Ankle v. Biblio: A Battle of Wits and Will

Hiya friends! Holy shit I’ve been away for a little while, but I can explain, I swear. The short of the long of it is, my ankle hates me and is currently attempting to exile itself. The rest of the body is in a conference and it seems the exile will be denied. That being said, the ankle has nothing to lose at this point and has refused to work properly until all its demands are met. The entire body has taken meetings with doctors and have scheduled an MRI to determine if further negotiations are possible. We are confident that through time and patience, as well as certain concessions on either side, our differences can be resolved.

Considering these unforeseen circumstances, the body has decided to restrict the ankles access to Twitter, as she tends to not think before tweeting, and that seems irresponsible. In response, the ankle has revoked access to the swimming pool and the community gym, as well as anything it has deemed to be fun in any way. As you can clearly see, we are at quite the stalemate.

But, on a serious note…

THIS SHIT SUCKS!!!!!

Here are the facts as they stand right now. I hurt my ankle a while ago, and it was never properly fixed (good one, Nikki). I woke up two weeks ago in some pain, with a swollen ankle and foot, and deduced that I must be a VERY active sleeper. It wasn’t until a few days later that I finally was convinced, and yes, it took convincing to get me to agree to go to the local ER and see what the deal was.

At this point the usual happened, I was asked tons of questions, my ankle was poked, prodded, and my foot was wiggled (more on the wiggling foot in a second). I knew they were going to want an X-Ray even though I had told them nothing was broken. They didn’t listen and to radiology I went, well wheeled, no walking from here on out.  *Important Info Alert: I miss walking.*

It’s at this point that I’d like to point out, no one was harmed during the hospital visit we’re discussing. Once inside the lovely X-Ray room, I noticed there were two people, the radiologist who had come and gotten me and a noob, immediately the section of my brain that registers pain sighed and let out an exasperated “Here we go.” He must have seen my eyes as wide as saucers and tried to ease my worries, “calm down, an X-Ray doesn’t hurt one bit.”

It was at this point that my mouth decided to join the party and say, “Yeah, I’ve had a few, not the X-Ray I’m worried about.” (Internal monologue: Good job Nikki, piss off the person who is gonna move your foot an ankle into position….back pedal now dumbass, quick use humor…and go). “Sorry that’s not what I mean, it’s just running a mission with a noob can sometimes get you hurt.” (IM: Yeah, that was much better, why the hell are you so awkward every time you open that hole on your face?) His face was stony for a minute before he said, “I’ll try to be careful.”

So, in the course of about an hour, I’d argued with a doctor and pissed off the new guy in radiology, batting a thousand here people. He did end up causing a little pain, but I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything. After the bones were properly pictured I was being wheeled out and said, “Nice job, Noob! Mission accomplished with no casualties, level up.” He laughed as I rolled out of sight. See, I tried to smooth things over, I’m not a complete ass. As suspected there were no broken bones, so I was sent on my merry way with an ace wrap, air cast, and specific instructions to contact the ortho.

Cut to now, he’s been contacted and seen, hence the MRI appointment. Bones weren’t good enough for him, he needs muscles and stuff. I get to lay in a tube on Wednesday afternoon, with my head exposed, thank whoever is looking out for me. I definitely get claustrophobic and that’s no fun for anyone.

As it stands right now I’ve been on crutches for just about two weeks, and won’t know until the 19th, a nice even month until I figure out what the deal is. Have I mentioned how much I loathe crutches? In my house, we call them “sticks,” but dress it up any way you wish they’re still torture devices.

So, that’s it the whole annoying tale…I should definitely tell you guys about the conversation in the cast room. It was highly entertaining, I think you’d all enjoy it. Either way, I’ll keep you updated. Until next time my friends.

Pomp and Circumstance

Hiya friends, welcome back. As I promised last week this is my full report on the happenings of my first excursion with CBD oil. This past Friday, my youngest nephew graduated from high school (cue the sappy moment intermingled with the horror that I’m that old). The easiest way to do this is to basically run through the entire day, don’t worry I’ll edit the boring stuff out.

The day before I was pretty anxious and I kept having to find inventive ways to keep my brain occupied so as to not get too bad. I played video games, The Division is an amazing game, I highly recommend it. I used the CBD oil throughout the day, and tried to gauge how much and when to use it to avoid the worst of the panic attacks. It seemed to take the edge off them, which made me feel a little more comfortable with using it the next day.

Then we came to the day of and when I woke I was fully expecting that familiar feeling of dread crushing in on me, but….it wasn’t there. Instead I felt a full range of emotions. Excitement for seeing my nephew walk across the stage and receive the diploma that he’d worked so hard to get. Happiness that it mattered to him that I was there. Sadness at how grown up he is now, and that the little boy he once was is just a memory now. But, pride was probably the biggest one, he did work his ass off and he succeeded in it, and because I remember teaching him how to read when he was 5 and well without reading…you get the picture. I also had a moment of shock that anxiety seemed to be the farthest thing from my brain, it was amazing.

As the day progressed, I used the CBD oil a few times to keep myself from dropping into anxiety and panic. I really didn’t want to let anyone down, not my family, not my nephew, and especially not myself. Then it was time to leave, I was dressed and ready to go thinking to myself, “Oh boy, this is about to go wonky.”

During the drive, everything stayed comfortable for me, which was a completely new feeling. I used the CBD a few more times just to make sure I wouldn’t get inside and go all upside down. Then it was time to put it to the ultimate test, it was time to go inside, find a seat and sit through the ceremony. After finding my parents, we all went to find seats and get ready for the pomp and circumstance (see what I did there?).

I was taking pictures and talking to my family, and it was only after my nephew and his graduating class had walked in and sat down that I realized I wasn’t panicking, there wasn’t even a hint of it.

THE CBD WAS WORKING!!!

So, there I sat waiting to hear my nephews name and being proud, for more reasons than I could count. I sat there from 6pm to about 8:30pm (tons of speeches), and never once did I feel the need to flee. I wasn’t in fight or flight mode, I was calm and enjoying myself. I can’t begin to explain how that feels, when you’ve spent so much time locked in, literally and figuratively, to finally find something that works and makes you feel just a little bit like your old self. My nephew wasn’t the only one graduating that night.

I even managed to go out to dinner, that is something that hasn’t happened in five years. All in all, the day was a massive success. I couldn’t be happier. I swear by this now, and I can’t wait to make more plans and get out of the house this summer.

Well that was my entire day, it was great, and I had fun. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I liked living it. Oh, I’ve been told to put this in here as well…Congratulations to the class of 2017. Until next time…

Venturing out for Sanity

Hiya friends, welcome back. First let me apologize for being absent last week, oh mama what a week it was. There was some massive stuff happening, but I guess I can’t be too pissed because it gave me something to write about today.

*WARNING* Everything that follows is my own personal feelings and experiences, remember while reading that your mileage may vary.

I know I’ve mentioned before that the medications my doctors put me on didn’t work for me, we tried a few and needless to say it was a lost cause. Which left me trying anything and everything to find some sort of relief. Here are some of the things I’ve tried…

Deep breathing, it helped for a while and then I was right back to panic central.

Yoga, ha I did learn on thing from this, I am NOT bendy…AT ALL!!!

Journaling, I still do this, and while it helps me sort through the problems, it doesn’t lessen the anxiety.

The list goes on my friends, seriously ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you. I even forced myself to have panic attacks by going to places I knew would cause one, not smart, but I was running out of options.

Then it happened, a doctor suggested medical marijuana, and I immediately thought to myself, ‘Ummm, yeah no.” I’m anxious enough without THC adding to it, so this option didn’t make sense.

Enter CBD oil.

CBD (cannabidiol) oil gives you the calm without the high, it’s natural and non-psychotropic. Which means you can use it without having to worry about impairment or paranoia.

I’ve been using it for about a week, and even with everything happening I didn’t freak the hell out. I kept my head, and didn’t panic as much as I usually do. That’s a fucking win in my book. I know it’s not a cure all, but if it can help me even a fraction I’m going to give it a shot.

So I ordered a bottle of the oil and a vape pen (I’m being told to add here that “Vape is life!” Don’t ask.) Well I recieved the oil but not the vape, cue the serge of anxiety at not having it in time for my nephew’s graduation ceremony, and having to break yet another promise that I’d be there because he asked me to. There was only one thing to do….I had to leave the house to get one.

Dun Dun Dun…

Immediately my anxiety kicks into high gear thinking about all the possible ways this could go wrong, or all the lovely new places I could have a panic attack, all the strangers that could see that…ugh. See, it’s a bitch.

But, I did it. I got what I needed and now I sit here with this monster of a vape, I’ve affectionately named “The Beast,” and hoping a little CBD before the graduation ceremony and I’ll get through it without any major incidents. *Fingers crossed*

Well, I will let you guys know next Monday how everything went…wish me luck. If you want more info on this I’d be happy to direct you to some helpful stuff I’ve found, or maybe even do another post including everything I’m using. That’s all for tonight, I hope you all had a wonderful week. Until next time…

The Anxiety Cheat Sheet

Hiya friends, welcome back. I was talking to a friend the other day and she told me that a person she loves has been dealing with some anxiety lately and she wasn’t sure how to help. This obviously gave me the perfect idea of what to write about for Mental Monday.

As I sit here writing this I’m having anxiety issues, complete with a few lovely panic attacks. What better time to write this out? (Side Note: if you’re curious, writing calms my mind and keeps my hands busy, it’s a twofer.) What I’ve decided is people need a cheat sheet of sorts, to help them figure out how to help when someone they love has anxiety.

(Warning – This is a long one, my friends. You might want a snack or at least a drink. What follows is what helps me, and while it might not help every anxious person in your life, I’m sure mixing and matching them can work for some. Strong language may follow, I can’t seem to not cuss/swear/curse when talking about this.)

Ten Things to Know That Will Help You Love Someone with Anxiety

  1. Try to steer clear of phrases like “calm down,” any forms of telling them to relax, or sentences starting with “You just need to…”

As an anxious/panicky person, I can tell you right now, telling me to calm down does the exact fucking opposite. In fact, it brings the anxiety straight to the front of my brain where it beats on the glass and gets really fucking annoying. Telling me to relax pretty much has the same effect, trust me I’d relax if I knew how. Lastly by starting a sentence with “You just need to *insert really helpful idea here*” just makes me realize even more that you are fully witnessing my spiral into chaos. Even in the worst, deepest moments of my anxiety, there is still a little voice screaming from the back telling me to “BREATHE DAMMIT,” we know what we need to do.

  1. When/if they decide to tell you what the hell is going on in their brain, please for the love of all that is good in this world do not make them feel dumb, or weak.

Do you have any idea how much courage it takes to battle your brain every day? How many times it would be easier to let your brain win the war? Instead, you choose to push yourself out of bed every morning, or try to push yourself out of your comfort zone and fight back, that is not weakness. As for the dumb factor, we have called ourselves crazy enough for a lifetime, we don’t want to worry about those we love doing the same. It’s bad enough to know your brain is trying to sabotage everything without having to worry about judgment from someone you love enough to share your issues with.

  1. You don’t need to have all the answers to our problems, whether they are real or imagined.

We don’t even know all the little moving pieces of the shadow that follows us everywhere, we certainly don’t expect you to. I know in my vulnerable moments when I actually express the thoughts swirling in my brain, I’m not looking for someone to make sense of it or analyze it with/for me, I just want to share it with someone because when the thoughts are out in the open the shadow isn’t so scary. Think of it this way, it’s kind of like walking in the woods, if you’re with someone the darkness doesn’t seem so massive.

  1. It’s scary as fuck, for BOTH of us.

The feelings that happen in the height of an anxiety or panic attack scare us, even when we’re used to them. The first time you watch the person you love hyperventilate, or break down in tears, or shake so violently you worry there is something else wrong, is scary. That’s okay. It’s okay to tell us it scared you because then we can tell you it scared us as well. Like I said, being used to them doesn’t make them any less frightening.

  1. Pushing through isn’t always an option.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is curl up on the couch and watch the world move without you. In these moments, we might need your help, not in a physical way but emotionally, sit with us, hold us if we’ll let you. You don’t have to talk because sometimes words aren’t needed, just lend us some strength. It’ll help us find our way through, it gives us an anchor to hold onto until it’s over.

  1. Just because you love us, doesn’t mean you always have to like this part of us.

It’s completely okay to not like our anxiety. It’s a bitch when you plan something for weeks only to have the person you love bail on it because their busy fighting an internal war. Just because we can be overly emotional doesn’t mean we expect you to keep all yours concealed for fear of “triggering” us. If you’re mad, say it. If you’re hurt, say it. I know some won’t agree with me here, but I find it comforting to know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by my anxiety/panic attacks. They get in the way, they’ve changed us, we know this, and when you admit you know it too we won’t hold it against you.

  1. Anxiety and panic attacks are not one size fits all.

When I’m about to spiral the same collection of things happen, but what happens to me might not be what happens to your person. Anxiety is about as diverse as people are, and it’s wise to remember that. Like I said at the beginning, some of these things might not work for them, but they will work for some. It just takes time, as shitty as that sounds, it takes time and patience to figure out what we need from you…which leads me nicely to the next bit.

  1. Have some patience.

I know this sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often I have to remind people in my circle of what I’m about to share with you. I fight a battle every single day, I wage war on my brain and sometimes I even come out victorious. I’m used to battling alone, and I’m willing to bet yours is too. Walls go up when you worry about everything, reinforced by those before you who gave up on us because we’re too much. If you want those walls to come down and you want to be let into the inner workings of our anxiety, BE PATIENT! When we finally trust you, and it will happen, we will trust you with everything we have and then some. Don’t make them regret it.

  1. Feel free to do some research.

When I first was diagnosed I researched everything about anxiety and panic attacks. It’s completely normal to want to know more, and it might give you more insight into what’s going on when we can’t fully explain in the moment. Plus, it shows your anxious friend/SO/family member that you care enough to get yourself educated on the topic. Oh, as a side note it also opens a line of communication, which is huge. Once we see you’re taking us seriously, we’ll be more comfortable talking about it with you.

  1. Your support means EVERYTHING!

Support us when we tell you what we need. If they say they need to see a doctor to figure everything out, support them. If you’re at a party or out somewhere and they suddenly need to leave, support them. If they beg you to distract them from the weirdness happening in their brain…well, support doesn’t seem right here but just do it anyway. Trust me, every single anxious person will agree with this one, support is key. When they break through on the other side they’ll know you helped them through and words can’t express what that means. We know how to battle alone because anxiety is extremely isolating, but to have someone on your side makes it easier to keep fighting.

BONUS

Just a little hint as well… Anxiety causes nervous energy, and when that’s focused on bad shit you’ve seen the destruction it can cause. Now imagine if that nervous energy was focused on their feelings for you. See what I’m getting at? We’re fiercely loyal, incredibly protective, and our emotions run deep. While having anxiety or loving someone with it can be a pain most times, it can also be rewarding.

 

There you have it, my cheat sheet. I hope this was helpful to you guys, because honestly writing it was a pain in the ass, but the silver lining is my anxiety seems to have passed. Until next time…