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.




I gotta tell ya, this is now rolling into my least favorite time of the year. The best thing that happened this time of year was my niece and sister were born. But I am reminded every year of the pain too.

I can not help by go back to  1963

100_002710 years old is  supposed to be a time in our lives where the road to adolescence is being paved and laid down… where Barbie dolls and Roller skates are changing to 10 speed bikes and sleep overs. When it is still okay to get tucked in at night, and you want to be brave and not have the night light on…when you knew pretty soon you no longer could sit on dads lap very comfortably, where the dreams of becoming a teenager seemed to be coming more real.

Yes… a time when life begins to change…and for me.. it changed all right.

It changed for our whole family. I’ve written about it before… and yet it all surfaces again..each year. My dad had one into the hospital –he  went in on my 10th birthday with a heart attack.

My mom was VERY pregnant and she would drive to the hospital every evening with the 5 kids in the car, she would leave us in the lobby at the hospital, and she would go up and visit him.
We were not allowed to go up there. So volunteer women would take moments to stay with us in the lobby. They brought us paper to draw on, tried to distract our worried thoughts, my sister was 11, me 10.. the next in line were my brothers 5 and 6 and my sister 2. Night after night –we would wait for mom to come down….and she would drive us home. She was due on Halloween night.  But that night came and went,… and still no baby. On November 1st… dad actually waved to us in the lawn of the hospital from way up on his hospital; floor. He looked like a small image way up there, but knowing the moving image was dad was so comforting. I remember waving so hard my whole body was twisting..I thought my arm was going to pop off…..

Than on 11-2- we went in and mom came back down after visiting and said we could go up and see  him… he was coming home in the morning… We loaded in the elevator, anxious with joy… gitty..giggling in the elevator.. the laughter kind of echoing… I remember the volunteers who had now gotten to know us pretty well..they had tears welling in their eyes as they saw our smiles…. up we went… the door opened… a wheel chair around the corner and dad was there… there was a window that the chair was put overlooked the city… each kid got to go to him, sit on his lap, hug him, tell him what ever came to mind…. laughter..I remember laughter… …and than the next. I waited in the back ground.. I wanted to be last… I remember the feeling of the strength of his hands as he held me on his lap… he had Old Spice on…I  remember the smell. I remember the secure feeling… a feeling of he hugged me , kissed me…. and said I will see you in the morning…

The ride home was like floating on a cloud… the anticipation of morning and daddy coming home was more excitement than I have had since than…

At 11 that night mom went into labor… she called a neighbor to help her get to the hospital … a different hospital.. She called our sister in nursing school to come home and be with us… she got there… it was scary… now mom was going too…. we tried to sleep… and before 7 in the morning the phone rang… oh it must be the baby news… it was a man… He asked for my mom… I said she was not there—she was having a baby… he asked who was there… I said my sister.. she was 19… he heard her voice… he asked her if she was the oldest one there..she said yes… he hung up the phone.. We were all puzzled… I remember sitting in the corner..hugging my knees, rocking back and forth.. in a trance almost… saying in a soft mumble… “Daddies dead/…daddies dead…” I did not stop… I kept saying it… and than the phone rang again…. I remember my sister kind of yelling at me to stop saying that… It was another doctor… he apologized for the previous call..and than he said… your  father died this morning…. The death of my father when I was 10 years old , changed my life forever. …Bam… our life as we knew it was changed …. my sister called the other hospital… left a message to give to our mom who was in the delivery room…. and a miracle happened… the same moment dad died..our youngest sister was born.

And than 35years later—to the day—the time.. our mom died…in her sleep….so that is why this time of year… I like to zoom by 11-3 kind of quickly. I say happy birthday to my sister… the pain and loss I have is separate from the joy of her… but it is tough.. It does not get easy…

So as these days come closer… I find myself not looking forward to the weeks to follow…and than things get better again.

Mom, Dad . I miss you so much… and Dad.. thanks for that hug and kiss on my cheek..had I known it was the last…I would have never gotten off your lap.

Ahhh… the memories are so fresh…. Take time to let those close to you know that you love them, thank them, spend time with them…. for life comes…and life goes… We have no guarantees of anything… Love to all. Mrs Justa.. alias Cindy

6-8-2012 Jeff and Amanda's 001Preston is home, he is not feeling 100%, still seemed kinda tired, but at least he is home. We got to spend some time watching the boys last night, it is always fun. Initially we thought ( before the hospital issues this week) to have them here for the night –but I can totally understand why his parents preferred to have them home. Man—how scary to have your little kid admitted to the hospital!

We had a fun time with the little fellows, but as I was there, watching them interact and have the ability to roam around their home where they want, I was taken back to life a few days prior when Preston, his dad and mom were in a hospital room for 2 1/2 days. 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 022

Fortunately Amanda and Jeff were able to take a few days from work to be there..But what if you could not do that? A 2 yr old can not just be told to stay in a hospital room and do not leave it

So would the hospital have to have a nurse in the room with him at all times? And then would that mean that he would have had to get used to 3 different nurses each day.

Heck, it broke my heart 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 019seeing him peering out of the glass door at the nurses walking by, looking for his parents to come back, and to just see the world moving around some.

We were in the room with him, so he and we knew he was safe… but what about all those kids who are in the hospital without that support of family.

I was thrilled he was discharged on Thursday…and I was thankful to have experienced the compassion , the professionalism, the patience of the entire staff we were exposed to there.

What an awesome place. I had never been in a Children’s Hospital before—only worked on the peds, neonate and maternity floors—that is different than this experience was.

Thanks to all who kept him in your prayers… and let’s keep praying for wisdom of doctors and nurses as they care for other sick children ….

Love to all, Mrs. justa…alias Cindy

This week has been kind of wacky.. we still are battling the smell of the dead something in the floor of our bathroom… it is getting better. Chipmunk, mouse..who knows what… we never see anything—but some sort of thing decided their last few moments would be spent under the vanity-which is bolted in the wall..and in there good…

Than Preston was up at the Children’s Hospital for 2 1/2 days… that too was a trying time for his parents, and all who were worried about him.

The Childrens Hospital is really amazing—sad—but amazing. We entered from the “tree 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 033house side… which was cool.. it is a glass walled tree house that looks over the city. The hospital spans from the bottom to the top of a hill.

The tree house is the part on the top of the hill. It is maybe 6 floors from ground level – So when you get off at ground level on the tree house side—it is really the 6th floor on the part at the bottom of the hill. So if you entered on the lower part of 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 036the hospital—and took the elevator to the 6th floor and walked to the tree house—you would be at that ground level.

The floor Preston was on was a nice floor- the nurses and doctors were wonderful with kids and it was neat to see how they related with the kids.

He fortunately was discharged today and is most likely sound asleep in his bed right now. He is a kid who loves to go to bed at 7:30 or 8..and he has been known to sleep thru 8 in the morning.

At the hospital he was not to leave the room. They were not sure what type of infection he had- so while they were testing him..he remained in the room..right when we got there to visit yesterday,he looked 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 014at grandpa and said “gummy bears”  Jeff began to say there were not gummy bears there..and than grandpa pulled a bag out of his pocket…well you would not believe his little smile when he realized his grandpa brought him these as a treat…



it was cute in a sad 6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 030sort of way… Jeff and Amanda had gone over for a quick bite to eat and Mark and I stayed with Preston. I was wracking my brain trying to think of a way to help him get some energy used— and asked him if he wanted to march. He said yes and we started to march- knees high around his room. To make it more interesting we moved the chair and the bed side stand in unique places- as if to have an endurance marching field. Every time we marched by the door he would stop and look out to see if mom , dad or the nurses were coming..than he would start marching with me again. Kids are resilient… they adapt to things adults would be whining and whimpering about. I think all in all he did pretty good….he is a good boy…

Brandon was missing6-6-2012 day 2 Preston in hospital 004 his brother and parent ..but he was super fun to be with… He was telling stories and blowing bubbles and making a card for his brother. He and grandpa went out for lunch and to the park.. It was a good day…yesterday..but I am sure he is glad his family is all back home today…

I am also thinking that his mom and dad are really glad they are home tonight too. Hospital events are exhausting… They have to keep an eye on Preston..but at least they can do it on their own floors—in their own rooms…

Thanks everyone for your prayers… Love to all. Mrs Justa alais Cindy

Okay, I do not often ask for people to send a prayer out for someone, but tonight our little grandson Preston is spending the first of maybe a few nights in the hospital . He was admitted this morning after the doctors decided that an infection he had was not getting better on antibiotics at home. So he was admitted and had a surgical procedure to try to remove the infection and pack the area. His parents are up with him tonight as they await the cultures. I hope they find answers and he gets home quickly.


Here he is about an hour after he returned to the room, the doctors had come in to check him out. They were trying to become his buddies and so they were asking him why he had blue lips. He was trying to explain he had a blue popsicle.

I borrowed this from his other grandmother- she posted the photo on facebook.. I did not have a camera up there with me..this was an unplanned admission.

He is at the children’s hospital in town, and it is an amazing place. These people deal with children of all ages, with all types of illnesses.What unbelievable strength they have to do what they do every day.

I am off to try to rest..kinda wired from the whole thing. Tomorrow will come soon…

Love to all. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

sept 2011 stuff 030We live longer because we know more about how the body works, and we can do various tests to see when symptoms arise— to find an answer for those symptoms.

Being in the medical field, I appreciate what medications can do. When is it that the person is actually having symptoms based on an abnormality, and when could it possibly be due to the medication?

One has to be careful though, as medications can help…but they can hurt too.

I am watching a person who is super sensitive to meds, and who has a slew of symptoms, go through numerous tests, no answers yet, and the docs are trying to alleviate the symptoms with meds, while trying to find an answer.

For this person, it is very hard, because masking the symptoms is not working, they are still there..only adding the adverse reactions to the meds on top of the problems that the various treatments and tests are being done.

I am hoping that soon, very soon, the next few tests will indicate what is causing the symptoms, so the meds or treatments can be geared towards fixing what is wrong.

It does make sense to me to try to subside or quell the symptoms while each test is being requested and waiting for approval…. but the hurry up and wait is hard for the person going through this problem.  In a way ..wouldn’t it be nice if we could just get checked into a diagnostic type place for 2 days and let them test away. Mri here and there, blood work, diagnostic tests…and come out at the end of 2 days with an answer and a treatment plan.

I remember a very sept 2011 stuff 038long time ago I had hurt an ankle at work. I hurt it in November…and do you know… because we had to wait for comp to approve each next step… it took until the fall to have the surgery approved. By then the damage to my ankle was 10 times worse than had I just been able to get and different tests, a diagnosis and fix the darn thing.

Sometimes I think we get in our own way in the medical field. There should be a team of doctors all working together to get the answers and go forward with the treatments. What I find more- is the patient is like a racket ball that was hit hard in a small 4 walled room. Bouncing here and there..very hard to have all the points come together.

Patients need to have someone be their advocate with them…. it is not imposing on the docs—it is working to help gather information for the patient. Love to all.. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

There are certain things that people say that make me really glad I am not interacting with them.

Today was a day I was super glad I was not the dental hygienist in the next room over from me. I was just leaning back, minding my own business, waiting for the dentist to come in, and this woman – in a really loud voice..kind of laughing while she talked.. said to the hygienist…”I am starting to turn my way of thinking around, so I am here for a cleaning..but I am warning you .. my mouth is really “scanky.”

I had a few thoughts at that moment..

#1) I am really glad I am here and not there…

#2)  I am not sure what scanky means..but it does not sound good

#3) How can the hygienist proceed with keeping a pleasant look on her masked,goggled face…

Now if you look up scanky in the dictionary—you have to look in an urban dictionary…

a nasty dirty lowlife female

There were other definitions that were more descriptive—but I think this gives a clear enough picture..

I am trying to focus on the music being piped over the speakers in the ceiling, but my hygienist had turned it down because it was bothering her…

The other  hygienist said calmly..”So you have not had a cleaning in the past year?” ..( I smiled to myself..thinking how calm she must be trying to keep herself—when her mind is telling her to find another profession!)

The answer… really loud and raspy..”No, not in a year..”  Than the hygienist said..”Could you estimate maybe how long it had been?”…

The answer still pretty loud and wall shaking…”OH a long time honey..maybe 20 years or so..but I am changing my life now.”

So the next obvious question “ Are you having pain or any problems?” ( good question..since something inspired her to come in for a cleaning..)..

answer..really loud..”No—just thought it was time .”

I did wonder what changed … maybe she just got insurance.. maybe she is in a new relationship.. maybe she is afraid of people seeing her teeth in a new job??

How fortunate for this poor hygienist- to be a part of a makeover. ! As I thought about what a wonderful appointment it must have been for both the employee and the patient..I was thinking about things you should not say to your dental hygienist… and that is right up there.

Dang talk about having them get out the tough picks to chip away at your teeth… maybe I would have said I have missed a few appointments..but you confess to 20 yrs or so… yikes! 

And than for the hygienist… you go to school to work in people’s mouths.. ( I admire these people—I could not spend my days 2 inches from many peoples faces..) ..and than what they must see. See I am a person who can not get “in your face”… why… cuz I start to laugh, smile..or try to hold my laugh in and all of the sudden it comes out like an explosion…. could you see me trying to focus on cleaning someone’s teeth..trying not to laugh cuz my nose is almost touching them..and than behind the mask—my cheeks filling up with air—as I try to hold in the laughter..and poof—out comes a pressurized laugh..blowing the mask off my face… NOPE do not think I would  last at that job for very long.

So hat’s off the the hygienists of the world.. I love how my teeth feel when they are through..The only way I do not laugh when they are almost kissing I close my eyes… and I do not peek…

Have a great night… and if you are a dental person.. thank you for not laughing in my face !. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Thanks google images for the clip art

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