Wednesday, September 30, 2009

H1N1--DH hospitalized

Well, DH did not go to the hospital, and he tried to avoid going to the clinic this morning, too, saying he'd be "fine". But I could hear him wheezing, it sounded like he was having an asthma attack. So I made him go in. So much for avoiding the E.R., by the time I got him to do something, the clinic was booked for the day, so we HAD to go to the E.R.

They did three nebulizer (breathing) treatments and they didn't work. So they started giving him steroids via I.V. and did blood work and X-rays. When I talked to the Dr., he said that basically everything has been ruled out except H1N1. They did a swab test but they said they have to send it to the CDC(?) so it could be a couple of days before they get results back. I get the impression that our small town hospital was very prepared for H1N1 but hasn't seen too many cases yet.

DH has been admitted to the hospital because they can't get his breathing under control. I just called there and they're trying another nebulizer treatment.

I'm at work because I don't have much vacation time left (I used a lot when my mom was sick not too long ago, and she's not doing all that great now) and I don't want to use it all up.

DD's pca has agreed to stay with her, so she won't be alone and someone will be there to let out the dogs.....

I'm worried about DH. I've never seen him this sick. But I do know he's in good hands...

And a little nervous about myself. I don't have any symptoms that I know of, but I can't afford to get sick like that. I just can't.

Called home

I was sitting here (at work) worrying about DH. So I risked waking him up and called him just to tell him to go in to the E.R. if he has to, a hospital bill is not THAT big of a deal--and a bill I can't pay, not all that unusual....he said he would go if he had to. He said he took some Nyquil and was going to try to sleep. I'm worried that he has H1N1 (swine flu), but he didn't have a fever....? I know he must really be sick if he hasn't been smoking.....that's scary in itself--because he is SO addicted!

So I told him that if he makes it through the night, he needed to go to the clinic asap in the morning. He pretended like I was being bossy, but said he would.

I'll keep you posted (probably not until tomorrow, though, as I'm leaving work in about an hour).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's worse than a bipolar hubby?

Answer: A bipolar hubby who's got a bad cold.

DH is sick. I know he's miserable. It started on Saturday, and it seems to be getting worse. He's been coughing up a storm, and all congested. But up until today, that didn't stop him from putting cigarette smoke into his lungs :P

Most of the time it's tough for me to know how sick he really is. And I can't tell by the fact that he isn't doing much around the house, because he ALWAYS doesn't do much around the house. All I can do is go by his complaints most of the time.

But right now I think he is pretty sick. He's not even smoking any more.

I took his temperature yesterday--he felt warm to me, but the thermometer said "no fever". "Swine flu" involves a fever, doesn't it?

So, I just got done talking with him. He sounds terrible. He can't stop coughing. He says his chest really hurts bad, and I can tell, from talking to him on the phone, that he's having a hard time breathing. I want to tell him to go to the E.R. It sounds that bad. But instead, I tell him to see if he can make it until morning, and go in right away.

See, if he goes to the E.R. tonite, it's a $60.00 copay just to walk in the door, plus we have to pay for 20% of whatever it costs. So if the E.R. visit costs $3,000, then we have to come up with $60 PLUS $600 (20%). If he can make it until morning, and go to the clinic, it'll cost $20.00 for a copay, and the X-rays and all the tests will be covered.

So now I'm sitting here rethinking what I told him. Is he going to have the common sense to go in if he needs to, or is he going to try to stay home because I told him to? I think I was clear when I said to go in if he needed to, but see if he could make it until morming....? And if I call him to clarify (at midnight), am I going to wake him up and make him feel bad again....?

It really sucks to be in that position. And I know we're not the only ones. We're very lucky that I have insurance at all. But that doesn't help when all these copays/coinsurance make it tough to "buck up" and go to the hospital. I really think he needs to go. But I'm scared that I won't be able to pay that bill.

Your prayers are helping

DH's friend's wife, that is.....yesterday they removed the ventilator, she passed the "swallow" test, and her feeding tube has been removed. She is out of ICU and in her own room. It looks like she will recover. Thanks to everyone who took the time to say a little prayer for her....I ran into the dad and one of the daughters (age 9) at the grocery store, and they were both so happy, all smiles.....

P.S. I just found out (because DD can't keep a secret) that DH has pawned his deer hunting rifle. So I guess no venison for us this year :-( Yes, I'm angry. But as much as I want to, I can't control him.

Coming to PBS: Minds on the Edge--Facing Mental Illness

This sounds like a very insightful program--I don't have TV right now, so I have to wait until I can watch it on line (after Oct. 1).

"MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness zeros in on wrenching situations playing out every day in hospital ERs, on city streets and school campuses, in courtrooms and in jails, as Americans struggle with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The dramatic scenario of this Fred Friendly Seminars program reveals personal dilemmas facing individuals and families, medical practices that can be obstacles to treatment, and public polices that are falling short."

"Moderated by Frank Sesno, the program features Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Nobel-Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, Pulitzer-nominated journalist Pete Earley, and other panelists from law, medicine, and public policy — including several who have personally faced the challenges of mental illness and offer their riveting insights."

Here's a link for more information:

Minds on the Edge

Saturday, September 26, 2009

This weekend....the Alzheimer's roller coaster!

My mom has been relatively stable since she got back to her assisted living apartment. She isn't the same as she was before this last episode, of course. She does a lot more sitting around, doing absolutely nothing than she used to. I started to notice that she was kind of depressed. "Hey Mom, wanna go to the casino Monday?" (that's her very most favorite thing in the world) "Oh, all right, if that's what you want." "Hey Mom, wanna go shop at the dollar store?" (another favorite) "No, not today, I don't think"...so when we went to the Dr. this past week, I mentioned that. And he prescribed Celexa, an antidepressant.

He also discontinued her Vicodin, which they had put her on when she was in the nursing home. At that time she was so incoherent, they wondered if maybe she was having pain that she couldn't articulate, so they put her on Vicodin. Then, when the Xanax proved to be the drug that helped, I talked to the nurse practitioner about stopping the Vicodin, and she did not want to do it. Me, I thought, "She did not complain of pain before. This drug did not improve her cognitive condition. So what do we need it for?" The nurse practitioner informed me that she still MIGHT have some pain, so they thought she should stay on it for a "while". What do I know? I went along with it. On Friday she finally had her first follow-up appointment with a doctor since she got out of the nursing home (in our small town the good doctors are booked up for months in advance....) and the Dr. agreed that there was no real reason to keep Mom on the Vicodin. So he stopped it. Ok!

Now she's more depressed than ever. She didn't even want to go to McDonalds today "because you would be embarrassed to be seen with me. I stink." I talked her into going, and she did perk up. She was talking and laughing with DD and making comments about the weather....but when we got her home, she told me she had to use the bathroom. "Where is the bathroom again?" Uh-oh.

But I had to go to work. So I pointed her in the direction of the bathroom, and she said, "Oh! Now I remember!", so I thought it was ok. I went home to get DD home and to get ready for work. At 8:45 (I had to be to work by 9pm), my brother called. (DH is actually at my brother's house, having a "guy" night.) Apparently when my brother called my mom, she couldn't remember how to hang up the phone. She had to use her "beeper" to page an aide to help her. So on my way to work, I checked on her again, and she looked very anxious, but she told me she was ok. But she was making these little whimpering sounds, like a little kid who was lost and didn't know what to do. I went and talked to an aide and nobody is sure what is going on. I'm thinking that it's one of the med changes, but I don't know which one. Either the antidepressant messed her up, or the Vicodin withdrawals are causing this. I'm afraid to take her to the hospital (because if she is admitted, it will be another huge cognitive drop), but I told the aide that if my mom has a rough night, I'll get her in to the clinic in the morning to be checked for a bladder infection.

And now I'm feeling guilty for wanting the antidepressant for her, but it's so not like her to be depressed, I didn't know what else to do! It's like that Whack-a-Mole game--you try to fix one problem and two new ones pop up.

I hope this is just a "bump" in the road....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayers requested

Hi everyone, I hope you know that I don't usually ask this of you but.... here's what's been going on...

DD has a friend who's very quiet and polite--we really like her and her younger sister, too. Their family is very dysfunctional. They are on welfare and share a house with other family members. (They're the ones I posted about recently, where a relative actually owns the house, but only "lives" there when he and his significant other have been drinking....) They are really the kind of people you make comments about, but the kids are very nice. And I want to help them, for sure.

Anyhow, DH has become friends with the girl's father. And I like him, too. He seems very nice, although a little slow. And I'm glad that DH has a friend, since all of his pre-bipolar friends have abandoned him....DH and this new friend of his can sit and talk for hours. And (friend) is usually willing to help out with whatever DH is supposed to be doing, and DH has done some favors for him, too.

The father has been questioning his relationship with the mother because the mother refuses to help out with the kids, refuses to take her medications, and gets angry when he applies for a job....he's been trying to figure out what to do, since the welfare people are ordering him to find a job--who will take care of the kids? Etc. And maybe he should leave. Drama. But he's a nice guy. He really seems like a caring person, despite his shortfalls...

Anyhow, about two weeks ago, this man's wife had a seizure. It was known that she had some medical issues, so a seizure wasn't too big of a deal....but when they were on their way to the hospital, she had another one, so they called an ambulance. At the hospital it was discovered that her lungs were filling up with fluid and she had a large blood-filled cyst on an ovary. (I don't know what the "official" diagnosis/prognosis is or was, this is just what the guy told DH.)

So they sent her to a more urban, well-equipped hospital. She continued to deteriorate, and was put on a ventilator. They sedated her. DH said that based on what his friend had told him, they expected her to make a full recovery. It almost sounded like someone talking about a person having a bad cold or something. Not a big deal. I dunno, it sounded pretty dire to me...but it could be that the dad/friend did not understand how awful this really sounded....

Anyhow, today apparently, they called him and told him that she had taken a turn for the worse--she had aspirated fluid during another seizure. Luckily Social Services was able to give him some gas money to get back to the hospital....now suddenly, I think he is understanding the gravity of the situation. And it's one thing to consider if it's a good idea to become a single parent, but it's a whole 'nother ball of wax if you don't have a choice in the matter....

I'm worried. So I thought that maybe if some of you who pray, could say a prayer for her, well, she might not appreciate it, but I would, if only for two girls who could be losing their mom...

So how did DH's Bipolar Disability appointment go?

I haven't posted yet about DH's appointment on Monday, I wanted to kind of digest it before I put it into words. In a nutshell, it didn't go all that well.

Now, in case you weren't aware of it, and I'm not sure if I've written about it here or not, but DH was overweight when I met him and when I married him. Since the bipolar started, he's gained about 130 pounds. He's very big.

So....this appointment was apparently to discuss his obesity and back problems. The doctor that we saw is retired, but he specialized in gastric bypass surgeries before he retired. He spent about half of the appointment trying to drive DH to have gastric bypass. I'm not convinced. I'm afraid that DH, with his addictive personality, would lose weight, but compensate by some other addiction--drugs, alcohol, gambling.....etc. And for me, the excess weight is the easiest thing to deal with right now.

But anyhow, the Dr. really really thought that the only thing that was going to "save" DH was if he had bypass surgery. He talked about how people go on diets and then gain all their weight back. He talked about all the health problems that obesity causes. And about how DH's back problems were undoubtedly related to his obesity, etc. etc....and that was pretty much the whole sales pitch.

Then it took about 5 minutes for him to go through the Social Security questions: "How far can you walk without resting?" "How long can you sit?" "What activities has your back pain caused you to give up?" But....I knew we were sunk, when the Dr. asked DH "What is the most you can lift?" and DH said "about 50 pounds". And then explained that he lifts the bags of chicken feed....about once every two weeks. Woops.

Then, the Dr. told DH that he probably had sleep apnea. DH said he knows he does, but the CPAP makes him anxious. The doctor wrote that down, too, so that probably makes it look like he's noncompliant.

All in all, basically it was a lecture on the benefits of gastric bypass. I keep telling myself that since DH is going for disability on the grounds of being bipolar, that the back problems are peripheral, but then I think that if they (Social Security) thought the same way, that they wouldn't have bothered to send him to a back doctor. I really wish I knew more about how this all works.

Anyhow, kind of a sucky day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another List of Famous People who lived or are living with Bipolar Mental Illness

Just kind of browsing the web....learning a lot....
Ever since it was first suggested that DH was bipolar, I've been kind of interested in learning about other famous people who may have been bipolar. It's interesting to look some of them up and see what they've gone through. And when you realize how much some of these people have managed to accomplish, it makes me feel that much more hopeful about DH....so here's my list for today....

Adam Ant (musician)
Ludwig van Beethoven (composer)
Napoleon Bonaparte (political leader)
Tim Burton (artist, director)
Lord Byron (poet)
Dick Cavett (television journalist)
Winston Churchill (politician)
Charles Dickens (author)
DMX, Dark Man X (Earl Simmons) (musician, actor)
Robert Downey Jr. (actor)
Richard Dreyfuss (actor)
Patty Duke (actress)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (author)
Emily Epler (poet, actress)
Carrie Fisher (Actress, writer)
Larry Flynt (publisher, activist) (probable, not confirmed)
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (Writer)
Connie Francis (singer)
Stephen Fry (actor, comedian writer)
Peter Gabriel (musician)
Alan Garner (novelist)
Matthew Good (musician)
Philip Graham (publisher, businessman)
Macy Gray (musician, actor)
Graham Greene (English Novelist)
Ivor Gurney (English composer, poet)
Alexander Hamilton (politican)
Linda Hamilton (actress)
Mariette Hartley (actress)
Jimi Hendrix (musician)
Ernest Hemingway (writer)
Hermann Hesse (writer)
Abbie Hoffman (political activist)
Kay Redfield Jamison (clinical psychologist)
Daniel Johnston (musician)
Chris Kanyon (wrestler)
John Keats (poet)
Rep Patrick J. Kennedy (politician)
Otto Klemperer (conductor)
Margot Kidder (actress)
Patrick Kroupa (writer, hacker)
Haydn Ledger (Heath Ledger's Uncle)
Vivien Leigh (actress)
Jennifer Lewis (actress)
Abraham Lincoln (president)
Tina Malone (actress)
James Marzilli (senator)
Kristy McNichol (actress)
Kate Millett (author)
Spike Milligan (comedian, writer)
Ben Moody (musician)
John A. Mulheren (businessman, philanthropist)
Edvard Munch (artist)
Isaac Newton (scientist, mathematician)
Florence Nightingale (nurse)
Sinéad O'Connor (musician)
Susan M. Olmetti (artist)
Ozzy Osbourne (singer)
Cheri Oteri (actress)
Jane Pauley (TV Journalist)
Jimmy Piersail (baseball player)
Jaco Pastorius (musician)
Edgar Allan Poe (poet, writer)
Charlie Pride (musician)
Emil Post (mathematician)
Barret Robbins (NFL football player)
Clark Rockefeller (socialite, alleged criminal)
Axl Rose (singer)
Theodore Roosevelt (President)
Cynthia M. Sabotka (author)
Robert Schumann (composer)
Frank Sinatra (actor) (undiagnosed)
Nina Simone (singer)
Britney Spears (musician)
Michael Spensieri (lawyer, politician)
Robert Louis Stevenson (author)
Ben Stiller (actor)
Sidney Sheldon (producer, writer)
Percy Bysshe Shelley (poet)
Darryl Strawberry (baseball player)
Sting (Gordon Sumner) (actor, musician)
David Strickland (actor)
Sara Teasdale (poet)
Devin Townsend (musician)
Nick Traina (singer)
Timothy Treadwell (environmentalist)
Margaret Trudeau (former spouse of politician)
Ted Turner (businessman)
Mark Twain (author)
Jean-Claude Van Damme (actor)
Vincent Van Gogh (artist)
Kurt Vonnegut (author) (undiagnosed)
Pete Wentz (musician)
Scott Weiland (musician)
Oscar Wilde (poet)
Robin Williams (actor)
Brian Wilson (musician)
Virginia Woolf (poet, novelist)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Story of my heart.....

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered. 'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.' The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'

'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.

'There should be a bowl by the pump.'

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

16 hours

That's how long the nicotine inhaler was "awesome". Drat.

One good thing did come out of it, though, I guess....or maybe two?

He says he's going to try again (we'll see)

And when he broke down and asked me to buy him cigarettes, I told him I was going to buy cheap generic from now on and he heartily agreed. And that is what I have been buying. Saves about $1.25 a pack! So I guess it wasn't a total loss....

Monday, September 21, 2009

That's Awesome!

DH quit smoking Sunday. Here's what happened.

Earlier this past week, he had another appointment with the "stop smoking" guy at the hospital, who was able to prescribe a Nicotrol inhaler for DH. Every day after that DH would tell me he was going to quit the next day, but then he'd put it off until the NEXT day...he was really nervous!

I thought the Nicotrol inhaler might help him because when he quit before, which was a few years before he got sick, one of the things that helped him was to have a cinnamon stick to hold on to and suck on. So I thought combining that with a puff of nicotine would be very helpful. I don't think DH really comprehended the nicotine in the inhaler, I think he was just thinking it was a plastic thing to suck on or something.

But the day came (Saturday) when I told him he had to make up his mind to try, for real. That I spent $50 to buy the Nicotrol inhaler, and he had better give it a good try anyhow. He asked me to pick him up pop from the store. Knowing it would be hard, I agreed to get him some pop. "And cigarettes?" he said. I said "NO." That felt good :-)

So late Sunday afternoon, he finally used his last cigarette. He sat down and put the inhaler together. Read the instructions. Took a little puff.

Then one more puff. And you know what his words were? "This is awesome!!!!!" "It feels like I'm smoking a cigarette! I can almost taste the smoke!" "I'm going to be able to 'smoke' wherever I want to!" He was so excited.

And so am I.

I hope he can stick with it. It'll save me a bunch of money.

P.S. His appointment(s) with the disability doctor are early Monday morning. So I'll get off work and run home, wake him up and hit the road (The appointment is an hour away from home). Not sure what I'm hoping for, but cross your fingers...

Friday, September 18, 2009

What I would do if DH got SS disability on the first try....

Someone commented to me that they got about $14,000 in back pay for their bipolar disability. I have been thinking.....how great that would be (of course)....so this little post is my fantasy about what if.....
(fantasy disclaimer: I realize that in order to do each and every one of these things, it would probably cost a lot more than $14,000....but hey....it's my fantasy!)

1). Pay all the "little" bills that I can't pay right now, like the dentist.
2). Buy a new water heater.
2 1/2 (tee hee)) Buy a new front door.
3). New roof (of course, since I had to spend the roof money and DH wouldn't have gotten it done anyhow.....
4). Help out the credit cards a little
5). Pay off that damn truck
6). "" damn four-wheeler
7). Buy a pair of jeans that nobody has ever worn before
8). Buy Janet Evanovich's latest book before it hits the thrift store....
9). Get our TV back
10). Take some elderly dogs to the vet.
11). Take some time off work
12). Enroll DD in karate classes again (we had to quit when DH got sick)
13). Call 1-800-GOTJUNK to come and get all the crap that DH has piled up in the yard
14). Buy a better hutch for the buns....they're 6 years old now....and although Mrs. Bun has lost weight, she's still alive and (literally) kicking :-)

Ok. I think that's about all I want. Feels good to think about.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This cracked me up!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hold that thought(s).

This post is the story of my week so far. Kind of long, kind of full of teenage drama, and kind of just a snapshot into how things are sometimes at my house....

Friday: DD wants to have a friend over. I'm working an extra shift, so I know it's going to annoy me (having anyone over who doesn't live there is hard for me), but since I know that it's so important to DD, I say ok. I remind DH and DD about the rule we have about not doing two sleepovers in a row (meaning that tomorrow night said friend will sleep at her own house.) (and meaning that I know eventually I won't have a houseguest)...

Saturday: DD does great with friend. They have a lot of fun. So does DH. He's having a great time being the "cool dad" and taking the girls for rides on the four-wheeler. DH takes me aside and says "DD wants "friend" to stay overnight again." I say no. Remember that rule? It's there because DD cannot "keep it together" through two sleepovers, and even when she does succeed, she ends up having a meltdown as soon as "friend" goes home. So no.

So DH tells me that "friend"'s parents had mentioned that they had some overnight houseguests who were not very nice. They are the "friend"'s uncle and aunt, who are at that house because they actually own the house and just pop in to have a drunken argument whenever they're in the neighborhood. DH puts me on the spot, because now I feel like I'll be sending "friend" into the lion's den, if I continue to say "no".
So, I tentatively reconsider, with DH promising that a) the girls will go to bed at a reasonable time and b) they will be put to sleep in separate rooms (friend will sleep on the couch). And DD promising that she can handle it, or else no friends over for the rest of the month.....Ok, we'll see.

So at 6pm DH decides to take the girls fishing on the boat (the boat is basically a rowboat with a motor--we could probably sell it for a hundred bucks or maybe even a little more, but I'm not sure it'd be worth the trouble...). Ok, no big deal. I laid down for a nap, because I had to work at 10pm. They weren't home when I left for work (9pm) but I know that since DH had promised me (and he usually doesn't break promises), they'll be home soon. At midnight I call the house from work and they still aren't home. At 1am he called to tell me that they had run out of gas in the middle of the lake and had to call a friend of his for help. So the girls didn't get to bed until about 2am (so much for a reasonable time)...but he did put them to bed in separate rooms, anyhow....

Sunday: I'm sleeping after working all night. DD's bio mom calls, wondering about their weekly visit. She wants to bring DD to a movie. Instantly, DD becomes very rude to her friend, telling her that what she wanted to do was stupid and ordering her to go home. DH called her on it, reminding her of her promise, and she flew into a tantrum--screaming and crying, so DH brought friend home, and told DD that she was not going to be allowed to go to the movie, and that her bio mom could come over to our house to visit, instead. That did not sit well with DD either. She flew into an even bigger rage. DH called her bio mom to tell her what was going on, and bio mom, after hearing the screaming in the background, elected not to come over, saying her visits are a privilege. DD made some comments that almost sounded like she was accusing DH of being abusive, but not quite. He got very angry and told her he would never abuse her in any way, ever. (and he never would, no matter how unbalanced he is at the time)....She told him that he had brain damage and wouldn't remember anything he did anyway. She ran in the house and DH was not able to open the screen door, as she either had it locked or was holding it or whatever (see below). He told her that he could break the door if he had to, and she went to her room, screaming. DH woke me up to tell me what was going on.

I told him to just leave her be, which he did. About 20 minutes later, DD wanted to "talk" about what happened, so she came out into the living room to talk, and all she did was argue every little point, like when DH brought up the screen door, and that she had locked him out, she said "I DIDN'T LOCK IT, I WAS HOLDING IT!" and it was clear that she wasn't going to accept responsibility for any of this. Her attitude was snotty, and I told her that we were done talking until she was ready to talk and listen in a respectful way. She started screaming that she was ready, and that proved to me that she wasn't ready. So I got up to do some laundry, including the blanket that "friend" had used when she slept on the couch. But DD, when she saw me grab it, grabbed the other end and wouldn't let go. I told her to go to her room. She said no. I warned her that she was going to start losing privileges, she said she didn't care. I told her that if she didn't go into her room right now, that she was not going up north to DH's mom's next summer, and summer camp would be out of the question too. She looked at me like I was Hitler, but kept on screaming at the top of her lungs. Then DH said, "Ok, in addition to no friends coming over for the rest of this month, you've got another month!" Once again, she said she didn't care. So then DH said, "Alright, no Winter Formal!" (That was the highlight of her school year last year, her first dress-up dance.) She started to scream that he couldn't do that, and he said "If you don't get in your room by the time I count to three, I sure will do that!" So she finally went into her room. She screamed at the top of her lungs for about 10 more minutes, then everything was quiet.

She was, in fact, packing to leave. She had all of her favorite stuff in trash bags and was ready to leave. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a drivers license or a car (oh too bad) and we live out in the middle of nowhere. She told us she was leaving home and she was going to go live with "friend2", a friend she (up until about an hour prior) hated with a passion for spreading "rumors". Sad for her, friend2's parents don't have a car....so DD called her pca but her pca didn't answer. About 5 minutes later, the pca called to see why we had called her, and I told her what was going on and knew that she (the pca) would never drive DD anywhere without our permission....

I knew DD was doing all this drama just to get attention. She wanted us to un-focus on the fact that she had been a jerk and incurred a bunch of crappy consequences, and re-focus on the fact that "Oh, no, DD, please don't go, we love you so much!!!" But I didn't buy into it, and neither did DH, we just let her keep packing. Then she asked us to drive her to someone's house where she could stay, and when we both said no way, sorry, you're on your own for this one, she started screaming again and ran into her room and shut the door. She screamed for about another half hour and then fell asleep for the night.

I went to work.

Monday: I debated whether I should send DD to school or not. I decided that the routine would help her get back to earth, so she went off to school. After school, she seemed a little remorseful, and did her homework without whining....so I was thinking that we'd get an apology soon, at least....she usually apologizes when she knows she's been awful....instead....

"Friend"'s dad came over. He is going to bow-hunt for deer on our land next week and, if he gets one, we will get half of the meat. So he wanted to go back in the woods and scout out his strategy. DH and the dad were chatting, and DD came outside and told the dad that "Friend isn't allowed to come over for two whole months!" So then DH had to kind of give a basic summary of why, so the dad would know that it wasn't anything to do with his daughter....so DH said, "DD had some bad behavior and got some pretty severe consequences." The dad said to DD, "Wow, you must've been pretty bad, huh?" DD says, in absolute seriousness, "Yeah, I was really really bad. They kicked me out."

Oh for Pete's sake. So now what does the school think of us?????

Still Monday: After all of this, my mom called. I was already on my way to see her. When I got there, my mom was very depressed, just so sad. "What's the matter?" I said. She said, "I forgot to tell you....there's a banquet tomorrow....they told me a few days ago, but I forgot all about it...."

The banquets are 3 or 4 times a year, all the people at the assisted living can have 2 guests, and everyone gets dressed up for a fancy dinner. It's big doings for a lot of those folks...

I told her that I was scheduled to train with my boss on Tuesday, so I would have to have DH go to the banquet with her. Then she said that she wasn't going to go. I told her it would be fun. No, she would feel out of place. And she didn't have anything to wear. And she really didn't feel like it anyhow....and then she started crying. I felt so helpless. I wound up calling my boss on Tuesday and begging for a few hours to go to the banquet. I helped my mom find something to wear, and DH came, and it was very nice. I'm glad I went, and I'm really glad my mom went. The depression has me worried, but we have an appointment on Friday afternoon with the Dr., and I'm hoping maybe he'll prescribe an antidepressant....

So after the banquet, I had my 2 hour commute to my full-time job. I got there and everything I touched didn't work. Systems went down, there were problems from other departments that I couldn't figure out, and my "routine" was kind of discombobulated, because I was five hours late to work....anyhow, I left work at 5am and got home at 7am.

Tuesday: After getting home at 7am, I got up at 11am and ran to pick up a prescription for DH, and some money for my mom to get her hair done at the beauty salon (that's right inside the assisted living facility) Thursday. Then I ran home, made sure everyone was fed/watered/pottied, and drove back to work.

I'm still at work now. The system that I need is working, but very slowly, so I'm having a lot of downtime (obviously). But when I re-read all of this, I can see why sometimes the house is a mess and the lawn isn't pretty :-(


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today's news: I hate bipolar. (warning: whine ahead)

Well, today I started thinking more about the fact that there will not be a biological child in my future, barring some kind of miracle. And I got really sad. I have wanted a biological child for so long, but when we were financially ready, all of a sudden, bipolar hit. I couldn't imagine bringing another child into the mess, and I really couldn't stand "That Guy" anyhow, so no child. Now, I'm 42. So basically, no child, no matter what.

What most people do in this type of situation is adopt. However, I'm not sure, with DH's bipolar, whether we would be approved to adopt again now. I suppose someday maybe I'll look into it, but right now I'm kind of scared of what I might find out. So ignoramce is bliss. (?)

Yes, we have DD. And I do love her. But, as she constantly reminds me, I'm not her "real mom". We still allow her to see her "real mom" for about 2 hours a week, because there is s strong bond there. And I know, that if "real mom" and I were both needing help, it wouldn't be me that she'd choose to help first. She's not mine. She's mine to raise, that's all. I'd give anything for a kid who would know me as the "only" mom. Do you think that's selfish? When I read it back to myself, it sounds selfish to me. But I guess this is kind of a selfish post anyhow.

And if bipolar wouldn't have shown up, things might have been a lot different. There'd be more money, more possibilities....I could stay home with DD, which was the original plan....I would have a life, be able to enjoy my home....garden....snuggle with the cats.... walk and train the dogs....take them to the vet when they really should go, instead of hoping the problem(s) will go away....spend more time with my mom.....spend more time with DH's family, too.....I haven't been up to his mom's house since this all started, because at my part-time job, if I don't work, I don't get paid (no vacation) and I can't afford to not have that money.

Bipolar has stolen so much. I hate it.

Appointment's coming up.....

DH has an appointment on Sept. 21 with an "orthopedic specialist" who is associated with Social Security Disability. I guess, when they pulled all his records, they not only found all the bipolar stuff, but, of course, all the back pain stuff, too. So now he's supposed to go and be evaluated for his back, too. I don't know if this is a good sign, or a bad sign, or just a sign that they're being thorough....

All I know is I/we sure could use that money.....I know in the Spring, things will be better, but that's still 6 months away!!!! I guess I've waited this long, though, huh?

I guess I'm just rambling tonite.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Strange but good....

Today I was looking on Craigslist just to pass some time while I waited for my job to work, and after I looked at all the "lost and found" ads, and the "free" ads, I started just browsing the stuff that was for sale. And I came across a little camper that someone was selling for $400. Of course that's way more money than I could come up with right now, but it wasn't really much money based on how my/our finances were before DH got sick....

So I started thinking....and I imagined the fun DH and I could have just using that camper (I guess since DD is gone, she isn't involved in my little fantasy)....I started thinking about how fun it would be to explore some state park that we've never been to, and imagining what kind of "adventures" we could have. I used to LOVE "adventures", where we would get in the car and drive, and where we ended up would be where we'd have supper--in an old cafe, at a campground....just someplace fun that we had never gone to before. And before DH got sick, we had some fantastic vacations, too, that were similar--one time we threw a dart at a map and ended up going on a vacation to Nebraska (yup, everyone we know said the same thing--WHY???!!!) but that was the best vacation we ever had....We only spent about $800 total (including gas, lodging (motel--$29.00/night!) and food), and we had so much fun!!!! I'd sure like to have the means to do that again....

And all of a sudden I realized: I haven't felt like this in a long time. I haven't imagined trips or "adventures" or camping, or anything like that. I think I must've forgotten how, when DH got so sick, and I got so busy....it really excited me and made me sad at the same time, that I'm surprised by my thinking.

I love DD very much, but she does add to my stress level, and knowing that she's safe and having fun AND gone temporarily gives me a peaceful feeling...

Maybe that time where they were both gone did more for me than I realized!

Maybe in a year or two, I'll be having "adventures" again.....