Changing my truck tire

On Monday I became aware that one of my tires was low on air.  I was headed to an appt. with the shrink and the timing couldn’t have been better.  Nevertheless, I managed to get there and back while imagining that at any moment it would go completely flat and send me galloping into a tall tree.  Not the way I’ve been envisioning my death.

So, after 4 days of grumbling and cussing and whining I, at least, looked at the damned thing.  I found an embedded nail that explained the slow leak.  I don’t leave the house very often, but I’m out of candy, nearly out of diet soda, and I have a T appt. tomorrow (already?).

I’m not especially stupid or incapable or inexperienced, but the realization that I had to get off my ass and change it, left me alternating between self-loathing because I don’t wanna and pissed off because FFS it’s only a tire.

Short story shorter, I put the spare on this morning and made an appt. to get 4 new tires tomorrow. That should put a dent in my SSDI funds.

Doc

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Too many papers, too many words

I’ve written about my inability to read or throw out my daily newspapers before.  So far, I’ve managed to keep them confined in 4 or 5 neat, foot high piles.  I had a brief thought about spontaneous combustion, maybe an attempt to goad me into at least ditching the oldest ones, but I think that only happens with oily rags so, no help there.  Seriously, how can a pile of non-moving, air conditioned papers burst into flames?  I will probably continue to store them until that magical change comes unto me that allows and yes, condones, reading like normal folk.  Realistically, the newspapers will probably have the same fate as 2 years of professional journals did.  I swore blind that they were full of important sciency facts that I couldn’t pass up, yet couldn’t be bothered (persuaded) to peruse.  Then, in a moment of inspiration (hypomania) decided they “HAD TO GO TO THE DUMP TODAY”.

When I received my summons for jury duty recently, it took me 2 days to read all the tiny words on it.  Important words.  In the end, panic and desperation won out and I read the damned thing. I used to love to read.  The daily paper, journals, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Patricia Cornwell novels.   Now, months are passing and I can’t manage more than a few lines and then I lose the plot easily.

Last week I went to my mom’s house to start the clearing out process.  She died in Sept. 2014 and we moved her husband into assisted living in March 2015.  At one point, as I was knee deep in a closet of her rarely or never worn clothes, my sister-in-law wandered in and told me that “your mother has kept every check stub she’s ever written.”   My brother has abstained from packing things up citing it makes him “feel weird” to be going through her things.  That’s OK, I don’t mind doing it.  Actually, I think going through her things so intimately now, which I could never do while she was alive, makes me feel closer to her.  I plan on donating all acceptable items to the Purple Heart charities like I’ve done in the past with my own crap when I finally accepted the fact that I will never be a size 10 again.    Why she kept every check stub or legal-type paper baffles me.  Perhaps my paper hoarding is inherited.

Due to my recent medical issues, I am becoming inundated with new papers to keep track of.  Lab results, discharge instructions, referral letters, prescriptions, appointments made, instructions on how to access my medical information online.  It’s never ending.  And I’m not even considering the envelopes from the insurance people trying vainly to document my coverage and payments and balances due.  Perhaps I would do better, at least for now, if my life was audio only.

Doc

P.S.  I do still love a handwritten letter from a friend.

Trazodone, et cetera

Fuck me. I’ve been swallowing 500 mg of trazodone nightly for months. Then the other day, I was online and came across the statement that trazodone is addictive.  This won’t do. Why the hell didn’t the prescriber mention that it is addictive, that withdrawal can come with some nasty side effects? I, apparently, didn’t get the choice or the information to make an informed decision about this drug. And I’m pissed off. I choose what or whom I want to be dependent on.

So, I have started weaning myself off of it. Should take around 10 days. If I sleep without it, great. If not, there’s always pot brownies. And pot. Fuuuck you, Dr. G. for thinking I don’t know my own mind. Rant over.

Edit:  I wrote the above on 2/8/15 and I did stop the trazodone.  The first few weeks were bad, but like I predicted, pot and chocolate saw me through most nights.  Now, 4 months later, my quality and length of sleep still SUCKS and I made an appt. (after cancelling my last one because I wasn’t taking any of his fucking meds – so why go?) for this week to discuss said sucking sleep.

I should go in there with a specific drug request, but I don’t know what to ask for.

The other thing I have to do is ask him to write something to get me excused from jury duty.  I got my first ever summons this week.  I don’t really think I have social anxiety, but all my head can think is no, no, no, no, no, NO.  I haven’t been able to concentrate on more than a blog post or 10 minutes of TV at a time for a while.  My daily newspaper piles up because there’s too many words and I can’t focus.  So really, that’s my concern.  I do not think I can sit still, focus, or contribute to someone’s very important jury trial.  I’d just fuck it up.

Edit #2:   I went to see the shrink yesterday.  It helped immensely that while en route to his office 35 mins. away, a guy in the next lane pulled abreast of me and motioned that my right front tire was low.  Goddammit.  Anyway, I dealt with that and no one called me 3 mins. after my scheduled appt. time to say I was late – which they have done before.

I told him there were 2 things I wanted to discuss.  Sleep and jury duty.  I told him I was ashamed to ask, but I wanted to be medically excused from jury duty.  “OK – i’ll write you a note.”   Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Dr G. “Now, about your sleep.”

I told him my troubles and our collaborative dance began.

“I want something I can take every night, if needed, like Ambien.”

Dr. G.  “I don’t like it, as it can cause rebound insomnia after about 2 weeks.  Have you ever taken mirtazapine (Remeron)?”

“Yes.  But, a don’t want an antidepressant that also makes you sleepy.”

Dr. G. -flipping through his iphone menu -” OK, how about hydroxyzine? Ever take that?”

“Yes, for allergies.”

Dr. G.  – already writing on his Rx pad- “Let’s try this.”

**Well, alright.  I should at least try it.  After all, he was really good about the jury duty thingy.**

So, I will try hydroxyzine  100 to 200mg at night.   I should probably keep a sleep journal, because after a few sleepless nights I can’t remember details.

At the end, I asked him what my diagnosis was.

“Major depressive disorder.”

Me:  “What about bipolar 2?”.

“I don’t think you’re bipolar.  Why, did someone say you were?”

Me:  “The shrink at Hopkins last year.”   (I wonder now if calling pdocs “shrinks” is offensive.)

When I took my paperwork to the front desk, I copied down the 2 DSM codes he had written on it.  One was for MDD blah, blah. The other turned out to be “cocaine abuse, moderate”.    It’s CANNABIS abuse, moderate, you knob.  Fuck, now I have to fix this.

I also, at the urging of a friend, kept my internal med. apt . Next stop – a GI consult and probable endoscopy.  Yeah.

Doc

Two things i’d like to be able to do

“The finest day that I ever had was when I learned to cry on command.”  K. Cobain

One:  cry on command

1.  For those times when I want to cry, feel like crying, should cry, but can’t – problem solved. Just turn on the tears and be done with it.

2.  Possibly I would use it if I got pulled over by a cop.  Especially if I’m trying to get somewhere on time.  Might not change anything, but worth a try.

3.  I may be wrong, but if I can turn them on at will, perhaps the opposite will be true.  Switch on, switch off.  Sometimes it just isn’t the right time to be crying.

4.  Can’t say I wouldn’t use this talent to garner a little sympathy once in a while. But only in desperate situations.  I actually prefer to be left the fuck alone most of the time.

5  If I had a job selling something sad.  Not bad, just sad.

Two:  throwing up on command – by which I mean by thoughts alone

1.  I don’t really like to puke, but let’s face it – throwing up my lunch could get me out of a troubling situation.  Excused without delay.

2.  I’ve been known to “overindulge occasionally” in anything covered with dark chocolate or peanut M&M’s. Perhaps it would slow my march towards diabetes.

3.  To express my disgust in a spectacular and memorable way.

Once I’ve mastered these 2 skills I’d like to try my hand at levitation, teleportation, and bioluminescence.

Doc

Bat shit crazy

I’ve always liked this expression.  Not really sure what bat shit looks like, smells like, or feels like in your hand.  So, I googled it and …it means “certifiably nuts”  +/or  “a combined state of mental agitation and physical volatility, which can be chronic or temporary”.  Also something about bats in a belfry.   Got it.

This week in therapy I was asked to explain last weeks’ “struggle”.   I hemmed and hawed and I think I finally bored him into moving on to something else.  But really, I can’t explain it, these things just happen.

I did tell him about my sister texting me a picture of a snake found in the horse barn and her asking me (the expert) if it was a copperhead.  Well, the picture was small on my very old cell phone screen and I didn’t want to mistakenly condemn a nonvenomous snake to a rapid head chopping off, but it really did look like a copperhead,  So, I said “yes, hell yes”.  If I could have seen the snake in person I would have looked closely for the heat sensing pits and been able to see it’s head shape and skin markings more clearly.  Does a condemned snake have any recourse?   No.  My brother-in-law killed it and took the body into work for a buddy who wanted the skin,  So, no chance to check it out and see if my declaration of certainty was valid.

I’ve been having these niggling, nagging thoughts circulating that I was, in fact, wrong and I think as a result, every tree branch that has fallen into my yard looks like a snake.  Yesterday, when I picked up the trash can to take to the dump ( see, I do shit around here), there was a little brown snake hiding underneath along with 2 slugs.  I had to touch it with my finger to prove it was there and alive.  Now, I don’t know where it’s gotten off to.

The other interesting thing I saw the other day was a bird  whose front half was a blackbird and the back half was a blue jay.  It was in the company of a blackbird, who I assume was his mom.  I did not know these 2 could interbreed.  I’m hoping they come back soon for another peanut and I can study him more closely.

When I told my T about this finding I could see him resisting the urge to tilt his head and narrow his eyes at me, but he didn’t do it.  In fact, when I told him I “didn’t want to do this anymore” , he remained silent and expression-less.  Sometimes, I really can’t figure him out.

My mood has been a bit bouncy of late,  Meaning – I go from singing and dancing to a rockin’ song to tears over nothing and back again.  Better than all tears.

So, am I bat shit crazy or psychotic?  No, I don’t think so.  My theory about the term “psychosis” is that it’s not about what is real or not real.  It’s a matter of perception.  What you perceive, what I perceive.  It’s about ability.  The non-psychotic are non-abled.

So, out to the carport to sit in the hot and humid for a cigarette and to shoo those snakes back into their hidey holes.

Doc

Bad poetry

I used to love her

A simple soul, finding a smile watching the squirrels fight over the biggest peanut

Funny to herself and anyone she let in

Careful and caring

OK…..impulsive but clever

Capable of everything

Wanting to help, smart enough to know better

Hiding the truth but who cares

Losing the brightest things…standing, unblinking, as they go

“Sorry luv, she was DOA”

I used to love her, but I had to kill her

Doc

ER visit and other crap

I caved and went to the ER on Wednesday afternoon.  Pain 5/10, threw up my morning coffee.  By the time I got there, I was hypertensive (180/102) and tachycardic (120’s), because of the pain.  I had lab work, an abdominal CT, a pelvic ultrasound, IV fluids, and pain meds.

After it was all said and done – we don’t know what is causing me pain, but we do know what isn’t, which is valuable.  The ER doc said about 25% of the time, he can’t diagnose the cause of acute abdominal pain.

I want to say that the staff were great and they really helped me.  When the ER doc first came into my room, he said “Hi, I’m David.  I see you used to be a nurse.”

*Yeah, I’m an ex-nurse.*

“I don’t think you ever stop being a nurse.”

Over the years, I’ve discovered that care is/seems better after they find out you are in the medical field/family.  It’s a shame, really, because everyone deserves this kind of care.

When David came in to say he was discharging me and I thanked him for his help, he stood up, got out his wallet and fished out a business card.  As he was writing something on the back, I asked him if he was giving me a magic spell.  He looked at me funny then showed me a coin trick.  He told me he had used this trick earlier with an oppositional/defiant teen to connect with and reassure her and get her to cooperate with her workup.  “I guess that was a magic spell”, he smiled. What he really wrote on his card was his cell phone number, in case I had any questions or needed help with follow up -really sweet of him.

Today, my belly pain is much better, a shadow of it’s former self and I’m supposed to follow up with internal med. and a GYN because of incidental findings.

Yesterday, I saw my T after a 2 week break.  When I told him about going to the ER he screwed up his face as if to say “sorry you had to deal with them”.  I think I surprised him when I said “no, it was really OK.”  I had read 2 very negative patient reviews of the ER on Yelp before I went, and i made a point of going on Yelp the next day and writing my positive review.  Funny, there was an article in the Post yesterday about Yelp and negative reviews and how insurance companies, especially Medicare, use these bad reviews to punish health care systems. Gotta look out for my former brothers and sisters.

the other crap :

My therapy session went OK.  I complained about my ongoing insomnia, my belly (at one point I told D I had to unbutton my pants because my stomach hurt and he looked briefly concerned ( no, I’m not planning to drop my trousers or anything inappropriate – relax.)  We talked about a few more things and I left feeling OK.  But, on the ride home, I felt my mood take a leap off the edge and by the time I got home I was filled with despair and self-loathing.  I had an overwhelming need to cut, bleed, and become a big sticky mess.  Uncharacteristically for me, I texted my T that I was feeling dangerous and seeking suggestions.  He responded with :  “Benadryl and some sleep, hospital admission, or get out and take a walk.”  By the time I got his response I had already self medicated myself into non-action and made it through the night unmarked.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

Doc