Welcome!!! Please, if you are new here, READ THIS FIRST!!! Thank You!!!

Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

All images and content are Copyright © to ClinicallyClueless. All rights to the images and all content on this site and on all ClinicallyClueless materials belong exclusively to the artist/author. No use of any content, commercial or non-commercial is permitted without written consent from the author and artist.

Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The "ists" in My Life!!

How am I doing? I'm having difficulty adjusting to being back home still and going to way to many doctors. I just wonder how many "ist"s there are. I see a therapist, psychatrist, dematologist, pulmonologist, dentist, optometrist, allergist and my primary care physician-ist!! I'm having difficulty with recovering from my bronchitis...with what I know now it may be 2012 before I am well...just kidding, but it is going to be at least a few months. My lungs are officially celebrities now with the amount of xrays that have been taken of them.

I was supposed to stop seeing my pulmonologist after the pneumonia, but got bronchitis. I am now having breathing treatments four times per day via nebulizer, have an inhaler, pain medication, have gone through a short pack for steriods & antibiotic...this is all from my pulmonologist. He is now considering if my allergies have anything to do with my slow recovery. So, off I go to my allergist which is good because I had one scheduled. I had to cancel two scheduled appointments because I've been "playing" this year. My allergist explains what is going on with my lungs and allergies. Decides to send me to take blood and schedule a new allergy scratch test panel and injection test. Test scheduled for mid August. Ouch! Sigh!!

I'm referred to a dermatologist by my PCP~ist for some nail and skin abnormalities. Dermatologist says, that most are due to the high temperatures from my pneumonia!! I thought that I was past that!! And, one spot is because of age and to expect more...AGE!!!! Creams and ointments are not working fast enough or doing anything visible, at all, so now I have to have two steriod injections this week...whose hand do I get to crush...any voluteers?

Now, I already saw my optometrist to check for catarats and glaucoma from the steriods for my pneumonia. Now, after my injections and broncitis medications, he wants to see me again!! I can't schedule my dentist appointment due for almost a year due to steriods or my health being too fragile!! Never thought that I would want to go to the dentist. Sheesh...on hold again.

It feels good to be back with my psychiatrist and the meds are good, but seeing him is a whole different story. I've been to tired to go on the days that I have scheduled, so I've only seen him once and two telephone sessions. I have been to most of my therapist's sessions or had telephone sessions at four times a week.

I know that there are a lot more special~ists, so I am grateful that it is only a handful. I am also thankful that all of my physicians are good. However, I think that I am a full time patient. And, then I have to have follow up appointments with my primary care physician...what does she want to know anyway...just kidding?

To top it off, I have laryngitis!!! (did you see how "ist" is very similar to "tis" as in bronchitis and laryngitis...it is a conspiracy...I'm not paranoid) Then, because my brain is still recovering, I forget to put the "ist" that I was sheduleded to see in my date book. I just wrote a time and then, couldn't remember who I was supposed to see. After calling three offices, I finally figured out who I was to see. I better check tomorrow's calendar to see which "ist" I'm scheduled for. :)

Okay now yesterday (Monday) I called my allergist because I was having more difficulty over the weekend with SOB, wheezing and just generally not feeling well. Well, they tried to do a pulmonary function test and said that I didn't have enough output for the computer to register it, so they couldn't go any further. However, I did get a steroid shot in both hips...ouch and an oral steriod...did I forget to tell you that corticosteriod (that is what I refer to as steriods) cause weight gain. I gained 50 pounds since January...sheesh!!! Anyway, I then went to get my blood drawn. My pulmonologist and allergist spoke with one another. You would think that there would be nothing else to do since I already had left over oral medication. Well, I then had to call my dermatologist to see if I should still have the injections scheduled for tomorrow.

Can I have a social worker to help me keep things straight, explain several times what I'm taking what for and what is going on and remember for me...I've even forgot a therapy appointment. I also now know, I don't have swiss cheese brain...my breathing is just too shallow to get enough blood to my brain.

Good, now I actually have a reason for my brain and being clumsy...now how do I expain the other times?
For more rambling thoughts click on this link, http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/2009/07/lessons-and-perspective-from-patient.html to read more rambling thoughts and lessons learned during my hospitalizations.

Coleen
(Professional Patient)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jewelry Contest~Just a Little Light-Heartedness!!!

Sandy Comstock of Toby and Max are having their first contest. The following was stolen...ah...borrowed from Sandy's Toby and Max blog: Please visit Sandy's Toby and Max's blog and leave a comment...it is that easy.

This is a substantial piece of Sterling. Not the light weight, can't tell if you have them on, (or lose them) neck charms that are so common now. I made this pendant first in clay, forming the wings into a beautiful sculpture.


Then on the back I stamped the words "Protect Me". You can use this as a talisman for protection, a reminder that you are not alone, or just as a beautiful piece of sterling art. It is almost 1" across and quite thick. Reminds me of those lost treasures that are found at sea, when the trunks are opened and all the silver and gold coins fall out.

You can win this "treasure" by visiting
Toby and Max website and looking around and then come back to Toby and Max blog telling me your favorite item in my shop. Click here to go to my Toby and Max website.

***Please make sure to include your first name and your email address or some way I can contact you if you should win the contest*** Also, just to make it a tad more interesting please put the name of the state or country you are currently in.

This is my FIRST contest EVER!! You want to be part of it don't you?


Contest is over the end of August, so enter now, and I will notify the lucky winner shortly thereafter.

ALSO, if you can't wait, or want one for a friend, then now is the time to buy, as I have just put them on sale. 25% off only for the length of the contest. Click here to go to sale.

Come GO to Sandy's Toby and Max's website to see some very unique and excellent jewelry !!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lessons and Perspective From a Patient

After spending about 76 days in the hospital with 64 of them in a psychiatric hospital, one gets a very skewed sense of life. I’ve become a little institutionalized. These are some of my thoughts:

1) Staff says that I need to take a shower and change my clothes. I think, it takes too much energy and no one is going to care anyway. (just because it was four days) :)
2) Staff says that I need to eat more. I think, I’ve gained 50 pounds over the past year.
3) Staff says that I’m compulsive, I say that I am just neat and tidy.
4) Staff says that they are going to give me a staff badge. I think, is it because I know most of their job duties, help them remember things, and know their work schedules.
5) Staff says that I have insomnia. I say, I like looking at the bright moon and waiting for dawn to break.
6) I say that I really need to be in the hospital, my therapist vigorously shakes his head “yes.”
7) My psychologist says that I go days without smiling. I learned that it was true as my therapist said, “days, weeks, months.”
8) It is good to know the rules and regulations because you can make staff angry and like it. :)
9) Some staff know how to do considerate 30 minute bed check and others haven’t a clue!!
10) I learned that I can yell at staff and kick a door open and not get sent to the locked unit. In fact, they were happy that I found my anger.
11) I know that meals are at 8am, noon, and 5pm.
12) I know that juice only comes in little square-rounded plastic containers.
13) I learned that a 5:30 am fire alarm going off make for very grumpy people.
14) I know that there are helpful staff and those you just want to hit upside their head.
15) I learned that writing a complaint sometimes ends up with none to immediate action.
16) I feel good that housekeeping and the cafeteria staff remember my name and preferences. I think, I’ve been here too many days.
17) I still wonder why housekeeping sometimes leaves only leaves one bathmat and five wash cloths.
18) I learned that you can sprain you ankle on a cherry tomato.
19) I learned that you can choke on dry salmon and look up to find six charge nurses staring at you.
20) I learned that it is okay not to like everyone.
21) I learned that I can really cuss someone out!
22) I found that screaming even if it is into a pillow a great way to release anger.
23) I discovered my anger…rage.
24) I yelled at my therapist and he raised his voice in a heated discussion for the first time. To my surprise, he was happy as I found my anger and nothing bad happened and he still wanted to work with me.
25) When my psychiatrist, psychologist and therapist all say that I will know when it is time to leave. I say, “I don’t want that responsibility. I want to blame you for whatever decision you make.” Deep down I know they are right.
26) I thought that a man coming off of heroin after 8 years needs more supervision, three days later staff put him in the locked unit.
27) I learned that there is a hierarchy of stigma within patients with mental health issues. I try to educate and why people with schizophrenia and DID act the way they do. I have some success in some changing their perspective.
28) I learned that safety doesn’t always come from the outside, but from the inside knowing that you can take care of yourself.
29) I learned that if you try to look at the breaks on the bed to make sure that help is around just in case you get stuck between the wall and the bed. Staff will also laugh at you before helping you! :)
30) I learned that there are some smokers that are accommodating for non-smokers. We played which way is the wind blowing and musical chairs just for me.
31) I embraced my new identies of “fag hag” and that I’m a “gay man.” I now support gay rights.
32) I learned that it is fun to sing Broadway show tunes with a bunch of men who are gay. And, that it is “so gay” to be doing that and that others could hear everything that we sang.
33) I learned that I like to reach out to those who are “outcasts.” Such as an over six feet tall man with a blonde ponytail and had been in state prison for 17 years and just his presence intimidated others. We became very good friends.
34) I learned that coffee can be so bad that I begin to use half and half. Once home while look for the half and half, my husband reminds me that I drink my coffee black!!
35) I learned that having a coffee addict for a therapist has its advantages, good coffee three times a week for sessions.
36) I am beginning to like myself.
37) I know that I have some hard work ahead of me and the hospitalization was well worth it as I feel the best that I have in a long time.
38) I learned that I can miss an entire Nordstrom sale and survive.
39) I learned that having an anniversary, doesn’t matter where you are just that you are together.
40) I learned that absence does make the heart grow fonder.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Please!! GO! Smell the Coffee!!! and Wake Up!!!


I've written about how I guest write for GO! Smell the Flowers. Well, things have changed to GO! Smell the Coffee! It is a change of name and the format and articles from the Flower site have basically moved to GO! Smell the Coffee! Please, join me for some latte, iced mocha or just plan black and have a wonderful time reading GO! Smell the Coffee! You will also get a chance to see what other things I can write. It is a website with many contributors from around the world and many points of view especially with having so many cultures and beliefs involved. Join me and my friends and have some fun, inspiration and at GO! Smell the Coffee!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Who Else Am I?

For about a year now, I've been trying to keep my identity private with some exceptions about my first name being "Coleen." I've also tried to keep my two blogs (this one and Something Just To Start) and a website that I guest write for all separate. Click on any of the pictures below to go to the sites. Warning that you will see quite a different side of me on Something Just To Start.


So, ClinicallyClueless aka Clueless aka cc and ~stjs aka Coleen are the same person. I also write under the name ClinicallyClueless on GO! Smell the Flowers/Coffee. Right, now there is a little legal trouble with the name. The situation should be resolved, but in the mean time please listen to the radio interview with Jim Wheat, owner of GO! Smell the Flowers/Coffee.



OR

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thank You Aaron ~ You Touch My Soul!!!


This was a special dedication to me sent the day after I was hospitalized. It is a get well dedication from Aaron Gayah in which he posted on his fabulous blog, "whatever it takes." This pictures and writing always touches my soul. Thank you, Aaron.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My 42 Day Adventure!!!

In a span of 42 days the following took place: Iran has an election that causes civil war; Ed McMahon and David Carradine both die; Gay Pride Weekend included 400,000 people in Los Angeles joining in on a “Moment of Silence;” Los Angeles Lakers become World Champions; US stamp prices increase, 4.7 earthquake in Los Angeles, Susan Boyle advance to the next round in “Britain’s Got Talent;” US Memorial day, my 12th anniversary; I sprained my ankle, choked on salmon and managed to get myself stuck in an awkward position behind by bed. (don’t ask)

This is what happened and what I managed to figure out on a large screen television with cable and from others in the hospital. Sounds great except for the 25 other people trying to watch the screen from two couches in which I had difficulty extracting myself from, as they were well worn with the ability to swallow people whole.

That was how long I was in the hospital. The food and the coffee were terrible and unhealthy. Luckily, I had an outside order for food including coffee which my hubby and therapist provided. I wrote three complaints that I actually saw immediate action upon and resulted in one person eventually being fired. I also saw a staff member, who I actually hated, be escorted off the premises three years after complaining about this person. I didn’t like a few staff people, but it was partly a personality conflict. Overall, the staff were great.

I was bestowed new names, “Fag Hag,” “A Gay Man,” and “Staff.” One person called me “Colace” because she “couldn’t” pronounce my name properly. I still wear them proudly. I met a lot of great people and hope to keep in touch with them.

My therapist gave me an assignment, “Bitch Day.” I was to be a bitch during one full day. I had lots of support and plenty of advice. I was actually a good assignment as I became more aware of my thought and feelings and actually said them For the most part, I was just more assertive with a few exceptions. One person with whom, I had problem with we walked down the hall exchanging choice word…ahh, I can use curse words. I stood up for myself with one therapist. I yelled at a staff person and kicked my door open. I also was in a heated “discussion” with my therapist …I actually yelled at him.

But, mostly it was hard work and, at times, extremely emotionally exhausting. I discovered how really bad off I was before hospitalization. I found a part of my anger and owed…nothing bad happened either. I feel better than I have had in several years. I feel more grounded. Am beginning to enjoy things that I once loved. I am glad that I decided to hospitalize myself and stayed as long as I did. I discovered that I can go 42 consecutive days without a computer. If anyone is counting, I have spent 76 days in the hospital since January and now have bronchitis…I just have to laugh and pray for a boring rest of the year.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm back...sort of!!

Thank you for all the support, prayers well wishes and cards. I am really glad that I hospitalized myself and stayed as long as I did. (43 days) I'm still getting used to real life. However, I feel better that I have in a long time, more grounded, confident and assertive. I now have bronchitis and am supposed to rest and drink plenty of fluids. I'll start posting again and visiting blogs as I am up to it. Again thanks for the overwhelming support.

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