How a Nurse Practitioner Living With Bipolar Disorder Takes Control In the Workplace

An interesting article on what it’s like to be a health practitioner with a mental illness.

Source: How a Nurse Practitioner Living With Bipolar Disorder Takes Control In the Workplace


The joys of toilet training and other tales of poo

To be honest, this post is probably more the tale of other poo in my life.  But we’re currently going through the joys of toilet training with Rose.  She’s been semi interested in toilet training since her first birthday, but we’ve never pushed her, figuring she’ll make it quite clear when she’s ready.  She’s really good at making her opinions quite clear!

So we’ve reached the stage of her showing more interest.  Unfortunately this has meant that she likes to take her nappy off at random times.  Our most recent “fun” was when I made the mistake of leaving the room for her few minutes under Sammie’s not-quite-so-watchful eye, only to have Sammie come and inform that Rose had decided she wanted to “go poo poo” and promptly took her nappy off and proceeded to go poo poo on the floor while Sammie watched.

The only thing stopping me from going crazy (more crazy? completely crazy?) is knowing toilet training does make for some amusing stories to share.  Now if we could only get the smell out of the carpet….

As for the other poo in my life, it’s more the metaphorical kind of poo.  Part of the reason I haven’t posted in some time is because I’ve just had so much poo going on in my life.

I’ve been battling Centrelink making mistake after mistake after mistake so currently been left with no payments and no healthcare card which means have only been taking the extremely essential medications out of the many I take (non essential = things that help with pain, essential = need to take to stay alive).  Thankfully we’ve finally reached the PBS threshold for the year as of yesterday so my medications are back down to $6.10 instead of $37.70 (except the ones that PBS doesn’t cover so they stay $60 for 28 days worth unfortunately).  So at least now I’m back to taking everything, but it was a rough 6 weeks without them, including gaining 8kg from stopping my diabetes medication.  If I’d known that was going to happen, I’d have put the diabetes med in the “essential” category rather than the “non essential”.  But as they say… hindsight is 20-20.

I’ve been for a job interview which the highlight was having a nasty fall on the way so turning up with a sprained knee, sprained ankle, and  skin off my other knee and hand – and then having carpal tunnel surgery the next day with a skinned hand and sprained wrist.  Thankfully it was only one layer of skin off my hand and the sprain was only mild as I really didn’t want to postpone the operation.

Job interview went okay, but still haven’t heard back two weeks later.  Personally I don’t think that’s a good sign, but at this stage I’m not too worried.  It’s not my dream job, it’s just a job that would be interesting, but probably only my second preference in nursing speciality to work in.   Been applying for jobs, but this close to christmas, there really isn’t much going and to be honest, I just want to be able to go see my family and friends for Christmas instead of John and the girls going without me and being alone for Christmas to stay here and work, so quite happy if I don’t get a job for another month – but after that I’m super keen to return to working as quite simply, as rough as working is on my physical health, mentally I’m just not cut out to be at home full time. I love doing part time work and part time at home with Rose (and I haven’t given up on the idea of more munchkins), but I don’t like being at home full time, but at the same time I do enjoy very much being at home with Rose part time.  Plus, being part time stay at home mum, part time worker means that Rose gets all the benefits of part time childcare which she absolutely loves her time at “Cool”  (she hasn’t quite grasped being able to say the “sc” sound yet so she says “cool” instead of “school”).

Some of the other poo is that, while Rose loves going to “school”, Sammie has decided she doesn’t want to go to school anymore, so every school day is a battle.  I know school has never been really fun for her since starting high school.  She has had so much bullying because of her ASD and ADHD and simply for being “different”.  But she was coping until the horrible “poo” her biofather did two months ago that has sadly affected Sammie deeply.

That however is a story for another day.  Probably because it would take a day to explain the full story, and even though my blog is relatively anonymous, I’m still not sure I feel safe from exhusband to share the most recent poo he has put Sammie and I through.  Short version though is that it has involved going to see lawyers and police and unfortunately without a lot of money, lawyers can’t do much to help stop the abuse and threats and defamation, and the police claim that since I let the last domestic violence order lapse, he has to do something “serious” (whatever that means) before they can take actions.  Simply making vague threats and being verbally abusive isn’t enough for the police to take action sadly.

Quite frankly, I don’t care for my sake.  Nothing he says or does (or has other people say or do for him) bothers me for my sake.  But I do worry what he might do to the girls if we saw him face to face, and I am very worried about the emotional damage he is continuing to do to Sammie with his selfish, abusive behaviour.

But as I said, that is all a story for another day, if I decide to share it in detail.  All I can do for now is keep reassuring Sammie that John and I and Rose love her very much, and keep taking her to appointments to talk about it with a psychologist (with or without John or I there, depending on whatever Sammie feels like that day) and pray that she finds peace from the hurt her father has done to her.

Beyond that… things are travelling well for me personally.  I worry about Sammie and what she is going through with her biofather,  I worry about John who is still struggling with his anxiety and depression and the impact it is having on getting to work, but other than normal levels of worry under the circumstances, I don’t feel depressed about it.  Obviously I’m not overjoyed about how stressful things are at the moment with Sammie and John and finances too, but it’s not affecting my mental health.

I wish I could say the same about my physical health though lol.  My carpal tunnel surgery seemed to go well initially. The first week was great, I only needed painkillers for 24 hours (and I think Rose trying to rip out my cannula before I left hospital hurt more than my hand did).  But now, two and a half weeks later, it’s hurting more than it did one week ago and way more than two weeks ago. I hope it’s just normal pain.  I will give it at least another week or two and see.

But unfortunately the side effects of a general anaesthetic for me is inevitably getting either a sinus, chest or throat infection as having a breathing tube doesn’t agree with me.  This time the effect of Rose giving me viral pharyngitis either just before the surgery or just after, has meant the combined effect of the breathing tube and viral infection leaving me run down, has left me with a bacterial sinus infection and tonsillitis.  Today is the first day in a week and a half where I’ve felt remotely human.   The scary part was coughing up blood for two days, but my GP confirmed what I already suspected – that it was actually blood from a nose bleed that I was coughing up, not from my chest, which means nothing to worry about.

I can even talk without too much pain now 🙂

Despite everything… still getting over the ankle sprain, the pain in my hand/wrist from the surgery, my throat feeling like I ate barbed wire and the usual fun of all the chronic things (and not taking half my meds for a month or more), as well as the consequences of a sudden burst of weight gain, and all the stressors I have happening with John and Sammie and looking for work and idiotic comments from “friends” who think jobs are easy to get, even for people with obvious physical disabilities…. despite all that, I think I’m doing pretty well.  I’m coping well, and I’m actually looking forward to Christmas.

Now if I can find a way to help John and Sammie feel better and find a job that I can do with my health the way it is, and of course, convince Rose that there is more to toilet training than just taking off her nappy and going poo poo on the spot…. then we might actually finish the year on a really good note.

Lack of services does not cause child abuse

My readers feel free to check out my thoughts on this article in the comment section of the original. It raises an issue very close to my heart as Sammie’s biofather used her autism as an excuse for his abuse of her. It’s not okay, or even excusable, to blame a person’s disability for abusing them. It’s sickening – it’s worse than abusing a non-disabled person because a disabled person is already vulnerable enough without so called “loved ones” abusing them as well.

Abuse is not okay, it’s never okay, it’s not excusable, and abusing someone with a disability because of their disability is the lowest of the low.

Michelle Sutton

This post carries a trigger warning for discussion about abuse of disabled children and people sympathising with their abusers.

Apparently lots of people think it is ok to feel sorry for people who abuse their Autistic children because there is a “lack of services” available.

Let me be clear: I wholeheartedly disagree.

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