Monday

So what can I tell you.
Not much really.
The sun rises. I’ve been awake for a few hours by then. The pit is still in the stomach.
The heart still races.
I’m still very tense and nervy and well, anxious.
But the night sweats have gone.
The nauseousness has ababted.
Um.
Grover has a new tooth.
Felix’s training band tied for second in a local eisteddfod.
Oscar broke his nose and we find out this week if it needs surgery.
Chef got a date today for surgery on the rotting leg – 27 May.
Um.
I’m just being a mum at the moment, taking boys on little walks down to the lake or the park or the shops.
No power walking.
Just ambling around the neighbourhood.
I’m normally in bed by 8.30. Sometimes 9. I’ve had two nights of going to bed at 10 and the difference in my anxiety the following day was remarkable.
I don’t even hear Grover wake for a midnight feed – Chef is normally still up and he deals with it.
It seems highly fortuitous that – just a couple of times a week – Grover has decided one night wake-up is OK during this time.
Um.
The house looks like a bomb site.
I really miss my in-laws.
They’re not back from France for another four weeks.
They have no idea that all of this has been going on.
Um.
Felix is eight on Saturday.
He’s asked for a cake in the shape of a heart because of how much he loves me.
I’m thinking maybe that’s enough making him watch musicals from the 50s with me.
And maybe no more figure skating.
Oscar seems to have gone mad and I’ve thought more than once that medication may be called for.
Felix is busy tormenting every single brother as much as possible and then being mortally wounded when called on it.
Jasper is being beyond adorable.
Grover is almost walking and ‘talks’ more than any of the other children ever did at this age.
He has whole screaming conversations with Jasper.
He has this weird little habit of carrying a sock around with him.
He prefers ones that have been worn.
He will go to the laundry to get one.
I’m serious.
Then he just carries them around with him as he does his little laps of the house ‘daddaddadding’ all the way.
Life.
Is.
Just.
Going.
On.

Another day in paradise

I keep wanting to do the ‘hey! I’m all better’ post but it just ain’t so.

Today was another day marked by panic, jittery tension and general angst.
An absolute party.
Seriously, all it’s lacking is a pinata.
Mind you, I significantly reduced the valium intake today so that may have had something to do with it.
Anxiety plus new drug side-effects.
Excellent.

I wrote that yesterday. Today, despite the flat tyre and broken nose was a smidge better.
Go figure.
*****
But I did make a decision today which I don’t really want to go into here. Email me if you like.
It has removed a component of my anxiety in the short term.

I wrote that yesterday too. It’s about work. As you probably all guessed.
*****
I wrote this yesterday too:
To let you all know that life here at chateau allconsuming is still going on:
– Felix is doing a speech at school tomorrow on the Australian Flag. He practiced it in front of us tonight and
went very well. Jasper then went and got some of the notecards and stood up and did his own speech. Watching him try to put one card behind the other was hilarious.

Felix’s speech went very well but it took 3 minutes at home and only 2 minutes and 6 seconds at school. Oh, and the word geography that we’d been practicing for days? Still came out as geographical.

– Chef saw a new surgeon for his rotting leg this morning. Operation will be some time over the next month, maybe the 27th.

– Grover is almost walking. There’s been lots of standing and then over the weekend we got one or two little steps and tonight there were two goes of three-four steps. He was 10 months on Friday.

– For me, taking life literally hour by hour, there has been laughter and enjoyment with my children.
It’s funny, the din that is their existence is absolutely fine and something I let wash over me in ‘oh my goodness look at what we’ve created’ wonderment. But if someone repeatedly bangs something, or crinkles a piece of paper, or scrapes a fork on a plate then I am the embodiment of that cat in a Looney Tunes cartoon which is clinging to the roof with its claws.

It’s like the world is muffled, muted, blurry with occasional bursts of colour and light and sound through a loud hailer.

I still can’t hold a thought or follow it through to a decision – although I guess there’s progress there as today I thought, ‘oh fuck that nose has got to be broken. Let’s go to the hospital.’

Tonight I made spaghetti and meatballs, which was delicious and made a batch of bolognese sauce for freezing.

Small steps.

I wish I could be upbeat. I wish I could stop being the blogging equivalent of a train-wreck in slow motion. I promise you all radiance and sunlight in the hopefully not too distant future.

Saturday

What can I tell you.
Thursday was a day every medical professional – including the chemist – seems to call ‘clean out day’. No meds. Just valium.
Sweet valium.
Must remember. Valium does not equal panadol.
Whopping headache. Check.
Neurofen plus. Check.
Got through the day. Check.
(I even managed to get my glasses and my back-up pair repaired)
*****
Friday.
First day of Zoloft.
Keep taking valium to manage the anxiety and side-effects of new drugs. Check.
Must remember. Valium does not equal panadol.
Whopping headache. Check.
Jittery and anxious. Check.
Permanently clenched teeth. Check
Neurofen plus. Check.
Made this cake (but with raspberries not rhubarb)
Got through the day. Check.
(I even managed to take Grover to the doctor because through all this he’s been sick as well. Ear infection. Check)
Bed at 8.30. Woke up midnight when Chef came to bed. Woke up at 3.30 when Grover woke but he went back to sleep. Slept to 6.30.
This represents the most sleep I have had in twelve months.
*****
Saturday.
Second day of Zoloft.
Keep taking valium to manage the anxiety and side-effects of new drugs. Check.
Must remember. Valium does not equal panadol.
Whopping headache. Check.
Jittery and anxious. Check.
Permanently clenched teeth. Check
Neurofen plus. Check.
Had a sleep. Check
Got through the day. Check.
Watching Surf’s Up with the family, eating Violet Crumbles. Check.
(I even managed to wash our sheets and Jasper’s)
*****

Code Red

So that was Monday.
Tuesday started exactly the same way and I just couldn’t stand the thought of another anxiety laden day.
So I did something really stupid.
I took a Zoloft instead of Avanza because I knew it was really good for anxiety last time I had a major episode.
Haha. Hahahahaha.
Hello intense anxiety now exacerbated by side-effects of taking a new drug.
It was a grim grim day marked by clenched teeth, the shakes, intense nausea and very loud negative voices in my head.
Somewhere and somehow I managed to meet with two recruitment companies, one for a specific job and get some work done.
I have no idea how.
At one stage the room around me warped into some sort of vortex and came tunnelling in through my eyes.
I know people who pay good money to get that kind of sensation. Idiots.
Anyway, as one particular panic attack set in and I was just sitting at my desk concentrating on not vomitting in my shoe a colleague came over to say hi.
I explained very quietly that I was kinda in the grip of a panic attack so wasn’t really doing so well.
She told me to hold on tight and that she had something for me – and came back with a little book called Living with it – a self-help easy-to-read guide book about living with anxiety disorder. She suffers from panic attacks too.
I took the book up on to the roof of our building, sat in the sunshine looking at the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and read the book in about 15-20 minutes.
I doubt I would have got through the rest of the day without that little book.
*****
So then it was time to do something else really stupid.
At about 5pm when I was really starting to wig out I took another avanza.
It took about 30 seconds to realise that was a really stupid thing to do, so I called my shrink again and they’d just had a cancellation for the next day.
Somehow I got home. Driving. In peak hour.
My mouth was doing very strange things, making weird expressions that I couldn’t control.
I couldn’t stop shaking and there was no way I could follow a single train of thought.
My eyes really hurt and it was really hard to blink.
It was also took a monumental effort to form words and talk.
I was starting to get quite scared.
*****
Meanwhile I would try and concentrate on my breathing.
Do some visualisations.
Keep still.
*****
So I get home, tell Chef what I’ve done and that I feel really bad.
He tells me to go and lie down, which I do.
The boys come and go and I’m OK – they are a distraction and think it’s fun hanging out on mum and dad’s bed.
I doze from around 8 to 10.
And then the fun really begins.
I can’t keep my hands or feet still. My fingers are clicking over each other and my legs can’t stop moving.
I am freaking myself out wanting to do mad, impulsive things while every now and then I manage to get a grip.
I have this dawning of realisation that I’m heading to where it happens.
Where people who’ve been depressed or suffered anxiety move from feeling low and wishing it all away to acting on those feelings.
I am virtually incapable of rational thought and can think of little else except for how to stop feeling the way I do.
I really want to strip off and go running around the back yard.
I am fairly convinced I’m going to end up in a psychiatric hospital by the end of the night.
I wonder what it’s like to be in a psych ward as I see demonic Beatrix Potter bunny rabbits come off the bathroom wall and hop around me.
Chef takes one look at me and asks what I want to do.
I manage to look up the 24 hour mental health number but Chef has to ring as I couldn’t hold the phone still let alone really talk coherently.
They said if he was worried to take me to emergency.
So off we went.
On the way I think how cool it would be to take all my clothes off and go swimming in the lake. Or maybe just run somewhere.
I am not that insane to follow through on this impulse.
*****
By then I was freaking out about having to sit in a waiting room with other people – by some sheer miracle there was no one else there.
We go in.
The registrar was a fuckwit.
No seriously.
I’m wigging out.
We’re in a consult room and I’m freaking about being in such a small room. I want the door open open the door OPEN THE DOOR.
By then I was also vomitting and considering all I’d eaten all day was about four bites of a sandwich because I felt so ill that was a pretty grim turn of events.
He asks me what is going on.
I don’t think he realises just how difficult it is for me to form words in my mouth.
He asks me if I’ve experienced any periods of stress lately.
I nod.
He asks when.
I tell him it started in September 2006 and was exacerbated by the arrival of our fourth child in July 2007 and that since then it has been increasingly incrementally.
He thinks I’m taking the piss.
He asks how long this anxiety attack has been going on.
I tell him the last six weeks but with greater intensity in the last two.
He thinks I’m taking the piss.
It’s so hard to talk and keep my eyes open. I blather on with my eyes shut.
The registrar is telling me that it’s not recommended to change your medications without consulting your doctor first.
Oh.my.god I’m going to kill him with a tray.
I ask through gritted teeth, peppered with vomitting, is he telling me that all I’m experiencing is an intense panic attack.
Yes, that is my opinion.
I inform him then that if that is the case, he has to give me something to help me stop feeling this way because I can not feel like this any longer.
He tells me they do not advocate whatever the family of drugs is that a sedative falls into is highly addictive and I do not want to go down that path.
I look at him, with a slow dawning he expects me to accept this and that we should be on our way.
I think, this is when they release us crazies onto the street and are then all surprised when they randomly stab someone in the street or go home and cut up their mother with the good scissors.
I say again, I can not stay like this. I am going to do something.
So registidiot goes off to write up his report.
I tell him to have fun.
I lie down.
Chef looks really really scared.
Registidiot comes back with a little pill.
His colleague believes that considering the duration of this period of anxiety 5mg diazepam may not be such a bad idea.
I have another intense panic attack that putting more drugs into my body is going to literally make my brain melt.
He says it will probably make me drowsy (I had no idea that diazepam is just your garden variety valium) and I say
You little ripper
and down it with a big lug of water.
Idiot.
I instantly get all hot and need to take my clothes off again.
I look at him and say, what if I vomit it up?
He smirks and starts to say something about that not being a good idea but I don’t hear him because
I’m vomitting it back up.
I’ve never seen a medical professional move that quickly since Felix’s speedy arrival in the world.
He reappears with a nurse who gives me a shot of maxalon.
The registidiot comes back and this little talk is about how, if I’m feeling sick, maybe just small meals throughout the day rather than a whole sandwich.
Where the hell is that fucking tray.
I get another little white pill which I don’t take because I’ve been quite fixated on my little bag of vomit and there’s no pill in there.
In hindsight I don’t think it had managed to stay down – I only slept for about two hours that night – but apparently maxalon has a calming effect as well.
Once the maxalon starts to take effect we leave and head home.
*****
Believe it or not but I went to work yesterday.
There is a lot to be said for keeping going and normalising.
I thought, go to work and tick some things off a list or stay home with chef and two small children – the thought of caring for whom makes me freak out all over again.
I have a bizarre day where my eyes often just refuse to focus and everynow and then I have to stop blinking and just keep my eyes shut.
*****
I go and see my shrink.
It is a great hour.
I can’t go in to what we talked about, it’s been bloody hard sitting here typing this to this point.
I’m still very jittery.
I’m on some garden variety 2mg valium to deal with the anxiety. I am on an antidepressant cleanse today before starting on Zoloft tomorrow. The valium should get me through the side-effects of starting a new drug tomorrow.

I’m OK.