Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mourning and Fighting Paranoia

I am slowly crawling out of the physical health breakdown and subsequent mental health decline. The second Xolair shot is slowly making itself known and the hives have been waning - provided I don't get myself too stressed. Of course, with the weather being unseasonably hot - it "only" hit 106 today - just leaving the house to run an errand is a lot of stress on my body. Still, there has been progress.

And then a bombshell hit. I have never been overly affected by the death of a celebrity. Robin Williams' suicide was sad and I had a fit of depression for a couple of weeks, but usually I get sad and chat about it but they are basically strangers so it isn't immediate. But the suicide of Chester Bennington, one of the front men for Linkin Park, hit me really hard. His music has literally saved my life and it still keeps me together. His lyrics are brilliant and insightful and obviously came from the mind of someone who has been in the depths of addiction and depression. That, of course, is why his death hit not only me but a multitude of people who fight mental illness.

Yesterday I was so depressed and agitated that I couldn't stay in the house. I was on the verge of cutting myself, the depression was so bad. I have no hair to yank out and I cut my fingernails down to the quick so I wouldn't gouge my skin. I had no outlet for the mental pain. My first stop was the tattoo shop that I love. I wasn't really expecting anyone to have an opening on a Saturday, but I was still crushed that I couldn't get inked right then. The pain of the needles would help with the itch to hurt myself and I would be covering up one of the spots I had cut myself in the past (the inside of my forearms are already tattooed just for that reason). I made an appointment for Tuesday, even though I can't really afford it. I am justifying it as a medical expense. It is something I NEED to keep myself from something more drastic.

I drove around town a bit, stopped and got some lunch, and then walked around PetSmart and looked at the dogs and cats up for adoption. The heat finally got to me - I was feeling dizzy and nauseated from it - so I finally wandered home. I felt a bit better, although I rubbed the skin raw around the earrings in my right ear, and I watched a movie and had a light, cold dinner so I wouldn't make myself sick. But the whole time I had "Heavy" - one of Linkin Park's songs from their latest album - looping in my head and it was all I could do to not start crying.

Well, I stressed myself out way too much. By bedtime I was all out in hives again, my stomach was irritated, my sinuses were irritated and draining down the back, and I was utterly exhausted. I was so miserable I couldn't sleep and by midnight the draining sinuses and my upset stomach left me dry heaving for about 10 minutes. I ended up watching Netflix on my computer for a couple of hours and finally tried to sleep again. I dozed on and off until my med alarm went off at 9 a.m. I hurt so bad I took my 9 a.m. meds and my breakfast meds - which include my main pain med Tramadol - at the same time. Because I took the Tramadol so early, I ended up taking an extra one, spacing them out by 4 hours.

Well, I finally fell asleep and woke up about noon feeling a bit better. My stomach was still touchy but I managed breakfast. And I was feeling better than I should have been. I still felt sick, but I wasn't nearly as achy as I expected and I had more energy than I should have after not sleeping most of the night.

It was while I was taking my nighttime meds that it occurred to me that I likely felt better because I had taken 4 Tramadol throughout the day at set 4-hour intervals instead of just 3 spaced out to 6 hours. More pain meds = less pain. Yes, that should be obvious, but I am seriously paranoid about taking ANY medication. And I am especially paranoid of taking something like Tramadol. I had a scare last October prior to my hysterectomy where I ODed on the Tramadol because my instructions didn't say that I could only take 400 mg per 24 hours. I was in major pain and was taking 600 mg per day and it made me sick and almost landed me in the ER. Ever since I have taken 3 pills - 150 mg - per day and have been terrified to take any more than that.

I had to talk it out with my Mom to convince myself that I really should switch to the 4 pills a day instead of 3. It is still well below what I can take, but I just couldn't convince myself to change it. My Mom had to give me her Mother/Former RN look to get me to open the medicine cabinet and change my med planners. I am still having fits over it. Paranoia isn't easily overcome. And, of course, fighting the paranoia puts me back to having that itch to hurt myself. The good news is I found my worry stone and hopefully I can hold off until Tuesday and my new tattoo.

Wow, this is a long entry. I guess I just needed to get it all down in words. I am starting to have trouble typing because I'm getting shaky. Time to try that sleep thing again. And tomorrow is another day.

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