Testing and worry

I hate medical tests! I don’t care if they are simple or not. The thing is they are finding out if there is something wrong with you. Apprehension is the name of the game. There is also the thing that the medical community can be so slow on reporting the results. You sweat and worry only to find out there was nothing. I may do this worse than others since I am a nurse. However, testing is done and I will more on from there. These were routine and I can check it off my list.

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Medicine is certainly not set up to help anxiety. Some tests require extensive time for results and that can’t be helped but for others there must be a better way. It is hard to watch someone who had tests for recurrent cancer have to wait a week to find out the results. The people doing most things like MRI’s and CT’s have instant results. The delay is getting it read by a physician and reporting the results to the ordering physician and then to the patient. Surely we can find a way to streamline this process.

waiting for test

 

Maybe they will report the results in my autopsy.

 

 

 

 

My daughter goes to a clinic that does Mammograms, Bone Density Studies, X-rays, etc all in the clinic. You have those done and then see the physician who ordered them right after. What a great system. We need more of this! I think I will move to where she is!

 

A “holy” task

I'm having trouble breathing.

 

Today I have been down. When I worked in the garden the other day I carried around a sprayer that was quite heavy. It was slung on my right shoulder and now I have a pulled muscle next to my shoulder blade in the back. The strange thing is it has caused some anxiety since I can’t breathe deeply.

This minor problem has made me appreciate what it must feel like to not be able to breathe properly. It is scary. I know that I can breathe just fine but a deep breath hurts. That make you want to take deep breaths.

Everyone has their physical problems. Some more than others but each of us has some part of our body that is weak. There is so much research that shows that even our mental health is physically connected. I wonder when everyone will realize that we are whole people and that our physical, mental and spiritual health is linked Medicine has grown in such a way that doctors know mostly about their own area. It is nice to see some practitioners using a holistic approach to treatment.

whole ness

 

We all must take care of our whole selves. It is a “holy” task.

So much anger

My husband mentioned receptively that he doesn’t remember people being so angry at each other when we were younger. I agree with him. I meet so many people who are angry for no reason. Today I was crossing the road from Staples to my car and there was a gentleman down from me doing the same thing. A car came up to him and honked loudly several times. He was trying to hurry but had a limp and I think was moving as fast as he could. The lady pulled in next to my car and got out. Her shirt said: “Remember be kind.” I was so tempted to say something to her but I didn’t. She needed to read her own shirt!

so much anger

It is so easy to see the anger in road rage, shootings, anger in our government, and just about everywhere. What has happened? Have changes in the ways we communicate (electronically) allowed us to not be kind face to face? The treatment of each other has deteriorated drastically.

I hope that we can discover the cause of all the anger and learn new ways to get along. If not, life will continue to be scary.

enthusiasm

Demolish the wall

Sometimes we build walls around ourselves to stay safe. We wall out anything that hurts us…whether physical or mental. An extreme example of how the walls work is the patient written about called Sybil. Dividing yourself into separate people puts up walls between the root person to help her. Another example is Howard Hughes who physically walled himself in.

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Our various forms of mental illness can be walls. Ways that we have adjusted to the world in order to survive. The illnesses seem negative but at some time they may have been essential. (this may not include some types of illness)

The walls are hard to pull down. They are worse than masks. Masks seem more temporary but the walls have been built with bricks and mortar. Our anxiety can cause us to retreat from the world. We only seem safe if we stay under the covers on our beds.

When we are suffering it is very difficult to pull down the walls and move out of our comfort zone. When I am anxious I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I curl into a fetal position mentally and physically. I have erected a wall around myself.

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I have been working on the things that help me to remove the wall one stone, one piece of mortar, at a time. Meditation, remembering to breathe, focusing my mind, distraction are all things that help. With persistence these tools help me to keep the wall from growing and even begin to keep sections down. Progress is happening which gives me impetus to keep on keeping on.

Don’t give up. That wall can be knocked down a little at a time. Just keep on!

Face things and move on

Today I decided to bake some bread from a different recipe. It didn’t work. Although the bread rose initially after shaping it just sat there. After a little rise I decided to bake it and it promptly fell. After taking it out the taste was great and the texture wonderful but it only rose the slightest bit. Won’t use that recipe again. Back to my own recipe that works every time.

my-bread

Bread baking is so therapeutic. I love kneading it with my hands. The silky feel of it and the smell when it bakes. (even if it doesn’t rise) The house smells so good. I was planning to take some to a neighbor but another day.

Things don’t always work out the way we planned. This was a small thing but when big things happen we have to move on just the way we do with the little ones. Sometimes it helps to fuss and #%^&*+#  some to make us feel better. If it is a truly bad thing it may take some time to get over it. I have a friend who says “take 24 hours for a pity party and then shake it off and get on.” I have actually found this to work for me. After the 24 hours are up I challenge myself to rise up out of the depths, take a deep breath, and move on. I think our minds just need time to absorb whatever new reality is facing us.

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Life is never boring but shakes us up to test our mettle. Those upsets don’t get to me as much as they used to except for life and death issues. Even then I have learned that those things can be faced and accepted even though they hurt. At my age one has to acknowledge that death is inevitable. Doing so brings a kind of peace.

If only we could learn to live each day knowing that it will never come again. Participate in life every moment instead of waiting for tomorrow we would be so blessed.

 

Today is what matters

It is so easy to forget that today…this moment….is all we have. The sky could fall on me right now and it would be all over. Yet, I can spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about tomorrow.

Those of us who are troubled with anxiety are so good at worrying about things which usually don’t happen. I tend to pick the worse case scenario and obsess about it. So silly.

worry about tomorrow

It is time to throw off the shackles of worry and enjoy each moment of life that is given to us. Tomorrow may never come and if it does then that when I’ll think about it.

Balance

This has been the calmest week (so far) that I have had in a long time. The peace is wonderful. I know that it won’t last but this time has refreshed me. I didn’t plan for calm but it just happened. Maybe because the week was so ordinary.

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I don’t know if chaos just comes naturally or I help it to appear. It is so easy to take on more than I can handle and end up depleted at the end of the week. I did travel in May and had company (family) in July so maybe this is the kick back time from that.

I know that this won’t continue since we will have our bathroom torn up in the near future. We don’t have a start date yet but I think it will be soon. Just having to move everything out of that bathroom and put it elsewhere will be a challenge. Maybe it will help me to clean out more cabinets and not put so much stuff back. That is the positive side.

change-aversion-conflicted-user-leadMost of us don’t like change. In this case change will be good but the process will be excruciating. We have another bath but it away from our closets. I have realized that I will have to sleep elsewhere unless I want to rise at O’dark thirty every day. No and no!

 

As a nurse I learned that there is stress related to good things. Think about the stress of a wedding or the birth of a baby. This is called “eustress” and can be energizing but it can be anxiety producing as well. It depends on how we use it. good changeI will have to work to maintain a regular schedule and life pattern so that I don’t slip off into anxiety. I have been better with the things I need to do lately so I plan to keep on. Wish me luck!

Defeat anxiety

Once again I am fighting frustration. I just can’t seem to get my health back on track. I know that it will happen but in the meantime it is such an aggravation. I hate the anxiety. It saps my energy and enjoyment. I found this quote and it is so true.

“Anxiety is a thick stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”     Arthur Somers Roche

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This is so true. When anxiety creeps in nothing else matters. Your mind disconnects from everything else. Absolutely not a good way to live. We miss so much. We have to learn to turn those thoughts off and return to real life. Sometimes distraction works— sometimes not.

Regardless it must and can be defeated if we work at it. To allow it to rule life is not acceptable.

The balance

I didn’t post yesterday since we were in Charleston, SC with our family. It was a lovely time with the most amazing meal at a local restaurant. We are at home resting. They will be back tomorrow and we will enjoy the rest of their visit.

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Life recently has been crazy. Of course that is the usual thing. It is just a matter of balance. The balance between health issue, mental health, the world around us and all the events in our lives is tricky. Sometimes we feel that we are walking a high wire and that any moment we could over-balance and fall. I think that fear of falling is what put such stress on us. Instead of just walking ahead we spend our time looking down at our feet on the wire. That takes the focus from the things that matter and puts it directly on ourselves and our balance. Sometimes we just have to look ahead and keep going.

high wire

Life truly is a balancing act. It can be scary and dangerous and stressful. We have to use all the coping skills we have to keep from falling. Our faith, our friends, our family, our medical resources help us to stay stable. We can use them as a balancing pole if we just reach out.

Never stop thinking you can do it. We can keep that balance and see life ahead.

No worry allowed

anxiety worryToday I can feel worry creeping in. We have some problems in the house that need renovating and the cost is very expensive. The bid is not too high but the work required is extensive. I am anxious about the cost and wonder if we should put it off until we can come to grips with it.

It upsets me when I know things have to be done and require spending a lot of money. We are, after all, on a fixed income and retired. As we age there is the possibility that one of us will require care that is costly. We do have to keep that in mind. So spending money always gets me going.

Worry is so useless. It does absolutely no good at all. I am so good at it and can let it undermine any calm. This comes back to what I have said before about changing the things we can and not deal at all with what can’t be changed.

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I will sit down and work on a “do, don’t do” list. Maybe that will help me to get my mind around it. I am determined that I will not let this undo me.