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The Big Picture: At the doctor's office

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is up? Well here it is:

At that meeting I got weighed (whoopie!) and measured, had to fill out a questionnaire about my symptoms. This was like a check "yes" or "no" and listed symptoms for depression, anxiety, bipolar, manic, and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

I went into the nurses office, I was so nervous, I don't know why, everyone there was so nice, what did I expect? But I was scared. She went over the list of symptoms with me and asked me some questions about "Why are you here today? and How can we help you?" So I explained what was going on, what had been going on, and I broke down and started crying. Embarrassed, yes slightly, but also relieved at the same time. I was diagnosed as having Bipolar-depression with anxiety.

Excuse me, what did you just say? Depression and anxiety I knew, I could handle those, I was ready to face them head on, but I was totally slapped in the face by the bipolar diagnoses. I was in shock.

I was given a list of meds to try and come back in a month, and oh yeah I needed to set up an appointment to see a therapist. Wow. Um, okay. But I was going with the flow because I knew I needed to, this was the only way I was going to keep from completely falling off the deep end.

I got in my car and drove home trying to process what just happened. Did she really say Bipolar?? I was so confused and my heart was aching. I got home and Jake was sitting on the couch. "So, how'd it go?" he asked "What did they say?" And I told him, and starting crying again. He just came over and hugged me and said "It'll be alright, we'll work through this."

Fast forward the beginning of March. I went back for my monthly med-check and got weighed. Again. We talked, I was prescribed more meds because I still wasn't sleeping normally, and I made an appointment to get seen by a therapist there. Her name is June.

I met with June and we talked about a lot of things. Most notably how would I know when I was ready to be "DONE" with therapy. I threw some things out there, and the words "normal, whatever that means" came out. She asked me to explain.

What is normal really? Well for me it's living a happier more fulfilled life, being able to function on a daily basis to do everyday mundane tasks that some people may take for granted, but that I have to make myself do. I must force myself to do these things or they just don't get done. It's like there's a switch in my head that makes me want to NOT do these things like dishes and laundry and taking a shower more than once a week, I can always find an excuse, always think of something else to be doing that is "more important" then my own hygiene. June asked "So, what's more important than taking a shower?" I laughed and said "well, when you put it that way it just sounds silly!" I want to be able to enjoy the everyday things in my life again. I don't feel "normal" without them.

Its hard to even write that, trust me, in no way am I proud of these things, but in order for me to be more "normal" I need to do these things and do them for the betterment of myself; not only mentally, but physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. All of these aspects of my life suffer if I allow myself to slack off because I just don't care, and trust me, I do mean all of them.

Because of this I now I have a visual reminder hanging on my bathroom mirror that says: "What is more important than taking a shower?" I can smile when I see it now, because it's a small reminder of everything else I want and need to do in and with my life.

I am setting goals. Small goals, attainable goals, things I can be proud of for myself to accomplish. I know I have to start somewhere. The meds are going good. I am feeling better but I still have my bad days. Today was one of those days, but now I am better able to tolerate things because I got pointed in the right direction. One step at a time.

In my daily devotional from Sunday it reads:

It will become more understandable as you head down the path he sets before you, but understanding is not a requirement for you to start down the path. Proverbs 4:18 says, "The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day" (NIV). One day you will stand in the full light of eternity and view the big picture. You'll see God's purpose behind the path He specifically chose for you.

What do I do in the meantime? You do what Proverbs 3 says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." What does He mean "don't lean on your own understanding"? You don't need to try to figure it out. In truth, you're not going to understand most of the things that happen in your life until you get to heaven.

Be patient. God knows what He's doing. God knows what's best for you. He can see the end result. You can't. All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays -- all the things that make you ask "why" -- one day it will all be clear in the light of God's love.

But for now, we're learning to trust God.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for your story. My heart goes out to you. God's heart goes out to you too. He will be your light upon your path. I used to think He would light up the entire way, but actually I finally figured out that we all take steps in life by faith. He will light your path, each step of the way, if we let Him. Your husband will be right beside you. I have a good husband too who lets me know if I get too left of center!

    3894 days ago
  • ~LACY~
    Your a brave, brave girl and should be so proud of yourself! Hang in there, there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel!! Chin up pretty lady! =)
    3909 days ago
    Nikki you are such an amazing and inspirational person! Thank you for being so brave to share this with us. Come hang out with us on the sapphire thread..you can always count on us to lean on! emoticon
    3915 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1286196
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I love how God sends us messages just when we need to hear them. I had to laugh about your shower comment; housework & hygiene are my indicators when things are going south. It sounds like you're doing the right things to take care of yourself. Just remember that you have lots of family & friends that want to help you through the rougher days.
    3915 days ago
    That must be a difficult diagnosis to hear. I have another sparkfriend who I could put you in touch with who has experience with this if you'd like to talk with someone who has been through it. Thanks for sharing this, Nikki, it took a lot of guts to put it out there honestly like this. I hope your internet issues are resolved soon, we miss you on Sapphire. *hugs*
    3915 days ago
  • MAIA2011
    I know what you mean about being slapped in the face with a bipolar diagnosis. I was 16 and I had to be hospitalized for a manic episode. Then again later that year. Then again for my 18th birthday. Then again the next year. That was the last time in the hospital but it is ROUGH! BTW I totally relate to the shower thing. It is a big sign that things need to be patched up when I experience that. Also, not to be the bad news queen, but the medication is serious. Not only will you probably want to eat more but it also literally interferes with the metabolism of fat (not all of them do but a lot do--google yours!) Just be prepared and try not to be too hard on yourself. Send me a Spark message if you want. I have all kinds of info! I wish you all the best on your health!

    3916 days ago
    Nikki it's very brave to share with us and it's great to know that things are pointed in the right direction. June sounds great and like she's got some good insights. We've missed you and please take good care of yourself. emoticon
    3916 days ago
  • TIGGER622
    thank you so much for sharing this! you are on the right path and we are all here to support you! hang in there, you are doing great!
    3916 days ago
    I am sorry you are going through so much right now. You are obviously a very strong woman! You will come out of this stronger. I just wanted to second the second opinion advice.

    And... send a big cyber (((((((HUG))))))))

    You have helped a lot of people here by reaching out and telling your story.

    Thank you.
    3916 days ago
    It is so great that you are willing to share your experience with others. I hope that you are able to reach your goals. Have a good Tuesday!
    3916 days ago
  • no profile photo SHANNONSTILLS
    Keep smiling
    3916 days ago
    Hey lady. Sometimes it's so hard to just trust in what the Lord is going to do with us and for us. I'm so glad you're leaning on Him. I'm also glad that you've had the courage to go and get help for something that can be debilitating. I see it when you're on here that you feel so much better than you did six months ago. I saw in your smile when I came and visited you that even though you were in pain sometimes you were working on it. I'm so glad that you have the strength to be working on this, to be working on you and your future and your life. Some people will tell you there's nothing wrong. That's fine, they're not you and they don't understand the despair you've felt in the past year and beyond. I'm just so glad that you're on your way, that nothing can stop you now and that your smile, slowly but surely, is becoming brighter. emoticon
    3916 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2142334
    I am not trying to make lite of any of your problems and I am sure that the therapist did alot better job then I will, but none of us are "normal" because I do not think it exists. I read your blog and thought about how hard it must be for you to write all of that and I appreciate our openness to all of us. I believe that we all face challenges in our lives and I think that you are doing a great job facing yours by seeking help for them. It takes a strong person to take that first step to involve a stranger in their personal life and it shows that you want to change yourself. Something that I have realized is that most of us don't want to do some of those little things and that doesn't make you abnormal, if anything I think you are alot like the rest of us. The goals and the visual reminder are great techniques for all of us to use to adjust behaviors that we don't want and I like how you can smile about it. Smiling is a good sign and I don't do it nearly enough. I hope that you can overcome your bad days without to much a a problem. Again, thanks for your Blog.
    3916 days ago
    *hugs* Hold on to your deep faith. The Lord CAN heal. Get a second opinion. *hugs*
    3917 days ago
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