“Oh yes, she’s back…”

Happy Hibiscus

Happy Hibiscus

I have missed everybody and it’s great to be back. I’m not very good at following advice that I would give someone else but this time I did the sensible thing and took a break from everything. Work, blogging, socializing – if I had a cave I would have gone to stay in it.

My slow recovery and continued pain from the eye surgery was contributing to my low mood but fortunately my regular eye doctor has provided huge relief by inserting little collagen stoppers into my leaky tear ducts so that some liquid stays in the eyes. He said I had striations from the dryness which was causing pain up to the scale of 10. When I started researching my eye problem, I reduced a variety of factors that were contributing to my chronic dry eye. I cut back on my essential medication to a manageable level, stopped taking the painkillers and anti-histamines. Then I cleaned my diet – more Omega 3s, less caffeine, less alcohol and more vegetables. I walked every day for 3 or 4 miles and was vigilant with eye drops and cleansing.

It all helped but the honest truth is that I think most of it was a mechanical problem – the tear ducts were just not working properly. This is common, particularly in menopausal women but the less said about that the better… I am not having hot flashes – it just gets suddenly hot in the sub-tropics. 🙂 With more liquid in my eyes the vision is my post cataract eye is much better and I have super spidey vision with tiny writing. It’s a nice plus in a protracted recovery.

Last weekend I knew I was feeling better because I suddenly wanted to go on a solo trip with our air miles. We have been very thrifty (our water bill has increased from $10 to $10.10!) and it was a relatively inexpensive trip with a free flight and a fantastic Hotwire deal on a historic hotel in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. This week I will be telling you all about it. Sometimes you just need a literal break away.

This red link “Kerry chatting” will take you to a little video of me chatting in my dulcet Celtic tones – I just want to say thank you, literally, for all the support you gave me. It meant so much.

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I can’t participate…

tornado

Some of you may know that we have had some extreme weather in the Houston area. I live a little north of the main Houston area and on Tuesday evening/Wednesday night we had a tornado just a few miles from our house. I heard the cell phones go off with yet another storm warning (we have had so many recently). I ignored it and the really loud thunder and lightning. The next morning we discovered that a 62 year old woman had been killed in what looked like a pre-fabricated house when a tree fell across her home. I was envious.

I thought, ‘How lovely to die instantaneously with no sickness or problems’. I am 55, so she is hardly much older than me. This is how you feel when you have major depression. My thoughts are filled with death and the longing for it, yet I am not suicidal. I have been unwell for months and my doctor is trying to address it with both an increase and addition in medication. It is working, to some extent, but time is a major factor, as is reducing stress which is out with my capabilities at the moment.

I have a new job and I enjoy it but worry about it incessantly. What if I make a mistake, what if they don’t employ me again? I am trying to be supportive of my husband who is looking for work and setting up a new company but it is as if someone has cut my brain stem. Every so often I come out with a brilliant idea which thrills him but I know I am capable of so much more. Things are beginning to look more positive with the possibility of clients but I don’t care.

My recent cataract surgery has been successful but my chronic dry eye condition has made me feel miserable. I finally went back to the surgeon today and he gave me steroids to help. My husband was with me and thought the surgeon was sympathetic. In my mind, he was saying, “Put your big girl pants on”. This week I got a corporate gratuity from one of the companies I work for (which I suspect everyone got) but I started worrying about how much I had flirted, was it appropriate?

My friends are trying to help me and some are more successful than others. One is constantly giving me encouragement about daring to join the workforce when I feel so ill and others tentatively pace around me. I know that they don’t want to say the wrong thing or upset me but they can’t. My emotions feel deadened and yet raw. I feel as though my life will never be the same again although logically I know it could be even better.

I have been down this path so often that I know I will recover but each time I feel I lose a little bit of myself. I suspect the opposite is true and I evolve into a kinder, more compassionate person after each episode. My blogging is stop/start and then I feel like I am being excluded when that is not the case. When you stop blogging, followers probably think you are busy getting on with life.

I can’t participate right now… but I will join you later.