First 

My 10-year old pooch has a gangrenous wound on his left hind leg. All throughout the morning I was running up and down the stairs in my apartment  looking for a way to get the hydrogen peroxide on his wound. It is smelly as fuck and I’m quite guilty because ever since I adopted my three cats, the poor doggy got neglected.

“The cone around his head is too small.” I told my 19-year-old son. “I’m going back to PetSmart and exchange it…again.” I climb upstairs again to shower. All morning I have been unable to focus. My mind raced like it’s being chased by a rabid squirrel. 

I know ! 

My 21-year-old daughter may have gotten peed off that I kept fidgeting that why she climbed back to bed after finishing her bowl of cereal.

Also, it’s the second day that I’m off from work and I felt like I better do something productive like pack more stuff in the boxes in the living room. My family and I are looking for another place as my rent is no longer affordable. My landlord already issued me an eviction notice. All I’ve done today was do a Jeopardy! marathon with my daughter…then she went up to her room.

It’s a struggle. My cats and my dog haven’t been able to get rid of fleas. Since he’s been biting on his leg to scratch it, the skin came off a patch from the lower leg and now my dog has a stinky wound. The cats are 1,3 and 7. Their fleas are 4-months old. 

I don’t think the clutter in my living room brought about by the boxes I’ve been bringing home from work helps with my agitation. It makes me feel cramped and just in a total mess. 

Then as I climbed up the stairs one more time to get my shower going , I realized I haven’t taken my Xanax. The coffee I made this morning – has kicked in and I am all the more apprehensive. My heart started feeling like it’s being chased by a rabid squirrel. So I told myself to take a deep breath and darted to my bedroom to grab my bottle of pills from my work purse. As fast as I can, without pouring all the contents on my hand and dropping some on the floor, chugged one 1 mg pill. 

“This is horrible.” I thought to myself. “This explains why I had those dreams last night. I switched up from my daily Xanax to that worthless Ativan my primary MD insisted I take instead. I was off yesterday and thought maybe I take Ativan since I wasn’t working. I took 1 0.5 mg in the morning and another one in the afternoon. My old doctor gives me Xanax. He’s seen me in my worse – tears, shot, sobs…. and I couldn’t care less if I take Xanax all the rest of my life. This feeling of near panic and not being able to control myself will eventually cause me more issues in my life I believe am not ready to deal with. At a point, someone at work or my neighborhood will get into my nerves and I might just yell expletives at them. I will either be fired from my 2-month old job or arrested for public disturbance. 

Worrying about my dog doesn’t help. Guilt doesn’t help. Not being able to find my fucking hair brush doesn’t help. I took more breaths stepping out of my house and wrote as I walked to my old van.

As I drove out of my parking space, my nerves started to calm down. 

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Darn Kid

There’s a kid next door that -I’m quite sure- is mentally challenged. I’ve lived in this apartment and been next-door neighbors with this family long enough to tell. It’s a routine. Every evening , I can hear the boy scream “Mommy! Mommy!” while the bathroom exhaust fan is on on their side. I believe that that’s probably when he gets his evening bath. 

He also stomps his feet so loud, I often hear it seemingly happening in my own apartment. This boy is probably 11-12 years old. His parents drive a Mercedes Benz and a Porsche Cayenne both bearing disabled plates. He has other siblings that seem normal. Coming out from almost a door that’s about 4 feet apart, I have never seen this couple together or smile. Never heard laughter. 

The wife is a short 4’10 or so – probably Hispanic . She always gets the kids with her and I’ve seen her drive both cars. Being annoyed with their son probably has prevented me from saying “hi” OR it is most likely because her husband is a fucking inconsiderate prick that slams the door each time he leaves the house. He pounds on it too. Like “bang, bang, bang” pound. My children and I are annoyed. About a year ago, I mentioned this noise to the apartment staff. They asked me if I wanted them to talk to my neighbors and I said no. I wasn’t sure how retarded the father is. 

Today, I was having pounding on my chest. Is this how a ventricular tachycardia feels like ? I don’t think so. However, I was watching the new season of OITNB when I started to notice my chest was pounding. “It could be the coffee.” I told my daughter. We often watch the entire season together. Today she’s gone to work and I had to take a shower. My period is giving me big-time cramps and the kid screaming – and stomping his damn feet- next to my bathroom racked up my nerves. Thank goodness I have cats to calm me down and my pill that’s easy to swallow. 

Still haven’t found a place to move into . My eviction issue is almost halfway done. I have 4 payments to make, less than $500 each. Top priority is a new home. 

One time, I was coming out of my parking space walking towards my apartment when  I saw my neighbor’s Porsche unloading their kids, most probably from school. I couldn’t help but notice that the boy’s mother was having a difficult time getting her son out of the car. I mean he can walk. I guess he just doesn’t understand that it’s time to fucking go home and gets rinsed off the day. 

That’s most probably why the couple next door is never smiling, or cheery. With all the troubles going on in my life, all my misery, I still get to laugh and giggle … I still get to smile. 

Lesson is, Mercedes Benz and Porsche don’t make the rainbows come out to save the day.

Slow Today

After 2 days off from work, I returned today and I felt an overwhelming feeling of slowness and disinterest in everyone at work. I did my best as always and did whatever my bosses asked me. As I began my day at work, I noticed that I was slightly sweaty after not really doing much. 

As for our clients, I know I could’ve been more cheery. I just have so many things going on in my head. 

“It doesn’t help me.” I kept reminding myself. My therapist and I keep talking about this during our sessions but it’s so fucking hard not to think…what else am I going to think about? The month is about to end. Although I know I can make the rent this month, it’s where to move after my lease ends that often distracts my good mood. The fact that I have a surgery scheduled this month also has been revving my nerves. How will I be able to work if I have a wound in my hand? My surgeon plans to do the carpal tunnel release in two weeks then put me on a 2-week off work. Then 6 weeks later, he will work on the left hand. That means another 2 weeks off work. I’m not sure my employer will be delighted to hear about these plans.

My daughter also told me that she’s planning to move in with her bestfriend and his family. I felt an undeniable sadness thinking that she will not be living with me and be living with another family. Yes, yes, she’s 21 but it’s not like she’s moving in to her own place. Sigh. 

After work, I deposited my paycheck and went to the grocery store to get something I can cook for dinner. I haven’t gone to the pantry day at my community center to get our monthly ration of groceries etc. I used my tips earned today to pay for my ingredients. I even bought me a pound of cherries. That kinda made me feel good despite the diarrhea that followed after I snacked on them while watching Jeopardy! 

So, I have a few hundred dollars in cash that I’m thinking I shouldn’t deposit because it will show as an income when I have to show bank statements to someone who will see how much I make. I really don’t make enough but I don’t want anyone touching something I earned through tips. I don’t know why. It’s reassuring to have cash on hand during these times.

My therapist always tells me about mindfulness and meditation. The reason I don’t practice meditation is because it’s so difficult to concentrate. I know it’s totally simple but I feel like there are better things I should be doing ??? (Like sit on my ass and think of my miserable situation). 

I don’t know if this slow feeling and feelings of disinterest is due to the Zoloft. It’s my 6th day taking it today and it should be starting to work. I know my energy will pick up once the medication builds in my bloodstream. 

Oh joy.

Nightmares 

“Although I don’t disapprove of you taking Xanax and Ativan, those are just temporary fixes for your condition…”

Of course I was relieved. Anyone who will tell me I don’t need Xanax or should stop taking Xanax should try to be in my shoes when I’m having a surge of anxiety. They can take away and chug down all the Ativan in my bottle but don’t ever take my Xanax from me. Just the mere thought of not having Xanax nearby gives me awake nightmares. 

The nightmares I get asleep ? They’re vivid and somewhat unexplainable. In them I’m scared and always seem to be haunted and hunted by something I can’t even see. One time, my dream had me running next to a cliff but the bottom of the cliff I couldn’t see and yet I was falling and being chased by something I didn’t even know. At other times (and this is what’s really made me often fear falling asleep), is my ex-husband finding me and my little kids while we try to get away from him. The mere fact that I’m putting this out here made me take a few deep breaths. My ex-husband is a big factor of why I’m like this now…and my nightmares involve him and him taking my kids away from me that stopping him will make him hit me again and my children.

My daughter is now 21 and my son 19. I tell them about these dreams and they sympathize with me. There were nights I felt like I was one of those kids in Nightmare on Elm Street where they wouldn’t like falling asleep because Freddy will surely appear and kill them in their sleep. Terrifying but it’s true. I don’t have Freddy Krueger in mine and I’m quite sure if he appeared in one of my dreams, I won’t be a bit stirred. I know he’s just a Dream character but in my dreams the people that show up are real and have played a part in my life.

After taking Seroquel , I haven’t had nightmares. So now, being a nurse for 16 years and teaching at the same time, I know that this drug is primarily for schizophrenia. I’m taking it for its sedative effects. Lord help me and keep me from lip-smacking and akathisia, specially in public! Good god. It’s helped me sleep soundly, I like that part. 

Tomorrow I’m meeting my therapist again. She’s a Russian woman whose accent makes it hard for me to concentrate on what she’s saying. She has a bit of a bad case of halitosis too. Should I mention that to the front desk ? 

It’s hard opening up to her…I get distracted by her thick accent and sometimes I feel like just trying to adjust to her. My psychiatrist, however, seemed genuinely compassionate and sympathetic. He asked questions that made m me just tell him all…but one. There’s one more thing I am not ready to share with anyone. Let alone here.

As long as I’m getting the new pills to help me. My little Secret I can maybe hold on my own.

New Pill

After all the medical appointments I had for my carpal tunnel yesterday, I went to se my last appointment which was with a psychiatrist. Following this appointment was a job interview hence I wore a cute blue dress with a black cardigan. Normally I wouldn’t dress up or wear makeup for these visits. Today was different.

My morning doctor appointment was for my steroid injection for the wrist. IT HURT LIKE WTF. Despite administering it with lidocaine, the shot felt like something was poking the inside of my fingers with a mini rake. Then shooting 1,000 joules of electricity on my right middle and left index fingers. I said “Aw, aw!” and couldn’t find myself to relax despite I tried. The last painful episode I recall was the electromyography that diagnosed this anyway. The physician warned me, “OK now this pain you will remember….”

After my steroid injections, that memory was replaced. I want to help patients with carpal tunnel syndrome tolerate this very painful procedure. It has been two days since my injection (obviously this post was not finished in a day) and I still wake up not even being able to close my left hand and partially able to close my right. Brushing my teeth and putting on the clasp of my bra have been a struggle for me. Despite that, I have been listening to Abba and some Jim Croce. I realize that listening to them instead of Fox News while putting on my make up makes me feel a little better.

For a little bit today I felt like maybe the Zoloft has been kicking in despite the fact that I’ve only taken two doses of it. This is one of the new medication that was prescribed by the psychiatrist that I saw. The first antidepressant that I’ve ever taken was Cymbalta. Eventually my insurance didn’t cover that and will try to be for hundred dollars every month for a bottle of pills. One of my friends who is a doctor, replace it with Effexor which gave me a tremendous lack of energy and made me have vivid nightmares when I forgot to take it. Blame me, but I also experienced a vivid nightmares when I would take this medication after I have been drinking alcohol. It has been so difficult weaning myself off the Effexor. Where is the sensation that you feel which is absolutely uncomfortable and difficult to explain as a matter of fact. I went from taking half tablets every day for a week and then 3/4 of the tablet for another two weeks. Eventually I got weaned off and swore never to take Effexor again or,  for that matter, any form of antidepressant.

If I want to describe the kind of nightmares that I was having, it involves me getting shot, getting chased by my ex-husband was trying to get my little kids away from me or just someone trying to kill me and strangle me. I’m sure I had more vivid dreams that are scarier. There have been times where I felt that I should end my life, but the thought of having my kids be hurt because of my dad kept me from pursuing suicide. I know that it will never be a solution to any of the problems that I’m going through right now. Of course, I admitted that to my shrink – it had occurred to me that I should just end my life. I think that this is something that someone who has major depression had considered once or 10 times in their depressed state.
So, going back to the new pill. They’re actually new pills . Zoloft and Seroquel.

YIKES ! Seroquel. I only used to give that to my elderly patients who can’t sleep or keep fidgeting. Never in my life did I even consider that I would once need this . So far, I have been sleeping like a log and not recall any nightmares – thank goodness ! The downside is, I get a hangover and sleep in longer. It’s only been day 3 of the two pills. Zoloft is supposedly going to start kicking in in 2-4 weeks. 

For almost 4 years, I’ve been on an antidepressant that made me gain weight and lose energy. Crossing my fingers Zoloft isn’t going to make me the same . Seroquel knocks me out in 15-30 minutes. 

Oh the drugs ! The drugs ! Lord help me get through this.

Carpal Tunnel…

…Sucks the life out of every single hand-related activity. 

Masturbation included. I have to put it there. That’s the reality of it. 

The injection that I got today was painful as hell but I’m really crossing my fingers it will help and I won’t require surgery.

My depression isn’t helping any of this pain.   The closer the day is to when my lease ends in my apartment, the more depressed I get. My dog’s wound seems to be getting better. If doesn’t stink today and I feel better about that. It would hurt us financially even further if I needed to bring him to a vet. Every bit of my money in the bank is allocated to rent. I don’t know what will happen to me and my family after June. 

I’m currently sitting here at Stanford Hospital waiting for my name to be called. After getting the steroid injections at the other clinic, I drove here right away . Good thing I arrived 40 minutes before my appointment, that way it gave me enough time to fill out the patient information (5 pages) and write about my misery.

Isn’t that what people like to read these days ? Lol

I’m hungry too besides my bladder being full. After this appointment I head over to see my therapist THEN psychiatrist. My whole life, I somehow am not surprised much that this is happening to me. After my violent marriage, I knew I would have issues, despite being done with it in 2002. The last time I saw my therapist, we talked about possibly getting one run. I procrastinated and haven’t even jogged. I just have no interest and although I used to love to run, I just can’t.

My last resort if I don’t find a place to live will be Florida with my sister. I love California and I wish to stay here for the rest of my life. Anyway, I know already that my sister and I won’t get along. 

Read this post and tell yourself, “hey my situation could be like hers…or worse”. You’ll feel better.