Totally Twisted

Ever since Thanksgiving ended, I’ve been dealing with an ever-increasing amount of anxiety.

And even just thinking about it now, is causing the anxiety to re-double onto itself, heartrate elevated, hands periodically shaking, and my brain… oh, my poor brain.

I’m already one of those people who tends to over-think and over-analyze everything.  I spend so much time, worrying about the future, concerned about the present, my brain just twists itself into Gordian knots.

gordian-knot-mark-sellersLooks a bit like a brain, yeah?

I haven’t been able to even leave my house all weekend, knowing that there are things I should be doing, but I just – can’t.

And it hurts.

Few people understand just how debilitating General Anxiety Disorder can be.  It’s a “hidden” mental disorder, because it’s mostly internal.  The person suffering from it has a tendency to tuck it away, to not want others to see it, because that makes them appear “weak” or “incapable”.  If only they could just “get over it and stop worrying”, everything will be fine.  Geez, have a little faith, be more optimistic, wouldja?

But, it’s not that simple.

The Mayo Clinic, as well as many other reputable health sites, define GAD as:

“Generalized anxiety disorder has symptoms that are similar to panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other types of anxiety, but they’re all different conditions.

Living with generalized anxiety disorder can be a long-term challenge. In many cases, it occurs along with other anxiety or mood disorders. In most cases, generalized anxiety disorder improves with medications or talk therapy (psychotherapy). Making lifestyle changes, learning coping skills and using relaxation techniques also can help.”

And I am taking anti-anxiety meds, which do help considerably.  I’ve been trying to make healthier choices in my life, both in food, exercise, drinking more water, and working on cutting down on caffeine.  My doctor has been impressed with the changes I’ve made since I started seeing her, but we both know there are more changes to be made, so we’re working on the “plan”.  So, even though the medication and the change in lifestyle aren’t total fixes, I’m trying.  I’m really trying.  I don’t want this to be something that takes over my life.

But, this weekend… it’s locked me in place.

The uncomfortable “talk” I had with my dad pretty much threw me off the edge I’d been balancing on, and I’m struggling to pull myself back up and out of it.

I’m working on it, but please, be patient with me.

It’s not as easy as you think to cut through that totally twisted knot.

Anxiety mental health symbol isolated on white. Mental disorder icon design

 

In the Deep Dark

I’m having trouble sleeping again.

Even though it’s the weekend, and I know I don’t have to get up early… I’d still like to get a decent amount of sleep at night, and I’m not getting it.

Thanksgiving was – mostly – a good day.  We went to my parents’ house, and everyone ate too much, as is required.  And we had a lot of good talks.  EldestDaughter’s boyfriend came with her & the Toddler Tornado this year, and it was nice.  He’s very respectful, and fits in with the rest of us “black sheep”.  The Nephew drove down with OnlySon and myself, and he’s always good with the family.  And… YoungerDaughter drove down from college, I’ve missed the kid, she’s such a happy little light all the time.

It was very relaxed, eating, then talking, taking it easy.

Until it wasn’t.

Isn’t that always the way?

Everything’s going well, until someone makes a statement that shows they’ve got an axe to grind.

And then it’s all “passive aggressive guilt games” and “Let’s all eat our feelings”.

I don’t want to get into specifics.  Let’s just say that Thanksgiving is never going to be my favorite holiday.

Ever.

And next year, I might just schedule a vacation somewhere warm and sandy – with plenty of adult beverages.

So, ever since the angst rode home with me in my truck, I’ve been sitting in the deep dark of the night… awake…unable to sleep until I can barely keep my eyes open.  And then, when I dream… I’m awakened periodically throughout the hours with uncomfortable and fractured dreams.

I just wish I could understand – but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

And, I’m back to working things out for myself.

I knew there was a reason I hated asking anyone for help.

But it won’t happen again.

Anxious Ankle

So, I finally got a call back from orthopedics regarding my ankle…

I’m now sitting in the waiting room- waiting to find out what my next step will have to be. I’m fairly sure there will be more xrays, & they’ll tell me that they want to see me again at some future point.  Isn’t that always the way it works with specialists?

I – almost don’t want to know what they’re going to tell me.

I don’t want to hear the word “surgery”.

My anxiety has skyrocketed through the roof, as I sit here, over thinking all the scenarios that could play out when I finally get face to face with the doc.

So, I’m going to cross my fingers/eyes/toes, and wish on every star I see, that the answer will be simple.

“Just gnaw it off. Simple.”

image

UPDATE- NO SURGERY! Just call me “Gimpy” for the next few weeks, as I’ll be rockin’ the boot for a while yet, but I can now dump the crutches when I don’t need them, & the doc told me I can go down to an ankle brace in about 3-4 weeks, or as soon as I feel I can use it without too much pain. YES!

I’ll be back on my treadmill before the end of the year. I might be slower than a turtle in molasses, but I’m bound & determined I’ll do it.

Probably a good thing I didn’t go ahead and gnaw off the foot, then.

Late Night

In the still darkness of the night
In the small hours I sit
Unable to sleep
Thinking
Wondering
Pondering on
Wishing I could close my eyes
And rest
Peaceful
Quiet
Relaxed
But the silence is so loud
It rings in my head
A muffled bell that tolls
Reverberating
Shaking thoughts loose
The echo lingers
And clings though I yawn
Eyes heavy, I struggle
Stop
Be still
Be calm
Sleep.
Please.

Luck of the Irish

OnlySon broke his arm a few weeks ago.

While out walking our dog, Jack, he decided to run across a busy street to try to beat a motorcycle that was headed his way, slipped on some gravel, and slammed his left forearm into a curb, snapping the radius, and also causing a small “greenstick” break in the ulna. 

In other words, thoroughly messing up his left arm for the summer.

He’s been in a cast now for the last few weeks, and today is our last x-ray to decide whether or not the doctor wants him to have surgery to straighten it out, or let it heal, slightly crooked.  The doc assured me that when a child breaks a bone like this, often times they will heal better if they just let it grow back together at a small bent angle, than to do major surgery and try to correct something that won’t make much difference in the end.

But.

OnlySon and I went in for his x-ray appointment last week, and the doc wasn’t entirely happy with the way the films looked. 

Crap.

So, today, we find out whether OnlySon has to go under the knife, and ends up with his whole summer bound up in plaster.

Luckily, OnlySon is part Irish, on his father’s side.  He’s a lucky kid most of the time, as witnessed by the fact that whenever I take him out somewhere – grocery store, restaurants, parks, etc… he finds money on the floor.  No kidding.  He found a $20 bill on the ground once at a park here in town.  Just randomly laying on the ground.  The kid’s got it, whatever it is.

So here’s hoping the Luck o’ the Irish is with him, and me, today. 

Official update:  NO SURGERY REQUIRED!!  Found out yesterday afternoon that OnlySon is a mutant self-healer lucky-charmed kid, and is healing faster than the doctor expected. 

In 2 weeks, we go back, they’ll take the current cast off, and x-ray again.  If everything looks good then… OnlySon can finally have his summer!

Fiddly Little Bits

My brain’s spinning at about 98 RPM right now.

I have a list a mile long of things that still have to get done for graduation, and only a couple of them crossed off.

I lost my mind on my children last night.  There is a list of someof the things that need to be accomplished before the end of the week up near the kitchen.  Just some of the things, mind you.  And I told the children about the list, and that I needed help getting them done.

I didn’t put the list up there for my benefit.  I know what needs to be done, and have been carrying lists around with me for a couple of weeks now.

The list was for them. 

And they knew it.

Yet, last night, when I got home from work, both of my girls were sitting on their butts.  Doing nothing.

List un-accomplished. 

Un-attempted.

And I lost all the fiddly little bits of my brain that deal with stress in a calm, rational manner.

They fell right out of my ears, and smashed on the floor.

I flipped out.

Told the girls that the list I’d posted was only about half of the stuff that needed doing, and that I was tired of getting on bended knee and begging them to help me get ready for YOUNGERDAUGHTER’s graduation.  In a house that they ALL live in.  Not just me.

Told them that “Whatever doesn’t get done by Sunday, willremainundone on Sunday, and THEY can explain to guests why the floor is filthy, or there are dandelions eating their children in the front yard. 

Mom’s going to be tucked away in a corner, rocking back and forth, with a drink in one hand, and a vacant smile – humming tunelessly.

All my fiddly little bits of sanity, lying on the floor next to me.

Countdown to Blastoff

I have 1 week in which to prepare for the high school graduation of YoungerDaughter.

Gah.

My internet connection at home has been spotty – at best.  The modem is dying, and has begun its last gasps of hot, tainted air.  The cable company told me they’d be out “somewhere between 8am and 5pm”.   So… that means Tuesday, the 12th of never, right?

A couple of days ago, my youngest child, OnlySon – broke his left arm.  Both bones.

The one on the bottom, is a 50% displacement fracture (according to the orthopedic doctor).

The top one, the ulna, is a slight “greenstick” break, near his wrist.  It just shows up on the x-ray as a “fuzzy line” (official radiology terminology, I assure you.) 

This x-ray was taken after they casted his arm.  Nope, they don’t re-set the bones on kids for this type of break.  Surprised me too.  There’s a long, complicated reason, the doctor explained and assured me about.  However, if the bones shift any more within the next 3 weeks, OnlySon may have to have pins and plates surgically inserted into his arm to correct this. 

Yay.

To top it off, he has to wear his new appendage accessory for at least 6 weeks, with a possibility of a separate, shorter cast for another 3 weeks after that – depending on how it heals.

He was overjoyed at this pronouncement.

So, this means no swimming. For the whole summer.  Or at least, most of it.

The one physical activity that OnlySon really gets into, and he isn’t going to be able to even splash around in a baby pool.

Last summer, we had most of our city flooded, including the public pool.

No swimming last year.

No swimming this year.

This also happened to occur 10 days before the end of his school year.

He had to stay out for the last 2 days, due to pain, and the effects of the pain medication the doctor put him on. 

The end of this school year is looming over all of our heads like a vicious, man-eating hydra, snarling, dripping and horrible.

See, with the dripping?

And every time you take care of one problem, cut off one of the heads – 2 more sprout and take its place.

Gotta love that Greek mythology.

So, I’m making lists, checking them – not twice, I’m not Santa Claus – but constantly, throughout the day, everyday.

Planning, re-planning, re-drawing my battle plans and lists.

Counting down to blastoff.

Graduation Day.

Where the hell are my cap and gown?

I should be graduating with honors for my multitasking abilities and for keeping my sanity.

That is – if I still have it at the end of next week.