Saturday, May 03, 2003

I made a mistake in yesterday's journal. The elder President Bush was 41 and the current President is #43. That is sometimes how the family and father and son refer to each other.

I an reading Barbara Bush's memoirs, and it is fascinating to me personally. I lived in the Houston area for 21 years, so some of what she writes I can remember happening. My husband at the time saw her driving on the freeway one time. I lived in The Woodlands, and the school district named a new elementary school after her. She came out for the dedication. It was in honor of her dedication to literacy. In the book you find out why she chose this to be her "cause". I appreciated her candor and humor.

I have a kind of dememted sense of humor. People will say to me " you're crazy. I always answer, "sure am, got papers to prove it!".

Being bipolar has been an interesting journey for me. I have experienced the deepest depressions where all seems hopeless, and I have experienced the highest of highs. I regret that my illness was not diagnosed early. I was 46 when I got the correct diagnosis. It answered so many questions I had about myself.

My manic rages and suicide attempts were so hurtful to my family. That is a huge regret. On a lighter side I can laugh at myself for the stupid or crazy things I do.

My therapy days are part of a lighter side of my life. I have the best therapist for me. We relate very well to each other and she appreciates my humor.

I always wonder who I might encounter in the waiting area. Will the snowman guy be there, for example? I've named him that because back in the winter on of the coldest days we had this guy was a sight to see. He had a water bottle that he kept refilling from the bathroom. I think he must have refilled 6-7 times. During this he went outside and gathered up the equivlent of a bucket of snow and brought it in and sat it in front of him. Had I known he was going to do this I would have watched to see how he opened the door to bring it in. That would have been a sight unto itself.

He began to strip off his clothing and rub the snow all over his face and beard, his neck and anyother places on his body he could reach. Then he thought about the fact that he hadn't eaten and maybe that was why he was so hot. So, he bought 2 bags of chips from the vending machine; the second after the first didn't do the trick. Meanwhile, he kept filling his water bottle. He couldn't keep still.

Then there was a young man next to me that had left and came back. He said he couldn't stand to see the guy eating because he was hungry. I reached into my coat pocket and gave him what change I had. He probably had money and I was a sucker. Then there is the guy who stretches his body out in front of him ( he is quite tall) and naps in between waking thoughts to himself.

There is this other guy who talks to someone who must be a card. He laughs and sings with this "voice". My therapist said many patients with schitzophrenia(?sp) report they have nice voices. I learned something because I was under the impression that they always told you to harm yourself or others.

So, therapy day can very entertaining. I don't feel threatened by these people; I just wonder if someday I will be one of them and that scares the crap out of me. Life for me is limited but I try to find the lighter side of whatever comes my way.

My granddaughter said something funny to her Dad yesterday and I was just going to say it and that quick its gone. She is a character. She is 5 yrs old and very bright. She is hearing impaired so we use sign language a lot. Well, they do; I'm still trying to learn. She gets impatient with me sometimes and I can't blame her.

She will do some of the sweetest things too. Last night they went out to eat. I wasn't feeling well so they were going to bring back something for me. When they came home she gave me the toy that came with her kid meal. That alone was precious, but I left it on the table and, later this morning it was sitting on my purse.

A few weeks ago, she had an ear infection, and her Mom got her this huge mermaid mylar balloon. She kept it in her room until it started sagging as it was losing the helium. One particular day she knew I was feeling real bad with the arthritis and fibromyalgia. I was in the dining area and all of a sudden something caught my eye. There is a mirror that covers the wall next to my room. The head of this mermaid was floating from my room out to the hallway. Then she told me I could have it because "I was sick".

So this ballooon stayed in my room for a couple of weeks, and it floated wherever it wanted. If I awoke in the middle of the night, it would scare the wits out of me. Then I realized why she gave it to me: it was scaring her too. Then one Saturday she had to go get some blood work done. I put the balloon back in her room.

Later, I found it in my room, up against my bed. She was going to make sure the head did not creep back into hall in front of the mirror. I told her I gave it back, and she replied in no uncertain words and tone "I don't want it".

My daughter-in-law and I broke up laughing. Maybe this is one of those "you have to be there" funny things.

So, I look forward everyday to some precocious thing she is going to do or say. I am blessed and more so I know it.

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