I know, I know, I’ve let too much time pass between blog posts, but life has been in a swirl of randomness and it’s hard to grab onto something solid to talk about. Not to worry, I remain very stable and have made it through the spring without even a hint of hypomania. But the generalized weirdness is not conducive to good writing, so please excuse me if this post is a bit odd.
I’ve been to see Dr. Young twice since my last entry, and I not only got the expected diagnosis of bipolar 1 (again), she also diagnosed me with anxiety. As a separate issue. After all these years of it being wrapped up in my BP, someone has finally taken it seriously. It doesn’t change anything, I’m still on the same meds, but now it’s real and we talk about it and I feel vindicated.
Dr. Y is also taking my complaints about memory loss to a whole new level. She gave me a test that shows I have mild cognitive impairment, and she’s sending me to a neuropsychologist for further evaluation. It’ll be awhile because they’re scheduling at least six months out., but just the fact that I’m going to find out what I’m dealing with—either bipolar brain-fade or dementia, or maybe a combination of the two—helps a lot.
It could also help me stay on disability if I’m reviewed within the next year or two; I wouldn’t mind trying to work a little just to get out of the house, but my anxiety and forgetfulness make it nearly impossible. I can’t memorize things anymore, which is the main reason I lost that last job in 2014, so anything with multi-line phones or complex computer programs is out. On top of that, I can’t stand or walk more than a few minutes at a time, and that effectively limits any kind of physical labor like being a gas jockey or a flagger for road construction.
It has, of course, occurred to me that I’m 62 and thus eligible for regular Social Security. It wouldn’t be near the amount that I’d get if I worked till age 70, but that’s not going to happen anyway. I just wonder if the amount I get now from SSDI would go down if I had to switch. I’m making it on my current payments, but that’s with me living with Ben and his family. I’d never survive on my own. Rents for a studio apartment in my area run about $900 or more a month; that’s close to 3/4 of my check. Then of course there’s the matter of keeping the lights and the heat and the water on, and forget Internet and TV, both of which I do NOT do well without. A car? Not gonna happen. Forget about eating too: I make too much to qualify for food stamps. So living alone isn’t even an option.
But I don’t feel sorry for myself. Even with all the stress going on in the household, even with so many unfulfilled wishes, I like my life. I can stay up and sleep in as late as I want (although I HAVE to be up by 1 PM so I can watch Days of Our Lives), I can eat what I want, I can talk to my kids almost anytime I want. I get to go on cruises. This year I get to go to Mexico. And it’s never boring around here!