Check up with my Doctor

I went to my doctors yesterday about seeing how I was doing on my anti-depressants. It’s been about 5 weeks now. I’ve blogged about my leg twitches, my headaches and sickness. I’ve been having chest pains too.

All of these I mentioned. He believes they are symptoms of my stress and anxiety. As anxiety, fear and stress are my overpowering issues. He has recommended a self-help book by Christopher Williams: Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic.

My doctor showed me the first edition of the Overcoming Depression book by the same author. It looked good. Has questions and activities to complete. My doctor also said if I have any questions from doing the workbook. I should write them down and book an appointment to see him.

I thought that was really good. He wants to help me get better and answering questions about what I’ve done or don’t understand is something he is willing to do. So far, other doctors, I’ve met, I feel like I couldn’t do that.

They want you in and out as quick as possible. He wants me to come back just to chat if I need it.

Another thing he would like me to do is work on slowing down my breathing. That breathing is going back to haunt me. Think I need to listen. I breathe too fast. Which isn’t helped by stress or anxiety. In turn, causes my headaches and chest pains.

I’ve been working on this today. I’m even doing it now. Breathing in for 3 seconds and then out for 3 seconds. One breath cycle should be 6 seconds; 10 breaths a minute. I can do between 20 and 40 breaths a minute normally.

No wonder I feel panicked all the time. I noticed I feel a little calmer after a few minutes of breathing slowly. Unfortunately, I go back to my fast breathing if I’m not being mindful of it.

A new goal. It’s been a while since I made one of those. 

Goal: Slow my breathing down to 10 breaths a minute

It may be hard in the long run but hopefully having the foal will mean I practice the breathing techniques. Having the sense of relaxation would be a bonus.

Guilt and Sadness.

There are two emotions I want to process today. I went to visit my Grandma C today. The first time in two months. She has changed massively. She is a different person. Cancer has taken over. To the point, I believe she has given up.

I felt guilty that I’ve put off seeing her to too long. I’ve no excuse. I’ve had plenty of chances. I just didn’t want to go. Like, there was that fear of seeing her.

She slept the whole time. I said hello and goodbye with hugs and kisses; which she woke to. She also responded a couple of times when I asked her if she was OK or needed anything.

My guilt changed to sadness.

It’s not nice seeing a family member that way. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone. My Auntie J was there, then my Uncle A arrived not long after I did. We all caught up with each other.

It was hard leaving my Grandma like that. I want to see her more often. No excuse. No fear. Just go!

I said to my friend B, earlier today that I believe my Grandma won’t make it to the New Year. I hope to be wrong but seeing her suffer, even with medication is hard for me. If it’s hard for me. How is my Grandma processing it?

Maybe giving up is her way of processing it?

I love you Grandma C. Your in my heart always.

One of those days

It’s been one of those days. I had dreamt of a customer medication I’d been to at the beginning of the week. I woke an hour and a half before my alarm. Wide awake. Waking up with a concern about the same customer’s medication running in my head.

Usually writing things down allows me to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. Being too early I couldn’t ring my supervisor to report the concern. A while later at my first customer, I got a call cancelling my second.

I got to go home early but only worked an hour today. I got on with my day.

Around lunchtime, I got the sad news that my main customer past away. Definitely knocked me out of my hyperactive mindset. This was a hard moment. Thankfully, my mum was home. She was able to give me a hug. Plus, the dogs gave me kisses.

Again, after a while, I got on with my day.

Had the embarrassing moment of knocking an ornament off a shelf display in a card shop. Right at the front of the store by the tills. Everyone saw. Thankfully the staff were nice and I didn’t have to pay for it.

I was so glad when Dave (my other half) and I got to my dads’ house. We sat, relaxed and had a catch-up. I do feel more open with my dad since his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. I feel he’s more open with me too.

Are you controlling your body or is it controlling you?

I had a felt sucky day. I had a headache, felt sick, allowed myself to be used like a doormat. My body controlled me. I didn’t control it.

When I looked at session 2 of my positive steps course; I found it quite fitting. It was called controlling your body. That our bodies change and our physical symptoms impact our mood.

Definitely did with me today!

It went over the vicious cycle. Hoping by now I understand my own and what effects me. I’m certainly learning that.

It went on to explain stress on the body. Looking at the physical symptoms you have. I knew I had symptoms but I didn’t realise how many.

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No wonder I feel more stressed and have unhelpful thoughts when my body feels this way.

There are two ways our mood is affected by our bodies; muscle tension and Automatic Nervous System. Looking T my body model, I have more in the muscle tension category then the other.

The symptoms we get are due to our fight or flight responses. It’s our bodies way of saying there’s a threat. Whether it’s work, kids, bills, arguing, even the housework. Money, work and my to do list are my obvious threats.

My tiredness, lack of motivation and lethargy is where my depression kicks in with the stress.

Then it gives me tips on how to combat the stress and depression. All the things you already know but have to hear anyway for your mind to click.

I certainly need to stop asking for reassurance, reduce avoidance and do some exercise.

Then there’s the relaxation techniques. I’ve met these before in my relaxation module. Think I need to go over my relaxation techniques 1 and 2 to refresh my memory. Then do.

Just doing something at the moment is an achievement for me.

Monthly and Q3 Review: September 2017

The review is slightly different this month as it’s the end of a quarter. I believe I’m getting better at answering questions about myself and how things have gone.

Quarter 3:

I’m starting to be the woman I want to be. I’m starting to get physically and mentally healthy. I’m starting to be honest with all and standing up for myself and who I want to be.

I’ve still a long way to go.

I’ve had some good memories with my mental and physical health goals this quarter.

  • Started walking the dogs again
  • Liking the feeling after completing yoga
  • Getting the courage to ask for help when I’ve needed it

I did find my lack of motivation challenging as well as getting the courage to speak up. I found it difficult accepting I needed to go back onto anti-depressants.

I honoured my theme of the year: Cherish and my ways of being this quarter, meaningful, healthy, at ease, connected, listening. Not just on my mental and physical health goals but in general and with my other goals too. You can now see my Goal List from the menu option. 

September:

Has been a mixture of ups and downs. The hardest being my Grandma C passing away. The other downs:

  • Not going to a friends birthday celebration due to having a bad day
  • Having bad days that meant I didn’t get out of bed
  • The stress of work leading up to and around the time of my Grandma passing

The Ups:

  • I’ve spent more time with my family and friends. Cherishing the time I have with them
  • Family and friends being there to support me
  • Getting a little further with my NVQ
  • Working on The Courage Council and doing the work
  • My self-care afternoon

I’ve now started doing a “blackboard” of tasks; which has been something I’ve come across the past two years of doing The Holiday Council but not doing myself. I’ve had a blackboard for a while and I would love a bigger one. My “blackboard” of tasks is a to-do-list of sorts. It has some of my goals on there as well as things I really need to do/think about.

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Overall:

A mixed month and an on the road to being myself quarter. Here’s to the next; the last of 2017. It’s certainly going quick. My two new goals for Q4 are:

  1. Speaking up
  2. Breathing techniques

I’m going to see how much of my to-do-list I do and if I add any more. As well as working on my goal list.

How was September for you?

Has Q3 treated you well?

What would you love to happen for the final quarter of 2017?

 

A Later Morning

I usually wake early. I’ve naturally done so most of my life. Getting used to waking up at 6-7 am with an alarm. Meaning I wake up around that time on days off.

Which I did this morning. After going to the toilet, I thought I’d rest my eyes a bit longer. Possibly to wake an hour later, hearing my mother-in-law go to work.

When I woke, I heard the washing machine, expecting to hear my mother-in-law to leave for work. I woke my other half. We chatted for a bit and then got up.

At this point I was getting worried for my mother-in-law. I then looked at the time to see it was 10 a.m. I couldn’t believe it. 8:30 possibly 9 a.m has been the latest I’ve ever woken.

I was gobsmacked. My first thought was “what’s wrong with me?” I took a quick moment to pause. I begun to think “I’ve been up by 7:30 all week and an earlier morning one of the days. Even yesterday on my full day off due to taking my car to the garage. Maybe I actually needed to sleep. Surely I would have woke earlier if I needed to?”

I had two and a half hours before I had to leave the house. Pausing helped me to calm down. Usually on a Saturday morning, even if it was 8 am, I wake and tend to feel anxious about not having enough time before we have to leave to take my other half to work.

I didn’t feel that way as much. Don’t get me wrong. I did have a bit of tunnel vision when doing the things this morning. Having a list in my head of what needs doing and what I would liked to have had done. I think I did well.

We got what needed doing done. My other half was at work on time. It’s a shame I couldn’t attempt a bath but there’s always next week.

Is Leg Twitching a Symptom?

This past week I’ve noticed my body twitching a lot more. Especially my right leg. For as long as I remember I’ve had the odd foot twitch when resting before bed. But I’m not 100% sure if it’s the anti-depressants I started a couple of weeks ago or something else.

It’s becoming like my minds expecting them to happen. I haven’t done my yoga in a couple of weeks. I have been walking a bit but maybe my exercise could help my muscles from twitching.

I did download the 7-minute workout app which I tried today. I’ve been doing gentle yoga as my exercise normally so doing 7-minutes of a full body workout was horrible. But I did it and I believe my yoga has helped me in order to do some of the exercises it asked me to do.

When I say asked, I mean told.

But I did it and I need to get back to my exercising. I’ll mention my twitches to my doctor when I see him. It may not be painful but it’s uncomfortable at times.