Scared

I’m scared that these side effects from which ever drug in the cocktail is doing it is pushing me toward an eating disorder.  Nothing tastes right.  Not looks or smells appetizing.   I ate a bowl of rice yesterday for lunch.  That was it.  Somewhere around 500 calories.  And I taught 5 classes.  I came home and took my meds (damn will phenobarbital knock the hell out of you), watched TV and went to bed.

I got up this morning.  Took the meds.  Went to see Dr. P who happens to have a nifty new toy.  It let’s you visualize (a very small part) of the vascular system.  It’s kind like shining a flash light through your hand (am I the only kid that thought it was cool it came out red?)  The use the tip of your index finger, right above the nail bed.  It was cool.  And guess what.  As usual it was fucked up.  There isn’t one body system that’s working right.  Well, I guess my skin is okay.  I’ll probably wake up covered in pimples tomorrow with my luck.  So looking at a bunch of pictures, he says it’s looking like a combination of chronic fatigue (duh, I’d bet anything CFS and FM are related), drug side effects (how ironic considering how many drugs I’m on), and a connective tissue disease (which one, who knows).  I don’t know exactly what test the rheumy ran, but he’s saying Fibro.

So I guess I’m going to go back to Dr. P and see if I can get printouts of the normal and mine.  Even I could see how abnormal it looked.  Instead of nice light pink, straight loops, I had dark red squiggle loops.  I also had more than normal.  That I can take to rheumy.  I know Dr. P is going to call him.

So I’m scared of that.  I’ve never been scared to google stuff before, but I don’t want to know what else might be wrong.  I don’t know if I should get a referral to a hematologist or what.  I’ve always wanted to be informed.  No matter how scary (don’t google fasciectomy or whatever that thing was that I thought they were going to have to do on my leg) I wanted to know.  Part curiosity.  Part control issues.

Back to my original thing.  Yesterday rice.  Today, nothing all day.  The rice was at noon yesterday.  I came home at 10 after 4 classes (and breaks, imagine that) and ate an egg.  Getting that egg into me was the hardest thing.   It’s not a classic eating disorder as such.  But there’s something wrong with me and food.  It left a bitter taste in my mouth.

My stomach says feed me (grumble grumble) but my brain and my nose and my mouth just scream no.

How do I move past this?  I used to love to cook and eat.  Part of this is the lack of  kitchen.  I have no counter space and a toaster oven.  I do most of my cooking in a crock pot.

It’s sad, but I have to blame part of this on the fibro.  There were weekends where I couldn’t get out of bed to go to the store if I wanted.  I have a short vacation.  I plan on spending tomorrow resting.  Trying to let my body heal itself.  At least a little bit.  If I can I’ll go to the doctors.  If not.  Then I’ll do what my body  tells me what I need.

It’s past my bed time, but I needed to get this out.  It’s not as scary.  But the unknown is crazy for me.  It’s a shame the science thing didn’t work out for me.  But in the end, all there is is the unknown.

 

Understanding Triggers

I think I finally understand why the trigger point injections are so triggering for me.  First of all, they are painful.  Like cry out and bring tears to your eyes painful.  Even after switching to a finer needle, they’re almost unbearable.  And let me tell you, lidocane burns.  So that’s that little fact too.

Having the doctor behind me is somewhat triggering.  I can’t see what’s going on.  Plus he’s poking around in already painful areas trying to determine where to do the injection.  That brings back my touch = pain association.  The PT having to poke at my back and neck to figure out where to put the TENS cups reinforces that touch = pain thing too.

I think the biggest thing about the injections is that I can’t predict when he’s going to stick the needle in.  I realize for a normal person that might not be a problem.  For me, it all goes back to the unpredictability of my father and his games and the pain.  I think I’m going to ask Dr. K to tell me when he’s going to stick the needle in.  It’s a simple request (I hope).

I am worried about one thing.  As the pain in my neck and shoulders gets better, I can feel the pain in my lower back ramping up.  It’s up to about a 3.  It feels nothing like the pain I had with the herniated disks.  It’s the same sort of pain in my upper body.  And it’s right where fibro trigger points are.  I don’t think I could handle PT or injections in that reason.  Lying on my stomach for any sort of procedure is difficult for me and I had to do that for the TENS on my back.  But to have someone poking around down there.  Ugh.  No please no.  I know I shouldn’t ignore it.  I’m going to try some gentle stretching and hopefully I can prevent a full flare up down there.

Life

At the moment, I’m hating life.  My wrist sucks.  The rest of my body sucks.  Looks like I might be in for a visit to a hematologist as the bruise on my hand/wrist keeps spreading.  Part of it is obviously healing and part of it (the part closest to the failed IV site) looks like a fresh bruise.  I fell down a step today and have a bruise starting where my wrist splint jammed into my arm.  I landed right on my bad wrist, so it’s a good thing the splint was on.  Nothing seems broken, just more pain than usual.

I’ve spent the weekend crying off and on.  Yesterday during PT, I was crying more out of frustration than anything else.  Not the sobbing type of crying, but the silent tears running down the face crying.

I overdid it yesterday and basically spent today in bed.  I didn’t even do anything taxing.  Since losing about 50 pounds, I’ve noticed that I don’t get fatigued by simply walking up a flight of steps.  It was warm yesterday, but not horribly so.  Not really humid.  I walked for about 20 minutes outside (a friend and I went from a coffee shop to a new warehouse type store).  The whole time I was in the store, the sweat was pouring off of me.  Even though the store was cool, I couldn’t stop sweating.  I ended up dizzy and light headed.  Drinking water didn’t help.  When I got home, I took my temperature and it was at 102.  Normal for me is near 97.  I took a cool shower and kept drinking water and that seemed to help.  This is totally new for me.  It might be from the tricyclic antidepressant I’m on and it might be from my thyroid medication (or even my thyroid, looks like it’s time to get TSH/T3/T4 checked again).   Tomorrow is doctor day I guess.  Gotta see Dr. P (the psychiatrist), Dr. K (the orthopedist) + PT and Dr. Whatever his name is (the internist who is pretty useless).

I’m sorry to bitch about my health so much.  I feel like I’m falling apart.  Everything.  The PTSD stuff and even some of the borderline stuff has been rearing its ugly head.  I’m no spring chicken anymore.  But I’m not an old lady… though I feel like it.

*sigh*

Finished….

…for another year.  After 5 long years of not dealing with my reproductive health,  I finally got myself together  and saw a gyn.  His office happens to be right next to my psychiatrists office.

I wasn’t planning on the full exam, but the small rational voice in my head said do it.  And as much as I love Melanie, I don’t want to join her any time soon.

I left the gyn’s office a sobbing mess and immediately was able to see Dr. P.  IV Valium, here we come.  That shit burns going in.  But at least this time the nurse used a larger vein.

All day I felt myself slipping back into the past.  Luckily Monday’s are my full teaching load day, so it was harder to fall into flashbacks.

I feel all weird and a bit sore.  But I did it.  And that’s a big accomplishment for me.

Not Pleasant

Part of the reason I hate going to the doctors is I hate having my personal space invaded.  I realize it’s a necessary part of it.  But I really hate going to the ENT.  Back story.  Last Tuesday I woke up with my uvula swollen up like a cherry.  In retrospect, it was kinda funny.  At the time, not so much.  So I went to my idiot GP who told me I had tonsillitis (funny seeing I had mine taken out as a teenager), gave me a bunch of pills, a shot and told me to drink warm water.  Korean doctors are obsessed with warm water, not just water, warm water.  I drank cold.  It felt better on my sore throat.  I also went out and bought a humidifier which definitely has helped with thing.

Friday,not being all that much better, I went to an ENT.  He’s a strange goose in his own regard.  I hate his chair and the damn head rest..  I hate how close he has to get to see.  Today really sucked.  He’s decided I have an acute sinus infection with really sticky mucus and post nasal drip.  Well, duh.  I could have told him that.  So he numbs up my throat and literally takes a little vacuum cleaner to it.  I get he wanted to get the junk out, but I eventually (like after 90 seconds) of this, pushed him away.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I couldn’t breathe and I felt on the verge of panic.  Then to make things more fun, he took the same vacuum to my nose.  That wasn’t so bad.

I have really big issues with people doing stuff in my mouth.  Hence, my phobia of dentists.  Although it wasn’t one of my father’s favorite things to do, he did like oral sex.  I didn’t know what I was doing, but I know I hated it.  Just the thought of it makes me sick.

I have to go back to the ENT in 3 days.  I will definitely be taking some Valium beforehand.  Hopefully it will make it easier to deal with everything.

Anxiety Sucks

Even with copious amounts of Valium, I couldn’t leave the house today.  I so need to go grocery shopping.  I  didn’t have quite as bad a day yesterday.  By dinner time (after not eating all day) I managed to go out to a quiet sushi shop for dinner.  Damn was their wasabi strong.  Sinus burning strong.  I think my nose is still running.

This is just frustrating.  I have no idea what is causing this level of anxiety.  OK, well maybe I do have a bit of an idea.  And once that’s over, maybe things will calm down.

All I could do today was sleep.  When I sleep, at least I don’t feel the anxiety.

Please tell me it will get better….

Snoopy

I was watching “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” today.  What?  I’m a sucker for Peanuts.  I was Charlie Brown growing up.

So a few thoughts starting going through my head during the Snoopy song.  For the most part, my life is good.  I have friends who care about me.  I have a job that I love.  But inside is this nagging anger.  I’m not saying Snoopy is angry in his song (though the section starts that way).  It’s this part of me that I try so hard to push down.  I try not to let things irritate me because it can trigger the anger.  And like Snoopy, I end up being afraid of these feelings.  As Snoopy realizes how high up he is, he gets scared and backs down.  I do the same thing.  I feel myself getting angry at a person or situation.  But then I back down.  I give into the other person or situation, even if I feel (or know) I’m right.

I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense.  I mean, a song from a musical is inspiring these thoughts.

Worried

I’m worried about my job and what will happen at the end of my contract.  As it stands starting in March I’m down to 2/3 time.  I am taking a pay cut, but not down to 2/3 of my previous salary.  And with the added benefit of whatever I was paying in taxes and my part of the pension, the school will now pay.  I previously told my boss I’d like to stay another year and although I haven’t signed the contract, we do have that verbal agreement.  However, even with the changes made, I don’t know if I can afford to stay at 2/3 time.  If something doesn’t happen (my boss is looking at starting a training school to help train Korean English teachers.

Ugh.  I don’t want to think about the hell of searching for a job again.  I nearly got screwed over last year by another school.  That place banked on recruiting naive teachers who don’t know how things work teaching English in Korea.

Anyhow….  my mood has taken a hit from the conversation today.  Time for some serious kitty snuggling time and an extra helping of PRN Valium.

Look Me in the Eye

I got my hair trimmed after work this evening.  As I was sitting in the chair, I suddenly noticed that I never really looked in the mirror.  As I thought about it, I realized that I rarely look in the mirror period.  When I brush my teeth, I look down into the sink.  When I brush my hair, I stare off into space (yay short bob!)  I don’t put on makeup, so there’s no mirror there.

So as I was getting my hair cut, I tried looking in the mirror.  While I could kind of look off to the side, I couldn’t look myself in the eye.  All those years of shame and loathing came flooding back.  I tried, I really tried to look myself in the eye.  I couldn’t do it.  The thought of it sent waves of panic through me.

Are there any other survivors out there who find themsevles in the same situation?  I’m curious if it’s just my weird personal tendencies or if it has something to do with the abuse.

To Stay or Go

I love my job.  I really do.  Please don’t get me wrong.  But 3.5 years without a break longer than 5 days is intense.  You have to be “on” from the time you walk in until the time you walk out.  For me, that’s from about 9:30 am to 7:30 pm.  It’s a long day.  I don’t teach constantly, but there are always kids around.  And they want to have fun.  Especially the kindergarteners.  They love really high fives, when I hold my hand up high so they can jump.  And once I get to the elementary program, it’s a different type of intensity.  I really need to study grammar.  So many times, they ask “Why teacher?” and I don’t have a good answer.  I should be able to do better  with grammar.  It’s not like it’s a foreign language.  I’ve used English all my life.  But then again, I’ve never thought about it.  The last time I studied grammar was senior year of high school, which was *mumble* years ago.

Sometimes I have no motivation.  Other times I can whip up an activity or worksheet in 10 minutes.  I just did that for my 5 year old’s science class tomorrow.  We’ll be talking about the sense of taste.  But mostly it seems like I’m banging my head against a wall and not making any progress.  I know it’s my perfection coming out.  I want (desperately) my kids to have fun learning English.  But I don’t want to be a clown or an actress.  I want to be a teacher.  It’s hard for me to hear my boss say I’m a good teacher.  Because, often, I don’t feel that way.  I feel like a fraud.

So much of this goes back to my childhood.  I know I have issues with self-esteem and perfectionism.  I try hard to just say “Thank you” when my boss (or coworkers) say something nice.  But in my head, I’m screaming at them.  DON’T YOU SEE IT.  I SUCK.  HOW CAN YOU THINK I’M A GOOD TEACHER?????????

Am I crazy?  Well, yeah.  I’ve got my crazy meds and my crazy papers.  But am I “crazy”?   I don’t know how to answer that question.  I doubt anyone does.

As to the post title, it’s time to decide whether to stay another year or go home and attempt to find a job.  On the stay side, my boss has said she wants me to stay and she wants me to stay long-term (5 years, though I’d be on a year to year visa).  On the go side, well, I’m burned out.  On the stay side, I’d have to deal with my crazy family and the crappy job market.  And since my best friend passed away on Thanksgiving, I don’t have any real friends to go home to.  And on the stay side is the health care.  We’re talking seriously cheap care here, but high quality.  The day I fell on the ice, I got a full set of pelvis, knee and ankle x-rays plus a visit with an orthopedist for around 15 USD.  My psych meds cost me roughly 40 dollars a month, including the visit with the psychiatrist.

Just looking, it seems like there are more reasons to stay than go.  I definitely am at a good school.  My boss is a bit nutty, just like me and we like to joke about it.  The school is small, so I pretty much know every student by name.  And the philosophy of the school meshes well with  mine.

I need to make a decision by the end of the month.  It takes time to find replacements and I want to give my boss every opportunity to find someone who she’s happy with if I do decide to go.