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. 


Jill said...

Girl, I gotchu.

On vacation plans: Our neighbors across the street spent a week in Cozumel last month, our next door neighbors just got back from Florida, my sister and her family are going to Florida in a couple of weeks, and according to Facebook everyone on the planet is going on fabulous vacations...except for us. We don't have plans for a big vacation this year either because we just can't afford it right now. And honestly, I just don't have it in me to do a big vacation anyway. So, take heart, Sister - you're not the only ones.

And I TOTALLY get the kids-at-home mom-guilt. My two girls stay home all day too and I know they get bored, but I can only do so much. My next door neighbor takes them to do fun things with her kids (her kids are 4 & 2, so for her, taking my kids is like have extra babysitters on hand) a couple of times a month. Also I let them have sleepovers with friends (either at our house or a friend's house) and that helps the current boredom if they have something to look forward to. I also try to have crafty things on hand for them to do, or stuff for my older daughter to bake for fun. We survived our summers at home alone...our kids will survive too. :)

As far as your meds go, it seems very irresponsible for your nurse practitioner to be so hard to see. I'm tempted to tell you to go to the emergency room and see if they can't help you there - you sound like you need help NOW, not 2 months from now. I know you're hanging on, but really, there's no reason you should keep suffering. You deserve to feel better than blah, you deserve to feel good, to feel happy and productive, and you deserve to raise a fuss for your own health. Want me to call your doctor's office? I'll pitch a fit on your behalf! :)

Okay, can I offer some advice on Sophie? Leave her alone. She's a big girl, she knows the consequences of not getting her work done in a timely manner and yeah, she's going to be scrambling at the last minute. That's her choice, let her learn from it. As a former procrastinator myself, I did some of my best work when I had a little time-pressure on me. It's so much easier to focus when you know you're down to the wire. She'll get it done...and it's not your burden to carry. Let this one go, Mama.

Okay, so that's all the advice I have to give (not that you asked for it!). I'll just leave you with lots of hugs and lots of prayers and lots of love. You're doing great considering everything you have on your plate. And I know you know this, but I'll say it again - you can reach out to me anytime. I'm still here for you and pulling for you. <3

Laura N said...

Thanks, Jill! You raise a good point on the nurse practitioner. She did offer to let me see someone else. I opted to stick with her, knowing it would be hard to get into her. The office also told me I could do a 10 minute phone consult with her for $40 (no insurance coverage) if I needed to. So I have options if I get desperate. I'm trying not to feel desperate yet, even though I guess my post sounds like it. I guess I'm not happy, but not having panic attacks and I'm managing as best I can.

And I will take your advice about Sophie to heart. I guess I just needed someone to tell me it's OK to let her take care of herself. I was a HUGE procrastinator in school (still am) so I totally get it.

And man, everyone and their brother is at the beach on Facebook. I need to take a vacation from FB, that's the vacation I really need.

Vickie said...

Did she survive Chicago weekend without dizzies? What a (freaking) worry that is.

Youngest had a summer project hanging over her just like that two summers ago.

We all thought she was working on it steadily all summer. But she actually was just carrying the books around. And she never did it.

She ended up dropping the class and taking academic history instead of the advanced. And it was good learning experience for her. She never would have survived the advanced history with the workload she had in AP chem and her math class that year. The history class was a ton of writing. And history was not her focus. Math and science were.

She cried for about 12 hours on and off the day before school started. I went with her to guidance to get scheduled changed. And in the process we were able to change her Spanish teacher (against the rules, but they had to adjust her schedule anyway and I was with her and asked nicely).

And it was all good things to learn in high school, before college. How time sneaks up and bites you in the butt. How you have to look at priorities of classes. Facing reality. Humble pie. Etc.

In the end, after it was all said and done and cried over, we realized the history class was actually designed for the academic (middle) level kids who are never in AP classes as college prep. It was a LOT of busy work teaching them to write. It was not so much about the history knowledge as it was the format. And I think some part of her was rebelling against the busy work of it. The class as actually beneath her.

And the academic history class she took instead was really beneath her. But it had almost no homework, it satisfied her required credit, and it as done in a semester when her other classes were killers. It as nearly like having a study hall when she was not allowed to have a study hall. She got all the work for that class done during class. She saw how the other half live. She was in class with totally different kids than normal. Not in a good way. But still somehow good for her.

You could be OUT doing things with kids after work each day. Bike, wallk, run. Frisbee for a half hour. Side walk chalk. Picnic dinner.. Do you still have a dog?

There are a lot of free things. Are you on email lists for local things?

Do you do a lot of OUT things on the weekend? Because a lot of OUT on the weekends would make a big difference in their weeks.

We did farmers markets one summer. Those are cheaper than the grocery store. The kids got to know the venders.

(It is Luke I would be most worried about. Boy Scouts was the answer for my nephew. There are engineering mind things out there too.)

Vickie said...

Update please? I have been wondering how everything turned out.

Crazy busy summer here.

Major things going on with all three kids. They take a lot of time (still) as older kids too.

Mine are now 26, 22, 18 and this summer has been intense. Fun things too. But a lot of work for all of them.

Laura N said...

Sorry! Thanks for checking. :) Sophie did GREAT in Chicago. She drank plenty of water and had no problems with being dizzy. The only times she struggled was walking up elevated train platforms and looking down, and riding the elevated trains, if she glanced out the windows (she gets motion sick pretty easily), which she just avoided doing. She had an absolutely wonderful time and it was a fantastic experience for her.

Today is her first day of high school. She finished her projects. Hopefully she will do OK on them. I think the history one is fine, but I'm not sure she did enough note taking on the mythology one and I'm pretty sure she needed to do a bibliography for her pictures on her poster board, but she didn't think she did and I wasn't about to argue with her about it--it's her grade and she will learn.

I dropped her off at school this morning. It was harder than kindergarten drop off--very emotional. I am carpooling with two other moms, who are helping with pick up, since I can't get her after school because of work. One mom is picking up everyday right after school. Very lucky she is doing that for us.

Seems like the older they get, the more work they are!!