Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bowing to the Absurd

My 11 days are up and I saw the doctor today. After waiting 1 1/2 hours. We're tapering off the old and onto the new and hopefully I will be feeling better soon.

But we spent less time dealing with the fact of depression than we did with the fact that I'm sick. Sunday morning I pulled a muscle in my back and Sunday afternoon I started a cold. (I have a friend who says the two are related but...) These are my symptoms: headache, congestion so bad my teeth hurt, itchy ears, sore throat, cough, simultaneous stuffy and runny nose, feeling like I have a fever, but it doesn't show up on a thermometer, and basically just feeling lousy all over. The back ache and the sore throat have been getting a little better, but the other symptoms are staying constant.

I didn't go to the doctor any sooner because I thought I had a cold—and who bothers to go to the doctor for a cold. Turns out, I have the flu, a sinus infection, a bladder infection, and strep.

So nice man that he is, the doctor gave me a bunch of freebies, then sent me to my local Walgreen's to get the rest. (One of which my insurance won't pay unless the doctor gets pre-authorization and they can be sure it's medically necessary. Excuse me. But isn't the written prescription a sign that it's medically necessary?)

Now I'm home and going back to bed because this has been a miserable week. I even had to cancel "Grandma Day" with my two little cuties this week.

In fact, the only good thing of this week? Walgreen's, where I went to get my drugs, had Sugar Free Peeps! I've been having my husband and daughter searching for them all over town to no avail. I almost ordered them online last night but the shipping was just too high. (This is the best price I've found for them.) I'm soooo glad I didn't because not only did Walgreen's have a whole slew of them but they were only 99¢. I will post a full product review as soon as I regain my sense of smell.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finished the Whitney Finalists!

I just finished reading the last of the Whitney Finalists. That makes 26 books I've read since the Winter Reading Challenge started. I think I might slow down for a bit. Like Tristi, there were some categories where it was really hard for me to pick a favorite. Hopefully, I'll get the reviews posted soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fast Response Needed!

Does anyone who lives between Provo and Lehi have the following titles that I could borrow THIS WEEKEND? I will come pick them up and I promise I'll take really, really good care of them and have them back to you by next Friday.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-boyfriend by Janette Rallison

Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena [thanks for the online source, Stephanie]

Out of Jerusalem, vol 4: Land of Inheritance by H.B. Moore

Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven) by Brandon Mull [thanks, Sandra]

If you do have one or more of these titles and are willing to loan them to me, please e-mail me ASAP!

Thanks,
Karlene

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Uhmmmm...como?


Mom, what are you having for dinner?

I thought I'd just zap some of this frozen macaroni and cheese.

Oh, that sounds good. Will you make me some? It tastes better the way you make it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Thing I'm Not SUICIDAL

I've thought about blogging on depression since I read this post (which, btw, I completely agree with) because I really feel that having survived multiple bouts of this illness and being mostly functional most of the time, I have a responsibility to help others who are just beginning to realize their feelings aren't quite normal. But y'know, how self-disclosing do I want to be here in this public forum? I mean, people that I'm trying to IMPRESS read this blog sometimes. But at this moment in time, I'm so ticked off that I really don't care. (Although I may come to my senses in an hour or two and delete this.)

Depression is the bane of my existence. I had my first mini-bouts in high school, but wasn't diagnosed until after my second child was born. (The doctor, who did not treat the post-partum depression after baby #1, told me that I was getting old and I should just take a nap when the baby napped. I was 22.)

I've learned a lot about depression in the past quarter century—most significantly is that I have a physical deficiency in brain chemicals. Mine are pretty sensitive and it doesn't take a lot to mess them up. If life is easy (choke), I can sometimes go without meds for a couple of years, but any time I have a huge body trauma (childbirth, surgery, broken bones, or a good case of adrenal fatigue brought on by long-term stress), I have to get back on the medication. It doesn't matter how much I pray, or fast, or read my scriptures, the fuzzy thinking won't go away until those brain chemicals get adjusted.

I've mostly come to terms with this and accept it, the same way people accept diabetes or poor eyesight. I say "mostly" because when I'm balanced, it's not a big deal to talk about it, think logically about it, be proactive about it. But when I'm depressed, I start feeling ashamed and guilty and like a total loser—all sorts of bad feelings that I want to hide from the people I love. That's part of the disease.

So is memory problems—as in, did I remember to take my medicine today? So is not being able to tell time—as in, how long have I been feeling this bad? So is mood assessment—do I feel better today, or worse? Am I having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, or an abnormal reaction to a normal situation?

I can tell when I'm okay. And I can tell when I'm waaaaay over the line. But I can't tell when I'm in that murky in-between. Maybe I'm having a bad day, or didn't get enough sleep, or I'm still recovering from the flu, or life has just been a little stressful lately... In the very first stages, depression feels just like normal life stress that will pass in a few days. But when it goes on and on and on, I get lost in the disease. Fortunately, I have a few key people (my sister, my VT) who keep an eye on me and tell me when I start acting weird so that I can get to the doctor.

I've had a couple of really stressful years—one thing on top of another without any time to breathe and recover in between. For awhile, my medication was keeping me stable but on November 6, 2007, it stopped being completely effective. I can tell you that specific date because that was the day I stopped writing. Things have gotten gradually worse since then but I blew off the signs because I thought I was having the usual reactions to a few unusual situations. I had some days when bad things happened, and some nights when it was hard to get to sleep, and then there was Christmas—and who isn't stressed over the holidays?

But finally, after some gentle hints from my sister and VT (hints along the lines of, Do you need to go to the doctor? and You better get in there now!), and after having a fight with one of my best friends and bawling all day, I sort of figured out that I'm past the murky in-between and I need to have my meds adjusted. Meds that I've been taking all this time but that are no longer working correctly.

Which brings us to today. I called the doctor and explained to Miss Snooty Office Person that I needed my meds adjusted and that I was taking WELLBUTRIN—a drug for depression. The soonest she can get me in is two weeks from now! Ergo, the title of today's post.


Update: Miss Snooty called back while I was typing this post and moved me up 4 days. Wow. I'm so excited—I only have to wait 11 days to see the doctor.

Wouldn't you think someone who says her depression medication is no longer working would be a higher priority?


Now playing on my iPod: Don't Worry Bout a Thing by SheDaisy (This will be on repeat for the next 11 days)





*P.S. For those of you who are now worried about me, I'm really okay. Or I will be. I've dealt with depression for years now and I know that I don't have to act on every little thought or feeling that I may have. I know that those dismal thoughts and feelings are just the misfiring of my brain cells and they can be ignored until the calvary arrives. Also, prayer and the scriptures really do give me a LOT of peace—and enough patience to wait. I am not suicidal—nowhere close. If I were, I'd be throwing a fit and demanding to be seen today. So don't worry. I'm scheduled for help. And most days, I actually do get out of bed and shower and dress and complete the most important tasks expected of me—as long as they don't require complex logic or sustained reasoning or remembering something for more than two seconds.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blogging Bug Meme

My daughter tagged me. This is actually a meme where I'm interested in reading other people's answers. I find the whole psychology of blogging fascinating.


How long have you been blogging?
Since January 14, 2006. Dang! I just had my two year anniversary where I'm supposed to list 734 things about me and I forgot. Oh well. Guess I'll do that tomorrow.


What inspired you to start your blog, and who are your mentors?
I started this blog because I wanted to write. Once upon a time in a far away land, writing was my life's blood, my soul. Then I had children. Now that I've recovered from parenthood (not), I want to write again but I'm rusty and need practice. This is my practice pad.

I'd never heard of blogging until my daughter went to Taiwan. She started a blog to keep in touch with the family. She has taught me everything I know and if there's anything cute or cool on my blog (like my masthead), it was her idea.


Are you trying to make money online, or are you doing it just for fun?
This blog is just for fun but I have others that will hopefully provide an income someday. Blogging is fun for me—creative and fulfilling in many ways.

I confess I've been bitten by the blog bug. I have a total of 17 blogs—not all are listed on my profile. Some get pretty good hit scores, some are still under construction, some are private; some I post to nearly every day, some not so much. I also contribute to three group blogs and do a blog for Megan's lacrosse team.

I don't know whether to brag about this or be embarrassed.


What 3 things do you love about being online?
1. My job is pretty much me and my computer, all day, every day. It gets a little lonely. The Internet lets me reach out and touch someone whenever I need to. Also, I have met some wonderful women online that I now call friends. (I love our Blogging Babes group.) I would never have met these women without the Internet.

2. Most of my close friends are busy working or in other time zones. Being online let's me maintain a relationship with them. I can ask them questions or send information in the middle of the night without waking them up. Also, I'm a bit of a phonophobe. I hate calling people on the phone because I'm afraid I'll interrupt something important, like a nap or American Idol. With e-mail, no worries.

3. I am never bored when I'm online. I can learn anything, anytime I want, without having to go back to school or drive through two feet of snow to get to the library.


Chat and IM.
Not much. Chat only for business meetings. I keep forgetting to turn on my IM.


Tag
I 'm tagging the Blogging Babes who were at our last luncheon: Brillig, Candace, Donna, Jeri, Sandra and Tristi

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Hinckley Challenge

I decided to do the Hinckley Challenge—to read the Book of Mormon in 97 days (in honor of Pres. Hinckley being 97 years old when he passed away. I'm explaining this because it took me two days to figure it out.)

I am starting today and I need to read 5 1/2 pages per day to finish by May 10th. I did the 30 day challenge two years ago, I think I can handle the 97 day challenge—even with all the Whitney reading I'm doing right now (see sidebar).

I'm #16322 to sign up. In the two minutes it took me to sign up and then click on the Warriors Accepting the Challenge link, 119 additional people had signed up. Cool.


02/05/08 (9:20 a.m.) Update: I went to the website to update my page count. Apparently they don't count the introductory pages, which is what I read today. It doesn't start counting until you get to the numbered pages.

Also, there are now 3,000 more participants since I signed up last night. It's currently at 19376, 19386, 19398, ... it adds more with every refresh. That is so cool!

How would aliens judge our intelligence?


I didn't watch the Super Bowl commercials in real time because I didn't watch the Super Bowl. But I did watch all the commercials today, here. Most years, I'm about 50/50 on the commercials, but this year? I was severely unimpressed.

Is it me, or did anyone else think the ick factor reached new heights (lows?) this year? Hearts jumping out of chests, people getting smushed and beat up, kids picking their nose—and what's up with all the butt patting? Geez.

And what do they think our average IQ is anyway? 12?

I did like two of the commercials—the one for Planters Peanuts and the one with Hank, the Budweiser Clydesdale. Those were funny.

However, my current favorite commercial didn't make it to the Super Bowl but every time it comes on, it makes me smile. Wanna' know which one it is? Here's a hint...

Now playing on my iPod: New Soul by Yael Naim