Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Where do we go from here?

Hi all! It's been a really rocky couple of weeks but the depression is lifting and I had a bit of a revelation the other day. I'm going to leave that for a post of its own though. Today I want to update everyone on where I am with things.

Let's start with the basic health stuff. I spent 2 phone calls and a total of about 40 minutes on the phone today with my insurance company. I had some questions and eventually, I got some answers. It just took 2 phone calls and 40 minutes..heh.. I'll save you 40 minutes and give you a quick rundown:
Mammogram: 3D mammograms are covered and I now have this scheduled for next week. I'm not excited but it needs to be done so I might as well get it done.

Therapy: I get 20 therapy visits per calendar year and that number resets on January 1st. It doesn't seem like a lot but I guess it does come out to about 2 per month. I'm still on the fence about going to therapy and what type I should pursue but it's good to know that it will be covered if I decide to seek it out. Of course, I did forget to find out if they have a provider listing. That's another call for another day, I guess.

Weight Loss: For the past couple of years, my doctor has wanted to send me to the local hospital to pursue the option of weight loss surgery. More and more lately, I've come to realize that I need some guidance and some accountability. I don't seem to be able to do it on my own. I've beat myself up over this time and time again. People say that I'm strong, etc but I can't seem to do this. Enough. Sometimes we all need help and I shouldn't feel any amount of shame for that. If you're someone who feels the need to shame me or anyone else, feel free to also find the door.

I was given quite a bit of information...my insurance will cover the surgery if I meet the following criteria:

  • Co-morbid BMI of at least 40
  • Having been in a medical weight management program for 6 months and to have lost 10% of my body weight in that 6 months. The program has to have been within the past 2 years.
  • Documentation of having seen a dietary consultant.
  • Documentation of having had a psychosocial evaluation.
The only medical weight management program that they'll cover is Weight Watchers. To get into that, I have to make an appointment with my doctor's office, go in, and have a special form filled out that I also have to sign saying that I'm committing to the program. Then:
  • They'll review the form and if approved will send me a welcome packet that will tell me where and when the meetings are.
  • I have to attend at least 10 meetings in a 12 week session.
  • At the end of the 12 week session, I have to fax in a copy of my progress sheet and the weight loss record.
  • If I've lost at least 5% of my body weight during that time and they approve it, I can then do another 12 week session.
If I go through both 12 week sessions, that will count as the 6 months in a weight management program. At that point, I could go to the hospital program which would cover the other criteria. I don't know that I want to have surgery and I know that it's not an immediate cure all. I'm actually glad that there are hoops that must be jumped through. 

For now, I'm going to enjoy the last few weeks of summer with the boys and continue to work on the little changes like water intake and trying to make sure that I'm in bed and asleep by a certain time. I'm also considering making a medication change. As some of you know, I've been off my anti-depressants for about two years now. I'm very seriously considering going back on them for a set amount of time so that I can determine whether or not they help me. It's a decision that I'm putting a lot of thought into. 

I could keep writing but it's about time for me to get around and take my oldest son to work. If anyone has any information about the current Weight Watchers program, I would love to hear about it. 

Until next time...

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Just Need to Write

I'm horribly emotional today. I never know if that's progress from the numbness or if it's something else. I guess that's the problem with mental disorders, huh? I once considered trying to keep a private journal so maybe I could track things so that when they happened in the future I would know. It never happened though because while I love routine, being "forced" to write just felt wrong to me.

Today though, I just need to write, and I hope that's okay with everyone who might stumble upon this little blog of mine. It's been a rough week and maybe if I get some of it out of my head, I'll feel better. It's worth a shot anyway.

I don't really know where to start though. That's how it goes, right? You make the decision to write and then realize your head and heart are so jumbled up that you can't do more than write about how you don't know what to write.

I guess you could say that this was a very high emotion week. High emotion weeks are really rough when I'm depressed. They drain me more than I'm already drained. On Sunday, I went to pick up my youngest from his father's house. He was supposed to be ready at 7pm. At 7:30pm, he started out of the house just to be called back inside by his stepmother for another 30 minutes. Long story short, she informed my son that she wasn't going to do something she had said she would. I don't know if it was the blatant disregard for my time, the fact that I've already been struggling with what's happening, or what, but I completely lost it. I was livid and if my son hadn't said something, I'd have been inside their house letting them know just how I felt about their "parenting style."  I was angry enough that it scared my oldest. I never lose my cool around them like that.

I'd like to say that the week improved from there, but it didn't. I think losing it like that has opened up a well of emotion that I just don't know how to handle. I'm still avoiding social media for the most part. I skim through my feed now and then but I'm finding that it's hard to emotionally handle some of what I'm seeing. I see another friend post about how they're struggling and the support is overwhelming and while I'm glad she has that, I mourn the fact that I don't. Crystal commented on my last post being sorry that the people that I want to count on aren't available. It's not that. It's that more and more, I feel as if those people don't actually exist. I know that to some extent, that's my fault. It's easier to hide than it is to argue with the depression when it says nobody wants to hear about it. It's easier to say, "I thought you were my friend, but then you stopped paying attention to me and it's not life getting in the way because you always have time for someone else." than it is to say, "Hey, I could use someone to listen." One is defensive and the other is to be vulnerable and when you're sinking being vulnerable is a huge risk. It's all about choices.

I guess that's where I'm at. I need to make choices. Some will be easy and some may break my heart. For a long time, I've had a private FB account that's never had more than 20 friends on it. I created it during a time where I needed a safe place to vent where my "family" wouldn't see. Right now, I think there are 16 people there. These are supposed to be the people that I trust and can turn to at any time. I've come to realize that I'm not sure any of them or many of them are. There's the guy who was my best friend until his wife decided I was going to try to poach him so she insisted he remove me from his life...so he did on the account she knew about but kept the private account. There's the guy who was my best friend and who I trusted with my life but after telling me how glad he was that I was in his life and that he wasn't walking the path of life struggles alone stopped talking to me unless I messaged him first. There's the woman who claimed I was a close friend and promised to help me raise the money for my son's trip by buying something from me but hasn't spoken to me in probably close to a year and who actually "forgot" about her promise but didn't feel bad about how it affected me or my son. There's the guy that I looked up to and who looked out for me until my ex-husband told his wife that he wasn't interested in her and so she decided to hate me so he wasn't allowed to be friends with me anymore. This is just a sampling but it's a pretty solid idea of what's there. I keep thinking that maybe it's time to let go even though it hurts like hell. Maybe it's time to let go of the people who said they'd always be there for me but through their actions have shown that not to be true. Just thinking about it has me in tears again.

There are other decisions to be made..including whether or not I go back onto the anti-depressants. I've been off them for two years now but this time, this episode, is worse than anything I've faced during that time. It's taking me back to before I sought help. My short term memory is being affected, my concentration, and so many other things. With everything else ahead of me that I'm facing, maybe it's time to go back on them.

So many maybes...maybe I should just walk away from social media. I love people and I love being able to see into their worlds, but I'm not a part of their worlds. They're "false friends" -- friends only under the illusion of social media. Maybe I'd be better without the illusion. With everything that's happened at the doctor's recently and in life lately, maybe I'd be better off leaving that all behind. After all, don't they say that those who really care will find a way to be there?


Sunday, July 23, 2017

You haven't noticed, but I'm not okay...

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted here. Life got crazy with the return of the youngest and our schedules changing every week. I finally got that blood work done and saw the nurse practitioner at my doctor's office. My blood sugar is high but hasn't moved in two years. My weight was actually up about 4.5 pounds from when I weighed in at my last depo shot appointment. I have to schedule a mammogram. She suggested that I try to get out and walk for 30 minutes a day and consider going to the weight loss clinic. I have to call my insurance company to see what is and isn't covered...

The bigger problem, for me anyway, comes in the fact that more and more I'm sinking into a depression. It's not always sadness, it's numbness. I go through the day and I don't feel the depression but it's there. I can't make myself do the things that I should.  My little porch garden is half dead because I stopped watering it.  I pull out cookbooks to try to work on a healthier meal plan and they sit there unopened. I haven't posted to Facebook in about 10 days and nobody has noticed. I'm slowly sinking into my own private oblivion and nobody will notice when I'm gone. I'm convinced of that.

Oh don't worry, I'm not going to kill myself. That's not how this kind of depression works for me. I just go invisible. I stop participating in things, which, let's be honest, isn't hard when you live in the middle of nowhere and have no friends within any close distance. It will get to the point where I only leave the couch to go to the bathroom, make bowls of cereal, and sometimes get a drink. I'll just stop living. I'll just exist. This has happened before...

Life goes on, but it will go on without me. On the occasions where I'm forced to go out, I'll be like
the people in the depression commercial with their masks. I'll put on a fake smile and do what it takes to get back into hiding. Nobody will try to draw me out. They haven't even noticed that I'm fading. I'm easy to forget, to turn your back on. I always have been.

Maybe that's just how it's supposed to be. I'm supposed to be there for others but destined to be alone, hiding from the world. The world doesn't need for me to be happy, just to be available for others. Someday I'm going to find my happy place...and I suspect that place will be someplace where I'm all alone. It's easier and easier to walk away from the things and the people that I love because they don't love me back. It's easier to hide, to be alone...

I'm sure that this isn't the post that anyone wants to read. I could have come here and written about my friend Keith who worked hard at his dreams and at being healthy and who is now dying of pancreatic cancer, but even that would have the ugly twist of the fact that I'm jealous of the fact that he's making plans with others for the time he has left but hasn't even liked anything I've commented on his posts. I love him but I'm forgotten to him...and please, before anyone comments that I'm not important because he's dealing with far bigger things...yes, I know. Knowing doesn't change the ugliness in my head. If I could trade my life for his, I would. He's meant for wonderful things and I'm not. I have no purpose and with how thing are, I don't know that I'll ever break free from the cage that is my head.
I don't know what else to say. I had hoped that maybe if I wrote this, if I shared it, that maybe it would help unlock the door, but instead, I just feel even more like hiding, like running, like going away to a place no one can ever find me. The man I love once told me that the world deserves me and that I'm doing it a great disservice by hiding away. That same man hasn't spoken to me in over a month and I don't know why. It all adds up and it's become too much for me to bear. I just need to hide away from here, away from everything...

I don't know when I'm be back or if anyone will even notice me missing, but if you do, do one thing for me...take care of yourself and of each other. Notice when someone's regular habits change, be there, even if it's just to sit quietly while they pour their soul out to you. It's not always about fixing things, but just having someone you can share them with...




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ugh...Allergies!

Ugh. Does anyone know when grass pollen season ends? We've been under a pollen warning for at least 2 months now. It wasn't too bad at first when it was tree pollen but now that grass pollen has been sitting at very high for weeks, I'm at my wit's end.

For those that don't know, I have some nasty allergies and it seems that this year they're worse than ever. Grass pollen is the biggest culprit and it's gotten to that point that I've doubled up my allergy meds and I'm still in tons of pain. Unfortunately for me, when my allergies act up, the left side of my sinuses swell and cause me intense pain in that area, my left eye, my left ear, and the left side of my jaw. It makes getting any accomplished nearly impossible. The only thing that helps it is to "drink" water constantly.

Why the quotes? Because I'm not actually swallowing right away. I hold it in the upper part of the left side of my mouth and almost float my sinuses. It relieves the pressure briefly but let me tell you, getting 64 ounces of water a day has been a breeze! It's insane the amount of water that I drink. I haven't been keeping track but I know it's 64 ounces or more every day.

I've also been really good about taking my medicine, two-thirds of which is allergy related. It helps or at least I'm hoping it's helping! Either way, I'm proud of being on top of those two things. I still need to get into the habit of wearing my fit bit and making sure I make those step goals. Hopefully the grass will stop making grass babies soon and I can get outside more. It's actually gotten so bad that we're ordering masks for me to wear (at least while at home).

So, I'm still here, I'm still slowly plugging away at this and I'm thankful for anyone who stops by and reads this. It's good for all of us to know that we're not alone in this pollen spewing universe.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Things Are Happening!

I love this graphic. It's so peaceful and calming and nothing like my bladder today. You see, I have horrible allergy issues and one of the few things that helps is to take a drink of water and hold it in my mouth on the side of my face that is giving me a hard time. Why does this work? I haven't the slightest idea. It might have something to do with equalizing pressure or some other scientific type thing. All I know is that it works and for the past 18 hours or so, I have ingested a lot of water because of this. In fact, last night it got so bad that I was having to take a drink every five minutes. This led to a few bonus bathroom trips and me being exceptionally tired today.

Still, I know that the water intake is good for me. It will help cleanse my body of junk and will help me have more energy. You know, when it isn't in direct competition with sinus pain keeping me awake. Plus, the more water in me, the less hungry I'll be which can be a very good thing. Though it didn't stop me from eating those reece's cups a bit ago...but let's move on, shall we?

I've been at the library all day trying to get around the desire to nap and instead get some things accomplished. On top of the site work that I did over on Life With Katie, I accomplished drinking 33.8+ ounces of water and going to the bathroom four times. While a bit obnoxious, there's a good side to the bathroom thing too! On Sunday morning I finally found my fitbit charging cable! Now that it's charged and back on my wrist, it's keeping track of all those steps to and from the bathroom.

So far today, I've walked 1,703 steps. It doesn't seem like much but every step counts and with my daily goal being low at 3,000 steps, I'm pretty happy with that number. I'm not a lazy person but I'm absolutely not a very active person either. By finding my FitBit, it's allowing me to visually see where I'm at and its little nudges help me get up and get a few more steps in. I'm sticking with my 3,000 steps a day goal for now but I'm hoping by the end of summer to have doubled that number and to be hitting it regularly.

The same thing goes with my water intake. Today I should hit 64 ounces if I stay on the pace I am now. I'd like to hit that daily. I know some day it will be a challenge, but I also know that if I don't try, I'll never get it.  If I hadn't started taking my medicine, I wouldn't be able to say that I've been nearly perfect at taking it for the past two months. For an entire year before that, I didn't take it. Now, I may miss a day here or there, but I'm taking it. That's awesome.

I have a long ways to go with things. I still need to work on my diet and figuring out some sort of schedule for this summer. Between Roger being gone for another two weeks and then coming back and Ben working five days a week, things have been dodgy. I'm going to keep working on it though and I really love the support y'all give me.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ups and Downs

Betcha thought I'd disappeared again, huh? Nope. I'm still out here. It's been a rough week or so though. It turns out that the reason I felt so awful and exhausted for 6 weeks is because I had mono. Go figure. I haven't the slightest idea where I picked it up from. All I can think of is that someone with it sneezed around me and I inhaled at the wrong time. Then, as if me having it wasn't bad enough, Roger caught it. Poor kid. His last week with it was terrible...throat so raw it was bleeding, exhausted, high fever...and one mom who was trying to be supermom. We got through it and got him off to jazz camp this past weekend, but that and the bat that moved into my house uninvited has worn me out. In fact, after I post this, I'm going to try to call my doctor's office again to reschedule my appointment and then take a nap. I'm no good to anyone when I'm super tired.

Now that I've caught you up, I  bet you could be wondering how the healthy changes are going. Of course, I also bet you know that when moms are being supermoms that they let their own things slip. I'm happy to say that it only happened a bit and as of this morning, I'm back on track with my medicine, watering my little garden, and eating breakfast. Small things, but important things. Plus, Ben and I have decided to spend 15-20 minutes each day tackling something in the house that needs to get done. I'm excited about the progress we're going to make by doing that. It's our goal to get to a point where the owner's husband can come put the rest of the ceiling tiles in. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

I guess that's that. Not a whole lot of change, but certainly some getting back on track and getting everyone healthy again. I have to reschedule my doctor's appointment to a time where I can also get Ben to work, but when I go, I'll be stepping on the scale. I don't expect a whole lot of change, but it will be good to know where I'm at. For now though, it's time to make that call and take that nap!


Friday, June 2, 2017

Fresh Starts

Holy cannoli, it's Friday again! I swear each week I say I'm going to write earlier in the week, but the days fly by and here I am at Friday again. It's been crazy around here. The end of the school year tries to kill me every year, I swear. This past week included a baseball game, a concert in a hayfield and all sorts of things that the schools and teachers are cramming in at the last second.  On top of that, this is week 3 of whatever I caught. The youngest caught it from me but he didn't get the cough and it seems to be clearing up for him. I'm better, but I still have a cough sometimes during the day and at night. I'm also just plain exhausted. Combine all of this up and this past week has been a total wash for me getting new steps in place.

I'm still doing really well with my mornings. I've taken to eating 2 oatmeal packets each morning and while they're in the microwave, I go out, grab my watering can, bring it in, fill it up, and go out and water my front porch garden. I bought some more plants last weekend but I've had zero time to get them into pots. I'm hoping against hope to somehow find some time to do that over the weekend. Maybe that can happen Sunday evening. Saturday is baseball, followed by the youngest's concert with the MSBOA District 10 All Star Jazz Band. Sunday morning/afternoon will be taken up by him doing dive training and the oldest and I working on exam prep.

Since I'm going to be all over the place and controlling what I eat, etc is going to be incredibly difficult, I've decided to give myself the weekend off and start fresh on Monday. There's no point in me adding in more things this weekend to keep track of when I'm still frantically trying to sort out everyone's schedules and if my ex-husband is going to be available to help if I need it. Stress helps no one.

So, here's where I am...I'm slowly building up a morning routine that so far is really working for me. I'm still trying to get in 3 meals a day. Come Monday, I'm going back to tracking food and working on keeping within 100 calories of what the My Fitness Pal app says I should be eating. I also think I'm going to change my weight loss goal within the app to something like 2 pounds a week instead of just 1. Time is ticking down quickly for my doctor's appointment so I'm also contemplating the conversation that I want to have with her. I want her to partner with me, not bully me.

Oh! I also got really brave and posted about my concerns in a fitness group that I'm part of. The people who commented were really encouraging and I might have one or two new fitness buddies to help me on this journey soon. I guess we'll see on that!

Until next week, this is one tired me who just wants to survive the last week of school signing out...

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