Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dim Sum


A post about a lot of little things.

Alrighty people. Go getcha selves a cupa tea. This one is gonna be a doozie.

First. Zombies. Several of the Zombie transmissions are recorded under the premis that the person talking has no idea if there's anyone listening. They're talking and letting their ideas out into the universe without knowing if they're being received. Sometimes I feel like that. I type words. I hit "Publish." And then.... I have no idea what happens after that. I know I've picked up a few readers from my activity on the Runner's World Facebook page... and it's possible my family might still have saved the link. But... I don't know. Echo... tap tap... is this thing on?

Second. Scoring a different game. Cancer was a big deal. I was 29. It was Melanoma- the deadliest form of skin cancer. I loved the sun. I actually had a tanning package at the time because it helped me ward off the winter blahs. With one punch-biopsy my life changed. No more sun. Gotta lose weight. Check ups every 3 months, then every 6 months for the next ten years. I wasn't going to take Cancer laying down. I "shut up and put my shoes on." Cancer changed my game, and I rose to meet the challenge.

Third. Acceptance. (Which I realize should have been the first step... but whatever.) The morning I was waiting on the phone call from the doctor about my current Cancer condition I had my game face on. I was ready. I wrote a manifesto about it. It was titled, "If it's Cancer..." The good news: it wasn't Cancer. The bad news... later that day I showed up to an appointment with a psychotherapist. This wasn't my first appointment. I was feeling pretty invincible after getting the good news. I felt great. By the end of our 50-minute hour I walked out of the office with a brand-new diagnosis: bipolar II.

I know, I know. I've heard it all in the last few weeks...
"Aren't all women bipolar?"
"Well, there's something wrong with everyone..."
"This sounds made-up."
"If that's what's wrong with you- I wonder what's wrong with me??"
"Yeah, I knew that. How did you not know that?"
"That's crap. The therapist's kids must need braces."

Regardless of what anyone in the world says, this disease kills 20% of the people who have it. And that number rises with several factors. And many of those factors apply to me. So I can't blow this off. I gotta do bipolar with the same gusto as I would have done Cancer. I can't ignore 20%.

What's the care-plan for bipolar II?
For now, we as a family, are choosing against pharmaceuticals. The therapist told us that this is NOT recommended. This is definitely a different path for this diagnosis. But we're ok with that. Stephan is a medical professional. We really trust our therapist. We're not going into this blindly. At the first sign of the Alternative Medicine failing we're getting back onto the med-train. But for now, this week, we're focusing on three things: Sleep, Eating, Exercise.

I'm supposed to write down how I'm doing in each of those three categories and bring it to my next session. Of course, this is ME we're talking about, so I've already created a 'tool' to measure how I'm doing using numerical values so I can compare them on a spreadsheet over the next few weeks.

So, there you go, Internet (or echo, or whatever). That's what's going on with Anna lately. It does make the, "Just be Anna" directive a little more complicated. "Anna" feels a little under construction at the moment. Stay tuned for updates.


Annie Crow said...

You're sneaky, making your legions of readers think this was just a light-hearted post about random things. :)

Well, Anna, I wish you much luck in managing this illness, it sounds like you've got a plan and good safeguards in place. Probably not the right time to ask if you want to come do the 2013 Chicago Marathon with me though, huh? (Assuming I can get The Dude's final okay on it.)

... said...

Thanks Annie. It's a good time to ask about next year's marathon. If I do it, I'll want to do it with DetermiNation. I've gotten to know the crowd over there pretty well and I don't think I'd attempt something like 26.2 without a pretty solid support group.

Sigh. Just like everything- it's a matter of scheduling and commitment. When do they open registration? Or I guess I should just ask my DNation people when THEY start signing people up!

Ali said...

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to catch up on this! I have a handful of friends with BP diagnosis, and it's definitely not nothing. I'm glad you and your family have come to a decision about handling it. I read a great article once on running and its effect on depression. It's such an amazing way to balance your mood, and studies show it really does have an impact on BP and other forms of depression.

Your humor and drive are your power, girl! Glad to see you using them!