Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bad Days and Good Days

Since we are ditching Sunday morning services again (for a variety of small reasons that put together overwhelmed me) and the children are playing Mine Craft together peacefully (for the moment), it's the perfect time to blog.

Depression is my constant companion and I had a really bad day this week on Thursday. Thankfully, it was followed on Friday by a better day, which provided a contrast that I thought would be worth blogging about.

                                                                          - 1 -

Bad Day: Getting out of bed first thing in the morning isn't the problem. The alarm goes off at 6 am and I need to get up and get moving on breakfast for the kids so that their morning routine can be followed. If I'm not on time, they miss their buses and I have to drive them to school, and that is plenty motivating to keep me moving. But after Miranda's bus comes at 8:07 am, all I want to do is go back to bed and snuggle into my flannel sheets. So I do.

Better Day: After the children and husband get out the door with all their appropriate accoutrements, I sit and have a cup of hot, black tea with lots of half and half. I plan how I'm going to spend the rest of my day. I take a shower and get dressed.

                                                                        - 2 -

Bad Day: Last Thursday, I had an appointment at the dermatologist's at 12:30 so I couldn't sleep the day away and my alarm went off before 11. I needed to get to the library and Costco before my appointment. I did manage to get dressed and brush my teeth, but I only allowed a Gatorade and a small bag of popcorn to tide my appetite over the lunch hour and didn't pack a hat or scarf to deal with the freezing wind.

Better Day: I plan and eat a real lunch and don't rush around the stores without a list.

                                                                  - 3 -

Bad Day: With a novel from my new stack of library books, I sit at the dermatologist for nearly 90, waiting, until I give up. I needed to leave at 2 to pick up a prescription for Miranda at our GP's office and then get home in time to meet Alex's bus. I know her office runs late, but today I just didn't have the energy to deal with calling my dad to ask him to meet Alex's bus which would irritate Alex because he wouldn't be expecting Grandpa instead of Mommy. And, besides, the doc I liked in this office left on maternity leave last year and never came back. But I feel simultaneously irritated that her office staff can't schedule appointments that fit closer to reality and hurt that she couldn't find 5 minutes to talk to me.

Better Day: I am able to respond to a message left for me by Miranda's case manager that schedules a meeting next week, call our health insurance company with a medication question, and leave a message for the shrink Miranda saw last spring with my request for documentation. I still have an unanswered voice mail from Miranda's dentist, though, about the appointment I had to cancel because of the snow last Tuesday. Better day does not mean perfect day.

                                                                       - 4 -

Bad Day: On bad days, Miranda's homework hour seems interminable. She is supposed to read to me for 15 minutes every weekday and she has run out of short books she likes and refuses to start reading chapter books to me. So we've returned to the Berenstain Bears books which are good and show me how much her reading ability has progressed in the last six months. But neither of are into it. Then we're off to her bar graph worksheets. Thankfully, she understands what she's doing (bless her teacher, truly) and as long as I stand there and watch her work, she gets them done quickly.

Better Day: On a better day, I am interested in what she reads and we talk about the book and why characters make decisions and what that might mean. And heaven help me, spelling homework better be on a better day because neither of us enjoys the process of creating sentences with spelling words. One of Miranda's processing delays manifests itself in the magical transformation of words she speaks aloud to a written assignment. It's just hard for her to write down her thoughts. We've a couple of work arounds and assistants, but it's still the hardest thing we do all week. She saves her free homework passes for spelling sentences, every time.

                                                                         - 5 -

Bad Day: On a bad day, especially in the freezing cold of winter, I return to bed after homework is done. I sit up in my bed with lots of pillows, legs under the covers with my sunshine lamp on, and read for the rest of the evening. Last Thursday I read 3 books and skimmed another one. I don't get up when Marshall comes home from work and feeds himself and Miranda, Alex having dined on chips again. At least I bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco so there was food to eat. I am able to tell my husband I'm having a bad day, that I'm still upset over the not seeing the doctor appointment, the cold and the dark. I have a bowl of instant oatmeal for dinner, reminding me of my days in college when I fought anorexia nervousa. Going gluten-free last spring has solved several problems but created new ones for me, like many of my back-up meals (things to eat when nothing sounds good) being instantly unavailable. Peanut butter on a toasted English muffin, I still miss you.

Better Day: I have a dinner planned, even if I need help preparing it, and I sit and eat it with my husband and sometimes my daughter. It is a rare day for Alex to sit and eat with us and he never eats what we're eating. But on better days, he'll come by and say hello. Last Friday, we went around the corner for haircuts at a friend's house so I got in a good hour of conversation with someone I'm not related to, which is always cheering. And our children played well together without makign a huge mess, which is always encouraging.

                                                                    - 6 -

Bad Day: I can't get to sleep at a reasonable hour and stay up reading until 1:30 in the morning. And then still can't sleep. And wake up feeling awful the next day.

Better Day: I start wrapping up my day around 10 pm so that I'll feel tired around 11 when I want to turn out the light.

                                                                     - 7 -

Bad Day: Depression overwhelms me. Taking a shower seems like too much effort. Eating anything that can't simply be reheated in the microwave seems impossible. I don't nag the children to brush their teeth because they've taken themselves off to bed and fallen asleep before I realized the time. On the worst days, reading is too hard and spend my time surfing celebrity gossip sites. I can't even muster enough mental energy to play Words with Friends.

Better Day: I can have a real conversation with my husband when he comes home. I spend some time talking to my children. Clean laundry gets folded and put away. Meals are planned. Date afternoon with my honey gets scheduled, thanks to my mother. The sink isn't full of dirty dishes. I'm cognizant of what food is in the fridge and what needs to be picked up in the near future. I spend the time to put new Jamberry wraps on my nails. I leave the house for regularly scheduled events. Autism doesn't seem like it's going to kill me. I can see hope, even if the sun isn't shining and it's 7 degrees F outside.

Here's Kelly.