Sunday, January 30, 2011

What would you like to do?

My second "assignment" is to list some things I would like to do which my "condition" now prevents me from doing. I am supposed to list them under some specific headings.

VACATIONS: I would like to be able to go on a cruise. This makes my head spin, but I think if I could get over that it would be fun.

SOCIAL LIFE: I would like to be able to be more spontaneous for last minute plans. I think I would be able to spend more time with friends if I could do this.

EMPLOYMENT: I want any employment issues to only be issues of my likes and dislikes. I want the agoraphobia stuff to be a non-issue. Meaning I don't want to factor that in to all the other things that you have to decide when you are taking on a new job.

HOBBIES: This isn't a huge deal to me. I like reading and sewing and things like that. So that isn't really affected much.

ENTERTAINMENT: I would like to be able to go to a movie in a theatre without having that panicky feeling once I get in and sit down.

DAY TRIPS: I would like to be able to go with Steven on climbing trips without planning out every possible event.

SHOPPING: This is actually not much of an issue either. I am usually by myself or with Davie or with Steven. They are my "safe" people. But I imagine if I am on a shopping trip with other people I would feel panicky.

VISITING FRIENDS AND FAMILY: I would like to be able to spend time at other people's houses without needing to go lay flat on the tile in their bathroom and do my breathing exercises. I don't have to do this every time, but it'd be nice if it didn't happen at all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Exercise . . . starting . . . NOW!

I had the flu. It wasn't fun. But the worst part was the day or two where I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack constantly. In my mind I had already decided that I would have to quit school, work, everything, and just be panicky. Thankfully, I felt better after awhile, but it led me to research panic attacks and agoraphobia a little bit more. I found a book called "Escape! The Complete Agoraphobia Recovery Course" and decided to work through it. Since it's on my Kindle and there's no good way to document my answers on that device, I also decided I would work through the written exercises on my blog.

The first bit of the book tells the authors story. The first exercise is to describe in as much detail as you can remember the first panic attack you can remember. So here goes.

I believe it was the summer after my freshman year at OBU. A few of us at church were going to Haiti for a couple of weeks for a mission trip. I don't really remember feeling particularly anxious about the trip in general before. We drove to Dallas and were going to stay the night in a hotel and fly out early the next morning. We went to grab some dinner at a nearby Chili's. I ordered some chicken tenders and had eaten one or two. I started to feel - bad. I felt lightheaded and fuzzy. I was getting really REALLY hot from the inside out. I just needed to get somewhere cool and quiet and lay down. I thought maybe I had eaten something bad, and went to the bathroom, but realized nothing productive was going to happen there. I rushed by our table and said I had to get some air. A friend followed me out to the church van and sat with me while I laid over the curb.

The breeze helped but I felt weird all that night. I managed to get through the trip without a nervous breakdown. But I remember avoiding Chili's for quite a while.

The author says that agoraphobia is a learned behavior. We have these experiences, and start to avoid and generalize and avoid and generalize, and it reinforces the panic and the avoidance.

That is all for now. Not very in depth, and this is more for my own documentation than your insight. Of course if you have any questions or thoughts, I welcome those.

Wanted: Potty Training Camp

I wish there was a potty training camp that parents could send their toddlers too. They could come back home when they were successfully potty trained. Wouldn't that be nice?

But I haven't found one yet . . . although I thought my sister Kristen would be nice enough to offer up the farm for this cause. No such luck.

Davie has all of the readiness signs, except for one. It seems like a pretty important one. It seems like she has no sensation of going to the bathroom, until it is done. She hates having wet underwear, but it just seems like there is no recognition of it happening until it's too late.

Anyways, we are just doing away with diapers, except for sleeping. Eventually, I think she will connect the pre-sensation with going to the bathroom. Hopefully. It's going to be a messy week . . . or longer.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

too much time or too much genius?

I wrote a pop song . . . it was easy. I just took the basic formula and put in some new words. This song is for a smart person though . . . kind of.

Check it out on . . . look up Pop Song for a Smart Girl.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How I Roll

You should know that I title my posts before I write anything, and sometimes before I even know what I'm going to write about. They pop into my head, and I realize this can be misleading . . . but I also realize you probably don't care.

I am proud of myself. I want to tell you why . . . therapeutically.

  • I had a great time on Steven's birthday trip. I really enjoyed myself and the people I was with. I did not have any scary panic moments. (Okay, there was a few hours of anxiety on the drive home where I realized I had left my Xanax in Vegas, but I got through it without my Xanax . . . obviously).
  • To elaborate on the previous bullet point, I feel like I pushed my comfort zone out, instead of letting it press in on me. I really am so grateful to Steven for encouraging me in that. He is a wise 30 year old soul.
  • When faced with the kind of adversity that would usually make me change my plans for the more convenient path, I stepped up and worked harder to give myself the opportunity to be accepted or denied by OU's PA program. You see, I thought I only had one class left of prerequisites . . . and that was a hassle in and of itself because I couldn't find the darn class anywhere! But it turns out I have 4 classes to take this semester. This is when average Kinsey would say "It's not meant to be". But no! I spent hours upon hours hunting down these classes and figuring out my schedule, just for the chance to be in the program.
  • I had my PA interview today. It went well. Hopefully it went better than at least 104 other applicant's interviews, but we'll see. There was a few moments of panic, and honestly I borrowed a Xanax from my sister just in case . . . but I didn't need it after all. Once I got into the room, I was my plain ole self, and that was just fine with me. If my lack of completed prerequisites scare them out of a position in the program for me, then I will keep moving in a productive direction, and see that it was an honor to be chosen for an interview.
  • Right now in life, I feel happy. I feel fulfilled.
Here is a weird realization I've had recently. I am 99% sure I don't want to have another child. I don't know if this comes out of fear or just being fulfilled, but I'm pretty darn sure I do not want to go through the hormonal shifts of pregnancy. It's like Russian roulette in my mind of whether you'll come out mentally in one piece. I got lucky with Davie. I don't know if I should play again. Besides Steven and I have talked a lot about wanting to be foster parents or adopting. Anyways, that was random. Well, that's just how I roll.

See how I tied that in. Spontaneous genius.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Did I say if all else fails?

We made it. We made it physically and mentally in one piece. And to think I almost decided to admit myself to the psych ward over this trip the morning of!

The story goes like this...

Thursday night I slept none to well. But I woke up Friday morning on time, packed, and ready to go. As we neared the highway, I started to feel uneasy. I started my breathing pattern that helps me calm down. It wasn't working the way it usually does. Steven saw my discomfort and asked if I was alright. I told him I was panicky. He asked if he could do anything and I said no. We were going to meet up with some friends along the highway to caravan and they were running a little late. We pulled into Sonic to kill some time. I told Steven to find a bathroom quick cause my stomach was upset. McDonald's was our stop this time. After that detour, just as we were getting on the highway, Davie starts to cry. Then she starts puking . . . a LOT. She won't stop!

This sealed the deal in my mind. Davie and I would just stay home, and wish Steven the best on his trip. We decided to stop at Steven's parents house in Mustang to wash up and make sure Davie was done with her vomiting. We gave her a bath, did laundry, washed the car seat. I laid down on one of the beds and told Steven through teary eyes that Davie and I were going to stay. He should go ahead and meet up with his friends. He plainly said "No way. If you aren't going, I'm not going." This wasn't an option for me. I would not ruin Steven's birthday trip. He walked me through all the ways he would make sure I was comfortable. Then he tucked me in and let me take a nice little nap while our things dried.

I woke up feeling a little better. Steven's mom made me some hot Jasmine tea, and we started off again . . . 4 hours from when we left our house. Davie fell right to sleep once we got in the car. I read aloud to Steven from my budding, if not stunted, novel. Before I knew it we were in Amarillo meeting up with our friends from Cali - Brooke and Jarod.

Once we got back in the car, Davie spent most of her time watching Dora the Explorer on the DVD player. I drove, and Steven read. Albuquerque brought another switch of drivers and Davie's sleep until Gallup, NM. There was a bit of rough roads coming into Gallup, but we made it safely to the hotel. I have never experienced real live negative temperatures. It was -8 the next morning! We stayed up til midnight for New Year's Eve, kissed our families, and promptly fell asleep.

Davie woke up the next morning feeling very talkative and singing "Davie HAPPY!!!" over and over again. Steven sacrificed sleeping in for the rest of us, and took her down to breakfast for an hour or so.

The next day was fairly uneventful. We were afraid Brooke and Jarod's car was overheating within the first 15 minutes of leaving the hotel, but after a little rest and refill of coolant, it was fine. More Dora. Lunch in Flagstaff and a little walk around the mall. We forego-ed a detour to the Grand Canyon, and Davie slept most of the way to Vegas.

We are staying with a mutual climbing friend. He has a nice big house and Davie and I decided to stay in this morning to grow accustomed to our new home for the next 7 or so days. Steven will be back in time for us to figure out dinner.

It's going to be a good week. I haven't really felt anxious since we left. I think this is mostly thanks to Steven Glen Charles and knowing that we have options, and there is no big agenda here. Just relax, climb, have fun, enjoy each other. I am excited that we are all together for such a long time! I can't believe I almost demanded to stay home. What a crazy!