Thursday, December 22, 2016

December update

It's almost Christmas.  How'd it get to be almost Christmas?!

I am so not ready. 

I mailed the Christmas cards, and I've bought almost all the kids' gifts, which I did all online. But I haven't opened one box or packaged that has arrived since I shopped for them on December 10th. So I don't know what has arrived and what hasn't. And I haven't wrapped a thing. 

So I have a lot to do before Sunday morning. 

Thankfully, we don't have to buy for anyone but the kids. We stopped buying for extended family years ago. It just got ridiculous, spending money on people who didn't need spending money on, and we all agreed to put a stop to it. Which is a relief. 

I do usually give my mom new pictures of the kids every year. And this year I'll give my sister a framed 5x7 of the kids, and my mom a framed 8x10 of the kids.  The fall pictures in the park turned out really well this year. 

So, updates.  

Sophie is still doing really well in school.  Going into finals, she had all As and a B+ in Biology (got a 92 on her final, so we're hoping it pulled up her bio grade to an A... still waiting for the school to post grades for the second quarter). 

Luke is getting straight As this quarter, also. He had his first band concert earlier this month and did a great job. For a 5th grade band, they sounded amazing. In tune and everything!

They both have been healthy all year.  No dizzy spells for Sophie.  Luke did have an ear infection that we had to see the urgent care for on Sunday morning, and I should have known because he'd had a cough for almost two weeks that I just let go because he wasn't running a fever or complaining and didn't miss school.  But other than that, they have been great.  

Mark has been sick with bronchitis for the past four days (sick the week before that but didn't get an antibiotic until Monday). When he gets sick, he reallllly gets sick. I don't know why it hits him so hard, but it does. Goes straight to his lungs, he gets a fever, has no energy, and is down for days. It's a real drag. He's still not well.  Today is day 4 of antibiotic, and tomorrow I'm hoping he's doing better. He went to work today but didn't do much and said he felt awful all day. 

Thankfully, I haven't gotten anything so far this year. Knock wood. 

I started going back to OA meetings about a month ago.  The college changed my hours on Monday's so I only work until 6pm and not 8pm now, so I can go to my 7pm meetings.  I'm still not abstinent, though. Haven't worked out my stuff to get it all figured out again.  I'm just doing what they say at the end of each meeting--"keep coming back." Eventually it will click.  I'm hoping after the holidays I can get my act together. 

I was going pretty good on the running/training front up until Thanksgiving, and then that fell apart. Nothing since. Blah.  I have to get that together, too, or I'm going to be in a world of pain the last weekend of February at the Princess Half.  

Basically, I work too much, have too much responsibility with a home life, and when I get done with everything at night, I'm fried. There's nothing left for me. Same song, stuck on the same track, playing over and over. 

At least things aren't getting worse, really. They just aren't improving. 

But hey, they aren't getting worse. 

Here are pictures for you to enjoy! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October update

The kids are doing very well in school this year. 

Sophie loves her high school. She got straight As her first quarter. It's a very demanding curriculum (charter school, ranked #1 in the state and also ranked nationally), so her getting such high marks her first term says a lot about how hard she worked. 

She also did an outstanding job in the school play--she had a lead role in Act 1 of The Musical of Musicals (she was June). She got a lot of compliments from teachers, students, and audience members. It was the first time she had such a large role.  She's also in a play at her acting studio, where she has a lead role, as well; it runs Halloween weekend. It is an original play that her voice teacher wrote, a little over an hour long. 

Luke also did well, getting As and one B (an 89.66 in science--but the teacher only had 5 grades for the entire quarter. It's only 5th grade so I'm totally not stressing over a "B."). 

He got to bring his trombone home several weeks ago, and I was impressed with how much his band teacher has been able to teach him in such a short period of time. Luke seems to be a natural with this instrument. He likes band and doesn't mind getting up early to catch the early bus (at 6:52) to go to band at around 7:10am at the high school (then he rides a bus to his school, which starts at 8:15). 

Last week I started training for the Disney Princess half marathon, which is in February and I am going to do again next year. I got in two training days. The first day was brutal and only two miles. The second day was better and three miles. This week I'm shooting for three days.  My plan is to train Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.  It is next to impossible to squeeze in any time for ME, which is why I signed up for this race (I wasn't going to do it, but Mark told me I should, if it meant I would start running again). And I did run. In tenth of a mile intervals. But I'm running. And even though it's hard, it feels good to be moving again. 

My anxiety still has been bad. I started taking a new medication a few weeks ago. I'm on a very low dose. It makes me extremely sleepy within about 20 minutes, and gives me a bit of a sleep hangover. It seems to help with the anxiety somewhat. I haven't been taking it long so I'm not sure how effective it is yet. 

My nurse practitioner and I talked about what drugs to try next at my last appointment.  I am so against taking a different antidepressant because of weight gain on SSRIs, that I basically have tied her hands on how to help me with the traditional methods. But she totally gets it and has never tried to push me into an SSRI or anything that would cause me to gain weight. 

I've gained about 8 pounds in the last three months. So not happy about that. I've been eating too much in the evenings, mostly carbs, and it has caught up with me. My clothes still fit and it doesn't show too terribly badly, but I can feel it around my waist more than I used to (thanks so much, middle age). I'm hopeful that running again after work will prompt me to make better choices. I also know that being heavier makes it harder to run faster, so that is motivating me. 

Luke turns 11 on November 6th. I "met" most of you when he was around a year old. So we've been doing this about 10 years now.  It is crazy how fast the years have gone by. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to school

Back to school pics. Luke--5th grade. Sophie--freshman.

Luke hasn't gotten a real taste for school yet since they didn't start changing classes (different teacher for each subject) until today. He's getting on the bus at 6:50 for band, learning the trombone. So far he's handling the early mornings well.

Sophie loves her high school. She's handling the workload just fine. It is a lot of work. They have block scheduling and her A days are much more demanding than B days. No bus for the downtown HS. I have two other moms I'm carpooling with, and one of them picks up everyday when school lets out. I could not do this (well or easily or without going crazy) without them.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June update

Hello there!

Yes, it's been a looooong time since I've posted.  Mostly because I'm not in a great place emotionally and don't like to talk about it.  I definitely tend to cocoon and isolate when I'm feeling more anxious and depressed in my life. 

So here's what's been going on. 

Kids got out of school at the end of May.  We have no vacation plans, other than possibly taking them to Louisville for a brief weekend trip at the end of July.  That in itself is depressing, because it's hard to deal with your kids' (teenage daughter specifically) asking if we have vacation plans for the summer and having to tell them we can't afford to take them anyplace special, especially when her friends are taking European vacations and annual trips to Florida.  So that's strike #1 against my anxiety filled summer. 

Strike #2 is that my kids had no camps to go to this summer, other than Sophie going to a one-week sleep away camp earlier this month, so they have been stuck at home by themselves every day. They are homebodies and like to introvert and be in PJs and are indoorsy by nature.  But day after day after day gets to a person.  My mom had been coming down once a week to take them swimming at my sister's house, which was helpful but not really enough to break up the monotony. 

Last week it hit Sophie hard and she had a little mental breakdown and said she couldn't take it anymore.  She had to get out of the house and needed something to do.  So I arranged with my mom to do more with them this week.  It helped.  Mom took them to the library Monday, and then Tuesday and Wednesday she took them to her house and they spent the night and did some things up there in the country.  

Sophie decided she didn't want to be a counselor in training at the camp she usually helps at--she had a bad experience last year and didn't want to repeat it.  And she felt too old to do the acting camps she usually does.  So that's why she had nothing on her calendar but the sleep away camp she does each year.  

Luke hasn't done a regular camp for several years.  He hates being outside when it's hot and I haven't been able to push him beyond his comfort zone to do anything else.  I'm just not THERE to help him.  I can't make my mom be responsible for doing these things to help raise my children during the summer.  So he's become a summer home body. It doesn't seem to bother him as much as it does Sophie.

I have a lot of mom guilt over having to work full time and leaving them at home by themselves. I was left at home alone with my sister when I was a pre-teen and teenager, and I hated it. And I hate relying on my mom, who means well but isn't the best at coping with kids and gets stressed easily.  I think she did OK this week because the kids had fun.  Luke doesn't sleep well at her house, which is also hard to deal with. Sophie was a big help in trying to talk him through some coping strategies but he still had a hard time. 

Strike #3 is that my meds are out of whack and I can't get in to see my nurse practitioner.  She now travels to Cleveland during the week, working on her doctorate, and is only seeing patients on a limited basis.  I had an appointment on 6/27 which was cancelled.  My next appointment is now 8/27.  

My anxiety is off the charts.  I have to take xanax every day just to get through.  I stopped taking the stimulant vyvanse, which I was taking during the winter and spring months, but it can cause anxiety--at least I figured that much out.  But I think my buspar needs to be increased--this is an anti-anxiety med.  I also stopped taking rexulti, which is a "booster" medication add-on, because my coupon was about to expire and I couldn't afford the copay that I was going to have to pay on it.  So I've made two adjustments on my own, one good with dropping the vyvanse (we had discussed going off of it during the summer months), one maybe not good with dropping the rexulti without discussing it with her. 

Sophie goes back to school August 4.  She has two big projects that she's supposed to be working on that are due when she starts school.  I think she's glanced at them and maybe watched part of a video for her history project.  I'm stressed about that, because I know they are time consuming and she's not started them.  Every time I mention her homework she gets upset and says it makes her not want to do it.  She says she's a good student, she'll get it done.  Yet it's not getting done and time is ticking away.  It is so hard for me to keep silent and just let it go when I know she's going to be scrambling at the last minute if she doesn't get started soon.  I haven't said anything for a week or so. I"m trying to keep my mouth shut. 

She's going to Chicago this weekend with three of her friends; one of the parents is taking them. So she's lucky she has this weekend to look forward to and we are paying her way for that. I'm praying she doesn't have any dizzy spells and keeps herself hydrated. Any number of things could trigger her vertigo--the long car ride (motion sickness), if she doesn't drink enough water while they are walking around the city (I'm sending water bottles but she's pushing back on taking too many with her, said she can find water fountains to refill them, but I won't be there to remind her to drink water all the time), if they take elevators up the tall buildings (I have NO idea what that will do to her). She's been doing OK until yesterday when she got dizzy on the golf cart at my mom's. Little things can sometimes set her off. 

Luke goes back to school August 10th.  He starts band this year--he's playing the trombone.  They have band practice before school starts at the high school; a bus will pick him up at home, take him to the high school for band, then the bus will take him to elementary school.  I really really hope he takes to it OK.  I've talked to him about how it may be hard but he has to stick with it. He knows he needs something in his life as a hobby/interest and this may be it. 

Sophie will need a ride to and from school every day; no buses to her downtown school. I thought we had a carpool set up with her friend's mom who lived 3 minutes from our house, but they decided to move this summer to a new house.  So now they live about 12 minutes away.  So I don't know what's going to happen to the carpool situation.  Yet another anxiety producing situation I have yet to deal with. 

I'm still working for Mark a day and a half a week, and working at the college 32-36 hours a week.  I'm not really feeling fulfilled at either job. Both are pretty boring and I don't feel challenged.  So my work life is bleh. Do I tell anyone any of this? Oh hell no.  It stays all bottled up inside and I pretend like everything is hunky dory.  I'm a worker drone like millions of other people, doing my job and living for the hours I get to go home and put on my PJs. Sad, I know, but I don't see a way out and it's just the stage of life I'm in right now. I've kind of accepted it as the way life is right now. 

My weight is staying stable at around 164 pounds.  I only weigh once every few weeks and it's always around 164.  My diet isn't great, but I'm still not eating desserts or binge eating.  No OA meetings and I don't talk to my sponsor anymore.  I really don't have a support system at all. Things kind of fell apart on that front.  But at least I'm not eating ice cream and cookies and cake. That mindset stuck like glue, thank goodness. 

Is there any good news to report?  Well, let's see.  Mark started working out at the gym again, which is awesome.  He needs to keep his heart healthy.  Sophie's vertigo has mostly been non-existent for the last several months (until the brief episode yesterday which hopefully has resolved itself).  We are mostly financially OK, although there is nothing "extra" from month to month. Sophie finished her confirmation class at church and was confirmed as a member a few weeks ago. Both the kids had their physicals and dental checkups this summer, so those are done.  Luke had an appointment for new shoe orthotics yesterday, which he desperately needs since the ones we had made two years ago don't keep his feet from hurting.  We had a nice little day trip to New Harmony last Saturday that was one of the most pleasant family outings we'd had in a long time. Mark and I are planning a Friday-Saturday trip back to New Harmony for just the two of us next weekend. Nobody has been sick with the flu or colds or anything serious. 

So I guess it's not all gloom and doom.  I need to remember that, don't I? 

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading my rambling thoughts today.  I hope you are having a good summer. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

March update (164.8)

I'm still kickin'.

The newest thing is, I'm on an anti-anxiety medication called Buspar. I think it is helping with the small anxiety things. My p-doc prescriber is awesome at paying attention to my needs and trying new things.

The rest of my life is same old same old.

I'm not running and should be. I'm supposed to be training for a half marathon in May. Big regrets piling up around that. I'm either not going to go or I'm going to go half assed trained. I haven't decided yet. I still have time but my schedule isn't getting any better and my body is at rest and not wanting to get in motion.

I work two jobs and they are both busy. I'm not real happy at either. The kids are ok although Sophie still fights vertigo spells. She missed a week of school the week before last. It's so frustrating. I'm having her cut chocolate completely out of her diet. She would eat a little now and then and usually be ok but then sometimes have a spell every few months. We are trying a zero chocolate diet and seeing if that makes a difference.

Mark works 50-60 hours a week and is usually pretty stressed. We don't have money in the budget to hire a full time or part time assistant for him (whether that would even make a difference, I don't know--I still think he'd be overworked and stressed). Nor for me to quit my job and work for him full time. So we are just stuck with what we are doing, with me working for him a day and a half a week (lucky I can do that). It's just a hard season of our lives right now.

Sorry to not have more to say. Just wanted to send something out there to let you know I'm ok and nothing horrible has happened. I'm sorry it has been so long.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January update (170.2)

Tis the season for SAD. Yep, it's hit like a ton of bricks. I've been slogging through life since Thanksgiving basically. I was doing great before that (the mini boost from Rexulti was short lived).

I saw my nurse practitioner Friday and she's definitely not one to just throw up her hands and say "oh well, we tried! Sorry about your luck." She mentioned another anti depressant I could try but ultimately decided to put me on a stimulant. You heard me right. I'm now taking an ADHD med. A newer one, a non-amphetamine called Vyvanse.

So far I can tell a difference. I have more energy during the day. I'm less listless and more focused. I don't crash in the afternoon, and really I can't tell when it's out of my system. I do have trouble sleeping so I'm taking a Xanax to sleep (I sometimes did before so this is no big deal, it's a low dose).

I'm just excited there's something that is helping me through the last of this miserable season. I was seriously starting to lose it. Crying in the bathroom at random times and dreading going to work. It was the moving through mud feeling that I absolutely hate.

The plan is to take it during the SAD season and stop when the light is back. Or I can stay on it if I want, if it's what I need. She's pretty great about helping me do what's best for me. I see her again in a month.

So the big question. How's it affecting my food? I guess it makes me a little less hungry during the day. But my evening appetite is normal. It's not a diet pill, at least not the low dose I'm on.

I finally bought myself some new clothes (and a pair of shoes). I was tired of wearing the same things over and over and not feeling cute at work. We got a new Torrid at our Mall so I went there. It's for size 12 and up. They label clothes 0, 1, 2, 3. I'm a 0 since I'm in size 12 now and the clothes are loose. So it was the perfect place to go shopping. Everything fit and I was the smallest size. :) I got some great pants and 3 long shirts, which is what everyone is wearing so I feel fashionable now. It's all black though. Hopefully by spring I'll either be thinner and can shop for color at other stores, or Torrid will have colorful clothes I can buy and add to my expanding wardrobe. I'm tired of not dressing well just because I'm not my ideal weight.

Kids are good. Sophie got into the charter high school she wanted, which was determined by lottery drawing. It's the number one high school in our state (so they say--I don't know, it's a great school whatever the ranking). It's the only school she wanted to go to so we are fortunate her name was drawn. I'm thankful she was #10 so I didn't have to stress during the drawing!

Expecting snow again tonight so we may have another snow day this week. The kids will be thrilled if that happens. I can't wait for spring. Only a couple months away.