Monthly Archives: August 2018

Boredom – I know this is my problem and I need to find something to do!

Boredom seems such an easy thing to fix. It should be. Find something you like to do and do it. Simple isn’t it? I think it has to do with the depression from my Bipolar. My mood stabilizer calms down the mania, but leaves me feeling depressed. Things I loved, I could care less about right now.

Recently I found “Grey’s Anatomy” on Netflix. There are 14 seasons with roughly 24 episodes per season. Since I don’t have cable I would search for things to watch.

The other day I bought an antennae that works on my tv and gives me free local channels. I even found stations with old game shows and the old tv shows. I have the local channels unfortunately only have the 2 and it doesn’t seem to include the channel “Dancing With The Stars” is on. The antennae works but it seems like I have to reset the antennae every day or so as something changes. I end up moving it or the tv around til it clears up. Of course this will also raise my electric bill I am also sure. I don’t know how much.

I am trying to get back into reading. I used to read 7 or more books a week, now it takes weeks or months to read one.

I have all these adult coloring books and a huge box of Crayola Crayons. I bought them when I went through a faze where I wanted to color. That didn’t last long.

My writing is currently on hold. I can’t wrap my mind around it right now.

A lot of my time is currently visiting my dad and having a conversation that goes from interesting and making sense and then he will say something that he will insist is true although it doesn’t seem possible. My sister finally told him that no matter his progress he will not be driving any more. We expected a fight on that one, but he is accepting the loss of driving as necessary and he says he has had to give up his modesty so they can help him. Now he understands how my mother felt when she had to give up her independence and depend on him although in her case it was her husband mainly and then near the end my sister and I. My sister and I are not comfortable with having to possibly have to take care of his private, intimate parts. That is our dad and my mom would have been one thing, but our dad, well we will have to wait and see what happens and where he goes.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog

We all have our crosses to bear. (not religious)

This saying came to mind when I was feeling sorry for myself. I was talking to my sister and after we bared our souls I mentioned that we all have our own crosses to bear. What seems so terrible to me may mean something else to someone else. To me my life sucks and yet when I think about it I know there are others much more worse off. Truthfully that doesn’t make me feel better.

I am in constant pain (chronic for most of my life, even as a child), I have mental issues and though I sort of have my Bipolar under control there is still depression hanging around. Anxiety is raising its ugly head. Stress is also a tremendous pressure and I am in constant worry about my dad and his stroke. Not only do we have to keep him in good spirits, work with his fading memory, and deal with the constant paperwork as we move along this journey.

We just found out that the facility we moved him to for subacute rehab doesn’t have room for him for the 100 days Medicare will pay for. We misunderstood. So if he is improving and needs more subacute rehab care we will have to look for a new facility that will have enough time for whatever amount of time he has left with Medicare and also long term care as well. We can’t afford to have someone come in 24/7, but depending on the amount of care he will need we might be able to keep him in his home with some help. I don’t work, but can’t physically do a lot of lifting and stuff like that. Making sure he eats, trying to keep the house somewhat clean are a possibility if that is all he needs. We could see about meals on wheels or whatever that program is called here. That would be one meal dealt with.

Right now everything is up in the air. We can’t plan anything yet until they assess where he is medically. We were told to apply to Medicaid so it is in place if he has to go to a nursing home. Everything will be sold and then Medicaid would kick in, Where he is at now is $10,000 a month. He is not eligible for assisted living. They require 2 full years of the monthly payment in advance and that amount depends on the level of necessary care. Not an option.

I figured out how to hook up this special antennae to my tv that will pick up the free channels within a 40 mile radius. No cable shows, but I can watch tv now. I even found a game show station. I was happy to see that “So You Think You Can Dance” is one of the channels. There is also an old show channel. Still exploring.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog

Fibromyalgia – 7 Things You Need To Know About Supplements

Fibromyalgia – 7 Things You Need To Know About Supplements

So many people assume that if someone mentions a supplement is natural that it is a good thing to take. This is so not true. Read the article if you are thinking about natural supplements. They might work for some people just like some medications will work for some people, but you can have serious side-effects from a natural supplement. It is not the be-all end-all of healing something.

Melatonin is a natural sleep aid. Works for some. Even works on my young grandson, but I can’t take it. It makes me extremely hyper and forget the sleep part.

Trial and error and only try one at a time to see how it affects you.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog

Life after a stroke from a daughter’s perspective.

I can’t possibly imagine what my dad is going through. He survived the main stroke plus multiple mini-strokes before it. At first we were astonished at what he was able to remember. We just passed the 4 week mark and he is going downhill and then uphill and then down again over and over.

Everybody is still talking as if he is going home. I participate, but having trouble really believing it. His memory is getting worse. If he goes home he is going to need someone there with him. None of us including him, my sister or I have the funds for a 24 hour nurse. Will he get well enough to just need someone to check in on him during the day. I doubt there are funds for that either. What if he tries to cook for himself. He will want to drive. I can’t see either of those happening.

They gave him a goal of 4 to 5 weeks to see what is going to happen next. Maybe he will surprise us and make a grand recovery. Not impossible, but highly unlikely. This is a hard time to go through. Not knowing what he will be capable of. I know they have no idea at this time and they did say that he is moving forward so there is possibilities that his recovery might be better than we originally thought. We have days when he doesn’t want to live although I have noticed those thoughts are not being expressed as often as they were in the beginning. He is doing what they ask him to do. He is just going with the flow because that is what they are telling him to do and we told him that he has to listen to the doctors and do what he is told.

Him having a stroke never really crossed my mind. I am not familiar with strokes and I always thought it would be his heart giving out. He had two heart attacks at the ages of 59 and 61. Now he is 86 and his heart is essentially fine. He could stroke out again and they watch him for any signs of that happening.

Hard being strong and putting on the strong personna and not letting him or anyone know how scared I am of this whole thing.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog

Crazy Sleep Cycles

All my life I have dealt with irregular sleep cycles. There is no rhyme nor reason to them and no predicting them.

If I don’t have plans during the day I don’t care what hours I sleep because I just sleep when I am tired. However with all the doctor appointments and the visits to my dad at the rehab facility I don’t know when I will be sleeping. I am taking naps whenever there is free time as I am feeling so drained and exhausted. It could be partly due to the meds I am taking although they tend to change over time so I can’t pin it to a specific medication.

If I lie down and I am not ready to drop off to sleep my brain just goes round and round and the racing thoughts drive me crazy. This is due mainly to my bipolar disorder. Also due to my fears that something is going to happen and so it runs through my mind non-stop. When I do get to sleep I usually suffer from nightmares. Horrible ones at that. If I sleep more than an hour or two at one time I am usually shocked since that is not normal for me. If I sleep for more than 6 hours straight it is even worse because there are more bad dreams and I am confused when I wake up.

Sometimes I just watch the clock go around and around and around. That is pretty bad also. And I usually fall asleep just before the alarm is set to go off. Nothing helps me get to sleep anymore. I take it when I can get it.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog

Why Fibromyalgia May Worsen Period Pain?

Why Fibromyalgia May Worsen Period Pain?

Back during this period of my life I had extremely painful periods and they were very heavy. Part of the problem was due to having Fibroids or on my uterus. They decided not to remove them so I lived with this problem most of my adult life. Thankfully I went into early menopause. It was so heavy I had to wear a super heavy tampon and 2 thick pads and change every few hours. No wonder I dragged myself around during this period of my life. I was losing a lot of blood, but the drs were not concerned, but it seems to me that blood loss that heavy would take a lot out of me. The cramps always affected my back too. To top it off I had pains in the middle of my cycle. I was told that was the egg dropping down. I gave up on OB/GYNs a long time ago. I do not get a checkup and internal exam anymore and haven’t for over 20 years. My daughters make sure they go regularly and that is good for them, but I got tired of the nonsense.

Yes I understand that they can find cancer earlier if you have regular checkups, but the way I figure it, if I am meant to die from it, no amount of constant checkups would matter. I believe that my life is already mapped out by God and when my time is up, I will go and not before. Besides I am tired of going for all these checkups and something weird showing up and they get me all upset that I might have cancer and it is nothing. Biopsies are painful, especially when the anesthesia they give you doesn’t work. I will take my chances.


Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog

Extra pain pills helping pain, but making me sleepy! Stroke and memory loss!

I kept dozing off while at the rehab center with my dad. We had a family care meeting to see where he stands.

Right now if he went home he would need a nurse 24/7 (not affordable).

Their current goal is to have him functioning with help in 4-5 weeks as they say he is making progress. Maybe physically he is, but what about the memory loss. He doesn’t know how many children he has. He doesn’t remember his address (I am fairly sure his driving days are over anyhow). He is slowly losing his birthdate, which is important in all things medical and I doubt he remembers his social security number. And now he is asking for my mom’s birthyear. So that is also disappearing. Who knows what else that hasn’t come to our attention yet.

He is in a diaper as he can’t get to the bathroom in time nor use a urinal though that doesn’t surprise me as he is in a diaper that he can’t get off anyhow. We have to hope they know what they are doing.

He feeds himself with his opposite hand due to his left side neglect. Trying to teach him to remember to turn his head with his food tray as he doesn’t know what is on his left as it doesn’t occur to him to look there without prompting. I have also been working with him to turn his plate as half of it is on the left side which he doesn’t see. I find it hard put to think he could do this again on his own. We don’t want him in long care rehab or a nursing home, but it looks like that will be happening. We do not mention it. We still talk as if he is going home.

I haven’t cried yet although a good cry would help clear the air some. He’s lost his dignity and just does what he is told.

This sucks!

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog

Stroke update! My pain update!

Dad is experiencing forward movement in some areas, but is going backwards in others. He is losing his memory slowly but surely. He no longer remembers how many children he has or the street he lives on. He knows me and my sister are his children or maybe I should say he remembers us but maybe he doesn’t make the connection that we are his children at times. There are 3 of us although my brother is in another part of the country and too far away to visit. Mys sister and I see to his needs.

We found a nice subacute rehab facility. It has large rooms, looks more like a bedroom than a hospital room. AND they do his laundry for free. Yea!

And that brings me to my problem. The parking lot is really far away from the entrance and then he is all the way down a long hall. They are built out on one floor rather than up. That walk is making the pains in my own body much worse and I can’t go every day, not that my sister or he want me to anyway. They both told me to not be so intense and to take care of myself. They only have one handicapped spot and it is taken usually.

My spine pain is much worse and I can feel it move. The pain dr wants a new MRI to see what is going on in there. My last one was in last September. This puts surgery back on the table as a possibility. She has increased my pain meds from 1 to 2 meaning every 3 hours I am taking either a Percocet or a Tramadol. I have to write down when I take them to keep it straight. 4 of each every day to help alleviate some of the pain since Percocets alone are no longer working.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog

What are the treatment options for Fibromyalgia? Also my opinions on Bipolar Disorder.

What are the treatment options for Fibromyalgia?

Now some of these make work for some people, but in my experience most of us do not respond to any of these treatment suggestions. And the side effects can be worse than a cure.

I have been allergic to some, for example Savella, caused me a terrible rash. Not just hives, but a very nasty and sore rash on both arms when I finally stopped it and it went away.

Cymbalta did not help my Fibromyalgia, but at first worked on my Bipolar depression and then 8 months later I developed psychosis which seemed to be the Cymbalta. My Bipolar Disorder is another problem on its own. I am currently stable and have been for a year or more now. I take Remeron (anti-depressive) and Trilofon (an anti-psychotic). Anyone one taking just an anti-depressant who has Bipolar Disorder or who develops the symptoms should see their psychiatrist and check out taking an anti-psychotic with your anti-depressant because used alone someone with Bipolar will usually see an increase in manic cycles. This wasn’t known when I first was treated with medication for my Bipolar. Now I know why I had such extreme mania. Just remember everyone is different and I am not a doctor just a long time sufferer of Bipolar Disorder (started when I was just a little kid).

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog

The positive side of a stroke!

3 weeks ago as some of you know, my dad, had a stroke. My sister and I had never really dealt with a real live person with a stroke. We didn’t know what to expect and I suppose we still don’t really. Every day is a new challenge.

In the scheme of things, his stroke was not catastrophic. He has good and bad days and two good days in a row we celebrate.

He is like a child again and has to be retrained in things we take for granted. We look for the little things that show we are still going forward. His stroke was in the right side of his brain and therefore his left side was affected. He “neglects” it.

We started taking him out in his wheelchair for a walk around the facility and to their outside porch. We pointed out trees and cars and the hospital across the way. He perked up some. That was a good move. Who knew? He seemed so out of it and we just let him be.

Today he went to a new facility. A sub-acute rehab center. When I talked to him over the phone (we have to hold our cellphones up to his ear with the speaker on) he told me about the move and what number his room was and that my sister had gotten him a window bed. He wasn’t there last weekend. There is more hope. We have to learn to re-stimulate him in an interest in his life and future as it is not his time to go.

We have a long road still ahead of us, but now we feel he has an interest in that road and will slowly walk it with us.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog