Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Old? OLD?????

Daffodils in Colchester Castle Park

We've been having a touch of spring here, warm sunny days and blue skies. It can't last; too early. So I've been trying to make the most of it, getting out in the sun.

I took mum to the park the other day. It was a gorgeous afternoon; we fed nuts to the squirrels, admired the banks of daffodils and eventually, bought some tea and cake from the cafe and took a bench in the sun by a big beech tree. Ahhh..... so lovely, so quiet....... until-

a man and a woman entered the park with a small, screaming child. The woman was trying to force him into a pushchair that he seemed far too large to need, and the father swore and smoked as he looked on. Then he took hold of the child, still screaming and now kicking too, and carried him along to throw him into the chair. He looked over at us and, seeing that we were looking their way (as was everyone else, attention having been drawn by the sudden NOISE), shouted, "HAVEN'T YOU ANYTHING BETTER TO LOOK AT, YOU NOSY OLD BITCH?", accompanied by certain hand gestures.

My initial thought was, well, YES, I have PLENTY better things to look at than you, actually, in fact, being a park, there are probably one or two turds around here that I would enjoy looking at more.
But the thought that really dominated my mind for the rest of the day was "Old? OLD? ME?? Do I look OLD?"

I said this to a friend and she said, "Oh, the 'nosy bitch' bit didn't bother you then?" Well no, to be honest, that just went over my head. Water off a duck's back, I'm pleased to say. Relieved to say; relieved that this didn't happen on one of my bad days, when it would have sent me reeling- downwards. No. "Nosy bitch" is nasty. But "old" is just plain below the belt!!!

I've since realised two things;
1) that he was probably lashing out because he was embarrassed at not being able to control his child,
and 2) that he was probably lashing out because he was paranoid, owing to extensive use of canabis.

Oh, is that assuming a bit much? Hmm. Maybe I am seeing too much Jeremy Kyle on TV. He looked like a prospective guest on that show though. Grrrr. Good grief!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Hullo again!

Well hullo again :)

I've been thinking of blogging again these last few days, and trying to compose something upbeat in my mind for you to read, but it's no good; if you want an update I'm afraid it won't be a very upbeat one. Is that ok?! If it isn't, you've had fair warning- by all means leave now if you wish. No offence taken. Why would anyone want to read anything dull or depressing?!

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First off, a HUGE thank you to everyone who has left comments, emailed me, sent cards and even presents. It's amazing and truly wonderful, and if you had any idea of what a lift each one gives me.... 


There is none. Yep, three months on and I'm precisely where I was. No progress at all.
A woman from social services came, to assess mum. She offered us one day at a Day Centre per week. That was in January. I hadn't heard anything, and was about to chase her up when I got a phone message this week saying that there were 'still no places' and did I want to add mum's name to the waiting list? In other words, after all this time, she isn't even ON the waiting list. Meanwhile, of course, mum has forgotten everything about the idea of a Day Centre, let alone remember that she was, once, interested in giving it a try.


We saw the neurologist in December. She said she'd like mum to take some pills that would help her memory and other brain functions. She wouldn't give us a prescription saying it would be easier to get it from the GP. So off we went to the GP, who said she couldn't prescribe that particular drug as it was blacklisted in this area- too costly. She wrote to the neurologist for an alternative. She has written twice so far. Still no news. So mum should have been on this helpful drug for 3 months now, and isn't.....


I spoke to my brother, the one who lives about an hour away, at Christmas about things, saying how I was finding it hard to cope. If I just had one day off a month, I said, it would help. He agreed, saying that his total of 2 visits in the last year wasn't enough, and said he would come and take care of mum one day a month from the new year.

He came down for a day in January. He came with partner and 2 young boys. Great for mum to see the grandkids, I suppose. But he spent just 3 1/2 hours with mum, then drove her to our house, where I fed everyone. In that 3 1/2 hours he had dragged her round a few shops, taken her to MacDonald's (his partner was flaberghasted that mum didn't know what to order, so ordered for her and was then agrieved and surprised that mum didn't eat any cheeseburger) and almost got her injured when she fell out of the car- he has a 3 door, and squeezed her into the back. She tripped on trying to climb out. Why wasn't he helping her???

Since then, nothing. No contact with her. SO much for monthly visits.


One phone call this year from the brother in Mexico. He left a message on mum's phone. That's it.

One phone call from my sister in Australia this last week-
she rang mum: mum is losing her hearing and has trouble on the phone. She couldn't hear my sister. This annoyed and frustrated my sister who then left a less than friendly message on my phone, shouting that she was so pissed off because 'all mum kept saying to me was "I can't hear you I can't hear you" nonsense'.
-Finding that message really pushed me flat down. All this week I've been tripping over between angry and upset. Upset- I feel bullied again. Angry- how dare she speak to me like that! And she is frustrated after one phone call???? How about getting on a plane, coming over here and living my life for a few weeks. THEN she'll be frustrated!


Luvbug applied for several teaching jobs in January, and the schools didn't even have the decency to write back! It makes me so angry, especially when I see the knock-on effect. I want to ring them up and tell them off, but don't, of course. Now he is getting temp work, mostly different schools each day. This is OK except for when he looks into the future. He feels washed up.  As in my life too, things are OK if you only look at the present, one day at a time, not at the bigger picture. But like me, he has trouble taking one day at a time.


I saw the psych-doc in January. I actually saw the same one twice! Wow! Normally I see one 4 times a year and it's a different one each time, and I'm extremely lucky if they have even read my file. But this one was ok. He remembered my situation and had even written to social services to chase them up, saying look, she can't cope, help her out.

This time I presented with evidence of things not being so sweet. I'd been cutting myself. A knife, but when that proved inadequate, scissors, cutting strips of skin off my upper arms. I'm not going into why. I was losing it. There are plenty of self-harm sites where you can read into it if you're intrigued. All I can say is that it causes a break in what you're feeling inside. Not even feeling inside, more a whirlpool going round in your head, and then the cut makes a change in the whirlpool. I knew it would be too hard to explain.

So anyway, this p-doc took me off the anti-psychotics that I call my little blue back-up pills, and put me on pregabalin. This is one of the anti-epilepsy drugs that mum takes! Apparently it is also prescribed for pain and for bad anxiety.

Well the first few days I took it, it made me feel drunk. NOT A BAD FEELING. Since then, it has settled down and just helps me cope. Like when I am so frustrated at my groundhog-day existence that I am in tears, I will take one. I have 3 a day. But God knows, if I am hiding in the kitchen biting my lip and trying to hide my tears, I take one, no matter whether I am due one or not. They do help.

Side effects- sleepy. Oh boy, sleep sleep sleepy. And it's culmulative; I am dead in the mornings, so those few precious hours I have before I set off to mum's are now mostly lost to me. And weight gain- 9lb in the first 3 weeks. And still gaining, despite dieting and walking.

And they don't stop the stuff that the other pills stopped, so I am now back to hearing things that are not there. Shuffling feet, laughter, whistling, all these I've heard in an empty house. Could have sworn that Scooter was under the bed just now- heard his sighing, puffing and blowing in his sleep. Ahhh. Stretched down to stroke him and- not there....


None at all. No inspiration. I made a Valentine card for Luvbug, but even this I left till the last moment! I feel as though it's just finished, over. Fear it will become something else I am leaving behind. Like playing the clarinet or gliding. Things I Once Did. Card-making might be joining them. I don't know. Two many comments about it not being real art, or that I could do better, maybe? Possibly. Mainly it is down to lack of time, lack of space, lack of time to make space.


Ah, Scooter. My lovely lovely big black cat. He will be 18 on the 23rd of this month. He is so lovely. Since his sister, Fluffy, died in December, he has become more vocal. He loves fuss and attention even more. He loves to lie in front of the fire at night and purr. I lie with him there, and watch tv for a while, till my back can't take the floor any more! I feel guilty and horrible at having to go out and leave him each day. He looks at me and doesn't want me to go. Sometimes, on my way to mum's, I have cried because really I would rather be home with my cat. A sign that the stress is just under the surface. 
I stop before I get to mum's each day and check that any tears are wiped out of sight, I take a deep breath and make myself smile before I ring her doorbell..... this is my life. If I don't look ahead, or up, or around, I can do it. Today it was sunny. We went to a garden centre. I thought it would be an 'up' day. Instead, when I saw all the new plants, and thought of my garden, and knew that I would never have time to do everything I would like in it, I just felt suffocated.