Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Anxiety infomercial

Anxiety: a commercial 

Announcer (let's call him Jim): 🎙️Now it's time for another Christi's Keeepin' It Real mental health-related post! As always, please feel free to scroll on past! 🎙️


Christi: (taking microphone from announcer) Thank you, Jim, and thanks, everyone, for tuning in!
Today, let's learn something new about anxiety!! It can take on so many forms! In fact, TODAY'S special on anxiety is the well-worn and well-known situation where your BRAIN decides to remind you of mistakes or slights from YEARS ago! (oohs and ahhs from the audience) Yes, that's right! If I even slightly offended you 15 years ago--or even THINK I MIGHT have, then YOU, TOO, might have been in my brain RENT FREE! (pause again for oohs and ahhs)
Now, folks, I know that this sounds tempting and maybe even fun, but (lowers and slows voice) I hope that you will never experience this. (groans from the audience) Yes, yes, I know...I thought it might be fun before *I* tried it, but the side effects---folks, those side effects--they are not worth it. (cameras scan for knowing nods from audience members) This causes lack of sleep, embarrassing yourself by apologizing for times the other person doesn't even remember, and even---I don't want to even mention this one, because it's so bad (lowers voice to a whisper)--feeling paranoid. (sharp intake of breath from several audience members)
I hate to disappoint you, audience, but the fact is: some of you may never understand this. (shakes head) SO! My intention here may not be clear, but on order to distract myself AND educate you, I made this little commercial. I DO hope it brought you some awareness and pleasure! (audience clapping) Thanks for tuning in, and don't forget to tip your waitstaff! (continued applause) Thank you! Thank you! We'll be here all week! 🎙️
(fade to black)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Fibro troubles

A year ago this week, I had an emergency appendectomy.

But see, it didn't have to be an emergency thing.

Life with Fibromyalgia: people don't believe you are in pain!

I had stomach pain and stayed in bed all weekend the weekend before, and missed school on Monday. I went to the doctor, who thought I might hall gall stones in the bile duct. She sent me for a CT. The CT showed that it was not gall stones (by the way, I had had my gall bladder removed 6 years ago), but that I might have appendicitis. The pain continued all week, but being that I live my life in pain, I just kept going.

What choice do I have?? I have to work, I have three kids, I have obligations!

So my doctor made a referral to Gastroenterology. They were able to get me in on Friday morning, so I high tailed it out of Duffield, where I work, and headed to the appointment. There, the gastro doctor told me that he had no idea why they sent me to him, that I needed to see a surgeon instead. He called surgery, and there was an appointment made for me later that afternoon.

This is where things started to go wrong.

I saw the same surgeon that had done my gallbladder removal. That, in and of itself, was not a problem. However, I started to have neurological symptoms that might or might not be related to Multiple Sclerosis after that surgery, so I was leery, to say the least.
I wasn't thrilled from the moment that he came in the room. Did he start out talking about my appendix? Nope! He started lecturing me about my blood glucose levels! Now granted, they were not the lowest, but only ONE of those had been taking when I had fasted. My primary care doctor, who is excellent, has never been concerned, so I don't worry about it. But this surgeon who had seen me twice in the last 6 years thought that more important than my painful appendix. Whatever.
Finally he got around to discussing my pain. He was not going to operate. If I was still in pain on Monday, I was supposed to call him. He told me that if I got worse to come to Indian Path, where he was on call. He basically dismissed me because I didn't look like I was in enough pain.

Fibromyalgia, folks. I live with pain. I function with pain. I present as though I am not in pain because that is what I am used to doing day in and day out. This time, it caused me to have to go to the ER on a Saturday night.

Where they were also ready to send me home because they didn't see me in a lot of pain. Thankfully the doctor intervened and said he would operate on me the next morning unless I REALLY wanted him to do it tonight. My husband, bless his sweet heart, intervened and said he would operate tonight. For those who don't know my husband, he is 6'3" and presents a pretty imposing presence, and is a 4th degree black belt in taekwondo! So I headed to the operating room at midnight December 9th/10th. I was back home in less than 24 hours.

By the way, Mr. Surgeon told me in his surprised voice when I went to my followup appointment that I DID, in fact, have appendicitis. Whaddaya know?!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Negative self-talk

I haven't seen many people talk about this, but there is something pretty major that I struggle with when I am depressed. I have had a little blip on the screen lately that has stressed me out and I blame myself for it. It isn't even something big enough for me to go into it, because believe it or not, I DO keep some things private--even though some may disagree! But in blaming myself, I get mad at myself for struggling and not being perfect, and then comes the negative talk in my head that I have to combat. "I'm stupid." "I'm an idiot." "I always screw things up." These are just some of the things that run through my head when I'm struggling with this. And when I agree with the 'voice' that I hear (that I know is of the devil)...well, it is particularly hard to combat. I start not sleeping, and that makes things worse. Then the stress, on top of this being a hard time of year to engage and teach elementary-age students, brings on pain. It turns into a vicious cycle. The pain brings depression, the depression brings more pain...I think you see where this is going!

So what do I do to combat this? Well, I have to focus a bit on self-care. Sometimes I am secure enough to ask hubby to help, and sometimes I am not. He offered to take me out last night. Often I am so tired that I turn him down when I probably shouldn't. Who doesn't feel better after a date with hubby? I know I do! We don't do it enough! Then today I allowed myself to sleep later than usual. I 'allow' this more in the fall because in addition to teaching and my regular activities, I usually have a ballgame or two to attend...and this Mama gets stressed and into the games! So in order to be functional and at my best the next week, I recoup on Saturday mornings when the house is quiet (read: Robbie isn't here!)

Anyway, I allowed myself to do that today because I haven't slept so well this week. I have had a down day and have done activities that I enjoy and stay in comfy clothes. We have a rare evening when two of the three boys are not home, so Chris offered to take me out again, but I really am cherishing just staying home and chilling. I am enjoying my precious kitties, Ash and Pip, being in the room with me. I am watching college football and cheering for a team I usually don't since my team's season is already over. #GOVOLS
I am going to get to watch shows I like without fighting anyone about it.

And life is getting better. Less negative self talk today, so it is working. Blessed be.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Doing something new

I'm going full force! I created a page today on Facebook for my blog and officially changed the name! If this is your first time here, welcome! I'm glad to see you! I made somewhat of an introduction a few posts down, so please feel free to read it. What would you like to see here? I'm open to suggestions!!

Friday, November 23, 2018

I feel blah

If there is any emotion associated with depression that is tiresome, it is the LACK of feeling.

Even as an adult, I used to get so excited about the holidays. Now? Not so much. I don't really know why, because I can't put my finger on it!

Anyone else feel this way, or is it just me??

Monday, November 19, 2018

Here goes nothing!

I've been inspired! I'm gonna take this blogging stuff up again, but with a little different audience and mission this time. Whereas before this blog was 'A Whole Lotta Nothing Much', I'm going to change the focus. Instead of the random life of a working Christian wife and mama, now I'm going to focus more on what I feel God left me here on Earth to do when I had a failed suicide attempt at 16. Since that day, even when it wasn't the popular or easy thing to do, I've been about doing all I can in my corner of the world to change the stigma of mental health problems.

You see, I don't have a sad childhood story. I grew up in a happy, middle-class household. I was treated well. I had friends and family members who loved me and showed me how much they loved me.

However, mental illness does not discriminate. The demons of depression and anxiety didn't care that I had the outward appearance of having it all together. They started lying to me when I was in middle school. I had no idea what anxiety and depression really were then, but I knew there was something that wasn't quite right.

Yes, there were some life circumstances that contributed to my TRUE cry for help the night I swallowed 15 sleeping pills. We, as in my family and I, were to soon learn that I had a chemical imbalance, and that there was little that could be blamed on anything more than my brain. I started medication and continued therapy and went along pretty well until I had my next depressive episode at 20. Again, yes, some life circumstances didn't help anything. But that time I decided that if I needed to take antidepressants for the rest of my days, so be it. And so be it, it has, barring the first trimester of each of my 3 pregnancies.

I won't tell the whole tale today. I do intend to. God has me here for a purpose, or maybe several purposes, and this is one of them.

Before I end, let me say thank you if you read this. Some call me brave....I'm not sure if I am brave or just stubborn and tired of not telling my truth. It is all we have in this world that we can take with us, you know...our truth and love.

If you need someone, don't be afraid to reach out. Depression can kill you. Don't let it be your death sentence. People care. I care!

God bless.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My heart hurts

Last night, a senseless thing happened. Because of drugs, an 18 year old child lost his life. And this 18 year old was part of my life: 12 short years ago, he spent every day in my 1st grade classroom. He was one of mine.
I've been torn up since before 7 am, but am only now letting myself process it and my chest literally hurts. I tried to sleep and woke up in a panic. The shooter is still on the run.
I'm just sick. I'm on edge. I want to wake up and find out that it was all a bad dream.
I was hoping that writing would bring some comfort but it hasn't.
Steven wasn't perfect. He was a little stinker but he had his good points. He had a precious little smile and a sparkle in his eyes. He was eager to please. He was a good friend.
I just don't get it. I don't know how to wrap my mind around this poor little boy I knew dying in such a violent way.
Please, if you read this, pray for his family.