Monthly Archives: March 2016

Today Was Better

Today was better than yesterday.
Last night Ivy slept.

Today I accomplished my goal of the day – phoning Meghan the social worker to help us get back on our feet with housing, with respite, and with therapy.

Going to be going for an EEG on April 5, slightly tempted to shave my head before I do so. Resisting temptation until it can be done by skilled hands.

Starting ‘Self-Concept & Communication’ outpatient therapy group at Grace Hospital April 18. Have intake assessment meeting with Michelle in Psychiatric Ambulatory Services on April 11.

Becoming weary of struggling to survive all the time, and yet invigorated when viewing my goals for each day as survival mechanisms. So many people don’t, but dammit, I’m going to be a survivor.

Following the adventures of someone I met in Tulita who is now in New Zealand. Inspired by this woman’s love of life and beauty inside & out. Blessed to have met her in person.

Have been sleeping a lot lately, and feeling sick to my stomach. Difficult to tell if this is stress-induced or viral. Doesn’t feel bad enough to be viral. Possibly stress. Having a conversion disorder has proved if anything that I apparently have no clue how to deal with actual problems.

What I really want to do with my life: go back to school, finish my B.A., eventually get doctorate and teach English Literature. I want to travel more and I want to raise Ivy to be a successful, happy, independent woman. I want to get a tattoo. I specifically want to travel to England to search out family roots. I want to learn more about herbs and crystals. I want to make Graham happy. I want to make at least one other person happy too. Is this attainable? Who knows? But it’s what’s in my heart.


Book Review – Cycling to Asylum by Su J. Sokol

I have just spent a few months finishing up reading Cycling to Asylum by Su J. Sokol, and today I finally finished it. I have to say, the title seemed to provoke more interest and intrigue than the content provided. I enjoyed the character of Laek, a free-thinking teacher from New York in what could conceivably be called a near-future dystopian period, but I absolutely disliked his wife and his two children, basically because Sokol stops at crucial junctions in the story to do a chapter on every single person in the family and their point of view on the same event, which could have been consolidated instead of making the reader read laboriously through the same event four times. If each character was to have his or her own chapter, I would have preferred for that chapter to carry the story a little further, but in this book that just simply didn’t happen. The parents moved much of the story along, the sister a little bit, and the youngest child’s chapters were all completely unnecessary.

That said, I do enjoy a certain sense of national pride when I read this book – that Canada is where people go to find hope and a new life (this publishing house publishes several Canadian-based works, so I expected nothing less from them). They leave New York to get away from violence and terrorist groups to find a new life and hope in Montreal. I enjoyed Sokol’s accurate use of the intermix of English and French that characterizes much Canadian speech, especially in Quebec, and I thought the mood of a Canadian city in winter was captured best of all. Also, I enjoyed the sexual/relational freedom Laek and his wife Janie enjoy in their marriage, as their relationship with Philip seems to represent a bridge between the bad parts of the U.S. they are leaving behind and the good memories they made there.

All in all, I give this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars, for an interesting storyline, but no more than 3, for taking too long to reach a climax and the staunch formulaic nature of the manuscript.


Flotsam & Jetsam

Hello everybody! It’s been a little while since my last entry, so I thought it was about high time I updated!

This might be a bit choppy because I still can’t concentrate very long. But, how have I been, you ask?

Honestly, I’m starting to feel well again. I’ve been put on an antipsychotic and the voices in my head have quieted and I finally feel like my thoughts are mine and mine alone again.

I’m still in hospital on the psychiatric ward until my lithium and valproate serum levels normalize, but I’m hopeful that in the psychiatric medicinal side of things, this new medication I’m taking called risperidone will continue to bring such positive results.

I only had one mini-seizure yesterday, and before that I hadn’t had one for nearly a week, so that’s good. My doc thinks they are probably caused by stress, which I didn’t know was even a thing. Just to make sure and be thorough, I’m scheduled for an EEG on April 5 at HSC, and to be honest, I’m pretty scared. Anyone wanna volunteer to come hold my hand while I get wires strapped all over my head? After that, they give the results of the EEG to a neurologist and he/she decides whether or not I need a CT scan. My hunch is that it will be fine and I won’t need to go that far.

Currently Reading:

  NIV Archaeological Study Bible

Cycling to Asylum by Su J. Sokol

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Évelyne Lever

Sexy Origins and Intimate Things: The Rites and Rituals of Straights, Gays, Bis, Drags, Trans, Virgins and Others by Charles Panati

8 Legs Up by C.W. Clark

Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

A History of Byzantium  by Timothy E. Gregory

Saga, Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughan

Grimm Fairy Tales Vol. 1 by Ralph Tedesco

Quite a mindful! But I switch to a different book after every chapter, so I can read a lot of books at the same time.

Today I’m grateful for:

  1. The lovely dinner/bookstore date my husband took me on today
  2. Lestat is fitting in so well with the other cats here.
  3. McDonald’s double cheeseburgers. Not a lie. They’re like crack burgers when you come back south from being on the 63rd Latitude after 4 months lol

hero_pdt_double_cheeseburger

How did your day go, guys? What are you reading? I love comments so feel free to leave some below! Peace out.

– SharaLee


Update – Back in Winnipeg

My last post found my family and I still in the Northwest Territories, and now we are back in Manitoba. It’s been a long tough journey and it’s not over yet. I was given too much lithium by the doctors up north and suffered the effects of lithium toxicity, and I also started having seizures. I was having seizures every night to every other night, and it got to the point where my husband was afraid to go to work or leave me alone with Ivy for my safety, so he asked his work if we could have a 3-month leave of absence to go back home where I could get proper medical care, which they granted us.

I’m still having seizures even though my lithium dose is now down to 600 mg (it was up to 1500 mg before!!!), so I’ve been put on the wait list for the psych ward at Grace Hospital so I can get the tests I need (CT scans etc that they didn’t do in NWT), but also the psychiatric care I need (I have bipolar disorder, and this crazy fluctuation in lithium needs to be closely monitored for my own safety, as well as the possibility that these seizures are probably psychogenic since they are non-epileptic, so I will probably need some further analysis/exploration in that area). This is a really tough time for myself and my family. I hate knowing that something I am sick with is taking my husband away from a job he loves, and I hate not being able to control my own body (a few days ago I had a seizure in front of my father-in-law and brother-in-law; they were good about it, but it’s embarrassing all the same).

I’m still trying to read as much as I can, but it’s been really hard lately. I’m really sorry to any authors who were really counting on a speedy review, but I am very sick right now, and I just can’t read the way I used to. My head is full of a lot of noise all the time, and it’s like I can hear all sounds all at once at the same time. I also feel like something about my personality has changed since I started having seizures, but I don’t know what exactly. I have a very strong sense of paranoia almost constantly that I’ve never had before. Things are scary.

I might not be using this blog to post about books only as much as my own personal journey. I need somewhere to vent and my pen-and-paper journal just can’t keep up with my thoughts as fast as my fingers on the keyboard can. I’m sorry for those of you who followed me expecting literary reviews only (as this blog was meant to be originally), but I feel it has evolved somewhat, so I want to include some more personal things too. Thank you everyone who reads/likes me. Your support means a lot to me. This might sound completely pathetic, but sometimes, I forget that I actually exist, so knowing people read this helps remind me that I do. It makes no philosophical sense but I think it might be part of all the depersonalizing that has been occurring lately.

Anyway, so that’s what has been going on with me. We are currently staying with Graham’s parents, and Ivy is having an amazing time. Our black cat, Lestat, has bonded well with the other cats, especially Abbey (my in-laws’ youngest cat). Here is a picture of Abbey grooming Lestat:

2016-03-01 14.10.23