My Journey With:

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) ~ Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) ~ Focal Impaired Awareness (Complex Partial) Seizures ~ Fibromyalgia ~ Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) ~ TMJ Dysfunction ~ Bipolar Disorder Type I ~ Migraines ~ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ~ Keratosis Pilaris (KP) ~ Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) ~ Panic Disorder ~ Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) ~ Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) ~ Non-suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI or SI) ~ Painful Piezogenic Pedal Papules ~ Hashimoto's Thyroiditis ~ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ~ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ~ Multiple Phobias ~ Chronic Headaches

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Pictures

January



February



March




April




May



June



July



August



September



October



November



December



Monday, December 30, 2013

Missing y'all

Tonight I'm really missing some people that I've lost.  Some of these people I've lost this year, some a few years ago, and some many years ago.  I thought I'd share their picture and a short bit about them, to keep their memory alive, here on my blog tonight.

Grandpa
 My Grandpa, my mom's dad, was the type of guy you could count on for anything; he was very smart and had a big heart.  Grandpa was a Korean War Navy veteran.  He loved his country, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and was an active member of the Catholic Church in the town he lived in.

Grandma
I won't beat around the bush and pretend I liked my Grandma, my mom's mom, or that she liked me.  However, my Grandpa loved her very much.  She passed away from early-onset Alzheimer's, which is seven times more hereditary than normal Alzheimer's.

Glenda
My friend Glenda was a funny, compassionate woman who put her four kids first.  She worked hard while going to school and raising four children as a single mother; unfortunately she only got to work a few years with her new degree before she passed away.

Aunt Gloria
This is my favorite picture of my Aunt Gloria, my dad's sister; it's circa early 1990s.  She's so beautiful in it, and it's how I like remembering her.  She lived a hard life, and was one of the best and hardest working women you'd ever meet. She'd not only give you the shirt off her back, but she'd boil water to wash it first.  She was my dad's sister, and helped raise him.  I will always remember her with love.

Uncle Bob
Uncle Bob, Aunt Gloria's husband, was an awesome guy who very recently passed away.  I have fond memories of him teasing Aunt Gloria.  He was both a brother and father to my dad.

Uncle Little Bud
My dad's brother, Uncle Little Bud, passed away about the same time Glenda did.  He had a lot of children he left behind, including two small children-who are not so small anymore.  I miss him and his ornery sense of humor.

Nippy
Nippy was my sister's dog that she had as we grew up.  She was very sweet, and Togy's best friend in the world.

Togy
Togy was my very best friend, after Jim, in my whole life.  No matter what was going on, Togy was there for me.  He even got depressed when I did, whether he saw me or not.  We were spiritually linked.  He still watches over me today.  He passed away at age 19, but will stay alive in my heart forever.

Grandpa Ezra
I don't know much about Grandpa Ezra, other than he died of Leukemia at age 66 and that he married my Grandma Cles when he was in his 30s and she was entirely too young.  But, to his credit, things were not only different back then, but I'm talking about the deep Ozark Mountains, as well.  He was a handsome man and was reportedly very strong.

Grandma Cles
I don't have any pictures of Grandma Cles when she was young, only a few pictures of her in the last decade of her life.  She fought breast cancer and recovered, despite going to a butcher of a "doctor," only to pass away from lung cancer.

 
My Great Aunts

I can't ever remember which of my Great Aunts are which, so I won't include any names.  I never knew them well.


As this year comes to a close, I am mindful of all the people I have lost.  At the beginning of the year I want to take a look at new beginnings, but now, at the close of 2014, I wanted to whisper good-byes.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Starting myfitnesspal

Today was a nice day, except for my shower, where I almost had a seizure and Jim had to help out by getting quickly my medication to me.  I decided that in January 2014 my monthly goals are as follows:
  • cook or bake one thing this month
  • lose three pounds
  • do my trigger point releases three to five times a week
  • meditate daily, even if it's for a short time before falling asleep
I think this list is definitely doable, but it will take some work.  As of today I've already started keeping track of what and how much I eat on myfitnesspal on my Kindle; calories, fat, carbs, fiber, etc.  To start with, my goal is 1750 calories a day, though I may drop it.  Right now it's past midnight and I don't plan on eating anymore tonight.  I was under by 421 calories; I had 1329 calories today.  Regardless of the fact that I weight much more than I wish I did, I really don't think I eat a whole lot, though sometimes I really splurge on chocolate.  I need to reign that in, and only eat chocolate tiny bits at time.  I think I can do that.  Regardless, a woman only really needs 1200 calories if she is sedentary (which is me), so I think the 1329 I got today was still acceptable.  I still have that normal constant feeling of guilt like I ate too much today, though.  Of course that's just a calorie count, and not a fiber and fat count.
myfitnesspal
I am using myfitnesspal on my Kindle

I've been hurting a lot since winter set in.  I've been on Facebook a lot and back on Twitter more often again to keep my mind off the pain.  It's been hard to get back to my pen pals but tomorrow I really want to just try and get through it.  I started on one letter tonight, and think I may be able to get it and another letter done tomorrow, unless my hands are in incredible pain.

After the New Year I want to get in to Occupational Therapy.  I'm a bit worried since our car doesn't always run, but it's really important to me to start it.  I need some type of scissors that is easier for me to hold, and I'm hoping I can learn about that and other stuff that could help me in therapy.

My hands are absolutely killing me, and my Aspercreme isn't helping any, so I'm going to end this now.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A good book, a visible toll, a lonely life, and seizure auras

I just finished reading this book called The Nero Decree by Gregory Lee, and my mind is still immersed in it.  I finished it this morning.  I thought it was around 3:30 am or maybe even 4:00 am when I finished the book, but when I turned out my nightstand light, I realized that my light wasn't what was lighting up the room; the sun was already up and I hadn't even noticed it happening.  It took quite awhile to fall asleep.  I had nightmares all night, and woke up this morning bathed in sticky sweat, my hair wet, a feeling of barely being able to breathe, and a sense of panic and confusion.

I'm a bit depressed about how I look these days.  To get a picture with color in my face it seems I have to take a photo when I'm either really hot, just out of the shower, or wearing makeup.  I've been looking at a lot of my recent pictures, and my face isn't there anymore--it's the face of an pale, older, sick woman.  That's what I see, at least.  The pain, the depression, the loneliness caused from pain stopping me from living my life the way I want...it's taking a visible toll on me.

I had a seizure this morning, a partial complex one.  Afterwards I didn't know where I was.  I thought I was either it my childhood home in the Ozarks, or I was in Berlin, Germany, where The Nero Decree took place.  It's really common to not know where you are after a seizure and to be really confused.  It's really scary, too.  Sometimes DH, after he has a seizure, doesn't recognize our house and wonders where we are.  I feel so bad for him, but all I can do is calm him and tell him where he is, that he's safe, and know that in a few moments he will either be asleep or the confusion will start to fade.  I'd do anything to take his seizures away.  I have about one a week, he has two or three a day.  When I'm at my best I have one every three months, and when I'm at my worst I have three or four a week.  I've seen DH have as many as ten a day for months, during periods of extreme stress.

I worry so much about losing him from him being knocked in the head or just brain damage from the seizure itself.  It really doesn't worry me so much about my seizures, because I'm usually stuck home all the time, and the worst injury I've gotten so far, was a dislocated toe, severe neck pain, of course knocking my head into things, usually walls, but nothing serious.  DH has been in life threatening situations, like hanging from his foot upside down from basement stairs.  He's also been beaten and physically attacked more than once during a seizure.  I have partial complex epilepsy.  I have partial complex seizures, and partial seizures with secondary generalization, that lead to tonic clonic (formerly called grand mal) seizures.

He almost always has an aura (warning a seizure is going to attack), but often I don't.  When I do, a lot of times it is only 5-10 seconds before it happens.  Sometimes, usually during periods of severe acute stress, we've had seizures together at the same time.  Stress seems to be both of our biggest risk factors.

On the subject of auras, and because November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, I want to share what WebMD has to say on auras.

Aura is the term used to describe symptoms that may occur before a seizure. An aura may include:
  • Visual changes. Examples include:
  • Bright lights.
  • Zigzag lines.
  • Slowly spreading spots.
  • Distortions in the size or shape of objects.
  • Blind or dark spots in the field of vision.
  • Hearing voices or sounds (auditory hallucinations).
  • Strange smells (olfactory hallucinations).
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling on one side of your face or body.
  • Feeling separated from your body.
  • Anxiety or fear.
  • Nausea.
An aura is often the first sign that you are going to have a seizure. You may have an aura from several seconds up to 60 minutes before a seizure. Most people who have auras have the same type of aura every time they have a seizure.

Sometimes auras are scarier than the seizure itself.  Some people's auras don't make sense unless you are experiencing it then.  For instance, some people can smell a color.  The aura I usually get before a bad seizure is that of being crushed to death by smell.  It doesn't make sense unless you are experiencing it, remember, it's like a lightning storm is going off in your brain.  All sorts of weird sensations can happen. Most of my auras involve smell being overpowering, but I only have the sensation of being crushed by smells before a tonic clonic.

I'm in so much more pain now than I was even 20 minutes ago.  My body temperature is totally unregulated lately.  I'm so hot, cold, hot, cold, that I'm sure I'm running up the gas and electric both.  I usually wear a pashmina shawl in the day at home to try and regulate my temperature.  It's lightweight, soft, and I can take it on and off easily.  I'm not sure why other spoonies don't do this.


I'm a mess lately, too.  I can't even finish a meal without feeling sick.  The only thing I can eat is strawberry frosted mini-wheats in skim milk; though I prefer almond milk, it's too expensive.  Every other food is a huge ordeal to attempt to eat, even other cereals, and I can very rarely finish anything.  So, I eat one or two bowls of cereal every day, some days I attempt to eat something else and then end up feeling really sick, and I make sure to take lots and lots of vitamins and drink lots of water, like normal. Hopefully this problem eating will resolve itself soon, and I can eat normal again.

My head is going to explode it hurts so bad.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Life Experience

You've Experienced 44% of Life
You have a good deal of life experience, about as much as someone in their late 20s.
You've seen and done enough to be quite wise, but you still have a lot of life to look forward to.
Regardless of your age, you may feel like you are still getting started.
Don't forget to look back at how far you've come. You've traveled a lot further than you might think.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Feminism

You Are 96% Feminist
You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Giving me a nervous breakdown

I've been so very stressed lately.  At least part, and often all of the day I feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown.  I have been purposely not blogging about it, but I feel it's gotten so bad that it has to now come up in a blog.  I can't give details, because I don't wish to hurt anyone, but a person I know online has been telling me things that I just not am equipped to handle, especially considering I have my own mental illnesses to contend with, e.g. bipolar and C-PTSD.  Some of the things I've been told are major triggers for me, and have made it very hard to resist self-injury.  Though it is so difficult to resist self-injury, I've been able to fight off the urge to do it for a long time now.  Unfortunately, it gets harder and harder to resist.  Some of the things I've been told have caused my flashbacks to be incredibly bad in the last few months, way worse than usual.  I just don't think I can take it anymore.  I really don't want to lose this person as a friend, I just don't know how to say I can't take it anymore, when almost all conversations seem to consist of that, even though I try to draw conversations to other subjects.  I love this person very much, I just can't take anymore of this kind of talk and I'm at a loss on how to say it.  Every time I talk to her I cry hours afterwards. Lately, I've been avoiding this person, but I can't do that forever.

Here are the signs of a nervous breakdown and I have them all.  The ones I have usually, like mood swings from my bipolar, are way worse than normally.

Mental Health: Signs of Nervous Breakdown

Depressive symptoms

Anxiety

Extreme mood swings

☒ Hallucinations

 Panic attacks

 Paranoia

 Social withdrawal

 Flashbacks of a traumatic event

DH is out getting kitty food, and while the kitties are awake right now, they are barely awake.  It's usually kitty nap time by 3:00, so I'm surprised they are awake.  I think they are awake because their Daddy is gone, and they want to wait until he comes home.

I'm in a lot of pain, right before DH left I asked him if I took my medication, and he reminded me that I took it about three hours ago, which is plenty enough time for the medicine to have kicked in.  Ugh.  He gave me a big ibuprofen before he left, and said by the time he gets back (he has other errands to do, too) I'll be able to take my afternoon dose of my meds.  I gave him complete charge of my meds once my brain fog set in really bad, because I could no longer remember when or if I took any medication.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It's been rainy day after rainy day lately.  For those of you in the Pacific Northwest (or any place it rains a lot) it is normal, but lots of rain is usually a seasonal thing where I live.  It almost always rains a lot in Autumn, and the only good thing about it is, with a lot of rain comes lots of beautiful colored leaves.  My bones and joints have been screaming at me, especially my knees and feet.  I'm not sure if my feet have anything to do with the rain or not, because they are often one of my body parts in the most severe pain.  I guess I'd have to say feet, hips, shoulders, and hands are my worst body parts.  All the rest of me hurts, too, but those are the most severe body parts.

I still don't "hate my body," though.  As far as I'm concerned, my body is doing the absolute best she can, under less than optimal situations.  The same for my mind.  Even though I have mental illness, e.g. bipolar, I don't hate my brain, because she tries her best to kick bipolar's ass, even when she is not successful.  I would like to change my weight (and wrinkles in my neck, oh my!), but that seems minor with all that is going on in my life.  I know that it will help the rest of me, e.g. bipolar, EDS, fibro, but I think just exercising and eating better is the first step.  It's really hard to eat well when I'm too sick to cook, and DH is often too sick to cook because of his own disabilities.  (Remember, he is also on disability.)  We end up eating a lot of chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and frozen pizza.  I'm trying to come up with a plan where we can eat healthy, cheaply, and cook ahead of time when Jim is having a good day, or even something I can help with.

I can't wait until Christmas!  I want so many different things for so many people.  I'm so very ecstatic!  DH has a birthday in December and I've already got all is presents.  Of course, I can't say what they are, on the off chance that he reads this.  I just can say I'm so excited!

Well, I am making a great deal of progress on writing my pen pals back, so I think I'll go back to that.  Today I mailed a letter to a friend in the state of Michigan, and DH needs to go to the post office to mail a letter to Italy.  I think I can get my sister, another letter to Italy, and a letter to the state of Indiana done tonight before I can get to bed.  I'm off to write!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And Hippies...Oh My!

By the way, I usually do smell like incense.

You are a Hippie
You are a total hippie. While you may not wear Birkenstocks or smell of incense, you have the soul of a hippie.
You don't trust authority, and you do as you please. You're willing to take a stand, even when what you believe isn't popular.

You like to experiment with ideas, lifestyles, and different subcultures.
You always gravitate toward what's radical and subversive. Normal, mainstream culture doesn't really resonate with you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Schizophrenia (NOT the same as Multiple Personality Disorder!) Screening Quiz

Mental Illness Awareness Week
October 6th-12th, 2013



Schizophrenia (NOT the same as Multiple Personality Disorder!) Screening Quiz
If you answer yes to many of questions you may have schizophrenia-specific disorder, such as Schizophreniaor schizophreniform disorder, which is NOT the same thing as MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder).  MPD isn't even a diagnosis. that is currently used by mental health practitioners.

  • I feel that others control what I think and feel.
  • I hear or see things that others do not hear or see.
  • I feel it is very difficult for me to express myself in words that others can understand.
  • I feel I share absolutely nothing in common with others, including my friends and family.
  • I believe in more than one thing about reality and the world around me that nobody else seems to believe in.
  • Others don't believe me when I tell them the things I see or hear.
  • I can't trust what I'm thinking because I don't know if it's real or not.
  • I have magical powers that nobody else has or can explain.
  • Others are plotting to get me.
  • I find it difficult to get a hold of my thoughts.
  • I am treated unfairly because others are jealous of my special abilities.
  • I talk to another person or other people inside my head that nobody else can hear.
For a more in-depth questionnaire (the one this one was taken from) please go to Psych Central's Schizophrenia Screening page.  It may prompt you to see a therapist for therapy, and/or a doctor for medication.


For more information on Schizophrenia see:


Schizophrenia Facts
Schizophrenia Facts and Statistics
Understanding Schizophrenia and Recovery
Myths and Facts About Schizophrenia
MSN Healthy Living 10 Things to Know About Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia Web Centers
WebMD Schizophrenia Health Center
Mayo Clinic Schizophrenia
MedicineNet Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia Magazines
Sane Your Mind Matters
SZ Magazine


Cultural and Social Groups
Schizophrenia: The Impact of Race on Diagnosis
Schizophrenia May Be Overdiagnosed in Black Patients
Schizophrenia Among Hispanics: Epidemiology, Phenomenology, Course, and Outcome
Asian Mental Health and Wellness: Introduction to Schizophrenia
Early Onset Schizophrenia
Mental Health Issues among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) People
Mental Illness Policy: 250,000 Mentally Ill are Homeless. The number is increasing.
Prelapse Magazine: Schizophrenia and HomelessnessMake the Connection: Schizophrenia [in Veterans]
NAMI Mental Health In the Military
List of People With Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia occurring with other medical conditions
Schizophrenia and Pregnancy
Treating Schizophrenia During Pregnancy
Post-partum Depression
Are Schizophrenia and Autism Close Relations?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bipolar (Manic Depression) Screening Quiz

Mental Illness Awareness Week
October 6th-12th, 2013



Bipolar (also called Manic Depression) Screening Quiz
If you answer yes to many of these questions you may have bipolar (also called manic depression).

  • At times I am much more talkative or speak much faster than usual.
  • There have been times when I was much more active or did many more things than usual.
  • I get into moods where I feel very 'speeded-up' or irritable.
  • There have been times when I have felt both high (elated) and low (depressed) at the same time.
  • I have been much more interested in sex than usual.
  • My self-confidence ranges from great self-doubt to equally great overconfidence.
  • There have been GREAT variations in the quantity or quality of my work.
  • For no apparent reason I sometimes have been VERY angry or hostile.
  • I have periods of mental dullness and other periods of very creative thinking.
  • At times I am greatly interested in being with people and at other times I just want to be left alone with my thoughts.
  • I have had periods of great optimism and other periods of equally great pessimism.
  • I have had periods of tearfulness and crying and other times when I laugh and joke excessively. 

For a more in-depth questionnaire (the one this one was taken from) please go to Psych Central's Bipolar Screening page.  It may prompt you to see a therapist for therapy, and/or a doctor for medication.

For more information on Bipolar see:


Bipolar Facts
Medline Plus Bipolar Disorder
Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Recovery
Psych Central Bipolar Disorder Fact Sheet
Myths and Facts About Depression and Bipolar Disorder
International Bipolar Foundation Facts About Bipolar
American Psychiatric Association Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
Help Guide Bipolar Disorder Signs & Symptoms
NIMH Bipolar Disorder
List of People With Bipolar
Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance: Bipolar Disorder Statistics


Bipolar Web Centers
WebMD Bipolar Disorder Health Center
About.com Bipolar
MedicineNet Bipolar
MayoClinic Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar Magazines
BP Hope
Esperanza Hope to Cope With Anxiety and Depression
Anchor Magazine for Depression and Anxiety
Sane Your Mind Matters


Cultural and Social Groups
NAMI Child and Adolescent Bipolar Disorder
Facts About [Teens With] Bipolar Disorder
AACAP Facts About Children And Teens With Bipolar Disorder
Military Pathways Articles About Bipolar Disorder
NAMI Mental Health In the Military
Mental Health Issues among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) People
Mental Illness Policy: 250,000 Mentally Ill are Homeless. The number is increasing.
PsychCentral Women & Bipolar Disorder
WebMD Women With Bipolar Disorder
PsychCentral In Bipolar, Women Lean Toward Depression, Men Toward Mania
Health: Bipolar Disorder Is Different for Women
PubMed Current issues: women and bipolar disorder
PubMed Women and Bipolar Disorder Across the Life Span
CBS Experts: Bipolar Disorder Often Goes Undiagnosed In African-Americans
Womenshealth.gov Minority Women's Health: Mental health problems and suicide
Stigma haunts mentally ill Latinos
Increased Metabolic Syndrome Risk for Asian Bipolar Patients
PRIDE Institute Bipolar Disorder
The Gazette Experts look to bipolar disorder part of homelessness equation
Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation What is Juvenile Bipolar Disorder?
National Association of School Psychologists Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: Early Onset
The Balanced Mind Foundation About Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
Mayo Clinic Bipolar disorder in children: Is it possible?
About.com Diagnosis of Early Onset Bipolar Disorder
About.com Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder – Beyond Obscurity
The Bipolar Child
PsychCentral Is Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder Simply Normal Childhood?


Bipolar occurring with other medical conditions
NAMI Pregnancy and Depression
NAMI Post-partum Depression
WebMD Bipolar Disorder in Pregnancy
NAMI Managing Pregnancy and Bipolar Disorder
PschCentral Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy
CNN Health Do pregnancy and bipolar disorder mix?
How to Handle Bipolar Disorders During Pregnancy in 12 Steps
Bipolar Disorder In Pregnancy & Postnatal

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Depression Screening Quiz

Mental Illness Awareness Week
October 6th-12th, 2013


Depression Screening Quiz
If you answer yes to many of these questions you may have depression.

  • I do things slowly.
  • My future seems hopeless.
  • It is hard for me to concentrate on reading.
  • The pleasure and joy has gone out of my life.
  • I have difficulty making decisions.
  • I have lost interest in aspects of life that used to be important to me.
  • I feel sad, blue, and unhappy.
  • I am agitated and keep moving around.
  • I feel fatigued.
  • It takes great effort for me to do simple things.
  • I feel that I am a guilty person who deserves to be punished.
  • I feel like a failure.
  • I feel lifeless -- more dead than alive.
  • My sleep has been disturbed -- too little, too much, or broken sleep.
  • I spend time thinking about HOW I might kill myself.
  • I feel trapped or caught.
  • I feel depressed even when good things happen to me.
  • Without trying to diet, I have lost, or gained, weight.


For a more in-depth questionnaire (the one this one was taken from) please go to Psych Central's Depression Screening page.  It may prompt you to see a therapist for therapy, and/or a doctor for medication.

For more information on Depression see:


Depression Facts
Medline Plus Major Depression
Major Depression Fact Sheet
List of People With Depression


Depression Web Centers
WebMD's Depression Health Center
Mayo Clinic Depression: (Major Depression)
About.com Depression


Depression Magazines 
Esperanza Hope to Cope With Anxiety and Depression
Anchor Magazine for Depression and Anxiety
Sane Your Mind Matters


Cultural and Social Groups
Women and Depression
African American Women and Depression
Latina Women and Depression
Asian American Women and Depression
American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Depression

Depression occurring with other medical conditions
Pregnancy and Depression
Post-partum Depression



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