My appointment in Boise today... where to begin? For the past several months I have been plagued by abrupt mood changes: several days of depression for no reason, all of a sudden super hyper, feeling normal and happy, extremely irratable and aggressive. All popcorning back and forth with seemingly no reason, made worse by stress. Which I have a lot of right now. This has been going on for quite some time, usually pretty mildly and I handled it just fine, barely even noticed it and thought it was more of a PMS kind of thing. Or stress. But my close friends and dear husband have noticed that the last couple of months it has taken very little for me to plunge way down, or completely flip out, or become very hyper and can't slow down. Several times I have had thoughts, unbidden but there none the less, that scared me. So I finally got up the courage to admit that maybe I need help, and called a psychiatrist in Boise that several LDS friends of mine recommended. They were able to fit me in rather quickly and I went there today.
There was lots of paperwork, self-assesments, medical and family history. Life story, anything and everything and they wanted to know it all. Then they sat down with me and went over every bit of it. We compared me with "normal". How do I usually react to things, how am I sleeping, what's been going on... It took over an hour, but at the end, apparently I was a by-the-book case, and she was able to guess how I would answer a question about my personality and habits. Kind of reassuring. I walked out with a diagnosis.
I am bi-polar. (deep breath) There, I said it. I kind of had a feeling I was, but sometimes people give it a bad image, like you are crazy or something. Like there is something you are doing wrong, stressing out too much... There isn't. It is just a common disorder. In a way it is a relief to have put a name to why I am this way. It is a little scary, and not something I will be telling total strangers, but I needed to say it today. To complicate it a little bit, I am also very ADHD. I kind of figured that as well, because I was very much like Oren is now. He had to get it from somewhere. And the bi-polarism (a word?) getting worse hasn't helped the ADHD symptoms I already had but was dealing just fine with. Having this diagnosis is like taking a deep breath, makes you feel a little better, because it explains why lately I have been "crazy mommy, mean mommy, sad mommy".
They are going to start me on a very low dose of medication, and gradually bring it up. It is a mood stabilizer, to kind of level me out. Then, when my moods are under control, they will determine if it is necessary to treat the ADHD. Nowhere actually has it in stock, they have to order it in, I will get it on Tuesday. Oren is excited because "Mommy and he can take their pills together every morning, and Mommy's pill will help her make good decisions just like Oren's pill!" And Mark is glad he will have his loving, sweet, somewhat-better-at-housekeeping wife back.
As for the rest of my day, it was a very long day in Boise. Amanda went with me to run errands, we hit lots of places. We went to a party store, and got some pirate-themed stuff for Oren's birthday. A pirate hat and sword for the birthday boy, plates and invites, loot bag stuffers. Lots of fun! There is a small "world market" store that carries Indian curries we used to get in Enland, so I got a couple today as a treat for Mark. A new cake pan, an animal face one. Too cute! And Mark and the kids were all alive when I got home, which is amazing because I was gone from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. Like I said, a long day...