It’s time. I need to go to a doctor and figure out what the fuck is wrong with my digestive system before I devolve in a puddle of indignant goo. A few days ago, I had the worst reaction I’ve had in months, and it was from something I’ve eaten many times before.
Side Note: There is one upside to whatever this hell I’m experiencing. It happens as I’m eating or within ten minutes of consuming the ‘bad’ ingredient. Twenty minutes at the most. So I’m pretty sure what it is each time it happens.
This time, I’m sure it was the skin of the roasted chicken. I’ve had mild issues with it before, and there’s no list of the ingredients. I’m pretty sure there was more of whatever they roasted it in than before, and it ended up with me spending two hours in the bathroom on and off. I figured if I didn’t eat the skin and washed the chicken, it should be fine. Was it? Yes…and no. It didn’t cause me to shit my brains out, but it did cause some uncomfortable bloating in my stomach. so, yeah, it’s off the menu for me from now on.
Have started the reintroduction phase of the FODMAP diet. I’ve been having a hard time with it because I’m afraid to cause more explosions. It’s been nice to not have to run to the bathroom every night and to not feel bloated and queasy. Now, I feel as if I’m deliberately poisoning myself. It’s like when I used to get the allergy test (and no one ever explained it to me. Or allergy shots, come to think of it. I would just sit in the doctor’s lobby every week, feeling miserable because my arm was swollen, and I was hot and feverish) and my entire thigh would swell up. I hated having it done, and I would avoid it for as long as possible.
It’s the same with my diet. I’ve been dragging my feet on adding things back to my diet because why would I do that to myself? I mean, I know why theoretically. It will open up my diet in the long run, blah, blah, blah. But in the short term, it’s going to fucking suck.
I’m depressed. I have to come out and say it because I’ve been downplaying it for over a year. Maybe two? I remember when it hit me, and I thought, “I’ll just wait it out. It won’t be that long.” My days of crippling chronic depression were behind me, or so I thought. I haven’t felt anything as mind-crushing as the depression I felt in my twenties, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. I was passively suicidal in that I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but I wasn’t trying to prevent it, either. I would drive without my seat belt on short trips just to tempt fate, for example. It was a bad period of my life, and I tend to compare any current depression to that one to gauge how bad it is. That’s good on one hand because it reminds me of how bad it has been in the past and hasn’t been since. It’s bad on the other because then it’s easy for me to dismiss whatever I’m feeling now because it’s not like it used to be.
Side note: I have so many things I need to do that I have been putting off. Have a dead tooth taken care of. Find a new doctor because my old one left the network. Find a therapist because I know that I’m struggling. The downside of depression is that it makes reasonable tasks seem insurmountable.
Side note to the side note: I’m not doing well physically, either. I got a raging cold Christmas Eve, and I’ve been more sick than not since then. I had a week and a half of being relatively healthy, and then three or four days ago, I got slammed with a host of issues. The first being me sleeping eight or nine hours a night. I normally sleep six to seven hours a night, and one way I know I’m getting sick is when I hit eight or more hours. I’ve also had random chills, and I do not get cold. The only time I get chills is when I’m sick. The last three days (including today), I’ve woken up with a burgeoning migraine, and I’ve slammed two generic migraine Excedrin tablets the last two days, but I recently read that you can build up a tolerance to the meds and should not use more than ten doses (2 caplets in a 24-hour period) in a month, so I’m trying to ration them out. Today was not quite as bad as yesterday, so I did not take the Excedrin. I’m regretting it right now, though.
Side note III: Comorbidity is a thing, and I’m pretty sure my physical and mental health issues are interacting. Or rather, they’re making each other worse. One part of my depression is castigating myself for not doing whatever it is I need to do. My family is very industrious, and it’s hard for me to not see how I’m failing, even if I physically can’t do more than I am. I remember the last time I was in Taiwan, everyone wanted to walk to the top of a mountain. I knew I wasn’t going to make it, but I kept pushing on. I got hot and sweaty, and my heart started pounding. I didn’t want to say anything, and I suffered for longer than I should have. I was nearly in tears by the time I said I had to stop, and I felt so ashamed. And, I knew my parents put it down to me being fat (which they wrote to me about later in excruciating detail), but it wasn’t. Yes, I was fat. I still am. But even when I was at my fittest and walking four and a half miles a day, I still felt like shit while doing it, and I always ran out of breath going uphill.
Side note IV: I have the lungs of an eighty-year old. My last doctor told me that, and it was a relief to hear. I’ve always had a problem with breathing–I mean, I breathe, therefore, I am–and it was good to know that it wasn’t just my imagination. I’ve gotten better with the aid of taiji, but I’m still short of breath more often than not.
I have to push myself to do anything other than my normal day routine. Even then, I have to push a bit. I don’t want to do anything but just sit and stare blankly at the ceiling. There is little joy to be had in Whoville, and I pretty much just want to let everything go. Again, I’m not suicidal, though I have flashes of it, but I’m tired of trying to live.
I’m feeling better than I was two days ago, but yesterday was not great. I went to Cubs to pick up some provisions, and I ended up feeling dizzy and nauseated. It’s a good thing I’m not having sex right now because I would be worried about being pregnant, but hopefully that won’t even be a possibility soon. I’m having issues with getting older, but the end of my period is not one of them. I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve only had my period once every three or four months for most of my life, and it’s only three days at a time. The pattern was light on the first day, heavy-ish on the second, light on the third, and very light spotting on the fourth. Maybe. Sometimes, it was only three days. I got vaguely crampy and possibly a tad bitchier (though it’s hard to gauge one’s own bitchiness), and my boobs hurt a bit. Other than that? Didn’t even know I had my period. I’ve been incredibly lucky.
Side Note: I was concerned when I only had three periods a year, so much so, I asked my doctor about it. She said as long as you have two a year, it’s fine. That surprised me because I had been taught (as I’m sure most people have) that it came monthly. Hell, it’s even called the monthly visit. There was nary a mention that it didn’t have to be every month. Then again, I was also taught that the schedule was rigid, whereas mine fluctuated wildly. I had to keep a pad with me at all times because I never knew when it was going to happen.
Funnily enough, when I had sex, it was more regulated (obviously). It came every thirty-five to forty days, but it still was as light as before. In the past few years, my schedule has become more regular (roughly every thirty days), but the period itself is much lighter. And in the past, say, six months, it’s all but disappeared. My mother hit menopause when she was 55 and said it was a breeze (my mother is known to gloss over difficulties), and I’m already experiencing perimenopause. Hot flashes, which, by the way, makes it harder to know what is sickness and what is perimenopause. Flashing hot is one of the symptoms I have when I’m sick, and it’s not fun to try to decipher when it’s sickness and when it’s period-related. One helpful hint is that if I’m alternating boiling hot and freezing cold, then it’s sickness. I don’t get freezing cold unless I’m sick.
My sinuses suck. A lot. I hate them, and I think they’d say the same about me. We don’t get along, and we only tolerate each other because we have to. I mean, I can’t really live without my sinuses, so there’s that. I wish I could, though. I’ve gotten over wishing I could just be a brain bobbing around without a body, mostly in thanks to taiji. I’ve accepted that my body is part of me and that it’s not just a meat sack carrying my brain around.
I’ve become more in touch with what my body is saying, but I still miss the mark a lot of the time. I’ve had a history of eating disorders, and I still don’t know exactly when I’m hungry. I was used to ignoring the cues–along with emotional cues–and that’s how I became anorexic. Now, I still sometimes ignore my body telling me I’m hungry, but I can at least feel the literal hunger pangs. There were times when I couldn’t tell if I was hungry or not, and then I’d decide I wasn’t.
I’ve been feeling pretty shitty lately, and I’ve been open about it–here. Not in my real life because I keep that shit to myself. I wish I could talk about it, but it goes against everything I was taught. My mom has been calling me more often lately, and it’s mostly to complain about my father. Sometimes, she will perfunctorily ask me how I’m doing, but even when I answer with anything other than ‘ok’, she’ll move it right along to whatever is on her mind.
Side Note: My father is a raging narcissist, and I’ve known this since I was a little girl. I might not have had the term for it, but I knew he was a self-centered man to the extreme. What I didn’t realize until very much later, maybe my thirties, is that my mother is self-absorbed as well. I wouldn’t say she’s as extreme as my father as she has some self-awareness, but she can’t see other people’s points of view very well, either, even if she keeps it to herself more. One time, she asked how I was doing. I said I had a cold, and after a minute of sympathy, she segued into how she had had a cold as well. Then, she was off and running about her travails with my father.
Side Note to the Side Note: I’ve gotten sucked back into being her confidante. I’d done better at setting boundaries, back when we had a more fractured relationship, but now that I’ve moved past much of the turmoil of our earlier relationship and let go of a lot of my resentment (which translates in me snapping much less at her), she’s taken to dumping all her problems on me again. It’s frustrating for more than one reason. One, I’m her child. Yes, I’m an adult and an Old, but I’m still her kid. I don’t necessarily want or need to hear about her problems at length, especially with my father.
Two, she has no intention of doing the hard work that would actually make her marriage better for her without sacrificing more and more of herself. She said something about her ‘not being allowed’ to do something or the other in her marriage, and I pointed out that she *could* do it, but it would just make my father extremely unpleasant to deal with. He’s learned that if he throws a big enough temper tantrum, he’ll get his way. He’s can be very cruel and downright mean when he wants to, and my mother is extremely conflict-avoidant as am I. She knows she’s enabling him. She knows that she’s rewarding his bad behavior when she does what he wants when he throws a tantrum, but she’s been doing it for fifty years.
Three, I know way too much about my parents’ marriage now, and there’s the added fact that there’s an elephant in the room as my mother pisses and moans about my father. His mistress. Who might or might not be his mistress any longer but who is still heavily involved in his project and therefore, they talk for hours every day. Yeah, they’re still involved, even if it’s not physical. I know about it because of his hubris (as I’ve explained in past posts), and my mother knows about it because she’s not stupid. She won’t actually say it, however, and when I’ve sideways confronted her about it, she’s both deflected and talked about it (without actually naming it) in equal amounts.
Still sick. Bought the Flonase generic equivalent and squirted myself. Instantly felt shittier–like a fever, intensified body aches, and a slight shortage of breath. I looked up side effects, and those are all included. The fever was like a flush, however, and it’s subsided. Normally, I would look up side effects first, but I’m desperate at this point. I have been getting pretty sick during fall/winter the past few years, and it’s not fun at all. I also saw my first Christmas commercial a few days ago, which makes me even Grinchier.
Here’s a video of ‘Teddy Bear’ the porcupine enjoying his corn on the cob. When the person asks if he’ll share, you can hear him say, ‘Back off’ (at least it sounds like that to me), while grabbing the corn fiercely. Teddy Bear doesn’t like to share!
I went to my yearly checkup today, and it happened for the same reason it always happens–I ran out of refills on my thyroid pills. I get a yearly supply at a time (monthly refills), and the clinic will approve one more refill, but then they insist that I come in and get checked before they’ll give me any more. It’s fair, but I hate going to the doctor. Still, it had to be done, and today was the day. I was in a car accident nearly six months ago, and I decided to talk about that with my doctor just to make sure everything was in working order. I also had a few other issues I wanted to discuss with her, so I made a mental note of them before I left.
The session went well. She listened to my concerns and alleviated them. She didn’t think they were serious enough to warrant anything other than keeping a close eye on them. She told me to call her if anything got worse, and she made one suggestion for one of the issues that I’ll try if it crops up again. She gave me my pap smear, and we talked about my car accident. I mentioned that people were saying I should get my back X-rayed just to make sure I didn’t hurt it. I said I wasn’t having any back pains, so I didn’t know if it was necessary and that I’d leave it in her hands. She said I would have felt it by now if the car accident had done something to my back. I was reassured, and I’m glad I have a doctor I can trust. She’s a PA, but I find her as knowledgeable as the last three doctors I’ve used.
I told her about Raven dying, and she was sympathetic. That’s one of the things I really like about her–she feels as if she’s on my team. Even when she’s telling me to do something I don’t want to do such as quitting smoking, it doesn’t feel judgmental. When she looked at my weight and saw I’d lost five pounds, she was enthusiastic and told me to keep up the good work. I like that she’s more the encouraging type than the scolding type–as was the last doctor I’d seen*. That doctor rubbed me completely the wrong way, saying that there’s no such thing as smoking a little. Really? Smoking one or two cigarettes a day is exactly the same as smoking a pack a day? She also had a superior attitude which I didn’t care for as all. My doctor listens when I mention the research I’ve done–she takes me seriously. I feel as if we’re working together, which is the best way to get me to respond.