Sunday, December 27, 2009

a pattern?

I think I'm noticing a rough pattern with me that as I feel a bit better, I think more about things, don't come to good conclusions and end up feeling worse, I think it's a pattern that still places me in depressions, because the ups are still well below normal mood. But I think it's going to be mental strategies that move me forwards at these stages.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The presents are wrapped...

...or rather placed in paper bags, I intended to wrap them and we have plenty of wrapped gifts from other people, so we won't lack for unwrapping fun. If it all works out ok tomorrow, then I'm highly tempted to do this again, but maybe make a big deal of decorating the bags. Part of the issue was stocking overflow, if we were going to include Grace in having a stocking we needed to acquire another one and in discussing this decided that it would be fun to all have stockings. We had a very lucky stumble across and found gorgeous knitted stockings at a dollar each, but smaller than the ones we've used the last 3 years, but with those in mind I had a few small presents for the kids that didn't fit in this years stockings.

We've also mucked up somewhat by having had a brilliant idea for something to get Sausage Boy, which was also a moderately pricey brilliant idea, but have failed to have a brilliant idea, or even an idea for what to give Banana Girl. I think she'd love something from the Littlest Pet Shop range, or maybe My Little Pony, but I stared at them in the store and couldn't make a decision, I think we'll have to take her to choose something for herself next week!

holidays

I'm coming to the conclusion that I don't like holidays (by holidays I mean Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.) particularly the way they are approached here, where we seem to bounce from one special day or holiday to the next and every single one is over commericalised, I don't like the continual cycle of build up, anticipation then it all being over.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to celebrate the birth of Christ, though in many ways it's something I do or try to do daily. I'm a bit disappointed we don't get to go to church on Christmas Day, if it's all about Him, then why do we relegate services to the evening before?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

shocking?

Sometimes our minds have thoughts that we don't really want to be having, though before anyone worries I'm not contemplating suicide or self harm.

I read somewhere, probably wikipedia, though it doesn't seem to be there now that there is a presumption that a mentally well person could not possible wish to kill themselves and thus death by suicide indicates mental illness whether it was diagnosed or not.

I may be remembering wrong, but my recollection is that though this is not the view of the experts that it is a commonly held view.

I can't with any certainty recall where I've stood on this in the past, but my thinking now would be that even when there is a mental health problem that it may not always be correct to point to that as the cause of the suicide.

As you all should know I'm a Christian and thus I believe suicide and self harm to be wrong though sadly none of us live lives free from sin. But without a Christian world view on what basis are they wrong? I can see that repeated incidents of self harm cannot be good for your long term mental health, but I'm beginning to see that in the complex world we live in there could be many complex situations where suicide would seem like a reasonable option and thus in the opposite direction threat of suicide doesn't necessarily imply a mental health problem.

That was some pretty bizarre rambling!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

cosleeping

I've never been averse to having a child in bed with me if that was what they needed to do to get to sleep, though it isn't my first choice.

Grace has in many ways been our easiest sleeper, I think I got lulled into a false sense of security! About 6 weeks ago she stopped sleeping through the night and it wasn't just a case of waking a bit earlier, it was waking 3+ times with no longer stretch between any of them.

Her first waking became before I even got to sleep, even if I went to bed right when she did.

Then she started rejecting her cot, she'd been a dream, we could put her down awake and she'd go to sleep, now we can rarely get her in there asleep, however gently we try and move her!

So I started lieing down with her when she'd feed anywhere between 10pm and midnight and I'd end up falling asleep too. I worried because of the meds in my system, but despite no concrete evidence I decided that even with them I'm not a heavy sleeper and she's no longer a newborn that can't wriggle, move, roll etc. so on balance the daytime risks to all the children of me getting minimal sleep are probably greater than the risk to her of me sleeping next to her.

It's been about 3 weeks now and I'm beginning to feel that we're both figuring out what to do and sleeping better, though last night wasn't so good.

Unfortunately she's having the same issues with daytime sleep, so it feels like it's a constant challenge to ensure she gets enough sleep.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yum!

We've been wanting to try a new chinese restaurant near our house, but whenever we pass it, it's busy to overflowing, but today worked out such that we were there for an early dinner and we could be seated without waiting.

The kids have some favourites, which they were disappointed not to find on the menu, which resulted in a bit of a strop from one of them, but we made our choice, not really knowing what we would get.

One dish was something we've not come across before, they brought a bowl of what looked like rice krispie treats, and poured soup over it. We'd chosen chicken and mixed seafood and it was gorgeous!

Grace is at a challenging stage for dinners out, not ready for the high chair, but rather wriggly and grabby for sitting on knees! We managed, just! Eating with chopsticks is definitely the way forward for one handed eating - thinking back, I remember the summer after banana girl was born, I'd make myself a salad for lunch and eat that with chopsticks.

head to toe

Woo hoo, this time I thought of a title first! It's a bit random, but I thought I'd try and sum myself up from head to toe!

My hair seems to be growing at a rate of knots and I haven't really noticed the increase in hair loss that comes after birth. I seem to be losing hair at a rate that is entirely appropriate for it's length and thus capacity to tangle and get yanked out by a hair brush. My gold highlights seem so recent, but are way away from my roots, I'm in the mood for something more dramatic and one of these days I really should try a spiral perm, though I don't know how easy or difficult the Sarah Jessica Parker look of soft ringlets low down is to acheive.

My eyes don't like this weather, cold and dry is not good, nor is the bright sun and I'm not the best at remembering that eye drops exist and help, I just rub them and my eyelashes fall out and if I'm wearing eye make up, I make a mess! It's probably time to change my contact lenses, I take them for granted now, but extended wear contact lens have been life changing for me. Roll on the day that they invent ones that react to light and become sunglasses too, as steamed up sunglasses have been bugging me this week!

My face is in major breakout and has been for a while, I've never had the greatest skin, but I think this counts as bad for me, frustratingly it breaks out and feels dry at the same time!

My chest is still congested and it's hurting when I exert myself, I feel like I need a good slap on the back to get all the gunk out! I'll definitely be mentioning this to my doctor when I see her on Tuesday.

I suddenly seem to have started producing even more milk than usual, poor Grace is being overwhelmed by it and I'm exploding out of bras and tops that fitted a month ago and I'm getting a bit self concious about it. I put it down to the new med I started on, but looked it up and saw reports of decreased milk production, which might be a fantastic example of how different meds can have different effects on different people.

My nails seem to be getting a bit stronger than they were, not sure if that's pregnancy, or not having worn false nails for a while. I try to keep them long, but I'm still figuring out what shape I prefer and how to maintain that shape. My cuticles are hard and difficult to control, I should put something on them every day, but needless to say, I don't!

My waist is still non existant, but thinner than it was, thank goodness for draw string trousers, though I'm pushing the limits on my existing ones and really need to spend some time trying trousers on, but that will have to wait.

My c-section scar is bright red and quite thick and all the feeling below it seems to have returned, it's beautifully situated such that if other bits of my mama body allowed it then it would be completely hidden. I think about taking pictures of it because I'm proud of it, it's a badge that reminds me that even in a roundabout and non ideal way that I did make a good decision for me and my family and that even though it took a lot of drugs that I was there for the birth of my beautiful baby. It also seems to have consumed a keyhole scar, reducing the total from 8 to 7!

My hips are surviving, with the help of pain killers, but I'm struggling with stiffness in the low back. I mostly lift the bad way because I discovered that lifting the good way is actually much more difficult for me, I had an old lady moment last week when I tried to get up off the floor and couldn't, thankfully I was by a chair and could yank myself up! When I think about it, the state of my hip worries me, it doesn't seem to have a state where it is only slightly painful, it's either pain free or moderate, or worse and though it's being controlled well with painkillers right now, they are strong ones, which does build tolerance, requireing a higher dose even without increased pain and I suspect it is going to get worse, but I've no idea in what time scale. Which is why I don't think about it, other than in the very general sense of trying to get my weight back down to reduce the strain and reminding myself that I probably do need to think a bit more about nutrition for bone and joint health.

My thighs should probably be hidden from public view for a long time, enough said there, I think!

The niggly knee seems to have gone away, fingers crossed! The keyhole scars on the other near have been white and paper thin for years, to me they look like eyes with the bottom of the knee cap making a smile!

It took extreme force to zip up my knee high boots a few weeks ago, so some calf toning is on the agenda, I also have matching bruises, which surely can't be from that long ago, but what other explaination is there for matching bruises!

I have ankles rather than the cankles which were on display at the end of pregnancy, but at this time of year they get to hide under socks, I'm fussy about socks, I have high demands on what constitutes a comfortable sock, though these do tend to match with cheap socks!

My right big toe and I are still not best of friends, though the joint is in a good mood right now and the nail is neatly trimmed. My feet appreciate a bit of looking after, wearing crocs (or rather a cheapy version) in the house really works for me, even though they are not good for lots of walking. Frankly I'm amazed my feet held up so well last summer with cheap flip flops, which I got in the habit of wearing with those cankles I mentioned. I love slips ons and I got lucky last year and found a pair I could fit my orthotics into with just a tiny blue bit showing, but this week I reluctantly exchanged them for the fur lined shoes I found in the same sale, not quite as convenient for getting out the door, but rather more appropriate for the frosty weather.

Well, that's it, quite a fun exercise for me!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

motivation

Do you ever want to ask a question, invite someone to an event, but then stop yourself because you wonder what people will think that they'll be trying to work out why and possibly therefore what you want.

I have a problem with this, it's a bit irrational though as I don't do any deep thinking when questioned, offerred kindness etc. but when I think of doing something, I usually panic about what it might be interpreted as and probably 9 times out of 10 my thought is lost. But when it isn't, when I carry the thought through, there are still the doubts in my head, the fears about communicating a demand or incorrect message.

My experience in the real world suggests I'm not the only overthinker, but not everyone is an overthinker, I need to calm my overthinking tendancies to the level where they don't avoid action and hope that if they hit another overthinker that it would be easily resolved.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fighting

A while ago, I read a post on a blog of a mother with cancer how she disliked some ways of using the word fighting. The crux of the matter was that you didn't beat cancer based on how hard you faught, some will die, some will survive and to consider those that died to have somehow not faught as hard is wrong. Now there may be some fuzziness around the edges with that, I've definitely seen new articles announcing research about the good effects of positive thinking, but it's still a pretty fair statement.

Now, here I am, feeling like really in the 8 months that I've been treated for depression that I'm really still very unwell, but with mental health issues I rather suspect that fighting does make a difference, though ironically the illness may take away your ability to fight. So does the fact that I'm here now mean I've not been fighting? I think not, an obvious consequence of depression is suicide, I'm still here, I think this means I'm fighting.

When people are fighting physical diseases we seek to encourage them, do we believe that our encouragement will cure them? It's usually something we just do, it just is what one does when someone is ill, subconciously I think we're actually trying to prevent depression, which as it turns out is an entirely reasonable thing to, not just because we want to avoid that suffering, but people with depression do have a reduced life expectancy that isn't entirely accounted for by suicide.

Monday, December 7, 2009

diagnoses

Recently I've been asked what my diagnosis is as if my answer might change what they would do. In those instances I don't think it would have made much difference, but I have no diagnosis to give them other than plain old vanilla PPD.

Labels can be good and labels can be bad. Getting a formal diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos syndrome was helpful in many ways, but also allowed me and my doctors to say that my hip pain was simply due to EDS, when in fact there was a bony abnormality, hip impingement and an actual injury, a labral tear.

But when we get to using diagnoses that are very vague and arbitrary, how helpful are they? Particularly when they change every few years. What's worse is that once you place a diagnosis upon someone, particularly within mental health, what that then makes others assume about them.

When I entered the program at Fairfax, I think they were using depression as a diagnosis, but within minutes of meeting me and barely having talked to me, I could observe a few occassions where something I said or did was interpreted very differently because it was seen through those glasses. My new psychiatrist chose to get to know me without any notes from anyone, though she has finally decided to ask for my previous psychiatrist's notes, which could be interesting!

I hate titles

Why is it so difficult to choose a title? I've lost count of the number of times I've got to this page, been stumped by choosing a title and not made the blog entry I was musing over that brought me to this page.

Blogging has been hard for me lately, but then frankly, so has expressing myself in any way, shape or form.

I'm still really struggling with chest congestion, I get out of breath at quite trivial things. The problem was unintentionally aggrevated last night by DH lighting a fire, something I've now banned until my chest is clear. We have clear, cold weather at the moment, I don't know if that makes pollution hang low, or just lots of people had fires last night, but the school run increased the level of discomfort signficantly, it makes me wonder how anyone with a lung problem manages.

I'm going to hit post now, I've deleted several things, but nothing seems to come out quite right.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Busy week

I haven't posted for a week, not because I've nothing to say, but because it seems to take too long to say it.

It's been a moderately busy week and I actually feel like I've accomplished a few things around the edges! Shopping has been quite a big feature, I usually get groceries from Amazon Fresh, but there are a few things I like to have around from Trader Jos and some things we buy in bulk at Costco, both trips were managed, though the Costco one did end with me dropping Banana Girl off with Andrew at work saying please feed her and don't bring her home until you've picked up Sausage Boy from school, which isn't ideal.

We managed to make a Christmas cake after having spent a small fortune on dried fruit and a long time wandering around the supermarket trying to figure out where the glace cherries and mixed peel might be, or if they even sold it and assuming it probably wasn't called that so I couldn't even ask, turns out they do sell them, glace cherries are just labelled red cherries and mixed peel was labelled fruit cake mix and they were in the fresh fruit section.

I'm still not shaking off the remnants of flu, I tried not taking my cough medicine to see if I could shift some mucous (sorry if that's TMI), but it didn't seem to and just resulted in more coughing, I'd rather not cough, so it's back to taking the medicine! They gave me a 12 day prescription, so it lasts until the middle of next week, I don't hold out much hope for being better by then, given it's been about two weeks with no improvement.

I'm not sure if I mentioned that about 10 days ago I started an extra medication for depression. I'll very cautiously say that I think in the past couple of days I've noticed some improvement, with yesterday possibly having been the best day in several weeks. I've also been trying to take some non medication steps, I'm well aware of the need to exercise, but it's not easy to fit in and going for a walk isn't realistic in this weather, so we bought an exercise bike! I'm not fond of exercise bikes, I much prefer treadmills, but they take up more space and my hip is much more liable to complain, so recumbant bike it is and I'm determined to use it, however with the above discussion of my remaining flu symptoms my attempts to work out turned into chest pain and shortness of breath. I'm taking a couple of days off, but when I go back to it I need to look at the instructions to lower the resistance and keep the rpm low so I'm at least preparing my legs for some more intense cardio work!

We're also looking into getting a therapy light I've been convinced for years that I suffer from some degree of seasonal affective disorder. So with light, exercise and the right combination of meds I might actually be vaguely human in a few weeks!