New Year, New Dynamic

Mom died.

It’s been about seven weeks since her passing.  Time seems to go buy at different speeds at the same time.  I’ve hit new levels of stooopid I never knew I could.  I’m still not eating right, sleeping well or taking care of myself as I should.  The only thing I’ve been capable of doing is making crochets shawls.  I can count to 8, I can sit and watch it grow and not have to do anything else.  Since December 1, her last time to the hospital, I’ve made seven shawls.  One is my “house hold” shawl because I would rather wrap up than turn up the heat.  I seem to  keep going back to the hook for comfort.  They feel like hugs.  I’m trying to make one for all the women/girls in the family for the boat ride out to skater Mom’s ashes.  Hopefully I will be more back in the world by April.

I  haven’t really cried yet.  Maybe writing this out might break open the flood gates and release the torrent of tears that are just waiting for the opportunity to flow.  I don’t know why it seems so hard to express myself that way.  It could be the general fear of crying; if I start I won’t be able to stop.  Or it could be the medication is still providing the buffer that keeps me from completely dissolving into a puddle.  I’ve gotten the basics down in my journal but not really the emotions.  I wonder if I’m actually going to have any.  I mean, it’s not like this is out of the blue.  I’ve spent the last 12 years taking care of her as she, well not exactly slowly, declined.  The last three to five years have been the hardest, and living with her and taking care of her really tore the wellspring of hope out of me several times.  It did happen really fast, in the hospital on the 1st, back home by the 5th, then dead by the 10th.  There wasn’t  a rally coherent good by on her end due to the hypoxia from the lack of oxygen.

My team of professionals and myself have held the theory/belief that part if not most of my depression and anxiety was due to my environment.  Maybe I’m overmedicated now that the environment has changed or maybe I’m so completely overwhelmed (I had my car broken into after the memorial service and I drove myself to see my sister C. run in the Carlsbad marathon, I lost my job when I lost my mother, going back to school in February, and creditors filing suit).  I’m overwhelmed.  I guess I should stop trying to push myself so hard and try to do things one day, one task, one blog post at a time.

I’ve had some dark days, but in general I still have the light and hope for my future, so I don’t believe I’m back in the void, although, truth be told crawling back into that warm dark place to hide sounds really inviting..  I’ve had more bouts of anxiety than depression, I’m becoming more aware of my desire to take care of myself (like eat, bathe, change clothes, etc.)  In some ways I feel like I’ve been reborn into this world but I’m going to have to fend for myself.  I’ve got to find a job that pays well enough for me to write until the nectar of creativity runs dry.

My nephew gave me the best advise yesterday.  I didn’t want to go home, it felt like a trap so he told me when he feels that way he goes out into the world and tries to find something beautiful.  So, I went home briefly and grabbed Sammy and we took a trip to the coast and watched the boats in the marina and on the way home on Highway 35, I got pictures of a beautiful sunset over the foothills in the valley.  It was beautiful and my anxiety was calmed.

Surrender Follow Up

I can breath again.  I never understood in the OA book how they wanted me to surrender to a Higher Power, I thought I had given myself to God and Christ years ago, but after the surrender, I realize I really haven’t. I don’t think I fight against Heavenly Father, per se, but I don’t always do things His way (meaning I’m addicted to the hard way) and in that I need to surrender my faith and trust that He will carry me through. I know if I could I would have a higher sense of the peace and comfort I’m feeling now in what I’m doing in my whole life. I can be a stubborn idiot in the face of simplicity..

On the darker side of the depression, I won’t surrender.  Yesterday I was close to tears more than thrice and I have no idea why.  It’s annoying to have emotions.  I know I will eventually need to give in and feel them again, but right now is not a good time.  I’m fairly happy, I’m hopeful and I’m planning for my future.  I have everything I need.  My wants on the other hand……

Gobsmacked by Life

So, when last we met, dear reader, I was embarking of under-employment but ever so hopeful things would continue on the course I had set it on.  I stopped climbing the walls, so to speak only to have the freaking wall fall on me!  I planned on giving myself one week off from work, which is reasonable since I hadn’t really had five straight days to myself since, well, since I don’t remember when….and starting the next week Mom shot up a temperature to like 103.1 and then it would go down, then back up.  I got the temporal thermometer to see if the digital one was not digitizing the information the way we wanted but it was telling the truth.  Which basically means now I have a really cool thermometer…..but I digress.  I called 911 and had them take her to the ER in Mountain View.  If there is one thing I can say about being on anti depressants and anti anxiety SSRI and dopamine enhancers is that when you are faced with something serious your emotions shut down and you can focus on the task at hand get things done. Well, sort of.  Apparently  was being a real pain in the caboose and my humor wasn’t what my sisters would have liked.  After a few long, tiresome hours they realize that Mom was dehydrated.  Who knew you ran a temperature when you are dehydrated.  S. had heard about it when she went through her medical assistant training but she wasn’t sure.  Once that was determined they decided to give her IV fluids and see if it brought her double digit BP back to the normal range….well, normal for an 85 year old woman.  They admitted her around 2 am, I went home and had dinner, took a chill pill and went to bed around 4am.

What I learned from this experience is that 1) the right hospice agency makes all the difference and 2) never make plans that you can’t put off for later.  We’ve changed our hospice agency which is more aggressive towards the pulmonary set, unlike the last one that would have been happy for me to give Mom morphine to calm her down and let her die in her sleep.  The hospital doctor sent her home with a nebulizer and between me and K we have been militant about her getting her treatments, eating whether she wants to or not, and drinking at least two quarts of water a day she is gaining ground.  Just as she started to get back on her feet the holidays descended like a biblical plague.  Okay, so I’m not a bit holiday fan but being broke, being literally tied to the house like some house bound prisoner because Mom doesn’t like to be alone and “misses me” even if I’m in the other room.  Did I mention she’s almost as deaf as a door knob?  (hearing aids are on the list of things to do in the New Year).

I guess what I’m blathering on about is that I’m tired, I feel like a well used rubber band that is still functional if you don’t push it beyond it’s but when too much pressure is applied  it will loose the last of it’s elasticity and then when pushed father will snap and crumble to bits.  My doctor thinks I’m doing fine, but then we didn’t talk about how I imagine sawing through my arms again, or how I want to use a razor to carve a cross hatch pattern from my wrist to the bend in my elbow.  I won’t do it, I know I won’t, I’m too big of a sissy when it comes to physical pain but he seems to think it is something that should be reported to him.  I wish he was tech savvy enough to just read this and prescribe accordingly.  I can’t go up any further on m=any of my meds so what other choice does he have then to tell me I’m doing good and hope the placebo effect will see me through until the stress passes?

I’m pretty sure this will be my last entry for 2014.  May the New Year be bright, healthy and prosperous.  Thank you for reading and following me.

Climbing Down The Walls

So, I am unemployed, or underemployed.  I still have the granny nanny job, but the relaxing job of 8 hours a day five days a week, along with the paycheck, is gone.  Monday I needed two doggy downers to get me off the walls, but it completely wiped me out for Tuesday and then another attempt at the wall yesterday, but I talked myself out of it and avoided the chill pills.  I sat down and made a list of everything I need to do to, both large and small, and having it all in one spot keeps me away from the walls.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I just love ticking things off a to do list gives me a deep down, tickle of a thrill.

The list is a two fold tool.  First, it puts everything that I need to do, everything I need to think about, everything that I need to buy in one place.  I need to put them in line with priorities, and I’ll put that on the list to do.  Second, it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I cross something off, but not enough to celebrate and blow off the rest of my to-dos.  The most important things that I need to do is get the credits for my CEC ‘classes’, study, pass the test and then start looking for a job in medical.  The other is to bolster my meager income and finish the chapter for House of Dragons.*

What is surprising me is that I am still getting up relatively early, I’m getting a good nights sleep, though some nights I stay up as late as 11:00pm (scandalous, I know) but I’m feeling the need to stick to my work schedule.  I don’t want to sleep the day away.  That said, that doesn’t exactly mean that I want to take the world be storm either.  I’m not hiding in TV, but I’m not as productive as I could be…..but then again, it’s only been four days…..I should probably just get to know myself without having some place to go in the morning.

* Soul Searching: House of Dragons is the first installment (hopefully) in my stories of missionaries all over the world.   This is about a cadre of companionships in Vietnam trying to return a lost Vet home and the general struggles that go along with being in the Lords service.

Suck It Up, Buttercup!

I feel like I’m devolving into a puddle of goo.  I’m shaking, implosion seems eminent and sleep doesn’t help.  But then I’m not supposed to be sleeping….I’m supposed to be shopping, cleaning, organizing, learning, writing the ending of my finished novel (House of Dragons) and working on a general editing pass at my other one (Hearts of The Mothers) for NaNoWriMo instead of writing something novel.  All I feel capable of doing is sitting and trying to keep my heart from bounding out of my chest.

Okay, maybe I’m expecting too much from myself the first day of unemployment and I did want to take today easy, but then I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack, problems breathing, heart pounding etc.  So I checked my stress level, which I figured would be low because I am on my blood pressure pills but it read 86% which, in the meters terms, is extreme.  I checked my blood pressure and it was 131/76 with a heart rate of 86.  So I did what any off-cetnerly sane person would do….I took something from my anxiety collection and I’m hoping the weaker compound will do me okay.  I need to get back to putting that in my morning pills.  It’s not like I have to worry about falling asleep at my desk any more, but apparently I need them.

I think also the collapse of my schedule has something to do with it.  I need to start a new schedule and commit to it as if it were a work schedule.  It’s so hard to commit to something that doesn’t have a prod to go with the carrot, or in this case the carrot is the freedom to write not money. I need to get up, do whatever work I need to do around the house and then LEAVE home and follow my plan as outlined.  I realize that I need to put the plan in writing, work on a check off system and just keep moving forward as much as my body/mind/soul will allow me.  Not knuckling under their weight but using it as a counterbalance to propel me forward.  Which honestly sounds all pretty and easy….on the screen….but in the end I just need to suck it up and get it done.