January 31, 2012

1/31/12

Had a good day today. My new glasses came in...yay! Put them on and started walking around and then went WOAH! They are taking a bit to get used to, stronger prescription and all. They look awesome though :D The clip ons came in today too and they are so cool, they have a little spring on them and you tug them apart a tad and it latches on to the glasses.

Starting my list of things to take with when I fly to Milwaukee. I don't want to forget stuff...I hate forgetting things and I always seem to forget something when I travel. Drives me nuts. I'm going to have my suitcase, my carry on bag and also my netbook bag, with my netbook, my little camera and phone in it. That I'm going to put into the pocked of the seat in front of me. Of course, the small camera will be out of the bag, I'm going to try to be sly and get video of takeoff :D I've always wanted to.

Still pondering over things Mike and I can do in Chicago. I really want to hit up a record shop in the city. I also want to stop in Nordstrom's so I can get that Black Orchid perfume I love so much. There aren't that many places in the US that sell it, but they have it in Chicago :D I'm sure there's a place or two that he wants to get to as well, so it should be a good time there. As long as we don't get lost in the ghetto like we did a few years ago! That was just craziness!

Had my DBT group today. We spent some time today preparing me mentally for my flights. We went over different coping skills and mindfullness exercises and whether or not I should just take a Klonopin before I get to the airport, that way if I have any anxiety, I don't have to take it and then wait for it to kick in....by that point I'd already be landing in Milwaukee....  We did another relaxation technique where you focus on your abdomen and how it rises and falls as you breathe deeply. It was a good one and I kept my focus pretty well. I think practicing this one over the next few days will be beneficial. I've already had some anxiety about flying, what could go wrong, getting lost at the airport, etc. etc.  In group Vicki was like, the minute you catch yourself ruminating, stop it! All you need is to work yourself up to a panic on the plane.   She's right of course. I have full control over that if I just do exercises like this when it starts. Once I've lost control of my breathing, etc. it snowballs. I just keep reminding myself that everything will be awesome, I've flown many times before and been through airports by myself that were MANY times larger than this one.  Another person in DBT said the last time he flew and he started to get some anxiety he just focused on who he was going to see and the fun things they had planned. That is a good idea as well.

The meds are working great for my mood still. I've noticed I'm sleeping more and I think I need to start taking my night meds a little earlier. I get wrapped up in stuff online and then I take them way too late, so I end up sleeping way later in the morning. I need to get back into the habit of going to bed well before 1 in the morning....

Doing kinda crappy on my eating.... Had pizza the other day.... today I had banana bread (yum!). This is something I have, have, have to learn how to control better. I am SO unhappy with my weight yet I keep slipping and eating crap I shouldn't.

I'm still smoking, although it is way less than I was. I'm planning to leave my smokes behind when I go to Milwaukee and go the entire trip without any. My theory is I'll be too busy with everything to think about it much. If I can successfully go the five days without, I'd be part way through any cravings. I may toss the smokes here and just have the E cig here for emergencies. I don't want to come home and be like, whoohoo cigarettes!

Not much else going on, tomorrow I am running up to get that blood draw done (that I couldn't do last week because the paper I need to take was in my daily planner which has somehow disappeared, never to be found either...), I want to get it done while I still have Medicaid. The rest of the day is going through this place and doing general housework (what Tracey lovingly calls Dombliss haha) and starting to get things together for the trip. I want the place nice and neat so I can come back from the trip to a clean apartment, not a messy one.

Only a few days left to go!

-M

PS: Glasses!


January 28, 2012

Interesting little photo essay

I love photography and I love new concepts, ideas and creativity with photography. I ran into this slideshow while reading the news and it's pretty neat. It's called, The World At Your Laptop and shows people using their laptops all over the world.
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/the-world-at-your-laptop-1327788068-slideshow/

-M



January 26, 2012

Glasses & Luggage

Today I went to get my eye exam and fit for new glasses. It definitely reminded me how bad my sight is! At first he had me cover one eye and look at the chart on the wall with the other and the only thing I could make out was the large E....and it was fuzzy...  In the end he adjusted the right more than the left but I definitely needed adjustments on both. We did my close range vision as well and that changed just a tiny bit.  We talked about how close I am to needing bifocals and he said the next time I get an eye exam I may be at that point, because we have gone as far as we can with one lens for both near and far. It's weird to think I may have bifocals by the time I'm 35, but it wasn't that surprising as I'd been warned the last few times I've had eye exams.  Other than all that, my eyes are perfectly healthy :)

It took a while to pick out a pair I liked, because I was being really picky about it. I wanted smaller frames than I have now, something that was closer to the ones I used to have. I found a pair that seemed a good fit both in style and size, so in the end I was very happy. They said they should have them in by Monday or Tuesday. I also asked about clip on sun glasses to go over them, I'd mentioned how impossible it is to find them for smaller glasses. Well, they have an entire book of sizes for them! They matched up a pair that would fit mine perfectly! Yay! They will take longer to come in, but that is fine because they will actually fit!




I had looked before at Walmart for some luggage but wasn't happy with what they had. I wanted something other than black, because everyone has darker luggage and it's so hard to find it when getting off the plane. In the end I went to JC Penny and found a cute set of purple and pink polka dotted luggage that was perfect :D  Now I have the luggage issue out of the way....I do still miss my old luggage that I lost from the fire, but the new ones will be just fine.



Not doing much else today, going to catch up with everyone online tonight :)

Hope everyone is having a good day,
M
At spec shop...excited about new glasses :D

January 25, 2012

1/25/12

Had a pretty good day today. I visited with Robin down at the shop most of the day and ran into another friend there as well. I brought the Tanzanian coffee with which was so yummy. We cheered up our friend a bit, who also has bipolar among other things and is in a depressive state right now. I hate seeing him like that, because I know all to well how hard it is. Was glad we could get some laughs out of him.

Today I donated a bit of  money to the bus service here in town. I have used them extensively in the last year and a half and didn't have the ability to pay. They don't care if you do or not, you still get to use their service. But, I know they run off donations because federally and state wise they don't get a whole lot of help. They do such an amazing job and I wanted to show my appreciation for all they have done for me. During the days after the fire they were especially wonderful and helped in any way they could. A month or so after the fire I wrote out cards, sending one important card to their main office to tell the story of the fire and how much they had helped. It was just nice now to be able to do a bit more.

Tomorrow should be a busy day. Bright and early I am going up to the hospital to visit with Bille, who is the coordinator for the partial program I was in. I want to stop in to see how she is doing and she likes seeing how we are doing after leaving partial. While I am there I will also be getting my blood labs done, as Dr. B. wants a regular panel done on me as well as check the Lithium level.

In the afternoon I am going to get a badly needed eye exam and get set up with new glasses. I'm squinting so much of the time now, so I know it's time. I'm hoping to find just a cute little pair of black frames, nothing big, bulky or crazy looking, just something nice and subtle.

After that, I'm going with Robin to do some luggage hunting. I lost all my awesome purple luggage in the fire and need a new set before I fly off to Milwaukee in less than a week and a half. I'd forgotten all about that until like two days ago and went crap! I have no luggage...

I'm hoping my new debit card comes tomorrow. I'm being a little impatient but I need to book those flights! If it doesn't come yet I am going to have Robin's mom book them, that way she gets the reward points on the flights. Because I'm booking last minute it is like 4000 points each way, so she can use them next time she travels.

Mood wise I've been doing amazing. Still at an even baseline mood. It's so nice to have been like this as long as I have now and I hope it continues that way! Aunt K.... I just got done reading the book you sent and I loved it just as much as the first time. It really is very very inspiring!

Hope everyone is doing well,
M

PS:

When I went to the store the other day, I grabbed some oranges. Last night I had one and to my surprise when I opened it, the fruit inside was bright red. I was like woah! Turns out the oranges I got are Moro Red Oranges. They are very tangy and tasty! Never had them until last night.


January 23, 2012

1/23/12

*50 Days*

Sorry I haven't written much, been pretty preoccupied with the new computer :P

I love this thing, I used my back up disks to put all my old stuff on it and found all sorts of interesting things along the way. I had saved my yahoo and msn chat archives and found stuff going all the way back to 2003 when I was still married and living in Michigan! Jess is right, I think I'm a digital hoarder lol. I saved everything along the way, made for interesting surprises, which was neat.

Things are going very well. The meds are working wonderfully. I see Dr. B. tomorrow and can't wait to tell him about my progress. I think he will be pleased they are working as well as they are. I had my visit with Dr. G. this morning and he was happy to see me. I'd missed last week because I didn't have a ride and had no phone so I couldn't call for one and also could not call him at the time to tell him I wouldn't be there. He was joking that I stood him up :P  Then it dawned on him what I said and he was like, what happened to your phone? So I had to explain that I was so broke I couldn't pay my bill and it was shut off.

He was very pleased about my getting SSI. We talked a little 'business' because I told him I wanted to end the deal we had about him helping me for free, because now I can afford to pay him. It is his job, the way he earns his living and I felt it would be wrong for me NOT to start paying him. He was really very sweet about the whole thing and only wants to charge me part of what he charges others, so after a little squabbling we came to an agreement.

We talked a lot about how far I've come since I started seeing him. He said I am only one of maybe three people he's ever treated that came to him still living as though I was going through the abuse I went through as a kid. He has been helping a therapist that is newer and used me as an example of the kind of situation she may face at some point during her career. He said he stuck with me because he knew he could get me to see what I was doing to myself and could get me to start changing from a victim to a survivor.  I'm glad he did! I still have work to do, but we've gotten me to the point where I can stop myself quickly when I start to turn negativity on myself and to recognize when my reactions to a situation are the old reactions in response to what I went through, not the appropriate reactions to the situations.  It's tricky, for a long time I couldn't recognize any of it. The more he pointed this out and that out the more I started to pick up on it by myself. He said awareness is the first step. Only when you are aware can you change the thought patterns or behavior.

He said in a way it is like watching me start to 'grow up' and leave that child in me behind. I agreed with that. He said I used to do the 'poor me' routine all the time and I'd say working on it was too hard or I just couldn't do it. That I had a really hard time soaking in what he was saying and was really resistant to expressing how I felt and talking about the things I needed to. Now it's a lot different though. I've found I can talk about what ever I need to without worrying about repercussions and what people might thing and realize that well, it really doesn't matter what people think, it matters what I think. That I have the right to feel how I do, say what I want, that my input is valued. I'm getting better at opening up my mind and taking in what other people have to say, instead of thinking I always have the right answer, etc.

It was just a really good session.  We did spend about fifteen minutes bitching about the Packer loss and football in general lol. When I told him I was going to Milwaukee soon, the first thing out of his mouth was..... are you going to visit the Harley Davidson museum?  Ha! Spoken from a true Harley fan :P He was very happy I'm going to go home and visit with family, he worries about the fact my family is all so far away. We are going to start having sessions every two weeks, instead of every week (which is great, it's like I've graduated a step up :D), but we are going to meet next week, because I won't be in town the following Monday. We also talked about how I really have to go to the dentist, but I'm terrified to go. So, I get to be hypnotized again, to help with that. I really hope it helps because I reaaaaaaaaaaaaally don't wanna go, even though I absolutely have to. He's going to record the session so I can play it every day until I see the dentist. I think it's a really good idea.

Went grocery shopping today. Spent a massive amount, because I'd been living off barely any food lately, just did not have any money. It was a relief to be able to afford food. I am proud of myself, I shopped SO well. No junk at all. I got fruits and tons of veggies for salads and turkey and chicken and just all really healthy stuff. I am determined to start working on this weight issue I have. I have been getting out and walking in the mornings (helps that I now have an Ipod again...the two I had when I lived in the old building were stolen!) and that is going well, but I need to eat very carefully as well so that I can lose some of the weight. I've done it before, so I know I can do it again. It goes back to what we talked about, having to do things that I don't want to do, but need to so I just have to do it.

I'm sure there is more to catch up on but I've rambled long enough :)
Hope everyone is doing good,
-M


January 20, 2012

Been Pretty Busy...

I got a new computer!! It's very exciting, especially because I lost the old one in the fire (it didn't burn but was water damaged).

The last time I bought a new computer was in 2005.... Wow they have come a long way since then! I feel like a little kid in a candy store with this thing. It does so many things, has so much space on it and the monitor is really nice... it's just a really cool computer.

At the moment I am up late transferring stuff on to it. I am lucky enough that a few years ago I went bonkers making back up disks of everything I'd had on my computer. I'm SO glad now that I did. I rescued those back up disks from my living room after the fire and my awesome friend Jess took all those disks, cleaned them, uploaded them onto her computer, and condensed them into dvd disks, which I am now using to put everything on this computer.

I'm also transferring the stuff off the netbook onto here as well. It proved a challenge because I don't have the cords to connect it to this computer. I have a 4GB memory card for my camera that can be inserted both in the netbook and this computer so I'm loading up the card full of stuff from the laptop, then pulling the stuff off onto here.

It's going to take a while to get it all on here but it will be worth it. I'll have ALL of my originals from all of my photography from 2005-2009 and then from August - now. I also will have all my music, including over 4GB of Elton music on here too.

Personally, I have been doing pretty good. The meds are keeping my moods even, although my anxiety still spikes now and then. Like a fellow blogger I read, I've been having issues with my hands shaking, I'm thinking it's the Lithium. I'll talk to Dr. B. about it on Tuesday but I don't want to change my dose as long as the hand shaking is harmless, because the meds really are working out well. Have to wait and see what he says....

I'm a little concerned about whether I'll be able to stay on Medicaid or not, because with my disability back pay dropping into my account, it puts me over the limit of what you can have in savings. I'm brainstorming on what I can do about it. Without Medicaid my meds would cost me over $700 cash every month. It would not be good...

Write more tomorrow, hope everyone is doing well, and Sairs, hang in there!

-M

January 17, 2012

New Phone :)

Today I was able to get a new phone, which is great because I was without one for a couple weeks, which is the WORST! I love it so far. Have unlimited everything on it and it has a little camera :D



Testing from phone...

January 16, 2012

I think it's back.

If I haven't mentioned it before, I probably should for newer readers.... I am a really big Elton John fan. From 2003 to 2009 I had a website I created from the ground up that was heavy on graphics I created in Photoshop CS2 and Dreamweaver programs and was known for a huge amount of photos, a blog I rambled on often and a very small, sassy, inappropriate but funny message board.


At some point I'd lost that 'eltonitis' I'd had for years and it seemed to be around a time I was going through a lot of depression while I lived in WI. I've still been a fan but it hasn't been the same. Little bits here and there I thought it was back, but it wasn't.

Funny thing is, since about a week after the Lithium and Seroquel were started....it DID start to come back. I've started listening to him more again and roaming around the net to see what the active boards have going on, etc. It wasn't until today that I really believed it was back. I've been in EJ mode all day, digging stuff up online, starting a picture archive on this computer, reading up on stuff I missed, etc.

It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.....

I feel really content and happy, like something was missing and I've found it again. I'm seriously thinking of starting a new website soon. I miss coming up with new graphics and creating in that sort of way. I figure, if I start a website, I'll have a part about me in there too and highlight some of my photography....

I'm really excited :D I had a friend tonight say how excited she was that I was finally back! Maybe the Lithium is helping in more ways than I realized.....
-M

PS: This was a video I painstakingly (and I do mean, it was a total pain in the butt, very complicated splicing video and timing it just right and ugh...) put together to be the intro on the old site. I haven't seen it in a long time, but thought I'd share.




(made March, 2006)

Grumpy Morning

Had fun watching the Packer game with Jess, but jeez....I think the real Packers were taken hostage and imitators were playing! I have no idea why they did so badly, but it was a sad game to watch. It's not so much that they didn't win, but the way they played. Like their minds weren't even there at all...

I missed my appt. with Dr. G. today, which is my own fault. I was going to have someone call in so I had a ride set up by the bus service (as I have no phone until next month...) and totally forgot to remind this person. I couldn't call to explain why I wasn't there either, so he's either annoyed or worried. I'll figure that out later today.

I definitely need to remember to get a ride set up for tomorrow, I have DBT in the afternoon, but I also need to turn paperwork in to keep my food assistance and Medicaid. I also need to call the local SSI office, as my Disability payments is official now and they need to talk to me about setting up a payment schedule for back pay. This has me very relieved, not only will I get a check every month so survive on but I'll get back pay and I can go to the dentist finally! (Jess I may need help getting dragged in there - I hate dentists!!)

I have had a lot of days lately where I haven't done much but sit around, but I won't be doing that today. I have plenty I can do and need to do and will be less bored if I keep busy. I already washed up most of the dishes by hand (even though I have a dishwasher...) and that was before my first cup of coffee today. After this cup, off to find more stuff to do.

I also want to nose around the old EJ board, as I haven't been there in ages!

Hope everyone has a productive day,
-M

January 15, 2012

1/15/11

*43 Days*

Haven't been on much lately. A lot of it has to do with adjusting to the new meds. My creativity seems to have really went south and just haven't felt much like writing. I'm getting used to the meds, although it's weird. It's been a long time since I have felt so even with my moods, so long that it's almost uncomfortable. With time it will be fine, it's just kinda weird right now.

I'm going to start writing in here more again, as I start to feel more like myself.  But not today....it's football day... The Packers are on in a little over an hour....WOOT! Go Pack! :D

Hope everyone is doing well,
-M

January 10, 2012

Feeling crappy

Ever since late this morning I've felt reaaaaaaaaaaally crappy, was shaky and full of anxiety for no reason and just ugh.  I tried to take a nap but couldn't fall asleep so I just laid there and watched the traffic out the window. In a way it was kinda relaxing. If the anxiety doesn't improve by the time DBT is done, I'll take a Klonopin.

While I am at the doc building for DBT I'm going to see if I can talk to the nurse and let her know some of the side effects I've been having. I'm wondering if it has some to do with going off so many meds at once.

Anyhow, should be on tonight :)

-M

Finally writing a post

*37 Days*

My creativity and ability to sit and write has been out the window for days, hence why I haven't been blogging, or journaling for that matter. Feeling very strange, between dropping five medications and adding three. One thing I do like, is after going off the old meds I realize how I feel more clear headed, which I didn't realize was an issue. Now I can think faster which is good yet I have been feeling pretty drugged up with the Seroquel especially. I've been told by others on it that it is a med that takes some getting used to, so I'm trying to take it in stride.

Right now my biggest complaint is sleep. I've had three nights of tossing and turning with some sleep in the middle. It's tiring.... At first the Seroquel was knocking me out but now it isn't anymore. I was on Trazodone for almost a year for sleep so I think it might be my body adjusting to not having it anymore. So far I have not had a down mood since going on these new meds, which is a change for me. That, I like a lot. I have a lot more energy and have been going out and walking at random. This is good because the meds I'm now on are notorious for weight gain if you don't exercise and really watch how much you eat. I'm eating really healthy atm too, hoping between eating at regular times, eating healthier and not pigging out and walking, maybe I'll see my weight drop some....would be nice!

I've been finding myself picking stuff up at random and organizing, it would be great if that keeps up! I've also found my ability to laugh more and engage with other people more. My anxiety hasn't been as bad and I'm able to just start chatting with random strangers.

Another complaint is that at times I just start staring off into space some. The racing thoughts, I don't know if it is worse right now or I'm just more aware of it, but I'll bring that up when I see Dr. B again.

I have more to write, but I'll do that later :) Hope everyone is doing well.

-M

January 9, 2012

Will blog and be online tonight

Been a little out of sorts with the new meds.... haven't been up to doing much writing or anything, but tonight I'll be on and will make an attempt to blog. Might need someone to check for typos though :P

-M

January 7, 2012

Very Cautiously Happy....

....only slightly until I talk to my caseworker Monday. I got a thing in the mail today from SSI saying that:

-We are writing you about your claim...you must meet both medical and non medical requirements... we have found that you meet our medical requirements for disability...

Reports used to make the decision included Dr. B, Dr. G. and the hospital....

Unable to work because of the following conditions: Bipolar 1, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Phobia

The medical evidence shows your have been unable to work since 6/1/10. Because of the severity of your condition and medical experience with those conditions, we are establishing the onset of your disability as 6/1/10.

We have not decided whether you meet our non medical rules. We will make that decision soon. We will then send you a second letter explaining our decision.


So does that mean now they are just verifying if I have any assets, income, if I'm married or not, stuff like that? Need to do a little reading up on it.

Like I said....cautiously happy....

-M

January 5, 2012

Fun Little Games To Play

I forgot all about this site: Orisinal

It has all sorts of cute little games to play. I love These Little Pigs, Cats, Winterbells, etc. This sight has been around a long time, I remember playing Cats back in like '04 or '05. There are other flash sites that are really neat with little interactive things to do, like........... Vector Park and an impossible game of balancing objects...Also, Hospital which I'm pretty sure I've never been able to find all the little interactive bits.

Anyhow,  I love when regular people build amazing flash websites. Always on the lookout for new sites with little interactive things to do :)

-M


Funny Ad

There was a little advertisement on the page I was on, made me laugh....

"People shocked by how bad their credit is... for $1, you can know how bad yours is too."

:P

-M

January 3, 2012

This is going to be a hell of a post....

*31 Days*

Just a tad bit to catch up on............

Dr. G - I saw Dr. Graham on Monday morning. I've been starting to hit a major upswing again so I was pretty chatty in our session. We talked a LOT about the possibilities of how well Mom took care of herself during her pregnancy or not........... I've heard talk around about how she smoked during her pregnancy and may have been using? Dr. G said if she did any drugs during her pregnancy it may attribute to my issues with attention, concentration and memory. It's a good point really. We talked about my needing to accept the issues like that, that I cannot control. I cannot get a better memory or better attention span. I can though, work with what I have, accept that it is who I am and use it to my advantage. How maybe shadowing a photographer is a better idea for me than college, because we know I'd never make it through lectures and things and tests would be a problem, they always have been, etc. How I need to be more hands on. How I do best doing my own style of photography, the kind where I only need to focus for a few seconds at a time, when I take a shot. That I'm lucky in that I can automatically measure up a shot without really thinking about it. I do better in natural situations than in studio settings, etc. To figure out how best to use what I have. It's something to really think about.
We also talked about the impact Mom abandoning me in the crib so young had on me. He tried to get me to visualize what it would have been like (obviously I don't remember) to not be having simple needs met, to literally have no one there and be alone for hours, how it probably first began to develope the fear of everything mentality I have now. The world was a scary place for me for many times in my childhood and it started so early. He wants me to really think hard about all of my fears and worries and try to keep connecting the reasoning behind them, to have a reason why, the real reason for each fear, to help tap away at making them go away. I told him sometimes it's hard to explain to people I know about my fears because they are like, huh? You don't seem scared. That I can hide it so well, be really freaking out on the inside but not on the outside, that people can be surprised. He said I have dead giveaways if you really pay attention, like looking away, fidgeting, breathing faster, etc., but he agreed I'm good at hiding it and it took him a while to be able to read it in me. Now I can't hide stuff like that from him....

Dr. B - I saw him this morning and boy was he in a chatty mood :D I love when he gets like that, he always has a lot of wisdom to share and stories to tell. He talked about how when he was training to be a psychiatrist that they made him see a psychologist every week for six months, as was required back then to better sympathize and understand the process. He said it took a month before he started talking about himself, was always talking about the weather. He didn't really understand how to talk about himself but he said going through that changed him forever. And that in his field, every day is a training day, you learn something that you didn't know the day before. He was telling us about how they want him to use a computer more and he's wasn't happy about it because that is not how he does things. He said not only is he pretty much computer illiterate but it's not how things should be done. You take time with the patient, you get to know them, have a connection with them, not sit there and type on a computer while talking them. He was like........ 'they want me to use this....this machine!'  Was funny yet understandable.

As far as I go, we dropped:  Tegretol, Vistaril, Risperdone, Trazodone and I'm being slowly taken off Effexor XR. We are going to up the Lamictal, which helps depression not be so bad and dark and bleak; we added Lithium (it's not bad like you see in movies and they don't OD you on the stuff like way back when lol) which helps with stabilizing moods, especially mania; and I was put on Seroquel. This was a surprise but it shouldn't have been. It helps with depression, racing thoughts, insomnia, paranoia, anxiety, etc. So I really hope it works out, I would love to feel some relief from these symptoms.

He also made sure I understood I need to let him know when I'm not happy with meds, etc. I have to go back in two weeks to see how it's going and raise the Seroquel. He wants to get me in a good theraputic range with it.

The Pack won their last game of the regular season in massive style to finish 15-1. Flynn played the whole game and threw for 6 passing TD's and almost 500 yards!! He broke the franchise record! Watched Dallas get their asses handed to them, which was good, I have neeeeeeeeeeeeever liked 'em.

I am now over thirty days clean again......... yay. I have a lot of pride for getting to this point again. I've also been doing really well with the cigs. I'm surprised, I mean I've had my moments, but it really hasn't been all that bad. So hopefully I can keep that up as well. :)

I was pissed because I visited some ex friends of mine, one in particular just to check up on her and they ended up pulling out heavy drugs in front of me when they know about my sobriety. Made me mad that they had no respect for me and because it risks ME getting into trouble too and they don't care. Had to get up and leave............ definitely not going back either.

DBT is going really well. Had class on Tuesday and there was only two of us that showed up, which was okay,  I talk more when there are less people. Learned all sorts of things I can do when I am in crisis or really upset to help calm myself down without doing things I shouldn't. Got all sorts of suggestions. My favorite, was about making a crisis kit for the senses.... with things like lavender and vanilla candles (things I'd want in mine), an elton cd, patchouli incense,  etc. I think my favorite thing to do when depressed and needing to escape is to crank my head phones and play Farkle or Bejewelled, or take a hot shower and relax. It was a group about finding different ways to cope. Was good!

Gonna end this for now, before I get slightly loopy from the meds......... (hopefully that goes away in a few days)!!

-M






January 1, 2012

Interesting.......

I am going through all my paperwork that was rescued from the fire and ran across an itemized bill from the first time I was on the unit.........

I was there six days. They charge 1,146 for the room per day.  So, that was 6,876. Total pharmacy bill during that time was 207.00. Total for labs was 999.00 including a four dollar charge for a specimen cup lol. EKG was 363.00.  In the end the total was around 8,461.00. Yikes. I only had to pay ten dollars because the hospital is a charity hospital and I had no income. Not long after I was approved for Medicaid and I believe they went back and paid it. Yay for Medicaid.

More amazing, was my time in partial from mid July through early October. Medicaid won't cover that (still don't understand why...) but the hospital did pick that up after Dr. G, Dr. B, Bille and even Dr. A all wrote in saying how I needed to be in partial. That bill? Just over 27,000.00!! Because of a clerical error I actually got a bill from that and just about had a heart attack when I saw the twenty seven thousand written in the 'your bill' section lol.

I'm so thankful for all the services that help people with low or no income.....

Anyways, just wanted to share ;)

-M

1/1/12

* 29 Days*

Well that took concentration to put the date on this post :P Finally, we are in 2012.... a new year, a clean slate, to make this a better year. I started it off by getting rid of the last of any cigarettes in the apartment, as that is my first wish for this year, to stop smoking immediately. I'm not going to sit here and think about how hard it will be etc., but every time I want one I'm going to remind myself that I want my lung functioning back! No more coughing and weezing and out of breath at simple things...... I'm directing it at my health because I'm concerned about it. No poor me and omg I just have to have one. I'm going to be strong and stick with this, I deserve to be healthier than I am.

I'm going to spend today trying very hard to get further along with my apartment and study DBT. I'm also going to go through the day remembering my DBT lessons, especially if I start to think negatively or sorry for myself. I don't try very hard a lot of days to reverse that thinking and I need to be more active with it. I'm going to start reading every one of those note cards I have around the house, instead of just walking by them. I'm also going to write down more times that I reverse my thinking, so I can see what I'm doing in my mind. I'm putting a piece of paper on the fridge with a pen, so I can jot them down right away.

I hope everyone had a good New Years Eve/ Day. Mine was nice, I fell asleep reading a book LOL. That is okay though, I feel rested today. I ended the book I was on and have started another and remind myself I need to have evenings like that once in a while, where I just curl up with a good book. I haven't been reading much lately but I want to start making it something I do at least every other day, because it is something I enjoy and should enjoy it! I need to occupy my time with things I enjoy instead of sitting around in the dumps.

I should be going by Jess's today and I want to plan out a walking plan for now, since it's not like 20F degrees out yet. we should be walking while we can. I did notice it helped me get up at a good time and energized me for a while after. As the days of no smokes go on, it might get easier too. Plus my weight is just not satisfactory at all. I need to be working on it whether I want to or not. Whatcha say Jess?? :)

Have a good day everyone, think positive thoughts!

-M

Interesting article about Adderall shortage.

 *I went through this early last year and I can really sympathize with people. I ended up having to go to two different pharmacies, one for my other meds and one for the Adderall. I can't imagine not being able to find it at all when it really helps your daily function. -M

Insight: Shortage of ADHD drug Adderall seen persisting in 2012


BOSTON (Reuters) - A shortage of Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, shows little sign of easing as manufacturers struggle to get enough active ingredient to make the drug and demand climbs.
Adderall, a stimulant, is a controlled substance, meaning it is addictive and has the potential to be abused. The Drug Enforcement Administration tightly regulates how much of the drug's active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) can be distributed to manufacturers each year.
The system is designed to prevent the creation of stockpiles that could be diverted for inappropriate use. Adderall and other stimulants are popular with students who may not have ADHD but are seeking to improve their test scores.
The DEA authorizes a certain amount of the API in Adderall - mixed amphetamine salts - to be released to drugmakers each year based on what the agency considers to be the country's legitimate medical need.
Increasingly that estimate is coming into conflict with what companies themselves say they need to meet demand for the drug, which is reaching all-time highs. In 2010, more than 18 million prescriptions were written for Adderall, up 13.4 percent from 2009, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription data.
Concerns are now rising among patient groups and doctors that the shortages seen in 2011 will continue into this year. Many orders remain unfilled, manufacturers say, and it may take several months before ingredient authorized under the new 2012 quota can be turned into new product.
"I am very concerned about the future," said Ruth Hughes, chief executive of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyeractivity Disorder (CHADD). "No one seems to have much inventory to get us through the months ahead."
ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders. An average of 9 percent of children between the ages of five and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms include difficulty staying focused, hyperactivity and difficulty controlling behavior. If they are not properly medicated, children with ADHD may act out and be held back in class; adolescents might engage in impulsive, risky behavior; adults are at greater risk of being fired from their jobs.
"There are real major life impacts for people not having access to medication," Hughes said. "Someone needs to own this problem and take the initiative to fix it."
RIPPLE EFFECT
Adderall is made in several dosages and formulations. Shire Plc makes Adderall XR, a more expensive extended release version of the drug. Authorized generic versions of Adderall XR are sold by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Impax Laboratories Inc.
Shorter-acting instant release forms are made by Sandoz, a unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, as well as by CorePharma LLC and Teva. It is the shorter-acting versions of the drug that are currently in shortest supply.
The full scope of the shortage is unclear. Patients have been scrambling since mid-year to find pharmacies carrying the drug. Some have been switched to other medications such as Adderall XR or Ritalin, a rival drug known also as methylphenidate. But companies do not always track which pharmacies have their product at any given time.
"We don't monitor the distribution system, but we do know that all our customers are on back order right now," said Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley. Teva sells to wholesalers and distributors as well as to some hospitals and specialty pharmacies - and all have orders placed but not filled.
Hughes said CHADD, along with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, another advocacy organization, has recently started to track where, geographically, the calls about shortages are coming from.
Quantifying the problem is particularly urgent since the Adderall shortage is now also spilling over and causing shortages of Ritalin. Sandoz, which makes generic forms of both drugs, is straining to meet increased demand for both products.
"There is currently not enough product to fill all of our customer orders at the wholesaler level," said Julie Masow, a spokeswoman for Novartis, in an email.
TENSIONS FLARE
The problem is particularly troublesome since no one really agrees on its cause.
Under the quota system, drugmakers receive enough material to meet what the DEA estimates will meet the legitimate needs of American patients, but not enough to build inventory. The DEA says recent shortages were not caused by an insufficient quota but by marketing decisions taken by the companies.
"Any shortage of these products is therefore a result of decisions made by industry regarding manufacturing or distribution," Barbara Carreno, a DEA spokeswoman said, though she declined to specify those decisions.
She noted that there are currently more than 200 drugs in short supply in the United States, most of which do not contain controlled substances and have nothing to do with the DEA.
"There is no reason to think that the same market forces that are causing those shortages are not playing a part in these," Carreno said.
President Barack Obama recently issued an executive order demanding that the Food & Drug Administration address these shortages, which mostly affect generic injectable drugs that companies are no longer making as they are not as profitable as newer products.
For their part, Adderall manufacturers say they are working flat out to meet demand, and say the DEA does not always approve enough material in time for them to supply customers.
"Our production facilities are currently running at maximum capacity for Adderall utilizing all available API," said Teva's Bradley. "The catalyst for the problem is the quota system, not the business."
The DEA sets its aggregate quota at the beginning of each year, taking into account past quota levels, inventory levels and company sales forecasts. But the DEA's assessment of what a company needs may not be the same as the company's own estimates. It is an ongoing process of negotiation.
"DEA can come back and say, 'we agree with your forecast and issue everything you want,' or they may come back and say 'we don't think you need that much,' and they give you 75 percent," said Matt Cabrey, a spokesman for Shire.
Early last year, Shire suffered shortages of Adderall XR. "It was directly related to the API quota," Cabrey said. In June 2010, Shire calculated that API was running too low. It applied to the DEA for more, but did not receive the additional supply until December. It typically takes Shire three months to then make the product and get it to customers.
As a result, Cabrey said, there were shortages of Adderall XR in January and February last year and supplies did not return to normal until March and April. The company said there are no shortages of Adderall XR, though some patients say even that is now hard to get hold of.
Amy Alkon, 47, who writes a syndicated column on dating and manners, began taking Adderall for her ADHD about five months ago after Ritalin stopped working for her. This week she spent hours on the phone trying to find a pharmacy that could fill her prescription - and she couldn't find Adderall or Adderall XR.
"I have gone to the biggest medical centers in the Los Angeles area, I've called countless pharmacies and they have no pills," she said. "Nobody has anything."
For Alkon, the prospect of the shortage continuing is alarming. Adderall, she said, has changed her life, allowing her to organize her thoughts and tamp down what she calls a "tornado" of activity in her brain.
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
The DEA, while insisting its quota for 2011 was sufficient, nonetheless revised it upwards in December.
"We increase the aggregate so that we will have enough to respond to specific companies if their requests for more amphetamine salts are justified and needed," said Carreno. "The companies can and do request more amphetamine salts, and we can and do respond to those requests throughout the year."
Simply increasing the overall national quota, however, does not address company complaints that it takes DEA months to approve individual requests for new product.
Asked why it might take the agency months to approve a company's request, the DEA said it is required by law to balance providing enough API to meet the legitimate needs of patients while protecting the public from any diversion of potentially lethal substances.
"We do our best to accomplish both missions, and the quota system is part of the process for achieving this," Carreno said.
That is not good enough for CHADD's Hughes or other advocacy groups, who plan to lobby both the DEA and drugmakers to find a solution to the shortages.
"When you have a controlled substance problem, the DEA has to be involved in fixing it," said Hughes. "It is not sufficient to say it is an industry problem. We need to figure out how to build more flexibility into the system."
The DEA controls roughly 400 basic substances, in addition to derivative products such as salts and ethers.
The chemicals are divided into five schedules. Schedule 1 drugs include illegal substances such as heroin. Scheduled II drugs, such as Adderall and other stimulants, have a medical use but a high potential for abuse. Schedule III drugs have a somewhat lower abuse potential and include the painkiller Vicodin, while Schedule IV drugs include the tranquilizers Klonopin and Ativan. Schedule V substances include cough medicines such as Robitussin.
Adderall is popular on college campuses, even among those who do not have ADHD but want a performance boost. Students may trade the drug or get it from their siblings or parents.
Stimulants appear to work in patients with ADHD by increasing the availability in the brain of the chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, which both appear to help regulate attention and executive function. Their effects differ slightly depending on the drug, and some people respond better to one than another.
"In every suburban high school and in colleges there is a significant underground economy around stimulants," said Harry Tracy, a psychologist and publisher of NeuroPerspective, a monthly publication focusing on central nervous system disorders. "Adderall can go for $5 to $10 a pop."
Physicians say it can be challenging to sort out who is a legitimate patient and who might seek the drug simply to enhance performance.
"Trying to determine the best thing to do can be a quandary at times because there is this question of whether the person is trying to get the medication for nonmedical reasons," said Steven Cuffe, a child psychiatrist and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Right now patients are trying to scrape by, either by traveling long distances to fill prescriptions or switching to other products even if they don't work as well or are more expensive. But these are temporary workarounds and without a structural change manufacturers and advocate groups fear the problem will linger or even worsen.
"This does not seem to be a short-term solvable problem," Hughes said.
(Additional reporting by Ransdell Pierson and Lewis Krauskopf in New York, Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Michele Gershberg, Martin Howell in New York.)

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/insight-shortage-adhd-drug-adderall-seen-persisting-2012-151543814.html