Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Hi! Back from the second United States Coast Guard Band Concert of the season. "Viva l'Italia!" All Italian songs and operettas. The "Ole Sol Mio" solo was very enjoyable and passionate! Pigged out on pasta afterwards: hardly ever do that! I didn't cry during the concert, but I felt rather sad during the day because Paula wasn't here with me physically to enjoy it, which was one of her favorite things to do. After I got sick and didn't want to go out anymore, she said, "You'll feel well again and want to do things." I didn't believe her at the time. I never ever thought I would get better and that she wouldn't be around to enjoy the things we used to do together. For more information, go to: http://www.uscg.mil/band/ The point of this post today is to let myself and others know how far I have come. My buddy Paula and I used to enjoy the Coast Guard concerts for the past few years once a month on Sunday evenings at 7 PM. Then I had to stop going; I was so physically sick and exhausted. IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH Illness due in part to the changes in my workplace at the grocery store and the stressful new conditions imposed upon me, and a change in personality of my "friend" as well. Soon after his uncle, his companion at home for thirty years, passed away, the change in my friend's personality created a downward spiral in my health, from which I thought I would never return. Divers doctors didn't understand. I even pictured my future of seeing men in white coats, opening and closing doors for the rest of my life!) I don't wish to dig up the situation and rehash the negative experiences I feel I have had in personal and professional relationships. Otherwise, this site wouldn't be about healing. The point is to realize how far I have come from where I was two, three, even four years ago. And not to get discouraged. To keep "running the race," to keep "fighting the good fight!" (I'm so tired of fighting! Maybe that is why I enjoyed the romantic Italian music so much!) All I want to say about my "friend" is that he has schizophrenia. I'm sure it was a big shock when his uncle, his companion who he lived with for the past thirty years, died in the fall of 2004. But for me, his personality change has been a big shock. And it exacerbated the symptoms of depression which I already had, creating a downward spiral into disease and despair. For more information, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/schizophrenia I especially appreciate the "alternative approaches" section on Page 10. It basically says: "the...movement, most active in the 1960s, opposes the orthodox medical view of schizophrenia as an illness...psychiatric patients are not ill, but rather individuals with unconventional thoughts and behavior that make society uncomfortable." And: "...the symptoms of...mental illness are comprehensible reactions to impossible demands tht society and...family life places on some sensitive individuals." FREQUENT VISITS In the fall of 2004 after his uncle passed away, I started making frequent visits to the ER for minor ailments and injuries. Then in January 2005, my "friend" and I had a "falling out" and the conditions at my workplace changed as well. New management, reduced work hours, unpredictable work schedule, trying out different departments at the grocery store. Having personality conflicts with coworkers because I have a college education and expressed the fact that I wanted to "get ahead." Also, during the past year of 2004, I had gained 30 pounds from an increase in appetite, due to the side effects of a prescription drug, Xanax, which I had to eventually discontinue. In April 2005, I started having trouble with frequent urination. I'd had several blood tests for Diabetes in years past, but the numbers were never high enough to get the medical help I needed. In 2006, I had a sonogram which revealed uterine fibroids, but the size in the report was so small that I couldn't find an ob gyn to believe the discomfort I was having and the need for surgery. My ob gyn of previous years had retired. He was the one who first discovered the fibroids and performed a myomectomy to remove them in 2000. He'd suggested a hysterectomy but I still hoped I would someday have kids at that time. (I finally did find an ob gyn who did an ultrasound which revealed how large the fibroids were in December 2006, and I was able to get a laparascopic supracervical hysterectomy in January 2007.) CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME In the fall of 2005, I stopped seeing my "friend" and that is when the Chronic Fatigue and extreme hunger began. By March 2006, I had to take time off from work, two weeks, when I had a doctor appointment every day. I had the problem with frequent urination, abdominal pain, diarrhea, anger, exhaustion, hives, hunger, thirst, mood swings, etc., etc. In June 2006, an APRN prescribed Zoloft, as she thought I was going through perimenopause, which helped a lot with mood and appetite for a while. By the summer of 2006, I had given up on seeing doctors all together. I just gave up. I had to quit my job at the grocery store of four years in April 2006, very suddenly, due to the workplace stress, hunger, extreme fatigue, and physical demands of the job. I couldn't even take a walk down the street without feeling like passing out. Needless to say, I knew something was very wrong. I actually feared being discovered dead in my apartment, as I spent my days off passed out on my couch. TO THE RESCUE! I took a job again in the fall of 2006 as a classroom assistant. I had difficulty making it through each day due to the stress of this particular environment and my own physical and emotional condition. I had to make frequent stops to the restroom during the work day, due to frequent urination and diarrhea; I had extreme hunger, fatigue, and dizziness. The rest is history. You can read about it in my earlier post: "Love and Acceptance." When I say "love and acceptance," I am describing altruism and compassion, qualities which are all too rare these days. Old-fashioned values which don't seem to exist anymore. But they worked for me. BRIGHT FUTURE Now I am facing a hopefully bright future as a Landscape Gardener, and a new beginning with volunteer work near my home, to gain experience for which I hope to someday be paid. And enjoying the U.S. Coast Guard Concerts once again.