Posts Tagged ‘depression’

I Painted Tonight

Simple words. It wasn’t much – I slapped some craft paint onto some newel posts I bought at a yard sale ages ago, a little craft I have been dabbling at for over a year. It’s not a serious craft, just something I saw on Pinterest, and I happened to have the newel posts, so…

It’s an important step, if a minor-seeming one. I have not painted since just before Christmas (excepting one commission). I have been in a funk, a depression, an artistic hole with no light at the end. I haven’t written much, I haven’t painted much. I’ve slept a lot. I’ve meditated and prayed a lot.

I’ve been here before, but not when I was on an artistic roll, and all seemed to be going smoothly. This came in with the dark clouds of winter, settled over my spirit, and sucked my soul downward. I get up and go to work, come home, play some cards or watch a movie, go to bed. The doldrums of winter? Mourning the dogs? Or just a cycle of the clinical depression I have battled most of my life? Probably the latter, compounded with the lack of a fur baby to comfort me.

It doesn’t matter the cause. What matters is that I painted. I pulled out the color and applied it to a blank canvas (well, newel post), and started to make something look cheery. I pulled out a palette and chose the brightest colors. I found the energy to come back to life.

It’s May Day.

I painted.

I’m far from finished, but – I painted.

(Note: the bird houses were already finished. I’ve just been working on the newel posts. I have no idea what I will do with them… does itmatter?)

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I don’t know what hit me, but then I rarely do. I think I am just tired, but it still doesn’t excuse the reaction.

I struggle with clinical depression and right now I am attempting to deal with it naturally. I’ve upped my Vitamin B complex intake and I try to remember to take St John’s Wort several times a day and I try to get my daily dose of sunshine (yeah, right – in the Willamette Valley), but sometimes I just do not manage to maintain. My goal right now is to just keep on an even keel without losing my temper over some trivial frustration.

I had to go out of my way after work for the second night in a row, which is probably what set me up for a crash. I’d called the eye doctor yesterday to see if I could get my glaucoma meds refilled since I ran out over the weekend. On my way home after work, I stopped by the pharmacy only to be told that they did not have my prescription ready because they had to order the meds. It would be ready this morning. Then the pharmacist asked if that was inconvenient. Uh – yeah, but what was I going to do? If he called it out to a neighboring pharmacy, I’d still have to wait 20 minutes or so and I just wanted to go home, eat dinner and relax. So I said I’d stop by today and pick up the meds and I let him know that while I was upset, I understood that they probably don’t have very many prescriptions for glaucoma meds. I don’t think it is a very widespread ailment.

The Travatan Z was ready tonight, but the clerk at the counter fiddled around putting the eye drops into a bottle while she yakked on the phone (OK, it was business, but I wanted to go home). These are expensive drops: my co-pay is $30. I put it on my little benefits card, but $30 is still pretty spendy.

(Oh, yes: my benefits card… I recieved an email from the company that oversees the benefits card program today. Seems a charge put through by Gentle Dental is a suspect charge and they want me to send them an “explanation of benefits” from my insurance carrier to prove the charge was within the terms of use for the card. OK, I can call Blue Cross/Blue Shield and see if they will get me an explanation ASAP – it usually takes 60 days, but, really: how is Gentle Dental not within the terms of use for a medical card? Co-pay, dentist? Hello?)

Finally, the clerk hands me my prescription and says (casually), “You know this has to be stored in the refrigerator?”

“No. No one said a thing about the refrigerator last time.”

“Well, it does.”

“Really? And how am I supposed to remember to put the eye drops in my eyes if it is in the refrigerator?”

She looked at me like I was an idiot. “Can’t you put your other medications in the fridge with it?”

“I set it in front of my alarm clock so I remember to take it at night.” I’m thinking she is the idiot: if no one told me to refrigerate the last batch, why do I need to refrigerate this batch and why (oh, tell me why) would I want to put COLD eye drops in my eyes right at bedtime? She says I can consult with the pharmacist (who is – mercifully – on the phone) and I decline, saying I will just call back.

And this is where the crash came in. It seemed so damned unreasonable and I was just too tired to wrap my mind around the concept of refrigerating this medication and I just wanted to go home. I got stuck in the courtesy check-out lane behind some woman making an exchange. I fumed that the Express Lane should be open, but kept my mouth shut. The Express Lane did open up and I was the next customer in line, so I got out of there. But I was already crashing and I obsessed the entire way home on the verge of tears. I only take two medications, both maintenance meds. The asthma med is an inhaled steroid (that isn’t advertised everywhere, but which is pretty much a necessity for me). I keep the inhaler right next to my toothbrush so I don’t forget to use it. I have to brush my teeth after I use it. The other is the Travatan Z. And that is supposed to be put into my eyes at bedtime and I am to pinch the bridge of my nose for 60 seconds to prevent the eyedrops from getting into my sinus cavity.

I can just see me trying to remember that it is in the refrigerator. I’d have to stand in the kitchen, pinching my nose, then I’d have to come to bed. And I have to REMEMBER to do this EVERY night. Hello? How inconvenient is that? Who thought that routine up? Cold eye drops in tired eyes at bedtime, stumble to bed afterward. I was thinking that the clerk had no idea what it was like to have glaucoma and that I had no reference point on how to feel about it, either. I mean, how many people do you know who actually have glaucoma?? I know a cat that had it (my brother had the cat: he was cross-eyed and he lost an eye to glaucoma, so when he looked at you with the remaining eye, he had to turn his head and peer over his nose at you), but that’s the only reference point I have.

Then I read the directions. They say “store between 25-77 degrees Farenheit.” Whoa. 77 degrees is NOT in the refrigerator. It just is not supposed to get too warm. My bedroom stays 70 – 75 degrees (most of the time). There isn’t any reason the medication would be hurt if I store it the way I have been storing it. IN A COOL ROOM. And, suddenly, I remember having this conversation with the pharmacist when I picked the prescription up the first time. He said that IF THE ROOM WAS COOL, I did NOT need to store the eye drops in the refrigerator.

That pretty much deflated the rant I was feeling coming on (which I posted anyway), but it did nothing for the emotional crash. I was still on the verge of tears.

I managed to eat dinner, but I had to come hide in the bedroom and take a nap anyway. I could feel in my bones the effects of an emotional overload. I am pretty certain the whole pharmacy thing had little to do with it: I am just suffering a depression-related emotional crash. I hate life, I hate my life, I hate who I am, I am afraid of everything and I just want to curl up in a ball and die. Time to stop, breathe, check if I’ve been taking my vitamins and herbs (no), and then just withdraw so I don’t spin out of control onto someone else.

When my kids were younger and I’d spin out of control, the older two would simply place their hands on either side of my face and begin to speak calmly to me. They’d make me laugh by telling me stupid jokes about myself or quipping one-liners that I just couldn’t pass up. They appealed to my sense of humor and defused the situation. My husband just walks away or sometimes he lets me just hang onto him, but he doesn’t try the humor thing. And my youngest is just flummoxed by the whole emotional display (she is a stoic) and she also lacks that dry sense of humor that just cracks me up.

I don’t laugh nearly often enough.

As it was, my mood is still rather low, but I’ve taken the proper steps to recover and my son managed to time a phone call. Unless he is also struggling with depression, he can always make me smile. He has a pretty warped sense of humor.

Meanwhile, I am making a mental note to remember that I can store these eyedrops in a cool room. And to not get upset with silly pharmacy clerks who probably have only pills to swallow for maintenance medications and who don’t have to go through all the little steps that my particular set of maintenance meds require. (Of course, if I was still on depression meds, I’d have to remember to take the silly pills. Which is why going the natural way isn’t really any different: I still have to remember to take something.)

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