27 November 2012

Fixing the Meds and Other Thoughts

This morning, I had my first appointment with my psychiatrist.  It was tough.  Because of the doctor's policies, I couldn't get in any later than 8 am, which meant there was a lot of frustration trying to figure out how to get Teddy to school on time and not be late for my own appointment.  But that worked out so the whole drive I was doing my anxiety things - what if the doctor isn't personable?  What if he's leaving and I need to get another one again?  What if he can't or won't help me?  What if what if what if?  I was very jittery for quite some time, even though I knew that I really didn't have anything to be anxious about.  After all, that's what they're there for, right?

I stayed jittery through about half the appointment time, my nervous fingers (it's almost like I'm trying to type when I get nervous, those are the moves that my fingers make) slowing as I got more comfortable.  Instead of talking to the doctor at first, I talked to one of the residents.  It was basically an intake meeting, so there was a lot of history that we were talking about which she recapped when the doctor came in a little while later.  Unfortunately, all they do is a med-check on me rather than any talk therapy (which, in large part, is what I need).  Still, I really liked the resident and she did help me feel a lot more at ease while we talked.  She and my attending are trying to get me set up for talk therapy with one of the therapists they have in the clinic.  I just need to wait to hear back from them when I'll have that appointment.  I'm trying to tamp down my natural panic when it comes to having to deal with more people, but it's hard.

One thing my psychiatrist did do for me, however, was up my dosage of zoloft.  I'm currently on the lowest dose and it hasn't been doing as much more me as I need it to.  So we're going to take it slow, start upping my dosage to 50 mg per night, then see how it goes.  I've got another appointment in a month to see how that's doing.  I also have my appointment with my PCP in a little more than a week, so I'll be able to talk to her about some of this too.  Wish me luck.

We had a great Thanksgiving this year, spending it with friends instead of family.  Usually, we spend Thanksgiving with my Dad, since he's only an hour away from us.  But this year, he went to Florida to visit with my step-brother and his family, which meant Rich, the kids and I were going to have to figure out what else to do.  In stepped my friend Becca.  They were also not heading to her family for the holidays because it  was the year that all the family spent with in-laws.  They've had their house under a year and she's been wanting to cook a big dinner there for awhile.  So we were invited over there.  Rich helped with some of the cooking and I did all the dessert baking before hand.  The day was filled with lots of fun and games, and far more yummy food than we needed.  For the most part, the kids even behaved!  Personally, I think it was a huge success and am hoping that we'll be able to share more holidays together in the future.  (I'd invite them here for dinner, but Lewis is highly allergic to cats and it wouldn't do well for him to collapse at the dinner table.)

I'm still trying to figure out Christmas for this year.  Nothing is jumping out at me as must buys for the boys, though they are convinced that everything they see on TV is something they've just GOT to have!  Sadly, with the money crunch we've been having, a lot of their musts are things just out of my price range.  I do have a few ideas - a few new InnoTab games for Pete, a few DS games for Teddy, but mostly I'm just thinking that they'll be getting things that I can find on the cheap.

Though, to be honest, they don't need anything more.  They've got so many toys that I don't think they even know half of what they have.  The same goes for books and clothes.  I'm trying to get rid of our excess, but I know the holidays are going to be bringing it back in again.  I'm hoping, though, that there will be more output and less input.  But only time (and the holidays) will tell.

I know that I do want to try to do other, non-costly things with them during the holidays.  I've got a fabric advent calendar and I was thinking of putting slips of paper in them with things to do each day.  Things like making our own ornaments, getting an extra story at bedtime, putting up the Christmas tree, going out to look at Christmas lights.... that kind of thing. I may talk with them tonight and see if I can get some ideas from them of things we can add to our advent list.

In preparation of the holidays, I'm finally getting around to a purge.  Something inside me is finally clicking to help me get done the things I want to.  It's baby steps - it always is.  But I'm feeling like I'm getting back on the right track.  This week, I've been working on my bedroom.  We've had a ton of things stacked and stored in our closets, to the point that I wasn't sure what was what any more.  So I got Rich to help me with the things in our walk-in closet and then worked on the rest for the last couple of days.

What is amazing to me is how freeing it is to get rid of some of these things I've been holding on to.  Clothes that I might someday get back into or that I'd gotten from someone so, of course, I can't get rid of it.  Knicknacks that I don't have the room to display and that don't have a strong meaning for me any longer.  Toys that the boys never play with and books that I never read.  So far, I've had 6 boxes and a couple bags worth of stuff to bring to Goodwill.  And that's just with the two closets in my room (though, to be fair, I'd bagged up toys to go quite some time ago and they sat in the bottom of my closet and did nothing for at least a year, so those went as well).

I also found things that I could pass on to the boys.  For being in my mom's wedding to my step-dad, Teddy had gotten a silver piggy bank.  Pete was too young for one at the time, but over the last few months, he's really been admiring Teddy's.  So yesterday when I was going through the bin of things that used to be on my dresser (and were going back there so Rich couldn't use the top of my dresser to store his clothes in any longer), I came across my old Baby Sinclair Bank.  It had traveled with me from home to college, to my first apartment and later apartments, holding my change and decorating my dresser.  And as I pulled it out of the bin, I realized that I didn't need it any longer, but it would be perfect for Pete.  He's a huge dinosaur fan (though I haven't shown him the Dinosaurs television show yet) and the bank is plastic so he's not likely to break it.  And he was happy to get it.  As soon as Teddy came in the house from school, he showed it off.  "Look what Mommy gave me, Teddy!  I got a dinosaur bank!"  There's nothing like happy kids.

For all that the anxiety level has been high - money worries, trying to keep on top of the apartment's cleanliness and the laundry, general anxiety and depression - I'm actually pretty happy.  Life is heading in the right direction for me, mostly.  I've got two kids who love to be with me, I'm getting to share things with them (like the bank for Pete or reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to Teddy), and they're sharing their imaginations with me.  I've got a husband that works his ass off to make sure we have a roof over our head and food on the table, and who is there for me every single day no matter what.  I've got friends and loved ones and slowly - very slowly - I'm starting to bring back some of the things that I enjoy doing like reading and writing.  I'm taking small steps with everything, but I'm getting there.  And that is a good thing.