Great day for a visit


The Director paid me a visit today. I wish I had known, I would have gone to the store.

I was professional. Jovial and polite. Inside I just felt a sense of detachment and disgust. As the Director spoke and made decrees, I thought back to a time when I really had respect for this person. At first I didnt care for the personality. Immature and gossipy. The Director is still that way but it submerged for a little while and I forgot it was there.

The fact of the matter is, I thought the Director had gained some maturity and I appreciated that fact. I thought it couldn’t have been easy to change your natural instincts like that and was impressed.

What an idiot I was. There was no change, it was just hidden below the dark and evil surface that slithers around making demands.

As I watched the Director enjoy being in my department and clearly feeling empowered I wished it was a time in the past when I would have enjoyed the visit. Would have welcomed anything they had to say.

Once someone says untruths about you, it changes how you look at them.

The Director left and I felt like I needed a nap and a shower. All of that malice in one location can be tough to take. It zaps the energy out of you because you know the visit is simply to “record” what they saw while there and then visit again in a week to see if there is a change. The problem with that method is that no matter what IS changed, it will be followed up with no change to support the desire to terminate me.

No ethics. No morals. Grudge holding and vindictive. All signs of immaturity. Nothing has changed except the kid that didn’t really fit in during school, doesn’t really fit in now except someone slipped and gave them a little power and oops…..we are going crazy with it. 

That summarizes the lot of them really.

The spouse works for a boss much like this. I always say “Give them Senior’s card because they will fit right in!”

The sad thing is that at one time I would have shook the world if the Director needed it. Now, I would tape it down and hope it didn’t move because I am sure the request is laced with unethical twists and self-righteous motivation.

People have no patience and will step on another if it serves them.

It’s why I prefer animals. It is why it is painful when they leave. Today was a rough day. I kept picturing my dog and wishing he was still here. The house is so empty without him despite other people and other dogs. I think we are all still stunned and wishing it isn’t so.

His sister is nervous and needy. She wants comfort but isn’t sure how to get it. I feel bad. They just look for him and sigh.

On the way to work this morning I was overwhelmed with going to a place that I have served at the cost of my health and relationships – a place where a few people deem I have no worth any more and it suddenly becomes so – and I was overwhelmed with the continued realization that my dog is gone. My buddy. My calming spirit is off on some other adventure without  me.

 

 

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Just keep going


How many times have we wished we had a magic ball? If we could only see the future or go back and fix mistakes or alter a path we took….

When I have days that my symptoms are taking over the place, like today, I wish there were a way to go back in time and alter the path that led me here. If I can even find it.

I would slow down or choose another avenue for work, home or hobbies.

Symptoms make life so much more difficult. Keeping appointments takes every ounce of courage and ability you can muster which can leave you depleted for the day.

I was told to force myself to keep commitments because it is one step away from being a hermit if you don’t. So, I kept commitments, “white knuckling” it the entire time. I think the doc was hoping that by doing so, I would be pulled back into an active role in my life.

The experiment hasn’t been successful so far. I just seem to keep spinning in circles unable to get out of the messed up groove and back to the highway of productivity.

It is SO strange to be in this place. This non-living, non-advancing place. It isn’t something we see for ourselves and when it happens, we are sidelined wondering how to fix it.

I fix things. It is what I have done as long as I can remember. This is different. It just isn’t anything I seem to be able to fix. I keep trying….I keep going….its all I can do while trying to keep the hope alive that one day I will step back into my life and use this as a way to help someone else.

A hamburger will get you!


The pain of my life

I am doing better with my heart anxiety, for the most part.

I’m currently having moments of pain followed by a boost of anxiety. I know it’s silent worry over the chest pain. It’s normal. I say it and mean it. It’s normal!

The reintroduction of certain foods seems to have provoked some of my symptoms.

Sugar, dairy and white bread have all been things I have been staying away from except on super rare occasions.

The last few weeks I have toyed with them only to experience what I am now currently suffering through. I figured I was having issues anyway so…I’d live it up a little. Well…no.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those things are highly undesirable as far as my body is concerned. So…back off the list they go.

It’s better that way.

I feel like I’ve eaten rocks. My esophagus seems raw and angry.

As luck would have it, I have a scope coming soon. I’m hoping its nothing major and I can continue putting my life back together.

A medical setback is not what the doctor ordered. Neither is a hamburger.

I had hope for a minute


I have done well since seeing my GP on Thursday morning. All of my results looked good. No terrifying things in the reports (he gave me a copy).

I used that to find peace after my TIA/Stroke scare. I also took several tests to score my risks using those results and across the board I have a 1% chance at having a blood clot, stroke or heart attack. I was pretty excited. It’s like scoring the final game winning point or passing that really hard class with an A.

Yet…

Ever notice there is ALWAYS a yet?

Yet after a day of reading results and enjoying the benefit, after a day of slightly reminding myself of results but mostly going on and feeling like maybe I was rounding a corner……

After a split second of hope that this whole terrifying episode may have led to my ability to start repairing my crazy self…..

After I lay my head down and start to drift…my PVCs start skipping and for a minute, I worry about Afib. Which provokes concern over clots, which provokes a concern over….yes, you guessed it. Stroke.

It started with a slight cough. A few times I coughed for no apparent reason. Immediate fear of blood clot in the lung. Why not. I haven’t visited THAT location in a while….

I worked hard to dismiss it. It drifted back.

I decide I’m tired and start to sink away to dreamland. The TV is on. My spouse is watching. I see embers start to float around in a scene. Lots of them and then….a big panic cloud rolls over me.

Disappointment is right behind the Crazy funnel cloud. I truly hoped this latest round of Nutsville was a catalyst for my last…..

Once panic hits you’re on edge. Your nerves are raw and you’re panic pulls up a chair and starts watching TV with you.

Realistically, I know I’m stressed. Director called me Thursday and started a fight. I almost hung up on her 3 times just to get away from the situation.

Director is relentless. Ridiculous.

So that’s been weighing on my mind. Work is always a source of anxiety. Always.

I know Director causes panic attacks. I’m not sure why it surprises me.

So I’m drifting off to sleep when panic lights me up and now I’m spending my time trying to shake the fear that anxiety and panic are going to “get me”.

This stuff is stupid. I hate it.

Good intentions don’t cure you either


I had a meltdown.

Loads of sugar today, not much water, poor eating habits today, work stress off the charts, overwhelmed….

This all equals a random meltdown while helping care for my dying friend.

Shameful this crap wants to take center stage during a time like this.

Pathetic!

Fade to black


Have you ever fainted? Have you ever nearly fainted? Then you understand.

For those that haven’t, its an odd sensation.

Yesterday I was sitting on my couch. Knees bent, feet on the coffee table, working on my laptop.

I kept hearing some kid screaming at the top of their lungs. It sounded like a tantrum but just kept happening. Finally, I thought I should look out, just to make sure nothing was wrong.

I jumped up, walked 5 steps, looked at a house across the street and everything started going black. I held on to the door and for some reason, in my head, kept repeating my name.

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Weird. The blackness almost took me completely over, but then faded away.

During those seconds, I didn’t feel a thing. I knew I was going out. I knew it wasn’t a good thing, but it was like reading a book.

Once it was over however, the terror was on.

I raced to my room and repeatedly took my blood pressure. I called my spouse at work who couldn’t come home and at that moment, couldn’t talk. I decided to get dressed as I felt so shaky and weak that I was likely going to have to call 9-1-1.

My spouse called back and was good about it but not leaving work. My spouse offered my mother-in-law or daughter-in-law, our son or EMS as my spouse is the only person in the office on Saturday and not past the 90 day probation period. It’s understandable.

So, pulse ox, blood pressure, heart sounds with a stethoscope monitoring galore.

I accessed my Facebook support groups, put a call into the Cardiologist (Who by the way, never called me back), and went to that answers website where you pay a fee and professionals will respond, even doctors.

The website doc could have made matters much worse but oddly, I didn’t fixate on what he said. He thought it was likely common but listed all of the textbook reasons why I should immediately go to the Emergency Room. I can Google for free, thanks.

When pressed as to if he himself has experienced such a thing, responded curtly along with how to make sure he gets paid for his answer.

My Facebook group was most helpful along with websites. I tried to stay away from worst case possibilities as its not a common thing for me and I was on the dehydrated side. But. That didn’t, doesn’t keep me from worrying it will happen again.

In my reasoning mind I know such a fast change in position coupled with dehydration can cause exactly what happened.

In my fearful mind, I don’t care. I’m scared and worn out from being so fearful and unhappy for the last 9 months.

In my fearful mind I feel like a victim. I feel trapped in this haze of terror, fear, unrest and disbelief.

It had gotten bad enough that I finally broke down and took .125 mg of an Ativan.

For those not aware, I am terrified of medicine. I have pills that are .5mg, but fearful of them, so I quarter the pill.

It’s just enough to eventually bring the terror down to just a hair below panic. Semi-tolerable.

It takes a long time to work. Probably close to two hours yesterday. Of course, such a small dose has a big hill to climb.

Once it finally kicked in, I felt partially normal.

Earlier in the day I started reconsidering Zolof again. My doc gave me 12.5mg to start but I just can’t take it. I’m fearful. I went to the answers website and chatted with a Pharmacist who was bewildered as to why such a low dose was an issue. I don’t think he ever got it. He eventually resorted to it being such a low dose that it wouldn’t register and talked about the benefits of SSRI meds, well tolerated at such a low dose, etc.

Yeah, its still sitting there. I put my 1/2 of a micro pill up next to my spouses who takes 100mg. It looks like a fruit fly in comparison. Harmless looking really….but….nope. couldn’t do it.

I have actually considered just taking the Ativan for a few days instead.

I know literature suggests no more than 2-4 weeks. My doc thought with the nano dose I will take, it could be longer. She actually wants me to take the Ativan along with the Zoloft in an effort to preemptively strike the inevitable terror that will come with me taking a new pill. Which would be awesome….if I could take the damned thing….

So, Ativan is on the table. This morning I am PLANNING on taking my nano dose and maybe “enjoying” my day. I figure if I take it once we are up and before we start planning our day, I will be capable of leaving the house and perhaps experiencing some true relaxation or dare I hope, joy. At minimum, I’m hoping to have a normal outting less torment.

Planning is the key word. When you’re terrified of meds, a plan can fall apart quickly. It can be something as fast and simple as a news blurb. “Taking Ativan? You won’t want to miss this at 6.”

That’s it. I’m done. I won’t take it.

Someone who hadn’t fallen off of the normal wagon can’t comprehend my plight. You’ve never been to the edge of crazytown. You don’t know the amount of fear and torment I face just by having a day off.

A day off used to be pure joy. A full two or God bless, three days off was cause for celebration. I was in bliss.

Now, its torment. It’s unscheduled time for my mind to pick at the fear wound.

Odd since work also causes me torment.

Think about that. I have hell at work, I have hell at home.

Where do you relax?

You don’t.

I have varying degrees of torment. The Director is out of town, no games going on, no daggers to remove from my spine, I can relax a minute. Maybe even enjoy my job a little while.

Then I go home and fear death.

The Director returns to work, I wait for the next assault, amped up and trying to step cautiously as you never know where she has placed the next landmine.

I go home and fear death.

Once in a great while I am able to not fear death, but mostly, I do. Well, its a give and take really. There are times I’m terrified and begging God to please give me my life back while other times, I beg Him to just let me go because I can’t live like this any more.

Ultimately, I age daily. Yes, I know, we all do. But I LOOK like I’m aging. More grey hair. My eyes look worried. Wrinkles have set in. I look worn out because……I am.

So, its 8:18 on Sunday morning and I just took another quarter of an Ativan because even at this hour, I’m already fretting. Already fearful. Already jumping head first into torment.

It’s too bad really. Just about a year 1/2 ago, I was counting my blessings. I couldn’t believe the life I had. I was grateful that I was able to provide for my family and still do my own training. I was starting to see signs (in retrospect) that the Director, then District, was likely doing things that I didn’t fully understand but wasn’t ready to assign reality to yet. I started being worried about losing my job. I started feeling down. But, I kept pushing because there was no solid evidence.

My worry continued to eat at me while the District (now Director) would tell me how much people didn’t like me. How I set people the wrong way. How she was ghetto only one that “Got” me, but not to worry. She was always looking out for my best interests.

I felt grateful that she was on my side, while at the same time distraught that I was so despised and didn’t understand why. I did my job. I was honest, I was helpful…yet, hated.

I didn’t understand it.

Now, I guess I do. She was busy weaving lies about me while telling me she was my savior.

It’s dizzying to consider that someone could be so….I don’t know the word….not quite Evil…because I don’t think she is, but…..maybe, manipulative….at minimum.

It’s stunning to think someone would want to be like that. Do those things. I just don’t understand

So, as I lay here waiting for the terror to quiet to simple agony or despair, I know I have to leave this job in order to save my life.

It doesn’t seem fair. I treat people well. Do my job. Extend a helping hand any time needed, yet, I’m the one that has to leave.

There is a perfect picture of the state of our world. Our culture.

The bad people advance while the good ones give up and go away.

Just never ends


Let me start by saying that its been 9 months since panic and anxiety started ruling my life. 9 months. The amount of time it takes to produce a human. In that time I have had to endure so much agony, fear, loss of selfconfidence, self-worth and ultimately, the belief I will ever fully get my life back.

I have had to listen and constantly tried to repair the terrible lies the Director has spread about me, and keeps doing it. I’ve gone to her boss. I’ve gone to HR and as far as I am aware, there will be no formal reprimand. Her boss is going to talk to her.

Great. She is disrespecting her boss almost as badly, and they are going to talk. I wonder if that would be the same response if it were me, another manager or someone not related to the President and CEO of the company.

Defamation of character. Apparently that’s okay where we work. Libelous. Why not. It’s a non-profit after all. Why SHOULDN’T the Director be okay behaving in such a way. It’s not like we are talking about corporate America where values define them….

So, after 9 months of torment, here I sit. Anxious. A shell of who I was last year at this time.

What has brought me here? What dropped me into this hole?

I think it was the perfect storm.

A few incidents lit the fuse and life kept adding fuel. The Director, kept adding gas.

I believe having so many bats after a major surgery, caused my nerves to be sharpened. I believe having the Director slip in little comments about how the company as a whole can’t stand me but SHE keeps my job safe, unleashed the hounds.

Hearing, frequently, how you’re viewed as “difficult, arrogant or flat out disliked” by co-workers, supervisors and leadership within the company you have been.with for several years, wears on you.

I was told by the Director that she is the only one that “gets me”. She expressed irritation because she had to constantly defend me for things people took wrong or that I unknowingly insulted.

When pressed for names or details, I was told she took care of it and its fine now.

I’m not that person so, of course it caused me great distress.

My feeling is that those messages time and time again were slowly eroding my foundation. My strength. My, everything.

I think the final blow came when I had gotten so depressed, I went to a clinic to see about medication. I felt utterly worthless and felt I was pretty far down.

After discussing in great detail my sensitivity to medication, the lady prescribed me 20mg of Celexa. I waited until I had a long weekend to take it, just in case I felt ill or tired. Little did I know, it would send me to the emergency room.
It took me 4 days to shake it from my system and I have been in a state of anxiety/panic ever since.

There are times I feel like I’m getting stronger. However, work slaps me back down.

There are moments I feel like “I can get past this”, and then the Director and her actions makes an appearance, and then I feel like I’ll never really live my life again.

“Why don’t you take medicine and see if that helps?” Is the NEVER ENDING question I get from everyone.

Don’t you think I would, if I could?!!

I have to argue with myself just to take an over the counter pain reliever for headache or muscle aches.

After the medication incident, I refuse to take anything. I’ve filled numerous prescriptions. I refuse to take any. At all. I can’t.

When my heart was going wild (Docs feel it is stress induced), I was prescribed all kinds of things that he felt would calm down the skipped and extra beats. It would have given me relief. I could not take any of it. Said I did, said it didn’t work or made me tired because docs get PISSED when you refuse to take medication.

I couldn’t. I can’t.

I explain it this way.

You’re at the edge of a cliff. It’s a straight drop to rocks. A raging fire has circled you.

What do you do?

Jump and you die on the rocks. Go through the fire and you burn to death.

That’s where, to the depths of my SOUL, I am with medication. I cannot, CANNOT make myself take it.

I’ve tried. I’ve belittled and mentally beaten myself up repeatedly about it.

Doesnt ANYONE understand that I sure would not subject myself to this agony if I didn’t have to?!

It is SO painful, so life altering that I would LOVE to take a medication that would remove this searing, never ending, relentless pain from my life.

But, I can’t.

I claw my way through every moment of every day.

Today is my birthday. I don’t care. My spouse wants to celebrate. I don’t care. I pass it off as everyone getting home too late and having to work the next day. I suggested Sunday….it gives me time to try and figure out how to get put of it by then.

I don’t want to celebrate anything. I don’t want to make plans I know I can’t keep. This THING that controls my world doesn’t allow for planning. Doesn’t allow fun.

I keep appointments I have with other people because of their time. Not because of mine.

I go to work every day because my family needs me to. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t subject myself to leaving the house. Leaving my bed.

It’s my 44th birthday and I have more contempt for myself than I did on my 14th birthday. Contempt because I just cannot get out of this hole.

Guilt over how I am stuck like this, guilt over my spouse essentially being alone. Guilt over not being strong any more. Guilt over wasting 8 years with a company that allows someone to do the things that are being done without apology. Without change. Without care. Guilt that my family wants me to be excited about presents they spent their money and time picking out, and I am not. I will fake it later, for them. But honestly, I wish they would get their money back and just let the day wither away like the rest of my life.         

Happy Birthday to those that can enjoy it!