I am basically overloaded lately. I can’t get through the evening without an anxiety attack that is crippling. It builds all day. So much light and color and things to do. I’m at the doctor now.
I had a full blown panic attack at the doctor’s office. They put me on oxygen and gave me an injection of something.
Something has me wound so tight. Meds maybe. Or just sensory overload, Asperger’s style. But I have anxiety every day. The doctor gave me a new prescription to take as well. He isn’t my psych, but he took care of things, which I needed.
Just praying for calm soon, and that the medicine will alleviate the problem when I need it to. Klonopin is a huge help, but by law quantities are limited. Lately the anxiety has been more than I can cover with my allotted Klonopin.
I got Angelica’s speech and tutoring appointments rescheduled. I am not leaving the house. Worn out. Very tired. Depressed.
While I am at home I hope to revise some of my poetry and get it ready. I am trying to clear my head.
I am tired. I am depressed. I need to isolate even if just for 1 day. I will definitely be eating at home tonight, because I don’t feel up to doing so much as the Taco Bell drive through. The only way I am going out at all is if my husband needs me to bring him lunch at work.
We arrived in Tennessee last night for Craig to see his grandfather and Angelica to see her great grandfather. We had salad and pizza for dinner, and then hung around in the sunroom for awhile.
This morning I am relaxing at the hotel while everyone else has breakfast and hangs out at my grandfather inlaw’s house. I needed the extra sleep and the time to myself. I am so introverted that it is hard if I have no place to retreat to.
We drove for two days to get this far, and that was difficult. I spent a good portion of the ride to TN not speaking and/or with my head in my hands. It has been exhausting.
It’s always really frustrating whenever we travel to see my inlaws. While it is true that I have anxiety and mood swings regularly at home, people I see while I’m traveling usually get the worst of me. I don’t do well with travel, especially if that travel is combined with socializing or big cities. So on top of the craziness that I already have, my relatives see me even crazier because I’m not meeting up with them until I’ve been traveling for two or three days. We took a road trip back in the fall and even though there was no socializing in that and we stayed in very quiet areas almost the whole time, I felt like crap part of the way back and when we actually were in the city for a while I got anxiety. It was the trip of a lifetime and I absolutely loved it, but it was a very different sort of trip.
Basically, my relatives see the worst of me. Even when I traveled last summer across the country to see my own side of the family I had to spend hours by myself in the room that I lived in when I went to high school. Even among my own side of the family I could not deal with full days of socializing or going places.
Hopefully my stomach settles too, because alongside a sinking feeling in my chest and being so introverted that I feel like I’m crawling into my own body this morning, I’m nauseous too. Knock on wood it’ll pass soon. It might have been the breakfast that I ate cold.
It isn’t that I don’t look forward to seeing my in-laws. It’s just that it’s hard to travel and it’s hard to do a whole lot of concentrated socializing at once.
Tight feeling in my chest. Anxiety.
Last night Craig and I went to the Spider-Man movie he wanted to see on a date. I bit into a Sour Patch Kid while the movie was going and I suddenly felt two hard things. My crown and piece of real tooth had just popped out of my mouth. The hole was so deep on one side that it went below my gum line. It was night and I had to find an emergency dentist to go to.
Apparently what happened is this. When the dentist put my crown on a couple of years ago, he put it on top of a cavity. The dentist last night said, you have a cavity, and at first I thought that he meant the real tooth that was around the edge and was exposed to food and air. I thought I just hadn’t brushed it well enough. In actuality he said, the cavity was in the middle of the tooth and was sealed in by the crown. He said that the dentist who put the crown in put it on top of decaying tooth. They didn’t take care of a cavity that was in there. They just put a crown on a tooth that was decaying. Finally the tooth became so decayed and weak that it couldn’t hold the crown on anymore or the growth around it. So it just came off. The dentist who put my crown on stuck it on top of a cavity and the tooth was just rotting under there day by day ever since. He said every last bit was rotted inside all the way down to the very thinnest bottom layer. It was not salvageable at all. He had to extract it. Some of it was so soft, but some of it was extremely brittle and he was jerking on and pressing on and yanking my jaw so much that I thought he might dislocate it.
When he was going at it with the drill the stench was horrendous. I know that you usually smell burning bone when they have to drill into your teeth like that. I’ve had cavities before, and a root canal, so of course this was not my first time smelling burning tooth. But there was another horrible smelling thing that made it hard to breathe. I asked what it was and they said it was the smell of the bacteria in the cavity. The rot. I could have passed out. It was horrendous.
The whole thing was hard. To start with I have a fear of the injection needles that they use to put the novocaine in. It’s been getting worse and worse over the years. I had Klonopin with me and I took some to help with the anxiety and fear. It did help, but I was still so panicked that I screamed during all the injections. When it was done and I managed to calm down and breathe I told him I was glad I at least had the Klonopin because that helped. They raised their eyebrows and said really? But it would have been worse if I hadn’t had the Klonopin. I was trying to scream quietly, since Angelica was in the waiting room with Craig at that point and I don’t want her to develop a fear of the dentist. But apparently she did hear some of the screaming even though I was way in the back. I think I’ve reached the point where when I make normal dental appointments I need to go to one of those places that will put you under. That’s going to be expensive. But I took double klonopin and I was still hyperventilating and screaming. Last night though there just wasn’t an option to wait find one of those dentists who puts people under though. The hole was bad and it had to be plugged immediately. They put a bone graft in to hold me over until I go to an oral surgeon after I do some healing.
I have to get an implant tooth. I’m really dreading this. It will happen over the next few months. And I know that for that procedure at least he said that they cannot put me out because sometimes when they drill to screw the fake tooth in they accidentally drill into the nerve that runs along the jaw, so they need you to be awake so that if they hit the nerve you can raise your hand and yell so that they don’t drill any further. But to make you at least a little less miserable they do give you Novocain and part of your mouth, which means at the very least one more time I have to have one of those needles come at me. My heart is absolutely racing at the thought. Part of it of course is the pain. I’m a sissy wimp and when they stick that needle all the way in down deep and you feel it hit, that really hurts. Plus I am considered hard to numb, so they have to stick a lot of needles and most of the time and inject a lot of the novocaine before I am numb enough for them to do what they need to do. But part of it is not the pain at all. It’s just the absolute Panic of seeing the needle there and knowing it is there and feeling a piece of metal being inserted into me like that. Part of it really isn’t the pain it’s just what’s going on. It’s the act of having a needle inserted into me. If they could get rid of the pain that would help, but I would probably still be doing some screaming and panicking just because of what’s going on. It’s an injection. Injections give me panic attacks.
Not a great night. But I am grateful to my husband for all his care. We got home late and he was out at 11:30 picking up my pain medicine and antibiotic. He made me comfortable with a warm pad. He woke me up for my medicines. When I couldn’t sleep for a long time to begin with because of the pain he just held me. I remember moaning and crying. It was a rough night. And somewhere in the middle of all that he found the time to clean my ankle brace for me because it really needed to be cleaned before I could wear it again and in the midst of pain drugs and pain and exhaustion I wasn’t up to the task of cleaning it. He was up so late that he went to bed at 3 this afternoon to prepare for his morning shift. I am trying to take the pain medicine on time so that I don’t lapse. I love Craig. I am thankful for him.
bows over my fraught mind.
Messieurs Blood and Cloud.
Somewhere in the city
Freud soaks my jaws
in alkaline water.
My tongue has always been
a working girl.
In my perspiring frontal lobe,
a waltz coated in epoxy.
You have wrapped me like a gift
Messieurs, I must dash.
My fun is running away
October was worse. I haven’t written in a month, or even read much. My mind hasn’t been clear. I’ve tried to edit massive amounts I’d already written and my mind was just dry. It wasn’t a creative block. It was depression and mixed mania. Half the time I was too depressed to do much. I fell so behind on housework for a few weeks that I felt terrible when J came to clean. The house was a mess from floor to ceiling. We alternated between running on dirty laundry and getting dressed downstairs when the laundry was clean because I couldn’t muster the will to bring it upstairs and put it away. We went to get the car washed and I had so much anxiety waiting for it to be detailed that I tried to walk off and leave. Craig had to bring me back. At one point I lost my mind and engaged in some brief self harm.
Last Monday Angelica and I went to our first social event for the Peterson Wives Group, even though we’ve been here since the end of February. So many of them have nothing but strangers there and have tons of people going. I have so much anxiety that I can’t seem to get up the courage to go. But a nice girl I’ve talked to before hosted this event, so I decided to take the plunge. It was an adorable thing where the kids could paint little pumpkins. Angelica had a wonderful time and it was so good to see her get to play with other kids. She really hit it off with K, the hostess’s, son. We want to get them together again for a little playdate. The other women there were so nice and I enjoyed the conversation with all of them. And yet….toward the end I felt like crying. When I got to the car and buckled in I did cry. I cried on the short drive home and I cried when I got in the house. I was no use the rest of the day. It was a wonderful event and the company was superb, but I just fell apart afterward.
Craig has had a hard time with me for awhile now. I just haven’t been good company. I’ve been so low that he has resorted to letting me watch Real Housewives even when he’s home and stuck in front of the TV. It’s a mercy thing to raise my mood. Usually I like scary shows, surreal stuff, and nature documentaries. But for some reason I love the Real Housewives franchise. I never put it on when Craig is home out of consideration, but it is mindless entertainment and can help me while away hours when I’m really not up to do anything else. Poor Craig. I have been living as much life as I’ve been able to, but it isn’t easy. The other day I wasted two hours of the babysitter being here so that I could sleep.
For now, Trazadone is no longer part of my nightly med regimen. Last summer I was waking up early naturally. I’ve been sleeping later and later and it has just been adding to my misery. Not only does my day suck and I accomplish very little, but I have even less chance of making something of myself and my day than I usually do because I’m asleep for half of it. I pulled myself off and I’ve started waking up early again like I like. I’ll keep it on backup for when I go to high to sleep. I also have some other medicine I can take if I go to manic. I haven’t had a full blown psychotic mania this season, which is odd. But I’m grateful.
Instead I’ve had those delightful things they call mixed states. That is where you are manic and depressed at the same time. So I’ve gone through periods of super high energy and agitation, combined with hopeless and suicidal feelings. These spells haven’t lasted long (otherwise my house might have been cleaner), but they’ve been miserable when they’ve happened. I’ve had to walk out of restaurants countless times. It isn’t constant. I’ve been able to eat out without trouble a few times. But it has been a regular issue.
Hopefully I’m on the rise again. They have doubled my mood stabilizer and my antidepressant. I have had to go to the psychiatrist each week for weeks. I’m tired of waiting for table scraps of life – for just a few moments or hours here and there when I can be of use to my family or shop or hang with friends. I want to be able to write again, and have the focus to read. As I write I’m listening to music. I haven’t sat and just listened to music in weeks.
The past couple of weeks have been hectic. I visited my parents for two weeks in Virginia. Some of the trip was very nice.
Travel was extremely stressful. The trip home was especially bad. I had an anxiety attack in the middle of the Dallas Airport. Luckily there was someone else there, another Christian, who helped me and kept me company and prayed for me and helped me get through the day. Our second flight had been canceled and that’s what set off my anxiety attack. Luckily the airport staff got me on the next flight out, but that was delayed because there was some sort of problem with the plane and they had to fix a part. We got home late and I was completely threadbare by the time we did, but I was just grateful to have gotten home.
Now I have returned to my quiet house facing the mountains, and I am retreating back to my quiet life of books. When I got home I had many new packages of books waiting for me. I was ordering books while I was at my parents house, and I ordered some before I even left that just hadn’t arrived before I was out the door.
I live so much inside my own head. My passion for books is only burning brighter as I get older. Ever since the day I learned to read I have been obsessed with books, but as an adult I am absolutely immersed in them. As an introvert and a bibliophile I am one of those people who just needs a lot of time to themselves to decompress and be quiet and alone. And there is nothing I like better when I am alone than to get intimate with the corporeal and spiritual realities of a good book. A book with artistic language and fascinating imagery can thrill me for hours. I’ve been enjoying some time to myself for the past couple of hours. Craig and I went on a date today, but when we got home he was really tired because he worked last night, so he went to bed and is still sleeping. Our babysitter is here, so I am free to study great books and let my mind ignite.
I know this is only my second day back but I still feel so tired. I don’t think I want to travel alone again for a long time. Next time we travel Craig will be going with us. I will wait until he can come. I am just mentally and physically exhausted. I’m in this really weird state where I’m starting to be creative again, and I’m beginning to do my tasks as a homemaker again, but I find myself feeling worn down. I want to take a rest, but my mind won’t. At this point I am not even sure what rest would look like for me. Diving into books allows me to access myself almost as fully as writing does. At the same time all the ideas and images can run me ragged. I think I need the books and the time to read and write. I am just coming down from an anxiety attack. Sometimes after I have an anxiety attack I am tired and quiet for a few days. Maybe reading and writing and homemaking will help bring me back to normal.
Easter did not go well. I struggled to wake up, and then when I did wake for Angelica to do her Easter egg hunt and find her Easter basket, I was low and anxious. I was low last week too and called the psychiatric nurse but she never called back.
Then we tried an Easter Mass and the incense dried out my eyes and the crowds bothered me, and even though it was a gorgeous church with panoramic views of the mountains and prairie, I felt stifled and in pain. We left early and by the time we reached the car I felt like slitting my wrists. I didn’t, though. What I did do was take extra clonopin and just numb my brain out for the rest of the day and into Monday.
I have held out for awhile now being normal (except for rocking back and forth when my anxiety is bad) and doing normal things. We went to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings a few days ago and it was great. I drive. I take trash out. I read. I am living and documenting life and staying out of the hospital. But beneath it all is a flowing stream of depression. I cry at the laundry because I can’t fathom dealing with all the stuff. For every one time I meet up with a neighbor to talk or have a playdate, there are five more times I could have but I didn’t because I couldn’t socialize. I am in this really weird place where half the time I am ok (not great, but fine) and the other half of the time I am dropping so low I need new drugs or even the hospital. Right now I am doubling up on my antidepressant while I wait for the nurse to see me tomorrow. I am cycling too quickly.
I was definitely at my worst on Easter though. This move has been traumatic. I miss my family. I have no support network in Colorado. Back home I could have called my Mom and she would have come and helped with whatever I needed and kept me company. Dad could have gone to a movie with me. Linda would have come over and I could have talked to her. Other friends were just a phone call away. Here Craig goes to work and I am on my own. I have a part time babysitter, but she is a kid. I can’t talk to her. I have good neighbors here, but I don’t know them well enough to call or text when I am having a bad day.
The only thing that lifts my spirits is how beautiful it is here. Mountain and prairie both sing hymns to my soul. That and how much I love my house. Craig has made it a very happy little nest for me. Now if I could just balance out and enjoy it.