It’s Been A Good Day

Song: Theme from Knight Rider, by Stu Phillips and Glen A. Larson

Mood: 6.5

I woke up twice last night from nightmares but was able to get back to sleep. The second one was particularly bad but fortunately I was able to calm down and relax without needing any medication.

This morning I drove to the clinic to get my blood drawn for a test. Not a big deal, and it seems that getting there at about 11AM is much better than arriving when they open – I was in and out in less than half an hour. After I got out I drove around for a little while before heading home. I must admit, even though it’s much more dangerous, I think I’m more comfortable riding the motorcycle than I am driving the truck. I’m not sure why – it’s just a feeling in my stomach.

Some packages arrived, too. A new battery for my netbook, a phone holder for the truck, and the triops have arrived! I did a bit more reading and realized that it would probably be a bad idea to have both the shrimp and the triops in the same tank so this evening J and I moved the shrimp into the main aquarium. Probably a good thing, too – there’s more algae in there right now than the shrimp there could eat, so adding two more will probably be a good thing.

I think I’m going to start the triops tomorrow morning. It’ll be a good little project to set everything up. Keep me busy for a while.

J took me to my Dr W appointment this afternoon and it went quite well. We arrived pretty early so we each bought a drink and had a good chat in the cafeteria before going to Dr W’s office. The appointment was fine – Dr W told me to stop thinking and worrying about work. He is on the same page as pretty much everyone I’ve talked to about this stuff – I can not return to my old job. I just can’t do it. I don’t even think I can return to the same building. I don’t know how far away I am from working again, but I hope it’s not too long.

This evening, J and I had a really good chicken Caesar salad for supper. Normally I’m not big on salads (although my mother-in-law makes really good ones) but J and I are trying to fit more of them into our dinner rotation. Healthy body, healthy mind, right?

Stay safe!

Today’s Been Okay

Song: “Eastbound and Down” by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Mood: 6

Today’s been an okay day. Nothing particularly good happened; nothing particularly bad happened. I got a few things done around the house and did something I haven’t done for the first time in ages – watch TV. We’ve only got an antenna so we get four channels, but I thought what the heck, daytime television must be better than the last time I watched it, right? After about twenty minutes I remembered why we got rid of cable and bought an antenna. Unless I want to watch the news, TV is pretty boring. I guess that’s also why J and I just buy the DVD sets of shows that we’ve heard good things about or see on the Roku.

After that, I did some laundry (which was more interesting than what was on TV) and spent some time writing. I was able to concentrate pretty well and it felt good to write today. I also signed J and I up for an online grocery shopping service where you shop online and then show up at the store and it’s all bagged up and ready to go. I think it’s going to work out well because then I can do the “shopping” and J can pick it up on her way home from work.

My triop eggs have shipped and should be arriving tomorrow. I’m trying to figure out whether I can grow them in my little aquarium with the cleaner shrimp or if someone is going to get eaten. If that’s the case, I’ll just move the cleaner shrimp into the main tank in the living room and grow the triops in my little tank. I’m looking forward to watching them grow and see how they behave.

It’s getting quite a bit warmer outside now and is supposed to stay like that for a while. I would like to make some bread but I think I’ll wait until we get a bit of a cool spell so I’m not heating up the house with the oven. I enjoy making bread by hand – I find it relaxing and gratifying when things turn out well.

Other than that, not a lot is going on. J and I are going to watch some more Community shortly. What a good show.

Stay Safe!

Not Too Bad

Song: “Sweet Home Chicago” by the Blues Brothers

Mood: 6

I didn’t sleep that well last night. I woke up a couple of times because my back was sore. I think it’s sore because with my CPAP machine, I can sleep on my back. I never used to be able to do that and I think I’m spending a lot of time sleeping that way. I’m not used to it, so my back gets irritated.

I think.

Anyway, today wasn’t one of my best days, but it was far from the worst. I did some laundry, spent a little time writing, listened to some records, and did a lot of thinking. I’m trying to figure out where I’m at and how close to returning to work I am. I can confidently say that I’m not ready yet and I’m scared to go back. There’s no way I can return to my old job – I’ll just end up in the hospital again (or worse). I don’t even think I can work in the same field. The problem is, I have no idea about what kind of accommodations my employer can or will make, and I’m afraid to ask.

I also wish there was a sign or light or something that could tell me exactly how far I still need to go. I’ve been off work for about fifteen months and just thinking about this stuff still makes my stomach fill up with butterflies. Most of the time I can’t even see myself being able to drive to work, much less do anything productive. Baby steps, I guess. Lots of baby steps.

I’m getting a little tired of baby steps for everything. I want to be well. I don’t want to be stuck at home. I want to be a productive person again. I want to go out to restaurants with J and hang out with friends somewhere other than home. Some days it all feels really far away, though.

I’m doing my best to keep my head up and baby-stepping my way forward but it’s exhausting. I’ve had a kidney stone and I think I can say that if I could trade my OCD, anxiety, PTSD, depression, and panic disorder for another kidney stone, I’d do it in a second. At least with a kidney stone there’s something there that you can see… something that needs to be removed, and once it’s removed, you feel relief. With mental illness, it comes and goes as it pleases, nothing shows up on an x-ray, and you have to work your ass off to feel better. It’s not fair.

The good things in life are worth it, though.

Stay safe!

And The Weekend Comes To A Close

Song: “Ballroom Blitz” by Sweet

Mood: 7 to 7.5

Today has been a decent day. I woke up once last night from a nightmare but the rest of my night seemed to go pretty well. Today felt like a really lazy day, though. I didn’t do a heck of a lot, just sat around and chatted with J and took a nap in the early afternoon (which was really nice).

I’ve got a lot of stuff to do this week. I’m behind on laundry (again), need to pick up some groceries, go for my Dr W appointment, and go for blood tests. I think I need to squeeze a motorcycle ride or two in there somewhere just for fun.

I also want to get back to welding. The garage is almost ready for me to hang my blankets and screens, and I’ve got an unopened box of 7018AC rods that I can’t wait to try out. J has a couple of things she’d like me to build for her, and I have a couple of projects to work on, too. It’s been a while since I did any welding, though, so I need to run a bunch of practice beads before I get to actually trying to build anything.

I’ve probably said this before, but I really enjoy welding, even if all I’m doing is running beads. Once the mask is down it’s just me and the arc. Therapeutic in its own way.

This coming weekend J is considering heading out of town to see her parents. I’m looking forward to seeing how I do by myself – it’ll be the first time since I got out of the hospital that I’ve been on my own for a weekend. Just typing this up is probably making more of a big deal than it really is but I see it as another step forward.

I think that J and I are going to watch an episode or two of Community this evening. We’re nearing the end and I’m not sure if I want to see the last episode. I just want to think of the characters as continuing on and having more adventures together. I really like that show.

Stay safe!

What A Good Day

Song: “Bongo Rock” by the Incredible Bongo Band

Mood: 9 (not a typo!)

Today has been a very good day. I slept pretty well last night, went for my first motorcycle ride in 21 months, and J and I hung out, did some painting, and had some good talks.

I haven’t felt this good for a very long time. I’m not entirely sure how to put it into words.

I think it’s really important to write down and remember days like this.

Wow. I don’t know what else to say. I hope everyone gets a chance to experience great days like this!

Stay safe!

Friday Of A Long Weekend

Song: “I Believe I Can Fly” by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Mood: 7

I slept pretty well last night despite being bamboozled by the movie we watched just before bed. Named A Town Called Hell, it was almost impossible to follow and at one point we were almost sure it had jumped to another movie entirely. But, J and I like watching these movies and making fun of them – kind of like how we enjoy listening to records.

This morning I had a Dr C appointment which went quite well. She’s going to be leaving soon for a year and is going to transfer my file over to one of her colleagues. I’ve got to say that I’m pretty bummed out about that – I’ve been working with Dr C since February of last year and she has been really good at prying stuff loose and getting me to think more rationally about things. I don’t doubt that her colleague is also top-notch, I’m just very comfortable with her and I think she knows me pretty well by now. But, you’ve got to look out for number one and she’s no different.

After we got home, I went through all of my motorcycle gear just to make sure I could find it and it was still serviceable. I think I’m going for a ride tomorrow! I’m both nervous and really looking forward to it at the same time.

J made supper this evening and man was it ever good. Beef, cheese, tomatoes, homemade taco seasoning, corn, rice… all elements of a really good dish. I’d like to say I helped but all I really did was open a couple of cans and grate some cheese.

After supper we went for a little walk around the neighbourhood. There’s a park just across the street that we rarely go to so it was nice to take some time to walk through it and explore around a bit. It was around 19C out (so perfect for me) and there are still no mosquitoes around (which is really strange but I’m not complaining). It felt good to get out and enjoy some fresh air.

J needed some stuff from Amazon so we put in an order. One of the things I ordered was a “Triops” kit. A Triop is a freshwater crustacean that has three eyes and looks pretty disgusting. I’m wondering if they’ll get along with my cleaner shrimp. I’ll probably raise a few of them in a separate container to start and make sure they have lots of food (they tend to eat each other when they’re hungry).

This evening, we watched another western called Eagle’s Wing. It was the last movie in that Spaghetti Westerns pack we’ve been watching and I think it’s the one that made the most sense. The acting was good, the quality of the video and audio was pretty good, and it had a story. Not too bad.

Other than that, not much is going on. Wish me luck for my motorcycle ride!
Stay safe!

One Step Closer To Riding The Bike

Song: “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne

Mood: 6.5 to 7.

I had two more nightmares last night that kept me awake for a little while. Fortunately, the rest of my sleep was good so I didn’t feel rough when I finally got up. I had breakfast, watched one of the shrimp moult (which was both fascinating and disgusting) and sat down to do some writing. I also watched four or five partial episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. They were pretty amusing – he doesn’t pull any punches when he’s talking about stuff, that’s for sure. Then I went back to writing. I worked on one of my stories for quite a while and it felt pretty good to write.

On a completely different note, my motorcycle has been back together and waiting for me to ride it for quite a while now. One reason is that I’m nervous to try. Even though I’ve been riding the same bike since 2009, the thought of going out on two wheels makes me nervous. Another reason I haven’t gone for a ride is that due to the medication I’m on, I’ve put on a fair amount of weight and my riding jackets don’t fit. I won’t go out without helmet, jacket, boots, and gloves, so that put an end to that pretty quickly.

J suggested we go to our local powersport store and look at jackets. I was nervous and felt bad about it – the jacket J bought me for Christmas three years ago is still in great shape – but she told me that it was okay and someday I’ll be able to wear it again.

Anyway, J drove us to the store and in less than twenty minutes I had a new jacket and it fit. The salesperson at the dealership was very helpful – she went into the storeroom to find a jacket in a size that would fit me and came out with two armfuls of jackets. I tried one on and it fit great (and even had a little bit of room in case I put on more weight). J was happy, I was happy, and I think the salesperson was happy too. I also checked at the parts desk to see if they had any rivet-style master links (I’m running a clip-style master link right now) but unfortunately they didn’t have any in stock. I’ll have to check around for one – I don’t really trust the clip link.

So tomorrow or sometime this weekend I am going to take the bike out for a ride. I will stay in the neighbourhood and take it easy while J will be just a phone call away if I run into trouble. The bike’s never let me down before (even after I crashed it) and I don’t expect it to let me down now. It’s just whether I’m up to the task of riding. I really hope I am – riding the bike always made me happy and demanded all of my concentration so I couldn’t worry about other things like work or bills or anything like that. I think they call it “motorcycle therapy” for a reason.

Other than that, not much is going on. Oh, today was warm and humid enough for the new air conditioner to kick in and it works great – way better than the old one.

Stay safe!

And Another Day Goes By

Song: “Cow Patti” by Jim Stafford.

Mood: 5

I didn’t sleep all that well last night – my nightmares came back and woke me up a few times. Fortunately, I was able to get back to sleep after a little while.

Today wasn’t a great day. Not that it was particularly bad, but because it was very difficult to motivate myself to do anything and to keep from going back to bed. I did some writing and listened to some more records and did my exercises but it took a lot of willpower to do anything.

J coming home was (and pretty much always is) the highlight of my day and she brought supper. We had a good chat about stuff and then I went and wrote the previous post. After that, we tidied up the house and watched a couple of episodes of Community. I’m pretty tired so I’ll be heading to bed soon.

Stay safe.

A Decent Day

Mood: Seven. Having trouble telling my brain to stop running around and banging into things.

Song: “You Think You’re A Man” by Divine.

I woke up this morning and had breakfast after J had already gone to work. I felt pretty fuzzy this morning and it was hard to keep my thoughts in order. The haze cleared pretty quickly, though.

I did a lot of writing today. Not just for my blog but I worked on a story I’ve been playing with for some time now. I’ve no idea where it’s going but I find it enjoyable and relaxing to sit down and let the words flow out through my fingers and wander across the screen. Maybe I’ll share part of it sometime.

The turntable got a workout today, too. I listened to a couple of records this afternoon and then J and I listened to another bunch this evening after supper.

I’ve been finding that my mind has been racing a lot today, and not for any rational (or even coherent, for that matter) reason. It’s just bopping along at a hundred miles an hour and going off in all directions. I hope this doesn’t mean I’ll have trouble sleeping this evening.

My folks called this morning, too. It was very good to talk to them – I miss them quite a bit and hope to see them again soon. The last time I saw them was when I was in the hospital which doesn’t make for the best environment to chat.

Tomorrow I plan on heading out to the garage and doing some more work out there. I would really like to get welding soon.

Stay safe!

I’m Back Home!

Song: “Johnny B. Rotten” by The Monks

Mood: A solid 8.

I didn’t sleep very well last night. It was partially because of the brightness in my room but mostly because I was excited. The pass had gone so well and I was sure I was ready to be discharged.

This afternoon, Dr W did just that. We had a short chat, talked about medication changes, and then he sent the discharge paperwork to my nurse. J picked me up at about 4:15PM and we were home for supper by 5.

It’s been a good day.

This most recent admission lasted twelve days. I’m still a little embarrassed that it’s my fourth admission but I’m feeling stronger and happier than I have for a while now. No more days spent almost entirely in bed. No more time spent hating myself because I wasn’t able to get out of bed and do anything. I feel pretty good.

I’m also going to devote more time to listening to what my brain is trying to tell me. With luck, that’ll help me deal with and turn around my mood dips before they become free-falls. It’s scary how quickly my mind can go off the rails so I really want to try and catch it before it does.

Stay safe!