introducing William

I rarely question my assignment. Today I was given the job I’ve been preparing for. Everything is ready, T’s have been dotted, I’s crossed, and assignments handed out. I am to hang with an 8-year-old boy named Tim.  Anna, Tim’s sister just came back over a few days ago. She only had 12 years on Earth this time, but she did her job quicker and better than most. I spent some time with her when she first arrived back home. She will be at or above my own level. She did well on Earth. She gets to rest for as long as she desires then it is off to work she goes.  I love how she calls me Will instead of William. I believe this is going to be a beautiful, powerful friendship.

Most don’t take much time off. Some choose to retire, but no one lasts long at that. There are so many people who need our help. Speaking of help I should go down to Tim, my newest assignment.  With Anna leaving him for a bit, I have (my) work to do.

Anna made me laugh the first time I met her. She told me she has already been testing her family. She was able to assign her brother, Tim to the Angels’ baseball team. Anna’s Mom noticed that right away, and that night Anna sent Tim a dream. Tim recalled this vivid dream and shared it with his Mom. They were able to smile together. I guess Anna is declining her opportunity to have a break. Only the best do that.

Anna might have chosen the body of a child this time, but she is such a strong old soul, full of wisdom. I am going to be proud to have her as my newest companion. With this family I got assigned to way back when, Anna’s insight will be invaluable.  That’s not to say with all my preparation and dedication I can’t hold my own, just that more help reaches further.

Catherine and Emily. For the longest time I thought I had them.  When I left my body, they truly believed in me and my power. I proved it to them using that JH dude. Twice!Over the years they have stumbled a bit. I think Emily might be on her way back to believing I am there. It’s taken some time, but she is starting to see the signs I’ve been sending her. I was pretty subtle for a while, then the Senior dude visited. The Senior dude told me to hit her with a biggie. Not too big though.“She needs to WAKE UP!!!!” She recovered nicely from that sign and now I believe I have her back.

Jax and Catherine. Well they are going to take more time. They will be open to me soon though. As long as I have the whole team playing, rookies included. They will hear us. As long as she stays open, They are gonna have to listen to Emily. Since Anna and I teamed up,  It is almost as if Emily forgot to lock her door.  I am also proud of how outspoken she has become.  She has found her voice. This family is very special to me. They have so much work they still need to do. I sometimes wish we could get things done all by ourselves. But then again, it wouldn’t be right or much fun for any of us.

“It amazes me the racket the Senior Man has going on in relation to tHis family. He’s got me working with Anna in Sue’s house, while Clarence is in Canada convincing Hollow to motivate Emily to try on her appropriate funeral attire. Meanwhile Gabriel is in Pennsylvania, reminding Base, to remind Emily about us.” PHEW!!!! Busy, Busy, and Busy.

I’ve been waiting all day for Emily to ask for me to come with her tonight. The Senior Man wants us all there tonight. Everyone!!!! This Anna must be pretty special to him to bring out all stops like he is. I can’t wait to work with her more.

A message arrives, “Well would you look at that? Emily is asking for my help. This is way cool, she hasn’t asked for my help in a long time. I love it when they ask me to visit. I love them so much. Helping them is so much more fun when they know I am around. I know I am doing my job right when they feel me near. They do still have that free will crap the Big Ole One gave them. It is sometimes tough to work around.”

This story was supposed to be about Tim. Everything happens for a reason they say. The Senior Dude wants me to hang out with Tim all day. Or, for as long as he needs me. I must say, I have enjoyed my brief hiatus. Given the choice though, I’d much rather be working and spending time with the ones I was given. They can be so much fun. I feel like I’ve been on vacation forever.

Back in the saddle again as some might say. “I’m just gonna say thanks for the work Senior Man. I am so looking forward to your newest assignment.”

Enough documenting, it is time to visit Tim. I love working with kids. I have always loved them. They are so much more open to my suggestions than the older ones. This should be a fun day for me. Anna’s got her hands full with her Mom, Dad, and sisters. She will appreciate the time I spend with Tim.

“All I know is that this assignment involves the color purple. They never tell me more than I need to know. I just go with it and it all will be well. Plus, in time, when I find everything out, it will be breathtaking. Can breathtaking be a feeling?  If it can, then it is.”

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The time has finally come

Time for me to get back into writing.  Time for me to start another course.  Time for me to learn more. Did I mention it was time for me to learn more?  This time the learning will be via Blogging201.  Does everyone have their seatbelts on? The seats do not have to be in an upright position.  Comfort is my aim.  Bring it on Blogging201—-

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals. For bonus points, write a post detailing your blog’s goals and publish it. Making your goals public ups your accountability. Your readers will cheer you on, and might even find ways to help you achieve your goals.

  • con-crete existing in a material or physical form; real or solid; not abstract
  • goal the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result:
so a concrete goal as I shall look at it is a real or solid desired result  That sounds easy enough. I have had this blog for less than a year.  One original goal was to come up with its purpose within a year of starting it.  This assignment might just help put me ahead of my goal.
  • Why do you blog?laughterman “To clarify your own thoughts”/feelings? “To connect with others”, both like-minded and not so like-minded?  To teach and to learn? To make someone laugh?
  • If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like? How often would you post? Who would you reach? Who would you teach? What would you teach? Who will teach you? Who would you hope reads it?

According to Blogging201, answering these questions should give me a “vision for my blog”. I shall then be able to turn this vision into concrete goals. Look at that I have learned something already.Learn

  1. by December 2015 I shall completely go through all my drafts and publish at least 3 of them. (this goal is a bit scary as I have been wanting to work on my drafts for quite a while,  I just can’t seem to get it done)
  2. have 5 of my posts reblogged or tweeted by March 2016 (you may include posts that have already been tweeted or reblogged.) So only 2 more to go.
  3. By June 2016 have 3 comments that go something like this, “that is exactly what I needed to read.”

So there you go I have completed my 1st assignment of Blogging201.  Yes, I am still working on completing Photo101.  I shall not worry about that at this time.

and

if anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how I might meet my goals, feel free to let me in on them.

Are Ya Ready for Tomorrow????

Obsessive Thought Soup ====
Start with Numerous Random Thoughts
Add 4 dashes of Fear and Worry
Stir 16 times
Let simmer for exactly 64 minutes
Breathe and Let it Go
REPEAT

I’ve been Wicked obsessing again.  I can’t really focus on random obsessive thoughts today because it is so much more than just thoughts right now.  My brain feels like a family size pot of Obsessive Thought Soup, anxiously simmering on the wood stove. OTS should not be confused with LPS or Llama Poop Soup which in itself can be obsessive, but is a completely different kind of soup.

Okay, my most prevalent recent obsessions are as follows….

  • obsessing over never having finished Photo101.  Life got in the way of that and it was put on the back burner.
  • Obsessing over last weeks Photo Challenge (Close-Ups if you missed it).
  • Obsessing over this
  • that
  • all those other things.
  • And now I am Obsessing over how many cooking references I can accidentally have in one post.

I tried sitting with the thoughts and letting them go. I tried distraction as a way to rid myself of these thoughts. Old negative coping techniques no longer work so I shall not even go there.  I could verbally rant, but I don’t feel like bothering anyone else with my batshitcrazy way of thinking right now. Maybe if I take each named obsession one by one and rant a bit, they will lessen.  If I do this right, I should be able to rid myself of these obsessive thoughts, complete Obsessive Thought Thursday (maybe a day early even), do some work on Photo101, and release from my mind the other close-ups I’ve been obsessing over.

I do believe I am feeling an increase in anxiety which may be causing an increase in obsessive thoughts which definitely is causing more anxiety which leads to compulsions…………….OR did the obsessive thoughts start first which led to the elevation of anxiety which led to more obsessive thoughts which in turn led to compulsions……………All I know is I am obsessing.  Other coping skills did not work, so right now I am attempting to rant them away by writing. I shall write those obsessions right out of me. Write and rant about obsessions in order to rid myself of those same obsessions. Is this making sense to anyone???? I think I may have confused even myself.  I refuse to add to the anxiety by starting to obsess over the # of times I just wrote “right” and “write” or obsess over those run-on sentences I let stay.

Ah, I just took a break for breathing.  Breaks for deep breaths are good AND I completely forget about them almost all of the time.  How come the stuff that is the best for me when I obsess and feel anxiety are the last things I remember to try?  If I didn’t mind bothering other human beings, the very 1st thing they would have told me to do is BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each and Every One of them would have said in a firm, yet tender voice, STOP and BREATHE!!!! and not in a loud voice either.  I have been doing very well with firm, yet tender prompts. “No, buts, just STOP and BREATHE.” They may have to repeat it. And possibly repeat it again, but it helps.

Close-Up of Toad that kept jumping out at me

Close-Up of Toad
that kept jumping
out at me

Time to stop ranting and writing and hit save.  This breathing thing is calming me down.  I am obsessing less and think that I just might be able to stop writing for now and maybe eat supper. Who cares when I finish Photo101?  I can’t just pull photo’s out of my ass, I mean hat, to match the subject of the assignment in the order they are assigned. Look at this past weeks weekly challenge.  It just happened to be close-ups.  To start, I went looking for close-ups. After I published my 1st attempt, close-up opportunities kept popping up everywhere. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

Day Seven of Photo101 Big & Point of View.  Ah screw it.  I am feeling better. Less obsessive, and no anxiety. I am no longer obsessing over finishing Photo101.  I also did tomorrow’s regular weekly feature today. So that leaves time open tomorrow to work on last months Photo101 assignments. and I forgot my 5:32 PM Ativan again.  So here’s to Obsessing or to Not obsessing.  I much prefer not.

cheating a bit today

Day Eleven of Photo101: A Pop of Color and Last Thursdays OTT

Life has gotten in my way recently. I am trying to get myself back into this Blogging thing. Also, I missed O.T.T. again last Thursday. I did think about it. I just didn’t do it. I am also wicked far behind in Photo101.

So today, Monday, I am going to combine O.T.T. with photo101.  I am going to challenge my OCD by getting back into my assignments, but I will mix things up a bit and do the assignments out-of-order. I obsessed a bit when taking pictures of this Pop of Color I found. A bit more when it came time to edit.  But, It was not to the point that I felt out of control. Just some minor anxiety that was easily managed.

This is progress.  The big test will be whether I can stick with doing the assignments out-of-order. Please note that there are 3 pictures.  Not 4 (down from 8).  This is a big deal to someone with my kind of OCD.

Now that I think about it, had I ventured down to the water I could have taken care of Day Seven: Big & Point of View as well.  Next time I will go to the bottom of the dam and look up.

 

Day 20 – I treasure Awareness, and Family, and dogs, and the ability to pee by myself, etc.

I might or might not know what happened.confused-on-the-computer

I may have accidently hit publish when I 1st started writing this story way back when. That may explain why it says it was published on January 20th, when I published today. It became my First post???? Not my last of writing 101.

With a lot of work I was able to get it to fit with the last assignment.  All I know is that I finished it today. and published it today.

life as seen by me

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative. Good luck to all who read the whole thing and I promise never to write this much again!!!! 4189 words

It all started innocently enough.  I first noticed I couldn’t feel my fingers. As things progressed and I told my story over and over again I realized it actually started weeks before.

I couldn’t feel the cigarette smoke go into my lungs.  I remember telling Jax, “I can’t suck. I suck at sucking.”  I was also eating a lot of Tootsie rolls.  Every time I generated some Tootsie roll flavored saliva I would cough, sputter, choke almost.  I blamed these…

View original post 3,854 more words

Hope you chuckle too !

Intricate

Intricate: what does it mean to you?

DSC00217

First Day of Mixin’

DSC00228DSC00230Although the “experts” call it Llama Manure Tea.  or Llama Bean Tea,

I prefer to say Llama Poop Soup.

Some say 3 – 4 days, some say that manyDSC00225 weeks.

All I know is my house plants and lilacs will be in Heaven soon!!!!

Her name turned out to be Robbie

Day 6 of writing 101therapycopyright

I’ve seen her quite a few times before but she never caught my attention until today. I can be very shy at times. I am not one to just talk to anyone I meet walking down the street, or strolling in a store, or flying through a waiting room.  She flew by once, twice, three times before I said something.  “You really need to think about slowing down a bit. You are speeding through here like a freight train.” She slowed down just long enough to respond.

“Yes” she relied with a big grin, “I do appear to be stuck in fast forward today. I have so much to get done.”

“Hey.” I replied with the devilish grin I reserved for the best of times. “Just be grateful dealing with me is not on your list of things to do today.”.

“Not a good day?” she inquired.

“I’ve had better.” I responded still trying to smile.

“Well I hope it all works out,” she said as she flew past again. She appeared to be hurried, but not panic like. Almost like she had extra energy that needed to be burned up. I felt jealousy slowly creep through my body. I want to feel that kind of energy again. I use to feel it. I miss it. There was something in her eyes that I could not identify during this first encounter. It did seem familiar. Eventually, in time, I would learn what it was.

This was the same day my therapist told me she would be gone for another 2 weeks.  Damn, I thought to myself, she just got back from Italy. I needed to decide if I wanted a replacement person for those weeks or just someone who’s available for me to call if I need it.  I thought about the uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts and feelings I had been experiencing lately.  I was also seeing my therapist almost twice a week. This was so not the time for me to be skipping a few weeks of therapy.

It was best that I go with the replacement therapist, just in case, but only if I get to pick who I see. I am a firm believer that one tends to get what they need.  Maybe I spoke to this “woman in flight” out of the blue for a reason? I went with my gut, I asked about her.

I learned that what I saw in this woman’s eyes was something I once recognized in myself. It was fun, joy, cheer, love of life. My therapist assured me I would laugh if I met with this woman, who I now know is named Robbie.

I only saw her twice, but we talked about everything. Dogs, OCD, stress, horses, conversion disorder, outlooks on life, laughter therapy, doctors, diagnosis, husbands, SIB, depression, showers, anxiety, beer, medication, and so on. We smiled and laughed about most of it. I have never talked that easily with someone I just met, NEVER, EVER.  I came close to a life crisis while my regular therapist was gone and this woman helped me though it. The last thing she said to me was, “you are a very interesting woman.” I think that is a good thing?

I’ve seen her again. Always in passing. We’ve had brief conversations, like, “Hi, How are you?” “your boots make as much noise as mine.” “How is your dog doing?” “You still move really, really fast.”  Circumstances have arisen where I may switch to her as my therapist.  I do not know at this time.  I am going to try and believe that whatever happens is meant to happen. Yes I would like to see what I can learn from her as a therapist, but I will be happy with what I get when seeing her fly by.

She remains the same as when I first truly noticed her.  A very busy person with eyes that smile.

OTT #2 or #3 if you count the 1st one that wasn’t published on a Tuesday

My planned feature of Obsessive Thought Tuesday isn’t really working out as originally planned. Then again this blog isn’t quite what I had planned for either. The thoughts I have for today are again not obsessive thoughts, but at least it is Tuesday and all the thoughts have something to do with obsessiveness. They are all thoughts I had because of OCD.

Picture this……..

I have to fill out forms explaining my “disability”. One thing I have to describe is my OCD.  The forms they sent me to fill out are old and blurry.  After I made my own, better, much clearer forms to fill out, I wondered, “do I really need to describe my OCD once they see my new forms?”

I came up with this next idea when I noticed someone said something that was clearly(to me) not what I needed to hear at that time. Top 10 Things You Should Never Say to someone like me. I immediately searched the Internet for a top 10 OCD list, but couldn’t quite find the one I was looking for, so I came up with my own. I did find many top ten for so many other things. I was going to leave a link but couldn’t pick just one or 4.  There needs to be a site that lists them all, if anyone has the time.

My medication Doctor encouraged me to make my own list. He is looking forward to his copy.

Just forget about it.  (this is the one that got me thinking)

Why does it take you so long?

Why do you do that?

Still obsessing over this brook

Clearly Still obsessing over this brook

What are you afraid of?

Why cant you just go to bed? or leave the house?

Did you lock the door? or Let the cat in? or Shut the oven off?

How many do you need? 

We all like things a certain way.

Why do you do that so many times?

Why can’t you just stop?

So that is my latest attempt at having a feature my 32 followers can look forward to.  I already want to rename Obsessive thought Tuesday Obsessive thought Thursday.  I think it flows better.
I hope you get the chance to laugh today!!!!
       
   

Day 20 – I treasure Awareness, and Family, and dogs, and the ability to pee by myself, etc.

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative.

Good luck to all who read the whole thing and I promise never to write this much again!!!! 4189 words

It all started innocently enough.  I first noticed I couldn’t feel my fingers. As things progressed and I told my story over and over again I realized it actually started weeks before.

I couldn’t feel the cigarette smoke go into my lungs.  I remember telling Jax, “I can’t suck. I suck at sucking.”  I was also eating a lot of Tootsie rolls.  Every time I generated some Tootsie roll flavored saliva I would cough, sputter, choke almost.  I blamed these things on a sore throat and slight fever.  Little did I know that these simple, little things would turn into what it did.  I went from dead fingers and a throat I couldn’t control to not being able to hear what I say and my brain not communicating properly with my body.

My brain doesn’t always register what my fingers type, but knows if it’s right or not.  Sometimes I care sometimes I don’t.

At Christmas dinner I noticed one thing.  I couldn’t feel myself swallow.  I was still not concerned.  I did not think anything of it. I just thought it was some weird freaky strange thing. Nothing to worry about, It would go away. I slept well that night.  The next day was different.  I woke with no complaints.  I still couldn’t feel my fingers, and was still not concerned.  I thought to myself, “I will mention it to my doctor when I see her next week.”

Within a few hours I couldn’t open the sliding glass door to let the beagle in.  BUT, I could open the refrigerator to get a bottle of water.  I started thinking that maybe something was wrong.  If I can’t open the door for my dog or light my own cigarette, there might be a problem.  Jax and I both thought it would be best if I called the doctor. Of course this was the day after Christmas and the office was closed.  The doctor covering  was actually closer to my house and they wanted to see me at 2:30.  This is when I began my first lesson of this whole experience.  2:30 was a long way off, I would learn how to wait.

At 2 PM I could put on my sweatshirt.  1 hour later I could not take it off.

All I thought about was “it is the day after Christmas, in New England and I am only wearing a sweatshirt. The sun is shining bright and the temp is reasonably warm.  The fact that my arms don’t move doesn’t really bother me.”

We didn’t stay at the doctors long, they wanted us to go straight to the ER.  I must briefly mention this doctor’s office.  For a place I had never been before I felt very comfortable here.  There was a Dustin Pedroia “fat head” on the wall and I knew the medical assistant.  I knew I had to be a bit nervous as I repeated over and over again, “it should be Kevin Millar on the wall not Dustin. Kevin Millar, not Dustin. It should be Millar not Pedroia.”  The medical assistant talked to me. She kept me calm. This was the first incidence of thoughts coming into my head and straight out my mouth.  The doctor I saw a week later described it as me “losing my filter”. I basically spoke without thinking.

When leaving the doctors, I noticed I was walking very slowly. Whatever was going on was progressing and I was starting to get a tad concerned.

At the ER 5 minutes later, walking was very hard. Jax had to fill out the paperwork as I could no longer write.  Very little waiting here. They got me right in.  I was amazed at how quickly they started to care for me.  I have never seen a small town ER come alive as quickly as this one did. One nurse was drawing blood as someone else started an EKG.  I was getting nervous and asked for Jax.  It took 2 hours for him to find me. They never went and got him. OH well, except for this, they were taking very good care of me. Plus their focus was on me, not on finding him.

While waiting (there’s that word again), I sensed I had to pee. I couldn’t feel it, but on some level, in my head I knew I had to go.  I didn’t think walking was an option at this point. Bring on the bed pan!!!!  After quite a while of trying to relax parts of my body I could not feel, I only managed 3 drops.  Plus, peeing while lying down is not that easy when you are in control. Forget about it when you have lost that control.

Later without thinking, I made a slow trek to the bathroom.  I got part of the way there when it was suggested I ride the rest of the way.

You have no idea how proud I was when I peed.  I announced it to the whole ER.  Remember “no filter”.  It was good that I peed as they wanted a sample.  They also did a cat scan which showed nothing.  At this point I could lift my arm to scratch my head, but couldn’t put my arm back down.  The doctor did some neurological tests like follow my finger, now squeeze it.  I don’t know if I passed.  This ER knew they couldn’t help me so it was off to the big city hospital. By way of ambulance.

On the way to the big city, I lost the ability to talk.

What a trip this big city ER was.  A nurse said it was a calm night, but boy was it ever busy.  There were people everywhere.  Voices on top of voices on top of more voices.  Patients never stopped coming in the doors.  I liked my ‘room’. I could see it all from my vantage point. My ‘room’ was the hallway.  Two people occupied the stretcher down the hall a bit.  I don’t think this was another space issue, I think it was love.

I still couldn’t talk and was very scared. I never realized how frustrating it could be to not be able to talk. Until it was taken away from me,  My name tag did not have my name on it.  I was incapable of telling anyone.  Finally by way of frantic hand signals, nods, and shakes of my head, a nurse finally understood what I was trying to say.  They gave me the right name.

Jax arrived quicker than expected.  I saw him from a distance and was able to wave.  Couldn’t do that at the other ER. When he got here, I had already seen one doctor. It was very frustrating trying to tell this Doc. all that had been happening.   All I could get out  was “Call the other hospital.” This Doc. knew everything any way.  He just wanted me to say it all again.  Wicked not funny. I must say, “Jax, not the Doctor, is a very smart man.”

Jax noticed almost immediately that if I didn’t try hard or think too much, it was easier to spit words out.

The neurologist was next.  He was difficult to understand as he was definitely not from this country.  I pointed to my ear every time I couldn’t understand him.  Jax was right, if I didn’t try, it was easier to do things.  We told the neurologist this.  With much effort and little thought, I was able to add, “my sense of humor is one of the best and I am doing everything I can to keep it.”  For some reason I felt this was more important than whether I could squeeze his finger or not.  I have never spent more time with one Doctor.  His questions and tests lasted forever.

At one point I don’t think this Doctor appreciated my humor.  He wanted me to remember three things.  They were auto, bowl, and New York City.  Being a diehard Red Sox fan, my brain would not allow me to say New York City.  It kept saying “Yankees suck”.  He laughed the first time this happened, but not all the other times.  I was trying so hard to be good, it just wasn’t happening. I was freakin’ out inside and laughter helped.  Finally after doing more and more tests, he left my hallway.

After a short bit the original ER Doc came back.  He had good news.

“There is nothing wrong with you.  You passed all the tests we have and we couldn’t find anything wrong.  You’ve seen the best neurologist. The best Doctors.  Had every test.  We put our heads together and came up with conversion disorder.”  He explained a bit of what this was and continued, “You can go home. See your psychiatrist as soon as possible.  Here are some names, numbers, and instructions for weakness of unknown origin, depression, and suicidal thoughts. There is nothing we can do for you. You can talk to a Psychiatrist here before you go if you’d like.”

This was all a tad shocking.  As far as I knew I still could not walk.

How was I supposed to function without the ability to move?

I had a feeling he was going to come up with a psychological reason for this crap.

I am having trouble believing my brain is capable of this.

After a short bit they sent a Neurological Psychiatrist dude down to talk with me.  I think I wanted him there to convince me that yes, my brain was capable of completely shutting down my body in this way.  This Doc made sure I was ‘not at risk of harm to self’ and left.

Impossible earlier, I again had to sign some papers.

With Jax’s encouragement I was able to write my initials. It took a long time, but I did it. I figured if the doctors were right, and there was nothing physically wrong, I could sign my name.  I just didn’t know I could do it.  I had already walked to the bathroom with help. I was so proud that I was able to pull my pants up by myself.  I didn’t think about it, I just did it.  Still “no filter” as I announced this small feat to the whole ER.  The nurse who discharged me rolled me to the door, said Good Luck, and left me.  Eventually Jax found me.

When we arrived home, I felt gratitude that there was no snow on the ground as my feet were covered in just hospital socks.  I would not have enjoyed walking in snow.  It was just too hard to think about putting my shoes back on.  Without thinking too hard, I struggled up the few steps to my back door.  I kept telling myself that there was nothing wrong and I could do it.  I trusted that I could do it.  Funny, this was how I got through an anxiety provoking situation a few weeks prior.  I just kept telling myself that I could do it and there was nothing wrong.  Hmmmmmmmm, The power of the mind comes up again.  There wasn’t much to do once we got home.  Jax helped me smoke a butt, (which is something I really, truly wanted). And I went to bed.  Didn’t even waste time peeing.  Couldn’t be bothered.

The next day was interesting.  I woke up before Jax and went straight to the bathroom.  I didn’t think about it, I just did it.  I was so proud to tell Jax what I had accomplished all by myself.  Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all.  The big city Docs recommended I see a psychiatrist for follow-up.  Luckily I already had an appointment scheduled.  I have a history of depression, OCD, and anxiety. I am being treated for all and am or thought I was feeling better.

On Saturday I was able to do a few more things….  stand up, walk to the door, smoke (with help), and pee.  Getting TP was very hard, but someone how I managed.  I am also noticing that I can do stuff, I just don’t know I’m doing them. I am not sure how to better explain it.  I basically just went on with my day, did what I could, trusted that I was doing what I thought I was doing, and went to bed.

My constant thoughts were “I can’t handle this waiting thing anymore. I am getting too much practice with waiting. I should be better at it by now. I can’t wait to see my shrink. I just want this crap gone and I want it gone NOW!”.

Sunday morning was the best.  When I awoke, I immediately announced to Jax that I was back.  I had walked to the door without a problem and may have even opened it. A few minutes later, after fully waking up, I noticed that I still couldn’t feel my fingers. I didn’t care that much, I HAD HOPE.  Hope is pretty powerful.  Just like the brain.  My symptoms slowly returned throughout the day.  I was having trouble turning on the bathroom light and getting TP was still a tough chore to tackle.  Jax suggested we take a ride.  We ended up going to NH.  I could walk slowly and get into a car.  Dealing with the door handle and putting on a seatbelt was not happening.

It is these simple, little things that I am grateful I am able to do today.

Monday was Monday.  I couldn’t do much.  Jax was very helpful, yet I sensed he was tiring of it all.  I know I was.  Jax kept me fed.  He did a fine job with this.  Eating was still very hard, but I managed.  I could talk, but couldn’t hear myself talk.  I was constantly asking Jax, “Did I say that out loud? Did you hear me? Did I say that?”

Tuesday was Mom’s day.  Jax was getting a break from me and got to go to Work.  Technically, there was nothing wrong so I couldn’t ask him to take another day off from that joyous place.  He really does love it there.  I don’t blame him, It is a fun place. I had already spoken with my mom and explained what was happening.  I assured her that I was okay, I just needed some help.  Jax had left the slider unlocked and I was able to open it all by myself.  This was tremendous progress.  Mom’s job for the day was to get me to the doctors.  This is the Doc who has the dog.  I think it is way cool that my doctor has a dog with him.  How can I not trust the man?  We got to the doctors early so I got to experience waiting again. I didn’t care anymore, I was getting real good at it.  I couldn’t talk to the receptionist, so Mom helped me.  Jax had written down most of what had been happening just in case I lost my voice again.  I’m glad we thought to do that. It was less stressful that way.

I ran into my doctor in the hallway.  He apologized for being a few minutes late and would be right with me. I tried to respond, but again could not talk.  I handed him the paper Jax had written out.  I tried communicating that I could not talk, but couldn’t get my point across.  I figured if anyone could relate to my struggles, it would be him.  He is deaf and uses an interpreter.  He also uses a very cool dog for help.  That dog makes everything okay at our appointments.  I once told my doc that I didn’t come there to see him, I only came to see his dog.

Humor is so important in my life.

This Doc asked a lot of questions.  Sometimes I could answer, sometimes I struggled with answers, sometimes I could not answer.  He checked out my body, looking for any physical reason for what was happening.  He did notice Parkinson like symptoms.  He said I was shaking a bit.  I couldn’t speak so telling him that I shook all the time was not possible.  I couldn’t get it out.  I like a doctor who knows and admits when he doesn’t have the answer.  Makes them more human like.   He needed some time to look some stuff up.

He asked his dog to sit with me.  I loved this. I love dogs.  At one point the dog put his head on my foot.  Things were still weird for me and I wasn’t sure if this was actually happening.  After asking the interpreter “Did I say that?” numerous times, I asked if the dog did in fact have his head on my foot.  He did.  This was important because of what happened later.  I told her I tried using the few signs I knew in the ER when my voice failed me.  No one understood what I was doing so it didn’t make a difference.

Communication has become very important to me.

When my doctor was done with his research, he gave me his diagnosis.  He decided that a medication I take for OCD was reacting with one I take for heart burn.  It didn’t matter that his diagnosis was different from the doctors at the hospital.  I was willing to do whatever I had to do to feel better.  If that meant decreasing a medication and a recurrence of OCD, I would deal with that.  Obsessing over some numbers and recurring intrusive thoughts was nothing compared to not being able to wipe my own bum.

Wednesday was Mom’s Day again.  I needed a ride to see Joan.  Joan is my therapist.  I had called her earlier in the week and left her a message.  “Look up conversion disorder and become an expert by Wednesday. Hope you have a nice day.”  I figured if the doctors couldn’t fix me maybe she could. I had never heard of conversion disorder before so I figured I’d give her the heads up just in case it was new to her as well.  When I first saw her I asked if she had read my file from the day before.  She had not.  It would have been good if she had as I really didn’t want to have to repeat myself again.  I wasn’t even sure I could.

Anyway when I first got in her office she told me she had looked up conversion disorder.  The site she read stated that it was caused by trauma.  I was told it was caused by severe anxiety.  I have no trauma so I am going with anxiety as the cause. Looking back, I realized a nurse at the original ER had asked me if I thought this could be anxiety. I thought about how the anxiety I had been experiencing had been gone for over a week. I said, “No. It is not anxiety.”

I always need to sign a form when I get to therapy.  I took one look at it and told Joan I was having trouble doing stuff like writing, but I would do my best.  It took me 20 minutes, but I did it.  This is important.  Even a little progress was very important to me. I cannot expect perfection.  Every little step I took was important.  I did my best to tell Joan what was going on.  It was a struggle, but with a lot of patience on her part, I got it all out. I was talking better than the day before.  Still not great, but better.  Progress.

Thursday was New Year’s Day.  Jax worked in the morning.  Mom and I made tentative plans for lunch, but I wasn’t up for it.  I spent the day doing the best I could.  I still wasn’t sure when I talked.  I couldn’t quite hear myself speak.  Simple tasks were getting easier.  I still had trouble believing I was doing what I thought I was doing, but I was doing it.  My body and brain seemed disconnected somehow.  I take supplements.  I could open the bottle and pour the pills, but needed Jax to tell me how many I had in my hand.  Eating was hard, but I did it.  I still couldn’t feel my throat.  I quickly learned to chew very well.  I couldn’t feel myself chew and was afraid I would choke. Today, even though all symptoms have subsided, I still find myself concentrating on chewing.

I never really thought about chewing before, now I do.

Friday I became more confidant.  I had spent plenty of days asking for reassurance that I was actually doing what I thought I was doing.  Today was going to be my day of just doing.  I felt good.  I felt like I could get things done.  It had been over 3 weeks since symptoms began.  Exactly one week since I became concerned that something was wrong.  I was given two diagnoses.  Conversion disorder and medication interaction.  I did not know who was right.  I did not care.  I was getting better.  I would listen to all the doctors and do what they all said.

I continued to feel better. Each day I was able to do a bit more.  I shuddered to think it might happen again.  If it was the medication, problem solved.  If it was anxiety, I could work on that.  Anxiety can be tricky.  Ever since my depression got better, I noticed an increase in anxiety.  Almost like I woke up and bang, FEAR.  A lot of fear.  I was more aware of feeling anxious and was getting more practice dealing with it.  Here too I was looking for progress, not perfection.  Despite feeling anxious, I would still do things.  I would not let anxiety stop me from doing what I had to do.  I figured everyone felt anxious at times.  I may feel it a bit more, or a tad stronger, but that shouldn’t matter.  I could walk through my fears.  I thought this was dealing with anxiety.  I was able to overcome the anxiety, but never realized I was still feeling a tremendous amount of it.

I was in the middle of making a major life decision.  I was feeling very stressed about this decision. Finally after weighing all options, the decision was made.  The stress was gone.  There was no more anxiety. The knot in my stomach had disappeared. I felt relief.  I almost felt manic.  Manic-like is the only way to describe how I was feeling. Maybe ecstatic is a better word.  I didn’t know at the time, but the anxiety I had been feeling was turning into a monster.  A monster I never saw coming.  I didn’t know that within a week that anxiety would take over. Completely take over.

I have learned a lot from my experience.  Yes, I learned how powerful anxiety can become, but I have learned so much more.  I know how important it is to be able to do the little things.  I can talk.  I can walk.  I can see.  I can drive.  I can write my own name.  I know how easily all of this can be taken away. It was all taken away from me slowly.  It was given back even more slowly. Today, I do more.  I talk more.  I feel more.  I believe more.  The bottom line is I feel gratitude every time I pee by myself.

There isn’t a lot of information about conversion disorder.  I read numerous descriptions of what it was.  Differing ideas on how it’s caused.  I’ve learned it is not as uncommon as one would think.  The one thing I couldn’t find was how to fix it.  Mine went away.  It took time, but it went.  I had a lot of family support.  I would not have gotten through this without them.  I am afraid it may return.  If this whole experience was medication related I have no fear. The problem is solved.  If it was all caused by anxiety, I worry.  I am now very aware always of how my fingers feel at all times.  I think about whether I can feel myself swallow or not.  I had a brief experience where I felt disconnected from my body. I immediately realized I was feeling anxious.

I  took a deep breath, said  “LIFE, it happens” and went on with my day.

I almost forgot.  The dog putting his head on my foot was important to my beagle.  When I got home that day all he cared about was the fact that my foot didn’t smell like it should.  It is the little things in life that really matter.  Ask a dog.