October 22, 2006

I'm Back!

I went to emergency at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, Ca on Thursday night by ambulance because I experienced a heart attack and awoke from my sleep. I felt that there was an earthquake and then I realized that there wasn't one and I realized I was shaking the bed and I thought that maybe it was a seizure. I then turned on my lamp and realized my nightgown was drenched in sweat and I passed out and came to and then I was having incogerent thoughts. I realized that my right arm was asleep and half of my right hand and all of my left hand. Then my arm and hands awoke and I began wondering if I better call 911. I didn't want to call because I had already been there a month ago and they sent me home saying I had had a paic attack. So obviously that was the last place I wanted to have to return to and be seen for a heart attack. I know that they are supposed to take you to the nearest emergency room. So just my luck one of the paramedics who came the first time showed up again and rode with me in the back to collect the information. He starts pulling the same type of treatment that he did the first time and as I explaining that I think I have had a heart attack and that I have just been diagnosed with hyperkalemia (high potassium/kidney Damage ala Lithium etc.) he says "what is Lithium? Why do you need a mood stabilizer? It is all in your mind. You just need to go running. That would help you get rid of all of those pills." I said I am in excellent condition, I walk many miles a week. "Why don't you run? "I have asthma." See obviously this highly trained and highly paid duphous thinks that women aren't allowed to be heavy; but men can be. (He is heavy).

So I get to the hospital and the call has already been received by the emergency room staff and they are shocked. But still these dufous paramedics are making me stand up for 20 more minutes while they pat each other on the back and whoop it up like good old boys and filling out paper work. Finally the paper work is filled out and I am led into the triage nurse. She sees what I have filled out on the form I was told to fill out in triage and she starts to weigh me and then I am seated to begin the questions. I am starting to explain things and the duphous paramedic who rode in with me sits down in front of me and starts interjecting and putting his two cents in. He goes oh yeah, I'm the one that picked you up that night! I told him Yeah, you were the one! He was making jokes about the pen that had run out of ink while I was signing his document and he said "Yeah the pen is nervous." Then I was explaining to the nurse what I had experienced in my bed and she said "There hasn't been an earthquake here or I would have known. I am from Texas and I have never been in one." He slipped away never to be seen again.

After maybe two hours waiting in the waiting room with bright lights and uncomfortable chairs, I was taken to a examining room and put on a gurney. When the dr. finally came in I saw that she wasn't the same dr. who had first seen me and she starts asking me questions like she hasn't been told anything so far. So I begin explaining my experience and she hears my diagnosis and says "That wasn't a seizure." She looks pale and shocked when I say yeah I was here a while back with neuopathy and I was here until 3 a.m. and I was sent home in a cab. She goes you were here before?! Then she left the room and disappeared for hours. Right away she tells people to hook me up to an I.V. I wasn't given any food or water during the entire hospital stay. I was entering the e.r. at 12:00 a.m. and I was released at 6 a.m. So basically I was aware that I was supposed to be fasting. I had made a nurse aware that I am Hypoglycemic and he knew that I hadn't eaten any food since 5p.m. He said you know to eat every three hours right? "Your metabolism changes every three hours." So then apparently he had been sent in to do blood gasses in my artery. So he starts digging in my right wrist. It didn't work so he had to try it again. Then he went to my left wrist and and tried again. He asked if I was on any beta blockers and I said no and he told me that he has a heart problem that he takes a Tylenol every morning for and that masks the heart problem in the ekg and in the blood pressure check. He said that the only way they know that he still has the heart problem is that his blood comes out too slowly when they do a blood draw. So he said he was just trying to put two and two together. So then they sent a guy in to do the ekg. Wouldn't you know it it is the son of a bitch who treated me rotten on the other night I was there. So I'm obviously not thrilled that this guy is going to be playing around with my chest all night. So he walks in and says hi. He didn't want to look me in the eye. He was saying to the nurse that right after he gets this over with he is going to take his break. Then he yawned several times and basically went through it like a robot. Ok I get the picture you don't like this any more than I do. So when he gets done he walks back over and starts removing the snaps that he stuck all over me and he left most of them. He leaves the room with the ekg cart and forgets to give me the results. So I realize after a while that I am not going to be told what the results of the ekg were. I start hearing nurses at the station say operate! operate! I'm thinking shit! I didn't know that I was in for this tonight. I was pretty upset because I thought they might put me upstairs in a hospital bed for a week. I mean this hospital has a terrible reputation. So I have nothing to do, I am looking all around this room, with bright lights, it was very cold, I had a clock in front of my face the entire night, and I was alarmed. I can't even fall asleep on a 16 hour plane ride much less in this creepy hospital. Apperently they can't afford to hire enough cleaning people because there was a big stain in the waiting room that was either urine or coke. It was dry. There were very sick people waiting for a long time to be seen. Sick people were trying to make themselves comfortable so that they could sleep since everyone had been roused out of bed in the middle of the night with some illness or another. So the examining room I was in had a latex glove that had already been used crumpled near the toxic waste garbage can. I am looking at all of this ancient medical equipment that could probably be put in a museum. I saw a cricket cross the floor. I was that bored. I thought it was a cockroach at first but was relieved that it was only a grasshopper.

So then I overhear a dr. in the hall walk over to my dr and ask "They sent me down to ask you if she has been diagnosed with any fatalitites. I'm going "WHat? Have I had any recent deaths? She answered "Hyperkalemia and mumble mumble mumble." He so oh. Then that was the last time I heard this man speak. So they sent in a nurse who starts preparing to move my gurney. She moves it out from the wall and then releases the breaks on the wheels at the end. Nothing was being explained to me. So I'm thinking ok I'm either going upstairs or I'm going into open heart surgery. Now the room with a view is looking pretty sweet. I waited around for things to happen and I was being monitored by the nurses station. Every once in a while the stupid blood pressure cuff on my arm would tighten and scare the bejesus out of me and then I started getting used to it. So now it was coming up on 5 a.m. and I still have had no food or water. One arm was restrained by an iv and the other arm was restrained by the heart monitor. So I had an itch on my neck and thought of asking for someone to come in and scratch it but then it finally went away. A nurse came in and checked my stats and told me that we were still waiting on test results from the kidneys. Then she walked out and said well we are really just waiting for the dr. to call back. So they had called my G.P. who is treating me now and he had to be paged at some ungodly hour and then he called back at maybe 5:00 a.m. So the dr. seeing me in e.r. was called to the phone and then she took it elsewhere. So I was wondering what he had told her. She never told me. Then a while later she walked back in and looked pretty manic and said guess what all your results are normal again! I'm looking at her and thinking you've got to be fucking kidding me! I blinked and said Really?! And she said yeah the potassium test was normal again. I go ok. Cool! She said it has been a pleasure working with you and thank you. She disappeared and I never saw her again. So I am stunned and totally confused and the nurse comes into unhook my iv and told me I could get dressed and go home. So she presented me with the documents for my discharge and I look down at the final diagnosis and it says hyperventilation and list all the symptoms of that and they just happened to be what I had experienced. They said that the way to remedy this is to reduce your stress and take antianxiety drugs.

Earlier in the night I forgot to mention that she came back in and started asking me the same question they ask everyone when they are trying to get rid of you. What do you want us to do for you now. Do you want us to run another potassium test? I said I don't know what the protocol is here?! You are supposed to do what is medically necessary. She looked at me and said are you having any anxiety? DO you want some Ativan? I said No! I don't like what that stuff does to me. She leaves the room.

So I left the locked emergency room like I was being set free from the prison from hell and called my mom from a payphone to come pick me up. I told Laura what had happened and then I explained it to my mom and she realized I had no way to get home in the dark and with no money. Besides dammit I just had a heart attack! I can't walk three miles back now. So I waited outside for her to arrive and I was having to try to make out images of cars in the dark and it was time for the new day to begin and all the staff was arriving to work. I started figuring out what kind of job they probably did according to their attire. The people who come in nice attire but no scrubs are probably the dr.s arriving and going to put on their white coats inside. Then there were the people who check you in when you come to have a diagnostic test done in outpatient. Then there was this other group of dr.s who were dressed way more formal like executives and everyone of those people who walked by me said good morning! Then this lady walked by who was obviously a muckety muck dr who didn't stand on her feet alot because she was wearing wobbly stillettos and a suit with a mini skirt. She said good morning! Isn't cold to be standing outside right now?! I said yeah, I'm waiting for a ride home. Nice weather for that. It is going to be 90 today. I go oh.

So my mom shows up after the light came out a little and I went over to her car and the paramedics coming out of an ambulance said oh that's her. My mom hugged me and She said how are you?! I said I'm ok it was scary. She took me to cocoas and we ate breakfast. Then I explained to her that the dr. had said I should return on Friday if I was still having lung pain and coughing and that I would have to have a chest xray. I was very surprised when she said that I should just go home and sleep because I had been up all night. SHe said I should make an appointment for next week. She kept asking me if I have any antianxiety pills and I told her no. ANd even if I did I can't take those anymore because I am toxic. So she drove me home and I was in time out. SO she called me three times yesterday to check on me and I explained that I hadn't been able to sleep and I got up and called my G.P. to get his take on the whole situation. I got ahold of him and he said he had tried to contact another dr. and he wasn't able to. I said so did you get the call from the e.r.? He said yes. Did they tell you that I was there before? yes. He said "All the results are normal." I said that I was very concerned because they kept me there all night and ran these various tests and I was apparently being prepped for open heart surgery and then at the end the dr returns and said everything was normal again. ANd if that isn't enough they sent me out with documents that said my diagnosis is hyperventalation and anxiety. I was saying the detail about the symptoms just happened to be what I had come in with and I was reading this form to him and I said and I get home and look at the postassium results and they are very low. They were 8 something at your office and I read online that 6 something is an emergency and then I read him the result on the form and it said 3 something. I had the first potassium test done just about a week ago. So he was already aware that there had been a major travesty of justice and I am explaining the things that the e.r. dr. chose not to disclose to him. The he starts saying words I never heard hem say before. He agreed that the drs had both thrown the Bipolar diagnosis in my face and offered me Ativan to do that again. He was flabbergasted and asked me which E.R. was this? I said Valley Presbyterian! I couldn't believe that she had chosen to address another dr without first acknowledging what hospital she worked for. That took the cake. He needs to know because he is a mandated reporter. When a person is on SSI they are considered a ward of the state and any professional that they come in contact with in a health setting who detects a hint of abuse has to report it just like when you work at a school you must report abuse if there is an ounce of suspicion.

So boom we might have to read about this in the paper. I mean I have read plenty of article in The Daily News about Presbyterian letting people die in surgery or in recovery but there they sit ready to take in more dying people. They might actually close King Drew Medical Center after all because I guess finally enough medi-cal recipients and indigent people have finally died there.

So then at the end of our conversation the dr. demanded that I see someone at my clinic Friday to have my meds adjusted. He said that he needs them to reduce them as muck as possible and that I need to ask them to evaluate the mood stabilizer that I am taking to see if it is toxic and that I need to switch the Lamictal to another one if it is toxic. He said he doesn't know which mood stabilizer I could be switched to that would make me comfortable. So he told me that if there since there was no nurse except on Tuesday and my dr. is only there Mondays that I would have to ask for an on duty worker to speak to. That I should walk in and say that Dr Sol Weiss my G.P. demanded that I go in today and that it is a medical emergency. So I did that and received much resistance at the clinic.

They sent out a lady who took me to the room where the people go to speak to someone when there has been a crisis. So she took me in there and we both sat down with the door closed. I began talking to her and telling her where I had been allnight. That I had suffered a heart attack and I had recently been given the diagnosis of Hyperkalemia. She looked at me and said If you had had a heart attack you wouldn't be sitting here talking to me right now. She told me that Lithium doesn't cause Kidney damage and I explained to her the two people I know who have it or who have did from it. I pulled out my perscription and showed her the diagnosis. She didn't even try to read it. She kept just nodding and giving me attitude. She had her arms folded and told me that I was making this entire thing up. I told her that Dr Fahimian my previous psychiatrist had never run Lithium blood work on me or any other blood work the entire time I saw him over the course of about three years. I said that I had had this chronic pain for three years straight which began just after he took me off of the Lithium. She still denied that anything could be wrong or they would have found it years ago. This went on back and forth and she said ok if you just have to see a dr today then you are going to have to wait around here all day and then I can't gaurantee that you will be seen here today. I started getting really upset. She even told me that she was going to terminate this interview because I was too hostile. I said Look, I don't have a knife I am not going to hit you and you can open the door but I don't understand why you are putting up all these blocks to me getting seen here today. She eventually said I will talk to my boss and if you have any problems with what has happened here today then you must contact Rhonda Anglin the head at this clinic. I said Oh! I go way over the head of this clinic when I report! She just rolled her eyes and left. So I was sent out to the lobby again.

Not long after that my case manager came out and looked concerned and came over and said I heard that you are in crisis and I just wanted to see if I could help. I said I am falling apart. My kidneys are damaged from the Lithium and my skin is falling of of my toes. My finger has neuropathy and and this tow is dead. It is curling under and I am stepping on it. There was a guy in the lobby talking kind of loud next to us so she took me into the room. We sit down and I explain this diagnosis I just received and that I was at the er for a heart attack and that they had dismissed me twice and sent me out into the cold with no way to get home. She asked me which er it was. She asked my dr.s name. She cried a little. She apologized for not returning my messages and she offered me therapy again. I accepted and she went to get an appointment. She returned and told me to accompany her to her office to check her appointment book. She set the appointment for the same day I was due to see the dr. on November 6, voting day. So I can go vote in the morning go see her at 2 and then see my dr. at 3:30.

So she set up an appointment for me to see my psychiatrist on Monday and to also see a psychiatrist at 2 p.m. Friday. So I went home and returned at 2. I met the shrink and she turned into a monster before my eyes. She is looking at me and my speech is rapid fire and I am edgy and calling like it is and she is pissed that I even had to be squeezed into her busy schedule and she thinks that I am manic and aks me how much I have been sleeping. She is telling me that I am completely psychotic and that I have concocted this entire thing because my fiends were affected by Lithium. She said that I had looked this up on the internet and given myself this diagnosis and and had really studied up on it and that I had work out every detail down to the name of the dr and the city his office is in. I told her that I think it is very important that two dr.s speak to one another when there is a medical emergency for continuity of care. She said oh so do you happen to have anything in your wallet with the drs number on it? I said I have his business card I think and I looked and damn it if I hadn't left it at home on the table. I told her what city he lives in and she asked me to spell his name. SO I spelled it for her. Yeah like how the hell else do you spell Sol Weiss. OH I knew how to spell it. She calls information and asks for his name and he is not located in Canoga Park. Then I said try West Hills. SHe asks. They couldn't locate him anywhere in the valley. So great he is unlisted. I found him through Northridge Hospital Physician referral service. So she looks at me and says yeah I caught you in a big lie. I said I can bring the card on Monday. She tells me to stop the Lexapro immediately and increase the Lamictal from 100 to 150 and later to 200 so that I will be at the therapeutic level. She told me that I needed to go back on Abilify to prevent me from becoming psychotic. I explained to her that I refuse to take Abilfy because it was making me eat and I was gaining back weight that I had lost. I said I don't want to get diabetes and that my kidneys are toxic and I can't put anymore pills in there than completely necessary. I also explained that Dr Fahimian had never caught the drug interaction between the Lexapro and the Nsaids that I was being pumped full of for three years while under his care. I told her that I went and put my meds into medline and it spits out the drug interactions and it had told me that they both cause internal bleeding and that they work synergystically together and that under no circumstances should anyone take them together. I said he never ran blood tests while he treated me and he never took a case history. The Current dr did take a case history and he said that it was clear that I hadn't been manic since '92 and that I no longer needed the Abilify. So he titrated me off of it. So now I have been off of it for three months. I have lost weight have been told that I lood better. She looks at the one of two pieces of paper indicating that I only have had two blood draws since I signed on with this clinic in '04. The one that caught her eye though was the one where the clinic nurse decided to pull a fast one and ordered blood work for hiv and pregnancy without asking my permission. He was fired shortly thereafter. SO after she saw this in my chart she turned on a dime. She looks up from the blood work at me wide eyed and starts ordering blood work and starts telling me she is only ordering 3 kinds of tests. She named them off and they were for kidneys and liver. Then she told me what they were for. I said am I supposed to come in fasting? She looked at her paper and said uh no I didn't order any you have to fast for. I asked if he had run a kidney test. She said yes. Was it the good one. She looked again. Yes.

So that was just a synopsis. So I came home and inform my mom of what had occurred at the clinic and she was incredulous. SO we spoke for a while last night and I didn't call her today. Oh and I forgot to mention that I called then clinic when I walked into my apartment and left a voicemail for the dr I had had the priveledge of meeting and explained to my case manager what had gone down in our session and why I needed to leave the phone number for the dr. So right away I get a call back from Jill and she says that the dr had left for the day and didn't have time to call the dr. I said it obvious that she just didn't want to take the five minutes it would have taken to try to contact him. I said that is a low blow. I feel degraded. Jill said We're going to work together on this to try to get to the bottom of this thing. I said thank you. Goodbye.

So I decided that I will not drag my ass into the clinic at 9:30 Monday morning and wait to be seen. At first I was thinking that this was a good thing that this could be used for my second potassium test. But then I realized that she had specifically said that I wasn't to fast. She hadn't ordered anything where I needed to fast. So what she is going to do is Creatinine and stuff and that stuff will come out normal like it did at Dr. Weiss office. And she should have asked me to fast for any kidney blood work. So basically she still wants me to jump hoops to prove that indeed I have been royally fucked over. ANd the blood test she ordered wouldn't be returned to the clinic until maybe Friday at the earlist. I will be seeing my Psychiatrist at 2p.m. Monday and I am almost positive that he will have contacted dr. Weiss already and then we discuss this. I see Dr Weiss on Tuesday.

I have started to contact a few concerned people who have been trying to reach me and have been worried sick. So Ron called and he sounded depressed and said I tried to call you like amillion times and you didn't answer. How are you? So I broke it to him that I had gone to the er with a heart attack on Thursday night and that I was released and that I had been able to get a good nights rest last night and that I was eating again like normal and I had energy and I was cleaning up my house again. He was upset. He wanted to cry. So did I. So we spoke for a few minutes and he said he would call me again tonight. He called a while ago and we were joking and he is coming to see me tomorrow at 4 or 5. I am seeing Fardin at 11:00 a.m. for coffee and donuts.

So when I reached Fardin after 6 p.m. he answered and I said Fardin? he said yeah? I said it's Heather! He said where have you been I have been waiting for you to call! He said how was the test results? I said that the Potassium had been high and and that it meant I had kidney damage from the Lithium. I told him about the heart attack and the er. He asked if it was serious or is there anything they can do to help you? I explained that there are maintenance drugs they might put me on maybe an inhaler or insulin. He then said I almost have the same thing. I just went to a new dentist and He told me that my last dentist didn't catch that my teeth are loose. There is no tooth damage. There are no cavaties. I have to see a Gum Surgeon. They may have to do surgery on my gums. Then he explained that you can't get a crown or anything if you have your teeth pulled because there is no cavaty. He explained that they will probably have to pull 6-7 teeth. I told him that he might be able to get a partial. And that upset him. He is only 46. He said that he heard that you can't eat certain foods with that and that you have to clean them a certain way. I said yeah I know. I hope the Gum Surgeon is a good dr. Maybe they can figure out the root of teeth that are not decayed suddenly appearing loose. SO we are both suspecting medication.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at 02:57 AM | Comments (1)

October 18, 2006

Little Earthquakes

Has it been only a week since I posted? I thought it had been a month. No kidding, I feel like I've been coming off of a bad acid trip. That's what I've heard it is like. Like you pass the freeway sign and you go didn't I pass that offramp already? So yeah I have lost all concept of time lately. I did that when I was manic and hospitalized for psychosis. I didn't realized that I had been in for three weeks. I was shocked when I was discharged and they were telling me. They were saying hey it is about time that you asked to go home. I had been allowed to go stay on minimum security and so I had full grounds privelidges and I guess they were just waiting for me to get fed up and say I'm out of here. I was surprised. You mean I have a say in this? When I was committed I had no say. Then they tricked me into signing myself in for another 72 hour hold. That pissed me off. I went to the payphone and started calling lawyers. They probably get those calls all the time from psychotic people in mental wards. So my brain was fried. When I got out and they sent me to the pharmacy to pick up my pills they gave me a pill Prolixen which makes you sleep between meals. They also gave me Prozac.

So I don't even know where I have been this last week. I am having to go look at the calendar to verify when a certain event occurred so that I can reconstruct a situation. Like I was wondering how long it has been since a good friend flipped out about me being ill and stopped calling me. I realized she had flipped and then she never called again. I never expected someone to walk away from a friendship because the other friend is suddenly physically ill. I thought should I call her once I finally get a diagnosis and I have a label to brandish like a trophy? Then I finally just said no, it is not worth it. Why should I have to qualify for illness? So I haven't quite figured out how long ago it was been; but if I had to reconstruct it if I looked at the calendar and saw when I first saw the dr. It was September 23 or 25 I think the dr. informed me of yesterday. So I managed to give blood and got some results over the phone last Thursday and I had an appointment to go in at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning but I didn't make it and rescheduled for yesterday at 4:30. So I had a falling out with this friend who I had been friends with on and off for about four years and basically she flaked out on giving me a ride to the dr. on Monday morning. So I ended our friendship yesterday when she renigged on her offer to drive me on Tuesday. See she is high maintenance, born with a silver spoon in her mouth, a gold digger, manipulative and demanding. I have been ignoring her constant complaining for a long time. She is a bulemic woman who is on a mission to rid the world of fat women. She has been fat and is now too thin and openly criticizes fat women in public and says let me give you a workout. Here I am a plus size woman and she doesn't even try to hide he food addiction/repulsion and obsessive compulsive behavior. She is disgusted by food and doesn't keep any in her house and if we have ever eaten take out at her house she asks me to walk the brown grocery sack down to the dumpster in the basement. She freaked out when she spilled some smelly sald dressing in her car last Saturday night and then I saw her briefly Monday morning and she was really disgusted by the awful smell of food in her car. So she disn't repay me when I went out with her on Saturday night. She owed me $60 and basically my bank account is empty until they refund the money that was taken out with the fraud. She was aware of that sistuation and I was on my way to the dr. on Monday morning and realized I had no cash to take the bus. So I called her on her cell and she called me back and I was very sweet and said could you drop the cash by or drive me? She acted all put out but we started to drive down there and got stuck n a little traffic and she said oh, can you reschedule? So she offered to drive me on Tuesday and we set up a time that was convenient to her personal training job and she flaked out. She left me a message that she would have to see if she could still take me. When I called again I was pissed. She asks me for all kinds of favors which I have done at least four jobs for her for free and I have never complained. She does this to everyone. She expects the world to revolve around her. So today she had asked me to be her GPS system and guide her to this bra shop that is supposedly the best high end place to go and she just had to drive down to Monrovia. Of course she doesn't know how to navigate from her gym to my apartment. She gets lost and calls me and I have to figure out if she is headed north or south and what street she has just passed according to the business she is looking at. So there is no way this lady could make it to some strange town that I was going to have to map and tell her where to change freeways and stuff. I mean she asked me to do this a week or two ago and I said did they give you the name of the business? No. Did they give you a street number? No. I know you take the blah blah blah freeway and it is by this street... I go call your coworker back or we can't go find it. I do this for two other friends too. I ride along and act as the GPS. Anyway she tells me she can't drive me Tuesday afternoon and she starts saying I'm getting a little pissed. You are pressuring me to drive you and I have a job and I can't cancel or I might lose this client and she might sign up for a package deal. She complained that I had made her late to an appointment Monday morning and she could have lsot out on the package deal and she needed that to make money. I just lost it. I went off on her. I brought up the time that she strongarmed me into staying overnight at her apartment to change the icepacks after her last boobjob and only bought me a little veggie meal. I knew she was pissed the next morning. She had stayed up all night with insomnia and was blasting the radio in the other room all night. Couldn't her dad have forked out for a visiting nurse after that surgery he paid for? So she said yeah that really pissed me off that you went to sleep while you stayed over that night. Like I hadn't fulfilled my end of the contract. Oh, I didn't know I had agreed to this. I didn't know you were my employer. She asked me to come assist her in her move and so I got there and she ordered me around the entire day, didn't lift a finger herself and I had to organize the move. SO she didn't bother to order food for me at lunch. We are all done and I'm thinking surely she going to pay me something. She took me out to dinner and bought me a 10-15 $ meal and took me home. I had reccomended my friend and his crew who charge less than big companies and they were giving her a good deal because the were just moving her to an apartment downstairs. So complained about how this or that was scratched. I was so upset with her. Duh. Why did I continue to allow her back into my life? Then we began speaking again about a month or so ago and we we hung out a few times and spoke on the phone and she decided that I should be willing to ride shot gun to MOnrovia and of course she wasn't going to pay me. Like what am I going to do at a high end bra shop. I was going because I wanted to get out of the house. But I started realizing that I wouldn't be able to buy a meal and she never eats. So I was like you call up the day before I'm supposed to take you to Monrovia and you scream at me for being demanding because I finally asked you to reciprocate? We began calling each other names and I called her all the terms I printed above and she didn't want to hear the truth. I had two other friends who pulled me aside seperately and said that they do the same behavior to her. She kept denying that she has a silver spoon in her mouth and her financial stress is delusional and that her minimum wage training job wasn't going to make her get eveicted if she cancelled one appointment. I said whenever you have a need for something you call up daddy and her forks over a big fat check in the mail. Sorry hon that is the truth. Said that I don't work what difference did it make that she had me doing work for her with no reimbursement. What am I her slave? Her daddy is like I bottomless goldmine. He just says send me the receipt. Send me the dr.s bill. She has fights with him when he doesn't provide anything she demands. She is 45 years old and her dad is 70 or so. I don't know how he deals with her. So she was saying I guess this is the end of our friendship. She wanted to continue screaming at me. I eventually just hung up on her. She will never call again.

Another one bites the dust. When push came to shove and I am at death's door she lashes out and does this passive aggressive thing.

So I still have a few close friends. One is still in Texas until this Saturday. I spoke with her last Saturday and everything is going great there. One friend wants reassurance that the dr can fix this. It isn't anything serious is it?

So I went to the dr in the afternoon and I thought that since the weather was cooler that I would go a little early and go the the library and read the rolling stone. They didn't subscribe to it and I gather some newspapers and set out on foot for a while. I was almost hit twice by two different women drivers who were surprised that I a pedestrian was actually crossing on a crosswalk at a green walk sign. Hello! Pedestrians have the right of way in California and I always follow the traffic laws; but drivers here when they are making a right or a left turn they often don't have a turn arrow and they get really aggressive and impatient and basically see you and gun the gas. I was so pissed. The first Lady was making a left onto my crosswalk and surprise surprise I was beginning to step out of of the curb and she was hanging out in traffic and she met my eyes and hesitated and then floored it right in front of me. I leaned over into her window and said you're really rude lady! People looked at me funny. So I'm continuing walking in the next block at a green light crosswalk and I've got a person trying to turn left into my crosswalk and the lady trying to turn right thought she could just run righ past me. I started to put my foot off of the curb and I looked to my side to see if she would stop and she looked like she was going to have a heart attack and she slams on her brakes and her car skids and her tires squeel. That was scary. I looked at her and I said you stupid f.ing b. then people really looked at me. This goes on daily. I guess people who drive need to be where they are going yesterday and figure if you walking around you better just move your a. out of the road. So you have to walk defensively.

So I go to a thrift shop where I got two cool books for a dollar apiece and I had to leave sooner than I wanted because I started getting dizzy and knew what was coming next. I was all sweaty and they had no air in the store. I made my way to the medical building lobby and sat down on the bench in the hall and downed a couple of bottles of water and relaxed getting fresh santa ana winds in the hall. Then I saw a friend who attends meetings in the office next to my dr and he stopped and explained in a protracted way that someone at his board and care had passed away. He was telling me because I visit a good friend there and I know the people there. He has trouble producing his language because sometime Schizophrenia makes impossible to be verbal. So I kept having to guess what he was trying to say. But he is very intelligent and laughed his way through it. He knew that he could get out of watching the boring film they were trying to make him watch if he kept going out to the bathroom down the hall. SO of course it is upsetting to know that someone else died. I have to call my friend there and ask who is was. The guy who lives with them that had stints put in his heart is doing fine and was at home that day.

I ran into the Lexapro pusher in the hallway at the medical building and I was getting my nerve up to say hey you know that pill your here to peddle to all the dr.s in this building today the one your making plenty of bucks off of? Well I'm on it and I am trying to get off of it and I can't just stop taking immediately or I might have withdrawal symptoms like some heroin addict. And by the way I shouldn't have been allowed to take this drug along with the pain killers I have been having to take because there is a drug interaction and well they both cause internal bleeding and synergystically I'm a walking time bomb. Yeah so thanks alot you idiot. He was giving him looks and her was wearing the badge that had the Lexpro on there and her got up and went around the corner and went up the elavator. So I missed out on telling him a thing or two. I looked for him later when I was leaving and exiting the pharmacy.

The dr saw my feet. He is a comedian. He makes fun of you while he is examining you. But it was obvious that he was upset by my feet. He goes are you diabetic? I said no my fasting glucose here was normal. He goes oh it is just the sandals it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I was laughing. He is shorter than I am and he wanted to look in my ears to see if I had an infection. He goes bend over I'm not a giraffe or anything. He was trying to figure out why I have been having fever. Everyone of my blood results were good except for the potassium. It is sky high and I have to redo it tomorrow fasting at a lab nearby. I told him that I had just had heatstroke for the second time in a short while and my eyes were dilated, I was dizzy, and my blood pressure was low. I have healthy blood pressure. It is never high. He was blown out of the water when the nurse told him what it was out in the hall. The nurses and the dr were cracking up because they checked a chart and my blood pressure is that of a 16 year old. I was laughing. My cholesterol was a shocker too. The bad one was really low and the good one really high. I am not your typical plus size person. That was a shock to him. But he was upset when I told him that my lungs were still painful and that I still had a cough after the antibiotic. So he was freaked out and went out and talked to his staff and wanted to order a test and they told him that they would demand a diagnosis for the test. He said my diagnosis is chest pain that is good enough! So he came back and he listened to my lungs on my back and we was scared and said if the pain and cough don't go away by Friday then you have to come back and have a chest x-ray. He gave me the Levaquid again in a higher dose that I will probably be finishing up right around Friday. So I'm starting to worry about using up my six slots for perscriptions for October. I think I might have to go pick one psych med before the end of the month and he gave me two creams for my feet. I might wind up with two slots at the end of the month. See we are very ill and they refuse to fill more that 6 perscriptions per month. If you need it you often go without because it takes a long to get a treatment authorization request approved by medi-cal. The pharmacy fills out a form and faxes to the office somewhere out in outerspace and it goes into a holding pattern and no one knows where or why but often they say no. So if it takes them too long then the whole transaction is cancelled and you go into the next month and get new slots opened up for you. So last spring I went without an inhaler for a while because I knew I wouldn't be able to get it. Medicaid is terrible. I was sitting in my therapists office after she had spent an hour with a chain smoker exhaling in her office and all I could do was move over to the other chair in her office a foot away and gag my way through the session.

So I started cutting my Lexapro in half a couple of days ago. Who wouldn't in my shoes. The psych had said that he would begin that in November. But I started thinking that I really resented swallowing the pill every morning knowing that when I take Naproxen that I am playing Russian Roullette. But the shrinks don't walk around with pdas at the county clinics and no one caught it. The pharmacy never caught it either. They are a mom and pop pharmacy and they are contracted with the county and it is mandatory that you choose the pharmacy in your area that is provided. SO They have at times handed me the bottle of Naproxen and the bottle of Lexpro in the same brown sack. No wonder I am jaded. I had to figure it out on my own on medline. It spits out the drug interactions.

There was some good news yesterday though. I called my mom and she said that they are struggling with affording their big house payment since my mom retired and they want to sell their house and scale down a bit. It is a lot of work. THey hired a housekeeper to clean once a week and they have a pool guy that comes routinely and then of course there are the gardeners who come weekly. Then the air conditioner never really coolsa the entire house. If you sleep at their house upstairs they balst the central air all night and still it is miserable. They live in a hotter area than I do. So they are sick of all the hassle. They don't want to buy a home with a pool. They want a jacuzzi though. They said that they are starting to clean out the garage and discard things. They said that they are moving to the Long Beach/San Pedro area and they want me to join them. They finally realized that I am in a hellacious situation and after the manager let the wacko plumbers in and they stole my checkbook I was screwed. THey saw that because I had to have my mom wire me money from Texas while she was there. So I wrote a letter to the management company about all of this b.s. here and they probably received Friday. I know that my neighbor or someone told her about the phone call and she was in the hall outside m apartment screaming Her!? She... She left. She knew I could hear her. I have been so intimidated by her husband for all this time and she has never been around to let maintenance workers repair things. So I crossed his path while I was leaving yesterday and he just gave me this look. I just kept going.

I still have to call Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office and report that although the No Ho Commons Luxury Apartment building has slots for affordable housing advertised specifically for disabled people they are screening each disabled person through some 800 number in Texas and they are scripted to say that they are still looking for they application and they are still not sure that they can give you the application and they go on with questions that are digging for what type of disability you have and whether you have a pet or not, how much rent you expect to pay, why you are planning to move, did you know that we have all these luxury amenities at our complex? and DO you know where we are located and that the building is still under construction? I said to the Lady from Texas yeah I saw your ad online and I tried to contact your company by phone and left a voicemail and an e-mail and it was hard to get through. She got it. She goes I understand ma'am. She was becoming uncomfortable with her job rather quickly. I'm wondering how much money they save by hiring workers in Texas. So the whole while she is supposed to be convincing me that she is at the office in L.A. she is mispronouncing Tunjunga avenue and doesn't realize that the complex is within walking distance of the metro redline station and near Lankershim and Magnolia which is the heart of NO Ho. Every local knows those things. So I got off the phoen with her last Wednesday afternoon thinking that I had cleared all of their hoops and she even took my e-mail and street address and said she would mail it. Here it is a week later and I haven't received it. I haven't checked my e-mail since maybe Sunday; but I am pretty sure that when I go through there it will be missing. How convenient. They only accept you if you are in a wheel chair or whatever and don't have a service animal. Also apparently it is not enough that they tell you online how much there low income housing is they ask you what you can pay. They must think we are idiots. They are required by the city to give us these units.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2006

Clearing The Air

I just wanted to be sure no one misconstrued what I wrote last time. I wasn't actually smoking the weed; but the English guy who came late and squeezed in next to me broke out the bud when he got back with his beer. Bipolar people can't smoke that shit because it hits us funny. I tried it once and it made me want to sleep. I was like okay this is no fun. I know how to fall asleep. So that was it for me. My friend on the other hand; she became psychotic when she smoked it in the past. (Manic) So they wouldn't let her smoke it anymore. Anyway these guys next to us were smoking and she started screaming at them:"Do you want me to get sick?! "Oh, go ahead this IS your living room isn't it? I started choking and they stopped smoking. But by then we were falling asleep. I kept looking at her and her head was dropping. That is how she looks when she falls asleep at the movies. So I told her that we better take a walk. The people on the next row down were doing it too. They were in a row and passing it down taking hits off the same joint. I was disgusted. You can get diseases and stuff. In front of them was this entire family with two kids who were in elementary school and they had all been listening to their ipods. So they were inhaling it too. Oh well.

So today I had to go to the bank to clear up a matter of fraud on my checking account. After I deposited my check at the atm I checked my balance on the receipt and it was low. So I called the bank and they said that someone had written a check for $375 and it had been written out to cash. It managed to clear and I knew that it wasn't mine because I only write checks for the rent. So I did manage to let the eviction notice I received expire after the 5th day and I suspected that it was the plumbers that the management company hired to fix my kitchen sink while I was at the Willy Nelson concert. I figured that maybe the idiot manager of mine let them in and went back to her apartment. I didn't want to approach her about it because she needs an antipsychotic or a mood stabilizer. She always had a mean streak and she went off on my neighbor the other day because she suspected that they had put their personal garbage bag into the laundry waste basket. She was screaming at him and just decided that his family had done it because she said that she had gone through the garbage and found all these juice boxes and bathroom garbage. I was wondering if maybe they are racist. Actually I pretty much know that they are. This woman the manager is married and has two kids. Her husband is an alcoholic and is probably bipolar. He has made a couple of passes at me and is a control freak who likes to boss the tenants around eventhough he is not employed here. Poor kids. The boy is maybe bipolar or autistic and used to scream all the time in the hall. He only recently stopped screaming and has become verbal. His older sister came here recently from Romania and was quite scared of people at first. Now she is quite verbal in English and asks me all kinds of questions. I saw them flourish while their dad was gone for three or four months. I thought he was gone but now he is back. So I finally went to her last night and told her what I suspected had occurred and she denied that it was possible but then came down to my apartment a few minutes later and it seemed to dawn on her that the management company had hired a private plumbing company to do the work. She told me that she would let the company know. So anyway my mom wired me the money so that I could still pay the rent today minus the late fee. I'll be honest. I just didn't have the money to pay the late fee and the bank man kind of looked at me like why in hell would you pay this company a late fee?! So I laughed. He traced Carlo the property management company and the check to the plubing company and discovered that the plumber actually banks at my bank. Is that cool or what? I am so stoked. This guy is going to get justice. I knew when I first met him that he is a rough, scuzzy, druggy type anyway. The way he came into my apartment was pretty rude. He was like oh I'm just in time for tea! He was a complete idiot.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2006


I went to the Roger Waters concert on Sunday night and it was a blast. I felt a lot better by then and I had taken a couple of naps during the day. The whole concert was amazing because they used multimedia. It began with this movie screen behind the band and it looked so real. It was funny because there was this humongous image of an old timey radio where you turn the dial to change the channel and this hand comes onto the screen and turns the dial. The hand turns the dial to different stations and pauses as the person hears different types of music. It pauses on Elvis and other songs and when it gets to disco it changes quickly. The person is smoking and you see the ashtray and they are writing things down in a journal or something. We were laughing.

All throughout the entire concert you see videos or images behind the band. When they played Shine on You Crazy Diamond they showed pictures of Syd Barrett. At least I guessed that was who it was. Some of the images were funny like the cartoon caricature of Bush when the lyrics said that Texas education really fucked you up. One video was drawn like the ah-ha video. One time there was this trippy song on and they were showing a video of a lava lamp and my friend said that looks like Pringels. I said of course you would think it looks like food. They played one song from the Roger Waters solo album from 1992.

We were surrounded by people smoking marijauna and we can't inhale that. When you are Bipolar it is screwy. So we were falling asleep and got up to walk downstairs. It was near the end of the show and it was actually cool because we could see better. We weren't in the worst seats but the second worst. They sent out the floating pig like a parade balloon where the person walks around carrying it. It was covered in writing with phrases like Long live Kafka, Impeach Bush,and Free At Last. It was so funny. So we thought the show was over when he said goodnight. He said the audience was great and that we had really moved him. When he said that he put his hand over his heart. So we started to walk away. But then a lady turned around and told us that they had told her that there was thirty more minutes. So they did an encore. That was the most exhilarating part. Everyone was raising their fists in the air on the beat during the wall. I had never seen my friend that happy before. She sang all the lyrics with a passion.

So yesterday I slept until seven. That was the best sleep I've had in a while. That marijuana. So it was perfect. I went to have my blood drawn and it went fine. After that I ate at a nearby Jack in the Box. Then I went to The Victory Clubhouse. That was really a weird experience since I hadn't been in almost two weeks since the incident that I had to report to the director. The staff had been very insensitive. It was oppressive. I was very articulate in my voicemail and succinct and told him that they need some education and we need a support group for coping with diabetes since we are all getting it now. So I walked in and I said hello to a couple of members and they looked at me funny. I thought hmm. Then I passed Leon the guy who is a peer counselor who runs dual recovery meetings and he let out a sarcastic laugh. I just ignored it and went to sit on the couch and started talking to my friends. They were happy to see me and that I looked like I felt a little better. A lady with diabetes asked me if I had found out yet if I had it or not. I realized that everyone was aware of what had gone on. I guess heads rolled. I noticed the had sandwiches set out at 11 a.m. which never has happened before. They often set out donuts and stuff. Starbucks donated them for a while. I was happy and joking around until I glanced to the side and saw a peer counselor imitating the way I had looked the last time I was at the clubhouse. I was so pissed. I couldn't hide it either. I started talking about how he always walks in and turns on the tv to a court show at 11 and turns it up really loud. He is the only one that wants to watch it. I said hello,he is on duty and he is standing around watching tv. He is getting paid to watch tv I guess. He heard me too. He left the room. I couldn't shake the anger so I went home. He is so uneducated and doesn't belong working in healthcare. So I came home and rested. I thinked I shocked the hell out of people there. They kind of fanned out. I guess this illness is bringing out attitude. I can't put up with the bullshit anymore.

So I go back to the dr. on Monday to get the test results. The nurse said that he had wanted to see me sooner but I disappeared and they needed the test results to do a diagnosis. It has been two weeks since my first appointment with him. I guess I lost track of time. I have been sleeping a lot and feverish. A friend at the clubhouse said I looked like I had lost weight. I didn't realize that.

I really like the staff at the drs office I go to. The patients that walk in know them by name and tell them the latest news in their lives. Everyone there was really sick. I mean no flu or anything. I'm talking people walking in wiht oxygen bags on their backs and stuff. So I felt right at home.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2006


I went to see my Optometrist yesterday and he said that I need new glasses. I asked if my eyes were better or worse and he said in a very tactful way that I had answered a little differently to the exam a year and a half ago. So the astigmatism in the left eye increased by two points whatever that means. See (you know this if you have bad eyes)they are very cagey about explaining just how bad your perscription is. They don't want to make you feel bad. I really like this Dr. though and think he is very kind. He noticed that I am having some double vision. He said that for some reason my eyes changed. So the silver lining on the cloud is that I get to get new glasses two months earlier than I was supposed to. I am allowed to get a new pair once a year. But by avoiding ordering them in December I am possibly avoiding the foggy days in California. I know that sounds weird; but the state prisoners make the medi-cal glasses and they refuse to work on foggy days. No kidding. Last year I waited four months to get new glasses because of fog and also possibly because of prison riots. Every time I heard on the radio about the prison riots I would go okay I won't be seeing those glasses for a while. So my new glasses will be similar to these; but will be red. That will match my hair and the rosy color in my face. This dr. has better medi-cal frames that the other ones I have been to. You can get some really geeky frames.

So I got dizzy on my way to the optometrists office and I stopped off to buy a dark chocolate bar. The bus came immediately and I had to wait to eat it unitl I reached the office. I probably looked pissed off. So anyway I ate in in the lobby and one of the receptionists started making a comment about how people don't observe the no eating sign. I just kept munching away and when I finished it I couldn't help but let out a big sigh of relief. I think she felt kind of stupid.

I haven't paid my rent yet and they put a note on my door to remind me. My mom gives me a check to help me make my rent and this time she was late with it because she finally received her retirement check. She has to get it directly deposited. The manager knows I am sick and she is still being a witch about it. So I have to pay a $40 late fee. I will go deposit the money tomorrow.

I got tickets to the Roger Waters concert for Sunday. We are so excited. My friend says that she hasn't been excited about anything for a long time. I took her to see Seal at the bowl and she hated it. She wants to get a look at the band because she wants to see their wrinkles. She doesn't have the internet and I was telling her that Roger's picture on the bowl website is very serious. He didn't smile for the photo. She said he never does and that he hates his fans.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2006

So anyway

I didn't go do the blood draw today because I awoke at 4 a.m. and I fasted until 6:30 a.m. and felt very dizzy. I said okay maybe it is not such a good idea to take a bus this morning because I could fall. I might pay a friend to drive me to the dr on Thursday or Friday.

I just heard on the radio that Roger Waters is playing at The Hollywood Bowl soon. Really soon. I don't even know if they still have tickets for sale. My friend said she really wants to go. I should call her and see if she wants me to try to buy tickets online today. I had a cassette of his music that I bought in '92 or '93 around the time I was in the hospital. I love that one.

I was remembering when I was in high school and I got to go see U2 in concert at The Coliseum. The Pretenders opened for them. I went with my friend and I was so geechy that I wrote down all the words so that she could sing along too. My mom drove us there. Good old mom. I used to ditch high school some times and take the bus to see concerts. I went to see The Alarm at UCLA. My sister reminded me that I went to see U2 film their video when they performed on top of a building. My memory is not always the best.

So I saw Fardin yesterday and we had coffee and donuts. I went out to buy some starbucks because I was almost out of coffee and I am supposed to supply the coffee. I reccomended that he read this book by Boethius. I read it in a class and it was very good. I looked up the title and I have to give it to him. I think it was The Consolation of Philosophy. I told Fardin that he is doing much better than my second cousin who passed away at 50 or so years of age. My cousin was Schizophrenic and died of diabetes. He lived away most of his life in an institute for mental disease. The medication never really made it possible for him to live independently. That place was a locked facility. So I never met him and it is sad to know that story.

I am smelling the grass cutting outside as they are doing the landscaping. The gardeners come every Tuesday. I love that smell.

I didn't go to the movies with my mom yesterday because she didn't make time to see me. She sounded irritated with me. Maybe it is because I sent her a copy of my latest poem The Rich Cold of the After-Snow. She went camping over the weekend and when she came home I guess she found it in her e-mail. Oh well. Hate the message not the messenger.

I might try to watch Oprah at 3p.m. Sometimes I can't watch it because it is a downer. Sometimes I just don't need to know what goes on. I found this comedian Megan Mulally on NBC at 4pm and I think she is funny.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2006


I wanted to answer Maura who wrote with concerns over the long-term effects of antipsychotics. Some of the antipsychotics are bad for your heart. The one I am thinking of is Geodon. So if you have any kind of heart condition you are not supposed to take that. You should have an ekg every once in a while just to be safe anyway. You have to be your own watchdog on these things. I haven't been concerned about having regular blood tests because I haven't been on toxic Clozaril in years and I haven't been on Lithium in a while either. But I was on those and who knows exactly what is going on.
You figure the dr.s are looking out for your best interests; but many are in denial and just don't have time to order the tests.

My friend Wendy was in the mental hospital two years ago and a dr. decided to do a thorough blood panel for her kidneys. She had had no signs of anything being wrong with her health. They had been checking her kidneys on a regular basis because she was on lithium; but they neglected to give her the primo blood test that she needed. So now she is in stage 3 kidney failure. Her dr. told her it was the lithium. I know a lot of dr.s are in denial about side effects; but I guess that makes them able to live with themselves while they dole out these pills.

I went in on Thursday to do a fasting blood test and I passed out while they were drawing my blood. They were only able to take a half a tube of blood and that was insufficient for the test. So I will go again on Tuesday to try again. I think that I can go on the bus this time as long as I go eat right afterwards.

I am sad and frustrated right now. It is all a wait and see game and I want answers now. Friends are reassuring me; but some times that is annoying. Oh, your feet are getting a lot of cuts because they are puffy and have too much water. So I felt this friend was like little Mary sunshine.

I took a long walk yesterday and that was a mistake. My lungs began hurting and my legs and feet were hurting. So I just got the bus on my way back. Usually I can do the walk; but I just have to slow down. Today I might just buy a newspaper at a liquor store and stay home. I wanted to go walk around Balboa Lake;but that doesn't seem like a good idea today.

Today is a little cool here and it could even rain a little. I have been waiting for this. It is hard to do anything in extreme heat.

My mom and I went to the fair on Friday and it was a lot of fun just to forget about life for a day. We saw baby farm animals, juried art by kids, and some photography. We ate barbecue sandwiches and I bought some kettle corn to take home. We looked at shops in the Mexican Village. There was a band riding around on this trailer bed playing Eric Clapton songs. We also passed a Claypso band. There were a lot of funny things to see.

My mom and my good friend Tish are both going to Texas this coming week. That is kind of a bummer as they are my major support. They are going to different places and will be gone for two weeks.

Tomorrow I am going to see my mom again and we are going to see a movie. I think we will see The Science of Sleep. That looks really good. I have been looking forward to this movie opening for a while.

My friend Tish told me that I probably qualify for Medicare now and a little more money because my Dad just retired and so I can get some of his social security. It won't cut into his check though.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at 05:17 PM | Comments (1)