Tag Archives: depression

Seven Signs I Should Have Stayed in Bed

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— 1 —

During my most recent psychiatrist visit I finally admitted I hear voices. No, the neighbor’s dog doesn’t tell me kill people. I’ll be alone in the house (as I usually am) and will hear my husband or youngest son say something random  like “I’m runnin’ down the street to Kroger” or “Are the dogs outside?” or “Are these dishes clean?” His advice? Turn on a radio or the TV. Umm, I READ. So I payed some guy who starts writing scrips as soon as I enter his office for my three-minute visit $35 to tell me to watch TV instead of reading books. This is healthcare today.

— 2 —

I went to a small retirement luncheon for someone I’d worked with since my very first day out of college. I’s gone to the wrong location of the restaurant (oops, disabled person makes mistake – one of the many reasons I’m not able to work) so I zip over to the correct location, expecting to catch them at the end of their lunch and just chat a bit. They’d waited for me before ordering, which was incredibly thoughtful, but clearly not the retiree’s idea since I was shocked they weren’t sitting with empty plates in front of them and her response was, “No, we just sat and stared at each other for half an hour.” I gave momentary thought to not giving her the retirement gift I’d had specially made, but it was only momentary.  But when she opened it, she offered to pay me for it. It was a retirement gift. How insulting is that?

— 3 —

I had someone close to me call the national Suicide Hotline and get put on HOLD. Yes, I recognize it’s a volunteer support group. Yes, I would volunteer if I could, but many days I don’t think I could dredge up something positive for someone going through horrible stress with no light at the end of the tunnel. “You’ll go to Hell if you commit suicide” really isn’t helpful if someone feels they are already there.

— 4 —

This nest is 100% empty. I really thought John would be homesick, would occasionally spend the night at home over the weekend, but no. Even though there’s an industrial fan that sounds like a jet engine outside his room and he has to wear earbuds the entire time he’s in his room he stays there. And he eats at The Ville Grill, affectionately known by students as “The Veeg”. Now I can’t imagine eating there. And my house is full of all this STUFF! I used to be able to blame it on the boys, but I can’t anymore. Minimalism, here I come!

— 5 —

Trying to follow the latest season of American Horror Story, but I’m having problems. Between the remake of “IT” (which I haven’t seen and will never see – because Stephen King doesn’t watch that crap, either. He just cashes the checks and keeps writing.) and the creepy clowns in AHS-Cult the futures of every person who went to Clown College is pretty much in the toilet. Clown College is (or was) a real thing. Makeup techniques, costume design, stunt work, and body language and facial expressions that can be seen from the furthest seat away in the big top. I guess they can work the fashion runways – the looks are close enough.

— 6 —

How was I able to get up at 3:15 am, blow-dry and curl my hair, but on makeup, get dressed, check email, eat my breakfast, give the dogs a potty break,change a diaper/ breastfeed a child/put them back to sleep all without turning on a light for two decades? Now when my husband is up, everyone is up. The TV is on, the lights are on, the dogs want their potty break while he’s in the shower. And if I’m up late because of the pain the lights in the bedroom must stay off. Even the lowest setting on the dimmer switch in the master bath is unacceptable. I have constant bumps and bruises from simply not being able to get in and out of bed at night!

— 7 —

Don’t EVER buy anything from a store called POSTERMAN. Hopefully it’s just a local thing, a store here in Louisville in Mall St. Matthews. HOPEFULLY. Because my 18yo bought his dad a poster there (what a sweet boy!) at the beginning of August, and the owner is still refusing to refund him the over $150 he was overcharges for the poster. The owner admits his mother (who is elderly enough to say “my son is on a long-distance call”) runs the shop and does not give receipts. Hmmm. Although I was nothing but polite and professional when I called, he insisted I had a “bad attitude”. Then I put my phone on speaker and it soon left my hand. I’ll be camped out at his kiosk tomorrow awaiting his arrival. He insists our BANK took the money. Seriously, don’t fuck with a woman who’s constantly in pain and has lost her thought:speech filter.

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My Seven Favorite Quick Mood-Changers

7qt_lyceum_v2I’m a bit more of an expert in this area than I’d like to be, since I’ve attempted suicide and ended up in a locked psych ward for a few days with intensive outpatient therapy for two weeks after that. I still see my psych guy regularly. My inpatient and outpatient experiences added extensively to my “toolbox” of coping mechanisms. Some are odd. Take what you want and giggle at the rest. Sometimes you just have to laugh or cry.

— 1 —

Anger. I have a lot of anger. For the doctor who fucked up my second surgery and washed his hands of me. All he had to do was read the radiologist’s report of my X-ray and he’d have known my vertebrae weren’t fused. All of this could have been avoided and now I’d be working full-time and being myself. I’m angry at all the patients I did stress tests on who had chest pain while running a 10K or lifting a hundred pounds. When I asked what sort of work they did daily they said, “Oh, I’m disabled from back pain.” I haven’t been able to work at all since 2011, I spend 18-20 hours in bed, and I still can’t convince a judge I’m disabled.

When the anger gets to be too much, I want to yell and break things. So I close the windows, give the dogs treats, and sing/shout along with “angry woman” songs until my throat is raw. Pat Benatar works well, as does Miranda Lambert. Aerosmith is a great choice, too.

I have a stash of Goodwill plates. No stoneware – the more fragile the better. Grab some plates: two if you’re angry, five if you really want to hurt someone. Put on protective eyewear, shut the dogs in the house, and throw those plates as hard as you can at a concrete or brick wall. Of course you have to pick up and throw all the pieces away, but it’s so worth it!

— 2 —

Depression. I’ve got a lot of this one, too. I take my meds, and I read from this book before I get out of bed every day.
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It’s secular, not religious, and it’s what we started our meetings with during outpatient therapy. I love this book. You can get a used copy cheap on Amazon.

If that doesn’t get you through the day, distraction is my most-used tool. Call or text a friend and ask about how they are doing. Don’t talk about yourself, just them. If you’re able, go for a run. I miss running. I was never fast, but the scenery distracted me. Read a book that you know is funny or uplifting. Or even better, watch a movie that makes you laugh until your sides hurt or makes you get all the tears out. Steel Magnolias always does it for me. I should write Sally Field a thank-you card for the funeral scene.

— 3 —

Envy/Jealousy. This is one I have to deal with more frequently than I’d like. I know, intellectually, that most of the people in the world would love to be me. I can walk and talk, I have a fantastic family, and I worked more than twenty years at a job I loved. I can worship the way I want, say anything on this blog, and I still have health insurance (praise God!).

I tackle this one with my prayer journal. It’s an old Nurses’ Day gift. I write the date, then what I’m thankful for, then what I pray for. It puts in all in perspective. If that doesn’t cover it, or if I’m feeling jealous of the whole world (Hey, it happens!) I write. My words are mine and only mine. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing lyrics, a short story, a blog post, or phrases and doodles in my journal. It’s mine, and no one else on Earth can claim it.
prayer-journal

— 4 —

Exhaustion. Extreme emotions are exhausting. So is chronic pain, which is another issue I deal with 24/7. I read somewhere that you should treat yourself like you’d treat your beloved sister or daughter. Let yourself rest, treat yourself now and then.  Most importantly, have faith. I highlighted a quote about faith in an ebook I was reading recently, but now I can’t remember which book it was in. Anyway, it was something about believing everything is going to be OK somehow even though all evidence leads you to believe it won’t. That’s how I get through it when I’m forced to look at anything further ahead than the next day.

— 5 —

Loneliness. I’ve been alone in a room of hundreds of people. I’ve been alone in my own home, with my family surrounding me. In addition to the faith I’ve mentioned it’s important to have a physical companion, physical affection. I’ve seen all the samplers and pillows talking about how cats and dogs are angels with fur, and I firmly believe it. If you can’t have your own, volunteer at an animal shelter. Pets are overflowing with love.

— 6 —

Pissiness/Bitchiness“. That’s what my husband and youngest son call it, anyway. Personally, I think my filter just finally wore out. I translated mean into polite fifty times a day for over twenty years. Then I spent five years jumping through hoops for people who couldn’t string a grammatically correct sentence together to save their lives and completely lacked compassion. Maybe theirs just wore out, too. My psych guy gave me meds, but the filter hasn’t grown back yet. Obviously, I don’t have any tips for this one except to try really hard to keep your mouth shut, or at least keep the sarcasm out of your voice. If you have tips, I’d love to hear them. I actually offended my 17yo yesterday with my language. Impressive, huh?

— 7 —

Self-Pity. Get. Over. It. Really, I don’t mean to be cruel. I tell myself this nearly every day. Go on YouTube and watch someone without the use of their hands and feet paint with their teeth. Watch a soldier who lost both his legs run a 5K. Google things like “worst living conditions”, “poorest country”, and “most painful diseases”. Make a list of your blessings. It’ll be long!

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Olympics, Doctor Visits, and College Sympathy Pains

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— 1 —

I love the Olympics, but I find them terribly stressful. I remember watching Nadia Comeneci score the first perfect 10 in the Montreal games in 1976. She was awe-inspiring. I remember the “Thomas Flair” changing men’s gymnastics forever. I remember Michael Phelps as a gawky kid, wide-eyed at winning his first gold medal. But it all comes down to two or three minutes with the whole world watching. What if, God forbid, you have to sneeze? One sneeze could literally ruin a career. It could send a young athlete who has trained since they could walk into a life-threatening depression. Watching Aly Raisman’s parents while she was competing literally made my stomach hurt.

— 2 —

I watched them live when that was the only option, but as soon as I could record them and then fast-forward through the commercials and the parts that didn’t interest me that’s what I did. Yes, I was a day behind, but when I was working I figured out a way around that.
olympic results
Now that I can’t work I’m pretty isolated, so I don’t have to worry about people telling me results I don’t want to know.

— 3 —

I have to say I’m not crazy about the newer scoring methods on gymnastics. Difficulty was part of the calculation for the ten-point system, and we got to see how each judge had voted. I miss that. And is the women’s vault built differently now? What was wrong with the old way? And I always enjoy the men’s gymnastics, but I was distracted this year by Sam Mikulak. I can’t even tell you what the young man’s face looked like because I couldn’t take my eyes off his arms. He had a single, massive vein running down each arm. I haven’t stuck anyone for an IV in decades and I could have gotten a 16-gauge into each arm on the first try and hooked him up to an IV line the size of a garden hose. This is called “nurse porn” and we can’t help it. So if you have large, easy-to-see veins don’t freak out in the grocery checkout line if someone stares. They are just wishing everyone was more like you.

— 4 —

Since according to my husband and son I have no filter anymore (I think I just used it up), I over-react to minor issues, and am demanding and refuse to let go of issues until they are resolved to my satisfaction (I kinda thought the last two were points in my favor, but I was out-voted) I moved up all my doctors’ visits to “first available”. I started with my primary care doc, laid out the list of new symptoms (which also included high blood pressure everyone has ignored for a year, Left hip pain with a numb left leg, NEW moderate lumbar scoliosis, and worsening muscle spasms in my neck, shoulders, and upper back). He tossed me a bone by adding an additional blood pressure med. Gee, that was worth my co-pay (not).

— 5 —

I’d already seen my pain management nurse practitioner. If she were any more bored with her job she’d be comatose. I’d filled out a long form about my pain since my last visit and put it face-down on the desk. She never turned it over. I told her about the hip pain and the scoliosis, even pulled up the image on my phone. She said, “Hmmph.” Then she wrote me a scrip for pain pills and said she’d see me in a month. That co-pay was an extra $10. The next time I didn’t fill out a form, she didn’t ask for it, and I was out another $35 just to get a prescription written. I see her again this afternoon and she’s going to earn her $35. I need a new muscle relaxer. Taking half of the one I take at bedtime won’t work. I tried that one day – took it with my 6 a.m. pain pill in preparation for getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom at 8 a.m. No shower, just a potty break. But the next thing I knew both dogs were barking in my face because it was 11 a.m. – doggie lunch time.

— 6 —

I saw my psychiatrist this week, too. He wanted to blow me off with “Have you experienced any new stressors recently?” and “How long has this been going on?” I told him there were no new stressors, just the same ones I’ve been dealing with for five years now, and that the new behaviors had been going on for two months and he really needed to work out a system for patients with sudden changes, since if he hadn’t had a cancellation it would have been another two months until I’d seen him. Anyway, I got a new med he’s very optimistic about, and a new diagnosis I’m not very comfortable with. But if the med works I’ll take the diagnosis. We’ll see in 3-4 weeks.

— 7 —

SOOO many pics of friends moving their kids into Freshman dorms. I feel for them. I remember Aaron’s move-in day like it was yesterday. I was so happy for him, excited that he was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do, and making new friends and learning life lessons.
dormbed
But I loved having him at home so much, and knew I would miss him terribly. The transition was tough in so many ways, and John’s next year will be even more difficult since he’s my youngest. I’m going to savor every moment of his senior year!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

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