Sunday, September 7, 2014

My new hobby and other stuff

Since my accident, I have not been able to participate in a hobby that doesn't give me pain in my wrist. Usually, I would cross-stitch, sew, or make scrapbook pages. I really enjoyed doing these things, but haven't been participating in any hobbies for about 2 1/2 years. I went to the Grand Canyon this summer and saw this book. At first, I didn't think about having a new hobby. I got it because I go to national parks frequently and I thought I could do something with the book and visiting parks. My mom is actually the one who suggested that I could make a new hobby with this. Even though I've visited many, I can always go back and get my sticker and cancellation stamp. Next up is the Jefferson memorial park where the arch is. Travel is a bit hindered for me, because I fall asleep pretty easily if I'm tired. So travel is a bit more difficult, now, but I do try to rest before I leave. 

School has started for the year. I'm working on figuring out what the curriculum and IEPs are dictating for the students. I think I've got it figured out for the year.  I'm in a different space this year. My co teacher and I are in different rooms. The school is under construction and I'm appreciative of the fact that I don't have to change rooms each period.  

I went to visit friends in S. Illinois for the first time in about 2 years. I had so much fun. I need to make it there again more often. 

I've been extremely tired the past few months. I usually hit a wall around 2 to 3 pm.  I've always been the one who doesn't nap, even in college. Now, I'm lucky if I can make it through the day. Sometimes I just have my eyes closed and nothing happens. I've been really struggling with sleep. Sleep is important because if I don't sleep, something can possibly happen. More sleep is usually indicative of depression and less sleep can lead to hypomania, and excess spending and overly directed activity along with racing thoughts, all of which I do not want, especially now. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Changes

So much has happened in the past month!  Dad did get listed with UNOS and his local transplant service. We've talked about insurance... One if those sticky stubborn areas and he will be making a change in October. His next big decision is "advance directives". Dad now knows the importance of these documents after talking to friends and watching switches at birth. That has made my job easier on this front, but I've also been asking him for the past 10 years to complete something like this so I would at least know what to do in that case. I know it's hard to think about but good to have. So he will complete this soon. I tried not to influence his decision about who to give that information to; it's most likely me. 

I've been working on getting an intermittent leave of absence. I had the one form filled out and I see cps has changed vendors for fmla's. So I have a new form that needs to be changed­čśĆ­čśĆ

I started running recently. I feel great when I start but my motivation is terrible. I got a friend for that and we are meeting every week. That's nice it holds us accountable and I've been sharing with my doctor. 

I'm going to Las Vegas in the next few weeks. Summer is quickly winding down.

Abby 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Feeling like me!

Lately, for a long time, probably about 4 years or so, I haven't felt all that great.  I mean I would get up and go and do what I love, but I just wasn't feeling all that great or "feeling it".  After a long four years, I believe we have finally found the medical answer.  I take relatively few medications, but the effects are clear and effective.  Lithium and Lamictal are the only two "bipolar" medications I take.  I've tried numerous others with a variety of effects.  In fact, initially, I had told my doctor that the Lamictal was not working and I did not take it for a year.  Earlier this year, though, I was experiencing a depression that wasn't going away, even though I was taking the Lithium.  After discussion, I decided to begin taking Lamictal, again.  For Lamictal to work, you need to start at 25mg over 2 weeks to prevent any kind of rash or side effects, which means finding the effective dose can take a long time.  For me, the most effective dose was 200mg.  I had never been at 200mg.  I feel like my old self going back about 5 years ago.


Now that I know what not feeling like myself and feeling like my old self feel like in me, I don't ever want that feeling to change!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dad

My dad has always been an independent person. He doesn't really ask for much and when he does it is truly something he needs to get done. He can be really stubborn sometimes and it does take a while to convince him of things. 

A few years ago he was sent to the hospital by his urologist. His sister had said that the last time she saw him, he looked really bad. He was bloated in his face and she was planning to talk to him. Christmas before, he came to Vegas and said that he felt chills even though the weather was mild. The day he went to the urologist though, he wasn't producing any urine. He was in icu and they told him he was in kidney failure, which is what he told me on text. I talked to his doctors and nurses almost his entire stay at the hospital; almost 3 weeks. After that, he went to a rehab facility so he could learn how to walk again because laying down for 3 weeks makes you lose muscle that quick. We argued about the rehab facility. I said he needed to be in Chicago, closer to me. He said he wanted to be closer to home. So I told the social worker to find one closer to his home. He was there for 6 weeks and hated it. 

Now, he again is faced with kidney failure stage 5. He isn't happy about it and is in quite a bit of denial, but he is learning that he doesn't always have to be independent and stubborn in everything. My dad has had 2 surgeries to move veins in preparation for dialysis. He is not needing dialysis at this point, but the time will come when he does and you want to be prepared for that time. 

He is also getting prepared for getting on the list for transplant. He will go in on June 23 and 24 to find out his best match and cross match and go from there. My sisters are interested in knowing how they can help him best, but this step has to be done before anything else. I will be going with him as well to provide support, more information, and possibly help make decisions about his care. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Drama-just life

So, my dog tore her CCL otherwise known as an ACL in her right leg. It was completely detached. And she tore some of her meniscus. The repair cost nearly 4000 dollars to get her all put together again. She's looking great in her walking and supervised running and play but she is so ready!  The vet did a tta type of surgery where she got a 90 degree knee design. Now if she'll need a second surgery for it again for the other leg, I'll give her to the first bidder! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Depression or Bipolar

2010 was an amzaing year! I was able to complete my fundraising commitment of 1,400 to the Team To End Aids training program and ran about half the marathon on a hot day, which was pretty good for me. Went to Vegas several times this year and went to the Southern Carribbean which was heavenly!  I even had a few dates... yes romantic ones.

As 2010 turns into 2011, I visit my family in Las Vegas.  I am extremely goal focused on making these really cute blankets.  Every hour, every minute is spent on making the super cute blankets.  I sleep a limited number of hours, shop for fleece material every spare moment I have, and talk about making blankets like there is no tomorrow.  My family may have noticed something was up, they didn't tell me, until after I had left. 

Here comes the depression, after visiting my family in Mississippi.  More Celexa is the answer.  We're up to the therapuetic dose.  Let's try another medication... I get worse, not better.  My dad is ill and I'm having to take responsibility for his health updates with kidney failure from Chicago, 4 hours away from him.  I go visit about 4 times; the most I can while I'm dealing with my own issues.  More antidepressants... We tried a number of medications to get this treated and gone.... Abilify, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Remeron, Ambien to help with sleep, and I had a reaction to most. I'm currently on the Celexa at 60 mg, and Remeron at 30 mg. And no more Abilify and Wellbutrin.


I'm shopping for things that I don't need!  I'm talking super fast, focused on making a successful school check out library, buy airplane tickets to Philadelphia out of nowhere.... wait airplane tickets?  The Thursday before my birthday I told my pdoc about my spontaneous purchase that day... He gives me a quick bipolar test questionaire verbally and diagnoses me that day, saying he had suspected bipolar in the past, but was hesitant to say anything.  He says I'm bipolar 2 and immediately starts me on some bipolar medications.

 
In the early hours of my 36th birthday, I'm having trouble sleeping and doing lots of thinking, of course with "Married With Children" on TV in the background, shows how much real thinking I'm doing in these early hours.


At approximately 1:36am, after 33 hours of labor, my mom gave birth to me in 1975. I've had some hard birthdays, 25 and 35. I've had some easy birthdays 21, 30, 34, 36, etc. But this one is both easy and hard. Easy because of the number, but hard because of life.


I make it no secret that I have depression. I am very fortunate to be able to do so and telling people has been such a rewarding experience that I don't think it's a bad thing anymore. I think it's ok for people to wrap their heads around these things today than it was back in the day. Now, I've been struggling with depression for the past few months. I had been on Celexa 20mg. Last depression was 2 years ago and the doctor and I were going to try to taper it down. I had gotten it down to 20mg from 40mg and the depression feelings came back, hard.

So, here I am 2 years later from diagnosis and I wonder, should I say anything?  Depression was nothing compared to Bipolar Disorder.  I've been wondering if I should tell my employer so that I can get accommodations if I need them.  Most of the time, I am fine... but there are some days when I just can't concentrate or get something turned in on time.  Do I ask for extended time? I mean, my boss is sick himself.  I think he would be understanding about everything and I wouldn't use it all the time.  I think my big thing is that in order to ask for some leeway, I will need to disclose that I am bipolar. 


No more Zoloft or Abilify, please!

About a month ago, I was taking Zoloft at 25mg to keep me from going into a depression.  Sure enough, the Zoloft sent me into a hypomanic state. I knew I had been stressed already and got a UTI.  The urologist gave me Levaquin, which usually works for me, but this time it gave me the side effect of depression.  So back up on the Zoloft to counteract the Levaquin. On top of that, my pdoc wanted to control the small rapid cycles that I have been having. So we started Abilify.  I had strong reservations for this, because of the last time I had taken Abilify and my reaction then.  He didn't give me the full 10mg dose, because I am so sensitive to medication and how my body reacts to how I treat it.  I was taking 5mg for 2 weeks and didn't see a difference, but Zoloft had been tapered down and I was only on Abilify and Lithium 1200mg.  Seroquel 100mg as needed at night.  After an increase of Abilify to 7.5mg, I became insanely irritated with everyone!  The kids, my sister, coworkers, etc!  I was on that for 3 days and got off as soon as my pdoc told me to.  Currently, I'm in a depression, although I've been hypomanic in the past few days.  I'm glad I'm in this depression so that it will slow me down.  I was getting way too excited about back to school and it's only June! 

Current meds: Lithium 1200mg, Seroquel 100mg as needed (which I've needed every single night), Synthroid 250mmg (down 25mmg), Vitamin D 5000 IU