An Infestation of Brain Weasels

So, hey there, internet… how have you been?

When was the last time we talked… in October, maybe? Early November? Well,
I’ve been away for a bit. There have been things going on here, that’s for sure, not least of which is Christmas.

But, more than that. In late November, I was diagnosed with depression. So, you know… that’s new.

November is, historically, a really hard month for me. November and February. I have always felt a bit of the seasonal affective disorder thing hit me in those two dark, overcast months. It’s usually pretty down for me, and I hit the vitamin D3 and start trying to get more fruit and sunshine… the usual stuff.

But this year, it was different.

This year, I was struggling with being really, really sad. Sitting for hours in my office chair or on the sofa, crying. Sobbing uncontrollably about… well, stupid stuff, really. Feeling defeated. Unable to concentrate. Tired. And in a lot of physical pain from arthritis, bursitis, and a bad back.

Normally, when I feel negative thoughts about myself starting to sneak in and rustle around in my consciousness — what we call the Brain Weasels — there’s always my rational voice there to snap me out of it, to flap my apron at the Brain Weasels like some 50’s housewife and shoo them out of my brainspace. And I get myself right again and get on with my day.

Not this time.

This time, the Brain Weasels were a lot more active. Really busy. Making a mess. And that practical 50’s housewife flapping her apron was nowhere to be seen.

I felt like I was struggling to get out from under an oppressive amount of… stuff. Like I was bogged down and couldn’t find light. I was hitting the D3 hard and it wasn’t making a difference.

I was losing.

So I called my doctor and made an appointment.

Now, here is where I tell you that I have THE BEST primary caregivers in the history of ever. My doctor, her nurse Andrea, and her receptionist Tori are ALWAYS there for me. But that day, when I called and reached out, Tori immediately knew something was not right. And this incredibly busy woman sat on the phone with me to ensure I’d be okay while I sobbed my way through my story, and offered to sit on the phone with me and just chat, whenever I needed her, until I could get in to see the doctor. THIS, my friends, is Health CARE.

When I went for my appointment, BDH came along, because he was concerned about me and wanted to be sure he gave his perspective about what he was seeing in me. And my doctor, my amazing GP, just sat there, gently asking questions, taking everything I was saying as 100% valid and important. I did not realize she was doing a mental health assessment with me, but she was.

She told me I was suffering from depression. Hardly a surprise. And she prescribed antidepressants.

But she also took my concerns about pain, weight gain, inability to get fit despite all my exercise, stress, emotional labour, seasonal affective symptoms and nutrition, all that stuff that was part and parcel of what was making me feel bad, seriously.

She ordered a whackload of blood work to look at my thyroid, iron levels, vitamin D, all that stuff, to see if there was anything amiss health-wise.

She ordered imaging on my knees to see if we could work on relieving the pain. She sent me back to physio to see what they could do for me. And once the imaging results came back she put me on anti-inflammatories to treat what has become moderate osteoarthritis from my years in sports.

She ordered me to take the month of December off. Like, COMPLETELY OFF. No more exercising. No doing anything more than was absolutely necessary around Xmas prep and all the festivities therein. Which means BDH and That Girl would have to shoulder a lot of the work — which they have, without complaint.

If I’m honest, that last recommendation was pretty much imperative. Because of the brain meds, I have been sleeping. A LOT. It was quite a lot, at first, plus naps throughout the day. Now, 5 weeks in, I can get through about half the days without a nap. It should get better, if I can get a good sleep at night — and that’s the big unknown because sometimes meds can mess with your sleep at night. So we’ll see how that goes.

But most important is that, for the most part, the meds have chased the Brain Weasels away. A few times I have felt myself spiralling and panicking, but they are easier to Name and Blame and I can shoo them away.

I feel sort of neutral, which is good. The sadness and panic has subsided.

But I also miss… feeling things. I find things funny, and I feel content about things. What I miss is Joy. I miss feeling Excited. I don’t miss the lows, but as a person who lives with a lot of enthusiasm and volume, I do miss the highs.

So, maybe this might not be the exact right medication for me. Time will tell.

But I am on my way.

And I wanted to mention it to you, interwebs friends, because it’s capital-I Important. Mental Health is Important, and when your mental health is not optimal, it’s not something you should screw around with. If the doctor says “oh, you have cancer” you don’t just smile and hope you feel better soon and feel ashamed of and don’t burden others with your problems, do you?

NO.

Well, we need to feel the same way about our mental health issues. We need to be able to talk about them, and address our mental health needs, and do what need to be done to improve our mental health. And not not be ashamed of asking for and requiring that help.

I’ve told you about the state of my vagina. You know my lungs are unholy pains in my arse. You know my ovaries are overpaid supermodel divas. You know how my right boob has been causing me to visit my local mammography machine more than I care to. Now you know about that time I had an infestation of Brain Weasels.

MY BODY IS A FUCKING WONDERLAND. And it’s important to take care of it. All of it.

Take care of yours, too, okay? Because you’re a wonderland, too.

It’s Just Who They Are

I was having a chat with my sister-in-law yesterday via Slack, as one does, and the topic turned to kids. Specifically, with special needs. Of which mine is of course one.

We were talking about all that is involved with getting kids a diagnosis, of helping them learn, of teaching them to advocate for themselves. We talked about IEPs and lesson adaptations and development.

There’s a lot involved with getting a child the education they need.

But we got to a point in the conversation where, I had to confess, there is also a lot involved with getting a parent the education they need as well.

The thought had not occurred to me, really, so fully formed and so clear before, but special education is also for the parents. Continue reading

Doing All The Things

Greetings, fair friends of the interwebs! I have returned, from glorious outings into The World, where I have Done All The Things and also did some Adulting!!

Worship me!

Okay, so, when I say “all the things” what I mean is “a few things”. Some things. About half the things. I have done about half the things. (Hat tip, Sports Night.) And I did it over two days, not all just today.

Still, that’s pretty good, right? I went out into the world, where The People are, driving their Cars all over the place, like Crazed Maniacs. I did a thing!

And do you know WHY I went out into the world, doing all these things? Continue reading

Stress Levels: Outer Limits, Part II

So, where were we? Oh yes. When we last left our heroine at the House of Peevish, she was having a major existential crisis because, oh yeah, INSTITUTIONAL INCOMPETENCE, BUSES, AND INSURANCE.

That was a fun day, wasn’t it?

And it will comfort you to know that, in fact, exactly ZERO progress has been made on the whole “what the fuck do you mean, you’re not going to pay us for the value of our almost-brand-new car” and “what the fuck do you mean, the woman who totalled our car is also going to be driving our daughter to school on a regular basis” fronts. So that’s nice. Wouldn’t want to shake anyone’s worldviews with quick and logical resolutions to arsenumbingly stupid problems, would we?

But as I had said, that was just the start of our stress and fun, although the rest is slightly less OMG ONGOING STRESS stress and more of the WELL THAT WAS STRESSFUL, BUT NOW LOOKING BACK IT’S KIND OF HILARIOUS variety.

Because what’s not funny about subtraction, sweating, and boobs, I ask you?

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

Continue reading

Stress Level: Outer Limits – Part I

Our stress levels around here the past two weeks have been ridiculous. I know it’s not just us — BDH has said that so many people he knows are so very stressed out right now — but for us, being this consistently stressed out is pretty unusual.

We’re tired. Like, super-over-tired. None of us, not even That Girl, are getting good sleep. And our days, and the stress of them, are adding to the problem.

Nothing catastrophic has happened. As we talked about this morning, we have a roof over our heads and food on the table and we’re safe and healthy and loved. It’s not *that* kind of stress. It’s just… Life is conspiring against us right now in moderate ways to make us feel really, really stressed.

Our stress — let me show you it! Continue reading

New Arrivals

We’ve had some new feline arrivals since last we spoke, Interwebs.

Well, technically speaking, one is new. The other came since we said goodbye to Lucy so suddenly last spring, so he’s new-ish. ( YES WELL THE POINT IS, THEY’RE BOTH NEW. Sheesh, facts sure can screw up a lovely flowery introduction, can’t they?)

Anyway. Both cats came from our wonderful local Humane Society, both are boycats, and both are FIV+.

Qu’est-ce que the hell? you may ask. What is this FIV? Well, let me tell you. Continue reading

And We’re Back

So… hello again, good people of the internet.

How are you doing? I’ve been away for awhile. I needed some time off. But, encouraged by BDH, here I am again. Mostly, some would argue, because we are paying for this domain and not using it, but I choose to believe he misses my creative and quite frankly hilarious interwebs offerings.

So, what’s been going on, you ask? Well… nothing out of the ordinary, if I am honest. Oh, sure, on a larger philosophical level, there are parts of the world that are going to hell in a handcart, and as a species we are slowly drowning in our own toxic filth and setting the earth to boil away into a cloud of toxic steam, yes?

But around here… well, it’s just life, isn’t it. Life, in all its beautiful mundane complexity. Life’s rich pageant and all that.

Let me see if I can hit a few highlights as we go along here. Continue reading

Lucy

Yesterday, our Lucy died.

Grief is hard, and I need to write about Lucy and how I am feeling, but I am not sure I can do it yet.

I need to write about all the details, how she’s been not quite healthy since January, how it came to pass that we rushed into the vet’s office after dropping That Girl at school yesterday morning, only to have to make the sudden decision that we had to have Lucy put to sleep. I need to write it down, to remember those important parts of her life and our life as a family. But those words haven’t come yet.

I am still feeling raw. It was rough, Monday night and yesterday, coping with Lucy’s sudden illness and then her death. She was my kitty, and I am brokenhearted at her loss. Continue reading

Fifty

I got a vacuum cleaner for my fiftieth birthday. But it’s okay.

As the saying goes… this is what the top of the hill looks like. Well, at least I can stop pedalling and cruise down the rest of the way.

Okay, I kid. I make a little funny joke. But some people really do freak the hell out over turning forty, let alone fifty.

But, to quote the immortal Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont: I AIN’T PEOPLE! Continue reading

Ostrich

Sorry I have been largely absent these last couple of weeks. I’ve been an ostrich. My head has been mostly in the sand.

Sometimes the internets can be great fun — I mentioned that last time, about the various rabbit holes and fun paths to follow. It can be full of humour and information and interesting things.

But other times, it is a cesspool of hatred and vileness and moronic behaviour. Like it has been recently. I IMAGINE YOU KNOW WHY THAT IS.

So in those times… I become an ostrich. Continue reading

There is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In

2016 is FUCKING FIRED, I am telling you truly. But this week? Is pretty fucking close, too. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH.

This week has been sucktacular. Really. Seriously. I mean, you KNOW how bad this week has been.

I’ve been struggling with holding it together through this week’s events. Have you?

I will admit, it’s not been my finest hour. Continue reading

Rabbit Holes

This weekend we decided to have some down time.

We were tired, and BDH’s birthday had just passed. We were unable to celebrate it when we wanted to, last weekend, because That Girl decided to bring home a stomach bug from school and consequently barfed spectacularly and stayed home from school and then spent the weekend recovering.

Then on his actual birthday, a weekday, BDH of course had to go to work and That Girl had some of her many activities in the evening and so it wasn’t an optimal time to celebrate. So we pushed back until this past weekend. Continue reading

Fear and Loathing in Waterloo

Good day, my closest interwebs peeps! Let us speak today of dentists.

I understand, trips to the dentist are things that people tend to have All The Feels about. Some people are decidedly meh about the whole deal while others have an abject terror of all things dental.

I am in between these two camps. Or, rather, I have a foot in both camps.

On the one hand, I have become accustomed to cleanings to the point that I find them ALMOST enjoyable. I relax, I zone out, sometimes I feel ever-so-close to dozing off… It’s fair to say that most days, I don’t mind.

BUT. Continue reading

Well, That Was Something That Happened

So, some… time… ago, BDH and I got a Costco membership. Against my better judgement, I have to say. Because you know me, and you know I am as cheap as a cheap thing that is cheap, and I hate spending money.

But BDH and I thought maybe it might actually be a way to SAVE money, this whole “buying certain things in bulk” idea, so we decided to give it a go.

And that is when we bought giant bags of apples for the aforementioned Apple Jelly Debacle of ’16. Let us not speak of it again.

But also, we bought huge bags of potatoes and carrots.  Continue reading

Stair Repair, Part the First

So I said I would tell you about our project to reclaim our stairs, and indeed I shall. Or, at least, I’ll tell you about the first part, because we’re nowhere near finished yet.

I don’t suspect we’ll be finished for a very long time, mainly because Budget. Also, if I am being completely honest, because Procrastination.

So if I were you I would settle myself in for a long wait, with a not-terribly-exciting finish when all is said and done. Continue reading