Always something new

Today I find myself leaning on my faith. I have some medical issues which may resolve…or not. Time will tell. This news did not send me into a panic…at least not yet. I have high hopes that this will be an easy fix and life will go on pretty much as normal.

In the meantime I will continue my routines and keep my anxiety at bay. I am grateful that I have some tools that I have made a habit and can actually count on them to help.

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Life is always interesting and challenges us in many ways but it is worth cherishing. Keep me in your thought and prayers as I travel into this joourney.

We are a whole being

For years the common thinking among physicians was that anxiety and depression caused digestive symptoms such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea and possibly even Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Now the pendulum is falling the other way. the Brain/Gut connection is becoming more important in treating people with such problems. I have long realized that my IBSD causes anxiety and if bad enough depression. I am glad that treating the whole person is becoming part of how medicine thinks.

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We are definitely complex beings and anything that affects us physically or mentally cannot be separated out into one or the other. Physicians have divided up into specialties and seem to focus on that area. It is understandable as medicine has become so complex. You can’t know everything about everything. We need a different specialty the “wholeness doctor” who tries to put the pieces together. I know that there are now DO’s and other categories of people who look more at the whole person but we need more of it.

I hope that in the future we have those physicians who take the information from all of the specialists and put it all together. This is what Internists would like to do but getting the reports and information from other doctors is like pulling teeth. This has to be worked out also.

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We are not parts stuck together but a whole just waiting to be understood.

 

Awareness

Mental health day is here and I hope that those who do not suffer from these problems will look with kindness, compassion and most of all acceptance on those who suffer. We have to continue to aid awareness and understanding. We will not remain silent but will continue to seek hope for a new future.

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God bless all those who suffer from mental health issues!

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.

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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.

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

Finding pleasure

bakerI have been cooking a lot lately. Mostly desserts. I have given a great deal of stuff away as we don’t need to be eating everything I make. I have been baking bread for years but am trying to hone my skill and make some different things. Some successes …some just so so. No real failures but I was not thrilled with them.

There is something creative about cooking. Most of my life was spent cooking for a family. Now there is just my husband and I most of the time I am not energized by our dinner menu. Nobody’s fault but mine. Breads and desserts are more fun.

I think this cooking has been therapeutic for me. It is better than just house and yard tending although some of that has suffered from my time in the kitchen. Oh well, it will still be there.. no genie will be coming to clean.

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Finding things that give you pleasure are important for maintaining physical and mental health. Being creative makes me feel good and that is a big plus. You may not find it in a job but find it where you can. Take the time to fit it in. Your demeanor will improve and life will just be better.

A raccoon tale

yard work2This was yard work day. I do have someone who comes once in a while and helps now. For years I have done it all myself. It is nice to have periodic help since there is so much to do. I get out early in the morning and enjoy the sounds and smell of the yard and, when tide is low, the smell of the salt marsh.

Today we had an unusual occurrence. There was a raccoon on the dock….in the daylight. Raccoons are nocturnal so having one out in the daytime is concerning. I recently noticed that something was climbing on the porch posts to get to the birdseed. I thought it was a squirrel but it left muddy footprints everywhere. That would be unusual for a squirrel

raccoonA few nights ago just before full dawn one of our dogs was on the porch barking like crazy.  It woke me up and I went to the porch to see a raccoon climbing higher to get away from the dog. I have never known raccoons to go after bird seed. It made me wonder if the raccoon was starving.

Today he/she showed up on the dock and we were worried about rabies. We have a good bit of that around here. We didn’t want to harm the raccoon so my husband called animal control and they came and captured him/her. They said they will check for rabies and if ok will release in a better place.

I hate seeing animals in distress. This turned out in the best way it could.

Keep fighting

I have been fighting IBSD for several days now. I am on the medication that helped last time. There is two weeks worth to take. I hope it works again. The last 7-8 months have been the best I have had in years. It is wonderful when something actually works.

If it doesn’t then back to the doctor again to see if there is anything else.

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It is so frustrating to have to plan trips and clothing around your physical status but I will keep on doing it as the alternative is to not do anything.

Mental_Disorder_Silhouette2Chronic problems can bite us in the $@#$&**. Aggravating and depressing. I have been free from this (for me) for such a long time that I had hoped it would be a new pattern. Now I have to backtrack and remember how I dealt with it. Life always brings new challenges and asks us to manage them. Here arise the coping skills that I had managed to put in the back of my mind. A stupid thing to do. There are some that I have faithfully continued so at least I am not starting totally over. However, I will increase the concentration on them.

Don’t we all wish that we could wave a magic wand and make ti go away? That is the lazy way out and won’t work. Controlling our thoughts and emotions requires work and energy. The trouble is that when we are down we don’t have a lot of either. We have to drag ourselves up and make do.

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I have done that today and will push myself. I will eat better….I have been really bad lately…exercise….get out doors…meet friends….meditate and anything else that helps. I am determined that I will not be beat by this challenge.

As the Bipolar Writer says:  Keep Fighting!

We are connected to the earth

In coastal Georgia, where I live, we have 7-8 ft tides. There is nowhere else along the southern coast where there is such a fluctuation. It is because of the westward dip in the coast. Today we had extremely high tides. I have not heard how high but such tides cause some coastal flooding on roads that are extremely low. It is not unusual for this to happen on a full moon and at this time of the year.

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When the tide is so high that we can only see a little marsh grass peeking out across Turner’s Creek we know it is well above normal.

Tide has an ebb and flow. It is related to motion of the earth. As human beings we also have an ebb and flow. The fluids within the cells in our bodies actually respond to the cycles of the moon and the motion of the tides.

Years ago my youngest daughter wrote a paper about the moon, tides and the increase/decrease of episodes of crisis in those with mental illness. She studied the admissions to psychiatric units and correlated it with moon and tide phases. it was a small study and not really enough to prove the relationship but there was an increase in admissions related to certain moon phases.

Nurses have forever said that hospital admissions, births and accidents have that same relationship although statistically it never shows up that way. As a neonatal nurse we usually saw more babies with problems at a full moon.

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I do wonder if we kept track of the times we ourselves have difficulty with mental health flare ups we would see some correlation. It would be interesting to know. It would help us to better understand the cycles of crisis and plan to be ahead of the curve.

 

 

Hit over the head

hit over the headMy grandmother used to say that sometimes God will knock you down to make you think. Sometimes we have to be hit over the head to see the obvious. With alcoholics or those addicted to drugs it is often reaching what is considered the bottom that wakes them to reality.

Just rolling along each day we can get into a routine that pushes aside any idea that something may be wrong. We are like ostriches hiding our heads in the sand. It takes a major event to change things.

In the 1980’s I was working hard and paying little attention to my health. My IBSD was so out of control that I ended up with ulcerative colitis. I spent the next three weeks in the hospital getting my health and my life back under control. I had plenty of time to think about how I ended up in that condition. I learned a valuable lesson.

pay attentionPay attention to what is going on both in your life and with you health. Putting off see a physician or mental health professional is not an option. Pull your head out of the sand and take stock of reality. I can save you being hit over the head by God.