Thursday, October 1, 2009

20 years since high school... where does the time go?

On Saturday night, my high school class is getting together to reunite after 20 years. My best friend from Year 11 and 12 has offered to have her daughter babysit, so the kids are coming too.

I'm finally going to wear that gorgeous black dress I bought at an UnderCoverWear party years ago. It would have swum on me 18 months ago, but now fits perfectly again.

Hubby has nausea and vomiting from tramadol xr. Ah well. I hope it wears off in 48 hours, or he won't be much fun!

One of these days I plan to have more time to blog. I want to write something worth reading.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In recovery from Adrenal fatigue

I feel like I have been in one of those complex mystery novels with multiple plot lines that don't seem related until you get near the end of the book.

For the record, the vitamins I started taking on Tuesday are Vit C, Vit B5 and B6, Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc... as recommended by The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. The difference was immedate - felt better within an hour of the vitamins. My mood has not dropped since then, despite stressful incidents!

On Wednesday, I got Dr James Wilson's book Adrenal Fatigue, started reading, and started smiling... it describes my symptoms to a T! I had 13/16 symptoms that were described in the cartoons. And my father tested how well my pupils stayed small in light (not long!) Just goes to show my self-diagnosis was well-researched.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Adrenal Fatigue

I was diagnosed with functional hypoglycemia last year - a symptom of problems with my adrenals, caused by stress.

Taking vitamins. Feel much better. Will post more later.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday 18 August Positives and Strengths

Journalling the positives of today, and showing my strength.
  • I felt good all morning.
  • I took myself out to lunch at Michel's Patisserie.
  • I booked Wolf's vet appointment.
  • I walked to the shops with my daughter.
  • My counsellor and I listed heaps of strengths I have. We also came up with some affirmations I will list below. I'm going to write these on my mirror in whiteboard marker each morning.
  • I confirmed with ARAFEMI that I am coming to the Chinatown outing next week.
  • I decided to exercise daily to improve my mood. Even if it's just a walk around the block.
Sapphyre's Affirmations
  • I am learning to deal with life's ups and downs.
  • I am an amazing person who copes well.
  • I can choose to make time for myself every day.
  • I can choose what to deal with today.
  • I can create happiness intentionally! (And yes, I've tried to download Sandy MacGregor's eponymous book. Might have to buy something else too )

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Being grateful is supposed to help improve my mood

Three things I am grateful for:
  1. Free counselling because my dad was a Vietnam Veteran. Boy do I need it! Next appointment on Tuesday.
  2. The music of Taylor Swift and Lily Allen I keep hearing on the radio... it cheers me up, no end!
  3. My son's tutor, who helped us turn the kids' bedrooms back into rooms they could use, and help us organise our laundry over the school holidays.
I'm going to try to find someone to go to a movie with me today. I've been doing stuff for everyone else for so long, I'm depressed and out of sorts. Must do more nice things for myself.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A long time between posts


I didn't realise it had been quite this long! I have not had much spare time.
  • I've started counselling (going again tomorrow)
  • attended the day spa (had a lovely time but got very anxious when it was time to go home)
  • I've got tonsillitis again,
  • DS and DD have been sick
  • DH ran out of oxycontin again (it's a monthly event), but we've determined he can get by with Valium and Tramadol XR
  • Haven't been to the gym since learning my program - but will go to yoga on Wednesday
  • Work has bought me a new PC; setting it up is in progress, but my wonderful DH has found a KVM switch (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) so my desk is not overly cluttered.
  • I have a working printer!
I will try to post something more meaningful soon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Rollercoaster continued

I woke up next morning full of anxiety, but at least I slept well!

I decided I need to do something to relieve my anxiety. I rang the local pound and they had a report for a missing puppy from the day before matching the description of the puppy we found. One problem solved. DH walked puppy up to the shops to give him back to his owners late Thursday afternoon.

Now, how to regain my equilibrium. I rang a local carer support group that had an outing scheduled for this week; sure that it would be full... but it wasn't! I asked my manager, she agreed a day out would be a good thing for me! So, I'm going up on the rollercoaster, and holding tight to the vision of where I will be able to relax later this week: Peninsula Hot Springs and Day Spa

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Rollercoaster of Life

DH has been coming up on the rollercoaster. Now he is going down (removing non-communicative friends from Facebook, deciding not to go ahead with goals that are too hard). Fortunately, the local community health service has a program especially for people with musculoskeletal issues and anxiety/depression; his key support worker will help him set a couple of goals and break them down into small chunks so they can be achieved. Program includes learning beneficial exercises from a physio and remedial massage too.

I have been going down on the rollercoaster. I haven't had a real break since I went with a friend for a half-day spa in October last year. More than 6 months without even a half day for myself, no wonder I've been grumpy, defeated, and poking holes in DH's plans. But I thought I was having a great day on Wednesday, yay going up on the rollercoaster! I went to my new carer support group and had yummy lemon meringue pie. And then later, when we were picking up the kids after their religion class, we also picked up a black staffy puppy that was playing in the school grounds (after looking around to ensure no one was looking for him). Rather than taking him straight to our vet to check the microchip (which is what I wanted to do), DH decided we'd keep him overnight.

I liked the puppy. In fact I was the one who spotted him and suggested we pick him up before he ran out on a major road. But I thought we would take him straight to the vet; and I let myself get talked into letting it into our home. DH adores animals.

Over the next few hours, I went from being happy to being extremely stressed. The puppy was being, well, a puppy! And I already have enough stress. The last straw for me was when I'd forgotten to take my evening antibiotic (again), and was eating a piece of bread & butter, walking down the hallway. The food was at about chest level, and the puppy took a running jump and bit half the piece of bread out of my hand. I lost it. I screamed and ran down the other end of the house, quickly closing the door behind me. I must've sat on the couch shaking for 5 minutes, breathing and trying to regain my equilibrium.

To be continued... if I get around to it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lice, tonsillitis and pink eye. Oh my!

Does anyone want my family?
  • DD has lice. (Not again! That's it. I'm chopping her mop to short curls. I can hardly get a brush through it, let alone a nit comb.)
  • DS went on camp and came back with tonsillitis, which he gave to me. (Yay, I'm still on the antibiotics)
  • DD now has conjunctivitis, most likely viral (or it could be impetigo as she seem to have that too!!!). I haven't got rid of the lice yet! Oh well, at least she has a better reason for staying home from school.
  • DH has run out of (good) painkillers and is spending half his day in bed, the other half asking me to keep the kids quiet, while I'm trying to work as a professional software developer.
Hang on, two positives:
  • At least we haven't got the Swine Flu. (Touch wood!)
  • Oh, and the kitten is recovering beautifully from her desexing the other day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I didn't know Tonsillitis was contagious!

Well, my trip to the doctor Friday morning confirmed I too have tonsillitis. The doctor put me phenoxymethlpenicillin, 4 pills a day for 12 days. Wikipedia told me that this is the recommended antibiotic for Streptococcus pyogenes, the cause of Group A streptococcal infections. Interestingly, I also found a link between these infections and rapid development of OCD or tics, known as PANDAS.

Well, I felt better the next day after just 4 doses, so it seems to be working! Little bit nauseous, though, not sure if that's the antibiotics or something else, but that settled down too.

I'm also aware that antibiotics may stop the pill from working, so DH isn't getting much fun for 12 days!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I need help

I didn't realise it's been more than a week since my last post; I've been busy, as usual.

I woke up groggy and with a sore throat today @ 8:05am, having fallen asleep in bed in my clothes, and having forgotten to set the alarm. I woke up because DD knocked on the door complaining DS wouldn't let her have lemonade LOL... later she apologized for waking me up, and I said, "No! Thankyou for waking me up.... I've gotta to get you to school in less than an hour and it's school photo day!"

Well, at least DD's photo will be taken today. DS is home with tonsillitis and antibiotics. Yep, that's what I think I've got.

Over the last couple of days, I've been "embracing" my role as carer... because I can't do this by myself anymore! I rang the lady at the pain clinic (we went to the clinic on Tuesday) who runs a carer support group. She has put me on to some local support groups; not yet enrolled in any yet. I also rang Carers Victoria for the best advice on how to get someone to help me clean and maintain the house, as DH's help is now down to an occasional load of laundry unless I specifically ask him to do something.

Now I'm getting up the courage to ring the council about HACC (Home and Community Care). For a subsidised fee you can get help cleaning. I need some one off help to get to a basic point, and then someone to come in once a week/fortnight to help with floors, bathroom and toilet. I wonder if they could help with cobwebs, dirty walls, picking up dog poo and mowing the lawn too? One thing at a time, Sapphyre!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

When work + care = stress!

Today I let DH have an earful! He had been talking to our friend T out the front for a long time. DD was in bed having a nap (she's home today because she has headlice, but that's another story), and I'm on the phone in the middle of a complex meeting about a difficult technical issue (no office politics thank goodness)... when he says "I' m following T home, Okay?" I wave at him, in annoyance, not really listening. Then he went back outside.

3 minutes later DD woke up. She hasn't had any lunch. I'm in the middle of a work discussion (conference call at their end with multiple people), and it finally sinks in that he has left me in the lurch! I can't feed DD lunch and be in a complicated discussion!

Fortunately DD is in a good mood and actually follows my gestures and gets herself something to eat... but I am livid...

As soon as I get off the phone I feed DD, then try to ring DH on his mobile... ring ring... oh it's still here! Great, not only did he take off without a discussion, he didn't even take his phone. (I need him to come home as the issue is still progressing.) Now, I'm just angry... and when he walks in the door I basically yelled what I was mad about and said he's not allowed to leave the house without discussing it with me (when there is a child here and I'm working)... he's overwhelmed with how mad I am... and I ask him, "How do you like it? It's not much fun being on a short leash, is it?"

Anyway, we have calmed down now and are talking to each other again. I have apologized for my reaction, and he has agreed to discuss leaving the house with me and not do it while I'm distracted. So, we have an improved relationship!

Monday, May 4, 2009

How do you do it? Time management and prioritizing

Every week I struggle to work my 35 hours. I often end up catching up on the weekend or using leave. Prior to April, I worked 40 hours a week, so things have certainly improved. Thank goodness for flexible work schedules and understanding employers!

Today I created a timetable for myself. Now looking at it, I can see that during the week, if I allow time for school drop off / pick up, lunch, and only working Monday to Friday, I only have 36 hours available to work! (No wonder I was having trouble with 40.)

That's for a regular week. I will still need to use leave or work on the weekends sometimes when we have appointments to attend. Fortunately, work hasn't made a fuss about me using my personal care leave to take care of my family.

With prioritizing, the hardest thing I've had trouble accepting is that everything won't get done. However, if I decide what's most important, soon the other tasks fall off my list or end up getting done later (eventually).

I am now using todoist to track things I have to do. I love it for the following reasons:
  1. It runs in my browser in a side-bar so it's always there.
  2. It allows emails (gmail) and any web page to be added as a task!
  3. It's very easy to use.
Here's a life example. DS left on his school camp this morning. Getting him to camp was my main priority since Friday evening.
  • We shopped Saturday afternoon (needed additional shoes, and has grown out of pants and jumpers).
  • We packed yesterday afternoon.
  • Last night I washed some additional clothing and then wrote on my hand it needs to go in the dryer.
  • When I woke up, I put those clothes in the dryer.
  • I made both kids lunches, but only packed DS's.
  • Packed the original clothes, 5 minutes before we were due to leave realised the zipper was broken on the gym bag they were all packed in!
  • Found another back, repacked, and moved the luggage tag.
  • Dropped DS at school gym. Realised we'd forgotten his pillow.
  • Came home, DD was dressed and ready to go. Even though she was demanding I pack her lunch, I told her we didn't have time as I had to get DS's pillow to him
  • Got DD to school early and got DS's pillow to him.
  • Came home, packed DD's lunch, and then got it to her classroom.
  • Came home and started work
See it's easy when you prioritize!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My weight loss is going well!

I have now lost 5.5kg since I weighed myself on March 22 this year. That's an average of a kilogram a day! I'm now overweight instead of obese, with a BMI of 28.7. I'm using a relatively new weight loss program called Bodytrim.

Check out the Bodytrim website!
This is not advertising; I'm just a very satisfied customer - oh, and I haven't paid them a cent since the original purchase!

Recent weight loss history
2004 DD was born (9 lb 10 oz and no stitches)
2007 (74kg) January - started weight watchers
2007 (62kg) May - reached goal weight (but kept losing.... and not feeling healthy)
2007 (56kg) August - started taking an anti depressant
2007 (61kg) October - started counselling
2008 (65kg) January - Joined - trying to stop gaining weight.
2008 (68kg) September - saw a naturopath, diagnosed with zinc deficiency and functional hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
2009 (76.8) January - after returning from holiday visiting inlaws
2009 (77.1kg) March 22 - Finally maintaining. But I'm now obese.
2009 (71.6kg) April 29 - 5.5kg lost since started Bodytrim March 22. Yay, Bodytrim!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bathers quest, and a new mobile phone

DS stayed overnight at his friend's house again. I made big plans to make a dent in "Mt Foldmore" in the living room. But then I realised DD's bathers were missing. They'd been in my other Mt Foldmore (on the dressing table) all week! Where had they gone? (There were two full sets, one a black bikini and one apricot shorts with a floral tie on top).

Found the shorts under our bed... probably the only reason I found them, because the other three items have completely disappeared. I think DH has put them somewhere 'safe'. Fortunately, as I was putting away some other clothes today I found her size 3 top... it's tie on, so it will do. Big phew! I thought we were going to have to go bathers shopping when I went to pick up my new Samsung SGHZ170 ... see opposite.

It's charging now, it's pretty, and I haven't figured out how to delete when you mistype in SMS... but yay, it's shiny & new and mine. I don't think I've ever had a new phone before!

Friend T was very excited to hear she could have my old phone. I also have a new vodafone SIM I don't need, but we do need to check the reception at her house, as DH has had trouble contacting me before on it, which is why I needed to get a new phone, where I can more easily adjust SMS ringtone, etc. My old phone isn't locked to a network, so she can use any prepaid system she likes.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pets: I need to be responsible for them

We've had the kitty for a week, and she hasn't been to the vet for a checkup yet.

Worse, I had a dance (not intentionally) with our 14yo Siberian Husky yesterday, and stood on his very sore toe... which then bled every way. I am taking him to the vet now, but he should've been back ages ago. I keep relying on DH to take them to the vet, because they're "his" pets. But how can I rely on him when he is suffering pain and depression?

So, I'm going to take responsibility for the pets vet visits, injections, etc. DH can do feeding, watering, exercise, and medication, i.e. the daily stuff.

Update 1:30pm
It's good news for our Husky... the sore toe was mostly scar tissue now, so we just need to keep it clean, and give him some pain killers for a few days. The vet gave me some anti-inflammatories to use for a few days, which will help with any toe pain as well as his arthritis. He also said we can try a quarter of a Tramadol XR 200mg (which I just picked up for DH, and he won't need the whole pack) and see if that helps. If it seems to help, we could try a whole tablet.

Next pay (more than 3 weeks away) I will take him for a course of cartrophen shots for his arthritis. The shots aren't expensive (will cost approx $110 for four shots over the month), but we've already had lots of unexpected expenses.

I also booked the kitten in for a checkup next Wednesday to determine her age, and what worming and vaccination needs she has.

Update 10:40am The Next Day
Well DH, didn't give the Husky his first dose last night, so I did this morning. I've put checkboxes on the calendar for the next 5 days. I also ensured DD fed the dogs. So, I guess I'm also taking on supervision of meds and food.

Friday, April 24, 2009

He's run out of painkillers again....

DH normally takes oxycodone for his pain (from fibromyalgia). He is only allowed enough medication to last a month at his appropriate dose (which we will be increasing next week).

When DH runs out of his normal painkillers we have two issues: unmitigated pain and opiate withdrawal symptoms.

The unmitigated pain causes him to become extremely depressed. I have rung his GP to get a script for an alternative pain killer (tramadol) which does not require authorisation from the government; of course, it also doesn't work as well as the oxycontin he normally has, but it's much better than anything else we can get until Tuesday when we see the GP.

From Wikipedia:
The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal are the same as for other opiate based painkillers and may include "anxiety, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, fevers, and other flu like symptoms."

Well at the moment, as well as depression, he also has anxiety, nausea and flu like symptoms. Fortunately, these are manageable with the tramadol.

I hope the higher dose is more effective so he can stop running out before he is supposed to. And my depression / anxiety are now very manageable, so I think it's time I took the drugs back and dole them out to him. And keep track of how long each pack should be lasting. We'll get there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A new pet can bring peace to your household

Late on Saturday afternoon, we took the kids to the park. There was a big Maori family celebration over at the BBQ shelter, and lots of kids playing in the wooden adventure playground. We were there for a while before we spotted a cluster of kids near the see-saw, looking under the wooden structure of the playground. "There's a kitty in there!" they said, pointing to a small hole between the tan bark and the structure. Sure enough there was, and she came home with us. (She's about half grown. And that's not her in the photo.)

I could see DH was in love with the kitty after he put her inside his jacket, and she ended up poking her head out of his sleeve... but we said to the kids, "You guys have to be good if you want to keep the kitty." What cruel parents we are!

When we got her home, the kitty was very friendly - everyone wanted to play with her. She loved being petted, and the house was very peaceful for the first few days. Please can I pet the kitty? Can the kitty sleep in my room? Please? etc. I'd forgotten how much I like cats (our previous cat, Baby, died about 2 years ago). They're small and cuddly (whereas our dogs are enormous), and petting them makes both you and them feel good - see Pet Therapy on Wikipedia for more info and resources.

Having the cat has definitely reduced everyone's stress levels.

Introducing me

Hello readers

I'm really writing this blog for myself, as an online journal. But I find I'm learning so many life lessons along my journey that I would like to share them with others.

For example, I've only recently realised that I've had Generalized Anxiety Disorder at least since I was pregnant with my daughter. Not surprising, considering my husband's ADHD and anxiety issues were not diagnosed back then. Oh, and he was used to his chronic pain, so didn't realize it was helping make him depressed. (I didn't list depression, as it is part of the Fibromyalgia, which also wasn't diagnosed back then.) I treated it once with Lexapro and a counselling psychologist, thought that was it, but it came back...

I don't have time to tell you all about my family's history in this post. I'll write our story another day.

I'll use the following terms in this forum alot: DD (Darling Daughter), DS (Darling Son), and DH (Darling Husband); I want this to be anonymous except for those very few people that know both my anonymous and real names. For relatives, friends, neighbours, etc... I'll come up with something and come back here later.