A few days after bronchitis set in, my computer died—we both shut down for repairs, so to speak.  But, today I can roll back the stone and bringing us both out of the crypt.

It’s been a very interesting couple of weeks.  Since I had bronchitis twice last winter, I wanted to see if I could do it differently this time—at least as far as mental health is concerned.  I found that I was much less agitated about the whole situation.  I didn’t feel any of that panic to get better fast or push myself to get back to normal functioning.  How many of us have gone back to work too soon or tried to workout when we should be in bed?  I tried to really pay attention to what my body needed.  Since I don’t have a job or a family to tend to, I could give my body all the time it needed to heal itself without the high-powered, expensive antibiotics my doctor would surely have given me.  I did crossword puzzles, slept, watched TV, slept, drank lots of juice, slept, took over-the-counter aids, ate lots of fruit and vegetables, and slept.

In two weeks, I’ve only had one day where I’d say my bipolar symptoms boiled up.  It was one of those days when I woke up full of regrets, my life scrolling by as a series of mistakes and failures.  Distorted thinking quickly recognized and set aside for more crossword puzzles and reruns of Gilmore Girls.  This in itself is noteworthy because I had been in a long bipolar episode when the bronchitis came on.  As I’ve experienced on several occasions, a physical shock interrupted the cycle.  Sometimes getting sick will trigger an episode, but this time it reset my mood to “center.”  It’s all so mysterious.

While all this expectorant naval-gazing was going on, our family had other matters to deal with.  My dad came to stay at the hospice facility while we made arrangements for him to enter a nursing home.  I say “we”, but it was really my sister and her husband who helped Mom with this huge decision.  I helped as I was able, but these things happen quickly and can’t wait.  It was the one time I did want to get better fast.

We will move Dad to the nursing home tomorrow.  Such a huge shift in our family.  I’m blinded a bit, stunned, like bright light stabbing into the darkness after the stone rolls away.  I may have to stand at the threshold awhile, hanging on until I get my legs under me again.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ManicMuses
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 06:28:36

    OMG – Sandy Sue! I was just searching for your e-mail address! I am so glad you are back online and nothing horrible happened to you. I know this is a difficult time for you and your family, so if you want to chat over email, just let me know. Stay strong, stay healthy – sending love you way.


  2. Kathryn McCullough
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 08:17:50

    Incredible writing here, Sandy! I’m so glad to hear from you. I had begun to worry that your bipolar episode had intensified.

    I think it’s interesting that the rest and the physical illness settled your mind. I’m a firm believer that we underestimate the power of sleep and taking it easy. It sounds like the bronchitis gave you the excuse you needed to reset yourself. This speaks volumes to me–reminding me that so often the best remedy is doing nothing–literally–turning off and allowing yourself to be.

    I’m sorry your father is so ill and headed for a nursing home. And I think it’s wonderful that you were able to allow your sister and brother-in-law to manage things.

    By the way, your image here of standing in the doorway trying to steady yourself is a powerful one. Great writing, my friend!



  3. pegoleg
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 09:55:08

    I, too, was looking around your blog the other day for a “send message” button to see if you were OK. It’s nice to hear your voice again. Ditto to Kathryn – the image of you steadying yourself in the doorway is a powerful one.

    I’m so sorry about your dad. I can imagine how this must feel, because my 84-year-old dad’s health is going downhill. Seems just a matter of time before we are faced with the same decision. I hope you can enjoy his company in whatever form/time is left to your family.


  4. Kitty
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 10:04:55

    So glad you’re back! I’ve missed you.
    Amen to the idea that we push ourselves too hard. Wow, how do we keep a balance in this hurry-up. sound-bite society we live in? Ah, well, I guess we just keep doing our best and remembering that our best is good enough.
    Love you!


  5. docrob50
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 18:29:06


    I am curious about the art work that graces every page. Are these originals? Is it too intrusive to ask how long you have had a label to put on your way of experiencing self/world?

    Speaking of alternate universes’ the end stage(s) of life qualify. My in-laws are near or at (and denying) the hospice stage for one and assisted living for the other.
    And your dad……..yep lots of turmoil. A dear friend who has been “cooked in death” this summer relayed to me that there are moments of great clarity, wisdom. love, compassion, humor and grace to be had. Much metta to you and let me know about the art work.


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 23, 2011 @ 04:34:06

      Thank you for your kind words.
      Yes, all the art here is mine. Most are greeting cards, but there are some larger collages with a few of the posts.
      I’m not sure what you’re asking when you say “label.” If you mean how long I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, that would be since 2005. I started my spiritual studies around 1998.


  6. Fiddle gal
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 20:20:35

    Nice to have your back! Sorry that your Dad is getting worse. I love this art work. It just gets better all the time!


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