Medication and the lack thereof

Okay, life since the departure of Seroquel hasn’t been all rosy. Sometimes, it’s just amazingly difficult. The herbal thingy is very helpful, but is expensive and a pain in the buttocks to procure. If I don’t have time to go downtown, then I’m left with the original symptoms that made it necessary for me to start taking low-dose anti-psychotics in the first place.

The proverbial rock and a hard place: take meds that try to kill me, take herbal meds that are expensive and tough to track down, or have the joy of experiencing the symptoms that I’ve suffered from for years. What’s the middle way here?

Fortunately, I have an appointment with my psychiatrist next Tuesday. We’ll discuss things and I fear he’ll try to convince me to try another atypical antipsychotic, but I’m not so open to that. I’m rather fond of being able to walk. I’m hoping that he can prescribe me a pharmaceutical version of the herbal stuff but I don’t want to hold my breath on that one.

Either way, the status quo isn’t working so good. I’m going downtown today for the last session of my art class, so I’ll whip through Chinatown. Hopefully, I can get more of the herbal stuff. Otherwise, I’m not really sure what I’ll do.

What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening…

Random thoughts on the day before All Hallow’s Eve aka Halloween.

Mental status update: Much improved. Seroquel and its side-effects have been jettisoned, trying an herbal remedy that has been surprisingly effective so far. Still plenty of baggage to deal with. Willing to consider the possibility of happiness in my day-to-day life. Still need to relax and trust myself.

Work update: My first attempt at commercial design, a tall window topped by a half-circle window, was accepted by the customer. Yay me! I’m still volunteering at the studio 2–3 days a week.

Physical: After a round of nasty side-effects that nearly crippled me (see Seroquel reference above), I am greatly improved. Back down to just hip bursitis and occasional flare-ups of achilles tendonitis. I’m losing weight quickly—one to two pounds a week (see Seroquel reference above). Not doing as much Wii Fit as I’d like.

Art: Took a studio drawing class and found out that I can draw pretty darn well. Making time to practice art is more difficult, but remains a priority for me.

Family: Doing great! Bri is frighteningly precocious (shock!) and no longer afraid of me. Bryan finally has a job that actually appears to recognize and appreciate his knowledge and contribution. Yay Bry!

Dog: Has fleas. Much vacuuming, laundering, and combing.

All in all, it’s life, in all its messy gloriousness. Whee!

And there was much rejoicing

We have successfully deloused our child.

I just got home from Pilates class and I feel great!

DBT skills seem to be kicking in—PMS time is almost over and I didn’t even notice that it was here.

My brain is starting to function a bit better with regard to the cognitive issues that I was having.

It’s raw and rainy here, but it’s November and it’s not snowing yet, so I’ll take it.

I hope everyone else had a good weekend.

A New Agenda

I wanted today to be a “get things done” kind of a day. Reality has other plans. Both Bri and Bryan have been sick, and apparently it is my turn. I’ve got the full-on body ache thing going and I feel tired as all get-out.

But my brain tells me that I’m not allowed to be sick. It tells me that I have to push myself anyway. I know from experience that when I do that, my emotions go completely out of whack. So, I have to find a new way of living. Today, my priority is to listen to my body and to take good care of myself.

After I write this, I’m going to go lay down and let myself sleep. When I wake up, I will stop and ask myself what would be the kindest thing to do for myself. And then I am going to do it. I am not going to relieve stress through any of my maladaptive behaviours. I will breathe. I will rest. I will heal.

Tomorrow will take care of tomorrow. I need to live in the now.

Last Lecture

I saw the CBC news story on Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture on TV. I think it is important to listen to the words of those who know they are dying, especially when they are seeing clearly and not caught in the net of self pity. This man is seeing clearly. His last lecture to his Carnegie Mellon students was “for my kids”—5, 2, and 1-year-old—who will be losing their father to cancer within the next few months.

I pray for the grace and strength, honesty and honour—even a portion of it—that this man displays. I watch myself judging myself day after day and wonder if there is a place other than self-pity, self-loathing, and denial. I seem to spend a lot of time there. Chronic pain doesn’t help, but neither is it an excuse.

I don’t know the answer, but I can frame the question:

How do I move forward from here?

Universe? Anyone?