My earlier post was so depressing that I needed to follow it up with another. I love teaching. I just finished with a class of writing 1 students. We studied English grammar. Which is terrible. Almost as bad as spelling.
(One student: Teacher, my brain is done. Can I go home?)
At one point one of my students said that English was too hard.
I agreed wholeheartedly. Verb tenses are much easier in Japanese, I said. And I told them we would just stop learning English and switch to Japanese for the night.
I taught them numbers 1-10, good morning, and how are you.
I like making my students laugh. I like laughing. I did both tonight. And now I feel some neurons zizzing about. Worth remembering when I am in the slough of despond.
So see, today was not a bad day. It just had some good moments and some bad ones.
Told you: no worries.
Okay, so not a terribly accurate headline. But it was kinda catchy so I decided to go with it. I did not go to my friends memorial service on June 14.
As of... well as of yesterday I had not yet decided whether I would go or not. I vaguely remembered that it was going to be in June some time.
I think this is part of why I have not attended Quaker meeting since Northern Yearly Meeting at the end of May.
I didn't want to read about the memorial service in the announcements.
And I didn't check my email, so I wouldn't hear about it there either. And then I wouldn't have to make a decision. Time would make the decision for me. I could just kind of coast along through the month of June (see how well that has worked for me?) until July came and then I would be home free.
My mother-in-law works in home care. Or rather people care. People who would like to stay in their own homes care. I think she may have superpowers. Or believe in superpowers. Or god. Does that help, I wonder? It must.
I successfully reached provider today and scheduled. I have not yet written my sternly-worded letter about my displeasure at:
I am happy with my own personal provider (who is awesome), but not with the clerical situation.
Today I have felt like my insides were spiraling downwards. Like a whirlpool or a tornado. No. More like a drain. Like I am draining out of me. And sad.
I realized that I am very very sad about the fact that my meds are no longer having the effect that I want them to. I am upset because it is a reminder that I don't get to just figure things out, stick to the protocol and be done.
I get to figure this out over and over and over and over again.
And when things are not working out it takes me (and those around me) some time to figure out if there is just situational sadness and ordinary stress going on or if my state of being is due to brain chemistry crap.
I think it is very clear (even to me, at this point) that I am dealing with brain chemistry crap.
Biggest recurrent symptoms?
I know why people don't want to take meds if they don't work forever. Because it is so very, very sad.
Appointment Wednesday. No worries, folks.
Today I decided to accept invitation to be social. And to stick to my posting and showering and whatever else I said I would do. Not because I want to but because it is good for me.
This morning I got in a not-quite-yelly argument with eldest son about the importance of him getting 20 minutes of exercise BEFORE having computer. Everyday.
Why not later? He promised he would go out later. Which nearly never happens. Because it gets to the end of the day and he is too tired. And so am I.
In my almost-yelly voice I explained that I was not sending him outside as a punnishment. I was sending him out to do something he liked (running, riding bike...) on a beautiful day because it would be good for him.
AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER!
Right. I told him. Exercise helps reduce the levels of stress hormones. The ones that have you on edge and super frustrated by every little thing.
Yes. And it also increases endorphins in your system. Those make you feel happy. And help your brain work.
Cool. Why don't they just make something you can eat that does that?
Well, illegal narcotic drugs often mimic that effect which is why they are so addictive.
...does walking count as exercise?
This of course has no bearing on my situation whatsoever. (Sarcastic)
I give all the same excuses (in my head or out loud) for why I can't go out and walk or bike or whatever. I'm busy. I'm tired. I don't want to. I'll do it later. Only I don't have some person looming over me saying that I have to because they are the boss of me.
I don't want that, so all you eager volunteers can just back off.
I just want to learn to do healthful aerobic-type things that I am supposed to do just because. Because it's what I do. As habit. And it isn't a chore. Isn't something I have to think about. It just is.
Back from his walk he seemed much more himself. I said I should go on walks with him.
He said yes. You should.
Grateful Crap: Tomorrow is Monday. Calling Provider. Checking in with at least 3 people to let them know I reached someone.
will shower right after this
tea with friend
*note: had a spell of dizzy/clammy/sweaty yuck while out doing errands today. Hopefully not getting what spouse has. He has been out of comission since last Thursday.
Here's what has had me in its thrall lately. Native grasses on the front hill. Okra and Cucumbers in containers. Tomatoes in raised beds. lettuce, cilantro, basil and rosemary in a basket. Steps made from stepping stones. Watering-can birdfeeders. Home-made cement birdbath from a rhubarb leaf. This is only a representative sample.
I have things growing all over. Without rhyme or reason. I think that is part of what appeals to me. I have planted seeds and no longer remember what they are. I know that I planted onions, strawberries, creeping thyme and a lot of lettuce. I know the location where seeds need to be watered. But I don't know what will come up in those places.
The change to the summer schedule has not gone smoothly for me. I don't need to get dressed in professional attire until I go to work in the afternoon. So I just throw anything on. And what is the point of showering if I am just going to sweat up a storm in the garden.
Here are the things that have been non-optional for me even in my less-than-completely -functional state:
Some of those non-optional things I am not willing to let go-- even if I think the garden thing has become somewhat pathological. I think if I work on some other stuff, the garden will stop eating my brain.
New non-optional items:
Sick of feeling blah. Sick of not really caring that I feel blah. Tired of wandering around in a daze. Provider has not (at least I don't think so) returned call and I have not called them back.
This bothers me... although I was very clea in my message that it was a med check. It strikes me that when people call in for mental health stuff it is VERY important for the clinic to follow through. Because it is hard sometimes for the people calling to get themselves together enough to do so.
P.S. I am motivated to get myself together for new and exciting projects at work. I should meet with my boss soon so I can get started on creating the online part of my hybrid class for the fall...
Calling on Monday at 8:00. I may even just go ahead and schedule an appointment.
I have been not doing well.
So then there was some fantastic comedic activity... I left a message with the triage person at my behavior psych nurse practitioner's office.
Then I wanted to go outside and obsess about minor changes in the garden and pull weeds out of the weed patch on the side of my house.
Which is futile because if I actually pulled them all there would be nothing but dirt, which would turn to mud, which would cause massive erosion and my house would slide into the alley and float down the hill to wind up in the Mississippi River.
So I brought the cordless phone outside with me-- having left that number instead of my cell. I had no pockets. Tried stuffing it in my shirt, but it made it look like I had an odd rectangular growth on my chest and it was really not comfortable. So I set it on top of the electric meter and proceeded with the weeding.
No phone call.
Several hours later I was relaxing outside with spouse, who was in the hammock. The phone rang. I leapt up and said, "I have to get the phone!" and then ran into the alley. When I returned with phone in hand, spouse and the offspring were speechless with laughter.
took the blasted meds.
have not altered my dose without permission.
have not yet spoken to anyone at provider.
will call again tomorrow.
I needed to bring eldest son to doctor's office but when I arrived there, only a little late, the office was nowhwere to be found.
The sign was still on the door.
The office building was open, but the suite containing the doctor's office was locked, dark and silent.
My first thought was that I got the date wrong. I called spouse to have him check the calendar on the side of the refrigerator-- the only place I had recorded the time of the appointment.
I had the date correct.
So I thought I would try calling to see if there was some message saying why they were closed. Or maybe the receptionist was hiding under his desk in the dark?
I was shocked when they picked up right away.
Turns out they had moved their office down the street and there was supposed to be a sign on the door. I was also supposed to have scheduled an appointment two months ago. So they thought I had just decided not to use their facilities.
First half of day was doctor office scavenger hunt and grocery store visit.
Second half of the day was just TIRED.
And night brought little sleep.
Grateful Crap: children who play well with one another (most of the time)
On these three days, my arm with the allergy testing punctures swelled from the elbow to the wrist. Getting very slowly but progressively worse. I was not surprisingly a real baby about it. On the advice of the allergist I treated it with oral benadryl and topical sunburn lotion. I also used ice.
Very very glad that the reaction seems to have finally played itself out.
I have never had such a strong reaction to an allergen during allergy testing. Mind you, I think I have only had skin-testing done 4 times of so. And none of the reactions bothered me after a few hours. Certainly nothing worsened over the course of three days!
I continued to feel detached and floaty and not happy during these days. Going through the motions. But not in a disastrous way. that doesn't seem to make much sense.
I felt like I was feeling everything through thick gloves and seeing everything through a cloudy pane of glass. I was just a bit removed from my surroundings.
It has rained. My garden is growing and growing. I have okra seedlings sprouting. The snowpeas are starting to climb. I discovered a rogue pumpkin plant hiding beneath the tomato leaves. I'm not sure if my quinoa is still growing or if it has disappeared. Wait and see.
Grateful Crap: absence of birch pollen, because honestly I don't need that stuff in my lungs if this is what it does to my skin
missed meds for one day. Thinking about changing to am again-- see if the different timing improves how things are going.
outside in the sun
I went to the allergist who tested me for a bunch of common allergens. And although I reacted VERY strongly to birch and dust, I had a negative reaction (meaning NO ALLERGY) to cats and people.
Okay, so technically they did not test me for people.
But the spot on my arm where they pricked me with birch mixture on my right arm is driving me nuts. In the six hours since they stuck me intradermally with the substance, the area of irritation has grown. It is two inches or more in diameter, red, raised and itches like the devil.
Does the devil itch?
It looks like a goose egg.
Today I emptied the gutters-- front and back. It will rain again. This must be the most disgusting job of regular home-owner crap for my small 1950s house. But it suited my mood.
I yelled at older boy who called me on things saying that I blamed him as the source of all strife. No. I blamed him for seeking out people who were driving him NUTS instead of finding something else to do. I didn't send him to his room. I sent him outside to ride his bike. Which he loves. I made him hug me. He needs a haircut.
This is scattered and horrible and I need to itch my arm. Or gnaw it off.
Grateful Crap: possibility that by next tree-pollen season I will be less reactive to &*(*&^#@$@!!! birch trees (and dust)
always the meds
didn't try to tackle everything (one manageable task)
P.S. my ankle feels like it is horribly twisted. But them sometimes it doesn't. Irritating.
When I was a teenager with terribly oily skin, my grandmother told me that I was lucky because I would never get wrinkles. Now it feels like my clay-face has given me a natural bit of botox. Smiling feels unnatural.
This day I went swimming. And did some other things, I think. Crap. I am being very forgetty. I swear I am not skipping my meds. I just feel like I am. I have failed to call my psych nurse practitioner. I am not sure what to tell her.
Maybe that I would like a med check? Don't know.
I feel something like an automaton. I am still haunting the garden, morning and night. Still checking on the growth of the plants. Obsessing about their state of health. Still mostly doing the things I need to do. But mostly the solitary things.
Everything seemed broken this day. Dryer needs a part. Tried to repair screen door (but hinges so ancient I must re-do how it is hung). Laundry tubs did not drain. But I think it was due in part to exesssive rain. That problem seems to have fixed itself.
When children are yelly I just want to hide and cry. Or pretend I don't hear them. And sometimes it might be fine-- let them figure it out. Since when I get involved in the yelliness, I just yell louder.
Grateful Crap: automated things that keep me going. eat. drink. sleep. take meds.
something in the garden, I'm sure. Oh... I think I built some steps and a seat for the daughter on the front hill.
I received alleged email in my alleged in box from my alleged brother. I am at the stage of OH CRAP I HAVEN'T CHECKED MY EMAIL IN SO LONG I CAN'T EVER CHECK IT NOW!
I have decided that my only recourse is to change my name to Petunia Gladiolous Frangipan and moving to Point Barrow, Alaska. And start fresh with a new email address. Or perhaps no email address. I can't explain why it is stressing me out-- it is irrational, but there it is.
Very very sad on this morning. I spent many worthless moments convincing myself that I was a horrible person for:
While very sad I decided to bake two pies. The one I was most excited about was a rhubarb pie. I had picked Giant Rhubarb from the neighbor's yard. I made a lovely crust. But I also felt like my brain was not working. Or working in S L O W M O T I O N.
I found myself many times standing in the middle of a room wondering what I was doing. Forgetting the names for things. Not knowing what I was doing next.
I had zero capacity for dealing with the squabbling children. It was storming outside. i had not cleaned the house (having made no plans with brother/mother for the day) so when they showed up the house was somewhat ashambles.
Rather than entertaining these guests I hid in the kitchen and continued to make the pie.
I needed to rely on the brain of spouse to figure out that the best plan was for me to leave with brother and mother to have a meal and then come back to eat the pie.
So we did.
I sent us to two closed restaurants before we found an open one.
When we got home and I sliced the pie, it looked lovely. But the rhubarb pie was so sour it tasted like I had not added any sugar. I'm pretty sure I did. But instead of measuring it I threw in a few handfuls of it-- and I think I estimated the amount that I would use fore strawberry rhubarb pie which uses less sugar.
It Was Terrible.
I think I need to see about my meds. My brain feels cottony. I described my mood (to myself) yesterday as "desperately sad." And the idea of leaving the house caused me a wee little moment of anxiety.
Quaker, teacher, parent,