Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas 2014

So, Christmas is finally over.

I was up as early as usual on Christmas Day. We were cooking a whole leg of lamb as well as the chicken, and someone had to get it in the slow cooker at 5am so it'd be falling apart by 1pm. The lamb was kept simple, while the the chicken was done up with homemade stuffing and seasoned with fresh thyme and garlic. I also made duck fat potatoes and from-scratch gravies, both chicken and lamb.

The day itself was stressful. A lot of cooking and feeling exhausted. My brother's fiance came over, which was the first time we've had people in the house for a long time. There are a lot of contributing factors, but I just feel too vulnerable when there's so little safe space left in my world.

We had these new Christmas crackers this year, and as it turns out they're quite tough to break. Mum and I were holding hers, and I was like 'okay, just hold it still, pulling it will only lead to disaster'. But of course it led to disaster anyway.
When it did snap, my wrist flew back, whacked down on the wine glass on the table, sending the glass flying to the fate of smashing and spilling all over the carpet.
...and I never even got to open my cracker.

For the last week I've been falling asleep sitting up, unable to stay away for the duration of the day. I've only been getting on average 5 hours sleep the past few weeks, so I guess it's catching up.

The last few days have been pretty flat. I'm just too exhausted to do much at all. Time has come to mean nothing for the week surrounding Christmas. No meal times, no bed times, too many missed meds, cleaning at 5am, wrapping presents at midnight... no routine at all. 

I didn't end up doing as much baking as I'd planned. I skipped the sponge and cookies, and just made the two chocolate cakes, a triple batch of chocolate truffles, and a quadruple batch of caramel slice. We've also had so much chocolate around these past few weeks, it's unbelievable. We still have a lot left, but there's been 2kg of choc-coated peanuts, 2kg of Maltesers, 1kg of peppermint creams, a box of Favourites and a box of Roses, not to mention the chocolate for baking (the cakes alone had 1kg of chocolate between them)... so baking more wasn't a huge necessity.

I spent the day jingling as I walked, which is apparently nothing unusual on Christmas Day, as it was several hours before anyone noticed. I had a belt hidden under my cardigan, which I used to wear as a kid. At some point I put all these Christmas bells on it, and so it became my Christmas belt. My jingle belt.

Yesterday I looked through our old photo albums to find a photo of me wearing it as a kid. After much searching, I was starting to think that maybe there just wasn't a photo of me wearing it. Then I started looking earlier, and lo and behold, the very first photo in the album marked "1996-1997" shows me and my brother standing in the backyard of our old house, me wearing my red belt and him wearing a matching yellow belt, aged 3 and 5.

I gave my brother a Game of Thrones letter opener, but it makes the perfect sword for Sir Mini Milo


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Final Countdown

Tomorrow's the day. It's Christmas Eve, and today has been a mad dash to make sure everything is organized. I don't really want to talk about it much right now. I just hate this time of year. I feel so... empty, so filled with regret.

It's been a busy week. On Sunday night I went out again. When I went out to dinner with my mum, brother, and his fiance a few months ago, it was decided we should do it again, next time with the addition of her parents.

I was stressing about it all week, but in the end I would've felt too guilty if I bailed out again. I won't go into detail, but they've been together for a few years now, and Sunday was the... third time I've seen her in that time. Yes, I'm a horrible person, I know, but such is anxiety. I hadn't seen her parents in even longer, maybe six or seven years.

I panicked when we got there. My brother was going to take us in first, before his fiance's family got there, but they were already seated when we arrived. It was okay, just not the Optimal Situation for Anxiety Minimization that I always like to plan for.
The idea of being in a group of more than 3-4 people is still just terrifying. How long's it been since I've sat in a group of six people?! Ugh. Five years, at least.

I felt pretty awkward for the first part of the night, but alcohol always helps, and boy did I have a lot of 'help'. I had a lot of trouble following conversations, too distracted estimating, sizing up, counting, and stressing about the food that comes without nutritional information.

Overall, I ate a pappadam, 1/4 naan bread, 3 spoonfuls of rice and 5 pieces of diced lamb from the rogan josh. I had maybe 600 calories plus the wine. I never eat that much in a sitting. I tasted a bite of the biryani and a different type of naan, but I wasn't feeling too adventurous at all, avoiding the 'new' dishes. We ordered a Nutella naan to share for dessert, and it was around then that everything went black.

I woke up at 4am the next morning, still dressed, wrapped in three blankets, covered in sweat. I went to have a shower, and the first thing I noticed was that I wasn't bloated. I was empty. That was the first sign I was sick the night before. Physically, I felt fine. My mum and brother kindly filled in the gaps over the course of the morning.

I told them I remembered having a glass more than half a bottle of wine (his fiance shared), then one extra glass...
"One glass?! More like three!"
What? No! Yes. I ordered an extra glass while the fiance finished her last glass, then we both had one each, and then I ordered a third one...
"So when did the Nutella naan come in?"
"After the second, during the third glass"

Thank you all for your feedback on my last post. I really do appreciate your support and care, more than I could ever express. I know a few of you mentioned supplements. My GP said to talk to the dietician about it, which I did yesterday. She hadn't received the news yet, and her face dropped when I told her my T-Scores.
"What does the GP want you to do with supplements?"
"...she said to talk to you."

After thinking about it for a while, she said she wants Jo to advise on calcium and vitamin D dosages because they'll be quite high. I still haven't been able to take the pills, and I'm not certain I'll be able to take the powders in my coffee with my Fibersure either, but we'll see what happens. She's going to call one of the ED psychs for advice, without mentioning my name, since he'd see it more often than my GP. She said some of her other patients with EDs and osteoporosis are on hormonal therapy, which was one of the 'recommended treatments' on the printout, but again my GP didn't really talk to me about it much at all.

I stacked her cheeses in a gift bag with a souveniour tea towel and fridge magnet draped over. She gave me the biggest hug.
"See, when I first met you, there's no way you'd have let me do that. I'm gonna enjoy it while I can." as she gave me another

And I actually went back a few hours later to deliver a chocolate cake a Christmas gift for the clinic. Over two days, I made two triple layer chocolate cakes, sandwiched with homemade buttercream and coated with semisweet ganache. It's a long story, but basically last year I took in a slice to give to my dietician, and in the process accidently crashed their Christmas party, so I decided I'd make them a whole one this year.

The whole week has been pretty busy and stressful. I'm losing entire days to panic attacks and breakdowns. I'm so overwhelmed, I don't have time to breakdown. I'm just exhausted. I want to crash so badly. After tomorrow I think I need to have at least one day of doing absolutely nothing and just hibernating.

I got all frocked up for dinner, and even wore my hair down since it wouldn't be getting blown around or messed up.


Friday, 19 December 2014

Osteoporosis and Failed Outings

I saw my GP this morning. Among other things, she had the results of my bone density scan.

I have severe osteoporosis in my left femur, moderate in my right, and mild osteoporosis in my spine.*

We didn't talk much about it. The dietician is the better person to talk to about supplements and nutrition and exercise, obviously, but she wanted to give me the news first.

It's been a long time between scans for me. It didn't help that I had this referral sitting on the fridge for a year before I made the appointment. The last scan I has was in early 2011 in ED inpatient, just after I was diagnosed with Anorexia, at which point I hadn't been sick for even a full year. No one ever told me the results, and I don't think my GP even has a copy either, so I assume it was fine back then. 

It wasn't long until I was cracking jokes about hip replacements and fall risks. I said to mum, that at least now I have an excuse for my shamefully dwindling posture. Let's just hope I don't start losing my height.

*(According to the printout, a 'T-Score' below -1.0 is Osteopenia, and below -2.5 is Osteoporosis. My T-Scores were -3.7, -2.9 and -2.5)

Then there was the whole shopping trip fiasco on Sunday.

To be honest, I don't remember much of the day. I didn't realize until a couple of days later how little I remembered. It was shitty and full of stress, and the only crutch I had for dealing with breakdowns was my lorazepam. I didn't even think about how much it was adding up until I got home and realized I'd had six or seven. Normally I'd only have two, three on a particularly bad day, so I'm pretty sure that's why. It was just those stupid little triggers that seemed to send me spiralling.

The drive itself was nice. It's some two and a half hours each way, but thankfully mum likes driving and I like car trips. The scenery is beautiful. We drive inland (you can go via The Great Ocean Road, but it's a killer for my anxiety), so it's just lots of hills and paddocks and empty space.

I was looking for a gift for my brother, and we drove around for a while looking for different shops to try, but for each shop there was a reason not to go into it.
I did get my cheeses for the dietician though, eight different types of cheddar (photos below). Mum got another 5kg, unsurprisingly, so hopefully we'll be stocked for a while.

And on Tuesday I saw the mental health nurse. She was finding out later this week, but she seemed pretty definite that she'll be leaving in January or February. She thinks the senior doctors at the clinic will throw and uproar about the services being taken away, so they might be able to find a way to keep seeing a select number of patients, but it's all a case of 'wait and see'.

Going somewhere else just isn't an option from me.

It just sucks. For a bit of history, I started seeing the dietician in June 2012. At that point, it'd been nearly two years since I'd seen a doctor. It took me 8 months of her pushing to get me to start seeing a GP. After that, it was another 16 months before I could see the mental health nurse, who I only met this June. Apart from hospital and sections, I hadn't seen anyone from the mental health field for so many years... maybe five? And now it's all going to shit.

Everything just feels hopeless. There is no plan, no path, no one to help.

The whole week's been pretty hard. My mood's been plummeting and I haven't slept much at all the past three nights. Sorry for the disjointed post. Finding words is like pulling teeth. I warned mum last week that I'm liable to cry because of anything and everything right now, and I am.

Boo the Bunny stowing away in my bag

There's three types of plain cheddar - Tasty, Extra Tasty and Vintage. Then there's the flavoured cheddars...

To show you what they look like; left to right, top then bottom, these are Tomato & Chive, Garlic & Pepper, Chilli, Cracked Pepper, and Herbs & Spice cheeses.

This is probably the last I'll post before Christmas, so if I don't have the opportunity otherwise, I'd like to wish you all a safe and happy Christmas, even though I know that's a longshot for a lot of us.

All my love,


Friday, 12 December 2014

'Tis the Season

It's that time of year again. I've been kind of avoiding even talking about it until now. Part of me wishes I could just go to sleep, skip it all and wake up in January.

I finally put up the mini Christmas tree yesterday. Better late than never. I kept Misty with me and teased her with tinsel and baubles to lighten the mood a little.

It just makes me sad, and I don't know why it makes me so sad. It always has. I've sat here for ages trying to write some sort of coherent reasons as to why, but the words aren't coming. I don't know how to explain how I feel.

Seeing all the decorations around when I go out in the car, trees, hearing carols on the radio and the hype on TV for the last month or so,.. it starts to feels like something that happens to the rest of the world but not me. I can only see it through glass. Even with the few half-hearted decorations I put up, it feels empty.
I try to be a part of it, try to find the happiness and joy that's supposed to come alongside the holiday, but each year I just feel sadder and sadder.

On top of it all, I feel so unorganized, so overwhelmed. I'm struggling to write my Christmas cards because I don't want to accept that it's only two weeks away, that the New Year's nearly here.

I don't even know where this post is going.

I'm trying to plan my last outing for the year, sometime in the next week, which is more of a chore than anything else. I've quickly run out of time to reliably order presents online, so mum and I are going on a drive to pick up some things. We were planning to go today but I just didn't feel up to it.

Going out locally is still too terrifying to face, so we're going to go on a bit of a day trip. We're also going to go by the cheese factory so I can get a selection to make a little gift basket for the dietician. She's been so good to me for the past two and a half years, it feels important to give her something, and she loved the wax-coated vintage cheddar I bought her after one of our trips.
And besides, we kinda need more cheese soon anyway.

When I saw the dietician this week she told me she's going to be away for two weeks in January, meaning three weeks between appointments. Part of me is horribly anxious, but part of me is excited, and both for the same reason, because it means three weeks with no one to hold me accountable.
It's been a long time since she's missed an appointment, but I think it's only the second time in the 2.5 years I've been seeing her that she'll have been away for two weeks in a row.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Easy Come, Easy Go

I know the mental health nurse hasn't been of much help to me lately, but fuck.

When I saw her this week, after six weeks of her absence, she told me that her job mightn't be there next year. It hit me like a bombshell.

After struggling to talk for the first half of the appointment, I just started crying. As much as I don't feel she's helping me much, I've at least had hope that she might be able to. She told me she's got a bad feeling that her job will go, and she'll know in a couple of months, but wondered if I'd like to be introduced to someone new.

"[My GP] said no one was going to leave."

I just don't have the energy to see someone new. My GP had to push so hard to get me to see someone from the mental health field, and it's still so hard to get to each appointment. The thought of having to see someone else, most likely outside of my safe little clinic, is just too much.

After that it seemed like there was even less point in saying "I don't think this is helping me, this is what I need help with", if she's not going to be there.
I did try mentioning my problems with taking supplements again, since I still haven't been able to take the calcium, vitamin D or iron, but the only advice to take away was that 'vitamin D might help with my depression'.

When I left she asked if I wanted her to make another appointment for me or if I could do it myself. I chose the latter, but it just feels pointless when she'll be gone soon. And I know her job isn't officially gone yet, but there's no point in being optimistic. At least this way, I can't be disappointed.

But after another Christmas/New Years-triggered breakdown last night, mum said she thinks I should see the MH nurse at least twice over the next few weeks if I can. I told her it all feels so pointless, but she thinks I could use the extra support to get through the Christmas/New Years depression. I think it gets harder each year.

The rest of the week has passed in the blink of an eye. I'm trying to post more often. Really, I am. I started writing this post two days ago, but everything is just such a push right now. My thoughts are fragmented. The days seem long and sad. I'm tired and I'm afraid and I don't know what to do with myself. I just want to hide away and disappear.

I miss the life I used to have when I was even more isolated, although I know it isn't good for me. I used to be completely isolated, lying in bed all day because my bedroom was safe when I had my ex there, rarely leaving, watching the same stupid movies and playing the same stupid video games, smoking weed, constantly dozing off, not eating, not moving, not doing anything. I never had to do anything and time seemed to not exist. My eternal twilight.

It's the closest to invisible I've ever achieved.

P.S, Thank you all for your responses to 'anaschallenge's comments. They just make me angry, and replying anymore than I already have would just be wasting my energy on someone who doesn't deserve it. All I have to say is that any further comments will be deleted.

Oh, and this.
Fuck it all
Fuck it all
Don't give a shit anymore
Fuck it all
Fuck it all
Flip the table, screw you all
I don't take
This bullshit anymore
I don't give a fuuuuuuck
Your challenge never bothered me anyway