Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

h1

Looking Up

May 6, 2012

Long time no see and all that. Truth is I think I’m becoming a Facebook addict. Way too much time checking in there.

But anyway I thought I’d check in and provide a quicky update as to changes to frame of mind and such. Due to a combination of a variety of factors I seem to have improved – somewhat to quite alot; depending on the day. Contributing factors include but aren’t limited to: compliance with taking meds as directed; increased physical activity (almost none to regular, light exercise); seasonal changes; slightly increased opportunities for socializing; proactive mental attitude and self monitoring; regular check-ins with my MD.

One other major factor was that job competition – it gave me something to invest time in, in a positive way. The focus and prep and anticipation was key for a while there. And I handled the outcome – placing second – pretty well. Had a few crumby hours there but that’s to be expected. Gotta say it’s difficult suiting up and going back to my regular job most days since. ūüė¶ But it pays some bills……

Lynda continues to go through periodic rough stretches in terms of dealing with Craig’s death. The second anniversary is coming up in another 7 weeks or so. It’s bloody torture for me in that I can’t assauge that grief or ‘make things better’ and go away like¬†some bad nightmare. It also seems that she is reluctant to be proactive in dealing with her grief as it’s another way in which she feels she would be¬†saying a final goodbye to him. She WANTS to hold on to him so she won’t consider counselling (group or one-on-one); or talk with other parents who have lost children via accidents or health conditions. Anyway, we have that coming down the pipe and I hope we can just quietly observe it this year without all his friends showing up and making a drunken circus¬†out of it.

 

h1

Good News

April 10, 2012

wtf?? where did my post go??

Harumph! Ahem….. DO OVER!!!! (next day) I was just about to leave for work yesterday when I finished up this post and hit ‘publish’…. poof – GONE! I dunno what happened but I wasn’t impressed.

Anyway, to the best of my recollection, I was sharing what happened yesterday at my Dr appt. He was REALLY happy with the results from my physical exam and subsequent tests…. apparently he doesn’t often see those sorts of scores in a guy of my age. Blood sugar, both cholestorals LDL & HDL, kidney and liver function – all excellent. Thank you…. thank you very much.

No real change due to the increased dose of anti-depressant so we’re keeping it the same for another month and monitoring. He was a little miffed that I hadn’t followed up regarding counselling but I had been thinking it wouldn’t be of much benefit in regard to depression. There’s a saying about ‘contempt prior to investigation’ that rings true for me here so I think I’ll pick up the phone, follow up and see what happens. Can’t hurt.

In addressing the absolute bane of my existence, insomnia, he is finally changing me from one non-benzo sleep aid to another which is newly approved for use in this country. I’m truly hoping this will make a difference in my ability to get a restful night’s sleep and therefore my energy level and ability to function at daily tasks.

On the home front – Lynda put her back out last¬†Monday and spent¬†the week¬†at home recovering. A nice well deserved rest for her but her mind was active….. adding to the ‘hunny-do’ list and supervising as the jobs got ticked off. She works in a very stressful job and had done a couple of double shifts covering for a sick workmate in the week prior. Although Lynda knows in her rational mind what her age is, she doesn’t apply that knowledge when it comes to physical challenges….. and acts like she’s still thirty.

1916

On an entirely different note…. the year 1916. Pictured here are my Mom’s parents on a motorcycle with Nana and my Uncle Art in the sidecar. Nana was so determined that Art be born on Irish soil that when she knew she was pregnant she booked passage to Belfast… had Art and returned to Canada¬†via the port in Montreal when he was about 3 months old. This in the middle of WWI. Papa met up with Nana in Montreal and returned she and Art to Toronto via this motorcycle. Incredible given that back then there were no highways; just a series of two lane roadways that didn’t likely make for the most direct route.

h1

Bra Tree

March 9, 2012

The Power of PinkIn conjunction with raising awareness¬†and funds for¬†breast cancer research a couple of staff decided to do a bra donation drive. Those that aren’t in good repair get fully recycled and diverted from landfill. The ones in good shape are being shipped to Africa for distribution. There is also a money matching scheme which is dependant on the total weight of the donated bras. Word spread around town and the drive has been extended past this week for an additional two weeks. Just through word of mouth some women at¬†various large employers in the area have been networking and dropping off bags and bags of bras…… there are tons of them around now. This picture doesn’t do justice to the quantity of them.¬†Just goes to show the ‘Power of Pink’ and how one small idea can bring about positive¬†results.

Me?, you ask? This has been an incredibly busy week for me. I’ve been up early each morning with one thing or another scheduled to be done before heading off to work. Frankly, I’ll be glad when tonight’s¬†shift is over and I can get some rest. There were two visits to the Dr – one for my annual physical and one to check in re the anti-depressant dosage. We’re doubling up on dosage and checking back in a months time to see if there has been any discernible change.

I just returned from a union meeting which wasn’t too impressive. While our negotiators managed not to cave in on any concessions that management wanted we also didn’t make any gains. If we vote to¬†strike our foreign-owned company might just close the doors as they have done in Germany and France. Nice alternative, right?

One positive thing that has occupied about 8 or 10¬†hours of my time this week is re-writing my CV because my sister forwarded¬†a job posting to me for an Addiction Counselling position. The competition closes Monday evening so I’ve sweated bullets over this thing trying to get the best I’m able down on paper. I’d love to get back into the biz again. This position is a government job at the nearest ‘super-jail’. Woo-Hoo!! Good pay (more than double what I make now)¬†and loads of benefits, too! Shazzam¬†& Zoweee!!

Co-bra

Here’s a really bad shot of one of the gals at work. She broke her hand in a fall and when it was set it was at a right angle making it resemble a snake. Her sister got out her crafting supplies and added eyes and a tongue to complete the look. Snazzy, eh? The brown-skinned gal laughing in the background is my smoking buddy Sherry – sweet woman, she is.

We’re looking forward to having Owen with us for all or most of next week while he’s on March break. Lynda and I are brainstorming ideas to keep him occupied during his visit. We were talking about how when we were kids we were given a stick, a rock and a pack of matches and sent out to play. My, how things have changed.

Have a good weekend all. See you on the flip side.

h1

Where To?

February 27, 2012

So, where to indeed. While I’m glad to have shared with you folks about this recent setback into another bout of depression, and your messages of support are important too me…. I don’t think I’m going to dwell on it here as it wouldn’t be very entertaining reading, now would it? On that subject¬†I may update with a quick note from time to time but that’ll be it.

I was supposed to have my annual physical this morning but my Dr called in sick. That was the fourth time it had been rescheduled¬†– now I’m getting paranoid instead….. ha, ha, ha. So, next week it is, I hope.

Lynda and I enjoyed a good weekend with her eldest son and young Owen. Two trips to the flea market, two trips to the bakery, one to Toys ‘R Us. Busy, busy. Here he is wearing a mask he found at the toy store.

Take THAT you villain!

It’s back to work in another couple of hours. I’m hoping to get at least one more post up before the end of the month. Don’t get to post on Feb 29 very often, do we?

h1

Bluenote

February 6, 2012

Dusky Blue Snow

So, having been absent again for awhile I thought I’d tell you why…. another of my periodic disclosures.

Seems during the time since Lynda’s son Craig died I’ve transitioned from grief through into another round of clinical depression. Where the boundary may have been isn’t important, only that I’ve arrived here again. During these many months I’ve been actively self-monitoring… but, you know the saying about the doctor who treats himself; he has a fool for a patient.

This is my third period of clinical depression. The first two were spaced about 10¬†years apart; it is now about 8 years since my last descent into the abyss. So goes the cycle – this wasn’t unexpected. Perhaps if circumstance had been different then this wouldn’t have come about but the only really important thing is dealing with it appropriately NOW.

A couple of weeks ago I saw my physician for a routine Rx renewal appointment and as chance would have it he had some time on his hands for a change. He started a pretty lengthy Q & A session about life, work, relationships, finances… the whole gamut. At the end of it he asked whether¬†I had any feelings about being medicated or not. ‘For….?’, I asked. ‘Clearly you are depressed’, says he. ‘Er, um, hrph, well’. We decided on a newer, cleaner version of¬†a SSRI anti depressant which is to have fewer side effects than the older version. It’ll take another couple of weeks for it to build up in my system to the point where I can expect to feel any effect.

A quick shout out to a blog friend who, having reviewed my posts of the last few months, gave me the heads up that I wasn’t relating as I used to do…. and perhaps it was time to stop waiting and act on the symptoms. Kudos – good read.

I’m not overly upset by this setback. Just sticking to my daily routine and trying to be good to myself – food, rest, vitamins. That sort of thing. Looking for ‘the joy’ in the¬†small things like music and the mild winter we’re having.

So, I’m okay. Just sometimes I¬†have little to say here around the blog. Cheers – be back soon.

h1

Olio

May 3, 2011

… a mixture of the good and bad rattling round my brain.

The Good: My daughter-in-law’s second ultrasound was conclusive; they’re having another girl. If they are very fortunate they’ll have a clone of their daughter Madison – one of the sweetest personalities on the planet.

The Bad: Early last week another of my cousins (and BJ’s) died. He had lived a solitary life for the last 25 or so years but had managed to manipulate and hurt¬†his sibs and parents in so many ways it was sick. Strange not to feel much of anything but relief at someone’s passing but that’s the way it is. So long and hope your next life is healthier and fuller.

‘Big’ Picture Bad: Yesterday was Canada’s federal election and the outcome was definitely not to my liking. A majority Conservative government – very scary considering Prime Minister Harper’s modelling on George Bush’s policies and practices (which proved very unsuccessful). Corporate tax cuts; tough on crime; super-jails; militarization; cuts to social services to those who need that safety net most. The Liberal party fell flat and lost many seats. The Democrats had a surge and are now the official opposition (Yay!) and gained many seats. The Bloc in Quebec was disembowelled; leader resigned (Yay!); separatist bastards can go pee up a stump. The Green Party leader won the sole seat for that party in the House of Commons; good on Elizabeth May – a feisty broad whoops, I mean, lady.

More Good: The reason Lynda’s youngest son spent a few weeks here was because with his share of his inheritance he bought a chip truck… and had it here working on it and getting it in shape for the season. Yes Kel – along with french fries, burgers & sausages he¬†is also¬†serving poutine!!…and getting compliments on it, too. His first day in business was last Saturday and I hope and pray that it’s a continuing success for him.

The ‘So-So’: Weather!! Man, will it ever warm up and stop raining? We had 3X as much rain this April as last year – one storm system after another out of western Canada and the American midwest and gulf. I’d really like to ditch the long-john underwear but every time I try going without them I chill to the bone.

More Good: During this last week I’ve been getting reaquainted¬†with a female friend from many years ago – when we were in our early and mid twenties. She was a server at a bar I was a regular at in downtown Toronto – Yorkville – T.O.’s version of Haight-Ashbury… tho these were the ‘disco days’; hippydom having passed. So it’s nice to catch up on lives and stories that diverged for so long.

More Bad: I’ve had a number of Dr appointments lately because, quite frankly, I think I’m getting old. I really haven’t felt well since I got sick on New Years Eve – it has been one thing after another and I’m sick & tired of being sick & tired. So, I’m being pro-active; seeing my MD; being compliant with his suggestions, etc. and even EXERCISING. (God help me) Monitoring mood and outlook for signs of a recurrence of chronic depression – gotta watch that – don’t want to go through another bout of that.

So, that’s it; that’s all for today. The good and bad of it. Choose to have a good day; it beats the hell out of the alternative. I am.

h1

Pages Turning

October 13, 2010

In reference to the post title; I can see where I’ve made some mental and emotional progress. I’m not where I was 3 months ago, or 2 or 1. Just not entirely sure how that happened is all. ‘Time heals all wounds…’, etc. Not to say I’m all better and everything is hunky-dory but I’m finally sleeping better, the nightmares are less frequent and¬†not so¬†vivid. Now if I could just regain the 10 – 15 lbs. that dropped off in nothing flat.

I’ve been back to work for 8 or 9 weeks now and have been averaging 55 to 65 hours per, with a day off here and there. Thankfully last week it landed on the best day for son Russ, his new bride Melissa and daughter Madison to visit. More on that later. Yesterday I was off and puttered about the yard raking leaves and cutting back all the flowers and shrubs in the front garden. Nice mindless labour on a sunny fall day. Back on the job later this evening for a couple of nights at least.

I’ve started taking pictures again – tah-dah!! For the longest time there everything was flat, shapeless and monotone. Gradually things have begun taking on colour, form and dimension again – I feel like I’m seeing the world again in the truest sense. The scales have fallen from my eyes, so to speak. Same with music – for a long time I was best with silence; then quieter, melodic sorts of stuff. Now I’m okay with occasional forays into louder more percussive headbangin’ tunes. My nerves must be coming around finally.

And I read!! Mainly because I’m not usually at home when the news is on I’ve become a daily reader of the Toronto Star newspaper… so I’m up on the news, lit, music¬†and art scenes. Frequent trips to the library keep my mind fed with all sorts of topics that interest me and I’m finding it funny how one book will reference another that I’ve picked up on the same trip. (The list and review / recommendations are coming…. just haven’t had time as yet. I’m keeping track.)

That’s it for this quick installment. Many thanks to all of you who have kept in touch and offered kind words… it has helped knowing you’re out there.