The Survivals of Jewels

Learning to thrive through sharing my true stories, healing through God, healing through crafts, helping others, and helping others gain better health. Please note, names have been changed for protection.

Lithium Trials June 12, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 8:00 am
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Awhile back, I was prescribed Lithium by my primary physician until I could get on with a psychiatrist to prescribe them. If you have been through this battle, it’s a big one. It can take months to see someone. Well, two weeks into taking it, I began hitting curbs while driving and lost my ability to do many things cognitively. I’m still having troubles at times. But am feeling much better than before. My brother took me to the emergency room and I was dealt with by the Washington County Crisis Team. They got me off the med and redid things. Even they could see that I was very affected by the Lithium. They put me on Clonazepam, Latuda, and Seroquel. While on the Lithium, my hallucinations got bad. They died down a bit on those meds, but I was a zombie half the day and had a hard time waking up. I finally got in to see my regular guy and he has me on a different regimen. Clonazepam, Doxy-something for PTSD, and Saphris. He also re-diagnosed me. I am not just Bipolar, I’m Schizo-affective, bipolar type and PTSD. These meds seem to help but not comepletely. I can;t wait to see him again.

If you have been through similar trials, please know that you are not alone.

 

Def Leppard is Helping Me Heal May 2, 2013

Filed under: Surviving the Different Abuse — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 8:00 am
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When I was 12 years old, I discovered Def Leppard. I began listening to Pyromania and thinking, “if only I could scream like that and feel better”. I never tried til recently at group therapy and man was it a relief. So, Def Leppard became a large part of my life. When Hysteria came out, there were tons of songs that hit the top ten and they consistently stayed on the MTV top 20 videos for several weeks. Song after song and video after video, they rose. The music was great, but the one song that stood out and meant the most to me was Gods of War. In college I wrote an essay explaining line by line of the song and what it meant to me, as that was the assignment. I discovered why the song meant so much. If you know me, you know ma or have read anything on the abuse I have been through, allow me to share the lyrics and try to view them from “the abused” point of view. (This is the lyrics without the repeated chorus lines)

Feelin’ like it’s all over
Feelin’ like there’s no love
Feelin’ like it’s not easy
Breathin’ life in the dust

On a countdown to zero
Take a ride on the nightmare machine
There ain’t gonna be heroes
There ain’t gonna be anythin’

Here it comes here comes the night
Here it comes hell in the night
Here it comes here comes the night
(When we all fall down)

When we walk into silence
When we shadow the sun
When we surrender to violence
Then the damage is done
(Put away that gun)

I don’t want to be there
I don’t wanna be anywhere

We’re fightin’ for the gods of war
But what the hell we fightin’ for
Yeah fightin’ with the gods of war

But I’m a rebel,
And I ain’t gonna fight no more!
No way!

Heavy!

Makes sense doesn’t it? Being “the abused” makes you constantly feel like giving up and ending everything, only to be stuck back in the thought of “things will get better, I won’t surrender by committing violence to myself ans stooping to his level.” Then I received the Mirror Ball 2 CD set and heard one of the last songs on disc two and discovered the perfect song to define me today. As you know I am determined to heal and no longer allow my past to define me. The song, Undefeated. These lyrics (again, cutting the repeated chorus) are a bit longer, but pay attention, Def Leppard gave me strength. And I am surrounding myself with as much strength as I can, God, people, family, and yes, music. Thank You Def Leppard!!!

Look in these eyes
These eyes don’t lie
And they say that if you don’t blink
Then you don’t die

Now feel this heart, it beats so tough
And if you ever gonna doubt my faith
Then I’ll call your bluff
‘Cause you ain’t that tough

The lies in your eyes can’t defeat me
I ain’t ever going down
I was down on my knees completely
And you will never take my crown

But I rise from my feet
You can’t beat me
Oh, and that’s why I gotta stay
And that’s why I gotta say

I’m undefeated
And standing tall
I don’t want to be the loser
When the winner takes it all

I’m undefeated
I got this scar
I will wash this blood away
Live to fight another day

I feel your pain, I hear your words
But there ain’t nothing
You can say to me
I ain’t already heard

These cuts run deep
Close to the bone
But I gotta keep getting up
‘Cause I been down so long
So let’s get it on

I walk through the fire
With the flames on my skin
I wanna be the last man standing
I’ll never surrender, I’ll never give in
I just got to win

It’s stand or fall
You can laugh and walk around me
With my back against the wall

I’m undefeated
I got the prize
If you got the will to win
You got to take it on the chin

 

The pictures above are a portion of my Lep collection. From original posters and prints from the mid 80’s, to the autographs, pics and personal photos of certain members of the band. Yep, during the Adrenalize tour, I met two members. All are original.

I survived abuse and you can too. Please know that you are not alone!!!

 

Healing Through Independence (Finding a Way, No Matter What it Takes) March 6, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health,Surviving the Different Abuse — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 8:00 am
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Over the years, I have spent various times between relationships where I was single, but never living on my own. I was 36 before I was taking care of myself wholly. I don’t know if it’s fear of being alone or fear of not being able to financially support myself and son. It was probably both. I have been made to feel, my whole life, that I won’t amount to anything. I’ve been put down in more ways than can be counted. So, the only way to become something, is to prove everyone wrong.

This last time I escaped a bad relationship was the hardest. I had decided to move out and was afraid at the same time as I had nowhere to go. I had to figure out how to find a place on my own and how to set and make the bills. Despite my thought that it could not be done, I pulled through. I found a place at the last minute and worked my tail off getting extra hours at work to make the bills. We didn’t have much and our cupboards were empty a lot of the time, but we were free and independent. It was just me supporting my son and I. I was making my own rules, decorating the way I wanted to and buying what I want when I want/can. It was very empowering. Yes, I was lonely at times, but over time, that disappeared. I became happy just being me.

This empowerment has given me the power to heal. I have the time and ability now to analyze every thought and feeling. I always ask myself why I feel or think something. Then when I get down, I remind myself that I did it! I conquered my fears and everything everyone ever said about me. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it has been very tough at times, but I’ve always pulled through.

I have found many ways of making money just to make ends meet and save for a better tomorrow at the same time. I’ve babysit, coupon clipped, double coupon shopped, pulled 80 hour work weeks, sold crafts, sold stuff on ebay and many more ways. There is always a way. Some have worked out and some haven’t but when one ends, another starts up.

There are two songs from not too many years ago that say it all when combined. Both from Destiny’s Child, Survivor and Independent Women. Knowing that you did it, you made it out and safe and thrive everyday on your own is a great healing. If you haven’t done it yet, get out, be yourself and take care of yourself no matter what it takes. You are not alone. Us freedom fighters do exist. Message me if you need, I will help you through. You can do it too!

 

Pacemaker Mishaps February 24, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Death and Physical Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 1:58 am
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After the temporary pacemaker sta inside me for a few days, they decided to put a permanent pacemaker in me. Before they placed the first one in me, I remember them getting me to sign a paper saying I was going to try something. I had no idea what was going on as I was completely out of it, but signed. After the pacemaker was placed in me, it was described what I signed. To me this was wrong to do to me. But whatever. They placed a pacemaker and leads in me but the signature was for the gel put on the leads to promote quicker adjustment and healing. That all went well and I have never had any trouble with the leads.

However, a few years later, I began passing out while driving past certain areas with large satelite dishes and such. Then I started feeling very weak when there were lightening storms. And here’s a funny one. On my mother’s microwave, not any other, I would have to hit start and run because my chest would start feeling like I had bees in it and I would get weak. It was too weird. In 2000, I went in for my usual pacemaker check up and everything was fine, just a few adjustments. The doctor was an hour away. When we got home, there was a message on the machine from the doctor. I called them and they said I need to get back up there fast as the pacemaker in me had been recalled. WHAT THE HECK?! I thought. So of course I went back up and I went into surgery and the pacemaker, not the leads were replaced.

While on Guam, I tried to find a doctor to do a pacemaker check up on me and could not find one. Upon calling around, they said that my type of pacemaker required a specific machine that was not available on Guam. I started asking what would happen if mine was dying. They proceeded to tell me to call 911 and they would keep me going on paddles until I get to the operating room wherein they would put in a stent. They would then medi-vac me out to the states to get a new pacemaker that Guam was able to upkeep. This was madness to me. Moving back to the states is actually what I ended up doing.

In 2007, Matt was about to quit his job which meant he would lose the insurance on me. So we consulted the doctor. He said that since we were within 6 months of it needing to be changed and the fact that I am pacemaker dependant, that the insurance company should approve me for an early chang out. So I went in again for surgery and they replaced the pacemaker again. This one should technically last until the beginning of 2015. The pacemaker was placed in a more shallow place. As I was bent over cleaning the tub one day, I felt the pacemaker move. It actually turned sideways in my chest. I saw the doctor and he said it is doing just fine. Today, it bothers me sometimes if I have to bend over or reach up high but no big deal.

Before I left Wisconsin, I saw my doctor for my check up and they found something abnormal on the machine. What was supposed to be a 30 minute exam turned into a 3 hour exam. They would not let me leave until I had a number of tests done. When I came in for the follow up appointment. The doctor looked shocked. He said the episodes I had been having of the buzzing feeling in my chest was not the pacemaker at all. Apparently, because I am so used t feeling the pacemaker work, when my heart actually beats for itself, I can feel it. I said ok, cool. The doctor said, “did you hear what I said? Your heart is beginning to beat on its own at times.” This was such a shock to me. My body is healing itself. PRAISE GOD!

If you have gone through something similar, please know that you are not alone.

 

Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) February 23, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Death and Physical Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 2:37 pm
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I have always been a girl with speratic periods, and it never really bothered me. I would sometimes go a year and only have two periods. It was no big deal to me. It was in 2003 when I had a very heavy period that lasted a month long. The bleeding would not stop and I was getting tired more often. I felt like I was buy stock in Kotex. I bled through a tampon and a pad every day. I called the gynecologist and they got me in asap.
It was embarrassing f

or her to examine me as I was bleeding but it had to be done to get to the bottom of it. She also ended up doing a vaginal ultrasound on me. She found multiple cysts on my ovaries. This raised a red flag and she performed a biopsy on a cyst. It took a few weeks before I had the results. This was the most grueling time of my life. I was so scared. When the results came back, I went in and she informed my that they were benign. Whew. She told me I have PCOS and the cysts will come and go my whole menustrating life. She put me on birth control to regulate my periods and said there were creams available for the extra facial hair.
The only trouble since then, is the fact that I haven’t been able to have any more children. This was heartbreaking, but made me appreciate the son I have.
If you have gone through something similar, please know that you are not alone.

 

Anxiety Disorder February 5, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 1:26 am
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When I was younger, I would get upset at a drop of a hat. Some people called it a case of being a spoiled brat. If they knew what I was going through, they would disagree. I would get scared of things that were not there or that I believed were overwhelming. I have experienced these things in many ways.

I remember a time as a kid when we were on vacation wherein it came time to back to Guam and knowing that the abuse would continue as soon as I got there, I became deathly afraid to go back. I couldn’t tell anyone what I was going through, so I internalized it. I internalized it so bad that I became physically ill. I refused to go back to Guam. My stomach hurt so bad that I couldn’t stand it. And I cried uncontrollably. My parents worked it out with my grandparents for me to stay for a week more. It still took a few days after they left for me to feel somewhat normal again.

I remember the time I got into so much trouble that my stomach was torn up again. I began shaking and sweating. As my mother drove me around, I ducked down in the car. I don’t even remember why I ducked down. I just remember the incredible fear. When she drove me to the hospital, they found an ulcer. I was only 12 years old.

This is something I struggle with everyday. Even moving to Oregon kicked up my anxiety terribly. Now I have moved around my whole life with no trouble. For some reason, this move was extremely hard on me. I couldn’t drive, shop or even feel safe in my own home or church because I was overwhelmed. I used to use the term, “I’m not functioning” a lot. It has driven many people crazy that I say that. No one knows what it means. It simply means I’m overwhelmed and can no longer think straight.

This disorder was not found until the “break” I took in the hospital. They said at that time that the medication they gave me then was going to take care of it. Over time it did not at all. It wasn’t until I was put on Clonazepam that it was under control to some point. It stops the worries, fears and helps me to focus, which in turn I use to focus on God. This focus seems to have become my life source.

At this point I have run out of medication and this has quickly become a severe struggle lately. If you have been to psychiatrists, then you understand that you have to stay on them for them to work. And I simply can’t. Some people say to just make an appointment and get some. It’s not that easy my friends.

1. You need insurance just to see someone.
2. Once you get insurance, you call around to find a good one and even with the bad ones, there is a waiting list to get in.
3. Once an appointment to get in, it’s usually a month out at least.
4. Then, the doctor reviews you to make sure you really need them.
5. Then, the cost of psychiatric medications is too high to have.

I’m at a loss. Just trying to take it easy and stay focused. But the anxiety is building, I can feel it. I couldn’t even get in my bed to go to sleep because of it. I’m stuck sleeping on the couch again. If you have or do feel this way, just know that you are not alone.

 

Stupid Dreams! (PTSD) February 1, 2013

Filed under: Surviving the Different Abuse — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 2:46 am
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It took several hours for the memory to fade. Which in turn caused the dreams to affect my day as it did my sleep yet again. I again had one continuous dream that continued even after waking up in fear and falling back to sleep. The only memory I have of it now is that it was of Matt and was horrible. These are the dreams that I hate picking up where they left off when I go back to sleep. I ended up giving up on sleep again and awoke after 4 hours. It’s frustrating. In my awake time, I no longer fear any of them. I just don’t seem to let it affect me. But in sleep time, they attack. Why is this? Why must I relive things and create more scenarios while sleeping? Maybe it’s a clear reminder to never go back. Maybe it’s a hint as to how I could become a repeat victim. I keep hoping to learn something from them. And the only thing I learn is that I don’t fear them. I know they can no longer hurt me if I don’t allow them to. So, maybe it’s me I’m afraid of. Hmmm

If you have any ideas, let me know. I’m continuing to experience the dreams even after acknowledging them. If you are experiencing the same, I hope these words encourage you. Please know that you are not alone.