Medicine Woes


Lately, I have been having a difficult time.  I had to cancel a medicine that I was taking that was definitely helping the depression, due to the cost.  The insurance company decided to raise the copay and there is not a generic available.  It was a difficult decision, but the lack of money to pay for it made the final decision.  Now I am in the process of finding a new med that would replace that med.  It doesn’t seem right, when the other one was working just fine.  However, this is the way life is.  I either go broke, or I feel better.  That seemed to be my choices.  You can not get a discount, that some drug companies provide to help with their cost, if you are on Medicare.  Yea for me, I’m on Medicare.  It is not the first time that Medicare decided to mess with my prescriptions.  Unfortunately, I am sure it will not be the last.

A year or so back, I was on another drug that helped me stay awake, for the most part, during the day.  I have chronic fatigue which is part of my dysautonomic disorder.  I was sleeping more then half the day away.  They had a drug that was working, to keep me mostly awake.  I was on it for a couple years, when Medicare decided to pull the plug on it and not allow it because it was not being used for it’s “prescribed” use, according to FDA guidelines.  I spent the next year or so sleeping.  But that was alright, since it didn’t work all the time.  At least that is what one doctor told me.  Tell that to my kids who get to watch their mother sleep.

Now I am on a drug for ADD.  It definitely keeps me awake, even when I don’t want to be.  But, hey, that is more normal then being asleep all the time.  It is a controlled substance, so I have to pick up a written prescription every month.  Truthfully, it does work better then the last drug.  The insurance company got it right this time.  Let’s hope they don’t pull this one, or significantly raise the price of it.  I do not want to sleep all the time.  Well, usually.

When my first depression medicine quit working and I ended up hospitalized.  The period was very dark.  I was crying all the time.  They put me on a new prescription that seemed to put a halt to the tears.  Something was finally working.  Then I got a letter, that, at first, said the insurance company wasn’t going to cover it, that I should try something else.  I was outpatient by this time and not crying.  They wanted me to try drugs I had already tried.  My doctor and I fought it and won.  They allowed me that drug.  It’s a higher tier, but we can manage.

Then came a need to get me over the depression edge.  I was just tinkering on it.  Things were better, but not great.  I don’t mean euphoric, that would present another problem.  I still wasn’t happy even some of the time, but I was surviving.  I knew I had reason to be better.  I have very loving, supportive, friends and family.  I just could not get over that hump.  That’s when they introduced me to another drug to work together with the first.  After time it started to work.  That’s about the time that the insurance company decided to raise the copay to an amount I could not afford.  Not with the med’s I already take at least.  I had to pick and choose which one’s I could do without.  I don’t know that I can do without this one, but it was the most expensive on my list.  It had to go.

Now the days seem longer, the nights are harder.  I had my first suicidal thoughts in a long time, just the other day.  I have, as I have said, a family I care about.  I realize these thoughts are not rational, but they are convincing when the darkness wraps itself around me.  I found myself getting the talk about how some people might be okay without me, not all would.  A few of my friends and family confirmed this.  I did not go around sharing my thoughts until after the threat.  It is too hard to raise the alarm when it is happening.  My mind was messing with me.  It was telling me that everyone would be fine without me.  It was difficult to hear, the next day, that that wasn’t the truth, but humbling.

We are trying another medicine.  It is not cheap, but it is not as expensive as the other one was.  Hopefully it will work.  In the meantime, my husband keeps watch of me, and I hope.  I hope it works and I hope my insurance company doesn’t have other ideas for it.


Way Back to Makeup


I made an appointment to get my hair done.  Highlighted and cut.  A week ago I bought a lipstick.  What’s the big deal you wonder?  I haven’t done either for over two years, since the day my mother died.  I stopped taking care of myself.  Before, I would not be caught without lipstick, now I am never caught with it.  My hair has become a drab brown.  I sometimes take the time to put a little mascara on.  Which is good since my eyelashes remained blonde while my hair grew dark.  But, very rarely, is there much more makeup then that.

Let’s go on the record as saying I don’t necessarily feel I need it, though it couldn’t hurt.  I am not one of those people, nor have I ever been, that believe you can not be seen in public without impeccable makeup.  I wore the lipstick because I enjoyed putting the color to my lips.  I wore mascara, because I enjoyed having eyelashes.  I wore eye shadow, or eye liner, because I enjoyed doing so.  When my mother died, I lost all interest in those things.

The first time I went to a salon after my mom died, because my hair was so unruly it needed to be trimmed, I cried.  It didn’t help that my mother use to frequent that salon.  I felt guilty for taking care of myself.  Like, somehow, being responsible for myself, was wrong.  That I shouldn’t enjoy myself any longer.  I know this thinking was distorted.  At the time, I think I realized it was distorted.  I just couldn’t get pass the distortion.  

Yes, for a period of time this also included no showers or brushing teeth, until I absolutely, necessarily felt I had to.  Even then that was an effort.  I am not proud of those moments.  Even now, I don’t shower as often as I use to.  I try never to get to the stink factor.  There are days I still struggle pulling myself into the shower, this from a woman who use to take long showers and sit in there for as long as she could.  

My sister said I use to be one of those people that had to have every hair in place.  At one point in time I probably did.  Then I had children and that kind of slipped, but I still bathed frequently, brushed my teeth often, and put on makeup.  It probably started a bit into when I became ill, things started sliding a little.  My grandma died, it slid a little more.  My mother died, it stopped all together.  I had trouble tending to myself.

Thankfully my boys were old enough to bathe and take care of themselves.  Though I did remind them to from time to time.  All the while, not quite taking care of myself.  Not quite knowing what to do with myself anymore.  Feeling ashamed.  Feeling hideous.  Not realizing, for quite some time, that I stopped caring.  

This year, however, I was in a conversation with another woman who was talking about getting her hair done.  The works she said.  And I thought about it.  I thought of how long it has been and I realized when I stopped.  Grief can cause painful reactions. Some people tend to give up on themselves, at least for a short time.  Mine tended to last two and a half years.  At least.  Somewhat longer.

There is no story that my mother was against makeup and that is why I stopped.  She loved getting gussied up and going out places.  She place good money on her makeup and her tools.  She made sure her hair was done.  After a few attempts in doing it herself and failing when she was younger, same with me, she went to a salon to get her hair fixed.  My mom would have been dismayed by my stopping.  She would have encouraged me to get back to a some semblance of order.  This would not be okay with her.  Not that I chose to go without, but because I was the daughter who prior to her death chose to go with.

So I made the call.  It has taken a couple weeks to get in but I am finding that I am looking forward to it, instead of with dread.  I pondered over purchasing a new lipstick for a couple days, before I finally bought one.  My husband was shocked.  He noticed that I hadn’t been buying lipstick, that is how often I use to wear it.  I’m okay with this change.  I’m finally feeling that it is okay.   I will be all right, lipstick and all.



I’m not much for crowds, or groups for that matter.  Give me a one on one and I’m good to go.  Anymore then that and the anxiety erupts. It doesn’t matter what the group consists of, family, friends, or strangers.  I play no favorites.  Which makes this holiday season, and every holiday season, tense.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends.  I even do well, once I am there.  It is the beforehand that rattles my nerves.  The preparation.  

I skipped Kindergarten.  No, I wasn’t smart and skipped a grade, I, literally, played hooky from kindergarten.  This is how frightened I was of all those people.  It started early.  People in my family believe I hated school, but I loved school.  I loved learning.  What I didn’t like was all the people there.  Keep in mind, any group over a handful, was more then enough for me.  God forbid, attention should be drawn to me, or we would have to form groups.  Any get together was difficult.

My mother, bare with me, told me that I went to bed during my own birthday party when I was a little girl.  I believe I am the subject of that story and not my sister.  Yep, pretty sure it was me.  The rudeness of my actions would surprise my older self, but the need to get away doesn’t surprise me in the least.

I’m not sure why I have issue with people.  It could be that I spent my first two years of my life around adults, a small group of people, who loved and took care of me.  It could be that the two times I was attacked in my childhood, were by a group of people.  Though that wouldn’t explain Kindergarten, since those happened after.  If anything it probably just intensified my feeling that being in a group was not safe.

I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy myself when I am with friends and family.  Once I adapt, I do.  Once the fear of judgment and whatever else it is that is causing that anxiety, dissipates, I am fine.  You wouldn’t be able to tell that it took a lot out of me to just get there.  Again, this has nothing to do with them.  I realize it is all me.  The people I surround myself with now do not hurt me.  It’s all those negative messages in my head that get the better of me.

Weeks leading up to an event, I notice I get more and more agitated.  I really try not to think of the gathering.  I try to tell myself that all will be good, that these people are not out to hurt me.  On a primal level I realize this, but somewhere in there are the old attacks.  The meanness, or bullying, of past relationships.  There is the fear that they won’t like me.  That I am not good enough.  By the night before, I am a wreck.  I might be more teary.  I might be stoic.  No one but my husband realizes how nervous I am.  I have a hard time falling asleep the night before an event.  I’ve been known to stay up nearly all night, until my body can no longer take being awake.  I try to shut up my mind, but it is going through the next days events and it is worried.

The morning of, I try to be present.  I remind myself, again, that everything will be fine.  That I will enjoy myself.  That I will not want to leave.  And, that will be true.  Just tell my head that.

The Pear Tree


I have a pear tree.  Not a miracle in itself, but a tree that really shouldn’t be flourishing.  It sits in the middle of my yard and every other year or so it provides pears for us.  If you were to see it, you would think that it was a tree that should have died a long time ago.  I’m sure if I were to ask someone who specializes in trees what I should do with it they would tell me to cut it down.  It is hollowed out on the inside, yet the trunk continues to grow around this space.  Every year, for 14 or so, it continues to show it’s foliage.  I can’t see cutting it down when it obviously has the strength and determination to continue to grow.  If the simple, little, pear tree, can find that in itself, surely I can.

Sometimes, at various points of my life, I have felt hallowed out.  As if there was nothing left to give of myself.  When the depression descends on me it is a wonder I can find my way out of the hallowed out darkness of myself.  Amazingly, to me, I managed to continue on.  Truly, the only choice, a no choice, is death and if I can’t cut down a tree that, by all appearances, is dying, I most certainly can’t stop my life.

That hasn’t stopped me from hoping that I won’t wake up.  Just this morning, I read a quote about being thankful that you woke.  It hits me hard because I do not always feel that way.  I know I shouldn’t feel that way. You would think that by feeling that way, on occasion, that I hate my life, but I don’t.  I do not know why those thoughts plague my mind.  They creep in and I am ashamed that they are still there.

The depression has released me into some light.  I am smiling more.  I do not feel the casting of shadows that plagued me for nearly a year.  I am not feeling suicidal.  Still, when faced with writings being thankful for being alive, or some mornings waking up, I am disappointed.  

I was thinking that way when I drove my lawn tractor pass the little pear tree.  It isn’t the biggest or best tree of my yard, but it seems the hardiest.  It clings to life despite whatever ate at it’s insides over the years.  This year it bore fruit.  It doesn’t do that every year.  I noticed, that despite how it’s trunk looked, the leaves were full, the fruit was plenty.  It hung in through all the seasons to give me fruit.  

I relate to that tree.  I feel hallow, but I hang in there.  I have done everything I need to do and I am still doing so to fight against the changes of seasons of my life.  I am in therapy.  I take medication.  I may not think I’m put together but I am whole.  Perhaps as whole as I will ever be.  That tree’s trunk will never be filled, but it has learned to grow around it.  I will learn to grow around it and thrive despite of it.

Most importantly I have learned that, though my life is not perfect, it is perfectly mine.  I may never get rid of the dark thoughts entirely.  Still I have that pear tree.  It will hang in there with me proving that life is worth living and through that, and many other ways, I will know I am blessed.

Through My Door


You can not enter through my front door. If I wanted to leave through that door, I would have to jump. No, really, it’s a physical fact. Somehow that brings me comfort, safety. We ripped out our ragged porch and are in the process of building a new one. That front door kept people away. […]