Kate Spade, RIP

She was younger than I am. She was successful, famous, talented, admired. Did I miss any? And yet, she died today at her own hand.

Let’s say the word: suicide. More than an attempt: a completed suicide.

Kate Spade killed herself.

I’ve written about depression a lot. I’ve chronicled my own mental illness and the accompanying pain. I was fortunate; I never felt that dying was a solution. Feeling that way is a common symptom of depression, though. I know that, and I know that my illness could have turned that direction at any time.

I also knew that I put forth a cheery front. It wasn’t an act, it was simply my optimistic nature. As people talk about Kate Spade, her ability to make women smile often came up. She designed sporty, cute, clever accessories. Her handbags were classy and fun. Heck, I have a Kate Spade case on my cell phone – simple yet cheerful polka dots!

Readers, friends, family, it’s on all of us to make sure that people know that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem or situation. It’s never the only way to end the pain. Reach out; help is available.


Share and Enjoy !


Why I Like “Outdaughtered” on TLC

Ah, reality shows. The Daisy reality show would never be reality; my life is actually rather dull, and I mean that in the best of ways. One of the shows in the Big Family category has caught my attention, and here’s why it did.

Outdaughtered features the Busby family, a couple with six daughters. One girl just turned six years old, and the other five little ones just turned two. You read that right, readers: quintuplets. The only all-girl set of quintuplets to be born in the U.S.

Many scenes feature Danielle, a.k.a. Mom Busby, sitting on the playroom floor surrounded by the toddlers. I remember working in child care, spending hours on the floor surrounded by preschoolers or toddlers. I handled that for six to eight hours, and I can only imagine the Busby family handling their little ones 24/7/365. Danielle earns my respect for being a stay-at-home mom to six little one, five in diapers.

Adam, a.k.a. Dad Busby, is dealing with a mental health problem; he has a major depression going on. I understand how that can feel; the worst depression of my life took place about seven years ago. I made some difficult decisions during that time such as blogging my progress, sharing (or not sharing) my diagnosis with coworkers, and much later, deciding to put my real name to a very public essay on depression. I admire Adam’s courage in allowing his depression to be seen on their television show. By publicly owning his illness, he risks criticism from people he doesn’t even know. By publicly admitting he needs help, he risks being seen as weak. But on the positive side, by publicly owning his depression, Adam Busby lets others, especially other men, know that they can seek help. They don’t need to suffer alone or tough it out. Adam earns my respect by facing his depression, and by doing it in a way that may – no, WILL – help others.

Now to the third reason I follow the Busby family’s adventures in reality television. Hazel, little Hazel Grace, is the reason. Hazel was the smallest quint at birth. She developed more slowly and reached milestones such as walking later than her sisters. Hazel also has a vision problem. Her diagnosis thus far is not the same as my Amigo’s blindness, Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), but we went through a journey much like Adam and Danielle’s when Amigo was a baby. Hazel is adorable and lovable, like many tots. Every time I see her squint and every time I watch an episode at the eye doctor’s office, it takes me back. 25 years ago feels like yesterday.

And that, dear readers, is why I record Outdaughtered on Tuesday nights.

And that, my friends, is also why I’m worried about a family in Houston that I don’t even know. I hope the Busbys and their extended family in Texas and Louisiana are safe and healthy in the midst of Hurricane Harvey.

Share and Enjoy !


At the Risk of Exaggerating – Research Rocks.

Seen on Facebook – shared by reliable people on my timeline

Here are nine people who will lose their coverage under Trumpcare and one who won’t:
1. a diabetic
2. a cancer survivor
3. an asthmatic
4. someone with allergies
5. a heart disease patient
6. an HIV/AIDS patient
7. someone with chronic lung disease
8. someone with Cystic Fibrosis
9. someone with Multiple Sclerosis
10. any member of Congress
List by:
Dr Cathleen Greenberg
Oregon Health & Science University
Residency Family Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine

I kept hoping it wasn’t true, wasn’t that bad, so I called on my closest tool: the Internet. I searched for a reliable source (no alternative facts or fake news would do) and found the following.

In summary, the decision will be left up to the states whether to maintain two parts of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare). The first: the requirement to cover Essential Health Benefits, including but not limited to maternity care, birth control, and emergency room visits. The second is the part widely feared. The replacement for the Affordable Care Act would let states decide whether or not to keep the Community Rating Rules, the piece that insists coverage be available to all. All, that is, regardless of their zip code, gender, pre-existing conditions, and more.

Some states will weather this storm. Those (Minnesota, I’m looking at you) accepted federal funds to establish their health care exchanges. They set up a system that worked for their people, and they’re in a good place to continue covering state residents.

Mine? Under the questionable leadership of Scott Walker, a man who turned down federal funds for anything he could, a man who seemed to fear cooties from any funds that were generated thanks to President Obama, I fear my good state of Wisconsin will go with the GOP flow and let those two pieces of the AFA lapse.

We citizens with preexisting conditions will not be cut outright, but we’re likely to see our premiums go sky high to the point where we can no longer afford health insurance. And that, my friends, is scary.

What can we do about it? We can lobby. Call, write, email, call, write, and email our legislators. Give them these two points:

  1. It is not equitable for Congress to exempt themselves from the tough results of their own lawmaking.
  2. Forcing people to pay extreme premiums to get the treatment they need is wrong. Simply put, wrong.

I think it’s a good time to write a few postcards.


Share and Enjoy !


Serious Depressive Episode

“Co-pilot concealed mental illness.”

“Co-pilot suffered a ‘serious depressive episode.'”

When will the stigma end?

When will people suffering from depression feel they can seek treatment without secrecy?

When will treatment for mental illness become as readily available as treatment for physical illness?

That’s all for now, but this bothers me. It bothers me on so many levels. Readers, expect to hear more.

Share and Enjoy !


The Broad Side

Readers, I feel like I’ve made it big. My article about depression is live on The Broad Side.

This piece is groundbreaking for me. I published under my own name, not my Daisy moniker. I took a few posts from my major depression of 2011 and pulled them together to form a coherent whole. I had posts from the beginning, the middle, and the end (my recovery), so I found a representative piece from each time period.

This took courage, my friends. If I’m really going to make headway in breaking the stigma attached to mental illness, I needed to use my own name in discussing my depression.

Please take a deep breath and click over the The Broad Side. When you’re finished with my piece, feel free to stay a while and peruse other articles. If you enjoy reading me, you’ll find a lot to like on The Broad Side.

Here it is. Read it slowly and thoughtfully, please. Remember, it took courage.

Share and Enjoy !


So on we go – grief or no grief

The flurry of posts and memorials for Robin William’s death has subsided a little. Life goes on and on.

Meanwhile, I keep going to the Farmers’ Markets. The act of going & the act of buying followed by the process of preparing and freezing or canning or cooking… Let’s start over before I create a huge run on sentence.


Wednesday's Market

Wednesday’s Market

The act of going to the market is therapeutic. I get to talk to people, ask questions, and interact positively.

The midweek market is a place filled with happy people! If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see two bunches of carrots. A vendor gave me the second bunch for free because I bought peas and beans from him. He was just being generous and nice – he didn’t know I had a pet rabbit at home waiting for fresh food like this.

No Parsley or Sage

No Parsley or Sage

Rosemary, Thyme, and Lemon Basil hang in the attic. They’ll hang from those hooks for at least two weeks until they’re dry or pretty darn close to it. Like gardening, hanging herbs for drying demonstrates a belief in the future. They won’t dry overnight.

Like gardening, drying my own herbs is a process, not a product. So on we go, growing  and harvesting and gathering what we’ll need for the future. The future looks good.


Share and Enjoy !


Gone too soon – RIP, Robin Williams

Tributes to the great Robin Williams are all over the Interwebs and all over the world. Erika Diamond reprinted a post I contributed a few years ago. Anything I add will echo something said by others – and perhaps that’s one of the reasons so many are speaking up.

From a college friend – Celebrity deaths don’t generally make me cry. I just sobbed over the loss of Robin Williams.

From a teacher and techie friend – I have to turn off Facebook and all social media tonight. This repeating story of Robin Williams being so alone and desolate is absolutely killing me.

In one of my favorite rolls, Mrs. Doubtfire

In one of my favorite rolls, Mrs. Doubtfire

Iphigenia Doubtfire. How much of this was scripted and how much improvised? We may never know. Robin Williams in character within a character – both characters lovable and delightful people.

Robin Williams madness


That spark of “madness” – creativity, excitement, humor, brilliance. When I think of Robin Williams and his collective works – I haven’t even seen them all! – I keep coming back to brilliance. 

But within that brilliant man was a tortured soul. Depression, an illness made worse by addiction. Yes, I said illness. Depression is an illness that causes great pain. When people experience clinical depression, they are not sad or weak or wimpy. They truly cannot function because of their pain. Recovery can be slow, and it can require medications and therapy and more.

Robin’s legacy includes the manner of his death, but I hope his life is what we remember most. He was a very unique, strong and talented man; a diagnosis of mental illness doesn’t change that.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. May you finally find the peace you were seeking. You made the world a better place.

Share and Enjoy !


Dear world; again? So soon?

Dear clinic that shall not be named —

I’m sure she meant it in the best possible way. I won’t assume anything, but I’ll guess that the RN in charge of messaging didn’t mean to use a commonly known text-message and IM abbreviation. She must have been unaware that there could be another interpretation. So, dear clinic, you still might want to train your personnel to be more careful with their shortcuts, lest they tell an already frustrated patient to do this.

“Please call our office to schedule this f/u appt.”

Okay, Readers, here’s the rest of the story. As I make arrangements for multiple appointments, including another MRI for my neck and the start of a potentially lengthy series of Physical Therapy, I’m doing my absolute best to schedule at the beginning or end of a school day so I can get away with using less sick time. I used up years of accrued sick days in order to take a significant leave of absence in 2011. I started earning sick leave from scratch last year, so there’s not much in my sick bay at the moment. Dealing with cataract surgery and attempts to see a psychiatric nurse practitioner who only worked from 8 to 3 weekdays, I withdrew plenty from that account. And that reminds me —

Dear clinic that shall not be named —

Forcing someone with a severe depression to wait seven months for psychiatric care is a bad idea. Assigning a teacher (a field known for less-than-flexible schedules) to a psychiatric nurse practitioner who doesn’t see patients after 3:00 p.m., well, is yet another poorly considered idea. So think about it, clinic, oh you-who-claim-2B-efficient. A seven month wait? A medical professional with office hours that force the patient to take time off from work every single time? Efficient? Not for the patient.

Readers, I gave up on the psychiatric care. My family physician has done well treating my depression, as well as or better than the one-who-was-not-worth-the wait. I know from past experience that I need to put myself first. In the real world of employment, however, I need to balance my doctor time with my work time. I love my work and my job, too. I’d like to stay employed there. My supervisors would like me to remain employed there, too.

I guess it would be more efficient on my end to remember that laughter is the best medicine. The next time an RN writes “f/u” in a message, I’ll just respond by ROTFLMAO. Right? Right.


Share and Enjoy !


Dear Pharmacy; your carbon footprint stinks.

Dear Pharmacy that shall not be Named;

If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 billion bags a year.* So tell me; why do you have such a problem with my bringing my own bag? Last time I had to tell the clerk twice, loudly and clearly, before she looked at me with a confused expression and then set the plastic bag down. I guess I’ll take the confused expression over the eye roll I’ve gotten several other times.
Well, dear Pharmacy, let’s look at another wasteful habit. Every single time a clerk hands out a (stupid little plastic) bag, it contains advertising. Flu shots, diabetes supplies, the smart phone app for refills – I don’t need these. Really. And when I hand back the paper with a “Thanks, but I’ve already had my flu shot,” the paper doesn’t go to another customer; it goes in the recycling. What the heck? Your carbon footprint approaches Paul Bunyan’s print in size.
Pharmacy, dear, oh Ye Who Shall Not be Named, I just moved the bulk of my maintenance medications to another provider. I no longer plan to make multiple trips per month, tolerate the attitude, or accept the outrageous amount of waste generated.

Got it? Oh. I didn’t think so. Never mind.



Share and Enjoy !


>How to Adjust to a New Sleep Medication

>Disclaimer: Adjustment Daisy style does not replace or even supplement real medical advice. This adjustment addresses the woozy feeling in the morning, sometimes called the Hangover Effect.

  • Have coffee with a friend. The coffee will infuse caffeine; the conversation will be enlightening.
  • Snuggle a blanket. This acknowledges the desire to sleep again while not giving in completely to the call of the pillows.
  • Put pots and trays of seedlings outside. Between the sun and the cool temperatures, nature helps wake up the soul.
  • Blog. But be careful; proofread later when feeling less loopy.
  • Feed and pet a rabbit. This is a valid strategy for almost any condition. Rabbits are magical.
  • Watch the weather channel or CNN, depending on the mood.
  • Avoid game shows on TV. The over-animated applause and the bells & whistles are annoying and all too often generate headaches.
  • Contemplate changing timing of taking medication at night to allow for successful awakening in the morning.
Readers, can you add to the list?

Share and Enjoy !