Bi-Polar


       I am sitting here listening to nothing but the hum of the modem next to me. The dog is sleeping and Mark has just said he was going to bed. I am tired, yet not feeling like I can get to bed quite yet. These last 4 months have been anything but easy for me or for Mark either. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder for a long time. I am trying to pinpoint the actual diagnosis and I think it was around 2004. Before the diagnosis, there were times of extreme energy, and extreme “insight”, extreme anger, enlightening, followed by significant depression and paranoia sometimes on both sides of the spectrum.

  After the diagnosis, as we looked in the rearview mirror of our life, we realized that the times of behaviors that were not his normal self-were most likely  cycling through mania or depressions, and we could pretty much pinpoint the cycling was once every 4-5 yrs, and through the years it became more frequent, cyclical and seemed to be certain months/seasons each year.  After the diagnosis and medical treatment, 3 hospitalizations, and after trying a few types of medications, the docs for the meds that worked for him. Meds that helped to control the highs from getting too high and the lows from getting too low.

Well, this last manic episode, the current one, has been going on for 4 months, and it has been probably the most fluctuating, and high energy one yet. There have been quick decisions, fast changes, to the point that from one moment to the next it can feel like the direction changed  360 degrees. Now I am not saying the changes (as I step back and look are bad, )they are just rapid, and for a non-manic person, it is really exhausting.  I am doing my best to keep up with the latest changes, and I think when everything settles down, we won’t regret the changes, but he will be looking at it like he ran a 1000 mile marathon, and with his disabilities, that would be an impossible feat.      (20180314_193806.jpg  This photo represents the speed and number of thoughts and changes these last 4 months have been like )

Everything he has done, he has learned, he has made happen has been with the best of intention. To secure our future, our kids future, and their kids future. It has been 4 months of very little sleep, learning about how investing works, evaluating and adjusting our vehicle situation, thinking about where we live and where we may want to live in years to come, reaching out to family he had not spoken to in a very long time, realizing life is precious, and analyzing every nook and cranny of our life. He has not meant to, but cannot stop talking at times, assuming how an interaction will go that has not yet happened and having conversations with that person before the event even materializes ( if it ever will)

So that is why I am here typing,  the silence right now is priceless. I love him to pieces, and I am sure he has no idea how many words he can say in a short period of time, or how all the things that make sense to him, are hard to process for me, as his mouth cannot keep up with his mind or his thoughts. I read an article on being in a marriage with a Bipolar spouse, and one of the things mentioned is to deep breathe, well I have been a deep breather for a long time, but I have taken it to new levels, my lungs have got to be the clearest they have ever been.  All of the symptoms mentioned he has displayed, and FINALLY, I feel we are starting to calm the symptoms down. It has got to do a number on his body, the non stop everything, the emotions from ecstatic to such anger and rage, the lack of sleep, the continuing fast pace of his brain, and feeling like he is in a fog at times, that all has to take a toll on one’s body.

  HE tries frequently to take off for a bit to give me a break, and even though it is nice he does that, the mania can contribute to more new ideas, more changes. He will take his kindle and cell phone and head off to the library, or Dunkin Donuts and work on things he is doing there.

His doctor just doubled his one medication, and that is slowly working so he can sleep through the night. Last night was the first night he slept more than 2-3 hrs. Yeah, I think he actually slept for 7 hrs last night. I too was sleeping, as it has been a ride and a half. He said he does not feel as scattered or spinning as he has been. He tries to appreciate my needs during the day, but it is not easy for him.    I have learned many times over that Bipolar is not able to be managed without professional care. That med management or therapy might each work, but for the best care, you need both. The therapist should be one who understands bipolar disorder and also how it affects people in different phases of their life. As a person ages, the disorder takes on different characteristics, at least that is what I am witnessing.

 The internet is such a wealth of information, and there are forums and support groups for anything you can think of, BUT I do feel the internet can also be a trigger for the mania to be refed as it is trying to slow down. There is so much coming at us from all kinds of areas, it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

So as I sit here in silence, I am thankful he can sleep, I am spending some time praying, talking to God, I am trying to gather my thoughts and I am thankful for all the positive things that have happened and also thankful for the support of our family members who have been there through all of this. It has not been easy, not for me, or for him. Thank God for our children, for our grandkids, for his mom, for our children’s spouses, for our friends who understand and for our church.

 One of the MANY things that have been accomplished in a very short period of time, is he signed up for a domain name and will have a website up and running hopefully in a few weeks. We need to take time to dedicate solely to that, to design the web pages and have the platform for him, for me, for others to post on and for him to share some of his thoughts, some of his experiences, some of him that is what makes him the incredible person that he is. So be watching for his blogs to start on his very own website in weeks to come.  There will be things written, that come from his mind through his hands and end up as words on the screen, things that I do not know, things that show what makes him who he is.      So thanks for reading this, thanks for your time. Say a prayer that the meds will continue to slow him down a bit so he can see the world,  so he can stop and hear things being said, so he can stop and see all the gifts God gives us every single minute, every single breath, every single day.

Until later….                                     Mrs Justa  is signing off.

 

 

Advertisements

OK… I am trying to focus on writing and the wind is blowing so hard..I thought our furnace was malfunctioning and blowing super forced air through the vent. Our house is normally pretty quiet… do not hear wind… but tonight… holy shmolly… it is blowing big time. Just started—all of the sudden..The dog is pacing… and the wind smacking against the house.

So as I proceed..let’s hope the power and internet stay on. I was thinking about mental illness, and how many people suffer from it. Heck I look at this poor dog and see she even has a tad bit of mental illness . I had tried to tape a video of us trying to coax her in her crate..when she heard us say on the video to get in her house, she started trembling in here… oh I hope we can find things to work amd Oct 2011 055calm her down. This wind reminds me of what it is like to see a person ( or the dog !!) go through acute episodes of depression, anxiety or mania. It comes over them like a gust of wind, like huge waves… beating on their souls and emotions –like the wind is beating against the house.

Anxiety is a tough disorder, so is depression and mania. They all are real, and when they hit, the person going through it usually recognizes the problem and becomes more symptomatic realizing they can not stop it. It is like watching a person be a prisoner in their own body. I have taken care of patients and have been personally exposed to individuals who suffer from all of some of these illnesses. And there is nothing I can do to help when a full blown attack happens.

Oh I can try to stay calm, I can look for the sun ray through the dark cloud… but I feel inadequate, because I can not help to make to acute episodes subside. I can recognize when they are about to happen. But depending on the level of intensity they have..they can be like a tornado—taking down anything in their path.

For Riley… in the crate..when anxiety hits… NOTHING I can say or do will stop her from panting, trembling and bending the cage.

It is so opposite of her when she is not having an anxiety episode.

When I watch Mark deal with his high levels of anxiety, depression , mania—man again it hurts to watch, because there can be a path of destruction… he said the other day that it wears him out.. wears him down.

People I have met in life who have had similar disorders..they too felt at times that they were losing a grip at times.

So as the night hours begin to pass…africam 1-24-2012 011 I want to send a cyber hug out to all who suffer from mental illness…and to all who know someone with mental illness. Support them, never ever give up on them, and know that when an acute episode happens..that is when they need you most.

I learned a long time ago… that when an acute episode happens..that is when you find out who your friends are… and also who are not your friends .

I love you Mark… through your highs and your lows… you are a good man… a man passionate about your beliefs…. –It is a ride sometime s!!.

Love to all, Mrs justa alias Cindy…..

green house, brandon and preston, linda and brian blair 3-2011 032

Have you ever felt lost within yourself? Like looking at the world is like looking through a glass. This photo of Badger reminded me of how people describe when they are experiencing a time of mental stress, mental imbalance.

It has to be uncomfortable, because no one can see in another’s mind, it is not like having a red throat or a bloodshot eye. And depending on how unfocused a person is, it makes it tougher to explain what they are feeling. What is it like to live  inside your body, but not be able to feel totally in control of your body.

I have known people throughout my life who have had challenges with mental issues. The mind is really fascinating, the body is incredible. All based on balances of chemicals, and if that balance gets off, well it can cause all sorts of things, but when it causes the emotional imbalance… that is the toughest.

We, as a society tend to disregard mental illness, as not being real. It is easy to turn away ones head and pretend like it does not exist.

But it does and the more stressors we are faced with, the more challenges we have… we are bound to see more people with depressions, anxieties, feelings of being helpless, hopeless. And we, as a country,green house, brandon and preston, linda and brian blair 3-2011 036 need to have more professionals who can help to work with people who need help. it is amazing how hard it is to find a good social worker, a good psychiatrist. To find one who will listen, who cares.

We need to help remove the thick glass from peoples focusing, and help to find answers.We need to understand how frustrating it is when thoughts are jumbled, minds are reeling and every thought is moving quickly…. Mental health issues are real…. take a moment and prayer for people who are dealing with the various issues that fall under mental health care.

Peace to all, Mrs Justa… alias Cindy

Whoa, this is how our life feels right now in my semi warped mind. It represents a tug or war, a pull one way and get dragged back the other. 100_0891Feeling at times like we are holding on by a thread, hoping that thread will grow stronger with the tug and not weaker. Back and forth, up and down , to me I see a shape like a bird on the right, it looks like it’s bill is trying to pull on the frogs leg . See the frog shape on the left.

That is like me and Mark at times, when one of us feel weak the other tugs to keep the weak one going. I feel the events of this past 2 months have been hard, tugging on the patience,  on the heart strings, on the emotions.

It is NEVER easy to move, it is never easy to uproot your life, and then having a bipolar, manic then depressive struggle in the mix, well it is a lot of life’s stressors eating away at Mark, and at me having to live it but not be able to help him out of the slump.

I am off tomorrow- the propane and the shed are the tasks of the day. The propane folks will go and put a tank in and set up the furnace and the stove. The shed dude tomorrow too.

Then we start the unload to the shed and the house. We bought drinks for the potential helpers for tomorrow and Saturday. Mark and I have been talking and he may end up going to Oswego Behavior Health clinic in the morning if he is still unable to sleep and having the racing thoughts. He does not want to leave the stuff tomorrow to me, I do not want him to prolong going up there and seeking someone to see him.I will be okay, he may need help to be okay. 

So we will see how the night goes. All who believe in God and the power of prayer, please join me in praying that he is able to find a practitioner who will care about his well being and listen to him. I know this is not as good as it gets.

Thanks to all for being there. I am actually going to post this on both my blog and his tonight incase someone goes to just one or the other. My love to all, Cindy and Mark– Mr and Mrs Justakrusen

43 Things Tags: ,,,,

Tonight I write for Mark.

My husband, my loyal friend, my cheering squad, my fan. This is a guy who has been kicked in the gut “figuratively” in life more then I can believe. And yet he has come to his feet, and survives.

He is not feeling very strong right now,

not feeling very worthwhile right now, he seems to feel lost, looking for the light but way deep in the thick of the woods. 100_0843_editedHe has a sense of people, sense of what people are thinking , even when they do not say it. He has a firm handle on what is right and wrong, and even though he is not a Saint, (he has had his moments of floundering, but we all have!) he is dependable.

He is currently going through yet another tough time.

His bi-polar is in dire need of being managed, yet the mental health community here seems to have more people who need help then there are psychiatrists to help. He was to a point of depression that ended him in a mental health ER in April, they sent him home on Abilify and since that time we have been trying to find a psychiatrist to follow up with. Fortunately he does have a very good social worker, unfortunately the social worker can not write prescriptions for him. The Abilify was too strong so he was taking 1/2 every 3 days.

He has an appointment in August with a psychiatrist

, but we had to to find a different doctor who could get him into one sooner, as he was having problems with anxiety, depression, racing thoughts and lack of sleep. Last Weds he did go for his initial visit, the psychiatrist canceled the Abilify and prescribed Lithium, and then 2 days later their practice banned Mark from coming back! ( Mark had asked the doctor to write a letter stating that his bipolar was exacerbated by all the problems he has had in this past year with a surgery that went bad, a post op infection and now a disability that won’t allow him to ever drive a truck again) Some whiz in the office then felt we would try to blame his bipolar on his job!! That was not the intent, it was just to show to comp that he has other problems other then his damaged leg.  Once again a kick in the gut. Another , why did that whole thing happen. We now have a call to his primary care, to see if he can assist with the blood work and the prescriptions until a psychiatrist will see him in August.

I wish people knew him, really knew him,

took the time to spend quality time with him. He is a nice guy! He had just landed a job driving a van part time for disabled folks, so they could go to a day program. Had he been controlled on his meds and if he was being monitored, I think he would have been able to continue that job, and those clients would have come to know him . I think he would have found self worth through them. However, the lack of medication management and no psychiatrist, well the anxiety and fogginess overtook his ability to continue- and his one visit psych person pulled him out of work for 4 weeks. Unfortunately, she won’t ever clear him for work, cuz she abandoned him.

I am angry with all who have never given him a chance,

and I treasure those who have. He has meant some really cool , real people on line blogging, and they support each other. It is so cool to see that pride and strength that they offer each other. I, personally, am thankful for having him in my life, for he treasures each breath I take, he really only ever wants to make life better for me, and he is so proud of his daughter and my son. He is a true friend to those who are friends with him, he leaves an impression on people who come to know him,and he has foresight, wisdom and  determination. I pray that his primary doc will help us through these next couple of months, and that the psychiatrist is worth the wait. For I want more of you to come to know him, and more of him to come out of the shell it is entrapped in, so he can share his true self. My love to all, Cindy

image Photo courtesy of Craig & Diane

I think my medicine is starting to kick in

I feel the best I have felt in a long time. I still get really tired by the end of the day. This tells me I’m still burning way to much energy during the day, so I’m not to the end of this stage yet. It’s like the disorder is a living, breathing thing. I haven’t talked about my Bi-Polar much on this blog to follow the thread a little you can click on Here go to the side bar scroll down to Bi-Polar under labels and catch up.

Cindy and I went down to Elmira, Ny this weekend

to visit family so neither one of us posted on this blog.I don’t see how people that have multiple blogs can manage them effectively like they do. Maybe with more experience it will get easier. I’m lucky in the fact that I have time right now because I’m out of work. I don’t know how you bloggers that have full time jobs do it. I read somewhere that over 180,000 blogs a day are started around the world. What are you waiting for? Get typing! 🙂 I already shamelessly linked to my other blog up in the last paragraph.So I won’t link to it again, but go back over there and check out some of my favorite reads from the post I’m doing tomorrow.

I’m going to keep it short today. Who know’s maybe Momma will have something to say a little later.

This reminds me of the life I lead at times , being married to a bi-polar man. Mark has shared what the roller coaster ride is for him, but I live it too. It is much more uncomfortable for him, he is the one who has thoughts that are spinning around his head, and thoughts that at times can not come out in words. But what is it like to be married to a  person who is bi-polar. A humpback whale slapping the surface with its tail.Well it is like this whale, jumping up and down in the water. Gasping for air, only to feel so 

heavy with trying to process everything, that if I don’t close my mouth quickly, I will swallow a lot of water. There is a rather challenging freedom , as I ride  the mania wave with him, I try to be the anchor, I try to find the sense in the various ideas, I try to calm the wave, but with each leap in the air, I create more waves, as I try to calm the waters again.

It is hard to watch it, hard to live it, it is hard to pull the reigns. For everything he sees, everything he does, makes lots of sense to him. And some makes a lot of sense to me. But it is way too fast sometimes, way too hard to catch that breath before the next splash into the water.

He says I am too conservative at times, he says I just don’t understand at times, he knows that I love him, and although he rarely expresses what non verbals he feels, I know he feels the frustration at times, and I know he knows that I do love him.

I feel helpless at times, I can not assist with the challenges that this rush of energy gives when it hits. It is long spells in between, and until now , it never had a real name. Without a name, without a support system that understands what is going on, let me tell you this ride is scary. This time , however, we have a social worker, we  have a family doctor , we have family and friends, we have our kids, and I have a boss that is very compassionate. Those components are crucial to surviving this challenge.

I want to be the best I can be, I have to be careful not to get smothered by the lack of time to breath at times. If anyone is reading this, who has lived in a life such as this, you will probably have parallel experiences. I have a 25 minute ride to work and back, that is my “me time” right now, or I practice singing various songs, that can be my “me time”. Closing the bathroom door and taking a shower, or reading a book after he lays his head to rest, or last night just ironing after he had gone to sleep, these are all times for me. He hits the ground running ( well not figuratively because his leg is shot) but mentally, I get up and I feel like I am riding in a car  that is going 90 miles a hour, I have my head sticking out the window and rubber pylons are whacking me in the face, yep- that is sometimes how it feels. Would I change my life? No, I would not, because inside this man, there is the most compassionate person I think I have ever known, he has a rough outside at times, but he is sensitive, and his “family” is all that matters to him. He loves his family, his kids, his kids spouses, his pets, his mom, his sister, (and even his brother ) His outlook on life is at times filled with a gentle innocence. He is hard to get to know, if you are just passing though, but take some time with him, and there are so many angles, so many deep thoughts, it has taken me only 23 years, and I am still learning. So for those going through this, be patient, be supportive, and listen , for there are many things being said , and you don’t want to miss a thing. May peace be with you and yours. With love, Cindy