Archive for January, 2010
Yes, that question may seem rather academic, however, in asking it (and thinking about it), I wanted to become more “academic!” *laughing* In my “findings” and “highly authoritative opinion,” the answer is: YES! *grins*
My jumping off point was really about processing your emotions, while simultaneously having to engage your brain in other activities. I think we can all agree that we can only handle so much emotional input at one time. What about the above scenario?
When your brain is “busy” working on other activities that do not involve emotions, it utilizes your frontal lobe and portions of your parietal lobe–roughly. These are areas for higher order and executive functioning. There, you make decisions, think about what may be needed in planning situations, even me typing this, and what I had to read to do it! Emotions are derived from deeper within your brain; much deeper. That is a place called the limbic system (and portions of it.) Can we have a bit of a car crash between the two?
Apart from what those conflicting and confounding researchers say (oh, I shouldn’t tease them…) what do I think? Absolutely!
If some kind of emotion pops up while you’re working away, there will be some linking between the two areas. Well, that’s pretty academic, too! You’re entire brain is one, big, neural network! The point is, you’ll need to make some kind of “decision,” or need to process that emotion. This is where I found one thing I liked–however, something I didn’t–but it was raised as a rebuttal. Then I was back to being happy–and on the right track with my entire theory of this Blog Post! *smiles*
I apologize for the lack of the Journal citation information (it’s out there somewhere!) but a study by McClure, Liabson, Loewenstein, and Cohen (2004), found that impulsivity played a role in the decision making process regarding emotions. Via fMRI, emotions that offered immediate rewards were considered more valuable than emotions that offered delayed rewards. Thus, a decision was made about the former, faster and more impulsively. However, herein lies my issue. Exactly what kind of emotions are we dealing with here? This was addressed in the book at the end of the chapter. I was relieved to read that, let me tell you!
Moving on, I looked into something called “Appraisal Theory,” or how we appraise our emotions. This didn’t thrill me so much. Yep, those conflicting and confounding researchers! All I will say, is more of how I ended the last paragraph. What kind of emotions are we dealing with? Also, in terms of what I am writing here, the modalities do not fit. If you would like to read more about it yourself, have at it!
This is what I was sort of seeking all along, and can be read in some discussion here. It’s really old stuff but it hits the nail on the head. It’s about Functional Psychology. It states that when someone experiences any emotion, they go through a process where they basically “stop.” It’s only momentarily (at least in one state and/or if it is a certain type of emotion), but if they are doing something else, they will be interrupted.
There is another very basic point of being interrupted that may occur, even if no emotion pops up. We don’t exist in a vacuum. The example everywhere is that you are focussing away with your “higher order functions,” and… “What was that?” A sound. Or we could see something out of the corner of our eyes. Now, toss into the equation any emotion that pops up.
So, in a very simplistic form, we’ve created not only an interruption but a disruption here. We’ve upset the balance. Also, remember what I mentioned about what type of emotion/s? Have we now got our car crash (even without the external, sensory stimuli?) Maybe if we add several emotions, we’ve got a bit of a multi-car pile up! Further, if we’ve got mental health issues, let’s hope we haven’t closed the highway and there aren’t any fatalities!
Finally, I thought I’d leave you with this article about “more emotions.” Like we don’t have enough already? *rolls eyes*
Without question, this blog missive is not the first to be written regarding advocacy, mental illness and how out any of us are. However, I’m going to bring it up again, based upon it happening to me (again.)
We wrote an exam in class today–which I totally forgot about, as I was too panicky in reading a new chapter last night. I was even more panicky this morning, as public transit was royally screwed. Like many of us, Aspie/AD(H)D spazzes, sticking to our rituals schedules, is extremely important!!! Not that I have control over things like public transit, but still!
So, we wrote the exam and I was talking to one of the other girls in the class. We were comparing marks. She scored a big-bang 100%! Yay, her! W00t! Wee PA? Despite her panicky, forgetful, winginess? 93%. Now, I’m not looking for kudos, here. I don’t care. What this leads up to, is our discussion of just exactly why I need to be so, very careful regarding our exams.
I told her that I have Dysgraphia. I have mentioned this many times on my blog, but for those of you who don’t know what it is, I’ve tossed the Wiki link up again. She asked me what it was. Here we go!!!
I explained it to her (short and sweet, I can’t write well, messy, screw up my letters and numbers, reverse them, miss letters and then misspell things…) Therefore, that is why I need to really pay attention with our tests, and why I still get things wrong when I damn well know the right answer! I told her that it is very common with people who are on the Autistic Spectrum and who have AD(H)D. I then told her I have Asperger’s and ADD!
The girl said that she thought she had Dysgraphia too! The Instructor is a Nurse and blurted out: “What do you know about the Autistic Spectrum? Have you been diagnosed by a Doctor?” I just about killed myself laughing.
Some more questions ensued, and then I made my standard joke about my Medic-Alert Bracelet–that it’s amazing they could engrave everything that’s “wrong” with me on it. She wanted to see it. I said I have Bipolar as well, and Epilepsy. I stopped there. I mean, really. Why keep going? However, you can obviously see that I am quite the “advocate” and quite “out?” I always have been, but I “advocate” in my own way.
I’m not one for soapboxes. I don’t even think I am on my blog, but I may have to rely upon my readers to give me some insight on that one. In terms of a “not-so-soapy-box,” like public speaking for an Advocacy Group? No. I’ve never done that, but I could. I just haven’t chosen that route. I advocate in a more simple manner. Basically how I did today. I speak to people individually, or in a pair, a group of a few. I just talk to them, “as me.”
And you know what? I’ve found it unbelievably powerful. So many times, the people on the other end are wonderfully receptive. They ask probing questions, they may have someone they know with mental health issues, and the ones that really make me happy? They’re the folks that actually have mental health issues themselves!
As soon as I open up, they slowly start to do the: “…well…eh…uh…I…erm…” Do you know how awesome that is? I don’t probe. I just sit and listen. Who knows if these people have told anyone else before but me?! The last thing I would want to do is freak them out!
So. Anyone else? Want to talk about how you “advocate?” How “out” you are?
I’ve been meaning to stream this one for a long time. Perhaps I should just let it speak for itself? Well, I’m the one that said it blows me away! That’s me speaking for the song!
“Why Don’t You See Me” by Concrete Blonde
The other night when I was coming home from school, I realized that all of my studying had made me hypomanic. Yes, going back to school triggered a Bipolar episode for me. This was probably due to at least three factors.
I’ve been unemployed from being laid off since the spring of 2008. I haven’t been in a full time, educational setting in many years. Finally, assembling this entire “re-integration process” happened in only a few days. Oh, wait. Four factors. I’ve also joined the first class late. So late, that I have to learn basically all of the material by the middle of February. No pressure!
That day (night…) I had been working for nine hours straight. I stayed at the school, as I didn’t want my travel home to interrupt things while they were still fresh in my mind.
Oh, my mind! When I did finally go home, racing thoughts, looking around, everything was aglow! All bright and shiny! My music on my iPod was just so awesome! *laughing*
I think those were all of the crazy things going on? That’s probably because all of my meds did a really good job of reigning in the rest! However, when I got home, I did not want to stop working! People, this was only the fourth day after I started the course. After the first two, I thought I was going to die; and an extremely painful death, at that! Some hypomania, indeed?
Initially, I thought my hypomania about school was just “the bestest thing ever!” In fact, it took me right back to those golden, old days of uni., when I wasn’t even dx’d. A lot of the time, I only lifted half a finger to sail through my courses. Sometimes, I only had to lift my eyelids.
(Hypo)mania is overrated. At least I think so. It’s not a good thing. A lot of other people who have Bipolar may see things differently, but that’s exactly where I’m headed–with a very poor “literal segue!” When you’re (hypo)manic, are you “seeing” or thinking clearly? You might think so, but no. I hate to “disillusion” you. Think about your episodes, and then later when you’ve come back down to earth.
Granted, I won’t chastise anyone for their opinions about whatever mental illnesses and/or disorders they have. The two most common reasons I hear from people who have Bipolar, and their affinity for (hypo)mania, are these: it either enhances creative ability or heightens productivity. Sometimes they say both.
Again, who am I to judge? All I know is that I can not stand anything that makes me cycle. Or, better put, I can not stand my cycling, period!
Case in point? My hypomania, and all of the fun it brought me, soon wore off that night. Another mood shift occurred, and my thoughts started to become rather…warped? Distorted? Then, things weren’t so much “fun,” anymore.
Dr. Fucking PA, indeed! I think it’s time I switched careers and became a Funeral Director! At least then I could handle things all in one go! Quite simple! Just toss my sorry, sad sack, ass right into the incinerator and that would be it!
I don’t know if I want to rip out my hair, cry or both! Probably the latter, even more, and then incinerate myself!
Today was my first day of school, but last “night” might have been it, in reality. Not knowing what the hell I was walking into, I ran through the chapter in the textbook they would be covering. Oh.My.God. Where do I begin? *crosses eyes*
How does being at it for at least five hours minimum, sound? Maybe six hours? I finally started to get ready for bed around midnight.
I am late to the class. It has already been “clipping along,” however, I didn’t realize just how much. They have their final exam IN A MONTH!!! I want all of you to imagine what my face looks like right now. I took a Valium/Diazepam on the way home today after we were done. I didn’t even know how I felt at the time. Nonetheless, I thought it a good “pre-emptive strike,” as I sure didn’t have a clue how I’d feel in the next five minutes!
The course is comprised of mostly terminology, and not so much Anatomy and Physiology. This came as quite a surprise. In fact, it’s much more than mostly terminology. And some of these terms?! I mean, now it’s time for me to eat an entire bakery of Humble Pies! Dr. PA is pretty good but…
Not to mention, this is lots of fun for her loss of ability to spell and retain verbal information, due to her loooovvvveeeellllyyy Anticonvulsants. It’s not that I don’t love you, my pretties; you keep my bean in fairly stable shape. In a lot of ways. For all the goddamn things that are wrong with me!!! Still, you’ve made me stoopid and loopy in my bean (despite all the goddamn things that are wrong with me!!!)
This is also a real gas for my Dysgraphia!!! Oh, Bloody Hell to the nth degree! Attending school is bad enough, but when you’re dealing with some words that are 15 characters in length? *bangs head on desk* Even if I do know the term, I can still screw it all “around the world” in 80 days minutes seconds no, days…because it TAKES me that long to fix it!!!
I took the Instructor aside during a break to ‘fess up about the Dysgraphia and the Asperger’s. She said it was fine, everything would be taken slow. Pfft. Cold comfort, if you ask me. I’m not complaining, though. Both she, and all of the other students, are great and very helpful.
At least I got my assignment done, and only one wrong mark. However, more lovely testing on the above chapter, tomorrow. That means I need to do some more review tonight. I was so overwhelmed by simply doing the work, plus figuring out how the class was run, trying to understand the course’s overall structure…
The Instructor is going to prepare me a little “package” for the previous eight chapters. I do want all of the information–I need it! Between learning all of the material as we continue to move on, I also have to get that previous stuff sorted in a cohesive manner. I need to bring all of the elements together. None of it will make sense if I don’t. I know how to do it; or how I want to do it. We all learn differently, and I know “my style.” I know what is effective for me. It’s just going to take me so long!
Well, as a true “medical student,” I guess I’ll be working non-stop, all the hours I can, and then try to fit in what’s left for sleep and food! *rolls eyes* Then I’ll move on to my next course, or “rotation.”
Just to leave you with my favourite term from Chapter Nine, here you are. Also, I’m not giving you a definition. Think how well this one went over with my insane Dysgraphia!
Wait, let’s translate that into “PA Speak.”
- Corporate Idiots Do My Taxes
- Occidental Diode On My Coat
- Coincidences Are My Costs
- Moldy Cods Are Gross
At least I can begin my day with tea, as opposed to yesterday! Better, because I plan to do some things. Or try?
Also, J. is coming over. I bought an Acer Aspire One®, under the guise of needing it for going back to school. Well, I am only on baby MacBook, and the school is an all PC environment. I had problems when there using baby MacBook before, as it’s the same facility. It was quite a pain in the ass. Therefore, I need baby Acer?
A weak justification, perhaps. I can talk myself into anything if I try, though. Actually, I don’t even have to try that hard a lot of the time.
So, baby Acer is pretty cool. The only thing of significance that seems to be missing, is a CD/DVD drive, but it has a memory card slot? Plus, three USB ports? Still, maybe some limited plopability. Yes, technical term. However, external drives are dirt cheap.
When J. comes over, we’re going to do some things: Get it talking to my wifi network (easy.) Then create my own, wee, home network to get it talking to baby MacBook. Presumably, also easy. baby MacBook even has a “Create Network” option in its dropdown, when you open up your wifi. Even with me being so stupid, I could do it? Well… *rolls eyes* Load up my wifi printer software etc…
But with my wee network, I can then transfer other stuff between the two. Yes? I still have to do a bunch of hoobley-boobley (also a technical term), on baby MacBook, before I can do a backup on my external drive. Another option then for file transfers? The external backup drive? But for baby MacBook’s backup, I can also junk a bunch of stuff I don’t even use on baby MacBook’s own hard drive! I have some of it on DVDs, too. Yay, for cleaning up baby MacBook!
All of this is a bunch of a pain in the ass, too, with workarounds, but maybe not so much? Technology can be a pain in the ass, overall, though. Whatever. We’ve come to rely upon it so much, it’s made us a bunch a pains in the asses, as well!
I had ugly sleep, and needed another Valium/Diazepam after struggling with my Seroquel/Quetiapine for over 2.5 hours! Stress, much? I was so tired, but I just could find my sleep! Too exhausted for your dumb hide and seek game, which I loathe anyway, sleep!
I woke up and felt not that bad, but then after being vertical for about 15 minutes, back to Crapland. Maybe better as the day moves on. Please? I need to do schoolwork. No, I NEED to. I promised the instructor I would do an “assignment” for Monday. Later tonight? I woke up early so something to definitely worry about later. It’s all terminology based, so I should be okay? Or not.
I don’t know. Because I still feel like shit. Like yesterday. Maybe not like giant, sized, Elephant Shit; more like smaller, sized Bear Shit? I’m not sure. I’ve never measured either.
I threw a bowl of cereal into me immediately after my meds, hoping it would make me feel better physically and give me more energy. Perhaps, that is a good sign. I only had an Ensure yesterday, as I felt I could only tolerate liquids. Is this warped and twisted irony? Did I only feel this sick when I got laid off and lost my job? Now that I have better prospects of finding a job, I am just as sick? *smacks dizzy forehead*
Okay, this is one, boring ass Post, but I’m not sure what else to say. I tossed up a couple of blips as well…just to stay “alive” online?
Oh, dear. If yesterday bears any portent of my ever approaching…zzzzzzz…
Oh, sorry. I drifted off there and it is now tomorrow: Sans schedule. Or would that be “Today: Sans schedule.” I don’t know, or if I really care to know, because I can’t move so much. My head has that “full of cotton batten,” feel (maybe?) I’m not sure. I can’t feel much up there. Oh, but I can feel my body! Actually, hear it too. It’s yelling quite loudly and unhappily!
I thought I would be fine getting up so early, running around and this and that. Perhaps, not so much? Since I was up so early, not enough time for my tea! When I finally I got to my friend J.’s, just before lunch, I was almost on my hands and knees. Not a pretty sight, I can assure you. Not so pretty I need my tea that much, to even remotely function as a human being, either?
By the end of the day, I was like a bloody lush! Now, my Anticonvulsants have always made me so stoopid that I bugger up my words, and when talking, I can sound like I’m gargling mouth rinse? They can also make me unbelieavably clumsy! If it’s there: I’ll walk into it, trip over it, fall over it… Hell, even if it’s not there, I’ll do the same!
I went to go get something to lie down with to keep warm. I was already talking like a drunk by this point (with my stutter tossed in for extra fun!) However, it seemed to continue on for a bit. My speech remained that way on and off for…? When I went to go get my “bankie,” I came hurtling down the stairs, crashing into a wall! Ouch.
This did look like a good sign. Also, not good were my dizziness, my upset stomach… I wasn’t sick; just exhausted. I still am.
I’m also still at J.’s, as I didn’t think taking public transit home in that shape would have been too wise. I still feel like shit, but I do have to go home soon. For the rest of today? I have no idea. *stares*
I’m going back to school on: MONDAY!!!
This is only after “orchestrating” the entire process…oh, when did I start it?
Not even a week and a half ago!!!
I’m going in first thing tomorrow to meet an instructor, get registered, toss them some cash…
I called the “job disability place” today to try and get back on their Choo Choo Train, as well. I think the conductor must have been asleep, as no ring back after I left my message. That’s fine. Deal with that later.
*PA stims on Mr. Fountain across the room* He’s the first pic. *PA goes across the room to fix Mr. Fountain as he just doesn’t look quite right.*
Speaking of being “quite right,” I sure as hell hope I am enough in my head to do this! I’m serious! I don’t want to be having total meltdowns, or going crazy, or seizing all over the place! Hey, the original “theory” is, and always was, stress lowering my seizure thresholds!
This entails a real schedule. I haven’t had that since I lost my job–what feels like aeons ago, and may very well be in the Professional World. Who knows. All I know is that I’ve been screwed for a long time! Keep that Valium/Diazepam close!
Mondays to Fridays and Co-op possibilities. In fact, School Dude has already sent my resume off to people. Bloody Hell! I haven’t even set foot in a damn classroom yet! If any initial interviews don’t pan out or the locations aren’t accessible for me, School Dude will be sending it out to more!
OMG. I gotta get some decent clothes!!! Nothing fits me anymore after getting so sick and losing all the weight!!! Shopping MUST be done on the weekend!!!
I guess I only have myself to blame. I was the one who pushed so hard to make this whole thing happen so fast. *laughing* Although, I don’t think the entire process will move as quickly as I had initially thought. Well, I’ll certainly find out. You will, too?
I’m not going to do any more work tonight. No way. I think I’ve done enough!
Right. How much of my mental rainbow did I display to Merlin #2, today? Or to myself, for that matter?
Asperger’s? Oh, yes! I was one, massive Stimfest! Anything of a remotely, visual stim had me totally transfixed. This woman had the most awesome jacket. It looked an entire, big screen television FILLED with Tetris©!!! If she was closer to me, and I felt I could actually speak at the moment, I would have asked her where she bought it! Even though a more dangerous option would have entailed theft and assault charges, rip it off her? Hey, at least I could have remained non-verbal. Plus, the jacket would have fit me. *grins*
I was worried about making the appt. on time, so my right hand went a tiny bit “flappy-flappy,” on public transit. Then, when in the waiting room, I started to perseverate in little “sighing sounds.” I also had complete Aspie Face. Flat as a pancake, run over by a 10 tonne truck. *laughing* I saw the receptionist cast a sideways glance, but she’s a sweetheart. She’s just never seen me stim before.
Time to go in! We exchanged pleasantries, which today consisted of mutual: “Heyyyyyy…’s” I often wonder what other patients must think of our relationship, as it is rather different. He’s my partner in crime regarding my health, as are all of my other physicians. They know I’m a med geek, just as much as he does, so, quite “different” relationships all around.
Hell, I’ve addressed him so pedantically, and yet, with a touch of odd prosody, I’ve sounded like a Shakespearean stage player who’s had several too many! So, I jumped into one of his cushy chairs, curled up in a wee ball with my feet all over the arms, and what not. Typical. *shrugs* Now, time to launch into one of my, also typical, rants speeches about my life.
More per centages of my craziness. The Asperger’s had pretty much calmed down, but I was talking so fast, would that fall into the “Pressured Speech” area of Bipolar, or my ADD? I’m kind of lacking the “H” of ADHD, as my dx. is ADD Inattentive Type. So, a toss up there, as I’ve been both really stressed and really scattered. He even looked at me and said, “You can get really worked up!” I said to him, it was all the stress. We both know I can get worked up, anyway. It makes a lot of sense, due to all of my dx’s and him being my Psychiatrist, right? *rolls eyes*
Ah, that stress. You see, the whole appt. was about me going back to school in order to get a job (and getting a job period.) The school part is to hopefully make me more employable, and increase my chances of getting a job. Comprende? I also needed a letter from him to go back to the “job disability place.”
For new readers, the story of the “jdp” goes back a fair while. To try and keep this brief for everyone, when I was actively looking for work, these people were fab. They help people with all sorts of physical and mental problems gain employment. However, there were some nutty interruptions along my path. They went through some internal changes, and I got dropped during that period. I fell completely off their radar. Then, I went through some major brain blowups, and from this point forward, I need a letter saying I am now medically cleared to go back to them. That’s basically it.
Now, my PTSD was cool during the appt. Nothing came about there. I didn’t have a seizure in the middle of his office. Well, Epilepsy doesn’t make you loony; it just makes me loony because my damn seizures won’t bugger off! I didn’t get a migraine, either. Those we can knock off the list. So, maybe I only nailed 50% of my mentalness? Roughly?
Merlin #2 was fine with everything I said and wanted, but he did make a comment about me doing all of this. He said that once I started, there was no going back and I couldn’t get sick again. I shot him a look like he was the most stupid person on the planet. Make no mistake. He’s not. I know his comment was made out of care. I think? *smirks*
I stopped for a second and then said to him, “Seriously. Do you think I can control my seizures? I have Epilepsy! I can’t control Epilepsy! Can I control triggers? No! I can’t say I’ll never have another Bipolar episode ever again in my life!” Oh, dear… I do tend to shoot my mouth off to my physicians; I won’t lie. However, I consider myself to be “frank.” I wasn’t rude. The above is just fact. Maybe he had an “Aspie Moment,” and couldn’t get his bloody words straight, or messed up with social cues! *laughing so hard*
Anyway, all worked out, of course. Being the gem that he is, he left me with yet another “verbal hug.” This time, he called me a “Hero.” Thanks, Merlin #2, Baby.
CODA: To all of those reading who have shitty-assed medical care, please keep trying to find better. It’s very hard and very discouraging. I know it is. It’s taken me years and years to assemble the wonderful team that I have–and very much need. I know how blessed and lucky I am. Don’t give up. There are good, if not great, practitioners out there. There really are.