Sunday, August 31, 2014

More about my cycle

You might want to skip this if you're a guy with lust issues (although I don't see HOW one could possibly...) or squeamish. 

I started my cycle when I was 13.  I had a little spotting one month, nothing for a few months, and then wham full blown cycles.  I literally started right around my 13th birthday. 

I'm sure hormones played a role in the depression that followed that winter, hanging on pretty relentlessly. 

I'd have racking cramps for a few days, cycle about 5 days.  Pretty average flow from what they told me in my health classes.  That's been standard for the last 27 years. 

Back in the late 90's, my cycle changed up a bit, lighter and brighter.  I asked my Nurse Practicioner (oh I wish I could have brought her to Texas), and she said things change every several years. 

I developed an ovarian cyst on my right ovary in 2000, which made my cycles hell.  The cyst would bleed into my abdominal cavity every cycle, causing excruciating pain.   I couldn't even sleep on my right side.  I decided to see a doctor. 

I had surgery, got the thing out, and things went back to normal.  Ron and I started the business. 

Back in 2009, I developed a severe allergy to my SSRI antidepressant.  My throat swelled up and I developed extreme hives all over my body.  It was hell, one of the "best" satanic attacks I've ever endured. 

I finally asked Doc for some Wellbutrin, as the depressions became pretty bad.  It helped a lot but caused hot flashes. 

Or was it the Wellbutrin? 

Hot flashes, sometimes I get hot at night, but I always have... cycles still pretty much the same. 

The last several months, though, I've had a hellish headache the day the cycle started.  That, I hear, is normal in the menopause process.  I have developed large variations in flow and massive, alarming, clots.  Sorry, no way around the word.  That, I hear is normal, too. 

If possible, I try to plan to stay home.  Not much fun to work with cramps and a hellish headache to boot. 

And when I calculated, basically the whole works comes out over a day or so, instead of 5.  I'd rather that anyway if I know it's coming.   I'm not losing anything - it's still the same flow, just all at once. 

So, I yank the favorite sheets off the bed and layer my protection.

I endure hot flashes and wonder if it's our "cheap" on the air conditioner or a "real" hot flash.  I always wore 100% cotton anyway. 

Do I care if I'm in menopause?  Absolutely not.  I'm already taking the supplements I would use (minerals). 

I don't want to be fertile. 

Like I told Ron, it's not like I'm going to marry another guy and have kids.  I'd just as soon be infertile if that ever did happen. 

I have bad DNA. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Probabilities

I slept well, once I fell asleep. 

I wish I were that good, I could turn it over to God, leave it in His lap, and go to sleep quickly.  I'm not. 

I battled some anxiety, a lot of fear, and I guess what I'd call "forecasting" trying to figure out all the details of what we'd have to do, before we even hear anything.  Let me tell you, it's exhausting. 

That's why I'm supposed to leave it up to God.  That's why I'm doing my best to do just that. 

Sometimes, like now, it's pretty easy.  I look at probabilities and think "No, it's not going to happen." 

It may.  It may not.  Anxiety isn't going to help, though. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Not again!

It wasn't the best morning. 

I had a hard time getting up, I'd had an awful time falling asleep last night.  I finally decided God did not want 10% devotion and worship, He'd rather wait until after work.  I just took my shower, threw my clothes on, and left. 

We went to the warehouse.  I got some candy (almost out of Snickers, eep!), etc.  We went to work. 

I saw the other vendor.  He asked me to get him a cup of coffee (I did) and told me, "Oh, the boss is here meeting with the plant manager about opening a snack bar." 

[sigh]  Here we go again.  Everyone wants a snack bar. 

I've talked about the deli period of our lives, how it was without a doubt the worst period of our lives, worse than cheating, verbal abuse, blackouts, the accident even... here's a link: http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2011/06/when-are-you-going-to-open-deli.html

Short version: people really like the idea of a deli.  They like the idea of hot food made to order and a smiling face.  Some of them like the idea of someone to scream at and push around, verbally.  We saw a fair amount of that.  They don't like the idea of paying a market price.  They don't like the idea of limited hours.  Yes, the plant is open 24/7 but we're not robots.  We need to sleep and take care of our personal business.  They don't think about all the equipment required or the electricity required to run it.  They don't think about the cost to build the snack bar.  The cost of goods, very perishable goods, required to stock it. The very expensive repairs.   Sales Tax.  Payroll.  Cost of Goods.  They want to buy a lot in the beginning and never come back. 

You also have what I'll call the "milk" ers.  Years ago, we stopped selling milk.  We had a high food cost, low sales, and a very perishable product.  Months after we stopped selling it, we had baffled people looking in the food machine saying "Oh, where's the milk?  It was here last time!" 

Meaning, they only came in once every 3-4 months and wanted us to be on the ready, every time.  That's not feasible. 

We had great sales every night it rained, and terrible sales every other night.  In fact, months after we closed the deli people were still coming by the area on rainy nights, shocked we had closed. 

You haven't been here in 6 months, and you wonder why we closed? 

A lot of issues, a lot of emotions.  I went to work and did what Ron pays me to do: stock vending machines. 

I did that, helped Ron, and got the other vendor a couple more cups of coffee.  The boss came by.  I got Ron, and him, cups of coffee, and listened. 

I don't know who reads this, so I won't lay out any trade secrets:

Our management may or may not choose to open a snack bar. 

If they do, they might force us to run it. 

Or, they might open it up to another blind vendor (our preference if they do open a snack bar). 

You could say they have arguments for and against.  The last one didn't work.  But we have more people.  But we didn't have one built properly during the remodel.  They will have to cobble something together off in a corner.  They could.  We don't want it.  But other vendors would, absolutely. 

I could rip myself to pieces with anxiety.  I'm sure the devil would like that. 

If you believe Good exists, then you must believe in Evil.  Evil hates those who follow Good.  There, I took all the theology out of it. 

The devil would love to mess us up. 

I decided not to let that happen.  It's not like I had an epiphany and made a concrete decision, I just decided I didn't have time for bullshit.  I had machines to stock, and I'd do that. 

God's gotten me through so much, I know He has my back.  Whatever happens He'll help me deal. 

I serviced the coffee machine.  I serviced the food machines.  I serviced the snack machines.  I helped Ron with bottled soda.  I helped Ron with canned soda.  I rearranged the stockroom so he could get at the Hawaiian Punch.  I did meter readings (an A/R accountability feature so Ron can track sales, it's like a sales odometer). 

Somewhere in there, I drank a couple bottles of Diet Dr Pepper and had a bag of Cheetos.   I got the other vendor yet more coffees, on request.  He's going to be up all night! 

Good news, the coffee machine has been beautiful. 

All my machines have been great.  Right there, I could go to worrying about who will stock the vending machines if Ron and I "have" to run the deli.  Not going there. 

So, after all that we went outside.  We waited on our ride - we just went home after work. 

I took a nap. 

When I got up, I remembered something.  One whole wall in our cafeteria has no electricity.  Another area can't feed the microwave AND the employee fridge.  "They" wanted 8 microwaves, but only 7 can run at once.  The 8th is just unplugged sitting off in the corner. 

They don't have the electricity. 

If they don't have the "electric" to run a single fridge and microwave, how can they run a snack bar requiring, I'll say probably 150 amps? 

The fridge and "mike" only take 30, if that. 

I imagine management will have to change their tune, after talking to the contractor. 

Thanks for that, Lord. 

You notice He let me turn that over to Him and then told me.  :) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Get in line

1.  I told Ron I was already depressed today.  I don't know if he doesn't receive it or he disregards it.  If I were to call him on it, he'd probably get very offended and say I never told him.  Note that in the context of what follows. 

2.  I mentioned how all my friends and the paratransit service were very supportive of me, dealing with the verbally abusive driver (more in post below). 

3.  Ron's response to said verbal abuse: It's your fault for being fat.  Lose weight.  You could be thin if you wanted to, but you want to punish me so you stay fat.  He believes it is "shameful" to be married to a larger woman.  I did not make any comments about his problems, but I thought about it.  If I were like him I'm sure he'd ditch me.  He really thinks verbal abuse is OK, if "there's enough provocation".  My existence at a size 22W apparently qualifies.   He harangued me for a good 15 minutes every time I brought it up.  Sometimes, not often, I wonder why I confide in others.  Then I remember. 

4.  When I have lost weight, he rants about other "failures" - and makes comments like "Your body isn't fat but your spirit is fat!  You're fat!" 

5.  I always thought he was supposed to be my confidante.  Instead, I find myself preferentially seeking out God, and others, before I go to him for comfort. 

6.  Having lost a size didn't qualify (I wasn't even trying, and was more shocked than anyone).  Because "it's not enough" and "I'll only care when you get down to 130".  Let me be clear: I was not trying to please Ron.  I'm trying to eat more protein and less junk - better quality foods if nothing else.  I am also extremely physically active taking care of Ron and running the business. 

I'm sure Ron wonders, on some level, why I shut him out.  Right now, literally.  I have headphones on, staring at the glowing screen, my back to everything and most particularly him.  I tune him out, I shut him out. 

He's talked some about getting online.  He thinks it will be less lonely that the existence he's made for himself.  Most of his "old friends" do not return his calls because he was ugly to them during blackout phone calls.  I don't blame them.  He's very judgemental of everyone but himself. 

I think about what Ron will find if/when he does get online.  I'm sure he'll find my blog.  I could never get him to read letters I wrote to him, trying to work out our problems, so firstly I'd have to say he probably wouldn't be bothered to read it.  If he does, though... it would either polarize him and make him realize he has to change, or most likely destroy his image of our marriage. 

I had a panicked thought or two that I might have to delete the whole thing, but decided I wouldn't.  I may have to hide my thoughts and feelings in person (standing up for myself ends in more verbal abuse, and unless I'm willing to leave him entirely that will not stop), but I don't have to hide them online. 

I'm not sure how Biblical that may be - but I have to have some defenses against the verbal abuse.  I'm not going the self injury route.  I'm not numbing myself with chemicals.  I'm not going to become a frantic pleaser worrying about upsetting or offending him.  I'm not going to attack him back because that validates him and "See you're so broken".  It is TREMENDOUSLY rewarding to him if I answer back in any fashion, so I don't.  He wants that payoff - where I lose my temper and shout at him.  One of my other abusers was very similar.  Ironic. 

So, like I did growing up, I shut down.  I shut him out.  I let other people in (not very far) because I don't want them to see the ugliness in my life. 

I believe any "normal" man would have been furious at what happened, outraged on my behalf, and demanded justice before I even thought of it.  But that's not who I married. 

He had the whole attitude, if anyone wants to kick me they should get in line behind him. 

Not necessary

I really WANT a boring life.

Yesterday morning we got on the paratransit vehicle. The driver took one look at me, gaped, and began interrogating me about my "weight gain". For the record, I am DOWN a clothing size from last year, although my scale weight is the same. You can see my pictures. I have been "about" this for a couple years now.

Anyway, she carried on like I had gained 100 pounds in a week, DEMANDING I tell her "how I gained the weight". Very insistent on that. "You were so skinny" she told me - yeah, maybe 20 years ago!

Anyway, I kept asking her to stop. She kept rudely demanding to know "how I had gained the weight". I finally told her "I take medication for severe mental illness" - next time I would tell her "That's not your business and if you don't stop I'm going to make a video for management"
I also added I had to take 4 very toxic prescriptions that cause weight gain, not that it was her business. She kept telling me how terrible I looked "I used to be so cute and small" etc. I don't know who she is referring to... all I can think is she must have mixed me up with another client or caregiver. She kept saying I was so "small and cute last year when she was pregnant" so I know that wasn't me.

Why are you so fat? 

"Why don't you call Customer service and ask?"  I replied. 

Anyway, when she's satisified as to the "why" I gained weight, not that it was her business - I got the lecture on how she lost her baby weight "really quick" and I should be able to do the same.
She is 20 years old. I am 40. She does not take toxic mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. [head desk]
Bullying, unprofessional, and immature.

I had a lot of issues, as a Christian, with this encounter. Should I report her? Should I forgive her (I have) and decline to make the report?

She was training a new driver.  This happened in front of Ron, another client, and the trainee, who outweighed me by 100 pounds and must have been mortified. 

I talked to a couple people yesterday. 

Ron was upset because it reminded him I'm "fat".  He's said, repeatedly, he doesn't want a fat wife because everyone would think as a blind man, he "had to settle" and "he married his fat mother". 

Everytime I've brought up this incident he said "Well, lose weight" and tried some really lame reverse psychology. 

I hope to God I never fell for that years ago. 

So, we went to Walmart.  We came home.  I put up the groceries.  We went to the warehouse, and then to work. 

We had problems.  Various vending machines were not working.  Apparently they blew a transformer, Monday, after we left, and the machines were down for over an hour. 

Complex vending machines do not like that.  Basic ones like my Snack #2 can take it. 

I had to fix them.  I stocked and made sure everything was fine. 

I need candy bars, that's about it.  And maybe Poptarts. 

We left and came home.  Remember Ron indignant about having to settle for the "fat wife?"  Took me to the mall and bought me fast food.  Talk about mixed messages. 

Midly depressed, I bought myself some Yankee Candles.  They had a sale $5 for a small glass one, and they had two in "Red Rose" - my very favorite.  I'm burning one right now as I type.  I'm glad I got them. 

Ron ate himself sick on Chinese food.  I really wonder where he puts it.  He is completely inactive and average weighted. 

I had to do some accounting stuff for Ron, and then he paid me.  I went to bed. 

I had trouble dropping off but I slept OK once I did.  I woke up around 6 - that's sleeping in.  For once, I did not have a headache. 

Normally I get horrible headaches when I sleep in. 

I did my God Time, still pretty upset.  Too depressed to shower so far. 

I thought about it.  I thought about it some more. 

I watched Supernatural on TNT.  I took a nap. 

I woke up. 

I decided to call in to the regular paratransit line and give them a heads up on the driver's behavior. 

I got someone who knows us pretty well.  She died laughing when I said, "I'm mentally ill, I'm a caregiver, I run a small business, and I'm married to [Ron's full name]."  

I got to the first "You're so fat" and she stopped me dead, furious.  "That is completely unacceptable!  That's awful!  I'm going to transfer you!" 

I had just planned to ask them to issue a memo stating please don't make comments about the client's weight, especially if they are asking you to stop. 

I got a higher up.  Again, "You're so fat" and she went nuclear!  "We will not tolerate this behavior!" 

Well, Metrolift doesn't like this.  I guess it's a good thing I called. 

I ended up on hold for a long while and making a formal report.  I don't regret it.  Odds are they will talk to her about it.  I doubt she will be fired unless she is already on probation. 

It comes down to this: if I'm not treating my customers right - God forbid I verbally abuse them, they can and should report it. 

Same applies to the drivers. 

This wasn't just a joke gone wrong or an offhand comment.  One driver said "N*gga, please" when I gave her directions one day.  I thought it was hysterical.  The one guy thought I was pregnant.  He was very earnest and sincere, he wasn't being ugly. 

This was just ugly, ongoing, hateful, verbal abuse.  She kept saying "You used to look so good, now you're so fat and I'm skinny". 

That's not necessary, ever, to drive someone to a destination. 

Clearly she has major body image and self-esteem issues, but that's not my problem.  Get some counseling.  Don't beat me up! 

I have enough grief already! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

That wouldn't work

Manic today.  I always seem to be manic when I see Doc [scratching head]. 

Ron kept checking on our ride, because, unlike work, we actually had an appointment.  Sure enough, there were problems, but they fixed it. 

We got one of our favorite drivers.  Even better, she stopped at a gas station.  I bolted and bought some snack foods while the driver pumped gas. 

I was a little worried about putting Ron in the back, because the backseat driver's side passenger was an autistic guy in a helmet.  I have seen autistic clients beat up the vehicle, grab the steering wheel while in transit, and hit the drivers, so I'm wary. 

I really did not want Ron in the back. 

Yes, I know most autistic souls are lovely people.  Two of my favorite relatives are high-functioning autistic.  Let's just say, the ones I've met on paratransit can run the gamut of behavior. 

Ron decided to play some music on his talking book machine, which made him the immediate star of the show.  The other client began clapping along with Gloria Estefan, and vocalizing, as we went down the road.  It was a rather surreal moment. 

One of those "I have to put this in the blog" moments - but today I actually remembered. 

We got the client dropped off at his day program, which is in a terrible area.  Don't any caregivers actually do research?  I wouldn't want anyone I loved in that area unless they were helping me with a Bible Handout. 

Maybe he lives in a group home and they don't care. 

Yet another reason I would never have Ron in a group home.  The ones I have seen really take advantage of the clients.  The clients are usually dirty, unkempt, hungry.  Behavior issues.  The drivers agree. 

We finally got to the office.  The driver overshot it a bit but I told her that was OK, let us out in the street.  I used a parking lot entrance as a "ramp".  I went up to the front of the buliding, which is set back from the street. 

I got a little irritated as I viewed the flights of stairs, leading into the building.  Well, that wouldn't work. 

I went around the side of the building.  Aha.  There's a switchback wheelchair ramp leading up to the building.  I failed to notice: it did not have an exterior door handle.  In fact, when I got to the top, I realized it was the "emergency exit" egress ramp.  That wouldn't work. 

I was pretty upset.  Ron begged me to park him on the sidewalk so I could walk around.  "No, I won't do that" I told him grimly.  "I'm going to get you in the building." 

I spotted some office workers walking past. 

"Excuse me!" I said loudly.  They stopped.  "Where is the Federally required Americans with Disabilities Act wheelchair ramp?"    They paused and gaped at me. 

"Um, in the back?" one replied.  "You didn't see it when you parked?" 

Some of us are crippled!  I didn't say that, though. 

"We took public transit" I replied.  "Not everyone can drive a car."  They gave us a pitying look as they walked past, in the street, as though Ron might be contagious. 

Ron kept telling me to calm down.  At the very least I told him, they could have had a sign up at the other doors, telling wheelchair users to go around back.  Agh. 

I was not happy walking into the building, but I didn't want to present angry.  I take pride in my label as a "very stable" patient and knew Doc would have a resident on hand to observe.  I enjoy both. 

I walked around the ground floor, pushing Ron in his wheelchair, as I calmed down.  I found the office easily and went in when I felt ready. 

The office is a lot smaller.  No view of the skyline.  They must have been raping him on the rent at the old place.  This place looked a lot more reasonable.

I did wish they had a vending machine, but, [sigh] they don't. 

A resident came out and got me, we talked a little, and Doc came in.  "I can tell you're manic" he said cheerfully "I could hear you down the hall." 

We discussed my case, and I shared Ron was uncomfortable with my level of depression.  "It's my understanding, you want me functional.  If I can bathe, work, eat, take care of the cats, that's OK. If I'm not functional then we need to talk?"  He agreed. 

"I just don't like the illness beating her up" Ron replied.  Doc agreed. 

I asked for more phenergan while they were doing my prescriptions.  It works very well for me, against migraines, and minimal interactions.  It isn't addictive either - always a primary concern for me.

My birth mother always made it clear she had a lot of addictions, and it was important for me to stay away from anything that might cause a problem.  My adoptive mother completely backed that up.  As I got older I realized it was just a good policy. 

Other than that it was pretty standard.  We left. 

I did give Doc a scripture booklet in a bag of candy.  I've been seeing him for 8 years.  He is about the only important person in my life I haven't really shared my faith - I felt it was time.  He can read it or throw it away, it's up to him. 

We had a long wait afterward, an hour and a half on our pickup.  Doc actually walked by, going to the bathroom.  "You're still here?" he asked with concern. 

Ron explained: paratransit. 

I cheerfully noted we don't have to buy car insurance, and he laughed. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some help

Ron usually takes an afternoon nap and gets up in the early evening. 

When he did, he told me, "Oh, I decided your life is so much better with me."  He then proceeded to remind me of all the indignities I suffered growing up and "remind" me that he didn't do that. 

I had some very bitter thoughts.  One, thanks for reminding me of all I've endured.  You just made me more depressed. 

Two, you're no treat yourself.  The all night verbal abuse and blackouts come to mind.  Caregiver burnout.  Old things I won't repeat because, like I said, it'll just worsen my depression. 

"I wish you'd stayed asleep" I thought then and at various moments throughout the evening. 

After that, he did his existential stuff for a while, which I always find completely depressing.  The sad thing, I think he really believed he was helping me out. 

I told him I found it very depressing so he wanted to talk about depression.  I told him: you wonder how "You can tell if I am really fighting the depression or letting it run all over me without resisting". Well, I got up. I took my shower. I went to work and worked over 13 hours sometimes. I come home. I cook food. I take my meds. I do laundry. I take care of the cats.  Clearly I am fighting. 

I found it pretty insulting I even had to explain that.  He says I am "lazy" - even though I work 13 hour days, day after day, literally dripping with sweat unloading a truckload of merchandise... he'll say things like "God made my back go out so you'd have to work for a change."   I guess, to him, "emotional laziness" goes right along with that. 

You and I know the truth.  I don't have to defend myself; my own actions speak for themselves.  I'm a dligent worker.  I battle demons at every moment of every day.  I fight harder than Ron can imagine. 

Then I looked up the taqueria.  Our former favorite, it went on the naughty list when I caught it shut down with the Health Inpsector, writing in his notebook, outside.  The inspector looked pretty grim. 

I finally dug up the report.  It's horrific.  5 visits in a one month period.  Multiple, multiple, violations.  Twice they had to throw out the entire contents of the fridge.  Cross-contamination.  Handwashing issues. 

Do I need to go on?  I was horrified. 

Ron immediately leapt to their defense, I think identifying with the restaurant owner.  "How do you know the health inspector wasn't trying to extort bribes?  How do you know these are real violations?" 

Ron, I told him, five visits. Each visit has multiple citations.  I'm never eating there anymore.  We argued. 

You have to admit, he demanded, they might be innocent. 

Sure, they might, I told him. 

But you can go eat there on your own.  I'm not going. 

If you get sick, I added, I'm not taking care of you either.  He got pretty upset at that.

I reminded him, you need me stocking your vending machines.  Do you want me sick?  Who's going to fill your machines? 

He got angry at changed the subject.  Apparently, I was just supposed to "open my mind" to the fact that the health inspector could have gone to all the trouble of "fabricating" these reports because "He has a friend with a competing business, or he wanted a bribe." 

People, I don't believe that for a second. 

Anyway, feeling far worse than I did while he was asleep, I now have to wind down and go to bed.  Agh. 

Make it better

Sorry I haven't posted lately. 

Rapid cycling.  Short "def" - bouncing up and down like a friggin' bungee jumper. 

I am happy I'm not "mixed" - that's up and down at the same time, and like I told Ron "That's where everyone suicides".  Well worth the $8 a month for the Depakote to keep that away.  Worth the weight gain.  And the brain fog...

Anyway.  Torbie cat has been an awesome, sweet, girl, sleeping with me every night, and even during some naps. 

Ron's been alternating between supportive-ish and verbally abusive.  He went off on me for 5 minutes today, in front of customers, because I asked him to bend his knees as I cut around a sharp corner.  I couldn't make the turn with him sticking his legs straight out.  He kept accusing me of "attacking him" and trying to get me... I don't know what the hell he wanted. 

Anyway, he wound down, I avoided him, except for the usual bellowing for me now and then.  Exhausting.  And it was a short day! 

I finally had the energy to go to Sears and order my glasses.  I got 2 pair bifocals for about $300.  Not bad considering, and purple frames to boot. 

Ron paid.  I don't feel at all guilty for that.  He liked that mall. 

I should get my glasses in 2 weeks. 

Depression days are awful, I can't even do my God Time half the time.  Manic days are good but I can't catch up on everything I couldn't do during the depressions. 

Work is good.  I'm showering and keeping up with the laundry. 

I'm just weary. 

Tomorrow (as scheduled for 3 months) I'll see Doc.  Odds are I'll be manic.  [rolleyes] 

I get that Ron feels very frightened and uncertain when I'm depressed.  He's very dependent on me.  I understand that translates to lashing out at me. 

It doesn't "make it better".