Sunday, August 22, 2021

This is the face of bipolar disorder.  

Wait. Let me back up by saying that yesterday's 5K was one of the scariest races I've ever endured and at this point in my running career, I've had many bad races.  It was hot and muggy, seriously the air was like soup.  Couple that with a 6:30 PM start and this 43 year old mom of 2 was in over her head.  Not to mention that grief is exhausting.  If getting out of bed is a chore these days, then running a 5K is a recipe for disaster.

I knew if I pushed through the exhaustion that I would likely become manic.  And I did.  My body was giving me all the signs that it needed rest but I didn't listen.  The girls had to, in my mind, go to the Old Home Days parade and the events after so I pushed.  I had to make hours up for work so I pushed.  I had to do 5 loads of laundry or I'd fall behind so I pushed.  Well, I pushed myself right into a manic episode.  

The thing about going manic is you don't have control over it.  You know it is happening but you can't do anything about it.  It's like watching yourself in a movie while cringing the entire time.  I've noticed that I act like that annoying drunk girl in college that you would see at all the frat parties.  Yeah, I annoy me too.

ANYWAY. See that's another sign of Bipolar - excessive talking.  When I stopped sleeping, I reached out to my psychiatrist because for someone with bipolar, not sleeping is NO BUENO.  I've done it.  I've slept 4 hours a night and then ran around like the energizer bunny for 20 hours before crashing just to wake up after 4 hours and do it all again.  Usually by day 4 I'm in a world of hurt.  I'm now on a new medication but it will take awhile to take effect.  Until then, I roll with it.

I'm finding that the new medication is affecting my blood sugar.  I have all of the symptoms of hypoglycemia, just not a diagnosis.  I normally keep my carb count very low thanks to a family history of diabetes but I've had to work some back in.  Well, as you can imagine, low blood sugar and running a hot and humid 5K don't mix.

BUT, being manic is the best time to run one!  Some of my fastest races are from when I was literally burning off the crazy.  This time the mania served me well for the first mile.  I ran it in 9 minutes.  Normally, I go out at a 10 or 10:30 to start.  Not this time.  Eventually, by mile 2 the weather conditions and late start got to me and I was S-L-O-W.  I was stop and walk up the  gently rolling incline that is Mammoth Rd in Londonderry.  Eventually, I picked up the pace... just barely.  

Luckily, I was with my BRF so I was safe.  She stuck with me even though we always say, "Run your own race." She made sure we crossed the finish line together.  I knew I was in trouble so I searched for the Powerade.  No Powerade.  No bananas.  Nothing that could get my blood sugar up.  Ah, an ambulance, that's where I'll go.  Luckily, my blood sugar was at 103 - normal.  After sitting for a bit and drinking my electrolytes that said BRF brought from her car, I was able to get back on my feet.  I can't say that I ever felt better that night even when I did manage to find sugar - some of my Mom's Lifesavers from her funeral service in my BRF's car.  Thanks, Mom!

As you can imagine, this is not what I thought this race would teach me about myself.  I like to think that each race is a lesson for me about myself.  I think the lack of oxygen in the air caused me to go a little too deep here.

Oh, and the whole bipolar thing?  I've known for almost 2 years but didn't tell my Mom until just a few weeks before she died.  

Make the phone call.  

Sunday, June 13, 2021

I Came. I Saw. I Had Anxiety. I Left.

Since it's almost Vivi's fourth birthday, it seems timely to tell this story now. 

When I was 7 or 8 months pregnant, I broke my back. Of course, because I was pregnant, I didn't have x-rays for another year when I finally stopped trying to "tough it out" and took my PCP's offer to refer me to a sports medicine doc for help.

X-rays confirmed that I have a compression fracture in my thoracic spine - a break common in 80 year old women with osteoporosis. Luckily I'm neither of those things, but I am in chronic pain. 

Fast forward to 6 months ago when I asked my PCP for a medical marijuana card. Yes, New Hampshire is a party pooper and won't legalize it. I barely got the words out of my mouth before he agreed - that's how bad this break is. For the last 6 months now I've been visiting my local state approved, New Hampshire just needs to get over themselves already, "Alternative Therapeutic Medicine" shop.

Today when I popped in, I was wearing this shirt. A shirt that made my therapist laugh while simultaneously shaking his head when I showed it to him. It didn't take long for the staff there to notice, laugh with me and share their own anxiety stories. 

"I pulled into Target once, saw how many cars were there and promptly pulled away."

I find this so relatable. I time my shopping trips for when I know stores will be the least crowded. Thursdays around 10 am are a good time to shop the Aldi in Derry. I know it's sacrilegious to say but I cannot stand Market Basket. You can't get in and out quickly and you're almost always engaged in a game if bumper cars against your will.  

Another customer overheard their comments and asked to see my shirt. She laughed and commented, "it's nice that we are at a place where we can openly admit that and laugh about it."

It is, isn't it?

For someone who holds quite a few mental health diagnoses, it's comforting to know there are others out there that are fighting some of the same invisible battles as me. 

If you are a fellow anxiety sufferer, come sit next to me. You'll be in good company. Please only one at a time. Also, don't engage in small talk or get in my personal space because then I'll have to leave.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

It's the second shot that almost didn't happen. 😬

Word to the wise, when you put your driver's license in your running jacket for a race, PUT IT BACK IN YOUR WALLET.

If I thought the line at the vaccination site was long at 10:40 am, it was even longer by 11:30 am. An hour and a half later, after carrying a very tired, 35 pound 3 year old for a good chunk of that time, I got shot # 2!

All of the "congratulations" I received after, more than made up for it. Two weeks until full immunity!

Photo credit: Vivienne, said 3 year old 

Sunday, April 18, 2021


Tonight's speedy one mile run was brought to you by the word "tired".

As in, I'm tired of fighting with people to do their jobs. 

I'm tired of doing the same things day in and day out. 

I'm tired of near misses and close contacts. 

I'm tired of not getting straight answers. Don't bullshit a bullshiter is all I'm saying. 

I'm tired of my mental illnesses. 

I'm tired of adjusting my meds.

I'm tired of my undiagnosable physical ailments. Hello, medical specialists. 

I'm tired of not being able to express myself properly. 

I'm tired of my ADHD making even menial tasks hard and even near impossible to complete. 

I'm tired of being tired. 

Anybody know what I mean?