Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stop and smell the roses or take a deep breath

Today was a half and half day for me. I was in a lot of pain, but my husband had off and I love to spend time with him. His ring tone on my phone is the "Rocky" theme because he is my hero. So after him and I did a little shop local Saturday, we came home, where as I took a nap and he went to run some errands. He was home from his errands when I woke up. With Christmas right around the corner, I must have looked at every ad possible to look at the deals. With  " Cyber Monday" coming up I also wanted to check out the deals on-line. I do mostly everything from home anyway. I would give me 80/20 ratio with 80 being at home. So I get my computer booted up, ready to see what goodies I can find and a headline just shocked me. I read that the actor Paul Walker died in a fiery car crash. It floored me. It was not because I'm a giant fan of his, but he was only 40, he left behind a 15 year child. I'm sure when he got in the car he didn't even think about what would happen awhile later.

That is why I am always saying you must show and give the love before it's too late. When the other person is unfortunate, they don't have guilt, but those left behind can and do. Just like anything in life that you want, spreading your love to those you love takes time and effort, but what if you don't take that time or effort. I was sick to my stomach for years. I was talking to an ex co-worker and we talked about how bad my stomach felt all the time. And I tried everything. I would guzzle the Aloe Vera, eat yogurt, follow things that my dad would tell me to do, but nothing ever worked. So when I started throwing up in 2007, it wasn't too shocking at first because of my previous stomach problems or like I've said before I thought I caught a bug. By me talking to old friends I forgot about all the problems I had with my stomach in my 20's. I had lost my gall bladder at the age of 25 and even then they thought they might have to take a piece of my stomach, but before the surgery they had me take this medicine for a month and then do the scope down my throat again. The medicine worked, so all they took was my gall bladder, but even though it is an easy surgery, it made me feel pretty bad.
So to come full circle because I've been told I can be confusing ( I say try reading David Wallace Foster, then get back to me) I just want to show that the day in May of 2011 was not seen. Yes I was throwing up, but never did we think it would almost kill me.

With the holidays upon us let us all try to love people for who they are, not who you want or expect them to be. You never know when the clock will stop on anyone. I fought through a 5% survival and lived to tell. My only hope and wish is that people take care of their families as well as friends. Like the James Taylor song goes " Shower the people you love with love" Put that on the top of your to do list or on the dry erase board. Where ever you leave notes for you and others. You just never know. And for one thing because I do live with such a strange illness, that is not only chronic, but it could turn on me like a rabid dog, I try not to allow, anger, or anything negative survive near me, I need love and kindness and I will gladly do the same. I may feel awful, but I'll get up, brush my few remaining teeth, put make-up on, for no other reason then it makes me feel like I am alive. And there are days where it is tough to smile and be positive. Where I wanted to run outside and scream up to heaven, giving the finger and cursing God out, but that really isn't productive, besides I think God would chuckle at the skinny, toothless human. Those are the days I re-read the book of Job.

So as I sign off on this beautiful, crisp Autumn evening. If you only can remember 1 thing from this blog. Give and show your love to those as much as you can. Nobody has a clock.

God Bless

Friday, November 15, 2013

Having a crisis of who I am?

Today for some reason. The date of November 13 in the year of 2013, I am having an image crisis. Now I have read enough self help books and books about having a mental illness that image problems arise for us with  so called "mental health" problems. I turned 44 in August and I am beginning to double think the label. I grew up in nice houses, weekend at the New Jersey Shore. Dinner on the table by 5:30pm, grace said, normal talking between my father and I about religion and history because we had that in common, but beneath those Norman Rockwell moments, their lurked a family secret that even us siblings, as adults has caused a rift. No one else in my family might see it, but I do. You know why? It's the questions and the quiet insinuations of irresponsiblitty. And I have only myself to blame. I thought when I got diagnosed as Bipolar, I thought, if I talked about it with my family and tried to make them understand that it would help, but I feel like it back fired. I thought all the times I got out of control and over dosed, my family would try to understand. But nothing ever worked. It was just better swept under the rug, but because I have been so open, I am now crazy and no matter what I do I have some agenda. And that is what was on my mind today;my agenda.

I have a serious illness besides dealing with my bipolar. I lost my stomach, when the base of my esphogus burst and in turn killed my stomach. I am now fighting an infection of my mouth, but I'm not sure when I'll be feeling better. I was put on an antibiotic the End of October, but on Friday November 8th or early Saturday 9th at 3am, I had my husband take me to the ER with a temp of 101.9. So now I'm dealing with another killer illness ( If you don't think mental illness is a killer, watch the news, read a paper, pay attention!) So my thought was ok, I survived my father, my siblings and I are not as close as I would like, but I can only do so much. If I'm to get the blame so be it. I don't know what I did, so I can't attone for hurt.

What I am left with who am I? What makes me "me" I don't even recognize me. I feel my sense of humor and the part of me that was part hard-ass/part teddy bear is MIA. Now I am just here. My dream of being a writer seems to have gone and it makes me sad. From the moment I picked up my crayons and made a story out of the pictures I drew, there was a purpose for my being here in my head. Now that my illnesses seem to have taken over my life and time, that my creative garden in my head is full of dead flowers, overgrown weeds, the perfect white fence I built to keep my ideas in, is all run down. My creative mind has become a ghost town. I have a life time of stories that I could write about my life. Full length novels, but I just am so drained that I don't look at it like it would be cathartic.

I feel totally stripped, I have all the memories and the ones I don't have can be filled in. My Mom had 6 kids and all 6 of us would have different stories. I ruined a siblings life because I did something stupid at 14 because I was tired of being my fathers punching bag. But what I did, eclipsed the reason why and then I turned around and said I made it up because I was protecting my Mother for my younger siblings, while she should have been the one to protect us.

So this blog really doesn't have much to do with my illness and how I am coping with it. This blog is more a practice in what they call "free writing" in writing class.
So thank you for reading my rants, please leave a message, so I know that some one has read it. You put the comment where it says " no comment", if you hit that button you can leave a comment
Have a Fantastic weekend.

#mental health
#GI Disorders
# soul searching

Friday, November 8, 2013

An Infection

Today on my blog, I'm going to talk about an illness that I am dealing with today and have been for almost a month. With my illness, I already have a compromised immune system ,so catching a virus or infection can hit me harder then a person who is a picture of health. My infection started right before Halloween. I was just released from the hospital a few days prior and my family was having one of our family gatherings. I was not feeling well, but I really wanted to see my family. When you wake up, a few months later then you remember and learn that you were not given a whole lot of chance to survive (I was given 5% the first two weeks) You look at the world with different eyes. The people you love take a front row seat to anything. I used to believe that I had no choice on how I was treated, but I learned that is a myth. Not to say that I don't have my days were I go back to were I was before. That I thought people didn't like me or I made them mad, but with my prayers to the Lord for the strength to not let negative thoughts rule me, those negative days are few and far between. I just need to learn patience because I had the life altering experience, not them, so to them life doesn't take on the be with those that you love as much as you can because one day they will be gone. When I was rushed to the hospital on that day in May of 2011, none of siblings were expecting to get the phone call they got.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

So now that I did survive this long, I have come to love my family and not just love them, but not take them for granted. But now I am very sick again. The day I spent with my family, I was running a low grade fever and swollen glands. It turned out that I had tonsilites and strep. I have been on an antibiotic for close to 2 weeks, but when I woke up this morning, my husband said I didn't look very good. I took my tempature and it was 101.4. When I checked my tempature a few hours later it had jumped to 101.6, plus I am feeling, weak, dizzy, unsteady and this may sound strange but I also have pain in my digestive system.

To put weight on they put me on a formuls called TPN and one of the risks with TPN is infection so I called my doctor and left her a message about my symtoms. I have not heard from her yet, so I'm just in the midst of the waiting game. So I leave you with post that doesn't really talk about my illness that has changed my life, but talking about this infection is a part of the illness that I must acknowledge also because an infection can be dangerous for me.

God Bless and Have a great Weekend

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A short story about the Genesis of Marianne

I can't believe that it is one month away from 2014. I turned 44 this past August. When I was a young girl I never dreamed at 44 I would have dealt with all that has been thrown my way since I turned 30.

When I left my little hometown of Bristol, PA in July of 1997, I was on the trip of a lifetime. I was going to a place where I could go to college and find a haven to write. Writing has been a passion of mine since I could write. I would write stories about anything, even if it was something inconsequenchel to others, I would take it and bring it to life. I once wrote a story about a leaf that fell off a tree and all the things "he" did while being blown around. But life had a different plan for me and I am still trying to figure out what it is.

I was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of 23. I suffered with bouts of depression through my teens, but my home life was tough and I never was really pushed towards anything. My writing wasn't shared with any kind of encouragement. Every so often my Mom would talk about a story I wrote that I got an A on, but I feel like I was a giant disappointment to my parents and to others in my family. Feeling like you failed people is a really hard way to get where you think would make you happy because that fear of failure just keeps you frozen. They did not understand the illness that I had to deal with and it seems that no one did. I worked while dealing with my illness by not taking meds, but by not taking proper care of my manic depression it left me open to have terrible bouts of depression or mania that would cause me to miss work.When I left PA I came to California and got a job working with juvenile deliquents, I met new people through church and was writing. I felt so good. Totally broke, but good. I dated around and then met someone I fell head over heels for. After we had been together a few years we got engaged. I thought I would spend all my life with him until he came to my job and broke off our engagement for a nonsense, excuse of a reason. I was working full time and going to school where I just finished the semester with a 4.0. When that engagement was broken off, I felt like the mirror of success that I saw when I looked into cracked into a million pieces, blowing into my face and hair. That break-up caused my plateau of my manic depression to come roaring back.

Then around the age of 31, I went back east for Christmas and it was a really nice Christmas, except for New Year's. I went to visit an old schoolmate at his parents for a New Year's party. My friend asked me to get him something from his house, which was right across the street. So I was walking up to his house and it had snowed the day before, so the snow would melt and then turn to ice at night. Well, I didn't see the black ice and I slipped and fell on the ice, knocking me unconscious. When I came to I had a nice big lump on the back of my head, but no blood, so I just ignored it. When I got back to my home in California, I started to have seizures. The seizures were a direct link from my fall on the black ice. So due to those 2 illnesses, my Doctor's deemed me disabled and I was no longer able to work. After awhile, not working really sucked, but it worked out for a couple of reasons. Since I didn't work, I was able to go back east and care for my Mom while she was sick with her terminal cancer and I have been able to help out other family members when needed, plus I was able to concentrate on my writing.( If I wasn't so ashamed of failing maybe I would have something finished and published)

Before the big "event" in May of 2011, I helped an old friend with a new business venture. While helping her, I felt better about myself and thought that I would start looking for a real job. But the universe had a different plan for me. I started getting sick to my stomach in the summer of 2007 and each year up to December of 2010, my bouts of vomiting became closer and closer together. When they started in 2007 I got sick for one day and maybe just one time every 2-3 months and by the end of December 2010 until May of 2011 I would get sick all the time. Because of my manic depression already being an object in the minds of my family, some family members thought I was doing this on purpose. Which is something a) I would never do. I hate to get sick to my stomach, so I wouldn't do it on purpose and b) I was in a good place, I was working in a bookstore, while looking into finishing up my degree in geriatric studies, so I could get out of the bad paying job cycle, so I had no reason to want to kill myself. Plus if anyone every looked into why and what suicide is, mostly for women it is a cry for help. For me, for the most part, when I did try, it was an accident because I couldn't sleep. December 26,2010 will forever be printed in my mind because on that day at 4 am was when I began to vomit almost everyday until my esophagus burst and killed my stomach on that fateful day in May

The hardest thing that I live with besides my physical pain is my emotional pain. Having a life altering illness is a lonely life. People probably think that I have people with me, but I'm alone most of the time, unless I'm in a skilled care facility and this may sound strange, but at times I like being there because I'm not alone. So I sign off on this cloudy November day in California. God Bless and keep close to those you love.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Lovely Day in May

  I see I only have 1 follower for my blog. I know it takes some time to get a following. I also know that I have not been blogging every week. The reason is, I do not have a laptop at the moment and due to my illness it is hard to get out of bed to sit at a desk. I will probably be moving my blog and I plan on trying to put up videos and pictures. My 2 major health issues have been difficult this past month, so it has caused me to put my blog on the back burner,but it looks like things are heading into a positive situation finally.

People have asked me how to leave comments on the blog site. I was not sure either, but after playing around,what you do is leave your comment at the bottom of the blog where it says "No Comment". Hit that spot and a box will pop up where a comment can be posted about what I wrote. It does note matter what you post. All comments are welcome. The only ones I really don't like is stuff about grammar. I have a friend that does that for me, plus if you every read books by Ernest Hemingway or Jack Kerouac they did not follow the rules of grammar and they are 2 of  the greatest writers from the 20th century. I know in HS they used to have you read "The Old Man and the Sea", but Hemingway wrote books that were so much better. As for Jack Kerouac, he has some of my favorite writings, whether it be an essay or a piece of fiction. If you never read anything from these 2 magnificent writers, you should go and read some of their work. If you want a book of theirs I can recommend a book, if you want, just leave a comment.

So when I get my laptop and learn a little more about blogging, I hope to be a little more consistent with my blog. It will mostly be about the tragedy of losing my stomach, but I will also talk about the trials of living with manic depression. Losing a stomach is rare, but being a manic depressive is not so I hope to mix a little humor in, while also putting out how serious the illness is. Manic depression has been around for a very long time, but it still carries a stigma.  I will also talk about my writing life, my weird dreams and my battle with concentration, which hinders, my dream of being a great writer. So I hope you take the trip with me as I tell all my stories that are true and at times shocking.

Happy Wednesday

#Stomach Ailments
#Manic Depression

Friday, April 19, 2013

Again? What the F?

Again, our country had to sit and watch in horror, whether they lived in Boston or out west here, in the small town of Manteca that I live in, what evil can overcome a human to hurt other humans. It was just awful to see the news and the pictures of the bloody scene at the end spot of the Boston marathon. I was working on a blog about my illness and the loneliness and isolation I feel(That will be next blog), but as of right now it would feel selfish. What can be a dream of a lifetime for a runner and the excitement to see a great sporting event got overshadowed by those two young men for reasons that are not known at the time of this post, but just as we have time and time again, we Americans get up, wipe the blood, sweat and tears away and go about trying for as normal as we can get

But I must note that I am very sad, my normal, positive outlook is getting low. The mask I have been wearing for the last few years is falling apart. My sister, Chrissy and my husband, Milan are the 2 people who have seen it most of the time. How bad, I'm not sure yet. Living with a physical illness on top of being Bipolar, I'm having a hard time figuring out if I need a padded room or just a few days of crying. I'm really tired of crying though. That's it for now. Be sure to hug a person, make that call you have been meaning to make, finish that letter/card, know one, except God knows their expiration date.

Much love and God Bless America

#Issues about violence
 #Chronic illness

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What is like to be Bipolar?

When I was told to start a blog by many of my friends, it was going to be about a medical issue that dealt with my stomach, that almost killed me. But with all the talk about mental illness in the news, I felt that I could give a little insight. Mental illness is no excuse for being violent towards other people, but unfortunatly the few that do violent acts, gives people who are proactive, take meds, go to therapy and follow the course the Dr's set for them, let the mentally ill get a bad name. I really don't know how to change those kind of people. Like that saying goes "You can only bring the horse to water". I really hate it when a proper diagnose of any mental illness is given to someone and they are not proactive to their care. Some have all kinds of excuses, but it's irresposible and I think they are fucking assholes People like me are fighting with groups to stop the stigma, all the while crazy fucks run around killing babies. So I am going to stand up, face the stigma head on and say "I am Marianne and I live with a mental illness(and a feeding tube, no stomach, but that's a different story). "I live with Bipolar, but it is not who I am. I have many sides and layers, what else do you want to know?" I believe that because of mental illness, it has given me a depth of how to treat others. I can kick ass and take down numbers, yet I can be sensitive. With all that life has thrown my way, I'm still standing and right now I am trying to not let the depression I have right now win. I know that I can't stop the train once it begins and I am trying to get help, but the mental health system is so broken in this country, but you can read about that in a newspaper, magazine or online. So I will tell you a tale of What it is like to be Bipolar.

At age 14  I felt that I was not having "normal"teenage anger and general moodiness. Mine was just so over the top. My anger towards myself and others could go off very easy. I had a "short fuse", but I never felt the anger like we have seen in the news. I just knew that it was "different" I was so awful to my parents. Then at times I just couldn't sleep and felt so happy that I was bursting out the love I had in my heart for people. When I felt me falling down from my happy mood to my sad/angry mood, all I could do was cry. I didn't want that bad, empty, angry, sad place that would rear its ugly head. It was a monster in my head. The recorder in my head was full of negative thoughts. So one Saturday afternoon, I took a bottle of Tylenol and some Vodka. It wasn't even because I wanted to die. I just didn't want to go into that dark, dank, basement in my head. I was not put on medication at that time because I was young, but after my suicide attemt we had to have family therapy. It lasted a few times and then my dad stopped it. So my teen years are very much like a movie. That I was standing on the outside watching me and what I did in high school.

At the age of 23 I went into a mental hospital. I was never able to be dependable. I would go months and be a stellar employee, daughter, sister, aunt,then my depressions would be so bad that I had trouble getting out of bed. No one could understand. At times I blamed my parents because we grew up with fighting,  beatings, just a very violent, dysfunctional family, so I pulled my parents down into my misery. So through my 20's I was in and out of mental hospitals. When I was 26 I was driving to work and that song by Everclear "Santa Monica" came on the radio and BAM! I was going to give notice and move to California(I actually wanted to move to New Mexico, but my Mom said she would never visit me. LOL( I gotta love Marge at times). I was neither manic or depressed, but I just wanted to spread my wings. I finally got the balls to spread my wings all the way out. I packed my car with what I could and my younger brother, Joey, and I took off. We had a great time. I though running into a new life that I would feel better. That I could out run manic depression. I though if I lived in a little hole in the wall, went to college and wrote my masterpiece that I would be happy. Well I found out at the age of 30, that manic depression is a lifetime sentence.

So now that I gave a back story, I am going to write about the cloud, the thunder and lighting and the eventual sunshine that comes with my battle as a Bipolar. I'm not going to stand in shame any longer. I am Bipolar and I deserve a 1st place ribbon, not a label. The actress/author Carrie "Princess Leigh" Fisher is Bipolar and she said something similar to that in her book "Wishful Drinking"(All her books are really good). I guess I could hide, but why? When Hester Prynne, the female protagonist in the "Scarlett Letter" had to wear an "A" on her so she was known as an adulteress, while her lover was kept hidden by her, but he did punish himself behind closed doors. So do I hide and suffer or do I say it out loud?

I can only tell anyone who reads this blog, my experience of being a manic depressive, but I think a little lesson in terminology should be given. If someone says I'm Bipolar and another person says I'm manic depressive, it is the same disease. The Psychitric community can't seem pick one and I inter-change them, depending on where the name is to be placed in a sentence. So I'm no better!

So what I deal with is waking up, take 3 different meds to keep me stabilized. Since I'm Bipolar, I can't take an actual anti-depressive because that can kick me into a manic mood. Having a manic mood can be on the scale of just being really happy, can't sleep, getting projects done or at least started to the point of being dangerous or at times hallucination can happen, like thinking the radio is talking to you, etc. I just tend to be happy, spend money and before I was married, I was quite the "ho". The worst manic episode I had was actually called a psychotic break because I was hallucinating a tall, blond, guy (My husband said it was Dirk Nowitzki because he is my man of Basketball fame) So when I get depressed they may put me on another medication or if my depression is so bad, I can get an anti-depressant, but only for between 6-8 weeks. Just to get my depressive state kicked out and go back to my original medicine.

 Bipolar is deadly also. The person suffering with it has tried to commit suicide at least once. I have tried, but I didn't really want to die, I just wanted the war in my head to stop. I wanted lose the need to scream. I asked for help from time to time,  but it was really hard. I felt like I was bothering them, plus at times I felt rushed. Most mentally ill people are violent to themselves then to others. Look at the country star, Cindy McCready, she had many problems, dealing with a mental illness being one(Well she was violent to her dog). Having to deal with any mental illness is hard. For me I find it to be hard, mostly because I don't know how much my family knows about the disease and I can't explain it in 2 miutes, but I think it is just hard because it is a very daunting disease. Now that I'm married, my husband can do the job. But like I said before having any illness not only affects the person, but it also affects the whole family. My husband has been dealing with my mental illness since 2003. I don't think he gets enough credit for that. He was the one to see me pacing back and forth talking to myself when I hadn't sleep in over 5 days and he has been with me when I would lock myself in the bathroom or crawl in a closet because I was crying so hard that it was killing the sound barrier. I twitch a lot and I fidget. I try and try to get people around me to fucking get what I'm dealing with not only with my physical illness but my bipolar and that they do mingle with each other. That I'm depressed right now and nothing except a Doctor with a pad can fix it. I am angry because I'm Bipolarand since that is in my medical charts that the hospitals didn't do a better job to find out what was causing me to puke and look into why I lost my stomach hard enough. It was thought that I drank Draino. Fucking idiots! But again lets not get off the road I'm on. This is an illness that I can not run away from, hide from, get a cure(for now) for or have it understood, unless you have it.

I hope that this post helps people understand the pain that people like me live with daily and that people reading this post, who either has a loved one or have no idea what a mental illness is, that they may learn more about it. That movie "Silver Lining Playbook" is about a Bipolar man, played by Bradley Cooper(give a shout to a local Philly guy!) I am so glad that it got so many Oscar nods because maybe people will go see it or at least rent it when it goes to DVD. There are many websites that talk about mental illness. Leave a question or comment about what I wrote on here. This blog is only the tip of the iceberg about this awful illness.

I read this the other day and thought it would be a good closings.
"Being relaxed and comfortable with everyone and everything each day is a special event, to be
recieved in a unifying way. Treat the world with respect and love you want for yourself"

Best wishes and I'll see you all soon at the same station!