Is There A Doctor In The House?

Do you ever feel there is a huge lack of Doctors that truly understand Bipolar Disorder or Mental Illness at all? I do. When I was going through everything with my dad and was extremely irrational I called mine. I was stuttering and rambling on. I was trying to explain that I needed to be there for him. I needed to feed the birds. I needed to calm down. I needed SLEEP!

He wanted me in the hospital. I laughed at him. He gave me a prescription for basically an over the counter sleep aid. The ingredient in Benadryl. Diphenhydramine HCI 50 mg, and Trazodone 100 mg. I didn’t even get the over the counter one because I already have it. I took the Trazodone and was out for 6 hours. When I woke up I couldn’t move my arms or legs. I also couldn’t speak. I used my nose to dial my sister on my cell phone and tried speaking to her. It scared the crap out of her. Two hours went by before I could move almost normally. I called the Doctor who told me to take extra Adderall to counter act the Trazodone. I’m not a lab experiment.

I think I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my meds because he never adjusted them after I told him I now only have a total kidney function of 79 %. I have LOST 120 % of kidney function. Most medications are filtered through your kidneys. He asks me everytime I go to see him “So have we tried ……… yet?” Gee you’re the Doctor don’t you know? And what’s this we shit? It’s just me suffering with these crappy side effects, not you! I’m sick of it. Why can’t they make a pill that makes me feel how alcohol did until it didn’t anymore? Sorry, I’m cranky.

It’s Been Awhile.

A fee weeks ago my father was taken to the Hospital from dialysis. He was bleeding somewhere internally. After about 3 days he discharged himself against Doctor’s orders. That Sunday he ordered me to get him suppositories at CVS. I told my sister and she yelled at me to “just do it”. Neither one of them would listen to me. I told both of them that sticking a suppository up his ass after having internal bleeding was not a good idea.

I went to CVS and got him what he wanted. I noticed something strange when I had come down the stairs that morning. 2 of the bathroom rugs were gone. I put my contacts in and saw a large amount of blood on the tiles and under the third rug. I ran out of the bathroom. I asked my dad what happened. He said “nothing”. I screamed at him. I called him a “selfish son of a bitch”. The 3 days he had been in the hospital the week before I had to water and feed his hobby of over 300 pigeons. I have a compromised immune system and 1 kidney. My sister’s husband forbade her to help me because it was hazardous. She wasn’t even “allowed” to help me with the inside of our house. He thinks we are animals.

A half hour goes by and a I hear a loud bang coming from the bathroom. I run and bang on the door. There is no answer. I force the door open and my dad is lying on the floor. I try to get him up. He opens his eyes and says “Darie please help me to the toilet”. It was at this time that I looked down and saw all the blood that had leaked through his sweat pant bottoms and onto the last carpet. I got him close to the toilet as he started to take down his pants I hear a loud splash on the floor and him landing on the toilet slumped forward. The splash was blood and tissue. He was hemorrhaging rectally. It was the brightest red I’ve ever seen and looked like it had large pieces of liver in it. I screamed and screamed. I called 911 and went and held my father’s head in my hands. They took him back to the hospital. He was there another week with no real answers as to why he was bleeding internally. I fed the birds again. It was torture. Some died. I buried them. He was mad. I yelled at him. He has to get rid them or the town will come and declare it a hazard. I know he loves them but at this point it’s too much for any one person to do let alone one that’s sick.

All of this has been too traumatic on me. I actually was more relaxed with him in the hospital. I wasn’t waiting for the other shoe to drop constantly. I know my dad loves me. Since my mother’s death and his kidney’s failing he has slowly been going down hill mentally and physically. The dad I knew would never ever say some of the things he has said to me, or threatened me. I know this is because he’s ill. But I’m always the one left to deal with all of it. When I opened that bathroom door I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest. My mind went somewhere else. I did what I had to but I wasn’t really there. I have nightmares about all the blood and him laying on floor. Just what my Conversion Disorder needed. I stuttered so much 911 didn’t understand me and went by the address that came up on their screen. I felt useless. A state trooper was looking at me while he talked to another guy. His smile was cocky, his thumbs hooked into his gun belt. I had seen him before. He twirled his finger around his temple in the “crazy” gesture. At that moment, if it wasn’t for my dad, I was going to show this asshole just how “crazy” I could be. Years ago I only dated ex-cons. They taught me quite a bit. I’m not proud of it but it would come in handy in certain situations. Like if someone enters your home during an emergency situation and thinks there is anything funny about it. But eventually I have learned Karma does indeed come back around. And eventually she’ll be waiting for me too.

“GATEWAY THEORY” & INTEGRATED TREATMENT

I had my first taste of alcohol by the age of 7. It was while sitting on my father’s knee that I asked if I could try what he was drinking. It was beer in a brown glass bottle. That’s all I remember. In another ten years I would be an alcoholic. In another 20 years I would reach and maintain sobriety for over 7 years. I still struggle. Understanding the reasons why help me in being sober. Although I admit the frustration it brings also makes me question why I stay sober.

“The Gateway Theory” has been talked about often and brought up again during campaign season. Governor Chris Christie has been the most vocal on this issue siting marijuana as the biggest drug leading to harder drug use and addiction.

Tobacco, and alcohol are also listed as gateway drugs. I personally have never known any tobacco user to decide “Gee, this nicotine isn’t working for me anymore. I think I’ll try some Meth.” I have seen people who don’t usually smoke do so when drinking. Whatever that means.

Researchers from Texas A & M and the University of Florida say it doesn’t matter which came first, it matters HOW EARLY. Kids who had their first drink in the 6th and 7th grade went on to try on average 2 illicit substances later on. Kids who waited until the 12th grade to drink only tried on average .4 illegal substances.

The first time I ever got DRUNK was in the 11th grade and I tried several illicit substances after.

Researchers can’t really tell us why kids are drinking earlier due to the factors of genetics and environment. And that is true about most studies concerning addiction and mental health.

“Integrated Treatment of Addiction and Mental Illness” is a topic that too few people are discussing.

4 Million Americans this last year suffered from Mental Health Disorders along with Substance Abuse Disorders. I know some people argue whether or not these should be labeled as “Disorders”. For today they are.

When a person suffers from substance abuse and mental health issues they are considered to have a “Dual Diagnosis”. I’m a Bipolar Alcoholic. But I suffer from so much more I don’t think there is a name yet. I do like that my Doctor has started calling it “Remission” instead of “Sober”. Takes some of the pressure off and reminds me, like a lot of health problems, it can reoccur.

2.4% of today’s workforce have been diagnosed with both mental health and addiction issues.

More than 50% of those living with a dual diagnosis did not receive any medical treatment or psychological help.

20% of people with a mental illness also has an addiction problem but Chief of The Center for Addiction and Mental Health says that’s a conservative number.

When it comes to getting care, the problem is most Providers are trained in one area and not the other. Not realizing that an addiction treatment could interact negatively with a treatment for mental health symptoms.

Organizations that are meant to support people suffering from either addiction or mental illness, not run by a medically trained staff, can also do damage.

Some addiction support groups disagree on the use of medications. Some groups only have a problem with some meds, others any medications that alter your feelings or state of mind. Example: Antipsychotics, Antianxiety, and Antidepressants. They see these meds as a crutch to the addict getting well. In fact without some of these medications addicts often relapse and do so worse than before.

As a side note: Governor Chris Christie signed a Bill in 2013 to expand the State’s production of hard liquor. Distillers would of course have to pay a $938 licensing fee. Researchers have recently recognized ALCOHOL if anything was to be a “gateway” if they had to name one thing.

ALCOHOLISM, MEDICATIONS, LYING, AND LIFE

I took a trip recently to Florida for some me time and to see a concert. About 2 months before I left I had noticed that in the mornings my behavior was horrible. I would pick fights with anyone who happened to be in front of me. This feeling would lessen as the day went on. My dad had noticed it also because I live with him.

I had looked up one of my medications, Topamax, and found many patients had the same reaction I did after being on it for a long period of time. Topamax was originally a seizure and migraine medication. Now it is used as a mood stabilizer and one part of a prescription weight loss drug.

I stopped taking it without telling my Doctor. Why didn’t I tell him? Probably because at every visit he will ask ” Have we tried you on BLANK?” How am I supposed to remember every medication he’s ever put me on? He has the computer right in front of him. I remember some of the really bad ones like Brintellix. But not all of them. I have tried at least 25 different combinations in the last 6 years plus ECT. You would think he would have my file ready before my appointment so he can see for himself what I have been on.

I started taking the Topamax again because I started having the problem. Biting everyone’s head off and my moods changing frequently. I was really good until about a week ago. I am really tired of medications. I’m tired of people asking me about my medications. “Did you take your meds today?”.

The Topamax is also used for alcoholism. It wasn’t given to me for that but was a side benefit. While I was on it I had no desire, want, or need, for alcohol. Lately I feel the opposite. I have been under an extreme amount of stress with my dad’s health, family arguments, isolation, and everyday crap. I have not drank since the one time in Florida but the need is there a little bit. I admit that when I think about it I want to vomit.

I hate when people lie to me. I know I have said this before but it continues to happen. No one wants to deal with my dad but you can bet that if something happens they will be the first ones here looking for money or anything else of value. It makes me extremely angry.

Trying to control my anger lately has been difficult. I go to my room and scream into my pillow when it gets too bad. If I wasn’t so tired, scared, and lazy I would find someone to talk to.

BE WHO U ARE. SAY WHAT U FEEL.

In the area where I live we have had another tragedy involving someone who was mentally ill committing violence on others. There were many comments made against the mentally ill man, and some for him.

He had just been released from a Psychiatric Hospital. For what reason I do not know. His family had begged the hospital not to release him.

I am not an uneducated person. I realize that funding is low for mental health. There have been large cuts in 3 of our biggest hospitals lately. My own father receives less than stellar care for his dialysis and Vasculitis. The VA is no better. That is in no way any excuse for a family’s pleas to go ignored when it involves the danger their loved one might cause others. Are there families that lie about such things? Of course there are. But they are few and far between.

On to another matter. If there is one thing I hate in this world it is someone who will not commit to what they say or mean. Say what you mean, mean what you say. It isn’t that hard of a concept.

So many people are hurt everyday when they do not need to be if they were just told the truth. Don’t spare my feelings. Just tell me the truth.

THE MESSAGE IS A KILLER

To start let me tell you my father was brought to the ER after dialysis. They had run tests and his Hemoglobin was extremely low. He also had blood in his stool. All of this scared me. My sister went to the ER to see how bad it was. I was home waiting to see if I should come. My car has something wrong with it to the point it sounds like a wheel is going to fly off. I had posted on Facebook that my dad was in the Hospital and receiving blood transfusions. I did it this way because most people do not pick up their phones for me or I really don’t want to deal with them either.

My (ex) sister in law called to find out what was going on. In the middle of my explaining she bursts out with ” I am so f*cking disappointed with you and your sister”. “How come I wasn’t called?” “I am so f*cking pissed right now!”.

At this point I let my emotions take over. My brother is far from a saint but he isn’t the monster she has convinced MY FAMILY he is. She started calling my parents “Mom” and “Poppy” right off the bat. I kind of wasn’t comfortable with it. Through out their marriage my ex sister in law was disrespectful, rude, and complained to my mother so much I believe it made her illness worse. She also slapped my mother across the face and kicked her out of their house in the middle of the night.

Even though she is no longer married to my brother she continues to worm her way to all family events and my brother isn’t invited anywhere. Their oldest daughter is diagnosed with BPD and PTSD. She has always been manipulative. My niece is a Heroin addict but I believe has not used in maybe a year. She stole my mother’s pain pills when she was dying. She has done a lot of horrible things. She just forgets them. Or thinks it doesn’t apply to her.

So when my ex sister in law stopped yelling at me I said “He isn’t your f*cking father!” “I don’t have to call you!” Was it nice? No. But her yelling and swearing while I was already stressed out didn’t make me happy.

She of course told her daughter. Her daughter then wrote to me on Facebook. I am forbidden by my sister to reply.

It’s (BLANK). I’m messaging you from here because apparently you have me blocked on my actual Facebook page. It is completely beyond me how petty and abrasive people can be. Please explain to me why you felt the need to not so kindly remind my mother of how poppy is “not her f*cking father”? This isn’t the first time you’ve done this. I will never, in all my life forget the things you said to my mother about Nanny (my mom) and how she never considered my mother a daughter. It is so unbelievably pathetic how low you have the tendency to stoop, and how childish and nasty you can be. Are you that threatened by my mom? Are you insecure about how close MY mother was to Nanny? Does it hurt you in some way to think that Nanny and Poppy could have possibly cared just as much about my mom as she did her own children? Because that’s what it looks like to me. I’m sorry you feel that way, but remember ALWAYS that my mother was, is, and will always be a member of this family. You truly believe that you can use “bipolar” as crutch for acting like an absolute asshole to the rest of the world. I am Bipolar and have PTSD just like you do. But unlike you, I don’t use my diagnoses as an excuse to whine, bitch, and complain. What a strong person with our diagnoses would do is rise above our mental deficiencies and use it as motivation to fight it and make something of ourselves. You’re completely and utterly incapable of being able to do that. What 40- something year old woman updates her Facebook status every time she gets off the couch and takes a shit? Why do you feel the need to throw every little detail about your family or your life publicly for the world to see? It’s not like you even post this shit just for your friends. Your posts are set to public. The entire world can read your twisted bullshit. How can you post about your father needing a blood transfusion, without calling family, and expect them NOT to be upset? How do you justify that being appropriate in any way? AND THEN to top it all off, you post ANOTHER status about my mom “berating” you? What’s wrong with you? Grow the f*ck up. And stop attacking what little family you even have on your side. Most people have turned away from you and taken space from you because you have been slowly and steadily, losing your f*cking mind. But my mother has consistently been there for you. She has answered your phone calls and listened to you whine, bitch and moan when nobody else would listen to you. She has been there whenever you’ve needed her. And for you to turn around and disrespect her like that? In moments like this, it sickens me to know that I’m related to you. You’re much more like my father than I ever could have thought. I hope you know that Nanny (my mom) is rolling over in her f*cking grave because of the way you are disrespecting a member of your family. She’d be disgusted. And so am I. Get your f*cking shit together. And if you can’t, then at the very least, leave people that love you out of your path of destruction, What’s wrong with you?!

WHEN YOU FALL HOW DO YOU GET UP?

I remember when I was younger I hated sleepovers. I also didn’t like to be away from my parents for too long. I had a strange habit of bouncing my head on my pillow to calm myself down at night. I would also do it in the car. My parents accepted it and so did my siblings. My mother came from a highly dysfunctional family with many mental health issues. Maybe they just thought it WAS normal.

By the time Middle School came I was now dry heaving before school everyday. The “butterflies” in my stomach were nonstop.

In my late teens I couldn’t go to the local Gas Station alone, the market, mall, or anywhere. If I couldn’t find someone to go with me, I just didn’t go. If I had to call someone I didn’t know I would try to get my mom or sister to do it for me. They did it most of the time.

When you feel like you are going throw up constantly, cry constantly, and feel different from everyone else, starting at such an early age it seems almost normal after a time. It isn’t normal. It was all far from normal.

Not many people would have understood my feelings of isolation, like I was a mistake, I never belonged anywhere or with anyone. I was always on the outside looking in. Part of me wanted to change and the other wanted to submit and give in. I tried to give in several times. I wasn’t very good at it.

I started drinking at 17 and continued until I was 37. I quit cold turkey and didn’t slip once until a few days ago.

I should have known that I couldn’t handle the environment I was going into on my own. A concert where everyone is drinking. I always drank at concerts. It took 30 minutes before I hit the bar. I was in a different state, far from home, alone and without my Bipolar medications. My nose spray exploded on the plane and had seeped into my medication bottles, causing them to dissolve or crumble. I could manage to take a few but not many. I knew I was in a Manic Episode when I booked the vacation. I tried to back out but the Travel company wouldn’t let me.

These are not excuses they are just facts. I’m trying to deal with the shame and guilt. It’s extremely hard. Seven years was a long time for me. But I have no desire to drink, I didn’t then either. I just felt so out of place, I felt like people were staring at me because I was alone. I could feel the blood rushing to my head and my hands were ice cold. So I drank. Having to start over is the worse feeling. I know why I did it and I don’t want to do it again. What I have to do is talk to someone about feeling better in my own skin. The self destructive thought of never being “good enough” no matter what and then trying to prove that I am is exhausting.

So I need to get into a program or one on one counseling to deal with these and other issues. I won’t give up. I have seen other people looking so happy in life, I have to stop thinking that I don’t deserve to feel the same. I’m being honest and I know I have disappointed many people. I disappointed myself the most.