Anxiety induced illness

I have been horribly ill since May 22 with gastrointestinal issues. I have been to the VA and all my blood work came back fine. I have not been able to eat and for the first 10 days of this ate almost nothing. Since last wednesday when I went I have tried to nibble as much as possible but its still running out of me like water most days and causing nausea. I just can’t believe how ill stress has made me.

At the VA they gave me fluids and two potassium pills sent me on my way with instructions to stay hydrated, and use a brat diet. He also wanted me to take a few potassium tablets at home. I have to be very careful with that because everytime I have tried to do that I end up with palpitations. The thing is if its too low you get palpitations too, so wtf.

It has been 16 days. I feel no better than I did 15 days ago. It is a struggle just to get up and care for the animals.

I have felt so crappy for so long overall (about 10 years now) that I can not remember what it feels like to be a normal person. I can’t remember what it’s like to wake up and be able to get up, and enjoy my day. What it is like to plan to do things, and get them done without worry and hesitation. What it feels like to feel well.

I do suppose that feeling well means different things to different people. I am grateful that I can walk, talk, and see. I read and see stories of people with all kinds of disabilities accel at all kinds of things in life. Aside of having all kinds of help I do not see how, or where their motivation and drive comes from. Perhaps it is acceptance. Perhaps I am fighting myself by refusing to admit I will be a basket case all my life.

The thing about the acceptance card is that somehow I see that as giving up. Surrendering. I am a Navy Veteran. Surrender is a swear word in my vocabulary. I do also know if I were to use that word my life as I know it will drastically change. I do not do well with drastic change. It would be a cliff jumping thing for me.

What I know for sure is that 10 years ago I was not like this. I was a Mom, business owner, medical professional and a respected productive member of my community. Now I am nothing but pathetic.

There is that “I am” thing. Wayne Dyer would slap me in the head for putting that out there like that, but I have been kicking the shit out affirmations and positive thinking, prayer and even begging. And here I am. And for the record. Where is my husband? He’s out in Michigan partying with his family out there. Been out there since last Sunday. I am pretty sure he expected I would be even worse off than I am right now. He planned on me not having any money to buy animal feed so they would starve. He planned on the place going to shit and me finally giving up and doing what he wants which is moving to the city. The surprise that will await him is that if I have to move….he will not be going with me. He will be on his own. What he did not plan on is the help of my family and friends. He has done his best to alienate from them all including but not limited to slandering their every moves. Nice try.

…and so it is.

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You cannot unsee what your flash light shines upon

As an agoraphobic, panic disorder sufferer, as well as a disabled vet my world is so much different than the typical person. I discovered yesterday that the health care worker just has no clue as to the gravity of the situation for an agoraphobic to leave the safety of one’s home to seek care. To the agoraphobic it means you are questioning your own mortality. To the healthcare worker you are merely sick.  I am disgusted with my profession. I heard the words last night, “There is nothing else we can do for you”. I will no longer associate myself with the medical profession.

I have been ill for about a week. Nausea and diarrhea. What I have eaten you could put in one stretched out hand this week. Typically a human can survive up to 3 weeks without food if properly hydrated. I took pains to make sure I was properly hydrated. I have read stories of people fasting for 3 days intentionally to clean out their systems, but because of the constant cortizol dumps I have from panic attacks I really do not think that would be to my advantage physically. To counter this blood sugar drop I supplemented with pure honey, a tablespoon at a time till I felt the shakes, disorientation, and weakness subside.

This did not however curb the intense worry about the fact that I could not seem to swallow some foods like bread, just could not swallow it. As the days turned into a week the panic attacks that I had so learned to tolerate became so intense that for the first time in many years I truly mulled suicide. I had thought that when I thought about this before I was semi serious. I was wrong. For the first time I found myself in a place where I was a sure I could do it. The line in the sand had finally been stepped over for me. I no longer gave concern to my family, friends, animals, property, or life. Like Anita Moorjani says once you shine your flashlight on it…you can never go back and unsee it. You can not forget what you have learned or experienced, or the understanding of it. The little mustard seed capsule dropped to the ground and broke, scattering the seed to the wind.

I sought help. I went to the VA. They thought I was dehydrated, they gave me fluids. The cause of the illness did not seem to be as much of a concern to them as it was to me. I wanted to know what made me sick and how to stop it.  I was sent home with no more that an advisement to drink fluids and a BRAT diet, which is what I had been doing for a week. When I got home I was worse off than when I went. Just lifting my head was an invite to pass out. Everything around me seemed unreal and a dream. At times I was not even sure where I was, how I got there or why I was there. I could not go through another night like this so I had my husband drive me to a local public hospital. When I asked him to take me he flew into a rage. He is a narcissist. I inconvenienced him for which I would pay dearly a little later.

There I was met with hostility.  I was chewed out for showing up in an emergency room without an emergency after I explained I had been to the VA earlier in the day and my experience there and the fact I was feeling worse. To me it WAS an emergency, to them  I was wasting their time, they were busy. Then the words everybody deads to hear, “There is nothing else we can do for you”.  I left.

I have put my farm animals up for sale. They were my reason for living. I can not care for them as they need be. I can no longer carry the 50 pound feed bags to the barn. I can not tolerate the heat/cold to make sure they have water all the time. The rabbits and cats will be next. I have mapped out a plan to sell/distribute/throw out my belongings. A process that will daunting and heartbreaking. The other alternative is to just leave this place and leave it to my family to do. Problem there is it will all fall on my daughter who has stuck by me through all of this. She does not deserve that.

So as the sun has risen this morning I have much to do, and will carry on until my body decides it can no longer go on, or heals on its own.  I will no longer seek medical assistance and have written DNR on my chest to make sure that when I do collapse no heroic measure are performed.

I cannot unsee what I have seen.

And so it is.

 

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It’s raining

Its been ten years now of anxiety levels off the charts, daily (sometimes multiple daily) panic attacks, depression so deep about it all that goes to the mantle of the earth. As God is my witness I have tried everything available to me. Course.. poor people have a whole different set of things available to them than do the rich. We can’t afford to see the best therapists and when you try to email them to ask what their fees are….just to give you something to dream about you get a email from an assistant that basically says that if you have to ask, you can’t afford…so buzz off.

I have started a hobby farm. The idea was to be so busy that I did not have time to think about anything else but chores. Well the ins and outs of this experiment have been that I am doing chores so the animals don’t die, not because I am finding a whole lot of joy in it anymore. The energy it takes to get my ass out of bed, get barn clothes on, putting on my boots leaves me drained of the energy I need to do the chores. I do and go anyway….but the “exercise” of it all is just as draining as if I do nothing.

I manage to get all the animals fed, and feed the neighbors. I manage to  get the lawn mowed (all 2 acres of it). I manage to do house work and some meal cooking. But the thing is that I can go throughout the day doing these things and by 7pm it all seems like a dream. I can’t remember half of what I did, when I did it (sometimes I am not sure if I did it that day…or the day before).

The physical pain and symptoms are getting to the point now where it’s almost unbearable. Being a highly sensitive person drugs do not act on my system like they do for others.  The bizarre adverse reactions have all but eliminated drugs for relief from anything.  Head: Dizzy, eyes unable to stop moving long enough to focus on one thing without giving me a good case of nausea, sinus infection that never goes away, stabbing pain in my left ear, and so painful I can’t put a q-tip anywhere near it. Headaches that would put a 2000 pound cow down. Some dull and throbbing while others are stabbing pains that lead me to believe an aneurysm is sure to rupture at any time. My neck and shoulders have pain that never goes away. Chest pain that reminds me moment to moment I could be dead at anytime. My lower back hurts so badly today that I can barely walk. Just getting up and down off a toilet is a major feat. Having done nothing to deserve the pain I am left perplexed at the extent to which my body is at war with itself and there just doesn’t seem like there is anything I can do about it except ride along like a tick.

I think I could tolerate all this better if I could just get over my fear of dying. I think I have discovered that the fear revolves around others more than myself. What exactly do I perceive would happen if I died today? My daughter and granddaughter would be devastated. My brother would be scrambling to find someone else to feed their pet pigs so they can work. My other brother would be counting his pennies to acquire my property that is next door to his. My parents would probably be glad they would not have to worry about me anymore. My husband would be scrambling to see what money is in it for him. My friends..all two of them would be left on their own but they would be fine…they have other friends. My animals-all the chickens and rabbits and cats and kittens would all die. Before my daughter could collect herself to think about them their survival would depend on my husband who will not step foot in mud outside the back door let alone venture to the barn to feed the animals. He would not even be able to tell the difference between chicken feed and rabbit feed. My acquaintances would offer condolences on my Facebook page to my family and 2 friends and comment on how I would be missed which is a total lie because if I died and they did not hear about it….they would never even know or care.

What would be in it for me? No more physically excruciating pain. No more bills to worry about. No more mental and verbal domestic abuse. No more fear. No more worry. Maybe if I loved myself more I could check out without a conscious.

…And so it is…

 

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When your soulmate dies…

On March 3rd I got a phone call that has changed my life. I guy I had met and dated for most all of my teenage years passed away.  His family decided that I was not right for him somewhere along the way and hooked him up with my best friend at the time just to get rid of me. We kept in contact over the years and on 4 separate occasions over the last 40 years he had made attempts to get me to go back to his home some 300 miles from where I live. The timing just never seemed right. I also harbored some bit of mistrust in that I figured if he cheated on me once he would do it again and that cheat left a scar I now realize I never got over, and continues to be the driving force behind my life long mistrust of others, as well as my inability to ever open myself up to anyone else again.

I had responsibilities I couldn’t just walk away from each time, and looking back instead of being responsible and worrying about my family and his I should have just walked away and went. This regret and sorrow I will carry with me for the rest of my life now that he is gone. Looking back even through 2 other marriages he always had the flame of my heart.

Life sucks. Some spirit guru’s talk of how we live many lives, and keep coming back here. I can say for absolute certainty that I will never, never, ever do this gig again. How do I know this? Because although we can not take our bodies with us, our consciousness they say does travel with us. Mine is raging with hate and discontent at this existence, and that will go with me.

Anita Moorjani speaks of the “love” one experiences on the other side in her NDE. So much that all discontentment is lost there. I do not think there is enough  “love” anywhere in this world or the other that can take away the misery, pain and hurt I have experienced in this lifetime here. I just don’t. I can feel it in my core of being.

Godspeed my friend, until we meet again, and when we do…I will get it right next time.

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Can’t make this stuff up

Over the last few weeks we have suffered through 4 nor’easters. Two of them hit us hard and as I look out the window 3 week old snow is still 6 inches deep. As a result of the heavy moisture saturated snowfall the chicken runs collapsed.

As a result the birds have all been stuck in the coops for weeks now and getting bored enough to start pecking at each other. Long story short, I decided yesterday to start to repair the runs as best I could around the snow that has melted. In that pile of debris is a 16 foot 2 inch round PVC pipe that held up the wire. I managed to get to it and pick it up supporting it with a board so I could get under it. Bad move.. the pipe came down, hitting me in the head. I am now resting comfortably after a 4 hour visit to the emergency room to learn the gift of a moderate concussion was mine. I am grateful there was no skull fracture (already have 2 of them) and no more broken bones in my neck (already have one of them).

As I wandered to the house the adrenaline was just pumping like a natural gas rig blow off gone bad. I am not sure if my head hurt worse from the panic attack that was in the making or the injury itself, but I could not control the thoughts and body sensations I was experiencing. I was sure I would be paralyzed, dead, have a brain bleed, had fractured my skull, broken my neck, or back or worse! I was not sure what worse was but I was sure of it especially since I was alone in the house. When unconsciousness ensured (and I was sure by then it was going to happen) who would call for help? So off to the ER I went. Any normal person would have shrugged it off, put ice on their head and called it a day, at least the old me would have.

So its rest for me for a few days. When the statistics say that farming is one of the most hazardous occupations….they just are not making that stuff up!

And so it is.

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It happens for a reason..or does it?

Anybody out there buy that old “happens for a reason”? Take today. I get up feeling like crap…dizzy, light headed, like I want to cry..again, like everyday. What to hell is the reason for that? I manage to get around and get morning chores done but only after pulling 200 pounds of stuff up there with me (rabbit food, 2 bales of pine shavings, 8 gallons of water, and 32 cans of cat food). The mud is over the toes on my boots. Every step is like pulling a toilet plunger off the floor. Why did I get these animals and why do I continue to care for these animals? It happens for a reason….

Coops need cleaning now that the weather is getting warmer. I gather my wheelbarrow and tools and round the corner to the largest  coop and what do I find? Bees…a couple hundred bees swarming around the door. Really?? Where to hell did they come from…its February in the northeast. …And the reason for that would be????

I gather my things and go to the second largest coop. Wading through mud that doubles as slop. This is the hardest coop to clean because everything has to come out to a 5 gallon pale via a pulled hoe, then out to the wheelbarrow, then to the compost pile. When I got to the last load I turned and went to carry out the bucket..and WHAM, slammed the top of my head into a 2X4. I knew it was there…I have hit my head on it 4 times before, one time knocking me right out. Face first into chicken shit I went. You would think after that I could remember it was there. Everything happens for a reason…I can’t move the 2×4 because its part of the structure, so what pray tell was the universe trying to tell me with that one?

To top off the day an escapee chicken clawed the hell out of the side of my neck when I caught her to put her back in the coop.

I now sit here with a headache, I am exhausted, still dizzy and light headed, but these things must be done. I am seriously thinking the universe is giving me every reason to get rid of the animals so I can sit and stare out a window for the rest of my days. I certainly do not feel like doing anything else everyday, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to just get out of bed every morning.

If everything happens for a reason I guess I am in a place where someone needs to send me a message and give an explanation as to what exactly that reason is for making things so difficult for me. I think I am generally a good person. I have always tried to help anyone when ever I could. Why do things have to be so difficult? ….or does it?

And so it is.

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Glad this week is over

Actually the last 2 weeks have been something to leave behind. Since the snow storm I have been pretty much sicker than a dog. Shortness of breath, never ending  sinus drainage, nauseous 24/7, and exhausted like nothing I can remember in the recent history. I am in the age bracket for hot flashes so I can’t tell if I have a fever…or a sequence of hot flashes. I know I if there was a olympic category for coughing..I would have gotten the gold.

All that is probably why this last week or so has seemed like the neverending story. I am tired of being so broke that I am having to compromise of absolutely everything. Meals have been reduced to macaroni and butter, peanut butter (and jelly) sandwiches, or just butter on bread (toasted or untoasted). It’s easier to come up with something creative when you have some staples to work with, but even granulated sugar is getting to be a delicacy around here. I had a bowl of dry cheerios for breakfast,  can of peaches for lunch, and buttered mash potatoes for supper.

Around the farm it’s been muddy and cold. Wading through 3 inches of shit mud with 20 pounds of winter gear on has been the ultimate work out let me tell ya. Pulling runner sleds of water (8-10 gallons at a time 3 time s a day) and 50 pound feed bags from the house to the barn every 2 or 3 days and dealing with icy well worn walk paths as the snow melts has been about all I could deal with. Knock on wood I took no falls this winter so far slipping on ice. That will be a first.

I have acquired some rabbits from a person who thought when they bought them for their daughter they were getting 2 males. I have taken their unintended expanded family of 4. I have been experimenting with how to prepare the “bunny gold” aka rabbit poop for sale as plant and garden fertilizer. In gardening circles rabbit poop fertilizer is premium, and demands premium pricing as well. I do not want these rabbits spending their lives walking on wire like most producers have them doing so I am working with a way to seperate the bedding from the fertilizer that makes the product more product than bedding.

I designed a logo for the farm and have decided after looking at Amazon and how it’s packaged for their site I will not get complicated with it…heavy duty plastic gallon zipper bags with a printed label will do it.

Well It’s 3am. Time to take another shot at sleep.

And so it is.

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Snow removal

The house sits about 200 feet from the road, and the driveway is about 250 feet long. The barn is another 250 feet from the house. I spent 6 hours shoveling snow yesterday while…get this…my “husband” went to the gym. Because my sciatica and shoulders get me up every hour or so,  I got little sleep last night. I have spent the day fighting what I call the “spins”.

Spins are my word for when I get so exhausted I can not focus anymore cause my brain says I have had enough even when I can not lay down and rest and sends my eyes into a spin that makes me feel like I am passing out. Much like my panic attacks I find it difficult to “reason with myself” in that I know what this is…if I can get layed down and nap it will be better for a hour before it starts again and I have to lay back down. But no, my short circuiting brain says, “yea, you think you know what this is, but what if you lay down and die cause you were wrong?” So…I sit in the chair, smoking one cigarette after another to keep awake, waiting for it to pass, which it doesn’t because I have not rested. All the while knowing that it’s pretty stupid to be doing that, my ability to think logically and make appropriate adult decisions goes right out the window.

Getting the farm chores done in between this is just about more than I can describe. It’s like pulling nails out of steel. Every move is calculated so I do not fall, and usually at one point I start to cry because I just can not do it anymore. Then you have the added misery of what happens when you start the tear flow in 10 degrees fahrenheit without taking in account the wind chill factor.

I sorta knew I was going to be in trouble today by how I felt when I tried to go to bed last night. The first 3 hours after I officially went to bed I was up walking 14 times ( I now keep a log of when I get up and down) . The rest of the night did not go much better. By 2:30am I gave up and started hand sewing on a prototype of a bag I would like to use to sell a farm product in. I worked on it until about 5am before trying to go back to bed. I did sleep for a hour and a half before having to get up and give the dog his medicine while my “husband” continued to sleep. It was also time to get going on the morning chores so while he slept I started my days activities despite how I felt.

When I watched the weather while I was putting my winter gear on and learned another 1-6 inches (depending on where you lived) was expected for today I think that is when my brain really said, ok, enough, your done. No more….and it was downhill from there all day. The only thing that I could rustle up in my head was,  “God help me, please?” But it is quickly followed by the knowing that after years of those words…help has never come, then despair sets in.

I have completed the 3pm chores, and am waiting for it to get dark so I can close the doors on the coops for the day, now about 5:30 pm or so.  I still need to feed the dogs (“husband is sleeping after just getting back from, yep,  you guessed it…the gym). It is still snowing, and I am in a place where I just do not give a shit any more. There is no sense in wasting the energy of taking off all my outdoor clothes-I do not think I could rustle up the energy to put them all back on to be truthful. Once they come off today, that will be it.

And…he will be getting his own supper tonight or he will go hungry…I really do not care.

And so it goes.

 

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Gotta Let It Go

The last few days have brought forth so intense soul searching. I think it is because its been so cold that I have run out of things to do outdoors that can be done in such weather and I have about cleaned the paint off the walls in the house which left me with down time.

I do not like down time because the anxiety and panic start to creep forward more so than when I keep busy. Decision making is difficult. I find myself wishy-washy on so many things. I decide one thing one day and the next it does not sound like such a good idea.

I have been a nurse for 27 years now. It has been the focus of my employment despite the other endeavors I have dipped my fingers into. I was very good at the job too and can go back into any facility and department I have ever worked at and they fondly remember my employment days there. Nurses I never worked with even know my name. I guess everything has a season. I have come to the conclusion that my season as a nurse is over. It has been nearly 10 years since I have been able to work in the field and I think it is time to let it go. I have had my day in the sun and it is setting quitely. It was quite a ride.

Going forward I will focus on my farm activities. It seems to keep me grounded, busy (most of the time year round) and external pressures are minimal. I can nap when I need to most of the time and there are no rigid schedules. Right now the pay is crappy though and if I can not figure out a way to come up with the property taxes money, well, I wonder if my cardboard box will have internet access. I am $160 short. It might as well be a million. Wish me luck.

 

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Advanced Education….Why?

Last year I acquired my Masters Degree, and because of my GPA was invited to join one of the most prestigious associations in the world. This association is by invite only, but by no means free. I scraped the money together in hopes it would help me find a work at home job.

It’s now a year later, and I am still unemployed, and still 6 digits in debt. I honestly expected to get a great job, even working from home with this degree. If I had it to do all over again, I would have never done it. I have found that even if I were to venture out into the world the opportunities are limited. My Masters degree is in Nursing Education. When I decided to get this degree I did check all the stats on projected hiring, project salaries, and even looked at job boards for a few months to see if there were adds for hiring. All looked good. Well….now that I bought the car…..I still am not seeing any like it on the road.

I am also still waiting on a decision about my social security application. I am sure they depend on people starving to death before they make that decision, after all, if your dead that money you paid in is theirs. It doesn’t even go back to your estate. Might as well have gone out back to the burn barrel and burned it. Lawyer says probably another 18 months before I even get a hearing, 28 months total.

So to try and at least not starve I started gardening. My garden was marginally successful last fall, I put up green beans, corn, peas, apples, and made grape juice. it’s a start. I froze all the pullets eggs that were too small to sell, so I have half a freezer of them. I think farming is the way to go for me. I put up a greenhouse last fall from materials I had laying around he place, and was pretty proud of the result. I have to figure out a way to heat it for next winter so I can grow year round in it.

I have been selling eggs but the cost of keeping the chickens has far exceeded what I earn from eggs. Even though farm fresh eggs are better for you you can get commercial eggs at the store for half of what I charge. And yes they do taste different because mine are not fed pesticides either in their food or health maintenance practices. They are not caged in a 3 foot by 3 foot cage all their lives. They have a large run, and in summer a even larger grass yard to roam and eat from.

I have been invited to grow herbs for a local restaurant. I have decided to attempt to meet this challenge. I have never grown herbs before and my learning curve will be short, but I am willing to give it a shot.

I have also acquired some rabbits, given to me by someone who did not want them. I am hoping to turn what comes out after feeding them into sellable fertilizer for other gardens and flower beds.

I have never been afraid of hard work. Matter of fact, it seems I have done nothing but work hard all my life, and have very little to show for it. I think my life time of anxiety and panic has dictated I keep too busy to allow for my brain to do any thinking other than on the task at hand. I wish I could have found a way to take that overactive brain and focused it on great less labor intensive occupations that still supported the bills.

I am grateful to the friends and neighbors that help me by supporting me by bringing the things I need that I can not order online and have delivered to my home. Things like animal feed, hay, building materials and the like. Have a great day.

 

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