Brace yourself. This isn’t going to be pretty.

Suffice it to say that I’ve had one of the worst couple of weeks in the recent history of my life.

If you’re a new reader, you may or may not have read that I struggle with depression and Fibromyalgia.  It has been, at times, a daily battle that I have won and lost, depending on the day.  I am being medicated for both conditions, and in the last 14 days, I would say they both teamed up to beat me.

It started with the Lyrica.  I’ve been taking it for 4 months, now, and it had almost wiped out all the pain associated with the Fibro.  The only pain that it didn’t seem to help was the incredible burning pain in my hips.  Now, let me tell you about this pain: it was the worst constant pain I’ve ever felt in my life.  It was constant.  If I sat for too long, my hips hurt.  If I stood for too long, they hurt.  If I walked uphill, if I walked down stairs, if I lied in the same position in bed…. they hurt.  Everything.  I felt very old.  And very hopeless.

A friend of mine had cortisone shots in her hips a couple of years ago, and I thought I’d check it out to see if it worked for me.  The doctor said that sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Pretty promising, huh?  But I figured, what the hell?  I couldn’t feel worse, so up on the table I went.  Two of the longest needles I’ve ever seen were used to inject the steroid and anesthetic combo that would, hopefully, give me relief.  The immediate relief was fantastic.  For two whole days I felt good (with the exception of the rather large swollen bruises on my thighs from the injection).  And then the pain came back and brought friends.  The aching went from my hips all the way down to my toes.  And for another two days, I suffered with that.  Then, like I light switch, all the pain was gone.  And I was elated.

Cue the depression.

Out of no where came a crushing weight of worthlessness.  I can’t put my finger on what exactly the problem is.  It is many things.  I feel useless.  I don’t feel like there is any one place in my life that is stable.  Everything feels like it’s holding on by just. a. thread.  Insomnia has reared its ugly head and now I’m not sleeping well.  Maybe…. 5-6 hours a night? That, of course, contributes to the depression, which contributes to the insomnia.  I’ve spent hours just staring at the wall, or a blank TV screen, or into darkness.  But more than that….it’s the feeling of total emptiness.  There are times that I have nothing left.  Just holding my head up feels like it takes all the energy I have.  Or holding the steering wheel.  Or breathing.

Does it sound as pathetic as it feels?  Wowsa.  I’m re-reading…. I really do sound pathetic.

To add insult to injury….. every fiber in my being is telling me that I am getting fired from my job this week.  It’s just a hunch.  I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but I can tell you that the energy is almost palpable.  We’ll see.  I guess I’ll know in a couple of days.

But how crappy is *that* feeling?  To not know?  It’s terrible.  And the worst part is that I haven’t heard “good job” in a loooong time.  I’ve been yelled at (yeah…. a grown, professional man yelling…. it’s awesome retarded).  Adults who work here (all of them!) have cried because of his behavior at some point in the last 6 months I’ve been here.  So yeah…. this place is toxic.  I get it.  I’ve been actively looking for someplace new for a couple of weeks.  But it would be nice to leave and start a new job, not leave, panic, have a nervous breakdown, find something, start working again, play catch up on bills…. I think I’m panicking right now.  *deep breath*

The hubs is convinced that the Lyrica is responsible for some of this.  The insomnia, the depression, the moodiness… all part of possible side effects.  So I’ve quit it, for now.  I’ll be going to the doctor to see what else is available, but for now it’s gone.

We’ll see.  That’s all I can say.  I’ll pick myself up, eventually.  But for now, life wins.  I’m staying down for a little while to recover.

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There’s nothing hot about that yoga

I have exercise amnesia.  I decide that a certain exercise is good.  I do it.  I begin to regret my decision.  I contemplate quitting but worry about being a quitter. I finish and feel like a total tool. After a small recovery time (sometimes hours, sometimes days), I forget about the misery and do it all over again.

Today’s post is about that sort of lapse in memory.

All the Bikram poses, in order.

Bikram yoga.  Besides being a word with no apparent correct punctuation (I’ve heard bick-rum, beak-rum, bick-ram and every variation of that combo), Bikram yoga (otherwise known as “hot room yoga”) is a practice of yoga in a room heated to a specific temperature, with humidity that is regulated to a specific percentage, as well.  This practice is a series of postures done in a specific order, in a specific amount of time.  I’ve done it.  I’ve enjoyed it.  I still enjoy it.  But it’s a love-hate type of relationship.  Let me tell you about last time:

  • Having done Bikram several times before, I figure I know what I’m in for and show up wide-eyed and bushy-tailed for class at 6am.  I prepared by drinking lots of water, and was well-rested, despite the 5am alarm.  I have my bright pink yoga mat and a frozen bottle of water (because I know that frozen water = cold water when I need it.  Show up with cold water, and by the time you drink it, it’s tepid and gross).
  • It’s warm when I walk in the room and I choose a location that is somewhere near the middle, but to the side, as to avoid being very noticeable.  It occurs to me that in a room full of well-practiced yogis, my 38DDs and size 12 ass stick out like a sore thumb.  I idly notice that the girl in front of me has a gorgeous body – maybe a size 6, perfectly proportioned, and not a single spot of cellulite on her.  I decide to use her as inspiration.  Practice more, have that body.
  • I lie down and allow my body to acclimate to the room.  It feels good, actually.  Like getting into a warm car on a cold day.  My body relaxes into the soft yoga mat and I figure that I can’t allow myself to get too comfortable, because I could fall asleep and that would be awkward.
  • The yoga instructor comes in.  She’s super skinny, and just adorable.  She’s also very kind, which is something I love about this studio.  No one insults the students.   The class starts and we all stand to take our places and begin the first pose. 
  • The first pose is a breathing pose.  This one is the hardest for me.  But not because I’m asthmatic, but rather because I have issues breathing recycled air (as in, air that other people have been breathing) and I have to force myself to breathe deeply, despite the fact that I am breathing in everyone’s morning breath and B.O.
  • First pose done.  We move into a new pose.  My body feels good, but dang, it’s getting hot.  I can feel my hair collecting  sweat already.  We have 80 minutes left.
  • It’s hot.  My skin is totally covered.  Cute-Gal in front of me isn’t visibly sweating, yet.  We’re on the 6th pose and Cute-Gal is demonstrating it perfectly.  She is radiating grace, like she isn’t even trying.  I make the mental note that I will be like her some day.
  • 10th pose.  I am to put my head onto my knee.  My boobs laugh at the suggestion and get in the way so that I am suffocating in cleavage instead of pressing my forehead to my kneecap.  I hate my boobs.
  • My entire body is dripping with sweat.  Literally.  Dripping down my leg.  Down my back.  From the tip of my nose into my cleavage.  I feel like some sort of slimy creature, but I can’t even come up with a type of creature I am, because the sheer amount of sweat has never been seen before in nature.  I am drinking water, but it feels like it is expelled from my pores immediately.  I don’t understand how this is possible.
  • Cute-Gal is sweating!  Finally!!!  I take satisfaction in the fact that she is human, and not the immortal offspring of Bikram Choudhury himself.
  • We get to lie down.  I would feel regret, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve sweat out emotion, along with most of my dignity.  Instead, I lie there and wonder how my heart could possibly be beating this hard from standing around? 
  • We get to pose 17.  I consider myself supremely flexible and I don’t know how I will do this without snapping my elbow joints.  I can feel my face straining with pain and sheer embarrassment of trying to do this pose.  Relief only comes when she announces that we can rest.
  • I know we’re on the downhill slope to the end, now.  Cute-Gal actually looks sexy with her sweat.  I decide that I never want to be like her.  I hate her.
  • At pose 23, we are to put our heads to our knees again.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Obviously this was invented by a man, who doesn’t have to deal with boobs.  It simply isn’t possible.  And I imagine the headline, “Voluptuous would-be yogi suffocated by her own breasts during practice”.  I am mortified for my daughter, who will now be known as the daughter of “Yogi-Boob”.  I feel sorry for her.
  • I’m pretty sure I just heard someone pass gas on this next pose.  I’m embarrassed for her.
  • The person who passed gas was me.  I’m begging that God just kill me, now.  Whether by boob-asphyxiation or not, I want to die.
  • Last pose.  I am literally counting the seconds on the clock in the mirror behind me.  Because of the reverse reflection, it appears that time is ticking backward.  I laugh at the irony of this, since I’ve felt like time has been going backward since pose 3.
  • Once class is over, I quickly gather my mat, water and towel and duck into the shower in the ladies room.  I await the inevitable chatter about the “girl who farted.” 
  • I finish my shower.  No one mentions the gas-incident.  As I towel off, I hear a girl talking about how self-conscious she is about her body when she takes these classes.  My heart swells with acknowledgment, as I feel like we are soon-to-be best friends. 
  • I finish drying off and step out of the shower only to find that my new BFF is Cute-Gal.  I scowl at the injustice of it and leave, never to return again.

Distance and time come between the class and my pride and I’m ready to go back.  I’m sure, though, it’ll end up the same way.

Preparedness is next to craziness

So I gave you a teaser earlier this week about the post-to-come about the impending Zombie Apocalypse.  Well, you clearly know my feelings on that, and so does The Hubs, and most all of my close friends.  When I say I have an unnatural fear of the undead, I’m  not kidding.  Unfortunately, I’m being medicated for too many things, already, so the effects of said medication don’t trickle down to illogical fears.  Not yet, at least.

Be vigilant! The end is near… or something like that…

When the crazy, disgusting, face-eating-event happened in Florida, I knew that the Apocalypse was upon us.  In the early phases, of course.  When it’s still new and people are shocked.  But in the age of “Bath Salts” and “Petri Meat” and “Cloning”, we’re a cloned cow grown in a petri dish away from eating each other because we’re compelled to.  Gross.

Because of this new resurgence of fear, I suggested to the Hubs that we get a handgun.  He’s always wanted one.  Or a shotgun.  But I feel like a shotgun is harder to carry with you when you are running for your life from a flesh-eating-monster.  Plus, I don’t know if I can shoot it.  A handgun seems simpler.  But I’m a total chick when it comes to this stuff.  All I know is when someone wants to eat my flesh, I need something to shoot them with.

Off to an Outdoorsy-Stuff Store we went.  The Hubs suggested I do the talking.  I told him that I didn’t know if that was a good idea, because of my feelings on the whole buying decision.  Maybe the guy behind the counter wouldn’t be helpful if he knew that I wanted to shoot the heads of the undead.  He insisted, and off to the counter we went.

The Hubs wants a revolver.  I’m on board with that because, although I know that a gun with a clip would be better for multiple zombie killing, I think revolvers look cool.  And in seconds I was able to see how the whole gun works.  Simplicity = good times.

We get to the counter, and it goes something like this:

Me: Woooooo… look at all of those!

Soon-to-be-confused-salesperson: Hi there.  How can I help you?

Me: We’re looking for a handgun gun.  (Duh… we’re at a gun counter.  Obviously we aren’t looking for sleeping bags.)

Soon-to-be-confused-salesperson: What would you be using it for?  (Dumb question…. we’re planning to shoot it.  AND…. what the hell else is a handgun good for besides shooting people?)  Do you have a style of gun in mind?

Me: We’re looking at a revolver.  Something with the firing power to take a zombie’s head off, in the event of the impending zombie apocalypse.

Officially-confused-salesperson:  Umm……..

The Hubs: …………….. 

The awkward silence went on like this for a few seconds.  I had to break it.

Me: Oooooooo – that one looks like the Noisy Cricket from Men in Black!

The Hubs: That’s a .38 Special.

Me: I like their music.

The Hubs: …………….

Weirded-out-salesperson gets it off the display area.

Me:  It’s adorable. 

The Hubs: It’s hard to shoot.

Trying-to-stay-engaged-salesperson: The accuracy is poor.

As we’re discussing this, The Hubs is showing me how to look in it, where to load bullets, etc.  I’m fascinated.  We also look at a couple of other guns, and The Hubs chooses the one he likes, but balks at the price.

Me:  Oooohhhhh… what about the Dirty Harry gun?

Losing-interest-salesperson: Here you go. (literally walking away and trying to look occupied with anything else)

The Hubs: No way you can shoot this one.  It’s very powerful. 

Me: But it looks so cool!  (At this point, weirded-out-salesperson AND The Hubs have checked the gun thoroughly and have found it to be unloaded.  And because I am a joiner, I check it, too.  No bullets.  It’s safe.)  Look!  (And I point it arbitrairily to show how cool I look). 

The Hubs: (pushing it down and away from the now-fully-irritated-salesperson) You can’t point it at people.

Me: Why?  I’ve checked it.  You’ve checked it.  He’s checked it.  (I wave the barrel of the gun toward the increasingly-angry-salesperson).

The Hubs: Let’s go. 

He politely thanks the compltely-annoyed-salesperson and we leave.  Then we went through the lessons we learned:

  1. Revolvers are cool.
  2. Noisy Crickets are really only science fiction.  But .38 Special isn’t just a band.
  3. Salespeople who don’t believe in zombies will be the first to get eaten.
  4. The Dirty Harry gun is *way* too big for me.
  5. Don’t, under any circumstances, point a triple-checked, unloaded gun at anyone.  It makes people nervous.  Apparently.

We did go to another store where The Hubs did most of the talking.  I eventually let it spill what my plans with the gun were, but this new salesguy was TOTALLY into it.  He played along.  Which was great.  He probably has a chance against them because he’ll remember the crazy gal who predicted this in 2012.

I have saved a life.  Yay me.

Nope… it’s not awesome

**Disclaimer… not all posts will be all sad face like this.  I just felt like I should explain what was going on the Fibro thing before I went any further.  Like a first date… I want to throw it all on the table.  I promise, better stuff is coming 0 like gun buying adventures for the impending zombie apocalypse.  But today, I wanted to share where I am with the Fibro thing.

Invisible diseases are like silent letters in words.  No one really gets why they exist, but we all try to play by the rules.  Fibromyalgia is no different.  I’m young in my diagnosis.  Only a few months in.  I’m still trying to understand it.  I am still trying to get hold of the rhythm of it… the “why” of it.  Why was I fine yesterday, but today I feel like someone beat me with a log while I slept?  Why did it hurt to walk yesterday, when last week it didn’t hurt at all?  Why do my hips burn?  Why does it feel like razors against my skin when someone brushes my shoulder with their hand?  Why am I so tired?  Why don’t I know what tomorrow will be like?

*sigh*

For those who don’t know what Fibromyalgia is, see this link for an in-depth explanation.  Here is the quick explanation: Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes me (and other patients) to feel pain where there is no reason for it.  The pain can feel like it is radiating from joints.  It can be sharp, shooting pain.  Sometimes it feels like my skin is burning.  My legs ache, sometimes.  My back can feel like it is on fire.  Advil (or other NSAIDs) don’t help.  Pain, though, is just one part of it.  The exhaustion is unbelievable.  I can’t tell you how tired I am.  All the time.  Some days are better.  But most days feel like I am walking uphill in mud with heavy boots on.  Then, there’s the fog – “Fibro-Fog”… sort of feels like I took Sudafed and took a short nap in the middle of the day.  You know that feeling of foggy-grogginess when you wake up?  That’s how I feel, on some days. 

 

i'll be fine

The sun will rise tomorrow.

The worst part – there’s no explanation, rhyme or reason to it.  I can do the exact same thing, eat the exact same thing, sleep the same way, for the same amount of time… but the pain will change and shift every day.  It can be very frustrating.  Some days I feel like just hiding in the closet and crying.  Other days I want to scream and run and just get away from it.  And some days are fine.

It makes the depression worse.  And the depression and stress make the Fibro worse.  That really sucks!

I take Lyrica to help control it.  That helps.  I thought I was going to die before I started taking it – this makes it a little more manageable.  But it doesn’t make it go away.

The moral of the story is that it isn’t awesome.  It hurts, a lot.  The moral of the story is that you never know.  Someone who may look totally composed on the outside may be falling apart on the inside.  Someone who may be quiet and withdrawn might be suffering in silence.  Someone who is losing her mind might not be able to help it today. 

So be gentle.  We’re all fighting our own battles.  Sometimes, you just can’t see them.