Depression: This and That

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It’s been a long couple of weeks, it really has been.  It seems like it’s all come crashing down on my shoulders today, I’m not sure why today, but here I am.  I am in a deep funk.  I’ve been telling myself for the past few days that I just need to make it to Friday.  Friday, the beginning of the weekend… I was sure that when I walked out of work tonight, I’d feel much better (at least mood wise anyway).  Well, that was a lie.  Maybe it has to do with all the stress from work over the past couple of (hell) weeks, maybe it was the crushing realization that I’m going to have to work tomorrow morning anyway.  Either way, getting in my car after work and heading to pick up the short one from camp, I had the sudden urge just to bawl.

I’m not talking about a couple of cute, mascara streaked tears running down my face.  I felt like I wanted to scream and rail against the world, like if I went all crazy girl in my car, I’d feel all better and the world would keep turning.  Well, unfortunately for my head, I didn’t.  I drove to pick up the short one, no tears in sight, and diligently turned in the check for her childcare.  I packed her up in the car and stopped for a quick treat at the 7-eleven (Friday tradition anyone?) and headed home.  I sat out in the backyard writing, watching my child run around with her “peg leg” (a walking stick the boyfriend made her, which magically morphs into whatever play thing she wants at the moment.  Thank god for imagination!), smacking random things that she deemed a monster.  I sat there and smiled.  The boyfriend came home, we talked about our days while I drank my iced coffee.  You know what?  I still want to bawl.

I know a big portion of it is just the prednisone prescription.  I have mild depression and anxiety normally, but for some reason the prednisone really brings it out.  It’s pretty common from what I understand if you’re on it long term, and I dealt with it before so I knew it was coming.  A big portion of this funk is because I feel like crap.  My Crohns is far from controlled right now, and the physical side effects from prednisone are popping up.  Along with the stomach cramping and my “normal” fatigue, I have joint pain, what I call “skin pain” and I feel like I haven’t slept.  I’m not even going to talk about the “moon face” I’m rocking now.  It was confirmed by a coworker yesterday.  As anyone with a chronic illness knows, (especially someone in a flare or with consistently active disease) after a while, the pain and discomfort just wear you down.

For whatever reason, work has just been hell lately.  I mean, it’s enough to wear my healthy counter parts down, and dealing with it on top of pain and fatigue is just ruining whatever small happy moods I do have with a quickness.  Usually I can deal with work stress pretty well, but with already being at the mental-crying-like-a-grounded-teenager point due to pain… it takes very little to set me over the edge.  Thankfully my co-workers are understanding (to a point), but shit man, I’d rather not have to run outside to get my emotions under control.  Crying at work is not fun for anyone, and when I cry, I make it all awkward for all who witness it.

There’s a lot going on in my personal life.  Some financial stuff, ranging from the new hospital bills, to the increased summer tuition for childcare (no child support here remember), to trying to stay afloat with no extra income coming in to make up for the gap.  Along with finances comes the regular stuff.  I have to turn in supplies for summer camp and register the kid for 2nd grade (I already missed the deadline… thank god pretty much everyone does.) and the boyfriends kids money stuffs too.  It’s just a lot, and while doable, is very overwhelming when I’m already not at the top of my game.  Then of course just every day stuff, you know, keeping up with chores (thank god for the helpful boyfriend) and the garden and getting repairs on my car completed.  I about cried when I realized I have to do laundry this weekend.  That’s how stressed out I am.

I know a lot of it is prednisone related because I *know* that most of this stuff doesn’t bother me on a normal day.  Which having that thought just irritates me even more!  I am so incredibly overwhelmed I want to just make some coffee and pour my head out to someone, but I’m feeling quite alone at the moment.  The boyfriend has to listen to me rant and rave everyday, so I don’t want to unload on him anymore than I already do.  My parents have a lot to deal with the other children, so I don’t want to unload on them either.  They are super stressed out, why add to it and then add guilt to my list of woe-is-me’s.  I don’t have a whole lot of friends who do the coffee date anymore, and the ones who do (which I love dearly) are too far to do in-person-coffee dates.  (Luckily I have one via phone tomorrow).  Regardless, between putting on the happy-fun-lets-do-a-bunch-of-fun-stuff mom face and the lack of people to talk to… it’s hard to get my brain out of this funk.

 

I don’t know.  I have to work tomorrow, then the kid and I are out to roam around for some one on one time.  I’m hoping that that and the good weather will cheer me up.  In the mean time?  Whiskey and cokes on my porch after the kiddo falls asleep.  I’ll count not having to watch frozen again as a victory and count my blessings.

 

Happy night all.  Hope your moods are better than mine.

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Some habits are hard to break.

No shit right?  I am such a creature of habit that I hurt my own head sometimes.  I’ve slowly but surely been breaking the bad ones, one at a time.  The more habits I destroy, the more confident I become.

Yes, I still smoke, I’m still working on that.  After 13 years, it’s a tough one.  So I’m slowly pushing at it and will eventually win.

In the meantime though I’ve given up quite a few.

I used to eat fast food at least once a week or once every other week.  I admit, it was easy to just stop at McDonalds after a long day of work and get a quick dinner for me and the short one.  I didn’t realize how often I was eating it until I actually sat down and looked at my checkbook register one day.  Yeaaaaah.  No.  So I stopped.  As a family we *maybe* buy fast food once every 6 weeks, if that.  Seriously, try it.  Whenever we do stop, even just junk food at a sit down restaurant, or a delivered lunch to work, I’m shocked at how much my body revolts afterwards.  I’ll feel sluggish, greasy, tired and slightly sick.  Every single time.

Once we cut that down, I started with more (in season) fresh veggies and fruits instead of canned and processed.  I’ve always prefered to eat fresh, but always felt exasperated in the Winter and Spring.  Well go figure, if you eat what is in season in your area or close by, it’s a lot easier.  Meals are a lot more fun to make now, and I feel better after I eat as well.  Since we incorporated more fresh veggies and fruits into our diets I have also noticed that Noodle complains less about her stomach and has an easier time with her moods as well.  Related?  I’d like to think so.

So one thing I’m working on that will shock the hell out of everyone and their mom is coffee.  No, no, no, NO.  I’ll never cut coffee completely out.  I love the taste of it, the comfort that I’ve attached to it over the last decade or so.  Coffee is soothing to me, helps me clear my head.  I enjoy it.  Not to mention the health benefits of a cup of good joe.  However, y’all know, left up to my own devices I can easily drink several pots a day.  As I’m getting older I’ve noticed the caffeine hits my body harder… and more importantly hits my crohns as well.  So I’ve been substituting tea in where I can.  Some with caffeine and some without.

With my Crohns flaring (again), I’ve started drinking more Lemon, Peppermint and Ginger Tea and to say I’ve noticed a difference is an understatement.  A bit of iced green tea is a good replacement for my iced coffee on lunch.  My stomach (while still trying to claw it’s way out) is much easier to manage, and the anti-inflammatories from the tea definitely seem to be helping me tolerate solid food quicker than usual.  The Guava-Ginger tea I picked up at the market, and the Ginger-Lemon I’ve been drinking for a couple of weeks calm down my stomach quickly.

There might be something to this natural crap.  *smirk*  Hey, anything’s worth a try after you live off of drugs that CAUSE CANCER.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that I’ll ever live med-free (for long anyway).  I have severe Crohns Disease, and it has me by my non-existent balls.  However, I’ve made it a personal goal to stay off the prednisone and 6mp because of what they did to my body the last time.  Maybe these last few strides to improve my lifestyle will give my body that last kick it needs to get into remission.  Who knows.

All I know is that regardless of whether or not I have surgery to remove the fistula/strictures, this lifestyle is here to stay.  I’ve got to give this body a fighting chance, so why not?