Friday, July 14, 2017

Dismissed


I tell my doctor that I am still experiencing symptoms.
I tell her I have had a sore throat for a week. I ask her if I can get a strep test.
She will forget about this 5 minutes later and I will have to remind her of this at the end of my appointment as she is getting ready to leave the exam room, with her hand already on the door knob.
She grabs a tongue depressor and her light and tells me to open wide.
I do and her next words to me are "Well that's not very wide. I'll have the tech come in and swab you."
She checks my blood pressure and tells me that it is high.
She doesn't address this issue any further.
I tell her that I have had 5 really bad panic/anxiety attacks since my last visit 6 weeks ago.
That is 5 attacks in 6 weeks.
I tell her it's hard to fall asleep because I keep "popping".
As soon as I feel drowsy, my chest constricts, then it feels like my heart is trying to jump start itself.
It makes my whole body jerk or pop. It also kick starts my adrenaline.
"That's normal" she tells me.
It's NOT normal for me though.
"Does anything help alleviate these symptoms?" she asks.
Yes, I tell her. I found this meditation practice that has you place both hands upon your heart and press down slowly and breath deeply 5 times.
"And that works?" she asks incredulously.
She wants to know if I feel this restlessness in my legs at night time.
No, I tell her. This is not Restless Leg Syndrome.
I tell her my feet can hardly sit still during the day, that it feels like I have too much caffeine in my system, that my foot is constantly tapping or moving back and forth as if all of the excess energy my body is producing is being funneled into that one spot in my body.
I tell her I can hear the blood rushing through my head and that I hear my heartbeat in both ears.
She doesn't check my ears.
She says panic attacks can be a normal thing too.
But they're NOT normal for me.
She asks if I've ever tried any kind of anti-anxiety medication.
I tell her no. I'm not interested in taking anti-anxiety medication.
I want to know WHY I am having these attacks, that I want to find the cause of them.
"Sometimes people just have anxiety," she tells me.

I'm not sure what I expected her to do or say or what testing I wanted her to order.
But I wanted more than I got from her.
I felt dismissed.
It felt like she poo-pooed everything I said.
It felt like she just wanted to push anti-anxiety meds on me.
It felt like she kept correcting me.
It felt like she wasn't listening to me.
I didn't feel comfort or empathy or sympathy from her.
It felt like she wanted to be anywhere else but in that room with me.
She made me feel like a hypochondriac.

I wanted answers. I wanted her to work with me. For her and I together to trouble shoot these symptoms and come to a common goal of either eliminating them without the quick answer of anxiety meds. and/or at the very least to diagnose the cause of them.

Maybe I was expecting too much.
Maybe I need to find a Naprapath doctor, or one who practices functional medicine.
Maybe I need to do Yoga.
Maybe I need to find more information on different types of meditation.
Maybe I need to stop complaining.
Because in all honesty, if I complain to her about anxiety and she offers me medicine for anxiety and I refuse that course of treatment, what IS she supposed to do with me?

Last night I bought a bottle of wine and drank two glasses.
I slept through the night without any kind of popping or anxiety.
I'm aware that it would be real easy to medicate myself in this way,
7 days a week, but I don't want to go that route.
Having lived with a drinking man for 28 years I know what that can do to a body and a marriage.

I'm thinking that I will try to find another doctor. Not right now. But for my next yearly physical maybe it would be a good idea to find another doctor, one that listens better. I don't know.

My throat is still sore, my ears feel full of fluid and today I am coughing.
As Charlie Brown used to say...
                                                                                              Image result for good grief

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Monday, July 10, 2017

an update


 I lay here trying to sleep but feel too keyed up and anxious to free fall into slumber.
It feels like I am having palpitations. 
My body keeps jerking as if it's trying to kick start my heart. 
My brain refuses to cooperate with any part of my body...instead rushing head long into the dangerous territory of the what if's.
My thoughts are incoherent and racing. Nothing makes sense.
I've moved to the couch so I don't keep waking up my husband with my restless tossing and turning.
It is 2:00am. 
I feel cold and slightly uncomfortable on this living room couch.
I can see a green glow from the digital clock on the microwave in the kitchen. It is so bright.
I hear the neighbors car door slam. I hear what sounds like scratching in the duct work.
A mouse maybe? I hear snoring from our bedroom. I hear the blood rushing in my ears.
I long to be back in my bed and to be sleeping soundly.
I need to pee, again.
I am so frustrated with these damn panic attacks.
I want them to either kill me already or to just fucking stop.
I know the panic attacks won't kill me but the symptoms still feel like I'm about to die.
Racing heart, shortness of breath, trembling legs, incoherent thoughts, difficulty swallowing, numbness and tingling in my face and hands*.

I learned of a meditation technique where I place one hand upon my heart followed by the other and I press down and take slow deep breaths. It seems to work for a while.
Which in all honesty makes me believe that this is indeed panic attacks I am having and not MS or a brain tumor or some other horrible plague.
But I still have no clue as to the trigger. 
Why am I awakened by these things in the middle of the night? 
What is it that is trying to make itself known to me and why in the name of all that is holy is it necessary for these racing thoughts to show themselves at the ungodly hour of 2:00am???
The other night I said to God- 
"Ok, God, you've got my attention. It's 2:00am. Whaddya want?"
He didn't answer me.
I laid there trying to pray but my racing thoughts kept getting in the way.
In the morning I am groggy and on edge. Sleep deprivation is no small thing.

Since my last post in June I have had 3 severe attacks. 
I almost made my husband take me to the ER at 4:00 in the morning one time but felt stupid because the symptoms were vague and hard to pin down. 
I have never felt so ill and ill at ease in my life.
Each time, along with the other symptoms mentioned above*, my legs went numb and my flight instinct kicked in. It was uncontrolled panic. I was afraid to fall back asleep those 3 times. 
Hold my hand, I begged him...and I held his as if it was a lifeline to keep me tethered to this world.
A few hours later the symptoms are completely resolved. That's it. Just gone.
I don't consciously feel nervous during the day. I'm not worrying or obsessing about anything. 
Well NOW I am cuz now I worry about getting woke up every night feeling panicky.

I will say that I have noticed that some of my daily devotionals have been rather supportive. 
Each one has been about  trusting Him and walking with Him and seeing the light with Him.
If you have Jesus Calling by Sarah Young  read the pages from June 23 through July 2. 
They have been especially helpful to me.
And also I found the following Bible verse to be uplifting as well.

At the same time the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we don't know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words.
~Romans 8:26 God's Word Translation

So here I am with my wordless groans and my complaints and my panic attacks.
I'm feeling sort of regular today. Which is good. I slept through the night last night which is better than good.
I go to the Dr. at 1:30 today. Let's see what she has to say about these attacks of mine.

I'll keep ya posted.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

High Anxiety

I've emailed Birdie for advice on anxiety.
It's just about killing me and   I. Don't. Know. Why!
It's gotten so severe in the last three days and I am having difficulty functioning normally.
I had a full complete physical exam in May and checked out ok. But I wasn't having the anxiety then.

Truthfully I don't know what to do about this. It is attacking me in the middle of the night. The house is dark and still and very quiet which makes it worse. I woke my husband up the first night it happened and made him talk to me. Bless him, he called into work and stayed home with me until I felt better. He went to work at noon since my symptoms were entirely gone by that time.
I have never had it this bad before. And it scares me.
My God! I think to myself...Is it a brain tumor? Do I have MS? Am I having a silent heart attack?
The symptoms are gone in the light of day. No palpitations, no fear, no trembling limbs, no chest pain, no trouble swallowing, no nausea, no feeling of doom....nothing.
Grand kids still come over every day. We play, do crafts, I do laundry in between bike rides and trips to the grocery store. I make breakfast, lunch and dinner. I walk the dog.
But when bedtime comes around I begin to feel afraid.
I don't want the symptoms to come back again.
They are god awful.  Why do they only attack in the middle of the night?
I'm trying to figure it out on my own by the process of elimination.
I'm down to drinking only one cup of coffee a day. I stopped drinking all alcohol. No chocolate either.
I had a great idea for a different post but find I cannot concentrate on anything except for the way I feel which is tired and anxious and uncertain.

I'm sorry to be venting about this here. But I don't know what else to do.
I asked Birdie if she thought writing about it would perhaps make it go away.
Or maybe journaling would help me to sort out why all of a sudden I've got it this bad.

So this is me getting started with the writing down of the beginning and maybe soon another post about how I'm doing in the meantime. I'd appreciate your prayers.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Morning

Genesis 1:3-5New International Version (NIV)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” 
And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

I never considered myself a morning person. When I was working 40+ hours a week mornings were always so damn painful...metaphorically speaking.
I hated morning.
I'd have to get up at 5:00am in order to be the first of 5 people in the shower. 
(We only have the one bathroom)
And let me tell you 5:00am never felt, to me, like a normal time to get out of bed.
I was always so tired during the day. 
I worked 12 hour days, 4 days a week, while occasionally eating lunch on the run. 
Mostly I fueled myself with a steady diet of coffee and cigarettes. 
Back then I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. 
Good lord but that is a lot of smoking before, but mostly after working all day.
If I'm honest, I never really felt well back then only driven or amped or hyper.
And I thought that since I was always moving I was getting stuff done.
I did get stuff done but there wasn't any heart behind it. Or kindness. Or thought really.
I was on autopilot. Ticking things off of my to-do list like a general.
I felt little joy and my soul was shriveled up like a raisin.

On the morning I was fired, 8 years ago, I didn't want to be working there anymore and truthfully, they didn't want me to be working there anymore either.
It felt like a severing though. I felt cut, raw, hurt and injured.
Now it just so happened that my sister and her family were traveling to Florida that morning.
When I called to tell her of my firing, she invited me to go to Florida with them in their car.
I gladly accepted and soon found myself wedged into their conversion van in the last open seat, 
along with 5 other people and assorted pieces of luggage, shoes, snacks, bottles of water and beach supplies.
I was happy to be heading south to the Sunshine state. I was a little crowded and a lot carsick but otherwise my destination is what kept me happy and smiling.

On the second morning of our trip I found myself alone, sitting outside of a Cracker Barrel restaurant somewhere in bumfuck Arkansas, drinking a nasty cup of to-go coffee, smoking a cigarette and crying. (The rest of the family was inside eating.) 
I didn't know what I wanted to do. I certainly didn't want to be eating at that Cracker Barrel I can tell you that! I felt panicky. I regretted taking this last minute trip with my sister's family, because all of them squished inside that overly full van, kept arguing with each other.
It was driving me insane driving with all of them.
I wanted silence. I wanted to go over my firing in my mind and pick apart every word that had been said by my bosses and by me. I wanted to nurse my indignation and my heartache. I wanted peace in my mind, in my heart, in my soul. And I wasn't getting any of it.

The third morning of my trip found me awake at, you guessed it, the ungodly hour of 5:00am.
But I could smell the salt air and I could hear the ocean from the open window of our Condo so I got up and headed outside to take in the view.
That view of the white sand and the blue-grey-green water that meets the sky never disappoints.
As the waves roll in towards shore there is the subtlest sound of Yah-Weh.
Yah as it rolls in, Weh as it pulls back out. 
It's like the ocean is breathing His very name every time a wave comes ashore.
It instantly settled my soul and I took my first deep breath of air in weeks. I felt myself starting to unkink...felt my soul start to expand.
There is something about the smell of the ocean...I wish I could bottle and smell this all the time.
The feel of the sticky sand on my feet, the little tiny birds running running running on the beach, 
even the sound of the seagulls is something that puts me to rights.
Every morning for the entire week I was in Florida was spent on that beach staring into nothing and yet also staring directly into and hearing the very breath of God.
If I close my eyes I can hear it still today. And remember how it felt to be so near the sound of YahWeh and how comforted and held I felt.

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Now I get up at 5:30am in the morning and it no longer bothers me. 
It's so automatic I don't even need to set an alarm clock. I even look forward to it.
Because the first thing I do is grab a cup of coffee and then I head to my desk where I keep my devotionals and my Bibles and I say a good morning to YahWeh and I thank Him for the morning, for THIS morning and for other mornings to come. And I am grateful. So very grateful to be up at 5:30am.




                                                 YahWeh


Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Time off

I've not been alone like this in a long time.
Barely an hour ago there were 2 laundry baskets full of kids clothes, 2 sleeping bags, pillows and blankets, stuffed animals, shoes, rain boots and slickers, back packs full of toys, and glitter strewn about my living room.
Now it's gone, all of it.
All of their trappings loaded into their car.
Even the glitter has been vacuumed up.
The house is so quiet that it is buzzing.
The dog is asleep on the back of the couch.
It is just starting to drizzle outside.
My husband is on his way home from the Northwoods. He'll be home in 7 hours.
My grandson is at school and my granddaughter was just picked up by her mother (my daughter).
The grand kids have been staying with me for the last week while their parents were on vacation.
My daughter wondered aloud wouldn't it be nice to have the house quiet again.
But honestly, I feel lonely. And I cried when they pulled out of the driveway.
When I shut the front door and turned around the house felt empty.
Three hours ago I was yelling at a 4 year old for dumping out the entire container of glitter onto the table. Now my ears are ringing due to the silence.
I was sick with an ear infection and a sinus infection the entire time they were here.  You'd think I'd be wanting to take a long nap.
But it's not true. I don't feel like napping.
I have a stack of books from the library but I don't feel like reading.
I'd like to work in my garden but it's raining...again.
To tell ya the truth I feel a bit lost. And not quite sure what to do with myself.

What a ridiculous complainer I am.
I'm lonely.
It's raining.
These books are boring.
YOU DON'T DUMP OUT THE ENTIRE BOTTLE OF GLITTER!

I've just been handed a gift of a few hours to myself.
Time off from the grand kids and housework.
Six hours of nothing but free time, six hours of me time.
And I don't have any idea what to do with or for myself.

What would you all do with six hours of uninterrupted free time?
I'm taking suggestions.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Saturday, May 20, 2017

A dry spell in the wet weather

I find myself in a bit of a dry spell.
No words come. My mind is a blank.
No thoughts seem worthy enough for sharing.
It's been a month since I last posted.
And still I've got nothing new to say.

In the daily minutia that is my life, every single thing seems exactly the same.

And yet, things are different too. It's just not noteworthy.

It just keeps raining here. Every damn day it seems.
I've not yet been able to get out and work in my garden
because it's either raining or it's too wet from having just rained the day before.
I did put up rabbit fencing around my strawberry plants.
Last year a rabbit ate all the flowers off the plants and we only got 1 strawberry that had been hidden under the leaves.
I've seen that rabbit in the yard again...I'm hoping that he can't hop over my fence.

The grand kids are staying with me for a week. Their parents are at a Harry Potter type convention in New Hampshire and my husband is on his annual trip to the North Woods.
I developed a terrible ear infection and a sinus infection on the day they all left.
This morning I developed a cough.
I feel pretty horrible but the kids are behaving so well that it's not bothering me to have them underfoot.
Everybody returns home in four days.

That's it. I've got nothing else to add. I could use me a nap.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter is...

Easter is...over. Yes, I know.
But I wanted to tell you about a blog post that I read where the writer asked this as an open ended question-  Easter is...
And us readers were to fill in the blank as we saw fit.
I probably should have said Easter is... The Resurrection.
That Easter is...all about Jesus and praise and worship and the Triune God.
And going to Church because you should. And He is Risen..He is risen indeed.

But I'll be honest here.
The first response that went through my mind was Easter is...Ham.
And colored eggs. And potato salad. And going to Church because I want to.
And a family party afterwards where eight small kids, all under the age of seven, hunted for plastic filled Easter eggs in a backyard.
Green grass outside and blossoms on all of the trees.
Tulips and daffodils flaunting their colors.
Gaily decorated baskets full of candy and small trinkets.
A new dress in pastel colors.
Easter is... Spring and warmer weather and everything being new and renewed.
It's lighter in the morning when we wake up and it stays light a lot longer in the evening.
It's the lime color of newly grown plants and buds on trees.
It's wispy white clouds in the sky and more Robins in my yard than I can count.
It's rain for days on end then it's a sunny day that makes a body feel more alive than before.
Easter is doing yard work and cleaning out the flower beds still strewn with last years dead leaves.
It's Hostas that come out of the ground the color of plums then watching as they turn into a lovely shade of emerald green.
It's Lily of the Valley and Lilacs bushes in full bloom and the smell is a heady mixture of pure joy.
It's open windows and fresh air and turning the thermostat way way down.
It's life or rather it's new life.
It's the Earth and us winter weary humans coming back to life.
It's warming and rising and watching nature unfold in her beautiful, colorful, brilliance.
It's the easing of darkness and shadows and cold.
Easter is... family and warmth and light and love and Jesus.

Here's hoping that you and yours and a wonderful Easter spent with loved ones.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly