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 Rapid Cycling With Psychotic Features ~ Migraines ~ Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) ~ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ~ Keratosis Pilaris (KP) ~ Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) ~ Panic Disorder ~ Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) ~ Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) ~ Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (Self-Harm) ~ Piezogenic Pedal Papules ~ Hashimoto's Thyroiditis ~ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ~ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ~ Specific Phobias ~ Chronic Daily Headache ~ High Cholesterol

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


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


Extreme mood swings

☒ Hallucinations

 Panic attacks


 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 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 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? Diagnosis of Early Onset Bipolar Disorder 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) 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

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's just a bad dream

Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate'), Vincent van Gogh
Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate'), Vincent van Gogh
I don't know why I still do it, but sometimes I go to sleep at night, telling myself it will all be alright in the morning.  I won't have EDS in the morning.  It was all a bad nightmare.  Then, of course, I wake up in the morning in severe pain, and the EDS is still there.  Those mornings it feels like I'm dealing with loss of my freedom and the facing the crippling effect of chronic pain for the first time all over again.  It feels like an instant of hope, dashed almost immediately upon waking; a virtual nose breaking punch of reality.  This morning started out like this.

This past week has been bad enough, with missing two seizure medications because I am in between doctors, and need to see the new doctor before I can get a refill.  So far, I've only had one seizure this week, but even one is scary.  I've been having a lot more than usual lately, one to two a week, while it's usually one every couple of months or so.  The increase in seizures started about two months ago.  I can't think of anything different in the last two months.  I've been eating normal food, and other than running out of my medicine this past week, I haven't missed any doses.  My stress levels have been unbelievably high, but when are they not?  My pain levels have been higher the last couple of  months, and that's the only thing I can think of that seems any different than the months before.

The house is a mess, it's driving me insane that I can't clean it all at once.  Ah, I remember the good old days, when I could spend all day happily cleaning, and bringing order to my world.  I hate chaos, whether it's a messy desk, a rowdy crowd, or my sleep schedule.  Some people thrive on it, but I do not.

I've been really behind on my letter writing to pen pals.  I've got a huge stack to reply to from recent letters, and a huge stack to reply to on very old letters.  For some reason everything is overwhelming me lately.  Unfortunately, once I start writing I can't seem to stop.  This means I'll write one person a nine page letter, instead of three people three page letters.  At the end of the day I realize that I've only got one letter done, and it's probably way longer than anyone really wants to read.

Since I went on one medication that has the side effect of lack of appetite, I often forget to eat.  Then, at 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm I realize I forgot to eat today, and I'm really hungry.  So I end up eating all of my food sometime during and after the late afternoon to early evening.  This isn't helping my goal with losing weight.  I thought the side effect of that medication would end up resulting in weight loss, but instead it keeps leading me into bad eating habits.
woman writing
I lost 19 pounds in two months during November and December 2007.  I was at the most stressful part of my entire life (so far), and couldn't eat without feeling very ill.  I walked all day, everywhere.  I got so much exercise from pacing back and forth, fast, nervous walking, not to mention the lack of food, that the weight fell off.  For eight months after that, I lost weight steadily from jogging, walking, and cleaning my house over and over.  Then, the severe pain set in for the first time.  I never thought the pain would get this bad, though.  I'd like to lose weight again, in a healthy way, but I can't seem to lose it with not being able to exercise like I used to.  The stuff I learned in physical therapy just doesn't burn calories.  If I had a recumbent bike, like they did in PT, I think it would be different.  I'd really like to get one.  I've priced them online at Walmart, and I picked out one that looked good; Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike. I'd like to try and save for it after the holidays.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five year anniversary

I'm sorry, dear readers, for how long it's taken me to get a new blog entry done.  Not much has been happening lately.  I have a friend who is very sick, and I'm very worried about her.  I haven't heard from her in a week, and I've been freaking out.  I've been depressed a lot lately, and I've been feeling very uninspired, and I couldn't write, no matter how many blog entries I started and ended up as a draft.  The pain has been horrendous and I've been in my wheelchair a lot.  I've having a hard time dealing with being dependent on a wheelchair, even though I only use it part-time.  When I started this blog I wasn't on a cane yet.  I moved to a walker two years after getting a cane, and two years after the walker, I got a wheelchair from a charity I found on Freecycle.  Part-time or not, I'm having a very hard time dealing with this.

Yesterday made five years that DH and I had been together.  It seems a lot longer, it feels weird to think that there ever was a time in my life when I didn't have him with me.  I love him so much, and I can't imagine life without him.  He's such a good man, and always takes care of me, even when he is feeling bad himself.  He's so sweet, loving, funny, and a defender of both me and animals.  I love him so much.

DH and I five years ago


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