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What It's All About

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I slept much better last night and without medication. I think my subconscious mind needed to have a freak out just to get it over with. I had been doing so well, I was taken off guard by my nightmares and panic attacks on Sunday night. In retrospect, my conscious mind has been doing a lot of work being positive and open to airplane travel, and my fears were shoved into a more closeted part of my brain. I think they needed a last fling before my travels.

I did pick up my medicine this afternoon, though, so I will have it for the flight. Since I had to work until 6:00 today, I asked Mike to drop off my prescriptions for PTSD meds and a scopalamine patch for sea sickness this morning so I could just pick it up between the end of the school day and faculty meeting. When I went to pick it up they hadn't filled it because there was some confusion about it being for worker's comp. Worker's comp? I can't even imagine where they got that idea from. I had to laugh when they told me. I asked if maybe I could get worker's comp because my job was making me neurotic and nauseous. Small town - the pharmacist and I at least got a chuckle out of the notion.

One of my co-teachers told me that she and her husband were wondering if maybe I could just take a little extra time off of work and drive. Oh, my! There is a big part of me that would like to do that! But the bigger part of me wants to just face this and conquer my fears. I used to enjoy flying. I want to be able to fly to Alaska, where I can't drive, and do more traveling overseas.

But what it's all about...

FAMILY



Work tomorrow, travel on Thursday.

I'm looking forward to spending time with my sister and brother.... and that's what it's all about.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCGS62 10/13/2010 7:56PM

    the offer still holds if need be you can stop here in pgh and I can call my daughter in state college to give you friendly rest stops if you decide to drive.
I feel for you having read your last two blogs .
check your spark mail When are you leaving?

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MARY1313 10/12/2010 11:19PM

    You are so right, that IS what it's all about! I hope you have a great time my friend!

Mary

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IUHRYTR 10/12/2010 7:59PM

    Glad for you that you got some rest. Maybe it is all past now and you can relax on your flight up. -- Lou

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VALERIEMAHA 10/12/2010 7:43PM

    And I pray that it will be a magical, if poignant, journey!
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Maha

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Nightmares!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Last night was plagued with nightmares and anxiety attacks. Packing threw me into a wild PTSD tailspin. My appointment with my D.O. was scheduled for this morning - not a minute too soon. I am not a person who likes the pharmaceutical solution to anything - except this. I do not appear to be able to conquer this phobia on my own. I have tried. Hard. I am now armed with PTSD medication plus a scopalamine patch for sea sickness. One of the things my brother really wants to do is go out deep sea fishing with his two sisters, and without this I would be spending the entire fishing trip crying with my head over the rail. It is ironic because I love the ocean. I hear the patch is very effective and I plan to add seabands to the treatment for extra insurance.

The discouraging news is that my D.O., who I have high regard for, thinks it is time for me to see a neurosurgeon about my continuing problems with nerve damage resulting from disk injury. When I warn my dear friends to take their back injuries seriously and not overdo when their back are out, these warnings are coming from experience. So many times I have just pushed my way through back injuries - and further injured myself. The neurosurgeon she has refered me to is another D.O. who has a rep for taking conservative measures. I'll keep you posted.

All that aside, it is another gorgeous day, my class is shaping up very nicely. The children are really quite charming and all of them are so very bright! I am happy to see the progress they are making.

I am off to singing class. A favorite singing teacher is offering a series of three classes in improving vocal quality. I can only attend 2 because I will be out of town next week, but glad to get those two in.

I plan to try sleeping tonight without the meds first. If I am too haunted by nightmares, I'll try 1/4 a dose to take the edge off.

Ciao for now,
Chris

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRITTERKEEPERS 10/12/2010 12:08PM

    Chris, So sorry to hear about the PTSD and nightmares. I went through PTSD for about 5 years before getting it under control, so I know how unpleasant it can be. I also resist taking medications whenever possible, but finally settled for partial doses on extreme days and it really helped. Take care.
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VALERIEMAHA 10/12/2010 9:08AM

    Oh my, dear friend. You are going through it. I pray you have a delightful and fulfilling time with your brother. I'm sorry for the challenges you are facing...you a truly a warrior spirit!
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Maha

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DOR2BFIT 10/12/2010 8:59AM

    Oh dear. You are really showing your love and concern for your brother! Hope YOU are OK. emoticon emoticon Take care, and hope you can enjoy your vacation.

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IUHRYTR 10/12/2010 12:07AM

    I hope this all works out for you so you can relax and enjoy your trip. -- Lou

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MARY1313 10/11/2010 8:21PM

    oh my dear! I'm so sorry about the nightmares! I am glad that you are seeing a specialist though! I hope your meds work and you have a great time on the ocean!

Mary

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MCSNYDER1 10/11/2010 8:01PM

    I had no idea you are suffering so! I am so sorry. I will keep you in my prayers!

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WATERMELLEN 10/11/2010 3:55PM

    Best of luck with the sleeping: you are being sensible and self-caring to get the help you need with this. And with the back issues too!

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Holding it Together

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I am holding it together - sort of.

This is my day to pack for my trip to Martha's Vineyard. It will be a little chilly there, so I am trying to pack layers and also fit everything into a carry-on bag. It has been so long since I've flown, I don't even know if this suitcase will still count as carry on, especially since the plane I am flying on is small. Since I have a direct flight, that isn't all that important. I would like to have something small enough to comfortably take on the bus and ferry. Speaking of bus - why didn't I take the bus or Amtrak to Boston?

Really, I am doing pretty well with not having an anxiety attack about flying. Or at least, until I started to pack. I AM keeping it at bay, but it is a lot of work. Remind myself to breathe. Remind myself to live in the moment. Remind myself that that very plane is flying every day, making the same trip with no events. Remind myself that my time with my sibs is more important than my phobia.

I think I can, I think I can, I can, I can, I CAN!



Me on this plane - yes, I can!

But just in case, I do have my appointment with my Dr. tomorrow morning for a prescription for PTSD medication.

Meanwhile, it is a glorious October day.



I hope you are enjoying a lovely Sunday.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARY1313 10/11/2010 8:28PM

    awwww I know it is scary, I am a white knuckle flyer myself. the leaves are beautiful there! no changing here yet, and 90 degrees today!

Mary

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KRITTERKEEPERS 10/11/2010 2:06AM

    I am hoping you will have such a smooth flight that it will remove your fear. Have a great visit with your siblings.
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CATHYGETSFIT 10/10/2010 11:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonYou will arrive safe and sound! Hope you have a great time at Martha's Vineyard! Would love to visit there myself sometime.

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STARLASUE 10/10/2010 5:41PM

    YOu can do it. Enjoy.

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BELLASMOM8 10/10/2010 5:12PM

    Enjoy your time with your family! As for being on the plane emoticon

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IUHRYTR 10/10/2010 4:42PM

    Beautiful leaves. Relaxing. Like you will be on the plane once you get into your book, a terrific read. How about photos of Martha's Vineyard? -- Lou

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PUDLECRAZY 10/10/2010 4:31PM

    I have saved up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to read on the plane. I hear it is a real page turner. I also will have my iPod with my favorite music plus some meditation, Wait,Wait Don't Tell Me, This American Life, and Selected Shorts podcasts to listen to. I am hoping to be able to listen to Wait,Wait Don't Tell Me and giggle my way to Boston.

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OLDERDANDRT 10/10/2010 4:22PM

    Just keep your eyes on the prize!!!! Time with your sibs!!! You're doing great and arranging to have some meds on stand-by is always a good idea. It'll be fine and you'll have a great time with your sibs and all. Just think of the great times you'll have after arriving. Read or take a nap on the flight . I will keep you in my prayers for a safe and uneventful flight there and back aqnd you just take care of yourself and have a great time.

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Jayne
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DREMARGRL 10/10/2010 4:03PM

    If you haven't been to Martha's Vineyard before, you'll love it. We spent a week there just relaxing in a beautiful home close to where you catch the ferry. I loved riding the "largest merry-go-round" and trying to catch the brass ring. We had bicycles at our disposal and road to a quaint little restaurant for lunch. I'll try to see if I can find the name of it and come to your page when I find it. I'm out by the pond sitting in the hammock right now. It's been about five years since we went. I loved taking the little "puddle jumper" to where we were staying. Just look at it as an adventurer and pretend you are the pilot named Amelia! Works for me.....Lola. Relax and have an amazing time. I'll email later.....XO MaryAnn

PS Oh......The FLYING HORSES CAROUSEL AT OAK BLUFF. The fun little restaurant was "LOLA'S", I think.

Comment edited on: 10/10/2010 4:23:49 PM

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HOPERISING 10/10/2010 3:52PM

    Have a safe and happy trip!

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LMB-ESQ 10/10/2010 3:44PM

    emoticon emoticon I wish you a wonderful trip, and a quite uneventful plane ride, and I look forward to reading all about it when you get home!

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Where Did the Pain Go? And Some Photos~

Friday, October 08, 2010

I had to get something out of my car this morning and saw my bottle of Excederin Back and Body in the the cup holder, which is my general catch-all unless I'm traveling. I had put one in my car to have at work because when the school year started, I was having so much back and hip pain that I did not want to be without pain relief for an entire work day. What was interesting about it is that at that moment when I saw it, I realized that I had not needed to open it!

What happened? Really it has been a combination of things. I finished up my PT right as the school year began, I got my customized orthotics, I resumed my ritual morning and evening walks, I got my new mattress, I started my water aerobics routines, and I began my weight training with my personal trainer. Somewhere in this convergence of actions, there has been a hugely significant reduction of pain in my hip and back, even though I am on my feet most of the day. It has been gradual, so it took seeing my unopened bottle of Back and Body to realize how much things have improved.
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This week I have been meeting my goals in the following ways:

Physical -
getting in my daily morning and evening walks
water aerobics and lap swimming (Thurs.)
free weights at home (Sun., Wed.)
yoga 3 times this week
(Saturday I will go to the gym and meet with my personal trainer)

Sleep -
keeping my sleep journal
getting off the screen (computer or TV) and reading before bed

Music -
I was too busy one day to practice, but aside from that , getting in 15 minutes one day and 90 - 120 - minutes on the other days

Stress management-
This is an overlap of the top three categories, plus meditation, Alexander 'Constructive Rest', and time with friends.

I didn't have time yesterday morning to include my morning walk photos.



We are out walking each morning, rain or shine at the crack of dawn, one of my favorite times of day.



The wild asters have very small flowers, but I find them very cheery in the fall.


The blur in the woods is a zippy poodle!

When we get back from our walk, the sun is fully up and it is time to feed the chickens and let them out.



They always greet us inquisitively at the door.




Lucy, our little redhead, is named for Lucille Ball (Arnez). Appropriately so - I love Lucy!

Parent conferences all day for me today. I am looking forward to the Alison Brown concert tonight. Her style is a fusion of jazz, bluegrass, Celtic banjo. She has performed with Bela Fleck, my favorite banjo musician.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4T1ks390fM&
feature=player_embedded


This weekend, I will be packing for my trip to Martha's Vineyard to spend time with my sister and brother. I am really looking forward to our time together, and find that I am not angsting too much about flying (just a little bit.) I am not planning to take my computer with me when I go. This trip will be only about quality time with my sibs.

Have a lovely Friday, my Friends!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DREMARGRL 10/10/2010 4:08PM

    I had to go back and read this one!!! Awesome! I love that your pain has diminished! Enjoyed your blog....and can't wait to hear about your Martha's trip upon your return. Have a great time with your family..

MaryAnn

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JUST_TRI_IT 10/10/2010 9:08AM

    That zippy poodle is such a special dog! have fun with your sibs :)

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TKADEEPBREATH 10/9/2010 11:43AM

    Your story about the diminishing pain is encouraging to me. It seems like when I "over exert" myself, even if it's just housework, I get nagging back pain. I have it now as a matter of fact. Hate it .. so annoying. I'm going to find some exercises for that. I know that will help.

Have a wonderful trip with family. The weather is perfect!! Lucky, blessed you!!!

Toodles .. . for ms poodlecrazy girl . . hahahah Jan

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0309COOKIE 10/9/2010 7:45AM

    I will pray for you for a safe plane ride. Hope you can relax for the ride.

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SOON2BEFITSLP 10/8/2010 5:21PM

    Glad that the pain is ceasing! Your chickens are sooo cute!

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KRITTERKEEPERS 10/8/2010 1:00PM

    I am so glad to hear that you are feeling better. All the hard work you have been putting in to regain your health is being rewarded.
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Lucy is a very interesting pullet. I have not seen one with her coloring before. What breed is she?
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I clicked on your link to the Alison Brown clip after posting my comment. She is a very good banjo player!
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Comment edited on: 10/8/2010 1:04:59 PM

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AQUAJANE 10/8/2010 12:31PM

    Glad to hear your back's feeling better. Loved to poodle photos. Sometimes trips are more relaxing sans computer..... emoticon

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IUHRYTR 10/8/2010 11:45AM

    The woods look so relaxing. Nice to hear your pain has gone away. Enjoy your trip. -- Lou

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BUTEAFULL 10/8/2010 11:31AM

    have a wonderful trip

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STARLASUE 10/8/2010 9:00AM

    Wonderful! Glad to here you found relief. Your hard work is paying off.

Run Stella, Run!lol

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MARY1313 10/8/2010 7:49AM

    Awww I love the pictures, especially the zippy Poodle! I hope you have a great day. I am so glad you are not hurting and have found a combination of things that make your heart glad!

Mary

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The Power of Walking Meditation

Thursday, October 07, 2010

These last couple of weeks at work have been challenging. As I mentioned before, it isn't that I can't effectively deal with the issues that have come my way in the classroom. I work hard to make sure that the other children get all of the attention they need, and that I am working positively with the children who are having difficulties so that they may learn and grow in positive directions. All experiences are learning experiences, and sometime the 'negative' experiences can be the most powerful learning tools. The children with behavior problems work their ways right into my heart because I spend so much mental time trying to uncover the secrets to their success.

While it doesn't take its toll on the classroom, I do find that it can take its toll on me. So after the initial feeling of, "I need to retire - NOW!" I started looking for ways to free my mind and spirit to be more creative in stress management techniques. It's funny - it always comes to the same solutions, but I seem to have to keep rediscovering them. My mind gets 'stuck' when I allow myself to be in overload.

I am back to being unstuck.

One of the things that I find so helpful in living a whole and complete life without succumbing to stress is my morning walking meditation. I love going out for my morning walks. I used to walk on the bike path in the morning with my dear friend, but since she has been in treatments for ovarian cancer, I have had to walk without her company. Not that I don't want to walk - it's just that I really miss my inspirational walks with her.

My new walking routine is taking Stella for a walk in the meadow and woods before going to work. This is the perfect way to have my morning walking meditation and set the tone for my day. At the beginning of my walk, I just take in each moment - the sights, the sounds, the aromas, and the physical sensations. Next I focus on all of the joys that surround me and take time to smile. It is amazing, what little it takes for true joy, and the power of a smile.
The final part of my meditation is to acknowledge the many things I am grateful for. By the time I return to the house, a calm, focused, and energetic approach to the day has been set.



My granddaughter - for whom I am very, very grateful. Joy personified!

And what do you do to set a positive start to your day?

Have a marvelous Thursday!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 10/9/2010 6:13AM

    I love walking in the morning - and enjoying the beauty of nature around me and feeling gratitude for all that is in my life. I agree with you that It is a great way to start the day.



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MARY1313 10/8/2010 7:45AM

    I basically do the same thing as you, although I don't have a meadow or the woods, I go into my little yard and fuss over my flowers and then my little Poodle and I watch the day awaken on my little patio! I get up at 5:00 to take my son to work so I am back by 6:00 and the birds are singing and the squirrels are barking. I love those sounds.

Glad you have your meditative walks. I know you miss your friend!

Mary

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MCSNYDER1 10/7/2010 2:29PM

    This all sounds so nice! I'm glad it's working for you!!!

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WENDYSPARKS 10/7/2010 11:52AM

    Sounds really nice!! emoticon

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IUHRYTR 10/7/2010 11:45AM

    What a peaceful way to start a day. Glad you can enjoy it. emoticon emoticon -- Lou

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