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Is this a heart attack?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

This morning at about 10:30 left arm went completely numb from shoulder to fingertips quickly followed by pretty severe pain the entire arm, again right down to the fingertips. I broke out into a clammy sweat.

I thought, is this a heart attack?

I argued with myself for about 15 minutes. I looked it up online. Mentally I went through the training I'd had as an EMT.

And I took myself to the ER. Six hours later - and god only knows how much $ later - I was let loose. No elevated cardiac enzymes, so likely not a heart attack...but set up with a stress ekg nonetheless to rule out a cardiac problem.

Probably anxiety - which the doc was quick to point out did not mean it was "all in my head" LOL. That anxiety is a very real physical condition.

yep, you bet it is.

I had six hours of laying there, with bp 175/125 for a good part of it, to think about better care of myself. I can't unload all my stress, or my worry. I've been doing the best I can to make the best choices available to me. Still, obviously, not enough.

Part of me felt silly for going to the ER. but a bigger part knows that women too often pooh pooh their cardiac symptoms... So in the end, I'm glad I went.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I am SO glad you went. You've been under quite a bit of stress with getting your son set with school. (I hope that is starting to go better.)

I'm sure they gave you a ton of information, but if you need any relaxation techniques, please let me know.

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KATCHAGIRL 9/8/2011 1:06PM

    YIKES! I'm so glad to hear you are ok and that you DID go to the ER! It is so important to go, just in case... That's what they are there for, to help you. I have to keep telling my parents that same thing. I think they are finally listening...

Again, glad to hear it wasn't a heart attack. You need to try and relax woman! Your health is most important!

Hang in there!

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DEGENNAN 9/7/2011 12:16PM

    OMG so important to go to the ER. Good thing you have that training and you KNEW not to ignore those symptoms. Good luck with the stress test and keep trying to take good care of yourself and find new stress relievers. It's very important to take as good care of yourself as you do your loved ones.

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BECKYSRN 9/6/2011 10:28PM

    I had the same thing happen to me this weekend....worked a shift at the hospital, had tightness and jaw pain on the way to the car, and waited til the next morning to go to the clinic. Then they sent me to the ER anyway. I have to do a stress test we'll keep each other company! Take care of yourself.
P.S. Isn't it funny how us health care people always try to talk ourselves out of taking care of our own health?

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TERRYT55 9/6/2011 10:17PM

    So very happy you went to the ER and took your symptoms seriously. Even happier that it appears you didn't have a heart attack. Better to feel silly!

How are you tonight? Hope you are feeling much better.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.....

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3RDBABYWEIGHT 9/6/2011 10:07PM

    I'm glad you went also! It's better to regret going than regret not going!!

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FERGSGIRL2 9/6/2011 9:49PM

    I am so glad you went also! Follow your first mind, and you won't go wrong--Anxiety is a real killer. Take care of yourself.

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DEBLUVSBILL2 9/6/2011 9:47PM

    I'm glad you went too! ALWAYS better safe than sorry ;)

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Parenting the mentally ill teen

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

While Mike's diagnosis not a fixed gives me some way to explain to people outside the house what's going on. I usually just say "bipolar" because people understand that to at least some degree. "possibly psychotic" brings up feelings of fear in people. Psychosis is a spectrum...not just one thing. Bipolar is at the low end of the psychotic spectrum....and schizophrenic disorders are at the opposite end. We don't yet know where mike falls in that spectrum...but bipolar is the term I use so that people have some understanding and don't automatically go to that place of fear and stigma of mental illness.

This was a difficult weekend for Mike and it escalated into being a very difficult weekend for all of us because of his illness.

Right now, learning to recognize that he's sliding downhill is best figured out in retrospect.

in retrospect, I should have given more credence to how wound up he seemed mid week about school - and the school district having dropped the ball on his entrance to the therapeutic day school....meaning school starts this week and we have no idea where mike is going to school. That is the kind of thing his anxiety can't take. he was wound up, but seemed to be able to be calmed down. Looking back, that was the first of little outbursts that were a clue we were on our way to a Big Outburst.

I think it's different for every person with mental illness, all I can tell you is with Mike...the first sign is he becomes unreasonable. Unreasonably fixated on someting - usually that something isn't right or is unjust in his eyes. One time, it was that the center portion of the couch that folds down to a table had to stay down. We had more people than we had seats, and when we put it up, he put it back down. I kept putting it down and he got more and more irritable and anxious. I said "WHY does it need to be down mike? We need the seat!" and all he could tell me was "it is supposed to be down!" i thought he was being a butt...turns out he was so fixated on it he blew apart when confronted over it.

A week later in his therapists office, he didn't remember it and was frankly embarrassed he'd made a big scene about it...said "well that's ridiculous!" and yet he'd done it.

Often after an "outburst" he doesn't remember what he said or did. And the things he says or does....are awful. Last night, he was screaming in my face, literally 2 inches away, calling me vile names and trying to get me to hit him, I suppose so he would have an excuse to hit me. The worse it's ever gotten was for him to shove my partner...but I always worry that he's going to lose all control. As he's literally screaming in my face, I was thinking, "this is it. I'm going to have to call 911". This is the therapist's suggestion for when this happens and he can't get control of himself.

i've never had to do it yet...because I've worked really hard to get him to calm down. The only thing that kept it from happening was his little spitfire of a sister, all 5 feet of her, came boiling into the room and told him "GET OUT! GET OUT NOW!" and he whirled out of the house and was gone for a good 20 minutes. if she hadn't come in and broke the tableau... I was reaching for the phone.

Of course, he's no where to he stormed back home to his room soon. After 2 hours in his room (sleeping, usually he's exausted after such an event, hell so am I!) he came out, still in a foul mood, but not talking and not trying to start stuff.

I've already left an email, a voicemail and a text for his therapist and the country program he's in...I WILL be helped today, thank you. his medication needs to be adjusted, which I suggested last week because of the stress of school starting and they pooh pooh'd me a bit and said well, if it DOES get worse, we can up it then.

Hello. Listen to the mother here.

I did not overeat over it. I thought about it, but knew immediately that binging wasn't going to help. I had a wine cooler (and before anyone needs to share that turning to alchol in times of stress is bad, it's the only alcoholic beverage I've had in months - so keep that to yourself) and a hot bath.

Today I feel sad, but firm. I will be helped, Mike will be helped. I will continue to advocate and fight for him...and I will continue to learn how to better see when he is going down hill and learn what it takes to help him avoid the Big Outbursts, if at all possible.

if you know someone who has a teen with problems...don't share your advice or parenting expertise. We've heard it...and frankly, it doesn't apply to us. What applies to us is living day to day with a child we love, who can be a time bomb of problems. Don't critisize what the professionals suggest we do..and don't tell us that "all that kid needs is to be put in his place!" You have NO IDEA. Give us parent of a mentally ill kid a hug, buy us a coffee, and offer support without judgement.

We'll be eternally grateful.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEGENNAN 9/6/2011 7:56PM

    Thank you for sharing and helping explain what you are going through right now. And you really deserve kudos for not going right to the so-called comfort food. I'm definitely not that strong most of the time. You are a really strong lady and a GREAT mama, but I think you already knew that emoticon

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MRE1956 9/6/2011 12:27PM


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ALIHIKES 9/6/2011 10:48AM

    Best wishes to you, your son, your daughter and your family as you deal with the day to day issues and challenges of his illness emoticon

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SHELLYUT 9/6/2011 10:33AM

    OMG I feel for you. I have gone through and still going through the same thing with my daughter who is now 16 and was diagnosed as bipolar at age 12. The table incident sounds like things that she would do plus we can't just say we will do something later, she has to know exactly what time so doctors would go back and forth between bipolar, which there are actually a few different types of, and borderline personality disorder. With borderline personality it's kind of like everything is black or white for them, there is no gray. The one thing I can't stress enough is make sure that you are taking care of yourself because this will mentally and physically drain the life out of you. NAMI has some amazing support groups that they offer for free across the country. It's education, advice and support from people that have had similar experiences and not from some therapist that read about it in a book. They have classes for your son so he can understand what's going on and that it's an illness so he doesn't end up hating himself for his actions. There are people in the class that have been there so he can relate to them and they will help give him coping skills and how to communicate with you so you are working together. For you there are support groups so you can learn things from his perspective and give you ideas on not just how to help him but help your family cope. My first meeting I walked out to my car and just sobbed. I didn't realize how much I needed to be able to talk to other parents who actually understood what it was like to walk on pins and needles worrying something will set your child off sending them into a rage. Parents that understood what it was like to have a child do such dangerous behaviors that you spent almost your whole day trying to keep them alive or out of jail. The support you will get will be a lifesaver. It makes it so much easier when you are not trying to handle this all on your own but have a village. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon

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TRY2KEEPGOING 9/6/2011 10:14AM

    I have a coworker with a young adult son with this issue. My hugs go to both of you today!! May God give you inner peace, strength and bless your efforts.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/6/2011 10:16:14 AM

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DEBLUVSBILL2 9/6/2011 9:35AM

    I chose this blog because I have 3 teens who have recently diagnosed with depression/anxiety. As I read your blog I could feel your pain. I will offer you a hug and prayers for your strength, and for your son to find balance! emoticon

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Weekend checkin

Monday, September 05, 2011

Yes, Terry55, I did stay in my jammies all day Saturday and quilt...and even part of Sunday! Finished this quilt top... now it will 'rest' while I find the border/backing fabric I want. :)

it's been good. I've taken a nice long nap both I sorta have to hustle tho. Not bad, but..yeah. Laundry, chores, stuff.

Enjoy your Monday off, for those who get it!


I'm not afraid of committment...

Friday, September 02, 2011

In fact, I commit to everything!

that's the problem. Too much "I can do that!" lead to a week that was so chock full this a.m. I got up exhausted and crabby. With Jodie visiting her family in Louisiana - the running of the house, multiple appointments for my son, things that HAD to get done on top of my usual crazy schedule of work and dance and I've way over done it this week.

Again. Someday, I think I'll learn. Maybe. Possibly.

So I have made sure to keep tomorrow as clear as possible...I have a cupcake order due which will only take me about an hour tomorrow morning...then I'm quilting. All day. I may not even get out of my pjs all day! If I feel like it, I'll do some dance, but I'm not scheduling it or feeling guilty about it either.

Tomorrow will be a Real. Day. Off.

I've heard of those....let's see if I can pull it off!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRYT55 9/4/2011 10:20AM

    I'm checking in to see if you got out of your pjs yesterday? Did you get to quilt for most of the day? I'm hoping you had a relaxing day doing what you wanted to.

Take care and have a great Sunday!

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KATCHAGIRL 9/2/2011 12:55PM

    DO IT!! ENJOY a day of nothingness!! It's sooo important! :) Have a GREAT holiday weekend! :)

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Woo hoo, it's Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

That title there? That is me trying to convince myself that I'm thrilled it's "Wednesday already!" as opposed to "crap, it's only Wednesday?" which is how I really feel, LOL.

School doesn't begin here for another week...and yet I'm already putting on my armour and butt-kickin' gear to deal with the school district and my son. Last year, a process I was told would take 60 days took closer to five months...and the last chapter of the school year was to hear, "oh, I guess we didn't quite do everything we'll have to see about getting Mike into the therapeutic day school in August when we return". Now, the last week of August, they tell me "um, gee, guess there is a big process we have to go through...and they aren't really taking anyone new right now...and um, how about we just go with a half day at regular high school?"

Last year, I tried to trust them when they said X, Y and Z was going to get done. When the ball was dropped repeatedly, I learned that if I don't keep gentle steady pressure, NOTHING will happen. Period. Nothing. So, of course the meetings they told me would happen 2 weeks ago never happened, and school starts next week and they have no plan whatsoever in deaing with my kid. My kid who can NOT at this point be successful just thrown into regular classes.

So, the lessons in how to advocate for my special needs kid continue. The biggest one has been learned: Do not assume or trust that they will do what they say they will. These are not horrible, awful people. Not at all. They are people who are overwhelmed, underappreciated, etc. It is simply a lesson from the Universe for me to speak up, to keep bringing Mike to the front of the to-do list for them, etc.

Not a run day, so I'm going to do a bellydance boot camp style "warm up" - focuses on strength with pilates, good old fashioned crunches and push ups (UGH HATE THE FREAKING PUSHUPS!) and stretching.

Woo hoo it's Wednesday ! whoop whoop!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEAG29 8/31/2011 4:55PM

    i read somewhere...oh yeah on spark...that positive thoughts drive the body...mind over got this!

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CHANGINGSAM 8/31/2011 10:46AM

    I hope they can get everything situated with your son. It seems like a frustrating situation.

Have fun at Belly Dance Boot Camp!

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DEGENNAN 8/31/2011 10:30AM

    Happy Hump Day! Your son is very, very lucky to have you as a mom.

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SHAR140 8/31/2011 10:25AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MEMORIES7 8/31/2011 8:29AM

    Awesome! emoticon

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