A Bit Tired and a Little High

Then let’s write a blog post, shall we?  Ha!  I have an excuse for being a little high.  I used a strain of (medical) marijuana that I don’t take very often, so its effects are a  bit stronger.  As welcome and intended results, my stomach is feeling less soupy and my anxiety is down.  Perfect.

So far this year I’ve lost 33 pounds.  I’m extremely happy about that and intend to lose about 70 more.  I give myself rewards for hitting certain goals, like when I lost 10 pounds I bought myself some new earrings, and when I hit 25 pounds, I downloaded a new album.  Which album, you ask? Taylor Swift’s 1989.  Yes, I’m a few years behind the times.  And I absolutely LOVE the album!  It has so many great dancing tunes on it.  Fun, fun!  And so I continue on my weight loss journey with the added benefit of dancing as exercise.

I am happy to announce that, as motivation, I signed up to walk a 5k, the Great Pumpkin Run!  It’s a virtual 5k, so I can walk it any time between September 1st and November 11th, then log my results online.  I’ll get all the swag of a regular 5k but without the embarrassment of other people seeing how incredibly slow I am.  I’m so excited!  I’m still a beginning walker, as I only tend to do 20-minute stints, but I’m working on building that up.  I went online and found a terrific-looking “couch to 5k” walking plan, so hopefully that will whip me into shape.

My anxiety is back already.  It’s not because the pot didn’t work, just that it wears off after an hour if you only do one puff.  I have been having a lot of trouble with anxiety lately, and depression.  I had an appointment with my psychiatrist and all was hunky dory, and then I found myself going back a month later feeling on the edge of needing hospitalized.  My doctor suggested adding Abilify to my regimen before switching completely to a new antidepressant.  This is my 6th day on it.  It’s killer on my stomach (hence the soupiness) and makes me a bit tired and fuzzy.  I’m getting used to it, but it’s hard.  My doctor said it would only take a few days to a week for it to begin making me feel better, and of course the typical 6-8 weeks for the full effect to kick in.  So let me tell you how it’s going.

The first couple of days were pretty rough.  I felt tired and sick, so much so that I didn’t feel safe to drive and cancelled my appointments.  Then I started to feel better mentally, but not physically.  As someone with rapid-cycling Bipolar I, I’m acutely aware that my moods are all over the place.  I also get a little leary when my mood feels too good.  And wow, have my moods been cycling like mad!  I haven’t established a new baseline yet.  That baseline is currently still too low, and I’m afraid the uptick is a little too up there.  I’ll give it some more time.

In the meantime, I’m working on things around the house.  It feels good to get things done, but fibromyalgia makes that extremely difficult.  My shoulders have been especially bad.  I stretch them and use the heating pad, ice pack, diclofenac gel, and even a sling when it gets too bad.  I do a little work on the house and then take a really long break.  With my current mental state, I get easily agitated while sitting and resting, so then I have to get back up and do something else.  That almost sounds good, like hey, you’re being really productive, girl!, but let me assure you, it’s no fun.  If my fibro wasn’t acting up so much lately, it probably would be awesome, but it just hurts.  Agitated and incapable is a bad combination.  Still I plug away, and I cry.


What to Do Next

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here, and honestly, it’s simply from lack of inspiration.  And also hand/elbow surgery.  That made it a bit difficult to type.  But now I’m back, recovered and hopefully back up to near full strength.  Endurance is another matter all together.

My latest journey, beside the surgeries, is my struggle to wean off caffeine.  Speaking of, I’m drinking some right now with- gasp!- artificial sweetener in it!  Recently I’ve been going to a nutritionist who’s said to avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague.  Well, that’s a little dramatic, but okay.  I’ve done a decent job at avoiding them so far, minus a slip-up here and there.  Unfortunatley I do not drink regular soda, and now diet has been deemed unacceptable, so here I am, weaning.  And it stinks, it really does.  The migraines are bonkers.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  This holds a bit of shame for me, as I was trying so hard to avoid it.  Well, that wasn’t good enough.  My blood sugar is not totally out of control, but it’s often a bit too high.  (Hence the trips to the nutritionist.) I only have to test it once a day, varying the times to see what the pattern is.  So far it’s too high in the morning when I wake up, but really good around 4pm.  After dinner is a little high as well.  I think part of the problem there is that I go to bed so early, the food doesn’t have a chance to digest before I fall asleep.  But somehow I don’t think I’m going to start staying up later.

My Crohn’s disease seems to be under control.  I’ve been using Humira citrate free, which is a huge improvement over the original Humira.  It’s less medicine, a smaller needle, and doesn’t hurt much going in.  If any of you take Humira, I recommend switching to the citrate free version.  No, I’m not a doctor and can’t give medical advice, and no, I’m not being paid to write this.  I just think it’s a really good product, and it greatly reduced my stress in having to give myself injections.  Now if my esophagus would just work properly, we’d be all set.  I think I might need an endoscopy.  Blech.  I guess we’ll see.



Am I Awake Enough to Write?

So far the typing isn’t going so well; we’ll see how the writing goes.  It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been on here with anything to share.  Not that life hasn’t had its ups and downs as of late.  I’ve just been lazy and busy.  It sounds counterproductive, but when I get busy, I get lazy.  I start hoarding energy where I can, hoping that will help me make it through the times I really need to be on top of things.  You know, spoons and everything.  It seems to work pretty well.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately.  I’m not sure why, except for when my husband rolls over in bed and covers half of my body with his, but I just toss and turn all night, most nights.  It’s frustrating to say the least.  I got some cannabis capsules to try to help with this insomnia, but they only work some nights.  And often I’m afraid of rolling onto my back to sleep, because I know I’ll snore more.  Yes, I snore, since I was a kid.  Darling, isn’t it?  And with having gained 30 pounds this year, that doesn’t help.  Sometimes there is just less anxiety sleeping on the couch- I only have to worry about myself.  That does make me feel far away from my husband, though, so I try not to do that too often.

The week before Christmas I ended up in the hospital with intractable vomiting, including vomiting up blood.  It was horrible.  The diarrhea had started earlier in the day, and it didn’t stop.  Thankfully the ER staff got me back to the treatment area fast and got the vomiting under control within a couple of hours.  I was admitted since there was a large fuzzy area on my CT (indicating inflammation) and they didn’t know what was wrong with me.  I had a fever, too, which is a rare occurrence for me.  So they started giving me IV antibiotics, nausea medication, fluids, and finally pain medicine.  I didn’t sleep all night with everything going on.  Even when I got to a room (no roommate, yea!) things didn’t quiet down.  I ended up getting extremely drowsy the next day around 5pm.  I don’t remember the last time I stayed up all night.

At any rate, the doctors tested me for a wide array of viruses and bacterial infections and so on.  Was it a Crohn’s flare?  The CT indicated that that was a possibility, but the GI doctor later debunked that theory (though he could have been wrong, no one knows).  I was tested for the flu and that came back negative.  I only had to stay for 2 nights, and the second night they put me up in such a nice room, it was like a hotel.  Except for the beeping medical equipment, people drawing my blood every few hours, and nursing staff coming in my room every hour or two to get vital signs and administer more medicine.  I was so dehydrated and weak, it was definitely the right decision to go to the ER.  It took a few days for my stomach to get back to normal and even longer to get some energy back.  It was a trying ordeal.  Hopefully I won’t get sick again this winter.

Oh, wow, I’m falling asleep as I write this.  My eyelids are heavy, so it’s time to say good night.  Maybe I can at least proof-read this before publishing.  Ha!  We shall see.

Early Riser

It’s early in the morning, much earlier than I usually get up, and I’ve already been up for over two hours.  I woke up with a migraine and hip and back pain.  Not a fun way to start the day.  So I slipped out from under my weighted blanket (no small feat!) and came out here to the living room.  At first, silly me, I didn’t think I’d be up long, so I left the bedroom in my shorts and t-shirt that serve as my pajamas.  It wasn’t long before I greatly regretted that decision and snuck back into the bedroom quietly to change into warmer clothes.  After having some cereal, I curled up on the couch with my heated throw, my heating pad, and my little heat-generating kitty.  She is always very clingy in the morning.

Soon I felt a bit better, although my head still hurts.  I had my Botox injections yesterday, and they take a while to kick in.  I am beginning to get really tired, and I was considering going back to bed, but then I thought I might as well wait until I’m exhausted.  That makes for better sleep.  My husband is getting ready to go into work early today.  He got up at 4:30 and ran on the treadmill for a bit.  Soon he’ll be leaving; soon I’ll be all alone for a while.  Then my sister is coming to visit!  Yea!

I’m feeling a bit discombobulated lately.  Yesterday my fibro fog was out of control.  Every time I started to do something, I had to stop and think about what I had been doing, try to remember, get back on track.  I wandered off track so many times I lost count!  I had some moments of clear-mindedness, and there were some tasks I completed from beginning to end without problem, but overall, it was a mess.  How will I know when I develop Alzheimer’s when I already can’t remember to put my shoes on before leaving the house?  I think a lot of people with fibromyalgia ask themselves this at some point.

Last week I was at my rheumatologist’s office and asked the doctor to change my main medication.  She then decided that since I have Crohn’s disease as well that it should be the GI doc’s decision.  I left there annoyed but called the GI doc right when I got home.  The receptionist said she could get me in on January 3rd.  I just about blew my top!  I need to change medications, not sit here twiddling my thumbs for 6 weeks.  So I told her that I really needed to be seen and would see anyone who can help me.  I’m glad to say I got an appointment for next Wednesday, but it’s with a nurse practitioner I don’t know.  Is she really going to change my medication for me, or pass the buck like the last person?  I am slightly frustrated.  But I will advocate for myself.  I am not waiting until January when I will just likely be a lot sicker then.  So yeah, watch out infuriating healthcare people.

Diamonds & Terra Pods

To my delight, my mom has decided I don’t have to wait until she dies to inherit my great-grandmother’s diamond ring.  I think the only thing that changed her mind is that she just doesn’t wear the ring; it just sits in her jewelry box.  What a waste.  So I am waiting for her to bring it to me, which could be soon, or it could be months from now.  Who really knows?

My great-grandmother was a very important person to me.  We had always been close, much closer even than I was to my own grandmother.  I would love our visits to her house in New York state, spending weeks at a time alone there with her over the summers.  She taught me how to play black jack, often times calling it the more innocuous name of 21.  We went to the local baptist church on Sundays and then out for lunch to Friendly’s.  A lot of times my older brother would be there with us, as well.

Time passed and we all got older, and my great-grandmother developed health problems and eventually dementia.  My aunts, uncles, mom, siblings, and cousins all took turns taking care of her as she could no longer be left on her own.  One night while my aunt, a nurse, was there, my great-grandma passed away.  I was 20 years old and devastated.  I miss her to this day, always will I think.  Some people leave an indelible imprint on our lives.

At any rate, I hadn’t meant to make this a depressing post.  It’s really not- it’s meant to be an ode to a wonderful woman, and an expression of joy that I’ll get to wear her wedding ring every day.

On to a different subject: terra pods, the newest in vaping.  So it turned out that the type of medical marijuana I wanted came in a new vape system, aka, a terra pod.  Something about ceramic, more even heating for faster, easier draws.  And here it’s a little cheaper!  So I got myself some Dark Bleu Cheese and felt elevated.  Not anxious, not tired, but not motivated to do anything either.  This might become a lazy day toke rather than an everyday kind of thing.  I am definitely into the terra pod in general and would recommend it to my fellow patients (or in some lucky states, recreational users).


Feeling Lonely

It’s 5:40pm, and I’m ready for bed.  I’m trying an experiment with not having caffeine past 2pm, and boy, is it rough.  I am a caffeine addict, definitely, and going without for all of those hours before bed, simply in hopes of a more pleasant bedtime experience, is like torture.  The torture continues when I go to bed and can’t sleep, despite having taken enough medication to put a horse to sleep.  Okay, maybe not a horse, but you get the idea.  I just discussed this sleep issue in my last blog, so why rehash it?  Let’s not.

Today has been a long day.  I woke up earlier than usual, and it feels pretty crappy now when I have to stay up longer.  I almost got all of my steps in today, which isn’t too many.  My goal is 3K, and I’m not sure if that’s ambitious or not considering the health problems I deal with on a daily basis.  It’s probably not.  Maybe 5,000 would be enough.  Enough, a word I struggle with often.  I want to be more than enough, do more than enough, but I never seem to have the energy.  My house could be cleaner, I could weigh less, I could be a better friend, daughter, sister, et cetera.  I could put that stupid puzzle together, the one that’s had its border done for at least a couple of months, the rest of the pieces placed with care above it.  It’s laid out on a card table in a craft/painting room that rarely gets used.

What is the point in this lament?  For one thing, it’s keeping me awake and occupied.  And it’s more productive than online shopping or looking at Facebook.  Earlier today I looked at Facebook for about 45 minutes, which is a very long time for me.  It was interesting for the first few months, and then I was just numbly staring while scrolling thought the rest of it.  I looked at the page of a guy I knew had a crush on me in high school, although I always ignored that little part of our friendship.  (And I felt really guilty about that.)  Anyway, he’s happily (it looks like it, anyway) married and has two kids.  Good for him.  So anyway, I don’t really want to look at that crap again, but it does pass the time.  I’m such a good time-waster.

My overwhelming feeling of apathy (can a feeling of nothingness even be overwhelming?) that’s been present for months has seemed to shift into a more depressive state.  I’m just on day two of the med change, and I’ve decided that, for now, being slightly depressed is better than feeling nothing.  Although it does make me want to smoke cigarettes.  Don’t worry, I won’t.  That’s really the last thing I need.  I just want my husband home (he’s off getting my car fixed, good guy that he is) and to hang out and watch TV and play cards or something.  Some together-time would do me good.  I was even thinking about going to the sewing group at church on Thursday.  I can’t quilt or anything like that, but maybe they’d have something else for me to do.  At the very least, it would be some socialization, which I seem to desperately need.  Writing a blog doesn’t exactly fill in the loneliness, but it did help somehow.

Little Sleep, Little Solace

Last night I took my p.m. medications, vaped some relaxing katsu bubba kush, and laid down in bed with a good book.  Normally, it would have taken me anywhere from a half hour to an hour to fall asleep.  I hadn’t had caffeine since 3p.m., and yet I lied there awake for hours.  I vaped a little more, took an extra half dose of sleep medicine and another muscle relaxer, and that finally did the trick.  Don’t worry, I was prescribed this amount of medication before, so I know it’s doctor-approved.  I’ve just been trying to cut back lately, because usually the pot does the trick.

It could have simply been an off-night for me, but I think it’s my brain chemistry getting mixed up.  Yesterday morning I started cutting my antidepressant in half so I can wean off of it a bit before I start my new pill on Monday morning.  The psychiatrist said I didn’t need to wean off the Trintellix, but heck, I had a crazy reaction when I started it and again when I increased the dosage- so don’t you think I would react in some way (a bad way) if I just stopped it cold turkey?  Come on, doc, get it together.  So he’s starting me back on Pristiq, 50mg to begin with, and then we’ll see.  We chose Pristiq together, because I had success with it before at 100mg.  I go back to see him in 4 weeks.  Ugh, changing medicine is for the birds.

It seems like every year I have to change my antidepressant.  This year I didn’t- I went off Geodon and on Latuda (mood stabilizers, although Latuda is also marketed for “bipolar depression”).  I wonder if they should have changed both medications.  After my hospitalization and heady experience adjusting to Latuda, I felt better, but only relatively so.  I never got back in that “normal” zone.  I know bipolar never disappears; I’ll always have some mood swings, fluctuations in energy and happiness.  But this time my med change led me from severe depression and agitation to apathy and low energy.  My mood doesn’t change too much.  I’m pretty much just blah all the time.  I find little solace in “blah.”

Good grief, my anxiety has been through the roof since yesterday.  I’m always at least a little bit anxious, but wow, this is bad.  Thank goodness for medical marijuana.  I think I’ll go vape a bit and lay down, read a book.  Or perhaps “NCIS” reruns.  That’s always a good time.