The one about shit hitting the fan at work.

Yes, I am swearing. Shut up, my blog.

Okay, I have finally hit that magical point where shit hits the fan. I am in the process of arranging a 6 week medical leave for stress. Before you say “what bullshit, we’re all stressed”, let me explain.
Oh hell, too long, let me bullet point

  1. thyroid out of wack
  2. heartrate high
  3. breathing issues
  4. lack of sleep
  5. tremors and stomach pains on days I come into the office
  6. nightmares the weekend before I go on call

Basically, I have had three different doctors suggest that my physical issues are stress related. They may be. I finally hit a low point last week. I don’t even know what straw landed on the metaphorical camel’s back, but I realized I needed out.

I find my shoulders tense on the ride into work. By the time I sit at my desk, my stomach is in knots. I can’t stand the bull from my officemate. Last week, he couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t get email from account A when the mail server was out. I wanted to slam my head into a wall.

I have arranged an appointment to talk to an independent person to discuss my work situation. I can’t go into all of the detail, but I must say that since my former teammate left, our team has been dysfunctional, painful and stressful. There is no more fun in work.

I am working with my RN for depression. I need her to sign the paperwork so I can take 6 weeks off on medical leave. I will work through these issues with a new person. I need to find out what the right answer for me is. I need to step back. I need a breather, for I am burnt.

And this is fucking scary to do.

* And before you ask, no, there are no internal jobs to transfer to. Yes, I am looking for new jobs, no I am not qualified for some and yes, I am getting depressed about that.

Nibbled

“Quack”
I looked around the kitchen, rather surprised to hear a duck while doing the dishes. He stood on the other side of the dishwasher door, his fine green head tilted at me.
Okay, a duck. In my kitchen.
“Quack”
He cocked his head sidewise and stared at me. This was not what I had been thinking about. In fact, I had been thinking about Luna. She’s been ice skating a bit lately and she has an expo this weekend. We forgot about the date and scheduled something else at the same time. Crap.
“Quack, Quack”
What the hell? Now there were two ducks staring at me. Where did the other one come from? Besides, I don’t have time for this! I also have to get Soleil to her hockey practice. She’s really getting it down now, this who hockey goalie stuff. If we could only work on her focus. She has trouble focusing at school too. It’s really becoming a problem.
“Quack””Quack””Quack”
The original drake hopped up on the dishwasher door. Brave bastard. Where did that other duck come from? And the others? There’s 4 ducks standing in my kitchen. The dog is outside. I should go get her. She’ll scare the ducks away, but she is such a scared dog. I am so glad that she did well at the pet hotel this trip. I worry about the next trip. We’ll be gone longer. Does she miss us? Does she think we’ll be leaving her forever?
“QUACK!”
Wow!Simultaneous quack!I didn’t know ducks could do that. Holy hell? They are multiplying faster than I can think and three of them are now perching on the top rack of the dishwasher. Can ducks actually perch? I mean, the webbed feet and all. Damn, I need to actually walk the dog today. Poor thing. And email. I have a bunch of emails to send out for the data analysis project. Too many things!
“QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!”
Okay, this is getting surreal. The ducks are taking over my kitchen, they get are getting braver and braver and I can’t get to the broom closet right now to scare them away. Oh, right, I have to sort through the drawers and pull out the extra clothes that the girls don’t fit in anymore. I can’t believe how fast they are grow…OUCH! That damn duck just bit me! Well, more of a nibble than a bite, but STILL! OW!
The room is now filled with ducks all creating a cacophony of quacks. They all move closer and I can see now that every thought of every task I need to complete brings another duck into existence. They advance with those brown and orange beaks nipping, biting, pecking. I am quickly drowning in a sea of water fowl and destroyed by all the things I need to do in my life.
And that is how I was nibbled to death by ducks.

Totally and completely fried

  • It’s not the work. It’s the amount of items that are all #1 priority and I always select the wrong one to attack first
  • It’s not the activities. It’s the time it takes to get the girls ready for them. The girls want to go, they just take their damn sweet time.
  • It’s not school. It’s the homework.
  • It’s not the homework. It’s the fighting and screaming and the "it’s not fair" over the homework assignments.
  • It’s not the housework. It’s the lack of recognizing that putting things away when done makes it so much easier.
  • It’s not the laundry. Oh, wait, yeah, it is the laundry.
  • It’s not the commute. It’s the time spent idling because there are too many people on the roads.
  • It’s not the money. Because I don’t think it’s worth it anymore.

Another fragile moment

This weekend, we drove down to DC (I forget how far that really is from Boston) and visited with family for the second of the kids’ generation Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. (Boys are Bar and Girls are Bat). The first kid was 3 years ago, now things start rolling. I think Luna is the last in this generation who will actually do the Bat Mitzvah.

If you aren’t familiar, I should tell you that when a Jewish child turns 13, they are considered an adult in the community and read from the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible). Their religious school is all about training for this and learning about the culture and connections to the past.  In other words? This is a big deal. No, wait, a Big Deal (capitals are required).

We stayed with our cousins who have three crazy kids and 2 golden retrievers. I am allergic to the dogs. By the second day there, I could barely talk, but I love the cousins too much and the dogs too much to stay at a hotel.

The reception party for the Bar Mitzvah was held at a lovely center, with outdoor appetizers. I was kicked out by my children because there were too many bees there. Suckage…. I really felt fragile between the bees and the dogs. What? I can’t be outdoors because of the bees? WTF? No!!!!

And I love those dogs! I am not going to change my plans because of everything that will kill me.

I know, most of the reactions (physical and people’s reactions) are due to my current immune state. I am a bit weak right now and my immune system is in overdrive. It will take about 1 month to deal with recovery from the latest reaction. Sigh.

I just don’t need to be reminded how fragile I am right now.

A hail of bullets

  • Doing better from Tuesday, but I am still exhausted. An allergic reaction causes fatigue.I also still have a swollen tongue and throat which feels terrible at night.
  • If you really are all annoyed about peanut policies at your school/work/daycare? Screw it. Trust me, as the second time of going through this, you do NOT want anyone having to go through anaphylaxis because you insist on packing nuts. It is scary enough as an adult who understands what is going on, it must be terrifying for a child and for the parents.
  • It is pouring today. Finally feels like fall.
  • The house project is moving a bit slower than expected. The wallboard is up, but the plaster work that was to be done this week was held up due to another project. The hope is to get the floor in, sanded and coated next week.
  • Today is pretty quiet at the house. I may get a nap in if I can’t get my hair done.
  • T-Tapp is going. I stopped measuring and just decided to go for 12 weeks and then reevaluate. I am doing every other day with 15 minutes, although, when I can do the 50 minute workout, I do. I am not sure I am getting any body sculpting out of this (not yet), but I have to say my depression has gone down and if I can manage my depression through this sort of exercise? I can save some $$ at the gym!
  • The writing is coming along fine. I am 10% of the way through. Not bad for 5 days in. Oh, wait, that’s 10% of the month. Doh! 🙂
  • Girl troubles in grade 3 suck
  • My Girl Scout troop is camping this weekend without me. Yea! I get to relax.

The art of being Nance

The panic attacks have started again. I know why. I don’t know how to stop them.

Someone said an offhand comment that cut to the fiber of my being. I won’t go into details here, but yeah, I’m pissed. And it set me into small panics about life. I need to stop these.

I understand why I am uncomfortable at work. It is personal, and not professional. I need to just ignore the words of someone that I feel that I want to impress. I have considered other jobs, but I am not ready to make that jump yet…

I am feeling good about parenting as of late. Luna is working on her screaming. Our system of giving a check mark for no screaming and a second check mark for good behavior has been helping. I think a Halloween party for her is on the horizon! Soleil has been working on several things, and she is comfortable discussing the tough stuff with us. For example, she was goofing at school and got in trouble. She needed to get it out because it was bothering her. She told us, we asked if she felt she was treated unfairly, she said no and we said, good. It’s done. Don’t do it again. And that was that.

On the health front, it has been tricky. I need to exercise more. I like the T-Tapp because it is definitely calming the depression, but right now, I haven’t been able to fit it in my life. I need to get it back in( I have been doing the shorter one more often, but I really want to get the long one in. Maybe I should focus on doing the 15 minute one every other day for a few weeks then moving in the longer one when I can)

On the house front, we are stalled. We are awaiting the windows. This means that our house is damned cold because we can’t get the insulation in until the windows and siding are up (town regs). The addition is open to the outdoors, and then opens to our house. We are getting into the 50s downstairs and low 60s upstairs in the morning. Brrrrr. So we haven’t bothered to turn on the heat so we don’t waste the energy. The windows should arrive by the 20th, although the largest window may not make it until a week later. Don’t get me started on what is causing the delay…NONE of these windows are custom sized. They are all stock sizes from pella.

 

Blog reading? HA HA HA HA! I barely get time to write in my own blog, not to mention reading everyone else’s. It will pass. I will find time.

Girl Scouts? Yeah- right now that is taking a lot of energy. More later on that.

It’s hard being yourself. Stick to it.

20 lbs?

You know that movie "7 pounds"? Ok, ok, I am not going to kill myself for 7 pounds of organ and tissue donation. But, I do have 20 extra pounds hanging around from the past 2 years. Seriously? 20 lbs in 2 years? Yes…

My thyroid is still out of whack and it has been for a while. I have an ongoing problem with Dr. Jay where I have been trying to get him for a certain doctor appointment (nothing terrible, but he’s a MAN and they don’t do doctors). So we had a deal. If I call my endocrinologist, he would set up the other appointment.

Fine. Monday I called and I got an immediate appointment on Tuesday. Wow! So I went in yesterday. We talked. I have good days/bad days. I have nights I can’t sleep because I took the slightly larger dose of meds and nights I pass out early because I took the lower dose. We switched my medicines yesterday.

I am now on a T3 medication (cytomel) plus my T4 medication (levoxyl) at a lower dose (Thyroid primer…T4 metabolizes into T3 which gives the pituitary the right level of Thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH) to put out…get TSH right, you should be ok).

My hopes are that this gets my TSH levels good (I am good now!Finally at 1.96!!!, but I can’t handle the daily shifts of energy) and with luck, I can start losing these extra 20 lbs. Because I am healthier than this. I don’t need the extra weight. I would not say I am fat, but I have more excess than I need. My clothes feel it, I feel it and I want to be healthier…

SO wish me luck as we see if the new medicine works or not… And if I can lose these 20 lbs…

Oh- and a side effect is that it may make my antidepressants work better! Bonus!

Another day in Paradise

It is now Wednesday, and we have been at our top secret meeting location since Saturday. It has been a wild ride, a VERY busy meeting (sessions from 8:30am to 9pm, obviously not everybody is going to every session), and the girls are with us.

The biggest snafu that has hit us was the daycamp. This resort meeting place has a daycamp for kids. We have been emailing, etc for the weeks leading to the trip to help set up the camp. Turns out, they don’t check email or voice mail (WTF?) and they were only open MWF this week. Crud. They went all day Monday and today. Yesterday, we planned our sessions carefully and one or the other of us was with them. It worked out well, but we had a funny food day including cereal for dinner last night!

The other fun, is that our tropic paradise location in the Pacific was in the path of the tsunami that was released Saturday. We decided to fly to San Francisco anyway and see what the situation was at that point. Fortunately, the highest waves went south of here and only minor damage occurred, but the hotel we are in was evacuated for most of the day Saturday. It was a little stressful to see how things were going to go, but on the other hand, we would at least have gotten a day in San Fran if we couldn’t make it the meeting!

I have been thinking too much on the ride here and while watching the ocean. It turns out that my current depressive funk is not just the lack of solar radiation in Boston, but a real depressive episode. This pleases me not, but as long as a recognize the demon for what it is, I am on the winning side.

The place here is awesome, but I surprised at how busy I am with the meeting. Friday is a day "off" so we plan on visiting a volcano nearby. I think the kids will like that!

If I get a chance, I will backdate some posts, but don’t count on too much internet time from me. Too busy with work (yea, I am serious!)

Eye to eye

Yes, I see you

You have been lurking and watching. Waiting. Looking for your chance to jump.

Well, I am now looking at you eye to eye. And I have two words for you

"Bite Me"

It’s not my favorite quote from Becky (that would be "He’s Dead, not Deaf!"), but it fits.

Bite me depression. I don’t need you right now.

Bite me. I just went to a memorial for a mother of 3, the youngest was 8.

Bite me. I am going to enjoy things for a while.

So depression, I am looking at you eye to eye and telling you to bite me. I don’t want you right now.

(10 points to the person who can figure out why I haven’t been writing…nah too easy.)

Double trouble

I made a vow around Christmas time, that I would not let work drive me nuts. I would exercise more. I would get out of the office and I wouldn’t let anyone, not even my supervisor tell me that time in the office equals productivity….because it doesn’t.

However, around the same time, I noticed Jay was, well, short tempered a bit. He was tired and grouchy. Our trip to Buffalo didn’t help too much as his diet was off and he was getting his next fill up (Remicade treatment) when we returned home. He is always a little off right before a fill up. Then, the American Astronomical Society’s winter meeting came and he went to that.  Now that he is back in a rhythm, I had hoped things would calm down, but they haven’t. He is overwhelmed with work. He has 5 papers to review and comment. Several meetings to attend, collaborators to respond to, proposals to write, you get the idea. Then at AAS, he was asked to work on a project that may or may not take off. If it does, he is even deeper in work.

All of this pressure is getting him depressed. I don’t mean as deep as mine, but he is restless, tired, needs to be happy. I don’t know what to do for him.

I, on the other hand, have started to do better about work. I moved my office around (LOVE IT!) and I am focusing on quality, scheduling exercise in and relaxing in general. But the seasonal changes are kicking in and I am seeing my own depression moving into place. How to deal with it? I don’t know. I often lean on Jay when I am staring into the abyss. He needs me now and I am trying to stay level.

Yesterday, I lost him at work. It was time to go so we wouldn’t be late getting the girls. He had left his office and his phone was in his office. I checked a few places, but failed to find him. When he finally looked at the time, we were 15 minutes late and didn’t make it to the after school care on time. Since he was so upset and stressed, I bit back my stress and forced myself to stay calm.

I am not really sure how to deal with this. I am going away for the weekend and I don’t want him stressed and yelling every 5 minutes. But how to stop someone else falling when you yourself aren’t able to hold up? I have no clue..