Easy Option? I Don’t Think So!

Go to bed early.  Set the alarm for 12:30am.   Wake up and watch the All Blacks win their Rugby World Cup semi final, then stay up and watch Arsenal beat Everton in the English Premier League!  Too easy … I have a plan.  I need a plan because my sleep has been all up the creek for days and I really need the shut-eye before the games begin – if I want to see them through.

Arrow haka

It had been a week and a bit since I had slept any longer than 4 hours straight.  Yeah, I know – Mum’s & Dad’s with new babies would kill for 4 hours sleep in a row!  But I am not a Mum with a new bub.  I am a 56-year-old woman who feels like she has been living in the Twilight Zone.  I am going through a medication review and the new dosage has been playing havoc with my system.  I promised my doctor that I would hang in there for another week to see if I improve, or at least settle down.

So Everybody, I’m taking the easy option!  Take anti anxiety & depression meds – that’s the easy option …. the cop-out option.  Not so my friends …. well at least not for me.  So, what does an increase in medication dosage do to me?  Yes, you read correctly – this is just an increase in dosage.  Not even a change of medication!  I’ve got that to look forward to next, if this increase doesn’t work.

It begins with a never-ending dry mouth.  And I mean parched or as we say in Australia as dry as a dead dingo’s donger!  This is immediately accompanied by  the inability to sleep …. at least at night-time!  Sit me down anytime during the day  and I may fall asleep in the middle of using the toilet; typing on the laptop or stopped at traffic lights!  Therefore, for me, driving is not the safest past time.

strewth-mate-im-as-dry-as-a-dead-dingos-donger

The next fun thing to arrive, is a drastic increase in my anxiety levels.   That means things that I may be well on the way to conquering and controlling, all of a sudden become HUGE  again.  Everyday stuff like personal hygiene, collecting the mail and hanging the washing on the line are no longer doable.  Socializing, whether for work or otherwise, is just not going to happen.  High anxiety causes my stomach to be unhappy, which leads to …. well, we all know what that leads to!

anxiety-cartoon-drawingCome on down manic thought processing!  Yes, next my mind is racing with ideas and song lyrics and to do lists and recipes and words plenty of words.  I am unable to write anything.  I can’t organise my thoughts enough to make any sense.  Unfortunately, my body is only wanting to move at Sloth pace …. that would be a Sloth with the shakes!!  Not at all helpful when your mind is going 100 miles an hour.

sloth

The last couple of goodies that I get to enjoy, are forgetfulness and avoidance leading to almost complete withdrawal.  I, also, seem to crave dairy products but this may just be my thoughtful heart, once again, trying to support the Dairy industry!

anxiety2

So there you have it.  Me, a week and bit into a medication review and all I want to do is get some sleep before the Rugby match.  Not going to happen!  I actually get into bed and turn off the light but for the first time in over a week, I feel like writing something.  I’ve had quite a good day.  I took the rubbish down to the bins.  I showered.  I drove to the Garden Centre and bought some plants.  I planted the plants in my garden.  I prepared and ate three healthy meals today as well!

So up I get.  Out of bed and here I sit typing away.  Sharing by word, what that easy option of meds looks like for me.  Each person will be different.  Some breeze through, many are much worse.

For me – I had a good day!  Maybe I will continue to feel good tomorrow as well.  Either way, nothing about anxiety and depression is easy.  Not the suffering or the road back to good health.  I would never choose it for myself and I will use what ever means the doctors think will help me rediscover the old me again, even if that includes medication.  The alternative is simply unbearable.

Go the All Blacks and the Gunners!  Make my day a fabulous one!

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The Abi Diaries: ( A Prequel)

It was this weekend, one year ago, that got me thinking about starting my blog.  It took me a few more months to actually start but when the Timehop app on my phone threw up some pretty comical memories from my Facebook posts a year ago, I  thought I should really publish them here on The Mandy Diaries.  So here they are – unedited from my Facebook posts from a year ago ….

MAY 2014: It all began when I was asked to have Abi for the weekend, while her Mum & Dad were off celebrating something!!!  This photo was taken moments after I told Fev that Abigail was coming to stay for the weekend!

Fev unhappy

Day 1: of a weekend sleepover has ended. We went shopping for groceries & came home with lip gloss, we have coloured in & made collage cards, we played with Fev, watched Frozen, played animal shows in the bath, we had fish & chips for dinner when I planned on spaghetti bol, we ate pink cakes & now we sleep! This child is her mothers daughter …. busy, busy, busy!!!  Hope I can fill the next 2 days …

2014 Abi bed awake

 

2014 Abi bed asleep

Day 2: Breakfast – Abi “I want juice & porridge with blackberry jam but no milk!” Me “OK but I don’t have blackberry jam, will strawberry do?” Abi “Yep.” Makes porridge & juice – all good ….. Abi “That doesn’t look like mummy’s porridge but I’ll try it! No that’s not right I’ll have toast with that jam on!” Makes toast with jam(eating porridge with jam and NO milk at the same time)! Gives Abi toast…. Abi “I think I’ll have just toast with butter only and a warm milo!” Me “OK” Makes new toast with butter (eats cold toast with jam while making milo!) Gives Abi toast & milo, Abi eats one piece of toast but asks “Where are the bits in the milo?” Makes COLD milo with floating bits (drinks lukewarm milo). Abi “But I didn’t want it in a tall glass, I wanted a cup with a spoon!” Me “OK!” 2 spoonsful later….” Mandy, I think I’m going to vomit & I need a square bowl not a round one to be sick in!!” Me “I haven’t got a square bowl but here’s a round one!! Do you think you might want to watch Frozen again?” Abi “Yes, & I might have one of my yoghurts that I brought with me!”
All good but it’s not even 9am and I’m exhausted!!!

2014 Abi Tea Party

Day 2: (Part 2):  After Breakfast – Abi & I had a tea party and then we built a cardboard doll house!  (Note to self: If the box says 6 & over take notice) actually I built a cardboard house BUT adding stickers is “the most & important part because Mummy says so!!”  Time to go to the park!  Lots of scooting on the pathways and some playing on the play equipment but only when no boys “because boys are strangers” (get that in writing now, Dad!) While at the park she managed to eat grapes, chicken drumstick biscuits but “you know (silly me) they are fish because Mummy says so!!”  Also, another yoghurt and a poppa juice & water!!  Just before we were ready to leave, Abi took a tumble and it was my fault because (silly me) we didn’t go to Melrose Park like Mummy does!!  Time for a band-aid & to go shopping for a pretty dress because “that would feel me better.”  At DFO we bought a pink hoodie, a pink drink bottle, a cream headband with flowers & a blue sparkly bedside lamp!!! (I have no idea how or why!!!)  Home after falling asleep in the car – Damn ….. the dreaded “fall asleep in the car, one street away from home and then wake up on arrival and think you’ve had a sleep” trick!!   You should have warned me about this one – then lunch then off to watch BabyBoy, play soccer – where more playing but this time there were girls’ to play with – not strangers!! Abi & I made a joint decision (she decided & I carried through – almost!!!) to get MacDonald’s for tea but it wasn’t until I was firmly in the Drive Thru line, that I discovered that I had left my wallet at home (winning)!  Home, tea, bath, DVD, bed.  Will I be able to stay awake for the FA Cup? Go Arsenal!!!!

2014 Abi paper house

2014 Abi posing in the park

Day 3:  Breakfast – Firstly, Congratulations to my beloved ARSENAL for WINNING the 2014 FA Cup ….. but did you have to leave it to EXTRA TIME, which meant the game & presentation finished around 4 am? 4 am people!! That means our trip to Church is cancelled this morning & Monsters Inc is already showing and it’s only 8 am!!
Oh yeah, breakfast …. I did better ….. but she’s still a sneaky little poppet xx

2014 Peach

2014 Abi butter wouldn't melt in her mouth
Day 3: The Rest of the Time – Well, we had intended to go to church but I was tired & Abi had FROZEN on her mind!  Did you know, that I am NOT allowed to sing Elsa’s songs because Abi is Elsa and I am NOT??!!  Threading was another quiet activity …. until a very long necklace made for Mummy “because she has a very long neck”, was picked up by the wrong end ……. then we played pick up a million beads!!!  It was time for morning tea, so Abi took her ‘executive food platter’ outside and requested that “because she had already finished her treats of some gummi bears & some marshmallows, as well as those special ‘fish’ biscuits and an ‘expensive rescued’ peach …. she should also maybe have an icy pole and some ice cream & peaches!!! This did not occur because I had been watching Sons of Anarchy and I can be Gemma when I need to be!!   Scooter riding in the backyard was NOT a success but arranging gemstones ‘diamonds’ in my bird bath was!!  More birds arrived than ever before.  A toilet break was necessary, so I decided to make myself a cuppa & grabbed a couple of dry cracker biscuits.  I took a bite and a voice from the toilet said “What are you eating?” Me ” A biscuit.” Abi “Are you eating one of my special fish biscuits?”  Me “No!”  Abi “Wait on, I’m coming to check!!”  Me “Don’t forget to flush & wash your hands with soap!”  She arrives to count her biscuits, there are only 2 left.  Abi “You ate some!”  Me “No I didn’t, I ate my own – see?”  Abi “Well who did?”  Me”You did!”  Abi “Oh!” She runs off.  Me “Where are you going?”  Abi “To flush & wash my hands with soap!!!!!”  The rest of the day was taken up with baking, icing & sprinkling cupcakes and watching Monsters Inc & sneaking away to replace her lip gloss.  Lunch was uneventful, even though the cheese toasted sandwich did not have “lines”!  

Mummy & Daddy arrived to much excitement (and Abi was happy too!)  I now know why you should NOT have children once you are over 50!  Girls’ ARE different to boys!  Abi is growing up fast …. at no point this weekend did she mention my ridiculously sprouting facial hair (which I had forgotten to remove) ….. as she did, constantly, last time I had her!!!  I just realised that I have not had a shower since Friday!!!  It was a pleasure Mummy & Daddy but please do not call me tomorrow – it is my day off!

Photo evidence of Day 3:

2014 Abi beads

2014 Abi baking2014 Abi snackSo it was because of the reaction to these Facebook entries, one year ago that I started to think about blogging!

Thankyou, Abigail – from the bottom of my heart xx

Go Team!

I love sport!  I used to love playing it.  Athletics & netball were my thing.  I was good at both.  I’m not being a big head.  I was good.  Now I love to watch sport – live & on TV.  I am a faithful supporter of my team.  I wear their colours with pride.

Netball

When the Boys were young it was easy.  They swam in the Summer & played Australian Rules Football(AFL) in the winter.  As they grew, it became more complicated.  They swam for their club & their school, and they played AFL for their club & football(soccer) for their school.  When they left school, things  became really complicated.  They played soccer for their club; came to watch the AFL live with me; stayed up half the weekend watching Premier League Football in England; travelled to the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa; went to the F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne and never missed supporting the New Zealand All Black Rugby Union team on TV!

Haka 2014 a

Can you see my problem?  I love sport and I am a faithful supporter of my team.  I wear their colours with pride!  I now have 3 major teams and a multiple of minor teams I support.

I love the New Zealand All Blacks (yes Richie – I am single at the moment!); the Brisbane Lions AFL team and Arsenal in the Premier League!  I also, support the Brisbane Roar, Gregory Terrace, the Auckland Blues, Queensland Bulls, whatever club the Boys are playing for, the Socceroos and all good cricket no matter who is playing (yes sometimes it is just easier to sit on the fence!)

Keeping the colours under control can be a challenge.  Especially on days when all or most of MY teams are playing on the same day!  This happens frequently because I support different sports in different countries. Today is one of those days and I can’t wait!

My day begins with BabyBoy playing his football final in navy blue, followed immediately by finding a TV close by, to watch the All Blacks playing South Africa in …. black.  This will finish just in time for the the 2nd semi final of the AFL where my team are no longer involved but I have to choose between the purple of Fremantle & the teal of Port Adelaide!  My day will finish in the red & white of my beloved Arsenal playing Man City!  BossBoy is playing in his band tonight & they mostly wear black so I can double up there and BerlinBoy has gone surfing in Spain, so no need to pull on the green of his German club team.

Today could turn out to be one of the happiest days for me in a while or it could turn out to be really, really bad.  Either way I will be doing my own version of the Colour Run today!

colour run