geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Category: depression


watching God do His thang… (& other random mind dumps)


Okay, so you guys know, if you know ME or if you’ve read here much at all, that I am a “retired” homeschool mom of two twenty-something sons.  Yeah, I’ve been “retired” for quite some time!

Homeschooling was the greatest, most best decision we ever made.  Yes, even though I had plenty of days when I was quite certain it was the WORST decision we ever made.  I think as a mom OR dad, wanting to do the very best for your children, we all have those doubts when trying to determine what’s best for our kids.  Even though we were happy having the boys at home and I loved being a stay-at-home mom teaching my boys, there were still days that it seemed like a really baaaad choice!  There are probably those moments in anything we pursue that is ultimately good.

I would never say I was a “great” homeschool mother.  I wouldn’t even say I was “good” at it most days.  But I tried my best to meet the needs of my children.  I know families with 8+ children who have a whole posse of little virtuoso in a variety of areas.  Music, mathematics, communication, entrepreneurship… you name it.  Many of those kids are now doing extremely well in their adult lives.  My boys are no exception to that.  I feel like, at least for me, this is the litmus test as to whether homeschooling was a success.

While my youngest son chose not to finish high school, he is still doing well.  He never attended any other type of school than at home.  My boys have quite different personalities and while our eldest enjoyed learning at home, our youngest had a different bent.  He wanted nothing to do with anything that came hard to him.  If it wasn’t easy or something he was extremely interested in, he just didn’t want to do it at all.  And he was several times more stubborn than his mother, so this made continuing his education at home very difficult.

I don’t want to rehash old problems or bring up too much from a really hard time in our family, but our baby became very rebellious, very hateful toward me specifically.  I’m not sure if that was just because I was the “authority” figure  for the large part of his life at that time (since I was also his ‘teacher’) or if it was more personally directed at me, but it was very obvious and it broke my heart.

By the time he was 14 or 15, he began to just refuse to do his lessons.  He had a car by this time, one he had bought himself and was working on to have ready by the time he got his license, so of course, he spent a ton of time doing that.  When he’d  refuse to read anything else, no matter how hard I’d tried to find literature that would interest him, he would devour anything about his car without hesitation.  And yes, I did try to allow as much as I could for the how-to car reading to count toward his school, but that wouldn’t fill all the requirements.  But no matter what we threatened or how hard we explained why he needed to do the other work, he would just refuse.  He wasn’t super-in-your-face with his refusal, but he’d sit for hours NOT doing the work you gave him.

Needless to say, I was frustrated beyond words and it became harder and harder to deal with.  It didn’t make it any easier that the boys’ father wasn’t really a disciplinarian in that area.  I’m trying NOT to sound disrespectful or like I am bashing Tommy, but he just wasn’t involved with schooling very much.  He felt that was my job, my territory, and when I would come to him with concerns or problems,  he just wasn’t very helpful in addressing them.  I think he felt like he and Casey were more alike and Corey and I were alike so he usually seemed to “side” with Casey.  I say “sided” because that’s how it felt.  In hindsight, I think Tommy just didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t fully aware of how bad things had become and that’s what informed his actions.  The way most things go in parenting, we always just do the best we know how at the time and I think that’s what happened here.

All these years later, we discovered that there were things happening in Casey’s life that we had absolutely no clue about.  He shut himself off from us and seeing how he rebelled even more if we tried to approach him, we just gave him space.  We had no clue he needed us to break through his walls, to be praying for him in specific ways, to help him navigate some horrible things.  When I was made aware of this stuff, just a few years ago, it broke my heart all over again.  What kind of mother am I to not know??  To not see how much my child needed his parents to intervene??  Even if he was pushing me away with all his might, how could I not know how much he was hurting?  Those thoughts bring the tears, even now.  Nothing is more heartbreaking as a mother than to realize you failed your child in such a huge way.

deep sigh

All of that to say, even with all this failure and heartbreak, I don’t regret homeschooling my boys.  And to see them today, both successful in their jobs, both contributing, functional adults in spite of their “lack of socialization” (pshh!) is a balm to my mama-soul!

You may not know, but Corey, our eldest, recently moved with his wife to the Cincinnati area for a new job.  The company found his profile on LinkedIn and sent a request for his application!  Out of the blue.  Realizing this, as a homeschool mom, was a real boost for me personally.  I mean, after all the naysayers either aloud or privately saying my children would suffer from our choosing to teach them at home?  I thank God for this affirmation that we did what we should have at the time.

Casey and Corey have always worked together in their grandpa’s business (my dad), which is a combination of various plumbing-related things.  They’ve sort of grown up in the trade, working summers from the time they were barely teenagers to the year Corey put off his graduation in order to help my dad when his only other employee at the time (my father-in-law) had suffered a heart attack and dad sorely needed the help.  Corey was not quite 17 when he made that decision and because we homeschooled, it was totally possible to do this.

When Corey left to take this job, it left Casey with a role he hadn’t ever filled before.  And let me say, this was a job too good for Corey to pass.  It was higher pay with commissions and bonuses, less stress of being responsible for both office work and keeping track of and working on jobs and less being resented because to others, it seemed Corey was doing less because of his time doing office work.  There’s also benefits like retirement and 401k plans that aren’t available with my dad’s business and room to advance.  There’s also a respect that Corey didn’t get here at home.  No one who knows the situation could possibly fault him for taking the job.  As much as it pained me to see him move, I can’t deny that in so many other areas, he’s a lot better off than he was here.

It really took him leaving for my dad and Casey to realize how much Corey was actually doing.  So as far as the resentment shown when Corey informed them he was leaving, there’s now a respect that had never been shown before.  It always hurt me so much to know that the boys, both of them, were dealing with so much stress and tension from my dad, who seemed to not understand or be willing to admit that doing things the same old way weren’t working.  Any new idea the boys came up with was met with scorn and most times, ridicule so they had to continue doing things a more difficult way while bearing the weight of their grandfather’s disapproval.

I love my dad, don’t get me wrong.  But he can be impossibly bullheaded sometimes.  Like most of us, I guess, only… well, more so!  I think now that these changes have been made, he’s beginning to see that there need to be new ways of doing things than he’s done all his adult life with his various businesses.  I just hope Casey can continue to urge him to make the changes.  Casey is much better at communicating or at least confronting my dad than Corey was.  Casey will get in his face and tell him when he’s being irrational  or stubborn where Corey would just bite his tongue and let Pap carry on his own path.  Overall, I think Corey’s leaving has been a positive thing all around.  I had been very worried that it would be only negative here at home, with the business. but it seems to have ushered in some new realizations so I’m hopeful things will be better here as well.

Casey is now having to step us as more of the salesman for the company, the “people-person”, which had been Corey’s role most of the time.  And granted, I think both the boys would agree that Corey has an easier time with that than Casey most of the time.  Although Casey is learning and he does very well most of the time anyway, it doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does Corey.  It’s been good to see Casey maturing in the way he sees the business now that he doesn’t have his brother to leave all that to.  Maybe I’m a little biased since I am the eldest in my family, but I think it’s just easy for the younger to leave things up to the elder.  It’s like a natural role so when there’s never an opportunity for the younger to take the lead, they will continue to let the older sibling tend to those things.  It’s not that Casey is unable, it’s just that he’d never really had to before, so in all, it’s a good thing, I believe.

In case you’re wondering about that title, it was intended to refer to how things just fell into place with Corey moving and getting this job.  He has all this time he never had before and he’s figuring out what to do with himself.  That’s a good problem to have.  Granted, some of that no-time-for-himself thing was because he was also serving as youth pastor at his church here.  Not only was he dealing with all the stuff from the business, he had kids calling on him at all hours with various issues plus all the activities that were most of the time scheduled by someone else without consulting Corey first.  It was just a lot on his plate.

But the whole thing with this new job just sort of happened all at once.  They contacted him, he sent a resume, then went up for an interview, the next week he went for another interview and then the offer letter came.  All that happened in less than a month beginning around the first week of November and then they wanted him to start in January!  They had to settle their house, pack it up and get rid of what they weren’t keeping, deal with settling Corey’s part of the business, find an apartment and figure out how to get moved up there all at once!  It was crazy times, let me tell ya!

And this poor mom had like ZERO time to adjust to all this.  I mean, like I’ve said, I never dreamed either of my boys would move out of town, let alone out of state!  And even if I thought one of them might move, I always figured that would be Casey, not Corey.  It was like total shock!

Thankfully, I got to spend time with them after Tommy and I helped the kids find an apartment, so we had first-hand knowledge of where they were and what kind of place they had, what type of area they lived in and all that.  I think they really appreciated our help.  It all went so smoothly, with only 4 of them (Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help) unloading the UHaul and getting done right ahead of the snowy rain?  That was just God, y’all.  He was just working through the entire thing.

They went from a 1400 square foot home with a full finished basement to a 1000 square foot apartment with a small storage room about the size of a closet!  Needless to say, they got rid of a ton of stuff.  Their apartment is nice, cozy but roomy enough for them.  It’s also roomy enough to house a few guests for a few days (or a week.. I stayed with them almost a week at the end of January).  Ha.  Their dog, Timber the Australian Shepherd, has adjusted extremely well.  Even with the company changing start dates on Corey and having him start a couple days before he even had his work van organized, he’s done really well and has been noticed by the management and owners.

Casey seems to have adjusted to the new role he has and although he’s working a lot, he’s doing well, too.  I would honestly be tickled if he would move up there and take a job with this company too.  They recruited Corey because of his experience in plumbing and the fact that he has his Master Plumber license and they have just started expanding their business into plumbing and need licensed plumbers!  But Casey doesn’t seem interested and that may have more to do with his wife, I don’t know.  Shoot, if Tommy wasn’t less than five years from retirement, I would be pushing him to move up there and apply with this company.  It’s been voted one of the top businesses in Cincinnati several years in a row and anyone who knows about it says it is an awesome company.  They really have a stellar reputation and they do business in such a no-nonsense way that seeks to accommodate customers while also taking great care of their employees.  They have an open-door policy among management, which in this company means there are NO doors in their offices!  How cool is that?  You won’t find many companies that think this way!

Anyway, I guess all this is just to give God ALL the credit for working things out so well.  For helping me deal with my anxiety over the sudden move, for making things smooth out here at home as well as for Corey in his new home and job.  Now, if the boys would just allow God to move and work in repairing their relationship, I’d be super-thrilled!  Over the last few years, the boys have seemed to get this growing tension in their relationship.  I think it’s been partially due to dealing with dad and the stress of working with him and each other and the changes that came with their marriages and adding new family members.  Casey and Mel were almost like brother and sister when Corey first got married.  It was good to see him be so at ease with her and watch them have fun being around each other.

I think after Casey moved into the basement of my parents’ old house (where Corey and Mel lived–the three of them bought the house together for some reason I’ll never understand–my dad arranged the whole thing) things seemed to change and I don’t know why.  Maybe it was the dynamics or maybe the proximity?  I just don’t know.

Things just change over time, and I know that.  I just never dreamed they would drift so far apart or that one would push the other away.  Growing up, they were each other’s best friend.  As they began to get a little older, into double digits I guess, they spent more time with other people, had the chance to make other friends.  Corey, like I said, is just generally more outgoing and quick to extend himself to make a friend.  Not that he tried to leave Casey behind.  It wasn’t like that at all.  Most of the time, Casey was included in whatever Corey did, whoever Corey hung out with.  I guess maybe as time went on, Casey began to feel like he was in Corey’s shadow?  I don’t know why.  At least, I never saw Corey treat Casey with anything other than patience.  Maybe I didn’t see everything.  I don’t know.

I mean, obviously with the things that Casey got into when he hit the teens without me even having a clue, how would I know what was really happening?  Did I miss things between them, right under my nose too?  I tried so hard to do everything I could to help them learn and have fun and do the things they wanted.  How did I mess it up so bad?

How could I fail so bad?  So big?  Our one son barely acknowledges us most of the time and has many times brought his brother to tears the way he’s shut him out, shoved him away in the past 3-4 years.  Why did I not know he was struggling with something dark and evil?  He was a teenager.  He was surly and aloof.  We thought he needed his space.  We gave him his space and apparently the space for this evil to get an even tighter grip.  He grew more and more hateful toward me.  He seemed to just despise me and I didn’t know why.  I thought it had to do with school, but apparently the evil had given him more fuel to just add to his resentment toward me.  I have been so hurt, so heartbroken over the way he’s treated me.

My response to hurt, after it goes on for awhile, is to just shut down.  To just shut myself off from the hurt by avoiding it, the person causing it, to steel myself to it.  So I just tried to keep from losing it.  After trying to reach out to him, trying to show him how much I cared and having him push me away, I just quit trying.  I avoided him or shut my emotions off when it came to talking to him.  Maybe he saw that as proof that whatever horrible thing he thought of me was true?  I don’t know.   It was just the only way I knew to deal with it.   So yeah, I guess I just allowed my heart to harden, to turn to stone  a little bit.

If you read about The Dark Secret, the really depressing, maddening thing that was going on in our marriage for almost 20 years at the time all this was happening, you might realize, I was hardly hanging on to reality sometimes.  It was all I could do to keep from losing it most days.  Add to that the awful state our finance tend to stay in.. more so now than when the kids were at home.  I guess it’s because the both of us have so many stupid medical bills, take so much medicine now, but for some reason, we seem to never have enough money.  We really don’t splurge on anything, but still we always have to juggle the bills trying to keep from going under.

All of that is a lot for my brain.  I have a really hard time not being dismally depressed.  I have to constantly tell myself I am blessed.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  Then I get a notice that the bank balance is dismal, or a reminder that my youngest son doesn’t like me or a bad blood sugar or I run out of a medicine knowing I have to wait for the next paycheck to get my refill…  that’s all it takes for me to just slide down into the pit a little further.

Soooo…after explaining my title and now sorta obliterating it with my random bout of ‘the dumps’, let me say that I still cling to the fact that God loves me.  He has my best interests at heart in everything He leads me to and leads me through.  I don’t know why I tend so heavily toward depression.  I don’t know why my relationship with my youngest son is such a mess or why we didn’t know he needed us to rescue him from himself when he was a kid.  I don’t know why we have to constantly struggle to make ends meet.  Why we can’t ever rest because we can’t seem to keep our bills paid.  I don’t know why we had to endure all those years, those decades with our marriage in shambles.  I don’t know why He kept us together through all that other than to receive the healing we did.  To show us that it’s never too late.

So as I sit here, in tears, hurting and wishing I understood, wishing things weren’t the way they are but having no clue how to change it.  Worrying how we’ll pay for things, if I’ll ever not hurt when I’m with my baby son, if I’ll ever be able to have all my kids together, daughters-in-law included, and not have to worry that they’re trading barbs or if what they’re saying carries a double meaning, worrying that we will have spent our entire marriage scrapping, struggling to have enough money to pay bills and buy medicine.  Feeling SO tired of worrying.  So guilty that I worry when I am supposed to trust God.  Feeling like such a failure in so many, many ways….  just know that later, maybe not tomorrow, but later, soon… I will be better.  I’ll realize things aren’t as dismal as they seem, that God’s still got me.

God always has me.  This I know.  <3

 


I pronounce me ‘better’


I went back for…what’s this?  My third appointment?  Yeah, my THIRD appointment with Dr. Kim.  I already knew I was better.  The past two days I’ve had less pain and more energy than I have in months and months!

It’s amazing!  I am praising the Lord because I was in sad shape.  I didn’t wanna move for the aches all over my body, mostly my neck and shoulders.  When those hurt, there’s not a whole lot you can do without hurting, ya know?

She was almost more excited than I was when I rated my pain for her.  And then when she felt my neck, she got really fired up!

First of all, my atlas had kept the last adjustment, which in and of itself is a miracle.  I never stayed “in” from one appointment to the next with anyone else.  Sometimes with my last chiro, I would get out to the parking lot and feel myself “go out” of alignment and just go back in to be adjusted again.  The swollen knot at the base of my neck that’s been there for years is almost gone, I have lots more range of motion in my neck.

It is just amazing!  I am SO thankful God put Dr. Kim in my path because I was a pitiful mess and just getting worse as the days went by.  I know I’m better because I’ve had the energy and presence of mind to start working on this house and folks, I haven’t had the gumption to do any of that in a long time.  I went through all the paper that had amassed itself on the bar, got it sorted, filed or tossed as needed and actually cleared the kitchen bar/island.  You can’t imagine how much better that makes me feel!  I also got the other main counter in the kitchen cleaned and cleared, even cleaning the stove thoroughly and wiping down all the small appliances.

I’m sure that sounds like nothing to most of you, but for me?  It’s a big ol’ deal.  I’ve been sleeping since I got back just before noon, which is good I guess since I didn’t sleep much last night.  It took me forever to get to sleep (it was a little after 1 am) and then I was up a couple different times.  Once because my Dexcom kept alarming but I was sleeping through it.  Actually, it was my phone alarms (for the Dex) I was sleeping through and the Dex receiver was in the living room, where poor Tommy had fallen sound asleep in the recliner.  So he ended up waking me to drink some juice.  After that, of course, I had to get up and pee.  Sheesh!

Anyhow, I’m trying not to beat myself up for taking such a long nap, but seriously, I probably needed it.  I woke up with a slight low, but now I’m doing good and am thinking I’ll tackle another part of the kitchen and make that my goal…getting it completely cleaned.

Since that’s where we come into the house, it’s hard to keep tidy, but I’ve let it go WAY too long in my feel bads and depression til it overwhelmed me so much I froze.  I’d look at it and want to clean it, but felt I didn’t know where to start.  Sometimes I might even make a tiny stab at cleaning it up, but then I’d get so tired or it would hurt to move so much that I’d just give up.

I got my new TENS/EMS unit, it’s this Ultima Combo TENS/EMS unit,  and am working the snot out of it as I type.  I went to sleep with it on my neck and shoulders in TENS mode.  That’s the nerve stimulation, where it sends pulses of electricity to help alleviate pain in muscles and joints.  This one also has an EMS mode, which is Electrical Muscle Stimulation.  This is what sports types use to help tone their muscles or work out even more the muscles that need it or are hard to tone other ways.  I’ve got this sucker stuck on the flab that has begun to form on my arms.  You know, that part of your granny that keeps waving at people even after she stops moving her hand.  Like some stalker-type person who wants desperately to be your friend but they’re just so creepy, you can’t even!

  • shudder *  Arm flab!!  I just can’t deal with it.  I will wear this thing 24/7 if it’ll keep that off me.  (And yes, it works.  I Googled it before I ordered the unit.  I figure it ought to do more than just keep me from hurting so bad, right?)

That’s pretty much my day so far.  I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and picked up a couple of Tommy’s scripts and now I’m here working on the blog.

I have another post rolling around in my head.  I may lay that on you a little later or maybe this weekend.  Til then, have a great day and see how many blessings you can count!

Hugs,

G~

[this post contains an affiliate link to a product I recommend!]


paying it forward: when someone you know is touched by type 1 diabetes


So this has happened before.  Not often, really, but it happens.  Someone you know or another part of your family gets hit with the Diabeast and comes to you for advice.

The first time this happened, I was still pretty young and a younger cousin of mine was diagnosed when she was three.  Several years later, after I was in high school, her mom would call me every so often asking about something or other, just trying to understand her daughter a little better.

The next time, I was married and trying to care for a toddler and a baby.  One of my very best friends from high school was on vacation with her parents and her sister and nieces when one of them got terribly sick, was taken to the ER where the diagnosis was made.  All this took place while they were about 12 hours from home.  I think, in this instance, my friend wanted more comfort than advice from me.  I didn’t realize it then.  I felt like an awful failure because I was at a loss for what to tell her.  But I think it was more that she wanted reassurance that it would all be okay, that her little niece wasn’t dying and they would all learn to cope with diabetes and it would become much less mysterious soon.

Last week, it was a friend of mine from our Emmaus community whose 10-year-old daughter, K, was diagnosed.  I actually know this lady’s mother better but have spent time with this young mom, M, several times and knew her well enough to reach out first.

Her husband posted a picture of K on Facebook saying something about this being “the first of many pokes for this little girl.”  Somehow, I just knew it had to be diabetes.  I messaged M privately to tell her I didn’t KNOW what was going on, but I suspected what it was, and that she could contact me anytime if she needed.

I know you're not a D-parent, but before my child's diagnosis, I wasn't either.

She soon messaged back saying the doctors were telling her they “suspected” type 1 since K’s fasting blood sugar was over 250.  I tried to comfort her the best I could, but to prepare her for the inevitable.  I told her unless it was something off the wall that I didn’t know about, that the diagnosis was likely to be type 1 diabetes.

You don’t know how I second-guessed myself about that.  But I didn’t see any use in delaying the fact that was eventually going to hit her.  I figured I should start preparing her.  I’ve sent messages a few time since they released K, sent some photos of my CGM and my pump site with my cool Grifgrips and some neat memes about how awesome type 1s are and how we can do anything except make insulin.  Ha.  I can do anything (except make insulin!)

It really seems like M and K are both doing really great with the diagnosis and learning this new way of life.  I’m so thankful for that!  I began by trying to tell M things that K should know, only…most of it wasn’t really applicable to her yet or she wasn’t able to understand them until she’d had more experience with T1D.  Then I thought I’d try to tell M things to watch out for or learn, etc. but then I thought, “Who am I to try and tell her that stuff.  I am not the mother of a diabetic!”  But… I AM a mom, so I can see things from both sides of this a little better, I think.

Here are things I would say to each of them:

it will get easier, I promise

To Mom:

Don’t be scared.   (okay, I KNOW you’re scared, but please try not to let your child see the panic I know you must be feeling.  they need to know mom & dad can handle this.  if you cry a little, that’s okay, but don’t break down into a puddle of moans and flying snot.  your child NEEDS YOU to be STRONG!  you can have that crying fit in private or in the presence of their dad or your own mom, anyone but your newly diagnosed child.  thank you!)

Don’t freak out at all the information they may throw at you in the next couple days in the hospital.  You have time to learn it and you WILL learn it.  Trust me.

As much as is possible, let your T1D child tend to their own business.  What I mean is, this is THEIR disease, not yours.  As much as you’d probably love to take it away, you can’t so let them learn to manage it as much as and as soon as they are willing or able.  The sooner they learn it is up to them how good they feel, the sooner they can hold the reigns and manage their now-fuller-than-‘normal’ life.  If they seem content to let you handle it all, begin suggesting they do things themselves: count the carbs in this snack, draw up the insulin for injection, use the alcohol pad on the spot you want your shot, etc.  Don’t let them give the reigns to you.  DO NOT DO IT.  You’ll thank me for this later.  Both of you.

Don’t let people tell you about “cures” in front of your child.  Stop them MID-SENTENCE.  Explain to them that this is NOT the same as “the kind” of diabetes they are talking about.  Chances are, they won’t understand.  That’s okay.  It doesn’t matter if they never understand as long as they get it that any cure they’ve heard about will not get rid of your child’s diabetes.  If you have to, tell them “Please don’t talk about any ‘cure’ you’ve heard about in front of my child.  It can be upsetting if they think this will work and it doesn’t.  Thank you for trying to help, but it does more harm than good at this point.”  On your side of things, educate your child as much as possible!  Don’t make their whole life about diabetes, but do talk casually about any fad or ‘remedy’ you may hear of.  The likelihood is high that they may even come home from school with ideas for a cure from classmates or even teachers.

Give your T1D a break.  Don’t be “mad” when a fingerstick comes back high and you know it’s because your child has sneaked something extra to eat or they’ve indulged in a sweet at school or a friend’s house.  I know you’re probably not mad, you’re worried and you may not even say anything, but do not let it show that you’re upset.  As a child diagnosed in the 70’s with T1D, I was scolded and chided by every doctor we saw.  My mom never knew what my day-to-day tests were at all unless I was sick (keep in mind, I started out testing urine, not blood!) but any time it was a certain level of “high”, I could feel the disapproval, whether it was intended or not.  I’d catch a certain look or hear a certain tone and that’s a lot for a child to shoulder feeling as if they are bad or disappointing just because they ate the other half of that cookie earlier.  Instead say, “Oops!  What should we do to get that back down?” and let them help figure it out.  If you can tell their sugar is high, say, “Uh oh.  Did you eat something extra or did you forget to bolus?  It’s okay, you’ll do better next time, but what should we do to take care of this?  What symptoms are you having?”  Let them realize that it’s serious.  I’m not saying blow it off, but don’t make each and every time a big production.  Realize that sometimes, no matter what we do, our sugar will do something crazy.  Sometimes we get tired of trying.  Help us get past this bump and get back on track.  Be aware of when this hits your child.  It can be a sign of depression so the sooner you talk about it, help THEM talk about it, the sooner they’ll feel better.  Be your child’s loudest cheerleader.

To the new T1D child:

It’s okay to be scared.  Learning that your life just changed so much is hard.  It’s scary to hear that you have a disease and will have it for the rest of your life.  It is OKAY to be scared, but don’t forget that you are also brave.  There are literally millions of kids out there who have been doing all this insulin and testing stuff for a long time.  They’re happy, healthy and can do anything other kids do.  This is NOT the end of your life.  It’s just a different version.  You can make it great!

You can do this.  It won’t be easy, at least not all the time.  And there will some times that it’s just ridiculously hard, but you can do it.  It’s my belief that the strongest of us are chosen to have T1D.  I don’t know why there has to be diabetes or why you and I have to have it.  For some reason we may never know, diabetes had to exist.  Only strong people can handle living life with diabetes.  You may not feel like a strong person, but apparently you are because you have T1D.  Don’t ever forget that.

It’s okay to get tired.  You’re going to have days when you just don’t feel like you can give one more shot, do one more fingerstick or count one more carb.  That’s just part of living with The Diabeast.  Sometimes we get tired.  It’s a lot to do day in and day out, all the stuff that we do to keep from getting sick.  No wonder we get tired sometimes.  When you feel like this, tell someone who loves you, “Hey, I am sick of being a diabetic.  I don’t want to do anything diabetic today.  I just don’t want to.  Can you help me?”  Hopefully this someone will be your parent, who can remind you of all the reasons WHY you have to do ‘the diabetic things’ and how many people love you and would be sad to see you get sick.  And you WILL get sick if you just throw your arms up and walk away from diabetes.  It doesn’t stay where you left it.  It comes with you and makes you extremely ill.  You could end up in the hospital or even die if you get so tired you just quit without telling anyone.  So while it’s okay to get tired, it’s not okay to quit.  Getting tired is normal.  Quitting is giving up.  Don’t be a quitter!  Go talk to someone who will encourage you!  Pray, read your Bible or something else that makes you happy but let someone know you’re feeling down.  That’s important.

Reach out to others who know what it’s like.  No matter how much your parents or siblings love you, they probably don’t have type 1 and they will never know what it’s like to live with it.  There are just some things they won’t be able to “get” because they never lived it.  Find someone who DOES get it.  It can be from an online community (there are TONS out there!  some especially for kids!) Let your parent help you find a place you can talk about diabetes and not have to explain every detail to them.  It could be an adult who was diagnosed with T1D when they were little like you.  You don’t have to be best friends with just T1Ds, but you need some in your life to just hear you out and know that they understand.

Don’t let diabetes limit you.  I don’t know what you wanted to become before you got T1D, but don’t let it change now.  You know, that if we try hard, keep ourselves healthy and manage diabetes well, we can become ANYthing we want, right?  You are not disabled.  Even if you eventually “qualified” as disabled because of diabetes, that doesn’t mean you are UNable.  It just means you have to try harder, be a little more cautious and plan a little more to do whatever you want to do.

Here are just a few famous T1Ds who didn’t let diabetes stand in their way:

Nick Jonas-T1DJean SmartBret MichaelsNicole JohnsonGary Hall Jr.

Of course, most everyone knows Nick Jonas has type 1 diabetes these days.  That’s because he’s been very bold about sharing that information.  Way to go, Nick!  Next is Jean Smart.  She is an amazing actress who was one of my favorites on Designing Women and later on 24.  Bret Michaels, who is a multi-talented performer beginning with the band, Poison.  Nicole Johnson, who was crowned Miss America in 1999.  Gary Hall Jr. competed and won gold swimming in the Olympics.

Do these people look or sound like quitters?  Nope.  And neither are you!

These are just a few of the things I’d say to someone newly diagnosed with type 1 and to their parents.

What would you add?  What questions would you have?  Let’s have ’em!

Blessings,

G~


frankly Friday: how do you feel about “a cure”


Okay folks, once again, Friday is for us PWD’s (that’s People With Diabetes) but as always, I hope you will all enjoy the post and it will get you thinking about things maybe for the first time!

I just read this article that initially sounded like yet another “we’re closer to a cure for diabetes” thing, but when you got into it, I found that it’s about getting closer to a way to detect future development of T1D and then possibly a way to prevent it from ever developing.

You can read the article here:  Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough: Scientists Identify Key Molecule Targeted By Immune System

See what I mean?  The title is like “DIABETES BREAKTHROUGH!” and you’re all like “WOW!  YAY!  YIPEE!”  then it just tells you they’ve discovered a fifth molecule that is attacked by the immune system during the development of type 1 diabetes.

depressing letdown  Yeah.  I mean, that’s great news and obviously it’s progress, but for me, it is definitely a little anticlimactic!

How does it make you feel when you hear news about a possible cure for diabetes?  I’m not talking about the okra-water cures that are constants on Facebook.  I mean the news reports from legitimate sources researching a cure.  What goes through your mind?  Whether you are a diabetic or not, I’m interested in how that makes you feel.

For me it’s a mix of emotions.  I’m usually like, “Yay.  Thank God those coming behind me might be spared living with this nasty disease.”  I never feel hopeful of a cure for me.  If you ever look at the clinical testing sites, they want people who were diagnosed t1d within the last year or two, or maybe sometimes you’ll find a study looking for people who have had t1d for as much as ten years, but forget being eligible if you have had it over 20 years.  I know this isn’t the case, but to me it feels like they’re saying, “Oh man, you’re practically dead from it already.  Sorry, we can’t help you.”  Pshhh!  Sorry… did I shock you with my killer negativity?  Yeah, I apologize.  It sneaks out sometimes.  grin

Personally, I don't think us diabetics 'get used to' injections or finger pricks. I think we simply accept that it's necessary to survive.

 

So how do you feel when you see things like that?  Are you “new” enough to have hope that a cure will be found in time to benefit your life?

If I’m totally honest, my conspiracy-theory self thinks there is already a cure, but it is being suppressed because just think of all the money that would be lost if we didn’t have to pay out big bucks to live??  See?  I have this completely pessimistic side and she comes roaring out when it comes to stuff like this.

ANYhow… it IS encouraging that they are learning new things about how diabetes occurs and which genes might be responsible for the misfire that causes our immune systems to attack themselves.  Really, guys, it is.  I just can’t get too excited because progress is so slow and it’s really already too late for “a cure” to save me.

the workings of the t1d brain

Heh.. I was telling some friends last night that I’ve had diabetes for so long, I don’t know any other way to live.  If I got cured right now, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.  How do you go from spending every waking moment calculating and figuring out food values and dosages for everything that crosses over your teeth and trying to decide how this or that activity will affect your fickle disease to … well, to NOT worrying about those things constantly?  Ha ha… I guess it’d probably be a lot easier than I imagine, but wow… it’s just not something I can really fathom.

diabetes doesn't define me, it just helps explain meI’m gonna close now, but something has been on my mind that I want to share… a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend while waiting for a low to pass so I could drive home.  (fyi: don’t drive when your sugar is low, ‘kay?)  I was explaining something or other about dealing with diabetes when she said, “I thought your pump took care of that.”  I’m pretty sure I contained my dumbfoundment enough that I didn’t bump my chin on the floor, but I was really stunned that she didn’t understand any better than that.

minion: the look you get when explaining diabetes to peopleI guess I just assumed she’d been around me enough to realize, but I guess that’s not the case.  Or maybe I had never really discussed the finer points with her specifically?  I dunno and really, maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked, but I guess it really floored me that she thought my insulin pump was essentially like a cure.  That as long as I was on the pump, I didn’t have to worry about the disease anymore.

WOW!  People of the world!  AN INSULIN PUMP IS NOOOOT A CURE!!   It is merely another tool in the arsenal that helps us manage life!  I guess I should admit here that I HAVE used the term “external pancreas” to describe the pump to people before.  Now I’m rethinking that!!  I can’t assume that people understand that while a pump is MUCH MORE like that than treating with MDI (multiple daily injections) for most of us, but we STILL have to calculate everything, still have to manage the unexpected, unexplainable lows and highs that can happen.  We still have to deal with going into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) if the cannula kinks or we put the port into an area with scar tissue that won’t properly absorb the insulin, or we sweat too much and the adhesive comes loose and the cannula pulls out or… I could go on with a list of possible things that could go wrong, but you get the picture, right?

That’s part of the reason I am writing more about diabetes here than I ever have before.  I believe this wholeheartedly:

I may have diabetes, but diabetes does NOT have me!

I have diabetes.  That’s me, I am a PWD, a Person With Diabetes, but diabetes, no matter how hard it may try, does NOT have me!  It doesn’t define me.  It makes me strong, makes me tough, makes me determined but it will not defeat me.  I may die from the blasted monster, but it will never control me.  I want to live my life to the fullest, be all I can be, yadda yadda… and diabetes may slow me down, it may make me do things a little differently, a little more cautiously, but it won’t keep me from doing what I want.  It may put me in The Pit (depression) for periods of time, it may make me more susceptible to The Pit, but it won’t keep me there.  Never.

ahem   Soooo…. how DO you feel about this??  Please share.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Let’s encourage each other, lift each other up, whether you are a PWD or not, if you know me, you have a vested interest in learning about diabetes, you have reason to be concerned about possible cures and other diabetes news.  Chances are, someone you know in your own life (if we aren’t friend IRL (in real life) that has diabetes.  It’s like a plague these days and we don’t understand it well enough to know why!  Get involved.  You don’t have to go join the ADA or JDF, but learn all you can.  Be knowledgeable.  What you learn could one day save my or another PWD’s life, after all!

Please share this post and share your thoughts here!!  THANKS!

mwah!

Blessings,

G~

Acknowledgement:  All images in this post courtesy of Type 1 Diabetes Community FB group


of being a blogger: a plea for help!


Hey y’all.  I’m working so hard, trying to increase traffic here…build an audience, a subscription list, whatever else a successful blogger does.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m just flopping around, splashing water into the floor, making a mess.

blogging sites

I see some steadiness in the amount of traffic, so I suspect some of you are just awesomely loyal readers and probably close friends who stop by often to see what crazy thing I’ve posted.  I am so thankful for you!

I know I’ve said it before, but this blogging thing is a big deal to me.  I started it after months and months of stewing and praying about whether I should even try.  I’ve blogged off and on for about 16 years, so it seemed like the natural thing for me to do…try to monetize the thing I am so passionate about.  I felt (and still feel, btw) that God was really nudging me in this direction and so, even though I didn’t feel completely ready, I took the plunge.  I plopped down what little was left from our tax refund and started this site.

Looking back, a month later now, I see many mistakes.  I think most of them are easily overcome though and not the kind that will break me or the blog.  I still don’t understand stupid AdSense or why my husband can get an account with them like snap that and me, with my two (now three!) google accounts, can’t get any of them approved.  I’m not sure I’m missing much though.  I’m learning that AdSense isn’t the end-all-be-all it has been purported to be, so I have pursued other means of generating income through my blog.

blogging for a living

Some of them I am pleased about, and some I will be glad when I can be done with.  And no, for the record, I haven’t made a single cent so far.  That really concerns me, but I have to remind myself how new it all is.  I can’t do it all at once and I need to be patient.

But BOY, is that hard!!

Today, when I went to look at a “blogging schedule” thingie I got from the web, for today it says to post about relaxing.   BAHAHAHA!!  What is that even?!?  I don’t have time right now to relax, and certainly not about the state of my blog.  Some of these ‘blog helps’ aren’t really geared toward me, ya know?  Many of the blogs in these groups are about how to create a successful website, how to find a niche to build, how to monetize and market whatever you are selling.

I just wanna share life with my readers.  I want to encourage and inspire.  I want my readers to leave feeling better than they did when they pulled up my site.  I want them to find the courage to go on, the determination to stick it out.  The comfort of knowing they are not alone, the peace of knowing someone else out here has been where they are.  I want the person with t1d to find a friend, someone to commiserate with and rejoice in whatever victories we accomplish as PWD’s.  (persons with diabetes)

diabetes and depression

I want the homeschooling mom to know she can do it and I know she can because I did it.  I want her to know that the great mistake she feels she’s made is not the end. That she and her children are far better off just because she tried to teach them at home, whether she continues or not.  And no matter what, as long as she is trying to do her very best for her kids, she is a winner!

homeschooling

I want that couple who is struggling with some sexual incompatibility or physical problem to know they are not alone.  I want them to realize it’s okay to talk about it and that there are people out here who can help, both professionals and people like me who have been there, done that.  I want that woman to know she’s not the first or only one to be facing what she is, and that she need not bury herself in depression and self-hatred or guilt because there is hope.  I want to keep her and her husband from living the hell that we did for 30 years and to find healing and hope!

lasting marriage statisticslasting marriage statistics

More than all this, I want people to know there is hope, no matter what the situation is, there is hope.  There is peace to be had, no matter how big the mess or how damaged their soul, Peace is there for the asking in the person of Jesus Christ.  I want them to know that it is because of Jesus that I am alive today.  That I’m able to share and talk about the issues, struggles and problems in my life.  Ultimately, I believe this is the reason God has been urging me to write.

jesus loves me

I haven’t touched my book in over 6 months, but perhaps soon I’ll dig back into it.  I still feel He is calling me to write it, but I’m at another crossroad about which direction to take with it.  (ANY feedback would be appreciated on this, folks!!)  The book has lived in my head for many years as a sort-of memoir, a story of my life and how I have dealt with diabetes, the depression and all the other physical and emotional side effects of having a chronic disease for so long.  However, as we have come to this place of healing in our marriage, I feel THAT is also a topic that needs to be shared.  It, of course, is much more personal, deeply painful but ultimately hopeful since our long journey through this has ended with our beginning the healing process.  My conundrum is should these be separate or combined?

how to write a book

You probably didn’t know this, but I have a problem with compartmentalizing.  ha ha! Meaning, I can’t do it.  You may have noticed I began this post talking about the blog and now, here I am asking for input and suggestions for a direction of a book!  I need help with my wandering mind, my rambling style of writing.

I know there are some writers out there who read here occasionally.  I also know there are lots of readers who come here too.  I want to hear from you!    What appeals to you in a book?  What topics are you most interested in?  What are you most interested in learning more about?  Help me out!

I look forward to a great discussion and some awesome feedback and suggestions!  Let’s help each other!

Blessings,

G~


depression and type 1 diabetes


depression symptoms
Just a quick post to keep this in the forefront for my blog… it’s a sunny Saturday in my part of the world and yet I’m having to force myself outside.  This is the first gorgeous weekend day we have had all year.  So why am I so resistant to go out and enjoy it?
Depression.
Do I feel all sad and blue?  Not really.  Am I weepy and melancholy?  Nah.  I’m just plain BLAH today.
I recognize this and I realize it’s just one of the many symptoms of my depression.  I know I need to get out, and I actually HAVE to get out (need to pick up scripts at the pharmacy!) so I’m dressed, put my makeup on and fixed my hair.  I’ve made progress already!
And soon I’ll head out to do a few errands.  What I would love to do when I get home is go ride my bike, but I’m having a little problem with that right now.
Don’t laugh… I don’t want to get it out because neither Tommy nor I have ridden the bikes (on trainers in the house) all winter!!  If you want to do rides of 20 or more miles, at least in my case, you don’t need to “let yourself go to pot” and that’s exactly what I feel like we’ve done!
We were both either really busy or sick this winter, and we really didn’t need much en/discouragement to ditch the trainers.  So I’m ambivalent about the bike even though I LOVE riding and have wanted to get on the thing for months now.
Here’s the thing… I’m afraid that if I get on and find out how bad out of shape I am, I’ll get REALLY discouraged and feel even worse about it.  But ya see, I might just surprise myself.  And then again, I might not.
STOP LAUGHING!  You see how I get when I’m a little more depressed than usual?
Ah so… we shall see which part of me wins later.  The Naysayer or the Optimist.
Now that I’ve “said it out loud”, maybe I’ll be even more motivated to just do it!!
I promise to report back in.
Have a gorgeous day, my friends!
Blessings,
G~
..:EDIT/UPDATE!!:..
Okay, so I got my errands done without getting wiped out.  Thank God for that!  And I DIDN’T make the bike ride, however, I didn’t just flop either.  😉  My intention was to mow our terribly neglected yard, but when I got changed and went out to ask Tommy what the mower needed (oil check, etc?) we discovered that it was out of gas and both gas cans were empty.  Of course… so I headed back to town to fill the cans, came back and let Tommy fill the mower only to then find that SOMEone (who wasn’t me) had left the key on so the battery had run completely down.
Well, ya might as well laugh, right?  As I’ve said, I don’t really enjoy mowing the yard like I used to since I got my foot cut back in 2012 but I was going to do it because it needed doing and Tommy wouldn’t have time.  I’m not really that picky about much, but a yard that needs mowing just bugs the soup out of me!
So I mumbled something about it being a sign that I shouldn’t mow as I came in the house and piddled around til the thing had charged.  At last I finally got to mow only to almost have a panic attack (and I have never had a full blown one of those) when I got out on the steep-ish incline in front of the house.  I normally have some issues with that area, but after the accident, it was worse, but never this bad.  I just told Tommy I couldn’t mow that part.  He was cool about it, which is why I married him.  *pththt*
Now I’m back in the house cooking a bit so we can have a cookout tomorrow, hopefully with some of the kids if they’re not all busy right after church.
All in all, it’s been a good day.  Maybe we’ll both get our courage up and drag those bikes out tomorrow….

 


on the upswing?


Things have been going much better, at least depression-wise. I’m not sure why, I mean, physically I’m not doing anything really different…no new meds or vitamins. I’ve decided it’s justRead More »


God’s place, God’s time…


I’ll try to make this follow-able, understandable, but I can’t promise it will be.  Just do the best you can.  🙂

When I first got on Facebook, I started a group page for graduates from my high school… for the entire 80’s decade.  Yup.  Everyone who graduated from 1980 through 1989.  The school underwent a name change after that when it became South “County” High School because they had build a new high school that was called North “County”.  All of us who went there during the days when it was the only high school in the county were bummed that when you did a search for the school, it would only come up as “South” or “North”.  Hmph.

Anyhow, I ended up with a TON of people on my friend list since anyone who joined had to be my friend since I was determined that a bunch of people outside that time frame not be in the group.  Not to be exclusive necessarily, but because the 80’s were just so cool, y’know.  Ha.

And so, that’s how I ended up with so many “friends”, many who I don’t really know other than they went to my high school in the 80’s.  And that’s how Sasha* ended up on my list.

She’s been on it for quite awhile and I always appreciated her posts.  She seemed like a very committed Christian mother and wife.   We didn’t really interact so much other than to like each other’s stuff and occasionally comment.

Then Saturday happened.

She posted about needing prayer because she was prejudice.  Turns out, none of the people who commented thought that was so.  But because she had got out of a drive-thru lane when she saw a lady in middle eastern style clothing (don’t want this to come up in searches for certain words… overlook my not using the titles for this type of clothing).  Anyhow, I commented that I felt the same way but that didn’t make us prejudice.  There was lots of talk about being cautious and language barriers, etc.  And that was that.

Then a bit later, I posted a link to this (yeah, you need to go read it) and I posted this comment along with it:::

This used to make me insane when i was in school. I have to say, I believe this mother was right on the mark with her response! That teacher should have been disciplined for not making the boy stop. Reminds me of a teacher I had who was beyond inappropriate when a boy was bothering me in class (he was grabbing my pencil away from me during a test) I don’t even remember who the boy was now, but I remember this man’s response when he looked up and saw him snatch my pencil… I won’t put it here because it was just pervy but it makes me sad that I didn’t feel I had anyone to report that to back then. I wish I had at least mentioned it to my parents. Not sure it would have had any sort of result, but I wish I had now. As it was, I just sat there, embarrassed out of my mind and hated that teacher more than usual.

Not long after that, I got a private FB message from her asking who the teacher was.  We messaged back and forth; me giving her the name and her telling me about two incidences that had happened with two other teachers and her frustration that one of them was witnessed by a third teacher who just rolled his eyes and shook his head.  We lamented how things like that were not reported when we were kids and such.  Then her messages just stopped.  I assumed she’d got busy or something.  It wasn’t a big deal, but later I saw she  had commented back on her ‘prejudice’ post that FB messages had stopped working and wondering if I’d got her last message and that she’d like to continue the conversation.  I gave her my email address and soon we were messaging back and forth like long lost friends.

I told her what exactly had been said by the teacher from my post.  [When he looked up to see a boy reaching across the aisle to grab my pencil repeatedly he said, “______”, (using my last name) “if you want to make love to him, go out in the hall.”]

*insert incredulous face here*  Yeah.  I was mortified and didn’t know what to do.  He was a real gem of a fella *SARCASM* normally, so this wasn’t out of character, just a bit more over the top than usual.  That’s when Sasha asked if I’d gotten her message about being kidnapped and raped by a fellow student when she was a freshman!

I was stunned!  Obviously, I had NOT got that one, so she directed me to a status post she’d put up a few weeks ago that I had not seen.  In it she talked about this incident and how it was years before she realized that a crime had been committed against her and how she’d tried to cope as a teen with alcohol and how God had since healed her.  She eventually told me who had done this, both his name and the name of the boy who had helped carried her to the truck and drove.

She said she was hesitant to tell me since I had this man’s wife as an FB friend, so I explained that I didn’t even know this lady.  When she told me who, it struck me that normally, I never see status updates from her.  Either because she doesn’t post often or just because they don’t show in my newsfeed.   But for the past week or two, I’d been seeing these posts from  her about her husband being sick and having to have surgery.  I hadn’t thought anything of it since I don’t know them, but after this revelation, I felt God had put them there.  I don’t know WHY, but for whatever reason, He wanted to me see this info about this man.  And the other thing?  Just that day, the wife had posted a photo of him sitting in a chair in the hospital.  That was the first time I’d ever seen him and I didn’t recognize him.  Perhaps I need to be able to though?  I just don’t know, but for all that to have happened in that order, at that time was just too much.  I don’t believe in coincidences, so I believe, for whatever reason, God orchestrated all that stuff… me seeing those posts, seeing his picture, connecting with Sasha and getting on a subject to where she would share that info with me.

Of course, then there was the additional stuff… like me just pouring out my heart and telling her about all the things I’ve been dealing with lately, even the intimacy issues in my marriage and that I’d started seeing a therapist for depression.  She then sent a reply telling me that she deals with depression too and basically describing me by telling me how she isolates and has no energy, etc.

So, I really wish Sasha didn’t live in Michigan now!  It’s just uncanny how much we have in common while also having such different backgrounds.  And we just connected SO well almost instantly.

God’s pretty amazing the way he does things.

Proverbs 17:17 — A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

*not her real name, obvs


busy (for me)


So yeah, the past couple days have been busy! Not like, normal-people busy, but busy for me.

I was going to fill you all in on how things went at the PA & therapist yesterday, but I didn’t get time!! Let me try to fill you in now, okay?

Okay, at Richmond I went in with the PA first. I really liked her a lot! She asked a ton of questions, both about my past meds and what I’d been on most recently. We talked about how depression “does” me, how it makes me feel, what kinds of symptoms I have (fatigue, disinterest, sleeping too much, self-isolation, malaise) and she even got into asking about my life, some of the “highlights” of the triggers and causes of the depression.

The final verdict? Wellbutrin is the best bet for me. *sigh* That’s great except I took that for over 10 years and it worked great, but eventually seemed to stop being so effective. Matter of fact, the last time I tried to start Wellbutrin again, it just didn’t seem to work at all.

Now, that COULD have been because it was generic. My experience with the generic bupropion have been less than stellar! When it first became generic, I tried it for about a month, during which time it seemed to almost reverse the normal effects of Wellbutrin. It was a bad experience, meaning they messed with my meds which messed me up. I hate that!! So, it was like I spent several weeks going downhill trying the generic, then had to suffer through getting back on the “good stuff”. Not fun, no matter what meds you’re talking about. Several years later, I tried the generic again and it seemed to work okay. And by okay I mean it kept me from being totally dysfunctional, but didn’t really make me “better” feeling at all. So perhaps, in hindsight, it didn’t really work that well after all. I dunno at this point, but eventually it got less and less effective, money got tight, so I made the decision to just not purchase the bupropion and went off it.

I didn’t really seem any worse for that, so I never sought to get back on it. A couple years after that, I was offered (by a doctor!) Viibryd to try and it didn’t really seem to work, so I just didn’t pursue anything else.

And so, having done some research on all these meds myself, I knew that Wellbutrin seemed to be my best shot…would address my symptoms, not cause weight gain and would not induce fatigue…so hearing that from the PA, as I told her, was ‘kinda depressing!’ *sigh* That’s when she told me there were some dosing options. A higher dose of Wellbutrin XL (actually, we’re trying the generic) or a sustained release version, Wellbutrin SR.

Although, as I’m writing this post and searching for info, I’m finding articles like this and this…all about the shortcomings of these generics… so, I’m thinking it may not be worth my aggravation to even try the generic. AND this certainly makes me feel validated in what I’ve always said about the generic, at least for Wellbutrin. I’m not a brand snob, but if the generic doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work! I don’t have time for what doesn’t work!!

But as it stands, I’m supposed to start on 150 mg of XL for two weeks, then go up to 300 mg (the dose I always took) and then go back to see the PA. If it’s not working at all, we’ll try something else (the SR, I guess) or if it’s making me feel better but not “great”, we will go up to 450 mg and see how that goes.

I went straight from the PA to my therapist. I’ll be honest, I’d decided that this visit would determine for me if I was really getting “my money’s worth” out of these sessions. Not that I don’t enjoy talking to her, or that she’s not very easy to talk with… it was just that I wasn’t sure the whole idea of “talk therapy” or whatever it is was really gonna work for me. In my mind, I was like, “Why in the world do I need to pay to talk to someone?”

But I discovered, just in thinking it over in my own little head (heh) that it’s good to have someone totally outside the “fray” to tell things. We talked about a lot of stuff, it seemed like to me. I was able to share how I felt that what my mom had said to me as a child influenced how I thought and how I thought people felt about me. That led to me explaining to her how my parents tend to favor my sister, how they always blamed things on me as a child and even to the point of as adults, verbally blaming me for her making an extremely bad choice. “If you’d just been a better sister to her, she wouldn’t have done that.” I was told. Out of respect to my family, I’m going to refrain from giving any details here. Maybe later I’ll need to divulge, but for now, just let me leave it at that. How they have done for her, buying her cars and building her a house even though she’s married and is now a middle-aged woman. I know they don’t make that much money, I UNDERSTAND that, but we struggle for money ALL the time too. I would never ask them to pay for my meds or my groceries, let alone all the other stuff Mom buys for her… clothes, makeup and jewelry, etc.

I’ve never just sat and “stewed” about that stuff, but it’s there, it’s obvious and it hurts ya know? Mom is the main one who wants to just DO everything for her. My sister has had seizures since she was about 3. She had a surgery at 15 that stopped them for many years, but then when she got to be about 28 or so, the seizures returned. She held down a full time job and lived on her own for periods of time (just up the road from mom, of course, and rent-free in a home they owned) until she married when she was 35.

If it were up to my mom, I would probably be in a wheelchair. I mean, seriously. Not that she’d “put me in” one, but that she would rather me be there than push myself to “do more”. For instance, I used to have horrific neuropathy pain in my feet. That’s something diabetics get, it’s basically nerve damage that causes pain, numbness or tingling/burning. I was also diagnose with plantar fasciitis at that time too, which causes horrible pain in the feet. I could barely walk and she was forever telling me I needed to get a handicapped placard for my vehicle so I could park close and she’d always want me to ride in the motorized carts if she went to the store with me. That’s what I mean by she’d have me in a wheelchair if she could have her way.

I know it was because she wanted to ease my pain, but c’MON, Mom!! And that’s what she’s done to my sister. The biggest difference has been that I married young and married someone who is hardworking and won’t accept handouts OR let me wither away even when I want to. My hubby pushes me to push myself. Sometimes he’s downright annoying about it, but he never tries to push me beyond my capabilities, but he believes I can do more than I believe myself.

So, there’s all that stuff. I feel very “cheated” in a lot of ways. And my sister’s feelings toward me is that I “won’t be” her sister. She resents me because I have friends, close friends who treat me more like a sister than she does (or than I do her, also… I’m not perfect here) But she and I have nothing really in common and she is so consumed with herself, her limitations, her own favorite things…so unless I’m willing to just conform, I “don’t want to be” her sister. She’s even written me letters telling me to just stay away from her (as if I am down there at her door??—she lives next door to me, by the way)… I dunno. The last letter was extremely rambly but that’s what she wrote. Maybe she was just writing when she was feeling very hurt, but the fact that she put it in my mailbox on my last birthday? Yeah, pretty petty if you ask me. I know she is immature mentally, but a lot of that *I believe* is just because she’s straight-up spoiled.

A spoiled child is hard to stomach. But at least you can spank them (hopefully) and there is time to improve the situation if the parents choose. A spoiled adult? Unbearable!! And honestly, there are way too many of them around today. We all know at least one. It’s hard to understand how someone can reach adulthood feeling as privileged as some of them do.

So…yeah. That’s some of the stuff I talked about yesterday. We also talked about the whole “schedule” thing.

I am so NOT a schedule person!! Time has no meaning or context to me most of the time. I’m sure that’s from all these years of being at home. And the hubby is an EXTREME schedule-ist. Drives me flippin’ insane!! He thinks I should plan what time I will start the laundry, estimate how long it will take to finish it and so that will tell me what time I can start or do something else. He lives his life that way, so when he’s home and eSPECIALLY when I’m deeper in depression, it really drives me up a wall to have him around.

Most of the time, he keeps that crap to himself. (heh) But sometimes it spills out and we have some *ahem* ‘vigorous discussions’ about the value or lack thereof of such schedules… however, I am constantly being told I need to be on some sort of schedule.

*SIGH* I don’t wanna. UGH!! But I’m gonna try. It’s just so SO hard for me. So pray that I can improve that area of my life for my and my health’s sake.

We also talked about logging my moods…my emotional and even physical feelings. That’s where this blog will come in, I think.

I mentioned the blog yesterday. I’m not sure what she thought about it, but she was encouraging.

I cried a lot yesterday too. Both with the PA and my therapist. Sheesh. But then, these days it doesn’t take much to make me cry. *sigh*

Okay, so once I finally got home, I needed to get ready for our Emmaus reunion group’s meeting. Our group is called Heart 2 Heart 2. Yes. There’s supposed to be another “2” on the end. We’re a branch off the original Heart 2 Heart group. I dunno who decided to use a “2” but if we branch again, it should be called “Heart 2 Heart < 3" LOL! Okay, so maybe that wasn't as funny as it seemed. Sorry. 😉

Anyway, it was planned for even those outside our group. We had a lady coming to share her testimony and planned to serve food, so I had food to fix. I haven't fixed food for a pot luck in ages it seems. I was at a loss, but decided to fix a crock of Dill Pickle Soup. If you like dills at all, you must try this soup. I am a pickle freak, so to me, it’s divine!! I also fixed what’s become known as “Dirty Puddin'”. One of the boys who still comes around from our days of being youth leaders at our old church told me it was dirt cake. I had never heard of that. This is made from vanilla pudding, cool whip and crushed Oreos. I don’t remember where I got the recipe or if there even was a recipe. When I looked up Dirt Cake, this is not really that similar, so for him, I called it “Co-co’s Dirty Puddin'”. The name kinda stuck.

ANYhow, one of my friends rode down with me. She’s the one who insisted on picking me up the last time I got to a group meeting. We had a great time talking about a lot of the stuff that had been said in my session and how she had those words from her childhood in her head too, that colored how she sees the world, how she interprets things, how she feels others think about her. Then, wouldn’t you know it? At the meeting, the speaker spoke directly to those very issues. My friend was sitting by me, and I was sniffling and crying… she reached over and grabbed my hand. It was a great blessing and that little bit of confirmation…that little nod from God that “Yes, I wanted you to be here tonight.”

On the way home, my first DIL called to ask if I could pick up some ginger ale because my son was feverish and chilling. I stayed down there talking with him for awhile. Thank God he was better this morning and able to go with his brother and my dad to a conference they had scheduled.

So… that was my yesterday. Busy. Crazy. Full of squishy emotional mess, but good. It was all good.

Proverbs 25:11 — “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”



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