Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bipolar Off Meds Success

If it hasn't become apparent by now, I'm pretty much done with this blog. It served it's purpose, which was to get me writing again and to help me figure out just what it was I needed to do with that whole "bipolar incident".

I wanted to finish off on a positive note, though, and here it is:

A couple of weeks ago I went to my regular doctor for a "med-check", and as he was going through my records, the conversation went like this:

Dr. R: So are you still seeing the psychiatrist?

Me: No, I haven't seen him in three years.

Dr. R: And you're not taking any of the psych meds any longer.

Me: No, I went off the mood stabilizers and antidepressants five years ago…and I haven't taken trazodone in over two years.

Dr. R: And it doesn't look like you've had any mood issues in that time.

Me: No, I haven't. I've had fewer mood swings in the last three years than ever. I'm pretty sure they were caused by the aspartame in the diet soda I was drinking.

Dr. R: Really? Not the caffeine?

Me: I don't think so. I still drink tea, and it doesn't cause me any trouble. But the mood swings started when I was nineteen and started drinking gallons of diet soda a day to stay awake to study. When I stopped the diet soda, the mood swings stopped.

Dr. R: Wow. That's really interesting. So this bipolar diagnosis we have on here really isn't relevant any more. I'm going to take it off your records.

So that, my friends, is that. I am officially undiagnosed.

No prizes for guessing whether or not the psychiatrist would agree with that assessment…

I'm going to leave the blog up in the hope that it might help someone else in a situation similar to mine begin to ask questions and seek answers. While we all have to find our own answers, we don't do it in a vacuum. The people who helped me come to terms with what happened to me and helped me during the journey of figuring out just what that was all about are the authors of the blogs listed on the sidebar. Thanks to all of them, and thanks to the people out there who read my entries and asked insightful questions, provided comfort and support, and were just good blog friends in general.

Adios, dudes!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's the Little Things

So, we are dealing with The Chief being unemployed for the next little while. Hopefully a very little while, but in this economy, who knows?

And the worst thing about this for me is not the big stuff, like how the hell are we going to make the mortgage payment--which is big, but between severance benefits, savings, and retirement funds, I think we've got that covered for a while--but the little things. The things that impact my day-to-day existence.

Like that I probably shouldn't be paying $4 a box for chai concentrate. Which, at 5 servings a box, is definitely a luxury...but which I really enjoy having every morning when I sit down for a few minutes and revel in the peace after the kids have taken all their teen angst and drama out the door and off to school.

Rather than give that up, I decided that I was going to have to figure out how to make it myself. How hard can it be? It's just tea and spices. Reading the back of the box to find out what spices, and checking some recipes online gave me a starting point, and I played with amounts over the first half a dozen batches until I got something I like. One of my knitting buddies says I should share, so here is my recipe for chai concentrate:

Jazz's Chai Concentrate
3 C water
8-12 tea bags*
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp whole cloves
15 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, boil the water. Add the tea bags and spices and reduce the heat. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and simmer another five minutes. Strain through a wire sieve or cheesecloth, and squeeze excess liquid from tea bags. Add vanilla. Pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge. This makes about 18 oz. I usually make it up 3 oz concentrate:8 oz milk or for a real treat, vanilla soy milk (yum!), so I get six servings out of a batch.

*depending on how much caffeine you want and how much tea taste. I've been using 12 Tetley tea bags, which are pretty strong.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Patriotic of Them

So it's been a while. September, it looks like. Well, to be perfectly honest, not a lot has been happening. What with the constant stress of the threat of lay-offs, 2009 was pretty much a crap year, and I was quite glad to see the hind end of it come December 31, and don't let the door smack your ass on the way out, 2009.

Unfortunately, 2010 is not shaping up to be a whole lot better. The Chief got laid off a few weeks ago. The Big Bad Evil Corporation he works for decided that four guys in India could do his job a lot cheaper (but much less efficiently, apparently, although the Big Bad Evil Corporation is more concerned about bottom line than it is about efficiency, or about doing its patriotic duty by keeping our jobs in America, but that's another rant for another day), so it's adios muchachos, here's some severance benefits to tide you over for a bit, and have a nice life.

So, long story short, The Chief is here. Job searching. At home. In my office. All day.

Which is okay in a boy-it's-nice-to-get-to-spend-so-much-time-with-you sort of way, but somewhat less okay in a how-the-hell-are-we-going-to-pay-the-mortgage-when-severance-runs-out sort of way.

So I'm debating starting my own job hunt. While this mom-at-home gig I've had for the past fifteen years has been extremely rewarding, it doesn't pay awfully well. At least, not in ways that will enhance my bank account balance.

Hmm. I wonder if there are any knitting jobs out there…