A speed bump, not a whole in the ground

To sum up:

I didn’t loose my job this time, maybe later…(!)
I am loosing two good colleagues in a company that is making lots of money, they are being made redundant.
I gave in to my neck/head pain yesterday and got sick leave from my GP, who said I should have come two weeks ago.
My psychiatrist worries about my parasomni, and thinks I might do something stupid in my sleep, I have been sleepwalking… (feels stupid).
I have restocked on pain meds, sleep meds, sleep cycle meds and deep-sleep-relaxing meds. Feels reassuring.
It rained too much today for cycling, (which I shouldn’t do anyway because of the pain). But I will tomorrow!

I turned up the music and danced, as I cooked dinner for me and my husband.

I love to dance. Soon I will be happy again.

🙂

speedBump

Planning for good things to happen

English: Tony Corke climbs to the top of Sempe...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am really happy today (too), however, a bit scared.

Last night I managed to enter next years cycling event, it is really huge, for a small country. The second largest race in the country. I got the opportunity, and signed on and paid and then I had to breath a bit… Almost 100 kilometres mountain bike race, together with 13000 others.

This year, I had to miss out, because of all the pain in my neck and head. I am still not all that OK, but better. It felt really bad to miss it, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to prepare. To busy at work, to many things to think of, and no time for training.

So this morning I have been thinking of plans again. One of my great readers commented once on another of my planning post: ”Man plans, god laughs”. I admit I am a bit like that, I make plans. Now that Christmas is getting closer, I use a planning tool, to put everything in, so that I don’t forget. It doesn’t always work out as planned… I also like to make plans at a personal level, like I planned to quit heavy bad sleeping pills after last summer. It worked.

So now I wish I can make a plan all the way forward to the bike race in June next year. I need to loose some weight, I need to put workouts into the everyday schedule, I need to increase the amount of kilometers on the bike. I need to take great care of my motivation and dedication, if those two are not fed, they vanish.

I wish I could plan for the winter to stay away too, this morning we had 2 degrees C. But that is probably too much to ask for?

How are you about planning?

Certainly not there anymore

Few weeks back I wrote about the back-to-work-hopelessness, sitting in my office while my head and body were stuck somewhere in France. I’m not there any longer. I usually bring my breakfast to work, and I am usually so busy that by lunchtime I haven’t finished it. I rarely break for lunch…

I haven’t had inspiration or time to blog, which feels bad. I like to write, it makes me feel better, sorting my thoughts make me more focused and happy. It is work, work, work, spending time with my girls who are all grown up, and work, and PAIN. It doesn’t seem to go away. I have never cried anywhere as much as I cry when my (former gorgeous, now only evil) physiotherapist stretches my neck, head and throat muscles. I have dropped all heavy painkillers, however, missing the opportunity to go to bed a bit too drowsy and sleep for ten hours. Painkillers are no good. Not the ones that really work!

I wish I was in France. I wish my mindset was vacation mode. My boss put me on a management program, I reluctantly accepted. We had the house full of people last weekend, leaving no space to relax, and no space to talk to my husband, who is away all week. I think I continue to do things I don’t like.

Moments in between are good. When I get out exploring nature. Eating fresh cooked prawns on a 250 year old ship at sea. Meeting friends, especially my best one 😉

Being here, now, will go into my to-do-list. 😉

No, not good, not at all…

sternocleidomastoideus muscle

sternocleidomastoideus muscle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The nerves of the scalp, face, and side of neck.

The nerves of the scalp, face, and side of neck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An MR machine is not like on “House”, where the patient has lots of space, light, and seems to have a good time. It’s NOT! I think today, that my nose was two centimetres from the ceiling of that very noisy machine. I did have the alarm thing in my hand, but the thought of not doing this now, and use months thinking about doing it again, kept me from pushing the button. My neck was locked in a bracelet, and I had bell shaped hearing protection over my ears.
I cried a bit.
Then I had to do x-ray.
I cried driving home as well.

Earlier today, I went to physiotherapy. He (the gorgeous looking one) is not as optimistic as he was after the first sessions. Most of last week went by trying to ignore pain and headache. Think I succeeded, in a way, but it makes me so tired.
Instead of beating up all those sore points where the muscles and the nerves are attached at the back of my scull, he worked on all muscles around the clavicle and the sternocleidomastoid muscle. This is one of the most important muscles in the neck, sort of goes from the clavicle to the ear. Apparently mine is extremely tense and strung up, he had problems trying to get hold of it at all. I was in so much pain I had to get his hands off me a couple of times.
I don’t really like to be touched, I think. He worked so close to my throat, that I found myself trying to avoid it, and him, by clutching my legs to the bench, and sliding my upper body to the side. Hanging on by my feet and some stomach muscles I didn’t know I had. Tears streaming, and my top was wet all through from cold sweat.
Right now I wonder if there is something wrong in the upper part of my vertebrae too. I, and the doctors and therapists have considered all of this to be consequences of a whiplash after the unfortunate crash between my head and a brick wall while cycling. (USE BIKE HELMETS, I did!!) My current diagnosis is cervical headache, and it is only on the left side. Now I am not sure. There is something wrong with my C1 nerve, for sure, but all these f***ed up muscles too? My physiotherapist says that time has made it all this painful. Right now, it feels like my left side has been hit by a bus, it aches in my arm, shoulder, all muscles around my clavicle, my neck feels swollen. To top it up, my headache is out of this world.
I think I’ll allow myself one tiny little depression tonight, grab some painkillers and go to bed.

Gone fishing…

Guess I’m still suffering from kind of post-vacation-depression… Don’t really understand why this is always so hard! I mean, usually, I love my job, (or like very much at least). I have busy days after work as well, some of the stuff I have to do is good, some is tiring. I try to work out, so I need time to do that too, but right now, it seems like plunging into everyday life is something that requires a life west. I guess that after a couple of more weeks, everything will be back to normal. But right now, the thought of that is kind of awful.
Is life meant to be work, obligations, and stuff you don’t have the conscience to NOT do? I need to work to earn money, and I like solving problems like I do at work. Like my colleagues too. I have a family that I love, but now they were just waiting for me to come home to grab hold of me and my time… I love my husband, but can’t wait for him to get back to work, so that I have evenings on my own (he works in another city, one hour flight away).
Guess basically it is the ME-time I miss, all ordinary things overwhelms me.

Before we went away, I said I’d focus on these things, here’s how it went:

  1. Sleep routines. Not lack of it. Follow my attack plan on sleep meds. /Yes, did that. 
  2. Live here and now. Enjoy what happens. Take ALL the good photos. /Hmm… been a bit busy, and don’t know about the photos yet…
  3. Plan what and where we eat, I feel so much better without bread and fast carbs. /Lost cause…
  4. Get on the bike for at least 30 k a day, that’s just one hour (well, when it is flat)! /No, didn’t happen, but my bike has travelled most of Europe… 
  5. Don’t hurry (except downhill on the bike)/To little downhill on bike, a bit hurried in between
  6. Stretch my neck four times a day. Breathe… /Well… I guess no…

I made the sleep thing anyway, which is very good.

This week I bought a small kayak, and went fishing (the plastic bag is for the fish!). Didn’t get any, sea is full of stingy jellyfish that always get into the line and tip off the real fish down there. Good recreation, and good training for any muscle above the knee, it seems…  Weather sucks though. But this is going to be my new excuse, gone fishing! Me-time…

I am really happy to life a place where this is possible 🙂
Wishing you a lovely weekend!

How to take care of me?

English: New road at Hawthornden Only when I g...

Road to happiness 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a very worn out. The funeral was yesterday, and that puts an end to things. But I have not been treating myself as good as I should lately. Lack of sleep and rest, food always in a hurry, family stuff, no cycling, no meditating and all those work things I just have to finish before going away.

A good recipe for a bad result. I feel like I could sleep for a week, that feeling… But I can’t, and wont. When awake I feel like there’s cotton inside my head and my brain is wrapped in it! Everything wise is stuck inside cotton, and won’t come out.

I am going on a great vacation dammit, so now is the time to start being happy, relaxed, laugh a lot, go on lovely cycling trips, visit small medieval cities and drink coffee on the warm sunny town square. So here is the recipe for that:

  1. Get back into meditation routines, however, a bit difficult as we are together 24/7. But I’ll find the moments.
  2. Sleep routines. Not lack of it. Follow my attack plan on sleep meds.
  3. Live here and now. Enjoy what happens. Take ALL the good photos.
  4. Plan what and where we eat, I feel so much better without bread and fast carbs.
  5. Get on the bike for at least 30 k a day, that’s just one hour (well, when it is flat)!
  6. Don’t hurry (except downhill on the bike)
  7. Stretch my neck four times a day. Breathe…

That’s seven vital points for better days. Shouldn’t be too hard. Just right now it kind of seems like mission impossible! (Think I’ll make it??)

I always find it very difficult to get back from holidays, getting back into everyday work and other routines always messes with my head. And it is such a bad bad thing thinking about that now, before we have even gone… I’ll just have to leave that worry at home too. But it’s like when you start to worry, you just don’t stop… there’s always something more to worry about.

Tonight I have invited some old colleagues home for a reunion party. We will have loads of fun, and old memories to laugh about. No more worries as of now. Hereby decided! 🙂

Dwelling in depression

Sad News

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know whom to blame, but there must be someone! Everywhere I turn, somebody is depressed. I talk to the girls, about their friends or acquaintances, they are depressed, their friends, that is. I think I must know at least ten people telling me they take anti-depressives; I imagine I have twice that number of friends who are too ashamed to tell me about anti-depressives.

Depression inflation…

I have all respect in the world for the despair and hopelessness that comes with this illness.

But I have nothing but disrespect for all the GPs who use this as the best excuse ever not to get to the bottom of things. So easy to just hand out a prescription and “see you next month” when someone comes in to complain about lack of sleep, lousy feelings or lack of drive.

Since when are all those feelings not part of life?

Since when, has the cure for all, been a pill?

I know many people have serious depressions, and I don’t mean to offend anyone. I have so much respect for those who fight this disease, and have the courage to seek professional help. It is those who sit at the other side of the table, I am aiming at.

So many people starting on anti-depressives use them for years and years.

So many don’t get ANY other help.

If reading about side effects were obligatory, would so many use these pills?

If your GP told you, that this drug might help, but we won’t really know before at least six months, would you use them?

This creates patients, who stay patients for many more years than necessary. If listened to, if treated with more care and less pills, the situation would be so much different.

I can’t help thinking that depression is a “fashion” thing. And feel so sorry for those who suffer with severe depressions, though more awareness of this illness can help!

I can’t help thinking; nobody has mouse arms anymore. After serious research into neck injuries, it became clear that those large whiplash neck supports worsens the condition, whiplash also went out of fashion. (Though I have it, a real whiplash!)

I hope depression gets out of fashion too. Someone makes loads of money because people are wrongly treated with expensive pills.

Sorry about the rather cross language and strong meanings in this post. I was angry.

There is probably a pill for that too!

Weekends spoil my sleep!

It can be quite fu**ed up during the week too, but every weekend… I can’t get to bed in reasonable time, and spend hours in bed getting to sleep, just to wake up at six.
So I probably have to get some sleep during the day, and will be hopelessly confused, when Sunday evening appears, and Monday morning is lacking at least six hours.
Hate it!

Pain is good

Explicit!
I was too young. That morning I woke up with a terrifying pain in my lower tummy. Nobody ever told me about it, they probably thought it could wait for another couple of years. I must have been 11. I’m not going to go into too gory details here, but waking up with what looked like two litres of blood in my bed, made me think I was dying.

Of course I didn’t tell anyone. Dying was an ok option, he couldn’t hurt me anymore.

Well I didn’t die… and my effort to try to hide this from the world using huge amounts of toilet paper and hiding the sheets was not successful. It was my sister that told me what this was all about, she was 17.

My excruciating pain had me in bed for three days a month. And more painkillers were introduced. Nobody knew about the broken arm painkillers from a year back, and now I got more.

I got proper sleep. I got painless days. I imagine my body to be a tight bundle of hard strung muscles that would never let go and loosen up. The pills made me relax.

I wonder what the doctor must have thought. Did I appear to be a normal little girl? Did anyone see through the picture perfect family he tried to create?

My pain threshold became lower each month…

My period also gave me a break, he would leave me alone.

In one of my flashbacks I cut myself wanting lots of blood to keep him away. I don’t think it happened often, it could have happened just once.

Pain gave me relief.

Oh, it just felt so good!

Two little pills, I got to relax, sleep, and I didn’t feel any pain. I guess I had been on edge ever since my mother died, no, before that. Ever since I got into the habit of hiding. Ever since we moved to the large house with the big garden.

I told the doctor that I had fallen, he asked why I came alone, I said there was no one who could follow me.

He waited outside in the car, impatient, I imagine.

The doctor called to find my parents. I knew where he was, so I had no worries about that. This was before mobile phones… But I didn’t want the doctor to speak to him; he might think I said something wrong. It was a nice doctor, he held his hand on my shoulder and told me it would be ok. For an instant there, I believed him, and started to cry. He found a nurse to take me to x-ray, and promised that he would see me again, afterwards.

My left arm had broken, just over the wrist, not very serious really.

I just had to get out of my room, he was in there. I was sitting on the bed, he sat on my desk chair, I made a go at it. I had to get out. I wasn’t fast enough. So my arm broke.

He took me to the hospital, he didn’t speak in the car. I was just sliding into pain, and letting the pain in my arm be me. I had learned how to do that, indulge in pain, being silent and numb, out of reach.

I remember the warm lovely feeling of getting the cast on, the nurse told me how good I was doing. I really didn’t want to go out of there again. Before I went, the doctor gave me a glass of pills to take home, he said to give it to my mother to have her look after it. I promised I would. I could take one pill when the pain was too much, but no more than twice a day. And two pills at night.

The first night I put all kinds of things in front of my bedroom door, so that there would be a lot of noise if he was to come in. I slept.

The second day I endured the pain all day, to be able to take more pills as the night came. I sneaked out quite early, and didn’t come home for bed time. I slept like a baby, probably for the first time since I was a baby… At one of my hiding places by the sea.

I was ten. A child, a grown-up. I knew how to take care of myself.

Only safe when I was alone, only safe when I trusted no one.

Choices

Last two weeks has been a bit crazy. I cried a lot after what happened, I usually don’t cry. I felt as if all my efforts towards healing was in vain, as if I was set back years in time, so I cried some for that too. Sorrow is sometimes good. (Read last post if you don’t know what I am talking about).

But I did not start endless walking in the middle of the night because I couldn’t rest. I did not call trying to get drugs, though I admit having looked in all my secret spots… I told my therapist what happened, instead of keeping it to myself. I decided to do anything I could to get really tired (followed by good sleep), resulting in very long bicycle rides (which is my Passion) :).

I changed a pattern of wrong choices, and after a few days, it felt better. Those good choices made me make some more. It felt good to meditate, even if I need some help from time to time to concentrate. I used guided meditation from one of my apps. I decided to write, and made this blog. Writing about what happened to me has always been something I have wished to do, having an idea that it will help. However trying to do it, has caused me lots of headaches. So many of my memories and flashbacks don’t have words. Sounds, feelings, pictures that I haven’t been able to describe. As a writer, that is quite annoying. But now I have chosen to write.

This horrible flashback/self harm incident happened after a long period where I’d had a feeling that everything was going so much better. I was able to sleep almost without medication, which felt like a real victory. I’ve had sleep disorders for as long as I can remember. However; I cut back on clonazepam, (over a long period of time, so it should have been ok) but now I realize that this was a mistake. This medicine is what makes me stay asleep through the night, it sort of replaces my REM sleep with calm and quiet resting sleep, and keeps my nightmares away. Wishing to be normal, I hate taking it… Now I have increased the dosage a bit again, and haven’t had any serious flashbacks since that serious one.

I think mindfulness has made a difference for me. Maybe the most significant difference. And I am really reluctant to try anything “strange”, being hopeless skeptic to any not mainstream solutions. Actually skeptic to mainstream solutions too:) But this has given me more peace, and a very important way of having more (or some) control over my life.  I am not saying that it will be like this always, because I don’t know.

I went to see my therapist again yesterday. She was so worried after the last session, I remember saying I’m ok, nothings going to happen… Today she told me that my kind of dissociative behavior should not be treated outside of hospital. So I can understand that she was worried and wanted someone to look after me! And I was like “I HAVE to be alone, I won’t talk to anyone, I need to find some peace at home, by myself…”
I admit that I haven’t been focused at work these days, and I feel worn out and tired. I should probably had taken some time off… Whatever… 🙂 It was a good session, I was calm, managed to talk, felt good. Even if she doesn’t give me much hope of ever getting over my sleep disorder or my PTSD. It’s ok. Being able to live with it in a better way than what life’s been like till now, is a huge step forward.

This was long! Sorry:) And to all my followers in just a few day, THANKS:)

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, what is this, really?

PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after one or more events that result in a psychological trauma. Re-experience of the original traumas is one of the most common symptoms.

There is lots of information on this out there in cyberspace, not all of it good. My symptoms are quite awful. I have trouble falling asleep, almost every night, no matter how tired I am. I wake up with a feeling of terror in the middle of the night, not being able to dissociate from what I am feeling, from who and where I am at the instant that this is happening.
Many years this made me rush out of the house in the middle of the night, not being myself again until I had walked for at least 20 minutes. I used to have special places to “hide”. By the rocky seaside, where nobody could see me, I regained my breath and found my heart beating at a not so panicked pace.

The horrible memories coming up are not always the same. They change, and as there still are lots of stuff I really don’t remember, it is really scary. Many times I find it hard to relate to the things that happens “in my head” as I don’t remember. But I have learnt that the bad re-living of all these things have a reason. It is not something I make up. I can go on for days with only minimal sleep, 3-4 hours a night. After periods like these, I used to do drugs, desperate to get to sleep again. That’s a stupid thing to do… Turning life into even more chaos, and not being able to stop using again for maybe months. So then you have a circle going round and round with hardly any possibility to change or stop it. Now I haven’t used since October. Quite happy about that!

Another symptom is that I get really tired, worn out, maybe a bit indifferent or even moody. Being so on edge, scared and sleepless does that to people… But it is as if there is something more to it, the tiredness I mean. I am not just tired, I’m so fatigued that I think I can sleep for a week. If only I could fall asleep… I argue from time to time with my lovely therapist whether I am depressed or not. She thinks I am… I disagree:)

Sometimes I get terrified during daytime to. I haven’t identified all the triggers. It can be a smell, a noise, a very special pair of shoes, a feeling of not being able to get out. I am not afraid of flying, but whenever the plane door closes, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. Neither am I afraid of dentists, but the idea of lying in his chair not being able to get out, scares me. Kind of claustrophobic…

My PTSD is not related to one particular incident, as you can see. It is because of long-term abuse, and a childhood where there are few things I can really remember. Of my biggest problems are that some of these memories have no language. I have some images that is hard to describe, I have some smells, some feelings, strongest one is that I am dying. Being so terrified and not having the language to describe these non-verbal things going on inside me is tough! Specially because I work with language and words, as a journalist!

If PTSD has a colour, for me that is red. As in blood, dark red.