Log: Jul 29 – Aug 4 (Wed – Tue): Lowered thyroid and mood

Jul 29 (Wed): Work; Stayed overnight at my uncle’s, alone
Jul 30 (Thu): Work; Bicycled on bridge while my brother jogged
Jul 31 (Fri): Work;
Aug 01 (Sat): RIVER RAFTING
Aug 02 (Sun): Dinner w/ Peter’s folks
Aug 03 (Mon): Work;
Aug 04 (Tue): NO THERAPY; Work 8a – 4p; Psychiatrist 5:30p

Wednesday: Work. Went to my aunt and uncle’s house. She was out of town, but my uncle and cousin were there. Peter joined us for dinner and then he left after we watched part of a silly movie, and I stayed and thought I’d sleep better, but slept poorly anyway.

Thursday's Sunset

Thursday’s Sunset

Thursday: Work, but there was little to do, so I ended up watching Stephen Fry videos, inspired by BlahPolar’s blog. They were wonderful but I ended up on the topic of HIV and other things that made me feel quite ill after 4 straight hours on the topic. I felt so yuck at the end of the day, I started to try and contact people. I ended up in contact with my brother. He was actually in the area and about to go jogging on a bridge, so I joined him with my bicycle! It was sooooo beautiful. I felt so much better after that. Even though he thinks my upcoming plans still place me as a mooch / using/abusing the system around me. But I think we got along fine and we then had dinner together and it was really good.

Friday: The morning was strange in that Peter had to leave quickly and I was still getting ready for work. I floated around, doing random, unnecessary things, like deciding now would be a good time to mop part of the bathroom floor. I was still in the process of making myself breakfast when he showed back up — I didn’t know he was coming back after that appointment. But I’ll confess that was infinitely more helpful for me. Especially since I was considering practicing piano briefly after breakfast… Who knows when I’d have actually left for work on my own. Then we left together.

ADDITIONAL, IMPORTANT NOTE: I forgot to take my Lexapro + Thyroid medicine until around 4 pm. That is when I started to feel some odd withdrawal-type symptoms — which is what alerted me to the fact that I hadn’t taken my medicine.

Keyboard Failure

Error message from a couple of days ago

It was this night that I have an odd email to my psychiatrist. After work, I think things felt fine. Peter and I made a dinner for ourselves. We were finishing up when his roommate and a mutual friend of theirs came over, and we all chatted. I was interested and engaged verbally with them when the topic of autism and programmers came up. I learned a different perspective. Then I was clearing up dishes and such and no longer having anything to say, but was sort of listening and wanting them to all keep having a nice time, when Peter’s roommate offered out some whiskey for himself and the friend. It was not offered to me or to Peter. Peter eventually asked if he could have some. I didn’t get up this bravery. (Mind you, I HATE whiskey and would have refused the offer anyway). But I felt so intensely jealous and left out. I went quite insane. My emotions literally took me to what I consider a bit of insanity. I couldn’t get past it. These emotions were building and I knew they have a cabinet where, if I had wanted some alcohol for myself, I could have surely asked and found something I would find palatable, and could have joined them and no longer felt left out. But I didn’t. I finished up the cleanup and then I think I went to my bedroom and sat and thought. It was already very late and dark outside, but I had the option of going outside, just down the street, and bringing myself back a wine cooler or something. Or I could go into a nearby bar and ask for a mixed drink. Or I could cut myself. That was a very, very strong urge. I could go into the kitchen, get a sharp knife that is likely not sterilized, and cut myself, and then have a bandage and another scar to deal with at some future point when I’m no longer feeling this burning and intensity inside.

I looked up how to go to bars alone as a female at night and stay safe. I read some tips online but none seemed that helpful. I was debating how to safely carry my wallet when Peter came to the room. I don’t know what I said to him but he asked if I wanted to go on a walk and I said yes, I was about to go on a walk. He asked if I wanted his company and I can’t recall my response; I was torn because I didn’t want him to leave his friend. I didn’t know that the friend and roommate were out on the deck partaking in marijuana anyway (or that probably would have sent me COMPLETELY over the edge with jealousy/ feeling left out).

But I agreed to his company and I hope I got across that I appreciated it. We walked. My fancy pedometer says I was walking very intensely for 2 hours. It took a while before I would talk about why I was so upset. I felt it was so STUPID and silly, I just wanted to walk off the feelings first and then later be able to talk about it in a detached way. But yeah, I finally talked about it, and I think I’m glad I did. He didn’t think feeling left out was a stupid/silly response. (He also pointed out that he and I are implicitly invited to join, but I’m not sure I could make that assumption). But I insisted my response was incredibly out of proportion to the scenario / fairly insane. I was INCREDIBLY upset for very little reason. (I’m a little concerned that Peter will be wary of people drinking around me in the future, since I reacted to this so strongly. But time will tell.)

We walked so hard that I had to stop at one point. I had been going even with a side stitch, but at the top of one hill, I got too light-headed to continue and ended up laying down on someone’s front steps.

Even when we got back, I was still upset. So I took 1 mg of clonazepam, and an unknown time later emailed my psychiatrist about it. I’m very concerned that the lowered thyroid dose has increased my mood instability. I have definitely felt more melancholy lately, but again, how can I know what is thyroid, versus my usual response to HUGE upcoming life changes?? I am very close to no longer being an employee for the first time since 2002. Even sometime in 2002, I got a part-time job. And I will be a full-time student for the first time since 2003!!! And that’s not to mention that Peter and I are going to buy me a wardrobe and us a bigger bed any day now, which will mark the time I’ll officially move in with him and begin to help pay rent/utilities and whatnot, and will also qualify for his health insurance as an opposite-sex non-married domestic partner (his work has that option). It is scary. But my own premiums went up $60 last month, making them now cost $785.66/month, I kid you not!!!!! But his insurance is much worse for prescription drugs. Instead of a set copay, it’s a percentage of the overall drug cost, which is very bad news if I ever have to take a drug that is costly. My thyroid and iron are very cheap, so that’s fine there, but I’ll have to shop around for the cheapest escitalopram (generic Lexapro). When that first went generic, it was still very expensive. But it’s been a good ‘nother year or two now, so hopefully the cost has gotten lower.

Anyway, I was eventually able to sleep.

River rafting!

River rafting!

Saturday: OMFG!!!! River rafting with Peter and two of my cousins and their dog, I kid you not!!!!!!!!!!!! It was SO FUN. OMG. (One of them is my cousin legally, the other is her fiance, but I count him as my cousin already.) So at the start, one of my cousins was running the car down and then bicycling back to our start position. My other cousin was walking around in the water and getting her dog used to the river (it was his first introduction to water / swimming). Meanwhile, Peter and I got used to the water temperature (it took me a while — I’m a huge chicken for feeling cold). Once in, we swam upshore a little way and watched some kids who were swinging off a tree and dropping off of a rope into the river. I decided to do it! CRAZY. Even though the water level was way down and so the dropping area was quite shallow, I decided to do it, because it’s something I’ve never done before and always thought I’d be too afraid to ever try. It’s good that the kids yelled at me when it was time to let go of the rope, because I’m afraid I would have kept holding on otherwise. It was fun! I touched bottom but I didn’t get hurt. It turned out to be sandy there, not rocky like the rest of the riverbed.

Anyway, there was very little current and so two of us were out of the “raft” at all times, pulling and/or “paddling” it down the river. We didn’t have paddles, but when the bottom was too deep for walking, we used our arms and legs to keep it moving. What a day. I feel terrible because Peter got terribly sunburned, even though we had slathered on sunscreen at the start. Apparently we went too long before re-applying it. Afterward, we all ate out together.

Sunday: I forgot to mention that while all this is going on, my parents and my dog have been out camping!!! I’ve been getting pictures of my dog snoozing with them in a tent. 🙂 It’s so sweet.

Gluten-free-dairy-free-vegan-cheeseburger - image of a slice of lettuce and a slice of tomato on an otherwise empty skillet

Gluten-free-dairy-free-vegan-cheeseburger Meme

I have no records regarding what I did on Sunday. If I remember right, the day started very slowly and I had a killer time getting out of bed, yet again. At some point, we walked and I looked in a shop, and then we ate fries somewhere as a lunch-snack, because we were scheduled to eat with Peter’s folks for dinner (they were generously sharing a $100 coupon with us, from his dad’s work). We ate dinner with them and it was really good. We went to an Indian restaurant because they were trying so hard to make sure I’d have something to eat! My eating is a pain in the @$$, let me tell you. I’m going to try going back onto barley in the next couple of months.

PTA: Gluten-free, lactose-intolerant pescatarian. That’s what I am right now. PTA.

Monday: Work. Slow at first and I was able to post pictures of the rafting trip for my cousins. Then it got super busy and I had to stay a couple of hours late, but that was fine. Peter was late too, so we met around 8 pm and ate out. Then we got ready for bed. I tried to sleep in the bed, even if it meant I wouldn’t sleep well, but it actually turned out his very bad sun burn was causing him to be super ticklish and my hair kept bumping it, so I decided to sleep on the floor anyway. And I was able to fall asleep at some point, so I’m glad I moved down there. I’m too alert/aware to fall asleep, otherwise. I’m so anxious about having to flop around and wake the other person, I can’t relax enough to fall asleep.

Tuesday: Work. It’s slow so far, as you can see. Later, I have an appointment with my psychiatrist.

Mood Ranking for all of these various days: 2 (Friday, such strong self-injury feelings count as a 2; in my book, there’s only one step lower) – 5 (Bicycling on the bridge with my brother; River rafting w/Peter and my cousins)

Log: Jun 23 – 29 (Tue – Mon) Grandma’s Death and a Bar Mitzvah

Jun 23 (Tue): @ Grandma’s
Jun 24 (Wed): @ Grandma’s
Jun 25 (Thu): @ Grandma’s
Jun 26 (Fri): Fly back from Grandma’s by 10a; Fly to Peter’s cousin’s place at night
Jun 27 (Sat): Peter’s cousin’s bar mitzvah
Jun 28 (Sun): Peter’s cousin’s place; Fly back home in afternoon
Jun 29 (Mon): Work 9:30a – 5:30p; Go to Uncle’s after work

Tue, Wed, Thu: With my grandma, my mom, two aunts, two uncles, and a cousin (briefly). I’m not posting TW’s because I think the title is clear: I was there again because my grandma was dying. I was there for my own sense of closure and saying goodbye as well as wanting to commiserate with my family and be of any support for them as possible. I suppose I won’t go into too much detail here but hospice was involved so we were able to help take away Grandma’s pain and take care of her there at my aunt’s house. My grandma was much more at peace there, and always surrounded by love. Some family issues came up; two siblings had a pretty severe blow-up and might not speak with each other for many years to come. Let me rewind. Also, my aunts and uncles helped me to pick out an outfit for the upcoming Bar Mitzvah, because I left all of my formal clothes back Home (with my parents and dog). I talked to my grandma or just sat near her, and each day I played some gentle piano music for her. She was in a state similar to a coma but not quite; she did respond in certain ways when we would talk to her and stroke her arm or forehead. Her eyes would blink although closed, and her mouth would close, and her breathing would steady a little. She could definitely hear us although there is no way of knowing what she could comprehend; the hospice nurses said her brain was also starting to shut down.

Fri: Left there in the morning, flew back here. Leaving there was hard. I did not want to leave. I would not have left but for the $600 plane ticket that Peter had already purchased for me. So I did decide to leave. I said my goodbyes to Grandma on Thursday night and reinforced them again on Friday morning before leaving. She’s been basically in a coma or maybe a morphine-induced fog, but there were things I wanted to say. So then I flew. Got back here, napped and packed for my flight with Peter and his dad for Peter’s cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. We left that night.

Sat: Arrived on Saturday morning. Met Peter’s paternal family. Everyone was nice. I rested a bit (hadn’t been able to sleep on the plane that night; my restless leg syndrome was being severe AND every time I started to nod off, I would jerk awake with horrible, horrible OCD intrusive thoughts). Then it was time to get dressed and ready for the Bar Mitzvah. It was really nice. I haven’t been to any before this, but I am sure it was a really nice one. The cousin’s speech was really interesting; I’d been afraid I wouldn’t be able to relate to it because I don’t know much about the religion, but he did a wonderful job and I felt very connected to what they were talking about. Of course, I didn’t know to expect a prayer/words for those mourning loved ones’ deaths near the end, so I cried and had no tissue for my snotty nose. Afterward, the reception/ceremony was pretty amazing. There was an open bar and catered food that was really good. There was mandatory dancing and I liked that. Then Peter and I danced to many of the rest of the songs anyway, although neither of us knows any dance moves. So we basically were just shuffling our feet in random ways, but it was fun. I hope a relative sends a picture so I can show my parents (pictures were allowed during this part). They’d LOVE to have seen it.

Sun: So, we left Sunday, early afternoon, after they had a bunch of family photos taken and more chatting and celebration. I got to talk with more, very nice relatives. Peter was asked to play piano for ambiance again. Then we had to leave. Flew back, said goodbye to Peter’s dad, dropped off our stuff at Peter’s place and went out to eat dinner. It was really good food. Then went to a store for a couple of supplies and that’s when my mom called me that my grandma had passed away.

She had been without food or water for a week already, and hardly eaten or drank for a long time before then. It hurts but at the same time, there was an element of relief for me. She died very peacefully, not like her husband, who struggled at the very end. My grandma’s breathing was becoming more infrequent and then at last she did not inhale again. She had waited until the family was back from a walk and they were all with her, and I’m glad for that. But it’s hard not to be there with them now. But I cannot go back right now; a coworker was getting anxious about my absence because of a large, important report that he needs me to print + bind shortly. I was hoping he’d give it to me today and then I could consider leaving again later in the week, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen today.

I had worried so long, SO, SO long, about how my mom would not be able to live on without her mom. I thought she’d be lost forever once her mom died. But it turns out, and so I think I needed to have been there and seen with my own eyes, my mom will pull through this. I saw it. She even helped with some of the night shift medicating. Reality turns into the New Norm and she is adjusting to it. I imagine it helped her too, to see Grandma during this stage of her decline. So there was this chance to see and to adjust and to live differently. I underestimated her. I guess we will all adjust to the New Norms as they happen, and I needn’t have worried so much for so many years. We deal. We handle it. We let our mental expectations change as the reality changes. We adapt.

Mon: I woke up in a pretty severe, serious mood. No joking, just taking everything very serious and saying very serious things. In contrast, I think Peter woke up in a light mood, and our conversation this morning was confusing and I’ve already written him for further clarification. I’m at work. I briefly saw my uncle. I’m going to go to his place after work today, and I’m going to watch a stupid movie with him (we’ve already planned it). He was one of the siblings involved in the blow-out and there are certain topics we’ll avoid discussing, but I’ll be glad to be with him. I talked with my mom for a while last night when she called to tell me the news about Grandma, and then I called my dad and talked with him for a while, although he and I mostly talked about my dog. I needed to talk with family. I texted with my brother some, too. ❤

UPDATE: I’ve been in a shitty, shitty mood all day today. I’ve just gone on a 2+ mile walk in the sun and I’m STILL in a shitty, shitty mood. That’s how bad it is.