Archive for January, 2007


I may not be posting for a while. But knowing my tendency to be a blogaholic, well, that may change. I really do not know at this point.

But if you don’t see me writing anything, I just wanted to post this as my previous entry was a little heavy and I didn’t want people to think that I’d gone and offed myself.

I am up for the next installment of The Wolfden Bar and Grill, however, so that will be posted on Friday. I am not one to shirk my responsibilities.

I’ve been thinking about cutting recently. Not really ruminating about it but it’s been on my mind. I’ll drift off, find myself staring into space and thoughts will meander to fantasies of reaching for some sharp implement–my preferences are for knives. Not at all good when someone in the house is a trained chef? We have far too many and one night, PA got a little out of hand and ripped the drawer right off the the cupboard grabbing at all of them.

Anyway, don’t reach for the panic button or start calling Emergency Services. I’m okay. I just wanted to talk a bit about how this now seems to be(coming?) a more fundamental part of my Bipolar identity whereas before, I felt that suicidal ideation seemed to be more of the component that I might need to do battle with on a semi-regular basis.

When I first posted about cutting I questioned my status as a “reformed” cutter since I had only cut twice in my life. I have spoken with other cutters who self-harmed on regular bases and at times, since I did not, I felt like I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t quite grasp the concept as I had not practised self-harm in the same way. I did not think that I was being biased within my own community, that is not me at all! Perhaps because I felt that I never would be able to be capable of cutting outside of my previous patterns, I couldn’t identify with these other souls. I now feel differently. I now feel that I am capable.

Prior to this, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation were “my worst enemies.” Once after a 72 hour hold in a psych ward I was asked if I wanted to go home after a suicide attempt–my worst. I did. The psychiatrist asked me if I was still suicidal. I told him that, yes, in fact I was but with a caveat. I explained to him that I would be suicidal all of my life. It was just something that I would have to learn how to deal with. I wasn’t diagnosed Bipolar at the time or erudite enough (at that moment as I was still extremely depressed) to explain the complexities of dealing with the throes, the ups and downs, but I think he understood. Since I seemed to pose no danger to myself and they really couldn’t keep me there any longer, I was free to go.

I don’t know what keeps me from not cutting or trying to kill myself. Good supports, meds? Remembering some very key elements and conversations from the past and what I’ve been through? But the battle still ensues at times. Even though I would by relative, psychiatric terms be deemed “stable.”

I know that there are very few things that you can control in life. One, your words and two, your actions? Not always can you control your thoughts. But that’s okay. Sometimes you need to think about things to try and gain some clarity, even if they are not always so pleasant or are sometimes painful.

What’s Your Specialty

I found this over at MedStudentGod’s blog via Vijay’s blog.

Surprise, surprise for me:

The medical specialty for you is…. Psychiatry

Psychiatry is the best of all specialties. As a psychiatrist, people may claim that you went into the field because you yourself are crazy. But only you know the truth, which is that you are crazy. Enjoy the ride.

To find out what specialty best fits your unique personality, go to:

What Medical Specialty Is For You?

Okay, this is my day of making short meaningless posts. While making my morning (aka go forth and be functional) tea, I was asked, “Who do like for the Superbowl this year PA?”

*stares vacantly*

PA knows at least something about many things in the world and well, she “gets” North American “football” but truth be told, she’s much more a fan of European “football” or “soccer.” In fact, she used to hang out at a Manchester United pub! Hey, it was a fun place!

PA: “Well, really, I haven’t been following “football” at all this year. Who’s playing?”

Man: “Chicago and Indianapolis”

PA: “Oh, the Bears and the Colts.” (at least PA knew the teams…)

PA thought for a moment.

PA: “Well, my money’s on the Colts.”

Man: “I think you’re right. They’re a much better team and I think Chicago needs the colder weather to slow down other teams to get the advantage.”

Oh dear, where’s my tea.

Honestly, I really don’t know who’s funnier, her or me. We make a great team. We don’t talk often but thankfully there is email. She also has the url for this blog but I don’t know if she reads it. Well, if you do, Sis’, you’re absolutely the best! Thank you for keeping me SANE (relatively?) even though I know we wonder so often whether we both are ourselves.

She’s my only sibling and the only person in my family that I can talk to.

Had to go to partner’s mother’s for dinner. It’s not quite as traumatic as visiting my mother. Apart from other things, what is key to mention at this moment in time is she always has relatively good wine.

After a couple of good glasses (goblets?) Patient Anonymous became suitably relaxed. I haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve.

Patient Anonymous tries not to drink–it messes her up and her partner does not like it. Not that her partner is “the alcohol police” but Patient Anonymous’ drinking has led to some…arguments. Partner does not drink. Rarely, if ever.

Not that Patient Anonymous has done anything bad while drinking. But for some reason, it’s a sore spot. Patient Anonymous actually thinks she’s quite fun when she’s had a few…or a quite a few. Perhaps that’s the problem.

No matter. Tonight, some decent red was exactly what was needed.

When stated to partner, partner said: “Needed?”

Patient Anonymous jokingly retorted (ah, the English language…) “You know I’ve been stressed out…and Hypnotics don’t work like the Benzos used to!” (i.e. I’m off benzos now.)

Note to all readers/Public Service Announcement: This post is purely for amusement purposes only. Do not seek substances (i.e. alcohol and/or drugs) for dealing with psychiatric problems or crises. Self-medication is not a solution. I should know.


Something has happened that has, yet again, astigmatized my view of my/the world. I am a very reliable person. If you need me, I am there. If I can not be there for you, then I will do my utmost to explain and offer you reason/s why not. But it is very rare that I am not there for people.

Partner says that most people in the world are not reliable. But what about your friends?

Perhaps I need to lower my expectations. But I didn’t think they were that high to begin with?

So partner didn’t have to go to work until later this morning. That provided me with a ride to my public transit stop which is nice as we’ve rather inconveniently hit a “cold snap” and it’s bloody freezing here. I know, it’s Canada, I’ve lived here all my life, this should be nothing new, why bother complaining.

Anyway, as I’m getting dressed and pulling on my jeans, she says to me, “You’ve lost weight.” I say in response, “Oh…?” She had said the same thing while looking at my face last night. Same response: “Oh…?”

Now Patient Anonymous is a little daft, flaky, deranged, nutty–I’m sure you all know this by now. She can also be rather unobservant when it comes to all matter of things, up to and including herself. However, I too have been wondering if I have lost more weight as my pants seem to be fitting more loosely and I can tighten my belt yet another notch. Not that I am–it gathers the fabric of the waist and that makes wearing the pants ridiculously uncomfortable. I’d rather let them just hang off my hips a bit.

We have no scales in the house, nor any measuring tapes (well, except for metal ones for furniture, walls etc… so that won’t do.)

My partner wants me to start calling my family practitioner and my gastroenterologist right now but I will be seeing my gastro in app. two weeks. He is a specialist so there is little chance of him being able to push me forward in his schedule. My family practitioner can probably not do much since she referred me to the gastro in the first place. I told her I would “think about” calling but I really see no point.

The daily, morning Upper GI pain persists but that is nothing new. A lovely way to wake up. The Nexium/Esomeprazole seems to stave that off although obviously not permanently and/or completely. Lower GI is disastrous at the moment. Food is barely tolerable.

I had to work on that one a bit (with the aid of an online translation tool.) My French is not what it used to be. I studied it for six years when I was younger but if you don’t use it–you lose it.

What that should say is: Perhaps the Quebecois will not take offence?

I was catching up on some reading and found an article that amused me somewhat. I say “fuck” a lot on this blog. Now to be fair, I warned everyone in my first post. In the article I read, apparently, “copulate” coupled with it’s partner “off” is not really such a big deal in French-speaking Canada. Hmmm.

According to the article, it’s actually used quite frequently on shows that run on Radio-Canada owned by the CBC. Now the CRTC has all sorts of guidelines, mandates and even a complaints process but I find it completely impotent in all areas. I don’t think anyone gives a “fuck” at the CRTC either, be it in Quebec or in English speaking Canada because you will hear that word on English speaking channels as well. Canadian, American, if you have cable over here you can get some BBC. If you get some wild and crazy satellite operation set up who knows what else you might receive!

Now in Quebec, apparently my completely inappropriate term of language might sound like the word for seal (“phoque.”) I actually didn’t like this part of the article. It made me think that my Francophone friends sounded dumb? So while all the ranting and raving and swearing is going on during the Radio-Canada broadcasts, people are thinking that they’re calling each other seals? Sorry, I’m picking at journalistic integrity again.

In Quebec, it seems a lot of swearing is done to curse the Roman Catholic church such as “Tabernac!” This is alluding to “Tabernacle” where the Eucharist is held. It’s a very bad word. There are others but I won’t bother to list them. You can get the point–the distinction of how different groups of people determine what is profane, culturally.

I’ve always loved words. Not just profane ones, that’s very limiting. One of my most embarrassing moments occurred during Kindergarden when the teacher had to leave the room during “story time.” She asked me if I could continue for the class. A lot of the other kids snickered (i.e. they didn’t believe I could do it), some glared (“teacher’s pet!”) and some just stared kind of dumbfounded. I stepped to the front of the class and tried to hold the book open with my tiny hand, just as the teacher did, so that everyone could see the pictures as I read aloud. The book kept falling but there I sat and recited to the class, completely mortified. I had been reading since about the age of three? I can’t remember but around that age–by four for sure.

I took a course in Linguistics in my first year of university and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It was an introductory course so we only covered certain aspects of the discipline. We looked at Phonetics and transcription (that was like taking words and dismantling them into hieroglyphics!) We also delved into Articulatory Phonetics a subfield of the former. This was a little funny. You get to learn all sorts of terms like “fricative,” “obstruent,” “trill” and “stop.” Well, perhaps that last one isn’t so fascinating. The articulations are all over your oral anatomy–well, not all of them in English. That was also rather interesting too. Many different languages make sounds that we, well, not that we can not make but it is very hard to do as we tried to attempt in class! We all failed. Also covered was some Phonology and some Morphology.

If you’ve bothered to have a look at any of those links, you will see that it’s a lot more than just “sitting around and talking about words!” I didn’t do as well as I thought I would. Alas.

While coming home in the car a while ago, I witnessed a scene outside a shop where two paramedics were painstakingly dealing with a man who was obviously mentally distressed. I only caught a brief glimpse of it all but it took me back to some experiences, some thoughts and discussions I have had with other people who have a veritable cornucopia of disorders. The paramedics were pleading with the man to get in to the ambulance repeatedly or else they would need to call the police.

Now I am not prone to generalizations and am always willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt but in answer to the question above: Paramedics, absolutely.

In various times of crisis, hospitalization etc…, I have dealt with both individuals in these professions. I have met some decent coppers but at best, they have just done what was needed (save one man) without a modicum of care. The paramedics, on the other hand, have always been the most caring and least judgmental of persons and have always taken such good care of me. Some have even had great senses of humour too.

My most terrrifying experience with the police happened one night after speaking long distance to a friend of mine. I was rather down and had been drinking (or course) and was merely venting. Or so I had thought? My friend had apparently become quite concerned and called 911. As I was getting ready to pad off to bed, there was a knock at the door. I had no idea who it could be; it was quite late (or early…perhaps 0100hrs?) I answered the door and there stood five (yes five) police officers.

Alright. I’m not exactly up on police protocol but I don’t think they send that many officers to a domestic disturbance call. And I’ve never worked as a 911 dispatch operator either but I would assume that they would have asked some pertinent questions like if I was alone in the house?

They asked if they could come in. I was completely stunned. What do you say with five police officers standing in front of you, “No?” So I invited them in and they told me that they had received a call from “a friend” and that I “might be suicidal.” I told them that I was not and that I was just getting ready to go to bed. They told me that I would have to come with them to the hospital. I looked at one of the officers who was casually sifting through my mail and some of my writing. I became agitated. I told him to put all of those things down and that he had no right to look at them! I again insisted that I was fine and I needed to go to bed as I had to go to work in the morning! I didn’t need to go to the hospital! I told them that this was just a misunderstanding!

At this point, they became increasingly more forceful in their demands and I became more agitated and not combatitive but certainly argumentative. A female officer stepped right up to me, almost into me and threatened me with arrest if I didn’t go with them. That was it. No matter how hard I tried to convince them, I couldn’t compete with that.

They physically grabbed me by the arm and I told them to let me go as I wanted to put my shoes on. They told me there was no time for that so I ended up leaving the house with one bloody shoe on. Fantastic. They threw me into the back of one of the cruisers (they all still had their lights flashing!) and off we went.

My poor landlords. They were a great couple and didn’t even know what to do. They just hid upstairs–I had some serious apologizing to do later.

So we get to the hospital and I am fuming. I had been an inpatient there before and was seeing a psychiatrist there. I explained rather loudly to anyone who would listen how grand a mistake that this was and that I positively needed to get back home to get at least some sleep in order to get to work. My job really depended on it at the time! I could not afford to miss work! I even demanded that they call my psychiatrist at home, wake him up and he would deem me fine. I’m surprised after all the fuss I made they actually didn’t hospitalize me. But knowing the hospital as well as I did and knowing I didn’t need to be hospitalized I managed to get out of there as the sun was beginning to come up.

By that time, four of the officers had left and one stayed behind to wait with me. He drove me home. I gave him a little piece of my mind on they way and told him that police officers should treat people under such circumstances with a little more decency and respect. I don’t know if it made an impact as he simply told me, “We’re just doing our job.”