I’m a Little Bit Crunchy…

It’s no big mystery that I’m a lil bit on the crunchy side.  I’ll be upfront with that. Natural is best.  Breast feeder, co-sleeper, gardener, thrifter, birks wearing lady. So know you know now 🙂

I LOVE essential oils.  I just love them.  I’ve used them on and off for 20 years, long before they were readily available and quite mainstream.  I really love them in my diffuser scenting my home with natural oils known for their mood enhancing properties. I love to make blends for perfume, bug spray, car air freshners! Best idea…take a close pin and saturate the wood area where you will then clip onto one of your air vents.  Pure heaven for me anyway. I frequently use a calming blend when driving and I love to get back into my car with that scent there.



I use lavender or a calming blend on my pooch when he’s anxious, barking crazy at our neighbor and when I put his thunder shirt on. It does calm him.  Also, there is an amazing product out there for people and pets called Rescue remedy.  I highly recommend it. It comes in a small spray bottle or drops but I like the spray since you can easily spray it in their mouth.  It has a slight taste which doesn’t bother my dogs and seem eager to get some 🙂

My oldest is a dear child.  He comes home from work and often sits with me to chat.  Early 20’s, he has a new girlfriend whom he is nuts over.  Apparently she had some essential oils laying around and said son had some anxiety and worked nicely.  He wondered if it was just the placebo effect but maybe it actually did work!!

I said, SON, how long have I been using essential oils and praising them? He laughed and reminded me he does use tea-tree oil on my recommendation.  It was just so funny that now he might be a believer in the virtues of the oils after his girl friend made him try it. I asked him if he wanted me to pick some more up for him tomorrow. To my chagrin he said yes, definitely.

I hopped over to my local health food store and just picked up three.  I love the single oils but the blends have such a nice scent and are so well rounded.  They are also blended for things like anxiety, focus, sensual, relaxation, purification, pain.

c700x420The 2 brands I use most and have easy access to are Aura Casia and NOW brand. My blends were 12.00 but I know you can get them cheaper online. In the store you can smell the samples to ensure you actually like what you’re buying. GNC carries lots of the NOW brand oils as well but I love our little, local store.  Smells so good in there!

You also want to be sure you’re using pure essential oils by reputable brands. I don’t take the oils internally because there is controversy over the harming properties is you’re not using 100% pure oils.  I’d rather be safe than sorry. You can find lots of info online researching the best and safest brands.

There are some oils that I don’t care for like roman chamomille and rose otto. I got both of these oils for specific conditions. The rose otta is supposed to be the best oil for migraines but it made my stomach sick. Patchouli is hit or miss with many people. Everyone likes citrus and lavender!

My faves are lavender, peppermint, frankensense, orange, ylang ylang, cederwood and sandlewood.  I love patouli when I feel like a hippie, lavender and peppermint ALWAYS for a migraine.

If you haven’t given essential oils a try, please do.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised like my husband when I made a frankensence blend and use it totally helped the unrelenting back pain he was suffering from.

Ever since then he’s a believer!




Life Stages

cg5394b4fa12150You know how parents say each age is their favorite? Every stage was my favorite. It’s hard to narrow it down to a single time frame because i love being a mum and love my children. So. Much. But I love this stage.

They are young adults now, each with a significant other. It’s definitely a new thing for all of us.  I love watching each of them in their happiness. My heart explodes.  (Maybe I’m a lil hypomanic!)

More often than not my husband and I are alone for dinner…especially the weekends. We have time to spend together working on home projects or just chillin on the couch having dinner together. I wouldn’t say we grew apart while our kids were younger but it’s hard to just concentrate on your relationship when you’re juggling jobs and kids. We’re growing closer.  We’re comfortable in our own skin/relationship. We like spending time together.

I’m looking forward to navigating this stage of life with my husband.  I’m so thankful for this strong man of mine. I can’t wait to grow closer and experience all that “middle age” has to offer. 😉

I’m learning that it’s ok to embrace what our life is now. I’m so lucky.  When I start to feel lucky I get scared and think it’s bound to end. Then my anxiety kicks in.

My Week

This week wasn’t bad.  Things overall are better but I’ve still had some episodes of anxiety. It seems like every other day is a better day.  I wonder if it’s some type of decompensation. After I spend a day doing a couple of errands or visiting with a friend I feel as though I need a day to recover. I can’t handle a full on booked up week, not working, not playing.

I was able to go out twice this week and be in public. I did some errands, went to my little craft group and made a dreaded phone call. I’m trying to get outside in my garden every few hours anyway. There is always something to do. It makes me feel a little helpful.

Yesterday I had a feeling of dread all day.  I just couldn’t help but feel like something bad was going to happen but I just wasn’t sure of what it was. As the day went on I was feeling nauseous. I used to feel that way so much more severely. I used to think depression was more my issue but it’s really anxiety. Worried about……everything.

By the time my husband got home I told him I thought I was having a panic attack and he gave me the biggest hugs. He told me nothing was wrong and everything was going to be ok.  He’s always been able to hug me and make everything else melt away. I don’t deserve him.

Migraines this week were not good.  I’m running through my triptans too quickly.  My second line fiorcette isn’t as effective and I have only a limited amount of that too.  I’ve had to take some excederin a few times and even after a week I feel gastritis which feels quite like an ulcer with heart palpitations to boot.

Glad the weekend is here. I don’t have any plans in stone. Next weekend we have a milestone we’re celebrating so next week will be stressful for me.  Emotional and stressful. Maybe I’ll share more about this later.


Growing Distant

Vintage Clip Art Royalty Free 05

So I went to my best friends grad party. I made it there in one piece and even remembered how to get there and back!  Anxiety not too bad but I did get a migraine on the way to her house. I made a playlist to listen to along the way so I had some favorite songs for me to sing and distract myself.

I went early to help her get ready.  I hadn’t seen some of her friends and family for years but I knew some of them from before so it wasn’t THAT stressful.  I didn’t need anti-anxiety meds. I’m not a good mingler so I just stuck in the kitchen mostly with her mum and her auntie.

The party was gorgeous.  Everything was beautiful.  Her gardens were wonderful, the food was wonderful.  Ms. Martha Stewart.  Everything was just perfect. She had a chocolate fountain, backyard games, appetizers, catered meal with a beautiful table.  But it was comfortable and not stuffy.  She inspires me to be a better person (in all ways) all the time.

I felt a little sad when she brought out a book that was signed by everyone at H’s baptism(of course, Martha knew exactly where to find it 🙂 I’m not sure why I wasn’t there.  My face turned red and I could feel the tears building.  When another friend of hers found her message I admit I was hurt. I’m just so sensitive. I took a deep breath and (tried) to let it go.

We grew distant slowly over the last decade. I think I felt like we weren’t connecting and her other friendships of people who lived closer made me jealous. Socializing with her husband and another couple also made me sad.

I’m just thankful that these last two years have brought us back together. Our kids are older. Marriages older.  I think we have even more in common than before.  I’m so thankful that she understands my mental illness and understands me. She gets it and I feel like I’ve had therapy session after we get together.


Phone Anxiety

So proud of myself.  I had to make a phone call.  Phone calls are like the mail.  I avoid at all cost.  I never answer my phone unless I know who the caller is.  And then I’m afraid to listen to my voice mails.  I can’t remember the password now so I cannot listen to them anyway and it’s all too much of a process to figure out.

It all stems from my anxiety of course. I always feel like I’m in trouble, something is wrong, someone is upset with me. That’s anxiety right?

So, anyway I’ve been trying to get little things done around the house and not feel so useless. I went to the store, picked up the kitchen, currently doing some laundry and I made that call.  :whew:

6 Reasons I Might Be A Survivor

  1. I have survived as a child of an alcoholic father who abused my mother.
  2. I have survived as a little girl with migraines and pain no child should have to live through.
  3. I have survived being bullied as an adult, doing a damn good job I am proud of.
  4. I have survived Lyme disease.
  5. I have survived through the whole disability mess.
  6. I have survived through mania and the consequences of my actions.

Seems like I’ve been a pretty good survivor despite relentlessly worrying about all this shit above. Constant worry.  And still worrying.  I have to remember that I’ve been through a lot and I’ve gotten through it.  Things will be ok.




Are You Comfortable With Your Doctors?

My two main docs are my pdoc and my GP who treats my myriad of other afflictions I have. I stopped seeing my neurologist because nothing was helping. He was helpful for ruling out MS as a diagnosis, got my MRI’s all authroized quickly.  My GP says the specialists always are that way.  (I don’t think that’s always the case).

I like my GP because she asks for my opinion and input. I’ve felt comfortable asking her about personal questions, anxiety meds, increasing a dose, can we tests for _______.  I’ve convinced her to try a couple of non-conventional treatments for my migraines after I had read about them. She’s not a total pushover though.  She wasn’t totally for applying for disability. She told me I wouldn’t have anything to do after, like a place to go to every day and I might end up feeling worse.

Pdoc seems to know her stuff.  She was more in favor of applying for disability. A couple of times I’ve mentioned a different treatment and she hasn’t been open to it. I don’t push it either because I know she knows a hell of a lot more than my doctor google degree. She doesn’t like to do big changes with meds…one change at a time kind of rule.

Since then I’ve been on disability for two years? I’ve had  a few periods of  “meh” and a couple of “ok’s”.  I had no idea it would take so long to treat bipolar disorder and I know I’m still not fixed yet.

A Tale of Lyme Disease

When my youngest babe was beginning kindergarten I started to get really anxious about what I was going to do when he went to first grade.  I had been home with my kids for 10 years and I knew that it would be difficult to find someone who would hire me and something that paid decent.

About this time my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (doing awesome now). My sister encouraged me to go to nursing assistant school with her. We both passed the class but she never did look for a job.  Always makes me chuckle.  It wasn’t for her. Nursing assistant work is hard.

I began working as a nursing assistant and then decided I was going to go to nursing school.  Remarkably I was accepted but soon found out that working (part time!) and going to school was not for me.  I was struggling at home to  accomplish what I needed to do but with my job I couldn’t hack it. As per usual, I was living with migraine headaches. I left my job to focus on school only.

I don’t know how I got through nursing school.  Looking back I think I was highly manic. I struggled with anxiety which I thought was A.D.D.  Probably both mixed together.

I got a job as a nurse right away and while I liked it, it was odd hours and I was a big ball of stress from working full time, being a new nurse and trying but failing at my home life. I couldn’t get it together.

At this time I started to have symptoms of leg weakness.  My leg would twitch for hours, it would tremble and ache. I was convinced I had MS. I thought there was no treatment for MS anyway so might as well wait it out.

After two years I took a “less stressful” job at the office. My leg thing became worse.  I was not able to get up from a sitting position without using my hands as leverage. I was tripping a lot, falling (which I still do).  I began having a burning pain. I complained to my MD but she wasn’t any help. I remember her looking at me with a confused look on her face. I had some very elevated lab results so something was going on.

At this time she decided to close her office I found a new GP who was looking into things more thoroughly.  She told me I had every Lyme symptom and wanted to test for Lyme.  I knew it wasn’t Lyme.  MS I told her.  Send me to an MS specialist.

I was positive for Lyme Disease. It had gone undetected for way too long.  A lot of antibiotics.  I still have chronic pain from it.  I still wonder if my cognitive skills were from the Lyme verses anxiety/stress.

I don’t regret pursuing my nursing career.  It was a good go while it lasted.  I enjoyed it, just not the extreme anxiety my body reacts to. I don’t believe I will ever go back to it.  I don’t feel safe with my cognitive skills lacking. I know the stress will run havoc on my body.

I still I call myself a nurse.  I earned it.  My body just couldn’t hack it.




My Panic Attacks

I can recall my first panic attack vividly. I had a long history of anxiety but never a panic attack until this night.  My youngest was a year old, 1999.

I had a migraine all day. By night I put my little guys to bed and took some excedrin.  I made myself a cup of tea thinking that additional bit of caffeine would help. I had wanted to stay up and watch the Barbara Walters 20/20 interview with Monica Lewinsky.

After the interview I went to bed with my migraine in tact and started panicking. As I laid in bed I began to get this awful feeling of dread.  My heart began to pound.  I woke my husband up and told him something was very wrong with me, I thought I was having a heart attack, aneurysm or stroke from my migraine. I stayed up most of the night trying to calm myself with meditation. It never occurred me to me that this was a panic attack. It feels so real.

The next day I immediately called my doctor as soon as they opened. She had me come right in. After examining mes she diagnosed me with a panic attack.  She was right on with that one.  Now if she only caught the Lyme disease…but that’s another story.

Now I take an occasional low dose of a PRN anti-anxiety med if I need it.  I’m on daily medication to prevent the attacks. It seems to help.  And avoiding too much caffeine which probably triggered that first attack!


14 Tips That Will Help Win Your Psyche Disability Case

Did you know you can file for disability without your doctors help? I thought it had to be something your doctor did for you or encouraged you to do. Nope, not the case.

Here are 14 tips that will help you.

  1. This is a long process.  You can do all of this easily by yourself free and get started right away with a social security number.
  2. Go to sss @gov.  Make an account.  You will be surprised to see all of your past earnings listed per year.  You can fill out the entire disability form online to get things going.  Honestly it will take several days to fill out.
  3. Once SS gets your electronic application they will send you paperwork to fill out.
  4. Best tip: When speaking to a SS doctor answer questions thinking about your worst days. It’s easy for us to play down our symptoms and pain.
  5. Have a good understanding of your disease/disorder.  Know which answers are right and which are wrong. For example, I played off the problems I’ve had in the past with co-workers.  I also now know that it is a problem with bipolar patients. I never wanted to admit I had a problem at work with people but it was  time to be honest with myself.
  6. Remember what you filled out on the paperwork because if SS sends you for another opinion they will have a copy of the paperwork you provided.  Therefore your answers should match.
  7. Be exceptionally honest.
  8. They will want to know ALL your doctors within the last year. Try to remember them all.  I even put down my eye doctor because I had been complaining to her about my blurry vision and had been in to see her a few times because of it. (Fibroyalgia was one of my diagnoses)
  9. Let your emotions show.  I cried all through my exam.  You don’t believe I suffer from depression?  Here you go.  I’m often like this.
  10. If you have to go for an exam have a friend or family bring you and wait for you.  They will ask you how you got to the appointment.  In my case, it proved my point how hard it was for me to leave the house or to drive.
  11. I was asked if I had gone to therapy.  I had completely forgotten how I had gone to therapy a handful of times over the years.  At first I assumed she meant had I gone recently to counseling. I choked my tears back and answered that I had gone before.  I remember her nodding her head.
  12. If you’re thinking about a lawyer, don’t (at least not yet).  You can fill out and submit your own application online easily. Social Security will request your records from your doctors.  You wont have to do that step.
  13. Answer your phone.  They may call you for something.  I don’t like to answer my phone unless I recognize the number.  Unfortunately I missed several of their calls. They ended up mailing me a letter saying they had been trying to reach me and they sent me to an independent Psychologist.
  14. Don’t panic if they sent you to see an independent Doctor. They could have just denied you but they aren’t just sure yet.