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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Feeling sorry for myself. boo hoo

I've had a headache that slips into a migraine if I even slightly miss taking these weird custom compounded meds every four hours since May 5th, the day I had a massive panic attack that crushed my chest and jaw and gave me the headache that remains. I also have had trouble balancing. At the moment of the un-provoked panic attack I pulled into a parking lot because I thought I was having a heart attack. I do have a serious anxiety disorder as well as rampant bipolar illness, but May 5th was the mother of all attacks and I wasn't even upset about anything. After EKG's, and CT scans that cleared me, I finally go in for a MRI tomorrow. I have medical issues which upsets me because I eat right and exercise almost everyday. I've lost 150 pounds since I started reducing my portions in January 2013. I've lost 50 pounds since the 30th class reunion. This all pisses me off and I'm ready to fight whatever comes next, but it does leave me a bit scared. Primarily of brain cancer. I was diagnosed with chronic lymphomic Leukemia (CLL) in 2007, so it was really just a matter of time, but not now damn it. I'm having too much fun living. If they can get my headaches, chronic spleen pain, liver, and the cyst in my knee taken care of I'm sure I'll live into my 90's. Yet, here I sit. Waiting. Praying. Surrounded by my loving caring family and friends, I still feel alone and scared and feeling sorry for myself. boo hoo. What a baby. I'll probably be fine. It just eats at you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Complicated Knee

I went to the second, yet main, orthopedic "limb" surgeon and went through my problems precisely. The outside of my left knee is fairly normal, but the inside of the knee is complicated.

I have vascular insufficiency that must be addressed before surgery so now I'm going to a vascular specialist. The gist is that my blood goes down the arteries fine and then do not properly go back up causing calf swelling. Since I've lost weight the swelling has gone down considerably, but not enough for the Limb surgeon. I guess the vascular surgeon will either fix the swelling or come up with a viable plan that the Limb surgeon is comfortable with. I may have the go back and get a check-up from my infectious disease doctor from my 2013 hospitalization.

The primary surgeon wants to be sure we don't have any complications with the healing of the knee surgery. Once cleared of all other issues, he will either use a scope to clean things like the cyst, torn cartilage, torn ligament, and a bone graph to fix the hole the cyst made in one of my knee bones. It's quite clear that this is going to be a summer trek. Right now my knee doesn't hurt nearly as much as my headache and spleen issue, but, if the knee flares, it hurts more than anything. The swelling of the cyst and ligament makes everything around it hurt.

I'm not supposed to run, which I love, or jog or hike with determination. I can hike as a casual walk, but nothing like I was doing before when I didn't know about the cyst garbage. I can ride a bike and swim. This is not impossible. My gym does have bikes and a huge indoor and outdoor swimming pool. I'll convert, but I don't like it. I was working out five times a day and running four to five miles per day and then extreme hiking with Cheri on the weekend. Occasionally Greg would come along and it was great.

Anyway, the dull to extreme headaches and migraines together with a normally manageable spleen and a sore knee are getting to me. It's ruining my mania. I fear that I will soon dip back down to depressed.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mania slipping to depression

On or about May 5th, 2014 I had an "incident." While driving, my chest tightened making it hard to breath and my neck and jaw began to throb. I thought it was just a bad panic attack and maybe it was. A few hours later, I went to the ER because I'm an idiot. I should have gone to the ER when it happened. I was right next to an ER anyway. So I went and they did their tests and concluded that I didn't have a heart attack.

But, I developed a headache that wouldn't go away. It went from headache to migraine over the following days and I returned to the doctor and he prescribed a migraine med. It kind of worked, but not really so I called again and the compounding pharmacy made a med that opened my vascular system and killed the pain. It worked which is good, but then it makes me think that if it works then there is probably a constricted vein or something. For now I'm taking my second prescription of the stuff. I usually have to take about 5 to 6 of these pills a day. I'm supposed to take two every four hours, but that makes me run out fast so I try to stay ahead of the headache, but try to tolerate what I can.

I've been very manic and I have gotten tons to projects done. I have to get knee surgery to remove a cyst that has grown in and around my left knee MCL. It has also grown into my bone so I have now three doctors and surgeons preparing to operate. It's going to put me down for awhile so I am fighting the urge to give into a depressive swing. I think the pain from my knee and the headaches are contributing to my fall backwards. Today I have a list of about 20 things to do. This was one of them and now I go. And, I have a headache.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Poem : Psychotic Break

I'm feeling better. Working out everyday. I don't know what was wrong, but I feel better and so I felt like publishing this poem.

“Psychotic Slithering”
By Christopher Sharits

Look, there he is!
No one is there sir.
Look again in the bedsprings!
No one is there.
I can see him breathing!
No one is there.

Look! His shoelace!
No one is there sir.
Yes. He’s there…

What are you doing sir?
He needs air!
Who needs air?
The boy! He’s sick!
No one is there.

What’s wrong sweetie?
There’s more than one!
One what?
In the back of the couch!
Sweetie, no one is there.
Yes, there is. Slithering like snakes…
Don’t cry. Take these and rest.



 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feeling low again today

I guess I should write about the good days as well as the bad, but today you get the bad because I have this deep rooted need to share with someone. Even if that someone doesn't know me.

Just a brief on me, if your new or if its been awhile since I've tried to summarize. I am 48 about to turn 49. I've been married to the same wonderful woman with whom I credit my very life for 30 years in August. I have three boys 24, 22, and 17. They are wonderful sympathetic gentlemen. I'm patiently waiting for a grandchild. I hope it's a girl so I can spoil her rotten.

I was a very successful businessman having held the positions of supervisor, warehouse manager, general manager, President and CEO. That was before my life changed in 2001 when I had my first major bipolar episode and spent time in several psych wards as they tried to get my meds settled and my suicidal tendencies under control.

I've had five manic depressive (bipolar) driven suicides in my family prior to 2001 including my grandmother, two of her siblings, my only paternal uncle and my father, the famous experimental film maker Paul Sharits.

I have struggled with my weight since I was 20 or so. I yo-yo dieted my way up to 220 or so before my dad died in 1993. My weight shot up to just under 280 before my own episode in 2001. Combined with fighting bipolar disorder and the weight gaining medications, I shot up to a severe weight of 456 in November 2007. I lost most of the weight and got stuck and started gaining it back. In 2011 I had lapband surgery which worked for about 6 months and then I gained back the weight and hit about 429 last January 2013. I just decided to lose weight 10 to 15 pounds a month so I could get healthy and I hit 300 by January 1st 2014. I am now, February 11, 2014 still around 300 but not gaining weight. I'm planning on losing an additional 50 pounds this year and I just need to get back into gear.

As far as today's bipolar report, I had a rough weekend. Several panic attacks and just really low to the point that thoughts of suicide kept creeping up. I stayed busy yesterday, but almost had a complete panic attack in Costco. Too many people with too many blank stares. Costco is an unhappy place to shop, btu sometimes necessary. In defense of Costco, I almost freaked out in Kings Soopers the day before and I had to white knuckle it out the door and it is my favorite place to shop. The staff and shoppers just seem to smile more and they are very polite. I think that's because the manager, Doug, runs a nice efficient ship. It's the second busiest grocery store in Colorado and you wouldn't even know it because they open plenty of registers and you never seem to wait very long to be checked out.

Last night was weird. I normally sleep solid through the night because of my meds, but I was up nd down all night. My dreams were weird and disturbing. Finally when it was time to get up at 6am, I took the puppy out to pee and woke up my son for school and started the coffee. Same as everyday. But, I felt the weight of the bipolar force upon me. I asked my wife to drop off my son at school and I went back to bed. MY dreams were even more strange and I woke up feeling suicidal. I went through the motions of being normal and I feel a bit better now. I'm going to try to go to the gym and start writing a new movie score.

Overall, I feel lonely and suicidal. Must get out of the house and occupy myself while the feeling passes.    

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What being bipolar feels like

I woke up this morning with the thought of "one must fall and stumble to rise and become wise." It sounds good and I wish it was true. Before my first major bipolar episode it was certainly true. I fell, I got up and learned from my mistake.

First, may we stop calling my disorder bipolar? It's better described as manic depressive mental illness. I think "bipolar disorder" was someone's idea of breaking the stigma of the mental illness much like we stopped calling African Americans "colored" or "black." I have actually forgotten which one is proper these days and I assume it really depends on the individual. Usually I just call those that I know "friend." While I don't consider myself racist I know I am prejudiced. Maybe a bit elitist because I can make a rash judgement on someone who may appear or sound like they have a lack of education. To be honest, when I hear someone's southern american drawl or accent the first thing that I think is hillbilly as a derogatory term. It's not fair and often not true. I can also make the same type of judgement walking through a Walmart seeing a fat ill conceived dressed woman with screaming children and a man following in a camouflage t-shirt. I got off track and exposed more than I should have. My apologies. That kind of thinking is unfair. I'm actually quite sympathetic with anyone who is over-weight, but avoid Walmart because I do see far too many screaming kids and camouflaged dress which should only be worn when actually hunting. When worn otherwise, it seems to me to be a very poor fashion choice. One example of being elitist.

Back to my thoughts on being manic depressive and falling down. In most cases, I can stand up stronger, but I live with the knowledge that I may fall and fall and fall into a sobbing ball of tears for absolutely no reason or over the smallest challenges or anxieties. I wish I could control it or even see it coming, but I can't. Someone will ask, "how are you? You seem sad? Can I help you?" and I haven't the slightest idea what their seeing in me, but, apparently, I can be rather transparent. Sometimes I may just be sad or sometimes I can be on my way down to dire desperate depression. The kind of depression that seems insurmountable and utterly crippling. At that point I know I either have to call my psychiatrist's mobile phone and make some temporary medication adjustments and basically sleep until I can get in to see her OR I need to go to the ER and get admitted to the Psych Ward. I have to keep myself safe from myself.

Other times, like now, I am in perfect control and my prescribed medications are working fine. I never deviate from my prescriptions. Sometimes, as previously mentioned, that's not enough and the illness takes over anyway. Tonight, tomorrow, next week, next month, it could hit. I don't know. I don't break into a rash or something before I take a dive. It just happens which scare me the most because I rely heavily on my mind. My intellect is my gift and weapon against the will and obstructions of society. I suppose it is my depression and anxiety which has most effected my ability to work for and have people work for me. I used to be an awesome employee and a great manager, but that part of me is gone forever. Maybe I could be that guy again for a short period or even a prolonged period, but I can't rely on my illness. It has rendered me unemployable. Now I hope that I can write books that help people deal with the illness either themselves or friends and family. That would be great. It would give my life greater meaning. It's rather important to me.

Then there is the flip side to depression. I suppose every manic depressive has their own experiences with hyper-mania or hypo-mania, but this is mine. I become super anxious. It get so hyper that my mind won't stop racing. So many thoughts all at once. They won't stop. They won't stop and be quiet. Not for a moment and I become tired and irritable. I become somewhat of an asshole. People close to me whom I may reveal my true feelings find me hard to control. This is the time I feel invincible. This is the time I feel superior to everybody. Theories of grandeur fly wildly from my mind and from my mouth. Soon the thoughts become too loud and they scream. I become scared and more anxious. I feel like the only way out is death. Again, I need to call my psychiatrist to make temporary adjustments or I need to be placed on a 72 hour suicide hold on a psych ward. It never just lasts 72 hours. It usually takes a week or so. It scares my family so I try my best to stay off the ward.

I've gotten real good at hiding my feelings. The ones I let in is my wife and one of my friends AND, if I feel truly out of control I will call my psychiatrist, I will go to the hospital, but most people, even my brothers and sisters don't know. They think they know, but they don't really know. I generally stay away from people when it gets bad. I tell people I'm too busy or I've got a cold. For the most part I suffer in silence.

Sometimes I fall, I stumble, I want to get up and be stronger, but I can't. I'm stuck. I'm mentally ill.            



    

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What really matters... copied from a friend's FB status

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles roll ed into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’ The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed.. ‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn. Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Personal Epiphany

I think I had an epiphany. If you believe that one side of the brain has different tendencies than the other, which I do, than January 2008 rewired the dominant side of my brain.

I used to be a linear, logical being, and manically hard driven. I used to be very concerned with work and titles. I was obsessively driven to be the best at work and at school. I served as General Managers, Vice-Presidents, Presidents and I collected master's degrees like bowling trophies. I would say that the left side of my brain was dominate.

In January 2008, I had a "brain trauma." Truth is that I had a severe bipolar/psychotic episode and spent the entirety of January on the mental wing. Nobody knew if I was going to come back, but I did and something had changed. I tried to think linear and dominate with my left side, but I couldn't. I couldn't even imagine doing the things I did before. Actually, I was kind of embarrassed by the man I once was.

My right side had taken over. My family became more important. Love became important. While my mind still lusts for knowledge, it is simply for knowledge's sake. I am more intuitive, sensitive, and subjective. Creativity dominates my thinking. I constantly think of writing, poetry, painting, and thinking. I have stopped to smell the roses. I tried to fight the new me, but it's impossible. My right side has taken over.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year 2014

It's the beginning of a new year. I hit my weight goal of 300 pounds. It felt great when the scale hit it. I feel like I really accomplished something special. 130 pounds in one year. I feel much better, but I'm not done. I set a new goal for 2014. I want to lose another 100 pounds. I want to be 275 by my birthday on March 19th. I just have to do what I do and maintain portion control. It should be easier now that the Christmas cookies, fudge, and family dinners are done. Now that it is the 2nd of January the weight celebration is kind of over. I did what I promised myself i would do and now I'm starting from 0. Well, really 300, but my weight loss for the year is zero. 100 more pounds to go by 2015! Yeah! :-)

I wrote a new weight summary for my website, www.lose250.com. I figured I'd share it here as well. Have a Happy New Year. May it be full of fun and love.

Obesity is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. Globally, there are at least 300 million obese adults. Obesity, morbid obesity, and super morbid obesity has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke, premature arthritis and certain forms of cancer. I started to have trouble with yo-yo dieting when I was in my early 20's. There is a couple of misconceptions I'd like to address. First, most overweight people don't like being fat and they don't pig out all the time. Sure, some people eat unhealthy and drink a bunch of sugary drinks all day or drink too much beer, but some simply eat 5 to 10% more than everyone else. It adds up and then people start giving up. They get hooked onto a diet pill or the latest fad just to fall back six to nine months later. Then the body through natural instinct kicks into famine mode. It begins to retain every calorie it can, thus, people gain back the weight plus the body throws in some insurance against weight loss by adding 10 to 20% of the original weight. Over the years it becomes out of control. That's basically my story; however, I had a little help like the suicide of my father in 1993 and bipolar medications known to cause weight gain after my first major bipolar episode in 2001. My psychologist told me she would rather have fat patients than dead ones.  Yea, I gave up. By the time I went into the hospital in November 2007 for Mono, H-pylori, chronic lymphonic leukemia, diabetes, and something else I weighed 456 pounds. I hated myself. I lost water weight in the hospital and then refused to eat the hospital food. They wouldn't allow sugar or salt or taste into my food. When I got out in December, I was still sick and under treatment and I didn't eat. In January 2008, I had lost too much weight too quickly and my bipolar medications worked against me and I was toxified into a full psychotic/bipolar episode. My poor wife and family did't know if I was going to come back. That was a perfectly horrible waste of a month. All I remember is a two week nightmare. I can't remember the first two weeks out of four as an inpatient at all. I spent another month as an outpatient. They changed my bipolar medications to medications that weren't so drastically effected by weight change and I haven't been on a mental ward since. Knock on wood.
Eventually, I worked my way down to 350 and was terribly frustrated that I started gaining weight again. I tried vegan. I tried riding my bike 50 miles per week and my body adjusted and I gained the weight back plus 20% extra. Then I gave up again. Once again, I hated myself for my lack of control, but normal weight people can't understand the emotional pain of food addiction. Again, I wasn't pigging out. I was eating maybe 10% more dinner than others, but my metabolism is completely screwed up and I gain weight just smelling good comfort food.
While I was losing weight in 2013, I actually had a guy pass me quickly on the way out of the grocery store and he said to me, "Shit, lose some weight man." I couldn't reply because he was gone by the time I turned around. I feel nothing by sympathy and empathy for overweight people. They didn't grow up and say, "hey, I want to be fat." Food is an addiction. I think the most powerful addiction. I figure that more people are overweight than addicted to meth or even cigarettes. 

I decided to get the lap-band surgery in August 11, 2011. They "installed" a saline adjustable plastic band above the stomach and it created a pouch. My father-in-law died in late September 2011 and I kind of messed up the purpose of the band and expanded my pouch. Then I got better and fell to 330 pounds by the end of November or mid-December 2011. I had a horrible time with a bipolar episode and started to gain weight again. I had completely stretched out my pouch and I could over-eat once again and 2012 was the big climb to stupidity. My stepfather, Dennis, went into the hospital with what ended up being brain cancer in December 2012. I ate like crap and probably boosted my weight by 20 pounds while sitting with him in the hospital. I also ignored two nasty open sores on my chins.
On January 2 or 3rd 2013, I wasn't very coherent so I can't exactly remember the date, but Dennis died. It was a fast death, but it was just as well. He told me everyday that he just wanted to die. By that point he was in great pain. The day after Dennis died I went to my doctor and he sent me to the hospital for a severe case of cellutisis (the infections on my leg). The sores were nasty, they immediately put me on IV antibiotics and other stuff and I missed Dennis' funeral. I stayed in the hospital for about two and a half weeks until they decided that I was stable enough to go to a nursing home to fully recover. I don't really remember being in the hospital. My wife said I was pretty out of  it. When they put me into the nursing home to monitor my infection, they had to teach me how to walk and make a simple dinners again (physical and occupational therapy). I hated the food in both and would only eat fresh fruit. I was in the nursing home for about 10 days. At one point I saw my chart in the nursing home and it said 429 pounds. I was sickened. Who knows how much I weighed when I entered the hospital?
I lost a bunch of weight and by the first or second week in February. I weighed just under 400. I decided I would lose 130 pounds in 2013 and fall to 300 pounds or less. I used the weight lost in the hospitals as a kick off point. I vowed to lose 10 to 15 pounds per month regardless of my bipolar problems and I did have many bipolar problems in 2013. I was stubborn and steady. Today is December 22, 2013. I weigh 299 pounds and I'm not about to stop. I have lost weight through exercise and portion control. I eat about 1/2 to 1 cup of food three times a day. I eat the bad stuff once in a while, but not often. It keeps my cravings away. My body's natural defenses are on the ropes. It can't keep up with the small portions and I don't lose weight so fast to throw nature into a panic. One year from now I predict that I will weigh in at 199 or less.
I wish I could be as enthusiastic about my bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness). I am fairly stable now, but, as my family and doctors can attest, I have had a lot of problems with severe mood swings weekly or even daily regardless of the large cocktail of medications I take. Being in the hospital didn't help. I was in a tail spin in the winter of 2013. I'm lucky my doctor was able to keep me out of the mental ward to adjust medications again. In 2014, I have to change psychiatrists and therapists. My anxiety is very high. Every bipolar has a different cocktail of meds that may or may not work for them, but I think I may be reaching the point where I'm taking to many meds. If I'm ever late taking a dose by an hour or two I can feel it. I've been thinking about shock therapy. I've heard it helps. If anything, it might help reduce the amount of meds I take. I have a lot of research to do before someone plugs my head into a socket. Actually, I've heard it's much better than before and painless. We'll see...

More than 10 million Americans have bipolar disorder to different degrees. Because of its irregular patterns, bipolar disorder is often difficult to diagnose and is often untreated. While the disorder has strong ties to genetics, predicting when the first symptoms will occur is very hard, if not impossible, to predict.. It can take over at pretty much any time in life. More than half of all cases begin between the ages 15 to 25. It has no discrimination between men or women or race. 
As I've stated, my first major episode happened in 2001 when I was 36. The worst psychotic/bipolar episode I've ever had occurred in January 2008. It rewired my brain. My intellect is still intact and I have a lust for learning everything from gastronomy to bio-astro-physics. I do have a problem with regular 9 to 5 jobs. Actually, my lack of tolerance and anxiety around a work setting or even working from home has permanently disabled me. I can write articles (of my choosing), write books, blogs, websites and, surprisingly poetry, but I can't do it for other people. The pressure and judgement is more than I can bare. Even the thought that someone might stumble onto this site and make judgments about me freaks me out, but I need to write. I figure that if I can help bipolars and/or bipolar families, then all of the openness is worth it. If you need me I'm always at csharits@comcast.net
Thanks for visiting,
Christopher Sharits

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pea

I've been having a hard time with my current episode. Too much crying followed by anger. Yesterday's therapy session helped. Adding some more Seroquel has helped. Anyway, I wrote this the other day and I don't think I posted it here. I'm working on about six other poems. Maybe I'll feel better soon and then I can finish them.

"The Pea"

'tis but a feeling.
Small, yet smoldering.
Like a demon waiting it's turn.
It waits like a cancer.
Small as a pea and as large as a whale.
Waiting, waiting for it's turn.

Slicing through sanity.
Its made it before.
Playing its own tune and dancing with screaming intensity
with no end in sight. It almost won. So close.

Condemned to the depths it waits.
It wait its turn.
Just a pea.
I can feel the pea. I know it's there,
and it terrifies me.

- Christopher Sharits 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weight loss update



I have a family photo that had to be taken after I left the hospital in February 2013 when I had already lost about 20 pounds and my face was huge, really huge, compared to this one that was taken about 15 pounds ago. I like this weight loss. 

Yes, I had the Lap-band, but also managed to gain about 20 pounds over my surgery date. I rarely feel the lap-band. Only if I drink something cold too soon after I've eaten. 

What I did learn is to eat better, exercise, and eat much smaller portions. You really can live comfortably with much much smaller portions never missing a meal. Now I'm just consistent and content with losing eight to ten pounds a month. It's easy to get carried away. Yes, I eat anything, just much less. Keeps the cravings away. I do take monster vitamins and concentrate on proteins, but my doctor says my monthly blood work is better than ever.

Heaviest weight ever 456 (November 2007. Weight at surgery 412 (August 2011). Weight after I totally screwed up with lap-band 429 (mid-January 2013). Weight today 306 (November 2013). Goal 190 (March 2015 or sooner).

Silence

"Silence"

The damp leaves,
ever so cold, ever so silent.
I walk through the darkness,
I pass the faceless lovers.
I find my dark corner.
My calm content corner.
Like a razor,
madness slices in.
I stand aside, but I am trapped.
The dark cold unforgiving
silence screams.

- Christopher Sharits

Expression of frustration

I think my last painting was in 2011. The urge is back. The waves of noise seems to have brought me to a new sense of the need to express myself. Perhaps people don't understand me, but I'm sure my family does not. I come away from the weekend feeling very isolated. The silence in my head is deafening.

"Me"
The more I wrote, the more I erase.
Sometimes I tire of the facade.
Every time I start to believe,
the darkness returns,
Why does life mess with me?
I'm solid, I'm strong,
I'm weak, I'm torn.
I can't be me. I'm scared of me.
Not for you, but for me.

written today.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My history with bipolar disorder... the short answer

I figured I would just post this answer to a friends question "Did you feel bipolar symptoms as a teenager. I tried to keep it short, but anyone who knows my writing, it is impossible for me to answer anything short. I spent enough time on this answer and I had a list of things left to do today, so here you go...

It's fine Paula. While most of the bipolars I know hide their disorder, I am happy to be open and "out." I think I can help people better this way. In regards to your question, I am going to write a detailed post on my blog today lose250.blogspot.com , But I will give you the short answer here. As if I'm capable of writing short answers... 


In high school I became very hyper active. I did AP classes, worked on the newspaper as the photographer, Sounds of BC, choir, acting, musicals, and I worked 20 hours a week as a restaurant manager and I had Cheri. I don't remember sleeping, but all that wasn't really a sign. I should have been more aware of my mental health since my grandmother, one of her siblings and my uncle had already committed bipolar driven suicides, but I didn't. 


After HS graduation I started working as a forklift driver and in the following eight years had worked my way up to General Operations Manager of a large network of Oakland warehouses. I had my ups and downs, but nothing major. Thought about suicide a bit more often than one should, but I never attempted. 


Around my mid 20's I started telling Cheri I was wired wrong. It felt chemical, but I didn't understand it. It was just a feeling. A few years later, my dad committed suicide. I still didn't get it. 


I went back to finish my undergraduate and graduated sum cum laude. Flew threw my first grad school (DU) and became the CEO of a small tech start up. I was already having alarming symptoms, but I masked it by diving into school and working like a mad beast. In 2001, I lost the company and I was hospitalized in a mental ward for the "first" time, of several to come later, for bipolar disorder. In 2005, I decided I needed a masters in education and instructional design so I did... easily. 


It had been rough since 2001. I worked for maybe 10 companies in seven years. Never again in management. In 2008, I was committed to the mental again for an extended amount of time after a major "major" bipolar/psychotic episode and I haven't been the same since. In some ways I am broken. In other ways I am not. I'm a good husband and a great dad and I am still intelligent, but I have hard mornings and some good afternoons. If I keep myself real busy and take all my meds I can run on auto-pilot. By the time Cheri comes home from work I am usually off the ceiling or I take a time out and just watch tv. 


That's as short as I can possibly get. My advise... read my autobiography when I'm done with it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day after Synvisc One injection

Yesterday I went to the orthopedic surgeon and received the Synvisc One injection. The gel like substance temporarily replaces or helps the remaining cartilage protect bone on bone arthritis.  

As I lay there on the table he told me it would sting a little. I thought he was talking about some kind of numbing agent. No, I didn't look up to see what he was doing until he started to inject this rather large and long needle into my knee. It felt as if he went all the way in between the bones of my knee and injected fluid. It hurt like hell. I guess if he would have said, "this is going to hurt like hell," I might have flinched or something.

Instead I took the pain and he popped out the needle in a few seconds and said, "There we go. We're done." "What?," I replied. The procedure was done. He told me I could walk on it, but no exertion until maybe Thursday afternoon at the earliest. I was planning on going to the gym on Friday afternoon to take this new gel for a spin.

Yesterday I walked to the car okay and drove myself to CarToys to pick up a new blue tooth and I could barely get out of my car by the time I reached my house. I iced it and just took it easy. Like I had a choice. Today I am walking on it with soreness, but not crippling pain. I can even go up the stairs okay, but coming down hurts like I'm stretching my ligaments to the brink. I'll take it easy for the rest of the day and I imagine if the percentage of pain goes down respectively than I'll feel pretty good tomorrow and ready to roll by Friday.

We'll see.