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Category Archives: puke and get it over with

Rope’s end

I might be at it. I might be at it.

Between all the hormones and the pain and cramps and headaches and nausea and fatigue and then a cough/cold, and a cough with my PVCs…and my PVCs. Crash. I went to go to the bathroom a few minutes ago and just burst into tears on the toilet. Sorry if that’s TMI.

I feel at the end of my rope. These cramps are driving me nutty, but almost even worse are the PVCs. Not only are they causing me to cough (which apparently is a THING, as the PVC aggravates the diaphragm) but they are working my anxiety nerve big time. I had told T that I was struggling and she reminded me that the majority of what’s happening is¬†specific to this situation and that unless distraction could work for me–which it isn’t–then her best suggestion was to wait it out. Just make my way through the days until my hormones are back to normal and the cramps are gone and the fatigue eases. But you know what? That doesn’t resolve the PVCs and those are getting to me.

I’m trying diaphragmatic breathing…a lot. To the point where I sometimes feel like I’m going to hyperventilate. I’m trying to stay in the moment with my senses, grounding myself. I’m trying to remind myself that they are benign and mean nothing. And still…I feel like I’m within snapping distance. Strung tight like a bow and ready to go. I keep thinking I want to try some of the yoga DVDs I have again, despite my previous poor attempts. But I feel so shitty physically that the thought of doing it makes me kind of ill. And tired. And so I don’t do it.

At night in bed I try to breathe and meditate. I breathe and stare into my dark eyelids, pushing away thoughts and focusing on nothing. I try to ignore the PVCs. I try to ignore the cough. I fight the cough sometimes. Sometimes the cough is from this cold thing I have, sometimes it’s from the PVCs. I fight them both because they make me feel weak and like I’m giving into the PVCs, even though I’ve read this is involuntary with the PVCs sometimes (because of the aggravation of the diaphragm). I try to give in to the cough and the PVCs and let them both happen. The cough hurts my chest (along with the chronic cold-cough). The PVCs have changed how they feel again, and are now almost always accompanied by those ripples of anxiety.

I want to go upstairs and crawl into bed and cry, but I know that’s only going to make the PVCs more noticeable. “Waiting this out” has made the PVCs more noticeable because without having something to do, I focus on the sensation more. I wait for it. I hate wasting my time and “waiting it out” but I’m not finding another way through this at this point.

This week is busy. Besides my parents finally returning home from a trip (and the release of my dog-sitting duties with Cray-cray Lab), I have my mammogram, and now I have a ultra-sound scheduled. And my session with T. Three consecutive days. My mom has a CT scan this week to check for any changes in her cancer. I won’t be able to go with her because it conflicts with one of my appointments. She doesn’t need me to go with her anyway, as my dad will take her and there’s really nothing to the test itself.

I feel overwhelmed and taut. I feel at a loss. I feel tired. I feel weak and stuck and frozen and … just at the end of my rope.

 

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Is this my week?

I’m exhausted. I thought I slept last night, even though I was awake when Hub left this morning at 8am. I usually try to get back to sleep for a while, but it did not work this morning. And right now? I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open. I feel EXHAUSTED. I rushed through eating some lunch because I knew I had to eat, but I pretty much scarfed my food and am back in my recliner with my laptop.

I feel edgy and anxious. So tired that I wish I could sleep, but that I’m worried there’s something wrong with me and that’s why I’m so tired. Why is my head so fucked up like this? I’m forever searching for a REASON for the way I feel, as if the lack of reason really means there is something direly wrong with me. And I made the mistake of telling my husband how I was feeling, while he is working about 2 hours away from home today, and now he’s worried. That doesn’t help me one tiny bit.

WTF is going on with me today? I do so well for so long, then fall into a hole of feeling this way. Maybe it’s my hormones messing with my head? I know I could text or email T to ask for help but I know she’s going to tell me to use my tools, and I’m TRYING. But what to do when the tools don’t feel like they are helping? So hey, maybe sitting here crying will help. Good on me, I’ll just go cry for a while, and maybe that will clear everything out and I can move on.

 

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Doin’ the back step

I had a terrible weekend. I was running out of my digestive enzyme pills, and in an effort to not have to buy my pills from the nutritionist that I haven’t seen in months, I went to the internet and bought a new type of pill. Don’t get me wrong, I researched as best I could, and thought I settled on something. I knew I’d have an issue changing pills, because, well, pills. I don’t take new thing easily…and in fact usually end up with major anxiety over it. I have two different pill bottles (at least) from the nutritionist that I never took because I couldn’t force myself past the anxiety. But the digestive enzymes…I need those for my heartburn. I’ve tried stopping them and I’ve even tried skipping them now and then…and even reducing to once a day instead of twice just to stretch the number of pills. I haven’t been successful at any of that, so I know I need the pills.

The new pills came, and I waited until Saturday to take them, since I knew I’d be home and Hub would be home with me. I took the damn pills with lunch and had what I would call mild anxiety afterward. But I pressed through and took the pill again with dinner. Saturday night I slept horribly, had dreams every time I closed my eyes, and woke up feeling crappy. Not necessarily news for me, but something felt off. But I knew I had to try again, else I’d be giving in again to my anxiety. So Sunday I repeated the pill process and ignored the mild anxiety that came along with it. But Sunday night, right around the time to go to sleep, I started feeling nauseous. Which kept me up and pushed me into more anxiety. I started feeling bad, I couldn’t sleep, I kept getting up to go to the bathroom. I didn’t sleep well. This morning I laid in bed while Hub went to take care of the dogs and their morning rituals. By the time he was ready to have his breakfast, I’d already called down to the kitchen via our telephone intercom and asked Hub to work from home. He immediately said yes, no problem, which was instant relief of sorts. But he came up to shower and after his shower, I told him what was going on. That I felt nauseous and sick and like there was something wrong. Even though I’d spent hours this morning already trying to talk myself out of the anxiety sitting on my shoulders. Hub sat with me on the bed and I told him everything I was dealing with. Then I got up to go to the bathroom and I felt the shaking start. When I came back to bed, I told him I almost wanted the panic attack to happen and be over with, except that I hate panic attacks…that they are scary and tiring and make me feel weak and like I’ve lost all the progress I’ve made over the last 2 years in therapy. He tried to remind me that this was a blip in the road, not a complete fallback. I sat and shook and cried and he let me.

I still feel nauseous. I still am worried that maybe THIS is the time that something is really wrong with me. That I’m spending time talking myself out of being anxious when really there IS something wrong THIS TIME.

Hub has taken care of the dogs, taken care of me, and is now napping next to me. I’m still awake, still feeling crappy, and still anxious. The big panic attack never came–but the smallish one was bad enough thankyouverymuch–but I’m so not over this hump yet. I emailed the nutritionist to ask her if she had any of the pills in stock–I only have TWO left–and I’ll just have to count the new pills as a loss. I can’t stomach the thought of trying them again and having it really be the pills that did all this to me (versus some other origin).

I don’t like being this way. I don’t want to do this again and again. I’ve been able to conquer so much of my anxiety, why can’t I conquer this health anxiety? What is holding me back? T is now concentrating on my disconnectedness and my inability to process some emotions (or let those emotions out). I’m going to have to figure out how to smush in this health anxiety, too. T thought it wasn’t going to be something I could get beyond, but I need to try. Although I have been able to get past it some of the time, other times it’s overwhelmed me. I want to get past ALL of it.

 

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Taking control

I’ve talked about control before, and how I need to learn to let it go. Control is an illusion, yes?

But I guess this is a different type of control.

Mom had her infusion on the 20th, and since that point has had some up and down days. This past couple of days she’s been feeling okay, but kind of limiting her activities so as not to overdo it on any one day. And of course, with the chemo, comes the hair loss. But for mom, who is 10 days out from her first infusion, the hair loss hasn’t started yet. But her appointment for her wig fitting–sans hair–is in two days. Her hair isn’t even “shedding” yet, but we’re keeping the appointment.

Why?

Mom has plans over the 4th of July weekend, the wig dresser is unavailable after Wednesday of this week, and so we are kind of running out of options. When we talked about this last night, the choices included postponing the wig appointment until next week–which is already busy with three appointments–or going through with the appointment even though her hair is still on her head. I reminded Mom that she IS going to lose her hair, it’s not a question of if but when. And since she has plans for the weekend and wants to not have to worry about “shedding” and or losing her hair the day before (or day of) her plans, why not take control? Why not choose WHEN she loses her hair? Why not tell the stupid chemo FUCK YOU (which I did not say to my mother, obv) and decide when her hair goes. She can’t control the IF, but she can control the WHEN.

Wednesday’s appointment remains, and we’re making it a fun affair by going to lunch before with her long-time friend. And then all of us will tromp to the wig lady’s shop and we’ll laugh (and maybe cry) while Mom gets her head shaved. Then we’ll make her try on ridiculous wigs and take pictures of her, which we won’t share with anyone. Then we’ll get her new wig shaped and styled and we’ll leave. And Mom will be able to take a couple of days to get used to wearing the wig before she goes out over the weekend. And it’ll be done and we’ll take the next step, whatever it is.

Control. In a good way. Who knew?

 

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Buzz buzz buzz

There it is, the buzzing running through me that reminds me that my anxiety is not under control. Last night the chattering/shaking started, but I was able to head it off before it got very far at all. As I posted the other day, Le Moo is not acting right. In the real world, that post was written the Friday before Mother’s Day…this one the day before Mother’s Day. Our vet office is open on Saturdays, but our actual vet only works there every¬†other Saturday, and today was an off day. I have scheduled Le Moo for Monday morning, so hub and I will be out and on the road early to get to the vet. I hope by the time this post goes up, I will have a post script explaining what is going on with Le Moo. I hope it is nothing, but at the moment I am still worried.

This all has my anxiety going up. I am focused too much on my breathing, worrying that it feels short and somewhat labored. I am focused too much on my left arm feeling uncomfortable–which could likely be attributed to other factors like having spent time outside yesterday picking up poo so the yard was clean. I am feeling the buzz buzz buzz of anxiety running through me, like electricity has replaced the blood in my veins. My stomach is upset and I feel shaky and jittery.

I keep telling myself that Le Moo is doing all the things she should be–and not doing the things she shouldn’t–so it isn’t likely there is anything emergent (otherwise we would have seen a diff vet right away). I keep telling myself that my breathing is fine, and my arm is just sore. I keep reminding myself that this is my anxiety talking to me, trying to convince me that there is something wrong and I need to panic. I am on the edge of it… remember my puke and get it over with post? I wish I could. I am torn between trying to go distract myself and “puking”. I am using every tool I have learned to keep the anxiety manageable. I am not yet at a point where I feel I can have NO anxiety in my life…I’m not sure I will ever be there. But I want to be–and am trying to be–in a place where I can manage it. I consider myself mildly successful at this point, as I have not gone into full or partial panic mode. I am learning to identify the physical symptoms of my anxiety as they are beginning, so I can try to manage them. That, to me, is success.

Also, for me, being able to talk about what kind of state I am in is a success. When I can tell my hub (or someone else) that I am feeling anxious or that something hurts without feeling like a specimen under a microscope, that is a success. I am not doing that as much as I would like, at least about the “anxious” part. My family has learned–after so many years of chronic pain–that they cannot fix the pain that I am in, nor am I asking them to. I am only sharing so they know what physical state I am. With the anxiety, sharing that is newer to all of us and they are still more likely to attempt to try to help me, which in effect does not really help.

Le Moo went to get her nails trimmed this morning. At the very least she visited with a couple of dogs at the petco like she normally would, then came home and pooped (she always poos after a car ride). But she still had no interest in being outside or investigating the fence line. Oh, Le Moo, what is going on with you??

P.S. Took Le Moo to Le Vet this morning. Everything is “normal” physically and with her blood work. Best we can do is keep an eye on her and encourage her to stay in her regular routine. And hope she gets herself back to normal soon.

 

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Somedays you gotta cry

I talked a little bit about needing to let go, or “puke and get it over with.” It isn’t something I do well or easily, for fear that I will not be able to regain control…and control is really important to me. My anxiety is lower when I feel in control. It’s something I am very acutely aware of in my life.

Today, in the middle of a telephone call where I was getting an update on my elderly aunt’s condition, I felt the tears pressing against my eyes. The news wasn’t bad, I think I just hit my breaking point. And instead of sucking it in, I let it out. I didn’t cry for long–I actually don’t like to cry because it aggravates some of my chronic illnesses–but I did cry hard. And for a few minutes after I stopped, I knew the tears were still coming down my face.

I wish I could say it made me feel better, but crying often makes me feel worse physically. So much of the relief I might feel from releasing the feelings get blunted because I’m left feeling physically worse.

On top of the stress of my aunt’s hospitalization, I’m having some issues with my stomach and bowels. I hate that. I hate feeling poorly…and although I’ve been trying to get better with the help of a nutritionist (who works with natural remedies), I’m not feeling too great. All these things combined have sapped my strength and left me blah.I had hub buy me some OTC miralax, but I’m kind of afraid to take it. Considering the issue I had with OTC Prilosec (which is supposed to be no big deal), I fear taking the Miralax. Such is the anxiety in me! (see what I did there? sense of humor does come out every now and then, despite the stupid anxiety.)

Also, my left arm hurts, and I hate feeling that…it ramps up my health anxiety, even though I try to remind myself that my heart is fine (I’ve been checked by a cardiologist). Old habits die hard, and the arm pain is one of those old habits. I’ve had some heartburn these past couple of days (I think it’s because I snuck some chocolate in, which I haven’t done in 8 or 9 months), and my heartburn does produce this arm pain. But it requires constant reminder and self-reassurance that the arm pain is annoying, but benign. Needless to say, the chocolate ended with my last bit yesterday, but the heartburn hasn’t quite disappeared altogether. I hope it is the chocolate causing the heartburn, because I’m not sure what else it could be and I’ll be really distressed if the heartburn has otherwise returned despite the regimen I am on with the nutritionist. *sigh*

Lastly, because I haven’t complained enough in this post, my neck is tired. I suspect the neck (and maybe some of the arm issue) is from the physical therapy appointment I had yesterday. She worked on those two places yesterday, where she really hadn’t for a couple of weeks prior. If that’s the case, experience teaches me I will either feel better in those two areas tomorrow, or not. Gee, that seemed helpful, didn’t it? Sometimes you don’t know what you’re thinking until you actually write (type) it out. Mindfulness. Ye-ah.

 

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Puke and get it over with

Early Tuesday morning I got a phone call from my father. His sister, my aunt, was staying with them for a week or so, and apparently she had some kind of episode. He called the paramedics and they were getting her into an ambulance and taking her to the emergency room.

It kind of became my job to be the liaison between my parents and my siblings and extended family, keeping everyone up-to-date on what my aunt’s status was. I became the “information officer,” communicating with one sibling by instant message, another by phone, a third by text message…and the extended family by phone and email.

My aunt is elderly–83 years old–and has multiple health problems. This is no surprise for an 83 year old woman, but it means the “emergency” was more complicated. I kept up, took notes, passed information, asked questions, repeated answers…on and on. My aunt was in the ER for many hours, then moved to ICU, then moved to a less urgent room. Yesterday, day three, I could feel the buzzing of anxiety coursing through me. I was trying very hard to stay calm, to keep myself level so I could be involved with everything. I couldn’t go visit her in the hospital because I’ve got a cold coming on (and so does the hub), and I don’t want to pass it around. So I’m home, mostly alone (other than the dog) and staying in touch with everyone. And the buzz was getting worse.

I tried distraction (which rarely works well for me), I tried activity, I tried other techniques I’d learned with my therapist(s). Not much helped, so I broke down and emailed my therapist to see if she had any other suggestions. And I told her, it’s like when you’re nauseous and you know that if you just puke and get it over with, you’ll feel better. Fortunately for me, my therapist is well aware of my sense of humor and she gets me pretty well. She pretty much responded, saying I probably should just puke and get it over with.

Find a safe way to let it go, let the feelings come, accept them, feel them. Let the fear, the anxiety, the stress all in and do what I needed to do to get through them. I thanked her, like a good client, and told her I would try, but I was afraid. I was afraid to let go because what if I couldn’t stop it? What if I couldn’t come out of “it” on my own?

In the end, I did “puke and get it over with” in my own way. I can’t say I let it go 100%, but I let myself worry and I let myself cry a bit. I focused on dealing with the anxiety sitting in my stomach…and then I tried to move on to the next thing I needed to do. I am lucky that I was also able to talk to my husband about “puking” and that he understood.

I am thankful for the people around me who are there to help me and support me. I hope you have people like that in your lives, too.

 

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