Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Feeling Good! And...Anxiety/OCD

Hey y'all, Hannah here. Rhianne posted for me last Friday because I was sick and I am subbing for Cheyanne, now. I hope you are okay Cheyanne! <3.

My body has been a bit of a roller coaster. I am amazed at how well I have done these past couple of days, though I am still having bouts of feeling bad. I've been getting up earlier (because of having to take my midodrine) and then my Midodrine helps me get going, and for those of you who don't know, it's rather fast acting so it doesn't take long. I have been out of bed before 10AM quite a bit and that is a huge accomplishment for me to keep up with, instead of crashing after a short series of days. I did hard work today and didn't lay down once though I was tempted and had my moments of POTSy feelings and fatigue. We are preparing for our pool that us and my cousins who are also my neighbors are sharing. Today I dug up some grass and weeds (I was on my hands and knees, of course) went on all three trips to get loads of sand, and helped scoop out some of the sand. I've also been helping the daycare kids and my cousins with "school" in the mornings for the past couple of days. I am just enjoying this "holiday" with my body.

Part of me could certainly complain and say, but I'm still having headaches! But I'm still having GI issues! But I'm still having... But I feel like instead I should rejoice and say that there IS hope for those of us who are sick to still get out and live our lives. I told my mom yesterday when we were moving things around out of the pool area that I'll probably have high blood pressure the next couple of days, or something like that (I haven't checked it to know), but I can't live my life in bed, can I? What I meant was, I felt okay then, so I didn't want to go lay down or sit out because I could potentially pay for it if I didn't. However, please know this is not medical advice nor is this appropriate for everyone. When my crashes used to be worse I couldn't do this, but my crashes are improving in severity, to a more tolerable place, so I feel like I can pay the "price" of doing things now without putting myself in misery. :)

Anywho, on to the questions 'cause I'm going to have a long answer for one of them :)

Michelle K: Have you had a tilt table test? If you have had more than one, have you ever had one on medication? Yes, and sort of. The first one I wasn't on any medications that should affect my heart. However, for the second one I had, I didn't stop any of my meds (including my SSRI, which I think takes at least two weeks to leave your system- and this one does help my POTS quite a bit) until the night before. Also, I am sorry you are not doing well at the moment. Hang in there! 

Cheyanne: Do you have any eye problems? I have an astigmatism, and what you are describing happens to me as well. I am assuming the focus issues for me would be that, however, I do get random blurriness and other issues with my vision which I attribute to Dysautonomia.
 For those of you with anxiety problems, have you noticed that it gets worse at a certain of the day or year?  I'm assuming you meant like a certain time of day or year. This is where my long answer is going to be... You guys ready for this? I hope so ha ha.

When I was a kid, I went to the movie theaters with my sister and friend (and when I say kid- I was maybe seven) and my sister was throwing up everywhere (I hope she doesn't hate me for posting this!), and on the car ride back she was still throwing up everywhere. We had a station wagon where the back seats faced backwards, so I was sitting with my back to back to my sister. I remember that was really upsetting to me. Then when we got back home I threw up some time that night. Ever since, I had a fear of vomiting, and for the sake of the person who I feel in their love was trying to help me, after a period of time made my fear worse, I will not say who or what- but my fear of vomiting got out of control. And of course it'd be wrong to push the blame for my anxieties on someone else. It was my anxiety <3. It was to the point I wouldn't eat at times. There is a name for this fear, and while I have never been diagnosed with it, it's called emetaphobia. 

I've carried this fear ever since and it spiraled into other anxieties, big fears of germs, and I hated going anywhere that I thought I could catch something or if I left the house feeling the least bit sick (which was most of the time- I was even a bit sickly as a child, perhaps some of it was anxiety too, I don't know). I would wash my hands until they were bleeding.

and for the sake of this post not being a book, I will move on... 

But here comes the sunshine! 

I have been fighting and fighting hard against my anxiety. I decided it was time to take hold of it, I think it was probably a year ago, maybe a little more. But through TONS and TONS of prayer and reliance on God and His promises I have gotten rid of a lot of the debilitating symptoms of my anxiety. My anxiety usually no longer keeps me staying at home in isolation because of fear. One of the other things I have done is purposefully expose myself to things that cause me anxiety to sort of desensitize myself to them. 

I am determined to get rid of my unhealthy anxiety. And, I will tell you guys- it is worth it to get help or whatever you need to do to deal with it. The more I overcome, the more accomplished I feel. It just gives you a sense of accomplishment knowing that you overcame or are overcoming something that has plagued your life for so long. 

I definitely still have anxiety but not nearly as bad. I still have a fear of throwing up- but it no longer keeps me from being around people who are sick or may be sick, etc. Though the anxiety may still be there in my head- I am fighting it. My other OCD tendencies are getting less and less as well as I fight them. And please note, I understand this is not always how everyone can deal with they're anxieties. But for me personally, I am getting better. Do you know the saying, inch by inch is a sinch! Yard by yard is hard! By tackling one thing at a time as it came, it has helped tremendously. 

And to answer about the times of day or year, my anxiety is worse when I have too much time on my hands (here's another saying you may know, "idle hands are the devil's workshop"), of course, for us, too much time on our hands is usually very unwelcome because it's usually our sickness, so this isn't exactly something we can control by always getting up and reading a book or something of that sort. And usually flu season (as I am sure you could have guess) makes my anxiety worse, but again- there are improvements, and I am determined to keep making more improvements! :). 

Miranda's question kind of goes with yours, so I will go on to hers...
Have you ever gone to or considered therapy or counseling? Yes and yes. I have seen counselors before. Two, one of them was when I was in 10th grade (I think) for issues I was having having with my mom (and praise God, we are like best friends- she is so wonderful!), and to be honest- I loved the woman but I stopped going because I felt it was causing more harm than good. The light at the end of that tunnel for that also came through prayer and trusting in God and learning to forgive and deal with my callousness. More recently, I think last summer, after I was hospitalized and they just really didn't understand what was happening to me, they wanted me to see a counselor. And she had POTS (and she actually said I was handling my POTS fine- not to say this to boast, but to just say that because of how often we are dismissed) but I also didn't feel like I could completely open up with her because of my doctors then dismissing all my symptoms as anxiety. I actually only saw her twice? because she was going to do her career solo and I never got a call from her and the organization she had been with couldn't get us in contact either. However, now, if I had the money-  I would love to see a counselor with similar beliefs as mine to help me continue to work my OCD tendencies out. However, I am suppose to start behavioral therapy and I had two different explanations given to me as to what it was- so I'm not really sure if this is going to be a therapy type thing, or as the docs explained, someone to help me work out my schedule and habits better to sleep. Also, I am sorry your OCD symptoms are getting worse, I know how torturous they are! I'm here for both you and Cheyanne and allllllll you girls!

Michelle R: Congrats on graduating! Also, for your legs, may I recommend B-1 and Biotin and Folic Acid (but folic acid can deplete you in B-12 so be careful). B-1 helped me a while back when I could barely walk from severe leg weakness/pain. And now the biotin and folic acid help my restless legs.

Hayden: Keep us posted about your graduation! I certainly hope you can, I know that would be such a huge relief <3. Hang in there!

Logan: I didn't read your post yet (I plan to), but I hope everything is okay with you <3.

Rhianne: You keep hanging in there, I know this upcoming hospital admission is not something you want to do, but I think the girls would agree that we are cheering for you and hoping that something helpful will come of this stay. If you have internet access there- skype me/message me whenever! :). Praying for you!

I think that was it for the questions. I hope everyone else is okay too :).
Thanks for reading my very long post! Anyone, readers and all- feel free to contact me if anyone wants to talk about coping mechanisms with OCD/Anxiety. I am not there yet, but I know we can still be there for each other :).




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