Put To The Test

Well, it looks like I’m going to find out soon just what this remission is made of. I’m going out on survey Monday and the team may go in as early as 6 AM to a facility that’s 75 miles from where I live, and I have to stop and pick up a car from the state motor pool on the way. That’s going to mean getting up in the middle of the night. And as we all know, a bpnurse deprived of sleep and forced to run on caffeine and pure adrenaline tends to not do well.

The upside to this is that it’s only one day; the rest of the time we’ll go in at a reasonably decent 8 or 9 AM. I’m not looking forward to driving through rush-hour traffic twice a day, and I’m definitely not thrilled with the fact that I won’t see much of Will next week—it’ll be “Hi hon, gotta head for bed, love you, good-night!” But this is, after all, what I signed on for, and it’s not going to be like that every week…..sometimes, we’ll go to facilities that are close to where I live and work, or we’ll go to some location that’s far enough away that we can at least stay in a hotel.

This is one tough job. I had no idea of what I was getting into when I said I’d take it. But you know, even with all its attendant risks, I still want to do this. Not just because I want to be an advocate for better care in nursing homes, but because it’s hard and I want to succeed at something hard. After two years of believing my best years were behind me and that my illness would limit me substantially for the rest of my life, I want to challenge those assumptions…..and if I fall on my face, it won’t be for lack of trying to rise above them.

Although I must admit, I am having a bit of trouble wrapping my mind around the cognitive dissonance involved in living in a society which trusts me with a government credit card (not to mention the welfare of its vulnerable elderly), but won’t let me sit on a jury because I have bipolar disorder. Now how weird is THAT??!

I remember saying awhile back that I have to live a double life of sorts in order to have a ‘normal’ one; I look around the office every so often and smile, basking in the presence of several dozen people who know absolutely NOTHING about me. They don’t know that I have to take 15 pills a day in order to present a professional demeanor and not leap onto my desk ranting and raving about having to join a union that supports causes I disagree with. They don’t know that I’m horrible to deal with when I’m manic and basically useless when I’m depressed. They don’t know that I’m terrified of what may happen if my routine gets too screwed up and I don’t recognize the subtle shifts that herald a major mood swing. 

The good Lord willing and the meds hold out, they never will. My recovery continues to go well, and though I’m (understandably) a little anxious about all of this, I feel I’m in control, and I know that I have to reach out sooner rather than later if things begin to go sideways. That’s why I have Dr. A in my Favorites list on my iPhone contacts list…..help is literally only a tap away. 🙂   



Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

5 thoughts on “Put To The Test

  1. You could get a drs note that says something that will enable you to stay in a hotel if you have to be there by a certain hour w/ certain mileage couldn’t you (ie Monday’s trek)? that is a lot to ask of an earth person never mind us. 😦


    1. The absolute LAST thing I want to do is ask for an accommodation, especially this early in the game. As it happens, I *won’t* have to be there at 0600 after all, we’re entering at 0900 which means I’ll still need to be up by 0530. I can do that, I’ll just need to adjust my bedtime during the week. I think I’ll be OK as long as I get a good solid 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep each night. People manage this……many of the other surveyors are as old or even older than I am, and they do just fine. 🙂


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