Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Strategies and alternatives for coping with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and other chronic illnesses

Archive for the ‘Bipolar Disorder’ Category

You CAN Feel Better: Self-care Tips and Tricks for Fibromyalgia and Bipolar Disorder

Posted by wendyburnett on June 1, 2010

Preparing the bath  /duc 297
Image by jaci XIII via Flickr

The new ChronicBabe Blog Carnival theme is favorite self-care tools and techniques, and will go live on Tuesday June 1. I love this topic . . . self-care is a very important part of managing a chronic illness, and we all deserve to take good care of ourselves. I use a lot of non-medication methods to manage the symptoms of my multiple chronic illnesses (the short list is fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder, but if you’re really interested in the entire list, check my “Who Am I” page,) and I love sharing them with anyone they might help. I use a lot of aromatherapy and herbal teas for symptom control; and stress reduction techniques to minimize flares, anxiety, and bipolar cycling; so let’s get started. Continue reading You CAN Feel Better: Self-care Tips and Tricks for Fibromyalgia and Bipolar Disorder

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Posted in Alternative Treatments, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Oooops, I Screwed Up, AGAIN

Posted by wendyburnett on April 15, 2010

Dammit, I KNOW better than to do this . . . But, being the stubborn bitch I am, I manage to do it to myself whenever I stop paying attention, and let myself forget that just because I usually keep my bipolar very well controlled doesn’t mean I can’t trigger it.

Work scheduled me for more hours than usual this week, and it’s been really busy, so I ended up staying 90 minutes late two nights this week. That cuts WAAAAAY into the time I have for the stuff I need to do at home, so I’ve been staying up late to get everything done. BAD idea! Very, very, VERY bad idea.

Last night I got about 6 hours, and the night before I only got 3 (not entirely my fault, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.) Anyway, when hubby got up to get ready for work, I nearly drove him nuts talking “at” him. This is NOT a good sign . . . Talking like that is always the first sign that I’m starting a manic or hypomanic episode, so it’s time to take steps. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, coping skills, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Mania, Pain | 2 Comments »

Yet Another Mentally Ill Person Killed by Police

Posted by wendyburnett on April 12, 2010

Another bipolar man has died due to the lack of training in dealing with the mentally ill, and the family has filed suit against the police department as a result, according to

These kinds of deaths are so totally unnecessary, and it pisses me off to know that any one of us could be killed by police, just because they are totally clueless about how to deal with mentally ill people who are in crisis. This seems to be a bit more than just ignorance though, since Mr. Cardall’s family claims that after tasing him twice on his bare chest, police officers left him laying face down in the dirt, totally ignoring his wife’s requests that they check and make sure he didn’t need medical attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Mania, Opinion | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Are Well-Meaning Friends/Family Driving You Crazy?

Posted by wendyburnett on April 12, 2010

We’ve all been there – many of us deal with it every day . . . the well-meaning friend or family member who comes running every time there’s a new pill or treatment available for our chronic illness. We know they just want to “help” us get better, but it’s crazy-making to constantly be bombarded with new things to try. It’s especially bad when we try the wonderful new treatment, and it DOESN’T WORK! Then we get to deal with their disappointment and questions about, “Are you sure you’re doing it right?” or “Did the doctor give you a strong enough dosage?”

Healthy people mostly only have experience with things like colds, flu, and infections; with maybe a few injuries thrown in. For simple stuff like this, it’s easy — take a few pills for the symptoms of the cold or flu, and in a week or so, it’s gone; take an antibiotic for about 10 days, and the infection is CURED. Injuries involve some down time for healing, and maybe a little physical therapy, and everything is back to normal. Because this is all the experience they have with illness, they assume that ALL illness is like that.

I call it “the antibiotic theory of chronic illness.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Healthcare, Invisible Illness, Opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Bipolar Rage: Am I the Only One?

Posted by wendyburnett on March 15, 2010

I had one of those horrible days today (actually, it seems to be a bit of a pattern lately.) I’m normally pretty calm at home, but shortly after I walk into work I’m furious, and I stay that way until well after I leave.

I work in the deli at a grocery store, which probably isn’t the best kind of job for someone who’s bipolar. It’s extremely stressful when it’s busy, but I don’t have much choice if I want to eat. The real issue for me is that we’re expected to wait on customers; price, rotate, and stock product; mark down anything that’s approaching expiration; pull, scan, and throw away expired product; make deli trays for special orders; cut and package block cheeses; slice meat for the department that makes the custom subs; help customers find things, answer the phone, and keep everything clean. (Oh, you have to drop everything and update the temperature log every 4 hours, too. )

We NEED two people working during the busy times, one to slice and wait on customers, and one to work on everything else; but they never schedule more than one person. It is absolutely impossible for one person to keep up with everything they expect you to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

I Didn’t Sign Up for THIS

Posted by wendyburnett on March 6, 2010

Sometimes I hate my life . . . (honestly, most of the time I hate my life.) It’s been a particularly bad week, and I’m having a LOT of trouble coping with the pain levels. That means I have trouble sleeping, which increases the stress, and that increases the pain levels even more. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s gonna have to break soon, unless you can have pain levels higher than 10/10. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Depression, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

An Award?? Oh My!

Posted by wendyburnett on February 15, 2010

When I got home from work last night and got done with all the “necessities,” (you know the drill – dinner, laundry, dishes, etc.) I decided to check my blog surfer and see what my friends had to say this weekend. Imagine my surprise when I found my name listed in one of the posts! I knew that Jolene, over at Graceful Agony, was getting a “Sugar Doll Award” because I’d read Deanna’s post listing her picks, but I never expected that Jolene would choose me as one of the folks she passed it on to.

I’m honored and amazed that Jolene chose me. I haven’t known her long, but she is quickly becoming a dear friend. I’m totally impressed by her ability to stay positive (I haven’t posted in a week because I’m stuck in one of those totally negative spaces I get in sometimes, and I knew I couldn’t write without that negativity bleeding through,) and her ability to put into words what so many of us feel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Blaming the “Victim” of Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on February 7, 2010

I was reading a post about blaming the victims of rape on Virginia Woods’ blog yesterday, and it made me think. “Victims” of chronic illnesses frequently get blamed for their illness as well, especially if they have something that isn’t very well understood by the medical community, like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Victim blaming isn’t as common within the medical community when it comes to mental health issues like PTSD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, but out in the “real world;” family, friends, and acquaintances frequently blame the mentally ill for their symptoms. (Have you ever been told to “just stop thinking about it and it will go away” or “you didn’t have a problem until you started seeing a therapist?” How about, “you don’t have anything to be stressed (or depressed) about,” or “I’m tired (or in pain) too, and it doesn’t stop ME from doing what I need to do.” I have, and I expect that I will again.)

Healthy people seem to have the idea that those of us with chronic invisible illnesses can control or eliminate our symptoms with willpower. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

Guilt and Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on January 16, 2010

“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.” – Erma Bombeck

I feel guilty all the time – guilty that I’m not able to do all the things I used to, guilty that I can’t work more, guilty that I had to quit the good job that provided the majority of our support, guilty that we lost the house and the car and most of our belongings as a result, guilty that my husband has to continue working at a job he hates so that we can barely scrape by . . . It makes no sense, because I didn’t decide to get sick, but I even feel guilty for HAVING a chronic illness in the first place.

My husband also feels a lot of guilt – he feels guilty that he “can’t take better care of me.” (His words, not mine.) That covers a lot of ground for him. He feels guilty when I come home from work in pain because he thinks that if he made more money I wouldn’t have to work. He feels guilty about losing his job when I got too sick to work, and not being able to find another one for so long, because he thinks that if he’d been working maybe we wouldn’t have lost so much. He never complains about all the things I can’t do, and he never mentions it when my inability to do something irritates him or makes him angry, but he feels guilty about having those feelings anyway. He doesn’t understand that “knowing” I was sick when we got together didn’t equal “understanding” what it would be like for him when I had a flare, or how it would affect him emotionally.

Guilt is a HUGE issue for anyone with a chronic illness, but we rarely realize that it is just as much an issue for those who love and support us. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Managing Your Healthcare Team, Part I

Posted by wendyburnett on January 9, 2010

Living with chronic illnesses affects us in so many ways that it’s really impossible to even list them all. Each of us lives within our own little universe of illnesses, symptoms, and needs. The one thing that is the same for every one of us; no matter which diseases, syndromes, or disorders we have; is the need for medical treatment in some form.

Because we frequently have multiple illnesses which affect different parts of our bodies, we may need to see an array of specialists on a regular basis. This quite often causes major complications in our treatment, since many doctors try to treat in a vacuum, ignoring the effect of their medications and recommended procedures on any disorder that is not part of their specialty. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Health, Healthcare, Prescription medication | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »