Life as we live it – Part 4

8 July 2017

I’m still trying to process my latest hiccup, it’s hard I feel like I get two steps forward then one step back, I still struggle with there are others that are worse off so get over yourself I get frustrated in my head fighting the tug o war of you are fine, so I know as I’m typing this it’s for loved ones and those who struggle that I continue as I know I’m getting better, you have to realise that some days a great and others are crap, sun shine is great for when your feeling low it makes you feel alive.

I’ve recently been taken off my medication to keep me awake.

I was really going downhill last year, it was the year of the firsts for me, which I’ve been told is the hardest been there and struggled through – it is, putting on a brave face takes energy so I looked normal on the outside, on the inside I was trying not to crumble if something reminded me of Dad or my other loved one it’s hard being sad for two people at once you feel guilty and torn at the same time.

There were a lot of emotions us kids were in charge of packing up the family home where we were all raised, every time I got there the memories just flooded back you just take things for granted when your in the now, you never want to even imagine change or someone not being there.

Death is so final and I still was in denial even the weeks leading up to Dad’s passing, we still have more time that Dad was not leaving us yet he couldn’t he was our Dad I just couldn’t comprehend that he is here one day and gone the next, yet you want him to come back you still hear his voice you feel his presence you know though as for me, I was in the presence of when dad left us we were all there, it will be something that I will never forget as just a few hours before his passing he was sitting up in bed talking to my sister & I, we were so lucky to have had such a great Dad with that sparkle in his eye so this broke me and probably where I started to come undone.

I was just so sad, I tried to be strong there was so much emotions it took energy to be normal, if I was distracted I was fine, great even I started getting run down I thought coming home and having a sleep was normal. My family were always good day sleepers especially Dad so I assumed it was part of my making, I started pushing through the tiredness I felt guilty for being this way, when I laid my head on the pillow any time of day I felt like I could sleep forever, I just thought it was part of the grieving process to be tired all the time. It started to get worse, if I had to go out at night I would make sure I had a nap during the day to get me through, I was more tired then my husband who was on shift work which was frustrating me, the kids thought it was normal that I was tired all the time they got used to me sleeping when I could. My husband knew this wasn’t normal, I had always been a tired person this was going to the next level, so I made appt and saw my Dr who after doing some tests advised I had Vitamin B shots to get my immune system up to scratch. So did this, really didn’t see any major improvements, blood tests were done I’d had glandular fever without realising so that explained my tiredness and fatigue, I still was tired so the next step was to see a Sleep Dr where he sent me to do a Night Sleep Study and a Day Sleep Study, so had this done with all the electrodes all over me, the Night Sleep Study wasn’t a issue. The Day Sleep study was, I was tested at interval times at 9 am/11 am/1 pm and 3 pm I fell asleep each time and within 5 minutes hence why I was put on medication as my Dr advised that due to the Glandular Fever I had a mild case of Narcolepsy, going on this medication was the start of a lovely side effect called Anxiety which started very mild that I didn’t realise this was even occurring.

Sunday 16 July 2017

Love my life, today I’m feeling great! – I have had the best week in a long time. I have achieved one of my goals working 3 days in one week, so if you put your mind to it and push through the hard times, anything is achievable.

Animals are such great therapy, they sense your emotions and so in tune with you, just love you unconditionally. Leo my cat big beautiful boy who is limited to his food intake due to husband and I getting a lecture from our vets (he is 9.5 kilos) has been such a comfort also a portable heater on these cold nights he always is up for a smooch and sleep on you, just love him.

I’ve always been a animal lover more so cat lover, now we have two golden retrievers Mitch and Rosie who are so good, I just melt at times looking into their dark chocolate brown eyes they have also been my saviour just having them near me especially the last year, they both come and sit either on my feet or just next to me while I hang the washing out such a comfort.

Dad was such a animal lover he doted on his animals especially his Labrador Buzz when now I look into Buzz’s eyes can see the sadness of missing his companion as dad took Buzz with him everywhere they were great fishing buddies on the boat/kayak or the beach poor Buzz started going off the rails when dad started going downhill I now wonder if this is because he knew that dad was on borrowed time or just coincidence he still doesn’t like storms and seeks comfort in being inside near dad’s side of the bed when he is visiting my brother has Buzz now this doesn’t happen as much due to him being in a diff location.

Brings me to my mum’s two cats who are her comforts Chester a Chinchilla Persian and Russell Tortoise Shell Persian who was mine to start with unfortunately husband was allergic to him so he was given to mum and dad.

Mum adores her two cats they have got her through tough times, the last few weeks of Dad’s life these two cats never left his side, since dad’s passing they continue on at least one of them will be next to mum on guard at home, like they are her guardians just amazing how in tune with emotions they are. The stories I hear when I ring up and talk to mum are the latest adventures of Chester and Russell, always brings a smile to my face.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

I’m coming back, so even though you go through low times you get there and challenges always come upon us, I’m ever so grateful of the love and support I receive it’s still hard for me to express what’s inside I don’t want pity I just really believe if we don’t start opening up and helping each other things won’t change, sharing is caring the more we talk about life and everyday struggles will make it easier for ourselves and our children. I have always been honest with my kids about everything which I believe is helping them to learn life lessons to become the individuals they are, if I’m having a bad day I tell them if I’m sad I tell them.

On Monday 17 July It took me all afternoon to process my next pot hole in the road, I haven’t been able to drive the last month due to not having my medication to keep me alert for driving, so basically dependent on other loved ones to get me to other destinations.

As soon as I stopped taking my sleep medication within 3 days anxiety was gone, couldn’t believe how good I felt, it still scares me how something like that has so much control of your mind, how it can make you a ball of craziness like your on the edge not knowing when the next wave is going to come take hold dragging you down to where you struggle to keep from loosing the will to fight this feeling of aloneness.

I feel like a different person, so much calmer like nothing is a drama not going from happy to angry within a split second my kiddies have been so wonderful and grown so much within the last two months, nothing has been a drama for them they have at times had to be responsible for themselves as I just couldn’t be mum at times, they just make me so proud.

I was trying on Monday not to overthink how my next appointment will effect my life, was distracted all day just had niggling feeling don’t get hopes up, you may get your independence back … to drive, deep down I knew this probably wasn’t going to happen was just hoping silently that it would, I do struggle with not having this ability it’s hard not to, as a mum you loose a part of you that you can’t fulfil your role you try to not get down about it, so you block it out it keeps coming back though.

So hence why it took me all Monday afternoon to process in my mind that things could be changing again, the toss up of get over yourself there are others that face challenges like this everyday, yours is trivial I’m just overreacting.

I knew deep down my Dr wasn’t just going to give me my ability to drive again, was just hoping he could see I was a mother that needed this for her role. No, that would be to easy and I do get the reasoning behind this, just sucks though I’m having a MWT on Monday it’s a Maintenance Wakefulness Test reading the format of this I got a clenching in my tummy oh well just do my best I have to stay awake whilst sitting quietly in a dim room for 40 mins at 9am 11am 1pm 3 pm it’s a test to assess your ability to stay awake my Dr advised if I don’t pass there is a medication I could try that may not cause side effects, husband was quick to point out to my Dr if I go on this and it takes me to the place where I wasn’t good that he will drive me everywhere. I am very grateful, it took me all afternoon to process trying not to get down I ended up coming home to have a sleep as I was exhausted just getting my head around this.

I rang my mum, as whenever I can’t talk to anyone she is my go to especially with my sleep issue as Dad was the same, I believe I have a part of him in me always will. Mum refreshes my memory of when dad fell asleep driving at times when I was younger we were never in the car it was normally when he was by himself you blank things like that out you knew he was relaxed that at times is what I’m like, didn’t think strange to fall asleep in the dentist just thought normal, or fall asleep at complete strangers place – husband always reminds me of us driving to visit his 90 year old Aunt I get there fall asleep on her lounge.

Friday 21 July 2017

The funniest sight I received this morning when I walked into our main bathroom, Leo our cat was straddled on the toilet seat drinking out of the toilet, the toilet was recently flushed so he has this funny habit of drinking water while it’s running, must be the oxygen in it I don’t know, the site of this massive cat (9.5 kilos) in this position cracked me up as it wouldn’t be easy to manoeuvre this act, I quickly ran into my children’s room to get him to see this so I had another pair of eyes to witness this site, we both just laughed when Leo lifted his head up as if to say can’t a guy have a drink in peace.

This was the beginning of my day, I was saddened when I heard on the news that another musician committed suicide today, it rocks me I’m such a music lover it’s my go to, I just don’t get it, I know the place where depression can take you, I’m trying not to think of it I have a lump in my throat and my stomach is in knots, what the fuck is going on in this life why are so many people normal and famous leaving it when it’s not their time, we have to stop this from being normal otherwise our children will think it’s cool to do the same, we all just need to help each other get through whatever each other needs, stop being so busy within ourselves putting pressure where it’s not needed I just really am starting to feel so compassionate we don’t need to hide we need to share, I don’t look at this as a quick fix the mind just takes control you loose who you are I feel sadness not blame I have seen this over the years, I attended a funeral once of a death of someone who left way before they should of, it was in a stadium the funeral so many people came to show respect, so many people it was like a concert I couldn’t comprehend why this loved one couldn’t ask for help, felt so alone, had everything going for themselves, the mind… how could it get so taken over with addiction sending people to the utter depths of darkness, tears roll down my face, we can’t give up we have to be strong. Help others through tough times, ask are they okay don’t assume.

Maybe I’ll get some sleep now that my mind is clear.

Monday 24 July 2017

Reflecting on Sunday 23 July 2017 I know I don’t help myself it’s something that I can’t not consume myself in you see music is and always be a big part of my coping mechanism so now I’m confused and frustrated we listen to music to unwind switch off release our thoughts or anger I took our two golden retrievers Mitch and Rosie for a run yesterday, I’m pretty careful at the moment with exercise as it’s a fine line of going for a run being energised or exhausting myself that the benefits are not achieved, so I thought I’d listen to the band that recently lost one of the lead vocalists to this life when their time wasn’t due which was the birthday of another musician who recently left this life which for me is concerning, was this a coincidence … not sure.

Monday 24 July 2017

I’m in the process of my day Maintenance Wakefulness Test, I haven’t been allowed to have coffee which is fine, I arrived at Maitland Private Hospital at 730 am husband dropped me off he is my driver for today, I’ve had electrodes input onto my head in various spots I’m having 4 tests today one has just been completed at 9 am for 40 mins, I have to sit in a upright chair in a dim lit room, this was the longest 40 mins I have had for a long time as my goal is to not fall asleep as I can’t drive due to myself not being on my sleep medication at the moment.

The time just dragged, I just kept focusing on different parts of the room, I can’t move my head though, just have to remain still for the equipment to measure my movements. The room got really cold as well with no sunlight coming in, it was hard work for me to stay awake, I literally feel exhausted getting through this, I’m determined though … I was rewarded – morning tea was given to me which was a chocolate chip muffin and orange juice, yey this will get me through a sugar hit, well I got through my 11 am test with no sleep which was my goal, I twitched constantly on the verge of sleep don’t forget I can normally fall asleep anytime of the day so for me this was going against the grain, the room was getting colder which wasn’t helping I guess though it did as it kept me awake, during the 40 minutes a buzzer went off which gave me alertness it’s the weirdest feeling trying to fight sleep I felt like I was in a trance as every now and then I’d jolt myself to not falling asleep, after what felt like forever the door was open again, sunshine could come back into the room and everyday distractions were welcome until my next test which will be at 1 pm.

I got through the last two tests 40 mins at 1 pm and 40 mins at 3 pm, just can’t believe how long the time dragged, you see if I meditate I pretty much fall asleep each time so I just tried to keep my mind busy and not get lost into sleep the funniest thing occurred which has never happened during a sleep study the alarm went off, so it jolted me out of my trance like state each time this occurred on the 11am and the 3 pm test, so my results so far didn’t fall asleep 9 am fell asleep each other tests not big sleeps micro sleeps so I’m not sure whether this will pass me to drive or whether I will have to trial another medication same as last one only slow releasing, won’t find out till next Tuesday, all I can say is I did my best – I tried not to relax and am now quite exhausted after today’s test.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Sharing is caring, I can’t believe just how much support I’m receiving it’s really overwhelming me with love, I never thought opening up to my loved ones that’s all of you reading this and beyond could be so powerful so for this I am so grateful and know I’m doing the right thing.

Yes at times there will be words you read and you won’t agree, or feel the same way and I get this as everyone’s perception is different – I just feel so proud of everyone as it’s the little things that loved ones do that makes me keep on writing my words that will hopefully help other loved ones as sharing is caring.

For me this has brought me closer to my loved ones even more, it’s like opening a door letting everyone know it’s okay to feel crappy we don’t need to look great all the time, just do random acts of kindness, this is the best feeling knowing you are helping other loved ones, everyone has issues of some kind the more we help to understand each other as we are all so different which I have been made aware recently that yes I have depression there could be another loved one that suffers differently that may have depression as well yet has the anxiety issues which I didn’t have until I started another medication, so everyone’s make is different we react certain ways we are not all black and white some of us are in the grey area which can be frustrating at times.

That’s why opening up to loved ones helps so much as there is the perception of when your depressed or have anxiety it’s just this!! when really it could be so much more, so when someone says I’m having a shit day the comparisons could be from one extreme to the other.

Which brings me to my opening statement, sharing is caring this is so powerful it lets others not just your loved ones help you, people go out of their way to help you, make time for you, cook for you, open their souls to you, offer their services to you, are just THERE for you – it just makes me so happy and proud to be alive.

Every time without fail when I open up to someone doesn’t have to be a loved one can be a random stranger or for me yesterday the person who assisted with my sleep study I explained how I got to this point, it just helped they understood where I was coming from I was given advise and feedback each time I did a test.

They also confided personal information which normally a total stranger wouldn’t do and this put me at ease as well, could relate to my circumstance, this happens every time without fail, that’s why these words mean a lot to me as we can all help each other, little steps – one day at a time.

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