Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good News Never Hurts

The video - it just puts me in good spirits to see an old guy up there with his grandson, still making music.  In fact, the existence of Pete Seeger cheers me up.

I thought you'd like to know the followup to my last post.  If you're new to this blog, maybe you should scroll down and read that first.

Okay, welcome back.

Not long after I put up the previous post, the Good Doctor did call.  I call him a Good Doctor because -
(a) he did call, and
(b) he started by explaining why it took him this long to call and apologizing.  A doctor who apologizes for your wait.  On Facebook, I'd punctuate that like this.
Here are the notes I typed into my computer as we talked, though it hurts my poor cervical spine (neck) to do things like that.  I need to have Tom find that clunky shoulder rest I used to have on the phone, when I used a landline more.  You can be sure he will have saved it, and be able to stick his hand into a heap and pull it out.  That's the difference between us.  Two differences, actually.
1.  I occasionally throw something out or donate it.
2.  What I didn't get rid of, I can't find.
So, my notes:
he began with apologizing for taking so long, and explaining that he’d been trying to get hold of the radiologist, and finally did
neck pain is from narrowing of neck, like stenosis
there may be some leakage of spinal fluid around T8, but it would cause headaches standing that go away when you lie down (so be aware if that begins).  Or it could be a glitch with the test.  (Idiots would not strap me down, and I moved a couple of times just a little. Plus, do I ever really get still?)
B12 normal
TSA a bit elevated, but thyroid fine
so go ahead and schedule the PT, and they will tell me what I need to use to walk safely
I had a stunning release of anxiety, and did the hokey pokey, holding on to things.
Thus you can see I am downright optimistic, though that is probably temporary.  Still, it is an upside to bipolar disorder that we delightful, fun, creative people need to remember when we don't feel fun or creative, and perhaps are not acting as delightful as usual:  our moods change.  Everything does.

You know, a great many American women describe themselves as depressed.  My crazy friends and I agree, people who have never been disabled by depression have no idea how bad it can be.  My Buddhist friends and I suspect that most of what passes for chronic depression is actually the dissatisfaction that comes with human life, especially in developed countries today, where people have too much time to think:  the craving to Be Somebody you're not, to have More Love than you're getting from your kids, your family, the opposite sex, your boss, etc; to not age, and certainly not die.  And there are the miscellaneous delusions, such as the well-established belief that wine really isn't alcohol because it's made from a plant.  (I had to tell the woman who told me that, so is vodka.  So is bourbon.  Etc. Somehow, we don't get together anymore.)

But life does have its rough spots, and sickness, aging, and death are big ones.  Next thing you know, you're learning to meditate lying on your back in bed with a tiny heated pillow under your neck.  I may well be the world's foremost Zen expert in that particular unconventional posture. 


  1. I'm often suspicious of the same---"that most of what passes for chronic depression is actually the dissatisfaction that comes with human life"---even of myself, and even though I've received the official diagnostic stamp "Major Depressive Disorder" from more than one psychologist/psychiatrist. But that "suspicion" also helps me keep questioning---just as you do, just as the people I respect do---the "true nature" of things. I appreciate your forthrightness!

    1. Thank you, Chris. Sitting has made me more aware of the thoughts that may come whispering in when something upsets me, or I'm tired - even when I'm just "blah," which does happen naturally, I think. I was trained as a child in advanced self-blame, and maybe I want to always feel good, as in great. I wonder to what extent that's a woman thing? we are the ones taught to smile and be likable.

  2. Love the way you express yourself....."the existence of Pete Seeger cheers me up." I feel the same way. Love the video and your thoughts. Half a lifetime of depression, the other half climbing out of it with the help of AA and professionals, your words ring true. Can't remember how I'm supposed to publish this so it's coming through as anonymous. - Lee

    1. Hi Lee - How nice to hear from you.
      A woman in my Unitarian church, who is now 95, I believe, entertained Pete Seeger in her home when she lived out west a long long time ago. That thrilled me just to know it.
      And we were able to see him in concert here in a relatively intimate theater, and all sing Guantanamero heartfelt, the (Democratic) Governor included.