Monday, December 31, 2012

7:22 AM December 31st 2012

This being the story of my day on the last day of 2012 the year that the incan calendar stopped. In truth a bit of a retrospective of the year gone by and a look into the future I hope for.

To begin with today has started badly for me. I was still awake at 12:30 AM and I only slept until about 3AM when I woke up with a tickle in my throat that wouldn't go away even after coughing and dry heaving for an hour. Eventually I remembered that peppermint is supposed to settle an irritated stomach so I dug out a candy cane. It helped enough that I was able to sleep until 6 AM when my alarm went off. I turned it off and laid back down but couldn't get back to sleep between the pain in my hip from tripping over the baby gate and Coco's whining. Eventually at 7ish I went downstairs intent on taking her out but Bently had to go too. I hooked him up and she started barking at full volume and jumped the baby gate to join Bently & I. I clipped them in tandem and let them out the door, by the time I got to the top of the stairs they were already at the bottom. As I headed down I slipped and slid down to the bottom of the stairs all 12 of them. Thankfully I didn't twist my ankle or bang my head but now my whole left side hurts instead of just my hip.

With the extra activity since Christmas Day morning I have been mostly pain free though obviously with the two falls the fibro has just moved from my body to my head. I can not afford to have bad balance here this place is all stairs. Stairs to get from my floor to theirs, stairs to get down to the front door, stairs from the back porch to the ground, stairs from the front porch to the ground. I haven't counted the steps between my floor and the front walk but I'm willing to bet that there are at least 30 steps. 15 from my floor to their door, another 15 or so from their door to the front door then three steps from the front porch to the sidewalk. All I know is that it is difficult for me to climb all the way from the front door to my floor without taking a rest.

This past year I have moved four times. From B104 to 104 Main to 103 Main in Hamilton then to here. The first three are all within 19 Strathcona so they were simple moves accomplished fairly quickly. The move from Hamilton back to Peterborough was a lot longer and much more tedious. Everything had to be disinfected as much as possible before it could be moved so I didn't carry the bedbugs with me. Oh yes the bed bugs, they were not a problem in the basement but quickly became one on the main floor. I hadn't seen a bedbug since I was 10 years old and mom had to replace all of our matresses. In the beginning I didn't know they were there because it was only a few random bites over a few weeks, they were a little itchy but not much. By the time I realized what was going on I had a full blown infestation. My landlord was a reasonable man and had been working to irradicate them as quickly as possible but they are hard to kill. After I moved into 103 they became so massive a problem that they were coming in every couple of weeks to clean and disinfect. Eventually it became such a problem I had to leave and had already decided that I would be returning home.

The professor agreed to let me winter my stuff in his garage in the hope that I will be able to bring all of my things here bug free. I picked up some yarn and needles at a place called Len's Mill so I at least had knitting stuff but 90% of my clothes and 100% of my storange units are still in his garage where they will remain probably until spring.

My mental illness finally has a name, it's called dysthymia. Basically that is a constant low level depression whose cause is generally unknown but is beleived to be genetic in nature. One of the things I would like to work on in 2013 is this. From what I read a few changes in lifestyle may alleviate it some what. That explains why sometimes in my life I could call myself happy, though few and far between they were during periods when I was looking after myself.

"There are a number of things you can try to improve dysthymia:

  • Get enough sleep.

  • Follow a healthy, nutritious diet.

  • Take medicines correctly. Discuss any side effects with yourdoctor.

  • Learn to watch for early signs that your dysthymia is getting worse. Have a plan for how to respond if it does.

  • Try to exercise regularly.

  • Look for activities that make you happy.

  • Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling.

  • Surround yourself with people who are caring and positive.

  • Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs. These can make your mood worse over time and impair your judgment.

Medications are often effective for dysthymia, though they sometimes do not work as well as they do for major depression, and may takelonger to work.

Don’t stop taking your medicine on your own, even if you feel better or have side effects. Always call your doctor first.

When it is time to stop your medicine, you and your doctor will slowly reduce the dose instead of stopping suddenly.

People with dysthymia may also be helped by some type of talk therapy. Talk therapy is a good place to talk about feelings and thoughts, and to learn ways to deal with them. Types of talk therapy include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you learn to be more aware of your symptoms and what makes them worse. You will be taught problem-solving skills.

  • Insight-oriented or psychotherapy, which can help people with dysthymia understand factors that may be behind their depressive thoughts and feelings.

Joining a support group for people who are having problems like yours can also help. Ask your therapist or health care provider to recommend a group."

Looking back it was always there and I am not the only one who suffers from it in my family. This is the most significant thing to happen in 2012. I now have a name for the one issue that has weighed on me for many years and a way to combat it that does not include medication or hospilization.

The second most significant thing to happen this year was the onset of menopause. My periods ended in January and though I had a couple when I was taking the prenatal vitamins, they were rust colored and very short. I was looking for an iron supplement and I picked the prenatal vitamins up by accident. Never again! It was the happiest day in my life when my period finally stopped!

The third most significant thing that happened this year was the birth of my third grand-daughter, I now have another little girl to spoil!

Now some of you may think I prioritized them incorrectly but trust me on this, finally knowing what is wrong with me mentally was the most important and significant event of the year for me. After years of questions I finally have an answer and something I can work with to bring a little happiness into my life before my time is up. Secondly I have been waiting for my period to stop since I had the tubal ligation in 1981, for the past 30 years it has been a monthly mess with no real purpose that I have had to deal with. The birth of a grand-daughter pales in comparison to those two things especially since I have two grand-daughters already who are nearly grown.

My biggest life lesson for 2012 was just that a lesson in best practices for a healthy life. You see that list up there ^, well one of those things was the perscription given to me by several different doctors, can you guess which one?

If you said "try to exercise regularly", your right.

Every doctor I saw this year including the breathing specialist all said the same thing, every  damn  one  of  them! So can you guess what my major goal for 2013 is?

If you said "Exercise regularly", your right.

Getting some energy back, easing some of my fibro pain, losing some of the extra hundred pounds I'm carrying around and lightening my depression can all be accomplished just by adding 15 minutes to half an hour of movement to my life every day. What is even better is that it does not need to happen all at once I can do 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there and 15 minutes elsewhere or stretch it out to three 10 minute sessions or six 5 minute sessions or two 15 minute sessions or any combination as long as it adds up to approx 30 minutes per day. What is more climbing stairs and walking the dogs both count. They may be only worth 40 calories but that is 40 more than I would have spent otherwise

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