Psycho-Babble Social Thread 325511

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 184. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Dear diary Ilene

Posted by Dr. Bob on March 17, 2004, at 23:59:48

In reply to Dear diary, posted by Ilene on March 17, 2004, at 17:39:04

Posted by Ilene on March 17, 2004, at 17:39:04

> First of all, I appreciate everyone's support before/during/after my hospitalization. Right now I am thinking about socialdeviantjeff and hoping he gets the treatment he needs. Also hoping oskarsmom starts feeling better.
>
> Let's see... I got out of the hospital on Thursday, saw my pdoc on Friday. . . I don't remember too much of what I did, except I felt tired, colder and hungrier than usual, and was still depressed.
>
> On Sunday my husband and I went to a "Jazz Brunch" at the National Gallery of Art. It was pleasant but way overpriced for the quality of the food. We saw Verrocchio's "David", Mark Rothko murals, and some items that left my husband scratching his head. I'm more open to non-representational art, but someone please explain to me why an octagon of white canvas about the size of a small kite is hanging in the National Gallery? And I actively dislike Jackson Pollack. His work is even more repulsive in person than on paper. (Please don't jump on me if you're a Pollack fan; just explain to me what it is you like about him.)
>
> We saw my pdoc on Monday. She lent me a copy of Marsha Linehan's "Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder" even though she says I am not borderline. I would like to do the therapy in this book--DBT, or dialectical behavior therapy--because it addresses my objections to CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and is directed at people who share my characteristics. (I wonder why I'm not borderline, considering.)
>
> Linehan says that the core disorder in BPD is emotion dysregulation, which is produced by emotional vulnerability, among other things. One of the characteristics of emotional vulnerability is "a slow return to emotional baseline once emotional arousal has occurred". When something happens to upset me I can't get back to normal for hours, even when I know I misinterpreted something, or I can feel myself over-reacting, or I know I'm seeing the worst in a situation. I'm aware of this when it happens, but I can't figure out a way to make it stop. This makes me question the efficacy of CBT, which assumes that if you recognize your irrational assumptions, your mood will improve.
>
> Linehan says an "invalidating environment" is the crucial developmental circumstance in producing emotion dysregulation. Her first example of an invalidating family environment is when a child says she is thirsty, and parents say, "No, you're no. You just had a drink." She must have overheard my mother.
>
> There's more, of course.
>
> I haven't been sleeping well, and I've had a minor CFS flare-up. It's better today. My mood is *slightly* better, but I feel like a zombie. Tired and foggy. I don't know if this is part of the depression or part of the medication. (I'm on lithium now, as well as Marplan, Risperdal, Klonopin, Neurontin, and Florinef.) Fortunately I've gotten over my caffeine intolerance and I can tank up on coffee again. I still have to force myself to do nearly anything.
>
> My husband is still here but he's been going in to his company's office during the day. It's still nice having him around in the morning and evening, even if he does go to sleep at 9:30. My daughter's coming for a mini-visit on Sunday thru Tuesday.
>
> Today I took my husband to pick up our van, which needed repair; finally cleaned off the oilcloth that was covering the sofa, put it away, and scraped the cat hair off said sofa; changed the water for the tulips, which a friend brought by on Saturday, and noticed that the tulip leaves have been chewed ( hadn't noticed this before, and was hoping I could keep cut flowers unmasti*cat*ed); finished an inventory (for tax purposes) of my mother's LP library, which I am finally giving away; started dinner; and started a load of laundry. Not too much, but at least it's something.
>
> I.

 

Re: Hi Ilene

Posted by Dinah on March 18, 2004, at 10:27:21

In reply to Dear diary Ilene, posted by Dr. Bob on March 17, 2004, at 23:59:48

I answered your post on the Psychology board

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20040313/msgs/325612.html

because I know a lot of people there have experienced DBT and might be able to comment on it.

I'm glad you're feeling better. Do you feel like the hospitalization was helpful?

 

Re: Dear diary

Posted by Ilene on March 18, 2004, at 20:28:42

In reply to Dear diary Ilene, posted by Dr. Bob on March 17, 2004, at 23:59:48

My poor tulips are looking even more tattered today. We decided to re-name the tulip-chewing black cat "Salmon-ella" after she snagged last night's leftover piece of fish. I think tulips are poisonous. Maybe she'll at least get a tummy ache for her sins. She'll probably just barf, and I'll have to clean it up.

I called one of the women I met in the hospital. I hope she calls me back.

I was less tired today. Did a load of wash. Mailed a couple of bills. Took my mother's records to the friends of the library (lost the receipt, but they said I can get another one), went to Target, went to a department store and bought--gasp--a new iron, went to hoity-toity Whole Foods and picked up ground beef for tonight's gourmet cuisine (hamburgers), fed my son, took him to a strategy games club meeting, fed my husband and myself, fed the cats, am IMing my daughter, will be leaving soon to retrieve son, and need to sew on a button.

Must go now. Things are going better. Not great, but better.

 

Re: Dear diary Ilene

Posted by fallsfall on March 19, 2004, at 17:44:02

In reply to Re: Dear diary, posted by Ilene on March 18, 2004, at 20:28:42

Wow! That is an awful lot to do! Good for you!

 

Re: Dear diary

Posted by Ilene on March 19, 2004, at 18:50:21

In reply to Re: Dear diary, posted by Ilene on March 18, 2004, at 20:28:42

What a difference a day makes.

I felt terrible all day.

First of all, I didn't sleep. I haven't slept well all week. I've taken some extra Klonopin but obviously not enough. I'm already taking 1200 mg. of Neurontin and 0.5 mg. Risperdal (but I think I forgot the Risperdal last night).

I've gained about 8 lb. in two weeks, and I'm cold most of the time. I've got more acne than usual.

I hope the hospital sends my the results of my thyroid test to my pdoc so I can take it to my internist or an endocrinologist.

I did manage a couple of errands and a couple of loads of laundry. I even ironed a pair of pants and a shirt. I got my son ready to go on an overnight retreat with his Sunday School. But I didn't do the dishes or cook anything healthy to eat.

I am so-o-o-o tired of waiting for things to get better.

 

Re: Dear diary

Posted by socialdeviantjeff on March 19, 2004, at 20:12:14

In reply to Dear diary Ilene, posted by Dr. Bob on March 17, 2004, at 23:59:48

Hey, Ilene!

Been thinking of you and hoping you're doing ok. Would say more but my mind went blank. Don't you just love that?

 

Re: Dear diary

Posted by deirdrehbrt on March 19, 2004, at 22:00:45

In reply to Re: Dear diary, posted by socialdeviantjeff on March 19, 2004, at 20:12:14

Hi Ilene.
I know how you feel. The hospital may be what you need, but it isn't all you need.
Sometimes I can't sleep when I forget a med, and when I figure it out, it's too late to take it. As Fallsfall explained to me, that's why those pill boxes with 7 separate compartments are so handy.
Congratulations for everything you've managed to get done, including the work you did at the hospital.
Dee

 

Re: Dear diary socialdeviantjeff

Posted by Ilene on March 20, 2004, at 10:22:07

In reply to Re: Dear diary, posted by socialdeviantjeff on March 19, 2004, at 20:12:14

> Hey, Ilene!
>
> Been thinking of you and hoping you're doing ok. Would say more but my mind went blank. Don't you just love that?


The art of the empty mind
............................................................................................
Cats have mastered it.

 

Dear diary March 20

Posted by Ilene on March 20, 2004, at 20:44:01

In reply to Re: Dear diary, posted by Ilene on March 19, 2004, at 18:50:21

I took extra Klonopin when I went to bed and *slept*. Felt better today. What I did:

I took a shower (unlike yesterday--even did my hair), collected some leftover paint thinner and other "toxic wastes", and took them to a local school where the county had a household hazardous waste collection site, then took a prescription to be filled. Turns out the pdoc wrote it for 10 days instead of 30 days, so they will have to call her on Monday. I should have enough to tide me over. I washed laundry, I folded laundry. I brushed the black cat because she is shedding, and because she likes it (being brushed, not shedding; if she likes shedding, she hasn't said anything). My friend from the hospital called me back. She says her current diagnosis is BPD. It must be catching. We might go thrift shopping next Saturday. I thought about ordering some books, even though I have hardly any money. Dropped off old cell phones for a neighbor who is collecting them. Picked up son from his Sunday School overnight. Made tomato sauce. Ate it over penne, no parmesan. Now I am too tired to do dishes.

 

Dear diary March 21

Posted by Ilene on March 21, 2004, at 21:00:03

In reply to Dear diary March 20, posted by Ilene on March 20, 2004, at 20:44:01

What a terrible day. Got into a fight with my husband, mostly over my "resistance" to therapy. I've made no secret of my qualms about CBT and my disdain for what passed for therapy in the hospital. He thinks I should just do what everyone else thinks is good for me. He says I'm too smart for my own good. (My pdoc says the same thing.) He gets very frustrated over my inablilty to pull myself out of my moods, and then he gets mad at me. He has a bad temper anyway.

I've even told him that DBT addressed the misgivings I have about CBT, but that didn't seem to make a difference.

He apologized once he got over his tantrum, but once I get upset I can't get un-upset, so I had a fairly dismal day. I also don't feel myself. I've gained so much weight that all my clothes are tight, I feel even more sluggish than usual, and I'm cold all the time. I just want to go to bed under a pile of blankets.

We managed to drag some old furniture and other junk out to the curb for a local charity to pick up. My daughter is here, but she spent most of the day with her boyfriend (it's about time she got one--she's 17). She did sit down with me and her cat--I made her brush the cat--and we talked about San Francisco and what we were going to do tomorrow (get rid of her excess books and clothes). Maybe we'll get haircuts. We can't afford to do anything that costs much money.

I'm tired.

 

Re: Dear diary March 21

Posted by gardenergirl on March 21, 2004, at 21:52:01

In reply to Dear diary March 21, posted by Ilene on March 21, 2004, at 21:00:03

Ilene,
I'm so impressed by the things you are doing to make this world a better place: dumping hazardous waste in the proper place, donating used items, etc. It sounds like you are taking things moment to moment. I hope that is working for you.

Boy can I relate about the MAOI weight gain. For me, it's a huge chocolate craving. Now that I am feeling stronger, I'm tackling watching my calories in the hopes that I can drop enough to not feel so tight in my clothes. Please don't let weight gain interfere with your progress. it's merely a function of the meds...no reflection on you.

Also, perhaps your T can integrate concepts from DBT if not doing a formal DBT program. I use that with a number of my clients, BPD, depression, and others. The concepts are so much more validating than pure CBT IMO.

Take care and keep posting!

gg

 

Re: Dear diary March 21 Ilene

Posted by fallsfall on March 22, 2004, at 7:19:07

In reply to Dear diary March 21, posted by Ilene on March 21, 2004, at 21:00:03

Ilene,

I think that I had the same problem with CBT that you have. I'm pretty good at reframing things ("this isn't a crisis, it is an opportunity to use my skills"). But I can't just decide that something that matters a great deal to me isn't important. Too much of it seemed like I would need to lie to myself. I don't lie to anyone - least of all myself.

It seems that for many people CBT works really well, and I will say that I did learn lots of important coping techniques. But CBT was NOT going to FIX my problem. It was only going to help me live with my problem.

I hope that over time your husband can start to understand what you are trying to say - or at least believe that what you are saying is true for you even if he doesn't understand why.

I also know about not being able to get "un-upset" easily. Did you do any relaxation exercises in the hospital? This morning I woke up an hour early (5:30AM Ugh) and I was pretty anxious. I have therapy today, and that always winds me up. I had gotten a "Relax to Sleep" tape when I was in the hospital. It is guided imagery (relax your right arm, relax your left arm, etc). So I tried that at 5:30 and it really did help. I know I'll be all wound up again soon, but getting a couple of hours of relief was pretty good.

You really ARE getting things done! I'm quite impressed. Keep posting about your day - I like to see how much you are doing (and I'll cheer you on if you get into a slump). Make sure you read your posts and give yourself credit for the stuff you are doing.

Rah, Rah, Rah! Go, Ilene, Go!

 

Dear diary March 22

Posted by Ilene on March 22, 2004, at 20:01:08

In reply to Dear diary March 21, posted by Ilene on March 21, 2004, at 21:00:03

My body is going haywire. It seems that I gain a pound a day. My feet and ankles are swollen now. My period started, but that does not seem to have anything to do with it.

My pdoc called this morning (the poor dear has been in Puerto Rico for the past week) and I described my symptoms. We both think they are caused by low thyroid. I can't wait to see either my internist or an endocrinologist and get on thyroid hormone. I feel less depressed (lithium, maybe?) but don't want to move. I just want to put on about 3 more sweaters.

Today I inventoried and priced books we are donating. We have hundreds of books. It's the family vice. We used to troop up to a discount book warehouse that's about 20 miles away and buy them by the bagful. I also used to volunteer at a library that had an ongoing book sale in the basement. And I'm a big customer of the online sites that sell remaindered books.

I discovered that half.com lists nearly every book we are getting rid of, which makes it much simpler to value things for the IRS. We have so much stuff to get rid of, because we are moving, that it's worth the effort.

One of my neighbors called this morning, asking if she could have a chest of drawers I left out for the Value Village charity truck. Sure, okay. Good thing I did--the truck driver says they don't take furniture. (I know, this makes no sense, but there's no point in arguing with the truck driver. For all I know he just didn't feel like putting the furniture in the truck.) Someone had already snagged the nice red sled. I posted a "free to good home" message on the neighborhood listserv. Everything disappeared by nightfall and I got appreciative replies.

Astonishingly, the pharmacy had my prescription ready. Now I don't have to find out what MAOI withdrawal is like.

I managed to drag myself to the basement for a load of laundry and some ironing, and did a few dishes.

 

Dear diary March 24

Posted by Ilene on March 24, 2004, at 21:28:11

In reply to Dear diary March 22, posted by Ilene on March 22, 2004, at 20:01:08

I skip my diary for two days and the whole damn thread disappears (did I just type a Bad Word? will Dr. Bob erase my identity?)

Forgot to note that my son did *not* get into the high school we really liked. I was very upset, but it passed. He's wait-listed for the other school.

I don't remember Monday very well.

I didn't sleep very well on Monday night, so I was tired yesterday. That's been bringing my mood down. I managed to do some laundry, sew a button on my husband's shirt, give my daughter a ride to her old high school, shop for dinner, then actually make it, and then drive my husband and daughter to the airport. They are gone and I miss them, but it is easier maintaining the house with them out of the way. I feel like I might be able to catch up on things.

I took Klonopin when I went to bed, so I would be sure to sleep, and then I took another dose at 3:30 AM--or was it 6:15?--because I slept until about 9 and dozed until 10:30. I feel somewhat better today. Sleep is something I really need.

The pdoc says it's okay to take Klonopin for sleep but not all the time. She wants me to have my last cup of coffee by 3 PM. So what do I do but drink a cappuccino at 6:30?

The internist's office called to remind me of Friday's appt, so I asked if I could speak to the dr. so I could give him a heads-up about being hospitalized, and the lithium and thyroid and all. He thinks the problem is poor circulation because of my chronic fatigue syndrome, triggered by the lithium. I'll be bringing the results of the thyroid test--they are definitely abnormal. Then the internist and the pdoc can figure things out between them. My pdoc wants me to go up on the lithium.

I spent much of the afternoon procrastinating in front of the computer. I need to get my tax info together, etc, but I'm just not doing it, nor filing, nor tidying up, nor calling the people I need to call...but I did get info about DBT practitioners in the area for my pdoc. Turns out "DBT central" in Seattle has at least one trainer in the area. Took me hours to find him.

While I was doing that the black cat came in and sat on my lap. She *never* does that. That's the gray cat's role. They hate each other. Actually, the gray cat persecutes the black cat. He's lounging on my lap right now. Makes it hard to type. He hasn't bitten me for weeks, though, and he is very soft and fuzzy, and he purrs nicely.

Someone down my tiny street wants to pay an exterminator to get rid of mice. Why spend a ton of money on rodent control when you can have it done for the price of cat food? The last mouse I saw was one the gray cat brought home for a playmate.

I'm feeling much more awake this evening than I have for weeks. I wonder if this is because I slept in, because I indulged in caffeine, or because my sleep disorder is returning (always a good idea to think of the worst possible case, isn't it?). I'm in a relatively good mood. If I hadn't told myself I'd try to go to bed a little early I'd start doing something.

....Long phone call from old friend. So much for early-to-bed.

Oskarsmom, how are you?

 

Re: Dear diary March 21 gardenergirl

Posted by Ilene on March 24, 2004, at 21:37:42

In reply to Re: Dear diary March 21, posted by gardenergirl on March 21, 2004, at 21:52:01

> Ilene,
> I'm so impressed by the things you are doing to make this world a better place: dumping hazardous waste in the proper place, donating used items, etc.

You don't understand! I'd feel guilty if I didn't do things the right way. Plus I'm taking all my donations off my taxes.

It sounds like you are taking things moment to moment. I hope that is working for you.
>
Actually, I'm not. I'm thinking all the time. It's just the way I write things down.

> Boy can I relate about the MAOI weight gain. For me, it's a huge chocolate craving. Now that I am feeling stronger, I'm tackling watching my calories in the hopes that I can drop enough to not feel so tight in my clothes. Please don't let weight gain interfere with your progress. it's merely a function of the meds...no reflection on you.
>

Doesn't matter what the cause is. I look in the mirror or I feel myself in my clothes and I feel *lousy*. Losing weight has been one of my very few accomplishments over the past year.

> Also, perhaps your T can integrate concepts from DBT if not doing a formal DBT program. I use that with a number of my clients, BPD, depression, and others. The concepts are so much more validating than pure CBT IMO.
>
It's interesting that you say that because I think I have irritated my pdoc by questioning CBT. I'm sure it works very well for many people, but they are probably wired differently from me. I got a lot out of "Feeling Good" many years ago, when I was healthier.

> Take care and keep posting!
>
> gg

 

Re: Dear diary March 21 fallsfall

Posted by Ilene on March 24, 2004, at 21:50:30

In reply to Re: Dear diary March 21 Ilene, posted by fallsfall on March 22, 2004, at 7:19:07

> Ilene,
>
> I think that I had the same problem with CBT that you have. I'm pretty good at reframing things ("this isn't a crisis, it is an opportunity to use my skills"). But I can't just decide that something that matters a great deal to me isn't important. Too much of it seemed like I would need to lie to myself. I don't lie to anyone - least of all myself.
>
> It seems that for many people CBT works really well, and I will say that I did learn lots of important coping techniques. But CBT was NOT going to FIX my problem. It was only going to help me live with my problem.
>

I think of therapy as damage control. I don't think it can begin to fix me. I might learn new skills or coping mechanisms, but I'm a believer in Better Living Through Chemistry.

> I hope that over time your husband can start to understand what you are trying to say - or at least believe that what you are saying is true for you even if he doesn't understand why.
>

He wants to fix me, and he loses it when he can't. Even after he's gotten over it and apologized, I'm out of it for the rest of the day, usually. It's like being drugged.

> I also know about not being able to get "un-upset" easily. Did you do any relaxation exercises in the hospital?

No, no relaxation exercises in the hospital. Sometimes a yoga instructor will do them, but I find them irritating. I get bored because there's nothing to think about, and then I forget about relaxing. Or else I'm supposed to be lying on a beach (I'm sun sensitive) or on the grass (I'm allergic to grass).

This morning I woke up an hour early (5:30AM Ugh) and I was pretty anxious. I have therapy today, and that always winds me up. I had gotten a "Relax to Sleep" tape when I was in the hospital. It is guided imagery (relax your right arm, relax your left arm, etc). So I tried that at 5:30 and it really did help. I know I'll be all wound up again soon, but getting a couple of hours of relief was pretty good.
>

A couple of hours? That's amazing!

> You really ARE getting things done! I'm quite impressed. Keep posting about your day - I like to see how much you are doing (and I'll cheer you on if you get into a slump). Make sure you read your posts and give yourself credit for the stuff you are doing.

I've been keeping these little lists so I can go over them and realize I *have* been doing things, but I don't list the really important things I haven't been doing--like taxes. Aiee!
>
> Rah, Rah, Rah! Go, Ilene, Go!

Thanks for the support. If I feel as good tomorrow as I did today, I'm going to try for some of the Hard Stuff.

 

Re: Dear diary March 21 Ilene

Posted by fallsfall on March 25, 2004, at 8:34:57

In reply to Re: Dear diary March 21 fallsfall, posted by Ilene on March 24, 2004, at 21:50:30

We can have a race to see who gets the taxes done first. On your mark, get set, GO!

 

Re: Dear diary March 24 Ilene

Posted by fallsfall on March 25, 2004, at 8:37:08

In reply to Dear diary March 24, posted by Ilene on March 24, 2004, at 21:28:11

I caught 3 mice in my kitchen this week. I use little have-a-heart traps and either let them go in the woods behind my house (if I feel like taking a little walk), or drive to the edge of my neighborhood and let them out. My friend has a cat that she has offered to loan me, but I think that her cat would beat up my dogs, and we can't have that.

 

Re: Dear diary March 24 fallsfall

Posted by Ilene on March 25, 2004, at 11:23:56

In reply to Re: Dear diary March 24 Ilene, posted by fallsfall on March 25, 2004, at 8:37:08

> I caught 3 mice in my kitchen this week. I use little have-a-heart traps and either let them go in the woods behind my house (if I feel like taking a little walk), or drive to the edge of my neighborhood and let them out. My friend has a cat that she has offered to loan me, but I think that her cat would beat up my dogs, and we can't have that.

Lock the cat in the kitchen overnight, and lock the dogs someplace else. Most cats don't like being in new places because they are very territorial, so it may take a few nights before the cat decides to come out of hiding and go after the mice. Other cats are devoted mousers and nothing will stop them.

 

Dear diary March 25

Posted by Ilene on March 25, 2004, at 19:08:05

In reply to Dear diary March 24, posted by Ilene on March 24, 2004, at 21:28:11

What a lousy day. Maybe I should have paid attention to my pdoc when she said to stop drinking coffee after 3 PM. I was much better about it today. I think I had my last cup at 3:30.

My weight is down by a couple of pounds, and my ankles aren't quite so swollen, but they still hurt. On the other hand, I am extremely depressed. I wonder if the lithium is doing anything at all.

I'm back--no, not really back--still--constantly--motivated by guilt. Let's make that GUILT. ***GUILT***

I did some dishes, paid some bills, then took a little break and started a sewing project. I haven't done any sewing for over a year. I'm making a bag that will fit inside a wicker basket. The basket fits inside a bookcase. It'll hold some of my fabric. I have too much fabric, but I think everyone who sews has too much fabric.

Not exactly ambitious, but there are a few little tricks to it. I had the foresight to write down how I made them when I did the first ones a couple of years ago.

Next up: a belt for my kimono/bathrobe. Maybe I need a new kimono. Then some summer clothes--for my current bloated self, or my slightly smaller self of only three weeks ago? I need underwear, too. Maybe I'll make a bra. Is this an appropriate forum for why bras never fit me? (At least the children never complained. . . .) A bra might be overly ambitious. In my current state, anything with buttons or a zipper is probably overly ambitious.

I've copied nearly everything I need to send to the tax man. Now to write him a letter and take the packet to FedEx tomorrow. I feel better now that is off my chest. I think the only thing remaining is to figure out how much my in-kind contributions were worth.

 

Dear diary March 26

Posted by Ilene on March 26, 2004, at 21:08:26

In reply to Dear diary March 25, posted by Ilene on March 25, 2004, at 19:08:05

I set the alarm early to take my lithium so I could get a blood draw 8 hours later. Then I couldn't get back to sleep. Finally ate some breakfast and *then* got a couple more hours of sleep. It makes a difference.

I got the tax packet to Fed Ex. Discovered my husband left the gas tank empty. Arghh. Dropped off a prescription, then got on the subway to go see my internist. Actually got there early.

I like my internist--he has explanations for why my body is going haywire, and he spends a lot of time with me--but I feel worse leaving than I do coming in. He says my problems with weight gain, swollen ankles, etc. are from the lithium, combined with Florinef and my chronic fatigue syndrome. I think he wants me to stop taking lithium. I guess I'll have to do that, but I was starting to feel just a little better, and I've read that if you abruptly stop lithium you can become resistant to it.

He also says my thyroid is out of whack, but not in the usual way. I'm having it tested again. He thinks I might benefit from T3 (Cytomel), but this is getting into borderline alternative stuff (Wilson's syndrome) that makes me uncomfortable. He said it can be hard to treat. He also said my thyroid was reacting like that of a person who has been sick for a long time (euthyroid sick syndrome). I looked that up; treatment is to treat the underlying condition. In my case that is presumably chronic fatigue syndrome. There's no good treatment.

He wasn't real happy that my pulse is below 60 and my diastolic BP was below 50 when I was in the hospital (it was high today--above 70). He says I need something to get my pulse moving. I can't take dexedrine or anything similar while I'm on an MAOI (although it occurred to me tonight that taking Parnate instead of Marplan might help).

I feel so hopeless! Two steps forward and three steps back. I was even crying on the subway on the way home.

And I had to wait while they filled the prescription. Over 3 hours and they hadn't gotten around to it.

I'm starting to get suicidal again. I don't know what to do. I'm sleeping poorly, which makes me depressed; when I manage to sleep, I'm still tired, and my ankles now hurt all the time. The drugs don't work. The lithium is making me sick, and my thyroid is malfunctioning. (The thyroid test was done before I started lithium; there's no cause and effect.) I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I'm back to feeling like I exist for the benefit of other people.

It's bad enough being depressed. I can't maintain any kind of positive attitude about the CFS and associated ills. So for the only thing treatment has done has made it possible for me to take a hot shower without feeling lightheaded for hours afterwards. I guess that's something. I guess. Hard to feel it's progress when I hardly want to move. I'm barely cooking anymore. I just do the minimum to keep my son fed. I really need to cook some veggies, but I haven't got the energy.

I don't know what to do.

 

Re: Dear diary March 26

Posted by gardenergirl on March 27, 2004, at 0:29:18

In reply to Dear diary March 26, posted by Ilene on March 26, 2004, at 21:08:26

(((Ilene)))
I'm sorry you have to deal with such a complex medical picture. It must be so hard to figure out what is causing what symptom. You could make yourself totally frazzled trying to tease apart those answers. I'm glad your internist is so good. I'm sure that helps.

One thought: have you ever tried accupuncture or other alternative treatments? It seems like if there is no adequate medical treatment for CSF, there might be something in an Eastern-based approach. Any holistic healing centers near you? You might just consider going in for a consulation to see what they offer and would recommend.

I did pick up on your discomfort about alternative treatments. But there might be some out there that would not be invasive (I mean not an herb or other supplement, and not a procedure that involves entering the body in any way). Perhaps you might feel comfortable enough to try something non-invasive? Perhaps an energy-work therapy?

I do hope that somehow an effective treatment is found for you. I'm sorry you have been struggling for so long. Please keep posting. I admire your strength in coping with this, and want to hear how you are doing.

BTW, those bagged salads are great for getting your veggies. Just cut open and dump out!
gg

 

Dear diary March 27

Posted by Ilene on March 27, 2004, at 21:59:13

In reply to Dear diary March 26, posted by Ilene on March 26, 2004, at 21:08:26

Today was slightly better. I got to bed late last night--wasn't planning to, it just happened. I don't think I took any Klonopin, or if I did, it was just 1/2 pill. I slept until about 2 AM, then was awake for a while, then out until about 9 AM. A good 8 hours, hurray!

When I got dressed I noticed my ankles are breaking out in a rash. I'll have to call my internist on Monday about that.

A woman I met in the hospital was supposed to come over, and she did! She was late, but that was okay. I showed her Marsha Linehan's book on skills training for borderlines. She says her latest diagnosis is BPD. She looked a lot better than in the hospital, too, and she seemed more balanced. We went to a local thrift store. She collects ash trays, and I was trying to get prices for some of the clothes I donated last year. We found some nice ashtrays (they are expensive!) and a lovely box that looked Japanese. I got some prices, but I started to space out from my morning coffee. That hasn't happened in a while. I also got very tired. I hate my feet. Just hate 'em. They were bad even before they got swollen.

We went back to my house and she said she had to take some Ativan and go home. I was wondering if it was something I did. But we decided after she was done with her partial hospitalization program we would go to one of the local art museums. We both like Mark Rothko.

I feel a little strange because this woman is probably more than 20 years younger than I am. I feel like a case of arrested development.

Then a friend of my daughter's, who is going to visit her in about ten days, came over with her mom to give me her plane schedule and get my husband's phone number.

I spent most of the afternoon feeling tired. I'm working on ways not to feel bored, because then I feel defeated and sorry for myself, and start thinking about suicide. It's so easy.

I took my son to his soccer game. The poor kid needs a new pair of soccer shoes. I think I can get him a pair tomorrow.

He also needs new shorts (not soccer shorts, regular shorts). Kids are such an expensive hobby.

Made frozen food for dinner, but did some picking up and filing. Got my son to put away his clean clothes. Changed my daughter's sheets because I expect a houseguest next week. I feel guilty because I'm so tired all the time--not such a good host--and my house is so messy.

I did a little sewing. I'd do more, but I want to go to bed at a reasonable time.

The gray cat is shedding on me, and snagging my pants, and purring, and telling me that he loves me.

 

Re: Dear diary March 26 gardenergirl

Posted by Ilene on March 28, 2004, at 21:35:55

In reply to Re: Dear diary March 26, posted by gardenergirl on March 27, 2004, at 0:29:18

> (((Ilene)))
> I'm sorry you have to deal with such a complex medical picture. It must be so hard to figure out what is causing what symptom. You could make yourself totally frazzled trying to tease apart those answers. I'm glad your internist is so good. I'm sure that helps.
>

*Could* make myself totally frazzled? It's seriously contributing to my depression and anxiety.


> One thought: have you ever tried accupuncture or other alternative treatments? It seems like if there is no adequate medical treatment for CSF, there might be something in an Eastern-based approach. Any holistic healing centers near you? You might just consider going in for a consulation to see what they offer and would recommend.
>

I considered acupunture when my symptoms were milder. I have extra expenses right now, including psychiatry, and I can't justify paying for something that I don't think has a really good chance of being effective.


> I did pick up on your discomfort about alternative treatments. But there might be some out there that would not be invasive (I mean not an herb or other supplement, and not a procedure that involves entering the body in any way). Perhaps you might feel comfortable enough to try something non-invasive? Perhaps an energy-work therapy?
>

See above. Plus I'm a scientific method, evidence-based-medicine person.


> I do hope that somehow an effective treatment is found for you. I'm sorry you have been struggling for so long. Please keep posting. I admire your strength in coping with this, and want to hear how you are doing.
>

My strength? I am a wobbling blob of jello.


> BTW, those bagged salads are great for getting your veggies. Just cut open and dump out!

Don't like bagged salads. I used to eat certain boxed salads, but my faves have all got cheese.

I really appreciate your support, but I feel deceptive when you admire my "strength". Is that nutty or what?

I.

 

Dear diary March 28

Posted by Ilene on March 28, 2004, at 22:09:59

In reply to Dear diary March 27, posted by Ilene on March 27, 2004, at 21:59:13

It's getting late, I want to go to bed soon. The gray cat is in his usual place (my lap). He's shedding--the keyboard is sure to be getting gunked up with fur--but it's so, so, soft. He's still a jerk, no matter how much he claims to love me.

Today was better, today was worse. Last night I went to bed about 11:30, but did not sleep too well. That always gets me more depressed than if I sleep well. I took my vitamins (I ran out of magnesium days and days ago and haven't replaced it), but I almost forgot my *meds* until I felt the familiar crunch of anxiety in my gut. I haven't had that for a few days, but I always take Klonopin first thing.

Got the kid late to Sunday School, but found the next-closest location of my favorite grocery store (the closer one closed). /begin rant/ I'm picky about grocery stores because I am picky about food. I never got over the fact that there are no butcher shops in this part of the world, and everything is wrapped in styrofoam and plastic. It's an insult to food. /end rant/

After Sunday School I took him to a soccer store and got him a new pair of cleats. I was dreading it, but we were in and out in minutes. "Only" $65 lighter, too. The poor little duck has a giant blister from wearing last season's shoes to his first practice and game. He's also go an immense bunion--he inherited my wretched feet (have I said I hate my feet? I hate my feet). He's had a bunion since he was four. I keep looking for high heels in his closet--"everyone knows" that bunions are caused by wearing high heels. He also needs regular shoes. That doesn't seem so dreadful now. Maybe we will do it next weekend, or during spring break.

Okay. Depressed and anxious morning, suicidal ideation starting. Forced myself to chat with grocery clerk. Told myself I would *lie down* and *put my swollen feet up* (I feel so effin' geriatric) but it took so long to put away the groceries. grab a bite, return phone calls. . . that by the time I got a cushion and something to read my son and his friend announced they needed to go to the friend's house to get a blank videotape in order to finish their class project.

Did that, and then called returned a call to an old friend in California while sitting in bed with the feet up. That was good. She was disturbed by my stay in the psych ward. I guess she doesn't know too many other crazy people. She's fun to talk to.

Then reached my other friend, who is going to stay here for a few days while she works on a project. I'm half excited, and half worried, because I don't know if I'm up to doing anything, and my house is *messy*.

Lying down must have done some good, because I had the energy to spend nearly an hour and a half on my feet cooking dinner. Pasta with sausage and broccoli--plenty of broccoli--and plenty of leftovers. Even did some of the dishes.

Did a little sewing. Would have done more, but I didn't want to get in the habit of staying up late. I am a regular night owl, and once I let myself go, I will stay up later and later.

Wanted to ramble on more about my emotional state, but it's after 11 PM.


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