Say Hello to Dina Leah!

Soul Survivor newYou’re cordially invited to Dina Leah’s coming-out party.  You might have met her before, but she is painfully shy, and has had to be earnestly convinced to reveal her true identity.

You see, Dina Leah’s life has been tough, and she’s got a lot of fears.  One of them is being discovered by her mother, who was terribly cruel to her as a child, and continues to be cruel whenever she gets a chance.  So Dina is terrified that her mother would somehow find her (she does know how to use Google), so Dina has built layers of pseudonyms around herself, in an effort to insulate, to build a wall around her identity. Continue reading

Disabled, or Handicapped? What’s the Difference?

photo (6)One of my medical school guest professors, let’s call him Dr. X, came to class in a wheelchair.  He had not used it all of his life.  In fact, he had only begun to use it in the past couple of years.

Dr. X was a normally functioning medical student with a wife and two children when one day he woke up, got out of bed, and fell on the floor.  His right side was completely paralyzed.  He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance; tests were done; and he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Continue reading

Where in the world am I?

photo (6)Good heavens, it seems like forever since I’ve posted on Canvas.  I feel an explanation is due.

If the truth be known, I am totally consumed by writing (FINALLY) my memoir.  I have a lot to write about.  I have not had a “regular” life.  No, really, I haven’t.

Those of you who have been following my personal blog (shameless plug #1:) http://www.bipolarforlife.me will have been getting a fairly significant preview of coming, uh, attractions. Continue reading

Therapy

photo (6)I can’t believe I haven’t written about my therapist yet. After all these years: we’ve been partners in this odd relationship since 1999 or so. On and off, but still. She’s seen me through some fearsome places. She tells me now how much better I am, and I believe her, because she’s been there for me when I wasn’t.

Back then around the turn of this latest century, I was a pretty busy humanoid indeed. I had just moved to beautiful Western North Carolina from even more beautiful Northern Utah, ostensibly because I wanted to spend more time with my father, who had just suffered a minor heart attack and got a stent for his trouble. Continue reading

Insomnia One, Drugs Zero

photo (6)Sleep eludes me tonight. 
I have taken the appropriate doses of the appropriate pharmaceutical cocktails, to no avail.  I know this feeling.
It is born of anxiety, of a tightening in the muscles at the back of my neck, and in my diaphragm, restricting my breathing.  I have to pay special attention to the jaw muscles so they don’t get stuck, Heaven forfend. Continue reading

Got IBS? Check your meds.

photo (6)Statistics show that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are more likely to have a psychiatric diagnosis than the general population.   And of course that means pills.

The symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea (there is a form that includes constipation, but that’s not so relevant here).  The diarrhea can be so severe that a person could become housebound, or even incontinent. Continue reading

The flaw in the brilliant diamond

photo (6)Once upon a time I had a teetering, yet outwardly normal, life.  My then-fiance decided to buy me a diamond, even though I insisted I did not want one because of the terrible karma diamonds carry, generally being the products of slavery.  He insisted.  And he demanded that I pick the stone myself.

So I launched into a whole epoch of diamond-related research.  I learned about color, clarity, cut, and inclusions, commonly known as “flaws.” Continue reading