Continue Disability

My disability review was completed in October and concluded that my disability is continuing. I felt very much relieved when I received the notice. Though I am no longer stressing about the review, I am still distressed that I cannot seem to make progress on or complete any of my writing projects. It is very depressing. Though I don’t think I am very depressed or depressed enough to take an antidressant though my psychiatrist might think otherwise. He wanted me to give Cymbalta another try, but I experienced nausea, a fast heartbeat that lasted for at least four hours, and I kept drifting in and out of sleep for a day and a half after I took the first dose. Since I still felt nauseous and sleepy the next day, I stopped taking it. Idk what my psychiatrist will say when I see him next. I am okay but unhappy. I have chronic pain which is mostly okay and when it is not okay I take some meds. My anxiety is also continuing. I just wish I could write. I want to get lost in my writing.

Instead, I get lost in other worlds by other writers. For the past couple months I have been reading mostly teen/ya fantasy/dystopia. I discovered the Selection series by Keira Cass, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, and the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. Now, I am reading “A Torch in the Night” by Sabaa Tahir, and will be reading Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series next. I also escape to WoW, raiding twice a week since my guild has the current tier on farm now and leveling my alts when I feel like playing on off days. I have now gotten the class mounts for 4 alts, my feral druid, enhancement shaman, havoc demon hunter, and windwalker monk. I have started to play my frost death knight again. She was at leavel 106 when I last played her, and since she has so much rested xp I will get to her to 110 pretty fast. Then I can work on getting her class mount, which won’t take very long either. I have not been watching much TV, though I never miss an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and The Voice. I also watch All In With Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC 2-3 times a week.

Most of the time, I don’t feel like talking to people. It seems to take too much effort. I hardly go out, and idk if I should care about whether or not it’s healthy. Well, I know it is not healthy, but I don’t seem to care. I mostly just want to read or listen to an audiobook in bed. I have been eating a lot of sweets lately and have gained some weight, but I am resolved to cut back on the sweets, which shouldn’t be too hard, eating is such a chore sometimes too. All I really want is to start and finish my writing projects. I just want to be writing again, a good story, and see the story to THE END. That’s all I ever really wanted. To write a book. A good book. Something that matters.

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Costumes and Cammie

Speaking of creativity… My mom hosted her 70th birthday party last month at the Hilton. It was a costume party with a Bollywood theme. She put it all together, the centerpieces, giveaways, and party gifts. She even did a Bollywood dance with her friends. The costumes were all very colorful. It was festive like all my mom’s parties. It seemed like everyone was having a good time dancing (ballroom and line dancing), taking goofy photos at the photo booth, and getting henna tattoos. I didn’t stay the whole night because of my back problems and arthritis, but I was there for awhile. It was a long day and I even got my hair done at the salon with my mom. The costume was all my mom’s idea, but I didn’t mind because the day was all about her. Anyway, here’s a picture of me, my parents, my sister-in-law Elsa, and my brother Eric.

 

Eric and Elsa also brought over their six-month-old puppy when they were in town for the party. Cammie is a Cavapoo, which is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. She’s so cute and funny, and she knows a few tricks like sit, down, and shake hands. Shake hands was the best and made me laugh and feel happy. There she is walking all over my brother’s workstation in order to get his attention.

 

Things are somewhat back to normal with me and my parents. I am not angry anymore. I have been directing my thoughts toward writing, and am not going to worry about the disability review for now.

Creativity

Creativity comes and goes. I’m not sure if it’s related to my mood or my medications. Probably a little of both. Many people with bipolar disorder think that their bipolar meds–mood stabilizers like Lamictal or Lithium–stunts their creativity. I have been taking Lamictal for ten years, and for a few years also had been taking Lithium, which made me fat. Anyway, I was rather unstable at the time, and also taking an antidepressant. My moods were all up and down, but I managed to do some writing. It wasn’t very good writing, but I was writing anyway and almost finish a book. I gave up on it because I just couldn’t figure out the ending, and though I believed in my characters I didn’t believe in the plot.

So, now, my disability is up for review, and I am anxious and worried that I might lose my benefits–disability income and Medicare. When I had first applied for disability in 2009, I had been having trouble working. I had quit my lost job in 2008 on the spot, after frequently calling in sick and showing up late, and going on temporary disability twice in 2007. I had been hospitalized in 2007 for ten days for a mixed manic episode and had difficulty returning to work. After I quit my job, I received either unemployment compensation or State disability benefits for about year. It was awhile ago, and I can’t remember. But it must have been State disability, because I was immediately approved for SSDI in 2009 and and received a retroactive lump sum going back to the date SSA determined I was first disabled.

I don’t think I am ready to go back to work, and I don’t know when I will be. I think I have a serious mental illness, and now I have arthritis which limits my activities. Now, I am feeling depressed and angry with my parents because they think I should just get up and get a job and go to work. Just because I look fine on the outside doesn’t mean I am okay. My parents really don’t get it. When I was a kid, I used to wish I hadn’t been born. Like if I had a choice, if anyone had asked me if I wanted be a sentient human being, I would have preferred not to exist. I realize I must sound very negative, but I feel like there is nothing special about me, nothing special about my life, and no special love. I have many interests but not much passion for anything in particular. I really wanted to write a book, but I haven’t been writing anything. When I was growing up, my primary ambition–my quest–was to write a book and get published. That was it. I didn’t think about getting married and having kids. But I have noticed over the years that I am usually happier with my life when I am in a good, stable relationship.

Anyway, I am thinking maybe I need to go back on Abilify, because I seemed more active and motivated then, when I was taking it. And I want to talk to my therapist again, because I stopped seeing her when I was doing physical therapy for the arthritis, and I am feeling angry and depressed and anxious again and as I mentioned above thinking that I shouldn’t have been born because lately I haven’t been feeling motivated to do anything except the most basic things in life. Of course, I still enjoy my TV shows and audiobooks, and I started playing WoW again, just an hour a day or so because of the arthritis and my neck and shoulder pains. Of the TV shows I have binge-watched these past few months: Supergirl, Shadowhunters, The Crown, Poldark, and Harlots. I watched Poldark twice in fact. I can’t wait for season 3, and I hope Harlots will get a season 2, because I really want to know what is gonna happen next. Other than that, most of the time I just wanna stay in bed. Oh and watch prime-time MSNBC, especially The Rachel Maddow Show.

That’s it for now. I probably won’t blog again until I receive news about my disability review. I hope my creativity will come back. I just wish that I could have had a normal and happy life when I was growing up. Maybe I would have been stronger and well-adjusted. Maybe I would have written half a dozen books by now. Maybe I would have a passion for life and feel like a have a reason for living and maybe I would want to go out and be around people and do purposeful things. But whatever. I haven’t talked to my mom since yesterday. I am still feeling resentful and angry about what she and my dad said. Oh, I’m sure they mean well, but they just have no clue what it means to have a disabling mental illness.

This April

Well, the news is that we returned Harley to the breeder. I was just stressing out too much and the pain from arthritis was not improving, especially in my hip area. I think I really tried with Harley, even took her to puppy class. My parents were helping me out as well, but it was all just too much for us. I felt that Harley needed more time and attention, but I was constantly in pain. After we returned Harley, I saw my doctor again, and she referred me to physical therapy. I really want to get better, especially because my mom’s 70th birthday party is coming up in June. I am improving a little and feeling less pain, but I am still spending a lot of time in bed resting. My mental health is a bit more stable though. I haven’t been doing any of the things I used to do before I was diagnosed with arthritis. Haven’t been playing WoW, haven’t been writing, haven’t been reading that much, though I have been listening to more audiobooks and I continue to update my romance book blog. As a consequence of my current quality of life, I have been watching a lot more TV. LOL. I watched Supergirl Season 1 on Netflix and used my 7-day free trial of Showtime on Amazon to watch Homeland Season 6. I also wake up every morning wondering if Trump got us into war while I was asleep. So, 2017 is way more awful than 2016, and the Trump administration is truly scary. I’m just glad I have my family and few friends on/by my side.

Harley

harley2Here’s a photo of my puppy Harley. She’s a smart girl, affectionate, and very lively. She likes to play A LOT. Taking care of her is not easy. I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep, I am tired a lot, and by the end of the day my back hurts. I stay in my room most of the time, so I am not used to being this active. I can’t wait until she’s older and big enough to take her out on walks. I let her out in the yard to potty and play some. She is so fast! And she knows how to use the training pad, but I worry I won’t be able to potty train her properly. I think when she knows that she has to potty outside, I will be really relieved. But she is still very small, about 3 lbs., and I haven’t had her for a week yet. I have to be patient and try to relax. I have to admit I am stressing out some, and definitely will need my massage tomorrow. It’s not good for my mental health if I can’t sleep. But taking care of her should get easier over time as she learns. I do hope I get this right. And I hope I can get more sleep! I took her to the vet on Friday and they told me she has a slight heart murmur, which they will monitor for sixteen weeks. If everything checks out by then, she should be fine. I don’t think it’s anything serious. She is so full of energy I have trouble keeping up with her. But after she’s done eating and playing, she sleeps for a couple hours. Then, I get a break. She is also very loud! She whines when I leave her or when she wants something, and she barks a little when she wants someone to play with her. My parents help me out and watch her from time to time. But it seems like they don’t know what to do with her either LOL. They like to play with her though. Anyway, I really need to take it easy and relax more. I think I will be very happy when she is completely potty trained. I am gonna take her to puppy class as well.

Back Pain Update

I’m still having trouble sleeping. I think a lot of it has to do with my back pain, because I feel so uncomfortable and have trouble relaxing when I’m trying to sleep. All of which causes anxiety and is not very helpful for my mood. So, I went on a mission to find out why my back has been hurting so much recently and how I can relieve the pain. I saw a chiropractor a couple weeks ago who told me that my back pain was caused by hip degeneration from sitting too much. My primary care physician then ordered X-rays to confirm that I have arthritis. The treatment is 600mg ibuprofen every six hours as needed and a muscle relaxant up to three times a day as needed. My doctor advised me to call her if I needed stronger pain medication.

Aside from medication, I should moderate my time at the computer, take more walks, and keep my weight down. I also should avoid foods that cause inflammation like milk products and wheat. The arthritis generally hurts less in the morning and gets worse as the day goes by. This does not make me happy because who wants to be in pain for the rest of their life? But arthritis is a common ailment some people get as they age. Some days will be better than others, some days I will have flareups. It’s unfortunate and a little depressing that I have so many health problems that prevent me from doing what I want in life. Because of my back pain, I only went raiding once last week in WoW. I haven’t been playing WoW much at all or socializing irl. But the upside is that I’ve been doing a lot more writing. I guess I don’t have any choice but to try to be strong. I’m not the only person in the world who struggles with chronic pain and mental illness. My problem is that I don’t have very good coping skills. I hope I can manage and cope with my back pain well.

The good news is I’m getting my puppy on Thursday! I’ve bought all kinds of doggy stuff for her 🙂 I can’t wait to bring her home and post pictures on my blog to share with my dear readers.

Because I Am Not Relaxed

I went to my doctor because my shoulder and back pain was getting worse. She prescribed me prescription strength ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant, which makes me very groggy and helps with sleep. Now, I feel rather over-medicated and the pain hasn’t exactly gone away. Not fun.

My doctor also said that I could do physical therapy or see a chiropractor but since I’ve done PT three times already in the past four years I decided to try out a chiropractor this time. He told me I could have hip degeneration. That sounded bad, so I didn’t ask him what it meant. Instead, I googled it and found out that it could mean osteoarthritis in my hips. Awesome. The verdict is: too much sitting, not enough exercise, and I need to watch my weight. I am gonna have to talk to this chiropractor to make sure what he meant, and should I get an x-ray?

For my mental health all this means that I am not relaxed. I am worrying again, and I dislike being in pain. I think I might have made it a little worse because I did some painting on Saturday for my volunteer service and my arms were sore.

Not to mention I did a few marathon mythic + dungeons in WoW, which is definitely not helping my back pain. I will have to moderate my gaming time, and only play a couple of my toons. I will play my hunter for sure, and probably play my alt horde druid in my women’s guild, whose guild chat is more social than my raiding guild’s. It has more members, since it was organized on Facebook and probably also because women tend to be better organizers and community builders.

Take the U.S. Congress for example. Predominantly men kicking 20 million people off health insurance without even having a plan to replace the ACA. Before the ACA, health insurers could deny coverage to anyone who had a pre-existing condition and charge women higher premiums as if their gender itself is a pre-existing condition.

It’s like this whole election was about keeping men in power. If the Russian conspiracy is valid and it’s true that Putin had a vendetta against Hillary Clinton, and since Americans voted for Trump despite his history of sexual assault, at the very least harassment, against women, then it all seems to point to this election outcome resulting from outright misogyny. Let’s not forget GOP wants to take down Planned Parenthood as well. 2016 was just the beginning.

I am not planning to watch Trump’s inaguration. There are a bunch of groups organizing women’s marches across the country in solidarity and non-violent resistance on Saturday. I would be marching too if it weren’t for my back.