Posted by: angelnorman | November 11, 2010

a study in blue

When it rains, it pours. And when it pours, you’d better have an umbrella.

My umbrella, which is my typically good-natured response towards all things stressful, went missing a few weeks ago.  I don’t know when it started. Mid-October? At some point, I was stressing about Halloween, I know that, but I think that it started long before that. I became moody, anxious, and very withdrawn from everyone. Was it a mere bout of depression that took my umbrella? Probably. All I know is that when I went to grab it, it was gone… and as everything poured down on top of me, I sort of lost my cool on more than one occasion this past weekend.

For weeks, I’ve been crying on and off, stressing over silly things, clenching my teeth– at night, when I’m trying to rest, my jaws are so sore from clenching my teeth all day! It’s ridiculous. This weekend, it came to a head. I won’t bore you with the details, but please know that I reached a point on Sunday where I saw what was important and I was furious at myself for putting so much effort into things– and people– that didn’t give that same effort back to me.

Friday night, my TV (which I haven’t had even a year) completely fried. I had declared Friday evening my “stress-free” night, ironically, and had gotten super comfy in my pj’s and slippers, had myself a cup of coffee in my favorite piece of china, grabbed the chocolate, and turned on a girly movie. I was halfway through, just before I was about to find out if Carrie would have dinner with Aiden and- BZZHT! The tv died. And then it smelled of burning electrical parts.

Then Nick got sick– so sick that he needed antibiotics and to sleep in under a humidifier. It started the night of his birthday, and I honestly thought he was faking when he came to me complaining about chest pains. He does that sort of thing from time to time– “I can’t go to sleep. My foot hurts!” Or, “Can you rub my leg first? It hurts!” I usually always do some sort of soothing thing, because you know, I am the mommy. It’s my duty to baby him at bedtime if he needs it. But there was nothing I could do for his chest, so I put him to bed, gave him a million kisses, and told him to lay real still and rest.

In the middle of the night, he woke up crying for Mike. I went into his room and he was clutching his chest and breathing shallow. “I have a fever… I think!” He said. I watched him shiver, and then ran to his bathroom where I grabbed the stethoscope, the thermometer, and a wash cloth. His temperature was 100.8, then 101, but I didn’t let it get past that. I grabbed the ibuprofen, gave him his dose, and then went to look up chest pains in kids. I learned that it is VERY rare for a chest pain in a child to have anything to do with his heart. It is more often the lungs. All I could think was that he had done got pneumonia or something. I tried to listen to his lungs with my stethoscope, but I couldn’t get him to breathe deeply enough without going, “Owwwwww!” It was, needless to say, impossible for me to hear anything but the racing of his heart.

He kept coughing, and with every cough, he’d wince in pain. Worst though was the shivering and cold chills. He was so warm to the touch but he could not stop the shivering. I couldn’t help him except to hold him, rock him, and wait for his fever to go back down. We fell asleep on the couch, then again on his bed. Finally I decided that he would not need a trip to the ER, and that I could wait till morning to take him to see our family physician.

So we get there, and she’s checking everything, and she looks into his ears. “Have your ears been hurting you?” she asks him. He says no. She went on to inform us that both ears had redness- not a full out infection but lots of redness as though and infection was coming if not already present. Then she said his lymph nodes were swollen, which I hadn’t noticed the night before with the fever, so I’m guessing it happened over night. Or that I was just too tired to notice. We came home and he napped while I got his prescription filled and went to the grocery store.

Then our oven “broke”. Mike took it apart and messed with some things and it’s working again, but we don’t know for how long.

It’s been craziness. With Nick being sick, everything breaking, trying to get back on Phase 1, trying to get my house back in order after Sunday’s party (no one was even in here, really, and somehow the whole thing is trashed again), I’ve been a little bit scatterbrained. Plus I’m still exceptionally moody AND grouchy about having let myself gain 5 lbs back these past two weeks. 5 lbs out of my 22 that I’ve lost is a significant chunk. Enough to piss me off and spur me back into action.

So in an effort to beat my blues these past few days, I’ve come up with a sort of routine each day to make me feel better. I do this everyday, with the exception of today since Nick went back to school (finally!)

1. Get up, make coffee. Smoke a cig and drink a diet coke till coffee is done. Get coffee, smoke another cig. Start your day with your addictions! Haha. No, but really, I needed the caffeine. The nicotine was just icing on the addictive-substance cake.

2. Fix my hair. Or put on makeup. If I’m really feeling blue, I’ll do both.

3. Try to find some reason to leave the house. On Monday, it was grocery shopping and other errands. I also went to help a friend paint a room in her house. On Tuesday, I spent most of my afternoon outside with my friend Kristi, having a deep conversation about God and Christianity and the religions of the world. On Wednesday, I volunteered to drive all the way back to Hermitage, by myself, for Nick’s doctor’s excuse. (We got one on Monday for M&T, but needed one for him missing yesterday as well). Getting in your car, by yourself, and just driving is always nice.

4. Dance. I have danced every day for the past three days. I turn on some music and just dance.

5. Seek out the sunshine. I have spent time outdoors (not just smoking!) every day too. We have had good warm weather these past few days, and I wasn’t gonna let that go by without me getting out there and enjoying it.

6. Cook something healthy and yummy. On Monday, I cooked turkey and white bean meatloaf, green beans, and broccoli for dinner. On Tuesday I cooked black bean soup. Wednesday was sirloin steak with salad and cauliflower au gratin. Knowing I’m feeding my family a healthy meal makes me feel good. Also, leftovers carried over till lunch time and that was a big help this week.

7.  Search the web for inspiration. I have found inspiration lots of places, and made collages of things I like out of the pics I found, like this:

(Those book necklaces are to. die. for. Oh, and the writing? Those are notecards on Etsy of Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth Bennett.  “In vain I have struggled; it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” ❤ Makes me swoon every time.)

8. Take pictures of yourself, for absolutely no reason. I took this yesterday:

9. Snuggle with a dog. Most of the time, I prefer to snuggle with Roscoe but this week, he is being a douche. Chewie, on the other hand, has been a very eager replacement.

10. READ! I have been reading non-stop since Saturday. I re-read She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb before I offered it up to my friend Ashley. I forgot how much I love it. Dolores is a well-written character, and to think that a man gave such a life to a woman! I have always thought, since first reading it a long, long time ago, that a woman author would have made Dolores more endearing, more relate-able. But I found, reading it this time, that I would have been pissed at her if she was any more vulnerable, any more insecure, and I even found it a little easier to relate to her, especially with the comfort eating and weight issue. Since then, I’ve been trying to read The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton, and I am struggling with getting into it. But still… Reading something every day is a good escape. It’s a vacation into a life you can’t imagine!

And Lord knows I could use a vacation, if only for an hour a day.

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Responses

  1. I’m sorry things have been stressful. It sounds like you are totally on top of the self-care department this week and that is so important for being healthy. And you made freaking amazing meals? Cauliflower au gratin? Woah. You rock. Way to go for pulling yourself up!


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