I went to the eye doctor this afternoon because I was wearing my last pair of contacts. I use the extended wear “sleep in them for 30 days and dispose” kind of contacts. I think I’d been wearing that pair for close to 3 months. So anyway, I went and things seemed alright. It had been nearly 4 years since I got my eyes checked, but they hadn’t been bothering me overly much so I didn’t think anything of it. Turns out my Rx has changed significantly – my eyesight has improved. However, the pressure in my eyes is quite high and this frequently means glaucoma. I’m going back on 2/15 for a full battery of tests to determine if there is indeed something wrong. So I’m going to go crawl into bed with a book and hide the rest of the night. See you all tomorrow.
One of my potential topics yesterday was the stresses of being “brilliant” and “mentally ill” at the same time. Maybe I’m not brilliant, but I’m definitely mentally ill, and these two things do not seem to play well together in the same brain.
I often wonder if it would be easier for me to deal with all of this mentally ill bullshit were I not so damn smart. If I was ignorant maybe it would be easier – maybe I wouldn’t realize how sick I am. Maybe I wouldn’t be so aware – painfully aware – of my limitations. Maybe I’d find myself content to work a menial job at the WalMart stocking shelves.
But no, I haz the smarts and my brain insists on using them, broken as it is.
I’ve always been smart. I’m not like off the charts smart or anything, just smarter than your average bear. My mom got me enrolled in special schools that catered to smart kids so I’ve always been challenged and encouraged to develop my brain muscle. Heaven knows I had no interest in developing any physical muscles. Anyway, I’ve also always known that there was something different about me, something that set me apart from the other kids. I was always super sensitive to any kind of criticism or harsh words. To this day the worst punishment my mom can dish out is to tell me that she’s disappointed in me.
So I knew I was smart and I knew I was different, what I didn’t know was just how different I am.
When I finally got diagnosed with the Bipolar at age 29 I was full tilt out of control. I was sleeping 2 – 3 hours a night, eating just enough to keep myself going, having an affair with my husband’s best friend, and drinking every chance I got. I didn’t even realize there was anything wrong with me – I thought my behavior was normal. Not that I knew of anyone else who behaved like I did, but I figured it was just a phase I was going through.
When they admitted me to the psych ward and gave me the diagnosis the pieces finally started fitting together. My sleep patterns were explainable. There was a reason for the drinking. Every shitty thing I’d been doing could be explained away as a symptom of an illness, a disease. They weren’t character flaws anymore – they were symptoms and they could be treated.
I started a pharmacological regimen and therapy. Lots of therapy. As everything started to work I became painfully aware of the limitations my mental health was placing on me. Gone were the days of staying up until 2am knitting. Gone were the days of tossing back an entire 6 pack of beer by myself. Gone were the days of enjoying sex.
Gone was just about everything I really enjoyed in my life.
So I rebuilt, slowly, from the ground up. I learned how to take proper care of myself. I learned how to manage my illness. I learned how to be an adult human.
I’ve worked my entire adult life, since the time I was 16 years old, and through the entire course of my illness. I’ve missed some work because of it, but never more than 6 weeks at a time. I’ve been aware this whole time of just what I can and can’t do.
I can’t drink much alcohol anymore without getting violently ill. I can’t stay up all night and then expect to function the next day. I can’t let my gonads get the best of me and run off to have sex with strange men.
And most importantly – I have to take each of my pills each and every day if I want to stand any chance of making it to the end of the day in one piece.
So these days I look for enjoyment and fulfillment in other ways. I’ve gotten a Master’s degree and I’m getting ready to start a graduate certificate program. I’ve started knitting more complicated things and designing my own patterns again. I’ve finally really started taking proper care of myself.
But would all of this be easier if I was perhaps a little dumber? I’ll never know.
Dentists. Do I really need to say more? They’re the most reviled of all health care professionals and because of it they have the highest suicide rate of any profession. They rarely listen to us, they poke and prod up with sharp things, and they tend to have that delightful “I’m better than all of you fucks” attitude.
So I went to see mine again yesterday because the pain any time I drank something was just about enough to make me come out of my skin. It didn’t feel like it was coming from the new filling. He sat me down and asked a bit about what was going on and then started blasting my teeth with cold air. When he got to the one with the filling I about came out of the chair. It is indeed the culprit.
Apparently when you have a tooth that’s more silver than tooth, it gets sensitive to hot and cold. Super sensitive. So he told me that this could take anywhere from another few days to a few months to go away. He suggested a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. And then he said if I really couldn’t stand it that he’d pull it.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? THAT’S WHAT I WANTED IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE!!!
So I told him I’ll try the toothpaste and see how it goes. I’ve got an appointment to get another tooth filled on 2/11. If this one is still making me crazy when that appointment comes up then I’ll have him pull it.
But I know damn good and well that I’ll be stuck paying for both the filling and the extraction when what I fucking asked for was just the extraction. Lousy fucking dentists.
Which brings me to another topic from the list – why I am always fucking broke. Seems like every time I think I’m about to get my shit back together and have a few extra dollars I have some kind of medical emergency and get stuck with a whole new set of bills to pay. It doesn’t help that Josh makes 1/4 what I do a month. This month we have the usual medical bills to contend with, groceries – that boy eats A LOT, and now tuition. Since Josh didn’t get signed up for classes right away he only got into one class. One class does not qualify you for financial aid. I’m stuck paying for the one class, which he may very well fail anyway.
On to the Seroquel…
I had utterly terrible dreams the other night. I hate dreaming, it creeps me out. When I was first diagnosed the asshat psych doc I was seeing had me on 800mg of Seroquel a day. I didn’t dream at all. I ate everything in sight and couldn’t plaster a smile on my face with a putty knife, but damn did I sleep. Of course I woke up with a hangover worse than any booze bender I’d ever been on. But I slept.
I don’t remember what else I was going to write about and I can’t be bothered to go look now.
Last night ended up alright. After I got home from the dentist Josh and I had it out for a bit. I yelled, quite a bit, and then I settled down. We talked a bit, made up, and then took a shower together. I made him cook his own dinner, which was very nice for me. I spent the rest of the evening on the sofa watching tv shows that I actually enjoy.
Sadly I gave myself heartburn with my dinner and didn’t sleep great last night. It was better than Sunday night, but still not super. Must be going around – I just got an email from my boss saying she’ll be in late because she overslept.
At any rate, I’m a little tired and a lot not in a mood to deal with Josh. He was his usual non-communicative self again this morning and I just really want no part of it. I’ve got 2 more meetings to deal with today before I leave early to go see the eye doctor. It’s time to get new contacts and my Rx has expired. I’m really hoping to get a good enough tax return to be able to buy a few boxes of new lenses.
The mood is pretty level right now. I’m not too up or too down, but tired. I’m hoping to be able to get some stuff done today and then relax tonight. Josh will be in school and my mom is staying with my sister while her husband is out of town so I’ll have the whole house to myself all evening. Kind of sounds like my idea of heaven.