Slipping Xanax Under My Tongue

English: Xanax 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg scored tablets

English: Xanax 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg scored tablets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a Xanax under my tongue. I’m not proud of it but I’m also not ashamed either. I feel the stirrings of a big anxiety attack about to kick in and I’m trying to head it off at the beginning. I am trying hard to head off having a complete melt down like I had four weeks ago for the same situation so let’s just call this preventive medicine. Preventive psychiatric medicine intervention? That’s a mouthful but I do like the sound of it.

If “my friend,” the always funny and creative blogger, Jennifer Lawson “The Bloggess” can write about Xanax and mental health I sure can too. This isn’t my first posting about anxiety I have plenty of those but in this one I am telling you what I am worried about, out loud in real-time. Maybe that will lessen the anguish, probably it will be just the same. Or maybe I will just worry about worrying. It ‘s anyone’s guess.

There are so many things that are out of my control and they all involve a common theme, as I used to call it “Health and Welfare.” I’m worried about the health of three very important people in my life. Yes, all at the same time. Initially I wrote down who those people are but then I had a funny feeling and I knew that if those people saw this blog they would be mad as heck and I would worry about that too. So, problem solved. These are all my anxieties wrapped up in a tightly knit, wound up ball, the kind you make out of twine, beige, scratchy and unforgiving.

There is an expression in German that my dad used to say and that I have said for years : “nur gesund sein.” Loosely translated, “Just stay healthy, your health is the most important thing.” I really mean it, I’ve never been the type who has needed a wake up call, I’ve been on the edge of that wake up call since I could probably talk. I don’t ever take that for granted but now I’m being tested not with just one thing but many and all at once. I need to rise to the occasion,my fears and worries aside, there is no other choice.

Another thing my dad taught me which frankly is not easy to achieve is staying in Neutral. If we all could do that successfully, we wouldn’t need Xanax or Valium, bags of chocolate or pints of ice cream or whatever your soothing pleasure is. If a cup of tea worked, believe me I’d be sipping it right now. Since I am not sobbing in hysteria, nor am I in ecstatic denial all I can see in my future, tonight, hopefully, is sleep. If I can get that, a good night’s sleep, I will feel that I have accomplished at least a little something.

Those weird protesting people in my stomach are rabble rousing again. They aren’t rioting like they were before, those angry protestors. Now, it’s more like they are marching silently, still carrying signs. But, they are still there, they know it and so do I. I’m truly hoping I can surprise them and wipe them all out before I turn out the lights. Wish me luck. Please.

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Begging For A Diagnosis

Sad Little Girl

Sad Little Girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found myself in the waiting room of my Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist this afternoon actually praying for an inner ear infection. Yes, that’s what I said. I was praying for a diagnosis that would be fixed with a quick supply of an antibiotic, preferably a Z-pack. Done! No such luck. My ears have hurt me on and off for weeks. This was the second time I had been to the doctor in two months. Not only did my ears hurt but my entire face, under my eyes, my head, my forehead, my entire body was aching, as if I had the flu but I knew I didn’t.

Please, I groaned to myself, let me have an ear infection, or a throat infection, even eppiglottis, the dreaded disease that I have received so much mail about when I posted a blog about it. (* Calling Eppiglottitis A Bitch Is A Vast Understatement) Even that I could take if I have a diagnosis but no, my throat was fine, my ears were “perfect” I felt like I was five years old, alone, horrible and to the doctor I looked “good.” I’ve felt worse and worse and I don’t know why. The doctor told me it was probably my Fibromyalgia/TMJ……Nothing I didn’t know already. “Gee, I’m sorry,” he said “wish I could do more.” He patted me on my shoulder as he stared at my breasts and promised to call in a prescription strength type of Advil (which, he never did.)

My only hope is that I have my physical next week with my Internist ( a woman who does not even BELIEVE in Fibromyalgia) but at least she can run some blood tests and send them to my Rheumatologist. This is SO FRUSTRATING. Everyone just wants to throw different drugs at me and I don’t really want to take them. Take this, says the Rheumatologist and this, says the ENT,  but you need energy so take this, and there is nothing for pain so just live with it. I am tired of living with it and I can’t discuss this with my sister (or even have her READ THIS ENTRY) because it is not a safe topic for us. We can talk about many things, this is not one of them. Unless she can give me concrete examples of what exactly she would like me to try and how I can pay for it.

All I know is that I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia for six years now and after it got better, it has now gotten worse. Does Fibromyalgia get worse? Is this something new? Can I live like this? Is it the weather? An anxiety attack? I feel so vulnerable and so lousy that I cried in the waiting room from feeling so poorly.  I noticed a father with his teenage daughter; I missed my father who would have known how to kid me like that father did. I missed mine so desperately. Do emotions come to play in all of this? I think it’s probably all of the above and none of it is pretty. Not for me, not today, not until I feel better. I’m complaining, in writing. I should just shut up.

*http://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/calling-epiglo…understatement

Finally, I Am So “IN” Repost

anxiety

anxiety (Photo credit: FlickrJunkie)

For the first time in my life I’m in fashion and not following a trend that started four years ago. I am cutting edge; I am “IN ” because I get ANXIOUS.  I’m not talking about buying Uggs (I did buy those 4 years after they came out)  but I still wear them year after snowy year because they keep my feet toasty warm. Apparently, talking about anxiety is now fashionable and trendy. I’ve been popular for this newly accepted diagnosis all my life, I just never knew it. I could be President of this club, and CEO if not founder and major stock holder. The stock market is practically riding on my shoulders, okay the world.

There always seems to be a flavor of the month diagnosis, last year it seemed it was Bipolar and in the last few months, the newest and most focused on illness seemed to be Bipolar 2, (I can imagine a Bipolar 3 diagnosis soon). No disease is funny but when you start putting numbers after the diagnosis it feels like an  iPhone upgrade, with each upgrade things are a little bit different but you still need to buy new headphones or a different speaker.

My friend, Jenny the Bloggess always talks about her bouts with panic attacks and how, on the road, to plug her new book people have stopped to offer her Xanax. Last night while watching an HBO show called Newsroom a character had to go outside because of her anxiety and she didn’t have her Xanax with her. Look fellow anxiety sufferers, we’re even on television, HBO no less!

I’ve never been embarrassed or ashamed at the fact that I get anxious at times. I told my children about it when they were old enough to understand,  just as if I was a diabetic that had to take medicine. Some people are anxious, some are not. I would say my anxiety definitely started in my early childhood when I constantly had to be reassured, each night before bed, by my very nurturing father who would answer a list of questions that I had, same questions every night (I have OCD Worrying) I guess back then, in the old days, people didn’t send their kids to a doctor for an evaluation or to a psychiatrist, it was “just one of those things;” I was always “too sensitive or over-sensitive. I suffered with anxiety until I was in my early fifties when I finally got diagnosed and received medicine to help prevent anxiety attacks and medicine if I have an anxiety attack. I have what is commonly known as “Anticipatory Anxiety” and I’m one of many, many people who suffer with this.

There is NOTHING to be ashamed about worrying or being anxious. You worry because you care and you feel scared. You are fearful of bad things happening to you or to your loved ones or scared about planes, or elevators OR like one of my ex-friends, scared about everything, which is tragic. Unfortunately, she was even scared to go to the doctor and scared of taking medicine so her phobias piled up on her every year like a bloody car crash. There is so much help available if you are suffering, but you must consult a specialist.  My life turned for the better when I stopped worrying obsessively. So, we’re now out of the closet (not that I was ever in) we’re human, everyone deals with life in a different way. It can get better, trust me.

Keep your *Xanax or Valium or whatever you take with you but only use it as needed. Sometimes, the thought of having an anxiety med in my handbag is enough to deep breathe the scary thoughts away. Sometimes.

* I am in no way encouraging people to take medicine, without being under a physician’s care.*

*Obviously I am not a doctor and I am not dispensing advice, I’m an anxiety sufferer who wants to help others.

*I am not getting paid for this (I wish).

Worried Sick: One Big Crazy-Ass Blog Post

Emotion: Fear

Emotion: Fear (Photo credit: Cayusa)

I. Am. A. Robot. I have no affect. (Great psychology word, so expressive for non-expression) I lie on my bed with my computer lounging on my bulging stomach, my legs are crossed at my ankles. I still have a French manicure on my toes. I have no extreme emotions, neither sadness or happiness. No smile on my face, no frown. This is not me. I have felt like this for about a week; what has happened to me and why? The last few weeks have been busy and exciting, my daughter graduated from high school, she went to her prom, we went to her pre-prom party; all that was wonderful. I had feelings then, why not now? Here I am, not loving my new dog, not hating her, just coexisting. I don’t feel any emotion in any extreme way. “It’s a phase” I say to myself, “It will pass…you are tired.”

I try to analyze myself: am I hiding emotions, protecting myself, WAIT, I did feel something the other day that felt like strong responses. I felt RAGE and I felt IMPATIENT. But, now I’ve forgotten why–oh no, forgetting things again!! That IS indeed scary. I’ve also been worried lately about my health: I think I have Multiple Sclerosis, (which is now considered an autoimmune disease like my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? really?) Ovarian Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease (both for me and my husband) and various other horrible illnesses. All life threatening. I feel scared of the unknown, yes, it is known as ” anticipatory anxiety,” I am fearful. Should I just take a xanax (anti-anxiety medication) and shut up? I’m thinking maybe it’s time….I bet my pal, Jenny Lawson, Bloggess, extraordinaire, would urge me to take one…okay, maybe two. I should take medication “as needed” the trouble with anxiety is that while you are going through it you think you are sane…..when you are REALLY NOT thinking clearly (little crazy voice in your head says “but maybe you are….”) at all.

Am I just having a full-fledged anxiety attack? (sounds like it) Probably (now on paper too!!) You know, ever since I made that damn appointment with that neurologist it’s been hounding me like a dog with it’s smelly barbecue flavored chew toy. I should know, I have a dog, and let me tell you she does not let go of her bones, she grips it with all her meaty strength. She will bite me or anyone who gets in her way of food. I can understand the love of food but those bite marks hurt.  They make us all look like heroin addicts with her baby teeth bite marks. Where was I? Oh yes, neurologist: my internist suggested I go a few months ago for tingling under my feet and in my hand. I don’t think I even have those symptoms anymore but it’s one of those things I can’t cancel…..(because it’s bad luck) because I should check it out. In my mind, I see Ellis Grey from Grey’s Anatomy one of my favorite television shows and that scares me. neurology, neurologist, even going for an appointment scares me to death.  I may indeed have a diagnosis; I believe it’s called FEAR.

I don’t feel anything yet I worry, not a good life to be living. My own post is scaring me. I’ve been there before, I will get out of it again. Maybe I just need more sleep. Or take Albuterol since climbing up all those flights of stairs today at my daughter’s orientation at college made me wheeze and it won’t go away. (I have no medication for asthma). I just need to slow it down, in my body and in my mind. I have a solution: a nap; that would do me a lot of good and some herbal raspberry tea. It will put all my FEARS to rest and give me the sleep I’m lacking. I can never sleep well, the first night someplace new anyway. Maybe they have a term for that, I can add to my list of phobias.

p.s. the photo scares me too.

Oscar And Cranky Me

English: A housecat named Princess who highly ...

*If I was a cat, this is what I would look like today. Cranky, disgruntled and sneering. That’s me in cat form. Just call me Oscar. At least I got to stay inside today while the human me had to go out. Oscar wins, as usual. Can’t you see it in his eyes? I’m a cat, stupid human, haven’t you learned that I always win? This is why in real life, I have a dog. She would NEVER look at me like this.

I started my awful day going begrudgingly to the grocery store. I didn’t have the “Senior Coupon” for the five percent discount but the not-so-sweet cashier just glanced at my lined face and said it was okay, that should have made me happy but it didn’t. AT ALL. I came home and noticed my dog pooped in the house, (SHUT UP OSCAR.)When she has an emergency she only poops on my favorite rug in the living room with the multicolored squares, that did not improve my mood. Our new white outside door that has been fixed numerous times broke while two friends and I watched it whip off the hinges when there was a burst of wind. I felt like we were in the “Wizard Of Oz.”Now we need a new door. Then, I tried to sneeze and it got stuck and I got the stabbing needles in my nose that I hate.

My husband  has been in Seattle for four weeks with a three-day break home and that is just not right. Yes, we are grateful he has a job but this time of commute is hell for a marriage and a family.

He’s coming home in a few days and I don’t know if we are bickering because he has been away for so long or we just don’t know how to communicate well with each other anymore, especially long distance. He used to call me seven times a day and now it’s once at night and before was too much and now it’s not enough. I don’t think that’s good but that’s life and I have to deal with it, rather, we have to deal with it. I’m getting tired of dealing with everything all the time, alone. We do have two children who are teenagers, one is in college, the other a senior in high school, no words are needed. I’m on my own.

I’m tired of being chronically sick with pain, Fibromyalgia and TMJ, in the winter months especially is draining and all I want to do now is sleep but when I sleep my hands and fingers get numb and I googled that which is a very bad thing for me to do. DO NOT GOOGLE medical things, I have told others but once in a great while I slip into bad habits and google something for myself, which ends up in an anxiety attack, for sure.

I’m fantasizing about a vacation somewhere sunny and hot; I have a childhood friend Debbie who is living the winter months in Belize. If I didn’t like her so much I would hate her but it’s nearly impossible to dislike this person. I’m just envious of her “easy, breezy Covergirl” lifestyle.”It’s all about her, whatever she wants to do and when and I don’t know what that would feel like anymore, did I ever? Choices. Good for you, Debbie!

Last night, I tried to recreate a brussel sprout recipe that I had in a restaurant but it didn’t even come close. I have lost 15 pounds but I seem to be stuck here and that is getting very frustrating. I know it all, plateaus, blah, blah, blah but still, I can’t give up and I’m food deprived and please don’t lecture that I shouldn’t be hungry because the lecture won’t work on me AT ALL. I’m as stubborn as hell and that’s the way I am and always have been. I also cooked a veggie burger that I managed to destroy and it ended up as hard as a hockey puck, I thought it was just still frozen so I ate two tiny bites and then microwaved it again, tried it  and I couldn’t even chew it. I ended up having a huge portobello mushroom with a piece of old, hardened Alpine Lace cheese and I hated my dinner. I also woke up all night long with sharp pains of TMJ stabbing me in my cheek and jaw line and it hurt, a lot.

So here’s a post about nothing and everything, all in one. Nothing lyrical or poetic, nothing emotional or powerful, just ordinary stuff on a night when it’s freezing outside and no one really understands how you feel. Once in a while you have to accept these days of pain and loneliness, bad food, bad spirits and no one can make it better for you, not even you.