Nightmare and More Loose Ends and Breaking The News To Ds

Nightmares

Last night, my nightmare graduated to the kind that has me wake up in heart-pounding panic and full freeze mode.  Once I had gathered my wits about me, I ran through my grounding techniques telling myself, “It is now, not then” over and over. And then I ran through…that’s dh in the bed beside me, I am in my room, ds is in his room, it is now, I am warm under my covers, I have to pee…Orienting myself to sensations, time and safety.  (Therapist #2 did a fantastic job training me in this process for orienting myself to present after nightmares.)

So, out of the past three sleeps, I have had three nightmares.  I am not happy about this. I hope it settles down ASAP, especially with the progression to the night terror/PTSD nightmare.

More Loose Ends

I harvested two of the lettuce gardens and cleaned both of them and the beet garden.

I gave the big dog a good nail trim yesterday.  The little dog hates nail trims, so I only got two of her nails done.

I think maybe I need to make a checklist of things to do! Let’s see

  1. Call and re-defer student loan
  2. Check in with Case Manager
  3. Get chicken food and shavings
  4. Clean out chicken coop
  5. Deal with house plants
  6. Harvest last Aerogarden <sigh>
  7. Deliver items to various people (bag to L, soakers to J, diaper cover to SS)
  8. Freeze up a handful of dinners for dh/ds
  9. Start refrigerator bread dough for dh/ds
  10. Get a few items of clothing (more underpants, a couple of t-shirts, pajamas, maybe some capris…it will warmer where I am going than here)

That’s the list for the moment. I am sure it will change over time.

Breaking The News To Ds

Last night, we had a family conversation about my eating disorder and impending residential treatment.  Ds was absolutely non-plussed by the whole thing.  He didn’t seem worried and he didn’t have any questions.  So either he has inherited the Heidi stoicism or he is just not worried.  I did sort of lay it out factually…and was calm and clear.  Calmness begets calmness.  I’ll check in with him in a day or so and see if he has any further questions/thoughts.

Nightmares and More Loose Ends

Nightmares

I took a nap yesterday morning (I was feeling pretty crummy physically) and had a hum-dinger of a nightmare.  I dreamed that I was walking with some people up a paved street.  It was dark dusk, where you can still sort of see, but not really because it is so dark.  There was also a daycare walking with a group a children.  A group of three-ish young men appeared. They were very shadowy in the light, like I could make out their form, but that was about it.  They snatched one of the kids, maybe a little boy?  Me and some other people ran over to see what we could do to help.  There was a pool of light from a street light on the ground and in the middle of it was the child’s arm, it had been torn of his body.  There was a lot of blood, and a blood trail leading away.  I wanted to find and rescue the child, so I was running after the trail.  So was a man.  I was going carefully to not mess up the blood trail (because it was evidence) but the man was being sloppy and stepping in it.  People (or maybe me?) kept yelling at him to not contaminate the evidence.

The blood trail looped around trees and went through snow and was in the street and lead to an alley.  The alley was narrow and dark and led to some stairs which went up three stories to some dilapidated apartments.  There were look-out guys up there, so I and the man ducked against the front of the building to hide.  We could hear the footsteps of the kidnappers as they made their way up the stairs and through the building.  I peeked around the corner again and there were all these men set up as sentries to guard the apartments.  I was trapped against the building and really scared.  The kidnappers were looking out the windows for us, but couldn’t see us because we were directly under the windows.  And then the dream faded away.

It was not a night terror/PTSD dream, it was a plain old nightmare.  But I haven’t had a dream like that in months.  And I haven’t had any “rescue” themed dreams in…years?  I used to have dreams about children in danger (usually sexual danger) and also dreams that I called “rescue the baby” dreams all the time.  And I haven’t had a kidnapper dream since late summer.  It was so intense!  I am impressed that I am so stirred up that my nightmare hit three of my re-occurring nightmare themes.  It covered children in danger, “rescue the baby” and kidnappers.  My poor sub-conscious.

The dream kind of threw me into an even higher anxiety state.  So, eventually, I emailed the AT for some support.

Then last night…Another nightmare. I will spare you the lengthy description, but the theme of last night’s was that there were these monsters that infecteded people and animals with their parasitic babies.  You couldn’t tell who was infected until they vomited the larvae.  It wasn’t safe to go outside because the monsters might get you.  And it wasn’t safe inside because you didn’t know who was colonized by the parasite. Anyway, I was hiding with a small group of people in a house, but we weren’t safe.  And there was a fire element to the dream and maps and an apparent resolution, that in truth was false (as revealed by the map.)

Not exactly restful.

More Loose Ends

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I don’t know if I have ever mentioned my indoor gardens, Aerogardens.  I take a lot of pride and pleasure in growing them and eating what I have grown.  I had a garden of beet greens and I still have three of salad greens and one growing cherry tomatoes.  I know that the amount of care they will need when I am gone is not going to fit into dh’s schedule, nor do I want to add one more task to his list…So I will be harvesting them (not sure about the tomatoes yet).  Last night, I clear cut the beets greens. L  Next, I will wash and sanitize the garden and put it back on the shelf until I get back.

Today, I will clear cut the two less vigorous salad greens.  It is kind of painful destroying all of my work.  I hate seeing them go.

I also found Blossom’s diaper cover and got that finished. I will have to drop it off at their house sometime during the week.

I am not feeling very patient waiting for something to happen. I just want the insurance stuff to be finished, the facility’s assessment to be finished, the doctor stuff to be finished and an admission date.  I don’t like this in between part at all.  It exacerbates all of my anxiety and is more disrupting than if things were just settled and I had a clear timeline.

Surreal and Wrapping Things Up and Anxiety

Surreal

I keep having these moments where I feel like I am not here.  Like, I am not really about to go for treatment.  None of this is actually happening.  I must be dreaming because I just know this isn’t real.  I guess it’s dissociation…Only a very different manifestation than I am used to…It’s just like I am so far outside of myself that everything just must.not.be.real.

But it is real.

Wrapping Things Up

I spent yesterday starting the process wrapping up loose ends.  I had promised J that I would make her some more soakers and that we would get together and sew some more.  Since we won’t be getting together any time soon, I spent yesterday afternoon sewing up three soakers for her.  I have also contemplated telling her why I can’t sew with her for a while.  I really like her and she seems trustworthy…And I will have to tell her something.  Not sure yet what I am going to do.

Jsoakers

L had asked me to mend the handle on a bag of hers, so I did that.  I also have a diaper cover of SS’s that I need to mend. (I would have done it yesterday, but I can’t find where I stashed it!)

I made arrangements for SS to get the Girl Scout cookies that I had ordered from a co-workers kiddos.

I started organizing bills and writing down the budget so dh can just step into the Family Treasurer role.  I have also made sure that every little bill has been paid…which is not really an issue, we pay our bills on time, but fiddly little bills have come in lately, like the snow plow bill, the last ER visit co-pay, etc.  At this point, we have gotten and paid all the bills that I have been expecting.

I need to call to defer my student loans farther out…I didn’t think of it yesterday, I will need to do it Monday.

I have to cancel some appointments with my Nutritionist. Other than those appointments, I don’t have any appointments scheduled to cancel…Well, I do have a physical in mid-April.  I’ll ask my doc what I should do about that when I see her next week. I don’t know if I’ll be back by mid-April.

I will need to get in touch with my Yoga Instructor to let her know I won’t be going to yoga for a while.

I need a cavity filled…but I don’t know if I have time to do it before I leave.  It is a tiny little surface cavity so I think it can wait.  I actually had a filling replaced yesterday and the doctor made it sound like there is no urgent hurry to get that little cavity done.  Plus I asked about appointments next week and they are basically booked solid.

Like I said, loose ends.

Anxiety

I shot a panicked email off to the AT yesterday morning.  Basically, I think of things and start to worry and the worry turns into anxiety and the anxiety turns into panic.  Yesterday morning, I was in a panic about treatment step-down (what kind of treatment I will need after being discharged from 24 hour care).  The AT basically responded that it is too early to worry about that kind of stuff.

Then last night, I was texting my PNP.  I never got the phone call I was expecting from the facility.  In the process of texting my PNP, we discovered some confusion about what was supposed to happen next in the process.  This issue, I am not feeling super anxious about because my PNP said she is going to figure it out (it’s about prior authorization stuff.)  But I am glad that we figured out there is confusion as that may have slowed the process.

I was less tearful yesterday, being tasky helped with that.  I just need to keep busy.  And the support of the AT and my PNP is helping me self-regulate.

And actually, I have been getting lots of support from friends too.  L im-ed with me for a long time last night.  I shared some of my anxiety with her and she was able to help me diffuse it.  SS has been great too. And A as well.  And my e-friend Crackers.  I am so lucky to have such supportive friends.  And there is pretty much always someone available for me to IM/text so that I can stay out of my head for a while. (Distractions are really important right now!)

I Am Getting Help and Managing Yesterday and And Now

I Am Getting Help

The plan is that sometime within the next two weeks, I will be admitted to an eating disorder treatment center.  I am going to get the help I need.  Some of the nitty-gritty details are still in the works.  My insurance needs “approval” but I found the place via my insurance case manager, so that won’t be an issue. My insurance company needs to agree that there is a medical necessity that I receive treatment.  I will need some fresh data from my doctor (blood work and EKG, I believe).  If all goes according to plan, next week I will get an admission date and then I will go.

I am terrified.

My anxiety is pretty high right now.  I am really, really struggling to keep it under control.

Managing Yesterday

I was kind of a wreck yesterday, but I had a play date with SS, Pixie and Baby Blossom which I was not going to miss.  We had originally planned to go to the amazing children’s science museum in the southern part of our state, but Blossom was up crying all Wednesday night and SS was just not up to the trip.  SS sent me a text at 1:15 a.m. to let me know about the change of plans.  So I told SS if she was up to it, I would come over and play with Pixie and SS could sleep or do whatever she needed to do.  I packed a bag of tricks, and after AT, I went over.

I spent 5 hours at their house.  I got time snuggling Blossom and giving her a bottle.  Babies are amazing!  I got in visit time with SS (who was a bit rough around the edges when I got there, but after a shower seemed to rally.) But most of all, I played with Pixie.  We did messy, gooey, smeary kinds of projects for a couple of hours.

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Then we played Santa, “Heidi, you sleep in my bed and I am Santa and I will come.  Here, give me the stuffed dragon and that bear, I will put them under the tree and then tell you when it is time to wake up.  I’ll do it two times and then you do it two times.” and monsters, “Heidi, sleep in my bed and I will be a monster and I will come in and scare you. I’ll do it two times then you do it two times.”  and hide and seek, “Heidi….Where are you? Are you in here? No. Are you here? No.”  (I actually was instructed repeatedly to hide in a particular closet…I am now more acquainted with SS’s closet than I ever expected. 🙂 ) And we did our sets of two, over and over! (As per Pixie’s instructions.)

If that wasn’t enough fun, we had lunch and Pixie grazed off of the lunch I had packed…She was a big fan of the pickles, ate some sliced cucumber and didn’t like the applesauce. (She doesn’t like my homemade applesauce, but SS does, so I took her a jar.)  Don’t worry, Pixie eating from my lunch did not result in a calorie loss, SS offered me some avocado so it all worked out.

After lunch, SS made frosting and Pixie decorated cookies.  Decorating cookies meant Pixie eating lots and lots of the sprinkles.  I love four year olds!

And during the fun, my PNP was texting me and even called me about the eating disorder facility.  It was perfect, as I could text and talk to her and then get right back into play with Pixie and not fret about going to the facility.

So…I may have helped SS by playing with Pixie, but SS helped me by letting me come over and take my mind off of stuff.

Now…pretty much as soon as I pulled out of her driveway, my anxiety took off and I felt like I was going to throw up….But hey, those 5 hours of distraction were awesome.

And just for the record, Blossom is pretty darn cute!  Oh! And I almost forgot…I took the green sweater.  It looked pretty good on Blossom.  ❤

And Now

I will be totally honest. I am kind of freaking out.  I just want to cry all the time.  My anxiety is pretty constant and comes in waves of severity.  And I am scared to death.  And I will feel like this until I get to the place and settle in.

I am getting really strong support from my PNP and the AT, which I really appreciate. It is helping me from completely losing it.

Just Fucked

Just Fucked

I was IM-ing a friend the other day.  Her sister is anorexic and has been for a long time.  My friend asked me if I had any advice that she could share with her sister.

Here’s what I said:

Ummm…I might not be the best person to give advice. I am not listening to any that I am getting. I will tell you that an eating disorder is almost like an addiction, only more insidious in some ways. But basically, you know you are hurting yourself but can’t stop. I can cut calories and cut calories (I am at 400 calories a day now) and suffer physically/cognitively but I cannot make myself eat more.  Like, even the prospect of having to go to a tx [treatment] facility and uprooting myself and disrupting my life and family is not enough to make my brain allow me to eat.  I have enough awareness to know that I am fucking myself over, but no ability to stop it.

And there it is in a nutshell, folks…That is an eating disorder.

And you know what? I can have that much insight and yet, I am still fucking myself over.  I am sooo stressed/anxious right now it’s not even funny.  I laid in bed for a long time this morning, drawing in my head (yup…kind of Art Therapy but without the AT, paper or media.)  I was using crayons and watercolor for crayon resist and some black and red temperas.  The picture I was drawing was….Intense. And then my thoughts switched to cutting to stop the emotions and then my thoughts switched to how I could shave off even more calories.  And I came up with an “easy” way to restrict further.  (All I would have to do is cut out my afternoon snack…If I eat lunch late enough, then I won’t need a snack…not that I need one anyway.)  This does kind of fly in the face of me telling the AT yesterday that I didn’t think I could cut anymore calories (because I don’t know if my body can take it) but maybe I can.

And then I got out of bed and peed and weighed myself.  Since last Thursday, I have lost six pounds.  Yup, six.  So, cutting calories is clearly working.

Can you hear the eating disorder screaming at me today?  It’s going to be a tough day…maybe a tough couple of days, I can tell already.  Sometimes, it just seems like it would be easier to let the eating disorder win.

Sewing and The Phone Call(s)

Sewing

I spent the bulk of yesterday sewing while I waited for the phone call from my PNP.  Not only did I finish the little dog’s coat but I had enough fleece to make her a second coat.  The first coat is a double layer, warmer coat.  The second coat is a single layer, with a thick fleece for those cool spring days.  I am delighted with how they came out.  I love the flower print and the blue will look fantastic on the little dog’s white fur . Her gotcha day is the 27th, so I will have pics of her in the coats then.

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The Phone Call(s)

When my PNP finally got a hold of me, she had a lot to say.  She had talked to my Primary Physician and my doctor had charged my PNP and I to researching inpatient/residential eating disorder facilities.  I am kind of curious as how it fell to my PNP to be the one to help me with the research, however, I am fine with it.  I adore my PNP and I know she will do a good job helping me.

I had dug out the letter and business card of my Blue Cross case manager (yup, I have one) and after I talked to my PNP, I called my case manager.  She was incredibly helpful and kind.  (I feel kind of embarrassed calling a total stranger and telling her I have an eating disorder and I need help finding more intensive treatment.)  She did some legwork on her part and verified my insurance coverage for such care.  It turns out I have damn good insurance and as long as I stay “in network” I have 100% coverage and no copay/deductible for both inpatient and residential treatment!  This is such a relief to me because with me completely out of work right now, and me having spent the last year minimally working, we kind of have no money.  Not having to pay anything out of pocket for treatment is a blessing.

My Case Manager sent me a list of in network facilities, most of them within driving distance of my home.  I started cranking my way through the list and alternated feelings of panic, despair and relief as I investigated them.  It was exhausting. 😦

I also forwarded the list to my PNP and I sent her an email later with my current top choices.  I need more info about all of them, so I will have to spend some time contacting places and getting my questions answered.  At the end of the week, my Case Manager is calling me back to see if I need more choices and to see how I am doing with the process.

I had a kind of anxiety/panic melt-down after contacting my Case Manager and I sent a panicked email to the AT asking if I could come see him today so we can talk about all of this.  I see him later this morning.  I did feel calmer last evening, but then last night, the dogs woke me up at 2 and I was feeling stressed and anxious and could not fall back asleep. Finally after an hour and a half, I took a lorazepam and then settled down pretty quickly and fell back asleep.

So…I am stressed and overwhelmed, full of questions (I have a huge list of questions to take to the AT) and honestly, a little bit relieved that I have some treatment options. I don’t know how close I am to my doc putting her foot down and saying it is time for the higher lever of treatment…But at least I will be prepared if/when it happens.

 

 

 

Stressful and Knitting With L.

Stressful

I started with Art Therapy yesterday.  I did some painting, which felt really good. We talked about my eating and at the end of the appointment, I left with this summary of what we had covered.

  • My eating disorder is rampant right now
  • It is directly related to my sexual trauma
  • I don’t have any control over the eating disorder right now

As well as Art Therapy, I had an appointment with my Primary Physician yesterday.  My doctor’s appointment was pretty stressful. First of all, I had to share with her my therapy summary.  Then my doctor began talking more seriously about inpatient/residential treatment for my eating disorder (which I will admit has gotten more restrictive over time, especially in the past week or so)  She was going to call and consult with Team Heidi, namely the AT and my PNP.  I left the doctor’s office at about 10 and already had a call back from my PNP at 10:50, so evidently my doctor got right on her phone calls.  (Though I never connected with my PNP yesterday, I will do so today.)

I don’t know if my doctor got hold of the AT yet.

I left my doctor’s office nearly in tears.  The idea of inpatient/residential treatment is really stressful to me…For lots of reasons, but the  one that really scares me is that I would have to go far away to get such treatment.  As a matter of fact, what my doctor said she really wants for treatment for me is Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment.  That’s when you just do a day day program of several hours for treatment while still living at home.  The problem is, my state doesn’t have any eating disorder treatment centers.  None. Zip. Zero.  No place for IOP, no place for inpatient.  Thus, if I had to go for inpatient treatment, it would have to be some place far away.

My doctor did mention the hospital as an option, but not one that she is at all in favor of. She said she doesn’t think hospitals do a good job treating eating disorders.  As a matter of fact, I think (if it comes down to inpatient treatment) she is going to be somewhat fussy as to where I would go.  And I mean fussy in a good way….She acknowledged that for a couple of reasons (my age being one) it would really be important to find a place that would be prepared to work with me/a good fit for me.

The whole conversation had me kind of reeling.  However, my doctor is doing an amazing job working with me right now.  She is sooo understanding and supportive and genuine in her concern. It’s almost like I matter!

In the evening, I talked with dh about my appointment and the idea of inpatient treatment somewhere.  His response was basically, “Whatever it takes to get you better. We will make it work.”  He also asked me what I felt about the idea….But I didn’t have an answer.  I am soo lost about the eating disorder right now….I don’t know what the right thing is to do.

I don’t have very many options given the lack of resources in my state.  I already see the AT twice a week…Would it matter if I went three times a week? Would I get better faster? Would I be able to do harder work?  Would he even consider the possibility?  Other than increasing frequency with him, I don’t see any options for additional support.

It all boils down to this, and I know I have said it before….Will I be able to get my psych shit together (and thus put the eating disorder to rest or at least loosen the strangle-hold it has on me) before my body gives out?  And yesterday was a crappy body-day for me.  I felt really awful in the morning and then just crummy the rest of the day.  Today, so far, I just feel kind of crummy.

Knitting with L

The good thing about yesterday was that after my morning appointments, I went over to my friend, L’s house for a few hours and we knitted and chatted.  I really like L and enjoyed getting together with her.  We chatted a lot about my doctor appointment as well as about our kids and of course, about knitting. 🙂

I got a few more stripes done on the blanket square (I am still undecided about that new baby sweater, so I am ignoring it at the moment) but I was moving really slowly and my brain was not at all cooperating to be productive.  I also tried to repair a project her daughter had done that had a couple of places where she had dropped stitches.  Now, I have dropped many stitches in my years knitting and I know exactly how to ladder them up to the edge to be fixed.  But yesterday?  It was just baffling to me. I kept doing it wrong and then redoing it wrong and redoing it wrong.  I just could not get my brain to work and I could not get my problem solving skills kicked into gear to see what I was doing wrong. Eventually, I just gave up.

L, on the other hand, made some real progress with finishing a sweater she is making for her daughter.  It is gorgeous. The yarn she chose is beautiful, the pattern on the chest is beautiful…The whole thing is just gorgeous! She has been working on it for years and now all she has to do is set in the sleeves and seam them up.  She’s nearly done!

Today, I will knit some, but I have declared it a sewing day and I am going to start (and hopefully finish) the little dog’s coat.