Losing it

So with the exception of a few hours on Saturday, things have been great on the anxiety front.  I completely forgot about the whole carbon monoxide thing, no back pain, new shoes have been great, finally figured out how to do my work project.

Then there was tonight.  I was lightheaded, and for about a minute one of my fingers went numb.  I will point out I was panicking about the lightheadedness when the finger went numb, that I had been poisoned, or was having a stroke.  So I am not sure how seriously to take that.  But now as you may imagine I am losing it.  I don’t eat great, so it could be vitamin B deficiency, actually, I once had a blood test that came back like that a few years ago.  It could be that I spent an hour in the car and got CO poisoning, or that I sat in a prone position with my arm bent for an hour, and that my blood pressure dropped when I got out.  I had a tension headache from grinding my teeth yesterday, that is known to reduce bloodflow, this could be a residual effect.  I also know that while I drank ok today, I didnt drink nearly enough the last two days, I could be dehydrated. Especially given that I had an unscheduled coffee, and took some extra bathroom breaks today.  Not cause I am diabetic (other possible cause), but because I was bored, and peeing was a good reason to leave my desk. While I am overweight and on birth control, there are many other things this could be other than a stroke, but this is where my brain goes. When I think about it all the possibilites and how I could be dying my face feels slightly numb, which in this case I am positive is anxiety, as I don;t have the slurrred speech a numb face would give, and I have had facial numbess from anxiety when worrying about a stroke before (hypochondriac here). It helps to realize that everytime I stop thinking about my face it feels better.  The worst part is I don’t know if I actually triggered this, like sometimes I can look and realize I was thinking about CO poisoning before I got symptoms, and while I dont recall doing that, its entirely possible.  So much so my Mom actually asked if I was thinking about carbon monoxide when I got dizzy.

Right now I am sitting in the basement shaking, half from it being cool, half from the adrenaline I once again feel in my toes.  While the dizziness passed quickly, I now feel off.  I have had this before, the off feeling, not the dizziness and in the past it has been anxiety related.  For once google searching has been my friend, tons of people have had a finger go numb before with no apparent reason, and never found out why.  A few people were told it was a migraine, as they can occur without a headache. I drank a glass of water, had dinner, and took two ibuprofen. Now I have to pee every five minutes, have borderline diarrhea and my nose is runny, anxiety is wonderful isn’t it.

If it comes back or gets worse I am going to have to head to the hospital, and one of my worst fears with the hypochondria is that some day I am going to rush to the hospital for one of my made up ailments.  Overall just expressing this has made me feel better, I think not being able to share all this with anyone has made it worse, keeping all these feelings pent up.  Overall I am glad I started this blog, and for now I am going to try and read for a bit and see if I can distract myself and probably “cure” my problems.

Anxiety

So, I don’t tell people that I have problems with anxiety, because they don’t get it.  I even tried to explain it to a behavioral therapist, and the didn’t even really get it.  It’s not just worrying, it’s not that I can’t calm my self down, because usually I can.

Anxiety is worrying about everything.  It’s worrying that the snowstorm on Thursday will make you late for work, that you will fall down the stairs, that people think you didn’t work hard enough today.  It’s that one second of overwhelming panic that makes your stomach roll, and shoots adrenaline through your body so fast you can feel it in your toes, as your heart skips a beat, and you can’t breath. It becomes about worrying about having anxiety, and that you will be worrying later.

It can be utterly and completely overwhelming, and often exhausting just knowing that this is who you are. You can work on it, try coping techniques, but its never going to be as easy for you as it is for other people.  You are never going to be the person who walks out the front door without checking you have locked it, and you have your cell, and wallet….twice. It’s hard, and I find that while people seem to be more understanding with depression, and by understanding I mean admitting it exists and assuming its 100% chemical even when it isn’t, people seem to trivialize anxiety.  I don;t think they realize how hard it can be sometimes getting up and realizing they are going to be confronting a thousand imaginary fears can be, because they don’t feel imaginary.

Crazy

Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. I had a small sharp pain my eye. Which was nothing, a side eye strain. Anyone else would have dismissed this and moved on.

I spent my entire dinner worrying that I had a detaching retina.  No further pain,blurriness, floaters. But still I feel stupid when everyone else is having fun and I am worrying about nothing.

Tired or CO poisoning

So as it was helpfully mentioned by a collegue yesterday, my flu like symptoms of Tuesday could have been carbon monoxide…I of course Googled CO poisoning to check the list if symptoms.

The are a bit off from what I had, but close enough to worry me.  I had nausea, tiredness and abdominal cramps. I did feel nauseated when I woke up though, which doesnt track with CO. Overall it makes me dread getting in my car. Now that I have reviewed a list of symptoms,  guess what, I have a bunch of them.

Most likely I am tired from a short sleep last night followed by a long commute in, but as you can imagine I am now imagining that I am dying of CO poisoning. I am tired, having coordination issues  (which just could be me). Since I have no stomach problems or dizziness I am saying for now that it’s likely not Co, but a part of me thinks it’s cause the commute the last 2 days have been shorter. I am going away for tge weekend, hopefully come Monday I will have forgotten my CO diagnosis and will be feeling better

 

Home Sick

So I haven’t posted this week, and that has been due in large part to a sudden, completely random illness that has popped up. Yesterday I woke up early, to get to work on time, spent 2 hours in traffic getting there, and didn’t feel well.

I assumed when I got up, it was because I was tired.  It wasn’t.  I spent my entire day going between nausea, and cramps.  There was a wonderful hour from 2-3:30 where I felt completely ok, but other than that I was fairly useless.  Between feeling horrible, and accomplishing little, I spent a good portion of the day worrying that everyone would notice how little I had managed to work on, and of course that I was dying, from a list of ailments ranging from appendicitis to a heart attack.

What you also have to understand is that I couldn’t go home sick.  This wasn’t a “sticking it out” thing, there was freezing rain from 11-2:30, I literally could not go home without risking an accident.  And since I felt like shit, and could barely manage data entry, I felt driving was left until I felt better.

When I got up this morning I resisted taking the sick day.  Been there only 5 weeks, what if I get up in and hour and feel fine.  Ultimately I realized that since I wasn’t hungry at all, and I hadn’t eaten in 18 hours, my stomach probably was still a bit out of sorts.  I slept in till 10:30, which given that I went to bed 6:30 the night before, was probably an indicator that not going to work was a good plan.   Now I am feeling way better, still a bit off though, and twice I have considered heading in.

Really though, I shouldn’t. The last thing I need to do is get all ready to go in, get there, and then feel worse.  I need to go in tomorrow, so by resting today, it makes going in tomorrow, recovered, way more likely.  As like most people with anxiety, I focus on the negatives.  So now I am going to take a minute to force myself to review the positives/neutral ideas.

One, everyone gets sick, no one will really blame me for this.  Two, I am sure the people at work rather I stay home than come in and possibly infect them.  Three, I held it together yesterday.  I was at work all day, feeling like shit, and I got what needed to be done, done.  I didn’t cry, whine, complain, I sucked it up…until I got home and basically self destructed. Four, I should be fine to go to work tomorrow, will be working a bit of overtime,  which will help make up for today.  And Five, I have flex hours, I can make this up, and really i dont have to.  I only have a number of hours to work, plus an optional extension.  If I don’t make those hours, NO one cares.  I am going to go now, and risk eating something.  Hopefully this time tomorrow I am in the middle of an 11 hour shift, feeling fine.

Winter Traffic is Hard

So this isn’t the first time I have written about getting stuck in traffic, but it’s something that is really hard for me.  I know, its hard for everyone, but there are aspects that I feel make it worse given my various issues.

First there is the anxiety.  I spend the entire time worrying about how late I am going to be for work.  Is the road slippery, and after the accident a few weeks ago, is someone going to rear end me.  I try to relax, but I basically spend the entire drive in tense and hyperaware.  As you can imagine I am fairly wound up by the time I get to work, and then exhausted, because what people often leave out about anxiety is that it is absolutely exhausting to maintain.

The second part is just being in the car that long.  I don’t do the car well.  If I have to, I can go for a long drive, but I want to know how long its going to take when I leave.  This thing where traffic hot spots pop up make it impossible for me to judge how long it will take, and that sets me on edge.  I can’t move, and as I have said earlier, that is really hard as well.  Not being able to get up and take a break.

The third part, is specific to winter driving, and that is the temperature.  I exist happily at low temperatures.  Not freezing like it is now, but when I get warm, I get really on edge.  And to keep the windshield clean and visibility high, turning down the heat isn’t an option.  I basically drive to work miserable.  And when I get stuck in traffic, its worse.

Basically driving is one of those situations where very little is directly under your control, which may sound odd from behind the wheel of a car capable of a great deal of destruction should something go wrong.  But you cant control the weather, the traffic, or the other drivers, and for me that makes driving an extremely unpleasant task.  Its only done as often as it is, as its significantly less unpleasant than taking the bus.

Use Your Indoor Voice

In my lifetime I have lot track of the number of times people have told me to use my indoor voice.  I have issues with voice modulation, and also with tone of voice.  I am often told to stop yelling at people, and that I shouldn’t be so “angry” all the time.  In fact, I am often confused when people say that .  Most of the time I had no idea I was yelling, and I am very often not angry at all.  I say that I am not angry, and am generally not believed, I must be lying, because I sounded angry just a minute ago.  I may be irritated, but apparently when I talk to someone when irritated I express it in a way that others perceive as anger.

I can’t really change that, its hard to stop yelling when I didn’t know I was doing it in the first place.  People also don’t realize that this can be a sign that I can’t actually hear them.  I have realized when I am told to speak more quietly it is often when I can’t hear the person speaking, not sure why, but apparently I speak more loudly to encourage them to do the same.  In turn, they speak more quietly, which actually makes the situation worse.

This is often the case in restaurants, or when someone is whispering in class.   I have problems with hearing someone, when there are other people around talking.  Sometimes this can be a teacher, or people at the mall, or just a TV going at the right volume.  Until recently I thought that everyone heard like that, then I took an online test for Asperger’s. which indicated it as “symptom”.  I have to say, learning that the inability to hear well with multiple people speaking, and not being able to control the level of my voice has an actual cause was kind of awesome.

It has always made me feel kind of stupid, the fact that I can’t use an indoor voice as well as your average 5 year old.  I also have the fine motor control and hand eye coordination of a 5 year old as well, and now, after years of being mocked and being hushed, I finally know what it is.   And well, now when I walk back from the cafe with 4 different conversations going on and being able to understand none, I just go with it.  Its very liberating.

Lack of Coordination

So my innate lack of coordination has struck again.  This time involving a trip that led to my neck hitting the corner of a stationary object.  Ow.  Well not really, it doesn’t actually hurt at all unless I touch it. The scrape however is large, and unsightly.

What really concerns me though is that it is my neck.  So I have been worrying about it since it happened a little over an hour ago.  My main worry is that it has done serious damage, what if my throat swells up, and I can’t breath.  I have taken an ibuprofen, and iced it.  But the more I worry, the more I feel like I can’t breathe. When I get distracted though, it seems better, leading me to think that this is probably more psychological, than physiological. And as any person with anxiety knows, intense panic about anything, like stopping breathing in the middle of the night, doesn’t make it easy to breath.

I also worry about how I am going to explain this Monday at work, sorry, I tripped over my own feet and went neck first into the furniture.  Not exactly the impression I want to make.  Especially as a new employee, and a student hoping to work there later I really do want to make the best impression possible.  I am afraid that if I cover it with a bandaid, and the area bruises, like i expect it will, then it will end up looking like a poorly concealed hickey, which I don’t know if this would be better or worse than the truth.

Anyways, I am going to try to watch some tv, and stop thinking about this for a bit.  If any of my problems are real, they will get worse, if the aren’t they will get better fairly soon.

Being a “girl”

So I went to work today, and marveled at how much better life would be if I weren’t a “girl”. I am not transgender, I don’t feel like I was meant to be a boy, its just some days I get up and think how much easier it would be if I didn’t have to be a girl.

Its that time of the month, meaning cramps, headaches and unstable stomach are the norm.  What really sucks though is the emotional instability.  I cried last night over the fact my dad watched a show on my netflix that I was watching, and therefore lost my place in it.  Well this would usually irritate me, it wouldn’t usually make me cry.  Neither would Downton Abbey, or  a few other ridiculous things that have happened this week.

It isn’t just this though, its the time it takes to be a presentable girl.  I have to have varied outfits, and buy expensive clothes, but girls clothes aren’t as cheap, and unlike guys there isn’t just a bag I can buy with a standard shirt in it, and a cheap pair of trousers.

The dress shoes are all impracticable, my feet hurt, because even the loafers I can find really aren’t meant to be walked in.  I went to Mark’s Work wear, and while there are 20 different shoes, all without laces, which means they won’t fit well with my high arches.  Men’s shoes come in many different styles, but really, women’s shoes are just meant to look pretty, and laces aren’t pretty.

I have to wear a laynyard with my badge on it, because most of the time I have no pockets, in either my shirt or pants to clip it to.  Why would I need pockets, they “ruin” the line of the pants. Why might I want to be able to carry something.  Like a pen, or a wallet, or my cell.

My hair is down to my shoulders, it looks nicer this way then short. I have to wash, brush and put it up every morning to make it look nice.  Really I want to cut it all off, it just gets in the way.  It seems that women’s stuff overall just isn’t designed to be practical, and really I just rather be practical than pretty.  Usually this is fine, with my hiking boots, jeans, and graphic tees, but 3 weeks in a formal environment is really taking it out of me.

Excess Energy and Sensory Distress

So the last couple of days I have spent quite a bit of time stuck in traffic going to and from work.  I have also spent a lot of time at work sitting at my desk.  When I get home I like to read, and watch TV.  These things have left me with a lot of pent up energy.

Anyone who knows me wouldn’t say I am an active person, I am not.  But I do have my walking requirements, and have been known to run back and forth across the house.  I have done this ever since I was a child, and as a 30 year old, Its a bit weird.  But it works for me, except lately because I haven’t even had time to do this.  So I have been stuck sitting in a chair. I actually made an excuse today to walk to the other side of the plant and back, that would usually take me about 25 minutes.  I did it and looked for someone in under 18.  Sitting confined, and thats how it feels, makes me hyperaware.

My thighs are uncomfortable from sitting, my back twinges, the tag in the back of my shirt is scratchy, and most importantly today was my shoes. My shoes are uncomfortable, a little tight or too loose depending on the socks I wear.  Today they were too tight.  Which usually would mean pulling up my socks and getting over it.  Today they became unbearable.  I spent 2 hours this afternoon dreading being asked to go get something spontaneously, as I wasn’t wearing my shoes.  I knew I couldn’t explain why I had taken them off, and it felt like everyone could smell my feet.

While this was worse when I was a child, every so often I have one of those days.  Where everything touching me feels too rough, too tight, and as an adult at work, not knowing it was coming there wasn’t much I could do but ride it out.  It was the longest, most uncomfortable afternoon I can remember.