Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

I'm fading into the background of my own life.  I'm hardly even here anymore.  Nothing works to distract me from the bleak realities of my everyday existence or the disgust I feel for my bad attitude.  There are no humans in my photos.  That's a result of my having alienated everyone.  There's no one left to offend.  I have driven them all away.  I make no effort anymore.  And aside from the things I've blogged about there are a couple of new things that are now just having an impact on my state of mind.  Yes, circumstances can tip the scales toward a bipolar event.

A couple of weeks ago I found out that my internist is going to work for the V.A.  I think it's admirable that she's willing to work with Vets, but she has been a very good medical professional for me.  She knows me very well.  She was the gate keeper, the nerve center, the one person who could tell me to call my shrink when I got too gloomy.  She didn't nag me.  She didn't judge me.  She seemed to genuinely like me.  I don't get that much.  I know I'm not that easy to get, to like, to care about.  I'm sometimes very prickly, impatient, irritable.  Now I have to start with someone new, who hasn't read my fucking chart, who has no idea who I am or how I think, or what matters to me.  She even shared my political passions.  I've been sitting on this catastrophe as if it hasn't really happened or won't matter all that much, but today as I was filling my pill minder I saw that I was running out of Warfarin.  I called in my refill but the pharmacy will need to contact my doctor to get more refills.  And that's when it hit me.  I've lost someone else who really matters in my life.  Now I have to negotiate everything anew.  Now I have to prove to someone else that my bipolar diagnosis isn't the totality of who I am.  My bipolar disorder is a challenge but it doesn't explain everything.  It's not the only reason I'm a difficult woman.

Last night Ms M came home from Michigan to pick up Roscoe.  Last night Ms M told me she's taking Roscoe with her to Savannah when she moves in July.  Months ago she asked me if I'd keep him when she moved.  I said yes.  At that point I began to think of him as my responsibily.  He's a wonderful dog who has spent almost all of his life here.  This has been home.  This place, these people, these dogs are his familairs.  I was losing Ms M.  But I was happy for her, proud of her.  I was doing her a favor and doing her dog a favor.  Now I'm losing them both.  If you've looked at my photos much you know that Roscoe is the most photographed presence in my pictures.  Roscoe is a big part of my life.  Roscoe has special needs.  He's a dog who hates to be alone.  Now I have to start learning to live without him.  My life is shrinking at an alarming rate.


Ghost Dansing said...

sorry Utah. hope you feel better soon. i know you'll miss Roscoe and your friend.

Utah Savage said...

Thanks Ghost. I'll miss him more than I'll miss her. He's never been embarrassed by me. He's never looked at me as if I'm crazy. He loves me unconditionally. Yes, I know. He's a dog. That's what dogs do. I wish I were a well loved dog.

Unknown said...

Utah, thank you for your post. Your writing is lovely, and full of feeling.

Utah Savage said...

Trabern, thank you for that kind comment. I hope you come back again.

Fran said...

Aww we grow so attached to critters. But you had the joy of sharing all that time, and there may just be some other critter meant to be in your life down the road. There are always animals in need & you may just be at a crossroads. You can never replace an animal- they really do have their own personalities,....
but be open to the possibility that this happened for a reason.

D.K. Raed said...

The new doctor hunt is never easy, but hopefully your old doc has referred you to someone she thinks will be good with you.

I'm kind of ticked at Ms M for taking Roscoe with her. Wish she could see his life through his eyes. I love your photos of him.

PENolan said...

The move will be hard on Roscoe, too.

Tengrain said...

Utah -

Well, this is a fine challenge for you, eh? So much change, so much opportunity, too.

The world goes whizzing past all of us, some days it is all I can do to hang on and grin at the ride.

You will get through this. We will be here for you.



PS - Roscoe is one lucky fella.

Utah Savage said...

Fran, I have never wanted when it comes to critters. But over five years you get very attached to critters. We know each other's movements and schedule and the dogs live their days in a peaceful bliss of barking at strangers who dare to walk our street, napping, playing with each other, eating their meals at the same time together always. Change should come in small doses for them. I worry that Ms M will be working and going to school and making new friends and won't have time for Roscoe. Roscoe will be the new kid to a big dog in the big dog's territory. Here he's the guy with the seniority. He's the leader of my little pack.

DK, Kristen did leave me with a referral to a new doctor. I'll try to keep an open mind, to damp down the fear and irritability and give the new doc a fair chance. But when you're bipolar, medical pros seem to look at that diagnosis and think that my anger, or impatience, or real distress is just a symptom of my bipolar disorder.

PEN, I'm very worried about how Roscoe will do being on the road that long, and then landing in a new climate, new neighborhood, new yard, new house, new big dog to work out territory with. I have to just let go at some point. Ms M's choices will have a big impact on him, but I can't change her mind.

Ten, how nice to see you. Thanks for those comforting words. I think one of the reasons I remain fairly stable, mental health wise is that I have this outlet for my pain and my joy. I may not have people in my flesh and blood life, but I do have friends in this cyber world.

Unknown said...

Utah, sorry about Roscoe. You know we love you and your writing. Please always know that, no matter how bad you feel.

Fran said...

I understand, we had our Husky/shepherd mix for 14 years. Lakota was a real member of the family & a laid back dog. He looked like a wolf- had beautiful different colored fur & kids would often ask if he is a wolf!
He was adopted from the shelter as a young pup.
It's taken us a few years to recover.

Unknown said...

You may not be "there" but you certainly are "here"
and I mean "here for me"
Peggy.... been a very very rough couple of months. Having to downsize and move, pity party is bash...You know? But I read you on my rss iphone late last night and think,
I am not
So, sweetie. Thank you for being "here"... just in the nick of time.

Loran said...

I still haven't forgiven my Ob-Gyn for retiring! It's really difficult to establish a good and trusting relationship with a doctor and no fun looking for a new one. I hope you can find someone who really helps you.

Losing a cherished animal friend for whatever reason is painful. No way you can talk her out of taking Roscoe?

I hope you are feeling better today than when you wrote this post!

Utah Savage said...

Elizabeth, thank you for that compliment. I've been uninspired lately. I writing no fiction for now. Perhaps I'm percolating. But the stone work is apace.

Fran, I've never mourned the loss of a man like I've mourned the loss of a dog. Never. No doubt that says a lot about me.

Gwendolyn, I'm so sorry you've been having that kind of rough time. Dislocation is so painful. Relocation might turn out not to be so bad. Here's hoping. At least, for now, I get to stay on my land.

Ms Momma, when my OBGYN retired I decided if I stopped using the parts that required an OBGYN, I wouldn't need to get another OBGYN. So far, so good. Wednesday I have an appointment to get my clotting factor checked by a nurse practitioner I've seen before when Kristen (my all time favorite) was out of town.

I'm hoping Roscoe misbehaves so badly she comes to her senses and realizes he has special needs that a full time student with a full time job can't provide for. He's a really good dog, but he hates hates hates to be alone and acts out. Keep your fingers crossed for Roscoe.