Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Circling the Drain

Ever have one of those days where nothing is going right, you're exhausted, and the sound of your own breathing is annoying you? Well, I've been having those days consecutively for a couple of weeks. There's been the occasional, "hey today doesn't suck" moment, but those have been outweighed by the "oh holy crap, I'm so overwhelmed, but I don't have time to deal with it" kind of moments. Last Tuesday I totally circled the drain. I snapped. I lost my crackers, big time.

As per the usual, there had been football practice, from 1800-2000 hours. It was Tuesday, so the Minion went with the ex for the night. We actually got out a little early, and The Boss had been at a group dinner thing. He had wanted me to come by on my way home, since the restaurant is literally under 3 miles from the house, and on my way. So, I call, to tell him what I want to eat, so it can be ready when I get there. At this point, I've been hungry for about 3 hours, but didn't have anything in my football bag or work bag to snack on (a true rarity). It was going to be okay, because I'd have yummy food that I love in about 20 minutes. As I am getting on the highway, he calls me back. (Side note, when I am uber-irritable, not taking my call when not at work is not a smart move.) He tells me dinner ended early and he was telling people bye, so he didn't take my call. I hear, "you aren't important enough, and I don't care if you eat!" Of course, I've gone by the fast food restaurants already, and am now up on the interstate. The last thing I really want is fast food anyhow. My birthday dinner? Not-good french fries, with a bite of a nasty baked potato from a national chain. Color me unimpressed. Football season lends itself to lots of quick, on the go meals. So, hearing that I wasn't getting dinner soon, was not a ball of edible delight. Oh, did I mention I get utterly evil when my blood sugar dips a bit? It's fabulous really, and it's even hereditary! The Boss knows this, and in theory understands it, being Mr. Paramedic and all. So, I lose it on him and tell him how from now on I will make sure i feed myself on practice nights. He offers to meet me somewhere in our little town, so I can eat. "Yes, that's what every girl with food issues wants, is to eat a meal with someone staring at her, not also eating!" is my oh-so-rational reply. He offers no real suggestions, is no longer at the restaurant when I drive by, so I go home.

Once I'm home, it's pretty obvious that I've lost some marbles along the way. I'm flushed (freaking hormones!), I'm angry, I'm moody, I'm a big ball of black abyss. I crank at him, and tell him I'm going to bed, because between being exhausted and being hungry, I can only fix one of them, and at least if I can sleep, I won't know I'm hungry. Again, I'm being super rational, obviously. He says okay, and I stomp off, strip down to my underwear and flop on the bed. I'm exhausted, but can't sleep, and I know I can't. I am not even sure the last time I slept for more than an hour or two without waking up. He comes in the bedroom and I'm so angry I am yelling, but so frustrated I am not overly coherent. I finally tell him I'm done talking to him. He walks away to go brush his teeth, and I melt down. I yell about how he is walking away while I am talking to him,  and what a terrible person he is being, and I have some seriously colorful, seriously irrational dialogue going on. I'm digging my nails into myself, trying to release frustration. He looks at me and says, "You know you're not being rational, right?" I flop onto my face and sob hysterically. I'm not a crier, I don't cry at movies, or hallmark cards, or puppies, or anything like that. I despise crying, but man can The Boss make me cry sometimes. I'm crying so hard I can't talk, I'm just choking out random syllables and gasping as my eyes pour tears. He comes and sits next to me, and strokes my hair. I cry harder. I finally manage words.

"I'm losing my mind," is the first thing I can get out. Then, "I feel like I am going crazy," is the next. He finally gets me to calm down, and I promptly start flipping through my phone, trying to figure out where in town is open past 2200 hours, because it's now 2145 and I'm in just panties. I finally ask him to take me to Waffle House. I also ask him to take me in his gas guzzling truck, as opposed to my car, because I can't handle having to clean out the passenger seat so I can sit. He obliges. I despise the Awful Waffle, but it's open, and I'm way beyond hungry. He orders a side while I order a meal. We eat, we talk, I eat, we talk, we stop eating, we keep talking. It keeps coming back to me really feeling like I am losing my mind. I can't get to sleep, and when I do, I can't stay asleep. I've gone from minimal hot flashes to hot flashes that last hours upon hours. My mood and temper are on this constant pendulum that refuses to hover over middle ground. My appetite is all messed up, and I'm having to force myself to eat a lot of the time. I've been chalking it up to being so exhausted that I don't have the energy to eat. We get home and go to bed. I'm so exhausted, yet I still can't really sleep. I don't get up and pace when I can't sleep, because it disturbs the little sleep The Boss gets. Instead, I play on my phone, watch some episodes of favorite shows, etc. I finally crash out, and have decided to let myself sleep a bit. At some point he gets up, and I don't move. I sleep until about 1015, although much of it fitfully. I finally check in with my boss at work via email, to let him know I'm having some issues, but I'm not dead in a ditch. I'm at an utter loss for how to fix myself, and that is perhaps my greatest frustration.

We discuss my upcoming appointment for my annual female stuff, which is on Monday. I finally decide to request a sooner work in, and let them know that I'm willing to see the nurse practitioner who saw me for my breast lump last year. she took me seriously, was proactive, and I liked her. That's rare, me liking female doctors - I've just had so little luck with them. Part of my concern was the second lump I'd found and how #2 seemed more obvious in recent weeks, which had also been when my crazy had been more obvious. I'm in medically induced (as in my ovaries and tubes were removed) menopause for almost 2 years. I'm worried about being able to convey my issues. The Boss tells me that they will understand if I simply tell them what is going on.

I spend most of Wednesday and Thursday resting, aside from Minion time after school and at practice. The ex made me mad, but I didn't make too much of a scene. Honestly, I didn't really have it in me, anyhow. I'm convinced that rest is helping, so I cram in as much rest as I can. Like any dutiful women however, I make sure things are clean, shaven, etc Friday morning. I feel less like a shell and more like me, but I've also not been back to work since Tuesday, and I've been sleeping whenever I can manage it. So, I lay everything out for the doc (NP). She is adamant that it isn't hormonal, and is certain it is related to (fill in the blank). She wants me to see a zillion specialists, and be tested for everything from lupus to lyme disease to thyroid issues, you name it. I ask about her running some of the testing because my usual doc is good about running stuff while I work on getting appointments with other specialists. She says that Usual Doc dabbles in primary care, but that I need to see all these specialists really. My PCP is local to where I work, which is not local to home. If I get sick at home, I hit the Quack In A Box, since the co-pay is the same. I get a tongue clucking, and get told I need a local PCP. I'm also sent for a same-day mammogram and ultrasound for Lumpy and Bumpy.

Thankfully, Lumpy and Bumpy are just fine. I however, still felt at loose ends. The NP's biggest recommendation was to exercise. Yes, I know exercise is good stuff. However, when brushing my teeth takes all the energy I have for the day, exercise is not even remotely close to happening. I felt brushed off, and at an absolute loss for what to do. I asked for doc recommendations, and was given pre-printed recommendations based on which hospital network they were affiliated with. I could give a flying flip about that. I want real true-life recommendations.

So, feeling like the circus side show, I post to my fellow firefighter wives. I've posted in only one group (of my many FFW groups) as to what is going on. I'm feeling fairly displeased, and let down that essentially nothing is being done for me. Thankfully, my fellow FFWs are a big ball of health craziness, too!

So, I feel a little less like I am circling the drain, now that I've had some consistent sleep. I was given xanax to "chill me out and help me sleep". Ha! It gives me insomnia and migraines. What kind of crap is that?! I've also asked around and found an internal medicine doctor (the receptionist informed me that I needed to be seen for preventative care, not internal medicine, and I informed her that the doctor and I would make that decision), and I have an appointment for the end of the month. Of course, it is on a shift day, but, such is life.

I will say, I could have very easily given into the drain last week, had it not been for my FFW Sisters, and their support. Here I am, largely a stranger, and they reach out to me, check on me, and support me. My local friends whom I am closest to knew what was going on, yet dealt with it with radio silence during the weekend (very abnormal). Thank goodness for the Sisterhood...