Friday, February 17, 2017

My Thoughts On...

Depression. I'm not talking about that debilitating variety requiring medication type of depression. I'm talking about the type where you just feel "blue" (as my mom called it) or "down" or as I like to refer to it---being in a "funk".

I've actually been in a funk for quite a while now---mostly related to my weight. Because, like most people, I believe you are completely responsible for that. Even if in your logical mind you know that 17 years on prednisone has taken it's toll. I am an "in control" sort of person. It's hard to face the fact that you are not in control of everything in your life.

Okay, already, I am droning on. Let's get straight to it and make a long story as short as I can. In December, I went to a specialist about my "problem." I came home completely depressed about my prognosis. Luckily for me, Butch said exactly the right thing as I was sobbing. Now he's not the most sensitive guy around---great in so many ways, but not quite so sensitive. He said to me, "I'm sorry the doctor didn't tell you what you wanted to hear!" That was it exactly! I've already lived with this for so many years--it didn't really make a difference. It was just facing the reality that this is never going away.

Still, I spent the time since then, not being able to get the new treatment off of my mind. I've had myself so scared and weepy about the whole situation.

Yesterday, I went for my first treatment. This is a pretty serious drug. My own, private nurse handed me a paper to read. At the top it said I needed to read it before each treatment. It contained many of the things I learned this drug could cause, plus a few more. I don't know about most people, because I have never experienced anything like this before. But I guess I am very susceptible to suggestion. The paper said: "let us know if you start to get a headache, your tongue starts to swell, your nose gets stuffy, you get cold..." and many other things. As I'm sitting there (each treatment is going to last 2-2 1/2 hours---less if all goes well later)---I start thinking, "wait, am I getting a headache? I think I'm getting a headache." Or, "I'm feeling really cold. My nose is definitely cold, but it's not stuffy. But, my tongue feels like it might be swelling." That was sort of hard to tell because due to my worry, I have a lot of cold sores on it, so it's already swollen!

I got home and was a little worried the rest of the day. Again, last night, Butch did a good job of calming me down. It's not the end of the world that my life is going to have to revolve around these monthly injections. I can only have them one day early or one week late. I'll just be more diligent in my planning. This is the last resort for me. If this doesn't work, there's nothing else to try. So I really should be hopeful and thankful. Because if it does work, I'll be able to get off the prednisone and then this weight will start to come off! It'll take awhile, but it will happen. And that makes me optimistic. If there's one thing I am, it's optimistic!

After not having slept much the night before, I slept just fine. When I got up this morning, I realized I was really starting to calm down when I only thought about the whole situation one time.

I have a plan for my "funk" that has always worked for me. Being down is, in my mind---a very selfish thing. When I'm like this, I'm only thinking about myself. The best way to get myself out of this is to start focusing on others. I can remember in the past, actually looking at my watch and saying to myself, "okay Barb, you have exactly 10 minutes to wallow in it. Then you have to get moving." I was doing nearly full time volunteer work at the time. It's pretty hard to think only of  yourself when you actually have to be thinking of others!

So there it is. I'm going to focus on other things now. Sometimes, things come to you when you least expect it. A friend called this morning in distress. She needs my help to "fix" a hundred invitations that came back boring. That will definitely keep me busy. And is totally right up my alley. Plus, I leave for Charlotte on Sunday to spend some time with "my girls!" That will definitely cheer me up. Sandy and I have a plan to do some table decorating. I'm looking forward to that.

What do you do to ward off those "down" days?


  1. Sounds like you have a plan for getting out of that funk!

    When I'm a little blue, I either read a good fiction book, take a walk in the sunshine, or scrapbook in my happy craft room. :)

  2. I'm sorry you're feeling blue. Don't be too hard on yourself! Living with any kind of chronic condition can indeed take its toll no matter how much "just getting on with it" you do. I hope the new medication makes things a little easier. When I'm blue I knit! Maybe you should think about those socks again :)

  3. Well I've said a little prayer that your new treatments will work out wonderfully. It is perfectly natural to feel a little overwhelmed by it all (medical stuff definitely sends me in a tailspin). And worries have a way of multiplying, don't they. My mom used to tell to "Snap Out Of It" whenever I was going through a "phase" as she would call it. So after all these years, I can still channel her when I need to do so.

    I was actually starting to get the winter blues last month and bought myself one of those natural daylight lamps that is supposed to help. I put it in my studio and used it for 30 minutes a day. It is supposed to take a few weeks to work. As it turned out, our weather has gotten much more spring-like and the sun has been shining - and that in itself has worked in the meantime. Of course, playing with paper always helps too.

    Hang in there, Barbara!


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