Interesting data

Psychiatry has long been aware that lithium causes diabetes insipidus in patients. This doesn’t take rocket science. This is easily accessible information and it doesn’t take a medical library, anyone can find this information in a simple Google search.

I am beside myself laughing, wondering why the EXPERT doctors and other medical personnel did not figure out that I had diabetes insipidus for 27 years. I did tell them that I drank a lot of water, and in fact, told them how much. Were they blind? Could they not count? Maybe they were the ones who needed new glasses! I am wondering why I didn’t stumble upon the information myself, but I didn’t. This was THEIR JOB, after all, or so I figured.

Wow, I was wrong. I should have known they were just plain clueless, they didn’t listen, they didn’t care, and they weren’t doing what they were doing “for my own good.” They were doing it for their own good. The whole time they claimed they knew what they were doing….Wow, I was so naive to trust them.

I managed to get into my MGH records. There I see “renal insufficiency” listed. Now that’s funny…I was not informed. Yet it was there. I went back and looked at old blood records. Back in 2011, my GFR was around 40. GFR means the percentage of kidney function. It’s supposed to be at least 90 in your 50’s, especially if  you do not smoke or have diabetes. The lawyers had told me that the fact that I had not been informed of this is cause for a lawsuit, especially since my kidneys failed shortly after. The lawyers said had I been informed, I could have taken precautions. I was keeping appointments and showing up faithfully. They were not doing their part at all.

Well, yeah, I would have ditched MGH and psychiatry much sooner than I did.

MGH’s records do NOT list diabetes insipidus. Interesting, eh? I wonder what would happen if I amended my records and added that. Ha ha.

My psychiatrist’s claim that my sodium was “dangerously low” while I was on the medical floor in July 2011 was completely bogus. I checked all those levels. All are fine, totally in range. I have checked these before, and I also recall I was never informed of a “dangerously low” sodium level. I always knew her claim was bogus. The staff had already told me there was no medical reason for the water restriction, that it was “purely our policy to limit water.”

I also checked to see if my appointment list had been fudged. It hasn’t. I don’t think they could get away with altering it since Medicare was billed! So in August 2013 Dr. Pearson scrambled to excuse herself from all blame and wash her hands clean of my “case,” she lied to Dr. Bibek Kiorala over the phone, telling him I had not been to see her for “months.” She was trying to make it look like I’d been irresponsible, gone off meds, and hadn’t seen anyone at all. Brush it all aside!

Not true! I had seen her July 10 and terminated, telling her the name of my future PCP and telling her when I had seen her and my scheduled appointments. I then attended THREE therapy appointments, boom, boom, boom! and somehow, slipped right through Harvard Vanguard’s cracks.

With each, I left, telling myself, “Wow, these folks are so, so clueless.” I only wanted help, but clearly none was to be found where I was looking.

Moral: Have you ever fallen through the cracks? Don’t die falling. Don’t die seeking.  The answer can’t be found in medicine. They aren’t experts on you. You are the expert.

 

Dear Families of anyone deemed "mentally ill"

I am herein addressing all families of anyone deemed “mentally ill,” although in fact I am addressing this to my own family, those that are still living.

It is time you faced the facts. It is time you owned up to your own guilt and shame. You’ve pointed the finger long enough. It’s time you stood in front of the mirror and took a good look. Who have you been blaming all this time? And why?

Sometimes, the one in the family who ends up sent to the shrink is referred to as the “family scapegoat.” It doesn’t matter who was scapegoated, but why anyone gets scapegoated at all. Why do we humans do that? Why do we pinpoint one person and center all our pent-up anger on that focal point? This happens not only in families, but in many sorts of social groups. I don’t think it can be avoided no matter how healthy the group is. I’m not going to debate that part.

What I am questioning right now is why it was allowed to go on for so darned long. I question why it continued on and on when it was obvious that placing undue blame was not only unnecessary and unwarranted, but cruel.

I have finally gotten up the guts to challenge my own family. Why the absence? Why was I not included in family events and why did I spend all my holidays and birthdays alone after Joe died? It’s not so much my family’s absence, but their lies and excuse-making that I find abhorrent and disgusting.

I think families need to face the facts. I am reasonably certain as to why I was not included. They were ashamed. They didn’t want me around because they felt embarrassed. They didn’t want a crazy lady around them. They don’t like the way I look. I look shabby and cheap to them. Like a welfare case. Some years, the obvious side effects of medications made it all the more obvious. Who wants to cart around tag-along nutcase? They didn’t want to admit it then, and they still do not admit it.

I wish they would, though. I wish not only that they would admit they were avoiding the embarrassment and shame all those years, but I wish also that they would apologize. Instead, they still lie to me.

I am saddened that they missed out. I am saddened that I missed out. I am saddened that even though I do not take those pills nor do I buy into the “mental illness” myth anymore, and in fact ditched my diagnosis and never bother giving shrinks a penny of my money anymore, they are still so wrought with guilt that they cannot face me.

Nor themselves, apparently.

I don't understand why "talking to strangers" is such a challenge

I don’t understand why it should be a challenge to talk to strangers. I don’t get what the hardship is. I have no one else to talk to, so when I can, I talk to strangers. What’s the big deal? It’s a blessing to get to do so as far as I’m concerned.

Just think: If I try to talk to people who have pre-conceived notions, they turn away. Those that know nothing about me have no reason to turn away, so they stick around. They don’t see me through the eyes of that lie that was “diagnosis.” Those that know about the “diagnosis” can’t seem to get it out of their heads, so it’s best that I don’t even bother with those folks. This includes many in the Movement as well. They are not immune to bigotry.

To me, it’s a blessing to face a complete stranger who isn’t judging me, who isn’t condescending, whose immediate approach isn’t “You are a mental case and I know better.” I love the blank slate. People don’t know, and I like that.

So many hopes and dreams, no way to implement them

I have so many dreams, so many ideas for how to make positive changes, but so far, I cannot seem to get others on board with me. It’s like pulling teeth. I have come to realize that if I am going to get anything done, I have to do it myself and not rely on anyone else to “cooperate.” I am putting that in quotation marks since I suck at delegating tasks anyway.

All my life, whenever there’s been a group project to do, I’ve been the one to do the work, I was the one who showed up and the rest simply took the credit. I was okay with that and I said nothing. I only wanted those “group projects” out of the way so I could go back to working on my own, which was how I felt most comfortable.

Last night I had a dream that an acquaintance of mine asked for a letter of recommendation for a job. In the dream I had to think good and hard about it. Finally, I said, “Where were you when I needed you? You let me down repeatedly.  Right when I needed you, you flaked out. That’s not the kind of employee anyone would want. I don’t think I would it would reflect well on me if I recommended you.” So I said no, even though I knew that person would be pissed.

Each day I come up with new ideas but I have no money, no resources, no supporters, no workplace, no family, no “fan club” (whatever that is), no way to get done what I want to get done.  I’ve tried out so many ideas that fall flat because I can’t manage to muster up anyone who believes in what I am trying to do.

 

And I’m flat out exhausted. Ten minutes into my day, I’m ready to collapse. I start projects and then collapse after a few minutes, go lie down, get up again and wonder why I have so many half-started projects lying around and the place is an utter mess. It’s been this way for five years now due to insomnia and no end to it. That’s my life pretty much. Get up, collapse, get up, collapse. Yes, since 2011. No, I haven’t been complaining about this nonstop since I don’t want to bore you, but this is my life.

And if I don’t get it done right, blame. Blame. Blame. More over-the-top criticism and blame. “Why can’t you–” and “What’s wrong with you!”

Now I have this roommate-type person berating me and insulting me all the time. You guys have NO CLUE what hell I have been through.

A day that I am left alone is a good day. Privacy is precious.

I only want an end to this. If only I could sleep.

The Curious George Method of Putting on Your Pajamas

Many years ago, I enjoyed the company of children. More often than not a child or two or three followed me whether I was on my bike or on foot, carrying my school books or carrying nothing at all. Children in my neighborhood asked their parents to have me over to babysit now and then. I remember those nights well.

I remember coming to the door, ringing the bell and hearing the delightful clamor of children. Almost always, the kids were the first to greet me. I recall the little ones with their toys, the bigger ones already in school, and the ones so tiny they were still in diapers.

I never could decide which was the most fun. Reading stories aloud? Playing certain games over and over? Maybe just being silly and giggling forever and ever. Somehow, the children often remembered me for my invention, The Curious George Method for Putting On Your Pajamas.

I’ll be honest: I’m sure my mom was thrilled about this sneaky little method for getting me to quit dawdling and finally get my butt into bed. I’m sure I thought of every single excuse I could think of to stall forever. Didn’t you?

“I want another story.”

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

“There’s a ghost in there.”

And so on. Mom decided she knew how to remedy the situation just fine. Make bedtime fun. She let me design my own bedtime ritual, which I passed on to the wonderful kids for whom I babysat.

My favorite pair of pajamas happened to have a monkey printed on the front. This wasn’t Curious George from the story book, but I pretended it was indeed George himself. I decided NO WAY was I going to put my pajamas on. I whined, “But Mom, my pajamas are inside-out! I can’t put them on like that!” So this was going to serve as a major reason why for a full hour, I couldn’t possibly go to bed. I’m sure that would work!

My mom told me I sure could still put my pajamas on. She left this one up to me, though. She handed me my inside-out pajama top.

Oh what fun. I put my head into the head hole, my arms into the arm holes, then, turned the shirt inside-out and over onto myself.

That, my friends, young and old, is the Curious George Method for Putting On Your Pajamas. I taught this to all the kids whenever I went babysitting. I don’t know why this simple thing got kids giggling, but it did. We never quite got tired of it.

To this day, I still use the method, to put on my t-shirts, long underwear, even panties or bras. Do you? Just think: We’re all keeping some God up there real happy we’re using the Curious George method instead of stalling and whining.

Sharing a sound

This is one of the most beautiful memories I have of the place I eventually called The Oven:

Oh, okay, I’ll try embedding it:

I loved hearing those frogs every night. I loved the field and so did Puzzle. Here she is, running on the field, enjoying her ninth birthday:

IMG_20151126_070425_526

Puzzle didn’t give a hoot about the frogs. She wasn’t fazed if she saw or heard one, dead or alive. We spied them crossing the road sometimes, or halfway crossed, interrupted, then squished before they could finish. Dead as a doornail, flat as a pancake. What else? Hot as a hot potato…..If you kiss one, I doubt either an alive one nor dead one will turn into an alive nor dead prince, however, I’m sure it’s been tried. Try it yourself after you drink some vino and then if you recall tomorrow morning, you can write into my comments and tell me all about how you married Prince Charming, okay? Or rescue a crying cat instead and then be hailed as a hero for saving nine lives.

Would you hire a person with a "dark past"? And more importantly, WHY?

Please let me warn readers that I am providing this link below but beware that I had to stop reading because I was getting sick to my stomach:

Pastor Compares Child Rape To Theft, Says ‘It Takes Two To Tango’

First of all, would you hire someone if you knew that person was a convicted criminal? Would you hire a person if you knew they’d done something truly awful in the past, such as rape or murder? Would you hire an ex-con? What about an addict?  When hiring, do you do a “background check”? Why? What do you check for? Do you do a credit check? What about a peek into the person’s Facebook page? Or do you just ask around to see if the person’s “okay”? What is “okay,” anyway? What, of all traits, would you truly find the most objectionable? Nose-picking?

If a person is a good worker, that is, shows up, and does an excellent job, why should the employer or anyone care about the employee’s murky past?

On the other hand, the hiring of a person who in the past committed a crime does not at all make any statement regarding endorsement of that crime, nor state that the crime was “okay.” The person is not NOW committing this crime, nor, I assume, currently engaging in this sort of behavior. Although the crime may remain in the memories of many people, the event is not now happening. Although many people still look back in horror, no matter how horrific, we cannot conclude that hiring a person now will cause the event to repeat. (Keep reading and please don’t jump to conclusions just yet.)

I believe anyone should be given a second chance. However, I am sickened over the statement made by the minister that the man’s crime was somehow okay. It didn’t take two to tango. What an ignorant and disgusting thing to say.  Of course, there was general uproar over these statements, for good reason.  As for me, my stomach turned. (It’s been doing that lately.)

Do you see the same disconnect in logic here that I see? Hiring was fine.  Logically, we need to separate out the hiring and the subsequent statement made by the minister.  These are separate events.  Why not quietly hire the guy and allow him the chance work quietly and anonymously so he can start his life over? Then, from  there, he can use the church as job reference and move on.  Why did the minister act like a jerk and open his trap like that? If he truly wanted to give the person labeled “sex offender” a second chance, he wouldn’t have made a hoopla over it. The result was the minister’s half-assed attempt to draw more attention and glorification to himself. It doesn’t look like it worked too well, does it?

Facebook

I can’t think of anyone who was successful at everything, can you? In our schoolyard days, we idolized certain people or got envious of classmates or siblings who seemed to get all the glory. I usually heard that kind of thing from girls who had sisters close in age. I often heard that the other sister had been favorited, or had been more successful  or prettier or got all the dates. Funny, I heard that from both sisters.

Is it really true that some will naturally succeed at anything they try, while the rest of us are doomed to be tag-alongs, bystanders,  that drooling fan club, or wannabes? Are you all aware that the above values are something we can and should grow out of? Why deal with junior high mentality if we are now adults?

All these childish and shallow values can rub off badly on a person once they get swallowed up by Facebook, which extends the immaturity into our adult years. If you were never that way as a child, welcome to the cutthroat values we would rather live without. If you felt that tinge of jealousy as a child, it will all come rushing back.

Enjoy flipping through the yearbook photos and telling yourself you will never match up or you don’t have what it takes. Look at your fake friends boasting and showing off their wares.

“I am better than you.”

I got tired of it. People who gathered on holidays. Families. A place to live. Yes I am envious. I can’t even say, “I don’t even have that now.” It is too embarrassing. I say nothing, having nothing to show off.

I had a decent childhood. What the hell happened to the world?

I remember having a good time when I was I was a kid.  I never had reason to worry or be scared or unhappy. I recall  that we always had food on the table. Did we ever doubt that the light switch wouldn’t work someday? Or the water might run dry? No. To me, these were assumed.  Always there. Mom and Dad. That nice big house. My own room.  I could close that door and be alone for hours and curl up with my favorite book. No one ever peeked in at me if I didn’t want them to. My mom told me my room was my private space.  She was right! (So lay off! )

It didn’t stay that way. Everything in my life has now  been taken, everything is gone, and my brother has deprived me of my inheritance even though what he is doing is not at all legal. Yes, he is getting away with it. Because he can.  I got no money now.  Nothing.  No money to hire an attorney even. I have called so many attorneys and have spoken to some from other states who assure me I am right, but I can’t get any of the ones I need to return my calls or emails. They know I can’t pay them. Not right now.

Having no money means housing is a constant struggle for me. I fight each day for privacy. Just to have freedom of mind and a space I call home.

Never mind that, the situation I am in now sucks pretty bad. I can’t tell anyone how bad. I can’t write about it in here,  for my own safety. I can only hope things change. 

Every day I get beaten down. Every day, I have to take shit  I never thought I would ever have to deal with. This is hell. This is no life for me or for anyone.

Oh, you folks that have a thing called home. ….rejoice.  I hope to have one someday. 

Barging in

“Barging in” is defined as follows:

“to enter a room suddenly and noisily, usually interrupting someone in a rude way” –MacMillan Dictionary.

“to ​walk into a ​roomquickly, without being ​invited” Cambridge Dictionaries, which gives the following example:

I ​wish he’d ​knockinstead of just ​barging in.

She ​barged in on me when I was in the ​bathroom.

Suddenly two men ​barged in to the ​room.

Mostly, barging in refers to spaces. Are you as bothered when you are BARGED IN ON?

Did you have your own room when you were a child? Do you feel protective of your own space and your own belongings, and to what extent? They say parents feel naturally protective of their children. Do you feel protective of your home? If someone tries to read your private journal, do you instinctively cover the page? Do you feel protective of your pets, and worry when they are not with you?

Are you concerned about privacy? Are you bothered if too much “skin” is showing or are you bothered if your clothes do not cover enough of your body? Do you feel better if you have a hat on? Has this changed over the course of your life?

Do the comments of others about your body feel like a violation? What about commentary on the way you dress, your customs, or the way you keep your home? If an outsider makes inquiries about your family, do you feel violated, as if your personal space has been barged into? Have you not wanted to be caught with your hair undone or your makeup off, or barefoot?

How close is too close? Does it bother you to when your phone conversations are overheard by complete strangers?

I know much of the protectiveness we have is learned in childhood, much is cultural, and much is rather necessary since we are humans who must live together peacefully. We each must know where one ends and the other begins. Sharing and loving are good things, but autonomy and independence are also equally important. We are always in flux, trying to balance these out rather carefully.

In my opinion, it’s best to leave these flexible, to be open to changes, to realize that we are always adjusting to new situations and new relationships. It isn’t always going to be comfortable and easy. In fact, to expect life to be terrific all the time is most likely a setup for disappointment.