Bipolar and Brain Injury

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On December 4th I fell on the ice and suffered my second concussion in 9 months. If I had known all that would lie ahead of me in recovery I would have despaired. What lie ahead for me were months of severe headache, dizziness, sleep problems (worse) than usual, ill temper, an argument with a best friend that separated us for an entire month and never should have happened, depression, agitation and sometimes despair.

There were also wonderful moments as I applied paint to canvas to discipline my brain and get it working in a coordinated, concentrated, focused effort again. The photo on the left called, “The Spirit and The Bride Say Come” is pretty, but lacks the detail of the painting to the right ~ “Purple Passion Flowers” for same best friend, was completed this weekend ~ one and one half month later in the process.

Right now I am coming off the headache prevention pills that kept me sane. I had to wait 6 weeks to get on them. It took that long to see a concussion specialist. And it took another two weeks for them to work. The two months they worked were wonderful, now I’m weaning off of them, no longer needed and going through the usual depression and agitation that occurs when I go off any medication that has affected my brain.

I didn’t write about this experience much. I wrote one blog about my painting, found on the Amused Now Entertainment Blog. It was very difficult to write when I did that. Now the words are flowing again. I thank God for my recovery. It was really quick. It may not sound like it. But for two concussions in the span of nine months, the first one with a brain bleed. I am a very fortunate gal.

How did it mix with bipolar? As you might imagine, not well. LOL. Brain injuries bring with them mood swings. Crabbiness. Temper. Anxiety. Depression. Sleeping too much. Sleeping too little. Poor sleep. Trouble sleeping. These are the symptoms I remember most. My short-term memory was affected. I was very sensitive to light and sound. My nerves were on edge. Not real compatible with bipolar disorder. I was a crabby manic, depressed person some days and just crabby the others. My husband needs a vacation!

The painting helped so much. I thank God for helping me to paint. There were some nights I felt He was holding the brush! I would smile, dance, cry, feel loved as I painted the early Bride of Christ Bouquet paintings which I call the style of the painting on the left. Now I am painting more floral, flowers in pots. Every painter goes through stages with their art. I love to paint and it brings me great joy. I pray when I paint. I pray for the person who will eventually get the painting, that they will be blessed by in and their whole household. I praise God when I paint.

As it says in the blog for Amused Now, “When I paint I feel His pleasure”:

Both times I got my concussions falling on the ice under the snow. Once on February 22, 2013 and once on December 4, 2014. So be careful out there folks. And if you do hit your head, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, please see a doctor immediately. The second time I didn’t even get a bump, and I had a brain injury. Thank you for listening. Enjoy and take care!

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Not a Good Idea: Falling on Your Head

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“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis 

I didn’t have depression yet in this photograph.

I was tired. We had traveled up north to see our Uncle Rog for his 98th birthday. I had a mild headache which was a common aftermath of my fall the end of February. I had overcome the terrible dizziness for the most part. It plagued me a bit on the car ride but I was happy once my feet hit unmovable earth once more. It was great to see Uncle Rog, the family and my dear daughter Abby for a weekend. It was later, the next week, that the depression started. It was really bad today.

I could hardly work.

I have a calling job through my business. I set appointments for a nice sales rep out of my home. I don’t want to disappoint him. But I could hardly dial today. I hope tomorrow is better, or rather today. I have stayed up until tomorrow!

I was researching brain injuries online. I sustained one the end of February by falling and hitting my head on the ice. They don’t seem to be too compatible with two of the things that can plague me: migraines and bipolar disorder.

Well the migraines I’ve gotten used to.

Pain I can bear to an extent.

Depression I don’t care for one bit. I will resist it fiercely and am going to. I see my psychiatrist tomorrow and we will come up with an answer. I will not live in a depression for long. I will find a way out. For depression is a nasty, gripping, vise that sucks the life and luster out of life and leaves it colorless, hopeless and unbearable.

I will fight this depression with my will, my doctor’s wisdom and medicine, my faith, the Lord’s love and everything in the arsenal of anti, go-away bipolar disorder I won’t let you win, living above the madness, energy I can muster.

I cannot let the defeatist, “You are worthless” depressive thinking occupy my mind another day and will fight with all that I have in me and at my disposal to get it to stop!

And I ask for your thoughts and prayers as this battle wages. For there are only two ways out of depression and I choose Life!

Thanks, love you, Libby xxxxoo!