Archive for November, 2013


Today has been a rough day in my head and outside of it. The child has been a bundle of frustration that has left me literally sending her out of the room before I said something I would regret. This is pretty rare for me and while I know it is a good parenting option, it is still upsetting. I’m usually a bit better at keeping my cool with her enough to deal with whatever the problem at hand is.

Today, I just kind of hit a point of not being able to deal with her anymore. We have had at least eight conversations today about her slacking on her work, be it homework or chores. Some of those happened before she did chores/work for the day and some happened after which kind of proves that she wasn’t listening the first time. I know that some of this is normal kid stuff, but I am seriously running out of patience with her on this particular topic. If it is something she wants to do, she is all over it, but if she isn’t in the mood? You might as well not bother and that just isn’t cool. She has to learn that you have to do the boring things AND the fun things, not just the fun things.

I understand. I truly do. No one really likes doing dishes or taking out the trash; however, it makes more sense to do it correctly the fist time instead of spending hours dragging one’s ass or being sent back to repeat the task over and over again. She doesn’t like being yelled at, so you’d think she would get tired of that after awhile, but it doesn’t seem like that today. (Mind you “yelling” isn’t the correct word. “Fussing at” is more appropriate as I only actually raised my voice once and that was after being utterly frustrated with her having somehow managing to lose a glass, 9″x13″ casserole dish somewhere in the house. She doesn’t remember what she did with it and even hunting in the kitchen didn’t unearth it, so I have no idea where the thing has disappeared to. Her only answer is, as usual, “I don’t know.”

Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!

I know it is just a day and it will pass, but at this point, I am kind of counting down the time to bedtime in a way I haven’t since she was really small. Hopefully tomorrow she’ll have her brain back together again and she’ll be more ready to do work.

A bright spot today came in the form of a package from our friend Greg. He had posted a link about the new Bionic Woman comic on FB recently asking about it for K since she fell in love with the show when we were out there. I started reading the sample issue for age appropriateness and quickly found myself hooked, so he said he’d send them our way since he had the trade edition. Today, K came in from checking the mail saying that I had a package from the Hatchers and I started bouncing in my seat. After making certain that I could read them before they completely warmed up (I was a little worried about condensation), I started tearing into them. I really enjoyed all ten issues and I think the writers and the artists involved should be commended. I’m not a huge comic fan. I try, but a lot of times they lack something for me. It takes a lot of work or a quirky subject matter to really get me involved in the story. While I enjoyed the old Bionic Woman episodes we watched with the Hatchers, I was quite surprised to find myself enjoying the comics so much.

I like the way Jaime’s character is written. She can do some amazing things and there is the potential risk of her becoming a super god-like character involved with the bionic powers she has. Paul Tobin, the writer, has done a great job at making her fallible both in her mentality and even in her actions. She is a real character dealing with real problems even while battling people like the Russian mob. I like that type of character and I think that is what drew me into the story to begin with. The nice artwork (and it is quite nice) is just an added bonus.

Dinner is ready, so I’m going to stop babbling for the moment. Here’s to hoping tomorrow the kiddo has an attitude adjustment.

(I started typing this as a status update but it was way too long for that, so I shifted it here.)

This week has been a rough week. For those of you who are also friends with Rin, you know that her Mawmaw’s brother passed away from cancer yesterday and that there are other health concerns from other folks in her family.

What you might not know is that in the midst of trying to deal with this news and everything else, she has also been dealing with me and the horrible reactions I was having to the new medicine the doctor put me on. At first, it was just seeming to make me more tired and that can happen. When I stair stepped up the dose like I was supposed to, the tired got worse and brought some friends along. It was making my anxiety ramp to pretty vicious levels. I was angry about…everything. One day, that was so bad that even people breathing around me was making me angry.

But, you know, we have a tween who hasn’t settled into a regular monthly cycle yet so hormones tend to run a bit crazy around here and sometimes that happens. And my anxiety tends to ramp at this time of year and so maybe it was that.

It all came to a head on Wednesday. One, I didn’t want to left alone. I was never worried that I was going to physically hurt myself so let’s make that disclaimer straight up, but I was mentally beating the hell out of myself. Everything I did was wrong/bad/a failure. I spilled my cereal – dry cereal, an obvious accident – and I was kicking the shit out of myself for being stupid. The real moment of clarity that it was the medicine and not just a hormonal/seasonal ramp in anxiety came when I realized that I couldn’t go to my massage appointment with Natalie – who I adore and who I let work on me in places I don’t normally let massage therapists work – alone. I needed Rin in the room though Natalie is not a threat, and is in fact usually one of my favorite people to see because she is awesome. At that point, it became clear to both of us that this medicine was not working.

She called my dr the next morning. Frustratingly, we haven’t heard from her. I do have an appointment Tuesday and I am hoping that it is just a clerical error somewhere, but we will see then. I did however refuse to take it again no matter what the dr said. In fact, the idea of taking it again almost gave me ANOTHER panic attack so that was pretty clearly a bad idea.

This week has been hard as hell and I have tried to be as “normal” (or you know, my ‘normal’) as possible, mostly to avoid scaring the hell out of my kid. It hasn’t been easy. We did finally explain that I was having a hard time with the medicine, but kept it fairly simple. She has walked into the room to me being upset or in tears a few too many times this week and that is frustrating to me. It makes me feel bad.

Thursday, I had to get blood drawn. Turns out that having six vials drawn wipes the hell out of me and that was frustrating as hell. We had a Brothers of the Wind meeting at the library and that was hard to face. An much as I didn’t want to be alone, I also didn’t want to see people. I actually managed to make it through okay, largely thanks to one of the wee ones who kept amusing me across the table. But it was hard. Afterwards, we usually go out to dinner with folks. Unfortunately, the restaurant had been chosen without any deliberation and…I couldn’t eat anything there.

Given the fragile state of my brain and the fact I had had six vials of blood drawn, going and trying to nibble on maybe a salad and watching other folks eating wasn’t really an okay option. I was a bit upset but was also sort of okay because, well, people are scary. Rin was much less okay. She was both upset because she wanted to hang out with folks and also upset because there wasn’t even talk of a potential venue change. (For reference, there is a pizza place not far from the library that does have GF options that is pretty tasty.) I know that there will be times that I will have to make do with what is available and I think I have made a bit more peace with that because I have needed to for my own sanity. Rin was upset less that they were going somewhere I couldn’t eat and more that they didn’t seem to care. Because she was upset and because I am still dealing with side effects from the damn medicine, I kept having to fight my mental urge to kick the crap out of myself for inconveniencing Rin in a week where she really needed a break. She kept trying to reassure me she wasn’t upset with me and while I was trying to hear her, my brain wasn’t really listening. It made for a bit of a frustrating evening.

It actually got a bit better just by us wandering around Kroger being goofy, and even though later she received the news about Tommy dying, she had a good long chat with her sister and she was doing better. It is things like that that have been keeping me going – little moments of good stolen in between the moments of mental turmoil. (Of course, a household thing came up to ruin some of the calm while the kiddo was in the shower as the ceramic soap dish fell and almost landed on her poor toes. Now we have to figure out a) why it fell and b) how the hell to fix it but that is a challenge for another day.)

If you’ve talked to me this week and thought I was acting oddly, well, I was. Mostly, I’ve been keeping to myself and trying to do distracting things like playing Candy Crush. It has sort of worked. What I haven’t managed has been any significant writing of either the personal sort or the NaNo sort, so I need to try to get focused again because I am very behind. Hopefully, as the rest of the medicine clears from my system, I’ll be better able to do that. I’m also hoping that my dr will give me my old medicine now that I tried her option. Cross your fingers.

I honestly don’t know why I’m writing this aside from the fact that it feels right and it feels as though I should. Maybe someone else is having a rough week and something is making them crazy and they need to know they are not alone. Or maybe it is that I’ve been pretty open about things lately because I am tired of trying to keep all of my mental quirks to myself in the name of appearing as someone who might have their shit together all the time,. Maybe it is just cathartic in its own way. Who knows?

Oh! On the positive front though, kiddo and I both will have insurance again as of 1 December and that is a pretty huge deal. The first goal will be to deal with the rouge gallbladder because I really don’t think that is helping me feel better right now. I’m scared of the idea of surgery, but I also haven’t been thrilled with the occasional twinges from that region and I would really rather get it dealt with before it decides to go septic or something. Ick. So, yes, definitely a bright spot in this chaotic week.

Okay. So I’m maybe a little cranky this morning. I’m trying to adjust to a new medicine dose. Yesterday I doubled the dose I was taking and found myself in bed by 8 last night. I was frustrated because I had things I was trying to do. I decided that it would be okay and went to bed instead of trying to keep myself awake.

When I woke up at 7:30 this morning which is not precisely near my favorite time to wake up, I decided it would still be okay. I would get up and have the house to myself for awhile and do some writing and get caught up since I’ve gotten pretty behind this week. Alas, my grand plan failed because T is also awake, so instead of a quiet house, I have the noises of whatever he is playing or watching in the other room and other noises like his squeaky chair.

In an effort to not let that drive me insane, I put in earbuds and turned on Spotify which…would probably work better if I just spent the $10 for this month to upgrade to premium so that I could actually pick exactly what I want to hear instead of whatever the radio picks for me. But I’m still trying to make the best of it. I’m beginning to wonder if one of the potential side effects of this new medicine is anger issues because -everything- seems to be driving me crazy this week.

I don’t know that I actually have a point right now beyond trying to get some of the frustration out of my head so that I actually can really get some writing done because I am really behind and I really am trying to do this novel thing even if right now it feels stupid and dumb. Also, I think for today I should probably stay off of FB because I keep seeing things that are making me feel more militant than I already felt and that is probably not good. I’m generally better at putting space between myself and things that make me rage-face but this morning, that isn’t working, and given than in a little bit I need to go wake up the munchkin, I should probably save my patience for the people who have to deal with me today.

I almost wonder if I should go somewhere like Panera or Starbucks or the library for the day, but I don’t know if Rin has plans and I don’t particularly want to go wake her up just to find out. That seems a little shitty and I know it certainly wouldn’t make me super happy with whomever came to wake me up for that reason. So, for now, I’ll work a little bit more on getting my mental shit together and actually doing some writing instead if wanting to punch my iPad. After all, it didn’t do anything, right? 🙂

I already ranted once on FB this morning, and I think at some point, I’ll make an actual post about that particular topic that I can just start sharing with whomever posts that nonsense. I’ll even try to be good and keep from swearing too much because I’ve heard that there are some folks who won’t take you seriously that way. *eye roll* I just am trying to be logical and trying not to let that particular meme get to me, but last year it drove me insane. Already seeing it crop up this year is just making me angry, one because we aren’t even past Thanksgiving yet and because it is utterly ridiculous. So, yes, a future more educational type post about that instead of a randy type post is perhaps in order.

Here’s to hoping that ya’ll’s days are going a bit more smoothly than mine thus far!

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Tonight, I’ve been doing some writing and some typing of handwritten entries and basically anything I could to keep myself awake while Rin was downstairs in the hotel lobby doing laundry. What started as “I’ll just do this one thing” turned into a lot more than one thing. That said, there are some things I want to come back and write entries about. I’m on a bit of a backlog in this department and I’m not promising catching up this week, but I will try. I’ll also try to remember to post pictures!

  • All Things Halloween: Trick or Treating at Whole Foods on 30 Oct, Halloween night
  • RUM (Royal University of the Midrealm) in an entry that will encompass a) attempting to decide to go to an SCA event again, b) getting ready for that event, and c) the event itself.
  • Gluten Free: How it’s going and what I’ve noticed
  • NaNoWriMo (or “How I Lost My Mind”)

I think there were a couple of other things I was supposed to come back and write about, but right now I can’t farking remember. I can barely see what I’m typing my tired eyes are so blurry so needless to say, it is time for this bunny to go to bed.

As the post from 22 October 2013 notes, I had to see a therapist at Healthlinc. It is part of their procedure before they will prescribe ADD medicines. I actually understand it from their point of view. There are things that are important to know about before giving someone ADD meds, especially the stimulant category, so having them talk to a therapist makes good sense. It also can highlight other problems. For someone like me, it also can be a stress inducing nightmare.

At this point, I’ve seen the therapist twice, each visit a week a part. The first visit was emotionally and mentally exhausting. I was trying to keep up with what felt like a mountain of information about myself, a lot of it things I don’t like to talk about, particularly not with strangers. The tricky part was that it was important that I talk about those hard things so that I could explain who I am now. The path to here is pretty important and laden with many challenges. From talking about previous family stress to talking about being a sexual abuse survivor, it was difficult. There were times I wondered exactly what the hell I was doing and why I was bothering. I mean, clearly, I’ve made it through the last year without the meds, I can keep going this way. (The answer to that is, “No, not really, genius, that’s why you’re here.”)

There were a lot of things to discuss and several different types of questionnaires to fill out. Those are harder than they seem at first glance! You are asked to both note if you have specific types of traits or behaviors and how often you have those traits and behaviors. You also have to answer questions about how often those things interrupt your daily life. For some, I had to ask Rin who was with me, helping me sort through all the information and answer his questions to the best of my ability. Others made me laugh. A lot. Like the question that asked something like, “Do you ever find yourself in conversations in social situations where you talk a lot?” Gee. I dunno. I’m just a shy, quiet… yeah I can’t even finish the sentence. While I have become more reserved with people in recent years, I’ll still talk people’s ears off if they give me half a chance. There were other questions that I wanted to lie about because I had to battle the mental voice that said, “You shouldn’t tell the truth about those types of things or they’ll call you crazy.” I had to answer questions about past self-harm…which of course as I am writing this right now sends me on a hunt to find the actual date because I knew I had written about it in one of my Livejournal’s. This hunt led me to the discovery that one of my LJs was blocked because someone tried to access it somewhere else (I suspect it might have been me sitting here in Cleveland instead of South Bend), but I changed the password first and THEN unblocked it because I’m not dumb. Anyway, so after all of THAT hassle, I went hunting for the entry through my 381 tags on my twisteddaydream LJ and actually stumbled into it. So, the last time I cut myself with the intent of self-harm was 19 July 2003. Over ten years. That’s pretty damn good in my opinion. Anyway, so yes, talking about all of the things at that first appointment was hard.

When I left I wasn’t sure how I felt. I knew I was more determined than ever to not go on anti-depressants because that crap doesn’t work for me and I’m not in the mood to play with my brain chemistry right now. I also was vehemently against the idea of finding a therapist for myself now. (There’ll be more about this later.) I felt a bit better about the therapist himself. He was surprisingly easy to talk to and he has a sense of humor and perhaps more importantly, he doesn’t think -my- sense of humor is weird. He also let Rin come into the session with me which was a pretty huge deal for me and it made it easier for me to keep up with things. She helped me get back on track several times and helped explain things when I couldn’t quite find the words to make sense. I actually did give him the journal entry, unfortunately I forgot to point him to the second half first so we ran out of time. I left on the note of “come back for a wrap-up session next week” and went home (to tasty soup and a nap!).

Rin and I talked about a lot of different things, trying to decompress. There were some concerns about some of the things that he had tried to focus on and we both realized that we needed a better list for the next session, particularly since it was going to be shorter. After talking about it off and on across the week, we made the list about an hour before we had to leave. I’m not going to share all of it because there are things that I don’t really want to write about just now; however, I will share the general gist because I’m actually pretty proud of parts of it.

We started with what my goals for having ADD medicine were. It was something he’d mentioned at the previous session – that the doctors liked to have a reason or a goal behind prescribing that type of medicine instead of taking for the sake of taking it.  (I’m going to share the goals at the end but I want to go over the outline first.) This actually makes a lot of sense to me, and it required some extra thought on my part. I had some of the obvious goals like wanting to not feel dumb in the brain all the time, but I actually had to find more than one or two reasons.

The second part was “Strategies I’m Already Using to Help Deal with ADD and Anxiety.” This list was also a bit harder to write because it involved thinking about both what I don’t do well and what I have actually managed to change. Rin helped a lot with this part because it wasn’t always easy for me to just sort it out from all of the random chaos that exists in my brain.

The last part was perhaps the hardest and the one that I’m not going to share parts of just yet. It was basically an organized list of things that I do differently now versus how I did them in the past. I summarized some of the things I had discussed in the last session and pointed out that he had seemed to focus on some things that weren’t really as large a problem as they might have sounded and how there were other things that were perhaps a larger focus. It involved having to weed through hard things and come up with a succinct list.

When I arrived at the appointment, I realized that the best plan of attack was to address the third section first. It actually made it much easier to focus on the things that perhaps really did need to be discussed. As I discussed things on all three lists, the therapy question came up again but I told him I couldn’t properly answer him until I finished my list. Because, damn it, I made a list and I HAD to finish it because my brain wasn’t thinking about anything else.

The first part of the list was this: Things I’m Trying to Do

  • Homeschooling: I’m already doing this, but it would be nice to have more focus and be able to do a bit more with her. As it stands there are some subjects I can’t work with her very well on because I have no focus for them, math being the biggest. It is frustrating and it would be better for all of us if I had my brain a bit more in gear.
  • Running a Girl Scout troop: We’re already behind on this, in large part due to the health issues that I’ve been dealing with. There was too much in the air to try to organize things. I am hoping to be able to get a better handle on this by the beginning of the year (before cookie sales). As it stands, I REALLY need some help with this one. It’s one thing to have ideas and another entirely to execute them.
  • Writing: This is a multi-tiered category that includes personal journaling (for obvious reasons), NaNoWriMo, and professional short pieces with the goal of publishing
  • Potentially trying to find editing work online. I love editing but this is something that just really is not working right now. It requires more focus than I have.
  • Day-to-day organization: this one should be pretty self-explanatory.
  • Knitting for fun and for profit: Knitting is helpful for me in a lot of ways plus it is really fun; however, through a Kickstarter for a local convention, RiverCon, Rin bought us an Artist Alley table. I have ideas for what I want to do but I’m going to need help in the focusing department both to learn new patterns between now and April but to stay on top of organized lists and the like.
  • Being scatterbrained makes it harder to get out of the house on time causing anxiety about being late: this one is one many of you are familiar with. No one knows how irritating it is to constantly be late and yet it doesn’t seem to matter how much earlier we get up (or don’t sleep at all), something inevitably comes up. It is typically a combination of not being able to move quickly because of pain levels and not having things in organized spaces (which hearkens back to the day-to-day organization thing). I’d really like to not be late aaaall the time.

A couple of other notes that were made with this page were that ADD and pain both impair focus and that the ADD meds help with both of those and would make the list more feasible. I also noted that writing helps keep my brain organized but it isn’t enough by itself. [Medicine] helps me to write better by increasing my ability to focus. One of the fastest ways for me to be upset when I’m writing is when I can’t find words. (Hell, pretty much anytime. Writing is not alone in this frustration.) Not finding words is also a dual problem.

The second list is: Strategies I’m Already Using

  • Being more forgiving of myself when I feel overwhelmed. This includes talking it out with my partner or my friends as opposed to falling into the bad habit of mentally berating myself when I feel overwhelmed.
  • Trying to keep a regular calendar (though this one is definitely a work in progress).
  • Actually writing things as opposed to saying, “I should be writing things” even when it is frustratingly difficult. This also includes using that writing to work through things like disagreements to help clarify my feelings and to look at other views.
  • Knitting
  • Taking short daytime walks (and the occasional nighttime stroll around the circle key).
  • Reading motivational writing like Momastery, The Bloggess, and The Militant Baker.
  • Talking about things that make me anxious/worried/scared instead of trying to keep it all to myself which helps with ADD problems and anxiety and depression.
  • Taking online classes through Coursera.
  • Cutting screen time late at night and trying to knit instead of goofing around online (also a work in progress).

Once I actually put that list together I was actually pretty damn proud of myself. It’s a viable list with things that I’ve actually been working on doing to make me a better me. This is really cool. Even more cool was the fact that the therapist told me that I have good coping skills. That was kind of huge for me. I’ve been notorious in the past for either ignoring things until they went away or shoving them to “be dealt with later”.

After going over the lists he agreed that he felt medicine would help. Then he dropped a bit of a bomb. He had a suspicion that since it had been so long since I had been on my other medicine that the doctor would likely want to try a non-stimulant first. I…was not thrilled; however, I understand that there has to be some give and take in these types of things. I’m willing to try [new med] because I am not willing to take an SSRI style medicine. I know that if I flat refuse too many kinds of medicines then I’ll be up a creek without a paddle. So, he and I talked about it for a minute and then he went to hunt the doctor down to ask her what she was willing to do.

While he was gone, I made myself address the “therapy: check yes or no” question and why I was so stubbornly saying no. Rin and I talked and I jotted down thoughts as they came up. The first was a sheer stubborn reaction. No, it isn’t helpful and likely not rational, but I am who I am and stubborn is part of that. The second was stemming from my VERY strong desire to not be on anti-depressants. I’ve been on around half a dozen in the past and they all left me feeling varying levels of numb and not myself and they all impaired my writing ability which is a HUGE problem. Third, though I know I won’t have the same problems I had in the past with therapy, those old anxieties do crop up and are still there. After writing it down on paper and thinking about it like a rational grownup instead of a stubborn asshat, I realized that it might not be a bad idea. There are things that I could use some help with and there are other coping strategies both for ADD, chronic pain, and depression that a therapist might know. The worst case is that I try it and it doesn’t help, so I agreed to let him send a referral over to Oaklawn in South Bend. It is the office he works out of and so he has experience with the people there. I was supposed to give them a call a couple of days after the appointment; however, this week has been a bit hectic, so I’m going to do that this week and we’ll go from there. The diagnosis he sent over is anxiety/NOS which is “not otherwise specified”. It’s a start. He said they will do their own assessments so I’ll get to answer all of those fun questions again. (Yay? Ugh.)

All in all, I’m glad I went to him and I wouldn’t mind chatting with him occasionally if I needed to for medicine purposes. I agreed to try a new medicine. [Though the new medicine is INSANELY expensive. Thankfully the company has a 30-day free trial thing. I still had to buy 5 of the half dose of the dose the doctor wants me on which cost $50 which was ANNOYING but it was the fastest solution since we were on our way out of town. I need to get started on them this weekend because it takes between 2-6 weeks to see a difference. Yeah, I’m not thrilled about that part either; however, I am trying to be positive. It will be different because it is clearly a non-stimulant whereas [old med] is a stimulant, but we’ll see. Worst case is that I try it and then go in and say, “Okay, I tried your expensive medicine and it’s not helping so can I have my medicine now please?” And that’s the mini-rant about that.]