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The ups and downs of our planned new life to NZ, warts and all!

And so its official...I am nuts!Sun 26 April 2009
I toyed with whether I should be honest about recent events in my life, part embaressed to confess the goings on, but yet wanted to document such changes, as this is my true life diary and why should I edit bits?  My frustrations at the business, my degree and life in NZ have built to such huge proportions.  I'm sure a lot of people that read my blog have wanted to slap me silly sometimes and say, for goodnes sake love, CHILL OUT!  Its true, there have been such staggering highs and lows, that sometimes Steve and good friends have looked at me curiously and asked if, 'Are you OK?'  You know, that question, said in that tone, meant to infer that something isn't quite right there.  So, feeling like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders I went to see my GP.  What you've got to understand is that I'm not continually depressed.  I don't struggle to get out of bed, I don't think suicidal thoughts.  I'm a normal functioning woman that on occasion, feels low, on occasion, can't make the right decisions, and on occasion gets so angry I have broken plates, destroyed a fax machine and almost killed my mobile phone.  To cut a long story short which involved my little Irish Doctor telling me to drink tea and not persue silly things like degrees and businesses until my kids have moved out, I got a referral.  I was seen the next day - pretty impressive for a state system.  I had tried calling a private psychologist. but they didn't get back to me for a couple of days.  So anyway, I see this great guy, who fired quick shot questions at me, who told me off when I didn't answer the question properly, who wasn't interested in drivel, just the facts, yep ,I like this guy!  He affirmed that my irritations, my mood swings, my take on things, was probably not that of a 'normally functioning' person.  He felt that I didn't have depression, but instead the milder form of bipolar.  Great.  He suggested I have the cyclical form where I can be baking cookies one minute, swearing and shouting the next minute, then sniffing the lovely cookies the next minute - that's my metaphor for you.  I'm not one of these people that gasps at mental health issues, to me a brain is like a car, and sometimes it doesn't work properly, it just needs a tune up - another little analogy there.  So, I took his prescription (to those interested 400mg of carbamazepine to start) and some little sleeping pills because sometimes, I guess like Pip, I can't shut down.  I had to head to the main campus of my uni on Thurs/Fri and Steve accompanied me.  It was there that the reality of this life changing diagnosis really hit me.  The first day I could barely concentrate, my brain was swimming and I felt incredibly tired.  I left at lunchtime, where I kind of kept zoning in and out in the apartment - although I appreciate a lot of that can be attributed to the medication.  Day 2, and I felt like the lecturer was an idiot.  He didn't teach all the considerations of social policy, he talked about the keynesian welfare state, but not Adam Smith and the invisible hand of the market theory, he missed out relevant dates and it really hacked me off, so I brought all these things up.  I also established a good rapport with those sat around me, and to them, I felt like myself, laughing and joking.  Although in the back of my mind I was worried, are they thinking I'm mental?!  I asked them towards the end, am I making sense in this lecture.  Of course, they said.  I left after lunch, I was tired and my capacity to concentrate was diminishing.  I met Steve and we decided to eat in a food court because we both wanted different things - that's not an analogy!  I queued but got angry at the line - how dare everyone want to eat at the same time as me.  I was walked off furious (and hungry).  We argued a bit about that.  How is Steve taking it all? Well, in essence I think he's relieved to know that somethings are not natural and that I've not just morphed into a bitch.  Although I think he's sad and feels useless.  We've made some plans, for the business he's going to take over for now and deal with enquiries, so I don't lose it and have something to return to.  He's mostly looked after the girls this weekend and let me slob about in my pjs.  He's read so much about bipolar and he's comfortable that things fit.  I'm not terribly convinced in the diagnosis, I'm still happy to blame NZ!  But then, I'm the one in the driving seat, so I'm not terribly open!  I swing between relief that now I have people to talk to (literally I mean, not imaginary!) and isolation and feeling quite alone and unable to trust myself.  Of course, the biggest concern I have is, where does my personality end and this illness start? I've always been impulsive, chatty, moody, etc.  But maybe they were just symptoms?  Today, I've been tearful and tired, that kind of sums it up really.  I hope that in a few weeks, I can be 'fixed' and carry on normally.  At the moment, it all feels a little in limbo, and I don't have all the control and that, as people that know me would say, is the worst feeling for me in the world. 

Take some time outSun 26 April 2009
Firstly I have to say how glad I am that you posted this blog, you have nothing to be ashamed of :)
I have often read your blog and thought to myself, what is this woman thinking!!! You seem to have so much but feel the need for more, maybe this is time for you to sit back and take a break and spend time with your girls and enjoy what you have, all the other "stuff" will still be there to do when they have grown a bit, their growing years will be over so quickly, enjoy them :)
Posted by robskatie

Bi-Polar?Sun 26 April 2009
I have to ask if this godlike doctor took blood tests and waited for the results before diagnosing you? If not, he is a quack. He had no business prescribing meds for an illness that has not clinically been proven. I was married to a bi-polar for 7 years. They do not act as you do. The changes to personality and the up and down emotional spirals are longer lasting then second to second. Remember also you have had 3 children in rather quick succession and your symptoms might well be post-natal depression. Physical displays of anger are not normal and the destruction of propery is a warning that something somewhere is short circuiting. Find another opinion.
Posted by Rete

WhoaSun 26 April 2009
Take it easy there Rete. For those of you that have expressed concern for my wellbeing, its much appreciated. What I should have specified in my message is that, 1, I did have blood tests as well - results out on Tuesday, and 2, the 'Quack' did a prelimenary diagnosis and prescribed meds for the mood swings as a 'band aid' until we get the results and further investigations follow. What people have to remember when reading this blog is that its a retrospective window into some aspects of my life. There's no point us all debating whether or not its wrong or right, as none of you guys have had the misfortune to live with me! Lets just see what happens...
Posted by Littletoe

I'm KewlSun 26 April 2009
Hey I'm looking out for you. You are writing your blog to the public and we have the right to be concerned about your health. If you don't want concern, then don't post about it. I would very much like to see you and everyone who has a health issue, whole and healthy and enjoying life to its fullest. Sorry if my concern for your health comes across poorly but you are a member of the public forum on BE and as such people do have the right to care.
Posted by Rete

I knowMon 27 April 2009
you just sounded angry in your last post - and hey, I'm the mental one here, so I'm allowed to get defensive! I hadn't eluded to the facts about the blood tests and the fact it was an initial diagnosis. I realise I've made in public - as I always realise whenever I write something of this nature and thus I leave myself open to critisicm and wise cracks. I've just taken the time to respond to you and a few other posters, I appreciate your concern, but don't get crabby OK? I'm doing the best I can to get myself fixed, I'm at the mercy of Drs with a diagnosis and frankly I'm tired
Posted by Littletoe

Bipolar or not...Tue 28 April 2009
...you're awesome! You're a braver blogger than I'll ever be for putting stuff like this 'out there' - kudos to you mate.

Now then, when you coming to ChCh so we can have you all round ours and cook you and the brood a thai banquet?

Posted by Wiz'n'Ton

Bi-polar or not!!Thu 7 May 2009
Thank god you have got some help - I, like the other poster have read quite a few of your blogs in the past and thought - this woman does not sound completely 'right' Let the professionals deal with the diagnosis not us amateurs - I live with a step-son who has bi-polar and he didn't have the classic symptoms. People are different. Good on you for recognising you have a problem and all the very best for the future.
Posted by Hebe

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