Saturday, February 15, 2014

Things I Do Not Know Abound

I don't know. I just do not know.
So I went to see the NP and yes, my cholesterol levels were all wrong in the bad way. And she, being the laid-back practitioner she is, said that she thinks my anxiety has a whole lot to do with it. She may be right. I mean- try being in fight-or-flight mode eighteen hours a day and see what that does to your body. I have no idea.
But. She wrote me a prescription for Celexa and I took the prescribed one half of a tablet yesterday and I can already tell this is going to whack me out for awhile. Not whack me out like make me sleepy but whack me out like what the fuck, brain?

Last night was emotional for me. I cried some. I admitted to my husband how very, very bad it's been for me lately. Because of a whole lot of things I try not to worry him with my worries and he probably does the same for me. Probably not the healthiest way to run a relationship but that's sort of the way we do it. And if it works for us, well, it works for us. He gave me some earrings, a vintage gold and ruby heart to put on a chain and wrote me some beautiful, beautiful words on a card. The kind of words that any woman would want to hear after thirty years of marriage. I promised to make him a cherry pie and love him forever. I made him a dinner with lobster tails and butternut ravioli and a spinach sauce. Poached pears with toasted pecans and blue cheese.
Good, healthy, cholesterol-lowering food, right?

Which is something I really need to think about. I talked to my NP about diet- how confusing the information is. Do you go all vegan/no-fat or is it carbohydrates that are the culprit? She recommends a sort of Mediterranean Light diet. Hell. Fuck. Shit. I don't know. I do not know. I do know that more vegetables and more fruit are always the right thing. I do know that losing weight helps everything from joints to heart. Exercise has to be in there.

I know I can clean up my diet a lot. Even though I like to think it's pretty okay, I know I could do a hell of a lot better. I'll get retested in a few months.

It's the most beautiful day. Warmer, full-on sun blasting down, I can hear a dove crooning, the cardinals chittering. I didn't sleep well. I laid in bed and felt my brain shifting into something which almost but not quite recalled psychedelics. I finally got up and read for a long time. I feel a little of the psychedelia this morning too. Those Valium may come in handy.
Fuck. I'm turning into a damn druggie in my sixth decade.

I really don't know if I'm doing the right thing or things. I have no idea. I just know that I was watching this yesterday morning before I went to my appointment. An interview with Bill Murray and I was shaking with the anxiety and Bill said "You have to be present in your life." And I knew I wasn't being present in my life and that I needed help. It's been months.
So we'll try this.

I want to be present in my life. I just keep saying to myself and out loud too that I have the best life of anyone I know and to not be able to enjoy it, to be stuck in such a place of fear and panic is not right.

So. Here we go. Adventures In Brain Chemistry! And the funny thing is, I'm not anxious this morning. Maybe the trippy feeling is over-riding the fight-or-flight mechanism because I know that the drug's anti-depressant effects haven't had nearly enough time to kick in. I have no idea. I just do not know.

Here's another thing I do know- the birds are flocking to the feeder, color and wing-sound, song and fuss. It's so damn bright and cool and beautiful I can feel the buds opening, the Japanese Magnolia, the daffodils, azaleas, the jasmine, the still-blooming camellias. I can almost hear the unfurling of the new leaves of my Ashe Magnolia, the Japanese Maple, the trillium under the trees, the ferns I've dug up and planted here in my yard. It's all a fucking miracle and by god, I want to be present.

That's what I know.

As to the rest, I haven't got a clue.

Good morning, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I had my cholesterol tested last year after being off the med for several months. My total was 220 which, according tp the standard, is high. But I've also been reading about it and there is a field of thought that it is not cholesterol that is the problem but inflammation in the circulatory system that causes the cholesterol to stick. What causes the inflammation? Poisons, toxins among other things. And cholesterol is important for memory function. I've opted not to take the med for now even though both my parents died from stroke. But my father also had high blood pressure which he would not take meds for.

  2. You are so awesome and brave. Telling someone of the fear is hard, hard, and doing something about any of it is hard, knowing that we don't hardly know anything and then making a decision is damn hard, and to keep on in the face of all that hard... That is where the awesomeness and bravery are...

  3. That's the thing with anxiety, it has no rhyme or reason to it. I get what you mean by you have the happiest life and just want to enjoy it. I have that feeling all the time. Just goes to show that anxiety and depression have no boundaries, it can affect the most fortunate and the most grateful of souls.

    You eat better than anyone I know, with your home grown vegetables and your seafood and soups! I agree with the hypothesis that it's the stress. It wreaks havoc on your nervous system, for sure!

    I hope the meds help relieve some of the pressure you're putting on your self in the happiness department! Go science!

  4. I so agree with mamabird, you are awesome and brave and you are present! Reading what you write about your life and the world you live in, anyone can tell, that yes you are so present. Maybe being present doesn't equal feeling good. I don't know either. Just pondering it all. Being present when you feel like shit and want to crawl out of your own skin, that's hard core courage.
    Hang on. We are all there with you.

  5. I am so glad the world has you. You will prevail, even when it really sucks.

    xoxo Marie

  6. On this side of the Atlantic, we usually hear that once you are female and over 50, a cholesterol level of 200 + age is ok and nothing to worry about. Maybe the medical panels here have less involvement with the cholesterol-lowering industry? My latest level is 257 which is 1 unit above my age and not a single one of the medical gurus I have been surrounded all week found this worth a mention.
    Remember that we produce cholesterol and that while diet does have some influence, there is little evidence that diet changes alone actually lower dangerously high levels back to healthier ones. Refardless of what the food industry wants you to believe.

    Someone who knows the stuff once explained to me that our body produces cholesterol to batten down the hatches, to make sure that our vessels don't burst with stress. So if we are in a stressful place, we produce more of the stuff. (Measurements of chol. levels of women during and shortly after childbirth are incredibly high. In some places, women are traditionally given eggs and other high chol. stuff to eat/drink during birth. Makes sense?)
    As for diet? Don't get anxious about it. I think a lot of this restricting stuff, no this no that etc. is just another way of being fundamentalist, complete with the vocabulary, strict rules, sins and rewards.
    Go easy, go gently. One day at a time. Homemade soup cannot be wrong.

  7. I love Sabine's comment. I am sure stress has a lot to do with it. I am glad you are not anxious this morning. Trippy is better than anxious. When I left my job and was no longer marinating in stress hormones my cholesterol tumbled into the good range. I was also eating less sugar and less processed food. Who knows what change did it? You regular diet sounds pretty good to me. Love to you, dear Mary. I'm distracted at the moment but even when I'm silent please know I'm here.

  8. Ellen Abbott- I swear- I'm not sure what any of it means. I think we have clues but no real conclusions. You know?
    Strokes suck. That's the truth.

    Big Mamabird- As I get more and more of this scary ass stuff behind me I feel better and better. I swear.

    Heartinhand- Better living through chemicals. Sometimes.

    Ms. Yo- When I am feeling that way- wanting to get out of my own skin, I am NOT being present. I am fighting it and I know it. It takes so much energy too. And I sure don't feel brave, much less awesome. But thank you and Mamabird.

    NOLA- Well I'm glad you're around because you provide me with so many windows onto the world.

    Sabine- Wow. That's unbelievable! That the guidelines and standards would be so different and I think you're right- it has a lot to do with the pharmaceutical industry and their studies. And I completely agree with you that food has become the new religion. You can be "pure" or "sinful" and it's pretty ridiculous. If we just ate real food instead of the processed crap, we'd all be better off. Thanks for that information. I really appreciate that different viewpoint.

    Angella- I am always holding your hand. Always. I can feel it. Thank you. And I am glad to know that your levels dropped. Gives me hope.

  9. I love the perspective Sabine contributed here! I'm so awash in
    California dietary craziness, I'd forgotten how different European guidelines are.

  10. I want to say how wonderful you are, and I want you to know that your words mean a lot to me. I want to make sure you know that.

    I hope you don't mind me saying this--because I know everybody always wants to have the cure or the fix, and in the meantime you're like, do you think I haven't tried???-- but, just in case, (and it's not even a cure): someone I am close to was sexually abused as a child, and a therapist recommended to them this book about the flight or fight response and about how shaking helps us process emotions stored in our body. It helped them a lot. It's called In An Unspoken Voice. Anyway, the shaking is good. Let it shake.

  11. Whatever works, Mary, you deserve to stand down and relax and be present.
    Keep us posted. My cousin/nurse said our whole family is seratonin deficient. I always wondered what the right Rx for me might be, but when the kids were younger I couldn't risk being any more tired. Actually, I still can't, but in a few more years, I'm thinking I'll need a really long nap.
    Your Valentines day sounded perfect. And who knows what the heck to eat anymore?

  12. Hi Ms. Moon. I haven't commented for awhile but felt the need to offer you my support in your journey. I'm sure you know this but please give the meds some time. Give your mind and body the chance to relax and absorb the lack of anxiety in your life. Give everything some time to settle down and become your new normal. Sending you all my best hopes, thoughts and wishes.
    Kelly (from cold and snowy Canada)

  13. A- I think we're nuts here sometimes. Not like Europeans die a lot sooner than Americans. Oh wait- I think maybe statistically they live longer, depending on the country. I could be wrong about that.

    Ms. Vesuvius- Thank you. God. Thank you. And I will check that book out. Makes sense to me.
    I'm mighty glad we've found each other.

    Mel- Sometimes I think I'll never catch up on all the sleep I missed when my kids were little. And yes- who the hell knows what to eat any more? I sure don't.

    Kelly M- Good advice! I love the idea of a new normal because the old normal sure wasn't working worth a damn. I'll be patient with this process. I swear.

  14. I'm glad that you got something to help with the anxiety and depression. It does take some time to work. I know that things are evened out a lot better for me on medication. I don't care if I am a druggie on the pills. My mother almost died from depression. And if a half a pill helps me to feel okay and even, then it is worth it.


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