Comorbity and juggling multiple illnesses

It took me forever to learn what the words comorbidity or comorbid meant. For some reason it just did not want to sink in and register that it was having a mental illness in addition to a physical health issues or having multiple mental health diagnoses. Maybe the word morbid being part of it didn’t help. It should have…my physical health issues have a “morbid” twist to them and I tend to make jokes about my CVID and lymphoma…trauma and PTSD and eating disorder not so much.

I probably confuse most of my blog readers because when I started my blog I truly meant to keep it as a social worker’s perspective of living with a mental illness (or two or three or four diagnoses: Bipolar Disorder, Eating disoder, PTSD, and ADD w/OCD tendencies.) I was diagnosed with CVID(common variable immune deficiency) in 2006. I lack 4 of 5 gamma proteins that help you fight infection. One is given back to me by i.v. every four weeks (IgG). This puts me at great risk for cancer especially lymphoma which I was diagnosed with for a second time this past fall. I have included my physical health issues in my blog because they have been overwhelming at times. I am juggling a lot right now in the health department and have managed to get by fairly well mental health wise with a few crashes here and there mostly involving my relationship due to some type of misunderstanding. Physical health issues have been difficult to overcome… pain is a daily stressor as well as fatigue and I am still learning how to cope with these things. It all gets blurred in my blog.

I struggled over whether or not I would share my lymphoma diagnosis in October and I did after avoiding my blog for several weeks. I sometimes feel like I have been put through the ringer. I really just want to spend time with people I love. Some in my life don’t understand this. They don’t get the pain and amount of effort it takes to fight every day either.

So if it seems like my blog is heading in a scattered direction it is because my life has been since last Fall. Bear with me as my life unfolds. I am watching the process with you.

Much love and peace to you all ❣️ W.L.

Visualization and music

I shared I went to Jim Brickman concert for my birthday. It was a gift. The giver has no idea of the value. As a little girl, I learned that music was able to help me travel in my mind through a full size organ that I learned to play amongst turmoil with headphones on. I grew up listening to classical, spiritual, and eventually new age piano music. The latter was able to destress me and I would visualize being free of whatever fear was paralyzing me that moment and dance (freely like a leaf being blown softly in a warm sunny Fall Day.)

While I am an eccletic music lover. I turn to piano music for solace and stress management and find myself drawn to hymns played in the new age style of music. Most people might think I’m nuts which is okay because I have been before and I am probably gonna be again… I can rise above the earthly things when I listen to music and visualize myself dancing. It makes my mood improve, it decreases the unbearable pain that my body feels in increasing amounts, and slows my breathing to help me calm down when at the hospital and I hate being there. I wish I were as good a ballerina in real life as when I am floating with the music

I wish everyone could learn to visualize that intensely.

P.s. the highlight of the Jim Brickman concert was when he played a request for my family of a medley of hymns focused around “it is well with my soul “

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you or in Swedish, God Jul. Praying that you are all able to spend time with loved ones, whether friends or family and are able to find some blessing in this holiday season.

As this Christmas season is here, I am grateful for so many things but am most grateful for just another day to spend with the people I care about. I’m thankful for one of the most memorable holiday seasons in my life which I was able to share with my significant other and our families and friends. I am grateful for medical doctors who can tell us we’re seriously ill before it becomes terminal. I’m thankful for the small little ways that our friends and family show us that they love us and the medical treatments that prolong the lives of cancer patients no matter how difficult they are.

And though my focus has been on myself and trying to meet my own needs since getting the cancer diagnosis, I hope to be able to return to blogging every day to every other day once I get my energy level back. But plus know, I am choosing gratitude as my outlook. I have so many things to be grateful for. Housing, a job, Al (my dog), my significant other who is amazing, my friends and family, the people I work with, etc. ,and all of you.

What are you most grateful for? Please understand that I may not be able to to post much on my blog until I gain some strength and energy.

Love Wendy

Celebrating 100+

Thank you all so much. I now have over 100 followers on my blog. I couldn’t have done this without you!!!!

You inspire me to keep going and sharing even when things are difficult. I appreciate your feedback and support and kind words of encouragement.

Thanks for helping me making this milestone happen.

W.L.

Tonight’s quote

“You are worth more than your darkness.”

I am using the above quote to remind myself that I have more to offer life than my level of depression. So often when we get depressed we feel paralyzed by it and stop moving which in turn leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. I need to push past these feelings as best as I can to try to shake off the depressive funk I am in or to see if I am having a paradoxical reaction to the Prozac which the psychiatrist gave me to life my mood and help with OCD symptoms. Before I started the Prozac I was obsessively ruminating on certain thoughts and issues continuously and never relaxing. Since starting the Prozac I have been able to let some to most of the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors go. This in turn has allowed me to relax enough to, according to my therapist to feel the level of depression that I have had all along but was masked by the severity of the OCD symptoms. Feeling as depressed as I have this week has been scary for me to admit to anyone especially when you were just given a med to help relieve it. I have three more days on this new dose for it to improve or the doctor said she will discontinue it if it is worse or not better.

It is so hard when we fall into the abyss of depression to remember that you have more to offer than the darkness around you because that is all you feel. I have to work hard to remember the qualities and talents and skills that I have to offer when I get down this low. It is hard for me to even recognize them at times when struggling. But the truth is I am a good clinician, caring and compassionate, loving, kind and loyal. I usually work hard to get my work done and make sure it’s done right the first time. I’m smart with a sense of humor that most of close friends get to see. I am determined to work despite several set backs both physically and emotionally. I have survived 100 o/o of my worst days and there have been some pretty crappy ones along the way. So despite my feelings, I am doing better than I thought.

W.L.

Hard news to swallow

This is a hard post to write. My life was touched by the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church this week. While my faith remains intact, the religious foundation of my youth has taken a fatal blow. The priest who was suspended from the priesthood for sexual abuse was at one time my therapist and at another time my co-worker. I feel many things and part of me is grateful that while I was in therapy, I did not discuss my trauma back ground – my gut told me that I shouldn’t and it wasn’t okay to do so. I usually am not good at following my intuition though it is usually spot on but I did and can’t imagine how much worse I would feel if I had divulged my story to him. Church and organized religion is such a difficult thing for me with many, many unhealed wounds. It’s going to be awhile before I can trust to rejoin a church again.

Picking up the pieces

I gave in and cancelled as many of my commitments as I could today before I reached a total and complete meltdown. I was terrified of doing that and the consequences but I was no space to handle anyone else’s issues let alone attempt to manage my own this morning. Sometimes saying I can’t is a strength rather than a sign of weakness.

This was the best choice for me today. I needed a stained glass kind of day where I picked up the broken pieces to put some semblance of order back into my life. I had my significant other come over at 5 a.m. this morning to be with me as I was starting to fall apart and have a complete and total meltdown. I only kept my appointment with my therapist for this afternoon. I figured it was necessary at this point. Tried taking a nap and even took meds to calm down to facilitate this and I am still wife awake but the feelings of panic and depression have subsided some since I did. I’m grateful my partner came here after arriving home late last night. I think it was good for me not to be alone and have the extra support. I needed it and was heading into dire straits in terms of both my physical and emotional health. I cannot say enough about good self care…eating, drinking water, getting sleep, taking meds consistently, and not bottling up problems. I forgot some of these this week and paid dearly yesterday and today for it. When life is feeling like it is reaching a breaking point, remember to step back, sweep up the pieces and create stained glass my friends. There is only one you.