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Lil_Red_Devil goes searching for hope, and her stolen spoons...


Lil_Red_Devil

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It has been a few years since I undertook a challenge, but I need something to shake me out of my current spiral of poor health and apathy.  I was once a mighty demon monkey, climbing through trees and building alliances with squirrels.  But now, I am broken.  For those just interested in what I'm up to of this challenge, feel free to skip ahead, but I need to pour a lot of this out because I'm just so tired of carrying it all in my head.

 

How did I get here?

It started about 2 years ago really.  I felt a bit of extra pain during my time of the month, but thought very little of it as sometimes it can vary.  The next month it was back, and this time it was both more intense and my brain registered the timing.  I decided to see if it happened a third time, just to be sure it wasn't a coincidence.  It did, so I went to go see my doctor.  Primary suspect - endometriosis.  After 6 months of scans and failures in the standard treatment (birth control made it worse, how messed up is that??), I was sent to a specialist and put into a chemically induced menopause for 6 months, during which time I was pain free and feeling quite good about things.  After I came off the treatment, my pain came back with interest and neither codeine nor diclofenac could touch it.  At one point my SO had to call the paramedics because I was screaming in pain.  After being hauled to the A&E (ER for North Americans) and left to sit in a bed for 3 hours without being seen by anybody, my pain subsided in favor of exhaustion and the doctors finally turned up to tell me that since I wasn't dying or at risk of dying that there was nothing they could do for me and sent me home.  This was on a Friday night, so I got to spend the entire weekend in on/off bouts of agony until I could get to my doctor on Monday.  His recommendation was to use 3 drugs at once (diclofenac, codeine, and paracetamol) while I waited 2 months for my exploratory surgery.  That was 2 months of being ok for 2 weeks, drugged up to the point of being incapacitated for a week, and then a week of relatively normal period pain.  Surgery confirmed the endometriosis, but it seems to be hiding within the muscle tissues which likely explains why the pain is so severe when the tissue swells, pressing on blood vessels and nerves nearby.  Six weeks after surgery (December 2016) I was back to moving around and put back under the chemical menopause with add-back therapy to try and protect my bones.  Unfortunately, the add-back turned my brain into a suicidal fun-factory so I had to come off that.  Since then I've been waiting to see a specialist surgeon, which should be happening in October with hopefully further surgery before the new year.

 

Add that to starting a PhD last year and my brain has fully run out of cope.  I'm doing full-time work on a research project, trying to finish a publication from another project, and being floated occasional work with the UN that I'm not about to turn down because "Hello, awesome experience!"  Some days I just can't even face leaving my house, let alone accomplishing anything for myself.  I live in fear of failing at my work, ruining my relationship with my SO, driving away what few friends I have, the unhealthy state I'm in contributing to bone loss, and the very real possibility of returning to the cycle of weighing up the risk of excruciating pain against not getting anything done because I'm so drugged up I can barely walk from the couch to the bathroom.  My SO has been so supportive, but I can feel his patience starting to wane as he wonders why I haven't been able to find a way to cope with all of this after so long.  He wonders why I'm not just used to it by now.  I don't know how to tell him that the reason I'm getting worse every day is BECAUSE I'm getting used to it.  I'm slipping into blind acceptance that this is my life now, and I have no hope of it ever being free of this fear.  I'm purposely trying to NOT cope with it because I don't want this to be my life, but I don't know how to make him understand that. I desperately need hope that I will get through this and not be trapped in this situation forever.

 

What am I going to do about it?

I have tried to get myself motivated to take better care of my mental and physical health, but so far been unsuccessful and I think it is because I was starting too big.  I was setting goals based on what I used to be capable of, rather than assessing my current state (I've been actively avoiding this in fact) and building from there.  I cannot really focus on energetic exercise at the moment, as I'm currently battling to find the oomph to get dressed and leave the house.  So, as sad as I am to admit that I have gotten to this stage, my goals are going back to the very, VERY basics of being a functional human in the hopes of regaining some of my lost spoons.

 

Goal 1: I will build up to going outside for at least 10 minutes every day

     - Week 1: 4 days

     - Week 2: 5 days

     - Week 3: 6 days

     - Week 4: 7 days

 

Goal 2: I will get dressed every day

     - Even if I don't go outside, I will wear proper clothing and not just my pajamas unless I am actually ill

 

Goal 3: I will build up to taking 20 minutes for yoga/meditation every morning

     - Week 1: 4 days

     - Week 2: 5 days

     - Week 3: 6 days

     - Week 4: 7 days

 

Goal 4: I will NOT step on the scale for this entire challenge

     - I know I'm out of shape and carrying more weight than I would like.  I don't need to keep reminding myself of this and destroying what little self-worth and motivation I manage to unearth.

 

I joined the Druids for this challenge because it is largely focused on improving my mental well-being through yoga, meditation, and staged reintroduction to the world around me.  I hope you all find the strength and inner peace you are searching for!

 

 

 

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Yikes!  My heart goes out to you for the rough times. But I'm so very happy to see you back!  I'll be following along.  

 

You make sure to come in here and tell us about your successes!  I want to read about the clothes you've changed into every day that got you out of your pajamas.    I want to hear how the sun, rain, wind, feels on your skin, and the sounds you hear, and the things you see (squirrel!) when you go outside for 10 minutes.

 

In return, I can tell you every day that it's freakin' hot and humid here and I'm pretty sure if I go outside for 10 minutes I will turn into a puddle.  How's it in the U.K.?

 

 

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You haven't seen my Final Form

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5 hours ago, Hazard said:

Yikes!  My heart goes out to you for the rough times. But I'm so very happy to see you back!  I'll be following along.  

 

You make sure to come in here and tell us about your successes!  I want to read about the clothes you've changed into every day that got you out of your pajamas.    I want to hear how the sun, rain, wind, feels on your skin, and the sounds you hear, and the things you see (squirrel!) when you go outside for 10 minutes.

 

In return, I can tell you every day that it's freakin' hot and humid here and I'm pretty sure if I go outside for 10 minutes I will turn into a puddle.  How's it in the U.K.?

 

 

Aawww, I'm actually tearing up lol thanks hun, I really appreciate the support and I'll be watching your trek to Mordor :-)

 

The weather in the UK is wet today, as usual, though we usually get brief glimpses of lovely blue sky at some point during the day. You've given me a great accountability idea though! I'll take a picture each day I go outside and post it here with a wee description, so huzzah! 

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5 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

So sorry to hear all the pain you've been through. Sending hugs your way, my friend. I like your plan of small steps. We are here for you.

Thank you hun, so glad to see some familiar... Faces? Icons? Whatever, just so happy to hear from you guys :-) 

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29 minutes ago, Sunmage said:

Welcome to the Druids!

I hope you will find the peace to recover far beyond expectations here. 

Small steps are a great start!

 

Hugs,

Sunmage

Cheers Sunmage, I'm feeling a warm feeling of welcome already. 

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Well, we've reached Thursday so it's time for a quick update:

 

Goal 1: I've been outside every day this week so far, but I had to go out yesterday to attend an essential meeting so I'm not counting that since I didn't leave the office while I was out. Most of my work can be done from home, so actively choosing to go out on those days is the goal. So I've got 2 so far.

 

Goal 2: Clothing has happened with the going out, so that's been good. 

 

Goal 3: So far so good, 3 mornings of 20 minute a.m. Yoga with Rodney Yee. If forgotten how soothing his voice is lol.

 

Goal 4: it's still in the bathroom, so I glare at it every morning. I'm tempted to hide it in a closet but that feels like cheating. I need to learn to live with its presence without being swayed by it. 

 

My darling friends Hazard had inspired me to take pictures of myself enjoying my outside time to share here, so watch this space for Thursday's excursion. 

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Proof of outside travel and real clothing: Today involved going to Birmingham to have a meeting with my project supervisor. I broke out one of my favourite green sweaters for the occasion, and even braved a bimble around the city center with the SO, so I'm calling that a win. It's a rare sunny day here in the Midlands and the perfect temperature for walking around without a coat, though of course my SO insisted on sending me out with his fuzzy hoodie just in case [emoji1] 0e46dda6cb5c503a6f2e5df30ac5cabb.jpg

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 Level 2 Hedgehog

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Sounds good to me!  I propose the International Climate Exchange Program of 2017.
 
 
Excellent, I shall start making plans to funnel the UK climate to your coordinates. Do you have preferred dates or would you like the year-round sampler?

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Friday: In short, not a great day. Woke up feeling nauseated so I didn't manage any yoga or to go outside, but I did force myself to have a bath (made me feel worse) and get dressed. Hoping a day spent not moving will recover me for the weekend, as I have invites for dinner on Saturday and Sunday *fingers crossed*DSC_0009.JPG

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You look gorgeous! Not only did you get dressed, but you got all prettied up. I consider getting dressed sweats and a t-shirt. So , I arard you bonus points for stepping it up. Hope you feel good for this weekend. 

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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You look gorgeous! Not only did you get dressed, but you got all prettied up. I consider getting dressed sweats and a t-shirt. So , I arard you bonus points for stepping it up. Hope you feel good for this weekend. 
Hurray for bonus points!! [emoji2]

I actually like wearing flowy dresses because they're usually more accommodating to my muscle-enhanced shape. I'm lacking tone at the moment, but the bulk hasn't receded much in my arms and legs.

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Weekend Summary:

 

My SO left for a LARP event mid-afternoon, so I had some lovely alone time to look forward to.  By Friday night I was feeling better and spent a good chunk of time crocheting, so that helped regenerate my power-pack.  

 

On Saturday I not only got dressed and went outside, I even managed a wardrobe change for going out in the evening! Most of the day was spent clearing the back corner of the garden, then collecting every bit of moss I could from the shed roof to start a moss lawn.  The corner is shaded by my beloved magnolia tree, so nothing really grows there.  Therefore, I've claimed it as the future site for my zen den which will include the moss lawn, our collection of dragon statues, and a meditation area.  My SO is planning on putting up a sign that says "Here be dragons.  And Jess's."  I'm not sure which is more terrifying [emoji3] I got everything in place just before it started to rain - awesome timing Mother Nature!!

 

Saturday evening was unfortunately very draining, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to limit the amount of time I spend with this particular set of friends.  They are lovely people, but I have quite sensitive hearing (I jump every time my SO sneezes) and they like watching movies with the volume loud enough to shake my chair.  It was lovely to feel like my company was wanted, but it left me exhausted.

 

Sunday's outing almost didn't happen, due to a mix of Saturday evening's events and anxiety from my SO not replying to a text letting him know I wouldn't be home when he got back from his LARP event.  But I had a day of gaming planned with a friend I don't get to see very often and whom I absolutely adore, so I baked a pie while listening to Celtic music (very soothing), gritted my teeth, grabbed our copy of Evolution and bolted to the car before I could change my mind.  I'm glad I did, as I had a wonderful time eating lamb curry from a hollowed loaf of bread and watching the others try to out-carnivore each other while my fat, armored, herbivorous critters hid safely underground.

 

I also took the opportunity to have a chat with the SO about my personal time needs.  While he's always happy for me to go do my own thing, it's hard for me to feel like I can fully commit to what I'm doing and let my hyper-focus tendencies play out when I know he's in the house and likely to poke his head in to check on me or see if I need anything.  I love that he cares so much, but knowing that I'm likely to be interrupted at any moment in what I'm doing makes me very anxious so I'd rather not start at all if I can't give whatever the task is my full attention.  I tried my best to explain this to him last night, so hopefully we can work on that together.

 

 

Gardening                                                              

6efc8742be0daec1ae3b7c52130044de.jpg

 

Going out

 

5f9d08a19f2630ef7a8dd136cd0a825a.jpg

 

 

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Week 1 Round-up:

 

Not a bad week, with much time spent out amongst the huge manatee.  I'm feeling better for the morning yoga, so that's a big bonus.

 

Goal 1: Go outside for at least 10 minutes on 4 days - 5 days = Nailed it! A+

Goal 2: Get dressed every day - Friday was only half a day, but I did manage it on all 7 days = A

Goal 3: 20 minutes of yoga or meditation on 4 days - Nearly managed this, but 3 days still isn't bad = B

Goal 4: No looking at the scale - I resisted the urge both to look at it and to simply hide it from view, so we're ok so far = A

 

Not a bad first week, but room for improvement.  I need to push myself a little bit on the yoga/meditation because I know it makes me feel better and it's only 20 minutes.

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Moss yard!

 

I swear the world would be a better place if we stopped planting grass and covered our yards in moss instead.  Moss looks better and  it's way more fun to walk on barefoot.  (Plus I've always hated mowing grass).

 

The pics in your last post didn't show up for me.  They have gray circles with a line through them.

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Daily update: Mixed results today as I had to go out grocery shopping this morning, then my laptop decided to play up and ruin any chance of getting work done (bloody Macbook). My SO and I were supposed to be having a date night, but I barely made it through dinner so we've scrapped the movie in favour of nesting on the couch.

 

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a3742bced9476291009e7b498e4d5829.jpg

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