Archive for 2019

So the Almighty Dark Lord Max, Ruler of All was summoned and I’ve agreed to do the thing. Cuz it’s an agreeable thing to do.

“TARA 4 BPD (Treatment and Research Advancements for Borderline Personality Disorder), is a not-for-profit organization that provides evidence-based facts to people with BPD, their loved ones, and mental health professionals. We offer a psychoeducation program for family members to reduce stigma and repair relationships. We help families realize that BPD behaviors are a way of coping with enormous emotional pain, not a manipulation tactic nor a means of getting attention. We teach families how to predict and prevent escalations, repair relationships and increase trust. We are currently engaged in Grassroots Research on BPD in order to call researchers’ attention to the experiences of children who eventually meet criteria for BPD.

Many family members feel helpless when a loved one self-injures, talks about suicide, or makes a suicide attempt. They panic, and their typical response it to call 911, take their loved one to the ER, etc. There is presently no data available that evaluates the experiences of people with BPD in the ER and in psychiatric hospitals. We want to know if going to the ER helped or harmed them.What was the emotional impact of being in the ER or a Psychiatric Hospital? How did they get there? By themselves, or did someone else bring them there?

We have developed a survey to evaluate the effectiveness of ER Interventions and/or hospitalization. We are asking for your help with distributing it by posting a link to the survey on your blog. This data will help us educate families on appropriate responses to harmful behaviors.”

Here is the link to the survey. I, myself, am going to take it. You should too! Research like this is extremely important.

Here is a link to their actual site if you want to check them out.

Be the first to comment

Transfusion

Posted June 24, 2019 By kmarrs

Despite getting an iron infusion about a month ago, as of Friday, June 21 my hemoglobin is sitting as a 7.6. With the healthy range being 12-16, this means I’m trying to function with about half as much blood as I need to be a functional human being.

All things considered, I’m doing spectacularly at this.

I honestly thought that the brain fog and zero spoons (refresh yourself on spoon theory if needed, please) was because I’m trying to juggle school/work/family/and now a job hunt. (More on that last part later.)

Anyway. I clearly can’t stay at a 7.6 so I wasn’t surprised when I received a call from my hematologist’s office first thing this morning. I just didn’t know what the plan of action was.

Turns out I’m going in for a blood transfusion on Wednesday the 26th of June.

I’m actually super excited for this.

Which I guess might sound weird. Blood transfusions make people rightfully nervous. They aren’t standard protocol unless there is trauma and thus are associated with accidentals and disasters and other things that involve massive blood loss. So there is a stigma to them, is what I’m acknowledging.

However, this is not my first blood transfusion. It’s probably closer to my 5th. Though I don’t have an exact count.

Needing the occasional blood transfusion is just a fact of my life now.

Usually, I get iron infusions, which is just basically iron particles suspended in like a saline solution, that get sent straight to my bloodstream via IV. I get those every 3 months, or so. These force my bone marrow to make blood. But it seems the last one either didn’t work or there is something going on.

Possibly a bleed. My iron levels are great it’s just my hemoglobin that’s super low. So this indicates I’m bleeding somewhere. Which probably means more tests. Which I don’t have time for. So I’m super stressed about that.

Anyway, I’m writing this and posting this as it happens. I didn’t want to queue it. So this is fresh news. I’ll follow up next week, or so, with news about the job hunt.

Be the first to comment

Self Worth

Posted June 17, 2019 By kmarrs

For so long now, my self worth has directly tied into my grades. I have an amazing GPA, I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude, this is what my value as a person is based on, in my eyes.

My therapist is working to convince me that this is not the best thing to measure my worth on.

She also went as far as to suggest that in grad school, I won’t continue to be a straight-A student; which I immediately took as a challenge. I will defy that or die trying.

Then when I shared that sentiment with my friends and family on Facebook, someone else pointed out that it’s not worth the die trying sentiment because literally, no one is going to care about my grades after I graduate.

So really, aside from being useful towards getting into grad school, grades don’t matter.

So then maybe this is why I shouldn’t base my self worth on them.

Be the first to comment

Adderall

Posted June 10, 2019 By kmarrs

Using a Fitbit (knockoff) to track my pulse long term worked beautifully and when I saw my psychiatrist on Friday, she approved me starting Adderall.

We’re starting me on 5mg which is a super low dose and I probably won’t be helped by that amount. However, if all goes well, on the 17th I’ll get to double it.

In the meantime, I’m to continue using my Fitbit to track my pulse. I’m also to keep an eye on my anxiety. Both can be made worse by even this small of a dose, so we need to be sure that I’m ok. I’m calling her on the 17th and reporting my findings.

I am super excited to finally start the process of treating my ADHD. I know I’m ready to graduate in a little less than 3 months, and only really have 9 more weeks of classes, but this medication will also allow me to focus at work, where I’m also suffering.

Oh! And because I take my anxiety meds at night, and I take my stimulant in the morning, I’m able to take both! The streams will not cross!

Be the first to comment

Passion Project

Posted June 3, 2019 By kmarrs

Those 6 weeks in April through May were tough as I took on double the recommended course load so that I could graduate this September.

One of the things I dedicated myself to during those 6 weeks was my passion project for my anthro class. No exaggeration I nearly broke my mental health with stress on this project because I was excited about it, and forgot I was in a 200 level class and didn’t need to go so hard. My topic was Irish Gaeilge, but that’s only the briefest of summaries. (I’ll put more details on the end.) I got to pick my own topic, because the idea was for me to study, and apply an anthropological lens, to something I’m passionate about. And I gave it beyond my all.

I received my score in under 24 hours. My hard to please professor who doesn’t give perfect scores marked it 120/120. He noted where he could have taken points, but because he’s never personally seen a project so well done, he had no choice but to call it perfect. He added, “I’d even urge you to publish it somewhere, somehow.” With some notes as to where I could flesh it out some and an offer to help that I’m going to take him up on after I graduate. (Another 6 weeks of hell started in the end of May. )

As I gear up to graduate, and then take my GRE and apply to grad school, I have self doubts that I’m good enough. But where I’m passionate, I’m fully capable, I guess I’m learning. I just need to not break myself in the process.

Details:

So. I picked Irish Gaeilge as a topic of interest because I’m currently learning it. I wanted a deeper understanding why people picked this language as a second/third/fourth language. I know why I chose it, but what about others?

In week 2 I put out a basic survey asking 10 questions dealing with people’s connections to Ireland and why they chose that language. I then set that loose on Tumblr with some key blogs reblogging. I didn’t exactly get 5,000 responses like last time. But that survey was open to literally everyone, while this survey was open just to those learning Irish. I still got 335 responses, which isn’t bad.

However, as I started to do research, I fell headlong into the history of the language, its near extinction, and the revival in the past 100 years. Which then led to me learning that there are some in Ireland (this is not representative of the entire population) who resent being forced to learn it.

Which led to another survey, this one just for those who live in Ireland and are learning it, or have learned it, through the school system. This one I sent to a key friend living in Ireland and asked him to circulate it small scale. I only needed a few responses to this one. I got 3 which was great. This survey looked at the perceived effectiveness of the revival and their thoughts on being “forced” to learn it in school.

Then came the stark fact that 50-90% of the world’s languages are going to be gone by 2100 and the question, will Irish be one of them? I still don’t have a solid answer to this.

Anyway, 2 surveys and a couple dozen academic research articles later, I put together a beautiful presentation that I’m really proud of.

So go team me.

But I could use a nap.

And it’s not good that I nearly broke my mental health.

Mid May through the end of June isn’t going to be much better either.

Be the first to comment

Keeping a Finger on the Problem

Posted May 27, 2019 By kmarrs

I have a new app recommended to me by my therapist called HeartRate+ Pro that I’m supposed to use for 5 minutes, 3 times a day (or 15 minutes once a day) to learn how to better control my heart rate.

The idea of the app is that the camera flash tracks your pulse while you breathe in time to the preset pattern. This breathing pattern is supposed to trigger the ideal heart rate.

So far I’m having limited luck with it. But it’s early yet and I’m not using it religiously like I should.

I need… I need to get better about that.

Because the thing is, if this tool can help lower my heart rate, I can start ADHD meds all the faster!

Be the first to comment