Monday, May 30, 2011

Normal Crazy

I hope that no one was offended that I entitled my last entry as Crazy. I know some people are offended when depressed or overly anxious people are called crazy. But that is what I consider myself. All of the thoughts (worst-case scenario stuff and the mind that just won't shut off) make me feel like I am crazy. And that means just not "normal". And some people don't like "normal" and feel that "typical" is a better word. However, when dealing with myself, I will use crazy and normal. If you don't like it, please move along.

I have felt much better since I posted the other day. I think it was just such a relief to say it all and get it out. Confession is good for the soul, right? I think just finally admitting that I am having issues again has been a big help for me to think more about what I need to do to deal with it. I am feeling some pressure though because school is ending in a few weeks and there is so much to be done in the meantime (wrapping up volunteer work, class parties, baseball, Cars' First Communion, my in-laws visiting) that it is overwhelming to think of the time I need to exercise, clean, and perhaps go see a counselor.

See how I put that one last? Shows the priority I am giving it. Gotta re-think that.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Crazy (again) after all these years

I posted an entry last week then promptly deleted it. It was about me and anxiety and depression. Not sure why I deleted it. I think it was because I just hated saying it out loud.

What I said out loud was that over the past few months I could feel myself slipping into a sort of depression. My anxiety ramped up and I have been spending hours at night imagining the worst things possible. That the rabbits in our garden will have destroyed our property so much that it will cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. That the rabbits are rabid (do rabbits get rabies?). That spider season is almost here and I will never be able to spend anytime down in the family room because at any moment a gigantic spider will come racing at me. That the record rainfalls will destabilize our yard and the deck and front porch will collapse while the crawlspace fills up with water. That Jax will be a hunchback. That Dex will become addicted to drugs at an early age due to self-medicating while trying to deal with his own anxiety and depression. That Cars will develop skin cancer (he is my mole-y-est kid). That Stephen will drop dead of a heart attack and I will not remember to pay the bills. That I have a heart condition and will die of a heart attack after a couple of years of shuffling around attacked to an oxygen tank. That the earth will destroy itself with floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, cyclones (are they the same thing or are they like hurricanes?), hurricanes (but I never worried about the rapture cuz the guy who predicted it was just plain nuts).

All of these very irrational things. And I know they are irrational. And during the day they are so stupid and I wonder WTF I was doing even thinking these things. But it happens at night when I am trying to lay still and go to bed. I do not discuss them with Stephen because he just rolls his eyes at me and asks me why I cannot just be happy. I don't know why. I am always waiting for the shoe to drop. Always.

So, while I sit in bed and worry and fret I can feel my heart start to constrict and I am so *sure* that I have heart disease or clogged arteries or whatever.

I recognize that these are not the thoughts of a rational person.

I made an appointment to see my doctor for a physical. Well, I saw her nurse practitioner (I don't think I have even seen my doctor since Cars was an infant). Anyway, I went in and I just started spewing all of this stuff and I told her that I thought I was depressed or needed to get a hold of my anxiety and that I was sure I was having heart problems but I know I just feel it when I am stressed and blah blah blah blah!

Once she calmed me down, she asked me if I wanted to be medicated and I said no. Why? I had no idea why. I just didn't like the IDEA of it which is so stupid because if I had high cholesterol, I would take medication. If I had diabetes, I would take the medication. But because my brain chemistry is probably out of whack I will not do anything about it. Well, not entirely true. I just won't take medication for it. I will go to counseling and I did take a referral for that (but now school is almost out so when would I go and how long will it take and the office is not close and and and and...).

I kept wondering why I would not take medication. When I was diagnosed with PPD when Cars was 3 months old, my OB/GYN prescribed Zoloft. I promptly filled the prescription but never took one. I did start counseling and long time Blahg readers will remember that I went to Crazy Doctor for 2 years. I often wonder if I had taken Zoloft, would I have been happier, saner, more stable much sooner? Probably. Yet here I am, in almost the same place six years later and I will not take an anti-depressant.

I did call Killjoy (yes, that name is back) and told her what I had told the doctor. That I thought I was depressed. This was a big step for me to even tell my mom. To admit it out loud. (I mentioned something to Stephen last month but then we just shrugged it off). Anyway, Killjoy told me not to take any of that "crap" (medication) and that I would be better if I just went out and got a job. Niiiice. Thanks for the support.

Anyway, I did agree to take a prescription for anti-anxiety medication that I can take "as needed". My heart and arteries all sound find so she is sure that the chest pains I feel as I lay in bed stressing about the recession, war in Afghanistan, tornadoes in Missouri, flooding in Louisiana, nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan and starving in Africa and general health and well-being of my family is just from anxiety. My blood work should come back next week and if my thyroid levels are out of whack or my vitamin d are low, these could also be part of the reasons why I am feeling so blue. I am also having my cholesterol checked to make sure it is still fine (at night, I imagine that it is clogged with thick layers of plaque which is causing the pains in my chest).

In the meantime, I must force myself to get up and move about and go outside, go to the store, go to the gym, go go go... I have go to get better. I must.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


For at least the second year in a row, we have had a very cool, wet, wet spring and it has been horribly depressing. Virtually no sunshine, no warm weather and just no fun. However, since Saturday, we have had 3 days of sun and tomorrow it will return along with a predicted high of 70 degrees F! I am delighted!!

I spent Saturday weeding and also cutting limbs off some of our trees. Yesterday, my neighbour gave me a small lilac bush that is an off shoot of hers and I planted it on the sunny side of our house. Lilacs are a little finicky here because we don't usually get cold enough temperatures that they need in the winter. Well, we didn't use to. We have had "cold" winters the past few years so I am hoping that this lilac bush will thrive and give off lots of sweet smelling blossoms next spring.

I also transplanted a Japanese maple bush that I purchased on clearance last fall and had hastily planted in the ground in November, pot and all! My neighbour (she is a master gardener) doesn't think the spot I chose for the maple will do well (too sunny and dry in the summer). I am hedging (ha!) on a summer like last year so a cool and wet summer will allow this maple to take root and do well.

Today, I planted a couple of zucchini plants. Hopefully they will do something and the darn bunnies will not get to them. We live in a very pest-riddled area with bunnies, deer, voles, moles, woodpeckers and other ilk! I hope to get some other veggies in the garden on the weekend (broccoli, tomatoes, and something else).

Anyway, I'll enjoy the sunshine while wearing SPF30 or 50 or 60 (depending on how long I will be out there). Don't forget to wear yours!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A few months ago, a small white spot appeared on my cheek. Great, another zit, I thought. However, it never got hard and sore and just stayed there looking white and flat and pretty noticeable (at least to me). I decided that I would have my doctor look at it at my next physical (scheduled for later this month). Then I saw that the local hosptial was having a free Skin Cancer Screening so I thought I would go because I have never been to a dermatologist (I just suffered with acne alone as a teen, fighting it with my Oxy-5). Oh, and I also have rosacea and my PCP prescribed some topical antibiotic ointment for it last year.

Anyway, I walked out of the Skin Cancer screening with a recommendation to see a dermatologist about the spot on my face and a couple of moles that were darker than the rest. Spy recommended her dermatologist to me and I got an appointment in no time. I went in and the dermatologist seemed to think the spot on my face was file - a "skin barnacle" she called it (Seborrheic Keratosis). One of the moles that the Skin Cancer screening dermatologist was concerned about was cut off as was the "skin barnacle". I have had to walk around for a week with a little round bandaid on my face that makes it look like I popped a huge pimple or something.

The dermatologist's office called back today and the mole on my arm was normal but slightly "atypical" (huh?!). So that means that I need to keep an eye on all of my moles from now on. The spot on my face was not Seborrheic Keratosis but Actinic Keratosis which is a slow growing and pre-cancerous. So, good thing I had it looked at. I have to go back for some sort of treatment next month after the rosacea in my face is "under control" (dermatologist's words).

Maybe it is a good thing that we live in the least sunniest place on the face of the earth. Ok, maybe not least sunniest but probably close! We all suffer from Vitamin D deficiency but still end up with pre-cancerous skin cells. How fair is that*?

(*ok, of course this condition took decades to build up and was a result of the many sunburns I received as a child and teen and young adult and long before I moved to the City of No Sun).

And people, please watch and share this PSA:

(of course this is about melanoma, which is not what I kind mine could have turned into, but still a good message)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I had a wonderful Mother's Day! My kids rock. My husband made the most delicious meal (teriyaki salmon grilled on a cedar plank and pan-fried scallops!). We played games, completed a puzzle. I listened to the kids play the guitar/bass and they played outside between rain showers. I spoke to my mom and MIL and admired the lovely bouquet of roses that were delivered on Friday.

I am so lucky to be a mom.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Fifteen Two

When my mom was here, she taught Dex how to play Cribbage. I was so excited because I love playing cards but Stephen doesn't like it much and the kids always played dumb whenever I tried to teach them ("I can't count to 15!"). Anyway, Dex was very willing to learn and he learned quickly. He won about 1/2 of the games that he played against my mom although I know that at least one she played the "wrong" card so she would not peg out before he counted his hand. Dex asked her many times to play and they had fun.

Since she left, I have asked him a half-dozen times to play and he always gives me a polite "no thanks". What?! I want to play Cribbage with a real person (not the computer or some Joe from Iowa who hates Obama - thank you for introducing us

I will keep at him. Mother's Day is coming up so I may start suggesting that a perfect gift would be a game or two of Cribbage.

Now I just need to get Jax interested in Scrabble or Cars in Gin Rummy and I will be a happy camper.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

"Highlights" from April

It has so long since I updated so here are a few "highlights" from the month:

  1. I am now the mother of a teenager! Jax turned 13. The days are long but the years are short.

  2. My mom came for a visit and I did not feel like slitting my wrists. And she was here a week! I didn't even think to call her Killjoy once.

  3. I have gained 8 pounds but it looks like 20. My pants do not fit and I look like the Michelin man.! (almost wrote soon <-- that's my problem - soon never comes!

  4. I said NO (or just did not respond) to 8 additional volunteer requests in April. Of course the one extra one that I said YES to was the one that I completely forgot about (bringing in shredded cheese for the monthly teacher appreciation lunch - oops!

  5. Went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival for the first time ever (I've only lived here 12 years). It was gorgeous!

  6. Have finally bested the woodpecker!(covered the hole with hardware cloth and installed a deterrent.

  7. Stayed up all night to watch the Royal Wedding and I am still tired

And that was my month. Hopefully this month will be more interesting and there will be more posts from me.