bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for April, 2009

Not as Easy as It Looks

On my walk today, I tried to walk without moving my arms, ala Molly Shannon’s character on “Seinfeld.”  I was surprised at how difficult it was.  I remember a couple of friends in college (guys) that thought I was swinging my arms way too much.  Who knows.  Maybe I do.  But, walking without swinging them was so awkward. 

Plus, I couldn’t do it without laughing.  So, I would have been given questionable looks for two reasons:  no swinging and laughing when no one else is around.  Oh, and I was playing air drums at the time.  Okay.  Maybe I’m getting questionable looks regardless…

Another List

Three things I like:

  • Smell and look of a newly painted room
  • Naps
  • Sleeping with the fan on


Three things I don’t like:

  • People that don’t use their turn signals
  • Worms
  • Apple Juice

Brace Yourself

Karen bolted in the house after visiting the dentist last week and screamed, “I get to have braces!!!!!”  She was thrilled.  I remember being excited to get glasses.  That didn’t last long.  Saying “Four eyes are better than two” got really old, really fast.  But, I knew saying anything like that to her was useless.  Plus, why burst her bubble?

The dentist said that she has a misaligned jaw, so that her bottom teeth are over her top teeth on the side.  (Or something like that.)  He’s mentioned this almost since her first visit, so it seems legit. 

HOWEVER, he also mentioned as an aside, “Oh, and you might want to take Mark to the orthodontist too.”  Really?  Tom was the one that took him, so I don’t know why the dentist recommended it, but Tom said it seemed like an afterthought.

One of my best friends has a daughter in high school whose dentist just told her she needed braces.  And, after she went to the orthodontist, he agreed.  She started to cry.  Why?  Well, these days no one has braces in high school.  Everyone gets them earlier.  And, even though my friend had asked the dentist his opinion years ago, he never mentioned it before now.  The orthodontist couldn’t figure out why she would be upset.  Idiot.  He obviously doesn’t have teenage daughters.

My friend and I got to talking and wondered, “Does anyone NOT “need” braces these days?”  We were discussing her daughter’s problems, and they didn’t sound life-threatening, so we wondered why she just didn’t go ahead and wait until she was in college, or out, for that matter.

Tom and I neither one had braces.  The reason he didn’t was because he was one of six kids, and money was tight.  In fact, he got all his major dental work done while in the Army.  I didn’t get them because my issues were not a big deal.  My bottom teeth are a little crooked, but if I decide to fulfill my dream of becoming a pop star or act in a movie opposite George Clooney, I’ll get major work done like the rest of Hollywood.  But, we don’t wake up with major jaw pains.  Kids don’t run away screaming, “They’re hideous!” after seeing our teeth.  We survived without ever being “metal mouths.”  Maybe I should invest in these the next time I’m in Boca Raton.  Seriously?

Now, I know there are completely legitimate reasons for braces.  And, I do believe that Karen probably needs them. 

But, does everyone???  What are your experiences/opinions?

I Wanna a New Drug

As Huey Lewis sang, “I wanna new drug.  One that won’t make me sick.”  I hear ya, Huey. 

In about 20 minutes, I am going to go see my psychiatrist and ask him for a change in medication.  As I mentioned in a previous post, this Cymbalta seems to be really messing with me if I even miss one dose.  I have no idea what the half-life of it is, but the brain shivers start 7 hours after the missed dose.  Kent, my therapist, doesn’t think it is possible that the Cymbalta is causing those, since it is such a short amount of time, but the data shows a different story.  Granted, I’ve only missed two doses in the last month, but both of those times, the brain shivers took over.

I have mentioned in other posts that I have tried just about every other anti-depressant on the market, and Cymbalta seemed to work just fine.  Now, though, I am willing to try ones that I have used previously, since I used them before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and therefore, prior to Lamictal.  Surely there is another drug that can boost the Lamictal for depression.

I’ll let you know.  Oh, and yes, I will be educating Dr. Rifkin about brain shivers.



Amazingly, Dr. Rifkin acted as though he had heard of brain shivers today.  Huh.  Got smarter in two weeks? 

He agreed to change my medication, so I’m going to start Prozac.  Seriously, I didn’t know anyone still took that!  He was going to give me samples of Cymbalta in order to help me gradually (and I stress “gradually”) detox my system.  It will take about 40 days.  All the while, though, I will be on Prozac as well.  Unfortunately, there were no samples of Cymbalta in the magic sample cabinet, so I have to return later this week to start weaning off the evil drug.


My 10-yr-old daughter went to a sleepover on Friday night.  There were three girls that went to see the Hannah Montana movie (thank you to Ashleigh’s parents for taking her and sparing me the time and money by having to sit through it myself!).  Afterwards, they went to Ashleigh’s house for the sleepover. 

Our phone rings at 3:20 am.  It’s Karen.  “Mom, I don’t want to come home, but Ashleigh and I are really scared.  We think we heard stuff outside the house, and we heard the clanging of knives!”  At this point, I have one eye open, but that’s about it. 

“The clanging of knives?”  I ask.

“Well, silverware.”

“Where are Ashleigh’s parents?”

“They are upstairs with the door closed.”

 “Why doesn’t Ashleigh go tell them that you all heard something?”

“Mom, it’s all the way upstairs!”  (the “duh” was implied.)  “We are really freaked out.  What should we do?” 

After telling her to turn on lights (“check!”) and the tv, I calmed her down by saying, “I think the three of you should just bunch together and watch tv for awhile until you all feel better and go to sleep.”

That seemed okay to her.  I really don’t know what she wanted me to do, but apparently, the advice I gave her made her happy enough.

After I picked her up from Ashleigh’s house, she filled me in on more details, including the stand out comment:  “We almost called 911 about six times!”  (Oh, man, oh man, oh man.)  So then we had the discussion about when to call 911 and when to be brave and suck it up.

My mind was flying.  Can you imagine having two girls over to sleepover, and then at 3:30 there’s a knock at the door, “Ma’am, did you call 911?”

The drama queen has struck again.

Lucy and Ethel vs Drake and Josh

This morning Karen and I were watching Fox 2 and Time Ezell (the offbeat reporter that goes around STL and entertains us with a variety of action around town).  Tim was at Merb’s candy shop (yum!), and was making chocolate bunnies, marshmallow eggs, etc.  When he did the marshmallow eggs, he ran around to the end of the conveyor belt and was putting the eggs in paper liners and putting them in a box.  Of course, he did fine to start with, but then the eggs kept coming and he couldn’t keep up.

Karen thought this was pretty funny, so I showed her the classic Lucy and Ethel clip on youtube.  Her friends came by to walk to school with her, and Karen asked if they could watch too.  Of course, I am more than happy to share important television moments with the younger generation!

As they stood and watched, their expressions never changed.  They just stared.  I’m at least grinning, and I’ve seen it dozens of times.  Finally, I start laughing when the boss yells, “Speed it up!”  Nothing from the girls. 

When it was over, the girls said, “That was just like that episode from Drake and Josh, except it was sushi.”  (sigh)

Hannah Who?

This is what greeted me at church on Sunday!

Ms. Montana, eat your heart out!

This was after they had stood on the curb and screamed and cheered when I got out of the car.  After I’d walked about 10 steps they came running out into the parking lot and mobbed me with hugs.  In the second picture, you can see some adults that were cheering, but chose not to run into the parking lot.  And, then more kids came running after I took the pictures.  You should have seen the older adults walking into church!  They would turn around and look to see who these kids were so excited about seeing!  I think it was pretty obvious that it was the chick behind them with the red face.

Several of the kids started the MFFC (Michelle Farmer Fan Club) after I sang a solo in church years ago.  Now that I play drums, etc. they really get into it.  But, honestly, the feeling that I’ve somehow made a connection with these kids makes me feel just fabulous.

It was an amazing feeling.  God has blessed me so much.  People throw out the term “church family” a lot these days, but I will tell you the truth from my standpoint.  Coming back Sunday to all those kids, and then bunches of kids and adults inside that were so happy to see me, truly felt like coming home. 

Now, if they had just had my slippers and pipe ready for me…

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