Tag Archives: gastro paresis

My Water Bottle Won’t Email Me


 

“I wish my water bottle would email me when the battery is low like my watch does,” is the exact phrase that I said today while getting out of my car to go running.  I wasn’t thinking about the oddness of these words as they came out of my mouth.  I was disappointed and very serious about the problem, which my friend pointed out was really ridiculous.

“Five years ago, that would have sounded very strange,” she told me as we walked to the track to stretch.  I agreed and stated that even two years ago it would have sounded odd.  To which she replied that she wanted to “travel back in time and tell my slightly younger self that these words would come out of my mouth at some point.”  I laughed.  She is not a fan of my water bottle, and despite her heavy use of technology she is not a huge fan of all of the tracking which all of our devices are doing these days.

We both use the GPS on our phones to track our miles while we run, but I also use my awesome new Fitbit Blaze to track my running, walking, sleep, and heart rate.  She wants one for all of those things, but she doesn’t take the next step I have with my daily tracking of my life.  I track my food, my fluid intake, my mood, and anything I can find a free app to use with my phone track my daily everything.  I don’t do this because I think it is fun to input my calorie intake or because I am in desperate need to lose weight.  I do this because of gastro paresis.

I decided last month, after taking control of almost every part of my life again that my health was the last step I needed to get under control.  For my anxiety and short bouts of depression I found an app that actually got me interested in running.  (“Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.  And happy people just don’t kill their husbands.”) It is the Zombies Run app and I have been recommending it to everyone I know who is both game oriented and wants to start getting active.  I also tell my gym rat friends if they are into Zombies—which means all of my friends have been told to get this app.  If it gets my friend to run, then it can get anybody to start running.  It is super fun, especially if you are a gamer and in any way into Zombies.

I started with the other tracking apps because I wanted to see what foods might be triggering my stomach flare ups, as well as noting whether it was food or anxiety that might be contributing more to them.  So far I have only had one really sick morning since I started tracking, and that was today.  I also forgot to put in what I ate yesterday, so I am not sure of the exact causes of this morning, but I recovered by third period and just kept going.  If there was an app that would remind me to record what I ate as well as the app to put it in I would probably use that too.  I just don’t think they can create an app to know when I am eating in order for my phone to yell at me to scan the barcode.

With all of the crazy in my life right now, the tracking of my everything seems pretty mundane, but I have health reasons I use to justify it.  If I didn’t have my stomach problems I would have to monitor my food.  If I wasn’t prone to kidney stones, I wouldn’t need a water bottle to tell me to remember to hydrate and keep drinking.  You would think that after 16 years of having to monitor my fluid intake I would be better at it now, and I was until I started teaching.

While I love my job most of the time, I am drinking less during the day than I used to before I started teaching, and this is something I can’t have.  Kidney stones suck and if I have to buy a fifty dollar Thermos to remind me to drink more while teaching Greek mythology this makes sense to me.  Fifty dollars to save me pain and the expense of doctor’s visits as well as potential hospitalization, this is a reasonable expense for my life.  It isn’t like I need more than one.  I just need it to email me when it’s battery is low, just like my watch does.

Up to Date with Depression


So it has been awhile since I have posted. Although I have been trying to write more recently, I have been in a very depressed state and that has translated into no writing, a messy disaster of a house, and increased anxiety. This has been caused my multiple reasons of course, my continued stomach issues, lack of a boyfriend, and some issues with work related things.

Well, I guess I will start with my stomach problems. I have the official diagnosis of Gastro Paresis and Acid Reflux Disease. Yay! This means that I get to take medication for my too high stomach acid, try to keep my stress down, and continue to vomit every day like a pregnant woman. Now, I have lived with this for years, however it wasn’t until this past year that I started having severe issues with my stomach and it sucks. I haven’t had more than a couple days total that have caused me to be sick all day since I started my new job, but even that sucks. I don’t like missing work, I don’t like throwing up, and I don’t like taking meds to help with a problem when they don’t do much. Though on that front I have stated seeing a chiropractor who is confident that he can help with my stomach problems with alignments. While I have so far only had one adjustment on my back, it hasn’t hurt anything so it is worth a try.

So the next general depression problem is the lack of boyfriend. I had spent the last two years casually seeing someone, and when I got my new job as a teacher, that ended. This is ultimately a good thing though. The relationship had become more drama than it was worth and I have very different priorities in my life than he does, however it sucks to be single. I had met a nice guy on my birthday, and while my priority with him was friendship, I think he thought that I wanted to seriously date him. I am not opposed to a boyfriend, I just mainly want adult company. I am alone a lot and I want someone who I can talk to, and of course get the added bedroom benefits. With him I was just looking for the friend with benefits situation, he just wanted the friend part. So after being humiliated with this reality on Friday night, I have since increased my level of depression.

Dating is tough, especially in your thirties, and especially if you are a crazy person with super high standards. I need someone who can deal with my crazy, handle my throwing up, and also preferably never been married. I don’t want anyone who just wants to use me as a sexual object, and I can’t deal with clingy. I need my space and I don’t want to constantly have to be answering texts. Needy guys please stay away. I am independent, focused on my career, and don’t have time for drama. It seems everyone I have met in the past year falls into one of my red flag areas, and those that don’t are super young and aren’t ready to date at all, even in a super causal manner.

So for my last depression issue—work. I love my job, but a coworker has been making things extremely difficult for me. She has decided that everything is my fault, including student attitudes towards her. I even got blamed for a fight between two students, which happened during her class. I am still trying to figure out how in any way this fight was due to me or my teaching, especially since I wasn’t there. Almost a week later, and I am still baffled.

Friday she came up to me and again decided to place blame on me for a student hiding from her for 25 minutes and not going to her class. He hid in another teacher’s classroom, and I let him out early to go to his next class, because surprise, I have a class to teacher after the one he is in with me. So my classroom door was lock, the student was not in there, and yet it is my fault he didn’t go to her class. Maybe I should be proud of the fact that she seems to think I have god like power and authority over these kids, but I’m not.

the reality is that several of the students hide from her class and when they come to my class I send them immediately on their way back to her. It is my job to deal with the class I have at that time, not to make sure all of her students arrive to her class. In fact if students are continually not going to her class, I think that says something about her as a teacher. I don’t know if this teacher is just placing the blame on me because I’m new, or if she truly believes that it is my fault. I do know that because of this week being blamed by her for everything that has gone wrong, I almost quit.

So I have been dealing with a lot. However, after attending Jax by Jax yesterday, and running into old friends I have decided to get back to what I am truly supposed to be doing. That is of course writing. However, I am actually going to start really submitting my essays for publication, and maybe a few short fiction pieces as well, we will see. I am excited about this new turn and I hope it helps pull me out of my depression. I have always had a hard time writing when I am depressed. While it used to be music, now it’s writing in general.

So embrace your crazy, do what you love, because that is the only way to find yourself and crawl back out of the holes that we sometimes fall into.

Where Do We Start… and End?


It has been a long time since I felt comfortable to be myself around someone new. I finally found that person, but things got strained and difficult really quickly. I will not lay the blame on him, I believe that this is mostly my fault, however I will say that it usually takes more than one person for conflict to arise.

He was super sweet and waited almost a month to finally meet me in person because I have been sick, and well I still am. That is one of the problems. I was having a good week when we met and our first date was fun and our second date lasted 40 hours. Then it was back to work, stress, and then my stomach problems came back.

Now I haven’t been talking much about my recent sickness. That is maybe because it isn’t a recent illness, just the most recent flare up. I am in the process of getting a confirmed diagnosis for gastro-paresis. If you don’t know what it is, it sucks. I am sick to my stomach all of the time, I can hardly eat and all kinds of social and environmental factors play a part. Basically to not have a flare up I have to never be under any stress, ever, at all. Now having my diagnosis currently of and anxiety disorder with OCD personality traits, this is a flat out impossibility. I can’t go through a day without something stressing me out, and it is usually little things. Like my computer not working right, or traffic being bad. Normal everyday stress that for a normal person is a minor irritation, takes medication to control not just for my brain, but also for my stomach.

When I get stressed, I get sick. This causes more anxiety, which causes more sick, and the cycle continues. The only way out is to get away from my stressors. Sometimes that means I can’t drive. Other times, well it is impossible. People have to work, but for someone like me the simple act of walking into a job where I might get stressed, so I might get sick puts me on guard, makes me nervous, and eventually leads to where I am now. Trying desperately to prove to my employers that I realy have a disease, and that I’m not making it up.

Now where does the boy come into all this, well we had so much fun the first two weeks we hung out that y stress went down and I started to get better. Then I got stressed out at work, and I vented to him, and we had a couple bad nights and things got awkward, and now we don’t know how to talk to one another, and he wants to be just friends. While there is much more to this, and will get its own post, I will say that it was bad timing. Today I needed desperately to distress after being confronted with the very real possibility that I may soon be unemployed, and I thought he would be the perfect fun relaxed person to distress with. Instead he tried to help me in another way. Which caused me to get upset again and I was ultimately unable to explain things the way I wanted, which again leads me here.

I truly appreciate it when people try to give me advice about things I struggle with. However, let me get through the emotional moment first. Now this could be a moment or a few hours, depending on my percentage of bad brains that day. And this is changing too. I never thought that someone could recover from mental illness, just learn how to live with it. Now I believe that for someone us it changes over time. Which makes sense why my greatest shrink refused to give me a diagnosis. But I got one anyway, and it has changed. I have gotten both better in some things and worse in others. Which equals a whole new diagnosis, and while I know it’s not bi-polar, I’m pretty sure I know what it is, and it isn’t one that I want to fully embrace yet.

I do know that I have been sick, and alone and this makes me depressed. I stress out to the point where I have dissociative anxiety attacks, something I haven’t done in years, and this scares me too. It is scary to know that you live with something that can only be controlled to a point. Something within you that you fight every day, just to make the rational choice and not the impulse that will just make things worse. I don’t always win, but I feel that on the ones I used to lose I’m gaining decent control. Others I am still working on.

I don’t know if I can save my job. I’m going to go to the doctor and try to get into a specialist ASAP for my tummy problems. I am going to consider increasing my anxiety medication for a short time to help with the stomach problem as well. It is very convenient that I’m prescribed something which is given for both disorders. And I’m going to talk to my crazy doctor about my depression problems and the disassociation and see if there is anything that can be done there. I’m not keeping my hopes up that the boy will come around, but I hope he keeps reading this, and will see that I am taking his advice to heart, that I’m reaching for the bootstraps, and I’m doing the best I can. I hope everyone else sees that too.

I don’t want to go through this alone, and I know there are a few of you out there who are there for me both in my personal life and in your comments, and I thank you. This is another long journey, and I can’t do it without support.

So embrace the crazy you have today, even if it is different than it was yesterday, and especially if it rambles along as much as this post.

Mental Health Awareness


May is mental health awareness month, and it has taken me this long in the month to do a post about it for several reasons.

  1. Every year when I hear that it is mental health awareness month, I suddenly become overly aware of my own mental health.  I begin to take stalk of if I am in fact still crazy.  I wonder if I still have anxiety, over and over to the point that I give myself anxiety.  So towards the end of the month I realize that my diagnoses is still true.   I am still the wonderful bearer of and Axis 1 Anxiety Disorder, with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Traits. (that is mainly my circular thoughts that drive me and everyone around me nuts)
  2. This year I have started a new relationship with a boy.  While we have only known each other for one week, officially today.  We have been spending a lot of time together, which I actually enjoy.  He makes me laugh and I am able to relax around him.  Although, when I come home, like tonight, I am suddenly filled with free roaming anxiety, which in turn causes me to question everything about myself and why I like this person.  I am sure there is something deeply wrong with him, because he just seems too good for me.  Don’t misunderstand, this is part of my crazy.  I am hopeful I am wrong, but I never expect to be, which might be a major contributing factor to my eternally single state.
  3. I have been really sick.  I have gastro paresis and this month I have been having a flare up.  Which basically means my stomach refuses to digest food as it should, and I have to go to the doctor for never ending tests, which I can’t finish because I keep throwing up.  I have missed a lot of work, which really sucks, and I am scared to eat at all most days.  This causes a never ending cycle of me being starving, and me getting even more sick because I feel better and then over eat.  However, I think that this flare is coming to an end, just in time to coincide with my monthly round of female hormones which make me angry and anxious for a whole different set of reasons.

However, it is May still, and that means that it is the time of year when we are all supposed to be aware of mental health. I think that should be every day and not just an allotment of 30 some odd days at the end of the school year. We should always care about our friends, family, and strangers who suffer from mental health disorders.

So because it’s May, we should embrace the crazy in public. Have an outburst at work, you’re crazy right, then explain that you are protesting the fact that craziness is not accepted in our society. Well, maybe that’s not the best way to go about things. However, I do encourage you to start conversations with people about the importance of mental health acceptance, and what we can do to change the stigma about those of us who live we these problems every day of our lives, for the rest of our lives.

Also, embrace, and I do mean hug, the crazy. It’s mental health awareness in its kindest and most in your personal space kind of way. Hugs for crazy people, especially the ones who need drugs so they don’t punch you for the hug.