Monday, December 27, 2010

wishful drinking.....oops I mean thinking, did I say drinking? My bad!

I know I haven't posted about my Christmas yet but my funky awful mood that I am currently in precludes that.

I feel crappy. And anxious. And....listless? Fat? Bored? I dont know.

I want a drink really really bad. I have already gone through the house and checked all the baking extracts and mouthwash. No luck. And no, I haven't even considered the hand sanitizer. The thought gives me the shivvvvvvers.

To be clear, I AM NOT AN ALOCOHOLIC (and I'm not in denial). My therapist agrees with me on this one. She believes I was misdiagnosed and mislabled and victimized by a DHS social worker on a power trip. I tend to agree.

But.....

My husband is vehemently anti-alcohol. Plus, I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm an alcoholic. My first clue was 3 years ago when he committed me to alcohol treatment. Said treatment lasted a whole 5 days because, as I said, I am not an alcoholic. We pretty much ran out of alcohol-related issues for me to address (duh I drank a total of 5 times in a two month period) so they discharged me to outpatient.

Ok, ok, so it wasn't really the frequency of my drinking that concerned people. I think it was the dumb-assed choices I made while drinking. And I guess my choices of alcohol werent exactly normal. Hand sanitizer, Bath and Body Works body spray, and vanilla extract aren't your typical cocktail hour choices. Ok maybe I did have some issues. But they were mostly my religious and social guilt about drinking, so I couldn't just pour myself a glass of wine and have a drink like a normal person. Chugging a bottle of vanilla extract in my apartment parking lot feels pretty dysfunctional. But I was desperate, experiencing untreated Xanax withdrawal, just trying to get rid of "that feeling".

Which brings me back to tonight. I'm having "that feeling" again. The one I would do nearly anything to get rid of. Yes, I would love a drink right now.

But the think is, my therapist and I have talked about scenarios in which I could imagine myself drinking appropriately. They include: dinner with friends (except not if my husband is there because he would be uncomfortable), dinner with family (well maybe not), and......I guess that's it. But drinking due to stress or to treat mental illness is definately not on the list. Nor is drinking in my house or around my husband. Sigh.

Geez I would really love to be wasted right now. But I guess that's not in the cards for tonight. I just freaking hate feeling like this!!!!!!!!

Help?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas and goodnight!

Christmas is over. It was good. I am exhausted. Will do a better update soon.

XOLisa

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And the beat goes on....

I saw my psychiatrist on friday and may I just say again that he is awesome!!!! I am so glad to have found him. It has been about 10 year since I had a psychdoc that I felt really cared about me, really listened, and to whom I wasn't just a number or a 15 minute time slot to check off. We talked about my anxiety and depression, and he increased my Lexapro and buspar. We talked about my little slip with googling "night sweats". He said he wanted to talk to Dr. Sean (my primary care doc who used to prescribe my psych meds) and see if he would be willing to see me for a monthly appointment, just to discuss my health concerns and symptoms and reassure me. He said that that seems to really help patients with health anxiety and cuts down on visits to urgent care or the ER. I guess that would be ok, except that I would feel kind of dumb. And I also worry that if something "real" was wrong with me, Dr. Sean would just chalk it up to my anxiety.

Oh, and when my psychdoc was talking about setting up this plan for monthly appointments with my doctor, he kept referring to it as my "monthly visit". Ewww. Every time he said "monthly visit" I kept cringing internally. I was nearly ready to say "ok I'll do it but please call it something else" but I chickened out and just let it go.

When the appointment was over and I was leaving I was at the end of the hallway and almost to the corner when the doctor came out of his office and chased after me. "Oh Lisa", he said, beckoning to me. I turned around and he said quietly "Stay off the 'net!". Too funny.


I haven't been feeling too well lately, which has been causing more health anxiety. I am super bloated and feel really full all the time and have no appetite. Even food smells are making me feel sick. It kind of reminds me of being pregnant (but I am NOT pregnant). Of course this would be a good time for the ED to get back in control but even when I dont feel like it I make myself eat. Which is not fun, and usually ends up making me feel worse. Oh well, what are ya gonna do...

Well, there is not alot else going on. Here are a few pictures.....

This one is something Annie made. I think it is a paper hand taped over her real hand. She was feeling either really creative or really bored.

Here is Annie on Santa's lap.

Here is Emma dressed up in a funky outfit for a school party. You cant really tell in this picture, but I put red hair gel in her hair.


I love these girls. They keep me going.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

gingerbread house, and a few words about fudge

finally got to upload pictures of our gingerbread house. So, without further ado...






Yes, yes, I know. It's lovely.



Ok, so I made fudge for the first time this year. the other day I made white chocolate peppermint fudge, and today I made plain and rocky road. I finally get why fudge has such a bad rap. I looked at this recipie and was like "ok, there are 2 bags of chocolate chips, and a can of marshmallow fluff. So why does it need FOUR CUPS of sugar again?". Wow.

It's good stuff, though. And I really firmly believe that there is no "bad" food. I actually have not been eating too many of the sweets. All the dental work I have been getting done has made my mouth super sensitive.

Well thats about it

I'm really trying

Christmas is usually my favorite time of year. Even last year, when I was in a depression that was so bad I was considering having ECT (shock treatment) again, Christmas was the highlight of my year. It gave me a much needed reprieve, weeks of happiness and excitement and "warm fuzzy" feelings. Its like a magical time when my anxiety and depression doesn't exist and all is right with the world.

Not this year, though. I keep waiting, but so far I'm just not feeling it. Usually I am so excited about Christmas, anticipating it, but also hoping it doesn't come too soon. Savoring every moment of the season. This year it is feeling like just one more thing I have to get through. All the seasonal activities that I usually enjoy now feel like chores. Usually by this time I have baked dozens of varieties of cookies and candies. This year, not so much. I have done a little baking, but it has been like everything else in my life these days; I have had to psych myself up for it and talk myself through it.

Maybe my standards are too high. I need to stop comparing this year to Christmas in the past, and appreciate it for what it is.

I am trying really hard though. I mean, I haven't just been laying around saying "poor me, I'm so depressed". I know even if I'm not into it, the girls still need a Christmas. We have driven around and looked at Christmas lights. We made our popcorn string for the tree, gingerbread men, and a gingerbread house. We do the advent calender every night. The house is decorated, and most of the time I have Christmas music playing.

I know I whine alot on this blog, but I really am not trying to let anxiety and depression take over my everyday life. I'm doing my best to push through and do the things I need to do to be a good wife and mom. I guess I'm just dissappointed that the mental illness has cast a cloud over the holiday season, which is usually a happy time for me.

On a side note, our gingerbread house this year was our best one yet. I tried to upload some pictures but blogger was being weird. I will try again later.

XOLisa

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

look, another anxiety post!

I don't think that I mentioned this, but after I saw my new Psych doc and he put me on Lexapro my anxiety really improved. I went about 2 weeks without any health-related anxiety (ok I should start calling it hypochondriasis. That's what the doc said it was, but technically he didn't diagnose me with it, because it is secondary to my generalised anxiety disorder/ocd, or some crap like that). I did have that anxiety with the mag citrate, but that was more like anxiety about anxiety, and when I actually drank the stuff I did ok. And there was a similar incident at the dentist 2 weeks ago over some novacaine. But other than that I have been doing ok.
Until.......

This past week the hypochondriasis is returning. It was triggered by several nights of having night sweats (ewww, gross). I started having this feeling of dread because I know that night sweats are a sign of cancer. I resisted googling it until two days ago, when I finally broke down and got on Web MD, where I learned that night sweats are a symptom of non-hodgkins lymphoma. So I was reading the other symptoms and one of them was abdominal pain/feeling of fullness, and I started to panic, because I totally have that. So then I started thinking I had NH lymphoma. But I was able to calm myself down by reading the other symptoms, which I dont have. But last night I started feeling nauseated for no reason, which made me think brain tumor....and the beat goes on......

I am feeling ok today (except my tooth hurts, the filling the dentist put in last week is "high". Its ok I'll just have him adjust it when I go back next week for my THIRD round of dental work in a month). But the "cloud" is back. Fearing the next wave of anxiety is like living under a cloud. I never know when the next attack will happen and so even when I feel normal I don't trust it. I so back to see Dr. S next week and I can share all this with him and hopefull he will increase the Lexapro and It will work.

Sigh how I really miss Xanax sometimes. I know I overused it and it was a bad thing for me and ultimately made my anxiety worse and getting off it was hell. But some days (LOTS of days) I think "I really just want to take a pill to make this all go away for a few hours. Just a few hours of respite. that's all I ask".

Gosh I have lots more thoughts, about my eating disorder recovery and my kids and Christmas ect. But this post is already kind of long. Maybe I should post more often.

XOLisa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

big huge update with picures and everything

So I was sitting down the other day to write a post about my Thanksgiving and stuff and my computer crapped out. I guess it had some gnarly virus. I just got it back from Geek Squad today ($160). Awesome.
So anyways, here is an update on my life. I guess I will start with Thanksgiving. This was my first Thanksgiving in years that I not only didn't have any eating disorder behaviors, but it wasn't even a struggle. There have been a few Thanksgivings that I didn't purge, but I always got really upset and anxious about the food. Not this year though. I ate, well, normally. It was really nice to just eat and visit and not be off in ED lala land in my head.
I still get uncomfortable about some things, though. I feel weird if I have to go to the bathroom shortly after eating because I wonder if people think I am purging. But I have decided that people can think what they want. I gotta pee, you know?

Speak of bathroom matters, I ran into a bit of a bind last week (bind haha). I didn't take my miralax regularly while I was out of town, and that combined with all the food cause me some problems. I ended up in the urgent care last night feeling really sick and after examining me and poking on my tummy the doctor concluded that I was really constipated. She told me to go drink a bottle of magnisium citrate to get cleaned out. I nearly broke into tears. The thought of taking the mag citrate terrified me. With my hypochondriasis, I know that drinking a bottle of that stuff could result in cramping, weakness, shakiness, ect, which in turn might make me panic and think I was in heart failure/having a stroke/bleeding internally/whatever. I was worried I would be up all night freaking out, or worse, in the ER feeling irritating the doctors and feeling stupid. I just didnt want to go through all that. The doctor told me that mag citrate was totally safe. I mean, they give it to children, the elderly, people with all kinds of medical problems. And I know she wouldnt tell me to take it if it could hurt me. Doctors dont want to get sued, right? I just feel so tired of this.
SO I went to the pharmacy, where I interrigated the pharmacist for about a half hour (fortunately she wasn't busy). I didnt even try to act normal. I asked her "what if I have an intestinal blockage? Would this stuff kill me then? NO I dont have a blockage but what if I did and didn't know it? What if I were bleeding internally? Well, could this CAUSE me to bleed internally?" and so on and so forth. I pretty much covered all my bases.
In the end I came home and drank the stuff and spent all night crapping my guts out and didn't panic and nothing bad happened. So all of that was over nothing. Just think of what I could accomplish if I didn't make up all this trouble for myself. Geez....

Anyways, with everything cleared out, my stomach looked pretty flat this morning. It was scary how much I liked that feeling. The feeling of my body clearing out, my stomach flat and empty. It only lasted for a few minutes, though. Then I was like "hey, wake up, kid! How do you think your intestines got so messed up anyways?". Seriously, I haven't abused laxatives in nearly ten years, and my body still hasnt recovered. No way am I going to start down that road again.

Oh, and when I finally did get to sleep last night, Annie woke up with the croup. I hate the croup. It sounds like your child can't breathe. It's scary. I took her to the doctor today and he gave her a shot of steroids to help open up her airways. SO I am praying tonight goes ok.

There is STILL no snow here! Boo! But I put up my Christmas stuff and am trying to get in the spirit. See below, a sideways photo of my tree....
And here are the stockings. We don't have a mantle to hang them on but the bookcase works.
This picture didn't turn out that great but I put together this garland with lights and (fake) cranberries and it is really pretty.
Oh and our table centerpiece. Believe it or not, I went from Hobby Lobby to salvation army to Target to Walmart back to Hobby Lobby to figure this thing out. My three criteria were: it had to be cheap, it had to match our decor, and it had to incorperate fruit. SO, the cloth thingy is a placemat from Walmart ($2), the dish was $7 at Walmart, ant the picks were about $1.75 total. Plus the fresh fruit. I think it worked out well.

See, how could I ever have a job or go to school? It would leave me no time to drive all over town obsessing over fruity centerpieces.
Here is a lovely picture of my husband cutting the cheese.


Annie, helping my mom cook.


Awww crap, I posted the fuzzy one.....
Here is a dance party I had with the girls a few Sundays ago, a result of Sunday afternoon boredom. We got dressed up in our funkiest stuff (yes, I am wearing Victoria's Secret lingerie over a tanktop) and busted a move. I decided what we need is a rotating color-light disco ball, so I am getting the girls one for Christmas.
I introduced them to the "GO" soundtrack, well, parts off it. It made me feel kind of old.
Emma, fast asleep.... ....and little Annie bug.

And here they are playing covered wagon with their bunk beds.


This is my blog! If you want to read it, you have to see pictures of my kids!
Just kidding......kind of.....
Sorry I have sucked at commenting (out of town, broke computer). I will try to get back on track.
XOLisa








Tuesday, November 23, 2010

doing better

hmm I guess it's time for an update. The really really good news first.............................................................................................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................................................
....I have a psychiatrist!!!!! And he's NICE! And he listens!! And he didn't just tell me to go excercise!!!

I had my first appointment with him last Friday. We talked for a long time, mostly about my anxiety. He thinks I should be on an SSRI (Pristiq is an SNRI), so he asked me to go back on Lexapro. I started to cry, because I was scared. Remember, a few months ago Dr. Sean had me go on Lexapro and I thought I had seratonin syndrome from taking too many meds together? I just started worrying that this would happen again. I told the new doctor this and he talked with me about seratonin syndrome and how rare it is and how even the meds I am on would not cause it. He said if I started to worry or feel weird I could call his nurse, and he introduced me to her before I left so she would know who I was. So anyways, I have been taking the Lexapro since friday and already I feel better. I feel hopeful. BTW my new dr's name is Steenblock but I will just call him Dr. S.

I have dental work looming this afternoon. Last night I had two nightmares about it. Well, a nightmare within a nightmare. Like in the movie inception. I dream like that alot. Like, I will have a dream, and "wake up" into another dream. It's funky. Anyways, I am really dreading my dental appointment. I hope this new dentist is nice. I hope I dont have a panic attack and end up bawling my eyes out in front of everyone. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Ed-wise things are ok. A few weeks ago I was feeling really great about my recovery and was even going to write a huge post about it, full of hope and insight and wisdom blah blah blah. Then I ran into a rough patch with my anxiety and for some reason it triggered alot of ED thoughts. Not behaviors, just thoughts about restricting and losing weight. And it made me wonder, am I really as recovered as I thought I was? I guess the fact that I didnt do any restricting or purging says something. But it seems that sometimes when I am struggling with other things in my life, the ED thoughts pop up like an old security blanket. Just when I thought they were gone, there they are. I guess that's probably normal though. I mean, it was my way of coping for years. I still feel good about where I am in my recovery, but some of the "rah rah go fight win" has been sucked out of me. And that's ok. I'll get it back.

XOLisa

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

remedial

I haven't really felt like posting lately, mostly because things have been kind of falling apart here. I continue to have health-related anxiety. There was a day last week that I was convinced that I had a brain tumor and was quite upset about it. Before that it was liver disease. But even on the days when I'm not freaking out about my health I have a kind of dread, a feelinglike it's not going to last. I spend all my "sane time" waiting for the other shoe to drop. It sucks.

I'm just having a hard time with things in general. I'm exhausted and stressed and the littlest things are causing me to burst into tears. I feel like I am losing control of my life. I am afraid to face my responsibilities. I just want to hide all day in my room with the internet or tv.

My husband told me the other day that he is afraid I am going to be in the hospital soon (YES PLEASE TAKE ME AWAY!). I tried to reassure him. The only way I would go into the hospital is if I felt like I was in danger of hurting myself. I don't feel like hurting myself right now. What I am dealing with is extreme anxiety. If there was some treatment or medicine that I thought the hospital could provide that would help then I would go there. But there isn't, so there would be really no point for me to be hospitalised right now. It would just be a waste of time. Does that make sense? I mean, as awful as my little "freak-outs" and "melt-downs" are, they are not dangerous

EXCEPT........

the toll it takes on my family. the black cloud that settles on the house when I am having a bad day. the worry in my girls' faces when they see mommy cry.
I have to get it together.

My therapist said I might benefit from remedial services. That is when someone visits with you in your home and help you with problem solving and stress management and managing your life. It's kind of like a combination of psychology and occupational therapy. I think I am going to give it a try. I know that I have an anxiey disorder, but I'm sure there are ways I can structure my day and manage things to minimize the stressors in my life that worsen my condition. Even something as simple as putting things back where they belong so I'm not running around the house crying and yelling "where is my white cami it was just right here it's gone where is it". Something as simple as that could make a big difference helping me cope with parts of my day that are particularly stressful (ie getting dressed). Duh. Seems simple enough. I'm 32 years old, I should know how to "be a grownup". But really, I spent the first half of my adulthood in and out of hospitals, care facilities, and homeless shelters. The crash course in adulthood that I got when I became a mom and got married seemed to do the trick for awhile, but the girls are getting older and my husband is now in school fulltime and things are changing and I just feel like I am in over my head. I need help.

So I found a remedial specialist I feel good about (except he's a guy, which makes me a bit uncomfortable about meeting in my home. my sense of propriety and all). His name is Kim, (Kim is also my therapist's name, confusing) and he knows my therapist. He's not with any of those agencies that contract heavily with DHS. I had a bad experience with one of those (strengths-based, my ass!).

I will be a few weeks before we are set up. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

this could be a very long week....

So Annie is off school all this week due to conferences, and Emma only has school tue and wed. Already they are driving me crazy! Don't get me wrong, I love my girls, but lately they are FIGHTING constantly and I am seriously fed up! Today I have introduced a new consequence: fining them 2 sillybands apiece when they fight. We'll see how it works. But really, by 9:30 this morning I was ready to lock myself in my room....

We did go on a hike to a sandbar today which was fun. They didn't fight the whole time, which was great. It seems like they only fight when we are hanging around the house. Maybe they are bored. But sometimes I just need to get things done around the house, you know? I wish they could just play together nicely. I think part of it is the age difference. I think it would also help if they didn't have to share a room. But alas, we cannot afford a bigger place. So I guess we will all just have to deal.

I have been thinking alot about my eating disorder recovery lately (as a few of you might have noticed from some rather lengthy comments on your blogs). When I get up the energy I will post about it. So stay tuned for that.

XOLisa

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

happy birthday to me!

Hola! Today is indeed the day of my birth. Well, it is the day commemorating my birth. Whatever.
My day started with a doctor's appointment, during which I cried while Dr. S. reassured me that I am NOT in congestive heart failure. He said that my symptoms are most likely due to what he politely referred to as "de-conditioning". Hahaha. Believe me, I have never been so happy to be told I was out of shape in my life! Acually, this was a pretty good start to my day, because now I can stop worrying that I am dying, at least until I come up with another symptom to google ;).

We really celebrated my birthday yesterday. When my mom could come to visit and Chris had most of the day off school. Chris and I went to vote together. He was in the voting booth next to me and I whispered loudly "hey, I'll give you five bucks if you vote republican" and he whispered back that I could get arrested. I have a really inappropriate sense of humor sometimes. Anyways' then we went to this cute little tea house and had tea and truffles. Then the girls came home from school and my mom came and we has dinner and opened presents. My mom took this picture of us.....

here is the sweet chocolate pecan pie Chris made for me. Didn't he do an awesome job?


These are my super comfy new footie pajamas I got for my birthday! I LOVE THEM! I might just wear them 24/7.

And here they are again. I think Baby likes them too. He was nibbling on them a bit. There to the left of me you can see the box for my most awesome and shiny new Kitchenaid that I got from my honey! It's red and gorgeous and will change my life I'm sure!

I got some other cool presents and Chris sent me flowers and the sun is shiining today so all in all it had been a pretty nice birthday. I think when Emma gets home from school I am going to take the girls hiking to this really cool sand/rock bar I discovered on the edge of town. I am also toying with the idea of making a pumpkin pie from scratch. Like, having the girls help me scrape out a pumpking and roasting it and pureeing the flesh and making a pie. I think that would be fun for them to see a pumpkin go from whole pumpkin to pumpkin pie. Maybe not. I could be totally out of touch with what kids think is fun. But I think it would be fun, and it's MY birthday!
Love you all!!!!!
P.S. sorry I have sucked at posting and commenting lately. I have been having a rough time. I have been reading blogs, I just can't always think what to say. Love you guys.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

mentally ill and not lovin it

Well, hmmm, what's new........................

My anxiety has been sky high, and my body image is in the crapper. I have had more urges to restrict and/or purge than I have had for awhile but so far I have not given in. I was attempting a med change (from Pristiq to Lexapro) but my mental health deteriorated to quickly that I called Dr. S and he said it was ok to go back on the Pristiq so I did and now I am feeling a bit better. I mean, I thought the Pristiq wasn't working, but once I was off it, HOLY CRAP! Crying in public, panic attacks, yelling at my kids....it's been quite the potpourri of loveliness. I just can't have that right now. I mean, it's going to be the holiday season soon, plus my husband has a HUGE workload at school so I am like a single mom most of the time. Not a good time to be falling apart.

I hate being mentally ill. It just sucks so bad to feel like you have no control over your emotions. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know myself. Like, I cant trust myself. It's hard to make plans because I'm never sure what I will be up to doing in the future. Having to coach myself through simple things like taking a shower or going grocery shopping. I feel frustrated alot because I know there is so much more to me. I have so many talents and gifts that just aren't being used or developed because I spend all my time trying to keep my most basic functions online. It's like Maslow's heirarchy of needs. How am I ever supposed to evolve when I am still stuck on "safety, security" and stuff like that?

I don't even know if I am making sense right now. I'm just frustrated right now I guess. Sometimes I see myself through other people's eyes. Like, I have had som much therapy, treatment, medications, even shock treatment. Why am I not doing better?

I get the feeling that people from my "real " life (not you guys) think that I could be better if I wanted to be, that I like being sick, ect. This pisses me off more than anything, and it hurts. Nobody has a choice whether or not to be mentally ill. And I think that I DO make good choices when it comes to the things I can control. I eat and try to take care of my body. I participate in therapy. I take my meds. I ask for help/support when I need it. I try to help support others. I do everything I can to manage my illness to the best of my ability. It pisses me off whe people criticize me for being sick, when I am working so hard NOT to be sick.

Ok I better go because I dont want this to become an angry rant.....

thanks for listening
XOLisa

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ok so maybe I do have a sense of humor

I went to see a documentary about mental illness last night. At one point in the film, one of the people being featured said "mental illness is the only disease you can get yelled at for having".

I turned to my friend and whispered "what about herpes!?".

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

just a short update

I am ok. This weekend I was dealing with family/marital issues which sucked. But we got through it.


I took Emma on a mother/daughter overnight camp on Friday and we had SO MUCH FUN! I will do a post on that, with pictures, hopefully soon.


I have been really struggling with the health anxiety lately. Monday night I was up late, convinced I had a brain tumor and/or some heart problem that I cant remember how to spell. I was crying and scared and at times I felt like I was really losing it. My poor husband stayed up late with me until I finally calmed down and could sleep. He is being more understanding about this lately. I think he realizes now that it really is "real" in my head and has been more sympathetic.


My body image is in the crapper right now. When I am depressed I lose my appetite, and when I am anxious I tend to overeat. So guess which one is going on right now? Fortunately I don't have a scale, but all my clothes are tight. Even my skin feels tight. And it doesn't help that it is the week before my period. Oh well. I'm sure I will fall into a depression soon and it will all even out. How's that for positive thinking?

Well I will leave you with this lovely photo. If you were driving down south 5th street or Duff avenue last Wed afternoon, you might have seen Annie and I squatting at the edge of this puddle behind the bowling alley, nets in hand, staring at the muddy water, and wondered what the hell we were doing. We were waiting for the frogs to pop back up. I discovered that there were a bunch of frogs living here earlier in the day when I was walking to the bank. And if I see a frog, I just cant leave it alone. It's a sickness or something. So we got our nets and went over there. After about 45 minuted we came home covered with mud, but successful. We got 2 frogs. We just played with them and showed them to our neighbors/landlord/anyone who was outside. That night I was just going to let them go in our back yard, but the girls got upset and worried that they would get eaten by a snake or something. So I drove the frogs (in my pajamas) back home to their puddle and let them go.

Anyways, I had alot of fun catching those frogs because I like to find animals and nature where you wouldn't expect it, like the parking lot behind the bowling alley.

Well thats about it. Have a nice day and thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

............

sad tonight. Very sad. Anxious.

I feel hurt and betrayed and left alone.

Also I am worried that I have a blocked artery/hight chloresterol/congestive heart failure.

How does a day start out so good and then end up like this?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

apple orchard

Well here it is 10:15 in the AM and I am just sitting around in my pajamas eating gumdrops. Not really an epic start to my day. I have been doing pretty ok this week with the health related anxiety, so that is good. But I have been kind of cranky all week. I am tapering off the Pristiq and have been having some gnarly withdrawl going on, but despite this I have actually been getting alot done lately. Monday I took my girls to an orchard to pick apples. I have been making dinner every night. Yesterday I took Annie to the library, took my girls to Reiman Gardens, made a huge batch of meatballs, and did 3 loads of laundry! I don't even recognise myself ;).

I finally got an appointment with the psychiatrist I wanted but it is not until Nov 19th! Grrr...
It's ok though, I still have Dr. Sean in the meantime.

Well thats about it. Here are some pictures from the orchard. Please kindly ignore the fact that I look like an old lady and focus on the cuteness of my girls......

It was like 75 degrees that day; very warm for oct in iowa.
My cuties.....


Most of the apples were too high to reach so we had to use an apple picker.

I couldn't figure out how to get this picture rotated. Anyways, that is an apple cider slushy she is drinking! I have never seen one before, and it was really good! It is 100% apple cider that they just put in a slushy maker.

Annie picking an apple she could reach!
It was a pretty fun time. I made a little apple sauce to go with dinner that night, but I left most of the apples for eating. They were just too good to turn into sauce!
Well that's about it. Have a nice day!!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

oh good.

I blogged last july in a post entitled "well hello there" about my anxiety concerning my physical health. BTW if anyone knows the secret to posting a link to previous posts, let me in on it ok? Anyways, this was a fairly new form for my anxiety to take and it was really stressing me out. Then the flood happened and all that followed that and I guess I was too busy worrying about other things because I really didnt obsess any more about my heath or physical symptoms for awhile. Unfortunately this past week it has started up again, and has been particularly bad over the weekend. And I have to confess that I have been visiting my old friend, Web MD. Bad, Lisa, bad! In the past two days I have diagnosed myself with a bowel obstruction (which may be caused by a cancerous tumor), an aortic dissection, and DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Ok in reality I'm pretty sure I just had indigestion and a sore leg. It even seems a little humorous to me now but seriously when it is happeneing it is not funny! Like for instance when I thought my bowel was obstructed I was thinking I would need emergency surgery and I might not make it through the weekend, and if I did I might have to deal with having bowel cancer. I was grief stricken thinking of having to tell my girls that they would have to grow up without me and sad to know I would not be here to see them graduate or get married. I was scared, I prayed, I resigned myself to death, and then panicked and got scared all over again. It was like going through the stages of death and dying all at once! Its hard to because I go through it all alone. I don't tell my husband that much about it anymore because he just rolls his eyes. I don't blame him; he probably got tired of my worries which to an outsider seem ridiculous. So anyways, I usually just search through online information, which I probably shouldn't do since it always scares me. I did call the Nurseline yesterday, which is something I try not to do, since it gets charted and a report is sent to Dr. Sean. If I called the Nurseline everytime I have a concern he would get all these reports, and then he would probably never take me seriously again. But I AM proud of myself that I didnt go to the ER last night. The Web MD site was telling me that a bowel obstruction was a medical emergency and I had all the symptoms and I REALLY was scared and want to go in, but I just talked to myself and said "Lisa, it's just going to be like all the other times you went in and nothing was wrong with you and the staff was annoyed and you were embarassed.". So I stayed home, I was so stressed out that I ate some pizza and gumdrops that I wasn't even hungry for. Not the best choice if I really had an obstruction. Luckily I discovered this morning that my bowel wasn't obstructed (not going to go into details but I think you all know what I mean!). But then in church I found a sore spot in my leg and I started thinking I had DVT and I started to panic and had a hard time focusing on the sermon. But I made it home ok and my leg feels better now.

Ok, seriously, as long as I am on this earth and have a body I am going to have physical sensations and discomforts. How can I manage if everytime I feel a twinge it sends me on a rollercoaster of fear and despair? Is this the "new thing" now, now that my ED is mostly under control. Let me explain my history briefly: I started therapy at 11-12 years old because I was having horrible panic attacks which mostly centered around me whole-heartedly believing my mother was dead whenever she went somewhere. I would cry, scream, go crazy with grief, sometimes be so upset I would vomit. Then she would come home and I would cling to her and cry, so happy she was alive. This was exhausting for me and my family. My mom never felt like she could go anywhere. I would sit in school all day worrying about if my mom had plans to go anywhere that evening. Prior to her going anywhere, I was in my "logical state" and I knew that the evening would end with her coming home safely. I just dreaded the panic that would take over once she left. And of course, once I was in the middle of it, no logical reasoning, not pointing out past examples, could bring me out of the terror I was in and make me believe she was safe and alive.
So anyway, when I was 13 I had about 6 months where I developed anorexia, and the panic disorder seemed to leave a suddenly as it started. But under the direction of my therapist and psychiatrist, I discontinued the ED behavior (I was still a good little girl). That was when I developed OCD. Checking to make sure everything in the house was unplugged and the stove and furnace were off before I could sleep (and getting up to check again and again). Turning around to go back home to make sure the house wasn't on fire. And one that is kind of funny : I could never sleep with underwear on because I was convinced that somehow the underwear would work its way up around my neck and strangle me as I slept :). Anyways, this went on until I was around 16-17, when I again developed anorexia and then a year later, bulimia. and It has been the ED ever since. A year and a half ago I tackled the anorexia on my own (not in a hospital) and have maintained a healthy weight since then. And the past 6 months have seen a decrease and finally an end to the purging. I still have poor body image, and I have some ed thoughts, but this is the most recovered I have ever been. I'm finally starting to feel normal.

And now this.

Just to clarify, I didn't one day say "oh I think I'll stop the OCD and become anorexic now" or switch between anxiety symptoms on purpose or anything like that. In fact, I didn't even notice in happening until my mid 20's when I realised that durring periods of ED recovery my anxiety was worse. Then I looked back and discovered the pattern.
My personal theory is that I used my ED to control my anxiety without realizing it. For some reason, engaging in ED behaviors had a calming effect on me, and when I was not in my ED I felt anxious and out of control.

It's discouraging to realize that I might always have to deal with my anxiety disorder. Some forms of anxiety I can handle better than others. This "health anxiety" though, its awful. It really, really sucks. It is almost as bad as thinking my mom is dead. I think the worst part is "knowing" my girls will have to lose their mom and thinking about them. I said "knowing" because when I am going through it, it really is that real.

Ok I have gone on long enough. If you have made it this far, congratulations. Actually if you have made it this far, thank you, because it means I am not alone. I'm really not sure what the point of this post was. It just kind of took on a life of its own. I think I meant to ask advice, before I got sidetracked on my history and stuff. I think I went off about my history so you would understand what I meant by "the new thing".

Have any of you ever obsessed about your health to the point where you were convinced you were dying? Was there anything that helped?

XOLisa

Thursday, September 30, 2010

stcuk in the past part 2

Thank you thank you thank you for the supportive comments on my last post! I am feeling a bit better today. I was just getting really overwhelmed with emotions and memories so I just had to cut that post short. There is so much more inside me, but I could probably write all day and never get it out. I thought that writing about it would help me feel better but instead it just drew me back into that mental space that I was trying to escape. I turned off my computer and tried to shake it off, but I couldn't. I felt anxious, scared, like an oppressive black cloud of impending doom was hanging over my head. I kept having to remind myself that everything is ok. "this is the NOW, Lisa, and you are here, safe in your apartment, healthy and strong and free. Everything is ok". Still, I felt shaky. I found myself alternating between getting teary-eyed with a choking feeling in my throat, and a rage that made me want to scream and fight and destroy everything in the room.
My girls got home from school and I tried to tune in to them but I was distracted, still playing the old scenes over and over in my mind. Still stuck in the past. I felt a little desperate, worse than I have felt in awhile (a Xanax would have been very nice). I really, really wished that I could call my therapist and talk to her, but that is not the policy of the group she belongs to. I wanted my husband, but this was a day when he didn't get off school until 6pm. Fortunately, I was able to recognise that I was in danger of being in crisis, I was on my own with the girls until Chris got home, and I needed to do something to distract and fill the hours until then. Then I remembered a day last fall, when I was severly depressed and had just left a difficult therapy session and had to make it through the rest of the afternoon. It was a nice day and I took the girls to Ledges state park, and we ended up having fun. I remember that.
SO that is what I decided to do yesterday. It was actually in the low 80's, a perfect indian summer day. I took Emma and Annie to Ledges and they had so much fun splashing in the water and I just relaxed and listened to the wind and the leaves. I felt happy, calm, and strong. I felt like a survivor, not just of the things I have been through, but a survivor of the memories. It felt really great to know that I could feel on the verge of a crisis, and draw on my strength and resources to deal with it and get through it. I'm not saying I can always do that, but yesterday I did.
A perfect fall day!



The girls in the creek.
This poor snake that we caught and harrassed before we let him go. We caught a few frogs, too.

The girls, walking back up the road to the car. It was a looooong walk. They both slept good last night!

Feeling better! Thank you again so much for the support! It was nice to hear from people who don't usually comment (and of course those of you who do!)!
And was that you, Sylvia???? Do you finally have a blog?????
XOLisa

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

stuck in the past

There is a spot in my brain where I like to keep things that I don't like to think about or remember. I visualise it as sort of a Pandora's box or maybe more like a closet full of junk. You know, a closet so full that if you opened the door you would end up in an avalanche of junk. So you just don't open it.
Once in awhile something happens to remind me of all this crap I try not to think about and then it comes back full force and consumes my mind until I can get it back under control. Some things that we talked about in my NAMI group this monday, and in the writer's group yesterday, unleashed my "treatment baggage". I'm referring to memories of experiences I had as a patient in the UIHC ED program. Treatment which was, ironically, supposed to help me. I was there 6 times, mostly involuntarily, 3 times dragged in in handcuffs by the sherriff. I try so hard not to think about it. The things they said to me. All the little insults, the mind games, the humiliations, hours of boredom alternating with anxiety alternating with anger. Feeling threatened, poweless. Forced to take medications I didn't want, accused of things I didn't do. Doctors and social workers talking about me right in front of me as if I wasn't even there. Having no say, no voice. Having to play their game, never winning no matter what I did.
Example: the last (LAST!) time I was there, in 07, I was on weight gain and for some reason, just a few pounds short of my target weight, I stopped gaining. The doctor couldn't figure out why, so he was convinced that it must be something I was doing. Never mind that I was well inside what would be a normal weight range for my height. Never mind that I was soaking my sheets in sweat every night from being in a hypermetabolic state. So the Team called me into the interview room and told me that they knew I was doing "something" and wanted me to confess, because they were going to catch me anyway. I told them the truth, that I wasn't doing anything wrong, no purging, because I wanted to gain the weight just as badly as they wanted me to (because I wanted the hell out of there). I even asked them to give me more food (I was already on a 3500 cal plan)! I wanted to prove to them that I could do it. But they said no, because "a calorie increase won't make any difference until you stop what ever behavior you are doing to keep from gaining weight". I broke down crying, frustrated, angry. Angry at them for not believing me, angry at my stupid body for not gaining weight. Helpless.
Then they said "we would like to put you back on 24 hour observation. This will be an opportunity for you to prove that you are telling the truth.". I said "fine", because I had nothing to hide, although I was sad to have lost the priviledges I had earned. Sitting in the tiny dayroom all day sucks. Having to find someone to take you to the bathroom and watch you pee sucks. But whatever. At least I could prove my innocence.
But when I got to the dayroom, I realised I was screwed. I still needed and wanted to gain weight so I could go home. But if my body got over this "metabolic hump" now, after I was put on obsevation, it would incriminate me. To the team, it would confirm their suspicion that I was purging when I was off observation. I was in a catch 22 situation. I felt angry, helpless, sad, and scared. I even felt guilty, not because I was doing anything wrong, but because I knew they thought I was a liar, dishonest, manipulative.
They started having lab draw my amylase levels daily, to look for signs of purging. My amylase continued to be normal. But shortly after being put on observation I started to gain weight. They never brought it up again, but I knew what they thought. One day after I was transferred to partial I got into an argument with a nurse there, and she threw out a comment about how I was purging in inpatient. I was furious and set her straight but she said "I 'm only going off of what is in your chart".
After I got home, my therapist showed me portions of my chart that were sent to him. It said "when confronted, patient denied purging or other compensatory behaviors. Cognitive techniques were applied without success" and then blah blah blah reccommend 24 hour observation blah blah blah, with a few blurbs thrown in about how the nurses are sure I'm purging in the shower but no one has caught me at it. It was just so infuriating to hear all the things they wrote about me, and wondering what it is about me that comes off as so awful or sneaky or manipulative that they couldn't just believe me?

This is just one incident of many. I remember the first meal, the first time I was there at age 19. I ran out of time so they put me out in the hall with my tray, where I could either finish it or sit there with it until I did. I remember crying silently, overwhelmed, facing more food that I had eaten in a long time, wishing someone would come put their arm around me and help me through it. And Dr. A coming down the hall, followed by a handfull of residents and med students. Dr A, head of the program, who is supposed to be a national expert on eating disorders.
Someone who could help. He came to a stop with his entourage, looked down at me, and said "what is this, 19 going on 2?". I felt humiliated and wanted to disappear into a puddle right there. That was how I met Dr. A. This man, who was in a position where he could have done so much good, has caused me so much damage by his treatment of me over the years. The very last conversation I ever had with him he looked me in the eye and told me that he was convinced I didn't love my girls. I was shocked, sickened, I opened my mouth to protest and he cut me off by saying "no, no, nothing you say can make me believe otherwise. No amount of fancy verbal footwork can convince me.". Well, what do you day to that. I stayed silent, vowing to never speak to him again. I would never allow him to hurt me again, because I would never come to his program again, not even if I were dying. And I havent.
I have to quit now. I will do a part 2 on this post later. I feel like I need to breathe.

Friday, September 24, 2010

new furniture, same old insurance bs

Hmm, I figured it was time for another post. Just not sure what to say.

We are all moved back to our new apartment and I must say it is FABULOUS! Everything is new, the carpets, the kitchen, the furniture. Our new mattress is so freaking comfortable, which is kind of a bad thing, because it just makes it harder to get out of bed in the morning. For the first couple of days it felt kind of weird, but now it feels like home I guess.
It started to rain last saturday and rained every day until today. Yesterday I was watching the puddles increase in size and felt very stressed out, worrying about flooding. I just dont think I have it in me to do all this again, so soon. But today it is dry and the sun is shining, so it ok.

Chris told me the other day that he was suprised by how I have handled this whole flood thing. He thinks I even handled it better than he did! It was nice to have someone notice my herculean effort not to have a total nervous breakdown. I'm not used to being complimented on my inner strength!

I'm not taking Lexapro anymore because I started having symptoms of seratonin syndrome. I think what I want to do is get off the Pristiq and then start taking Lexapro again. I see Dr Sean next week so hopefully he will be ok with that. I still like Dr Sean, but I am starting to think maybe I need to see an actual psychiatrist. Maybe I will try again to find one. I dont know...

I went to a legislative forum on mental health the other night. There were candidates and incumbants there (county supervisors, senators, representatives) and they were asked questions and each got a chance to respond. Most of the questions were about county funding for mental health programs. Alot of the answers seemed rehearsed, or like political bs, just bashing the other party. So that was kind of lame. But what interested me was one senator talking about the mental health parity law that was passed and he mentioned that substance abuse and EATING DISORDERS were excluded! Mental health parity means that insurance companies would be required to pay the same amount for mental health treatments as they would for other illnesses like cancer or diabetes. I couldnt believe that eating disorders would be excluded from this, since they are the most deadly or all psychiatric disorders! So after the forum I approached the senator and asked him why ED's were excluded and he said basically it was the pressure from insurance companies. I dont know how it all works whan you are tying to pass a law, but from what he said it sounded like they were just trying to get the law through and they had to make some comprimises to get it passed and this was one of them. It just makes me so mad, that insurance companies can influence lawmakers like that! So messed up....
Anyways the senator started asking me about myself (probably because he wanted me to think he cares so I would vote for him, duh) and I told him a little about my story and about the lack of ED treatment in Iowa and he seemed really suprised that there were no programs around here. I told him about how Covenant had one but it closed, and Lutheran had one but it closed. I told him about how its not only hard to find good care, but also to get insurance to pay for it. I told him that usually you have to get so sick that you need to be admitted on a medical basis, and then once you are stable insurance stops covering, so you get discharged before you are ready, and the cycle starts over. When someone with an ED is denied good treatment, the result is usually multiple ER visits and acute psych or med admissions. In the long run, it can be even more expensive than the treatment center would be! When will insurance companies wake up and see this!
Ok I am done whining about that. Actually it is 10:30 in the am, which means I should probably make a move to get out of my jammies and start my day ;)

Love you all!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

look another post!

I'm feeling pretty good right now. Dr. Sean added Lexapro to my Pristiq-buspar-trazodone combo, and it has really helped with my mood. I have always liked Lexapro but my problem with it is that it stops working after awhile and the dose has to be raised and eventually I cant raise it anymore. The last time I was on it I got up to 60mgs (I think the highest FDA approved dose is 40mgs) and I got seratonin syndrome and started twitching. So that was no good.

I booked a party for Emma's 9th birthday at one of those paint-your-own-pottery places and I am hoping that all of the girls we invited will come, because it was mucho expensive and I have to pay for each spot, whether they show up or not. So keep your fingers crossed for us!

We might get to move back to our apartment this weekend. More on that later.

So here is something I am really excited about. I have been going to NAMI meetings and really like it. I am hoping to get more involved and then take the Peer Support training to become a Peer Support Specialist. Some of them even get paid! See, I have always said that even though I dont have a degree in psychology or social work my life experiences should count for something! I really want to be an advocate and a support for people because especially in this part of the country it seems like there are not alot of services to empower people with mental illness and it is easy to find yourself in a situation where you have no rights and noone is looking out for YOU! One thing I heard someone talk about at the last NAMI meeting I was at is "Nothing About Me, Without ME" which basically means that wherever possible, the "patient" should be included is meetings between doctors/case workers/ect. I really liked that. I mean seriously, if you were a cancer patient, your doctor wouldn't walk in and say "well I discussed treatment X with the nurse and had the social worker call your insurance to approve it and we are going to start it today (whether you like it or not). But stuff like this happens all the time to psychiatric patients in all sorts of settings.

Another awesome thing going on is I have started going to a NAMI writer's group led by two ISU grad students. It is like a real writer's class and I really like it! I am hoping it will get me out of the writer's block I have going on. For years I have wanted to write a book. I just feel a book in me. I finally put pencil to paper this summer and wrote what I thought was a very good first chapter, but since then I haven't been able to write anything. So we'll see where it goes.

Well that is about it.


P.S. Annie is watching me type this and she said "It looks borring. No kids stuff.".

Sunday, September 12, 2010

FEMA, furniture, ED, and stuff

Grrr I am at my inlaws and their internet is appallingly slow. I have nearly given up on posting but I guess since the page finally loaded I will give it a shot....

We still are not back home (my apartment flooded last month) but hopefully at the end of this week we can start moving some things in. On the bright side, we got a huge FEMA check! For those of you who aren't familiar with FEMA, it is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It helps people out who have been affected by disasters and thigs like that. Anyways, I got to go furniture shopping in a real live furniture store (not Wal-Mart, Garage sale, or thrift shop) and get new furniture, which is something I have never done before. I think up until now, all of my furniture has been used, or cheap, like the kind you have to assemble at home. And there is nothing wrong with that. I am a thrifty person and I think if I can find something that is cheap and looks nice, why not? But one of the FEMA rules is that you HAVE to spend the money on replacing your stuff (like, you cant go to Disney with it or spend it on lipo *sigh*), and they gave us alot of money. So there it is. I guess there are some upsides to what has happened. There was a list of "luxury items" we were not allowed to spend the money on and I was amused to see that VCR's were on it. VCR? Really, FEMA? I dont think a VCR was considered a luxury item since 1990....

I am still doing pretty good with the eating disorder. I realised that I only purged one time this whole summer! That is, like, really good. I went out for pizza at Old Chicago last night with some family and was just fine. Pizza was always a big problem for me. It was one of those foods I only ate when I was bingeing, or else not at all. The concept of just eating a slice or two of pizza and not having a total nervous breakdown over it used to be so foriegn to me. I'm just amazed to be doing so well after all those years of struggle. It kind of blows my mind.

To be honest, sometimes I feel conflicted about recovery. I read about people who aren't doing so well and are in the hospital and I feel bad for them but I also sometimes miss being in the hospital (well, certain ones anyway). Like, someone is always there to listen to you and you get taken care of and you dont have to worry about normal day to day responsibilities. Sometimes I miss the days when all my decisions boiled down to "well, will I eat today or not?". I miss people worrying about me, and asking if I am ok. I feel like the healthier I get, the more people back away. Like "look at how good Lisa is doing, she can handle things on her own now". I want a big effing shirt that says "I May Look Healthy, But I'm Not Ok!". I still hurt. I'm still overwhelmed. I still struggle with depression and anxiety, prehaps even more so now that I dont use my ED to cope.

But I don't think relapse is the answer for me. Even though sometimes the ED "looks good", I'm sure my thinking is along those lines of the grass always being greener on the other side. As those of you who are struggling can tell, eating disorders are hell.
I think I just need to be more vocal. I need to let people know when I need help. How will people know I am not ok unless I say something? I used to rely on my eating disorder to "say it" for me. It's time for me to speak up.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

not really an update

still here, under alot of stress, possibly losing my mind......

I just want to go home....might be three more weeks (its been two weeks and 5 days already)...

can't get in to see my therapist until Sept 14th.....

spent a gob of money staying at a hotel and going to Adventureland amusement park this weekend (but we needed the distraction)....

still eating well and not purging.....

the girls have been acting up (due to stress) and I don't have the patience....

do you think I can spend FEMA money on an eyelift?

did I mention I am losing my mind..........

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm really sorry I've been so bad about commenting the past few days. Things are just so crazy here. I have pretty much only been able to check blogs once a day and then I just scan to see how everyone is doing but dont have time to comment, which I hate. But I AM thinking about you all. I know some of you are struggling, some of you are in the hospital, some are just hanging on at home. There are a few of you that I am terribly worried about and praying for, and if you are wondering if I mean you than I probably do! And I am cheering for those of you who are kicking butt also! There are so many things I want to say to each and every one of you and I hope soon I will get the chance. Mostly I want to thank you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support!

I may be quit on here for a little while because I have so much flood recovery work to do. Even when I get a few free moments, I really need to spend them with my girls, because they are having a hard time and need all the love and attention I can give them. But I will still check in on blogs and hopefully will be back writing and commenting soon!

XOXO Lisa

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hello Hello!

Wow, I'm touched by all your comments! Thank you all so much, it really means alot to know that so many of you care!

I don't have time for a long post but I wanted to quickly share my good news. First: my car is fine! The guys at the auto repair shop put it up on one of those lift thingys before the flood came, so it was high and dry! Yay! Fortunately the repair that it needed was not major so it can wait. I have my car back!
Also, the water went down and I got to get back in our apartment and was amazed by what I saw. Sometime in the night tues after we had evacuated but before the flood hit, our landlords came into our apartment and put everything they could up on counters and beds and tables. They took the books off the shelves and put them up. they saved our cd's, movies, electronics. They pulled drawers out of dressers and put them on our bed. NEARLY ALL OF THE GIRLS TOYS WERE SAFELY ON THE TOP BUNK! I think this is what hit me the hardest. On Wed night as the girls went to bed they were asking me about specific toys and if they were flooded, and I sadly told them that they most likely were, because I knew all that stuff was on the floor in the closet. But yesterday I saw every special thing they asked about: Emma's stuffed horse she got for Christmas, Annies hopscotch she got for her birthday, the school bags and supplies. I guess this meant the most to me because I can handle losing my things, but it was breaking my heart to to see the sad faces on my children. I am filled with overwhelming grattitude for Jim and Lisa, our landlords, for everything they did. I don't even know how to begin to thank them.
And I feel guilty, too, because this is stuff that we could have and should have done before we left. But I didn't do it because I was so stressed out when we left and just focused on essential, and Chris didn't do it because he didnt even think it would flood, and he was mad that I was waking up the kids and making us go to a hotel at 11 oclock at night in the rain (and yes, I have refrained from saying "I told you so"). But really, we should have been the ones putting everything up, but we didnt. But I am so glad that they did.
So we have lost our furniture and some other things, but we have alot more than I thought we did. Now I have the massive task of sorting through a truckload of things and washing things and storing them. This trailor full of our stuff that Chris and his friends got out of our apartment yesterday looks like something from the show "hoarders" and I feel a bit overwhelmed. But I know I will get through it bit by bit and I'm sure I will have help. We are staying with some really nice friends from Chris' church who have just been great and they said we can stay as long as we need to.
Wow this turned out to be a long post. I hope you could follow it. I really just wanted to thank you for the support and say that we are doing "Ok".

XO Lisa

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

today is not my favorite day....

Ames (city I live in) has flooded and their is several feet of nasty brown water in our apartment. Also, my lovely car is at the shop, which is flooded. So I am assuming it is toast. So we are stuck with Chris's piece of crap car and a few clothes in a suitcase.

I don't know how long it will be before we can go back to live there. Fortunately we have some friends we are staying with and the animals are ok and I was able to get the girls some clothes from the goodwill. But our suck-ass renters insurance doesnt cover flooding so I'm not sure about what we are going to do about the rest of it.

We just went back to school shopping and packed all the things into my girls' backpacks yesterday. I keep thinking about those school supplies. I can't remember where I put them; if the backpacks are hanging up or not. But then I realized, where will we even be living when school starts next week? How am I going to slove all these problems? One at a time, I guess.

We have alot of support from Chris' church, and I know we will be ok. It just might be hairy for a bit.

Thank you so much Zena (the struggle within) for your kind words. It really means alot that you are thinking of me even with all you are going through.

I have to go but I will post later.

Friday, August 6, 2010

life grinds on...

I have been pretty bad at posting lately...guess I just haven't had much to say. I have been going through some worse-than-usual depression and anxiety and have just sort of been holding everything together. My motivation for recovery is pretty low right now, and it seems like everything hurts, but I keep soldiering on.

I have been feeling a bit lonely and isolated lately. I love everyone here in the blogging community, and the support I have recieved here has been wonderful. But sometimes I just want to pick up the phone and talk to someone. So the other day I went to a NAMI meeting, which is something I have been meaning to do for a long time. It was ok I guess. It just felt really good to be around people who understand me and I can be myself around. I think I will go back.

I am glad Cammy and I Hate To Weight are posting again...I missed you guys!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

summer evening

We have these bugs in the midwest called cicadas (maybe some people call them locusts). In the late afternoon/early evening this time of year they start buzzing in the trees. Loudly. It's a noise that gets loud then quiet then loud then quit, kind of like a police siren. I hate this noise. It is something I associate with hot summer nights, the sun going down, and tensions rising.
Growing up, evening was a dangerous time in my house. My dad drank most of the day, and by evening he would usually be really drunk, and my mom would be really mad. Either that, or he would be out with his friends, having been due back hours ago, and my mom would be pacing around the house, getting madder and madder, waiting for him to come home. Either way, a fight was brewing. As a kid, I might not know exactly what the fight was about, but I could feel it coming, like a summer storm.
My parents had horrible fights. They screamed and yelled at eachother, the most awful, hurtful things. Listening from my bedroom upstairs I couldnt always here exactly what they were saying, but I could hear the yelling, and it scared the crap out of me. It sounded like they were going to kill eachother. They didn't hit eachother, but I'm pretty sure they threw things around, because there would be crashes that shook our whole house and left me terrified, straining to hear voices again so I would at least know everyone was still alive. It was even so bad one time that the neighbors came over to make sure everyone was ok. My parents were embarassed and stopped fighting, for that evening. I wished the neighbors would come by every night.
One night durring a really bad fight, there was a loud crash that made my brother and sister and I jump out of bed a run to the top of the stairs. All three of us burst out crying when we saw my dad pinning my mom down on the floor next to a large chair that had been overturned. Mom and Dad immediately got up and came and put us back to bed, telling us how sorry they were and assuring us that everything would be alright. Every night after that, when they put us in bed, we would say "Good night, don't fight!". It was like a magic charm that we desperately needed to work. It did, for a little while.
As a child, I lived with a particular burden. It was the feeling that I was "responsible". Not that I was the reason for the fighting. More like, I had to watch out, because for some reason I felt I had to monitor the fights to make sure no one got hurt. When I was supposed to be in bed I would creep to the top of the stairs to listen. As awful as it was to hear the yelling and harsh words I had to listen, had to sit up there and hear the entire fight, when I should have been in bed with my covers pulled up over my head to block it out. Because if I wasn't listening, if I wasn't there to make sure they didn't go to far, then anything might happen. So I sat up there, night after night, insides twisting to knots, waiting for it to end. Sometimes the fight would end with the door slamming hard and my dad leaving, then silence, and I would wonder, did he kill her? So I would have to go check, I would creep downstairs to find my mother, crying in the dark.

I'm not writing about this to say "look, see what a crappy childhood I had". Cause I know alot of people had it alot worse. That's not my point at all. Mostly, its just been on my mind alot. I think its why I get more anxious in the evening. I feel lost and scared, like something bad is going to happen. Have you ever felt nostalgic, but not in a good way? That's the way I feel when I hear the cicadas.

I'm glad Chris and I don't yell at eachother. We don't even really fight. We argue sometimes, but we don't raise our voices or call eachother names. We just...disagree.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

well hello there

Hmm I haven't blogged in like a week, which is kind of a long time for me. I guess there hasn't been alot going on. Well, actually there has been alot going on, but I just don't know what to say about it or express it.

It seem like when I was struggling more with eating disorder symptoms, it was easier to blog about it. Like, asking for help/suggestions to stop purging, or bemoaning recent weight gain or loss. I feel like all my struggles now are internal and it's harder to get them out on paper (or computer screen).

Mostly, I am worrying alot. I worry about my health. Some days I am sure I have bladder cancer, or an autoimmune disease, or my heart is failing. I am nervous to have my regular appointment with Dr. Sean this friday because he will see in my chart that I have recently been to one of his partners in the clinic, also the urgent care, and the ER. All with a diagnosis of: nothing. And I will feel stupid.

I know there is something wrong with me, though. I know it! I'm tired all the time. I wake up every night drenched in sweat. I have a constant earache/sore throat. I have periods of time nearly every day where my heart beats irregularly for like 15-20 mins.

But it's hard to sort out the physical symptoms from the psychological ones. Am I dizzy because I'm having a panic attack or a heart attack? Is my heart really skipping beats, or is my mind playing tricks on me?

I have restricted myself for the time being from looking up medical stuff on the web, which has helped a bit.

Crap, I'm tired now. I meant to blog a bit about some other stuff but maybe I'll do that later.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Funnel cake is the DEVIL

I am so sick. Soooooooo sick.

Never, not ever, will I eat funnel cake again. EVER.

I was wrong, Bananas. So wrong. Funnel cake will not make you happy. Funnel cake will steal all your happiness and leave you curled up in agony, begging for death (or at least some Gas-X).

Funnel cake is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

Friday, July 16, 2010

me and my awesomeness....

Let's examine the evidence, shall we?


1. Yesterday I lost my balance and tripped, nearly falling flat on my face. I stuck my hands out in front of me just in time to stop my face from hitting the floor, and jammed my right arm pretty bad. It hurt for the rest of the day. What awesome feat on balance and coordination was I attempting when this occured, you ask? I was putting on my underwear. Oh yeah.

2. I got these "Smooth Away" pads that are supposed to buff away unwanted hair. So I was going to town on my upper lip, and I must say I got it pretty smooth and hairless, but within ten minutes it was bright red and burning. I woke up the next morning with a nasty scap across my upper lip that lasted a few days. I was at the doctor yesterday and she asked me "so what are you doing for that cold sore?" and I had to explain to her that it was a self-inflicted wound, the result of grooming gone awry. Good times.

3. I decided to be a little bit naughty and leave Chris a seductive "heavy breathing" message on his phone yesterday while he was at school. He called me about an hour later, sounding worried, and asked me if I had heard from his parents, because he got a strange message from them. For some reason his phone told him the message was from them. Totally not my fault. But I had to explain that it was just me trying to be sexy, and by then the effect was lost. Oh well, I tried.

sigh

Sunday, July 11, 2010

buspar

Anyone out there ever take Buspar? I started taking it (again) two months ago and I think it is making me gain weight. The thing is, it's not supposed to cause weight gain or have side effects of any sort, really.
I want to stop taking it, to see if that is what is causing the weight gain. It isn't really helping my anxiety anyways. But I don't want to my doctor to think I am non-compliant.

Crap, I don't know what to do. Only just a month ago I was feeling like I was too thin. Now I feel like Jabba the Hut. Can't i ever be "just right"?

Tell me what you think about the buspar...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"does this hemoglobin make my butt look big?"

I discovered that my ED is not really dead. The thoughts are still there, lurking.

Yesterday I had my hemoglobin checked, because I have been feeling weak and anemic. I usually am slightly anemic, but I wanted to find out if it had gotten worse. So I was suprised when the nurse told me it was a 12, which is within normal range. Following the suprise, I immediately felt...disappointed? Embarassed?

Fat?

Yes, ridiculous as it sounds, having a normal hemoglobin level made me feel fat. You know how anorexics commonly confuse "healthy" with "fat"? For example:

Well-meaning person: "Gee, Lisa, you are looking so healthy!"
Me: "your MOM's healthy."

Ok no I wouldn't really say that. But you get what I mean. To someone with an ED, "healthy" isn't always a compliment.

I have the same thing with my blood pressure. I have hereditary low blood pressure, and combine that with the ED my blood pressure was like crazy low. In a sick way I guess I felt a little proud of it and whenever I was in the hospital I wouls always listen as everyone was getting their bp's taken to make sure mine was the lowest, or at least in the bottom three. I know, right? Whatever gets you through the day, I guess. Inevitably as I would start to restore weight and get hydrated my bp would rise and I would fall into a bit of a funk as I realized that I wasn't "sick" anymore. Without an acute illness to define myself by, I didn't feel special or important.

I still feel that way a little bit sometimes. But I have to tell myself that what makes me special and important is not the ability to starve myself, or throw up my food. I am special because I am human, an individual, someone with many talents and abilities. I have the ability to grow, change, love, and be loved. I am important to many people, but especially my girls, to then I am the whole world.

Why did I , at such a young age, buy into the belief that my worth could be measured by weights or numbers or lab reults? Why did I cling to it for so long?

So yes, I still do have the thoughts. They pop in and out. But I don't act on them anymore. Mostly I just ignore them. Sometimes I ponder them.

And sometimes, they make me laugh.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

update I guess

First of all, I have to say that blogger is being a turd. I have new blogs that I want to add to my blogroll, and I cant seem to figure out how to do that. I was looking for "customize" but it seems to have disappeared, or been replaced by something new that I haven't figured out yet. So if you have any tips, let me know.

Ok, now to whine on about my health. The costochondritis is still hurting like mad. I was taking naproxin around the clock, but it has stopped helping , so today I am experimenting on going without. I worry about the prescription NSAIDS combined with the Pristiq (they both can cause internal bleeds). My pharmacist said its ok for the short term, but I still worry.
I also have been having bouts of weakness/extreme fatigue, shaking, sweats, and nausea. Also I have been having night sweats, which is kind of gross. I have know idea what is going on here, but it is really freaking me out. I didn't go to church today because I was afraid I would be too weak to drive back. I am wondering if maybe I am more anemic than usual? We grilled hamburgers for dinner last night, and I am cooking a roast for tonight. Thank goodness things are going well with eating- who knows how I would handle all this if I was restricting or purging!

I just want to feel good, dammit! All the years of not taking care of myself and feeling weak and crappy....now I'm eating and still feel like crap! Grrr.

It has been raining here all day and I am secretly relieved that fireworks may be cancelled, because I don't like to be out late. I am such an old lady! I got Annie all dressed up in her raincoat and boots and we went out for a walk in the rain a little bit ago. She was very cute! Emma is at her dad's but she will be home tonight. I really want to feel better because I want to take the girls camping again! We had so much fun! I am sick of hearing myself say "not right now, mommy doesn't feel well...".

My therapist is still out....and I didn't get that appointment I mentioned after all...so I still don't see her until the 12th. Fortunately my depression has been ok. My biggest mental health concern right now is the anxiety over what is going on with me physically.

I had a dream last night that I was in ED treatment. I have those once in awhile. I think it was brought on by me worrying about people I know who are struggling. Whether it is someone I know from "real life" or online, I care deeply about everyone I have met who struggles with eating disorders because I feel like we share a common bond. I wish so much that there was something I could say to someone that could help them, or give them hope. I try to think of what helped me, but I can't pinpoint it to any one thing. I still don't know why some people get well and some people don't. There were certainly many years when I thought I never would. I still don't consider myself completely recovered, alot of the thought are still there, but symptoms-wise I seem to have kicked it. But even doing as well as I am, I still believe I could relapse. I still feel it in me.

I don't know, I guess I am rambling now. I just hope everyone has a nice 4th and keep on fighting, whatever your battle is, because you are worth it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

camping

Finall, I have the energy for another post! Can you believe I am still recovering from the camping trip? Seriously, I am getting so old...
Here's the girls on their floaties. We swam for hours (well, they did anyway)!
Emma is my Sneaky Sea Monster!
Here they are roasting marshmallows....

Here is my perfect s'more!

Here is this dumbass turtle we caught. Actually, I caught it several times. I kept letting it go and it kept coming back for more!
We also caught two crawdads, ten toads, and dozens of minnows. Harassing the wildlife was the main form of entertainment (other than swimming). We also caught fireflys and kept them in a bugcatcher in our tent at night but they wouldn't light up, lazy things!


We had a beautiful moon!

The girls, waiting for mom to get up.

And this is me on the last morning. Scarier than anything you'll find in those woods!

p.s. blogger's being stupid so if you want to leave a comment you have to scroll way down.
















































hello

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I love costochondritis

I think I have whined a little bit in a previous post about my chest pain that I have been having for a few weeks. At first I thought it was heartburn, so I have been taking prilosec, but the pain has only been getting worse. The past week it has been constant. I have just been biding my time until my doctors appointment next week, worrying about what could be causing such pain in my chest. I have imagined esophageal cancer, lung cancer, some kind of heart condition, ect.. I have been heavy hearted, thinking about my kids growing up without a mom, wondering why I have wasted so much of my life focused on food and weight, and not experiencing life and valuing my family more.
So anyways, I took the girls on an impromptu camping trip on wed. it was lots of fun (I will write a post about it and include pics) but it seemed like the exertion made the pain worse. On the way home yesterday I was in so much pain that I thought I was going to be sick. I was really scared, thinking I was having some sort of medical emergency. When we got home I had Chris drive me to the dr's.. I felt really bad for the girls, they were so tired from camping and just wanted to rest, but they had to come hang out in the waiting room while I was examined, had a chest x ray and ekg. I was so scared.
The Dr. came in and told me that my heart and lungs were fine. He is diagnosed me with costochondritis, which is an inflamation of the cartilage around the ribs and sternum. It is very painful but NOT dangerous and usually resolves itself in a couple of weeks. He said it is most common in women 20-40 for some reason and usually has no known cause, but sometimes is brought on by chest trauma. Rest helps, and exertion makes it worse (gee, 3 days of camping, hauling gear, doing everything myself since Chris couldn't come, no wonder I was in so much pain yeasterday!). So I am going to take it easy and take the naproxin the dr gave me, which has already started to help.

So back to the title of the post: I love costochondritis because it means that I don't have all of the terrible things I was imagining, I don't have to start planning my funeral, I WILL LIVE! But this whole thing has made me think about how no one is guaranteed one more day on this planet, and we need to hold our loved ones close and make every second count! How many years did I spend making myself sick on purpose? It's just sad.

I think maybe the last part of my eating disorder died last week. As I thought back over my life this week, my biggest regret was the time I spent in the eating disorder. I know that some day I WILL be facing death (although hopefully not for a long time) and I want to be happy with the way I lived my life.
I still have body image issues. I still struggle with depression and anxiety. But I will find a way to manage without the ED.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

squirrel junk

Yesterday a squirrel climbed up the screen on our sliding back door. I think he was after the birdfeeder on the balcony above. He didn't seem to be bothered that Chris and Annie and I were all right there watching him.
I commented on how funny the squirrel was and Chris said "yeah, you can see his junk!". And Annie was like "what junk?" and I said "nothing, nothing" and gave Chris the evil eye. Chris was right, though. You cant tell from these pictures, but this squirrel had some huge, um, nuts.
After that I just kind of wanted him to go away and quit pressing his big hairy business up against my window.And yes, those are Easter eggs on the window. Annie made them herself and I can't throw them out yet.
ANYWAYS.......
Fast forward a few hours. We are driving to my family reunion and my aunt who is in town from Washington is sitting in the back seat next to Annie. We were chatting and I told her about the squirrel climbing up the screen and Annie said (loudly and with enthusiasm) "YEAH AND WE SAW HIS JUNK!!!!!
It. Was. Awesome.