Mr. Panic Monster Returned

Life has been so busy the last couple of months, and with the holiday season already starting, it is sure to be even busier. I love busy, so I am not complaining. I’m actually making an excuse, an excuse for steering clear of the topic of anxiety. For a while, my anxiety seemed to be disappearing, but the last month has been a brutal reminder that my anxiety is always lurking in the background, just waiting to jump when it sees a moment of weakness.

Over the last month of or so I’ve had a few little hiccups in my health (my anxiety trigger)… I had a small mass appear on my hip that had to be removed. It turned out to be nothing, but scar tissue and fat, but there were a couple of weeks of worry. Honestly, I didn’t think I was that nervous, until the very small operation. And, why?? Simply because I was afraid of having my blood pressure taken. I am having the hardest time recovering from the post-traumatic stress of being so sick after having Luna. Then, my nerves really kicked in as a waited for days for the results of the testing. I felt much better after the whole episode, but a week later was my next appointment with my hypertension specialist.

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I LOVE my doctor. He is blunt, bald, a traveler and has a very dry sense of humor. He does not understand my anxiety or panic at all, yet we somehow work well together. His nonchalant attitude toward my tears and questions of “AM I ABOUT TO DIE???” is very calming. Last time, I saw him I cried and told him how scared I was of dying and not being a Mom anymore. He looked at me seriously, and said, “Why? I’m not worried. It’s my job to worry about you and I’m not. Let me worry. You have no reason to worry. Stop crying.” This brought back memories of church and my Sunday School teacher telling us to “cast our cares upon Him” and “let God worry for you”… it was actually extremely helpful. I love my doctor, which is why I don’t know why this next appointment freaked me out big time. I was so anxious that I was physically ill days before my appointment. Obviously, the appointment didn’t go swimmingly…

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Between the doctors (squeeze an OBGYN appointment in there too), the sleepless nights (thanks Luna) and the hectic schedule, my brave walls of tranquillity began to fall, and Mr. Panic Monster invaded. It’s been rough. Anxiety is always a vicious cycle. Going to the doctor makes me nervous, when I’m nervous I can’t sleep, lack of sleep cause anxiety, the anxiety makes me worry about my blood pressure and so on and so on.

I tried to do all the right things. I made myself exercise every day. I tried really hard to get more sleep. I ate healthy, even drank less coffee. I took deep breaths and my medication, but nothing seemed to help much. The one thing that has helped the most is simply going to all these doctors and being told I’m more or less healthy. Just that bit of reassurance has made me a much happier person this week. It is so very hard to face a fear when you suffer from anxiety disorder, but please know that facing that fear is sometimes the only action that gives relief. At least, that what works for me anyways.

The problem now is fearing fear itself. When you have a panic attack, it’s typical to suffer from anxiety about having another panic attack. You’ve got to understand that having a panic attack is one of the scariest experiences, and often forces you to believe you are dying. Who wouldn’t be afraid of that happening again? Especially, since it leaves you feeling powerless. I’m working to stay in control, which is one big reason why I’m writing this now. Writing is a huge release for me. However, I need to take further action. I need to speak to a professional.

I have been putting off speaking to a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist/counselor for a VERY long time now. Partially, because I don’t actually know the difference between any of them and partially because it’s embarrassing (though it should not be) and time-consuming. I will do it though… I will. I will. I will. I will. I will.

Hopefully.

Now, if someone could just hold me accountable, or perhaps pick me up, tell me you are taking me to Starbucks and then drop me off at a shrink instead! But, then be sure to bring me Starbucks when it’s over.

If you suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, please do your research, find solutions and do what works for you. Talk to people you trust (like me!), take a deep breath and repeat after me, “It get’s better. It always get’s better.”

Cheers!

A Lot Can Happen in 2 Weeks

As of yesterday our little Luna is 2 weeks old! Boy has a lot happened in those two weeks.

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After spending the majority of her life in a dark hospital room, our poor baby is probably confused about where she lives. I was feeling very depressed during that time, but I tried to bring myself out of it by focusing on her. A few of my Facebook friends had babies the same week I had Luna, and they were of course home and happy long before we left the hospital. I felt jealous of all of their happy “welcome home” and “baby’s firsts” photos. Normally, I am a “make the best of any situation” kind of person, but the depression and the TON of medications in my system made me a different person. After a few days I knew I had to fight for my happiness and sanity. I couldn’t do much, but began taking photos of Luna, sharing them with friends and making plans for what we would do once we were back home.

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And, once we were home I was looking forward to the littlest things… Luna’s first bath, introducing her to our pets, putting her in her new cute clothes and just doing normal day-to-day things. Even now, I’m still too weak to do much… can’t even wash the dishes. You’d think I’d be grateful, but never in my life have I wanted to just do normal chores and what-not so badly. We did, however, get to give Luna her first bath. It became a whole family affair. Belle is so concerned when Luna cries or whimpers that we had to put her on the cabinet so she could watch and see that Luna was safe.

First bath!
First bath!
Daddy drying her off.
Daddy drying her off.

I’m so relieved that Belle seems to like Luna. Duckie, on the other hand mostly acts like the baby doesn’t exist. She just wants all of the attention for herself.  In the first 30 minutes of getting home I passed out on the bed and was quickly joined…everyone was happy to be back together.

1st home

One good thing about having such a difficult first ten days is that everything else seems easier, funnier even. Spit-up. explosive diapers, all-night feeding sessions and even the poop catastrophe that ended up all over our white comforter are hilarious and even appreciated. It’s real life in our real home. I’m so happy to be able to stand and change her diaper that I can’t even feel frustrated when something like this happens.

Besides “first baths” and “first embarrassing moments”, Luna had a few other “first”. We took her out to a family dinner at a new French restaurant. She’s had her first two newborn doctor appointments (and is already WAY passed her birth weight). We went shopping at Target together (Mommy had to embarrassingly shop in one of those electric wheelchair thingys…it sucks being so weak and dizzy.) Oh, and the photo on the bottom left is when Belle tried to drop her toy donut next to Luna and it ended up looping her arm, so cute!

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Luna has had a lot of visitors too! In the hospital I felt so depressed that I didn’t even want to see people. In fact, I didn’t even want to answer my phone. This is very out of character for me. You know, we always have visitors, so for me to not want to see anyone was a clear sign something was very wrong. I’m so happy to be home now, happier and able to enjoy company. And, I really love showing off Luna…she’s seriously the cutest.

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My sweet mom actually blow-dried my hair for me just so we could all take a photo together.

I’m having to take life slower than ever, but that just means I get to enjoy lots of cuddle and downtime with Luna…and that’s what really matters.

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Cheers!

So Sometimes Pregnancy Isn’t Fun

Last night, I slept. I slept for 5 straight hours without waking once to pee, recover from a nightmare or knock the cat off my face. It was glorious. I am now wide awake, drinking tea, eating biscuits and enjoying the company of some of our best friends who are staying with us this week. Today feels perfect. Thank God, because yesterday was hell.

For months now I have written about how wonderful my pregnancy has been. I have felt great, stayed active, ate mostly healthy and been able to enjoy all the miraculous little things happening to me. Honestly, besides feeling a tiny human roll around inside me, I haven’t really felt pregnant. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I slept not at all. I had to get up to go to the bathroom 4 times, stop the dog from wanting to play fetch at 4am, keep the cat from smothering me all night, deal with the WORST. HEARTBURN. EVER. and just could not get comfortable. Lying in bed all night while your Husbands sleeps soundly next to you is possibly the most annoying thing ever. Sometimes, I “accidentally” drop something when I can’t sleep and he’s snoring away… but he never wakes. By the time 6am rolled around, my heartburn turned into the worst stomach ache ever and I gave up on my attempt at bed time.

I was nauseous all day, my back hurt all over and there was simply no time for resting. For the first time in a very long time I had no appetite. Our baby girl decided to try to get her entire body under my ribcage and for the first time in 7 months I thought, “Okay, that’s it. I’m done. Pregnancy is no longer fun.” Every single part of my body hurt. Just driving took all of my focus and energy. EVEN Starbucks didn’t help, at all! Oh and I’m 99% I was experience Braxton Hicks contractions…they weren’t terrible, but they were pretty uncomfortable.

We had several friends over last night for chili, drinks and games. Normally, I am up all night and participating in every shenanigan. I loathe missing out. However, last night, I gave up. I told everyone good night before the games even started and crawled into my bed for a night of recovery. Even in bed. Even with my most favorite pregnancy pillow. EVEN with my little dog snuggled in my nook, I felt miserable. Sleep was what I needed, heartburn is what I was given. So “sleeping” turned into sitting up right, a dose of zantac and Netflix.

Eventually, I did sleep, which leads me to today’s “perfect” day. I don’t have any tips for sucky pregnancy days or advice in this post, I just needed you to know that not every day is great. Some days sucks. Sometimes pregnancy isn’t fun. Sometimes life isn’t fun. Sometimes we just need to go to sleep and start over. There. There’s your advice for the day. If it is sucky day just go back to bed and start over.

Cheers

My Weekend Through Photos

We have had one busy weekend! My in-laws, some friends of the family, and some very close friends have all been in visiting since Thursday. We had dinner reservations every night, tickets to three different shows, many museum outings and lots of sight-seeing. Even sick ol’ me managed to hangout and spend time with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite cities. The only thing I missed was writing to you guys!

It’s midnight now, and I am finally feeling a bit better and excited to get up and go to work tomorrow so I’m going to make tonight’s post a photo post! Here’s the story of my weekend in phone pics!

Saw Matilda on Broadway and LOVED it!
Saw Matilda on Broadway and LOVED it!
Visited Alexander Hamilton's "country home" in Harlem.
Visited Alexander Hamilton’s “country home” in Harlem.
Saw Cirque Du Solieil "Totem".
Saw Cirque Du Solieil “Totem”.
Snuck onto the roof of Le Parker Meridian to get a great view of the city.
Snuck onto the roof of Le Parker Meridian to get a great view of the city.
Time Square
Time Square
View of Time Square from the Marriot Bar
View of Time Square from the Marriott Bar
Obviously enjoying the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.
Obviously enjoying the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.
Taking the tram to Roosevelt Island.
Taking the tram to Roosevelt Island.
A nice walk on a very cold day.
A nice walk on a very cold day.
Happy Hour at Duke's!
Happy Hour at Duke’s!
Snow, snow and more snow...
Snow, snow and more snow…
Kinky Boots! Hilarious!
Kinky Boots! Hilarious!

Now, we have 3 more awesome friends visiting us all week. Looking forward to a fabulous time and lots of adventures to share!

Cheers!

Lost My Voice

Throughout this 8-day flu epidemic, I have tried to make the best of my situation, be positive and all that. So, when I had to sit at home I watched lots of Gilmore Girls, old movies, and finally got watch Girls! Now, I know why everyone is so obsessed with this show!

I also tested Husband’s nursing skills. He was AMAZING! No matter the hour he has made me tea, bought me medicine, handed me the tissues, let me watch anything want, and hasn’t complained a bit. Being taken care of is the best feeling; it’s true love.

We have had family visiting for the last 4 days, and I haven’t been able to spend the amount of time I want with them, but I still managed to meet up for at least a meal once a day…not bad.

I have felt frustrated and a little depressed thinking, “Will this ever go away!?”, but when I get sad I just get another popsicle and watch Lorelei drink too much coffee. Yesterday was the toughest day though; yesterday I lost my voice.

Husband and I went to see Cirque Du Soleil last night (review coming soon!), and it was pure torture to watch such an astonishing show and not be able to talk about it! Thank God I have very expressive face and am used to talking with my hands.

In the spirit of turning lemons into lemonade I made a list of “Things I Learned While Being Mute”.

  1. I correct my Husband a lot. He has mentioned this to me before, and I never took him seriously, but I cannot tell you how many times he said something wrong and ALL I wanted to do was correct him! Not in a mean “I’m right! You’re Wrong!” sort of way, but in a, “I want you to be correctly informed” sort of way.
  2. I say, “excuse me” 1,000 times on any given day in NYC. I didn’t realize how necessary these two words are to my vocabulary until I could no longer vocalize them.
  3. Husband is vengeful. I thought he was perfectly happy to wait on me hand and foot, maybe even enjoyed caring for me, but I was wrong. I know this now, because he paid me back by teasing and peeving me nonstop knowing I could say nothing to fend myself.
  4. I have A LOT to say. Husband, I am sorry, but you missed out on a lot of witty comments, entertaining stories, hilarious anecdotes and general good conversation last night.
  5. Cell phones are life savers in so many ways. When all else failed, I could take out my phone and explain myself through the magic of text.
  6. Whispering sucks, no one can hear you.
  7. Sometimes it’s more painful to not talk, than it is to talk when you lose your voice.

Thank God my voice is mostly back today! I’ll never it take it for granted again.

Cheers!

You Know You Need a Break When…

I have not written a blog in three whole days, not because I was relaxing or  neglecting you, but because everything else has consumed every second of my time. I typically fancy myself as Super Girl and  pretend to “do it all”, but every once in a while I get a big fat reminder that this is not possible or even good for me. So, after working for 13 days straight and still trying to have a life outside of my career my body finally said “ENOUGH”!

The night before last a friend mentioned to me that she was afraid she was getting the flu, and my first thought was, “I want the flu”. Obviously, I do NOT actually want the flu, but this was major sign that I need a break from work. I came home from work last night feeling sick sick sick…another infamous sign that I need a break. I decided to do just what my body needed…nothing.

I lay  on the  couch the second I got home and have yet to move. Husband made me dinner, chocolate chip cookies and allowed me to stay home and sleep while he went out all night for a friend’s going away party. After sleeping for 12 hours, watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia (anyone else want to take a trip to Greece?) and ignoring my phone I am finally starting to feel a little better.

My precious pooch has stayed by my side…only moving to eat.

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Don’t you love her collar? it’s from Bitch NYC, a designer dog boutique in the city.

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Considering Belle’s spoiled brat tendencies and bad attitude when she doesn’t get her way I think shopping at Bitch NYC is appropriate.

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Alright, I think I have a couple more movies to watch before I get off the couch and take a shower.

Cheers!

I Cannot Get The Flu

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Under very normal, even under extremely positive, circumstances I am terrified of getting sick. Mostly, I am afraid of terminal illnesses, but I often think I have any illness anyone has around me. Hypochondria is just lovely, isn’t it?

Now, lucky for me, there is a flu EPIDEMIC. An epidemic! How serious does that sound!? At first, I thought, eh, the news is always over dramatic, it can’t be THAT bad. I have actually felt okay. I have not had any symptoms…even the ones I make up in my head. I have not even been too concerned.

Until today…not one, but two co-workers have come down with the flu. The students are dropping like flies, and Husband woke up with a sore float. The governor even declared a health emergency in New York. Luckily, I did not have work today. I did, however, have to run errands.

Running errands meant riding the train, shopping, exchanging money, and being around so many people. Eww. I tried so hard to ignore all the sneezy, nose-blowers all around me, but then….I…sneezed. Now my nose is running.

I cannot be getting sick.

I absolutely cannot get the flu. I have plans, big plans. I am flying to Texas this weekend to host my sister’s baby shower, and a huge project to complete at work. I have no time to be sick.

For those of you who may be wondering, no, I did not get the flu shot. Why? I don’t know… I am too busy to take the time to get one. I did not give it any thought. I keep hearing it doesn’t work. I hate going to the doctor for any reason. Basically, just a lot of dumb excuses.

Is it too late to get a flu shot? I just wish I could stay locked in my apartment until my flight on Friday…and maybe lock Husband out. Sorry babe, but if you get sick you may need to be quarantined. No offense.

I hope none of you have the flu, or get the flu. If you do, please stay home. Stay well everyone, and wish me luck!

Cheers!