what? My "real" mom said you're (blah blah). And then bio mom called and was very cross with me. It didn't take a lot of thought to figure out what happened and patched things up with the bio mom. I then was clobbered by the realization that after DD had apologized for throwing a tantrum regarding this, she still told lies and did her best to get me in trouble. That doesn't make for a happy mom, for sure.

And to top it off, today was her birthday. I had bought her a few things from the thrift store, although I had told her when we went to the zoo that that was her birthday present....anyhow, she didn't even pretend to enjoy them and got upset that we didn't get her a skateboard (to understand the stupidity of the skateboard idea you need to know that we live in the country, on a dirt road, with no sidewalks, and a dirt driveway--so there was no point in wasting money on a skateboard). I'm having a tough time remaining civil to her. Luckily we meet with the therapist on Wednesday, because I think if I had to wait much longer, I might lose my temper.

Oh. I think I figured it out....

The veterinarian thing, that is. I've been very puzzled about this, since I am so very sad that he is leaving, why on earth do I care so darn much? I'm not in love with him, I don't even have a "crush" on him. I truly only have "eyes" for DH when it comes to that stuff. And even if I didn't, in that sense, Dr. S. is so incredibly far out of my league, it's not even worth giving consideration to. So I've been trying to ask myself, "Is there something that I don't know about me? Could I be secretly, unbeknownst even to myself, in love with him, or something like that?" And my consistent answer was no. But why, then, am I so devastated that he is leaving? Besides the fact that he saved Charlie Meow when nobody else could, I mean?

What I did come up with was that when I first met him, I had my whole life ahead of me. So did he. We were both starting out. He's only a few years older than me. He had only been practicing veterinary medicine for a short time before I met him. I had a promising life--fresh out of college, lots of fun times and adventure ahead....and I think that I'm sad about Dr. S. leaving because he represents one of the few aspects of my life that were around at that hopeful time and are still around today. And so him leaving is somehow tantamount to me not only losing a highly competent veterinarian for my menagerie, but also another part of my youth, too. I mean, here I am, 40 years old, and I can't say that my life has turned out like I had planned when I was 22. I have an adopted daughter who would rather live with her bio mom in a house full of sewage and no heat and no running water. No biological kids of my own and my (biological) clock is on the verge of conking out. A DH that I love very much but who has a serious mental illness. A load of debt that's both directly and indirectly related to that. A house that's falling apart, really, because even if I knew or could figure out how to fix everything, I wouldn't have time because I'm working so much. And I'm working my you-know-what off and still basically in poverty. And Dr. S. is kind of a tie that reminds me of a time when I didn't have all these worries or struggles....kinda full of self-pity tonite, aren't I?

Well, that's what I came up with, anyhow....I realize I could just as easily count my blessings as counting my curses, but right now I'm just going to feel sorry for myself for a while, ok?

Oh. And as far as "reasons why I'm sad", don't forget the PMS, too, LOL.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Barack Obama's speech

I'm really not much of a political crusader. I tend to vote Democrat, but have voted Republican, too. I have told my friends that it really doesn't matter if it's Obama or Hillary, I'd vote for either one. I would've voted for Ron Paul. I wouldn't probably choose to vote for any traditional Republican "this time", because the current administration has made such a slop of things. So here's the thing:

I had heard that after the hullaballoo about Obama's preacher came out, that he (Obama) made a good speech, a speech for the ages, a historic speech. I am not much one for speeches, so I left it at that. (And it was easy, remember we still don't have TV..) I gave some thought to the Obama-preacher thing and recognized that I can relate. I was raised Catholic. There are many issues with the Catholic church that I do not agree with. But that doesn't mean I need to completely sever ties with the Church. I am a grown up person and capable of separating the stupid stuff from the good stuff. I presume Obama is the same.

With that in mind, I decided that I would still prefer Obama, but I really didn't care much one way or the other. Until very recently. The other day, I was meandering around the web, and I came across a blog where the author urged people to read the full text of Obama's speech. The blog wasn't a political one, but yet the author so strongly urged me (and everyone else) to read this speech, I decided to give it a go. And you know what? It was a historic speech. Incredibly moving and powerful. A speech that brought tears to my eyes, and a speech that made me want to share with you. So, regardless of who you are planning on voting for, even if you are voting for McCain, or some grassroots candidate, I am going to urge you to read this speech. Please. Here's the link:
Obama's Speech

P.S. When I told Jim about this speech, he said "Well, anyone can have a good speechwriter", and DH agreed. So I checked around and from all reports, Obama wrote the speech himself and stayed up until 2am doing it. So it adds even more credence to the thing.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Could this day be any sadder?

Sorry for the title there, but my day was not a cheerful one at all. First of all, DH has some kind of stomach bug (I hope) and hasn't been able to keep anything (including the Lithium) down all day. He's really dizzy and I haven't seen him this miserable in years. I'm worried that it's either a side effect of the larger dose of Lithium, or even if it's not, he basically didn't get ANY Lithium today, because he threw it all up, so what will tomorrow be like? And how terrible would that be if, the Lithium is really making him better but he can't take it because it makes him sick? I don't think I could stand it.

And today was the "open house" for my long-time veterinarian. (See post here for more information).
I found out why he's leaving, and I completely understand. He wants to live in the country. That's it in a nutshell. He's going to be a country vet, large and small animals of all kinds. I hope his small town recognizes him for the gem he is. I almost started to cry when I started talking with him--my voice had that tremble in it....I was so close to losing composure and that would've been rather embarrassing with a gazillion other people there, too....he seemed genuinely happy to see me, and he looked like he was going to give me a big hug, too, but since I'm on the shy side and stuff, I didn't want to be wrong and majorly overstep some boundary, so I held out my hand instead. I had managed to take two really cute pictures of Charlie Meow and put them in a card for Dr. S., along with a letter kind of telling him the same things I told you in the other post, and that I know a person has to follow their dreams...I'd like to think he'd send me a thank you or something for the pictures, but I don't really know what the etiquette is for this sort of thing, so maybe not. I got done talking with him and went out to my car, I cried half the way home (and it's a 90 mile trip). I have talked to other people who understand what I'm feeling, but I'm not even sure I understand it. I mean, I've gone for MONTHS and maybe even a year or two once or twice without ever seeing him or talking to him, so why am I so upset about him leaving to follow a dream? After all, it's the same dream I had. I moved from the city to the country shortly before DH and I got married. And I would never go back (most days anyhow). So I really don't completely understand why I'm so down, but I am.

And if that wasn't enough, DD had another tantrum because she won't be allowed to go to her "real mom's" tomorrow. She told me I'm not her mom and I need to quit acting like it. And I told her that wasn't going to change things, she wasn't going and that was that. So she picked up the phone to call her "real mom" to tell her what a bit** I am and I told her that if she made that phone call, she'd be guaranteed to not be able to see her "real mom" at all tomorrow. (We had planned a supervised visit for a couple of hours.) I just want to tell her to shut her stupid mouth. (ok, yes, I'm still mad.) But of course I didn't. I just told her I love her and it is not her job to decide things like that, it is up to the grown ups. And she says "You don't even care about what's good for me! You always say you want what's best for me, but I want to go there and you won't let me!!!" And I said, "When you were 8, what you wanted was not always what was right for you and sometimes it still isn't. Sorry." And I know that her bio mom is feeding her all sorts of ideas about how mean we are, and it tears DD apart and she takes it out on us. But I'm still mad, LOL....it just didn't go well with the "sad" that was already there from earlier.
And of course, DH couldn't stand up for me, because he was busy being sick. Jim just shook his head after she shut the door in my face and said "I don't know how you stayed so calm. I wanted to smack her just listening to her talk to you like that." Argh.

And THEN....if all that wasn't enough, I checked my favorite local news website and learned that my favorite weatherman was abruptly terminated in a "reduction in force" by the TV station. First my vet, now my weatherman.....ok, well, I don't really have any ownership of either of them but jeez.....when it rains, it pours, right? (weather cliche intended, LOL)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bipolar II and Back Pain too

That's the official word. DH's nurse practitioner told him that it's officially official. It's maddening to know that two years ago someone could have made this leap, given us some Lithium, and every aspect of our lives would probably be much better than it is now. But "better late than never", right?

I've spent some time now trying to learn more about Bipolar II now that I know what we're up against. It makes sense. In hindsight, there are even more signs than I thought there were. Like the cleaning. Some days, he might start off by loading the dishwasher at noon, and at 3am the next day he wasn't sleeping and was still cleaning things in the house...I never even recognized it as manic at the time...and the last job he had, he was a handyman, and he was remodeling an office building for the company he was working for. He would work 18 hours a day on that project. And then, when his boss would say something like, "I hope you didn't spend too much on that door,", he'd completely fall apart and be convinced that he was worthless and his work was crappy, when actually, he got a lot of compliments for his work.

And for what it's worth, DH's back pain is completely gone. So much that he went to his back pain support group and recommended that they all examine their emotional state(s), because he is finally willing to recognize and admit that much, if not all, of the back pain was related to his emotional problems.

Hindsight's 20/20, too. Reading the Bipolar II definitions in the context of DH, I can see all sorts of things that I didn't see at the time. I am hoping that we never have to do this again. I am hoping that he is one of the people who take Lithium and remain stable for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

DH's first day at the new job

Really, it was a little bit of a letdown, I think. I was extremely worried.
DH left for work at 11:30am and he got home at 4:30pm.
He seemed a little down or disappointed. He said, "all we did was watch training videos--I hope I didn't fall asleep!" He seemed surprised that that was all he got to do on the first day. But to me it sounded rather normal. Then he found out that he won't be starting to drive the truck now, until next week at the earliest, because it snowed here on Monday, about 4 inches or so, and that is making all the farms muddy again. And the trucks can't handle that mud, so they can't work until things dry up a little. And I didn't tell DH, but there's thunderstorms in the forecast for next week, so maybe it'll even be longer than next week. I don't mind, though. I've finally got the finances under control and it feels good.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Oh for Pete's Sake!

A coworker of mine bought a townhouse a few years back. Because paying for this has severely cramped her financial style (and to top it off, she has an ARM, but that's a whole 'nother post), she's been complaining about the townhouse and how she needs to sell it. After listening to her tell me how much she could get for it (and I'm virtually certain that she's sadly mistaken on that front, being as several units in her development are already foreclosed on or for sale), and how broke she is, I recommended that she read the book "How to Get What You Want in Life with the Money You Already Have", by C. Keeffe. This is a beginners' personal finance book that helps you figure out where your money goes, what's really important to you, and how to get started saving for things you really want. This book is what finally got me started on putting money aside, and although I don't agree with some ideas, it's a motivating book, and easy to follow, for anyone.

So she ordered it from the library. I was thinking, "Now, she'll see the light. If she stops spending money on stupid stuff, she'll have more money for the good stuff."

So today I saw her and asked her what she thought of the book. "Well, you know, I read the part about using a different container for each thing you're saving up for. That's probably a good idea, you know, saving up for things. But I need a more immediate result. Sorry."


Oh for Pete's Sake!!!!! No wonder the economy is a mess.

Tomorrow's the big day....

DH is starting his new job tomorrow.

I'm probably more nervous than he is, because if he falls apart on this one, pretty much all the people in town who don't know what has been going on with DH will be gossiping about him. And if he can't keep it together and keep this job, I'm afraid he'll get really discouraged, too.

Basically, I've got the same fears that I had the last time he set out to work (at the place where the paychecks were bouncing, etc...)

DH alternates between excited and scared, too.

And when I think about the income, I get all hopeful....DH has agreed to have his pay deposited into my account and he will get an allowance, probably about $125 every two weeks for gas and cigs and whatever else he wants....that should basically (assuming it all goes that way) give me more wiggle room and a better chance to pay down some of this debt and put aside some more savings. Yaaayyy!!!

Unfortunately it seems like nothing ever goes like my "happy" fantasies, LOL.

So until he is firmly ensconced in this new job, i.e., has received more than one or two paychecks, I'll just be looking at it as a nice little bonus.

Oh--and he still doesn't have any back pain....