bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘pollyanna’

Time to Check in With the Doctor

I’ve had a rough week.

After a busy and tiring weekend, this week went downhill. On Monday, I slept most of the day. Which didn’t really surprise me after the weekend I had. But then on Tuesday I had a mindset of hating almost everything. I hated my house, I hated our yard, I hated just about everything that was usually fine and dandy. Very much the opposite of the way I usually feel. I’m usually a Pollyanna. Look her up if you don’t know who she is.

Wednesday was meh. I decided to bake since that is something I enjoy and hoped it would get me out of my “funk.” Well, the pie that I made for Sunday’s church picnic (and took 3rd place, thank you very much) didn’t turn out nearly as well on Wednesday. It was undercooked. I mean soupy. I was near tears. My folks came over to taste this great pie, and it turned out like…well, you know. We talked about my mood in general lately. As we have learned over the years, my parents (particularly my mom) will notice a change in my mood before I do. Apparently, several weeks ago, she mentioned to my dad that she thought I was headed for a down-turn. I promised to re-evaluate the situation in a week and go see the doctor if I hadn’t bounced back.

Thursday came crashing down. When I got up and went to work, I was doing pretty well. Then I screwed things up at work and what should have taken me 30 minutes or so, took an hour and 30 minutes. I was so bummed. I get paid by the hour, but I felt like I shouldn’t have charged my boss for that extra hour, since my screwing it up was the reason it took so long. So, I came home from lunch, and really started to crash. Not in a sleepy way, but in a mental way. I made a pizza and sat down to watch Modern Family which is one of my favorite shows. I didn’t laugh once. Now I knew something was wrong. I picked up the phone and called the doctor’s office. His receptionist got me an appointment for the very next morning. (today) I called my boss and said I just couldn’t make it in that afternoon. (Bonus points for the job I have. Bonus points go to my boss as well)

I called my mom and went over to my folks’ house and spent the rest of the afternoon over there. My mood picked up quite a bit. I didn’t take my daily nap because, honestly, I was worried I wouldn’t want to get out of bed. Ever.

I went to Guys and Dolls rehearsal because it was devoted entirely to choreography for one of the few songs I’m in. Choreography is not my strong suit, so I knew I couldn’t miss it. I did fine. I was exhausted and went to bed as soon as I got home.

Now, I’ve brought you up to speed to today. (About time, huh?)

After explaining all this to the psychiatrist (including the daily naps), here is what was decided. Take Lamictal at night since that could make me sleepy. Increase the Prozac and the Abilify to battle the depression that I obviously was battling. (When he heard me say that I was hating myself on Wednesday, he said, “That’s depression.) So, in a few days, I expect to see a change in my mood and my sleep habits.

Here’s hoping…(prayers would be nice too, if you don’t mind.)

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I have nicknamed myself “Pollyanna.”  My cup is not only half-full, but I am sure that whoever drank the first half, really needed it.

Well, I’m not quite that obnoxious, but it is not for lack of trying.

I try to look at the bright side of things.  And, if all else fails, I start with this phrase, “Well, at least it isn’t…”  I used to say, “At least it isn’t cancer,” when someone would have a slight mishap, say a flat tire.  Now, I know too many people that have had or still have cancer, that I don’t use that one lightly anymore.  I do use it for times like now when I am feeling a little sorry for myself for this slow recovery.  “Buck up.  People that have cancer have a right to be bummed.  Yours is short-lived, sister.”

Over twenty years ago, I came up with a way to force people I love to not dwell on the bad part of their day.  I had a summer job at the office my dad worked in, so my dad and I would often ride to and from work together.  It was about a 30 minutes drive each way, and if you know me, that is way too long to drive in silence, so I would talk to my dad about his day. 

I noticed that he could fill all 30 minutes with all the things that went wrong that day.  Part of him was decompressing, but another part of him was reliving all the different ways his day went awry.  Having taken a full semester of Psychology 101, I knew this wasn’t healthy. 

So, I came up with a rule for the ride home.  Tell one good thing and one bad thing about your day.  I saw a complete turn around in his attitude as we drove home each day. 

I have implemented this rule in our home.  As we sit at the dinner table each night, we go around and tell “one good thing/one bad thing.”  The kids love it.  I love it.  Tom tolerates it, but he does play along.  Tom and Mark can quickly come up with their bad thing, but often take a little longer to find a good thing.  Karen is more likely to have a good thing, but no bad thing.  That is acceptable.  But, the reverse is not.  You are not allowed to have a bad thing, but no good thing.  No one’s day is that bad.  Even if it is, “I didn’t get hit by a bus on my way home from school today,” something good happened to you.  When we have guests for dinner, we ask them to participate as well.  So far no one has thrown down their napkin in disgust and walked out.

Why not try this as a conversation starter at your next family meal?  Since we implemented this early on, I am hoping that once the kids are teenagers, sharing a part of their day will just be commonplace, and we will have the opportunity to peek into their daily lives.

You’re a Damned Train-wreck

A year ago, that’s what my internist told me.  I had just gotten out of the loony bin, found out my thyroid was low, have sleep apnea, and who knows what else he was looking at.  Most people might find that insensitive, but I love this guy, and he meant it as a strange compliment.  In other words, “You’ve been through a lot.”  He also mentioned that he was impressed that I hadn’t started drinking in order to survive day to day.  🙂

Well, now, friends, we can add another malady to the list.  Gentlemen, you may now quit reading.  This gets female in the next paragraph.  Okay, you’ve been warned.

I am having a hysterectomy on March 4th.  I am 42 years old.  And, a damned train-wreck.  I have fibroids on my uterus that are really causing trouble, so after other conservative measures, a hysterectomy is the last choice.

I’m fine with it.  Which is probably surprising a lot of people.  The comment I get the most, including from my therapist, is “Ooh.  Major surgery.  That must be scary.”  No.  Not in the least.  I think this is where my faith in God kicks in with a vengeance.  There is truly nothing I can do in order to help or hurt this surgery.  I know it is the best thing for me.  If I come out of it on the other side, great.  If not, I spend eternity in heaven.  What’s to be worried or scared about?  I’m treating it the same way as getting a wisdom tooth pulled. 

I’m a little unsure as to what to expect during recovery, but Tom will be taking time off, my parents will be on-call and taking care of the kids while I am in the hospital, so that is all taken care of.

My biggest concern last week was how being thrusted into menopause was going to affect my bipolar disorder.  Was I going to be all over the place?  Would I sink into a deep depression?

Kent gave me the greatest news of my life (aside from the two times I took the EPT tests that told me I was pregnant).  He said that often hysterectomies affect mood disorders in a very very positive way!  WAHOOOOOO!  Because hormones have A LOT to do with mood disorders, the reduction of the hormones will most likely help stabilize my moods.  No more PMS!  WAHOOOOO x 2!

So, while I get to add this to my list of “issues,” I’m looking forward to coming out the other side of this feeling much better.  Both physically and mentally.  (Oh, but when I asked my psychiatrist about what to expect after the surgery as far as the bipolar disorder goes (and not telling him what Kent had said), his response was a hesitant, “I’m optimistic.”  What the heck?!  He also asked me what I felt about the economy.  What was I supposed to say?  “Well, you know, Robert,  this week, the Commerce Department reported retail sales crept up 1 percent in January as stores slashed prices. It was a small rise after six straight months of declines, and economists cautioned that sales were likely to slip again as consumers curtail spending.”   Not one of my better sessions.) 

Well, Pollyanna here, is VERY optimistic.

Things I Hate/Like

I remember when reading the Mitford series of books, that Father Tim’s girlfriend/wife would always tell three things she liked and three that she didn’t.  I always thought that was really cool.  Cool because she wouldn’t dwell on the things she didn’t like.  She balanced out the good and the bad.  Kind of like playing the Pollyanna Glad Game.  (which I try to do in most circumstances.)  In fact, once I was so cold when we were camping, that I was miserable.  I even went to sleep in the van, and it wasn’t much warmer in there.  I was miserable and thought morning would never come.  I played the glad game with myself and thought, “Hey, people in concentration camps don’t get a break when dawn comes.”  Kind of extreme I know, but it helped.

So today, in honor of Cynthia Coppersmith, here are my three likes and dislikes:

I don’t like:

  1. People that park in handicapped parking spaces that aren’t handicapped.
  2. When people don’t say “thank you” when you hold the door open for them.  (I want to say, “You’re welcome, Your Majesty!”
  3. Mushy peas

Things I like:

  1. Smell of cookies baking.
  2. Going out to eat with friends.
  3. Going barefoot in the spring and summer.

Once a week, think about three things you like and three you don’t.  I’d love to hear from you!

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