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...
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.
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,
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.
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.
This week I have been meeting my goals in the following ways:
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)
keeping my sleep journal
getting off the screen (computer or TV) and reading before bed
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
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.
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!
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!
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