The Time is at Hand for a Agent/ Publishers search.

Writers…this is not a promo or commercial for my book. It’s writer’s musings while writing first draft.

 

All I want is for my story and the ballpark but the consistent consensus of my 10-neurologist ‘brain trust’ on answers to things like ‘What are my chances of getting this?’ to get out there.

I didn’t want to put pressure on myself by going after an agent/publisher before the first or second draft of my book  was written w/bibliography and footnotes.

I didn’t graduate from Stanford and sure didn’t major in English Lit which would have helped. I did, however, take a boatload of journalism classes and still have the notes.

From research I learned Tardive Dyskinesia is not only a side effect of antipsychotics but EVEN antidepressants, ADHD meds, Lithium, Depakote too! All these meds are good, solid meds..I’m not demonizing them. That’s been done to death.

Just like the opiate epidemic, it’s not really about the drugs…..it’s the suppression and lack of knowledge.  Just like the opiate war, it’s not a battle to be won overnight.

This is the first book on this side effect. It is or will become an important general health issue.

Tardive Dyskinesia ‘prevalence’ doubled in the space of three years. 500-700,000. No longer an ‘Orphan’ disease.

I didn’t exactly know the content and flow until I started working on my bibliography., (Which presently is 20 pages long).

What I have now is a halfway done first draft, footnotes and 3/4 done MLA bibliography with another new thing I learned ‘Department of Index’ (DOI) links.

.But the book still feels like ‘All Talk.’ I want it to be ‘for real,’ a deal sealed w/academic or indie press. I truly don’t want to self publish a shoddy book. I’m in over my head. I will if I have to……but gosh….I could just put it on my blog like I’m doing now.

I wish for a paperback to be available so people can hold it in their hands and see they are not alone.

I see the support I need to perfect things like formatting, developmental editing, punctuation and form of my bibliography, (which includes books, websites, dates of retrieval and press releases)… cover design, legal vetting, promotion and distribution….yada yada.

I know I need a partner.  Let other people help me out of their own self interest.  Either a pharmaceutical company pamphlet or a renegade book published by an indie or academic press. Royalties go to a 501C.

There are many people who would like the world to be better educated on the permanent side effect of Tardive Dyskinesia, a  61-year-old syndrome that’s been bullied into the broom closet because it’s scary to think about, affects patient compliance and overall, very bad for the lucrative antipsychotic business.

 

(Part 1 of 2) This Bipolar “Biggest Loser” is Still Winning, 6 Yrs In.

tribal 013aquanotext

http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-strong-me-my-metabolism-and-the-market/

All over this week’s news (May 4th-8th) it’s the sad fact that nearly every contestant from Reality TV show “The Big Loser”has regained their lost weight and then some. I’ve never seen hopelessness and defeat sell so much advertising.

The’experts’ now declare: “Dieting Doesn’t Work.”

Rrreeaaallllllyy.

Last week, it was low carb. Before that, it had to be low fat. Before that, we had to avoid butter and eat Crisco, with transfatty acids.. Then it was ‘Artificial sweeteners will kill you’..and so on.

Have they ever gotten it right? Ever wonder why the story keeps changing?

In 2010, I gained 60 lbs on a mandatory bipolar mood stabilizer, lost it, and have kept it off.  No fancy program, or diet food. (And I’m still on that dastardly medication). 

“Me, My Metabolism and the Market” is part one of an open ended series only on bphope.com.

http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-strong-me-my-metabolism-and-the-market/

(PART 2 is will be published on bphope.com and RIGHT HERE on Friday.) It’s called “Three Sizes of Clothes.”  Now, I keep them all. You never know.  I’m not invincible. Things might change. Right? Right.

Join me as I pour over recent research and employ holistic ways of disproving ‘experts’ in the field as they self promote off other people’s shame and misery.

You know me, ….I’ve never been much for ‘experts,’ ‘authorities’ or the word “NO,” to begin with. So this should be fun.

This Bipolar “Biggest Loser” Still Winning 6 Years In.

tribal 013aquanotext

We can’t lose weight and keep it off? Rrrrreeeaaalllllly????

http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-strong-me-my-metabolism-and-the-market/

This week’s news:  Nearly every contestant from “The Big Loser” regained their lost weight and more.

The experts say : “Dieting Doesn’t Work.”

In 2010, Allison Strong lost the 60 lbs she’d gained on a new medication and kept it off. So far. 

“Me, My Metabolism and the Market” is the beginning of Allison Strong’s  bphope.com (bipolar hope) metabolic series as she pours over recent research and finds holistic ways to disprove the claims of leading nutritionists trying to sell books and articles.

Allison’s never been much for ‘experts,’ ‘authorities’ or the word ‘NO,’ to begin with.

http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-strong-me-my-metabolism-and-the-market/

There’s another side to me…art therapy w/jewelry and cooking and more

pompano

 

If you have been following this blog for a while you might think I’m married to a life of battle against the ‘powers that be.’ Back when I was on Tumblr I posted a lot about my lighter side, jewelry making, pilates, and gourmet cooking, one of my passions. We have this store in town called Penn Dutch. They have the best, most highly trafficked (this makes for fresher fish because it’s always being replaced by new hauls) fish counter I’ve ever seen. Yesterday they had 9 Oz LobsterTails from South America, not Australia. They carry a Brazilian fish called Branzino that I’ve never heard of.

Yesterday I bought a fish native to here, South Florida, called Pompano. (pictured) it’s only 6.99 a pound, you purchase the whole fish and get two 6oz filets out of it. They filet it for you. What I do is buy coconut milk, fresh mint, and chili paste. I add more splenda to the mixture and heat it up. Then I put dissolved cornstarch in it and pour it over the fish and put it in the oven. I make steamed vegetables and rice, and the extra coconut milk sauce goes good over both. Mike my husband really likes this.

I had to stand at a fish counter with a number tag in my hand for 1/2 hour as this store is crowded. But that’s what makes the fish counter so fresh. Nothing sits there very long.

 

I’m asking your opinion if you have time could you answer?

vera1999AllisonBlackandWhite

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Should I change my photo rom the current photo on the left, switching to the one up above on the left or up above on the right, leaning into my hand?

Which is better for my blog, “Bipolar Strength: Rebel With A Cause?”

I’m still a rebel but I stand FOR things, not against them. My friend has helped me see this, so I’m modifying my blog to reflect it.

My name is Allison Strong. I used to be an outspoken, highly rated female (obviously), alternative disc jockey, a continuation of a music scene that defied the status quo, sometimes to good effect.

It was an era when we could talk about depression. I even had a regular guest named “the cemetery guy” and people absolutely loved him!

My boss wasn’t sure about it but when he saw my ratings spike, it decimated every preconceived notion he had about what made ‘good radio.’ People were ok with the dark side. The ratings bore that out.

 

People won’t admit it but want a good image. That’s why I went with something professional, obviously contrived. But it was a mockup of the late movie star James Dean, and his titular film “Rebel Without A Cause.” That’s why I went with the wifebeater T shirt one.

I want to show rebellion and questioning the status quo, doing things like researching medicines and their side effects before taking them, instead of doing what I did, blindly loading up on high doses of certain meds that had permanent neurological side effects.

 

It is what it is. I’m not angry about it anymore but want to ‘clue in’ the next generation of people getting an automatic bipolar disorder diagnosis and given a set of meds to take without question. It might not be so easy to get off them as it was to go on.

You can actually go online and google a med and the one in its’ class with the most class action lawsuits for a particular side effect, well you can add 2+2 or you wouldn’t be reading this right now. If I’d only have known.

So what do you think? Stay with Wifebeater and the darkness or pick the LOLOL laugh my head off shot or another professional smiley commercial headshot?

What is best? I’m having a hard time giving up the James Dean image. It’s a tough call. But I am modifying my name.

Allison

aka bipolarbrainiac

 

Why I’m a Rebel With A Cause

beamiefighting mad

 

 

Why I’m a Rebel? Why I have a Cause? My Cause is my fellow mental health consumers who have to take medication and hope it works. I also include in my ‘Cause’  treatment providers of all types who are trying to help us. Even the primary care physician who says, ” Stop taking Your Clozaril if you want to avoid Diabetes,” he just doesn’t know better.

There’s got to be a better way and I’m fighting for it. I’m willing to swim upstream like the salmon before they spawn and die. I’m going to die at some point.  When I was a bitter, newly divorced self medicating ExPat traveling Baja California there was an extreme sports line of clothing called “Die Trying.” That’s the level of ‘fight’ in me.

Anyone who has to lay out their medications daily and change them up when they stop working knows they are buying time. But this fight is not over before it’s over. I mean, OVER.

..Presently I am trying to buy time on the metabolic side effect …to delay the big “D” forever.

I’m terrible at self care and the idea of testing my blood sugar all day is daunting. I struggle to brush my teeth twice a day.

As far as the medical fallout from Diabetes type 2, well, from being  a professional athlete and runner,  I’ve had five foot surgeries.

I don’t want to surrender  what’s left of my feet.

I’m trying holistic things suggested by various sources to improve the function of the pancreas. So my letter to a chiropractor and asking him to help me heal myself metabolically is what follows:

1-17-2016

Dear Glen,

This is a very Geeky letter. I’m the friend of Clair Blake’s that came in for weight loss, put down 200.00 so we could do acupuncture for it and then promptly disappeared. I want to come back MWF for some adjustments suggested by the Edgar Cayce Readings. I’m enclosing a copy of the ones I mean to see if I can come and use up that credit with your acupuncture for pain and chiro for pancreas.

The reason I never came back before was my utter shame in gaining weight with your treatment rather than losing. But my medication is the driver behind that.

I have to take it for quality of life. It’s my medication for a permanent neurological side effect of  Parkinson’s like movement disorder called “Tardive Dyskinesia” exhibited by thrashing and shaking.

In the end, I did manage to lose the weight but still have metabolic healing to do. I have high glucose levels, another side effect, structural and functional changes in protein molecules that fold maladaptively and jam up the pancreas.

I’m using myself as a research subject to see if naturally I can get my numbers down. I’m implementing quite a few changes after I have my baseline AIC and hormone levels checked, hopefully, a  “Before” and “After.” You probably know a great deal about hormones too.

I hope you are open to this.

I’ll follow up with a phone call and you can deduct a session or two to compensate you for your time. If we are successful in getting my numbers lowered, you will be one of the few people who know how to help this unfortunate metabolic challenge facing people on second generation antipsychotics that I didn’t need In the first place but now am married to.

Allison Biszantz “Strong”

954-922-4310

h Tardive Dyskinesia from high doses of a particularly stimulative one…one that self promoted on the basis that you wouldn’t gain weight. In my experience, the two side effects are metabolic challenges and/or neurological movement disorders but if the doses are low enough..you might be able to avoid at least the latter. Anyway..here is another one of my ‘letters’ to someone trying to involve them in my self research.

 

Out of my mind with atypical antipsychotic related metabolic issues

Hi, it’s Allison.

 

I know your time is valuable which is why I’m hoping you’ll accept my check for reading and evaluating this letter about my metabolism.

I’m really strugging.

On a day to day basis, I journal my food and my hunger level. I’m rarely satiated-famished all day with a hunger level of 7. It’s hard to focus on anything, especially my writing and/or daily duties like hygiene and self-care when all I do is prepare healthy food to carry around with me so I can eat every hour.

The hunger is worse when I take my Metformin. Why do you think that might be?

Eating, even low carb meals makes it worse. I can’t figure this out and need your help.

I don’t have hunger pangs but a feeling of jittery irritability and the feeling that I’d do anything to get some food. Not sugar necessarily but I did faint recently in Kohl’s and had to eat half a candy bar.

So the only time I’m able to do anything with a clear is in the morning before I’ve eaten. It’s my ‘golden time.’

It’s hard to ‘do the right thing’ when the right thing makes life harder.

As you know, I’m on Clozaril, the drug causing this metabolic problem. But it helps me greatly with Tardive Dyskinesia, stabilizes my moods, helps me sleep predictably and regularly, even though I’m in pain most of the time.

I know you recommended I try Saphris or Latuda but those drugs likely as heck, according to my shrink, would aggravate my TD the same way Invega, Invega IM, Geodon, Risperdal and Zyprexa did. At the end of a three year period of no symptom control, even the sedating seroquel aggravated the tic, or rather; thrashing. Forget about sleep or signing my name. It was a horrible period of time.

I am one of the unlucky few who can’t take the highly effective first line treatment Benztropin (Cogentin).

I pay a high price for TD symptom relief beyond metabolic difficulties. Weight management is epic. Thank god I love exercise (weight train and 8 hours of cardio a week), and changed my diet to 95% raw foods.

I have monthly blood for absolute neutrophils and WBC, had to reduce my Enbrel for psoriasis and have to really take care of myself to have good labs. It’s a pain in the but safety protocol Teva and the other generic giants have in place to prevent agranular cytosis. (sp?)

As for your suggestion that I ‘get off Clozaril,’ I’ve tried. I put myself in intensive outpatient so I could try in a supervised setting. First we tried Invega, Seroquel, Risperdal, Abilify and Zyprexa, all of which aggravated my symptoms even more. You probably already know that atypical and traditional antipsychotics as well as Reglan cause Tardive Dyskinesia in the first place.

This is totally illogical but when one removes the causal drugs, even carefully titrating lower and lower there’s this “Withdrawal Emergent Syndrome” where the symptoms are wildly worse. I was admitted to the ER three times for this and as you might imagine, the ER docs just wrung their hands, shaking their heads. You’d have thought they were the ones in observation from the looks of their faces!

I’ve had bipolar I since my first full blown manic episode in ’89. For a long-termer like me, Lithium would have been worse. I’m glad it’s my only drug allergy or I might be on dialysis by now, much worse than what I deal with currently.

I need you to help me buy time on this metabolic thing, help me delay the progression. (Hopefully until after I die).

I’ve already had five foot surgeries (Fusions bilateral and more) from professional sports overuse injuries (pro beach volleyball in LA), and I really like what’s left of my feet!! LoL!

Is there any way that I could have my blood sugar levels monitored more frequently as I employ changes in my weight training, diet, herbs and other holistic approaches? I’m finding Cinnamon helps with the hunger but online the reports are mixed. You’re pretty advanced and I think you could really help me delay diabetes.

I might even try pancreatic supporting chiro and possibly acupuncture. But first I need to find out if my Metformin is too high or why I’m starving all the time.

I’d like to do this and ask you if you think I should see an endocrinologist.

Thanks so much for reading my missive. My shrink says I’m an ‘exotic.’ Thank God he puts up with me. I’ve stayed out of the inpatient psych ward for sixteen terrific years save a few long term bipolar depression relapses. Now that I’m writing for four different mags, life is pretty good, except when I’m hungry all the time!

 

Sincerely,

Allison Strong

 

Comments anyone? Anyone else out there struggling with these issues? I really hope to buy time until science catches up to this problem. Believe me, they’re scrambling. There’s just too much good money to be made!!!

Movies about what it means to be French.

I was doing movie listings and mini reviews, but had a huge flare up of back pain and had to cut back. I will pick it up again soon…like in a few days. The list is enormous because it’s the holidays. I try to weed the most obviously marketing action adventures out unless they have redeeming qualities.

The New York Times has now reviewed Amazon Prime’s “The Man in the High Castle” three times. It’s a ‘what if’ Holocaust tale about America in the early 60’s, after the Nazis and Japanese won WWII. The Japanese have the west coast and the Nazi’s New York. Times Square has swastikas on all the glaring neon lights. Amazon Prime has promotions where you get a credit card with a 50 buck credit and a reduced rate. All said, we spent a total of 20 bucks for our annual membership.

Netflix’s original series, based on a Marvel Comic book, “Jessica Jones” does not disappoint. The character is multidimensional and even though she has superpowers, her active alcoholism is her Achilles heel.

The New York Times paid homage to Paris Friday in their movie section by listing some French Movies that show what it means to be French.

They are:

“Girlhood”

“Days of Glory”

“A prophet”

“Of Gods and Men.”

 

I’m Proud to blog for IBPF and NAMI

I’ve been lucky in that somehow I’ve been picked up as a blogger by International Bipolar Disorder and NAMI but truly for every four submissions I send out to other digital publications, only one gets picked up. I got really close to being picked up by Bipolar Magazine’s digital arm, “Bipolar Hope.” They take a lot of drug company money in terms of advertising and I challenged them by sending a Tardive Dyskinesia story. If I had really wanted the twice monthly opportunity, I should have sent them a glossier blog on a ‘shiny happy people’ (REM song) topic. See, IBPF has the distinction of being totally independent financially from the drug companies, so we bloggers can be a bit more truthful, blunt, even, if the subject is so. But we balance it out by emphasizing that it does get better.

The rest of my submissions are rejected for one reason or another. There was Stigma fighters, I guess that evaluating my 25 year struggle on paper I told too many stories and talked about meds too much. When you develop Tardive Dyskinesia, Sexual Side Effects, Terrible Constipation, Constant hunger and Metabolic syndrome (half-way to diabetes thru no fault of my own…I eat good am very active and slender) it’s pretty hard to ignore the challenges and victories over those problems like they don’t exist,

I mean think about this: How many of us have gained or watched a loved one weight and not be able to lose it after being put on psych meds? There are advances in Western Science and Alternative solutions too, and I want to write about my journey. After all, I’m still alive and pretty happy.

Then there was the ‘seeds of hope’ submission and they objected to too much personal narrative and not enough of a “we can conquer thru ideology” presentation. So I’ve realized that in all this advocacy, I have to nurture myself, focus on what’s really important and develop a thick skin. And to stick to my own platforms, like this blog and the book I am writing. Does anyone else out there ‘feel’ me?