Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Pros and Cons pt.2

When my dietician asked me to list the pros and cons of gaining weight, neither of us were expecting me to actually think about it. But I spent days thinking about it. It got under my skin and kept me up at night. My thoughts were running but nothing made sense.

I tried to think of things that would objectively happen if I gained weight, but the only thing I could think of was "if I gained weight, my physical health would improve". I told the dietician that I know it should be a 'pro', but to me it's more of a 'con'. I don't particularly want my physical health to improve, which I know a lot of you can understand. I told her I was finding the whole thing overwhelming, and we left it for another time. 

It was another week of 1,200-1,250 calories (300-500 Ensure), and the scales showed a small gain for the first time in two months. She asked how I felt, and I wasn't too sure. It was upsetting, but it doesn't send me into a hysterical panic like it used to. I don't run out of the room in tears anymore. I know weight fluctuates up and down as a part of maintaining, and I've had losses to balance it out. I still worry that it'll keep going up and real weight gain will sneak up on me, but my dietician assures me it won't. 

She didn't push any goals this week, not to raise my intake, or to phase out Ensure, or to do any soul-searching.
"Just focus on getting through each day."

It's been another tough week. I try to do things every day, like sewing, or reading, or watching a movie or writing a blog post, but I never last long enough to achieve anything. I don't know what to do with myself. I don't even know how to explain how I feel. I just don't know. 

*I actually put on a real outfit, instead of going to my appointment in track pants and ugg boots. I even added a splash of color. My dietician was shocked.*


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Pros and Cons

The dietician gave me some difficult homework this week: to write a list of pros and cons about gaining weight. 

She wants a better understanding of how I feel about my weight, but to be honest, I don't really understand it myself. It's all blurry and tangled. It's making me look deep inside myself, and it's messy.

I'm writing things down, though they aren't clear pros and cons. So far they're more like 'reasons why I don't want to gain weight' and 'things that would happen if I gain weight'. It's confronting and confusing to even think about. I want to give her a real answer, but I don't know if I can face it.

A shout out to Eve, who set me the same pros-and-cons challenge a few weeks ago. While I couldn't give her an answer, she gave me serious food for thought, as always. 

The dietician looked back through my notes, and I've been maintaining my weight since July/August. Not too sure how I feel about that. I barely spoke during the appointment. She said she wants to change focus to phasing out Ensure, instead of pushing to raise my calorie intake, but at the moment I just don't have the motivation.

I feel so stuck in this depression, unable to do much other than sit and chain-smoke. I don't know what to do. It's like I'm zombified. Apologies for the lack of posting lately, but there's so little to say.

At the moment I just want to hide away in my blanket cocoon. My ability to cope is dwindling. It's only 2pm, and I've already smoked 40 cigarettes today. 
I am simply not functioning. 

Cuddles with Misty this morning: a little bright spot on a rainy day. 


Thursday, 17 October 2013

1,000 Days

I picked up my new antidepressants today. My GP called this morning, asking me to come in. She'd spoken with a psychiatrist yesterday, and they recommended Zyban (Bupropion, Wellbutrin) as it's not only an antidepressant, but also an effective aid for quitting smoking, and lord knows I need to quit. 

I'm starting on 150mg, and halving my Mirtazapine to 30mg. She said I'll feel 'jittery' for the first few days on Zyban, but it'll pass. I just hope it helps make things more tolerable again. 

The dietician was lovely this week, as always. When we sat down, she started saying that I've done well in the time I've been seeing her, maintaining my weight and staying out of hospital, but at the same time, it's not a good thing.

She said she's looking into 'strategies' to help me 'move forward'. I'm not exactly sure what she means, but I guess we'll discuss it more next week. I really do appreciate that she's trying to help beyond her call of duty. I just don't know if I can accept that help. I initially sought her help to maintain my weight and stop being a frequent flyer in the emergency room, which I've achieved, but in effect it keeps me sick, and she doesn't want that. 

My weight stayed the same after another week on 1,200 calories. She asked again about moving up to 1,300, and I told her I'm really struggling with the idea since I'm already maintaining. Her big worry is if I fall ill again, my body mightn't be strong enough to cope, and any extra energy would help. During my last COPD exacerbation, I unintentionally lost a couple of kilos. She wants me to at least gain that back so I have a 'safety net' for future illness, but I just can't bring myself to gain, whether it's 2kg or 20kg.

I forgot to mention in my last post, but on Sunday I reached 1,000 days in a row on MyFitnessPal. It's a meaningless and sad achievement, I know, but I still enjoy watching the days add up.

Sorry this post has been all over the place. It really should've been multiple posts, but it's taking a lot of effort and time to gather my thoughts lately. Each day seems harder than the last, and I just hope these new meds will help turn that around.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my skirt. You guys flatter me, seriously. I wore it to see the dietician, and she was so pleased I'd finally finished it after so long.

Caesar salad (249 cal) I made for dinner last night. It was my first 'knife & fork' meal in many months (I've been finding using two pieces of cutlery strangely complicated recently). 


Monday, 14 October 2013

Circle Skirt

finally finished skirt #2, my fourth sewing project, yesterday. 

For this one, I made the same waistband as my last skirt, then drafted a circle skirt instead of the tapered panel skirt. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'd forgotten how much I adore the simple circle skirt.

It took me about 5-6 weeks to make, opposed to one week for my last skirt. Depression isn't conducive to productivity, obviously. The zipper alone took me several weeks, constantly re-doing it, and it's still not perfect.

You'll have to excuse my bland fabrics. I'm very much a 'black' kinda girl (as if you all didn't know that already), and I'm rebuilding my wardrobe starting with the basics. Not to mention, it's hard to browse for fun fabrics when you can't go to the store yourself.

It's still a novelty to have clothes that actually fit. I kinda regret giving up sewing for nearly three years, but it was worth waiting until I stopped losing/gaining/losing massive amounts. I'm now a stable size 4AU, and not planning on gaining anytime in the foreseeable future. I don't think I've mentioned before, but at my natural weight, I wore a size 12AU (sometimes even a 14). 

Not much else to say for now, I just wanted to share these pictures with you all. Sorry for the crappy photo quality; I really need a new dress form. 
I'm still waiting on my GP to write me a new prescription. She called the next day, saying she wanted to consult someone before prescribing me anything new, and I'd hear back early next week. Which isn't a bad thing, and in the big picture it makes no difference, but it's made this weekend seem endless. 

Wishing all you lovely ladies a pleasant week ahead. 


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Something had to Change

There's so much to process, so much to say. This post might be a little messy, so bear with me. I had my monthly appointment with the GP this morning, and the dietician yesterday. Let's start with the GP.

It's no secret that I've been struggling lately. Yes, I'm managing to hit my calorie goals, but that's about it. It's become a real battle to make it through each day, and something had to change. In sheer desperation, not knowing what else to do, I asked my GP if she could change my anti-depressants. 

I've been on mirtazapine for nearly three years now. A few months ago, for whatever reason, it stopped helping. She raised my dose from 45mg to 60mg, but it didn't help. She said she has to think on what to prescribe me, but she'll write me a new script tomorrow. As frightening as it is to change medications, something has to change. I still don't understand why it stopped working after so long; there was no trigger, but I guess it doesn't really matter why. I'll have a new script to pick up tomorrow, and while I know it won't fix anything, hopefully it'll make things more tolerable again. 

She checked the bruise on my arch, which is still spreading two weeks after the injury. She actually asked if I'd done it again, which I haven't. We discussed my self-harm habits, and gave me advice on which methods are less dangerous. She checked my injuries from head to toe, and said she'll be checking each time I see her from now on. I have three scripts; antibiotics for the infected wounds, a gel to help with healing, and an ointment to prevent further infections. 

As for the dietician, well... It was one of those days. The kind where I only brushed my hair two minutes before walking out the door in my slippers. 
I sat down and she asked "How've things been this week?"
I was stumped "I... I don't know."
"Not a good day? Was it hard to get here?"

We talked about the picnic in the You Yangs, about the few dinners I've cooked. My intake last week was between 1,211 and 1,230; accuracy and consistency seems to be kinda my thing lately. My weight stayed the same, though she again expressed concern over the 'trend'. For now, I'm relieved that I'm not gaining, she's relieved that I'm not losing.

At the moment, I'm brain-drained. I just want to hide in my blanket cocoon. Tomorrow, I'll have new meds, and hopefully things will start becoming more tolerable again. 


Saturday, 5 October 2013

A Picnic in the Mountains

I stepped out into the world again today, for the second time in nearly a year. 

There's a mountain range that I see from my house everyday, the You Yangs. A few weeks ago, mum and I went for a drive there. It was nice and quiet, and I thought it'd be a good place to go out one day. I was feeling particularly brave this morning, and the weather was gorgeous, so we decided to go for a little picnic. 

It's only a half hour drive to the You Yangs, but it feels so remote. We stopped for coffee and Subway on the way. There's several picnic grounds, and we drove around all of them until we found a quiet area without anyone else around. 

We sat for a while with our coffees and cigarettes, taking in the scenery. I have a horrible fear of heights, so I stayed far back from the cliff's edge. It was lovely to be out in nature, anxiety aside. We even saw four kangaroos hopping across the road. 

We ate our sandwiches when the clock struck 12. I had part of a 6" chicken, lettuce & carrot on wholemeal, even though it was more than I'd normally have for lunch (216 cal). Shortly after I finished, the fear and discomfort of being out became overwhelming, so we packed up and headed off. 

I live in a beautiful area, really. We're only minutes from the beach, on a great part of the coast. On the other side, we're only a few kilometers away from farmland and bush. There's a lot of beautiful little places around, and it's a shame to miss out on.

To say it was scary would be an understatement, but it was refreshing to get out for a while. I felt physically sick with anxiety, and I started crying as soon as I got back to the safety of the car. It was just completely overwhelming. I don't have many words, and I'm exhausted in every way, but I took a few pictures so I'll leave you with those.

Yesterday was my first full day off the crutches. I still can't put my foot flat without feeling like it's about to snap in half, so I'm walking on the side of my foot, but at least I'm walking. I'm seeing the GP on Wednesday, so I'll get her to check it then. 


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Missing Links

I saw the dietician yesterday. Usual Tuesday routine. It was my third week on 1,200 calories, and the scales showed a loss. Nothing drastic, but a loss nonetheless. Is my metabolism kicking in? The extra energy burn from being on crutches all week? Either way, I'll take it. 

I was actually 100% prepared for the potential of a temporary gain this week, as my tummy hasn't felt quite right. Tuesday through Thursday, I was having awful cramps, to the point where I could barely move. I only had one (*ahem*) 'movement' all week since, which is highly unusual for me. So, in any light, the loss was an unexpected bonus.

Again, my intake was between 1,140-1,180 calories each day; 600-900 of those being food, the rest Ensure. 
"No 1,200? What happened to 1,200?"
I shrug "I just see it as being close enough."
"It is... but it'd be great if we could try to get to 1,240, 1,260, that sort of range. It's just as close."
I still have the mentality that a calorie goal is to be strictly stayed under. It's a maximum, not a minimum. So, this week I'll be aiming for 1,200-1,250, which just means a little extra powder in my Ensure, so I should be able to manage. 

I've been completely useless and unproductive all week, unable to do much without assistance. Mum's been helping out in the kitchen. I accepted I couldn't do it all on crutches. I still have to weigh everything myself, but I've started asking mum if she can get things out for me or watch what's cooking, while I sit at the bench. I've only had soup for dinner twice this past week; I'm cooking and eating family dinners unless mum's already planned something I flat-out won't or can't eat, so that's something.

The crutches have knocked every ounce of strength out of me. It wasn't this difficult last time. My body aches from head to toe, and I dread having to move. I'm completely exhausted in every way. 

Yesterday, I tried doing short stints without the crutches. Just around the kitchen, rejoicing in being able to carry things. I still can't wiggle my toes and the arch still touches the ground, but I enjoyed having some form of independence back. I could actually make a coffee and carry it outside, opposed to just tucking cans of Coke Zero in my pockets. It's the little things.

Today, I'm back on them. By last night it felt like my foot was going to completely give out again, and it's aching like mad this morning. I think I actually made the swelling worse. Maybe I pushed it a little too hard. I'm off the anti-inflammatories, and had to stop taking the stronger painkillers a couple of days ago, which sucks, but I'll deal.

Mood-wise, nothing's changed. I still feel like I'm trapped in a fog. Being immobile certainly isn't helping. I know I should be sewing, I know I have things to do in the kitchen, I know I have a to-do list as long as my arm. I just can't do it, even when I'm physically able. I can't get from A to B. It's like there's some missing link. Mum says that's a part of depression. I just sit, blank, still as a statue, feeling utterly lost. 

And wow, it's October already?! That's come around quickly. Time just goes by quicker and quicker.