I am not an expert on bipolar disorder... I just live with it. This is my blog of hope and encouragement.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pain and Comfort

I'm on the path to gaining weight:  cereal at night, frozen yogurt, sugar in my coffee.  I have been needing comfort.  Broken sleep isn't going to help, either.

I have had a toothache for three or four weeks...ever since I had a tooth filled.  But that is not where it hurts. In fact, we can not tell exactly where the pain is coming from.  It hurts all over the side of my head and down my jaw.  I have been taking ibuprofen and Tylenol around the clock for weeks.  I hate to think what that is doing to my lithium levels...or my kidneys and liver, for that matter.

I'm tired of pain.  I'm tired of dry mouth.  I'm tired of non-stop tongue and jaw movement (tardive dyskinesia).  I'm tired of sighing.  I'm tired of not sleeping through the night. But, what I am doing for comfort is sabotaging the one aspect of my life that is going right for me these days:  My weight is down.  I have 15-25 lbs. to go but I've lost 25 lbs. since last Fall...when I stopped taking Abilify and we jacked up the Lithium...and I became so sick.

The challenge now is to identify some other activity that will comfort me and not harm me or my efforts.  For example...

  • There are beneficial foods that can be comforting, like fruit, small amounts of protein, even cereal...just not in the middle of the night.
  • There are books of inspiration and comfort.  (I may elaborate on this in a later post.) 
  • There are music, candles, and incense.
  • Favorite movies.
  • Gentle yoga
  • A long walk
  • A short walk
  • Bubble bath
  • Hair cut (my beautician gives an incredibly nice head massage)
  • Putting an area of the house in order, like my desk or dresser.  I find cleared, smooth surfaces (especially wood surfaces) soothing.
  • Sweeping the floor (again with the wood surface). Of course, having someone else sweep the floor would be nice...but that requires a struggle...and that is a whole other post.

I need pain relief...I need comfort.  Do you have any ideas?  What do you do for comfort?  I'd love to know...


  1. I'm so sorry you've got TD and that you're on lithium. I thought that Tylenol was pulled from the shelves, but I guess only some: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/cvs-won-stock-tylenol-stores-article-1.1240622 Lord knows what the combination of lithium and Tylenol is doing on your liver and/or kidneys.For pain, I only take plain, generic aspirin. I've nearly poisoned myself with naproxen, unknowingly.
    I wish I knew something other than splurging and going to an opera to add to your wonderful list of things to comfort you (I'm going to copy it, if you don't mind). Wait... How about taking up watercolor painting or re-finishing a piece of wooden furniture since you like smooth wooden surfaces (and they can smell nice also)? Have you got a pet for a furry and strange companion? How about a day trip to a town or city nearby?
    Ok, I'll go back under my rock with my bipolar, PTSD, anxiety, and BPD. Ugh. Hope maybe one of those ideas was a hit. :)

    1. Dear FL...what wonderful ideas...although Asheville is not really the place for opera. I have painted in watercolors, but not recently, and only really small winter scenes. you can see them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitsy_1955/ . I have pets...a dog and a cat. Stella, a black dog with a white star on her chest, is very devoted but doesn't really like to cuddle. Tubbs is a black cat. He doesn't like to cuddle, either...he is "the night." I think I might like refinishing a piece of furniture, though.

      Thank you for responding...it was getting mighty quiet...