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'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

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?