Whoops. And FOTD 10/17/14

Holy shit, I took a while off from blogging, huh? Well, I’m not feeling super inspired to do long posts anyway, but I’ve got a shit ton of FOTDs backlogged. Although they’re so old I have very little idea what I used. Plus I’ve been more into neutrals lately, so they’re not super exciting FOTDs, either. Oh well.

And I *just* got my hair chopped. It was way longer than this, too.


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Woo Woo Wednesday: Acupuncture, and Mental Health Update

So, last Wednesday (that would be the 21st), I FINALLY went back to acupuncture. I hadn’t been since 2012. And boy howdy, did I need it. My psych nurse and I had been trying various med combos, trying to find my “ideal” one, for a couple months, and I was just…tired of it, and feeling like a guinea pig. Sometimes you have to try a bunch of meds before you hit on the right one, or the right combo, and I get that. But I just mentally needed a break. And physically, too – the side effects were killing me (I’m stupid sensitive to side effects, especially when titrating on or off a drug), and making me miss work. And I felt like my anxiety and depression weren’t actually that bad, so taking a break from looking for the “ideal” combo wouldn’t be a terrible thing. Also, I wasn’t sure I was a completely reliable self-reporter, when it came to how I was doing, how I was sleeping, etc. So I figured I’d stick to what was currently working *well enough*, and do a better job of paying attention and tracking stuff like my daily mood, how much sleep I was getting, etc. And take a break from trying different meds.

Here we go: Started with a switch from Celexa and Doxepin, which I’d been on for a while, to Lexapro; then added in Wellbutrin, which did well for a while then didn’t help so much; lowered the Wellbutrin dose and added in Effexor; upped the Effexor dose, stopped the Wellbutrin – that triggered a hypomanic phase where I couldn’t sleep at all, but felt like a nervous wreck, none of the elated mania stuff, pretty miserable; lowered the Effexor dose – still on the Lexapro – and added in Geodon to help me sleep; Geodon did too good a job and had some gnarly side effects, stopped the Geodon. Was supposed to discuss what else to try, but….naw, man, I’m good enough for now, and I want to pay attention and see if shit even needs tweaking in the first place. Also, I’m not convinced the lower dose of Effexor is ideal – what seemed to be the best combo was the Lexapro, lower dose of Wellbutrin, and lower dose of Effexor. But that’s also three meds I’d have to get on the regular, and take on the regular, and I’m already taking quite a few. (Regular low doses of klonopin have been a constant throughout this; also: multi-vitamins, prilosec daily, zantac daily, allegra daily, and my blood pressure medicine. Lots of pills to pop.)

I’m also on a budget, so while I was seeing my psych nurse regularly and trying to sort out my meds, I couldn’t afford to see my therapist. Or anyone else, really. So I decided, while I take my break (I’m thinking about a month, to see how things even out), I’d get back into acupuncture at least, and maybe see my therapist since it’s been a minute. Anyway, so acupuncture was last Wednesday and HOLY SHIT IT’S MAGIC.

Right when I first started meeting with my therapist, I’d mentioned feeling “untethered,” and she looked confused. And I just meant, you know, ungrounded, a little off-balance. I don’t know if I did a very good job of getting that across to her. But when I sat down with my acupuncturist, and caught her up on all the life changes since our last appointment, and *particularly* all the meds tweaking, and said that I was feeling “slightly untethered” as a result of it – she knew immediately what I meant. And then worked on my back, mainly, and I immediately felt more grounded, and more embodied – IN my body, connected to it. And less stressed – I hadn’t even noticed how much stress I was carrying around with me. I’m trying to get better about that, but I’m still pretty good at being stressed and clueless about it. She also did some in-and-out points to help calm my IBS down (riled up from all the stress and meds changing), and to help relieve the mucous in the back of my throat when I wake up in the mornings (damn NC pollen and seasonal allergies!). And the very next day, both were improved – and have continued to be improved. I feel pretty amazing. SO happy I went back to acupuncture. I knew it was good self-care for me, but I think I’d forgotten how very good it is, as part of my self-care routine. So I’ve got another appointment in two weeks, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I just feel so *together*, and grounded, and aware, and also just blissed out, after a session. It’s good stuff.

Blathering

Today has just been too much. I’m ready for “boring as hell.”

-Was supposed to go to the doctor’s first thing in the morning, then in to work, then bellydance in the evening. Woke up feeling like a truck had run over me maybe ten times, could barely hobble around. So, first thing was, I called out of work all day. Don’t like to do that, but it turned out to be absolutely necessary. Also I didn’t get enough sleep last night. And my anxiety’s been kind of bad – not like, in your face bad, but just small things, but constantly and consistently and when you add them all up, yeah, I need my meds tweaked. So for the past two weeks, I’ve been sleeping solidly through the night and not waking up – but having horrible nightmares about people being really, really mean to me in social situations, and in the dreams I just….take it, and get upset. And then I wake up stressed out. And we tweaked my meds on Monday, and things should be getting better soon, but the night sweats have already shown up. So, yeah, last night: not enough sleep, nightmares, night sweats, and, I don’t know, the cats used me to practice boxing.

-Go to the doctor’s for my yearly. It’s pretty sweet, since apparently we’re only doing pap smears every three years now, and I don’t need one til 2015. Huzzah! We talked about my health, and I got a breast exam, and that was basically it. And then they were like, “Oh, would you like to do some blood work and get your tetanus/pertussis booster today, or come back later.” And I was actually feeling a little better, so I was like, “Shit, let’s do it right now!” Wrong decision. I haven’t gotten a booster in ages, just annual flu shots where they use increasingly smaller needles each year and I barely feel it. OH I FELT THIS MOTHERFUCKER. That was a surprise. It wasn’t terrible, but I was like, “Oh shit! Really?!” So, at this point, I’m a little off my “needles are coming” gamed, plus the lack of sleep, plus the general soreness. Then, the very, very nice, wonderful nurse, who I actually love, she’s great – then she starts running her hands over the crooks of my elbows looking for veins. They are hiding. So then she runs her fingers over my hands and shoulders, checking those veins – and I just CANNOT today. So I have to apologize and tell her that I can’t do a handstick today. She’s very, very cool about it (she knows my deal, she’s seen me flip out, she’s lovely and a consummate professional), so she ends up going for the crook of my left elbow. I’m normally okay with this. Like, I hate it, but I can sit through it. Not today. My vein is NOT FUCKING PLAYING, and she keeps trying to get it to come up. Then she tries the right arm – no dice. Goes back to the left arm. Finally gets a lead on it, and has me rotate my wrist in a specific way that is apparently the magic trick to get my shitty vein to come up properly – but at this point, I’ve had so much of my attention called to the existence of my veins (and been distracted from ignoring my body horror issues and zoning out into my happy place), PLUS – and this is a huge issue for me – I feel like a BAD PATIENT because my veins are being so much trouble, that I start crying. Oh, yes, I do. RIGHT as she’s about to put the needle in – and she’s really a great nurse, and she knows my deal, so then she asks if I’d rather not, but it needs to happen and I’m already upset so I figure no reason to get all upset and not even get stuck, so I ask her to please do it, and just…fat old tears rolling down my face. Which sets off the BAD PATIENT/social anxiety shit even worse. But she was super nice about it, as she always is. Afterward, I asked her if I should hit the good doctor up for a refill of EMLA cream, so next time they need blood I CAN do a handstick. (Without it, HATE. With it? EMLA CREAM IS MAGIC. I can’t feel a thing, therefore, as long as I don’t have to look, I do not give a single shit and am a model handstick-receiver.) And she’s like, “No, just remind me we need to rotate your wrist like that. And next time, try not to be so dehydrated.” I HAD NO IDEA I WAS DEHYDRATED. Because I am a big old dummy. And have actually been trying to be better about drinking water, but now that I’m thinking about it, yeah, I had soda yesterday, and a thing of coffee, but no actual water. So, yeah, no wonder my veins were even shittier than normal. Also, I had a lot of blood drawn like a week and a half ago? And then another vial today. And then that booster shot that she warned me would probably make my arm feel heavy and sore, and might make me a wee bit tired. So, yeah, if I wasn’t such a big dummy, and had realized I was dehydrated, I would’ve held off on the shot and the blood draw. But I didn’t know, so….yeah. (Oh, and then I had to give a urine sample. Which meant peeing all over my hand because I can’t regulate my pee stream in the doctor’s office enough to NOT pee on my hand. Like, my bladder gets performance anxiety or something, even if I really, really need to piss. So it starts off slow – and then you have to stop, because they want mid-catch. So I stop, put the jar in place, start again – it trickles out, which means I need to move the jar back a bit. Then it speeds up to normal, which means I need to move the jar forward. And then it’s just back and forth, chasing my pee stream around and pissing all over my hands, and hoping I get enough in the jar for their tests. I usually do. But….yeah. I suck at urine samples. But at least they don’t make me cry. I mean, if there was ever blood in my urine, I’d probably cry. And I don’t like getting piss on my hand, but…I’m in a bathroom so I can wash my hands ten times and get over it.)

-Turns out, when I’m stressed, and cried at the doctor’s, and get a booster shot, and have blood drawn, when I’m dehydrated? That’s apparently my fucking Kryptonite. I grabbed lunch on the way home (with PLENTY OF WATER), and wasn’t feeling too bad, and was like, “Maybe I’ll go in to work after all.” But it’s about 20 minutes to my doctor’s, so after ten minutes I was like, “…..I should maybe not even be driving right now, so, no, not going to work.” Woozy as fuck and just not feeling right, and HOT. And gross. So I went home, and slept til 4:20. I woke up once, and drank water, and then when I woke up at 4:20, I guzzled water, and had dinner. And chatted with my man, and some friends on the faceplace, and then got tired again around 6, so took a nap.

-And then woke up to the sound of a rock hitting my window, and kids outside laughing about it. Like, one of them actually said, “Yes! It hit the window!!!” So, night sweats, right? And hot and clammy. I’m just sleeping in underwear. So I put some clothes on, check all the windows (not cracked, luckily), and open the door to kids making a run for it. Manage to get their attention and politely ask that they not throw stuff at my windows. “We didn’t throw anything at your window.” Um, yes, you did, I HEARD you, and also, there is the rock, right on the breezeway. “Oh, well, it was someone down there, not us (points to the apartment below mine, where no one is running to/closing the door to hide from my fussing).” I really don’t believe that, since I’m pretty sure I recognized the voice of the kid who said, “Yes! It hit the window!” and he’s standing right next to the slightly older kid who’s giving me guff. So I’m like, “Well, I don’t care which one of you threw it, since you’re all playing together and were all laughing, but it’s not acceptable and please don’t do it again.” And they couldn’t give a shit. And then I had to call the office and leave a message, because if they break a window, or break a window and hurt a cat and/or the cats get outside? I will lose my goddamn mind. Also, these kids play outside constantly, late into the evening, unsupervised. Which, usually I just say that’s on their parents. I know kids want to play, and I know they’re fearless, and it scares me when they climb on the *outside* of the second floor railing and dangle from it, but they don’t listen to me, and their parents think I’m a crank, so whatever. But fucking with my shit? Nope. So, I got to feel like an awesome complainer and spoilsport and mean old bitch. But whatever, because seriously, do not throw shit at my fucking windows. Why would you think that was okay?

-Then I read for a bit, and I’m sad that I’m too fatigued for bellydance, but I’m like, “Ooooh, a bath. You need a bath. Like, a long soak in the tub. And then bed. Yes. That will make everything better.” But then as I’m running the bath? I smell that acrid smell that accompanies electrical fires, and it’s SWARMING my apartment and only getting worse. So I check everywhere, trying to find it, can’t. But I can smell it, and it’s getting stronger and stronger. So I call the emergency maintenance line, and I’m even like, “Please let me know if I should call the fire department instead.” But the on-call maintenance dude calls back, and says he’ll be out in about fifteen minutes. And it’s late, and it’s rainy, and I feel like an asshole – BUT THAT SMELL. So, I get dressed and decent, and wait. That was about an hour ago. And I’m not mad, because it’s dark and rainy, and maybe he got held up, and that’s totally understandable. But I’m ready for bed, and I’m not sure if he’s even coming, or if I should call back (I hate to be a pest) – and on top of that, I can’t smell the smell anymore. But I do have a walloping headache, so I think maybe I just got used to it? And I don’t want to go outside in the rain long enough for my nose to “reset,” and I wouldn’t be able to trust it anyway. But then if the smell DID go away, and nothing’s wrong, and I’ve just called this poor dude out for nothing? UGH.

Today needs a chill pill. I really hope tomorrow is boring as shit. Boring is awesome.

FOTD: 3/17/13

Dagon only knows what I used in this look. Although, obviously I used a purple eyeliner (tightlined – probably the Clinique Intense Quickliner in plum), and it’s a fair bet I used Urban Decay Naked Skin, and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, since I was still using those errday. (And only recently started using other foundations. But still using Soft and Gentle all the time.)

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