That Makes Sense-Finally

I had an appointment yesterday with my med provider. We talked about the usual: sleeping (um, no), appetite (eh, I guess), mood? Bad.

“Are you taking your meds as prescribed?” she asked

“As prescribed? Sorta. Sometimes. No, not really” I confess.

I have a pharmacy that packages my pills for me now. It’s been a Godsend. Anyway, three pills come in a square. I have nine pills to take in the morning, so three squares. The third square contains a 100 mg pill of Provigil, a 200 mg pill of Provigil and a Naltrexone. The Provigil I take for “excessive daytime sleepiness” and the Naltrexone was prescribed shortly after Natalie passed to help with any possible impulsiveness.

Generally speaking, I’m not supposed to take the Provigil after 2:00 pm as it will disrupt my sleep. More and more I’ve found myself forgetting to take my day pills until well after 2 and have gotten into the habit of taking the day and night pills at bedtime, with the exception of that third breakfast square. Better late than never, right?

Well, it turns out, the Wellbutrin can also give a boost of energy.

She takes my blood pressure with the electronic monitor and frowns at the results.

“I’m going to take this manually”

I shrugged and rolled up my other sleeve.

After several minutes, she furrowed her brow and asked if I was on any blood pressure medications.

“Three, I think”

She looked back through my chart.

“Lisinopril, Metoprolol and Hydrochlorothiazide. I wonder if that’s too much?”

I shrugged again.

“Then again” she said “if you’re not taking your Provigil and not getting that stimulant, you don’t need as much blood pressure medication…”

“What is my blood pressure?”

“95/60. I have patients with readings in that area but… that’s not your normal and the people with numbers like that are in their 90’s. This would explain why it’s felt so much harder to do things. Low blood pressure means less circulation, less oxygen, less energy. Let’s not add any new medications, let’s just figure out how we can get you to take your meds when you’re supposed to. How can I help with that?”

We came up with a plan and I left relieved to have an explanation for why I was feeling SO MUCH MORE miserable than ever before.

I mean, I am still grieving. I know that. I’m not expecting to be back to “normal” or even a “new normal” quite yet.

I’m missing Natalie. And Noah. And my friend John who recently moved 2,000 miles away. I struggle with how to grieve and celebrate and honor them.

I’m still talking to Natalie and getting signs from her. Still angry and full of hurt but I keep her around. Around my neck. Literally.

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Sterling Silver Urn Necklace

One thing that helped with Noah was a baby blanket… Shar made a blanket for Noah.

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And John? We’ve been friends for so long…

 

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It’s a great opportunity to brush up on my pen pal skills!

Yay life and loss… (eye roll and pom-pom cheers)

This Will Be My Last Post…

Breathe. This will be my last post, written as a 38 year old.

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Saturday is my birthday. Last year at this time, I had a psychic reading done. It was an emotional experience and I recall her telling me that my New Year’s Day should be celebrated on my birthday day. It is the beginning of a new year, for me.

And this year? Man, am I ever ready to be done with THIS year. It has been a difficult year, more specifically, a difficult 6 months.

It has been a year of greats. Greatest year of loss. Of grief. Of growth. Of curiosity. Of finding purpose. Of productivity. Of creativity. Of dancing, ever so carefully as to not disrupt the balance of things. Crying when I need to cry, screaming when I’m angry, asking for help when I can’t do it on my own. I have lived more life in this year alone than in all of my 37 previous years combined.

I am grateful. I am angry. I am sorrowful. I see more beauty and focus less on the ugly. I try to understand it rather than judge it. I have a long way to go AND I have come a long way.

October 10th will be the one year mark of my working. It’s not a lot of hours but it’s what I can do to feel good about myself and it beats the hell out of being unemployed.

I have survived (thus far) raising a teenager… (and a husband).

I have lost a son and a sister.

I have gained the strength, confidence and trust of strangers because some part of each of our stories intersect.

I moved from a townhouse to an apartment and have actually MET some of my neighbors, as in more than the ONE I knew at the townhouse we lived in for five years.

I started this blog and have written consistently, twice a week, since March. I have begun writing a book.

I deserve the t-shirt I saw the other day. It had a picture of a Buddha sitting on a Lotus flower and it reads “Mindful As Fuck”. Yep, that sums it up.

I had been feeling nervous about turning another year older… like it was going to somehow sneak up on me and take me by surprise. HA! IN YOUR FACE. YOU’RE ALMOST 40! By now, you should be living in a house. Working a job that pays at least minimum wage for 40 hours a week. Know how to change my own oil in my car. You know, adult stuff. Do it. All. Right now. Or, you fail. You fail life.

As you can see, sometimes spending too much time by myself is not a good thing.

Just as I was having trouble breathing, I got an email. “Another 9 Inspirational Older People Who Still Kick Ass”. There was a video link for one of the examples, watch it now, here. Seriously, go watch it. Are you watching?

Wasn’t that INCREDIBLE? A.Fucking.Mazing! And one of the judges said something to the effect of “I hope I can move like that when I’m your age” What? I’d hope to be able to move like that at ANY age!

Anyway, watching that video… it was inspiration for me. It eased the tension and anxiety. Helped me to see clearly, life isn’t over. Sometimes it can feel like that but I do know how to navigate (for the most part) and I have two more guardian angels to watch over me as I do my/our work of being our best selves and leaving the world a better place than we found it.

 

 

I Just Dyed

My hair. Back to purple … technically “Violet Vixen”. I’m not really sure why.

I mean, I kinda know why. The gray (or as Tayla calls them, “silver”) hairs were scaring the shit out of me. My roots had grown out a few inches and I was just generally ready for a change. Plus, my girlfriend offered to do it!

We were at her place Monday night. We’d gone down to Acme for their open mic night because I’d wanted to get in some stage time before my Aug. 23rd performance but the sign up sheet was overflowing with nearly double the 25 name capacity. I added my name anyway and figured if it was meant to be, it would be. That being said, I was cramming in the material into my memory as fast as I could while silently bargaining with God to PLEASE give me one more week to prepare.

At 7:30 the list of comics went up and I was granted a stay of execution.

Anyway, back to her place we went. She colored my hair while we watched America’s Got Talent clips on YouTube until it was time for me to wash my hair.

I started the water and for whatever reason, I always manage to forget how small her shower is! It’s a nice sized bathroom. Jacuzzi tub too. But the shower… there is literally only enough room to turn around in it. Plus, there is no light overhead so it’s dark too. Keep this in mind…

So I start to rinse. Once the water is running clear, I have to shampoo. Twice. I turn around to get the shampoo tube and knock two or three things off the shower caddy. I grab the shampoo bottle and try to open it. With wet hands. Nothing. I end up using my teeth to get the cap off. The shampoo isn’t like I remembered it. It doesn’t work up the lather it used to. Whatever, I’m tired and squeeze more into my hand for round too.

After I’ve shampooed twice, I’m ready for the conditioner. When I grab that tube, I drop it. Bend down to pick it up and think the two robes hanging on the other side of the shower door are burglars. Thankfully, I’m too scared to scream, so no one think I think I’m about to be murdered by some terry cloth.

I forget which step I’m on in the process and read the two tubes.

“Shimmering Conditioner” and “Conditioning Shampoo”.

WTF. Really?

Because I had soap, water and dye obstructing my vision, I’d used the wrong thing first. They couldn’t make that just a little less confusing?!

But, I feel so stupid at this point, I just get out of the shower. I’m ready to get home and go to bed.

By the time I get home, my hair is dry. I look into the mirror and wonder when the hell did violet get SO PURPLE? Was it always this shade? I looks exactly like someone spilled grape juice all over my head.

What was I thinking? Why am I telling you?

Because of something someone said to me about it when it was this color before. She had commented that she liked my natural shade better. This was too bold or brassy or something along those lines.

And I feel like that’s what I need right now. I need confidence or at least the appearance of it. although right about now I’m feeling like I just learned that lesson where if your cat dies, you can’t just get another cat that looks like the first one…it’s not the same.

I changed my hair color but it’s not the same. I don’t really feel any different…

Despite that, I am familiar with the term “fake it til you make it”.

Here’s to faking!

Not Today

This can’t be what breaks me… I wrote the Sunday after I lost Noah. I wrote on Mother’s Day. I wrote two days after Natalie died. And now, now I feel like there’s nothing left to write. I feel tired, spent.

But, like I’ve said before, Wednesdays and Sundays- I’m going to write. Why should that stop just because I have nothing to say?

Life has gone on. Wednesday was the funeral and before I left the church, I picked up Natalie’s urn and hugged it to my chest. I rocked and swayed with it, telling her I loved her. I went home and cried myself to sleep.

Thursday I had therapy.

Friday I had my writing group.

Saturday I went back to work.

Today I helped clean out the condo. Packing her stuff up and leaving the building felt like I was losing her all over again. My throat closed up and tears burned my eyes.

What the hell is IN heroin that makes it SO addictive? So all consuming? So life ruining? It’s wrecked my life and I’m not even using it! Where do we go from here? How do we convince drug companies and the medical community to stop over prescribing excessive painkillers? How do we tell them to stop taking kickbacks? Tell them they’ll be rewarded with a good feeling for doing the right thing?

Then there’s the flip side.

A lot of my friends have chronic pain. I have chronic pain. We are not drug seekers. We are “please lessen the pain” seekers -however you can do that… I’m tired of getting looked at like I’m trying to scam the system or deceive a doctor and get treated like shit when I have a legitimate complaint.

I realize there are people who are just looking for pills but know what? You’re a doctor! Use your head! Update patient charts and track who’s taking what…

I know it’s not that simple.

I’m tired, frustrated and really in need of change.

Docs and Big Pharma