misc - 月

(no subject)

Deleted my Facebook and Twitter, whig brings me back home. Long story short, I have to leave CHBL by April 23rd. Made a last-ditch appeal for leniency, which brought me from in unbearable pain to antisocial but tolerant. My brain is allowing itself denial until I receive a reply from Becca tomorrow. I just wish Chris weren't so... interactive? I just want to sulk, but he insists on communicating with me. Somehow that's one of the worst parts of the situation - imagining what he might think of me. I wanted to leave him a note when I left asking him to e-mail me in two years if we still remembered each other and he wanted to be friends, but every time something like this comes up and I'm bawling in my room like my first-born child suddenly died, I can only imagine him not wanting to touch that friendship with a ten-foot pole.

I'm so exhausted... And hungry, but eating would require leaving my room. I'll just have to have some peanut butter when everyone's asleep.

misc - 月

my stupidly long to-do list

- SSDI application (ASAP - 2/10)
- replace check card (2/6)
- replace MN permit (SRTL*)
- buy new wallet (SRTL)
- work out finances/update check register (SRTL)
- contact a financial/tax professional about wtf is gong on with my rent/taxes/401k/assets for 2013 and 2014 tax purposes, as well as specifically the months of December '13, January '14, and February '14 (ASAP)
- write appeals letter (ASAP - needs to wait until after I talk with a professional)
- repair pajamas
- repair black pants
- repair purse
- fix laptop (SRTL)
- repair comforter cover
- make JLPT study plan (SRTL)
- sort and scan papers
- buy new hanging folders
- catch up on MAS shows (2/13)
- figure out Bridgeview schedule (SRTL)
- order new social security card
- order new US passport
- do laundry (figure out where to do it) (SRTL)
- pick up remaining items from aikachi's (bell jars, coconut oil spray, clothes)
- go through ALL the clothes (donate/repair/throw/keep/store)
- dust hair
- buy toiletries (conditioner, toothpaste) (SRTL)
- return extra meds
- buy winter hat and socks (SRTL)
- return book to akaneko/try on clothes/hang out (Speaking of Laura, she's an amazing friend. I mean, many of my friends are amazing, but she reminded me again of her amazingness yesterday. いつもありがとう、茜ちゃん。)
- practice bonryaku temae (2/10)
- give external HD to Kendra (SRTL)
- buy paper (SRTL)
- CaringBridge entry (okay, there's no REAL priority on this one, but you've waited way the fuck too long on it)
- make fudge (2/6, before leaving for MAS so Chris can have some)
- CHBL chores
- clean/vacuum side stairwell (SRTL - guys, that stairwell is kinda disgusting. The director's been putting it off for forever too, apparently, but I'd like to show some extra initiative and do it myself, and before anyone else gets to it obviously.)

* SRTL: sooner rather than later

Okay, so I know this is nothing compared to ellie_desu or Jessica Nicholas' to-do lists, but it feels pretty damn overwhelming, especially with the SSDI application, appeal letter, and all the work to be sure the laptop is clean.

Also, I have a pimple developing on my nostril. Fun times.

'kay, time to turn in my electronics. Here's me hoping I sleep like a baby tonight.
Seikai no - Lafiel

Close Call

Well, that was a close call... I was sitting while they unloaded the luggage from the bus, and when the crowd cleared mine wasn't there. I asked the employee if there were any more bags on the bus and he said no. Thankfully one of the women standing near me pointed me in the direction of a man she thought might have had my bag, so I walked in that direction and found a man with my bag at the city bus stop. As soon as I told him that was my bag he gave it to me. When I walked back the employee asked me what happened and I told him, and he asked me to point the person out to him, so we walked back, and he asked the man if he knew that wasn't his bag, but the man said that he had a Nike bag like that too. Really? If you're missing your Nike bag, why aren't you more concerned that you now don't know where yours is? UGH.

Well, now I know the "sit back and wait until the crowd disperses so I don't have to stand in line" method isn't the smartest. At least I didn't have any expensive electronics in it. Just, you know, all of my clothes, make-up, and toiletries, plus my Bluetooth speaker.

FMA - *PWNed*

In which I apparently CAN'T READ A FUCKING E-MAIL.

So... Crashed at Bryan's last night so I could catch the 6:30 am Megabus that was a 15 minute walk from his place. Set the alarm for 6 am, got there with 5 minutes to spare, and I couldn't find the Megabus. Then I found the Megabus sign, but yep, no Megabus. And no people waiting for it to show up. Then I double-checked my calendar. "0600". I had somehow gotten myself convinced that the bus left at 6:30, despite having typed in the reservation number myself and then having Bryan read it aloud to me to double-check. AND apparently I left my purse (containing my denshi jisho and phone, but thankfully not wallet or iPod) on the bus. Took the bus back to Bryan's apartment building and used the WiFi to call Megabus, and the 10 am was still booked and they couldn't squeeze me on, and they have a strict 24 hour cancellation policy meaning I didn't get *any* credit for re-booking for tomorrow, setting me back another $57 and having me arrive 14 hours before ellie_desu's wedding instead of 38. Also called Metro Transit to see if they could call the two buses I was on to see if they had my purse (thinking maybe I could intercept it rather than wait for it to be dropped off at Metro Transit lost and found), and assuming they figured out the right buses (which they may well not have, especially since I wasn't positive of what routes I was on), the drivers didn't see it. At that point I just headed home to go back to sleep, since there really wasn't anything else I could've done downtown (although not too long ago I realized I could've deposited the paycheck from working the Zombie Pub Crawl). I guess the silver lining is that I now have a 2 hour layover again instead of 7, and my bus is leaving at 10 am instead of 6/6:30 am?

With that, though, I decided to leave a bit later than my rescheduled day of Monday, leaving Wednesday instead. (Mike's pretty busy with school and I definitely need to make it to my psychiatry appointment Thursday afternoon, so the latest I'll leave is Wednesday morning.) So... Still not enough time to relax before the wedding, but at least now I'm gaining rather than losing 33% of my stay (which makes me slightly less bitter about having had to pay $57 more for the bus).

Unrelatedly, my psychiatrist tried to call me 45 minutes ago and I just missed her call, and then when I tried to call back I was on hold with the behavioral health department for 25 minutes. Sent her an e-mail telling her that my phone's no longer on silent mode and to call me back.

Blerk. I have a headache and I'm really not motivated to go to MAS, especially since I'm still not caught up on any of the shows, but if I don't I won't be able to pick up the pillow I accidentally left at Bryan's this morning and I might not have time to deposit my check tomorrow... I might just leave the pillow with him for a bit, and technically I still have a PNC account (I get a daily e-mail informing me that my balance is below $10 - it's at $0) so if I really want to I could cash my check Saturday morning.

Oh, and since I haven't mentioned it on LJ, my appetite's fallen through the floor recently, and I lost 8 pounds (from 140 lbs. to 132 lbs.) between my doctor's appointment on October 28th and today (which is 10 days). I don't know if it's a result of my depression or a side-effect of the bupropion (I'm on 150 mg a day) or what. Actually, it's probably the bupropion. So it sounds like it eventually wears of for some people? I dunno, if my weight stabilizes I won't mind terribly since I was at 120 in March 2004, and I don't know if I can do this from "starvation mode" but I'm kinda hoping I can use this opportunity to become fat-adapted. Anyway, as I said earlier, I'm seeing my psychiatrist next Thursday so I'll talk with her about it then.

ETA: Apparently Strattera, of which I'm taking 80 mg a day, also causes a decreased appetite.
Azumanga - 31+30+42>100

My Diagnoses

I just realized, I should probably let people know what my diagnoses are:

Axis I
299.90 Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified
314.01 Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type
300.02 Generalized Anxiety Disorder
296.33 Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Severe, Without Psychotic Features

Axis II
301.60 Dependent Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Features


(I also believe I have Avoidant Personality Disorder.)

Axis V
CGA: 31-40

WAIS-IV
Verbal Comprehension: 141/99.7
Perceptual Reasoning: 125/95
Working Memory: 133/99
Processing Speed: 100/50
Full Scale: 132/98

Note that although my processing speed is "perfectly" average, the difference between my general IQ and my processing speed index could be a cause of a number of difficulties in my life, including my inability to figure out what's "not important".
ヒカ碁 - Sai uncertain future

Catching people up (kind of) on my mental health situation

Ever since I started high school I've been having difficulty with academics, work, family and friends, obligations, and more. After 15 years of trying to will myself to be successful, becoming increasingly disappointed in myself, and eventually losing hope and becoming suicidal, on May 27th, for the first time in my life I had a suicide plan that I thought I could follow through on. However, I had enough of a moment of pause during my crying to decide to ask Sandy to take me to the ER. This started a chain of events that left me on indefinite unpaid leave from work, four nights at Nancy Paige Crisis Residence, and significant intervention from family and my social worker.

Fast forward through lots of bureaucratic tape, unknown unknowns, a few known unknowns, and perhaps more stress than what put me into the hospital in the first place, and we're at this week. (I might fill in those blanks in later entries.) This week was full of appointments: a consultation with an otolaryngological surgeon on Monday, 3 hours of DBT on Tuesday (including my first skills group), first meeting with my ARMHS worker on Wednesday, and an appointment with my social worker on Thursday to have her help me fill out my SMRT application. Add to that a number of events that I wanted to go to...

So, I'm seriously considering getting a septo-/rhinoplasty (to correct my deviated septum and malformed nose) in the near future. I had the option to get the rhinoplasty when I got my orthognathic surgery when I was 18, but I decided against it back then partly because I felt that it was a bit vain and I believed my nose formed a good "jerk deterrent", but also because I wanted to have something left of the birth defect that probably influenced my childhood and personality quite heavily. However, when I discovered I had a significant septal deviation that was causing some noticeable negative side-effects, I decided that although I probably wouldn't get the septoplasty on it's own, and I probably wouldn't get the rhinoplasty on its own, it might be a good idea to get them both done at once, especially since I believed I was in a sweet spot with regards to my insurance that would only last until the end of December. (It turns out I was a far distance from that sweet spot, but now that I'm on medical assistance, as long as I have that I should have next to no co-pay/co-insurance for the surgery.)

Anyway, my dad is VERY concerned that getting this surgery will cause significant stress and anxiety in my life, and that now would be the WORST time to undergo major surgery, especially if it's not urgent. However, I decided that I still wanted to consult with the surgeon and get a better idea of what he could do and what the recovery would be like. Apparently he would have to take some cartilage from my rib (with the incision/scar being in the crease below my breast, so extremely well hidden) and some from my ear. The most painful part of the recovery would be my rib, since it would feel like I had fractured it and I would feel it with every breath, and I think he said the recovery for that would last roughly two weeks. After I give the surgeon the green light, he figures it'll take 6 weeks for MA to process the authorization, and I should be able to schedule the surgery for about 4 weeks after that. After talking it through with my mom and a number of my care professionals, I decided I'm going to give him the green light once I know that I'll have stable housing at the time of the surgery. (My mom did say that I could stay with her during the recovery.)

Tuesday I had DBT, which my mom also came to (at least for the individual session). I can't really remember anything in particular about how that went, so whatever. However, after that I had my first group session. I don't entirely know why, since it was a small group, but going into the session I was definitely anxious, and had forgotten to bring my lorazepam with me. This of course wasn't ideal, but then one of the clients started getting angry with another client and that escalated into enough of a conflict that I had a panic attack and had to leave the room. I sat right to the left of the door, and soon after saw one of the two facilitators leave the room, I assumed to go get another staff member to help de-escalate the situation; soon after the agitated client left the room.

The co-facilitator came back with Mark (my therapist) - it turned out she was looking for me. She helped me with a "mindfulness" exercise (just breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth while looking at her) while Mark brought me some water. After passing through a bit of hyperventilation I finally calmed down enough to re-enter the room, and it turned out the agitated client had threatened another client and the facilitator who was still in the room had asked him to leave. We then had a discussion about what happened, and what we all drew from the experience, as well as how to incorporate that into our handling of future sessions. What a perfect segue into going over rules for group and coming up with our own rules! Seriously, though, it kind of amused me that my first skills group involved me having a panic attack less than half-way through! However, if I'm going to have a panic attack, the best place to have it is surrounded by mental health professionals. It's kind of like when my grandpa had a heart attack (or was it a stroke) right in a hospital.

The rest of the group went relatively well, and it's hard to have any anxiety after the adrenaline wears off. :-P I can't say I learned much in the very first session, but I still found it enlightening and beneficial. If nothing else, it helped us to understand each-other better.

My ARMHS (Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services) worker came over for the first time on Wednesday. Her name's Mary, she's very nice, and she loves cats. :) We talked about all sorts of stuff, a lot of which I can't remember any more (it's late Saturday night as I write this). One of the things we talked about is my potential living situation if I can't go back to work (which is looking more and more likely at this point), and she told me about the adult foster care model, which is basically approximately 4 adults living in a county-owned home, enjoying relative independence with staff coming in as frequently as is warranted by the needs of the clients living in the home. It sounds like the staff of the adult foster home would serve much the same role as an ARMHS-worker - that is, an on-site professional who can help me with whatever practical or emotional issues I need the most help with at the time. I was actually just Googling "adult foster home" to find a good link to send someone I was IMing, and came across assisted living apartments for mentally ill adults, and I wonder if that might be a good option to look into as well.

Mary also was saying that what I really need is to get on SSI (social security income), which I've been told will take a year or even two to be accepted, but she thinks that if/when my SMRT (state medical review team) application is accepted, that should fast-track my SSI application. We also spent a fair amount of time talking about my view of the future, my misgivings about the way my treatment path seems to be heading (I'm imagining myself as one of those people who works for $2/hour doing menial tasks, with my value being measured by volunteer work I do rather than any sort of actual life success, and maybe being a foster parent instead of eventually BEING a parent). As much as it's been out of sight and mind due to the current financial impossibility of it, my ultimate goal is still to finish a college degree, get a real job, find a life partner, and have children as soon as fucking possible. There's just so much I need to take care of between now and eventually returning to school, but I'm currently nowhere near accepting any other life path seriously (other than perhaps being a stay-at-home mom). Anyway, my next appointment with her is on Monday (11/03, or tomorrow if I'm able to finally upload this tonight).

Thursday I had my appointment with my social worker to fill out my SMRT application. So, I'm finally going to get around to explaining what that is. So, many of the programs I'm in/trying to get in, including ARMHS services, require me to be on MA (medical assistance), which is Minnesota's Medicaid program. Currently I'm on Medicaid based on my income (i.e., I have none), and if I start making more than $719/month I would lose it, and thus access to various services that various professionals have deemed necessary for my mental health recovery. In addition, I can't turn down hours in order to stay under that income amount (unless a medical provider has deemed it necessary, which currently my psychiatrist has). IN ANY CASE, the SMRT application is submitted to the state medical review team, and they decide whether I qualify as "disabled" by the state of Minnesota. If my application is approved, I will be switched to Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD), which will allow me to receive the benefits of MA with a sliding scale premium based on my income (which would end up being at least $35 but very likely no more than $50). As I mentioned earlier, Mary also believes this will expedite the process of getting me on SSI, which would make me able to actually afford rent! Anyway, I had pretty much filled out all the objective answers, and I was shocked and how quickly she blew through the subjective responses with me. Like, her answers were almost all as little as one short sentence, whereas the few subjective replies I had made out were maybe 6 sentences long in tiny handwriting... Regardless, I'm glad I asked her to help with that, since I figure she knows best the kind of language that the SMRT will be looking for.

So, that pretty much covers all my appointments this week. Socially... Things have been a mess. Spent Halloween pent up in bed rather than going to MAS-o-Ween. Fought tooth and nail to bring myself to go to a LAN party at the U with my friend Bryan and his brother, David, and once I got there I spent as much as two hours fighting anxiety and taking a whole 3 mg of Ativan (the maximum recommended dose is 1 mg) before I managed to just relax and enjoy myself. Of course, by the time the LAN was actually working Bryan had to leave, but I did get David to play some Ticket to Ride with me (which I may or may not have bought both Bryan and David despite having no income ><;). Saturday I managed to get to Japanese Speaking Group RELATIVELY easily, except for the part where I forgot my bike on the bus... ><; Once I got there I was in a horribly unsocial mood and just sat there listening to and playing with my iPod, hoping that my mood would change and I could participate.

Eventually I was able to break out of my shell when a beginning student (he's in JPN 1011 right now) needed help with the difference between ありません(私はテレビがありません。)/いません and ではありません(私は学生ではありません。), and why you can't say 「ではいません」 - after quizzing him and having him explain it back to me, I'm fairly confident he understood it, but I'm a little concerned that he'll forget what I explained to him. ANYWAY, after that I was my normal, participative self, and went to an acquaintance's goodbye party nearby afterwards which was rather enjoyable.

However, after being there for about an hour I started to get really tired so I napped on the host's bed for maybe an hour. I also managed to spill red wine all over my blue jeans ><; (they're soaking in the washer now), and not too long before I had to leave I started getting really anxious. I'm not at all sure what was causing it, but I think somehow the music they were listening to (which was music I would normally quite enjoy) contributed to it. I took two Ativan and asked one of the female guests if I could hold her hands for a bit (the closest I felt comfortable to asking instead of hugs/cuddles), and when that didn't work I decided to leave early. She kept asking if she should turn off the music, and I kept saying no, I was going to leave anyway, and I felt bad for telling them to turn their music off. However, when I went into the coat room one of the host's cats was lying on the bed just asking to be cuddled, and apparently she turned the music off after all, and almost immediately the anxiety went away. Yay, being able to cuddle with cats. And when I left... I left my wallet on the 18. So now I have TWO things to cross my fingers that they'll be returned and I can pick them up on Monday...

So yeah, that's pretty much my tl;dr of my last week, mental health-wise. Today I'm feeling relatively good, and I have a lot of chores (including catching up on my DBT diary card) that desperately need to be done, so I'm hoping to make a SERIOUS dent in that. (Because there's no better place to put this, I'll mention here that I got a good DBT app on the iTunes store for $5, and am in the process of customizing the diary card to match my group's card and my personal needs - should make it easier to keep up.) Monday I have an ARMHS and dental appointment, and possibly tea ceremony in the afternoon and the Saloon at night (I've made a few friends there and go occasionally), the ARMHS nurse assessment (not sure what that's about) and DBT on Tuesday, and I'll be hanging out with Bryan and crashing at his place Wednesday night before leaving for Champaign at 6:30 am for ellie_desu's wedding (I'll arrive back in Minneapolis at 6:20 PM.) Not looking forward to the 7 hour layover in Chicago on the way out, but I'm used to chilling in the Union Station food court with my laptop and some Jamba Juice, so it should be fine.

Honestly, I'm more concerned that I'll end up somehow getting freaked out and not go to Illinois at all, the way I didn't make it to Katie's wedding five years ago, my uncle's wedding three weeks ago, or my grandpa's funeral two weeks ago... I figure my best measure against that will be to pack well in advance, and Bryan's coming over in the evening to meet Boo and play games or whatever before we head back to his apartment, so I'm hoping that'll protect me from bailing out too. *chews my lip nervously*

Anyway, I think that's all. Now that I'm caught up, I'll try my best to update on a regular basis so you guys don't have to deal with these massive wall-o-texts.
SM - Usagi mirror

Medicinal Bath

Just did a full list of all the chemicals I put into my body on a daily basis in the name of physical and mental health! Normally I prefer generic names, but I'm gonna go with brand names right now for better understanding to those who don't know the generic names:

Synthroid 88 mcg 1x 4 days a week, 75 mcg 1x 3 days a week
Wellbutrin XL 150 mg 1x daily
Mononessa 0.25-35 mg-mcg 1x daily
Strattera 80 mg 1x daily (2 pills)
Celexa 40 mg 1x daily
Mucinex 1200 mg 2x daily
vitamin D3 4000 I 1x daily (4 pills)

multi-vitamin 1x daily
cranberry supplement 1x daily (2 pills)
psyllium husk 0.52 g 1x daily

So, 7 pills in the morning and 9 in the evening.

Benadryl 50 mg as needed for sleep (2 pills)
melatonin 5 mg as needed for sleep
Ativan 0.5 mg as needed for anxiety

Oh, and let's not forget my regular use of either 1,000 mg Tylenol and 440 mg Aleve (4 pills total), or two Excedrin, depending on if I want the caffeine.

It's really not that much when you strip away the supplements/as-neededs, but it still makes me feel like one of those examples of a culture that hands out pills rather than encourages lifestyle changes. And speaking of lifestyle changes, I've gotten totally off the D session boat lately and need to get back on it before it's too late in the year.

I have an appointment to meet with Dr. Hamlar on October 28th to consult about getting a septo-/rhinoplasty done before January, since my insurance is maxed out for the year and it should be free if I can get it before then. I probably wouldn't get the septoplasty on its own, and I probably wouldn't get the rhinoplasty on its own, but the possibility of killing two birds with one free stone seemed like it wasn't something to shake a stick at. I know I skipped the rhinoplasty back when I got my jaw surgery (not sure if I ever discussed deciding not to get the rhinoplasty), but some friends on Facebook helped me find clearness and realize that I probably won't regret getting the rhinoplasty, but if I don't I'll just continue to be ambivalent about whether I should (have) or not.

Eh, there's kind of more that I want to talk about, but it's starting to escape me, and I've been procrastinating on cleaning the living room for an absurd amount of time (as in days), so I'mma go do that now.

OH! I should also mention that Grandpa Roy passed away on Sunday morning. I have more I want to write about that too, but for now I'll just say that there's a visitation on Thursday, and burial followed by service (how strange) on Friday. I'll be staying at Roger's Thursday night to make it easier to be ready in the morning.
Rejected - スプーン

Wellbutrin Bath

Just got off the phone with my psychiatrist's nurse - she thinks my recent increase in anxiety may be due to the bupropion (Wellbutrin) finally kicking in, but that it should resolve itself and I should stay on both the bupropion and Strattera and try to ride this out, using more lorazepam if I need to. I'm kind if relieved that she didn't pull me off the bupropion, since I had kind of high hopes for it.

I'll write more later tonight when I'm not lying in bed trying to recuperate from a "long day".

misc - 月

this shit needs to start going in LJ again...

Just called the ICP (where I have DBT) about switching to a female therapist, and they said that'll be pretty easy to do, although the way they do that is by having me have one last session with my current therapist and explain to him what's going on. That might be a slightly awkward conversation, but it shouldn't be too bad. So yeah, in two weeks I should be working with a female therapist instead!
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