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"I prefer you a little manic"


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I think this is the first time I've posted a topic, but I just had to put this out there. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

I'm a nurse executive, and I run a 120 bed short term rehab. My administrator, and all the department heads know that I'm bipolar. It's never really been an issue. After I had my gastric bypass last summer, I had a problem with mania because of the poor absorption of my Seroquel. I took a week off, got my head screwed on straight, and started taking more Seroquel. Got back to work, no problem. My boss (also my best friend), was very supportive and understanding.

I started having trouble sleeping, and feeling a little hypomanic. I was so freaked out by this, that I started going up on the Seroquel, fearful that I'd get down that mania road and spend ANOTHER 20K, like I did the last time. My boss calls me in the office and tells me that one of the department heads came to her and told her that I "was stoned out of her mind" at morning meeting.

I was horrified. She was very understanding, and concerned too. She told me that I need to cut back on the Seroquel, because I can't afford to have that rumor going around (I have 140 people working for me--it would be employment suicide, not to mention a risk to my license). She told me that "she preferred me a little manic".

I just don't know how I feel about this whole thing. I can't afford to have my reputation thrown in the toilet, and I can't afford to get manic again. I'm now scaling back on my Seroquel, and today I feel GREAT. Great scares me. I love great. I hate great.

I'd appreciate your feedback ;)

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I think this is the first time I've posted a topic, but I just had to put this out there. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

I'm a nurse executive, and I run a 120 bed short term rehab. My administrator, and all the department heads know that I'm bipolar. It's never really been an issue. After I had my gastric bypass last summer, I had a problem with mania because of the poor absorption of my Seroquel. I took a week off, got my head screwed on straight, and started taking more Seroquel. Got back to work, no problem. My boss (also my best friend), was very supportive and understanding.

I started having trouble sleeping, and feeling a little hypomanic. I was so freaked out by this, that I started going up on the Seroquel, fearful that I'd get down that mania road and spend ANOTHER 20K, like I did the last time. My boss calls me in the office and tells me that one of the department heads came to her and told her that I "was stoned out of her mind" at morning meeting.

I was horrified. She was very understanding, and concerned too. She told me that I need to cut back on the Seroquel, because I can't afford to have that rumor going around (I have 140 people working for me--it would be employment suicide, not to mention a risk to my license). She told me that "she preferred me a little manic".

I just don't know how I feel about this whole thing. I can't afford to have my reputation thrown in the toilet, and I can't afford to get manic again. I'm now scaling back on my Seroquel, and today I feel GREAT. Great scares me. I love great. I hate great.

I'd appreciate your feedback ;)

You are covered by HIPPA and by the disabilities which Mental Health covers. Honestly, I had a similar situation where somebody leaked out that I went 'off the deep end' and when I got back the rumor spread to some people that I knew. It was just like the movie Grease at the drive-in theater. You cannot be fired for having a mental disability. And really for those that know, they better be careful to not spread your business around.

I actually miss being hypomanic. There are tradeoffs in life and its either take your meds or be hospitalized.

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I'd be kind of furious with anyone who told me they preferred me a little manic! But then again, I tend to be a nasty piece of work when I'm manic, so that is extraordinarily unlikely.

Given that you keep having these breakthrough hypomanias, have you thought about maybe reducing your effexor? Just a thought...

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Having someone tell your boss they thought you were "stoned out of your mind" when they don't know about your meds, well, that's just crappy but understandable.

Your boss telling you to cut back on your seroquel? Preferring you a little manic? Jesus. That's pathetically out of line. That way lies lawsuits, EEOC complaints...

If your meds aren't interfering with your work, why should there be problems? If some mouthy, bitch-ass coworkers want to make waves...well that's a tough cookie, dunno there, might have to come up with some sort of explanation.

All in all it's just plain shitty. But really I don't see any risk to your, your job, your license. I DO see risk if you cut your meds to please your coworkers'/boss's sensibilities though.

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Your boss said this. [bangs head on desk]

Ask her if she'd prefer it if you just did a few lines before you showed up every morning. No, no, don't ask her that, because she's clearly not going to get your point and will just assume you mean it.

Being lithiated (or under treatment) is a condition of my continued employment... and licensure.

Does your state board not have a question about mental health/stability on the license application/renewal? All the clinical license apps I've seen include a question about mental conditions that could potentially impair ability to work, as well as a note from the attending saying that the applicant is fit to work.

One department head does not constitute a trashed reputation - instead, it constitutes one idiotic, overzealous, or misguided individual. You know just how rapid and malicious the nursing gossip web can be. On the other hand, you know that your work will speak for itself.

Here's the bottom line: You will appear FAR more impaired off your Seroquel than on it.

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She told me that I need to cut back on the Seroquel, because I can't afford to have that rumor going around (I have 140 people working for me--it would be employment suicide, not to mention a risk to my license). She told me that "she preferred me a little manic".

layperson, here.

i believe you should do what you believe is in the best interest of your health.

i believe that should include handing your boss a copy of HIPPA and to say that discussions of any aspects of your health status, including absurd dosage recommendations are off limits. period.

I believe most people when faced with a choice between doing their work or filing a lawsuit for damages and living off the settlement would choose to do their work.

i believe people should not fuck with another's health status.

for grins, i believe you should contact your state's Bar Association for a low-cost referral to speak with a lawyer about the facts in this case, and you should empower yourself with said facts.

that's what i believe...

...but i'm just a layperson.

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Your boss said this. [bangs head on desk]
Oh so many times have I banged my head on the desk because of people's stupidity.

Man, does this suck. Tell the boss that if you go manic, you may kill yourself and see what s/he says. That usually shuts people up.

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"she preferred me a little manic"

My mother recently said this to me! Man people are stupid!

I hope you find a way to go about your buisiness while keeping others out of it. Its horrible how people poke their noses where they don't belong.

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A couple of things. This thread reminds me of what my sister used to say about my mom "I like mom better drunk. She's nicer." ;)

Second, congrats on your weight loss!!!! I am waiting in line for my turn to have surgery as well and hope and pray to be as successful as you have been. That's a huge accomplishment. I know it's no easy fix!

I wish I had a suggestion on what to do with your situation except to make sure no HIPAA rules were broken (this is my health information management degree speaking....lol)

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I really value all your opinions, thank you SO much for responding. I'm going to cautiously drop down 50-100mg or so (with my psyARNPs permission). In my fear of going off the deep end again, I feel like I'm a little OVER medicated--not in a "stoned" way, but flatter than I'd like to be. I'm also changing my morning habits, so I'm a little more awake when I get to work, rather than waking up at work. *shrugs* We'll see. I'm not going to put my sanity at risk just because she'd prefer me "a little manic". I divorced the husband who told me he preferred me drunk (yes, I had flashes of this when she and I had our conversation). As to the dickhead department head, he can kiss my bipolar ass. I'm over it.

Once again, thanks for all your thoughts. I really needed some feedback, and ya'll came through for me ;)

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I have no real advice, but I just wanted to add to the general consensus that what your boss said was superbly unprofessional, especially for someone in the medical field...

I'm not sure I would've managed not to burst out with laughter... "Could I, please, have that request in writing?!" I suspect you could have a field day, legally speaking...

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Truthfully, I'd prefer me "a little manic." But alas, that is no longer fun or possible for me.

I've had coworkers tell me I look "medicated", but not a boss. I have had a boss tell me how good I'm doing when I was hypomanic. She is aware of my bipolar (as are most of my coworkers), so lord only knows what they think of me as I go through my moods.

I'm not in the medical field, but I am in the human service field dealing with people with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. They do refer to me a lot for psych med info.

Oreo

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There was a time when I preferred me a little hypomanic...that's over now. After 4 years, I finally realized that, as the Buddha said, the Middle Way is preferable. It took a year of tinkering for the right meds/doses for me to finally realize that "normal" is better for ME, no matter that my hypomanic energy and euphoria enabled me to "conquer the world." What's the world worth if you're really not totally controlling your illness? Your boss may have been making a little joke or whatever, but really, would she say to a diabetic, "I prefer you a little comatose?" I don't think so. YOU know what's best for YOU, and you have to take the power to do that, even in the face of anybody's foolish disapproval. If it means scaling back, that's what you should do. I know this--I left a high-paying, high-prestige job in publishing and currently work in a machine shop making 3/4 what I did, but am much happier in my current environment (my coworkers & management know I'm BP and are very supportive). I'm not saying you need to opt out of the world, but take courage: many people make the changes and you sound like you have the guts to do so.

HTH,

Jackee

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I am incredibly, overwhelmingly impressed that you HAVE a job as a nurse-executive with that much responsibility. Wow--I couldn't even keep the simplist nursing jobs on earth.

Your pllight reminds me when I had to tell my boss some years ago I was taking some time off, that I was trying to get meds straight, and that I was bi-polar. She--also an RN with a masters--said,"Be sure and don't tell anyone else." "Why?" I asked her, "Its not catching" But she never believed that, and from then on, looked at me with great suspicion.

And I am reminded of my husband, who at this moment I am not mad at, who has ALWAYS prefered me " a little manic" Much more fun, much more sexy, etc. etc. Problem is, I don't get that manic much anymore, cause I am on pharmaceutical speed, not the home made kind that really has a kick.

So yep, I with ya, sister. And remain impressed beyond words at your capabilities. You rock!

china

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Ick - I'd go another route with it...since the dept head knows that you have bipolar and are obviously medicated for it, making such a comment is way out of line...how would he know whether or not you're stoned? Stoned implies an intentional misuse of drugs...for all he knew, you were on a new med and having a bad reaction or side effect issue. I'd go straight to HR about it and explain to your immediate supervisor how inappropriate his comments were and that you are working your medication issues out with your DOCTOR, who is familiar with your medication and case history...any discussion of which is inappropriate within the work place.

In other words, cover your back. I believe that you and your boss have a great relationship and your boss was trying to be well-intentioned. She probably knows your history, your meds and you've discussed issues with her openly. The other dept head, I'm going to assume, not so much...so by saying what she did, your supervisor is offering no reproach to the dept head's bad behavior. Wrong, so wrong, on so many levels.

Kudos to you for being able to handle your illness, an incredibly high stress job and an asshole like that (not your boss, the other guy). I hope you get your med sitch straightened out quickly.

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I am incredibly, overwhelmingly impressed that you HAVE a job as a nurse-executive with that much responsibility. Wow--I couldn't even keep the simplist nursing jobs on earth.

Your pllight reminds me when I had to tell my boss some years ago I was taking some time off, that I was trying to get meds straight, and that I was bi-polar. She--also an RN with a masters--said,"Be sure and don't tell anyone else." "Why?" I asked her, "Its not catching" But she never believed that, and from then on, looked at me with great suspicion.

And I am reminded of my husband, who at this moment I am not mad at, who has ALWAYS prefered me " a little manic" Much more fun, much more sexy, etc. etc. Problem is, I don't get that manic much anymore, cause I am on pharmaceutical speed, not the home made kind that really has a kick.

So yep, I with ya, sister. And remain impressed beyond words at your capabilities. You rock!

china

Thanks, China. My job means more to me than just about anything--a lot of me is wrapped up in what I do, as well as who I am. Doing what I do has its really shitty days, when I wish I could just go home and sleep, and its crazy days, when I wish I could go home and just hide, but for the most part, I love it. Thanks so much for the compliment.

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