Monday, December 22, 2014

Same old stuff....

Today... Just like many other days tends to be rough. The theme is always the same. 

Today...I'm figuring out how to go through the motions. It is the longest I have went without seeing a therapist in many years. Truthfully, the last time it was this long with no end in site resulted in disaster. 

Disaster lies on the horizon. No therapist. No psychiatrist. Nadda.  

I'm not working. Managed to fail interview for important promotion.  

I have managed to push many, if not all, of those who supported me away. Try as I might continue to sucdeed. 

Failure rings loud and clear.  So loud I can't hear much else.   

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday with Words

Several years ago when I began blogging there was this thing that would go around the blogging community called "Wordless Wednesday". Often moms (that is only blogs I read) would post some cute or not so cute picture of their children or life.  With no words.  Just a picture.  Sometimes there would be words.  Sometimes the pictures were edited to have words on them.  Other times the pictures portrayed a picture and the point was easy to get....

Here is my Not-So-Wordless-Wednesday Post...
It pretty much sums things up...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Self Harm...

Self harm is disturbing. It is brutal.  Yet, often it is the way I feel.  It is a way to bring sensation into my the body and fill a void.  Self harm is something I've battled off and on for the last 10 years. It  probably is something I have battled for more than 10 years.  However, right now it is what I can remember.  It started out very minor.  I can honestly say I never thought of the things I did as self harm.  The important part for me to remember....much of what I've done (and do) is done on an unconscious level.  It is almost always in times of distress and overwhelm.  I often feel like my body is an empty cavern.  Inside that emptiness is a bucket of emotions that are void to my knowledge.  They are locked up and sealed with a ton of duct tape.  It is when I inflict injury upon myself I am able to feel a small portion of those a painful, yet satisfying, sensation.

I don't self harm because I like it.  I don't believe anyone does.  I hate every aspect of it.  I don't like it for a moment. I struggle talking about it.  It is like a drug.  Drugs are addicting.  Self harm is addicting.  Instead of washing away all of my emotions and memory with the drug, I allow myself to for once feel something.  Being able to allow the void to fill, even when it is a small smidgen of some sort of emotion.

I'm aware that many parents freak and flip out when they find out their child has been hurting themselves.  I'm a parent.  I can't say that I wouldn't struggle in much of the same way as many parents.  Yet, because I understand some of what lies underneath the behaviors, I hope and pray that if I am presented with the same situation as many parents, I will be able to respond differently.  This isn't about teens. It isn't about my children.  It is about me.  A 40 something adult.  Struggling more with these behaviors and emotions than I ever have in my life.

Not understanding the reasons behind self harm leads people to jump to conclusions like suicide, manipulation, attention seeking, ect ect.  Those who don't understand what self harm is really about believe that those who act upon the urges to hurt themselves are martyers, selfish, seeking attention, and often believe there is a need for major psychological intervention.  

In some cases, the above might be true.  However, in many cases it is completely the opposite.  It is completely the opposite in my case.  What I need is someone who is willing to truly listen and understand.  I've never cut myself and even though I've never done it.... doesn't mean I don't understand it.  I've battled the urges to cut myself many times in recent months.  Often for me, those urges come by accident.  While I'm cutting something for dinner and accidentally slip and hurt myself.  The thought to follow through and cut myself again, on purpose...gets stronger and stronger.

I have recently participated in one or more of self harm behaviors.  I am not proud of myself.  In fact, I hate every aspect and myself.  I have struggled a lot with  not being able to use the tools I know I have.  Finding a safe, useful, method to release and find the sensation and emotions that I am seeking.
Think for a moment or two, that your body is numb.  You can not feel anything.  You have completely lost all feeling.  Then, paralysis starts to sink in.  You get frustrated because you don't know what to do.  You want the sensation back again.  You want to feel your body again.  What do you think you would do?  Take a moment and imagine you have finally found something that will help you get that sensation and emotion you are seeking...that would allow your body to feel again.  Would you act upon it?  Would you take it?

I've said this before and will again, most individuals who act on self harm urges do not do it for attention.  Ultimately, it is to finally feel something.  It is to release an overwhelming abundance of trapped emotions.

It is helpful for me when I have someone who is willing to listen without passing judgement.  This person has to understand and continue to love me through all of the hell that I put myself and them through.  I have a someone in my life who does not freak out.  If she could be with me I'm pretty certain she would sit with me.  She has sat next to me. She has laid next to me, as I've sobbed uncontrollable and the urges to follow through have been flooding every ounce of my body.
Instead of freaking out and feeling like I need to be hospitalized she has cried with me, she has asked what she can do to help me get through every single tough patch.

This is why I am writing this post.   I know there are those of you out thee who are reading this and know someone who struggles with much of the same self harm issues that I do.  I want  to give you some insight and reasoning behind this awful part of mental illness.  I also want to challenge you to do the very same for them that I have had done for me. I have given you the perspective from someone who has and does live with it of her life.

I leave you with my hope that you can/will take it upon yourself to listen-truly listen-to whomever it is you may know.  I ask you to love this person no matter what.  Unconditionally... love them with all your heart.  I ask you do do your best not to judge.  It is hard. I know.  Lastly, I ask you to take it upon yourself to try and understand fully.  From their side, not yours.  This is critical if your friend, loved one, spouse, child, whomever it might be, for this person to learn to trust you.

There are extremes to self-harm in which psychiatric help is necessary, I am for not one moment saying there isn't.  However, not everyone needs immediate attention. I am just trying to feel again.  Feel and not be numb.  It is much easier to not be so numb and regain a little bit of the feeling that I'm seeking when those around you are not freaking out about the methods in which you help yourself feel.  Instead, helping them feel your love and understanding may be....all they need!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Finding My Voice...slowly...again!

Over the last several months blogging has been incredible hard for me. Somewhere along the way I have struggled with finding my voice and wanting it to be heard. 

Truth be told, I have not been doing very well. On the the naked may think I've got my crap mostly together and am doing good. 

There are many faces of mental illness. Those closest to me know the depth of just how yucky the waters have been.  Those who matter most and who truly care have stuck by myside. 

I've lost my voice when it comes to blogging. There isn't really any rhymn or reason. It isn't as therapeutic as it once was. My current therapist has asked me a few times what it would take for this part of my life to be a safe place again. Honestly have not been able to tell her. 

I do believe that there is one small element that does know. The next chapter is being able to be comfortable with truly opening up and putting myself out there and writing about some pretty tough topics. In doing so it puts myself in a position of having people in my everyday life knowing about some of the deep rooted and tough things that have/are happening. 

Recently, I was approved for TMS booster session. I was able to complete 10 of the 14 sessions scheduled. 

In spirit of finding my voice in blogging again my next post will be on how the booster sessions have went. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Evening Random Ramblings...

I'm here.  Surviving.  Busy. There's good. There's bad.  There's really good. And then there's really bad. It is an never ending up and down battle.

There is good in many things.  My children are growing. Thriving. And seem to have adjusted well to school.  We've got some personal issues with one of my children that has triggered some pretty crappy things w/in my own trauma history.  My youngest did not come home from school every day the first week begging to be home schooled.  He was super excited that one of his buddies from church, who has been home schooled until this grade, was in everyone of his classes.  They sit together or w/in a few seats in every class.  It was a great start to what was highly dreaded.

This was the first time in many years, okay ever, that I didn't want to send my kids back to school.  I've been off work since the beginning of February. I had surgery again right before school ended.  We had some pretty sweet moments this summer.  I loved having them home and I miss them after 4 day being back at school.

Twin Falls, Idaho
Day 8 of 15
We took a 15 day, 5000 mile, to many states to count, cross country road trip.  We visited my grandparents, my birth father's family, and then went to Utah and stayed w/my BFF for a night, spent the day w/her family on the weekend, and stayed w/my in laws.  We were ready to pull into our driveway after 15 days of being gone.  It was a wonderful trip and we made some good memories.

My children were not thrilled about riding in the car.  They wanted to fly. We've never done anything like this.  Our furthest road trip was about 5-6 hr drive.  Having the 1st leg of our trip be 28 hrs of driving was a bit scary.  We made it fun and stopped in a few different places along the way to stretch and do some sight seeing.  My 15 yr old is a budding photographer and kept her camera in her lap/near by the entire trip.

Today, there was a comment to something posted on my facebook blog page.  The first sentence was a kick in the gut.  "Think more positive."  Sure. Yep. I know I need to be more positive.  The remaining part of the message didn't come across well, either.  My gut tells me it was all in support and love. However, that is not what I heard.  The timing wasn't the best.

I've been at a fairly low place.  Therapy is hard.  It is *insert several curse words* hard.  The more intense it gets the more alone I feel. Yet, I know I am not. Truthfully,  I haven't felt this alone since sitting in hospital a week before the court hearing to disrupt our adoption. It's the kind of alone that makes me think...nobody gets it.  My therapist doesn't. My husband doesn't. My bff doesn't. My family doesn't.  During that time in the hospital, I had a visitor who happened to be the Relief Society President.  Her and I go way way back.   Sitting with another friend in church today, who I know 'gets mental illness' on a very personal level, I was reminded of the same message that my relief society president shared with me several years ago.  The Lord put the same message in my head today as he did that day.  And it brought me to tears.

Fear not! I am with thee.
Oh, be not dismayed.
For I am thy God.

And will still give thee aid!
I'll strengthen thee,
Help thee

And cause thee to stand.
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

I know that I am loved. I know that I am not alone. I know these things.  However, it is so very hard to remember in the depths of hell.

Friday, July 18, 2014

That Thing I Hate....

I'm here.  Kinda.  Not really sure where to start. What to say. I'm not sure how much I want to say.

In May, I was blessed to be able to head to Utah and spend some much needed time with my best friend and her family.  It was a much needed trip and "Beauty in Tough Times" was really what I needed at that point.  My husband and I spoke a several times about having me go to see D* and her family after my surgery the beginning of May.  Each time my husband saying "you have no clue how well you will is best you go before".  He had a very good point.

I have had 3 shoulder surgeries in 2 years and 4 surgeries in the last 6 months.  Needless to say the clump of hair on the shower drain wasn't much of a surprise this morning.  Even though I expected it to happen at some point, I wasn't fully prepared for it.

My head hasn't been in a particularly good space lately.  Talking about it is pretty tough.  I don't even know what or how much to say about it with the people that are closest to me.

There are several different reasons.  Several possible reasons.  All have a rather large combined impact.  These "other" things have all taken their toll collectively.

I don't really want to write about any of it.  So I haven't.  The reasons don't really matter.  What truly matters is how I manage each of these things together w/o coming apart at the seams.

One of the things, for me, that is the hardest right now is feeling alone.  Ultimately, I feel I am coping with this alone.There is no one offline who I feel really gets it that lives within close proximity.  My best friend lives 5 states away.  And then there is the part of me that struggles with not wanting to bother anyone else anyway.

Take this afternoon as an example.  I did need someone in person. I did need someone to check in with.  I have a friend who lives in close proximity (same town) as I do.  She can be somewhat triggering and I can handle her in small doses.  After spending a majority of the day wavering back and forth in the world of suicidal ideation and self harm thoughts spinning, having not ate anything other than a banana, I decided to call her.  After I was sitting in my car at McD's I called her.  She was going to bed. Little did I know she had posted on FB 2 minutes before she was going to bed and if anyone woke her she would kill them.  Didn't tell her what I really wanted.  And really didn't want to bother her.  I told her I would talk to her some other time.  Sat in my car for another half hour before texting someone else and coming home and crawling into bed.

Things are cloudy.  Thoughts spinning non-stop.  I know I catastrophise to the point of no return, in my mind.  I think that things are at the very worst they have ever been.  I start obsessing how about how to change and manage things. The more I try to figure it out the worse it gets.  My mind has been in chaos.  Generally much greater chaos that it is in reality.

It's scary and much worse than it probably sounds.  I struggle with how to stop and just have calm. The struggle continues to keep things quiet and keep it from escalating further in my mind.

You know the thing I really hate about mental illness?  There are actually many things that I hate about mental illness.  On so many different levels.  I've thought about it a lot over the last several weeks.  The one thing that I really hate....

That deep need to just curl up and NEVER seems to go away.  EVER!

I struggle a ton with lack of motivation.  I've not worked since the first week of February.  Even when I am motivated to go about life and do things....I still have the deep seeded feeling inside of "I want to curl up and hide".

I know that I can't curl up and hide.  I know it is just a feeling.  It is still there.  It is still incredible lonely.  And it makes everyday life and functioning 10x harder.

I still get up every damn day.  I still keep going every day. I still keep doing all the things I normally do.  I still am a mom.  I still keep being me. I still keep resisting the urge to curl up and hide for a very long time.

Almost every day.

That feeling it is still there.  Regardless of how much I get up.  I keep trying.  I do things to keep myself busy. I do things that I enjoy. I do things that I want to be doing with my family.  I try like crazy to enjoy life.  I try like crazy to enjoy my children. I take my medication (when I'm on meds). I don't miss appointments. I go to weekly therapy and physcial therapy.

I interact with others. I enjoy life at times. To the naked eye - I do well.  Yet, deep down the need to curl up and hide is still there. The need to turn the constant spinning off in my head is still there.  It never really goes away.

All these things are just part of managing this beast.  Yet the beast is still there.  It never goes away.  Ever.

I keep going. I hate to be told "but you keep going..." because deep down...this crap never goes away.  And when I'm told "but you keep going, you keep getting up, you keep managing......."

There is a part in my head that says when you say that to are dismissing what I'm feeling.

And all this, is perhaps what I hate about this illness.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beauty in Tough Times

Late April I found out I would need to have another surgery on my shoulders. Even though I knew it was bound to come to this (and knew it was needed) it was quite a blow. I had 2.5 weeks to physically, mentally, and everything else to prepare. 

One of the things my husband agreed would be needed and best was to spend an extended weekend with my best friend in Utah. 

On a Tuesday afternoon airline tickets were bought. 

Friday afternoon...
I landed in Salt Lake City for a weekend with a pretty special lady and her family. 

D* picked me up and we headed to a local Flower Garden a Tulip Festival. It was one of the last days the 'Tulip Therapy' would be available for viewing. 
The Lords beauty and handiwork were surrounding D* and I. Our friendship and love for each other made it even more special. 

Acres upon acres of beautiful landscape. Breathtaking views all around. 

The next morning I no longer was the 'friend inside moms phone' and met her family. I not only got to spend the weekend with her family but had the opportunity to attend family members college graduation, meet siblings and visit with her parents. 

Her family took me on a few dirt therapy excursions into the canyon/mountains. 

Beauty surrounded us on all sides. It truly is wonderful therapy. On Monday evening after a hard afternoon for myself and in general we went out for another therapy session. 

Tuesday morning came way to fast. One of the hardest good-byes I've ever had. Knowing what laid ahead with my surgery the next Monday. 

So thankful we were able to spend time together. Blessed by her family. Each one of her children and spouce offered something different and filled me up in a way that was needed. I've spent many moments browsing the picture I took from my phone that weekend while laying in bed. My surgery has been rough. I knew would be. Just wasn't prepared for the emotional aspect. 

Love this quote. And this pic was one of my favorites taken that special weekend. There were many photos that I loved. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

~When Trust is Broken....Losing a Best Friend...Value of a True Friendship~

It is a specific kind of loneliness that hits you like a wave of nausea.  When it began to happen, I didn't want to believe it.  Took her word for it when she said she would get back to me.  She was busy at home and at work.  I felt the change...the shift.  Because I was unable to rationalize it, I tried to ignore it.

That nausea that continues to do so over and over.  I scroll through my contacts and stop at their name.  I almost call but don't, feeling confused and abandoned.  There was no huge fight that marked the end of a friendship.  No falling out.  No major disagreement to my knowledge.  Priorties changed.  Those priorties becamse more important than our friendship.

No one wakes up in the moring thinking "hmm, I think I will stop being friends with so-and-so today."  The light went out with a fizz. Just like a cigarete hitting the bottom of the ground and being stepped on.

In many ways loosing a friendship is worse than loosing a lover.  Lovers come and go for the most part.  Friends...friends they are supposed to be there for you.  Always.  Or so we like to believe.  I never expected the one person I thought I could depend on to disappear without saying goodbye.  To stop responding to my messages.  When it didthe sickeningly stupid feeling that I had triggered the same feeling of something happening several years earlier.  You trust this person. Give them your heart.  Share with them some of the most intimate and intricate details of your heart.  It's left me wondering what I really meant.  I don't know for sure.  I looked back through pictures from when we were happy and holding each other up.  I don't understand what happened.

I have reached for the phone on many different occasions.  Ready to attach a photo to an email, start the subject line with some sort of "Remember this...." and follow up with "I miss you....a lot!"  For whatever reason I get overwhelmed by an incredible emptiness and discard the draft.  Leaving the phone untouched.
So much of my heart flushed down a dirty sink.

The worst part of the entire situation....I don't know how to explain it to myself.  I wonder if another friendship will end the same way.  When she will leave without warning.  When my heart will be crushed again.  Trust broken again.  I know if I bring this up with her I will get no response or a blank excuse.  I don't want to explain how I feel.  I can't.

I want to take her by the shoulders and say "What the hell happened?  Where are you? I know things are rough.  They are for both of us. Where are you?"  I can't do that. I just want to be able to read her like I used to be able to.  And have her read me like she used to.  To laugh at our kids quirkiness.  And to cry at their milestones and the tough spots.

We are no longer on the same level.  Letting it fuel my signficant trust and crazies will not be helpful.  I find myself screaming in my head to her.... just because there is someone else in the picture doesn't mean we can't still care about each other.  She's not the other women. We can still be friends.  We can still visit each other when time permits.  Hell I have lots of time right now.  I can't scream these things. And so I try to let it go.  It's not easy.  This has happened before. Before texting was a way of life.  When that divide was a little easier. She knew why I created that divide. It didn't make it any easier.  However, protecting myself and family was what was needed.  This happened before social media was involved.  I've not unfriended or deleted her from the social media contacts because I still love her.  I love her family.  Maybe that is what is driving the craziness of the situation.

I know that in life, it's a given that people will come and go.  Loss is just a part of life.  Friendships will flow in and out like the long hair through an open car window.  Sometimes for no reason at all.  Losing someone important to you feels like a sucker punch to the gut every single time.  I didn't see that punch coming.  No one ever does.

Which brings me to the end....

The friendships that do hold out.  The ones that regardless of miles and tough times, the ones that make it through breakthroughs and breakdowns, the ones who make it through the changes of seasons...

They are so damn important.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dear Suicidal Thoughts...

Trigger Warning.
Talk of suicide and swearing.


Dear Suicidal Thoughts...

I hate you. I hate everything you have taken from me. I really fucking hate you.

I hate how I have to spend so much time and energy keeping my guard up and making sure that I don't fall to your fucking grips again and again.

I hate how draining that it is.

I hate what you've taken from my family.

I hate that you make me believe these bad things will be better for my family in the end.

I fucking hate you.

I hate how evil you are.  You are an evil fucking bitch.

I hate how you scare me.

I hate that I'm always waiting for the next shoe to drop and you will creep back into my life.

I hate how you are always lingering around teasing me.

I hate how, even when I know I'm not OK, I feel guilty because I feel like I should be just fine. 

Dear Suicidal Thoughts...

I will continue to keep trying.... not to let you back into my life the way you have been in the past.

I may not be successful today, or last week, or last month.  But one day I will.

If, despite all that I am doing, you manage to come back, I will not let you take over my life as you have in the past.  I will kick you in the fucking balls as I am trying to today.  You might be winning today. But be reminded, you will not fucking win. You will not!

I will continue to try and keep myself safe and protect my body, mind and spirit from you.
You will never beat me.  Never.  I promise you one thing.  You will NEVER fucking win.

Dear Suicidal Thoughts...

You will NEVER kill me.  No matter how hard you try.  I still wish you would go to hell and leave me the hell alone.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring is Here...Ice Storm turns into Tornados!

There isn't much to say. Over the last few weeks things have not been the best. I got sick two weeks ago and ended up having a huge downward shift in my mood. Even though there were some tough days things were getting better overall in many areas. 

Earlier in the week after a therapy appt the tornado began to get stronger. The emotional path of destruction has been pretty intense. Just when I think it can't get stronger it does.  Leaving more and more debris. Doing more damage. 

Not sure how I will make it thru the weekend. Let alone the day. Feeling more and more isolated as the storm continues to rage. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ice-Snow Storm

My thoughts and mood continue to plummet downward. Earlier in the week the scenario of riding a storm out till it passes was given to me as an analogy of getting to the end if this rough patch. 

If there is an ice or wind storm there isn't much you can do but stay inside and hold down the fort until the storm passes. It will pass and the weather will get better. 

It has been a hell of an ice and snow storm this week. There have been a few shifts in the weather and I've been able to see a very small amount if sunlight. Within a few hours it comes raging back, stronger than before. More damage is done as the storm continues roar.

I attempted to get out and do something today. We took a road trip to check out something I needed pictures for. On way home I decided that I would go to the TMS group therapy. Since I missed last week and I'm struggling my husband and I both felt it was good idea to go. 

I wish I would have had the balls to get up and leave within first few minutes. Total of three of us and one was a new gal. It didn't go well. I don't know if I will go back for awhile. 

It is going on day 5 and I'm tired. Extremely tired. The swirling in my head is non freeking stop regardless of somewhat I've done to alleviate some of the stress of the storm. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Musings...When Depression Strikes

For every individual, depression is a very personal situation.  Each person, each experience is unique in its own way.  Today, for me, it is a dark shadow hanging over my head and everything I do.  It has followed me from home to my therapy appointment and back home.  It doesn't matter how much I love my family, the glitch in my brain chemistry has me feeling very alone, inadequate, worthless, and in a downright very dark space.

These dips are common.  They wax and wane. Some days are brought on by circumstances.  Other days they are part of the how things roll.  Sometimes it is a mixture of both.  There are days that it takes me by surprise and others times it is terrifying because I know what is next.

Taking medications isn't for me.  Most have come with pretty significant side effects.  Life altering, life threatening, doing the opposite of what they were intended to side effects.  None have truly helped.

It isn't that I don't have very good tools and don't know how to pull myself out of the dark hole that I am in.
I do.  I've been here before.  Most days I'm pretty successful at using the tools to keep my head above water.  Today those tools are garbage.  Just like someone who has high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol tries to keep their numbers w/in range to remain healthy, I have and do try very hard to stay above water.

Most of the time I am effective.  Sometimes, like today, it gets away from me. I've used the tools and done what I know has (and usually helps).  I've reminded myself over and over something that my current therapist has said.  None of it has helped. And with each attempt to pull my shit together. I fall deeper and deeper. The one thing I know to do is to shut down.  Push everyone around me away and create a bubble in order to protect myself from further pain.

One of the things I have learned over and over is that silence magnifies the state that I'm in.  A sure way to add fuel to the fire is isolate myself from those around me and it is only a matter of time before the fire is burning to bright and I can't hide it any longer.  Yet, pulling out of the silence is sometimes to much.

I'm sharing this not because I want or need sympathy or pity from you.  I want whomever may be reading this to know that perfectly normal people, strong people, the father sitting next to you in church, the bus driver who took you to work this morning, the clergyman sitting in front of his congregation....each of them sometimes have a condition that can get out of control.

I am not an oddball by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to sharing my own struggles.  Millions of individuals suffer from one or more mental disorders. Far to many go undiagnosed because of the stigma that is associated with mental illness.

If your best friend had a brain tumor, you wouldn't tell her to try harder.   You wouldn't tell her that if she did XYZ than she would for sure feel better.  You probably wouldn't drop off the face of the earth because it was to much to handle and she was full of drama.

Last summer, when I went through TMS therapy, I went alone.  My husband did not go with me.  My local friends and family did not go with me.  Yet, for someone who has to have chemotherapy, you may take a meal, offer to clean their house, or offer to help in some other manner. I felt those around me were expecting this miracle and I would be much better.  And when I wasn't much better, I walked away feeling like I failed.  I still feel like I've failed.  My father has cancer.  If the treatment regimen he is enduring doesn't work he is not the one that failed.  We as a society will not look at him and think he failed and didn't do everything he could have done.

There are plenty blogs and articles wrote on 'mental illness vs physical illness' and how family and friends treat it so different.  I've found this to be extremely true in my own life.

I write this in hopes that somehow, someone, will find a way to reach out if you sense someone close to you is struggling with mental illness.  Speak from your heart.  Speak honestly.  Speak without harsh judgement. You wouldn't speak harsh to someone with a brain tumor.  Don't do it to someone who is struggling on any level.

This illness.  This stigma.  It is debilitating.  It is overwhelmingly lonely. It can be deadly.

5 Weeks Later....

Today marks 5 weeks since I had a revision shoulder surgery.  Going into the surgery there was a ton of anxiety and uncertain thoughts of "am I doing the right thing...?"  And with out of a shadow of a doubt I know I did. By all means the surgery has been a success.  I've received much better medical care.  And have had very little contact post op w/my surgeon.  I've had no reason for that contact.  That's a good thing.

The constant pain I had in 2 different spots of my shoulder went away immediately after my surgery.  I've had 1-2 days in the last 4 weeks where that pain has returned.  Otherwise, it has been nothing.

Next week I will call my surgeon and let him know that my right shoulder isn't any better than it was preop.  And as long as I don't "use it".  As in "don't do any overhead work" is okay.  It is hard to say regarding lifting because I've been pretty limited with what I 'should' be doing.

The plan of action is I will have another injection under xray and follow up on the right at my next post op appointment.  And at that time he would decide what to do.

I'm still looking at 3-5 months before returning back to work.  If my surgeon chooses to operate on my right shoulder than a minimum of 4 months after that surgery is done.  I've got mixed feelings about having it done.
Time will tell....

Saturday, February 15, 2014

February Starts of with a Bang.....

Ready for January to leave February started off with a bang. 

For ever and a day, I've dealt with a work comp shoulder injury. They have bullied and harassed and done things that were unethical since day one.

So when I was denied a week before my surgery, even though it was a devastating blow, it wasn't something that surprised me. The surprise came with the blatant errors all over the Third Party Medical examiners report. A dr who had never seen me. It was somewhat humorous to read the blatant errors. 

We met with an attorney a week ago. He has let them know he has been retained and will be representing me. And that this claim constitutes a bad faith claim on top of a bunch if other crap. 

Surgery was February 10.  By all accounts went well. As I type this i LAYING in BED!!!!!  Something I didn't do for 4-6 weeks previously. I wasn't very moble. And definitely didn't lay in bed. For most part I am able to dress myself. Been able to cut back on pain meds to every 6-12 hours. 

The weekend proved to be rough. Should have probably went to ER on Thursday evening. However held off. I was doing a little better on Friday am. My husband called my PCP office. When they called back they sent me straight to ER. Concern was I had a bowel obstruction. After CT scan ruled that out I was sent home. 

Few hours after coming home I woke up with 'new' symptoms on Saturday. Sunday morning the on-call staff informed my husband based on symptoms I should go back to the ER. Pissy and mad as ever I agreed. Several hours later left with no answers. And the answer I did get was on my own. 

It isn't confirmed. However, my gut feeling (literally and figuratively) says that something I have been given med wise contained gluten. The reactions I get with gluten vary. And GI upset is very specific. And usually short lived. However, given the amount of medication I have had and the different brands/prescriptions it is likely the culprit. 

Tomorrow morning my husband will have surgery. I hope and pray it will be minor and a quick in/out and back to everyday activities within a day or so. He won't know until after his surgery is over. 

Today has been better for most part. However, the events of last week or two have caught up with mood...and all that other crap.  Trying hard to not let it take over. It is much easier said than done. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

No Title Needed...

This picture says it all. There is no title needed. No explanation. Nothing. It says it all in one sentence. 

Times are rough all over. We all wade in and out of crap. Some piled higher than others. 

Time and time again I've seen the depths of friendships come and go. And some be gone forever.  Some hanging on by a thread. 

Over the last 8 years my ability to trust in true friendships has become less and less. I know we all have seasons in our lives that change. And with that the change in friendships wax and wane. 

Today I found myself in a spiral of trying to make sense of it all. Struggling with the fight or flight mantra. Knowing and believing vs push and run/fight or flight. 

For today...I am trying like hell to not push the one person who hasn't turned a blind eye. Who when things get tough and they are extremely tough right now...continues to not give up and not let me push her away.

Goodbye January

I've had enough of January for one year. I've never in 39 yrs wished a month to leave and be done with. Today...I am!

Enough is enough. 

January 1 was our 20th wedding anniversary. It also started new beginnings/relationships with therapist and doctors bc of an insurance change. It has been nearly 16 yrs since we had anything other than our previous insurance. 

As the last few weeks have unfoiled and we met our new doctors. We have learned things that the precious medical team overlooked. Serious things. Things that could potentially be life altering. As a result my husband will be having a repeat TURP surgery and surgery to remove 2 large kidney stones. Some of the largest stones this new urologist has ever seen. And he stated yesterday they have likely been there for sometime. They need to be removed ASAP bc they are closer to the opening to his ureuter than safely they should be. 

I've met and seen my new therapist a few times. From this side I think it will be a good match. My own 'issues' with trust are causing me more anxiety than is probably warranted. I met a new psychiatrist. And will most likely see her one more time for a follow up. I have an appt with a different psychiatrist in March. There were several things I didn't like abt this dr. And after much thought and prayer have decided to switch. Go out of my comfort zone and see a male psychiatrist. I don't like the idea. And an less than comfortable with it. However, at the moment I think this is what is needed. 

February will bring with it a repeat/revision shoulder surgery. And my husband will be having a repeat/revision TURP and will have kidney stones roved at the same time. 

I made the decision to not attend the Orlando BeTA retreat this year. And it is looking like that decision was for the better on many aspects. I'm not in a place or interested at this point in meeting new people. However, will miss the friendships and connections I've made in the past. This isn't my year and I'm at peace with knowing I made the right choice. 

Overall not much has changed and I'm not in that good of a space. Somedays I just want to tell life to 'suck it'. And quite honestly...I have!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Round 2...Shoulder surgery

I've been hopeful a second shoulder surgery could be averted.  Even as I spoke to my new orthopedic surgeon on Friday, I was still hopeful.  Hopes and prayers were crushed.  There is no nerve damage.  Which was the only positive that came out of that conversation.

If I ever want to attempt returing to work and want an hope of not having constant pain in my shoulder than the only option left at this point is to do a revision.  Over the weekend the thoughts and anxiety of going through another surgery becaming higher and higher.  There is no way around it.

The surgeon told me his scheduler would call me yesterday.  She told me the exact surgery he was scheduling.  And it became even more real.  Round 2....

I made some calls today.  Setting up rehab to start a few days post op.  Sent a few different messages via email.  And called my surgeons office back.  i wanted to know more specically what my optio s were.  Is this absolutely mandatory?  The answer was simple and at the same time not very simple.  Nothing is mandatory.  It isn't life or no not mandatory.  However, if I want to have quality of life without constant pain and limitations this is the option I have.  It will progressively get worse until after the things that need to be taken care of get taken care of and they are able to see what else is going on. 


I have tried like crazy to keep my head above water.  To hear the advice, love, and support of those around me.  To hear the positive and uplifting things.  Remaining hopeful isnt happening.  

I remember vividly how incredible horrible the first 3 weeks post op were.  The months of grueling therapy and here I am....18 months later getting ready for round 2!  SUCK!!!!

My support system has changed drastically.  The coworkers who have had similiar surgeries are back to work.  Without complications.  With little to no issues and it is clear their supportis limited.  They dont fully get 'why' I am still dealing with this.  I dont get it.  I cant expect them to.  I have a new therapist whom I have met once.  A new PCP who I meet tmw.  I have yet to decide on psychiatrist.  New physical therapist.  I trust none of them.  

The slope is slippery.  Very slippery.  I have flucuated back and forth between feelings.  After getting surgery date yesterday I slid quickly.  This morning I had a small glimmer of hope and thus why I called my surgeons office. 

I left work early and drove aimlessly for abt ab hour before letting my husband know I was on my way home.  Sooo many things spinning.  

I have been here a dark hole.  However, not feeling so incredible alone!  With everything feeling like it has been pulled out from underneath me.