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.

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

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

A Full June

Well now. Look at what the cat dragged in. I have no excuse. Honestly. I could give you some song and dance about life and all its complexity, but honestly?

  1. It’s been a busy few weeks, and
  2. I’ve had nothing useful to say.

It’s just been that kind of month. We’ve all had them. Plus, with all the… sadness and violence and crap going on in the world… I’ve been feeling sadness and anger and the need to blanketfort quite a bit. And we’ve all hear enough about that stuff, for the time being. For a lifetime, really.

So instead, my focus had been turned inward — and by that I mean I have been taking time to focus on my little life here with my house and family. And there’s been a lot to do. Continue reading

A Mess

A mess. We are it.

If you were to be around the House of Peevish for the last little while, you’d notice someone hobbling or groaning or vomiting or spending inordinate amounts of time in the bathroom. We’ve been in sad shape, it’s fair to say.

The good news is: we’re working on it. We are a work-in-progress. Continue reading

Don’t Say It. I Know.

I’ve been negligent in my posting duties. It’s already the 11th of March and I have yet to post something this month. WTF WHAT IS THAT I DON’T EVEN.

Well, it’s already been a busy month. Next week — March break!! — will be mercifully quiet, with just two therapy appointments and maybe a couple of play dates. O JOYFUL QUIET, O PEACE. Or so I hope.

So I will once again use the lame excuse We have been busy, and I will do so for the following reasons: Continue reading

February. It Can Suck It, Man.

Ugh. February. If there’s one month of the year I hate, it’s February.  (Okay, I lied. I hate November too. And August. For different reasons entirely.) But still. Goddamn February, amirite?

Because, seriously. The darkness. Oh my dog, I have had ENOUGH of the waking up in the dark thing. I am DONE. Plus, because the weather is… well, WINTERY… it’s overcast and gray and darkish during the daytime, too. Sunshine is rare in February.

And it’s cold. Unrelenting cold. And here, in the armpit of southern Ontario, it does that unsettled weather thing, which means tons of snow and also freezing rain and wind and dog knows what else. Probably thundersnow and plagues of cold-resistant locusts or something. I wouldn’t be surprised.

But it is damp. Cold and dark and damp.

I hate it. Continue reading

Coming Apart At The Seams, It Seems

I am coming apart at the seams. Or so it seems.

It’s hard, this whole getting older thing. I mean, I know we do it from the moment we are born. And yet? Unlike the whole “practice makes perfect” adage, it does not seem to matter how much we age, we don’t get better at it. In fact, it seems to get more difficult, not easier.

I’m not even that old. Well, at least that is what I tell myself.

But I have reached the part of my life wherein I must take greater care of myself. Pay more attention to what I do, what I eat, how I feel. Listen more to advice from my doctors. Fight against things that I can no longer control. And, despite how my brain feels about me, my body is all SCREW YOU LADY I HAVE BEEN AT THIS AWHILE AND FRANKLY I’M GETTING FUCKING TIRED OF YOUR NONSENSE.

It sucks, honestly. Continue reading

Shape Shifting

I had a doctor’s appointment today.

I love having a doctor again. I hadn’t had one for, what, at least five years, and it was challenging. Now, when I say I “didn’t” have a doctor, what I actually mean is “I had a doctor in name only, but she was fairly incompetent and almost impossible to get access to because she had no receptionist”. So being able to call up a doctor’s office, and schedule an appointment that fits in with my schedule, is wonderful.

But because I went without for quite some time, my health went unchecked, for the most part, for the better part of five or six years. So, since signing on with my new clinic, we’ve been playing a lot of catch up. It’s odd, because I am unaccustomed to someone actually trying to make me healthier. Continue reading

Groan. Whine. Whimper.

So, my everything hurts. From somewhere around my chin to the tips of my toes, there is an ache or a pain or a twinge of some kind.

This physical fitness thing can SUCK IT.

Yes, my muscles hurt and my knees are a bit puffy and my falling arch continues to fall, but when I was younger, this stuff didn’t bother me as much. When did I become such a giant pansy?

(Probably when my brain got smarter than my body and reminded me that “playing through the pain” was what coaches said to push you to win at all costs. Or maybe that was just my experience.)

Anyway, I am experiencing the joys of a general post-workout wimp-out. It’s like the return of an old friend. Continue reading

Music Monday: Workout Playlist

I’m tired. I’ve been tired for awhile. And do you know why?

EXERCISE. Specifically, JOGGING.

Yeah, that’s right. Me. I have lifted my expansive arse from my comfy chair where it’s all INTERNETS FOREVER!!11! and ramped up my comfortable but mostly dormant exercise routine. Because of health (if you’ll recall from my fat lazy liver and my near-explodey-blood-vessel-ridiculous-high blood pressure and also my diva ovaries — NO WAIT they’re off the hook on this one, what a surprise, but it’s okay… I can blame them for a shitload of other stuff). And, therefore, also SCIENCE.

But mostly vanity, truth be told.

The thing is, though? I HATE JOGGING. I hate running of any sport. There’s a reason I only did sports involving jumping and hitting and a minimum of running. Because OH YEAH FUCK YOU RUNNING THAT’S WHY. Also my knees and and my back and my other joints and my fat jiggly bits hate running.

But I am doing it. Not a lot, but I am doing it.

And because I am doing it, I need music to motivate me. Continue reading