Waiting for today...: October 2016

Sunday, October 23

Too Late?

In boasting of my new found motivation and plan to finally get on board with something at least resembling a physical fitness plan, I wouldn’t have guessed I’d have to endure some of the worse news I’ve received since my psychiatric diagnosis in 2013.  It is well known that many psychiatric meds wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal (GI) system.  And I’ve had GI problems since college due largely in part to anxiety.  It was later, a few years after college, that I had a noticeable change in my bowel pattern.  But, unless I was having symptoms, I didn’t think enough of it. I’ve felt like hell the last few days.  Actually my woes began…

Saturday, I have no idea o’clock...

After an awesome night of music, drinking and Wii sports but then a disappointing morning of napping on and off until the early afternoon (what the hell man?), I finally got out of bed. Always second on my list is food.  Except I felt full.   As though everything I ate and drank Friday was just sitting on my stomach.  It wasn’t terrible but it was odd to me that I ended up only eating two or three small meals, snacks really, that day.  

Sunday, noonish…

Now uncomfortably full and a bit nauseous, I started to feel like my fluid & electrolytes were off.  And of course?  I hadn’t been able to fully hydrate after drinking beer AND wine Friday night.  Also, because I knew I was a bit constipated, I was deathly afraid I would have a vomiting episode which would’ve further disrupted my flu-lytes (yup! I made that word up).  

So I decided to be proactive and try to relieve my constipation. But there was barely any difference in the fullness I was feeling. So once again I wasn’t able to sleep through the night.  Thankfully I wasn’t scheduled to work until 1pm the next day.  And no vomiting.

Monday, 10:30am...

I felt like death as I walked into work.  Although I moved at a snail's pace, it was a steady one and thinking the whole time “I definitely have undiagnosed IBS”.  It was after having a near fainting spell that I made up my mind I would visit the ER.  I was ridiculously tired and didn’t want to sit in the ER for hours.  But having to work the next day I needed to know what was wrong and get fluids fast, at minimum.

Tuesday, wee hours in the damn morning…

After labs, intravenous fluids and a computerized tomography (CT) scan which showed a hiatal hernia, I attempted to get my prescription for pepcid filled at a 24 hour pharmacy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and I said “hell naw” to finding another one only to find out later pepcid is over the counter.   I went into work with every intention to finish Monday’s charting, that day's assignment and then leave.  But after tearfully updating my manager about my ER visit, she suggested I finish my charting and go on home.  Great suggestion! ‘Cause I barely got through one case before feeling as if I would pass out.  

So I came home, had an Ensure and got in bed.  When I woke up, still feeling full but less, I took a pepcid and managed to get down some chicken noodle soup, tuna salad and a few crackers.  I slept pretty well that night.  On two to three pillows as instructed for my newly diagnosed hiatal hernia.

Wednesday, 10:00am...

Feeling much better but still a bit weak, I spent my entire morning securing appointments. Thankfully I was able to rest a bit before going to work since my awesome boss gave me permission to come in at 5:00pm instead of 1:00.  

Thursday, too early...

I met my new gut doc who believes I have gastroparesis in addition to indigestion due to the hernia.  I’ll have to have a gastric emptying study and an endoscopy to further investigate.  Next was my pelvic and transvagninal ultrasound (US).  The reason for my tears on Thursday: two ovarian cysts.  One about the size of a golf ball.  I know the complications of abdominal surgery; they scare the shit out of me.  So I’m hoping for laparoscopic drainage or removal.  But it may not be up to me.

Now, I wait...  

I wait for my general practitioner appointment, the US results, my GI tests.  I wait to see if my mind, mood and the little faith I have will sustain me through the physical and mental stress of now living with a physical illness and the inevitable trauma of surgery.  That is, if depression will allow them to.  About eleven weeks out from my last mood swing, I’m hopeful for now.  Insecure... but hopeful.
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2016 Waiting for today...

Monday, October 3

Take Luck

This year has brought a few surprises so far: I passed my certification exam, finally moved back to discharge planning at work, down to one letter sized file box of paperwork and I’m less apologetic about not forcing protracted relationships that have probably run their course.  Another shocker?  My motivation to put that self-care regimen into practice.  

Unfortunately it takes me a while to “wrap my head” around certain things before taking any course of action.  Reason being?  I don’t want to waste my time, I don’t want to waste my energy and I don’t want to… fail.  It’s the part of my personality I call “paralyzing precisionism”.  

noun  pre·ci·sion \pri-ˈsi-zhən\
: the quality of being precise : exactness or accuracy

In other words: I’m anal retentive.  In many other words: I get so consumed with doing things the right way, I get myself worked up into a fear of failure which leads to a lengthy procrastination.  This is bound to pull me into negative thinking.  Next stop, no doubt, is mood swing.  *Le sigh*   

But I finally decided a few months ago that mindfulness would be my starting place.   It’s the simplest thing I can do for my heart and mental health.  I found some awesome flashcards to motivate me and keep boredom at bay.  But I’m always reminded of the benefits of diet and exercise on mental health.  Diet, exercise, diet, exercise.  Oy!  They’ve always been the bane of my existence.  I finally settled on taking a 10 minute walk most days per week.  That seemed easy!   Except I haven’t taken a 10 minute walk in weeks.  Months!  If exercising involves more getting ready beyond a warm up chances are I'm not doing it.  I have a similar problem with diet.  

I can’t be bothered with all the steps: shopping, prepping, cooking, cleaning.  Not mention boredom with leftovers.  And the more complex, i.e. the more pots I have to use, the more pots I have to clean… HA!  I’ve always paid for convenience.  Which is why I consider myself a take-out queen, occasionally pay to have my clothes laundered and do much of my wardrobe shopping online.  On my wishlist this year: a treadmill and a crock-pot.  If I set up a treadmill in front of the TV, I can get my 10 minutes and then some!  With multiple training programs I can really make ‘em count too.  And although grocery shopping will still be a pain in the arse, one pot to cook and one pot to clean may just make up for that.  With so many simple recipes, I can actually have homemade, nutrient dense meals more often without a lot of guessing.

I feel ashamed not being able to take on a diet and exercise regimen comparable to others my age.  I know people who prep healthy meals each week and drink nearly a gallon of water each day.  Leg day and arm day at the gym is a thing.  Thirty day ab challenges.  I envy those people.  I envy those women.  They look amazing and I'm sure they feel that way too.  But I just can’t.  I’m not built that way.  But I’ve gotta do something.  Right?  

One step at a time...

Title is a play on the phrases “take care” and “good luck” from Brian Regan Live by Brian Regan

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