Validation Status: Pending

I have trouble getting help when I need it. Whether it’s physical health or mental health, I tend to put things off.

When I was 20, my senior year of college, I started having trouble with my periods. They went from being normal periods to unbelievable torrents of blood. The kind of blood loss that you would think could kill you. But, I knew from friends that sometimes it’s like that. I didn’t think much of it.

But, it continued for two years and I couldn’t deal with it anymore. It was insanely overwhelming to deal with the heavy bleeding. So frustrating every month to have the same thing. I went to the doctor, but all my hormone levels were normal. They put me on birth control and I got some relief, but ended up with terrible cramps.

The next year I read about the amount of estrogen in the birth control was using so I stopped. I went back to heavy blood flow, but the blood flow became constant. It wasn’t always heavy, but it was there at least 3 weeks per month. I kept on, but it started to interfere with my work. It was 2008 and by then I’d moved to the other side of the country so I sought out another doctor. This time they decided to do an ultrasound.  This is when they discovered polyps in my uterus.

After they took care of them, things were okay for a while, but now it’s 2017 and I’m back to where I was in 2008. Things have been off for a while, but I resisted the doctor.

The first time I remember having suicidal thoughts was in 2008. My life had hit a point where nothing seemed to be going right. It felt like I had no control over anything that was going on and that there were no good outlets. I even had a plan, to minimize the damage it would have on the lives of people I cared about. Somehow, this didn’t seem out there to me. It didn’t seem like I should talk to someone. I thought because I could rationalize it in my head and talk myself out of it, that I was okay.

I was in an abusive relationship, living with the man, for months. After we broke up, I didn’t get help. I figured that because I worked my way out of the relationship, that I was okay. Even though the smell of his cologne on someone else took me back for years, I didn’t do anything.

When I was 22, I was raped. It was a friend, and I was in a compromising position with him, so I thought that I was the one who created the situation and that it was what I wanted. It was my first time, and what he said was, “Well, I guess you’re not a virgin anymore.” And that was that. Even when he said later, “Are you ok with what happened? You know, since I didn’t ask you first?” I didn’t think anything of it. Even though he used the textbook definition of RAPE. I never talked to anyone about it for years.

My problem is that I need validation from other people to know that what I’m feeling is legitimately a concern. It wasn’t until coworkers convinced me I needed to go to the ER because I could barely stand and couldn’t walk upright that I did something aggressive about my back problem. I ended up having surgery THAT DAY because the problem was so bad.

After I broke up with my abusive boyfriend, someone asked me, “How could you let that happen?” I internalized that to mean that it was my fault that I’d been in the relationship. Therefore anything I felt after was also my fault and not something I should get any help for.

It was only a couple years ago that a few people suggested I might want to get psychological help for the rape and consistent low feelings I was having. Even then, I thought I was fine.

I recently had stomach pains so bad that I couldn’t stretch my abdomen. It wasn’t until Mr. Lyndsy said I should go to the ER that I even truly considered going. It’s like the things that happen to me aren’t anything. I had a spinal fusion and tried to go to work 2 weeks later because the doctor told me I could go back when I felt like it. I took that to mean I shouldn’t be out of work at all.

Now, if this were a friend coming to me, I would have told them they were nuts to go back to work two weeks after a spinal fusion. That rape is traumatic. The list goes on. But when it comes to me, what I feel or experience isn’t enough. It doesn’t have meaning on its own. It’s hard to put into words. But it’s sort of like feeling like I don’t matter. But even that’s not the right description. I guess it’s more that I always feel like I’m exaggerating.

I don’t know when this started. It could be from when I was growing up. I sprained an ankle when I was in high school. I missed a stair and came down on my foot sideways. My dad din’t take me to the doctor, just gave me gel to put on it. My mom told me if I thought it was that bad, to call the doctor myself. To me, neither took it seriously, so it wasn’t an issue. Never mind that it swelled up to twice its size after every basketball practice. I never went to the doctor.

When I was 7, I threw up. I went to the bathroom for the toilet, but I didn’t make it in time. After my mom got everything cleaned up, she told me that if I missed the toilet again, I would have to clean it up. When I told my mom about the constant bleeding, she told me that it couldn’t be real or I would have told her about it. After my abusive relationship ended, I asked her to fly out to help me. She said she was busy at work, so she didn’t come.

Most of the time I kept things to myself. I never wanted to be a bother to anyone. I still really don’t. I apologize to Mr. Lyndsy all the time because I am so sick all the time. He tells me to stop being ridiculous, but the feeling that I’m a dead weight is always there. I guess I feel like I need to justify any expenses that I cause because of my health.

I guess, the long and the short of it is that I need to have a chat with my shrink.

4

The Kid I Cannot Have

I recently decided that I do not want to have kids. I resent that I had to make that choice.

You may be wondering, “If she resents it, why did she make that choice?”

My 35th birthday is in a couple of weeks. The statistics about pregnancy after that age are readily available and definitely not positive.

But that’s not why I don’t want to do it.

Mr. Lyndsy has pretty great genes. He’s 35 and in good health. He broke a vertebra in his back and an old ankle injury gets him sometimes, but he spends his days in activities with kids who are twelve years old and does pretty well. He still plays sports. His father is in his 60s and still VERY active. He’s smart. He’s funny.

I’m smart. I’m funny. But that’s where the good stuff ends.

I was born with a bad back, or so said the neurosurgeon who fused my spine. Even now I still have back issues, just located in a different place. I have chronic pain in my foot from the nerve damage and tendon transfer.

I have Hashimoto’s which causes my body to ebb and flow through periods of almost manic energy and then into a state of fatigue. I’m lucky to have an endocrinologist now who was willing to treat it with medication, but it took going through three doctors before him.

Even with the Hashimoto’s treated, I have to contend with fibromyalgia. Random flares of body pain and bouts of fatigue so oppressive I don’t want to get out of bed. When you do finally get out of bed to do something, brain fog kicks in and you can’t remember why you up in the first place.

Of course, that’s not the only reason I don’t want to get out of bed some days. Depression and anxiety also like to jump into the fray, further knocking me down. The commercials that say depression has a physical component aren’t kidding. The body aches and fatigue are on top of feeling like your soul has done a round with Mike Tyson.

Diabetes can be a result of lifestyle choices. But sometimes, when your body is under attack from a bunch of other shit, diabetes gets you anyway.

For shits and giggles my kidneys leak protein. They aren’t supposed to. We do not yet know why it happens.

Perhaps my favorite is that I seem to be allergic to the sun. Prolonged sun exposure (as little as 30 minutes) results in a butterfly rash across my face and bumps down my arms and into my hands.

I have walked on the edge of the ultimate blackness. Been in that place where dying seemed like a much better idea than living. I managed to walk away from the desire, but my kid may not be so lucky. And it hurts because I know that all of my love wouldn’t be able to save him or her from that edge.

I don’t want that for my kid.

I had 15 doctor appointments in one month. I had blood draws for probably 40 lab tests. I spent a lot of time going to and from the hospital for those appointments. I have spent 9 nights in the hospital. The place where you’re supposed to get healthy, but health is impossible when you can’t sleep because someone is coming in every hour or so to make sure you’re okay.

I don’t want that for my kid.

There’s a long ass list of foods I don’t eat anymore because they upset my stomach. I can’t eat some of my favorite treats, unless I’m willing to risk an explosion of diarrhea at the worst possible time.

I don’t want that for my kid.

Standing, walking, and sitting cause pain. Running is out of the question. Sports don’t happen. Theme parks require sunscreen and a hat, and even then my face feels like it’s on fire and my arms look like something out of a sci-fi movie.

I don’t want that for my kid.

So I won’t have one.

I feel like I’m making the choice any good parent would make.

That doesn’t mean I like it.

I resent the hell out of it.

But it’s the choice I have to make. For my kid.

 

The Shoulds

A big struggle in my life right now is dealing with The Shoulds. I’m over it for the most part in certain areas – that I should talk like a lady, that I should have a certain body type – but there are bigger areas that I can’t shake it. Like when it comes to working.

I’ve obviously got some struggles with my health. Sometimes things are okay (not great, but okay) for a while and then BAM! I get hit with a big ass 2×4 and I’m down and out for a while. I have to be particular about how I use my time. Sometimes I can’t tell until it’s too late that something is going to steal all of my spoons.

The problem is that I have student loans. All those fancy letters weren’t cheap. When Mr. Lyndsy and I were getting to know each other, I told him that was my debt and that he wouldn’t ever be responsible for it. But here we are now. My health is such that I feel pretty gross a lot of the time. I work, but it’s not paying the loans. I can’t work in a traditional setting here because I wouldn’t have the protections I would back home. Even if I managed to not get fired for all the time I’d have to take off or because I can’t make it in before 10am, I wouldn’t be able to do anything EXCEPT work. My life would be look like this: Struggle to get up, get to work, work, go home, pass out.

Which brings me to my real issue: Do I have the right to have a life or should I force myself to work even if that’s all I could do? We live here to save money and saving would be severely hampered by me not working. If I were in the US, I probably would have already filed a claim for social security disability, and I don’t say that lightly. Because I don’t live in the US, I can’t do that, so it doesn’t matter anyway.

There’s a voice inside my head, I’ll call it MOM, that is yelling at me and saying, “Of course you should work! It is your responsibility to pay those loans. Your husband does not pay those for you! So what if you can do nothing else? Life is about sacrifice! And, are you really THAT sick?”

And then there’s another voice, quieter though, that says, “But how is that living? Is it even worth being around if that’s all you do?”

Then I end up in a downward spiral because I know that my body would suffer tremendously if I tried to work like I would need to in order to pay my loans. They work longer hours here and many jobs are 6 days per week. More than once I’ve thought something along the lines of, “If you can’t work, you shouldn’t be anymore. Do something about that.” Then I have to work to pull myself out of that dark place.

It makes me sad that I feel like my life doesn’t have value unless I’m sacrificing everything to work. Is that really an American value? Work at all costs? You have no value unless you work?

I didn’t ask for any of it. I don’t think my current conditions are my fault, I don’t think I did anything to cause them. I think my mom blames me for the diabetes, but science doesn’t exactly support her on that. I also don’t think I gave myself an autoimmune thyroid condition either (and I’m pretty sure this is what causes the crushing fatigue and brain fog that make my life hard). The neurosurgeon who did the spinal fusion surgery looked at my MRIs and said I was born with a bad back. (Back issues are what the vast majority of social security disability claims are for.)

And yet, I feel like I have to push myself anyway. I buy into the idea that I’m not THAT badly off, so I need to push myself to work. It can’t hurt my body that much, can it?

A Prescription for Change

Being sick for pretty much a whole month on top of the stress my body undergoes on a daily basis has sucked. A ton. I feel like I can probably add depression and anxiety to all of that. Physically and emotionally I am in a really fragile place right now.

In an attempt to try to get some control over some of my issues, I went to an endocrinologist on Sunday. He told me that I don’t have Hashimoto’s now, but it may become Hashimoto’s in the future. (I think he meant hypothyroid…) Accordingly, he won’t put me on medication unless my TSH, T3, or T4 readings come back out of normal range (they never have). The antibodies should come back positive, but he’s seen lab work like that already and doesn’t think it warrants medication. This is in spite of the fact that I present with all the symptoms. Based on my understanding, my numbers aren’t reliable since the thyroid hormones could just be in my blood after the thyroid gets attacked. Either way, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting help from him.

What I’ve come to realize in the last few days is that my patience level is nowhere near what it usually is. Those who know me know that I don’t seem to suffer bullshit well normally. Imagine that what little you saw is now gone. Yeah, feel bad for the people around me who seem to want to try my patience. Or don’t, since they are trying my patience after all.

While I don’t like how I feel now at all, AT ALL, it’s given me a unique opportunity. I can take a look at my life, how I’m living it, who I involve in it, and what I do with my time and figure out what I just don’t fucking want in it anymore.

There are some obvious solutions – stop spending time with people who piss me off (harder to do than you would like when you’re involved in an organization) and start doing more of what you enjoy.

Social media is a good example. I enjoy using it. I like staying in touch with people, seeing what’s going on in their lives. However, social media is also full of a lot of bullshit. I’ve already posted about how I tend not to back down when I see something come across my screen that seems like it deserves my attention. Even if I didn’t engage, simply seeing something that needs a response is usually enough to get the response.

I think that because my energy has been down I haven’t been able to protect myself from a lot of the negativity that floats around in the ether. I have no defense against the onslaught of horror that comes at all of us every day from so many different angles. I can’t make myself not care.

At this point I think I need to start doing things I should have been doing for a while now.

I need to meditate.

I need to get back into journeying.

I need to focus on gratitude for what I do have.

I need to unclutter my life – people and things that just aren’t helping me be the best Lyndsy I can be.

I need to eat better to try to gain back some of what I lose every day.

I need to enjoy simple things again – reading, listening to music.

There’s probably more I could, and will, come up with but this seems like a good start. I hope it is anyway. The way I am now, I won’t last very long with what little sanity I have left.

30-Day Project: September Review and October

30-day Project

I’m going to call September a success. I did indulge in a couple Pepsis for my birthday dinner and while we were in Amsterdam I had soda a few times and fast food twice (I *always* try McDonald’s in new countries), but while I was home, I did really well. The point is really to get things back under control and September was a good reset for me.

I’ve been struggling to come up with something for October. I would have liked to have done something where I take a mile-long walk every day or go to the gym but my body is just not up for it right now. I have pretty much been sick since September 7th with a ridiculously sore throat and fatigue. It sort of feels like I’m trying to swallow glass. I went to the doctor the other day and got antibiotics, but I don’t seem to be feeling any less like I’ve got tiny knives in my throat.

A friend pointed out that I have been pretty much going, going, going for a while and this is clearly my body’s way of saying, SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. But how do I turn that into a 30-Day Project. I thought and thought and then realized that there is *something* I can do that would help me rest and also help with one of my 2015 goals!

I am behind on my reading for the year by about 3 books. I haven’t touched my 2015 Reading List in a while either. So, to promote restful behavior on my part and make sure I get through the 100 books I want to read this year, October’s 30-Day Project is to read for an hour a day.

I’m sure you’re wondering how it is that I planned to read 100 books this year without reading every day, but I usually do it in binges. I’ll go for a couple weeks without reading and then will spend 2-3 days binge reading. That usually nets me two to three books per binge.

I think making myself stop for a rest each day will be good for me. Less going, more relaxing. Since the antibiotics don’t seem to be working, I must have some sort of virus. The only thing I can do now is rest it out. Blergh.