Cardiology

I’ve just got back from the hospital for my cardiology appointment. I had an echo done and now I’m wired up to a portable heart monitor that I need to keep on for 24 hours.

The tech doing the echo wasn’t able to tell me if anything seemed off. But he told me about a few cases like mine. One guy his heart didn’t beat fast enough when he was exercising, one woman needed a pacemaker and another woman had epilepsy. All he said were fixable. Epilepsy is my worst fear. Next to a brain tumour I guess.

I’m having an MRI next Friday to look at potential neurological problems.

I’m impressed with how quickly the public system is moving. Hopefully it means I’ll get some answers sooner rather than later.

I’m a terrible claustrophobic, but the hospital staff have informed me that I can get a prescription for sedation from my GP. I’ve already made the appointment!

Last night I slept on Steve’s couch. I just couldn’t shake the feeling of doom, and fear of being alone and having a seizure. I guess I hoped Steve would be sympathetic and show me some compassion. He didn’t. I was left to lay on the sofa crying most of the night. It was nice to wake up in a house bustling with activity as my kids got ready for school though.

Facing something potentially life changing like this alone is a really terrifying prospect. Not least as I juggle PTSD which makes any medical processes feel even more invasive.

I feel like my life is on pause at the moment, and I’m restless and anxious.

Advertisements

?

I’m not sure why, but I seem to have dropped a couple of rungs down the ladder. After I saw my counsellor last week, I felt much lighter, I’d finally articulated all of my jumbled thoughts. But by evening I felt empty. I can’t explain it. Not so much drained as just very alone, very vulnerable.

I hoped it was just blowback from the much needed counselling session; but I haven’t been able to bounce back. Even at the gym I feel very sluggish and tired and yet usually it energises me.

It’s possible I was getting into a routine (of sorts). Irrespective of whether I dropped the kids off or not, I’d head to the gym. Do my volunteer work on Thursday, and I guess from there I planned my days.

It’s now the school holidays – and don’t get me wrong, I’m loving spending time with my kids. Steve is completely off the radar and I don’t mind being available at all hours. But I can’t get to the gym daily, I can’t do my volunteer work, my WSD course has finished, it’s hard to see friends because I have the kids and I don’t really have evenings to myself. I have counselling tomorrow and I need to take the kids with me, and I’m seeing my CPN on Friday, I’ll have to take the kids along to that too. Not much fun for them. But I feel I really need my counselling session to work through this and I need to see my CPN to talk about my mood.

I also had a scary experience at the gym last week. I was on the treadmill listening to my music but glancing at the tv screens and for some reason I completely disassociated. A lot of time passed, my legs were working but my mind went off. I KNOW I was thinking about something (flashback?), but I really can’t remember at all. I suddenly sort of came around and panicked. I didn’t know where I was, what I was doing and why it happened. I’m thankful I didn’t fall off the treadmill. But it’s really affected me. The gym is my safe place where I can think through concerns and then distract myself with weights that usually leads to me feeling good. But for quite an extended period, I’d left my body and lost control of my mind. I feel like a memory of what I was thinking is just on the periphery but I can’t quite touch it. It’s such an awful, scary feeling. I haven’t spoken to anyone about it. I guess if it’s not said out loud I don’t need to own it. Plus I can’t imagine anyone understanding that. For 2 days afterwards I had a terrible migraine. Not sure if it’s related or not.

My sleep is also off. I’m not taking zopiclone because I’m mindful that I need to be alert for the kids. But what’s happening is we’re all going to bed later and then sleeping in.

I guess I also have to factor in that Steve had some friends down from Auckland. They’ve been with their wives since Steve and I have been together, and although Steve has been up to Auckland previously, it seemed to affect me more with them being here. All 4 of the kids were at my house and we weren’t allowed into the house. Which sent my brain into overdrive a bit. Were his friends really here? Or was he planning a rendezvous with a new lover? And why should I mind?

After the weekend, Monday to be exact, I was planning a ‘slob’ day at the the house. I knew I’d have a load of washing to do (I don’t have a tumblr dryer at my place), and I knew the kids would relish the space and privacy. Turns out Steve had decided to work from home. As usual he could hardly look at me, and contempt seemed to be radiating off of him. I politely enquired about his weekend (not question him ruthlessly of course) but see if he had a good time and his friends were well. (obviously I know them). He couldn’t have made it any clearer that it clearly wasn’t my business and I had no place to ask.

I miss catching up together. I’d liked to have told him about my gym experience and get his feedback. I’d like to have shared my vulnerability and get some reassurance. I would have loved one of our evenings where we used to watch a movie, have a bottle of wine, some take out. Just have that connection. But of course I realise that’s totally inappropriate.

So like two pieces of broken jagged glass we tried to sludge through the day. In retrospect I should have left the kids with him (he could have worked and looked after them) and I wouldn’t have been in this situation. But of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I miss his warmth and I miss him caring. I miss just chatting and hanging out.

So I think it’s probably a combination of ALL of these things. And now my internal monologue is beating myself up for not giving the kids a better holiday, for wishing for the old times, for losing at my life.

Last night I had a really vivid dream that Steve was telling me about his new girlfriend- I don’t know if he has one or not. But he spoke with such fondness for her and continued his hateful attitude toward me. I could have cried this morning.

Steve has been my best friend for years. But now he can’t even tell me how his weekend was. His hatred of me is almost palpable.

Despite being around my beautiful children, I can’t shake the feeling of loneliness. And Steve’s parents have announced they’re coming down next week, so I’ll be dismissed from mothering duty.

Is it loss of control? Is it a sense of not belonging? Is it just part of the cycle of grief and healing? I don’t know and I feel I’ve lost my way a bit. Please just let this be a temporary phase.

Swimming fail

Ladies night at the pool tonight, as usual on Sunday night and I try to make it fairly regular. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst women of all shapes and sizes and ethnicities being able to enjoy the pool without fear of judgement or preying eyes. I usually enjoy the background chatter, people catching up, family members aqua jogging together. And I’m certainly most at peace in the water.

Tonight before I left I’m without the kids. I’m at my house. It’s raining heavily, I’m jumping at every noise, I feel lonely. I couldn’t decide whether swimming would help or not, but decided it would get me out of the house.

My body felt worn out before I’d even really begun. The usual energising chatter sounded unbearably loud and from the snippets I caught, really tedious and inane. I tried heading to a different part of the pool and floated on my back. But the chatter continued. The pool was extra busy tonight. I didn’t feel like myself. I wasn’t open to talking to anyone and the smiles I gave were forced. I sat bubbling in the spa pool for a while and realised just how off my axis I’m becoming. The usual joy I’d get from swimming isn’t there. My hyper vigilance is at an all time high. I dreaded returning to my house, but didn’t want to drive home in the dark. Luckily the evenings are still light here.

Now I’m sat in the relative dark, relying on a sleeping tablet to get me through the night.

I have an appointment with the benefits office tomorrow morning which is causing me great anxiety and I have a counselling session booked at lunch time. And of course next week is the day of the actual anniversary, so my entire week is going to be awful. Perhaps that’s why I felt so out of tune with swimming.

I wish I wasn’t experiencing all of these feelings.

New year woes

I’m writing my last entry for 2017 before 9pm in bed. I’m feeling really unwell and teamed with my medication, it’s making for a sluggish and disoriented period.

Last night I was up at Steve’s and was struck with the same debilitating PTSD symptoms. I’ve given up trying to question the whys now. I wasn’t triggered, the house is safe and yet I had this unrelenting fear of an intruder, coming to do me harm. I suppose the greatest feeling that accompanies this is loneliness. I have no one to share my fears with. No one to give me comfort or reassurance, or even at least acknowledge and validate my fears. I just have to push it down and get on.

Today I took Ava for her final vaccinations and a microchip. I think I found it more unbearable than her! But the microchip is so important.

Following on from her appointment I felt too unwell to do anything else. I actually felt faint at times, and the sweat was pouring off of me. We came back to my house and I awaited a text that said Steve was leaving Napier so I could estimate their arrival time.

Of course that text never came. And now I’m bed unwell and it’s all my fault and the kids wanted to stay in Napier and I dragged them away from all the fun up there. Blah blah blah. I get fed up being the selfish, meanie mother sometimes and there’s no reasoning with Steve. Once I’m in the dog house, I’m fully there to stay. Still, at least it gives him something to bitch about to his parents. My failings. If only I could be as perfect a parent as him.

I have no desire to see the new year in. I’m done with hoping for something better. It’s just more disappointment and shit to handle, with a different number at the end.

I have no inspirational comments or pseudo motivational sound bites to make. It’s just me signing off one miserable year, expecting the same next year.

Disappointment 

Am I disappointing my family (parents). Yes. 100% Gone are the ‘Europe xmas breaks’ we used to buy them, gone is my capacity to accommodate them in my own home, thus them only needing flights. I am now reliant on them financially and I would say emotionally but they’ve never been very good at that side of things. Every cent my father spends is another black mark against me. He can barely control his irritation. And to be fair, in his retirement, looking after a daughter that’s pushing 40 is a lot to ask.

So far I’ve enquired about numerous properties (competition is hot), made my benefit appointment and a slot to see my therapist, I’m still applying for jobs and may well have secured one – won’t know for sure for a little while. This has been me being proactive and not waiting for things to happen for me.

I’ve had my medication changed and feel much more positive about the regime. It’s just a shame that dr was temporary.

But my parents, they don’t seem to see it. Or maybe it’s all just not happening quickly enough. I still want to spend hours languishing in bed, I still feel low, my anxiety is shocking, sleep isn’t much better – but I’m trying desperately to organise my life.

Tensions are so fraught though, and arguments keep popping out – but you can tell they’re only mild releases of pressure. A big blow up feels imminent.

I feel quite alone in this struggle. I’m enduring another tidal wave of grief and sadness after seeing anything remotely mine in the house been chucked out. I understand Steve was being practical. And it’s just ‘stuff.’ But it’s a stark and shocking reminder that the house is nothing to do with me. That I don’t have a place there. I have no home. Yesterday I broke down and cried. I felt I could have cried for hours to be honest but with the kids around, I kept it hidden. They’re so happy to see me again, I don’t want them to think I’m unhappy.

I’ll have Harry and my daughter here in the motel tonight to sleep. Although it’s not very nice here, I’d like to spend more time with them.

So the struggle is ongoing, I’m really putting everything into putting my life in order. I think my parents just can’t understand me, the situation and the complexities of it. Although I’ve tried my best to explain. Something’s people only get it when they’re going through it themselves.

Reality

So my dad has booked the tickets and I’m beyond excited to see my babies again. It’s been too long and much longer than I anticipated. I keep imagining their faces, their warmth, even the way they smell. I won’t be able to get enough of them.

The hurdles that I have to deal with on my return are what are keeping me awake at night. I’m so glad my parents are going to be flying with me and have booked accomodation for us. That’s a huge weight off of my mind. But I have so much to organise in the short time they’re with me, seeing my lawyer, organising my medication and worse still, organising my own accomodation in the long term. I keep having terrible anxiety attacks and I’m barely sleeping. I feel deeply suicidal because I don’t know how I’m going to be strong enough to deal with all the shit, especially how Steve will inevitably treat me. I feel so vulnerable, so alone, so afraid of my uncertain future. But having my parents by my side in the start will help immensely. My focus is on my children and their love and excitement to see me back.

I am both relieved at the booked flights and equally terrified. There is something to be said for the ignorant sanctity I have been indulging in back home. Although I’ve obviously had guilt and uncertainty, the immediate concerns could be thwarted by delay. Now everything is speeding towards me like a jump from a tall building and I know this landing is also going to hurt.

I’m scared of my unknown future. I’m not strong like I used to be. Nothing is the same. And somehow I need to conjure the strength to organise everything in the short time that I have my parents both emotionally and financially. And I worry about the toll on them. They don’t have deep pockets, they’re old and deserve their peace. Not hurtling towards a car crash situation that’s geographically the furthest point away with a large potential financial burden.

I feel like I’ve let everyone down. I’m no longer the daughter to be proud of, the mother to be proud of and the woman to be envied because I had it all. I’m broken and I have nothing. I am nothing and I’m completely without direction. 

Aside from the warmth of my children – that is all I have to cling to.

In transit

I’m in Dubai now. It’s hot, and I’m sweaty and miserable. I couldn’t get comfy on the flight (I’ve not flown since I got so fat) and the service was pretty abysmal. I’ve flown Emirates back in the 90s and didn’t like it then. But it was part of a special deal. 

Surprisingly I don’t have flu symptoms yet, long haul and flu go together for me.

I’ve just had feelings of dread and regret in the air. I had a long wait in Auckland, and just watched the new series of House of Cards, but I was still in New Zealand so the gravity didn’t really dawn on me. On the flight I knew by each minute I was going further and further from my children. The regret was just as oppressive and added to my claustrophobia. Especially as everyone else had kids on board. The reality also that there will be no more family vacations struck me pretty hard.

So perhaps my intentions were right, reality is already kicking my arse. My marriage is over and there will be no more family holidays. No more S and I managing the kids. I kept having the urge to cry but fought it off. There will be lots of tears when I land. If I ever land. 

I used to love flying. It’s just watching movies and having a waitress! But now it feels painfully long and uncomfortable. My weight is probably a big contributor to that.

You’d think in times of stress I’d lose weight, but instead I get fatter, and I’m not moving much either. The last few weeks have been spent mostly in bed, so the airport transfers alone are making me walk more than I do in a week. 

My anxiety has been really bad. I’ve been shaking and bordering panic attacks. I was a seasoned traveller. I’ve been all over the globe and I used to storm through airports. Now I’m shaking, sweating, my chest is tight from panic. I feel more alone than I ever have. Everything has fallen apart. I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m ashamed of what I’ve become. I see more clearly what S sees when he looks at me and I can understand his disgust. I’m nothing like the girl he married. I’m pretty revolting as it goes, and my passion for life is dead.

I owe my children more than this. When did I become so selfish? When did I let myself go so much? When did I stop living? 

I hate myself, I hate what I’ve become. My children deserve so much more.

I hope that I can find my way back to myself. If nothing changes after this UK trip, after all of this discomfort and hellish travel, I don’t know what I’ll do.

I miss my children and the unconditional love they give me. But I need to be better for them.