Friday, December 30, 2016

Reflection

I've been concentrating a lot on focusing my attention on the now and participating fully in the moment to help maintain my mood and well-being through the tumultuous holiday rush, but as New Year's nears I find myself looking back...

It's been quite a year. 2016 wasn't an easy one, that's for sure!

**I've plugged in some random photo highlights that may or may not correlate to my text, but I hope you enjoy them!


Thinking back to last January, I was in the hospital. According to my blog I went to my aunt's memorial, but I can't remember because of all the ECT treatments. For a good chunk of time I was doing so much ECT that I wasn't allowed to drive.


For a big part of the year I wasn't able to be alone with Baby Bananaface. It was too overwhelming or didn't feel safe.

For a while the hubster confiscated my tweezers because I was having a hard time controlling my urges to self harm.

In the spring I tried to kill myself.


Another chunk of my year was dedicated to TMS treatments multiple times a week. Throughout it all I've been on and off more drugs than I can name trying to find a mood stabilizer that'll work for me. To top it off I had those seizures and got diagnosed with a seizure disorder and got a prescription goin' for that...


There's been a lot between those headliners, including countless tears and hugs and kisses and fears shared between me and the hubster. Nights and days where I didn't feel safe. When I wasn't sure if I'd make it to the next day. When I didn't believe that I could ever find happiness or stability again.

Thankfully, things are changing. I have come far enough now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have hope again. I'm still working on the confidence part but my faith is certainly growing and despite the hiccups along the way I haven't given up.

So much has changed... I've come so far this year.

I'm driving again-even taking BB to and from daycare. I'm making meals and able to safely use my tweezers. I'm socializing and going to the gym nearly everyday. I'm even thinking about finding part-time work soon.


I've felt like a failure. I've felt broken. I've felt hopeless. More and more I'm feeling hopeful. I'm feeling strong. I'm feeling proud. I am surviving.

I'm glad to put this year behind me and I hope to have more positive memories to stir up this time next year :o)

Don't really remember doing resolutions much but I think I will be concentrating on keeping up with maintaining my health and moving forward.


I wish everyone a wonderful 2017 and thank you all for sharing 2016 with me.

Lastly, let's hear a big cheer for baby steps! Hoorah!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Here are some pics from our Christmas morning. We are having a great holiday and really enjoyed hanging out with my family-now to journey across the state and have fun there!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Feelin' the rush...

... the holiday rush!

It's been busy. While that means some extra stress it's also meant some extra fun :o)

My sister came up Monday and stayed the night. We had a great time. She's on winter break from teaching and one of her last New Year's resolutions to finish up was taking a boxing class (we decided kickboxing counts).

First, we went up to some outlets north of me. I found some new shirts and dresses and a pair of pants that actually fit me. It's nice to have some cozy, slimming clothing options instead of the increasingly baggy stuff that-don't get me wrong-I've loved wearing for however long but now just make me feel dumpy lookin'.

Hate droopy crotch pants *insert disapproving emoji here*

Apparently, I have lost 35 lbs since March. It's been a great side effect of the extra exercise but I haven't really been focusing on weight loss much. Maybe a little portion control and making healthier choices here and there, but my exercise routine is mostly focused on mental health with a dash of social time. Whatever my focus may be, I have needed to rearrange ye olde wardrobe a bit!

I do want to lose a bit more and tone up in places but it's a secondary goal to my overall wellness and mental health. No pressure. No timelines. Just doing what I can, cheering myself on as I go, and being proud of what I've achieved while adjusting to my new abilities and building confidence.

Anywho! My sister and I had fun at the kickboxing class Monday night and we even made cookies together later, watching "Bad Moms" while they cooled before glazing. It was great.

The next morning she came to my regular classes with me ( Zumba Strong and cycling) and afterward, while we were saying our goodbyes in the parking lot I broke from our hug, held her shoulders, looked her in the eyes and said, "I love you. I'm glad your my sister." It was a bit of a risk but I'm proud of myself for expressing my feelings instead of stuffing them down or bowing to my fears.


In other news, Baby Bananaface had to be picked up from daycare early yesterday. After a trip to urgent care we discovered he has an ear infection and bronchiolitis (really similar to bronchitis, as you might expect). He gets amoxicillin for 10 days and is home sick today. Luckily, I ain't afraid of no boogers! He's been in remarkably good spirits and we don't expect it to slow down or hamper his Christmas festivities at all.

In fact, last night he threw all the pillows and stuffies off the couch before rolling all over and squealing in joy. I just happened to pile them up at the end of the chaise where he then began leaping off the couch into the pile! It was very cute and a little scary, but I spotted him for his half a dozen leaps and he slept very well last night ;o)


Ornaments has concluded for the season, so that is helping me balance all the last minute holiday preparations better.  Still, haven't had much time to blog, to read blogs, or to comment! We leave tomorrow for our holiday ventures. For the first time in a long time I'm feeling more excitement than anxiety for the trip-and that's a very sweet thing :o)

I will try to mobile post sometime this weekend but if I'm not able to comment or read your posts, please know that I'm thinking of you all and wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 16, 2016

"It's Official" & Some Baby Bananaface Pics

Whew. Had to stay up late and get up early so I was sleep deprived enough for my EEG test this morning and it's made things a bit more challenging today, that's for sure! Somehow I'm still awake and I wanted to blog since I'll be on the road and busy with a family gift exchange tomorrow...

Anywho. This morning I did the MRI and EEG before meeting with my neurologist. He reviewed the results and said that my MRI was normal-even saying that my hippocampi are in great shape considering my chronic mental health conditions. So that was good!

Unfortunately, my EEG was not so normal. He says it's official that I have a right temporal lobe originating seizure disorder (or something like that, my hearing isn't the best and it was a lot of words strung together!).

The good news is that it isn't anything super rare and it's usually easily controlled by meds and won't necessarily disrupt my life. The medication he prescribed happens to also function as a mood stabilizer (I tried it out earlier this year or last year, I can't remember-it didn't work then but my psychiatrist thinks we have a shot at it working better this time since I'm not in such a deep depressive hole) and we're sure hoping that it kills two birds with one stone!

So that's the news! It's a bit of shock but with everything I've been through lately it doesn't seem to rattle me as much as I thought it might... I guess being aware of how much danger I was in when my depression was much worse makes something like these seizures and a new disorder seem a little less threatening or scary?

In other, more jolly news, I've been listening to Baby Bananaface a little more intently lately and observing what words he seems to have. I'm happy to report instances of garbled "Thank you" and "Please," even "Love you!" He's pretty good at "Buh-bye" and "Momma," too. :o) He got a new haircut and looks so much older and listening to his "talking" is such a sweet thing... I so look forward to meeting the man he's gonna be and watching him grow up <3




Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Oops! Double Posted :o)

One via email and one via Blogger equals two posts! How it happened, I'm not quite sure. The first, from my email, disappeared into the abyss-I couldn't even find it in my drafts or sent folders-yet appeared hours later on the blog.

Whatever mysterious magic is at work, thanks for understanding and rolling with it :o)


Monday, December 12, 2016

I Been Busy!

Boy howdy. It's been a busy few days!

Saturday the hubby and I got an extended date day when my mom surprised us and said that she wasn't planning on staying for lunch, just grabbing Baby Bananaface and heading out (she was taking him for an overnight babysitting session so the hubs and I could go to a game group party). So the hubster and I took the opportunity to dine in the bar section and the hubs even had a fufu mojito!

That was just the beginning of our date day-some shopping, a murder mystery party, and a movie at the theater followed! The movie was a pretty big deal considering I hadn't been to the cinema in over 6 months for fear of triggering my anxiety or panic. I definitely experienced some stress but I was able to ride the waves, use my skills, and make it through the movie without succumbing to the anxiety or a panic attack-I'd even say that I had a good time ;o)



Sunday I juggled ornaments and the gym before my sister arrived with BB (worked out really well that we could drop him off halfway to my parents' Saturday and then my sister could bring him back to us on Sunday since she and I had plans). She and I proceeded to have a girls' night out with a trip to a local nursery/shop for their Christmas extravaganza (I enjoyed some free decaf and Christmas cookie treats).

We then proceeded to have a fun dinner out before nabbing some lattes on our way downtown to the theater where we got to see a live production of "The Little Mermaid!" We were both a little worried about how they would handle one of our favorite movies ever but the production was nicely executed and we weren't disappointed. We both got the crap scared outta us by some confetti cannons but it was fun overall!


I think my favorite part of the night was listening to music while we drove to Seattle and back; singing at the top of lungs together. My sister and I aren't always on the same wavelength and sometimes it feels like we don't know each other very well, but last night we had a great time together and I'm so grateful for the experience.



Today I had to just keep rollin' as I had two appointments downtown and still have one to go (thankfully not as far a drive but still outta my way). 

My endocrinology appointment went super fast as did my blood draw. Good news! If this thyroid level is good like my last test I can switch to following up with my primary care provider instead of seeing a specialist-and that means just driving or walking across the street instead of driving 45 minutes into downtown *woot*

My psychiatry appointment went well too. We talked about all the progress I've made and how I'm handling the challenges that remain and agreed that waiting and seeing how the Lamictal treats me this time is the best idea for now. I had tried the Lamictal months ago for purely mood stabilizing purposes but now I've been prescribed the drug for anti-seizure purposes. My psychiatrist thinks it might work better this time around as a mood stabilizer since my mood is much better now to start with than it was. As she put it, "you were in a hole, a BIG hole." I sure hope she's right and I can get a 2-for-1 with this med! 



Whew. So that's a bit of what's going on here. Trying not to think too far ahead but still working toward my goals, one step at a time :o)

Happy Monday! 

Date Day and Girls' Night Out

Saturday was a long day but a fun day. We dropped Baby Bananaface off with Grandma and then had a lunch out all to ourselves! A murder mystery party and a movie out made for quite a date day. It was also a big deal for me to go to the theater since I hadn't been out to a movie in over six months and I've been afraid of potential triggers BUT I handled the stresses without succumbing to anxiety or a panic attack!!!

Sunday was a long day but fun day too with gym, ornaments, and then an evening out with my sister. We went to a local store/nursery for their Christmas extravaganza and then out to dinner and then grabbed coffees for our drive downtown to the theater for a live production of "The Little Mermaid."

"The Little Mermaid" is a sentimental movie for us since we both grew up watching it A LOT and both really like it. When she found out it was playing she told me "I'm buying tickets, we're going, when are you free?" It's a little weird being treated by my little sister with a night out but I had a great time. 

I think my favorite part was singing at the top of our lungs together on the drive there and back :o) Not only was it wonderful to be able to relax and enjoy a good night out, it was especially nice to have fun and feel close with my sister. We don't always connect or chat much but last night felt easy and fun and I'm so grateful.



Today I had my endocrinology appointment and now I'm waiting for my psychiatry appointment. So far, it's good news-if my thyroid levels are good from today's lab work  I get to just check in with my primary care lady every 6 months or a year instead of having to drive downtown!

Not sure what my next appointment will bring but I think we are doing all right. I'm feeling pretty good and been coping pretty well lately despite the seizure hiccup. Don't know if we'll be trying a new mood stabilizer while I'm working up on the Lamictal but we'll see!

Happy Monday everyone :o)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Weekend Pics & Tuesday Wrap-up

Well, it looks like the hubster is gonna be riding the bus to work for a while!

We got my ole car towed back to the condo and when he checked it out this evening he discovered some horrible smelling, black transmission fluid (I had to ask, "So, it's not supposed to be like that?" and he said it was supposed to be pink or clear). From what I've heard so far it seems to be the end for my Mabel :o(

It was stressful today but I'm really proud of myself for coping and getting through as well as I did. I even reached out for help from a friend and managed to get in for some ornament work hours!

The whole breakdown was an adventure, but I made it through without any extra hiccups. I was experiencing problems right from the get-go on my morning trip to the gym. It was revving real high without speeding up or changing gear. Eventually I was barely able to make 25 mph and had just decided that I better pull off the road when the light changed and I had to stop. When it turned green I wasn't able to get going again at all. I was stranded in the right lane of traffic.

My first call was to the hubster but he didn't answer. My second call was to my mother and I got straight to the point, "Hey Mom, I'm broke down in the middle of the road and the car won't move, what do I do next?" She told me to try and get out of traffic if I could get somebody to help push me outta the road a bit and to call a tow company, so that's what I did! A nice guy in a white jeep stopped and pushed me off to the side a bit. Then the sheriff showed up and got me outta the road completely-a welcome bonus!

We'll see what happens with our transportation situation but for now it looks like we'll be a one-car family for a bit and have to navigate the busy holidays with a little more consideration. I really don't feel all that worried at the moment, a nice shift from my familiar anxiety issues. I feel pretty confident that we'll make things work and get through this-one day at a time.

AND

Here's some photos from our weekend excursion:

SO many people!

Pretty hotel across the street,
picture was taken in-transit so
it's a little wonky!

Another shot from the car,
some tree lights I appreciated.

My favorite part of the lighting ceremony,
Baby Bananaface sleeping away in his sling
through the lighting and cheers.


Another crowd shot and some of the lights-
mostly cellphone lights methinks!

Snow on our trip back over the pass.

It was a fun trip despite being a little exhausting. We enjoyed hanging out with my parents and sister and nephew-I'm even feeling a little excited for Christmas now! Nice to be looking forward to festivities instead of just feeling intimidated and wary :o)

Whaddya do?

Whaddya do when your car breaks down and you're standing out in freezing weather waiting for the tow truck? Ya blog of course! Haha :o)

Helpful sheriff pushed me to a parking lot and I won't be getting to my gym class but overall I think it's going all right. My first breakdown in traffic so kinda exciting!



Weekend went great though we are tired. I will post pics later but Christmas lights were definitely pretty.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Quick Update

Saw the neurologist today. He was nice. Scheduled an EEG and MRI. Got a prescription for some anti-seizure meds which also happen to be mood stabilizers. I messaged with my psychiatrist and she said go right ahead. This particular script didn't work for me before but it's been so long, who knows, maybe it'll work better this time around?

Lots of feelings today. I kept at it and stuck to my schedule but it was definitely discouraging for me contemplating having a seizure disorder on top of the things I'm already juggling. The hubs is trying to look at the bright side and made sure to point out that dealing with seizures is better than dealing with suicidal depression. Poor guy. I can't imagine seeing him in a similar scenario, it'd be so distressing to me, but he keeps up the good fight no matter what comes up.

In other news, we're headed out on another weekend road trip. Hopefully I can relax and enjoy, that's certainly my aim.

Holiday cards are going out :o) I had fun with all the addressing and stuffing and sticking. Maybe I was a secretary in a previous life? ;o)