August 12, 2010

i wonder how long...

...i can type with my eyes closed and my head resting on the back of the couch before i eventually nod off?

While it seems like a splendid idea, the reality is, I am an adult male over the age of 30, and nap time is no longer a daily occurrence in my life. Naps really aren't very good for me 99% of the time.

Ooh! I just had a fantastic thought!

Coffee!!! - brb

What the hell was I talking about? Oh yeah, nap time.

See, as it turns out, being sleepy and taking naps is both a symptom of depression for me as well as a catalyst for it. Drowsiness and fatigue are common symptoms, but it took me a while to figure out why, in my particular case, they seem to be a cause as well.

For starters, I think that when I'm super sleepy, it's probably a good indicator that my mood my be dropping a bit. Then when I lay down, I typically have a hard time getting motivated and waking up. Whether it's hitting the snooze button for an hour (or more) or telling Cody "Five more minutes," I'm just not good at waking up. When I finally do wake up, I feel crappy and guilty for sleeping so long. Add in the occasional guilt-trip when I realize how nasty I can be to Cody when he tries to wake me up, and it's easy to see how that can have a negative impact on my mood.

Today, in addition to having to get out of bed WAY earlier than I wanted because Her Royal Highness, Winifred, decided it was time to go outside, I'm just starting to get my legs back under me from being sick. No, it's not the flu or a cold, though either of those would have been like a walk in the park, comparatively speaking.

It was another spell of my favorite old crazy wackadoodle crap. Joy. This time around it kind of cut my legs out from under me, and the shame and embarrassment led me to keep it to myself for far too long. I haven't been to work at all this week, and I allowed my shame to defeat me by allowing Cody to believe that the reason I was home was due to more parts shortages at work.

I decided on Tuesday afternoon that I had had enough. My craziness keeping me from work was nothing new, as it has happened before. When I was paralyzed at the thought of leaving the house to put gas in my truck and get a few essential groceries, I knew something had to give.

I spent a fair amount of time Tuesday afternoon and evening looking up options, treatments, facilities and such on the interwebs. I still couldn't being myself to tell Cody what was going on, but I had every intention of doing something about it on Wednesday morning. As luck would have it, I was able to get a same-day appointment with a new shrinky-dink at 6pm.

Before I made any phone calls however, I forced myself to write a quick email to my Pastor to let him know what was happening and what my intentions were. I knew at that point that I needed to have someone to hold me accountable to my intended goal of getting help.

Hooray! Coffee's done...

Lucky for me, after I had my appointment set and had gotten the ball rolling to obtain leave from work, I noticed that Ms. Bethany was online. Talk about a freaking lifesaver. She whipped my ass into gear in fairly short order and set my straight about letting Cody know what was happening. As much as I hate to hear what she has to say sometimes, it's almost always the truth that I need to hear. Being able to talk to someone who can understand what I'm saying helps, too.

I have a few people in my life that I can talk to about this kind of stuff who are able to relate. Bethany is just the only one I have enough history with (too much history, probably) that I can go to when it's really bad. I can talk to a couple of other people about general things, and while I know they would be able to empathize when I get really low, I just feel more comfortable with her.

Good Lord, could it be more muggy?! Sorry - I'm sweating like a hog just sitting here typing. And to answer your question, I'd still rather have this than be cold.

Now today, as if I didn't feel like enough of a heel for being a whack-job already, I'm dealing with what the shrink told me last night. She feels I have a vitamin deficiency. Apparently when your vitamin D and/or B12 bottoms out, it can cause depression that is not affected by medication. I did not know that.

She ordered some blood work and gave me a prescription for some kind of non-addictive pill to help me sleep better, then sent me on my merry way. I don't mean to imply that it was a little 5 minute visit, but I definitely walked out of there with very mixed emotions.

Here I am on day three of a spaz attack, and I need vitamins? I'm not a huge fan of meds, mostly because of bad experience with a couple I was on before. And while she did offer to up the dosage of my Zoloft while we wait for test results and such, I couldn't believe my ears.

Now, I had taken Cody with me for moral support due to being burned pretty badly by past therapists, so I turned to him as we were leaving to get his impression on how the visit went. According to him, the visit went well. I kept waiting for him to stop her before we left and say, "Now wait a minute. He's been sick for three days to the point of not being able to work, etc. We're not leaving until we get some concrete steps to take blah, blah, blah."

Nope. He likes her and thinks everything is hunky-dory for the time being. We're just waiting to get all the tests results back, and we'll go from there. If I do have a deficiency, I'm assuming she'll write a prescription for vitamin D in a larger dose than what is available over the counter and that will be that. In the meantime, she told me to try and get out in the sun as much as possible in order to trigger my body into producing it naturally.

-- Side note: According to this psychiatrist, everyone in the Cleveland area has a vitamin D deficiency. It's just a matter of how much of a deficiency. --

So far I have gotten my results online for my thyroid and my B12 level, both of which are fine. The doctor said it will take up to 10 days to get results on my vitamin D level, and I don't remember what the 4th vial of blood they took was for.

I just feel like such a massive dork now. I already have a tendency to beat myself up over these episodes, since it's generally hard for people to understand how you can be sick when they don't have anything tangible to go off of. So telling Cody, Bethany and my pastor how messed up I was, only to walk out of the doctors office with a prescription for something to relax me at bedtime and four vials shorter of blood had/has me pretty mixed up.

In addition to all that, I'm always warring in my head when I get sick like this because I don't want to lay around the house and be lazy, but I'm always afraid that if I do "too much," Cody will think I'm just faking being sick.

To top it off, despite my firm belief that we should all do our part to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health issues, I can't bear the thought of my co-workers and such finding out what's going on. It's easy for me to stick up for the rights of other whackadoodles, but when it comes to talking about my own issues I slam on the brakes like Sonny Bono headed for a tree.

What? Too soon?

It sucks when you're a huge proponent of living openly and authentically and then having to struggle with something like this. It feels so deeply personal and embarrassing, but I know that if more people would just speak a little more freely about their own struggles, it wouldn't be so bad for the next guy or gal.

Crap. Almost noon and I've done nothing so far today. I did take my paperwork in to work this morning, so I got that going for me. Cody had to schedule a service guy to come out and work on our garage door this afternoon because they don't work late enough for them to come out after he's home. So I've got that to look forward to as well. Let me tell you, finding out I had to answer the door and explain the problem to some random stranger when all I want to do is play turtle and hide from the world was not the highlight of my day yesterday. Since the job Cody is at right now has the potential to last up to 3-4 months though, it wouldn't be fair of me to refuse and make him miss work. Lord knows that man puts up with enough of my craziness already.

The shrinky-dink gave me the rest of the week off of work to get my feet back on the ground and learn to walk again, which was pretty cool of her to do. Judging by how hard it was to walk into work just long enough to turn in my forms, I'm pretty glad she did though. Thank God that someone at my place of employment was smart enough to fill the FMLA benefits coordinator position with the woman they did. It may not seem like much to someone in HR who is just trying to put a warm body in a chair, but when you are already having a rough go of it, walking into that office and being treated with genuine kindness makes all the difference in the world.

So now I have the rest of today and tomorrow to "relax and get as much sun as possible," which despite my trepidation of her diagnosis, is a pretty cool prescription to get from your doctor. The evil part of me wants to milk it for all it's worth and go lay on my raft in the pool all day eating bon-bons. If Cody says anything, I can just look at him and say, "I'm just following the doctor's orders!"

In reality, however, I know that I need to "do stuff" to get better. Kind of practicing being normal, I guess. It looks as though the sun may be out to stay for at least a little while, so I'm thinking I should probably go outside and try to do a little work in the yard. That way I'm following doctor's orders, but not being a worthless slug in the meantime.

I really would love to go hop in the pool, especially considering how muggy it is right now, but with the garage door guy due to arrive at any time now, I'd better not. Not to mention one of the stray cats in the neighborhood decided to seek shelter behind the garage where the pool is to have a kitten. I scared it yesterday when I went out there and it took off. Well, I should say we scared each other. I didn't see it until it ran away.

I'm sort of angry at the damn thing though. It took off without so much as hissing at me to try and warn me away from it's baby. I've never seen a kitten that young in real life before. It is absolutely adorable, but sad at the same time since it is so helpless. It was trying to crawl around on the ground, mewing for it's momma, and the poor things eyes aren't even open yet.

You know damn good and well my first instinct was to "rescue" it. I know there is no way that Cody would let me keep it though, and I can't bear the thought of getting attached to the poor thing and then having to give it up. So I didn't mess with it at all.

I walked back over to the patio to keep an eye out until I was sure momma came back before I went back in the house. The little shit did the same thing when Cody walked back there later to see it. No warning, no hissing; just took off and abandoned her baby to what could have been a predator.

I did get Cody to agree that if the momma totally abandoned the kitten or it was in imminent danger for any other reason that I could try to protect it until we could take it to a shelter or something.

I haven't been back there yet this morning, but I will go check it out shortly. We got some rain last night, and I'm hoping momma was smart enough to pull her baby into shelter. I don't want to chase the mom away again, so I've learned to sneak around the corner so that I don't startle her. I creep just far enough to see that she's there and then go back in the house. I'll take my camera back with me today just in case she's not there, but I won't chase it off on purpose just to get a photo. So depending on how negligent mom is feeling, I may be able to get a shot or two of it. Hopefully it's eyes aren't open yet, cause if the little booger sees me and comes towards me with that pitiful mewing, I'm going to end up spending the afternoon trying to find a way to hide it in my office without Cody or the dogs (yeah right) hearing it...


Pete said...

oh yeah, I can leave a comment!!

Sonny Bonno HA!! ROFLMAO!!!!

I scared the cats from laughing.

Seriously though, I heart you. :)

Oh and I miss you guys too. :)

Good steps are being taken, I'm proud of you.

Which makes me miss you guys that much more.

Tim said...

Your opening line made me laugh out loud. Not very long ago I fell asleep at the keyboard and woke up to about six pages of (no lie) z's!

Hang in there, Jake. The doc may be right. I have a lot of friends who take prescription vitamins to help keep their spirits up. It's amazing what that does to their thoughts about their conditions. Chemistry is not to be underestimated as cause or cure.

I know you guys are dog people. I'm a cat lover who trains his felines like dogs, which gives me the best of both worlds. But as one, if the kitten's fate falls in your hands, promise you'll place it in a no-kill shelter. A lot of places put an arbitrary deadline on adoption and then euthanize the animal if it's still around. If you have trouble finding one in your area, let me know and I'll put the Birkenstock girls (read between the lines there) who run our local shelter on it. I'm sure they know of one.

Oy, have I just written more about this kitten than you? Doesn't mean anything... ;-)

Feel better. Know you're loved and in our prayers.