Oh NO!!

We had, up until this evening, a tree on our tree lawn. A line of severe thunderstorms flew through the greater Cleveland area earlier. When the alert came through my phone, it said winds up to 80 mph. Looking at our poor tree, I can believe it.

It could have been much, much much worse. There are a few pictures of huge trees that came down in the area. AJ Colby says more storms are in the future due to the high temperatures and humidity we’re having. Check out this segment of him talking with images of the radar and satellite from the storm. It does look like we’ll have a nice weekend, knock on wood.


I don’t have many memories from childhood. Most of them consist of what I describe as “snapshots”. It’s like a picture of sorts in my mind. Sometimes I know the context and sometimes I don’t.

Seeing the tree on the ground brought back one of these snapshots. It’s me standing in a garden center holding onto the trunk of this (much smaller version) tree. There isn’t much more to it. I’m actually assuming it’s a garden center, because where else would you have bought a tree in the late 70s. I guess it isn’t even a picture so much. It’s more of like me looking outside from inside of me knowing I’m holding onto this tree.

For some reason, seeing the tree on the ground made me cry last night. I don’t feel particularly emotionally attached to that tree. Maybe because it’s one of the few nontraumatic memories I have? I don’t know. And at the moment, I’m overwhelmed with everything else and I don’t want to explore it. Maybe when I talk to Dr. D the week after next.

5K Training

I signed up for a 5K on July 3rd. It’s been a few weeks since I last went out for a walk/run. Things have been super busy at work and I’ve been working late on Tuesdays and Thursdays, not to mention Saturdays.

I had been lifting Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. And then going for a run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

But between all the crap at work and being under the weather with allergies and my second Covid shot… Well, my motivation and energy were lacking.

I think I only have 2 more weeks of insanity at work. And as long as the weather is nice, I need to at least go out for 20 minutes or so.

Back to Work…

First day back after a long break. My anxiety level was climbing all weekend. It was so bad last night, I ended up taking a Klonopin. I even needed to take one this morning. My anxiety is usually much more controlled.

Once I got back, I got back into the groove. All the babies were glad to see me. L reached her arms up as soon as she saw me. I picked her up and she just giggled. I said “Hey D Man” to D and he turned and gave me a huge smile.

When I left, A was rocking back and forth on his hands and knees. Now he’s properly crawling.

There’s so much development that happens in two weeks when you’re talking about babies under a year.

I found out this morning that I don’t have to do any office work. I don’t have to enter notes for the other teachers. I don’t have to answer the phone in the afternoon. Well, from 5-6 I do. The school age teacher is holding onto the phone until she leaves at 5.

I really think the owner is afraid of losing me. She really can’t afford to lose any staff. And she needs my degree to move her star for Step Up to Quality. It feels good to be needed. But not for the cost of my mental health.

Starting Up Again

It’s been many years since I’ve written here. I decided earlier this week to get back into writing on this blog specifically.

So what has been going on the last 3.5 years? A whole lot. I had a second bariatric procedure and I lost more weight. My highest weight was 440 pounds. I’m now 177. I was down to 164 but pandemic…….

I’m still working with infants in early childhood education. I’m still at the same place, though I’m brushing up my resume. I’m still coloring, though on my own. The meetup group doesn’t meet anymore because, well, *gestures wildly around*. I’m still baking and I’m part of an online baking “club”. “Club” because it’s only two of us. We are still trying to get people to join us.

A while ago, I quit therapy with Dr. D. I’m back working with her again. Dr. W (who I still see) encouraged me to start therapy again. I’m glad I did. The thing that made me walk away was her trying to dive into (what I recognize now as) my social anxiety. I wasn’t ready to tackle it and I was doing well in other ways. The break was good for me.

In terms of meds, I’ve been able to taper off the Haldol, Effexor and Celexa. In a few months, I’m hoping to start getting off either the Zoloft or Wellbutrin.

Last summer, one of the baby girls in my class at work had some possible vaginal bleeding. The way it was handled by my boss plus just the idea that maybe someone was hurting that little girl really messed with my head. At that point, I was seeing Dr. D. I ended up taking a week off to get my head screwed back on. The family left the center and I occasionally wonder what happened to her and hope she’s okay.

A couple months ago, we had a new family join the center. There are an infant boy, a toddler boy and a preschool girl. These children were removed from their mother. The toddler spent many hours just crying “mommy” over and over. The way the building is set up is there is a half door between the infant room and the toddler room. So I could hear every single scream. It broke my heart. It didn’t help that the toddler teacher was getting frustrated and would say “J, please stop crying.”. Let me say, that I totally understand her reaction. She had 6 other kids under 3 and it was overwhelming at times. I’ve been in her shoes. I was told A, the baby in my room, was born to a crack addicted mother. I need to do some reading on what the shorter term ramifications are of that. I’m probably most concerned about B, the preschool girl. She seems totally unaffected. I know she’s older than J, but she’s only 4.

I’ve been dealing with my reactions to those two incidents with Dr. D. After the baby girl, I took a week off to get my head back on the right way. Last week and this week, I’ve been on vacation. There were many reasons, one being the new family. Another is physical exhaustion. I’m still dealing with fibro. Two weeks ago we were so short staffed because of Corona. I ended up working 8-6 with a 2 hour break. It just wasn’t sustainable for me. I’m also the acting administrator for 4-6. Another staff member thinks she’s in charge and was being a general pain in the ass. I told my boss that E can be in charge since it seems that’s what she wants. My boss told me that no, you’re in charge and I deliberately chose you. And then there’s all the BS that needs to be done for Step Up to Quality. I was doing a good deal of other teachers’ work.

It’s definitely been a crazy year.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I swear I can’t win.  I started on the Cymbalta almost a week ago.  The good news, it is starting to help with the pain.  The bad news, it killed my appetite.  I’m lucky if I get 1000 calories a day.  I’ve lost 5 pounds since I started.  While that’s a welcome loss, it isn’t healthy nor sustainable.  My anxiety has also gone into overdrive.  My blood sugar is running low because of the not eating thing and that tends to trigger anxiety.  Despite telling the doctor this, she doesn’t want me to go down on the dosage (I told her 30 mg had worked fine for me in the past but she insisted on putting me on 60 mg even though I’m incredibly sensitive to medication).  She also doesn’t want me to take a daytime dosage of Klonopin.  She essentially wants me to ride it out.  I’ve got enough Klonopin to take it twice a day before I see her again, so I might use it as a crisis kind of thing.  Oh and she isn’t worried about the not eating thing either.

I’m debating whether to try a different psychiatrist (see previous entry about the psychosis thing) or see if she works out.  I don’t like doctor hopping and it’s my general rule not to do it unless the person is truly an ass or incompetent.  But she doesn’t seem to really give a damn.

*sigh*

One step forward, two steps back.  That’s the story of my life, or so it seems.

All That Jazz

Or maybe just some of it.  OK, probably none of it.

My brain is utterly fried.  I don’t know what to blame it on…  constant stress, depression, anxiety, fibro.  All of the above, maybe?

I guess if you want to look on the plus side, my PTSD symptoms are pretty much nonexistent aside from anxiety and a wicked startle response.  But I’m bone tired.  Like stay in bed all day bone tired.  And my bones hurt from the cold.  Spring can’t come soon enough for me.

My doc started me on a muscle relaxant at night.  While that’s a good thing (I think since I’m not waking up with spasms in my back and legs) my muscles seem to clamp down even harder during the day.  I could barely straiten my back yesterday.

I’ve applied for my state’s medicaid program.  I’m trying to figure out what the next step with them is.  The website isn’t exactly clear.  I guess I need to go in person.  Luckily for me, there’s an office in the city I live in.  It’s just a depressing place to go.  I’ve already found out that my current PCP doesn’t take medicaid.  Bad because I hate getting established with a new doctor.  Good because, well, to be honest, I didn’t really like my PCP to begin with.  On the other hand, who knows.  The new one could be worse.  And all this is stressing me out too.

I think the only thing keeping me sane is my kitties.  I’m house/cat sitting for someone this week.  Their kitty loves me.  He always wants to be on top of me, kneading me.  And damn it.  It hurts.  I can only put him down so many times before he gets more insistent.  Oh well.  It’s only for a few more days and then I’ll be back with my mostly non cuddly kitties.

I Don’t Know

I just don’t know.  I think I’m going through some PTSD regression stuff.  I’m having shower and bed issues.  I’ve been sleeping on the couch downstairs.  I say it’s because it’s too hot in my room, but really, I don’t want anything to do with my room.

I’m having trouble staying med compliant.  I rarely take my sleep meds.  I still sleep, but with so much REM it’s not refreshing.  Pain meds…  not the best at taking them either.  I feel like I deserve to be in pain.

It’s not easy to sit here and write this.  I can’t put things into words right now.  I can’t concentrate on anything, in fact I’ve lost interest in my Fortran course and learning the ins and outs of XCode (I’m back on a Mac).

I wish I could throw up.  It would make me feel better I think.  My stomach is all churned up again, probably because I’m not taking those meds like I should be.  I’m not sure how long I’m going to last in the states.  It’s been a month and I feel like I’m losing my marbles.

Bugger

I’m leaving my job after my contract ends.  Ordinarily I’d stay.  But my boss has cut our winter break from 5 to 3 days.  You don’t know how much I need those five days.  The franchise fed her some cock and bull story that hogwons don’t give five days in the summer and the winter.  That’s crap.  I’ve worked at two other and talked to other people.  You get 5/5.  I can’t believe my boss bought it.  AND she broke my contract.  If I were a vindictive bitch, I’d take her to the labor board.  I’m not.  I saw next year’s schedule.  I have even fewer hours.  I’m not working for half of what she put in my contract.  I should have insisted she put the original amount.  I let her put what I’m getting now.  So I’m going to try to get a job at the same school as some friends.  I like the franchise books, but once you’re out of their ESL course, they frankly suck.  They have some sort of online things for teachers.  There are twelve units in the book.  I’ve yet figured out how to get past unit 8 on the web site.  I managed to find the answer key for one of the workbooks and printed the chapter I needed.  There was like 90% overlap between the two.  Book used word A, key used synonym B.  There are more than the average number of mistakes in the books.  I can’t spell.  God knows I be up shits creek without a spell checker.  But one of the authors on the series is a native English speaker.  How you do miss dong for doing, two pages in a row.

Yes, I’m venting.  Before this shit hit the fan, I had to deal with doctor turf wars.  The rheumy gave in and took out the Prozac (which I was going to ask him to do anyway) and the sleep med he prescribed.  I had two blissful weeks of sleep.  Now I’m back to sleeping but not sleeping.  Psych has me on amitriptyline, probably enough to put a normal horse to sleep.  It’s not helping me sleep.  He has me on tiny amounts of Valium and Klonopin at night.  He said that whatever sleep med the rheumy prescribed had the highest abuse potential of any sleep aide.  Have I ever shown him addictive potential in nearly two years?  No.  And the man hands out Valium like it’s candy. I’m going to give it the weekend.  I’ve already spent the days sleeping because I don’t want to deal with the pain (and I wad tired as hell).  Yes, I have pain killers, but I’m afraid of tolerance (different than addiction, thank you very much).  I need to ask a doc about that.  It’s Tramadol + acetaminophen.  I don’t like the acetaminophen one bit.  But apparently it’s supposed to give the Tramadol a boost.

OK, I think that’s enough for one day.

Do You Have a Brain?

Sorry, work rant again.

These new books.  I have one that I need two days to teach one unit.  I have one day a week with the class.  My boss is the co-teacher.  I initially asked for help, especially the reading comprehension section because it was difficult.  No problem she says.  We aren’t doing any comprehension now.

Today she comes by and says, you didn’t do the comprehension questions with them.  Me: speechless.  Uh, you were supposed to do those.  But they’re more conversation based and I think you should do them.  Me: speechless.  I only have one day and I need to do the vocabulary, speaking and grammar parts.  She says it’s better if the Korean teacher does the grammar.  Me: speechless.  The last unit of grammar?  “there is” and “there are”.  I can teach a blind, deaf, mute monkey how to use there is and there are.  So now the students have to translate the reading (hahahahaha, like that’s going to happen).  This still leaves me with trying to do 2 days of work in 1.  And my boss wonders why I get stressed out.  I have no idea.

Why the change?  She can’t keep up with the material she has to teach.  She put the class in the wrong level.  Not my problem.

Now I’m going to see what might be on TV but probably will watch a movie.  “Instinct” is queued up in VLC.

And someday I promise I’ll get back to the real reason I started this blog.  But in a way, it’s all relevant.  Stress makes the fibro makes the PTSD worse.  On and on like an oh so wonderful merry-go-round.

Much better

I do so much better mood/fibro wise when the sun is out.  Today ’twas so.  And it looks like it for the next 2 days (at least).

I can’t wait to get the madness of test week over.  Oh, but then comes the fun of Halloween.  I’m all for stickin’ the kids in a room and letting them watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”.  Lucky me gets to be in the craft room.  At least it won’t be a free for all this year.  They’re planning on having the classes move through in groups.
And at least my craft is making door knob hangers.  Worst thing that can happen is someone puts out an eye.  I jest.  I jest.  But I’ve got to laminate all the bloody things.

So much for tonight.  My last lesson ran over time.  And I think I still have that test to write….  *checks dropbox* … HOT DOG!  I did do it this afternoon before work. *pats self on back*