Just a followup from my last post

So I haven’t made an appointment with my primary care clinic, but they did leave a message for me on MyChart, which is an online thingy where patients can interact with their medical people and view their medical records. They said they want to try prescribing some supplements and try to re-test my blood after ten days of taking the supplements, and see if the situation has improved. I said okay.

I’m just really glad I don’t have to change my psych medication. That could have been potentially disastrous.

Also, I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine a bit ago and it’s just two weeks until I can get the second dose. I experienced no side effects other than having a somewhat sore arm for a day or so. They say it’s the second dose that can really slam you.

I love all of you and thanks for the support. Stay safe.

So I might have something catastrophically wrong with me, or I might not

I take a bunch of different medications for my bipolar etc., and some of those meds can mess with things they’re not supposed to mess with. No, I’m not sure of the details, but the result is that every few months I have to get blood drawn so they can check it for levels of this and that and the other thing and make sure it’s all normal.

I got my blood drawn last week and then the next day I got a rather frantic call from my psychiatrist’s office asking me, more or less, why I wasn’t dead. Apparently according to the lab work, I’ve got catastrophically low sodium and potassium and what have you. They told me to make an appointment with my primary care person pronto.

I was mystified because I did not have any symptoms; I felt absolutely fine. But I dutifully saw a nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office on Monday morning. He asked me all sorts of questions about my heart and did some basic neurological tests and couldn’t find a single thing wrong with me, and was strongly inclined to believe there was some kind of mistake, but ordered another blood panel and an EKG just in case.

I felt a bit better after that… until Monday afternoon, when I had a phone appointment with my psychiatrist. He said that it was indeed possible to feel fine and still be basically at death’s door from messed up blood levels. He said that per last week’s blood work I’m at risk of a spontaneous heart attack. Like, my potassium is supposedly so low that my heart could just… quit. In fact, when his office had called me last week, the message had been garbled: they were supposed to tell me to not bother with making an appointment but to go straight to the ER.

So yesterday morning I went and got the EKG and got blood drawn for labs. I anxiously waited all the rest of the day and into today to hear from someone about the results but nothing, nope, nada. I called my psychiatrist’s office earlier today and they said they don’t have the results yet. So basically I have no idea whether I’m fine or whether I should start writing my will.

For most of my life, this situation would not have bothered me too much because life was not any great thing for me anyway. Severe depression does that to you; even when I was pretty much functional and life was bearable, I was pretty apathetic and a little in love with death. But in the past year or two, for the first time in, like, literally ever, I’ve been happy. I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been, newly married, enjoying myself.

And I’m afraid if last week’s blood test WAS right, they’re going to have to change my medications. And I really don’t want to, because I know a lot of the reason I’m finally happy is because the medications have been working so well. I really don’t want to mess that up, and spend possibly years trying to find another combination that works as well as that.

It’s coming on four-thirty so I don’t think I’m going to get my test results till tomorrow at the earliest. My friends keep texting me every couple of hours to ask if I still feel okay.

I am okay. But I really want to know what’s going on.

[UPDATE: I did hear back from my psychiatrist’s office, after closing time. The blood levels on the second test are still low but he doesn’t think the medication is causing it. He told me to get back to primary care about it.]

Happy New Year, everybody!

I hope you guys have a happy last night of 2019 and a good upcoming year. I never thought I’d still be running the Charley Project, fifteen years down the line, but here I am.

I’ve been doing pretty well, pretty stable. My bipolar disorder etc. has been kept well under control with my current medication regimen, and I haven’t needed a medicine adjustment in over a year. And I’ve got the mysterious nausea and vomiting under control again.

I’ve made some new real-life friends this year as well as new online friends. My dog Kinsey, whom I adopted in 2018, is still with us, happy and healthy, at the ripe age of fifteen.

Michael has gotten much better since his health scare in June. He has been fat all his life, but at the urging of his doctors he went on a diet and stuck to it, and he’s lost over 100 pounds! He’s still fat, but he’s still losing weight. I’m proud of him and we are very happy together.

A few times I’ve mentioned a long term “project” I’m working on for the Charley Project, that I’m afraid I can’t be more specific about at this time, only to say it should be done in the coming year.

A lot of John and Jane Does have been identified this year, including three of the four Bear Brook victims, Malyse Honeychurch, Marie Vaughn and Sarah McWaters; Debra Jackson aka “Orange Socks”; Myoung Hwa Cho and her son Bobby Whitt aka “the Boy Under the Billboard”; and Peggy Johnson aka Racine Jane Doe.

Happy New Year.

Day after surgery, feeling good

So I had the tube tying laparoscopic surgery yesterday and it went just fine. I left the hospital a few hours later and spent some time resting at Michael’s parents’ house, then drove home.

Yesterday there was some pain, like a bad period, but today there is almost no pain. I’m not even taking the pain meds they sent me home with.

Thanks for all your good wishes!

Depression update

Yeah, so I had written earlier this month about how I was really depressed again and I was going to seek help for it. I am very touched by the kind, supportive comments I got from everyone about that, and I wanted to thank you for that. I also wanted to update everyone on the situation.

My psychiatrist and I decided to drop one of my antidepressant meds, which I had been taking since mid-2008, and replace it with a different antidepressant. I’m still titrating upwards on it: I am supposed to take 10mg daily for a week, then go up to 20mg. I’ll start the 20mg on Wednesday.

My mood has improved but I am still constantly, incredibly tired. I’m sleeping fourteen, sixteen hours a day sometimes. Last night I went to sleep around midnight and didn’t really get up till 3:00 p.m., except to take the dog out.

Some people have suggested the tiredness is due to some kind of deficiency or maybe just to the season, the fact that it’s been cold and gloomy and dreary for the past several months. Either way it’s obviously no way to live. If it is still going on when I have my next psychiatrist appointment late in the month, I’ll bring it up with him.

Depression rears its ugly head again

I’ve really been struggling lately and can’t seem to get anything done. Charley Project cases are piling up as usual and I just don’t have the energy to do anything about them. I don’t feel sad or anything like that, but I’ve got this feeling like I’m stuck in neutral.

There have been days lately where it feels like it takes tremendous force of will just to put on my shoes, never mind anything else. I’ve even been. Talking. Very. Slowly. And. In. Whispers. And on top of this awful lassitude I’ve felt physically exhausted, no matter how much I sleep. I’ve been sleeping basically all day, only getting out of bed to take the dog out — I won’t have her suffer on my account.

I was stable on my meds for a really long time, like a year, and was hoping I could stay on the current regimen indefinitely. I guess not. I wasn’t supposed to see my psychiatrist till like April, but I asked the clinic to bump my appointment forward and I will be seeing him on Tuesday instead. Just gotta last till then, and hopefully he’ll work some kind of magic and I’ll perk up.

A bit of psychopharmacology here: I take two antidepressants, one anti-psychotic, one anti-anxiety and one mood stabilizer. The thing is, you can’t keep bumping up a person’s anti-depressant doses too high before you run the risk of getting a thing called Serotonin Syndrome, which is potentially fatal. Plus, as I have bipolar disorder and not just depression, anti-depressants also have the potential of shooting me into mania, which is not potentially fatal but isn’t exactly good either. A lot of people with bipolar disorder who went missing, did so while off on some manic adventure.

So sometimes, when I’ve gotten depressed, rather than raising the dosages, my doctor will say “Take less of Antidepressant A and more of Antidepressant B” and that will fix it until suddenly it doesn’t anymore, then it’s “Take more of Antidepressant A and less of Antidepressant B.”

We’ll see what happens. I feel like a lazy bum for just sitting around doing nothing but it’s very hard right now to do anything at all.

Jayme Closs and other things

So I’m on a downswing, in terms of my mood. I’m bipolar. This is my life and it will never change, though the five psychiatric medications I take daily mitigate the downswings.

It’s just been kind of hard to get anything done. I will decide to do some thing or other, then I’ll find myself just sitting there staring into space as I’m trying to get myself to move. Even something as simple as picking an object up off the floor.

The Jayme Closs thing has kind of gotten to me. Of course I’m delighted that she’s been found alive. That’s not what’s getting to me; that part’s great. What’s getting to me is what some people have been saying. It’s really hard not to take that personally because of what happened to me back in the day.

(If you haven’t read that far back in my blog, what happened to me is this: in 2009, while I was on a trip to Virginia, I got lost and a stranger offered to give me directions. Instead, he took me into the woods and beat the crap out of me and raped me multiple times. Then he gave me the directions he’d promised and let me go. In the aftermath of the attack, there were a bunch of people on the comments section of this blog, and in email, who accused me of making the whole thing up for who knows what reason. It was very hurtful, obviously. After almost a year the rapist, a serial offender, was identified through DNA and he’s since been deported.)

I was just writing on here about how people can make speculations online about cases, speculations with no evidence to support them, and how this isn’t helpful and can indeed be harmful, especially if the victim or their family sees it.

And some people are doing that about Jayme Closs now. They’re outright accusing her of the murder, or at least complicity to the murder, of her own parents. And the police have said they believe her abductor acted entirely alone, and that he did not know Jayme (who, I will point out, is thirteen years old), and that he had been stalking her, and that Jayme is a victim and not a suspect.

These people think they know better than the cops, I guess. Why? Because Jayme took a selfie after her reunion with her aunt and dog. Because she was clean and looked okay in the selfie. Because she was smiling.

OF COURSE SHE WAS SMILING. She’d just been reunited with her dog and what’s left of her family, after she thought she’d never see them again, and the monster who did this to her is locked up! Why shouldn’t she smile? Why wouldn’t she have gotten herself cleaned up, showered etc.?

At what point is a crime victim “allowed” to smile and act happy and still be considered a “legitimate” victim?

One of the so-called reasons people were calling me a liar about my rape was because I didn’t act “traumatized enough” to suit them, when in fact they didn’t know the first thing about it. They were only seeing words on a screen, on my blog.

And so some people, on the basis of a “feeling” or a “hunch”, and a photograph, are making dreadful accusations against a thirteen-year-old child who saw her parents get murdered and who spent the last three months, I’m assuming, as Jake Patterson’s sex slave, thinking every day would be her last.

Frankly it makes me sick. I hope Jayme’s aunt and other caregivers make sure she does not see those accusations. I’m not seeking them out myself, but when they get posted on the Charley Project’s Facebook page I kind of have to read them, though I delete them as quickly as I can.

Not doing all that well right now

I’ve been decompensating these last few days and not getting much done. Because of an accidental interruption in insurance coverage, I can’t get my medication prescriptions refilled and I haven’t had my meds since Friday.

My psych clinic got a week’s worth of medication for me and I can pick it up tomorrow. But I’m not doing very well right now. Hence lack of updates.

Plus there’s the whole Thanksgiving thing, and it’s going to be VERY hard this year on account of my brother Brendan’s death in February.

How my parents have not fallen completely to pieces I do not know. This is the second time they’ve lost a son in a horrific accident; my brother Brian died in the 1980s.

I wish I had never gone to the dentist

Yeah, I said updates would return as normal. Then I went to a dental appointment, at my dentist’s insistence, to get a broken tooth fixed. This was not, in my opinion, necessary, that tooth had been broken for fifteen years with no problem, but my dentist kept asking me to get it done.

I’ve been feeling horrible ever since. I guess while my mouth was numb from the lidocaine I chewed on my lip and hurt it pretty badly. Now I have this very painful infection going on there. I can’t eat, I can barely drink or talk, and my mouth hurts all the time.

I hadn’t thought an infection in my lip would make me feel this bad, but it has. These past several days I’ve barely gotten out of bed. I’ve been sleeping a lot.

I am taking antibiotics and the infection IS getting better, as evidenced by photos I’ve taken of myself, but it seems to be more painful every day. I’ve been gulping OTC pain pills and using some prescription mouthwash that’s supposed to numb the mouth. It’s helping a little.

Anyway. I feel like crap.

All is well

It’s been 22 days since my last vomiting cycle started and I am not sick yet.

My primary care clinic suggested that, as these were happening every three weeks and generally started several days before the start of my menstrual period, perhaps it was a hormonal thing. So they put me on the Pill.

Maybe the Pill is working. It’s a bit early to tell yet, since these cycles haven’t been occurring EXACTLY every three weeks, but I am hopeful.

All is reasonably well on my end. I’m very happy I adopted Kinsey. It’s hard to believe it’s been less than two months since she came to live with us. She’s such a sweetheart, and very laid-back and chill, which suits me just fine. She and the cats are getting along fine.

Here she is begging salami off me:

kinsey

And here I am, as of a few minutes ago, with Orville in the background:

madeup