Monday, November 24, 2008


The past couple of weeks have been overwhelming, but I suppose positive in a way. Red and I have both been diagnosed. His diagnosis has been long-anticipated, as he's been ill for nearly two years now. Mine was quite unexpected. Both are life-long.

Red has been diagnosed with IBS. It took quite a while for our doctors to finally come to that conclusion, one, because IBS is a diagnosis reached through exclusion of all other possibilities, and two, because Red's IBS is so severe that the doctors had a hard time believing that it actually was IBS. I've of course heard of IBS before, and have known a few people who have it, but I've never known that it could be so debilitating. We've spent many an evening over the past few years in the emergency room, and have had many frightening moments when we feared that the symptoms he was having could actually kill him. This illness doesn't just make our sex/spanking life extremely difficult, it makes just living and functioning day-to-day difficult.

As for me, I've been diagnosed as bipolar. I can't say that I'm entirely surprised, as I've been in therapy on and off since I was about twelve-years-old. My psychiatrists have all kind of touched on the idea that I might be bipolar, but for whatever reason have all rejected it. However, no one has ever come to a diagnosis either. I spoke to a psychologist on Thursday after having a meltdown that morning. Red and I decided that I had to see someone immediately, and found someone to fit me in. She, after reviewing the forms I filled out and speaking to me for about an hour, told me that she thinks that I have the "mild" form of bipolar (meaning that I don't have psychotic breaks, just dramatic mood swings). I see the psychiatrist this afternoon to find out what kind of medication he wants to put me on.

I've kind of been feeling in limbo for the past few days. At first, it seemed like a relief to have a diagnosis, a reason for why I feel the way that I do. But then it sunk in that this is a life-long condition, and a thing to be dealt with. I wonder if I'll ever feel normal again. I am hoping that whatever treatment the doctor chooses will help me to be able to be the person who I perceive myself to be underneath all of my irrationalities and idiosyncrasies. On the other hand, I hate the idea that my ability to cope with and interact with the world around me will depend on a pill.

I also hope that I'll have some more fun stuff to post about soon. It's been nothing but gloom at our house lately. Maybe I'll go wake Red up with a shot in the ear from my squirt gun. (Just kidding!)


Jigsaw Analogy said...

the point of a diagnosis, in my opinion, is that it gives you a place to start figuring out the best ways to solve the problem. it doesn't define the person, and the diagnosis is less important than who the person is.

so while it's probably hard to grapple with, there's the advantage that if you get the correct diagnosis, you should be seeing some relief in the near future, and that's good.

good luck with it, and i hope that both you and red are feeling much better in short order.

Hermione said...

Rose, I agree with J A. At least you have a starting point for both of you. I also would think that it's a relief for both of you to know what it is that's doing this to each of you. And the conditions are treatable. that is cause for rejoicing!

As for normal--what's that? Everyone has one thing or another going on in their lives, bodies, relationships, minds, whatever, that is not ideal. We all cope as best we can.

I struggled for years with a family member's behaviour. Once I discovered the internet and started investigating, I came up with a diagnosis that fit the symptoms. I'm not a doctor but am pretty sure I'm right. The knowledge I have gained about this person's condition makes it more tolerable for me.

All the best to both of you. Stay strong!


Anonymous said...

Rose, a Merry Chrsitmas and Happy Hanukah to you and Red!

And, btw, you have HAD a condition, and now it is identified and can be treated! Hope you are doing well!

All my best, Sara