who or what will inspire me next?

I was taking a day off from writing.  I was gonna do nothing, but maybe read a bit.  Yah Right.  I read a friend’s blog post.  I left a reply to that friend.  This is my reply.

Sorry I do not have any questions about the hospital, but do need to know more about the chair room.  I have never heard of such a thing(It’s been 2 years since I was last in hospital).

Who pays for it? If the insurance pays, how is it billed to them? Who originally thought this “room” was a good idea? Is it just the hospital you went to that has it or are there many similar ones across the country? Could you have left if you chose to? I’m sure if I thought longer I could come up with many more questions, but right now I just have 1 left. Well It is more of a statement.

There is something seriously wrong with the mental health system in this country if you spent 2 days in a chair because there was no bed available to you.  I’m not saying they need more beds, I am saying they need to figure out a way to need less beds. Obviously something is not working somewhere. And don’t look to other countries for answers.  Their systems are different but just as messed up. I think they need to listen to us.  The ones who need the beds.

I was taking a day off from writing and look at me go. Thank you Lily. I just might have to go back to my blog and vent about this.  Oh look I already did vent 😀

I hope you have as good a day as you are capable of having.

I kind of have the feeling this is not going to be the end of me talking about “the chair room” and just think I wanted to get drunk and forget today was even happening.

Take that depressive brain!!!!  I beat you today!!!!

Reach for the Mother Fin' sky

Reach for the Mother F in sky !!!!

 

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Show and Don’t Tell

Wrong-Way-Sign-K-7426I entered the park the wrong way. The Wrong Way sign was spun around backwards. With my luck, the cops are watching. Cops, I chuckle. It is not prime commuter traffic time so, they are probably at the station, drinking coffee, or giving a lecture at the one school in town.

There was one car in the lot when I got here. I don’t see the driver. Probably a walker. Where to plant myself? I need to sit. Benches in the playground???? Nah, Don’t need to be around kids right now. Not that there are many this time of day. Yup, there is the missing driver. I was correct, she is a walker. Tough to see her being so far from me. The next thing I observe is the breeze as I suck it into my congested lungs. Fresh cool wind. Best breathing I have done in a month.

Up ahead, there are benches around the gazebo that would put me in the sun. The sun is way too bright to use the laptop. I did bring a paper and pen just in case, but that just isn’t fun. So, top floor of the gazebo is the goal. I must be cautious as I climb dry, cracked stairs to get there. Of course they creak with each step I take. I do not need to fall through.

Ah, sitting. laptop out. turned on. and loading. Meanwhile I whip out paper and pen and start scribbling.

Wind is brisker than expected. I chose a Teddy Bruschi shirt today. bruschisignedYou know the expensive game jersey one with the tiny holes in it. Air is blowing right through it to what waits beneath. The flags are old and torn. Yet you would not pay attention from far away. They not only make a flapping noise, you can hear the ropes sing as they clang against the poles. One of them anyway. Their own distinct brand of music

Wow it is chilly. Definitely should not have worn the holey shirt. Of course you also chose the heavy Red Sox sweat shirt that doesn’t zip up. I am sure there are plaques commemorating someone or something on this gazeebo. I don’t care. I want to write and get out of here. Look!!! The benches down below have names. Louis and Jim. They must have done something for this town at some point. I’ll have to look them up.

Damn it’s cold!!! What happened to spring? I am so not prepared for this.

The No Dogs Allowed sign announced the park entrance. Walking area at Mount Jefferson. DogParkrulesI guess the dog walking this way didn’t read the sign. Or like me, he does not know where Mount Jefferson is. He is a medium size, jet black dog. The sun gleams on his coat. I say he because I see he is peeing like a boy. Everywhere. As boys will do.

As I settle down in my spot, another car arrives . My Heartburn appears to be returning. Probably shouldn’t be drinking more coffee. You know how you get when you drink too much coffee. Maybe it will be different this time. Wicked funny, hilarious, life of the party you are!

I think I may be convinced that I need a smart phone. Husband has been mentioning it for months. Trying to play with this computer in the gazeebo is back breaking work. And yes, my ass and thighs are cold. The laptop has a cushion. I do not. One car left while I was writing. I did not see the walker pass by again. Even on a main road it is quiet and peaceful. Not as silent as home with the flag music playing.  Peaceful none the less. The other car that pulled in looks like grandparents and a kid. After playing for a bit, the male walked by me twice. He walked by, turned around, then walked back. Remember it isn’t paranoia if it’s real.

Back to the dog. He is exploring at will. I hope he picks up after himself. I wonder if this town has animal control. If they did it would be to control the beavers not the dogs. My neighbors’ last name is Keith. They named their basset/beagle mix Toby. Took me awhile to notice that one. I am cold. This computer is funky and now I am getting paranoid. I could use a cigarette. It is probably illegal to smoke in all this clean, refreshing wind. Despite the frigid spring air, I am enjoying myself. I haven’t been outside this long in a bit. That walk from the town clerk to the post office yesterday was tough, but good preparation for today. Little walking will be done this morning. Today I type and write with pen on scrap paper. Ha ha, another truck went in the Do Not Enter way. Hope they fix that sign before soccer and baseball starts. Maybe sooner with the skate park and generous swing sets they have here. I should have chosen a spot in the sun. The damn dog looks a lot warmer than I am. The end.

Damn another car pulled in. This time a woman with a baby carriage. Probably another walker. Nice day to walk, not so nice to sit on a cold gazeebo floor. I wonder if this doubles as a bandstand. Kind of small for one of those. It does get a Christmas tree in winter though.

The woman with the baby never even looked at me. Yes, I looked at her just to see if she would look. She was either very distracted by her new baby or was uncomfortable finding you, the stranger. Yes, you do tend to look strange at times. Although I must say in my defense, when I do get dressed, I do so with a goal in mind. That goal is comfort.  Today I wore big black jeans, with a belt this time. Black biker type boots, the Red Sox and Patriots gear previously described, my favorite Outback hat and the hippy glasses. Who would be comfortable encountering me in a deserted park? Maybe I do look strange? She should have at least done the head bob thing with me.

I drove out of the park noticing the other way in also had a Wrong Way sign. How the heck do you get in this park? I also noticed the sky. I was distracted by all the sights, senses, and sounds of the park. I never looked way up high. The sky is blue blue, not just blue.  Not a single cloud can be found. I bet its warmer back home. More trees, less wind. Well in 2 minutes I will be there so it is time to stop complaining.

I never even got the chance to talk about the rock in my pocket. Another day, another story.

Cannoli and Beagles

My 1st Day of writing 101.  I had so much fun with blogging 101 I thought Id try this as well. My goal right now is to write for 20 minutes.  Just write.  Sounds easy enough.  I apologize to all who end up reading this if anyone.

I use to live in the city.  I miss very little about the city.  One thing I miss terribly are the cannoli.  I had my favorite bakery and whenever I got a cannoli craving,Cannoli I would go visit.  I also liked their really big, frosting covered cookies.  I’ll never forget the time I came home once to find my frosting covered cookies devoid of frosting.  My 1st baby beagle had gotten into the box, licked all the frosting off, and left the cookies.  I can’t remember if I ate the cookies after that. The stories I could tell about that beagle.

Today husband and I are traveling to get me a cannoli  I mentioned it to him a few weeks ago and he found me a bakery.  It is not as close as  if I lived in the city, but that is so okay. I love my car rides with my husband. It is the perfect opportunity for us to just talk, laugh, and yell at the drivers that aren’t as good at driving as we are.  Sometimes I think about writing about these car rides, but they are my special time with husband.  Our time.  I am not sure I want to share these times with the rest of the world.  I tell my Mom about them, but that is it.

Back to cannoli’s and the city.  We left the city for the woods around 10 years ago.  I could easily criticize the city, but I will try not to.  They have cannoli with in 10 minutes of any residence.  hey they also have the best hot roast beef sandwiches I have ever tasted. I never knew they existed before moving to the city and I have yet to find a good one around here.  What was cool about the city was walking.  I could walk to mostRed-Sox-Small-jpg places I needed to be.  Except work, I had to drive to work.  Some places I lived, I could walk to the train. After 1 change I would end up at Fenway Park.  Funny haha It is opening day for the Red Sox and I am not there.  Neither are they though. They are in Philadelphia without me.             .

Back to walking.  I guess I could have walked to work if I could take the train to get there.  I could walk to the local convenient store for whatever I needed at that time. I could even walk to the doctors office if I felt well enough.  I walked a lot when living in the city.  I walked my 1st baby beagle all the time.  She loved her walks and would on occasion bring me her leash.  I ended up losing her at way too young of an age.  I figured it would take 2 beagles to fill the void I felt, so I got 2 beagle brothers .  The way I ended up with them was too weird to not be meant to be.  Walking them was not really an option.  I would try, but they would get so excited I could not get them out of the yard without waking up every neighbor, including those a mile away.  Their extra loud baying sounded like an injured pup. Their adventures took place in our yard.  And adventures they did have.  One would always dig his way under the fence to the adjacent park.  The other being a bit bigger could never fit.  He, being the good beagle that he was would tell us when is brother escaped again.  That is when we would hook him up to a leash and take him for a walk in search of his brother.  We always found him in the park and I guess in the end, they did get their walks. They just didn’t do it together and one always chose to go without me.

Okay there is 2 minutes left of writing for 20 minutes and I am done.  I usually write until I am done, so I was nervous I would not be able to stop at 20 minutes.  Look at me I am early.  Or Not as I am still writing.  Now I have to go back and see what came out of my fingers.  I typed faster than usual and did not fix every mistake as I made it so now I get to see all those mistakes all at one time.  Damn the timer just stopped and didn’t go buzz.    .

read this only if….

….you want a better understanding of the “person” writing this blog

I have been nominated twice for this award. I also noticed one of my nominators was nominated twice as well.  She broke the rules regarding the award, so I am going to follow suit and break them as well.  I will answer the questions and I will link back to those two wicked awesome people who nominated me.  But, I do find it impossible to nominate 10 other blogs for this award because I don’t know ten other blogs.liebster-award Therefore, I will not do this part. I know a few other blogs, but most, if not all have way over 200 followers. I came across one where the guy had “You are following this blog, along with 669 other amazing people”  he started his Blog in February too.  I am glad the # of Followers I have is not a reason I started to Blog orlaughing-smiley-face-gif-facebook-secret-smileys-codes I would be so jealous. I am a tad suspicion of that one, but he does make me laugh. That is a wicked important/valuable quality.

These are the questions from the second person who nominated me, thank you tentimestea !

  1. Food you like to eat when you’re sick? that is a tough question  as I am rarely physically ill.   I do use jelly beans as a cure all when it comes to mental health though smilesmall
  2. A song that cheers you up? “This Little Light of Mine”, I don’t know why I just love when it is playing in my head. it makes me smile.
  3. What is your first career aspiration you remember having? (Or any job you wanted when you were younger) my memory is not the best.  I do not recall having  a specific career aspiration.  Looking back though my first job was my best job.  It was at a candy store.  The 1st rule I learned was “if you have never tried it you must try it, that way you can honestly tell the customers how really good it is.”
  4. Your favourite movie?  I don’t really have a favorite, but if I had to pick one it would be “The Perfect Storm”.  I lived in the area when that storm hit and remember it well.  I remember going to work the next morning and seeing boats in the road. softballfastpitch
  5. If you could be an Olympic level athlete in any one sport, which one would you choose?  None!!!! If they had women’s softball, that would be it.  I grew up playing softball.  Some of my best memories are of softball.
  6. What is your favourite day of the week, and why? Easy, Sunday.  It is Hubby’s day off during the week. We always spend it on a leisurely drive to NH. I love my drives with him. They really are a lot of Fun  hmmmm…. might be time for a roadtrip.
  7. Would you rather transform your blog into a: novel, movie, or comic book? (Each one would be an awful lot of work!) What would it be like?  I really wouldn’t want to transform this blog into anything else.  I am having an awful lot of fun with it the way it is.
  8. How do you relax when you are stressed? As long as I remember to breathe, I am pretty good at staying relaxed. or there is always Ativan if that doesn’t work
  9. Do you have a story behind the name of your blog? I have almost 50 years worth of story behind the name of my Blog.  Some are my stories, some are others, and some are totally made up (I will tell you when they are made up)

    Debshoveling

    ReShoveling

  10. Link to one of the last blog posts you read (apart from this one of course!). This isn’t the last one I read, but it is one of the betterer, more important ones. Sometimes I accidentally make up non words (betterer was not a typo) and use them as words. When reshovel becomes widely used, know that I was the 1st. 

These are the questions from the first person to nominate me.    Thank you Leni !!!! 

  1. You started blogging because,,,And what’s the story behind your blog name?  Someone suggested I write.  They thought it would help me see things clearer. I was also looking for something fun to do. A friend of mine blogged and seemed to be having fun. I just put the 2 together.

    beaglesleep

    DREAMIN’ of PRIME RIB

  2. What is your biggest fear?  The Death of anyone close to me.  Including my beagle  
  3. Who is the one person who you think reads most of your posts? my #1 and #2 would be my guess, they know who they are
  4. What is your favorite food and what would be your last meal on your last day? Beef, I love beef I would eat it every day if it wouldn’t kill me. A nice juicy, tender prime rib would make a great last meal, with a buttered baked potato and corn I guess if I need a veggie
  5. Dog or cat Both!!!! I’ve had dogs, I’ve had cats, I’ve had both. If pig or horse were a choice I’d say yes to them too. Provided I had the means to take care of them all properly.
  6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? If I say both will you think me a tad loopy???? I think it all depends on how I feel, who I am with, and where I am.
  7. What is the best time of day for you for blogging and what is your favorite way to post?  I think morning is my best time. I find myself here when waking up, drinking my 2 glasses of iced coffee. I am unaware of more than 1 way too post, please share the others with me.
  8. What is the strangest place you have been in the last year? prison
  9. Would you rather travel via plane, train or automobile definitely automobile. the only experience I have had with trains is trains to Boston and I only use them when absolutely necessary. You can keep planes.  These days there is too much of a hassle to get on them. I would be willing to fly to Australia with anyone and Texas with my Mom.
  10. What will you do next after you finish answering these questions? Nothing. No, I think I will tell you that I lied in question 8 next.

I lied in question Eight – I wish it didn’t have to be #8 – I always loved the number 8 – For so many reasons

Yaz being #1 number8YAZ

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.