Why don't people drink chicken broth instead of tea or coffee! I'll tell you why. It's not an acquired taste. And I'll never drink another cup again.
I had some left over from my fish chowder. This beautiful thin cup, 20 yrs old, as yet undiscolored, was given to me by Sue Abernethy. Yonder plant there was given to me by Judy Diaz and said to me this morning: Call Judy and tell her a memoir came out about film critic Roger Ebert. We've had lots of discussions about his face: it was ruined by delay in getting help, three cancers, and a controversial alternative cancer treatment that may in fact have helped spread the cancer, accdg to his memoir.
Here's Sarah's account of her half-marathon run.
And here's my Hair Salon article from Patch.com, Upper Moreland edition. The shop's owner was 7 when her father engineered a daring escape from Laos.
The big news is that at our Tuesday nite support group meeting, one of our potential funders made a surprise visit! She has been supremely generous in the past but that is no guarantee she'll give to us again.
We had a good crowd, 40 or more. At the beginning of the meeting I stand near the Greeter and say hello to everyone. I recognized Laura immediately. She looked beautiful. I asked about her four children, who have now left home and are all over the country. Her mom is in the same nursing home as Ada's mom.
They have lots of bipolar disorder in their family.
At group, there were a few people I'd never met so I always go around the circle and introduce myself, ask how they heard of us, how they're doing now. Lots of referrals from Horsham Clinic.
Gail Reichman, PhD, was our guest speaker. It was an interactive presentation that really got the group talking. Here are some of the things we discussed:
- To "302" or not (involuntary commitment)
- Fear of antidepressant "tiring out"
- Weight gain due to meds
- Importance of psychotherapy
- Best treatment options - should ECT be a choice? (electroconvulsive therapy) - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't
- Some people can successfully go off meds. Ada said she'd stopped taking her Effexor with no problem at all. It was a very very slow titration. Gail opined that certain medications may have a curative effect. I also thought that about my lithium....that while it was curing me it was also killing me.
Gail and her colleagues are writing a book on bipolar. She'll use our responses in her book, which she is dedicating to her late parents and her older brother, all Holocaust Survivors, who were sent to Siberia and saw unbelievable atrocities. Her brother tried to kill himself there, but was stopped.
They all suffered PTSD when they came to the US but were misdiagnosed as having depression or bipolar d/o, so nothing worked on them.
Each person in the world, I imagine, carries around horror stories in a special pocket in our brains. You don't have to look far. What about Troy Davis, an innocent man, executed in Georgia. And our Supreme Court - the vaunted Supreme Court of our Land - refused to save this innocent man from a lethal injection.
What is going on in this country?
Some day historians will look back and see the transforming of America from Reagan onwards, getting worse and worse.
Scott and I watched The Manchurian Candidate yesterday, a chilling prophecy of a totalitarian America that always threatens to come, also in the Philip Roth book where Nazi-sympathizer Charles Lindbergh becomes president.
B/c New Directions donates to the Brain & Behavioral Foundation in White Plains, NY - our last donation was in honor of our guest speaker Dr John O'Reardon of the Depression Treatment-Resistant Unit at Penn - I received their quarterly mag in the mail.
I read every word. Amazing that this stuff still interests me.
So, this one research dude, an MD, is talking about psychotic depression. This is not bipolar disorder where people get psychotic, but depression. Mostly the psychosis revolves around financial worries - I'm gonna go bankrupt, the IRS is after me, I'll lose my home, I'll become homeless.
My friend "Sally," who is now my age, suffered a psychotic depression for nearly two years when she was 28. She was not given the right meds.
Suddenly I realized that a youngish guy in our group who has just bought his first home also has the same diagnosis. He was given two antidepressants w/o an antipsychotic which only made his condition worse.
Here's what Dr Rothschild (please pass the 1879 champagne du foie) has to say:
Two treatments are recommended....an antipsychotic medication combined w/an antidepressant OR electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Most of the time, the only treatment administered is an antidepressant which studies show is ineffective.
So our poor guy suffered the better part of a year. He went to Horsham Partial where his meds were changed and he was advised to get ECT. That says a lot about Horsham, I think, and our guy is back to work.
I know, I know, you're probly wondering what I had for lunch. I was coming home and decided to stop at Weinrich's Bakery. I needed a jelly doughnut, which surprisingly, has only 32 carbs (I'm allowed up to 45 per meal).
Plus I got a cup of decaf which is why my hands are a little shaky.
I sipped that coffee thru a straw (Hedy the barista's idea) and since I haven't had any in months, it tasted so good. It had a bitter taste that I really enjoyed. And it was hot.
Hey, since I'm reading a memoir by the CEO of Starbucks, he's given me a lot of business ideas for New Directions. I added two new pages on our website - on the top line you can view Compass Online and KaleidOscope Online (poetry).
In no time I expect more hits than Starbucks gets.
Although I'm not a materialistic person, I decided it's important to have a nice fall wardrobe.
Bob, I said, upon presenting myself at Vintage Thrift on Davisville Road, you have the honor of being in charge of my Fall wardrobe.
He bowed humbly.
I found three things there: a pair of jeans that fit (almost impossible), an electric GE clock I bargained down from $1 to 50 cents b/c it had a crack in it, and a skirt I've lost sight of.
After that, I said to myself, Where is the nearest nice store that is not Chico's, I can't stand that phony woman Linda who waited on me last time.
Well, at Steinmart's no one waits on you. It's a terrible place to shop. There are no aisles. All's you do is keep bumping into more and more expensive clothes.
I managed to get two Jones of New York tops I really like for $15 apiece (Uncle Donny used to work at Jones until he died of esophogeal cancer from smoking too many menthol cigs) and a lovely striped top with pockettes!
Went into my Poetry Room and pulled out the following poems:
TWO POEMS UPON CONFRONTING MY MORTAL FORM IN THE DRESSING ROOM MIRROR
I collect and sling over my shoulders
seen lovely items to try on
in the dressing room.
Removing myself from the light
I enter the cell with its stiff curtains
I slide back and then array my
clothes on the white bench.
Curtains drawn, I am left alone
in this tiny dark room, taking off
my clothes and confronting the difficulty
of glimpsing my mortal body in
Clothes that frolicked with delight on
the hangers outside
that dazzled me with their pink orange glow
are now draped across my aging mortal body
looking more like sacks than dresses.
Is this how we’re supposed to apear before the world?
The pain will lessen when we bring them home
to our own familiar bedroom mirror
whose age spots and distance
make us look whole again.
I have selected seven possible items to drape my
body with, skirts and blouses, a pair of shoes
and have lined them up on the dressing room bench.
Closing the curtains, I begin the slow undress.
My eyes stay close to the floor
as if I have entered a stranger’s chambers
shyly, I try not to look up
in the mirror
at what has been consigned to me
as my changling mortal form.