Monthly Archives: October 2006

Monday Morning Coming Down

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Today was my third day on 30mgs of Prednisone, and I’m beginning to feel like my old self again.  I’m feeling more calm, which is such a welcome thing I can’t even express it in words.  I thought I was a bit of a spaz before, but compared to Steroid Shelbi, I’m a walking peace zone.

I guess the best thing about this whole thing is I’ve realized just how good I have it.  I’m not as odd or as crazy as I thought [at least when I’m not on steroids] and I think I have a clearer picture of who I really am.

I live in my head too much, and forget sometimes what’s most important, but who doesn’t, right?

Steve and I had an interesting time today.  We actually talked about our parenting/teaching strategy with the kids on an issue and have a game plan of how to deal with it.  Steve and Matthew changed the oil in the van, and then Steve, Shaya and Matthew changed the spark plugs on the motorcycle and Matthew was beside himself with happiness.

We know that we need to focus on spending more time with the kids [especially Steve in being the ‘dad.’]  I was so glad that he took time with Matt and taught him how to change the oil.  Matthew is almost six and his ‘favorite’ parent has always been me because I’m the one he spends the most time with.

The thing is, I’m not a guy, so even though I love my son dearly, I’m not into ‘guy things’ like cars and hunting and sports and such, and while I bond with him, it’s as a mom to her son, obviously, and Matt needs to bond with his daddy, too.

Steve is an excellent example of what a good man looks like [he’s one of the best on the planet, and I’m not just saying that ’cause he’s my husband] but if Steve’s not around for Matt to watch and imitate, how will he ever learn to be like his dad?

Matthew has a tendency toward ‘just getting by’ and unfortunately, that’s the way I’ve been my whole life.  I’ve only decided as an adult that it’s important to have a good work ethic, to do the right thing whether anybody’s watching or not, and to treat all of creation with respect and love.

I wish that my parents could have helped more to instill those qualities in me at an earlier age, simply because there was a lot of bad that could have been avoided, and a lot of good that was missed.  I see now the benefit of doing your very best because it’s the right thing to do, but only after skating through life doing everything half-assed for a long time.

And anyone who’s ever tried to break a bad habit knows how hard it is to change, so now I have 30+ years of ‘ruts’ to break out of and it’s a bitch, lemme tell ya.  I can’t do it overnight, and I’m able to accept that now and keep working anyway, but if there’s a way I can prevent my kids from having to go through the crap I’ve been through, well, isn’t that a good thing?

So anyway, I’m doing my best, but little boys and their mothers [or at least this set] don’t speak the same language, so I need Steve around to translate, eh?  And we need to have a united front on how we want to teach them to deal with certain things.

Well, I think I’m done now.  I go down to 20mgs on Wednesday, and I’m looking forward to having the Prednisone completely out of my system in a few weeks [I’ve heard it takes a while].  I’ve gained five pounds in two weeks, which pisses me off in a bad way.  Steve and I are gonna try to go join the YMCA tomorrow and get started on a fitness program [they charge you according to your income, so we should be able to afford it, YAY!].

I’ve needed to for years, butI think I’m finally ready to take the plunge and actually work on my fitness level.

It was a good day, the first in almost three weeks [counting whatever illness I had that started the whole God-awful joint and muscle pain that necessitated the damn steroids].  I’m glad to be better, and extremely thankful that my blood tests came back normal [have I mentioned that here yet?]  It’s hard to feel like shit and not know why, but I’m reasonable enough now to realize that being diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening illness is not exactly a good thing, either.

It’s nice to be [mostly] rational again.

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Still Crazy

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Tomorrow, I lower my dose of Prednisone to 30mgs. I’m getting closer, but this shit is literally making me crazy. I can’t even believe how much energy I have, but it’s all angry, agitated, and antisocial.

Everything pisses me off. I’m exhausted and need about three days of sleep, but I can’t sleep because my brain won’t shut the fuck up. Michaela turns three on Sunday, and I just want to forget about it. We’re just having Steve’s family up because I don’t really like doing big birthday parties and my family lives too far away to come anyway, but I don’t want to have anyone over.  I just want to be alone.

I miss my mom and dad. We have wonderful friends here, but part of me wants to move back home so I can have some much needed support [and free babysitting] for when I go back to college.

Oh, and if I get one more phone call from the damn Republican party I’m gonna scream. They called and asked if I was gonna vote for Jim Talent in November a few weeks ago, and I said no, which must have flagged my phone number so they can call and tell me how horrible Claire McCaskill is. [I never knew about this site until right now, but it is all about how the different political candidates have voted in the past. The link goes to Talent’s record, if you’re interested.  I disagree with him in about 85% of his issues, so to me, his record proves just how horrible he is, so why the fuck would I vote for him, eh?]

Besides, McCaskill’s a politician, so that’s an automatic ticket to horrible-ness.

We have that damn Amendment 2 that’s up for vote, too. My church put up a sign on their marquee that says, “Vote NO on Amendment 2.”  I tend to disagree with that stance so it annoyed me that they put the sign up because it looks like it’s speaking for everyone in the church, but they’re not.

I understand completely that my gripe is petty and piddly and maybe that’s my point.  I want to pick fights with people.  I want to argue and debate stuff with no thought to how my words sound or affect the other person, and if you’ve spent much time reading this blog, you know that that’s nothing like how I normally am.

Ordinarily, I’m all about keeping the peace with all people.  I’m about empathy and understanding the other person’s viewpoint.  Usually, I’m about loving my God and my neighbor and myself, and right now, I just want to punch somebody.

I don’t even care who it is, I just want to fight and debate about anything and everything.   If I could talk to  God face to face, I’d want to tell him everything he’s doing wrong in the world right now [and I know, God isn’t wrong, which is more evidence of my level of insanity].

I’m harmless in a physical sense.  I’m not gonna actually hit anybody, but I’m finding it extremely difficult to keep my opinions to myself, and I know that sometimes when you express yourself in as blunt a fashion as I’m prone to, feelings could get hurt.  I struggle with that when I’m not on psycho-making drugs, and recently I’ve mostly gotten it under control, but right now, not so much, which makes me nervous, eh?

Okay, I have to go now.

Delusions?

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So there was a post at another blog that got me wondering about delusions.  Exactly what are they, and how do you decide when to treat them [and how do you treat them]?

I found a lot of interesting stuff, but can’t remember most of it, and it doesn’t really matter anyway ’cause I’m not much for making sense right now.  I’ve lowered my dose of Prednisone from 50mgs to 40mgs, and have two more days before I go down to 30mgs.

I’m still jittery as hell, and really frantically verbal when I’m around people [and just as opinionated as ever, but way more vocal about it… I’m also a bit paranoid, so I wonder if I’m pissing everyone off I come into contact with as I’m rambling].

So anyway, delusions.  Basically, it’s when you believe something is true in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  Some people believe that they have parasites that are eating their flesh [or internal organs] in spite of diagnostic tests that show their organs are intact.

Other people believe that they have special powers, or abilities, or are connected to someone famous or to God in some special way.

Still others believe that they are being followed, poisoned, tormented by ‘them’ etc.  You get the idea, right?

I would imagine that some people think of belief in God as a delusion, too, so there’s a pretty wide variety of what a delusion is, and I’m curious where the line is between “Quirky” or “Odd” and completely off your rocker delusional.

I think sometimes I’m a bit delusional.  Especially right now, since I’m also really paranoid.  It’s funny in a way that I’m paranoid about being crazy, or becoming crazy, or being delusional since being delusional tends to mean that you’re focusing on things outside yourself that are affecting you, whether physically, mentally, or psychically, so you blame something else for your issues.

So I don’t know what the fuck this is, but it’s irritating.

I know that I’m paranoid about the government.  I think it’s pretty much filled up with corrupt power-mongers who could care less about me and my piddly worries, but the CIA, FBI, and all those other freaky initial groups give me the willies because they have the power to end my life if they want to, and there’s not much I can do about it.

And yet, there’s nothing even remotely remarkable about me, so why would they want to?  Part of me wonders if there’s a big conspiracy to make the American public sick or stupid so we don’t realize that we’re being duped, controlled, brainwashed, and/or killed, and the rest of me says, huh?  That’s a little extreme.  But the fact that the thought seems plausible worries me that I might be on the verge of mental illness.

When I read something about alien abductions or governmental mind control experiments, everything in me says that’s got to be a delusion.  It’s not that I don’t believe it’s possible, it’s just that I think the vast majority of the time the person who feels that they are being tormented/abducted/whatever is delusional.

I don’t believe in aliens, and yet I do believe in spirits, both evil and good, that can influence or affect us, and I do believe in God, so is that a more ‘socially acceptable’ delusion?  Is it different, or the exact same thing taking a different form?

Depends on who you ask, doesn’t it?

So where’s the line between quirky or odd and mentally ill?  If I believe in the possibility of alien abductions but don’t believe I’ve met an abductee, am I okay?  If I believe that I’ve been abducted, but it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on my life, am I okay?

What if it affects my life and the life of my family because I talk about it a lot and try to take precautions to protect them from the aliens [that doesn’t include harming them physically]? Am I delusional then?
Or instead of aliens, what if I believe that the government has it in for me… you get the idea, right?

Or what if I get an incurable illness and believe either that the government caused it because I’m a ‘superior being’ and they want to keep me from reaching my full potential, or that God allowed it to make me an ‘example of suffering’ to others, to inspire them to live for God… is one okay and the other a delusion, or are they both delusions?

What about God?  Is the simple belief in God a delusion?  If it isn’t, but I also believe that God guides us, is that a delusion?  Or what if I believe that God can and does speak to me, and tells me what to do and how to act, what’s right and wrong… is it only a delusion if I think he’s telling me to kill or hurt people, or is it a delusion if he’s telling me to do good, too?

Yeah, I think Prednisone is some wicked shit.  It’s not that I don’t think about this kind of crap fairly regularly, but I don’t usually admit it in public.

I don’t think I’m delusional, but I worry that I may get that way as I get older.  I like spiritual stuff, ‘woo-woo’ things, stuff that can’t really be explained, but it’s not taking over my life or anything.  I’m just interested in it ’cause it’s kinda weird, you know?  But I worry that at some point the interest may become unhealthy, or that I might start to believe something even though there’s no possible way it could be true, and I just don’t know where the line is.

I don’t ever want to think that someone is out to get me [even if they are], and I worry like hell when other people say they’ve had a ‘word from God,’ and yet I feel like he speaks to me sometimes in very personal ways.  But I strongly disagree with other people who feel like God’s spoken to them about some of the same things [you know, like Dobson and the Prez], so who the hell’s right?  Are we both delusional?

I think my way’s better because it doesn’t include hurting, maiming, hating, or killing anyone, but I don’t have any power to spread the message, and the violent people do.  But I still come back to the possibility that I might be the one who’s wrong here.  I read the same Bible the Fundamentalists do, and yet I hear a message of love and acceptance, even in the stuff they interpret as permission to kill or hate others, so I dunno, it’s all fucked up, eh?

Well, again with the not making any damn sense.  Oh well.  Only two and a half weeks of Prednisone left. I fully expect to be normal again soon.  These entries should be good for a giggle in a couple of years.

Peace out, y’all.

Prednisone, Day Two

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Just so you know, I edited the time stamp on this one so that the other two posts today would come after this. I guess it’s so you can understand the context of the other two entries. I’m not sure if I’m as crazy as I feel right now, but be warned, these entries may not make much sense.

Then again, they may be the most wise, profound words ever written. You just never can tell about those things, eh?

Oy. I was jittery earlier, and in a really bad mood. Now I’m so tired I can’t see straight. The swelling and pain in my joints has gotten better, but I still feel like shit, eh?

Michaela went to bed a couple of hours ago, and is waking up periodically to cry. She was whiny today and just about drove me nuts [my bad mood didn’t help any]. I need to read the chapter in Sunday School, but I don’t really want to do anything.

Last night instead of sleeping, I had about a million thoughts running through my head at top speed. It was hard to make sense of it all. I’m still having that problem. Look at me! Incoherent Pete here. Read at your own risk, eh?

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An Interesting Comment

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I’ve been thinking about posting and update about my spiritual journey, and this morning, I received a comment on this post. I started to answer it in the comments for that post, but since I was thinking about writing on this topic of religion again anyway, I figured I’d quote the comment and stick it in a new entry.

Anyway, here goes. Ricki writes:

Either you have “faith” or you do not. Either you believe, or you do not. There is no gray area here. Christ did not make this complicated by design nor do I think He expects us to. I say, sister, if you are confused then PLEASE get on your knees and ask for discernment and He shall grant it. He loves you. Period. End of conversation. Christ CANNOT lie. You say you pray but, how can you recieve a proper answer if you cannot have faith to begin with. Please… start there. God is not the author of confusion. With love in Christ Jesus, Ricki

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More Health Crap

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Ah jeez.  I don’t update for over a month and all I got is a whine. For the past few months, I’ve been getting migraines.  I had one [a mild one] that lasted several days [hurt like it was thinking about getting worse, but never did] and then it was gone.

A few days later, my joints started hurting like hell, and as I’m typing this, my left hand feels stiff and weird, a little like it’s thinking about becoming numb [and not comfortably so] but not quite there.  Sluggish, if you will.

Oh yeah, my BP is still high.  I’ve been taking Toprol 50mgs for a while now, and I’ve been doing one of those little BP diaries to check my BP, pulse, and weight twice a day [I gain about 1-2.5 lbs of fluid every day.  Probably normal, but I never knew that before].  Anyway, it’s been around 130/84 every time I’ve checked it [that’s the average] but this morning it was 135/100.  Which for some reason annoys the hell out of me.

I’m not worried exactly, just frustrated that it’s still high.

But my joints and the amount of pain I’m in is a lot more than usual.  Mixing Tylenol and Ibuprofen doesn’t even touch the pain, which sucks, ’cause that’s all I’ve got.  Anyway, I went to the doctor today and asked her if this could all be one big disorder.

She did some basic blood work and is in the process of referring me to a Rheumatologist.  Oh yeah, I’m on Prednisone [a three week course] which should make for an interesting three weeks, eh?  I’ve taken a week’s worth before, and had no real side effects, so I’m curious to see if this time things will be different.

They told me that I should hear something within a week or so about the bloodwork.  In the meantime, I’m hoping that the steroids make me feel better.

I’ve had a lot of stuff going on here, hence the no entries for weeks on end thing.  I’ve worked up a schedule for weekdays that includes family time every night.  The kids love it.  They love knowing that every night is a special activity.  It’s easy stuff, that only lasts an hour or so, [except Wednesdays which is church night and goes on freaking forever].

It’s nothing big or elaborate, but it’s something that we do as a family together, and just in the couple of weeks we’ve been doing it, we’ve grown closer as a family.  I can’t tell you how great that is.  I wish we’d been doing it all along, but I’m not beating myself up about it [which is miraculous for me, eh?]

I haven’t been the greatest about living my life outside my head, so this is a big step for me.  I’m finished with counseling for now.  I usually have a severe bout of depression in the spring, so I’m going to plan to go back in March if I don’t need to see her before then.

I think it was an excellent idea.  My counsellor did a great job helping me to find solutions for certain stuff, and reassuring me that some of the stuff I feel guilty about is normal [and okay].   I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want my life to be like, and that’s good.

So much of my life has been just waiting around for something to happen, and I’m actually making choices and setting goals for myself… getting of my ass and working for what I want for a change.

But you know, one of the things that helped me the most with my counsellor was the day I told her how scared I’d always been that the reason I’d never ‘accomplished’ anything in my life was because deep down I was lazy [be aware that I’m not talking about my husband and kids here.  I feel like their wonderful-ness is more about them, and doesn’t have much to do with me.  In other words, I have a wonderful life and I know it, I don’t take it for granted, but I didn’t do anything to make it that way.  I feel like I just got lucky, you know?]

She said she’d always thought that laziness usually translated into depression.  Something clicked and I realized that when I’m not feeling depressed, I am active and a pretty good worker.  It’s when the depression starts again that I don’t do much of anything.

You’d think that would give me an ‘out’ so when I’m feeling lazy, I can have an excuse, “Well, I’m just depressed.”  But in my mind, it just means that all those times I tried and failed, it wasn’t because there’s something psychically wrong with me, it was just the chemicals getting screwed up [in other words, some defect in my soul wasn’t what caused me not to finish my task.  There is something wrong with me, but it’s not my fault.  I don’t know if that makes sense or not, but I can’t tell you how good it feels not to hate myself for those times anymore] .

I think if I’d known that’s what was causing me to want to give up, I might have been able to fight it off a little better.  Instead, I thought that God was telling me not to go there, or that it wasn’t meant to be, or that I was no good at whatever it was I was trying to do because I suck at everything and I’ll never amount to anything.

Depression is a fucked-up illness, you know?

Anyway, that’s not even close to all the crap I’ve been working through, but I’m hurting like hell right now and need to go to bed.

If I’m not back tomorrow, I’ll at least let you know how the blood tests turn out, eh?