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patheral
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 5/28/2009 10:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

If I seem familiar, you might have seen me around in the fibro forum. I'll probably scout a few of the forums here, because well, I have a lot going on.

A brief background.

I was diagnosed with manic-depression (as it was called in those days) at age 19 after being released from the mental hospital in Florida due to post partum depression from the birth of my second child (my only son). That was my only hospitalization. By then, I kinda knew I had manic-depression because I'd read a lot of books about people with multiple personalities - they were all the rage back then - and those people were often misdiagnosed with manic-depression because of there "differing" personalities. Since I knew I didn't have multiple personalities, I figured I had manic depression - so i self-diagnosed at around age 16.

Anyway - I was officially diagnosed at age 19 - that was in 1986. I've seen scores of doctors since then, and the diagnosis has never changed, only the name has changed - from manic depression to bipolar. I didn't take meds until 2004 because I thought that I could "beat this thing" on my own and I'm pretty high functioning - meaning I blend in well with the norms and fake it until I break then I fake it some more. I don't hold jobs for long, but I got around that by working temp most of my working career. I love temp work.

So, 'round about age 25, one of my friends thought it would be really funny to kick my feet out from under me and I landed hard on a concrete floor - that messed my back up for life. I have a degenerative disc in my lower back that I've been able to work around (mostly) since then.

When I moved to Virginia at the ripe old age of 28, the air there didn't agree with me so my lungs rebelled by developing asthma. I've had it ever since, no matter where I've moved (and I've moved a lot - it's part of my manic phase).

And sometime around age 32, my knees started going - mild arthritis the doctor called it. It's not so mild now.

At age 39 I got into a car accident and walked away with a torn tendon in my right wrist - which ended my admin assistant career. It also activated my fibromyalgia - but I didn't know that until last year. I thought I'd developed RA or something.

Toss in GERD and migraines and you have the complete package.... Oh, and don't forget high cholesterol.

The only meds I'm taking are for the bipolar - Topamax, Seroquel and Welbutrin. My brain chemistry doesn't play well with pain meds. It either ignores them completely, such as opiates and muscle relaxers, or it likes to play tricks with them - like with NSAIDS I get nice side effects such as confusion and disorientation. So I can't take anything for the arthritis, the fibro, the GERD, or the tendonitis.

Oh, and I don't have insurance.

I guess I should talk a little about me - if you're still reading my novel of an introduction.
smilewinkgrin

I'm 42, mother to four grown children. They've all flown the coop, though the youngest is still around here somewhere. I'm in college right now getting my English degree. I'm also in hiding from a psycho ex. I live with a relative who is letting me stay with them until I complete my degree. I'm not sure what I'll do with the degree, but at least I'll have it. My main plan is to get an RV and move somewhere the ex can't find me, and maybe sub for a school year then if I like it stay, if I don't then move on. We'll see. I'm a nomad at heart. I've lived in eight states in the last 15 years, and I can't even remember how many addresses. I wrote them all down in a moment of clarity about two years and three? maybe four addresses ago (that would be one state back), but I don't know what happened to the list.

So that's me in a nutshell - I listed my aches and pains first because I may complain about them from time to time. The rest will come out in normal conversation. :)

Sorry for the novel - it's past my bedtime, and I tend to ramble.
When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. - Marilyn Monroe


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/29/2009 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Patheral,

Welcome to the bipolar board! It's nice to have you! You've got quite a story to tell and no doubt the experience and wisdom that brings with it. It'll be good to have you around.

Thanks for sharing with us.
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


patheral
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 5/29/2009 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks serafena,

I may have experience, but I doubt that I picked up any wisdom. ;) I'll do what I can though, so share what I know.
When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. - Marilyn Monroe


bipolarmama22wildfires
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/29/2009 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
You've got a quick wit about you, and I have a feeling that will come out more through your future posts. Welcome. I joined yesterday, so you'll probably see me pop in and out.

Congrats to going back to school. It's something I hope I'm able to get myself together enough to do someday. Next year would be perfect as we're earning almost squat this year.

It's also great that you have a family member's support.

With all your moving around, do you find it difficult to find doctors, especially without insurance? I ask because it might apply to us if things don't go as planned.

patheral
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 5/29/2009 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
bipolarmama22wildfires said...
With all your moving around, do you find it difficult to find doctors, especially without insurance? I ask because it might apply to us if things don't go as planned.


Since I went so long without medication that wasn't much of a problem before 2001. It's not something I recommend. But for the past eight years - wow, has it been eight years??? I keep thinking it's only been five... - I generally get a three month supply of medication before I move anywhere and then try and find the nearest mental health clinic as soon a possible. They are generally more than happy to help because they don't want unmedicated crazy people roaming their streets. And as I said, my diagnosis is pretty straightforward - not one doctor I've ever seen as diagnosed me as anything but bipolar. I think that's worked in my favor.

Since I'm on patient assistance for the Topamax, it's not too much of a problem, I just need a doctor to prescribe it and I can go to the nearest pharmacy. Most pdocs have samples of Seroquel until I find ways to pay for it, and I can live without the Welbutrin if I have to since depression is not my major problem - mania is.

It's rare that I have the same pdoc (pdoc = psychiatrist) for more than six months, but they're usually there for medical maintenance anyway. I really liked the one I had in the city clinic in Virginia Beach... he was nice. Sometimes the city clinics are great - sometimes they suck rocks. That one was great... the one where I live now is pretty good. Asheville - not so good...

Anyway, sorry for the rambling post. I hope I answered your question. Now that I have a good cocktail, I do my darnedest to see that I'm never out of meds, and most clinics are sympathetic to that. Nearly every city I know has a mental health clinic, so being poor works in your favor that way.
When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. - Marilyn Monroe

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