Nerves

As of my last post, I was feeling the then-immediate relief of not having to learn of the plan for my next session of treatment that day. I thought that might make my weekend a little more relaxed, but with each hour closer that Monday gets – the more my nerves started messing with me. 😐 I’m still good, but knowing that tomorrow I’ll be getting the call, it did change what I ended up doing with my weekend.

I’m aware that I could be making a bigger deal out of this than it’s going to end up being, but the alternate is also true… so the best course of action, one that starts me out on better footing before whatever’s next, was to use these two days to get the house nice. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I don’t know if it’d be this way for everyone, but if I’m really negatively affected by stopping my thyroid meds (and most everything that I’ve heard so far is that I will be) then it’s important that the house is clean, laundry is done, dishes done up, etc.

It’s simple… feeling shitty feels shitty, but feeling shitty while also being stuck in a dirty house, with unwashed dishes taunting me, baskets of laundry waiting on me… that would just be so much more shitty for me. πŸ˜₯ Like I said, it might not be something that would bother other folks, but it would bother me more than you can even imagine. 😣 One bit of good news, and I’ll give partial credit to the way I’ve tried to keep moving, but I’m finally walking completely without a cane again. πŸ™‚ There’s still some pain, and I can still feel the unpredictable weakness… but it’s good that I’m off the meds I had a bad reaction to, and that I’m getting along much better when it comes to my knee. (Which is surprising, honestly, the way that I pretty much killed it the night that I was in Columbus several days ago.) See, it’s not always bad news around here… 😏

I am disappointed that I wasn’t able to visit a couple people that I had put on the “possibility” list for the weekend if I was feeling alright, but I’m staying hopeful that this next session of treatment will be able to conclusively “clear” me. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ₯ΊπŸ™πŸ» Then I can hopefully work at getting my head in a better place again, eventually feeling more like a previous version of me, and potentially more able to make random trips out of the house without the anxiety stopping me before I even make it to the door. πŸ˜‘ As much as I want friends and family to “get me” when it comes to all my twitchy problems, they shouldn’t have to put up with the way that I am as much as they do. 😟 “Clean bill of health” (at least when it comes to my thyroid stuff) could do wonders for snapping me back to something more close to normal. πŸ€•Β That’s the hope anyway…

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The “Subjectively Positive” One

This is gonna be another really long one… it’s more fun for me this way. 😏 Settle in and enjoy.

Now, this is something that’s almost impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t or hasn’t experienced severe social anxiety. πŸ€” But last Saturday, after spending about a week and a half without even leaving my house, while trying (and failing) to adjust to a new medication, and still tending to my gimpy knee… I had to go to a concert in Columbus. 😐 At the Schottenstein Center, which holds about 18,000 people. 18,000 loud, screaming, drinking, super enthusiastic, having an awesome time, concert-goin’ people. 😏 (God bless ’em… heh) Oh, and we had “Meet and Greet” VIP passes for Debbie Gibson and Tiffany after the show.

The story begins last year, when my friend Jim got us tickets to see Phil Collins at Nationwide Arena. I had seen Genesis before, but never Phil on his own… so it was a bucket list thing. We had a great time, so in the fall of last year when “The Mixtape Tour” tickets came available – I went ahead and got our tickets, sort of as a birthday gift / way to pay back his generosity re: the Phil Collins tickets.

Flash forward to last Saturday… and it took every ounce of oomph that I had to make myself get up, get ready, and go to the venue to meet Jim. πŸ₯Ί My anxiety was so bad that up until the minute I was finally able to make myself get in the car, I wasn’t even sure I was gonna be able to do it. 😬 But I had already cancelled on Jim on a few other things, and I would feel like a giant shit if I bailed on him again, and he ended up just going by himself. So I honestly went more because of Jim, rather than a desire to actually go. Well, no… that isn’t entirely accurate… because I absolutely wanted to go… heh… like I said, it’s hard to explain how anxiety can overrule anything that you think you might want or be able to do. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Heh… I’m realizing that this isn’t gonna sound like a positive experience, so let me go ahead and interject here to say that I did have a good time while I was there, and was glad that I went. πŸ™‚ It was the getting there and getting home that were the biggest hurdles for my uncooperative brain. And of course there had to be construction all along the freeway on the way there, which is always fun – anxiety or not. And then when I got there, because I left so late, I ended up having to walk… *consulting google maps* … I had to walk “Total distance:Β 2,885.24 ftΒ (879.42 m)from the parking lot to the venue. 😧 But I had my cane, I took my time, and didn’t die too much. 😏 In fact, not only did it help me to unwind from the traffic, but it continued my DIY physical therapy that I’m trying – to avoid the costly, painful, inconvenient, time consuming, real thing.

The thing that probably saved the night for me, once we found our way to our seats, was that we were at the absolute top of the seats. Literally everyone in front of us, with the backs of our chairs being against the wall. 😊 Plus the seat next to me was empty. 😁 I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it makes to be “outside” of the humans rather than surrounded by a sea of them in every direction. So for the duration of the actual show, I was golden. πŸ™‚ Me and Jim, catching up on shit, no assholes around to be a nuisance, a decent view of everything due to the big LED screens, despite being in the very definition of “the nosebleed seats” for the concert… and it was awesome. I was glad that I “made” myself go.

Then the show ended. 😳 At which point we had to navigate through the herd of exiting humans, trying to figure out where we had to be to do the Meet and Greet part of our experience. 😬 Buttloads of people, slight confusion of where to go, the prospect of meeting a couple of celebrity singers… so, again, I found myself *this close* to just walking out one of the nearby doors and just waiting for Jim to go and do that part on his own. But he said the right things I needed to hear, I took a few woosah moments, and once a lot of the people were gone we found our way to what was essentially the basement under all of the seating. 😯

Sorry, I’ll try to tighten this up a bit. 😏 There were different M&G packages, some with just Debbie, some with just Tiffany, some with both – so thankfully, even though they had us all crammed into a relatively small waiting space, we got to do our thing pretty quickly since we had the dual package. Got a hug from Tiffany, they both autographed my lanyard, and while there was a little confusion with the official person taking the photos – it gave me some time to actually talk with Debbie while we had a short wait.

She asked if I had a good time and I told her “Oh, absolutely…” with a smile, but since other people were distracted I was able to lean over to her and kinda quietly say “… but man is my social anxiety kickin’ right about now.” Heh… probably a little weird, but it would have been awkward just standing there silently as we waited for the photographer to get ready. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But she just smiled back at me and said she actually knows what I mean, and that before each show she usually stays in her dressing room with her piano and just plays some random jazz or classical to help her get rid of herΒ pre-show anxiety. πŸ™‚ And that was a comforting thing to hear… since rather than her thinking I was a weirdo, she could actually relate. Then we got the pic, I got a hug from her as well, and that was that.

Well, that was it for me I mean. 😏 Jim still had to get his picture with them… but keep in mind, Jim wasn’t Jim for the night… he went as Squirtman. πŸ˜³πŸ˜„ The orange body suit, the cape, the Squirtman puppet, flashing LED glasses, the cowboy hat… heh… the whole deal. That was actually another good thing throughout the night – because when you’re next to Squirtman, you’re essentially invisible – which was perfect. πŸ‘πŸ»

He got there an hour before the doors even opened, so he was parked right in the first lot and was able to give me a ride out to my car – since all of the walking and stairs and such did finally take its toll on me. πŸ˜•Β I did have the typical “I need to be home”Β voice repeating in my head as I was driving, but the goody feeling from the concert buzz made the long drive home much more bearable than some drives I’ve made in the past. πŸ™‚

So yeah… yay me. 😊 I did a thing. 😏

If you remember any of these bands or singers and wanna check out some clips, here ya go:

Alrighty, that’s about it. Congrats if you made it through all of my (hopefully) descriptive weirdo rambling. πŸ˜‰

Unfortunately… Nope

This will be a lengthy entry.Β Β πŸ€”Β  Although, I suppose that’s typical for me and the blog… 😏

A few days after going to my full dose of Paxil, one in the morning and one at night, the side effects that I hoped would go away were actually getting much worse. 😳 So over the past couple of days I’ve weaned myself back off… and today was the first day I started feeling close to my normal “normal.” 😟

The biggest problem was the tremors. Any time I would yawn, which was a lot,Β probably due to the new med… every time I would yawn, my left shoulder and arm would start shaking uncontrollably – sometimes lasting up to 30 seconds before it would calm. 😧 And then it started doing it with my other shoulder as well, to where eventually when I yawned (and even when I wasn’t) I’d honestly compare the tremors to what you would see in a person with Parkinson’sΒ disease. πŸ˜₯ I suppose it makes sense, as the disease is related to dopamine problems and that’s often something that psych meds mess around with as well.

The daily waking up in a near panic attack… that didn’t stop either. And when on the full dose, taking the morning dose was no longer relieving the anxiety when I took it. So, it was waking up with severe anxiety, taking the pill (along with my others) that was supposed to help with anxiety, only to have it then stay around all day. 😣 Awesome. πŸ™„ That was reason enough for me to reconsider if I wanted to continue taking it… and I really did want to give it a chance, to wait out the side effects to see if they’d pass. But you have to remember, after my work injury, the main thing that my doctor and I had to work on for a long time was getting my left shoulder with the nerve damage to stop randomly shaking.

So not only was the new med increasing my anxiety, but it had brought back the uncontrollable shaking in my left shoulder, which always leads to much more pain by the end of each day. πŸ˜’πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So I hope most people would understand why I wasn’t willing to “just keep hoping it’ll pass” while possibly risking it getting worse or even becoming permanent again.

It’s disappointing, but again I’m experiencing the “Ahhh” of just losing all of those awful and scary side effects, and returning to my “normal” self… which now feels like a relief – hopefullyΒ returning just to “how I was” a couple of weeks ago. πŸ™‚Β (The tremors weren’t gone today, but they’ve lessened quite a bit.) And with my thyroid doctor calling today and wanting to accelerate the next step with that issue, I just don’t think I’d be able to do it while essentially fighting against the side effects of the Paxil. The next step with my thyroid stuff is gonna be difficult enough as it is. πŸ€•

More on that when I know more. (Although I’m gonna try to squeeze in a subjectively more positive entry between this one and that one.) But in the mean time, I’m still wondering if sometimes it’s in the doctor’s plans, or at least something that they know can happen – where a medication that is supposed to help makes you feel so awful that when you stop taking it, you actually feel happier and more relieved just to be back to how you were. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ€¨ Because boy, that’s been the trend with me, the few times I’ve been prescribed something by a shrink. 😏

  • Just to cover my ass, I’m not saying with any type of certainty that the Paxil definitely caused all of the symptoms that I was experiencing while taking it. It’s possible that all of the things that I considered “side effects” were completely unrelated… this is just my account of how things went while I was taking it.

Adjustment

At my most recent shrink appointment, he prescribed Paxil and Lamictal. He spooked me with the Lamictal though, so I haven’t started taking it yet. Serious talk about the possibility of a rash that could mean something very bad. 😳 So it’s a difficult medication to “sell” when someone already has high anxiety. But the Paxil, the first week (which is now done) I was to take only one in the morning. Now, I’m supposed to take one in the morning and one at night. I’m hoping that will help the problem that I’ve noticed all this week.

I’m also going to start the Lamictal tonight as well. I just never like starting two new meds at the exact same time, because then whether I experience a benefit or a side effect, you can’t know which one was the cause… although I suppose sometimes you don’t get the benefit or side effect unless you’re taking both of them. 🧐

This past week, even though I usually slept well, every time that I’d wake up the next day I would have instant severe anxiety already happening. 😣πŸ˜₯ Now, it’s not like this is the first time that this has happened… and I know it sounds bad to describe it this way, but sometimes when anxiety is so bad, it’s just the disappointment of waking up that triggers it. 😐 Oof, yeah, that sounds way worse than I intend it to. But yeah, it was random before, but it’s been a constant since I’ve started taking the Paxil in the morning. So hopefully now that I’ll be taking an evening dose as well, maybe that’ll change how I wake up.

That’s the one positive though… as long as I take it immediately upon waking up in a near panic attack, the feeling actually goes away relatively quickly. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So I’m still hoping this will be something good, and it’s just a matter of getting on the right dosage. And yeah, it’s probably a little weird that I’m just putting this all out here for anyone to read – but it’s not like I’ve tried to keep the “twitchy” side of me a secret. 😏 And I really do know the majority of the things that have triggered it (and keep triggering it) so it’s not like I’m staggering around in the dark, unable to see the boogeyman.

It’s not a permanent solution, because it’s not a good solution, but part of me getting my head straight is by cutting myself off from people for a while. 😞 As I’ve described it before, my empathy is like a horrible super power that I’ve got… and when I know so many people that are going through so many awful things, I absorb the feelings that they’re experiencing regarding many of those things. 😣 Add that on top of my medical stuff, my workers comp stuff, my disability, etc… and unfortunately the easiest way to reduce anxiety is by avoiding the sources (and even potential sources) other than my own. πŸ₯Ί Then (I’m hoping) once I’m in a better place, I’ll be better able to function like a “normal” human and bring myself back into the fold. I don’t know if it’s a good plan, but it’s a plan…

EDIT:Β  Jesus… maybe I’m not quite ready to risk this Lamictal. 😯 I shouldn’t have googled.Β 

Less Bad, Overall

They came and plucked / cut all of the bushes out the other day. πŸ™‚ I don’t know why it made me feel so awkward, sitting in the house doing nothing while other people were out in my yard taking care of things… but I thought about the x-ray results of my knee, how nothing was apparently wrong, and whether I wanted to do physical therapy – and all of those thoughts resulted in me doing quite a bit of work inside the house over the past couple of days.

I figure that physical therapy would be “Yeah, I know it hurts, but keep moving your knee.” so I decided if I was going to hurt, it would be for something useful… something that allowed me to feel productive instead of sitting around like a turd while other people did work outside that I still feel (even though I physically can’t) like I should be taking care of myself. 😟 They did a great job though, and left the area in a condition where all I’m gonna have to do is spray a little poison on the nubs that didn’t get plucked, and then spread some grass seed (actually, quite a bit) and cross my fingers.

Inside, it was basically just a continuation of what I’ve been off-and-on working towards. The yellow bedroom is never actually used as a bedroom, so I donated the bed from that room to Bri when she got her apartment. Now, that’s my new “auction / sale” staging area. So a lot of what I did was just moving boxes from one bedroom to another, but getting it sorted much better and stacked more efficiently… keeping the more valuable things in their own area, separate from the random household goods or whatever.

It was frustrating, only being able to do a couple boxes at a time before taking another break for my knee… but I just spent a couple of days “keepin’ at it” and even getting several more tubs and boxes packed with stuff and stacked with everything else. πŸ™‚ It’s still frustrating that it took me two days to do something that would normally have taken an afternoon at the most, but I wanted to keep moving – but with breaks so I could tell if I was making my knee worse. 🀨 Which, luckily (and surprisingly) I don’t think it was. It doesn’t feel good now, but it’s actually slightly better than before I started doing all this… so, who knows, maybe my slow-ass self-PT’ing is working. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I did take today off though, because the next logical step that I would be taking is working in the basement, either packing stuff down there and trying to carry tubs and boxes up the stairs, or bringing individual items up one at a time and packing them upstairs… and I can’t quite trust my knee enough to consider either of those things. πŸ˜’Β I guess I could just take the laptop and go down there with the intention of staying down there and working, letting Netflix play in the background, and just wait until things are better before I try to haul anything upstairs. πŸ€” Meh… could have done that today actually… but after two days of solid “going” it’s probably better that I didn’t confine myself to the basement today.

I’ve basically stayed offline, I’ve been ignoring most of my messages… but to have the oomph to do what I’ve been doing, I needed to unplug and just do my stuff in my own little bubble here. 😞 That’s a sucky thing, I’ll admit, but at least I get to feel good about finally getting a good amount of something done around here, after over a month of my knee making sure that that wasn’t likely to happen.

My Selfish “Good” Day

I had a lucky day yesterday, where my knee decided it would cooperate with me, so I was actually able to pick back up on some of the tasks that had the brakes slammed on them when my knee originally went out. It happens when I have sudden problems with my back as well… those things around that house that you just assume you’ll be able to get to tomorrow or the next day, once your knee or lower back goes screwy, those are the messes and tasks that you’ll have to just look at for the next days or weeks… until the pain hopefully goes away enough to finish those things up.

So I was finally able to bring up the laundry from the basement, as well as do another couple of loads. (And let me tell you, I now understand how the basement stairs were a big “nope” for my Aunt C when she reached an older age.) Got that all folded, hung, and put away. And then I finished up the grooming of the cat… at least as good enough as I care to get it… and then also picked up all the big globs of fur, ran the vacuum over the two rugs that I was using in the bathroom to catch it all, and then went over the carpet in the living room and hallway to catch the rest of the stray hair.

I did a few more small things, essential things, and with each thing I did I could feel my knee reminding me to take it easy… and I really did. Being careful with each step or turn, making sure I didn’t move it in any wonky ways that could derail the rest of my meager plans for it for the day. Like, I didn’t even try to put all my junk back on my bookshelves in the bedroom, although after my appointment today I might take a stool in there and attempt it. Yeah, that’s another reason why I didn’t mind “risking” yesterday’s actions, since I knew that “back/knee guy” was already on the agenda for today.

It was such a relief to be able to do those few things, but it still left me feeling guilty. My knee has been screwed for about a month now, which has also screwed my neck and shoulder more than usual, which has kept my anxiety at shitty high levels… and it’s kept me from being able to do so much. So when “good knee day” was gifted to me, knowing that it would likely be a limited resource, out of all the things I could have done – I did choose “work around the house as best / long as I can” over other things. 😟

I had to… because I already feel ineffective enough on most days, so having to sit here with most of my clothes clean, but in the basement… and with two big ass rugs in my bathroom, covered with an obscene amount of cat fur… along with going out to fetch my trash buggy, empty the litter box, and even just finally putting my groceries away and standing there to do the dishes. If I would have not gotten that stuff done yesterday, and woke up with a fucked knee today, which I did, all of that stuff would have been even more heavy on my mind.

So I ghosted almost everyone, doing what I needed to do for my brain to be a little more at ease during this whole “doctor / workers comp BS week” and the time immediately after. Still gotta get it through my head that I need to not fuck things up around the house (and not immediately clean it up or undo it or whatever) since there’s a pretty good chance that the next day could bring me some new surprise that physically stops me from doing so. I’m not old old yet, but the things affecting me… I may as well be. 😐 I need to start figuring out how to think about life in that way. Making use of, in all ways, the good days – and not just counting on each following day to be the same or better.

That’s why my anxiety messes with my head when people count on me or rely on me… because I can’t even count or rely on myself half of the time. So, kudos to all those people who are dealing with daily pain, disability, anxiety, depression, etc… but who still manage to carry on with their lives and not let it tie them in knots like it does me. I keep hoping it’s just a matter of getting used to it. But again, it makes me think of my Aunt C, who was in horrible shape and probably hurt in more ways than any of us ever knew… yet all the way up through her final days, she still lived her life without complaint, fought against the pain to play the organ at church each Sunday, and probably lots of other stuff that only she knows.

So whether it’s my neck, shoulder, thyroid, back, knee, or whatever’s next… I hope that I can eventually at least be like her, and just accept things as “how they’re gonna be” once doctors have determined that yes, this is just how it’s gonna be. I still haven’t gotten past the “Nope, I’m not that old, I shouldn’t feel like this.” phase – as made obvious by all the appointments just this week, and my decade-plus long battle with workers comp – but maybe it’s time to try and start accepting and adjusting, rather than fighting. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh… I dunno… but my appointment is soon, so I better get off here or I’ll just keep rambling… wish me luck.

Here Comes The Rain Again

It was interesting, yesterday at the pharmacy, as I tried to get all of my medications processed through the proper insurer, etc. When the lady told me that one of my WC meds had been denied again, I sort of jokingly apologized for my situation being such a pain in the ass for them each month – and said that I could pay cash for it and hope to be able to get a refund once it does get approved, but that I was sure there are probably dozens of other customers just like me and that I didn’t want to be even more hassle than I already had to be. 😏 The interesting part, and this isn’t the first time that someone there has at least hinted this towards me… but she said that in general, they don’t have many problems with workers comp customers, and was surprised (looking at my records in their system) how I seem to have the same trouble almost every month. πŸ€¨πŸ˜’ So it’s nice to feel like the complaints in my head are justified, but it doesn’t help when I want to reassure myself that it’s “nothing personal” against me. πŸ™„ Yeah, the appointment coming up this week, the requirement that my WC adjuster be contacted personally to approve the same meds I’ve been taking for years and years… it’s hard to pretend like it’s all a coincidence. 😞

But in the evening I managed to fall asleep relatively early, and then woke up in a cold sweat about an hour later after another awful nightmare. πŸ˜₯ Dad and I were out on Shepherd Hill, it was late in the evening, a storm was blowing in, and we were walking along the fence-line of the property… where everything was all overgrown, as if our houses there had been abandoned. 🀨 My cousin Jim was at our house, and was helping to pack up all of our valuable things before the storm hit… but Dad and I were still out in the cold and wind, looking for Mom. 😟 As it turned out, she was actually out in the garage, making a safe space for all the kittens to hide and safely ride out the storm.

By this point Jim, Uncle Jay, and some others had already taken their carloads of things and left, and Dad and I were trying to get Mom to come inside the house so we could get the last of our things and then leave as well. But having grown up in that house, she didn’t want to leave… and as the storm hit, it turned into a tornado. Pieces of the walls started giving way, window were breaking, parts of the floor were being pried up from the beams and thrown into the air, and the three of us took shelter in the doorway between the foyer and the kitchen – and could only watch as the house was being torn down around us. 😒

It was then that I woke up… so I didn’t actually “go through” the worst of what would have happened if I had stayed in that dream, but it was close enough. And it was one of those dreams that felt so real that the noise and wind blowing from the fan in my room… it took me a few seconds to realize / remember that it was just my fan, and not that storm blowing things around still. Luckily I’m still exhausted… not only from the past few days, but also from that nightmare… so I think I’m gonna be able to go back to sleep fairly easily. I just hope I don’t drop right back into that dream.

That’s one of my “talents” that I usually appreciate… being able to “resume” interrupted dreams, or having dreams that take place in certain fictional locations, but locations that are always the same in my dreams, making them seem as real as if I was sitting on my porch and looking out at my back yard. It’s usually a comforting feeling to have these made up, but specific dream “destinations” over multiple decades… but that’s not even how it was this time. This was our old house, it was the house that Mom grew up in, and it was too fucking real. 😣 I have “good” Mom and Dad dreams too, but I’m really learning to hate these bad ones.

Used to be I could be screwed up during the day for whatever reason, but at least I could count on “sleep” as a time where no matter how stressed, depressed, or screwed up I was feeling during the day – it would all go away at night. But these past couple of months, more often than not, the “twitchy” of the day just follows me into my dreams. A lot of days when I wake up, my first thought is “I can’t wait until this day is over so I can go back to sleep.” but, at least right now, I can’t even say that and mean it. 😞

I’m tired, boss…