Life worth living, the book
I have been reading Marsha Linehan’s memoir, Building a life worth living. Today I learned something that is spot on with how I am. I have what is known as “apparent competence”. It is when you basically show that you are functioning but inside you are dying from pain. I love this term and I highlighted it. I think I am going to learn from this book what I haven’t been able to in others and that is to know myself better. Dr. Linehan’s life and mine is very different but we suffered the same kind of pain that made us want to end our life. I am still thinking of ending my life while she has moved on. I just can’t seem to do that. I think if I didn’t have chronic physical pain, I might be able to live. But with it, I don’t think I have a chance.
I had a zoom call with a dear friend. She noticed my beard and commented on it. She loves the transformation that I am going through and it made me feel good as she knew me before I started my transition and came out as trans. She has been so supportive and I love her for that. Not too many close friends are as supportive as she is. Most don’t understand and won’t try to because they are stuck in their ways, the black and white thinking.
I went out today. I had to go to the pharmacy and pick up my meds. The damn pharmacist was an idiot as he said he couldn’t fill it then when I told him it was a 28 day, he said he could. I had to fill it today or I wouldn’t have meds for this evening and going to Tues would be terrible. I hate that I have these restrictions on my pain meds. It really sucks to be in this kind of a bind. Back and ankle have been switching off hurting today so I was glad I went out for a bit to stretch my legs. I have been in bed since then. I just can’t bear the pain because my back hurts so much. The muscle relaxants aren’t working as well as they used to. I don’t know if I have developed a tolerance to it or what. Just sucks because the cramps are so bad I can hardly stand up more than 10 minutes.
I have been trying to keep my fluid intake up because it is kind of warm these days. It has been hard because I haven’t had too much of a thirst. My bladder function is dependent on the fluid intake so I need to drink in order to go. Otherwise, I have to cath and I would prefer not to do that. I had to last night before bed because it was more than 5 hours and I wasn’t getting any urge to go despite drinking a lot. It is a catch 22 with the bladder. I can drink a lot but not have an urge or drink the same amount and get an urge. I have no idea what causes what and when. It drives me crazy.
I need to cut my fingernails. It is the one self-care thing that I absolutely loathe. I wish they didn’t grow so damn fast. Seems like I got to cut them every damn week. But I like when my nails are short. That is the only good thing about doing the deed.
About goals and feeling agitated
So I got some things done. I got my recycles in the bin. I started another bag. I showered and shaved. I did a pretty good job though I missed a spot here and there. I touched up. I shaved the sides and back of my head. It feels good to feel the baldness. It takes some work and my ankle did not like me afterwards that is for sure.
I got into a fight with my sister. She is just being ridiculous and I think I am going to stipulate that I am not going to talk to her until she gets some help. She has more issues than I do. But her germ phobia has gotten out of control. I seriously want to get her toilet seat covers because she complains every single day about something about the toilet. I don’t understand the obsession when it is your own family members. We share the same germs so I don’t get it. Someone else I can see but family? Come on. Now I am fearful of using the bathroom not only because of cathing but now if I should forget to wipe the damn toilet down after I use it. Fuck. Who the hell does that in their own home?? Fucking ridiculous!! I don’t need this stress. It is almost getting to the point where I am thinking of going somewhere else. I can’t be under this much stress just for living at home. No one should have to walk on eggshells where they live for whatever reason. Just talking about it is giving me anxiety.
I got therapy tomorrow. I cancelled today’s appointment because I just didn’t feel like going into Boston late afternoon. I would if it was my therapist but it’s not so cancel! I am not sure I will reschedule the appointment either. It is supposed to be the last one so I might just forego it.
I fucking screwed up my checking account. I spent too much (on bills) forgetting there were two being paid today so now I will be over drawn. I am screwed. I have no idea what the hell I am going to do as the fees are going to kill me. At least I got my meds and paid the money I owe to the mail order company. My doc will be calling in a script today and it won’t go through unless there is no balance.
I haven’t napped though I tried because I got a migraine around 1500. I tried to sleep but I got agitated. I took some perphenazine to try and calm down before I was bombarded with voices. They came anyways and then I was yelling with them about my sister which just made things so much worse. I know I should be in the hospital but because of my medical issues I just can’t. I am too afraid my needs won’t be met or the orders will be wrong so I will be fucked. I’ve had it happen too many times now and I get annoyed and frustrated and then want to leave but can’t because my safety is an issue or the team doesn’t feel like I am ready to leave. Then I will have to deal with the after math that my family will think it is someone’s fault I am in the hospital. They don’t understand that I have serious mental illness. My mother just thinks I need to talk to her to be “fine”. Mind you she wouldn’t understand a thing I go through no matter how many times I tried to explain it. Fuck, she still thinks I am female and tonight I have been going through horrible dysphoria because of the things on my chest. Knowing I have to lose weight to get rid of them just makes me more depressed. You would think it would be a motivator but it doesn’t work that way with depression. If I didn’t have severe depression, I might be able to get motivated. Right now I am just planning on not eating as I don’t know how else to lose. It worked last year. Only problem is that my appetite is sort of back so it is hard not to eat when I am hungry. Hence why I had burritos at 2 am the other night. I ordered my groceries so I will be getting tortillas to make my breakfast burritos to store. I hope to make a lot. I just hope my mother has enough cheese. I know she has a lot of eggs. I might have to buy a dozen as I will be using a dozen. A friend said the secret is 2 eggs per burrito that you want to make. Which makes sense as when I make one, I use two eggs. But this is all for when I have surgery and I have food for when I don’t feel like making something.
My surgeon’s NP called me today to answer the questions that I had. She explained the surgery to me and that they won’t be removing a lot of bone or anything and I won’t need a transfusion. So I was happy about that. I told her I would need home care and she said I would have to talk to the nurse manager on my case when I am inpatient as they and my surgeon arrange that. It all depends on what I need and how I am after surgery. I keep praying that I walk in the hospital and am able to walk out even if it is with a walker. I haven’t decided if I am going to wear the afo or not the day of my surgery. I think I will be okay walking without it. I will have my sister bring my bag with me later that night so it doesn’t get lost. I just plan on having a few change of clothes and my toiletry bag. And catheters. The NP said the neuro floor is mostly private rooms so that is nice. I will know when I wake up if things went okay or not. Last time things were not okay and I knew right away something was wrong but I didn’t know what as I was out of it. I just worry my CRPS foot is going to go berserk for being laid up and manipulated. I hope I don’t wake up in a flare. That will be friggin awful.
Baking and the tireds
I woke up around 9. I had energy but I didn’t feel like getting up. I had to bake the zucchini bread, which I did do eventually. My mother made my custard pie for my birthday tomorrow. She is having a party for me. Little does she know that it will be my coming out party. I am not hiding who I am anymore and if someone calls me my birthname or “she”, I am going to correct them. If I am meant to be here, I damn well am going to be who I am and not who I am not. I am a male and that is all. I try to be a good, kind man.
After I baked, I got really tired. I went up to my room to relax a bit. I had to be careful with the damn catheter. I had tied the bag to my leg so I wouldn’t be touching it while I baked. I seriously am just so depressed that this is my life now. I will always have to either have a cath placed or do the cathing to excrete urine because I can no longer do it on my own. And there is no reason for it. There is some kind of nerve damage going on but nothing to indicate where it is coming from. I am so frustrated.
My pcp sent me a message this morning. I had replied to his from Friday, I think. I was upset that he didn’t want to treat my pain. He said that with all the medication changes the other docs and the psychopharm are doing, he doesn’t want to add to it. I understood where he was coming from after I had a good sleep and was clearheaded. The concussion is not helping me stay focused on things. I have been having memory problems and my rationale has not been in good judgment. I wrote back to him a few things to keep him up to speed. I don’t see him again till Feb. That is a long way from now. I also see the neurosurgeon a day before his appointment.
My therapist had wanted me to think about going to a DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) group. I thought about it but I also have a lot of questions about it. I wrote them down the other day. I hope that I remember the notebook I wrote it in because I also want her to write the stuff she was telling me to do to express my feelings in the moment when I didn’t have words for them. I talked to a friend about going to this group as physically it can be taxing. She said to give it a go and see how it fits. If it doesn’t then I can always leave it. I wonder if my therapist will think so. I have to be honest with her that this might not be for me as I haven’t had much success with outpatient group therapy.
I am absolutely dreading my birthday party tomorrow. I know there is going to be a lot of pronouns and it is just going to stress me the fuck out. I guess I can talk to my therapist about it. Might help me to unload the fears I have about stepping up this far with my family. I know they aren’t going to be accepting. Some will, some won’t. But if I have to be here, why not let me be the man I am?
I had therapy today. It was the first appointment since my attempt on Monday. We talked about it and she is temporarily taking away my texting her until I am more stable. If I need to talk to her, I need to use the patient web thing. I won’t use the web thing because whatever I write gets put into my medical record. I had to send her a message today when I got home though because the concussion doc that I saw yesterday gave me so much more medication than I thought he was going to give me, especially after I told him I attempted on Monday. Fucking idiot. But then, not surprised. Professionals stay away from suicide as much as they can.
I got a few decent hours sleep so when I woke up, I was rested and decided to get moving as I was antsy. I was so nervous about seeing my therapist as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. She told me that she isn’t going anywhere and to my relief she isn’t transferring me to someone else. I get to see her Monday, which is my birthday. I will be making zucchini bread sort to “celebrate”. The one I made for Thanksgiving was gone so I really didn’t have much of it the last time I made it, much to my disappointment.
I was developing some problems cathing so I let my urologist know. She said to come to the office the next day and she would put in a catheter. I went yesterday, after I saw the concussion doctor. I have a leg bag again. I cracked myself up today when I was going to pick up the medication the concussion doc prescribed as it can cause urine retention. I laughed because I have a catheter in me so it doesn’t matter if it does or not. I am not sure when I am getting this sucker out. The nurse is supposed to call me tomorrow when my culture results come in. They already did and it was negative so I want this out of me but it might be a while. I am not sure. As much as it is a pain, I kind of like it as I don’t have to leave my room for anything. I am trying to rest my flared up ankle as much as possible because I can’t stand being in pain anymore. If I can avoid the stairs, I will. I need to change the bag into a bigger one because fucking hell, I do not want to wake up at 3 fucking AM to empty the sucker. I just hope I put the damn thing in right because I really don’t want urine on my bed!
I have a concussion that the doc is worried about because it has been two weeks and I am still having symptoms. My memory was not perfect. When he gave me four things to remember, I remembered two. I know I totally fucked up counting down numbers from 100. And even something simple as remembering the date was out of touch. I couldn’t think what month this was. It was really difficult trying to have therapy as I kept losing my words for things. At one point my therapist told me to just take a breath and think then speak whatever the emotion was. I have trouble knowing what the fuck my emotions are anyway so today I just didn’t know my ass from my elbow. I got so frustrated because I couldn’t name how I felt. She wanted to know and I had no words. She jokingly said that we both will be without a jokester for a week and a half. We both are sarcastic as fuck. She will be away from Christmas until after the first week in January. She said we need to plan something while she is gone. I am kind of scared of what that will entail. I am not sure if she wants me to do shit while I am concussed still. I don’t see the concussion doctor again until the week she comes back. Both my therapist and psychopharm are out at the same time. I’ve been in this situation loads of times though not particularly after a suicide attempt. I know I will be alright. I just don’t think they will. The psychopharm wants me to call warm lines should I get suicidal again. She gave me a bunch of links in the Boston area which I didn’t even know existed. I probably won’t call them. I’ve never really found hotlines helpful when dealing with chronic suicidal thoughts.