Wednesday, October 20, 2010

where our heroine discusses new Psych doctors and time to bleach her hair

Well, yesterday I saw the psychiatrist, Dr. K. She's a very pleasant woman who seems to have heard a lot of people complaining about Bollinger. Yes, I'm upset enough with the old psychiatrist that I'm using her real name because I think the stunt she pulled (canceling appointments and then leaving PSU's employment) is a load of shit. I *thought* she was a nice doctor and I *thought* the new approach would be good. So much for her Hippocratic Oath.
Honestly, without a commitment to the patient, she shouldn't practice. It's especially hard on people who have attachment issues. I truly hate to say this, but I would not recommend her to anyone.

The first thing I asked Dr. K was how long was she going to be my doctor. I was that blunt, too. I know she already has quite a case load. Before I allowed myself to get attached to her, I wanted to know if I was going to be shuffled off to the new psychiatrist if/when the PSU Psych Clinic hires someone else. She assured me that she would be my doctor for the foreseeable future. Fair enough.

We then discussed my moods (according to Rykujin I've been "up and down more times than a pair of kangaroos in mating season." He's amusing =) and the OCD issue. Dr. K isn't convinced that it was the right path to take my treatment. While I do have some very strong habits (Here's where I admit I have a problem somewhat obsessively picking and plucking my face and ripping skin off my feet... There. I've said the worst of it and now everyone knows.) they themselves do not constitute DSM diagnosed OCD. On a black and white scale where black is crippling OCD and white is no OCD at all, I'm a light shade of grey. In the end, because I'm on a fairly high dose of Luvox and it's having marginal effect on the habits, we're going to ween me off of it. I have started back up on the Effexor since it seemed to at least have me evened out. We will probably increase it when I see her again in 2 weeks (currently, I'm on 75mg).

Today I saw KC as my psychologist. We also talked about what happened with my treatment relative to Bollinger dumping my appointments and then leaving, how it made me feel (um. Angry? Abandoned?) and a little about how I feel about treatment in general (If I cannot be honest with my therapist, who can I be honest with? Yes, Gentle Reader, while you get the truth out of me, there are times I gloss over things or just don't talk about them at all. Though this all makes me boggle at the fact I can sit here and type some of the more intimate details of my health [mental and physical] yet I still drop the phone like a hot potato when you call, sometimes. I'm getting better, but I still prefer the disconnect of text on a screen over talking in person. How peculiar. I'll have to think about that more... anyhow.... =)

KC and I talked about how the PSU clinic is foremost a teaching facility and by the nature of it, therapists will come and go over the years. I'm cool with that. AR, my old psychologist, warned me well ahead of time that we were going to separate and I respect that. Someday the same will happen with KC. However, the psychiatrists are supposed to be foundation stones, set in place to anchor the treatment and that failed with Bollinger. I mean, she wasn't even there a year. I had 3 maybe 4 appointments with her, in total.

Yeah, I'm really hurt and angry about her... School was a year in planning and then for me to fail so spectacularly in 2.5 months...

On to lighter topics.

I'm sitting here typing with a wal-mart bag on my head as the bleach does its job. I've not decided what color(s?) exactly I want to do it yet. I have teal, cobalt blue, fuchsia and electric purple... Occasionally I debate dying all my hair black and being done with it, but then someone somewhere compliments me and (inevitably) leans over in a conspiratorial manner and whispers, "I wish I could do that!!" It's the older (early to mid 60s) women who thrill me the most. It always floors me that someone who's my mom's generation would want fuchsia hair. Then again, Are You Being Served? had the woman with the big hair that was blue or pink, so I guess it's not that odd... Perhaps just the intensity both of the color and their wistfulness of it.

Anyhow, I decided it was time to bleach it and start over. I had a good 3" of roots showing and the colors had all washed out to a silvery grey color. *snort* People spend hundreds of dollars to get rid of their grey and here I am walking around with a full head of self-induced grey at 36. At this point, I still don't think I have any natural grey. I'm taking after my mom and her dad's side of the family. My father, on the other hand, was salt and pepper in his senior high school photo and (while I don't remember this part) was almost completely white haired when he died at 36 back in '81.

Aside from that, I've been knitting like mad for Choperena. I've started a little pouch to put a cell phone in. It's black with a large red "B" on it (for Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I have always marveled at Nanonukie's color work. Let me just say that after having done this project 1) it's addictive doing 2 color knitting and 2) it's a LOT harder than I anticipated!! I have an even deeper respect for her work now. I just cannot get the tension down right! So, Nanonukie, I bow down to your amazing color work. You are a gem among knitters. =)

Other than that, pricing tires, playing Puzzle Quest 2 on my little Nintendo DS when I lay down to nap, some drop spinning and trying to keep the kitchen clean. My cold seems to have mostly gone, though every now and then I have a 'productive cough' fit.

Ok. now I'm typing blind because I have a fat, tubby little cat sitting on my desk infront of the screen. I think that's her way of telling me she wants attention so I will sign off for now.

hugs and love

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RIP Chaucer



I learned today that Chaucer passed away peacefully a couple years ago. I have to admit, I bawled. I really lost it for a good half hour. I suspected he had. After all, he was born in '94 I think. He was my little Rockview escapee.

The prison had (has?) a ferrel cat population that they allowed because it kept small varmint at bay. Every so often, if they found a litter when it was young enough, they would take them and employees would bring the kittens home to keep the population down to reasonable levels. Chaucer was one such kitty.

We had been living with my mom in Bellefont on Lamb St. at the time. I remember her with a little 1'x1'x1' box that was mewling as she came upstairs from the garage. Inside was this tiny tiny tiny fuzzy little kitten who's tail still stuck straight up and his eyes were still slightly blue. He was soooooo young. I didn't know what to feed him so I just guessed. I opened a can of tuna
and dipped my finger in the juice so he could lick it off. I remember him nibbling on my finger with his tiny milk teeth.

Somewhere there's a photo of him, just a small kitten, asleep laying across the book Unix for the Impatient. I think I might have video of him chasing ice cubes across the tile kitchen floor like a fuzzy hockey player. He would drool on the crook of my arm as he snuggled in my lap. =-}

Choperena's kitty, Herb, reminds me so much of Chaucer. I love Herb to death because of it. He reminds me of all the good things. Extra fur on his paws so he slides across hardwood floors, the extra mane making his face big and fluffy...

I wonder if he remembered me at all... I'll never forget him.

I know the photos are messed up in the blog. Sorry for that, but if you click on them, you can see the whole image...







Sunday, October 17, 2010

a long month in which random life altering things happen...

It's been a month since I updated my blog. Seems like it's been longer, there's so much to talk about. One month consisted of: school, personal psychology issues, a car, Choperena's roller derby, bunny-sitting and watching cheezy movies on SyFy, Alice Cooper, meeting new people and Demented contacting me.

At the moment, I'm listening to Red Dwarf coming from Rykujin's room (season 4, to be exact) and dealing with The Head Cold From Hell. I thought it was going to be just a couple of days with some upper sinus congestion but it has migrated into my left ear and now I've almost lost my voice. whee.

Where to begin? It all seems pretty epic. I'm hesitant to talk about most of it, but I will anyhow because You, Gentle Reader, come here to find out the details (for some strange reason =) and expect me to be honest. So I will be. How to approach everything? I suppose chronologically would be best...

I'll start by saying the world is still spinning (and so am I, furiously so, while I ponder the last 31 days =) and aside from the cold, I'm doing pretty well. So no worries!

It all begins earlier this spring when my psychiatrist, Dr. J, decided it was time to retire, so PSU brought in a new Psych and I was assigned to her, Dr. B. She's the one who decided to try tackling some of my OCD issues, prescribing the Luvox instead of the Effexor. Then, in July, my psychologist braced me for her leaving PSU, too. She finished her doctoral work and was moving on. My last real session with her was at the end of July before going to Pennsic (saw her once after, but that was just kinda a wrap-up session). Dr. B then canceled my August appointment and I was on the waiting list for a new therapist. Ok. School started. The idea that I would have group projects really set in. Minor panic ensues, but I'm going to see Dr. B, I'll talk with her about it, right? Wrong. She canceled my September appointment too. I'm THEN told she's leaving the PSU Psych Clinic and *POOF* now I'm without psychologist OR psychiatrist. In the mean time, I was swamped with school, beginning to think going off the Effexor was not the right move and steadily getting more freaked out. Not to mention freaking out that I was freaking out (if that makes sense).

Then I start crashing. Hard. To the point I debated checking myself into 3 South (the psych
ward at the local hospital). I didn't, but I knew it was time for a Medical Withdrawal for the semester. *hangs head* I feel guilty and ashamed that I couldn't do it. I thought I went into the semester with open eyes, but I realize that a large cog wheel of my support machine was missing. My advisor even commented on it. (Yana, you are the BEST advisor I've ever known, by far!) All I have to say is I have some of the best friends I could ever hope to gather and I cannot thank you all enough for being there for me, some directly, some more ephemerally.

Hell, I even managed to make some new friends during this past month, which leads me into the next part of everything that's going on. B&C are friends of AJ and AJ is Choperena's SO. (all these letters!! I feel like I'm back in UNIX-land with all the abbreviations =) B knits beautifully, and has started spinning, so I first met her at AJ's apartment when B wanted some input on a spinning wheel she has. We all just kinda hit it off. Eventually I learn B&C have two cars, one they want to sell. I jokingly commented that I wanted a car but would have to pay for it in installments. Turns out, they're fine with that! So, for the past couple of weeks, we've had it to two mechanics to get it checked out (two because we both have a distrust of mechanics in general and wanted to make sure we both knew the state of the car going into this arrangement). I need to get new tires for it sooner rather than later and there's some small buts of rust to keep an eye on, but the engine and transmission are in excellent shape. It passed PA Inspection about 2 weeks ago, so it's definitely road worthy. As long as I keep winter salt washed off, it should last for years. (oh, it's a 2001 Nissan Sentra =)Assuming things slow down a little for C, we'll do the transfer sometime this week. C had a major grant proposal due this past week and was inundated with it, work, and school or we would have done it sooner.

I know I've talked about moving closer to town/campus so I wouldn't need a car, but... I really like my apartment. I like the space, the fact I can have two cats (Havoc and 1/2&1/2 are non-negotioable) and the fact I can see stars at night. I hate the fact I'm on the B bus route and I've had to use a taxi to get groceries home. Never mind the fact that if something comes up on short notice, I have to have friends lug my ass around (or gods forbid I have to call an ambulance for lack of taxi money to get to the ER) and I see my mom once a year, if I'm lucky and she only lives an 45 minutes away... I know I felt better about myself when I had a car (Granted, I felt like an idiot when the Audi turned out to be a big turd, but I digress.) because I Was In Control. Yes, I know that's only a perception, I cannot control the other drivers, but stop and think how it might feel if you didn't have a car and had to always bum rides off people when you wanted to go see them. I know you love me because you keep coming back to see me, but it would be nice to return the favor on occasion, you know? <=-)

Last weekend I got a mini-vacation and bunny-sat Lacy for Aurora. It was bliss! Then on Sunday, 10/10 my favorite local DM and Choperena took me to see Alice Cooper in Johnstown. OMG! it was soooooooooo awesome!! For a 60+ year old, the man puts on an amazingly energized concert/magic show! He played for an hour and 1/2 with only a couple 30-45 second breaks for costume changes or *cough* technical difficulties (once he was hanged, once he lost his head to a guillotine and once he was impaled in a box >=-). The MurderDolls opened, then Alice, then Rob Zombie played. Don't get me wrong, I like Rob. A lot. However, Alice has been a hero of mine since I was 12. I think that's what carried me through the whole 'crowd issue'. I've wanted to see him for so long, so badly, that as long as Rykujin or Choperena was around, I could cope with the crowd. A couple tramadol helped both my back with the standing as well as calming me. The best part?! During his last set, he was wearing the same shirt as I was!! ($5@Wal-Fart. Who would have guessed?!)

The final major thing is: Demented contacted me this morning. There were some problems surrounding Facebook that I had no part of, but he wanted to make sure. He is doing well and going to school, himself. I feel... mixed. I'm glad he's doing well, but I don't know what happens now. I guess I understand why he needed to check if I had something to do with his FB issue, but I'm also a little hurt that he thought I might meddle in his life in such a negative way. I've got enough to juggle in my life without causing others problems. Besides, I like to think that Karma's a bitch and will whack you upside the head if you pull a stunt like that.

As to my school situation, well, I've not given up. I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do this spring. I think I am going to transfer to South Hills Business School though, come next fall. I've mulled it over and think it's a better option for me for a number of reasons. While it doesn't have the 'prestige' that a degree from PSU has, it does have smaller classes on a smaller campus. It will be easier for me to get around during the day (no rushing from one side of campus a half mile to the other side of campus all while lugging a back pack full of books around) as well as getting to know the teachers better and being a part of a smaller groups of students, not part of some crushing mass during class changes.

Throw in moral support of Choperena's roller derby participation and you round out the month.

I have appointments to meet my new Psychiatrist and new Psychologist this upcoming week. I'll keep you posted.

pshew. That was a lot of typing. I leave you with photos from the concert taken with my iPhone. You'll see that gobs of other people were doing the same thing with their cell phones =)
hugs and love
~d