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Bipolar or Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:18pm
Last Tuesday I wrote an entry about being diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and disagreeing with that diagnosis. I was diagnosed officially in 2006, and here is what brought that to attention.

For several years, I had issues with depression and at some periods of time, it was severe. I was going through some very difficult life problems and couldn't seem to handle it. Eventually I started drinking. Heavily. I would invite friends over,and we would see who could put away the most shots in the shortest period of time. It wasn't pretty. After we did numerous shots, 10, 15, 20, whatever the number, we would switch to mixed drinks and I would drink until I passed out or vomited, then passed out. The next night, I would do it again.

When driving, I would sometimes get a feeling of euphoria, and next thing I knew, I was driving at excessive speeds and seeing how fast I could take curves. In my mini-van. No, not a cool little sport car, but a mini-van.

At night, when I should have been sleeping, you could find me doing things other than sleeping. Painting, sweeping the sidewalks (I did that one a lot), cleaning the house, whatever.

Then at work, I would have panic attacks. The final kicker was a morning in November 2006. I went to work, already sick from a severe panic attack, and had several attacks throughout the morning. I thought lunch time would never arrive. Finally, miraculously, it did arrive, and you could see nothing but tracks as I practically flew out of that parking lot. I went straight home, unlocked the fron door, and went into the kitchen. I opened the drawer that I keep my meds in and proceeded to dump one of the bottles into my hand. As I lifted my hand full of little pills to my mouth, I envisioned my children, and slowly put the pills back into the bottle . I called my therapist who immediately put me into a 5 days/week, 6 hours/day group and individual therapy program. My children saved my life that day.

That program helped me tremendously. I learned alot about myself, how others deal with their problems, and how to deal with my own. Other than depression, I've been fine since.

One of my fellow bloggers commented on my post about Bipolar Disorder, and the fact that it could have been emotions from MS. Doing some research online, I found that in fact some people are misdiagnosed early on as having Bipolar Disorder, when in fact it is early MS symptoms. I found that very interesting, and I suspect that was my case. I no longer do those silly things, and I only occasionally have a glass of wine. I was on a path of personal destruction, and I averted that path into much happier, healthier times. Thank you for bringing that information to my attention.

This weekend, I stressed about having to call work this morning to tell them I wasn't coming in on what was supposed to be my first day back. I left a message Friday afternoon for the dentist in charge to call me, but she never did. I called this morning and she happened to answer the phone, which she very rarely does. And she was pissed, just as I suspected she would be. It's very difficult to have an ever-changing disease like this and not have the employer understand. I'm going to give things a couple of weeks, see if symptoms subside any more, and make a decision then about returning to my career or finding something else. They are making me feel horribly guilty, which is the last thing I need right now.

Today I crawled out of bed, and found that both feet were slightly numb, and both have that pins and needles feeling. I also noticed my face is numb, and the right side of my upper back is numb. Great. And lets not forget the numb right arm. I called the neuro doc and he says just ride it out, get the copaxone started and see where things go.

We woke up this morning to a bit of a mess--tree branches down, scattered in the street. After dropping the kids of at school, B was already at work, so I went out and started the clean up. Mainly getting the stuff out of the street. Just that little bit has left me exhausted. So now I must rest.
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