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10 June 2008 @ 02:47 pm
I Can Haz Banner Now?  
Over at spn_25, we've had a second author complete a claims list! muses_circle joins poisontaster in finishing off a table of 25 prompts-- congratulations to both!

Here's where I throw myself on the mercy of my f-list: I'd love to have a banner or love-bar to send authors with completed claims for posting on their journals. Anyone got skills in that area who might be able to help out? *big pleading eyes*

In other news, I want to thank my f-list for being a low-wank zone. Most of the time, if there's wank I don't even hear about it until it's over or darn near close. I usually find out second-hand via something someone else has posted, and I tell you-- it's great. Saves all kinds of turmoil and agony over things that tend to blow over anyway. \o/

This weekend: the kids are with an aunt until Thursday morning, having a wonderful time. This is the first time in almost 11 years that my husband and I have had any real time alone together! We've gotten the occasional night here and there, and two nights once back in November (same aunt). It is SUCH a relief to be able to pick up and go places for hours at will, and to get through dinner without running through someone else's schedule. We've been watching movies, relaxing. We tried to buy a sofa, but couldn't get a color we liked (honestly, if you hate brown, beige and colors from the diarrhea spectrum and are trying to buy a green sofa, you might as well forget it).

We had a brief moment where we thought we were suddenly buying a new car yesterday (the fan died, and the cost to fix it plus recharging the A/C was $730. The car's 16 years old, 193K miles). But because we want a Prius, and the demand is huge, we'd have to go on a waiting list. Well, you can't live A/C-free in Sacramento in the summer. We're going to have to stick with the old car longer. BUT! If we had to flail all over that for a few days, better to have it happen when the kids are not around.

Now that we've finally gotten my husband fully migrated to Kaiser (after losing his job) and gotten all the preliminaries out of the way, he's probably going to have another ECT (electro-shock treatment) tomorrow. I so wish the medication alone were solving this, and I hope it will help to have a new psychiatrist evaluate him for whether his problem is just depression or bi-polarism where the "high" only goes to Normal (which affects which medications to use). The medicine alone isn't keeping his depression at bay, and he's held on really hard over the last month (he was due for treatment May 6, but his coverage was cancelled, so he's now gone 8 weeks overdue). But we both hate this, and we keep hoping this part of his treatment will end soon. It's a choice you only make if you're desperate. *sigh*

I'll talk about the various movies later this week, but I just KNOW you're all reading the Big Bang stuff right now and not paying any attention to anything else. Wish I'd gotten that Jensen/Jared ficlet done over the weekend before all this started! Close, but... not quite. :)


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sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: SnoopyWoodstockbadboy_fangirl on June 10th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Yikes, Karen. I'll remember you and your husband in my prayers. I hope the short term remedy isn't needed again because a long term remedy comes to light with the switchover. May the force be with you both.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 10th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
I hope the short term remedy isn't needed again because a long term remedy comes to light with the switchover.
Gosh, I sure hope so. The ECT treatments are just awful, and are why the disability continues-- he's had a lot of memory loss, and it'll continue so long as the treatments go on. We're told that once they finish, he will likely get almost all of his memory back in the following 6-12 months (!).

I have to keep reminding myself, though, that he was SO low when the treatments started that they really were necessary. He's much better now. He's still quite depressed, but he's not so withdrawn that he's completely flat the way he was before. Having his sense of humor return was the first sign that the treatments were working.

*sigh* It's a tough road-- it's SO much better when medication is the only treatment needed, but that may be one of the signs of it being bi-polarism and not simple depression. Depression is "easier" to fix than bi-polarism. (I keep thinking of your roommate, and hoping she's gone to see someone because she sounded very, very low-functioning).

Thanks so much for you prayers and good wishes. I really appreciate them!
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: DomSexybadboy_fangirl on June 11th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
I just wish there were more answers as to what causes this and how we can prevent it as opposed to just treating it. Not that I'm not grateful that it's treatable now, but that process is sometimes as painful as the actual problem.

My roomie is doing much better. I think just facing that she has had a relapse is good. She is seeing a doctor now, and I'm very thankful for that. She's been much better and we even went out to dinner and a movie a couple weeks ago, and we're planning on going out this Saturday night. So it's getting better. More than anything, I just wanted to be able to address it and now we are. Acknowledging the problem is half the battle.

Is your husband's memory loss mostly short term? Or is it bigger stuff ? Like things you have to do for him since he doesn't remember how to do them? That would be very aggravating for both of you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 11th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
I just wish there were more answers as to what causes this and how we can prevent it as opposed to just treating it.
The depression and bipolarism are mostly chemistry-- usually relatives have it as well. The problem is, chemistry (and reactions to chemistry) vary slightly from person to person, as well as changing over time with age. Bi-polarism is simply hard (not a huge variety of medications, as compared to depression). But neither is as difficult as schizophrenia, which is mainly a miswired brain. All you can do there is treat the symptoms with medication as best you can-- you can't redevelop the brain appropriately. I'm just glad we have medication as an option, because for the longest time there was very little that could be done.

Acknowledging the problem is half the battle.
I think mainly for her-- she has to realize that she's changed and that it's worse than ever before there's any hope that she'll see that something very seriously needs to be done about it. The losing of perspective over time that comes with chronic or recurrent depression really makes that hard. It's like explaining to someone what it means to ask a person born with pain whether they hurt. How can they know? Their baseline has always had pain. With depression, once it's gone on too long you tend to forget that it was ever really different and then you have very much the same problem.

Is your husband's memory loss mostly short term?
It's mostly short-term, but for the first few days includes massive disorientation (as in, where are the kid's schools?) and occasionally kicks off things like not remembering where to put things away (so they get lost for awhile). But it has also eroded into the past (as in, the technical knowledge for my husband's profession is gone for the moment, or he doesn't remember anything that happened after about last May or so, or other random memory holes).

We lose a lot of continuity-- anything he'd been thinking about long-term gets wiped out when he has a treatment.
cindy: spn - emo sammy (by nyaubaby)tsuki_no_bara on June 10th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
ect, yikes. i hope it helps, and that the new psychiatrist has some good suggestions/treatments/diagnoses.

(my flist is fairly wank-free too. i love it. ^_^ )
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 10th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
and that the new psychiatrist has some good suggestions/treatments/diagnoses.
I hope so too-- his previous psychiatrist only began to consider bi-polarism in the last 4-5 months before suggesting the ECT route (because things were pretty desperate).

One of the plus sides of Kaiser (which I've had forever) is that he'll be seeing a regular psychiatrist as well as the ECT psychiatrist, and Kaiser forces a more "big-picture" approach to their mental health system. I.e., they don't really believe in staffing psychiatrists who don't also have clinical therapy skills-- you need to be able to see the whole spectrum of treatment. That's the kind of psychiatrist both my parents are, and it would never occur to them to service purely from a medication standpoint. Heck, in Oregon you also have to take neurological boards. Two of the patients my mother had referred to her (one as a "neurotic hypochondriac" and the other as a simple "depressive") had brain tumors that the GP treating them had missed. But having the added neurological background also alerts you to the difference between brain chemistry or mood problems and other types of brain-functioning problems.

(my flist is fairly wank-free too. i love it. ^_^ )
It's so nice! Every now and then I'll see a hint of something fly by in someone else's post, and I'm all, "What's that now? Is something going on?" But by the time it clarifies (unless I go looking for it in a fit of masochism or something), it's usually gone. \o/
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on June 10th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
*hugs* on everything going on with your hubby. I hope the treatment helps, and the new psychiatrist, too.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 10th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
I hope so too-- the ECT treatment has been helping, and I'm glad he made it through those extra 5 weeks with the delayed treatment due to the changeover. It's been hard for him, but he IS better. Here's hoping there's an answer in his future that fixes the problem but doesn't involve anything quite so drastic.
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on June 11th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping there's an answer in his future that fixes the problem but doesn't involve anything quite so drastic.

*nods*

*hugs again*
brigid_tanner: Impala--envy of other carsbrigid_tanner on June 10th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Hate that you and your husband are having so much trouble getting his depression treated properly. I'll be sending good thoughts your way.

I got a Prius 2 years ago, and I LOVE it!

Enjoy the time without the kids!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 10th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your wonderful thoughts.

I think if pure depression were his problem, this would be easier. But if it's bi-polarism, that's much trickier. At any rate, we're at the most extreme treatment you can try for depression, and while it's definitely helped quit a bit it has terrible side-effects. *crosses fingers for better answers*

I'm glad you like your Prius! We got detoured because my husband wanted his next car to be a miniVan (I didn't want that so much, because my car's an SUV. One gas-guzzler is plenty!). Then it was the hybrid-miniVan fantasy (I think that one's never going to be more than a fantasy). Now he's arrived at the idea that miniVans are only occasionally useful, and in the meantime it's nice to have a car that gets great mileage. Especially here-- our gas prices are pushing $4.50/gallon. :0
girlguidejones: Hugs by winterevanescegirlguidejones on June 10th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
I hope the new doc has some new wisdom that will help. (A Prius is also on my shortlist.)

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 11th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
I hope so too. *fingers crossed*

Are you thinking of buying a new car soon? I always dread it, but there comes a point where you actually have driven the current car into the ground. ;)
girlguidejones: Sammy thinky thoughts by causettegirlguidejones on June 11th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
I'm in a lease, and it's up in September, so I kinda have to pick out something! How long did they tell you for the Prius? I thought I was being smart and planning early, but maybe I'm already too late for a prius?

::crosses fingers with you::
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 11th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
How long did they tell you for the Prius? I thought I was being smart and planning early, but maybe I'm already too late for a prius?
Sounds like you might be right on the money, if you're already on a waiting list (or about to be). It's up to 4 months deep at one local dealership, another has no current inventory but is being taken down from 50 cars/month to 9 cars/month, and so has decided that they'll max out all the options (dealer add-ons) on those cars so they can sell them for maximum profit. I hate that kind of B.S.

I think if you get on a waiting list, you could either always defer and swap your way down a few positions if it's way too early, OR if it's close then just buy the car anyway (there's usually 2-7 days turnaround on all that anyway).
PamalaX: Alexthinkingpamalax on June 10th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
I keep you and the hubby in my thoughts all the time. I know there's not much to do from nearly a full country away but please know if there is ever anything at all, even an ear to shout in frustration at, I can do for you please don't hesitate for a moment to shout.

Enjoy the R & R time.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 11th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and that IS a help. Sometimes it's JUST so frustrating, and while it's short-lived it gets to me once in awhile. The nice thing for me about this 8-week gap has been that something we talked about 6-7 weeks ago is still present in his mind. Normally, it gets erased and then we go all over it again (or just put it on the back burner, because we can't make any forward progress on something where you have to regain traction from the beginning every few weeks). Getting him to treatments this summer is going to be tricky, as the kids are home all summer and not only do they not know about this but there's the driving and returning (1 hour) to drop him off and then doing it all again a few hours later (to pick him up). They're too young to be left alone while that happens. We're hoping their grandmother can have them for the day on those occasions (maybe 2-3 more of those this summer).
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on June 10th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
I'm glad he's going to get treatment now.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 11th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
Me too-- I was worried about how bad this would get for him (having his 3-week treatment due and having it go out to 8 weeks instead is a huge leap). I'm just glad he held on this well in the interim.
Entendre? Make mine a double.: butt grabdeirdre_c on June 11th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
YAY for some couple time, but I'm sorry your husband's treatments are so difficult. *hugs*

Also, I know what you mean about the fic. I have one that should have been posted on Sunday, but I didn't get it done, and I'm sure I'll post it in the next day or so, but Big Bang has got to be sucking up the entire fic-reading world.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
YAY for some couple time, but I'm sorry your husband's treatments are so difficult. *hugs*

He feels awful for several days after they're over, though they have been helping.

The memory-loss is much more noticable to me than to him. When I picked him up Wednesday, and rolled down all the windows, he asked, "Does the air conditioner not work?" It was so deflating-- we'd just spent 3 days doing backflips over that issue, and it was already wiped out.

I never know what's going to stick through the treatment and what isn't... or what'll be lost that used to be there before.
Genevieve: red converse by duskwillowmsgenevieve on June 11th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
I can't imagine what it's like to be dealing with an illness like your husband's, and you'll definitely be in my thoughts tomorrow. You know, the vibe I always get from your posts on the subject is that the two of you are in this thing together, no matter what. I'm sure he knows what an amazing support system he has in you, but I just wanted to tell you (as a wife of a very stubborn insulin-dependent diabetic who doesn't always do what's right for himself) you are doing a wonderful job.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
You know, the vibe I always get from your posts on the subject is that the two of you are in this thing together, no matter what.

That's a nice way of looking at it, because it's true. We'll weather through it somehow, and having each other is still the most important thing. I never doubt it, but sometimes he does, and it's heartbreaking when he starts to worry about that. All I can do is reassure him that it's the one thing he doesn't have to worry about.

Thanks for your very kind thoughts, Jen. They really do help!