Woman Down, Follow-up Appointment Tomorrow, One Side Effect of Wellbutrin…

I haven’t written for a few days. It seems to be a cycle I’m in. I think it has to do with facing some of the things I’m less than content with in my life at the moment. Then, again, who knows for sure. The fact that I haven’t been writing at all, on here or otherwise, sort of bothers me and makes me wonder if maybe things are a lot worse in my head than I thought or am aware of.

I had yesterday off, and I have today off. Yesterday, I did nothing but lay in bed. I was bored beyond description. I stayed in bed all day because something went wrong with my back at work the day before. I have no idea what went wrong but my back started hurting around my sacrum, got progressively worse, eventually growing to the point my hip, thigh, and about 4 inches of my spine above my sacrum were screaming whether I was moving or not.

I went to the Y after I got done with my clean and sat in the steam room, then an extremely hot shower, in an attempt to get my back to release enough that moving even the slightest amount wasn’t excruciating and not moving didn’t hurt at all. Unfortunately, this did not work out as I had planned. It reduced the pain a little bit but I was still miserable.

I took some Advil. A couple of hours later, I took some more since the first round didn’t even touch the pain. This was dinner time. About an hour after dinner, Lance remembered he had some 600mg ibuprofen, and I took one of those. I was able to fall asleep a couple of hours later but was woken up by the pain in the middle of the night when I shifted positions. I took another 600mg ibuprofen when I got out of bed yesterday morning to make my coffee.

My back isn’t hurting like it was, now, but is still extremely tender and feels like it has the potential to reach the status it was at on Friday very easily. Moving is something I am doing with extra care and if something ends up on the floor, it may just stay there if I can’t pick it up with my toes or Lance isn’t there to help. The pain/tenderness is centered around my sacrum and the 4-inches of spine above my sacrum, now. Today will be spent trying to get this to feel much better than it is. I have the common areas at the condo complex tomorrow, which means vacuuming stairs, which just isn’t going to happen if my back is still feeling this way in the morning. Thankfully, Lance has nothing scheduled for tomorrow so I can get him to help me get the stairs done.

I have my follow-up appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning for the Wellbutrin. I’m going to talk with her about my back then if it is still feeling like it is right now. I’m hoping it’s not feeling like it is right now.

It is so weird having this type of pain. I’ve always been a strong, active person, never really had any physical pains, at least nothing worth mentioning. Normal “I’ve worked my whole adult life in one form or another of manual labor” aches and ‘pains,’ but nothing like this. I have to say back pain like this has got to be the worse. It limits every other movement you make.

One of the odd things, coincidental things, is that I had just picked up the schedule for the different yoga classes at the Y. I had been thinking I should probably start strengthening my core. I’m not as young as I once was and, like I said, manual labor has been the working theme for me, so I felt it was time to do some preventative actions to avoid physical break down. Apparently, I got on that train a little late. I’m going to take this back pain incident as the final warning and get my butt in some yoga classes.

On a side note, one of the side effects of Wellbutrin is it can help you stop smoking by reducing tobacco cravings. I have been noticing that I don’t want a cigarette as much as I did. In fact, most of my cigarettes get put out a few drags into them because I realize I don’t really want it. I have to say that I am quite pleased by this and am just letting it happen without trying to put much thought into it. Thinking about quitting smoking seems to be where I have found my pitfalls in the past with trying to quit. I’m now down to under half a pack a day, with most of those being smoked a little at a time. Looks good. I hope the end result is no more cigarettes, but as I said, I’m trying not to put much thought into it. My fingers are crossed.

Acclimation, Phone Let Down, Exorcizing the Jeep’s Ghost…

I think my body is starting to acclimate to the antidepressant. I am starting to have some of the depression that was eased creep back in a bit. I don’t have the unrealistic expectation that the antidepressant will make the world a beautiful place full of rainbows, butterflies, and ballons, but, since I stalk my mind, do system checks daily to see where I’m at, having the thoughts of depressing things, feeling them, is frustrating. Does that make sense?

I’m skipping my gratitude list this morning. I’ll try writing it later. I just don’t feel like it this morning. Sometimes, its hard to find the things I’m grateful for. Well, at least, some mornings, its hard to actually feel the gratitude and I guess I’m having one of those mornings.

So, I’ve had my new phone for about a month now. I actually really like the phone but I have run into a couple of issues with it that I’m less than happy with. One issue is that, often times, when I go to take a picture with my phone, it tells me that it doesn’t have enough space and I need to delete some things and try again. I’ve never had this happen before, though my husband has. I’ve always chalked it up to he has an off brand phone (an alcatel) which, in my mind, meant an inferior phone. I know. How judgemental. Apparently, my ZTE ZMAX is an inferior phone. Bummer.

The second issue I have run into with this phone, and the one I find most distressing, is it won’t play my audiobooks. This alone made me want to go back to my old phone but I don’t have it anymore. My daughter’s phone flew off her counter, attacked a cat bowl and lost. The cat bowl cracked her phone’s screen so I gave her my old phone when I got the new one.

Yesterday, I did a Google search for the best android app to play audiobook files. I scanned the search results, clicked on one which took me to an app in the PlayStore, and scrolled down to the reviews to see what people had to say about it. The very first review just so happened to be from my brother, Shane. He gave it 5 stars. That was enough for me. I downloaded the app, Smart Audiobook Player.

It took all of seconds to download. I was excited. I figured out which root directory was the one I wanted it to pull from, then tried to play one of the audiobooks I have on the sd card in my phone. Every last audiobook I tried to play, the app told me the file was corrupted. I can’t play any of them. Complete let down. How frustrating.  I think I am going to have to find an mp3 player that plays wma’s and won’t reorganize all the track from each book into alphabetical order. Since we have already tried to do that for my husband, I know it is going to be a challenge to find one in my price range, which isn’t much. In the meantime, I guess I will just have to download the audiobooks to my computer and wait until I have something to play them on. For now, Pandora is what I get to listen to at work, which is ok but not what I am wanting.

I have an easy clean scheduled for today. Its the unit of the old on-site manager at the condo complex I clean the common areas at every week. I have actually already cleaned the unit. She hired me to clean it when she moved out and the company signed off on it. Noone knows I have cleaned it already and, since they already had signed off on it when she moved out, I really didn’t think it would come up on my schedule.

I told the old on-site manager (we keep in touch) that I’ve been scheduled to clean it. Her first response was “Clean what?!” I’m really good at what I do. I almost never get a call back for something missed. She then told me to clean it anyway, get paid for cleaning it twice. Part of me wonders if that is ethical. The rest of me thinks that they believe it needed something done to it so I will go an do a thorough look around to see if there is anything I can improve on. Since everything has already been done, by me, I don’t see this taking me much time at all. I have another unit there scheduled for tomorrow so I will probably just go clean it after double checking her old unit.

Tomorrow, since I am probably doing that clean today, I am going to deal with the Jeep. It has been having an issue. I start it, it dies immediately. I have read through the Haynes manual to see what it has to say and then I did a Google search for this issue. It apparently is a common issue for Jeeps around the same age as mine (its a 1997), and one that baffles almost everyone, including mechanics. You gotta love Jeeps and the electrical ghost each one has (at least the older ones).

On the carcomplaints.com site, one guy came up with a solution that solved his problem and I am fully saturated with the feeling that it is exactly what I need to do with my Jeep. He created a bracket for the PCM that holds the connectors in, making it impossible for them to vibrate loose. The connectors never really come completely out of their sockets but can vibrate enough from the engine running and driving around to cause the connectors to not have to correct contact. After doing this to his Jeep, he has no more problems with it stalling out. The parts cost all of around $7 at Home Depot and it takes about an hour of time to complete the fix. I’m all over this like flies on stinky stuff. I’ll let you know how it goes. My fingers are crossed. I love my Jeep (no sarcasm in that statement at all, not even a little bit).

A little this, a little that, a little nothing…

I cried today. I don’t know why or what spurred it, but, in the middle of work, I started crying. Not just the leaky eye type of crying, either, but the can’t breathe, from the soul crying. I’m really grateful noone showed up to show the unit today.

Maybe the crying was just a pressure release type thing. Life has been a bit of a challenging roller coaster for a number of years now and there is a whole lot I haven’t processed, yet, because to do so then would have broken me. Well, at least it felt that way, and still does, to a certain extent. Someone had to be the strong one and noone else was raising their hand to do so, so it fell to me by default. It is what it is, whatever IT is.

Anyway, I don’t feel the crying is a result of the antidepressant. Well, maybe it is. I’ve gotten to step out of the level of depression I was at to something a bit more manageable, less taxing, and perhaps even that small level of relief was just enough for the system to let go of some of the baggage. I don’t know. It makes more sense to me in my head than when I write it done here. Whatever the reason for the cry, it happened, and I wasn’t left feeling like life, my life, was nothing but a big bag of worthlessness. Yes, I go there.

I have three tulip blooms left. The rest have given all they can and laid their petals to the ground. I have really enjoyed them and I’m a bit surprised because I’ve never really been fond of tulips. Its not like I didn’t like them but I didn’t really like them, either. Nothing I’ve been drawn to before. Anyway, I have clipped off the spent tulips and bent the plants to the ground.

One thing I have learned about the area I planted my tulips in is that it is way more acidic than I thought it was. My Allium, which are acid tolerant, are yellowing before even getting to bloom. There are buds, but one of the buds is turning a reddish color, and not the “000…its going to be so cool” type of coloring.

I had planned on planting my butterfly garden around the stump but that obviously isn’t going to work. Oh well. I’ll just have to pick a better spot for it. I don’t have a day off until Sunday, but most of the cleans I do have won’t take all day so I’ll have time after work, if I feel up to it.

Well, not much is going on here. Work, dogs, cats, husband, sleep, work. I need to fix that. I’m not saying that I don’t cherish the lack of ‘things’ happening, especially since ‘things’ have equaled chaos a lot over the years, but I’d like to have something that makes me want to run to my laptop and tell the world about it because I’m so excited about my experience. Those will come. I’m just incredibly impatient.

Getting the Garden Going…

I cleared most of the way around the stump yesterday. I had a pic to add above, but WordPress is apparently experiencing some issues with that. Anyway, I want to plant my butterfly garden here but I am going to have to test the soil, first. Two of the three plants in my butterfly garden mix do well with acidic soil but one is less than tolerant with it. Mildly acidic, rather close to neutral, is fine but I have a feeling the soil is much more acidic than that. I did get the tulips to bloom, most of them, and some wildflower seeds I tossed out there last year sprouted and bloomed, though they were a bit stunted and some didn’t come up at all.

Amendments and some topsoil are going to need to happen there, but that is going to have to wait until next payday, which is frustrating. I’m anxious to get things in the ground and growing. A number of my seedlings are big enough to be planted, also. In fact, quite a few are big enough that it is time to plant them before they become unhappy with just their seed pods.

I don’t know why I have been soooo impatient with getting a garden going this year. Maybe it has to do with a lot of the stress that we have had to trudge through. I’m just really needing the pretty. Or, maybe, it’s because, with work, I don’t feel like I’m doing much of anything to feed my soul and I know having plants that need my attention fills my soul to the very top. I love watching things grow, especially things I have planted myself.

But I have the process started. Its happening. I just have to remind myself that summer will not pass me by this year. I have time. It’s all going to happen.

Have a great day, Everyone!!!

The Sun is Shining…

ready to garden

ready to garden

I have the day off, again, today. The sun is shining. I’m headed out to start prepping my planting areas, partially out of desire and partially because I know it really, really needs to get done. I’m good with the 50/50 split. It is way better than where I was at a week ago. I hope everyone has a most beautiful day!!!

Meds, Day 5…

The sun is out, I have the day off, and all I want to do is sleep. I didn’t sleep very well last night. Well, I did, until about 4am. Then, the Committee convened and the next few hours were frustrating more than restful.

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend. I have today and tomorrow off and was hoping to get some gardening done. Finances dictate that we go paint curb numbers instead. I have to admit I am having a really hard time getting myself to do them this year. I love my days off, especially now that I am starting to want to actually do some gardening, and I just don’t want to spend the time working another job.

I know this is kind of nuts, since I turned the curb painting into a business instead of just side work we did to make ends meet, but I feel how I feel. Maybe that will change once I get out there and start making some money. Am I money motivated? Oh, yes. Quite so.

Today is day 5 on the antidepressant. Yesterday was a little bit weird. Not big weird. Just little weird. There is a real part of me that is depressed, grieving in a way, and it was trying to express itself yesterday. I’d start to feel the grief, then it would sort of go away. Then it would start to come out, again. Repeat the cycle.

I also had a moderate headache most of the day. I know this is just the antidepressant organizing things in my brain, the chemicals changing around, but it makes it hard to not just let any of the non-positive emotions that try to come up take over. I have no headache this morning so that is a good thing. Hopefully, it stays that way.

I’m grateful that there is some relief from the depression, finally. Thankfully, I started it before my son decided he was going to go live with his dad’s side of the family earlier this week. I’m heartbroken over this. That side of the family has spent most of my son’s life trying to keep him from me, so there are a lot of scars there. I just hope they can motivate him in a way that I obviously am incapable of doing. My fingers are crossed for him.

Unfortunately, this means finding a home for the cat that my son and daughter have been sharing over the past few years. I don’t think it is fair to her to leave her living in the 5th wheel by herself with very little attention. I go hang out with her for a little bit when I first get home after work everyday, but that seems inadequate to me. Neither of the kids can bring her to where they are at.

I can’t just integrate her into the animal population here because, despite having been vaccinated for it, she has kitty leukemia. She can infect the other cats here. I also can’t just let her out to roam and home because she could infect other kitties she might come in contact with. Finding her a home is going to be difficult at best.

I would love to be able to find someone who doesn’t have other cats and will love Gemini until her journey here is over with, but that is a really big, possibly unrealistic, hope. I don’t feel it should be that way but it is. No one wants a sick cat, even if that cat shows no signs of being sick.

Yes, I’m a little overwhelmed by all of this. I get to be the one to find a home for Gemmy, and if I can’t, make further decisions from there. I don’t feel like this is my responsibility but I know the kids aren’t going to handle it, so… My son will be 18 at the end of this month so I don’t feel like I have much of a say in where he decides to live, either. I guess I’m just trying to learn how to let it all go and move through it to the best of my ability and the least amount of damage all the way around. Sometimes, life just sucks.

Meds, Day 3…

image

So the meds are going well. I know it’s too soon for the full effect, but I am starting to feel a trickle of change. I found myself looking out at where I plan on doing some gardening and actually having some desire to prep the area.
I know I’ve talked a lot about the areas I plan on planting in, how I need to get them ready, how beautiful it’s all going to be. I can’t honestly say any of that was backed with any more emotion than the desperate need to find something to help boost my mood, knowing gardening has always provided that for me in the past. When I realized the thought had come from somewhere else, from a place of soul desire, I nearly stood up, jumped, and clicked my heels together in joy! So, apparently, the meds are beginning to get things in order in my head, and my heart. There are no words to express the relief knowing the light at the end of that long, dark tunnel isn’t a train but the sun. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow is like!!!

Forecasting Blue Skies…

Well, I went to my doctor’s appointment yesterday. I was almost late because I forgot my purse at home and needed to get gas. I called to let them know I was running late. I can’t believe I actually forgot my purse at home. I quite apparently was not in my body when I left here yesterday morning.

After talking for a minute, my doctor said she wasn’t comfortable prescribing just an antidepressant, since an antidepressant alone in a bipolar body without the monitoring of a mood stabilizer/anti-psychotic can make things worse, much worse. An antidepressant without a mood stabilizer in someone with bipolar that is having a severe depression cycle with suicidal thoughts can change the thoughts into action. I do not share this concern.

Suicidal thought are the brains way of saying help, in my opinion. I have battled with suicidal thoughts for the majority of my life. I have attempted suicide a few times in my much younger years and once in my 30’s, before getting diagnosed, before ever getting on medications to try to manage the bipolar. I do not fear suicidal thoughts ever becoming action ever again. I know suicidal thoughts mean that I am overwhelmed, over-stressed, and it is time for me to seek help, whether in the form of medication and/or finding support to help me sort out the deepest, most provoking thoughts or emotions I am having that are causing the suicidal thoughts to occur, then working them out. I stalk my mind.

Anyway, my doctor and I talked a bit more about medications. I admitted to her that I have used an antidepressant that I had but was no longer taking as part of my meds cocktail, or that I wasn’t taking meds at all, to kick myself out of a depressive episode. I explained how long I took the antidepressant and what the end result was. I know self-medicating is dumb, potentially dangerous. I also have been on enough meds trying to find even that I know how my body reacts to different medications. This doesn’t change the fact the it was still dumb and still dangerous. I’m not proud of it and I’m not ashamed of it either. It just is.

After having this conversation, my doctor decided she was going to go ahead and push the behavioral health referral through, go ahead and write me the prescription for the antidepressant, and schedule a follow-up in two weeks to see how I’m doing. She made it quite clear that I was to come back in right away if I started feeling worse. I have to admit that having this level of trust from a doctor is refreshing. I actually felt heard, which doesn’t happen very often.

So, I started my antidepressant this morning. Knowing that the process has started is a relief in itself. I found myself day dreaming about how I am going to feel soon and it made me smile. I found myself actually looking forward to feeling well enough to get my planting spots ready and planted. I see myself smiling, again, laughing, two things that have been absent or quite scarce for me for a while now. Is that the sun I see up ahead? ;-)

Mental and Emotional Conflict over Medication…

My doctor’s appointment to get the ball rolling for medication is today. I’m apprehensive about this. I want the relief an antidepressant can help with but, to be completely honest, I don’t really want to be on medication at all. I always feel like I lose a part of myself when I’m on medication.

I know that is a common complaint from many with bipolar disorder, but…well, its true. Yes, the depression has gotten to be more than I can handle myself. I get that. I probably should have gone into the doctor sooner. If it were a matter of just taking an antidepressant for a bit to kick me out of the sludge, then I’m sure I would feel different about it. I probably wouldn’t have any angst at all about it.

There are parts of the unmedicated me that I really like. I am more genuine in my emotions, I tend to be a bit more creative than when I’m medicated, I feel with all my heart instead of just with my head. I see the value in being medicated, also. More even emotions, clearer thought in most areas, …there are other things, I just can’t think of them at the moment.

I just wish that getting medicated, again, didn’t mean experiencing the feeling of loss of self. I wish getting medicated meant just eliminating the negatives, such as the depression, and leaving some of the things I find strengths, such as being more creative. Apparently, I don’t get to have both. Or maybe I do but have lost the ability to see that from where I’m at, at the moment.

As you can see, medication is a confusing and emotional subject for me. I know I’ve talked about it before, but I’m feeling the need to talk about it, again. I’m having a slight battle with myself this morning over my appointment. I’m going. That’s not the battle.I guess getting on medication, the thought of doing so, feels like admitting defeat, in a way. It’s almost like coming to terms with the fact that some of what I love isn’t good for me and its time to let go of them.

Bottom line: Getting medicated makes me feel crazy.

Day 5 of 5…

Today is day 5 of 5 days off. I have to admit it has been nice having this time away from work to not have to think about work or anything pertaining to it. I even managed to squeeze in a sloth day yesterday.

I haven’t been going full tilt ahead during this off time, but I have been getting some things done around home. Well, ok, I got some things done but in reality, it’s not all that much. I cleaned out Marv, front to back. That was a chore. There are still some things in Marv but that is mostly just stuff I haven’t found an alternate space for, yet. Oh! And some of my daughter’s things that I will be bringing up to her soon.

Lance had the water working in the 5th wheel, but we had to shut that off today because the valve behind the toilet is leaking. A bummer, but hopefully it won’t be too hard to take care of. I wanted to test the hot water heater in the 5th wheel, but, with having to shut off the water, that isn’t going to happen. I’ll just have to wait until Lance fixes the leak sometime after pay-day.

Does anyone out there use Google Wallet? If you do, I’d love to hear a review from you. I have set up getting paid through Google Wallet, ordered and received the MasterCard-backed debit card for it, and will get to see this Wednesday, the 15th, how well this works out. I have had some problems with the mail delivery system around here, so a different way needed to be found. Cayle doesn’t have enough employees that want direct deposit to warrant the cost of setting it up.

We were going to use Venmo, but, after setting it all up with my Charles Schwab account, Venmo decided Charles Schwab was not going to be one of the banks they work with anymore. Thanks, Venmo. The other apps similar to Venmo didn’t have enough reviews, positive reviews, for me to be comfortable using them.

My doctor’s appointment is tomorrow. I know I won’t be leaving the appointment with a prescription for an antidepressant, but at least I will have made it past the first step. Relief from this level of depression is, hopefully, not too far down the path after this appointment. Fingers crossed.

The weather has been mood swinging the last few days. Sun, rain, wind, sun+rain+wind, wind+rain, rain, sun, rain, wind. Typical Spring around here, though hard to plan around.

Well, I’d better get ready to head to the Y for a shower. Work starts back up tomorrow after the doctor’s appointment. I hope everyone had a great weekend!!!