Jul 012014

Thursday Timeout doesn’t have the same ‘ring’ to it was Tuesday Timeouts so I made the decision to switch back. It’s been a while since I blogged and I want to ramble before getting in to the normal Tuesday update stuff.

In my last Time (the doomed Thursday attempt) one of my goals was to take my meds every day. When doing this becomes a struggle for me ALL other goals suffer. So when I started faltering I stopped worrying about tracking food or working out. For the past six weeks I have been focusing on medication and water intake above all else. I’m happy to report that save for a few missed days (mostly mornings) I have been successful! I mentioned water intake because holyfreakingcrap do bipolar meds dry your body out. I won’t go in to the ugly details but water + meds go hand in hand for me or things get ugly fast.

It’s been a busy 6 weeks! My cat, Olivia, got sick and ended up having surgery and then while she was recovering I got sick. Adjusting to Ohio weather and allergy triggers (yo tree pollen, I’m looking at you) finally caught up with me and I was laid up for a week on the couch with a head cold that was threatening to migrate down in to my chest. My boyfriend was appalled at the amount of tissue I went through although I think he found parts of how I coped amusing. There was always 3 to 5 drinks at my side! Water, tea, coffee, Powerade, and sometimes a soda.

Do you drink soda when you’re sick? I find the bubbles soothing on my throat and feel like colas help with mucus residue. This is probably not true but as someone who has a perpetually itchy throat I do what I have to do to. Luckily we had already set up a futon in the second bedroom so we were both able to get some sleep and I could keep a close eye on Oli while she was recovering from surgery. Luckily she is fine now and all the concerns about kidney and thyroid functions are cleared up although the first two weeks afterwards I was terrified I had lost my sweet easy going cat forever. She attacked me viciously and almost got her claws in the repairman who was here to fix the leaking air conditioner. That is a story in and of itself but I will skip it because the memory of stinky wet carpet and a hot day aren’t all that interesting.

In other news I have started work. YAY!! And after 3 weeks of trying to acclimate to a dayshift schedule I am finally back on nights. Double YAY!! Having nearly 6 weeks off after moving was a blessing in disguise though. Nick and I needed that time together. He telecommutes so we were able to really get to know each other in a face-to-face fashion and find a routine that works well for us. I do most of the cooking, dishes, and laundry… he takes out the trash, makes coffee, feeds the animals, and handles most of our finances. Things might change a little bit now that I’m back on nights (he works nights too) but all in all I think we’ve hit our stride as a couple.

I turned 30 in June and because of our conflicting schedules Nick and I weren’t able to celebrate until last weekend. Our original plan was to go to LaRosa’s for gluten free pizza and then go see The Edge of Tomorrow but plans changed at the last minute and we went to Outback Steakhouse since I had never been. The gluten free menu was ok. There was a decent amount of choices when it came to entrees but their sides were lacking. All vegetables had to be ordered without seasoning and mashed potatoes weren’t an option. I ended up having Victoria’s Filet and Lobster Tail with a baked potato and roasted broccoli. It was delicious! Our server was sweet and thorough and made a point of going back in to the kitchen and clarifying a few details about the meals gluten free status for me. The steak was perfectly medium rare and the lobster tail was ok. I had never tried lobster before and found it to be incredibly salty, it made me miss the wide array of fresh seafood available in Oregon, specifically crab. It was a good night though, we ended it with candle shopping and wine.

One last thing before I share the normal Timeout details… I LOVE MY JOB! Starting at a new hospital was nerve wrecking but I am soooooo happy. They have an amazing Employee Assistance Program so I am already in therapy (for free!) and one thing this EAP system provides is case management. Another words not only do I get to talk to someone I also have the option to have a social worker who helps with appointments, medication/pharmacy, diet, and lifestyle. I’ve been referred to a psychiatrist for medication management and will also be working with the psychiatrist’s in house therapist once my health insurance kicks in. I despised my last psychiatrist and while the EAP program at my last work place did offer therapy it was only 3 sessions a year and there was no case management.

Alright, I’ve rambled long enough… on to Tuesday Timeout!

Weigh In: 319.6lbs
Starting Weight: 360lbs. Previous Weight: 324.6lbs. Current Loss/Gain: -5lbs.
I have seen the scale as low as 313lbs in the past week or two but ate a sodium heavy dinner last night so I am not stressing this mornings number.

Goals for the Week
Take my medications every single day, morning and night.
Drink at least 64ounces of water daily.
Track everyday.


 Posted by at 4:24 pm
Jun 242013
The 10 days have not been all that great. Between the crazy work schedule, a change in my meds, payday, and some unneeded drama I am whooped. There ups and downs with my eating, some days were better than others. My sleep suffered so much that one day I crashed in town on friends couch instead of brave the 45 minute drive home. 

I have decided to move. The cottage I live in now is serene, and when I first moved in the distance from town was perfect. It kept me from using shopping as therapy and helped me realize how important downtime is after work. I also became much more comfortable behind the wheel, and learned to drive while tired. 

Unforgettably there are times I am simply too tired. 45 minutes each way and 12 hour shifts eat in to the time I have to sleep while home. Another reason I’ve decided to move is school. It’s time to go back, and I can’t afford the gas to drive both to work and college. After writing out a pros and cons list I decided it was time to go. Hopefully I will find out Wednesday if the place I looked at in town is mine! 

As much as I will miss the cheap rent, gorgeous yard, and quiet community I am looking forward to being less than 2 miles from my work, doctor, psychiatrist, a gym, the store, college, and my friends. Even though the rent will be more expensive, I will still be saving money on gas and laundry, since there are washer/dryer hook-ups. I’ll have to get some furniture, since the cottage came partially furnished, a dining table or desk, an end table and coffee table, rugs, oh… and a washer and a dryer. 

School, moving… It’s been a crazy week in my head and instead of running it out I indulged in food. Tuesday’s weigh-in isn’t going to be pretty. I am slowly getting myself back on track and hope to handle the upcoming changes in a healthier way. 

 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jun 032013

My new meds have some wonderful side effects. I am pretty much dizzy all the time. So I have been extremely wary of going out to run and haven’t laced up my Brooks since May 16th.

I ran once in the hospital (kickbutt treadmill, need! I had to run in my Velcro sketchers though, I couldn’t have anything with laces) and since I’ve been home I’ve stuck to walking. Yesterday I wanted to run and wish I would have. When the urge came today I HAD to go. Dizziness be damned.

I ate breakfast, took my meds, drank some water and headed out. IT WAS AMAZING! I took a a new route, one my landlord told me about, it’s a little hilly and just around 2 miles. There was very little shoulder all in all only 4 cars drove by me.

The scenery was beautiful, I couldn’t ask for a better place to live. Tomorrow I am going to the loop backwards, so I am going downhill at the beginning instead of uphill at the end and see if that makes a difference on my speed.

16 weeks until the Prefontaine 10k. It’s closing in fast. I made up a training chart yesterday and started training again today.

When I first started running trying to run 30 seconds was impossible. I had built myself up to 1 minute 15 seconds but had to drop back down to 30 seconds today. It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy either.

The app I am using for training gets you running a 10k in 13 weeks so I have a little wiggle room if I want to repeat a week. There is no wiggle room for missing time though! I HAVE to stay on track if I want to run the 10k instead of walk it.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 12:59 am
May 292013

A week ago today I was out of my mind. A week ago tomorrow morning I was sitting next to my Mom at the doctors office, being told I had 30 minutes to check myself in to the hospital, if I didn’t show up they would call the police. Admitting that I was dangerous to myself was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was one of the best things too.

I’ve taken my meds every day since I’ve been home. There are a few new ones and I’m struggling with the dizziness that comes with them, but hopefully those will go away with time.

I’ve spent some time in the garden. Tomorrow or the next day I should go out and weed. Housework is getting done. It’s not perfect, and its definitely not company ready, but it’s ok and not driving me nuts.

I was home in time to celebrate my 1 year anniversary with Olivia. Yeahp, call me the crazy cat lady! Oli came home on May 26th (her birthday is April 4th – same as Grumpy Cat) and I was happy to be home in time for that. She got some fresh catnip and tuna (which she completely ignored and let Cordi eat)…

Both girls have been very loving, which makes me feel like things are working. Before everything happened they weren’t cuddly anymore, Cordi would hide from me, and I yelled at them all the time. We are back to ‘normal’ here. I get lots of love and kisses and no one runs away when I try to pick them up. Small victories.

My diet has been ok. Today is a cheat day, and it was worth every bite! I haven’t run since Thursday, so I am going to go back out tomorrow and slay a couple of miles. On the treadmill at the hospital I really enjoyed pushing myself, I’m kind of dreading going back to being slow on the road.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 3:26 am
May 272013

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

The three days I spent in the hospital were a God send. The new anti-depressant I started several weeks ago threw me for a loop. The harder I tried to hold on the deeper I fell. As much as I pretended to have it all together, that I had hope, that things were getting better….

I wasn’t safe to be alone. My parents were at their wits end trying to help, and when I went to the doctor on Wednesday I wasn’t able to hide behind smiles…

So in to the hospital I went. You see all the commercials for anti-depressants and it talks about how it can increase certain feelings in children and teenagers…. Well, if you’re bipolar it can do the same thing!

Yeah, so I am bipolar. Found that out while at the hospital. I spent a lot of time with doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals who all came to the same conclusion. Especially considering my diagnosis of ADHD as a child.

Turns out that a lot of people my age who were diagnosed with ADHD as kids were really early on-set bipolar. The periods of hyperactivity were maniac periods… And since I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember…. The result was logical.

This makes sense since behavior therapy and sticking to a schedule was always more effective for me than the ADHD meds. I actually spent 12 days in the hospital when I was 11 for almost exactly the same reasons I did this past week.

An inventory of my adult years led to a stunning conclusion… Every time I hit a maniac period in the past I’ve moved, quit my job, started school, ended/started relationships, invested in a new hobby… Another words I always ran away and lost myself in something so I didn’t have to address what was going on in my head.

This time I had no way to run. I can’t quit my job, I’m not ready to go to school, and the idea of a new hobby when I have so many already was overwhelming. I was sleeping for days at a time. Or staying up for 48 hours straight. It took hours to fall asleep, and I’d spend hours cleaning and then the next week the dishes would sit in the sink until the house stunk.

It was everything or nothing. I’d find the middle of the road for a little bit and revel in it. This pattern has been going on for most of my life but the past 6 weeks or so have been hellacious.

The anti-depressant intensified everything and I finally crashed. At first I was strung out about inpatient treatment. The staff at the hospital was amazing! Every day I was reassured about my confidentiality, I was able to skip the typical admitting process and was actually hidden on the patient census. The people who took care of me are people I have worked with and at first that terrified me.

It shouldn’t have. God went above and beyond. His timing is perfect. I was treated like a normal person who needed help. I didn’t get special treatment (still had to hand over my phone and anything dangerous to myself or others) from the staff who knew me, but they did talk to me like a colleague when they could.

It was nice because they know what sort of stress I am under at work and we addressed some of the best ways to handle that stress. I learned lots of different coping strategies and ways to identify triggers and when I am starting to swerve out of the lines.

I’m off the anti-depressant and on mood stabilizers. I took some heavy duty sleep aides for a few days too, but am off the benzodiazepines now. Hopefully I will be able to go off 2 out of my 3 mood stabilizers in the future. One of the good things that came out of inpatient treatment was a being able to take a closer look at my other medications.

It looks like I might be able to go off my blood pressure medication and metformin soon, if the mood stabilizers don’t cause anything to act up. Yay!

Back to resting in Christ… I am weak. Unbearably, hopelessly, desperately weak. There is a chance someone from work may find out about me being bipolar. That bothers me a little bit, but I am placing my trust in Him, because that is the only way I am strong.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 7:48 pm
May 272013

I spent Wednesday through Saturday in the hospital. Today is my first full day out and I’ve been taking it slow, trying to catch up life and rest.

Hopefully I will be back to posting soon.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 3:39 am
May 212013

My stomach bug from Saturday was back full force today, I made it to the grocery store for fresh produce and haven’t left the house since. Instead of working out I set out to remedy the curtain situation. There were simple short khaki curtains up when I moved in, but the cats tore them down in a matter of weeks.

(You can see this window -an the original curtains- in the top middle, and bottom left pictures. )

I planned to frost this window and leave it otherwise bare (it looks directly in to part of the garden, which is likely to have someone in it when I need privacy), but I found some great fabric at a local estate sale that screamed curtains to me.

Last night I stitched it up and hung it. BLAH.

Totally keeping it real with the cat and laundry.

It felt boring and sort of ‘re-purposed bedsheet’ to me so I went digging in my box from the estate sale and pulled out some yellow fabric. Originally I bought this fabric to make scrub pants for Mom and myself, but it turned out to be subtly tied dyed. No go for scrubs. Mom suggested making curtains out of it, turns out she had a dang good idea.

I took down the curtains, re-stitched the top (to make the rod pocket wider) and then made two more panels from the yellow fabric.

Still on the fence about how it looks, but it is definitely better than last night. 100% of my furniture is 2nd hand, most of it was given to me by family or friends, is on loan from my landlord, or was purchased at the thrift store. Most of my decor is 2nd hand as well, a lot of it I inherited when my Dad died, and the rest is from garage sales or discount stores.

I’m slowly starting to piece together a decor all of my own. This is a MUCH better way to exert control over my life than through food. Which is why I am posting about it here.

It’s important for me to learn what is an appropriate way to relieve stress and what is not. It’s also a good lesson in instant gratification and patience. These curtains are ok for now. I may not be 100% in love with them, but it is a vast improvement over what it was before, and instead of obsessing over it, I am going to embrace the ‘for now’ and enjoy it until the cats shred to pieces. ; )

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 7:52 am
May 202013

So far the title aptly describes the beginning of my days off. Saturday I had to call in sick and ending up spending an entire 24 hours in bed, wracked with nightmares and stomach problems. An upside to this is that a good long rest left my legs feeling great! My ankle is definitely on the mend, and my pirformis hardly feels sore.

Sunday afternoon I was able to drag myself out of bed and had a rather tearful phone call with my Mom. I felt better mentally and had a restlessness that needed to be quenched without leaving the house (in case my stomach got angry again), so I decided to conquer a few projects I’ve been putting off.

I made some quick curtains and hung them. Which made me realize that I needed to rearrange the house. It took several hours of pushing, pulling, and growling with frustration… But I love the layout now. My house is minuscule, so I am on a never ending quest to make the most of it.

While rearranging I ended up with the contents of a bookcase and a closet all over the floor. Honestly I have yet to pick most of it up. I’m tired and want to go to bed, but I can’t stand the idea of leaving the house such a mess. So I’m blogging instead of doing anything productive!

As soon as I get some sleep (and finish cleaning) I’m heading out for my 10k walk. Which means I better get moving.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 9:54 am
May 182013

I opened up to friends today about how bad things have been mentally in the past few months. While getting that off my chest was refreshing, it left me feeling a lot more vulnerable. It’s hard to find balance on how much is too much when it comes to being completely honest. Thank God I have some amazing friends, and a wonderful family! Even though I felt bare afterwards, it was nice to clue these women who mean so much to me in to what is going on.

My life right now is different than I imagined. I drive a decent car, live in a pretty (albeit small) house, and manage to keep my bills paid and generally have a smidgen left over for a movie or a book every few paydays. I don’t need much, and generally don’t find myself lusting for material things. I have a support system that many people dream of, and I am on my way to a healthier me.

And I still find myself spiraling down deeper in to depression. Which makes me feel guilty. And then comes more depression. It’s a vicious cycle. Occasionally I break free, but never for very long. Sometimes I spiral up, so far up that I lose control and find myself slamming back so hard that it undoes everything I’ve previously achieved.

How do you tell people that even though you’re happy, you are depressed? I feel like such a whiner when I say that. When someone asks me how I am I smile and say it’s OK. It reminds me of when my Dad died, and very few people really wanted to hear “it sucks, I cry all the time and when I do manage to smile, it hurts”… I know from experience that grief gets better. That gives me that depression will too.

Dad has been gone 7 years at the end of this month. How vastly I’ve changed in those 7 years. I’m a grown up now. I know he would be is proud of everything I’ve accomplished and the woman I am. I do not miss him less now, but I don’t wallow in grief either. His absence has simply become a part of who I am. Some days I wonder if I’d be who I am now if he hadn’t of died. Scratch that, I KNOW I would be different. Part of my success is fueled by a pledge to honor his memory and live a full life.

When I was little my Dad lost a lot of weight by running. He went on to join the Navy, and then left to become a pastor. The pounds came back and by the time I was a teenager he was morbidly obese. When he learned he was a Type 2 diabetic everything changed. He started eating right, walking, and doing his best to honor the body God gave him to take care of. (My Dad fought a lifelong battle with depression as well, he was someone I could always talk to because he got it.)

When I lace up my running shoes I am promising to do everything in my power to live long enough to meet my grandchildren. 4 years now a miniature version of my Dad has been roaming the earth, changing my families life forever. Sometimes I look at my nephew and stare, because it is like looking at my Dad. I dream about what it would be like to see them side by side, laughing and playing with each.

I want to be there when my (someday) kids have kids. So I am going to conquer the darkness and run in the light. It’s funny how much peace training for this 10k has brought in to my life. Just 6 weeks of getting out and doing my best has given me a new reason to go on. The depression is still there. Some days it is still crippling. It won’t always be.

Tonight I had a too few many cookies and treats at a potluck. At first I couldn’t understand why I kept eating! Then I sat down and started to write and realized I was pushing food in to my mouth to give my brain something else to think about. Processing it and moving on is a much better solution.

So I am going to go home after work, sleep, and go out and get a few miles in before getting ready for another long night. And then it’s the weekend! Hallefreakinglujah. My goal for this weekend is to go for a 6.2 mile walk. No running or jogging allowed, I just want to get out and walk a 10k. I will let you know how it goes.

 Posted by at 7:59 am
May 172013

I dithered about going for my run yesterday. For a while I sat on my bed, all dressed to go out… trying to talk myself out of going. Last weeks funk still has its claws in me. Eventually I stopped listing of excuses and just went.

I am so glad I did! I knocked 8 seconds off my mile and 32 seconds off my 5k. It seems like such a small number but it felt great!

Nike + Stats

The run itself was on the painful side, I actually walked a large part of it… But I did it! This only my second time doing a full 3.1 miles.

We switched glasses, what do you think?

Work last night was busy but I still found time to have a little bit of fun with a coworker. A. has been super supportive of my efforts to get healthy and I really appreciate her friendship.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 1:10 pm