Anxiety Sucks

My past few weeks have been filled with a lot of panic attacks and anxiety. Actually I’m not sure they are panic attacks, but they are what I’d consider panic attacks. I get this feeling  of anxiety, a little tightness in my chest, I feel like my heart rate is fast, but it isn’t, and I just find myself unable to calm down even with deep breathing.

Kind of sounds like a heart attack when I write it out that way, but at the moment I need to stay off WebMD. I know it’s anxiety. I have had a lot on my plate. I worry a lot in general. I stick my foot in my mouth quite often and deal with the repercussions, which require a significant amount of my time stressing about how to deal with things.

I worry about my kids. Am I doing enough? Am i doing too much? What am I doing wrong? My son has been downright nasty lately. Maybe you can say it’s that he’s almost 13 and that’s typical, but dear lord. He walks in the house and immediately starts being nasty to my youngest daughter. He goes out of his way to be mean.

He argues with me constantly because clearly it’s my fault that he’s in special education for a reading disability and he wants me to tell the school he doesn’t need to go anymore. And he just won’t let things go. EVER! He will talk about something until you want to give in…that’s the plan, I think. But I don’t fall for it.

He recently went off his ADHD medicine and I’m beginning to think this was a bad decision. I feel like it’s adding to his behavior issues. I don’t want to be constantly arguing with him or telling him to calm down. He’s an amazing kid. One on one, he’s so awesome, but he’s so freakin selfish. I just don’t get it.

If his sister’s get to do anything, he gets angry and needs to do something better. He does a LOT! We may not be rich, but we do a lot for our kids to be able to do the sports they want and activities, etc. Out trip to Disney almost sent me over the edge. Any time his sisters wanted to go on a ride he didn’t want to go. If he wanted to go on something then the group could be happy and have fun, but if he was miserable, we all were miserable.

I need to talk to someone about it, or bring him back to therapy because I am at my wit’s end. It’s adding to my stress, but certainly not all of it.

I feel like in my 40s I shouldn’t be worrying about childish games that girls play, but some people never grow up. The gossip and nastiness never ends. It’s not one thing in particular, but rather a general feeling of no longer being included. There is a part of me that’s really okay because even I know I don’t fit in. I’m far from the cool kid, HAHA. But I guess it’s that I don’t know what I did that’s bugging me.

What I’ve decided is to handle it differently than usual. I need to look at people for who they are. I have a lot of really terrific people in my life. I may not be that person who goes out every weekend and posts pics all over FB drinking with my friends, but I have friends that make me laugh, smile, and that I know have my back as I have theirs.

So back to the anxiety…I think that with everything going on it’s this breaking point and at random points through the day my body just says, “ok I’m done, you need to stop now.” I don’t like medicine, but I have been taking a half of a Xanax when I need it. It helps takes that edge off and then I use my breathing and some essential oils. I won’t push those on anyone, but I’m starting to use them and I think for certain things they do help me.

I’m not crazy trying to cure everything with them, but headaches, relaxation, stress, sore muscles, etc., they work pretty well.

My only good news (other than my friend from my last blog is doing magnificent and is already home from the hospital) is that I think the change in medication has finally allowed me to start losing weight. I was gaining anywhere between 1-3 pounds per week for over a year. Nothing I did would stop it. I exercised like a maniac. Tried every diet plan…everything. I was eating under 1000 calories a day and wouldn’t lose a pound.

A few months after a medication switch I’m finally seeing the weight come off. I am down 20lbs since November, but 10lbs since February. This is huge for me. I couldn’t get the scale to move forever.

I’m also feeling well enough to lightly walk and jog on the treadmill. I’m slow as hell. I’m lucky is I can jog for 3 minutes, but I keep going and I feel pretty good. I was so diligent before we left for Disney and I need to get back to it. My FitBit was keeping me accountable. I’ll get back on track tomorrow, though I’m sure I’ll be going backward in stamina.

Anyway, this blog was all over the place. That’s how scattered I’ve been. Maybe I have ADHD. I’m old and crotchety and I think in my old age I am less tolerant of people who are fake. I don’t have time. I am working hard to surround myself with happy people. It’s not easy letting go of friends that have been around for a while, but let me tell you, Facebook has this new acquaintance feature. It’s fabulous!

You can list your friends as acquaintances and choose not to share things with acquaintances. I decided I didn’t need the people that I don’t really see or talk with to have access to my posts, pictures, etc. I’m not deleting them. They can see my comments, etc. just not every post. I LOVE that! It’s helping me not be an unfriending bitch while still keeping things private from those with whom I question their trust.

I’ll try not to be so scattered next time!!

 

 

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God Is Good

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Truth be told, I’m not overly religious. I believe in God. I don’t debate with non-believers. I accept people whatever they choose to believe. But in times of need even those of us that aren’t very religious (I mean I go to church…some Sundays, but mornings are not easy with RA) even turn to God and pray.

I did that this week. For the past year my friend has been dying. Her kidneys were failing and her only option to live was a transplant. Many, many people were tested for to be a live donor, but my friend is a very rare match.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with her on Facebook. In the middle of our conversation she got the call that there was a kidney match and that she was second in line. If the first in line could not take the kidney for whatever reason, she would need to be prepared for surgery. I spent so much time praying, not just for my friend, but thinking of the poor family that was likely approached by a nurse of a doctor after the loss of a loved one regrind organ donation. I prayed for them, that somehow the organ donation, at some point, would give them some sort of peace that a part of their child lived on in someone else.

It wasn’t my friend’s miracle that night. The first person in line accepted the kidney. That was how it was meant to be.

Fast forward to Thursday night when I got a message from a mutual friend that she was on the way to the hospital. A kidney match was on its way. This was it. Somehow as much as I had prayed for it, it just happened so fast and it sounds so stupid but I wasn’t ready. Lord knows, it didn’t matter if I was ready for anything, but I was in a complete panic not knowing if I’d hear from her before the surgery; if I’d get to tell her I knew she was going to be fine and that I love her.

There were five of us on a group chat of Facebook and we were all in the same boat. Hoping. Praying. I didn’t sleep much but when I did wake up Friday morning she was in the hospital waiting on the kidney. I believe the first update was that it would be there at noon.

I did get to chat with her, which meant the world to me. I just needed to hear she was doing ok, though I’m sure she wasn’t. She’s so strong and I admire her strength so much. She handled all of this with grace and humor, but I know she was terrified, just as we were for her.

Later we got another update that the kidney would be there around 5pm. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Maybe I watched too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, but I assumed there would be a chopper flying the kidney in. (We’re talking across a state not across a country.) To ease our own stress, the five of us friends in waiting joked that perhaps a kid on a bike was bringing it in, or maybe it was coming by carrier pigeon. You’d be surprised what makes you laugh when you’re stressed out.

We received word that along with the kidney, another organ was coming for a different patient and that took priority so that surgery would go first and my friend’s would be immediately following. With no timeline, we were just told “later.”

I’m not sure what time it was that I randomly checked in but at that moment she said she was going in right then and needed to call her kids. What that phone call was like I can only imagine, but it was at this point that I broke down. I had been praying the whole time, but I had a serious talk with God.

My friend is a mom of two wonderful kids. They need her. She does so much for other people and she has so much living left to do. I prayed that God would not take her so soon. It was not her time.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. I needed two Xanax to calm down and sleep. It wasn’t pretty and I knew I’d be up all night. She said the surgery would be about 4-5 hours. So I slept.

The first thing I saw when I checked my phone was a picture of her stomach. She said the surgery was a success and the kidney was chugging along and working great. Relief! Happiness! I can’t even find the right words. There was my friend with her miracle.

It sounds silly after just saying I had a mini breakdown and needed Xanax, but deep down I knew she’d be okay. She was in great hands. I think it was the sheer magnitude of what was going on more so than the fear that she wouldn’t survive. I mean, of course there is always that fear as well, but I just wasn’t thinking that.

I spent so long praying that she’d get this miracle and when it finally happened and she was going in, I think every emotion hit me at once. So this blog isn’t about me today. It’s about my friend and it’s about God.

I may not be an every Sunday church-goer but I do pray. I talk to God, good or bad about how things are. I don’t think you need to go into a church to have a relationship with God, but I do believe he listens. He heard my prayers, and the prayers of many others last night and my friend has a second chance at life.

She is not out of the woods. She still needs prayers that her body doesn’t reject the new kidney and that she heals well, etc. But I have faith that she will be fine. It’s funny, someone can move many states away and you can just chat online all the time, but they can still mean so much to you. I hope she knows how much her friendship means to me.