Irritable

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Irritable

I feel grumpy this morning.  I mean why not?  It’s been a long and arduous week.  But as I was thinking about it, I realized why I feel grumpy.  And grumpy might not be the right word for it….But it is the best I can come up with.

I miss the AT.

It is Thursday and it should be an art therapy day.  But it isn’t because he is still on vacation.  It is the third appointment I have will have missed and I am feeling it.  I would like nothing more than to spend my usual Thursday morning hour in the safety of his office and in the safety of his presence.  I need that relief from the rest of the world right now.  And I can’t have it.

So…It is not really irritable that I am feeling…but a little bit sad and abandoned and a lot disrupted.  But irritable is the best cover for those feelings…So irritable will win.

 

Overloaded

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Overloaded

Okay…I figured I’d better start mandala-ing again.

You know…I am kind of done with my every-thing-is-haywire week.  Thanks goodness for my PNP…She’s been the only continuity for me this week.  I am sooo ready for next week and regular stuff.  It kind of all hit me yesterday evening…This past week has been a total overload for me.

Seriously? Detour #3? and Welcome, Winter Driving

Seriously? Detour #3?

Yup.

Been there. Done that.  More tachycardia. A couple of new symptoms. Another ambulance trip.  Another vein poked. Another round of blood work.  Another “all your blood work is normal.”

But…this time, they sent me home with the Holter monitor.  Hopefully, they will be able to capture some data that will be helpful. And evidently, it is a near miracle that they actually got someone to come down from Cardiology all the way to the ER <cough> to put the Holter monitor on me. But since I was already there…And this was round three…They made it happen.

Three ER trips in six days and two ambulance trips in two days.  My insurance company is going to hate me.  And it is times like this that I am very grateful that we have good health insurance!!

Anyway…I follow-up with my doctor’s office on Weds.  My physician is not available, so I have to see a different one…I hate different.  But you already knew that….At least I picked one that I know that my friend L really respects.  And I think I have seen him once or twice before.  But <insert whine here> I want to see my own doctor!!

So, I have been resting at home and watching original series Star Trek with the family.  Not much else going one.

And my goal for today?  Stay out of the ER!!!!

Welcome, Winter Driving

We got snow last night (4 inches maybe?).  And now it is sleeting like crazy.  So begins the winter driving season…I have to go into the City for my PNP appointment.  It’s not that I am not used to winter driving, but it will be yucky icy today.  And I’d rather be curled up on the couch listening to is sleet rather than driving in it.

Detour #2

Detour #2

No mandala today, I am too tired and I don’t really have a mandala in me.

Yesterday was supposed to be a normal work day….But right when I left for work my tachycardia kicked in again. I went to work anyway expecting that it would settle on its own…But it didn’t.  One hour went by, two, then three and four…And I was feeling tired and starting to feel kind of weak and I could tell that my heart rate was really booking it…So, I asked one of the nurses to do a manual blood pressure (I don’t trust those machines) and check my heart rate.  Let’s just say…..things were crazy high…at that point my heart rate had spiked to 180 (had been running 120-145 most of the morning) and my blood pressure was 180/100…I have never had BP that high!  And I wasn’t feeling particularly anxious (i.e. not an anxiety attack.)

The nurse told me that I was not allowed out of the chair that I was sitting in and that I needed to go right to the ER.  So….I got to go in an ambulance to the ER.  And….more bloodwork, more EKGs, more IV fluids and….Still nothing conclusive.  I won’t complain too much as they ruled out cardiac stuff (for the moment anyway) which is a relief.  But still…What is going on?

This ER doctor was better. He listened to me and he didn’t try to give me lorazepam.  I like doctors who actually make eye contact with me and listen to what I am saying.

So…I am supposed to be getting a call from Cardiology today and be set up for a Holter monitor (you wear it for a day or two and it records your heart function) and then…We’ll see. Hopefully, this will all get straightened out soon…I am out of veins for IVs and I am kind done with the whole ER thing.

My PNP has been great…She has been available and trying to trouble shoot this from the psych med angle as well as medical possibilities…I really, really appreciate her support. I hate taking up peoples’ weekend/vacation time and she hasn’t seemed put out at all.

The only downfall about the whole thing is that work is a huge gossip mill.  So, being taken out by EMTs on a stretcher in front of multiple colleagues and patients and family of patients and the social worker….I will be the talk of the town for days.  Plus, I had to spill my med list and other personal info (anxiety/depression) to the EMTs and I know that a couple of people overheard.  <sigh>  Not much I can do about it…an emergency is an emergency…Hopefully, people will remember that HIPPA applies to co-workers too! (They won’t…but I can fantasize.)

And lastly…When it was time to leave the ER and I was peeling off the EKG stickers…and finding more and more and more and more….I collected them all and stuffed them in my pocket so I could bring them home and count them (because I like to know these things). Between the stickers from the ambulance and the ones in the ER, I had 17.  Craziness!

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My Ultimate Failure

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My Ultimate Failure

One of the things my physician asked me Wednesday (before she discovered the tachycardia and started moving on that issue) was if I have had such extreme eating habits before.  And I told her yes.  Perhaps not as extreme as now in terms of calorie restriction, but definitely over-the-top in terms of micromanagement and the need to do it perfectly.  When I did Weight Watchers and lost a substantial amount of weight, I was crazy OCD with my points.  And I was very restrictive within their guidelines…I never ate my extra points and I never counted in exercise points…I only used the bare minimum.  And…I was a champion at weight loss.  I lost about 10# a month for a year straight…After that, the weight loss tapered, but I was still losing.  I was the poster-child, the star, the example.  Every week, the leader would call on me repeatedly for insight and tips and she would point out how much weight I had lost.  It was like, “Look at Heidi, she’s our success story.  She was ugly and fat and now she is beautiful and trim.”  (I bet the other people at WW hated me!)  And I sucked in all that attention and praise and all of the kudos.

And I valued myself.  I bought everything they said hook-line-and-sinker.  If you love yourself, you will lose weight and be healthy.  If you love yourself you exercise and take care of yourself.  If you love yourself, you matter and you make good choices.  If you love yourself, you will be rewarded.  Yup…I was oozing love for myself.  Only, I didn’t realize until later that my love for myself and their love for me was totally conditional.

Right after I hit the lowest weight of my adult life, I went back to school…I commuted, yes commuted, 110 miles/2 hours in the car each way 3-5 days a week.  I worked hard, got As and oh, yes….gained weight.  But initially, I still went to Weight Watchers (though had switched to meetings in the town where my college was).  The first time I went back to my regular home meeting and I had gained weight, they kind of tolerated it.  The next time…Well…the leader stopped calling on me.  And she stopped asking for my insight and advice. And I was no longer the wonder-child, the WW prodigy.  I was nothing. I had failed.

And I was left in a crisis.  If loving myself meant that I lost weight and if every shred of self-esteem and feeling good about myself was around losing weight…Then what did it mean when I gained weight back?  Clearly, I was a failure, and clearly I didn’t deserve to like or love myself, or to have good things or to take care of myself.  And I consider that WW failure sort the Ultimate Failure. Now, I can look back at it and see that re-gaining the weight wasn’t the worst part, the loss of appreciating and loving myself was. And it has damaged me almost irreparably.

And what did I do to counter that?  I threw myself into my studies and set myself with the goal of getting straight As and graduating with a 4.0.  (I am very good at that all-or-nothing thinking).  I traded one obsessive/perfectionist drive for another.  And in the end, I didn’t graduate with a 4.0.  I got a 3.98.  <sigh>  I was almost good enough!!!

I guess that is kind of the story of my life…Almost good enough, but never really good enough.  Loved, but only conditionally. Damaged and irreparable.  Not perfect and hating myself because of it.  It’s been the same since I was a preschooler.  No wonder I am fucked up.

And no wonder I have latched onto my eating issues….I am in control.  I micromanage to perfection and I lose weight which makes me feel good about myself.  It is all sooo rewarding!  I really do love it!

Fucked. Fucked. Fucked.  I hate my brain.

And Speaking of Fucked….

Remember my lovely PHQ-9 score from last week?  Evidently, if you take away my Fetzima (I’m now at half the dose I was taking), that good mood?  It goes away too.  This is why I never let myself feel hopeful.  My good things never last.

Exhaustion and Sleeves and Food/Eating & Shame and Flower Bulbs

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Exhaustion

Last night, I was beyond tired.  I don’t know if it was the stress of Christmas Eve and Christmas catching up with me, or if it is from decreasing my Fetzima dose or what…But I was so tired I was in bed at about quarter to seven and I slept until about quarter past 6.  11 and 1/2 hours!!!  I never sleep that long!

Sleeves

The bruises on my arms from the IV and blood draw in the ER are pretty big…One is quarter sized, but the other is half dollar sized.  And they are dark and really show.  I am not happy and I hope they are gone by tomorrow when I have to go to work.  I never wear long sleeves to work and I don’t even have a long sleeve shirt that is compliant with the uniform.  I also have a bruise on the back of my hand (from the first blood draw attempt.)  And to top it off, I have a pretty big bruise on another spot on my arm (I think maybe from falling in yoga?).  I am pretty much the worse for wear.  <sigh>  I’m hoping for miraculously quick healing!

Food/Eating And Shame

I realize that I have been talking about my food issues on my blog a lot recently.  If my blog topics are any reflection of the amount of time I spend thinking about a particular issue, then it makes sense my food issues are getting more blog time lately.

Also…since the AT is gone forever on his vacation, I don’t have any Art Therapy inspired thoughts to share.  And since I never talk about food or food issues in Art Therapy, it makes sense that since he is gone, I feel like I can talk about that stuff.

Why don’t I talk about that stuff with him?  Shame.  Plain and simple.  It is way too shameful to bring it up and then to look at it. (Because you know you can never just bring something up in therapy…it has to be processed and discussed.)  I do talk about my food stuff with my PNP as we have broached it in the past and I don’t quite feel like I am going to die of shame to talk about it more.  That said, we skirt the heavy emotional stuff and mostly talk about the medical stuff.  And the Nutritionist…Well…I still burn from shame in there…But seeing her and not talking about food stuff would be sort of pointless…She is after all a nutritionist! And that makes the shame tolerable.  But with her, I don’t get into all the feelings stuff either, I really just gloss over it.

So, the one person who would be most helpful to discuss it all with, the AT?  In his presence, I am paralyzed by shame and can’t even broach the topic. I have pretty much no shame tolerance with him at all.   It’s my fucked up brain screwing me again.  If I talked to him, I would build some tolerance, but since I can’t, I perpetuate the shame.

Funny…I was going to talk about my eating issues today, but I feel a little guarded about it so I think I will let it go for today.  And I didn’t expect to talk about how shame impacts my ability to talk about this stuff in therapy….Must be the shame is a bigger issue than I realized.  I guess that doesn’t really surprise me.

Flower Bulbs

I want to talk about something totally different now.

So, we have been having the craziest mild weather for December.  These snowy hinterlands are not snowy at all!  Because of this, I was able to get my bulbs into the ground on Thursday morning.  I planted some tulip bulbs, red, yellow and purple which I am pretty excited about.  I also planted crocuses (croci).  Little crocus faces popping out of the snow in the very early spring are one of the most uplifting sights of the season.  Pretty much everyone one has them, some nicely planted in flower beds, but many just pop up here and there on people’s lawns. I realized last year that I didn’t have any crocuses anywhere on our property.  Clearly, that needed fixing!  I only planted about 3 dozen crocus bulbs…another 6 or 7 dozen would suit me just fine!! J  Next fall, I will plant more.  And hopefully I won’t procrastinate until mid-December to get them finally planted!!

 

 

 

I Am Surviving and Physician Probation and Anything Else?

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For my friends who celebrate Christmas…I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas.  I hope you have a peaceful and joyous day. 

 I am surviving.

I may not be super happy with the extended family stuff, but I am surviving. Dinner at my MIL’s was tolerable. (Perhaps because I took a half a lorazepam?)  The good news is that since I couldn’t eat most of the food she made (gluten and meat)…I didn’t have to worry about eating too much.

We took a cauliflower dish to share that was made with chickpeas, so it covered my vegetarian needs and had some protein in it too.  Begrudgingly, my MIL took 4 chick peas to try, ate one and promptly spat it out with some dramatic fanning of her face, while saying, “It’s spicy…It’s too hot!”  I guess she wasn’t impressed.  And it wasn’t really very spicy at all.

This morning, we go over to my parents’ for brunch. <sigh>  But once that is over….I can fall back into my routine which will give me significant relief.  I don’t like all this food-at-other-people’s-houses…too stressful! I just want the comfort of my home-based introversion and food routines…It feels safest and I like it.

However, likely the Nutritionist will be pleased as I am diversifying…It may be forced diversification, but I am doing it.

Physician Probation

You may recall that my physician has been on probation with me.  When I saw her on Wednesday, she was much more her usual self.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I will admit, I had some worry as to how she would interact with me…But I got my old Physician back.  I hope it lasts!

Anything Else?

I did get to see my Pixie friend (and her mom) briefly on Wednesday evening.  Her mom had made me a gluten free banana bread (yummy!) and so they dropped it by.  Luckily, by the time they came, the lorazepam “drunkenness” was wearing off…So I was mostly back to myself.

I gave Pixie a little gift and then yesterday, her mom shared some pictures of Pixie exploring her gift.  It looks like she was having fun!

I really like Pixie…She reminds me of ds when he was that age, and she has spunk and sass and I find those traits very engaging, and she reminds me a lot of her mom.  She is a neat kiddo. And her mom is pretty awesome too!

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 Not too much else going on right now….I am kind of consumed with making it through Christmas which is not leaving too much time for anything else.