Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On Being Broken

This is probably a TMI post, but I'm the kind of person who will tell you exactly how I'm feeling if you ask.

For almost a year now, I have not been feeling right. It started with being tired all the time. Then my monthly cycles started being extremely painful. Then the depression kicked in with a huge whammy.

About six months ago, my O.B. put me on antibiotics for a uterine infection. And that cleared up a lot of the abdominal pain and the tired. Didn't fix the depression. In fact, it kind of got worse after that got better.

I started seeing a General Practitioner about four months ago who sees mostly patients with depression. I wouldn't call him a specialist, but I love him. Mostly because he listens to me. He takes my opinions and thoughts into account when I have issues, and he doesn't go for the easy answer, nor does he just throw pills at me to fix things. We talk things through about anxiety and any other symptoms I have.

In January, I started seeing a therapist. I also had my first Manic day. I have experienced Mania consistently on the first day of my period every month since then. Except March, which was a full-blown panic attack (which was kind of the same physical reaction as the mania, but instead of feeling high or drunk, I was panicked.) I also have little moments of mania spattered throughout, that I recognize by the overly silly tendencies that happen. As yet, I haven't done anything stupid, but it's worrisome that it's happening more often.

In February, my therapist began insisting that I see a psychiatrist, because I am getting worse, not better. But not just any psychiatrist, because she knows a lot of them and is picky. Not to mention the fact that just getting in to see someone takes MONTHS. But she has a working relationship with a couple, and once I'm in their system, I she can get them to move my appointment up. The doctor closest to me doesn't take my insurance. This is kind of a big issue for me. However, he has agreed he only needs to see me three times to get a feel for things, and then he will work directly with my GP to manage my meds and care.

Here's a description of my mental health:  Things that come out of the blue are harder for me to cope with without emotionally crashing. And things that normally wouldn't bother me now send me into panic attacks or anxiety. Good days I feel normal and can do things. Bad days, I don't even feel like I'm on meds. They are bad, bad, bad days. My GP and Therapist have diagnosed this as BiPolar 2.

One of my favorite things to do to relieve stress and feel good is to dance to happy music. Happy music to me is any song on the radio that makes me feel like moving. There's this rush that I feel from the inside out when there's good music on. Except now. I tried doing a Just Dance workout the end of Feb and instead of the emotional high, I crashed. And none of my normal coping skills to stop an emotional dive worked. 

March brought on more issues. Ended up in the E.R. because I thought I was hemorrhaging. I had never seen so much blood nor clots the size of my fist before. The e.r. docs said I looked fine except for a cervical polyp. Lots and lots of pain and blood, but I was assured this was normal for being 40 and that I was fine. I didn't believe them, but I went home anyway, convinced they just didn't care to listen to me.

The following Monday morning I was in my O.B.'s office again, and she removed the polyp and said she wanted to do a hysterectomy. I would have cheered if my body would have let me.

That afternoon I was in my GP's office and I asked if he would please check my hormone levels. We did a blood draw to measure adrenal, pancreatic, testosterone, estroven, estrogen, progesterone, and a bunch of other hormones that affect hormones. Because something is off in my body, and I am determined to figure it out, using everything possible. I want to be well, and I want to be a reliable mother, wife, and person.

Surgery is scheduled for the middle of April. My body is still bleeding, and the cramping after the polyp removal feels like I am in labor *almost* all the time. It's intermittent, but if I do anything like vacuum or sweep or lift a load of laundry, then I end up in a world of pain. I know that the removal of my uterus isn't going to fix ALL of my problems, but it will fix an immediate source of pain and stress. Seeing a psychiatrist will help fix the other problems.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a train. I have hope that I'm going to stop crashing soon. Or, that even when I have bad days that they'll be more manageable.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Art of Love

I count my blessings every day that my mother is my mother.

She raised me to love people because they are people, not because they share the same religion or political beliefs as me.

I grew up in a mining town in Wyoming in a dusty, wind-blown, tumbleweed covered trailer court. And I loved it there because it was my home. I was the only kid in my neighborhood of my religion, which meant I got to go to church with my friends to see how and what they believed. I visited Baptist, Evangelical, Catholic, and I don't even remember all the others. If they wanted, they could come with me and see what we did at my church. It wasn't a missionary effort, it was a 'this is how you are a good friend' lesson.

According to my mother: It's how you understand the people you love.

When I was in fifth grade, after moving what felt like a thousand times, we ended up in a little forgotten corner on the outskirts of town. The only friend I had was the only other girl my age, who was Jehovah's Witness. Sometimes we'd talk about religion. Sometimes her mom would give me Spanish lessons, and when my accent was good enough I even got to read from their bible in spanish out loud at a couple of their meetings. (No, I didn't have a clue what I was saying, but I could pronounce stuff).

Most of the time, though, we played, we talked, we created stories and make-believe worlds. We did the things that 10 yr old friends do. I felt included, loved, and like my friend accepted me for who I was, just as I accepted her.

Now I live in a whole 'nother state where it feels like just about everyone is the same religion as me. And guess what? They still all have differing political and religious opinions. And I try to do the same thing for my kids that my mother did for me.

I am not perfect. And I AM very opinionated. But guess what? I don't expect everyone to agree with me. That guy who asked in Sunday School how to convince his kids to only be friends with same-religion kids? My opinion is that he's an idiot. He disagrees with me. I'm fine with that. (But I still think I'm right)

I want my children to love people because they are people they enjoy being around. I don't want them to pick from a specific gene pool, because eeeewwww, eventually everyone starts inter-breeding and you end up with cousins marrying cousins and people have too many thumbs and corrupted blood-lines and yuck.

People are awesome. There are some funny, fantastically great people out there who have completely different religious and political views than me. And I LOVE them! I am glad that they are there. I am glad that this world is filled with diversity and awesome. I expect people to respect that I live my life the way I do, and I *try* to give that same respect to everyone else. (Even when I think they're idiots)

/Sigh. My Facebook feed was FILLED this morning with religious and political meme's that were more hateful than helpful, and I was annoyed. Annoyed that in the comments people devolve into name-calling and hurt feelings, annoyed that "My Way Is the Right Way" is an accepted way of life for some. Life's a two-way street, and Karma is a very real thing.

In short: It is closed-minded and stupid, STUPID, I TELL YOU, to expect the whole world to change their minds and agree with you.  (So, hey, change your mind and agree with me already!)

The Golden Rule, people. Life is a lot easier for everyone if you live it. And you know what? I'm certain there are people who are going to disagree with me. Which is awesome.