Good grief...
I'm not really dead
Why is that every time I think things have made a turn for the better, reality kicks me in the teeth? Damnation!

Long story short, scary things are going on:

~ Boyfriend's business is almost making no money, so he can't pay his bills. He hasn't paid his March rent yet and doesn't know when he will be able to. He's barely getting by on unemployment. I can only do so much to help feed him. I feel helpless, useless, and worthless because I can't do anything other than watch him drown.

~ Because my mental health recovery is going relatively well, I barely qualify to stay living where I am. If they kick me out before I get a job, I'm screwed (my SSD isn't enough to live on unless I get an apartment in an area of the city where I'll be too scared to go home). I'm looking into another program through the same agency that has a rent subsidy, but there are people that have been in my current program for a whole lot more years than me that they're trying to get into that program first. Seems I need to relapse in order to not be homeless. Not that it's the route I want to go, but I'm so stressed out, who knows?

~ I want to work; I really, really do. Every time I think a lot about going back to work, I have nightmares about it (as in being back in the workforce and ending up in a pile of tears and probably breaking down again, though I wake up before the impending breakdown gets a chance to happen). I haven't had a real job since mid-2007 when I had my breakdown (insert self-hating remark here).

~ Apparently I can't forbear my student loans anymore. I thought maybe I could (wasn't sure since I lost track of how much time I had used up), but I applied for another year and got a month. My loans are technically in repayment now and I wouldn't have known if I didn't check my online profile on my consolidator's web site yesterday. Thanks for telling me AES! Not that I could magically repay you anything right now anyway since my housing program gets 85% of my monthly income. I'm applying for a deferral (I think I still have 2 years that I can do that). My student loan consolidator doesn't give a crap that I've been on SSD since 2008. Their standard of disability (and thus inability to work and pay back loans) is stricter than the government's standards of awarding me disability. Their standard of disability discharge is the inability to ever work a single hour for the rest of my life; I can't prove that, so no go on loan discharge.

All of that crap outweighs the fact that my bankruptcy became officially discharged last week. Oh, how I wish student loans were included in that! Apparently my non-student loan debt was smaller than I thought it was (one account showed up twice because it was sold a million times, but the amounts were slightly different so at first I didn't make the connection they they were one and the same). So, the discharged amount was somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000. Too bad that my student loan debt is now $54,000+.

Why did I even go to college? I have 2 degrees and all they're doing is sitting on my shelf in frames looking pretty. I can count on one hand the number of people from college that still take to me (pretty sad since I went to 2 colleges).

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!
Kenny drumming
As of today, I am the proud owner of a legit Internet connection. I had to revamp my budget (and probably eliminated necessary stuff, but oh well). Besides, since I just had my bankruptcy hearing last week, I feel the need to establish to the world (and me) that I can actually pay for something on a monthly basis.

So, anyone out there that still uses AIM can feel free to contact me. Just please remind me who you are since I don't even remember the last time I used it (I'm guessing before I moved to Rochester, which was 2008). I'm also here (duh) and on Facebook.

ED stuff
Emotion Sickness
I alluded to this a little in my prior post, but it's hard to know how I should feel since it's different than normal. The ED is trying to nudge itself back into control, but it's different (I have an appointment with my PCP on October 5th; hopefully she has some ideas). My usual pattern of behavior is not being hungry or caring if I ingest anything. However, for the past month, I've been hungry/thirsty (especially thirsty) on a pretty constant basis. I've gained a couple pounds, but that's still in an ok range, so I'm not stressing over that (in fact, my psych NP likes it).

So, I'm trying to figure out how to balance things out. If I stuff my face whenever I feel hungry/thirsty, my weight will balloon up in no time and I will start doing bad things again. Once upon a time, I actually was overweight (My BMI at it's highest was 30.99 thanks to the likes of Depakote ER and Zyprexa, and I think over 30 is actually considered obese for a female). Right now, my BMI is right around 22 (that's healthy). But, I don't want to fight the hunger urges so much that I lapse back into restriction anyway. So, in a way, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. *sigh*

And before anyone asks, no possibility of pregnancy. I take my pill religiously (and my period started today, right on time).

Suggestions? Comments?

I caved...
Kenny drumming
I asked my NP for sleep meds. It's not the same as going back on psych meds (which I'm still ok without them), but since she's my psych prescriber, I feel defeated that I'm getting meds for her. No one can (or will) do anything about my pain issues, and being in pain is why my sleep sucks (imagine consecutive days of not getting to sleep until 3am or 4am and having to be on the bus at 9am. It's not pretty after awhile.

So, she gave me a prescription for Lunesta (1mg QHS PRN). The people at East House that logged in my medication decided to be idiots and toss out the info thing that the pharmacy prints and sends along. So, I did some Internet searching (not like I had another choice to get information). My NP told me about the bad taste in your mouth thing (just what someone with an ED diagnosis needs; I really don't need to relapse there, especially since I've been struggling with it lately). I also found out that a lot of people have issues with nightmares/vivid dreams (knock on wood that this doesn't do bad things with the PTSD). I also saw that some people do things in their sleep and don't remember (oh joy).

So, armed with all that oh-so-wonderful information, I decided that I'm not going to try taking it until the next time that my boyfriend spends the night. That way, if something bad or weird happens, someone will be there with me.

Anyone out there taken or taking Lunesta? Thoughts/experiences? Good/bad/ugly?

No more meds!
Kenny drumming
As of today, I am psych med free! I could see my NP was very reluctant to do it, but I agreed to let her know if things happened and she thought I needed meds again. I told her I really didn't like the side effects (drowsiness and dizziness). Besides, I rapid cycle whether or not there are meds in my system. I do think I've gotten a better handle on things through therapy (individual and group) and I want to see what being med-free is like. Since I started taking meds in 2000, I've only been free of meds for a 4-month period in 2008; I went back on when I crashed and was hospitalized with what (I think) was a mixed episode; I don't remember, I just remember how freaked out and out of control I felt. Since then, I have been in a group home (and now a supported single apartment), have been in all sorts of groups, and finally have a therapist that I really get along with and can actually talk to and show emotion with (which tells me I must trust her if I'm willing to cry in front of her).

If not for the fact that meds suck for me, this wouldn't be such a big deal. Since I started taking meds in 2000, I've been on 40 meds for psych. If you count the 2 that I had bad withdrawal symptoms from, I had adverse reactions to 24 of them. And, I can't say for sure that any of them actually helped me. The reactions were both medical and psych-related and all over in terms of degree of bad (little stuff from double/blurry vision and weight changes to big stuff like cardiac changes and seizures). So, since the meds do me more harm than good, I'd love to not have to take them anymore.

So, fingers crossed that this works out!

Seeing a new doc *sigh*
Kenny drumming
I got referred to a new doc to try and figure out why I continue to seize. So, next month I'm seeing a psychologist through the Strong Epilepsy Center. I'm not happy that I got referred to a psych professional, but I guess it's better than nothing. I still think there's a large medical component (if not the entire reason) to why I seize. Since I already see a psychologist for psychotherapy related to actual psych issues (and I'm not ditching her), I'm not sure how this will even work. I talked to this guy on the phone and he said I can come for a consultation and we'll go from there.

All the doctors seems to think this is purely a psychiatric thing; that my seizures are stress and anxiety induced. If that's the case, can somebody enlighten me as to why I DIDN'T have a seizure a couple weeks ago after watching someone get jumped on the bus I was on (on the way to a psych appointment of all places)? After the driver pulled over to call the cops when punches were being thrown, I bolted from the bus and walked the rest of the way to the clinic. I was in tears, hyperventilating, and about a step away from a panic attack. If the psych theory was true, I should've been convulsing in the middle of Main Street and not even made it to Unity. Thanks to a lovely thing called PTSD, I can't even watch an assault. Just hearing people argue loudly freaks me out and I have to get out.

I'm trying really hard to go into this with an open mind. On the other hand, I can't take many more people telling me that this is because I'm crazier than I thought (and I think I'm way out there). I don't actually know if the doc is a straight psych psychologist or a neuropsychologist since he sees patients mostly in behavioral health (and at the Epilepsy Center once a week).

I know I have psych problems. I have a bunch of diagnoses (which I think the list needs to be revised, but that's neither here nor there). I know I'm a wackjob; they don't put normal people in locked psych units 11 times in a 2 1/2 year span. I also know that when you carry even a single psych label, doctors look at you differently. Since I have a few, I know I'm basically screwed from the moment I walk in.

I have theories, but they don't care. I think there's a cardiac component. The 24-hour Holter wasn't absent of findings. I think I may become more sound sensative before I seize, but I haven't paid close enough attention to see if that's consistent, so I'm still working on that part. I keep repeating over and over what I feel every time I'm about to seize. I've also explained that these are different from medication-induced seizures I've had. I'm going to spell it out here again:

- Generally no warning.
- A couple days of awareness lost, to the point that I wake up not knowing where I am, what happened, or what day it is (I guess and am always wrong).
- According to my dad, I was practically psychotic after a Zyprexa-induced seizure (my fault; I overdosed on it) and had to be forcibly restrained.

Whatever is going on now:
- Same warning every time (heart rate spikes up and nothing I do calms it down, shakiness, stomach feels funny).
- No awareness lost. I know where I am, what happened, and what day it is when I wake up. I also feel embarassed and more often than not cry because I'm so embarassed.
- After the seizure I'm tired and physically drained for the rest of the day. Usually comes with a headache, too.

I took a different approach this year to convince doctors and myself that I'm not working myself up into a seizure (the self-fulfilling prophecy thing). So, I've not been making efforts to make myself safe (stop what I'm doing, lie down, that sort of thing). That led to my faceplanting off of an elevator at the Eastman Community Music School (right before my clarinet lesson, which I didn't make it to since I felt like crap fterward), and bashing into my bedroom wall that I had rolled into and was bouncing off of (who knows how much more I would've been hurt had my boyfriend not been there to pull me away from the wall). I mentioned this to my PCP last time I saw her and didn't get much reaction.

Personal life type stuff...Collapse )

I'm not really dead
I had my follow-up with the new neurologist on 1/10. There's a wasted hour I'll never get back.

I spoke to the resident first. Other than doing the standard neuro exam, not much. Other than the seizures, I told him that I drop things a lot. No response. He asked me about my right hand tremor; I told him I was cold (which I was; it was freezing in there). I was already getting the vibe that this was pointless.

Then his attending came in. He went on the soapbox abut my problems being anxiety-related. He talked about involuntary physical reactions to anxiety (stomach butterflies, sweating, heart rate increase, blah blah blah). He asked if I get butterflies a lot when I get anxious. I said no (because I usually don't; instead I feel like I have to pee NOW). He said "Well, I'm sure that you do", then continued on. At this point, I tuned him out because I already knew he didn't believe me. He said that they can't do anything because I have no neurological problem (2 different LTM stays with V-EEG showed no electric seizure activity). I asked "OK, then what do I do from here?" He told me to keep doing what I'm doing, then he was done with me.

And people wonder why I HATE most doctors. I love my primary care doc, my GYN, and my dentist; the rest can go away and I wouldn't care. :(

Self Injury Cover Up- A New Year to Cover Up My Past
I have scars, about 2 years old, from self injury using a knife. I've done so much work to move on from the damage I've inflicted so many years ago. I still have episodes of depression and mania that bring me down that low, but I've used the fact that if I cut, I know I'll be kicked out of med school, as my motivation. And it's worked. But now, I look back on some of the things I want back in my life. I used to do martial arts- the only 'sport' that I was even remotely passionate about, and helped me get out my emotional turmoil. BUT, unfortunately, they make you roll up your sleeves and my arms are filled with cuts; cuts I don't ever want my fellow classmates to see. True, later in clinical I might have to roll up my sleeves, but I'll wait and see until that moment comes. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas to COVER up my scars. Treatments won't work (I've tried everything including laser). My scars are a lighter colour than my skin tone (darker). It's like my skin is a naturally tanned colour, but the scars are whiter. Anyone with any ideas to help me with this, would be very appreciated. It's a new year and I'd love to get back into martial arts instead of realizing that I can't ever do it again.

spinning tires
it's 5:11am and I've been up since 4 something or other. went to bed around 11pm so i guess that isn't too bad. it just seems like i should be getting more sleep. I ook my 80mg geodon, 2 klonopin (.5mg), 200mg topomax and 2 ambien. I'm on seroquel bt i can't stand the  fact that i mkes me sleep anywhere from 8-19 hours and i never know how long it will be. my pdoc is on vaca for the week so i can't talk to her about it right now, not till the 3rd. She had mentioned takng me offf the exxtended release but didn't and it's just too much coupled with the everything else i take.

I had a wonderful christmas, so I migh still be riding highoff time will tell.

Hello everybody (kinda long...)
Kenny drumming
Hello. I'm Rachel. I'm 30 years old, live in NY, and spend my time either going to appointments or playing music (I'm a multiple woodwind player; clarinet specialist). Because of psych stuff, I've been on Social Security Disability for the past 3 years (it was awarded in February of 2008, only 7 weeks after I applied for it). I'm diagnosed with Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder (questionable IMO), and ED-NOS (Mood Disorder NOS may still be there, I'm not sure). Diagnoses that should be there are PTSD and possibly OCD. I've gone through almost 10 diagnosis changes since I broke into the system in 2000.

I think the medical issues are getting to me more than the psych stuff at the moment, but they screw with each other. I have a seizure disorder. Since nothing shows up on EEG, neurology tells me that my seizures are automatically psychogenic (pseudo seizures basically). So, rather than trying to find a medical cause (because TONS of things can cause seizures), I was told to deal with it with my therapist. I actually heard an ER doc says that I was making it up (he didn't know I heard him). I'm seeing a different neurologist in January, so hopefully he isn't also a jerk and will try to help me. I don't buy into the psych causation of the seizures. When they happen, I'm not stressed out or anxious beforehand (although I get anxious when I know they're about to happen). The one commonality I find with them is that my heart rate shoots up and nothing I can do brings it back down. I know in the past when I have had seizures due to medication changes (either the dose was too high or the med didn't like me), I know those were different because I lost a couple days when those happened.

I used to be productive. I had a job for 9 years (Burger King; crew for 9 years and management for 7 of them). I hated it, but it was a job. I was a volunteer EMT for 6 years (loved it), but I can't get a job doing that without a driver's license (no one will hire you since you have to drive as a paid EMT here). I just started an IPRT program to try and figure out what I can do for work. Part of my problem is that my self-confidence and self-esteem are shattered into tiny little pieces and scattered throughout the world. Therefore, I think I suck at everything and will screw everything up.

At least musically I'm kinda productive. I play in a community orchestra and I'm taking clarinet lessons at the Eastman Community Music School (affiliated with the Eastman School of Music, but I'm not a degree student and I pay a ton less than the full-time students pay). I have 2 college degrees and likely will never use them (BS Accounting, BA Music; I was in an MBA program, but I crashed and burned and dropped out before I could fail out).

I guess that's it for now. I could go on, but it's midnight and I should go to bed. Good luck with that; I don't sleep well, no matter what mood I'm in.

EDIT: Oh yeah, feel free to friend me; I enjoy reading journals and comment whenever I can. I encourage the same in return. :)


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