I don’t mean to….(fighting depression)

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I don’t mean to stay away.

I don’t mean to make you worry.

I walk around in a daze lately, and can’t see through the fog.

I feel like I’m lost in the dark and the only lights I see are from the flames of hell.

I can’t tell  you why.

There is no real reason.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a pawn in someone else’s game.  I can see two demons hunched over a game board, we are the pieces they move.  We have no control over how the game is played; we can only hope they play fairly, but we all know that demons never play fair.

How can I feel so level headed and focused at one point and so out of control and totally depressed at the next.  What changed?

Sometimes the answer is “nothing”.  Other times, the answer is more complicated, but the thing is, it’s really not about what has happened on the outside, it’s all about what’s going on on the inside.

Right now I could actually write a huge list of things that have changed in my life, but none of them explain the extreme changes in my emotional state.

I’m not “letting things get to me”, nor am I “too sensitive”.  I’m falling apart from the inside out, and it has nothing to do with anything I am doing to myself.

Damn! Does that sound as stupid to any of you as it does to me?

I get so pissed off when someone tells me that they wish I didn’t let things get to me so much, or that they wish I wasn’t so sensitive….yeah well…yadayadayada.  I guess, it is all on me, isn’t it?  But then again…is it?  If it were up to me I sure wouldn’t allow things to “get to me”, and I wouldn’t be overly “sensitive”.  Heck, if it were up to me I’d be pretty friggin’ stoic sometimes, but I’m not, I simply can’t be like that.  I feel things, very deeply sometimes, I actually envy people who can “bury it” or “put walls up”, I can’t do that.  I’ve tried, oh how I’ve tried.  I really do envy those people…..sometimes…like now…not always.

Lately, all I want to do is eat, sleep, and cry.   In reality I’m not sleeping enough, but I’m spending a lot of time trying to; I’m eating too much, the weight gain proves it, and I’m either crying or pissed most of the time!  But I’m trying really, really hard not to be like that.  Heck, I don’t even know why I’m crying, and I sure can’t tell you what I’m so mad about.  Here’s the kicker, something will happen that doesn’t bother me at all and then the exact same thing can happen again and suddenly I’m so pissed I can’t think straight, or I’m crying so hard I can’t see.  What changed there?  So…is that all on me?  or is it out of my control?   More importantly, is this something that is just happening because of outside circumstances and will blow over, or does my medication need to be adjusted?  Honestly, I have no clue.  (I think it’s probably the later, or maybe a little bit of both?

Even with all I know about mental illness, (from my experiences with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression) I still feel like it’s my fault.  I never feel like that about another person’s battles with mental illness, why do I hold myself to a different standard?  Is it simply because I’m often told, “I wish you didn’t let things get to you so much”, or is it because I think this is a part of me that I should be able to control.  I don’t have a lot in my life that I feel I have control over, surely I can control how I react to things.  Isn’t that what I’ve been practicing mindfulness for?  Simply accepting the way things are and not wishing it to be different.  Well honey, I do wish it were different right now, but I am trying hard to accept that it just is the way it is, and I know for certain that things will change.  Nothing stays the same, everything changes, I can always take solace in this, unless I’m deep in depression, then I think, “Yes, things change, it could get so much worse!”  Aaahhhh….No!  I can’t get caught in the future trap!  You know that trap, the one in your mind that predicts a future…good or bad, watch out! it’s a trap!  Chances are that the future you prophesied will not turn out the way your mind told you it would; staying in the present is the only way to really deal with life’s challenges, it’s it?  I KNOW these things.  Why then, is it so very hard?

I will try to take it moment by moment and be kind to myself.

I’ll try not to stay away.

I don’t want you to worry.

 

one moment at a time, I’ll get through this

 

*photo taken at Tumacacori National Park by W. Holcombe.  Please do not use without permission.  All rights reserved.

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Mindfulness Monday – Garden

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“Gardening is an active

participation in the

deepest mysteries of

the universe.”

~ Thomas Berry

“Look deep into nature

and then you will

understand everything better.”

~ Albert Einstein

“Gardening simply does not allow

one to be mentally old, because

too many hopes and dreams

are yet to be realized.”

~Allan Armitage

 

 

*Photo taken at Tucson Botanical Garden, Tucson AZ, by W. Holcombe, all rights reserved.  Please do not use without permission.

 

mini update…it’s all about me

20180902_140241It’s Labor Day, for most it’s a time to a honor the workers of America, and send the summer off with a bang.  For me, Labor Day this year marks my 14th wedding anniversary.  I can honestly say, I’d marry this may again in a minute!  It sure doesn’t feel like our wedding was 14 years ago, yet, it feels like we’ve known each other forever.

We had planned to go on a day trip to just get away, but things haven’t quite turned out as we’d planned; maybe we’ll make it there soon.  Instead we went to the botanical gardens here in town, it was like walking into a secret garden, I really needed to get out and commune with nature.  I’m so glad we Stuart talked me into going.

(I’m actually starting to get sleepy, but I really wanted to post this now, so I haven’t read over this, please excuse any and all errors, if something doesn’t make sense, let me know.)

sleep: After reading the comments left of my post about my lack of sleep and extreme fatigue, I have tried a few things and I think I may have discovered a couple of things that may have been contributing to it.

  • One – allergies.  It was suggested that this might be the case so I checked looked up what might be causing that, and found out that ragweed is causing MODERATE pollen counts.  I’m very allergic to ragweed, so I increased my antihistamines and have been doing a saline spray.  I wish I could use a Neti Pot but it causes vertigo.
  • Two – mood swings.  Someone mentioned that when she is feeling the way I have been that she knows she is a bit manic.  Well that sent up bells and whistles.  I realized just how quick to anger I have been lately.  I’ve been cutting myself off from people.  I am trying to make an effort, but it has just been so hard.  I’m simply having a hard time putting forth the effort.  I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting my people.  I’m also having uncontrollable crying spells.  Today (I’m wring this on Sunday night) I just couldn’t stop my eyes from leaking.  It annoyed the hell out of me.  So, have I been a bit hypomanic, that would cause the anger and the lack of sleep, but it doesn’t explain the tears.  Could I been depressed?  Is it possible to be experiencing both at the same time?  After being diagnosed with bipolar I over 22 years ago, you’d think I could figure this out, but I must admit my moods have not been as stable this past year as they have been for many, many years.  I’m not having full blown mania or severe depression, but I’m having a very hard time coping.  I’m also having a very hard time holding my tongue, and unfortunately I have been hiding how I’ve been feeling from almost everyone (I do share these things with Stuart, we are in this together) including someone who is causing me some severe anxiety.  I’d really like to cut this person out of my life, but it’s just not possible, at least not right now.  I’m trying hard to just let it go, and be gentle with myself.  I understand that I’m really getting upset because this person is not behaving as I expect people to, it is these expectations that I have to let go of.  But the drama is affecting other people in my life and that is causing me more anxiety.  I’m sure most of that makes no sense, but it felt good to get it out, even if it is a little cryptic.
  • Gabapentin – I’ve been taking 100 mg of gabapentin 3 times a day for a while now, and it hasn’t really bothered me.  I take 200 mg at bed time and 100 mg upon waking.  If I don’t take this my arm goes to sleep and aches, my back hurts more and my aches and pains are more intense.  Since moving here I’ve needed to refill my prescription a couple of time and I noticed that the manufacturer is differnt than the one who supplied my pharmacy in NC.  I can’t help but wonder if that changed things.  so for the past couple of days I haven’t been taking my morning dose and honestly I haven’t been nearly as sleepy during the day. That’s unfortunate because my pain has increased quite a bit.
  • Stress and anxiety.  We’ve talked about this before, but I have spent a number of hours awake lately when I simply could not shut my brain off.

What I discovered was not an issue.  My use of medical marijuana.  For the most part I’ve been using mostly CBD during the day. You can read recent studies on sleep and CBD on NCBI  To make sure the CBD was not causing my insomnia and/or my daytime fatigue I decided to stop taking it for a while.  After 2 weeks I saw no difference with my sleep, but did notice an increase in my headaches and anxiety.  I haven’t been using any cannabis with THC duing the daytime.  I have still been taking it right before I go to bed, it does help me sleep for about 4 hours at least.  (note I’ve been using marijuana to help me sleep for a couple of years now)

Increase in physical symptoms: I’ve been much better for a while now…my vertigo has been almost non-existent at least 9 months now.  This past week, it has been worse again.  I haven’t been having full rotational spins for the most part, but I have been seeing things move and I feel like I’m moving.  I’ve had a few spells this week that caused Stuart to come home early to help me.  I haven’t thrown up from vertigo in quite some time.  Even before I stopped having vertigo on a regular basis, I had stopped vomiting.  I normally use a little cannabis to stop the nausea and vomiting, but I was trying hard this week to not do that, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t causing me to lose sleep.  Well, it wasn’t and I will be using it to help with the vomiting the next time I have vertigo.  My migraines have also increased, and I don’t feel like the gammaCore is doing much.  That makes me sad.  To be completely honest, I’m having a very hard time staying in the present and not freaking out over the thought that I might get back like I was.  I’m already afraid to drive again.  Shoot.

House search: We still haven’t come close to finding a house that is suitable, there just aren’t very many houses that have the features we want/need.  Now we’ve found a little snafu on our credit report that we need to clear up.  It’s sad when someone has a credit score of over 800 and the ability to put down a down payment of over 20%, and we are having trouble getting pre-approved.  There’s something wrong with that picture.  We are hoping we can get it straight soon.  If not we’ll just rent for a while. I’m trying hard not to stress over it.

Eating:  I still feel like food is controlling my life.  I recently had a week where I wasn’t starving all the time and I was able to stay in my calorie range.  I’m terrified of gaining all that weight back, yet I can’t seem to stop eating, and that is simply tearing me up inside.  I did find a cool app called Mealime and it has been a great help in planning meals that are pretty easy and healthy too.  Now if I could just control the snaking, especially in the middle of the night.  How did I go from having to force myself to eat, to overeating?

Doctors: It has been a challenge finding doctors here.  Most of the doctors I found on the BCBS site who said they were accepting new patients actually weren’t.  I do like the PCP that I found, except for a couple of things, I’m hoping those things will resolve themselves after we get to know each other better.  (like she isn’t comfortable prescribing my Valium for the vertigo.  I don’t take if often, but if I’m having vertigo that is the only thing that helps calm it down.  I do not take it as an anxiety medication, nor do I over use it.  My last prescription of 90 pills lasted me almost a year!  She doesn’t seem to understand that it is the best vestibular suppressant out there.  I will have to find an ENT.  I want to see a neurotolgist here in town, but he only sees patients that have been refereed by an ENT.  So I have to find one of them first.  Argh, what a pain!  I am hoping he can treat both my Meniere’s an my migraines though, so I really hope I can get in there to at least talk to him and see if he can offer any help at all.  I do like my neurologist now, well what I learned in my first visit to see him anyway, but I do not like how hard he is to get in touch with, nor do I feel like his staff is very helpful.  Recently I had a seizure, my first in a very long time, the next day he called my neuro and left a message about it.  No one ever called back.  I had a seizure and NO ONE CALLED BACK?!?   The doctor who operated on my wrist was not as thorough as I felt he should have been.  Every time he was in the exam room with me I felt he was always on his way out the door.  I didn’t feel like he answered all my questions and I didn’t feel like I had clear enough discharge instructions.  He also didn’t even talk with Stuart after my surgery.  Talking to me right after I wake up is not a good time to expect me to retain information.  They did send me a survey to fill out and I spoke up about my feelings, I’m proud of myself for that. I was told by the resident who took my stitches out that I could have pain from the healing for a year. wow!  Didn’t expect that one.

That’s all for now….I guess that was a bit longer than a “mini update”  perhaps I should have called it a “maxi update”  🙂

*photo taken by W. Holcombe at Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson, AZ – all rights reserved.  Please do not copy without permission.

 

Mindfulness Monday – Patience

A look back at 1 year ago.
I’ve been looking at past posts and reading more on how to cope with stress using mindfulness techniques. This post reminded me that I need to be patient, not just with others, but also with myself.

Picnic with Ants

butterfly and bee

“Adopt the pace of nature;
her secret is patience.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When I run after what I think I want,
my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety;
if I sit in my own place of patience,
what I need flows to me,
and without pain.”

~ Rumi

“Do you have patience to wait until your mud settles,
and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving until the right action arrives by itself?

~ Lao Tzu (Toa Te Ching)

*photo by W. Holcombe, all rights reserved.  Please do not use without permission.

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Eyes Wide Shut

I’m so tired.  I’ve experienced fatigue before, but nothing like this.  I can’t stay awake, except at night, when I can’t sleep.  I’m restless, yet I can’t get it together.  I started exercising more this past month, but this past week I haven’t been able to do more than what is absolutely necessary.  A little while ago I put some dishes in the dishwasher and now I’m ready to take a nap.  I am having a very hard time keeping my eyes open.  Lifting my limbs is a challenge.  This in conjunction with extreme brain fog, yes writing this post is a challenge, it’s also why I haven’t been able to follow through on promises made.  I really hate that.

What changed?  I honestly don’t know of anything that has changed so much in the past week that would cause this.  I don’t think I’m sick.  I’m not running fever or anything like that.  My headaches haven’t been worse, they aren’t better, but they aren’t worse.  I haven’t increased my medication.  I am taking CBD oil during the day, but I’ve been doing that for over a month now, so that’s not new.  I’ve actually been taking less this week because I keep forgetting.  As it has been pointed out to me countless times by numerous people, I have been under a huge amount of stress, but honestly, the stress hasn’t really intensified recently, it’s been pretty steady for months now.  I’m dealing with it pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.  The only thing that has my mind racing is our house hunting, it’s taking longer than we expected, and it’s just getting to me a bit.  I’ve decided to step back from the search for a few days at least, a bit of breathing room, get refocused and start again next week.

I’ve been using marijuana to help me sleep for a long time.  (full disclosure, I was using it long before we moved to a legal state)  for some reason it’s not working like it used to.  I can’t sleep, yet I can’t stay awake, what’s up with that?  When I try to go to sleep at night I just toss and turn, often I just give up for a while and get up.  It’s hard not to snack in the middle of the night when you’re up all night.  OK, I’m exagerating a little, I am sleeping …some…

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My sleep last night recorded on my Fitbit.

Okay, my brain is not working.  I’m about to fall asleep…probably not really, but I feel like it.  It is storming like crazy right now.  Monsoon season is almost over, as much as I’m tired of the storms every day, I’m going to really miss them when we go for months with no rain.  Plus, they are really cool.

Some reasons I might not be sleeping…hmmm….pain.  My wrist is getting better, I’m not having those horrible sharp pains and I have much more range of motion.  I can pick up dishes without extreme pain! That’s awesome!  But, now it hurts all the time.  The pain is not as intense, but it’s always there.  I bought some CBD salve yesterday and I’m rubbing it all round my wrist and hand, not the actual surgical site yet, I get my stitches out on Friday. after that I’ll rub it all over.  Cross fingers it helps ease the pain a bit.  I feel silly complaining, it’s not that bad, it’s just constant.  (sometimes I do still have some sharp pains, I was just reminded of that a few moments ago when I tried to help with dinner)

Thank you all for listening to me rant.  I do accept that this is the way it is right now, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to figure out what is going on and take care of myself the best I can.

Any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

Finally! It Arrived!!

Just in time for Ten Things of Thankful I received something to be very thankful for indeed!

My gammaCore arrived!!

I’ve been having a heck of a time with fatigue and migraines, so this little gem was met with much joy!  I’ve used it a few times already today, I can’t say for sure how much it has helped yet because I used it in conjunction with other medications, but I can say that my migraine did get better!  Yay!!  There’s a lot of drawbacks about this little thing, like how long it took to get it here, it isn’t rechargeable so you have to get a new one every month, (that’s a lot of garbage!) and it stops working in a month even if you haven’t used it hardly at all.  They really have a racket going on here….but if it works, how I can not use it?  I’ll do an update on it soon!!

There are a few more things I’m thankful for this week:

  • the kindness of friends (and some strangers).
  • not having to go to work every day, because I wouldn’t have been able to lately.  (never thought I’d be thankful I’m disabled…I’m just differently abled)
  • we’re looking for a house, this is not a fun experience, but I’m so grateful we are able to buy our own home and hopefully soon we will find the perfect place for our family.
  • we were able to babysit last week and we didn’t die, nor kill anyone. hahaha
  • my niece is reading a book and telling me all about it. (she literally just texted me before she went to bed.  She’s 10)
  • I didn’t throw up in public.  Okay that sounds strange but we were out on Sunday and I took a swallow of water while we were walking and suddenly I got choked.  I coughed and gagged and water spewed out of my mouth and nose, I was so embarrassed, but I didn’t throw up, that was a victory!!
  • we have A/C.  We live in Tucson, AZ; if I didn’t have A/C I would die. That’s not an exaggeration.
  • I’m not homeless.  There is a huge homeless population here, it really makes me realize how very lucky I am.  (and it annoys the heck out of me that so many people here assume that all homeless are addicts!  Really?  Wake up people!  It can happen to anyone!)
  • I was able to get a topical ointment for pain from the medical marijuana dispensary today.  It is all CBD, so anyone could buy it, but I like getting it from the dispensary because they independently test everything so I know it has what is says it does in it, and the girl that I talked with there today was so knowledgeable!  I’m learning so much.  I’m hoping the ointment will help me sleep tonight, my wrist/thumb have been keeping me up at night.  (Don’t worry dear friends, it’s healing nicely, it just takes time).  I also got some gummies to help me sleep, they do have THC in them so unless you are in a legal state you couldn’t get them.  I’m very grateful I live in a legal state.

 

That’s all for now.  I have been writing a post on my experiencesgetting my medicinal card and my first trip to the dispensary.  I’m sorry it is taking me so long, recovery has been easier than I expected, but it has made me very tired; it is a struggle to get things done and sometimes the pain won’t allow me to type long.

Thank you all for hanging in there with me.   I’m very thankful for you.

What are you thankful for this week?  I’d love to hear about it.

Check out the rest of the participants in the TToT challenge, and perhaps join us, reading what others are thankful for always fills me with such joy.

TToT

I’m thankful – TToT

This is late because I forgot to hit Publish when I finished writing my post….duh.  But, I’m thankful that I was able to do it at all.

I missed last week’s Ten Things of Thankful  because I was having surgery, that brings me to my 10 things:

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Number 7 in action.

  1. They were able to give me an IV with just one stick.  The nurse said I have very challenging veins, but she did a great job!  The orders called for 2 IV’s one in each arm, but she said I was suck a hard stick, if they needed another IV going, they could do it after I was out.  I just loved her!
  2. Everyone who took care of me was so nice and they worked hard to make sure I could see their mouths and talk slowly so I could read their lips.  They even let me wear my CI’s into the operating room.  I wish they let me keep my glasses, they are a lot less expensive to replace if something happened.  The surgical nurse was amazing, she put me at ease so fast I immediately trusted her.  I knew she’d take care of me and my CI’s and wouldn’t let anything happen to them.
  3. I only had to have light anesthesia, going under general anesthesia is always scary and a lot harder to come out of. Propofol was my friend.  I do wonder if I talk while I’m out of it, I sure was talkative when I woke up, I knew I was talking too much but I couldn’t shut up!  I know it was the drugs talking; I bet the attending thought I was insane.  All in all it was a good experience, I felt well cared for.
  4. My recovery is much easier than I expected.  My doctor didn’t really tell me much about what to expect to recover.  When Stuart asked him how long my recovery be, he said. “about 20 mins”, obviously he meant that’s how long I’d be in recovery after surgery, but we didn’t really talk about it afterward.  So I consulted Dr. Google, and it said that it would take a few weeks for me to get use out of my hand again, some even said I might have a cast.  I was prepared to have very little ability to do much of anything with my right hand for 2 – 6 weeks.  Boy was Dr Google wrong!  I just have a little bandage, and was told to make sure and move my thumb as much as possible.  Shocker!  I actually have more range of motion than I did before the surgery, but I still have pain in my wrist, it’s just different pain.  This pain is from the incision, it’s not sharp and tight like it was; I could actually live with this pain, I wouldn’t want to, but I could.  Well it is much more painful when I over do it.
  5. Lorraine was willing and able to keep Mindfulness Monday going in my absence.  She is an amazing friend, it blows my mind that we’ve never met in person.
  6. I was able to drive to a friend’s house the day before my surgery.  I haven’t been driving again for long, so going about 30 minutes away from home was a big step!
  7. My dog loves me so much!  She brings me such joy!
  8. I’m now in my niece and nephew’s life.  We’re baby sitting tomorrow night, I’m excited that we will be able to spend quality time with them, just us.
  9. I went to my new PCP for the first time today.  She did make me nervous and I’m not 100% sure I’ll keep her as my PCP, but I’m grateful that I finally found one that was excepting new patients so I could get a referral to see a Neuro-otologist, he’s a Meniere’s specialist.  I’ll tell more about this visit in an upcoming post.
  10. for my husband, again.  He was so wonderful this past week.  He took me to my surgery and took the next day off and half a day on Thursday to take care of me.  He does take really good care of me.

I have much in my life to be thankful for, like the TToT challenge from Ten Ten Things of Thankful  They are a great community and I’m so happy I found them….Thanks Faith.  I’d love to hear what you are thankful for this week, tell me about it in the comments, or join in the challenge to post Ten Things of Thankful .  (There is not a requirement, or a limit to the amount of things you list. 10 is a goal, if you are having a challenging week and can only post on thing, please share it….and you can share what you are having a hard time with, this community is very supportive.

Coming soon: First, a little update about my recovery, and second, my experience so far with Medical Marijuana…stay tuned.

(please forgive me for not being able to get around and seeing what so many of you have been up to lately, I hope you understand.  If you’ve had something happen and you want to make sure I’ve seen it, please share.  I never want to miss what is most important to my friends.)