Indie Pharmacies an Endangered Species…The only kind who understands and cares

alblackdressmall

I am on a tear to save independent pharmacies being driven out of business. If you read my stuff, you know I have bipolar/tardive/borderline diabetic side effects. When I got tardive my publix of fifteen years bumped me off. My complications were too much for them. I found an indie which is why I wrote this story.

http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-strong-my-pharmacist-has-my-back/

 

#OnePatientOneGoodPharmacist

 

Allison Strong

 

Hypomania disorganization

AllisonBlackandWhite

I realized yesterday there is a project I have been working on for four months. It’s a story I haven’t heard anywhere else that needs to be told. I have pitched it two places and got ignored. Then there is this other thing I want to do, which is to write a pamphlet uploaded and free to the public. I don’t want to lay out any expenses for this either, though. It’s a helpful, informational and story of how I struggled for symptom relief for Tardive Dyskinesia and finally got it and what I learned along the way. It was 25 docs, some of them psychiatrists, some of them movement disorder specialists who said it was psychosomatic…well I have two projects going at the same time because I am hypomanic. I have to settle myself down and do one thing at a time instead of grabbing at everything that ignites my curiosity and/or passion.

Link to al’s story on bphope.com, willing 2 print “Listomania Shocker,” a litany on lists in list format no less

trumpoprahPhoto of a photo

…Actually, it’s your turn to Vote.

The blue link below is Allison Strong’s last hurrah, her litany on the widespread, ever growing list format for all articles for all occasions.  (You’d never write one about a funeral, right? That would not be PC.(Like she’d know about that? Heheh)

This is ‘supermax’ multiple choice, one, two all or none of the below. It’s called ‘supermax’ for reasons, you’ll see when you click and open the link. https://www.facebook.com/bpMagazine/posts/1370951026263754

Who or what would you rather have crammed down your throat, The Donald,  a surefire “How to lose 20 pounds in three days,” or Allison Strong, who is trying to start a revolution or at least create awareness as we click our way into oblivion. Lists are almost like watching TV. Very little thought required.

 

We’ve created a default setting in publishing. The owners of the media think, based on the obsene comparative metrics on clicks that everything automatically goes in format UNLESS there’s a grassroots movement as mentioned in the article linked to this link.

From horses mouth…the women does more than write…she speaks!!

Come on…   What’s one more click gonna matter in a world of primitive wrist reflexes? At least read what she has to say…..or be condemned to lists forevermore….. the link, once again, click and be a hater but at least click for me:    https://www.facebook.com/bpMagazine/posts/1370951026263754

This is why we have elections and strive for a democratic process, to make people aware of what’s at stake. Recently I read 29 things you’d like to say to your illness and mentioned was this stony wish: “Stop killing me and my friends.” It just…..I don’t know. I started barking and just couldn’t stop. But I will now. You’ll either click or you won’t. I admit to being sort of a nonclicker but now that I hear facebook has a frownie emoji I might find myself clicking all day long.

Bipolar Listomania Shocker

Who Would You like jammed down your throat? A superficial “list” article, Donald Trump (who drove the media towards tabloidy coverage), or Miss Allison Strong. Hmmm. None of the above. Just as we thought.

womens worlddonaldallicat

 

This has tough for her because she thinks if people who have bipolar disorder want to be taken seriously, then a neatly arranged body of factoids with nothing to back them up, is horrendous. She has lost one publisher (that she even knows) for expressing her disturbance at the amount of mental health content being dealt with too lightly with “National Enquirer” type lists. Here is the link to the gutsy pulication, bphope.com, who allowed Allison to stick her neck out (she does that regularly) and prove why these lists aren’t always appropriate or productive. Here’s the link: I hope you become part of the electoral process. http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-strong-list-o-mania-shocker.

Let us know if you think we, too should can her ass by commenting, ‘unliking’ etc in the comments section below

La Perla CEO Moves On

 

 

Family member has been running La Perla. So proud of her. Someone bigger has hired her away. She’s moving on. She helped me get to New York once to see a David Mamet Play with James Spader and Kerry Washington called “Race.” Dialogue so dead on with abrasive with…you’d never think of skin color the same way again. He made the point that it’s futile to try for equality because it never will be.laperla

Minicycles within Bipolar Cycling

 

allicat

I’ve been a rapid cycler for a long long time. I’m on a combination of stuff that’s perfectly calibrated. Havn’t been depressed since July. As you might expect, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. The day before yesterday I went to the gym and I couldn’t concentrate on the Newspaper, had to push really hard to get through routine and never got the ‘runner’s high’

I’m in small cycles. But it scared me. I started looking at the calendar and evaluating my current state of mind and thought, ‘live each day appreciative of it.’

 

That Stanford college entrance essay….that I wrote way back then

stanford

The Farm. My dorm was Toyon Hall, and John Elway was in the room next door. Yes, co ed dorms.

Ok, now that Stanford accepted absolutely No One, Nobody, Not a soul into the class of 2020, they’ve cemented their reputation as being the most selective institution of higher learning for all eternity.

Recently my father gave me a back handed pat on the back, “Allison, you were clever enough to get into Stanford, I’m sure you can figure your way out of…” this is the first time he told me I was smart, or gave me credit for my determination…anything. Now, again, we are not speaking. See, I’m not the daughter who works at La Perla or Runs the Golf Division of Nike or …..Evan Picone or a leading Del Mar realtor during the hardest times in housing. 

I will say this: I went for my dreams and got more than I even bargained for. I didn’t dare dream I would ever be a rock disc jockey…those ladies were so supercool and composed as they played their Pink Floyd….but it happened and part of it was that I had worked at the Stanford Radio station, KZSU, as a political interviewer, capturing quotes from the likes of Maxine Waters. So after a year of selling advertising at a paper, when I had a drug relapse ending a full year of clean time, I got fired, and ran to the local radio station and told them the truth. They had drug users on staff who were lying about it so they were happy to replace one of them with me. I, at least, wanted to stop, was trying my best. I just had gone to the wrong New Year’s Eve Party.

I’m going to retype most of my college entrance essay. Lately, I’ve been reviewing my notes from my journalism class, a class I truly enjoyed. So I thought I’d dig out the ol’ essay I wrote. Keep in mind though, I had an aunt who graduated from Stanford and I was on a partial (not full) athletic scholarship.

Not for lack of trying……over a grueling, failure-filled four years….. I’d managed to climb to the top of the San Diego All CIF heap as MVP of both my team and San Diego. It was my very first season actually playing (as opposed to riding the bench) on a team that I kept getting cut from. Because of my lack of experience, I didn’t have the instinctive ‘court sense’ possessed by young women from Orange County…i.e.,  Newport Beach or Laguna, who got started playing off season ‘club’ ball at the age of 11. But that’s another story.

 

“The ‘I’ Paper”

I believe I am a well-rounded student, a student who succeeds at athletics, the arts, and probably most important, one who enjoys and adapts well to the new environments and the people within them.

In the second semester of my junior year, I transferred from Torrey Pines High School in Southern California, to Wood River High School in Idaho., (where Sgt Bergdahl is from, Hailey, Idaho, near Sun Valley and Ketchum)

Although my new school was a complete change from my original school, I was able to acclimate myself ot the new surroundings by making friend sand being involved in school activities. I maintained honor’s marks at a more academically demanding school.

 

While at Wood River (which we pranksters called “Weed Reefer” and snow shooed, stamping out and shoveling out the white, revealing those words in black dirt) way up in the mountains overlooking the campus, an eyesore seen from the highway)! I tried out for the musical production of the spring semester (Guys and Dolls….the female lead required dizzying soprano heights I had to stop smoking…altogether)

Although I was not in the drama class at the school, I received both the lead part and the outstanding actress award at the end of the year!

My teachers nominated me for the good citizen award (hehe) and the students elected me to the finals.

Presently I am back at Torrey Pines High School  (this is 1979…right now it’s 2016), where I have been on the honor roll for several semesters and have been elected and served on student congress both my sophomore and junior year. (why can’t I remember that? Did I lie about it)?

I found it exciting to be involved in making decisiojns in student government and to relay them to the student body.

Since elementary school, I have always had a desire to achieve high marks in school (this was to get my Dad’s approval, a very hard thing to obtain, even today) and have enjoyed most of my subjects. Excluding ninth grade, my GPA for A-F (that’s a UC, meaning University of California…like UC David or UCLA classification of a required class for college admission. For example, you had to have two years of a foreign language or advanced math like Calculus..) My gpa for A-F slcasses is a 3.38 (so low compared to most Stanford Applicants!!!! That volleyball skill that Dad said was a ‘beach bum sport’ kinda came in handy after all!!!)

and on the rise. My most favorite classes have been English, History, Composition and Drama. I perceive these areas as my strong points…(even then, using the word ‘strong!’ my real last name is Biszantz…maybe one day I’ll pull it out. My family would be mortified, they beg me to stay anonymous so as not to shame them).

I’m tired. I will finish this essay tomorrow. Simply tagging this first in a series of three…or maybe two, will take all I have left. See ya tomorrow, same time, same place. Bipolar Strength: Rebel With A Cause.

Allison Biszantz

Ice Cream Diet to Keep Antidepressant Down

icecreamdiet

I am on a terrific antidepressant. But it has this side effect of severe nausea. In the literature and online, that’s it’s most common side effect.

I’m on this antidepressant because I go thru med fatigue where the med gets tired of working, or the brain can’t be fooled anymore..I am not sure which.

I fall into a bipolar depression, which can last months or years. If I get lucky, like three times in the last five years, I get ahold of something I’ve never been on and I am better within a week. That has been my experience with the newest antidepressants that have come out between 2010 and 2016. The other thing that works is to rotate them, and when depression hits to return to an antidepressant that I used five or ten years ago that worked well, and it works again.  But I’m at the end of the line.

All the other choices, except tricyclics, MAOI’s or ECT have been used up. Nothing has been FDA approved since 2013, I’m pretty sure. So I returned to Brintellix, after Viibryd and Pristiq and Fetmiza wore out. I got violently ill. For two weeks I could not keep it down and got depressed again. I had been on a pretty strict diet, no desserts, a lot of rabbit food. One night I ate ice cream and Voila! The medication stayed down. So I’ve been eating ice cream for a month now and my mood is back to normal. Problem is this: Ice cream is a binge food for me. When I start eating it it’s hard to stop. I’ve gained 6 pounds from it.

How do you balance out binge foods? I have not figured this one out.

My Image, Shot by Vera Anderson of LA

On talent and long term spousal abuse….

You may have noticed that I changed my image from the James Dean wannabe in the wifebeater t-shirt, complete with scowl. Back then I was in mixed mood psychosis and got the photos taken by a German photographer who understood light and shadow. Sort of a Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo ‘personae’ thing. I didn’t want to part with it and I took a poll and numbers were split. I don’t want people to think I’m the type of rebel who is ‘anti-everything.’ I stand for as much or more than I stand against. I’m not angry at the world. I fight for my health. so I chose a picture I’m fond of at the request of two ladies who know me well. I’m smiling.

It was taken by a woman who photographed me here and there my entire acting career, a brilliant, talented gal named Vera Anderson.

 

She was married to a guy who had untreated, or self medicated bipolar disorder. For anyone over 40, do you remember the very early days of Cable, the ‘Z’ channel, similar to what “Sundance” is now?

Vera’s  husband, ahead of his time, pioneered it.

 

His role models were Jack Nicolson, Roman Polanski, Sam Peckinpah, Martin Scorcese.

He would have LOVED Quentin Tarantino.

Bipolar/substance abusing, refusing his meds, he beat her and she left him. He stalked her relentlessly and the day before his marriage to another woman, he begged her to come back. She said no and he shot himself in the head. “That’lll show you.” He was an ass.

After his death she went on to write a book called “A Woman Like You,” about all the women who endure long spousal term abuse, finally snap and kill their husbands only to serve life in prison;  no one factoring in the effects of PTSD or whatever you wanna call it.

It didn’t seem fair to her. She’d been down that road and bought the T-shirt.

The proceeds from the book went to charity. She had always wanted to direct film and she did one really good film that won an award at AFI (American film institute) but never got picked up by a distributor called “The Dogwalker.”It was a little film about the redeeming aspects of having to care for a little dog. You’d have loved it. Every time Vera took my picture I looked like myself, but better. She was the only photographer that ever ‘got me.’ If I write my book and it gets picked up, I’ll look for her yet again to see if she’ll snap me up.

Nami Broward County, needing help with Newsletter & asking for general volunteers Ignores Me.

AllisonBlackandWhite

 

I just could not resist this one. At the NAMI meeting at the Drop In Center they always ask for volunteers to organize and chair their “connections” meetings, need someone to do their newsletter and all phone calls I’ve made to them (five in all) have gone unreturned. “She’s trouble,” She’s got Tardive Dyskinesia and she’s Angry…” I know because well, you’ll read it in the email I just sent them, accusing them of discrimination against me for being slightly vocal about Tardive Dyskineisa. I don’t mention it everywhere I go…but I do speak up. It’s real. I have it. There are ways to delay or avoid it and still take your medicine. That’s what I want to get across. But now I’m asking..how do you think they will respond to this email? I would lay odds they will continue to ignore me like they have the past two years.

 

Dear David and Edna

I haven’t heard anything since I did the telephone interview and left David a Followup message on ‘starting small’ to work towards a common goal. I feel that because I have Tardive Dyskinesia and occasionally mention it, I am being discriminated against.

 

This happens in the medical and psychiatric community as well. I am the face of a frightening, at times grotesque statistic, even though I’m asymptomatic and pretty happy about life.

 

I’m not angry. it happened, It took three years to get help and I did a series of friendly, low key  videos for International Bipolar Foundations’s Youtube page how to find that ‘needle in the haystack:” the neurologist who is a movement disorder specialist who further specialized in Tardive Dyskinesia, comfortable treating the mentally ill. Not all neurologists are, my friends.
I had a nurse practitioner tell me she wouldn’t take me on for fear of ending up in some bitter lawsuit if I got worse under her care and have been thrown out of every office where I simply sought a second opinion. I’ve had the same collaborative psychiatrist for seventeen years and have stayed out of the hospital for that long as well.

 

When I’m in bipolar depression remission I am still able to go places, write and do telephone outreach, so I take my lumps when I get them. But having volunteered for years at Rebel’s and suddenly being deemed ‘too unstable’ to do so again when their other volunteers pass drugs in the parking lot and call me to tell me the FBI or CIA is after them, well, one has to ask if I’m too unstable or just too threatening.

 

I don’t mean to be any trouble. It’s too bad that you can’t even find the time to call back. It’s disheartening, to say the least.

 

Allison Strong