Vent or Rampage…neurosis unleashed

I need to get this off my chest. What I hope to gain from the whine/vent/hysterical rampage that is someone…anyone…who can suffer through this blog can tell me what the hell is going on and please give me some hope.

Brief history…I diagnosed sometime ago with major depressive disorder. Started meds (Celexa first, then Lexapro). Went to counseling. Personal diagnosis, I am not depressed. I have General Anxiety Disorder. I have never known depression. At least not until this happened. Now I know depression. I have had tried and true anxiety attacks since I can remember. The first I remember was at age 5 or 6 when my mom took me to the public library. She gave me the “talk” about proper behavior in a library. We went with our neighbors. Neighbor mom apparently did not have the “talk” with her daughter and she ran screaming up and down the aisles, climbing on shelves and generally being a 5 year old in a new playground. I became hysterical. I had to be removed from the library. (Apparently the library staff anticipated her behavior… mine not so much.). In second grade, I was called out in the hall for being disruptive. I was asked to admit what I did (I was being a clown and liked it when classmates laughed at me), but I would not speak. They got the principal. I became hysterical and was sent home on the bus with the morning kindergarten class.

So flash forward to modern times…brain never stops. I wake up with my brain attempting to solve problems that don’t exist. When hiccups in life happen, I get sick. I get physical pain. The physical pain lasts until I go to the doctor and get the “you are having an anxiety reaction” speech followed by the medical bill. The pain subsides. It’s never the same pain so it’s never something I coherently or logically say “oh hmm, I must be having a reaction to a stressor”. I have found through therapy and reaching out to the bloggers, that I am not alone.

What I cannot accept is that as a middle aged, educated woman with an amazing family, a decent job and relatively good health, cannot find a way to “deal” with this. When the new pain happens, I cannot tell you what the stressor was that triggered it. I don’t “feel” stress. I function like every other normal person. If a stressor…a true stressor…like an auto accident…I react with normal stress. Like any other adult would. If finances run tight, I logically work through it like an adult. I don’t curl into a fetal position unable to function. When my daughter returned from vacation and has been robbed, I respond as any mother would and prepare a list of what she needs to do, stopping short of jumping on a plane to Seattle to track down and beat the shit out of any possible suspect hoodlum.

This year…starting in about March I began having tinnitus. I also started having pressure in my right eye. The eye issue I assumed was the need to get new contacts. I saw the doctor at the local get-new-glasses store and he couldn’t see anything wrong. (My brain translates that to “you are making it up”.) He gave me some antibiotics and no contacts for a few weeks. For the tinnitus I saw my doctor in April. She said my ears were impacted and cleaned them. That should help. It didn’t, but it wasn’t that bad at that time so I waited for it to just go away. Since I figured it is yet another anxiety reaction, I acknowledged it. Accepted it and waited for it to go away. It didn’t. It got worse. It is all day/every day. A screeching. Never stops. Never.

End of July, I went to an ENT. I am “congested”. Told to use nasal spray. Oh and take lipoflavanoid. It could take 60 days at least to begin working. I did argue with the ENT about allergies and congestion. But after starting nasal spray, I started feeling congested. (Oh and my hearing is perfect.). I stopped the certrizine which I had been taking for allergy itching for nearly two years. (I read long term antihistamine use can cause tinnitus.). She also said in her report that it was anxiety.

At the same time, I went to an eye doctor/surgeon. I have dry eye. And cataracts forming. I have eye drops. Eye doctor said he sees dry eye incidences like this with people who had parotidectomy. I had the parotid tumor removed in 2005 or 2006 so he said it was odd for that to be the reason so many years later. But short of that, there isn’t a reason he can see for the pressure in my eye.

I told my family doctor I wanted off the lexapro since a side effect could be tinnitus (although I’ve been on it for nearly 2 years and the tinnitus just started this year). She agreed but wants me to see a psychiatrist for behavioral therapy. Ok whatever they want. Oh and take zinc and B12. That could take 4 months to be effective.

I know tinnitus can be made worse by anxiety and nonstop tinnitus definitely creates anxiety.

The breakdown

Friday. After a very busy week at work struggling to concentrate through the screeching in my head, and admittedly dealing with a very stressful event (daughter returned from vacation and had been robbed), I took the opportunity of early dismissal to go to the ER. I was beyond able to cope. The nasal spray was not helping the tinnitus and if anything it was getting worse. I sat in triage and cried. I was hysterical and made stupid dramatic statements that people with a depression diagnosis are not allowed to say. I begged them to do something, anything to make it stop. The ER nurse literally sat there mouth hanging open as I blubbered uncontrollably. The doctor was sympathetic but there isn’t anything they can do for tinnitus.

She was the second person to ask if diagnostic tests had been done. No I tell them, only a hearing test. I am again asked if the tinnitus is in my right ear. Through my hysterical hiccups I tell them AGAIN it is in my WHOLE HEAD, but yes, ok, it never subsides on the right. Sometimes the left seems less intense but 99% of the time it is in my whole head. I rambled on that the eye pressure is only my right eye and the doctor said that might be from my parotidectomy but it’s been so long that he wasn’t sure. Wait…your right eye? Parotidectomy? Well, she can’t order an MRI, but she’d call my ENT. She returns with prescriptions to immediately start treatment for neuropathy. A small dose of gabapentin and prednisone, but I’m to get back in to the ENT and see if I need to get a referral to a neurologist.

She tried to prescribe xanax too but I declined. And after seeing I was calm and not a threat to myself despite my wildly hysterical comments, she discharged me.

The bottom line vent

Why the f&$k does the diagnostic testing have to be the last thing they think of? Am I prejudiced against because of the depression diagnosis? Does no one believe me that the pain is real? Do the doctors listen? My breakdown was largely caused by NO ONE BELIEVING ME. Tinnitus is subjective. No one hears it but me. You just need background noise to distract you. Like a fan. Really? And never know silence again? Never enjoy hiking in nature again? Silence is my recharge. Does anyone understand the anxiety that is caused by being told that I’m making these things up in my own head and they don’t really exist? Do they translate “nonstop screeching in my head” to “a mild humming that occurs off and on”? It does exist. It is all I hear. As I sit here now, with the tv on, the landscaper out back and the dog running back and forth because the landscaper is here, cat meowing because the landscaper is here, my head is filled with screeching. Loud unbearable screeching. If this is caused by something, I’m going to be pissed beyond belief that I’ve had to want to stick an icepick through my head for 6 months now because no one took me seriously. And if this IS yet another reaction to anxiety, I’m done. The mental institute can have me. Because if my brain is capable of doing this to me, and my only recourse is living with it, well I suspect my remaining years will be lived so doped up on every effing anti-anxiety medication, my “life” isn’t going to be very productive. ⬅️ oops super drama self slipped in. Seriously though, as I sit here today, with the screeching I cannot escape, “living with it” seems unbearable.

Ok whew, off my chest.

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Phytonutrients and Diabetes “M”

I love nutrition and the thought of nutritional healing for many ailments. I am currently listening to a college level course on nutrition for the 2nd time. Every chapter is beneficial but I'm specifically fascinated by phytonutrients – the benefits reaped from the color of the vegetable or fruit. For example, a dark red berry like acai would have the same nutrients as say, a cranberry or pomegranate. Each week I try choosing from the colors of the rainbow.

My salad toppings…red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers, fennel (from my garden this year) and carrots. I put a sprinkling of walnuts and cranberries on it as well and always look for the spring mix salad with its red and green salad leaves.

Earlier this year, my husband received the disappointing news that he can add diabetes to his hypertension and high cholesterol. At first he was depressed then angry. Now he has settled into acceptance but I have to say I still see resistance. He longs for "all the things he can never eat again" … pause to roll eyes. I have termed his diabetes type "M" for "man". Not unlike the "man" cold, everything is an ordeal. Having to check serving sizes and calories, sugars and fat, sodium and fiber. To counteract the drama, I spend one day every weekend preparing take and go containers of things he can eat.

Serving size nuts (low sodium) and cups of fresh fruit. Grab and go. I like doing this. He still whines. But at least I don't worry about him not eating at all.

Struggling

I'm struggling. I shouldn't be but I am. Is it possible that anxiety is a living organism? If this is my brain causing all this commotion, why can't it focus on solving world problems instead of traumatizing me?! I have been working on accepting and acknowledging with the help of a brilliant therapist (ok she's my daughter and not a therapist, but should be). But it's like the anxiety refuses to back down. It is like it is waiting for me to go to my doctor, meet with my care team for them to give me the lecture on accepting and acknowledging the anxiety. Everything is compounding. My body hurts, I have ringing in my ears 24/7 and nothing I do makes it better, my right eye won't focus, and I have headaches daily. I can't stay awake for more than a few hours and I have no bouncy morning energy as I have had in the past. Who am I kidding, I have no energy at all. I'm overly sensitive to everything anyone says and feel that good old out of control apple cart feeling. Everything is heightened. And not in a good way. I'm overwhelmed and I just want to crawl in my special corner of my closet, under my long dresses and sit in silence. Only there is no silence. Just non-stop ringing in my ears.

This is going to be fun…

Undeniably my husband is my soulmate.   He makes me whole.

                                    However

My husband and I turned the spare room into a library a year ago, which involved painting the small room.  We managed to make it 5 minutes working together before tensions ran high.

Well…we are now in the process of purchasing a lot and building a HOUSE, InshaAllah (God Willing).  Together. 

Stay tuned…this is going to be fun.

Wis-caaan-sin


We made it to only one ballpark this year.  In our defense, it is a busy year…baby off to college, new job, downsizing, medical procedures, but we managed to knock Miller Park off the list.

We drove to Illinois to see my dad and celebrate his birthday.  My dad, who adores my SOMH, made sure to choose his birthday meal at the Bass Pro Shop restaurant so SOMH could have his alligator.  Disgusting…but he liked it.


The next day we drove the 2 hours to Milwaukee to see the Brewers host the Orioles.  The Orioles lost the game 8-1, but the fans were great.

  

I could not pass up Cheese Curds, being in the cheese state.  Those were sinfully delicious.  Deep fried pieces of cheesy goodness.

  

Unbeknownst to us, Miller Park apparently has a reputation of being brutal to fans sitting on the third base side during the summer. Lesson learned.  I, of course, forgot sunscreen.  I have the “scarf tan”.  A seriously dark scarf tan.  (#hijabiissues). And burnt wrists.  And burnt thighs (through my jeans 😫).


We seem to have slowed down knocking ball parks off the list, but we will get through them…eventually, InshaAllah.

The quest for a “perfect” Suhoor 

Facing a day of fasting during Ramadan has never been difficult for me, but since “fasting” isn’t just abstaining from food and water the less distracted I can be by the growling belly or pasty mouth, I have always tried to perfect my morning meal.

My first “ah-ha” was a few years ago when I learned protein, Protein, PROTEIN.  I added a protein drink to a breakfast of two eggs and 1 slice of wheat toast.  Of course, finishing my meal with a full bottle of water.  I actually maintained my weight when I started and ended my fast with protein heavy meals.  

30 days of the same meal is not easy to do (for me) so this year, I added in some variety.   My favorite roasted red pepper chicken sausage.  Good protein, but way too much sodium.  I am thirsty before I even finish suhoor.  I also try not to have the whole wheat toast every day.   I know I need some carbs but I get that in my coffee.  

Tomorrow I am going to try my carefully calculated new meal plan:   Lemon blueberry overnight oats (with pecans and chia seeds) and two eggs scrambled and my protein drink.

I’m not looking to stay full all day…I actually like the hungry feeling.  It is very humbling.  I have worked very hard to lose weight this year facing several medical challenges making weight loss even more difficult, not to mention the age issue. I just want to maintain through Ramadan.  I met with my doctor before Ramadan and he was quick to point out I should not expect to lose much.   He even gave me a month post-Ramadan before he sees me again to judge my progress.

I’d love to hear recommendations for what has worked for others.  I’m a pretty picky breakfast eater though.  I’m not one to be able to eat as soon as I wake up, so suhoor, being at 3:45 a.m. is a challenge.  I can only eat breakfast type foods, not leftover dinner and no, I never had pizza for breakfast.  

To those observing their fasts, I pray Allah accepts it from us.  To those struggling to observe, I pray Allah rewards your intentions and makes it easier for you.  To those who have no idea what I am talking about, feel free to ask questions and God bless!