Thursday, December 01, 2005


I'll be leaving on vacation in the morning, and won't be back until probably Monday night. I'm looking forward to relaxing...

This was a decent day. I was supposed to be off work all day, but ended up working half a day. That was OK, it's easy to work when you know you can leave anytime, and when your lunch vendor for the day is Popeye's chicken. Their spicy chicken and red beans and rice is like a food orgasm.

This afternoon I took Kyle to his first counseling appointment. He had several sheets of paperwork to complete, and 45 minutes later he's still struggling to complete them. This is exactly what made school such a challenge for him, if he couldn't do something perfectly he did not hand it in - homework, tests, or anything else. I finally convinced him to stop after 45 minutes and hand it in, he was going back and changing his answers by that time. But he left the appointment upbeat, and we had a very nice talk. We drove back in a blizzard, and it took an hour to get the 12 miles or so from downtown to our neighborhood. We then stopped at a sporting goods store, and browsed around. He really enjoyed looking at the archery equipment. When they were younger, our kids spent most of their days in our store, an outdoor sports store. We had an archery range in the store, and when he was quite young he was shooting competitively. He was pretty decent for his age. We bow hunted for deer a lot back then, and I took Kyle along every time I could. He truly enjoyed being out there experiencing nature. At the end of the hunt I always had my kids tell me what they saw from their tree stand. Not deer, we'd talk about that later. But other things - squirrels, raccoons, sights, sounds, and everything that makes nature what it is. After all that, we would talk about the deer we saw. Kyle loved being out there, but he didn't enjoy bow hunting - too much stress for him. When a deer would get close he would get so flustered and nervous he just couldn't hit it. It caused him a lot of embarrassment and loss of confidence. It also caused him to give up archery. He's recently expressed an interest in getting back into target archery, and he really enjoyed looking at the equipment. We stopped at church on the way home to pick up my girls from choir, and he went in with me to get them. It's been so long since he's been there, I didn't think he would go in. It made me feel good that he was comfortable enough to walk in, he has been too self conscious to go to church in the past.

On another note, I did have my first official psych eval the other day. As if it's any surprise, I was diagnosed Bipolar 2. I told Kyle the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, although his symptoms are more severe, an easy BP 1. I really didn't like the guy I saw, I thought he was a prick, although a soft spoken one. He was mild mannered, polite, then would slip a zinger in on me, and I'd think, "yeah, he's right, but what a prick for putting it that way". But this being said, I still made a follow up appointment with him. He suggested Lamictal, and I decided to start on it. I wasn't planning on any med regimen, but decided I'd give meds another try. Although they've been nothing but trouble for me in the past. In 30 days or so, he says we'll add Depakote also. I'll see how it goes. But he told me NO alcohol, no tobacco, and start cutting back on caffeine. Well, screw that. I absolutely do NOT have a drinking problem, and never will. People don't understand this, they think with my personality I must have alcohol issues, but I really and truly don't. I am going on vacation, and I will have a glass or two of wine with dinner, and a cocktail or two in the evenings when we're sitting around talking. I will also have a cigar or two while I'm at it. Outside of vacations I smoke maybe 2 or 3 cigars a month, and do not use any other tobacco products.

I'll talk to you all again next week.


BipolarPrincess said...

Have a great vacation, and it's wonderful that you had the courage for an eval. Depakote worked wonders for me, but I when I started drinking with it, I went completely bezerk, so be careful.

:* Princess

Lisa said...

Have a good vacation Jon.

I'm glad to see Kyle is getting help.

I take Lamictal..along with several other medications. I've been taking it for several years and it's worked well for me. It's very sedating so I take it at night.

Best wishes,

Jon said...

Thanks to both.

Princess - I haven't started the Depakote yet, he wanted a month on Lamictal first. And personally, I'd rather not use it. They say it brings down the highs, while Lamictal brings up the lows. Wouldn't it be great if us bipolars could keep the hypomania without having the depressions?

RB - it's funny on Lamictal. I'll sit there with my heart racing, wondering if I should be alarmed about it. Then 5 minutes later I'm nodding off.

Belinda said...

Jon--at my house, it's just the opposite: DOWN WITH THE HYPOMANIA OR MANIA! ;-) It truly has wrecked a large part of our lives together, so now that we're rebuilding, I want none of it!

The restrictions on drinking are with most psychiatric drugs--it can cause problems. And with Depakote, there's a lot of concern about taking care of your liver, so no booze makes sense. THey won't want you to take ibuprofen, either!

And we know that nicotine can be a mania-inducing/escalating drug, so it's no surprise they don't want you on that. Besides, you're too smart to smoke. ;-)

Jon said...



Just kidding. ;-)

I know drinking is a concern with any bipolar, but it's the one thing I don't have a problem with, and that's not denial speaking. I will admit the risk to my particular personality with cigarettes or drugs. I do understand the reaction between the psych drugs and alcohol, and reluctantly curtail my use of alcohol accordingly. But I won't give up wine with Chrismas dinner.

On tobacco use, if I were to light up another cigarette, I would be hooked again for life. When I quit in 1989 it was the most difficult thing I ever did. After a full 10 years I decided I could trust myself with an occasional cigar, and I enjoy 1 or 2 cigars a month. Unless I'm camping, or on an outdoors vacation, I will smoke several a day. But back home, I'm back to 1 or 2 a month. But I was not aware that nicotine could induce mania.

As for mania - damn, that's my biggest enjoyment these days. I am able to write and program prolifically, am at my most creative, and my wife enjoys the spiked libido. I hope I'm not sacrificing ALL of that.

Belinda said...

There is a new book out, darned if I can think of the name of it right now, but it's about BPs who stay "hypo" without ever going "higher" into full-blown mania...the kind of hypomania you describe is very short-lived for my hubby--it's just a short stop on the way "UP." Darn the luck!!

JeD said...

I found your sight through a search on purple and archery. Perhaps a rekindled interest in archery could be helped by working with the National Archery in the Schools Program? Best wishes.

Jon said...

Jed - I have spent many years involved in archery, and it's a great sport. Both bowhunting and target shooting of all kinds. I've given seminars in schools, instructed hundreds of shooters, and made it a big part of my life for many years. I hope to have the time to get back into it again in the future.