Tuesday, September 13, 2011
(yes, I had a LOVELY weekend away! More about that later perhaps....)
Today was my stress test. I arrived, they started an IV and injected a radioactive-type dye. I then waited for 45 minutes while I drank 16 oz of water. Then I had films taken of my heart over a 15 minute period where I lay as still as possible with my arms over my head. Back to waiting another 30 minutes and more water. Then I was called back for the treadmill portion. I was hooked up to numerous leads, a belt around my abdomen, and a blood pressure cuff. I got on the treadmill and the test began. 3 minutes at low incline, followed by three minutes at next level...and then 3 minutes at my target heart rate. Those last three minutes were HARD. I wasn't sure I could finish..and if I didn't finish, I'd have to go to a second type of test. So I was determined to finish! I did make it but wow, was I huffing and puffing! the last minute of the test, they injected a second dose of the dye. I then got to go out and wait about 30 minutes and finally have something to eat. Then back to the film room for another 15 minutes of films.
Nothing but the actual treadmill was hard. I fully expect I will hear back in a couple of days that my heart is fine and that my episode last week was likely brought on by stress and by the way, here's our bill......
I am, however, more committed to my health than ever I think because of this. Tomorrow, my friend will have a double mastectomy for treatment of her cancer. My other coworker has had 8 surgeries in 10 days and remains in critical condition. Health is a GIFT and one I want to cultivate to the best possible level for myself!
Friday, September 09, 2011
Well, besides the heart attack scare this week brought
- a friend's diagnosis of breast cancer
- a coworker having a sudden, disasterous infection that is now threatening his life
- the death of my dryer
Certainly on the scale of the first two items, the last seems very small indeed- but it's "one more thing".
Feeling a lot of emotions, to say the least. Still waiting for insurance to preauthorize my stress EKG....how I love the insurance company, sigh.
But...I'm going here: campmyrtlewood.org/ to do this: jareeda.com/Mezdulene_retreat.htm
No cell service, no computers...the woods, a lot of laughing and I'm going to work on serious rest as well, right until I teach workshops on Monday.
Hug your friends today, because you can.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
This morning at about 10:30 a.m....my 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.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
While Mike's diagnosis not a fixed thing...it 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 go...so 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.
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 days...today I sorta have to hustle tho. Not bad, but..yeah. Laundry, chores, stuff.
Enjoy your Monday off, for those who get it!
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