Doing Alright

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

I accomplished pretty much nothing again today. I woke up, had breakfast, and went downstairs to sit on the couch and worry about the same crap. It’s okay, though – I’m still feeling a little better than I did a couple of days ago so that’s good.

This evening I put the first season of Community back in the DVD player and have been watching it again. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that show. Everything is done so well.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do this weekend. It’s supposed to be pretty nice out so I should probably go outside and accomplish something in the yard or garage. Hopefully I can put together enough oomph to do something.

Stay safe.

Doing A Little Better, I Think

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

I’ve been feeling pretty awful the last few days. It’s been very difficult to do anything and my mind is stuck on the same track all the time.

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine from out of town left me a message saying she was going to be here today and she wanted to get together for coffee. I almost said no.

Then, today came and I almost cancelled, but I hadn’t seen her in five or so years so I managed to drag myself out of bed, cleaned myself up, and went to meet her. We spent about 90 minutes chatting and catching up and it was really good to talk to her again. She’s aware of what’s been going on with me and has a daughter with anxiety issues so it was easy to talk to her about how I was doing.

Then, this afternoon I had an appointment with Dr P. I almost cancelled that too, but I figured that if I was really down, talking to my therapist would probably help. When I arrived, he could see that I wasn’t doing very well and, in a first for me, suggested we go on a mindfulness walk. We walked for about 40 minutes, paying attention to the world around us – colours, smells, sounds, textures – and working to put work and other distressing thoughts to the background. By the end of it I was feeling noticeably better than I had when I first arrived at his office. I still don’t feel great, but at this point I’ll take any improvement. I don’t want to end up in the hospital again if I can help it.

This evening, I made supper while J dug the rest of the potatoes out of the garden and got it ready for winter. She brought in enough potatoes for probably four good meals. It was nice to have the garden around this year. I didn’t mind watering it or pulling weeds, probably because it was so small. It felt more like a hobby than a chore.

My parents are home from their trip and they had a wonderful time. I had a good talk on the phone with them this evening and it was nice to hear how happy they were that they went and how much fun they had. They’re thinking of going back in two years and they’d like to take J and I along. That’s something worth working towards, I think.

Stay safe.

Difficult To Do Anything

Song: N/A

Mood: 4

I’m having a bit of a rough spell. I’m sure it’ll be over shortly but it’s very difficult to make myself do anything right now. I spent most of the day so far in bed or on the couch and have accomplished nothing.

All I can think about is work. It’s driving me nuts – I would do almost anything to get it out of my head.

A friend of mine will be in town over the next few days and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to summon the willpower to go out for coffee. Wish me luck.

Stay safe.

Not A Good Weekend

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

This has been a difficult weekend, with my anxiety and depression quite a bit higher than they have been lately. I’ve been stuck thinking about work and I can’t get it out of my head. I’m worried about being forced to go back to my old job, what other jobs I can possibly do, and whether I’ll be able to keep in touch with my friends when I go back to work. I used to have a fair bit of seniority so I’m also worried that if I get a different job with the same employer that I’ll be the first on the list of people to cut if/when there are layoffs.

I haven’t come up with any answers, either, which doesn’t help things.

So… I spent most of the weekend sitting on the couch in the basement, arguing with myself about all this stuff. Not very productive.

I hope that I wake up tomorrow and can think for two minutes about pretty much anything else. That would be nice.

Stay safe.

Yesterday, Continued

As I was saying, I had a pretty good day yesterday. My appointment with Dr P went quite well, and we’re trying out a new type of therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). We’ve gone over what it’s about and just barely scratched the surface but I’m hoping that this will be the trick that’ll help me get over some of the big stumbling blocks I still face.

Yesterday evening I went over to DA’s place and had a great time. I hadn’t seen him in a long time so it was great to catch up and talk about stuff. He only had a couple of tiny bits of stuff from work (I was grateful he didn’t go into any detail). He cooked up some chicken on the BBQ and we kept talking. Later on his girlfriend arrived and the three of us sat outside and talked until well after the sun went down.

To be honest, I was getting a little worried that DA wasn’t interested in getting together anymore but he’s a really busy person and I was just anxious about it I guess. We talked about everything – tools, motorcycles, snowmobiles, our families… all kinds of stuff. I was out for over an hour longer than I’d anticipated.

When I got home, J was sitting on the couch in the living room. Turns out she slipped in the shower while I was gone but thankfully came out of it with only a couple of bruises. We were both pretty tired by that point so we decided to call it a night pretty quickly after I got home.

Stay safe.

Had A Good Day

Song: “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John

Mood: 8

It’s pretty late and I’m pretty tired so I’ll write more tomorrow but today was a good day. I had my Dr P appointment, which went well, and I hung out with DA this evening. It was great to see him again and catch up.

More tomorrow!

Stay safe.

Wednesday’s Over

Song: “Touch of Grey” by the Grateful Dead

Mood: 6.5

I didn’t sleep very well again last night because I kept worrying that I was going to sleep through my alarm and miss my MRI appointment. I don’t remember having any nightmares last night, though, so that’s good. The alarm went off at 6AM and I had breakfast and got ready for my appointment. J drove (thank you so much again!) and we got there a little early. J led me around the hospital (I wasn’t completely with it yet) and found the MRI area.

They took my info, gave me some paperwork to fill out, and then I got an IV put in and it was off to the machine. The scan took a lot longer than I expected, I think it was close to 45 minutes. I’m not sure though – between me still being groggy and having nothing to look at but the inside of a white tube for the duration of the scan, I lost track of time. The staff were very friendly and professional, though, and considering what it was, it was a pleasant experience.

After J dropped me off at home I went back to bed but couldn’t sleep. I hate that feeling – when I start to fall asleep but instead get jarred awake at the last second. That happens a lot when I try to sleep after taking my morning medications. I guess enough of them have a stimulating effect that it makes sleep impossible.

After giving up on sleep, I headed downstairs to the basement, covered myself in a blanket, and just sat for a while. I started having those half-dreams that you get when you’re starting to fall asleep but I kept waking up. Some of the dreams were pretty weird.

I spent some time doing my mental exercises – I skipped my physical ones today (I know, I know). I did some writing and then sat down to play some Borderlands.

After that, I did more writing and spent some time at my electronics bench.

My dad called out of the blue and it was really good to talk to him. He and my mom are having a great time on their trip. One of my uncles had some pretty extensive surgery and he’s back to 100%, which is fantastic. One of my aunts also had some surgery and she’s able to walk and get around by herself again – again, fantastic news.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr P and I will be getting together with DA in the evening. It will be good to see him – it’s been a long time!

Stay safe.

I Wish Things Would Get Better Faster

Song: “Killer Queen” by Queen

Mood: 6.5

I didn’t sleep very well last night again. Two nightmares and a lot of tossing and turning. Between that, another rough morning, and being unable to drive much farther from home, it feels like I’m spending more time spinning my wheels than getting better.

I wish I could be working right now. I wish I could drive wherever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. I wish I didn’t have to take two handfuls of medication a day just to keep me on an even keel. I wish I could answer the phone without a second thought.

I know that I’ve come a long way. When I got out of the hospital the first time, J had to talk to the staff at the pharmacy on my behalf because I could barely put two words together. I was afraid to go outside, and I couldn’t even sit in the truck, nevermind drive it.

Now I can drive to the pharmacy and pick up my own medications. It’s a big improvement, and I’m grateful for it.

I spoke with Dr W about this stuff today and he reminded me that recovery isn’t about meeting huge challenges or making enormous changes – it’s about tiny little incremental steps, and he’s right.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t wish that things would move faster, though. I feel a little frustrated.

Tomorrow I need to get up extra early because I have an MRI at 7:30AM. Thankfully, J is driving me there – I will probably need her to steer me around the hospital, too.

Stay safe.

Tales From The Ward, Part V

Day 18

Nurse J is my nurse today 🙂

Lots of work nightmares again last night.

Breakfast was French toast, sausages, and oatmeal. Not too bad.

New guy came in last night, he’s in the room next to me.

Nurse J just stopped by and we had a very good chat about today’s pass. She says she finds it rewarding to work with me. She is a very good nurse!

Lunch was pulled pork on a bun with green and yellow beans, coleslaw, and fruit mix.

Went on a pass at 3PM. Hung out with Jennifer and my mother-in-law and had some very good fried chicken. The pass was great but around 6PM I could feel the anxiety building. Left for the hospital a little early but that’s okay.

Had a meltdown after re-reading the card that Mom gave me. Everything is so hard – getting up, going to groups, going out… I don’t think I can do it.

Nurse T is my nurse this evening, she supported me again while I cried. She is a good person.

 

Stay safe.

And Another Week Begins

Song: “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” by Pink Floyd

Mood: 7

I didn’t sleep very well last night. Only one nightmare, but I kept waking up for some reason. It was easy enough to get back to sleep, but I don’t like it when my sleep is interrupted like that. As a result, it took me longer than usual to get going this morning.

I bumped my exercise regimen up a notch this morning. Sped up the treadmill a bit and added some more weight to what I’m lifting. My arms are still a little rubbery but I felt like I’d accomplished something when I finished all of my physical and mental exercises this morning. It was a good feeling.

I spent some time at my electronics bench again, mostly just playing around. I’ve set up an old Raspberry Pi down there so I can start using it to do things like blink lights or run servo motors. My imagination used to run wild with possibilities when I’d look at my electronics bench but now it’s very difficult to think of something creative to do with all of the components and parts I’ve collected over the years.

After that, I listened to some records. I think I’ve said this before but there are some records and songs that sound better with the hissing and pops of vinyl. “King of the Road” by Roger Miller is probably the best example of this that I have in my collection. It just sounds… proper when it’s on vinyl.

I spent quite a bit of time today working on the CD homework that Dr P gave me last week. The most successful method by far for me seems to be the one where I treat unwanted thoughts as bullies and yell at them to leave me alone. I don’t know how practical that method will be outside of me practicing it but at least it’s promising. Another method that works better than most is to pretend to put a tag on the thoughts that says they are “broken” and shouldn’t be used. I hope I can get the CD to work, it would be really nice to, say, have a thought about work and just toss it away.

My mom called this afternoon and we had a good chat. My parents are visiting relatives and having a wonderful time. I’m glad they got out to see everyone.

I texted with DA today and we’re going to try to get together for a while sometime this week. He’s a really busy guy so it’s tough for him to nail down a time too far in advance. I’m looking forward to seeing him, it’s been a long time.

J and I have been watching a lot of Community episodes. We started back at season 1 and still find it really funny.

Tomorrow I have my Dr W appointment. It will be good to see him again, I have a couple of questions for him and am hoping that we can start trying to reduce some of my medications again.

Stay safe.