Category Archives: Diabetes

YouTube

I fully intend on continuing to write here, I’m just a bit burnt out on it for now.

In the meantime I have been making videos on YouTube regarding all the same stuff I write about here. I have a total of three videos posted as of this post.

Check them out if you like.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3KOi-Y0gQioRcQpG17hwGw

I have the videos set to 18+, so you will probably have to log in and/or “verify” your age.

Writing While High 2

I did this once before a few weeks back, writing a blog post while high. My readers seemed to get a laugh out of it, and I got a lot of new followers, so I thought I’d make a regular run of it.

I Ate a couple of gummies a few minutes ago and I am now going to start my blog with a writing prompt. I chose Type 1 Diabetes as my prompt for tonight since the original reason I started this blog was to discuss my T1D and reach out to other diabetics and to teach those who don’t know T1D from a cup of sugar.

So, let us begin…

Most people know that diabetes exists, but many have no idea that there are multiple types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the type most people know about. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes the body to not be able to make enough insulin to cover it’s needs or to not be able to use insulin efficiently (insulin resistance). Many people believe that type 2 diabetes is the patients fault, that they brought it on by eating a bad diet and/or not exercising enough. Although these things can put a person at higher risk of developing type 2, they are not the cause. Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, even the healthiest lifestyles and most fit individuals can get type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is NOT curable, once you have it you have it for life. Yes, you can get it under such good control that you no longer have symptoms and your blood glucose level is controlled, but that is all it is, controlled, not cured. As soon as you slack off your hard work to control it you will be sorely reminded that the diabetes is still there.

Another common type of diabetes is prenatal diabetes. The only type of diabetes that is curable is prenatal diabetes. The only people who get prenatal diabetes are pregnant women. The diabetes usually goes away shortly after the pregnancy ends. Women who have prenatal diabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later.

Other types of diabetes are Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY), Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), Type 3c Diabetes, Steroid induced diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes, Wolfram Syndrome, Alstrom Syndrome…. These are all subtypes of Type 1 and 2 Diabetes.

Then there is my type of diabetes, Type 1. T1D is an autoimmune disorder. In T1D the pancreas is not able to produce insulin. Since you know that insulin is a hormone the human body naturally produces, you can then understand that insulin is not a medicine. And seeing as you know in a T1D the body is not able to produce this hormone (not medicine) insulin whenever it is needed, that insulin injections are a therapy, NOT a cure.

T1D’s must inject or infuse insulin either several times a day (insulin injections) or 24/7 (insulin pump), we must also keep a very close eye on our blood glucose level. We do this by finger pricks and a continuous glucose monitor.

OK, guys it’s hitting me now. I really do not care to continue having to be all comprehensive and use my brain. It might explode.

*giggles*

The reality of being T1D is that it sucks, I fucking hate it. I hate having to think and remember and keep vigilant…*stop to yell at dogs to stop pissing each other off* and …and…*read sentence over a million times because I keep getting distracted*…I just hate it, I’d like to not to have to be forever worried, forever aware of things healthy (normal) people (ableds)….

You know I have been thinking a lot about wheather or not T1D is a disability. Like, the definition of disability is to not be able to…the human body/mind not able to do the job a human body/mind is supposed to. OK, my pancreas can’t do one thing it is supposed to be able to do. So, scientifically I do have a disabiliy…I am disabled.

BUT, this disability my body has does not make me unable to do anything an able body can. So, even if I am scientifically disabled, I am not LEGALLY disabled.

So be aware of your technicalities.

UGH, there I go thinking again. I want to turn my brain off for a bit.

*giggles*

Sleepy…

So many thoughts changing around in my mind…

*giggles*

*giggles*

I’m narrating again.

*giggles*

*giggles*

Everything is is so funny!!!

*giggles*

Narrating again.

“giggles*

This is going to become a cycle…

*giggles*

This is all so funny!!!

*giggles*

*go play with Tindi (dog)*

*come back*

“I’ve gotta…I’m supposed to be typeing”…

Use brain…/

Thinking hard…

“Thinking is difficult”

*giggle*

have trouble typeing…have trouble working fingers…coordination…

have trouble spelling…\

not thnking straight…

not seeing straight…

*giggles*

sleepy

dizzy…

sleepy

maybe I’ll just go to bed…after I type this

Hubby says from the other room “Who would reject Chongus?”

I giggle, this’ll be funny when I read this tomorrow.

not thinking straight

*giggles*

confused

dizzy

sleepy

ringing in ears

*giggles*

gonna have anxiety reading this sectioon tomorrow.

what’s wrong with me…oh, no…fuck not an anxiety high!!!!!

*giggles*

*laughs*

*giggles*

*snorts*

*goes on a laughing binge attack*

*giggles*

*laughs*

Damn, I have so much fun with these “writing while high” exeercises

“You OK, hun?” -hubby

*laughing*

waver at him while giggling

*giggle* I give up it’s getting hard to think to keep laughing

typeing *laugh*

You guys are missing so much I cant remeber to type

I just confused you

I’m confused

*giggling all the time*

…..

*giggle*

confused

happy but confused

LOL

*snort*

*giggle*

I feel like I’m playing a game

*giggle*

I love this

so happy

I gotta go pee

(gets up)

I just typed it calm

nope not

I’m gonna write about this later…

Next Day: I fell into a very bad high. I was very high and I was falling through eternity again. I have come to realize that my experiences with falling through eternity are most adequately explained this way, imagine having dejavu every split second, over and over again.

Hubby had my hands on his face rubbing his whiskers.

“This is real. You are here, this is real.”

“I know, OK, this is real. IT’s not real. Right here, right here.”

Time would go by slow, then jump ahead. I just knew I was going insane. I would laugh, I couldn’t get out an entire sentence before my thoughts would shift.

I would feel like I was coming out of it, but then I would shift back to narrating and then fall back into falling through eternity again.

Eventually I passed out for a couple hours, then woke up for a bit I don’t remember well. Finally I fell asleep for 20 hours straight and now here I am.

The interesting thing about bad highs is that you are terrified in the moment, but when you sober up you look back and it was actually fun. That’s IMO.

This Is Me

To whom it may concern,

My name is Tamra, I was born in California and have lived here all my life. I come from a large family and was loved and raised in as normal an environment as I can tell. That is to say, I was not abused or neglected.

I have had anxiety all my life. Truly, I’m pretty sure I was born anxious. This is not an exaggeration by any means. I constantly worried about what could happen; “what if…” was always on my mind. I consistently second guessed and doubted myself. I never had a positive thought about my abilities, looks, or anyone’s opinion of me. I always knew I was loathed and hated and not wanted around. My earliest memory of any of these kind of thoughts and ideas of myself was when I was five years old. I’m sure I had them earlier, I was just too young to remember. No one taught me to think or feel this way, I naturally did.

This anxiety was of the general variety, although as I grew it became more localized to social interactions. I did not like to be around people. I loathed school, church, shopping, parties, anything social at all. To be around people brought up worries that I was being judged, and judged negatively. I just knew people thought I was ugly, dumb, etc.. I also worried about making a fool of myself, what if I fell in front of everyone, what if I said something stupid and affirmed their belief in my low IQ. What if, what if, what if…

Since I was virtually born thinking I was ugly, dumb, worthless, and everything negative you can imagine, it didn’t take long for me to completely believe it all. I developed a soul-deep self loathing and hatred.

I come from a family thick with type 1 diabetics. There are six of us that I know of, my father, an aunt, one of my brothers, two cousins, and myself. Type 1 diabetes does have a hereditary link, but not always, and it is extremely rare for it to be so prominent in one family as it is in mine. I was diagnosed at age eight. I felt frightened, I knew what this disease is, I knew how dangerous it is, I knew I would forever have to take shots, prick my fingers, eat carefully, and would probably lose a leg, go blind, and die young. It was the mid 1980’s and these were the possibilities at that time. I was scared, devastated, and I acted out in anger. These feelings and behaviors never lessened, I never faced them or dealt with them, and everyone around me took my anger as a symptom of my constantly high blood sugars rather than for what it really was, a cry for help, and need to properly deal with my fear and devastation.

I spent the next few years rebelling against my diabetes with a passion. I did not watch what I ate unless my parents were literally right there with me. I did not check my blood sugars unless I was forced to. I was always running sky high blood sugars. Over those years I heard from a couple of different people words to the effect that a diabetic who doesn’t keep their blood sugars under control are committing a kind of slow suicide. This struck me, and not in a good way.

I strongly believe at that young age, being as self-loathing as I was I didn’t develop a suicidal nature but a self-harm nature. I hate myself, I’m worthless, especially now that I am a type 1 diabetic, I’m worthless damaged goods. It only makes sense that my rebellion, my refusal to care for my diabetes has always been my way of self-harming. This has always been my way of punishing myself for being such a worthless piece of shit.

My diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and the fact that I already had anxiety (undiagnosed) is what, when, and how I developed agoraphobia. At least this is my theory. After my diagnosis of diabetes I stopped wanting to go outside the house as much. It wasn’t super bad, I would go out to places I knew well, and especially if a family member was with me. But I rarely would offer to go out or want to go out of my own choice. Obviously it wasn’t very severe since no one in the family picked up on any issue. I do not remember having any fear of the outside, but I was still young and children are often unable to articulate their thoughts and feelings very well.

For three years I lived in rebellion of type 1 diabetes, pure hatred of myself, anxiety, and mild agoraphobia. Then, when I was 11 years old, on a cold February Sunday afternoon, my dad had a massive stroke right in front of my brother and I. I was literally petrified in terror. Dad died the next day. I knew it was complications of his type 1 that had caused his death. I was traumatized. So was my brother. The two type 1 diabetic children watched their type 1 diabetic father die of type 1 diabetes. The trauma had opposite effects on us, my brother became militaristic in his extreme tight control of his blood sugars. I, on the other hand, decided it was worthless to even try, I rebelled even more. I hated diabetes for killing my dad. I hate diabetes! I have diabetes. I hate that I have diabetes! I hate myself.

So the self-hatred and self-harm worsened.

My 8th grade year my agoraphobia got so bad that I was ditching entire days of school. It got to where I was ditching about two days a week. At this time I was living with my mom and my brother closest in age to me. My brother was in high school so we were going to different schools, and my mom worked more than full-time so it was easy for me to get away with missing so much school. That was, until the school notified my mother of what was going on. I got caught and so I started back at school without the ditching.

No one ever suspected I had anxiety. No one ever suspected I had agoraphobia. No one asked me any questions, they just reprimanded my bad behavior and expected me to straighten up. When I followed the rules, that was it, no more thought about it.

So I went untreated.

My high school years weren’t much better. I hung in there pretty well although I did have a lot of anxiety. I hated school, I hated being around people, I hated teachers picking me out in class to answer questions, I hated having to give speeches and reports in front of the class, I hated being stuck in classrooms all day, I hated being told what to do and how to live, I hated having to be responsible. I dealt with the anxiety by playing sick as often as I could. My sophomore year I learned how to ditch the occasional class. My junior year I graduated to not just ditching the occasional class but also ditching entire days again, just like back in junior high. My senior year of high school I ditched so often that I almost didn’t graduate due to poor attendance.

In the end I did graduate. But the anxiety and agoraphobia were still unnoticed by anyone, including myself.

Agoraphobia is not my only symptom of anxiety, I scratch my scalp uncontrollably, it doesn’t itch, it’s just a ‘nervous’ habit. I also pick at my skin which leaves me with lots of cuts and scabs. I bite my nails and the skin on the sides of my fingers until they bleed. I crack my knuckles, rub my hands, bounce my legs, drum my fingers. Sometimes when it’s really bad I rock back and forth. I fidget a lot, I clench my jaw (I have TMJ from it). I am not prone to panic attacks, but I have had a few in my time.

After high school the anxiety didn’t get any better. I tried many times to go to college but I couldn’t stick with it. I couldn’t stand the classroom environment, the crowds of people. Add to that the freedom that comes with college and adulthood that you didn’t have in high school and childhood. I was able to miss class as often as I wanted, I was able to drop out whenever I wanted; that is, whenever the anxiety got to be too much to handle. I took as many online courses as I could, but I wasn’t able to stick with all of those, either, because it’s not just people and the outside world that I can’t handle. I also can’t handle responsibility, apparently.

I went through part time minimum wage jobs like a person with a cold goes through tissue. As soon as the anxiety of responsibility mixed with the anxiety of social environments and the outside world got too much, I would up and quit, take some time to recoup and then find a new job.

My twenties were especially tough. I got married at 20 and moved in with my hubby, his brother, and their mom. It was a 960 square foot house with virtually no privacy or quiet. I hadn’t realized it until I moved in there that I really, really need alone time and peace and quiet in order to handle my anxieties. I hung in there as well as I could but within five years I had a nervous breakdown. Think about it, I was working at social jobs with social anxiety, I had agoraphobia so it’s not like I can escape anywhere outside the home, but my home life was noisy, crowded, and provided no comfort or privacy. I was bound to breakdown, I’m just surprised it wasn’t much sooner.

I came home from a long, hard, anxious day of work. The TV was on, the housemates were arguing, one with me. I needed to make an important phone call but the phone battery was dead, again. Hubby got home and dug into me about something. I started crying, arguing, I needed him to understand how I felt, what I was going through. Hubby wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I exploded. I jumped on him and shook him, I was sobbing, “Just listen! Just listen to me!” I got off of him and I shoved everything off our dresser top, I threw a couple things across the room. Then I sat down and sobbed and hyperventilated. As I sat there heaving for breath I saw one of hubby’s swords and I wondered if I was strong enough to fall on it or shove it through my chest.

We got through that and things got better once we got our own place. One thing that came out of that nervous breakdown that was good, though, was that for the first time in my life I realized I have an anxiety issue.

Took long enough. But I didn’t think I needed help, I just needed to adjust a few things in my life.

It was in my thirties that I developed some really bad coping mechanisms, worse than I had already been using to cope. The economy was bad, finances were dire, everyone in our circle of friends was struggling. We would all get together every weekend and drink ourselves sick. I found that I have a few drinks of choice, vodka, Jager, IPAs, and sometimes rum. I have to stay away from tequila, though, it gets me real sick real fast. Drinking did what drinking does, it numbs the anxiety, it quiets the worry. We always smoked tons of hookah while we drank as well. Tobacco numbs the stress, too.

We did this for a few years. It was tons of fun. Myself and a couple friends went so far as to create a drinking card game tailored just for our group of friends. I named it Fuck Your Friends because that was the object of the game, to get your friends totally sloshed. It worked too well and eventually we had to shelve it because it was getting dangerous. Lot’s of people got so drunk they blacked out, threw up, or got out of hand. One night I got so drunk playing this game that I shattered a handle of vodka in my hand and cut it up.

Yeah…

Eventually these weekends tapered off. The economy improved, people were able to find jobs again, finances improved, and people matured. The reason I stopped wasn’t such a lucky one, though. I stopped because I landed in the hospital having triple-bypass heart surgery. My heart trouble wasn’t caused by the drinking and smoking, but it was made worse by it.

The initial heart disease was caused by my lifetime of not taking care of my type 1 diabetes. And also a smidgen of heredity on both sides of my family. Here I was 34 years old having triple-bypass surgery.

Another life trauma. This one self-inflicted. My self-harm was having a grand old time.

To add to the trauma of heart surgery, four months later I started on a year long journey of eye surgeries. Diabetic retinopathy, yet another self-harm party going on there. I endured four, count them, four eye surgeries in a nine month period of time. Also two laser treatments. Eye surgery is done while you are wake and aware, by the way. One of the surgeries the nerve block they use so you can’t feel the pain wore off before the surgery was done. Excruciating pain. MY blood pressure was through the roof from the pain. I writhed and struggled on the table.

You would think a person would be super angry about something like that. Angry at the doctor (in all honesty it was not his fault), angry at the facility, angry at anyone that can be blamed for the screw up. I wasn’t, I took it in stride, I chocked it up to me deserving it, because I did this to myself, because I’m a screw up.

Once all the surgeries were done and I was healed up the agoraphobia exploded. I was shut up in my home, all the shades drawn. I did not answer the door, I did not answer the phone. I was so depressed I did not get out of bed. I knew something was wrong, I knew I wasn’t well in the head, but I couldn’t access my feelings, I was numb.

Eventually I sought help, medical help. This is when I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Soon after I was specifically diagnosed with agoraphobia and this was the first time in my entire life that a light bulb went off in my head. I was beginning to understand, certain things in my past and present were making so much more sense.

For a while things got better, a lot better. The medication eased my depression and therapy eased my anxiety and agoraphobia.

Then another sort of tragedy. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This in itself wasn’t the tragedy, the tragedy was the weight gain. I’ve struggled with obesity since I hit puberty, but I had long since become comfortable with my weight. But then when my thyroid went to shit and I gained 30+ extra pounds (despite medication) of which I can’t lose no matter what I do, I plummeted into depression and even deeper self-hatred, insecurity, and horrid self-image.

I quit my depression meds and stopped going to therapy. It’s strange that at the same time I was struggling, my life was also getting better. I was dealing with the horror of being extra fat at the same time as getting a new really good job, and paying off all my debts, controlling my diabetes, and just everything in life being awesome, except the weight shit.

And now for current events. Life was wonderful, better than ever. Then on December 8th, 2018 my husband’s brother had a very sudden and totally unexpected massive heart attack and died. Everyone who knew him loved him and everyone who knew him was devastated. No one more than his wife, mother, and brother. I was devastated by my brother-in-law’s death and by my husband’s devastation.

My agoraphobia came back. My anxiety got worse. I started to have nausea and vomiting. I started to call in to work. Eventually I knew I needed help again. I started therapy again and I started depression meds again. Things stayed steady for several months.

Then more trauma. Hubby and I were in a car accident on the freeway. The car was totaled but we were only bumped and bruised. A week later I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. Come to find out it was a really bad panic attack and I was diagnosed with post concussive syndrome. This caused my anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia to rage out of control.

A few weeks later I quit my awesome job because I couldn’t handle work anymore. I rarely leave my house, I can not handle any kind of responsibility, have both insomnia and hypersomnia (who knew you could have both at once?), and I am often dissociative. And what freaks me out the most is often I can’t differentiate between dreams and reality. My dreams are so vivid (nothing new there, they always have been)I sometimes think they are real, and my reality feels like a dream. I also have trouble with my memory sometimes.

And there you go, this is me.

Seeking Experiences

A few weeks ago I had an appointment with a dietician. I’ve spent my life avoiding dieticians because I already know all there is to know on eating healthy with type one diabetes.

But in recent years I’ve also developed gastroparesis and hypothyroidism. These three conditions along with other factors have made it difficult for me to find a good healthy diet(lifestyle)that works for me.

I have many other health issues as well, but these are the main that can be helped the most by, and affect the most, my diet.

So I finally gave in and agreed to consult a dietician.

The dietician I met with was quite nice and knowledgeable, she also seemed to understand well my medical conditions and my difficulties and concerns. After our initial short greetings and medical rundown, she asked me:

“So, what exactly are the major goals and concerns you’d like to address?”

I went right into them.

1. blood-glucose control
2. weight-loss/management
3. reduce gastroparesis symptoms
4. overall health improvement

She asked me what my current diet was like. I told her. She asked me if I’ve ever considered a vegetarian diet. I said I wouldn’t have too much trouble switching to one, but haven’t put a lot of thought into it.

During our conversation she picked up on the fact that I have a solid understanding of carb counting, calorie counting, nutrition needs, etc. She asked me if I’d ever taken any classes. I said no, I am self-taught.

“None of your doctors have ever had you take nutrition courses or diabetes management classes, etc.?”

“Nope.” I explained they were once offered to me but at the time I was very rebellious about my diabetes management and didn’t go.

She didn’t push the issue, maybe she thought I didn’t need them now since I am well self-educated.

After a bit more discussion she gathered two guides for me. One was a daily diet plan, you know, the kind that lays out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack measurements and suggestions. This much vegetables, this much protein, this much fat, this many carbs… and a total daily calorie count of 1200, to encourage weight-loss.

I’ve been given very similar forms many, many times in my life by both my general practitioners and endocrinologists…

The other form was a breakdown of the four severities of gastroparesis and what you should eat (and avoid eating)during each severity. This I found helpful. I have a good idea of what foods “flare” my GP (are hard to digest or cause nausea/vomiting), but It’s nice to have a good list laid out that I can work with.

We made the plan to meet again in a month.

So, getting, finally, to the point of all of this:

I have been putting more thought into a vegetarian diet. It’s more a curiosity at this point. I asked on Facebook as well as Twitter the following question, but didn’t really get much response.

If you or someone you know has one or more of these conditions, Type 1 diabetes, gastroparesis, hypothyroidism, and are eating a vegetarian diet, has it helped you? What are your experiences?

Also, if you have one or more of these conditions, what diet (vegetarian or other) have you found works best for you?

Lastly, if you have one or more of these conditions, what have your experiences been with dieticians?

I would really appreciate any feedback. Please feel free to respond and also share my post.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

On Tuesday morning -this was August 13th- Hubby and I were on our way to work. We drove along the northbound 99 freeway just as we always did five days a week, every single week. I was sitting in the front passenger seat as per usual, with my eyes closed but not sleeping. With my anxiety I do not sleep in moving cars, but nor do I find it easy to watch what is going on around me. Traffic, freeway driving, high speeds, they feed my anxiety. So I close my eyes and try to relax.

“Oh shit!” I hear from Hubby as I feel the breaks slow, but not stop, the car.

I open my eyes and immediately see the tail lights of the truck in front of us lit up. Hubby turns the wheel and I think in that split second, “Oh, good, we’ll miss him.” That thought is torn from me as I feel the massive hit from behind and am whipped back in my seat as the force from that hit sends our car front driver headlight into the side bumper of the truck we just swerved to miss.

Our car is in a flurry of movement and Hubby is trying to straighten us out and stop the car from moving. We go from the center lane to suddenly being off the road and now coming back toward the freeway again. I see a street sign coming at us fast, “Stop the car. Stop the car. Stop the car.” I shout.

“I’m trying!” Hubby shouts.

Now we’re in the right lane of the freeway and our car is coming to a stop. Hubby pulls us off to the side of the freeway again, but this time in a calm, slow fashion and to park us in a safe (as safe as possible on the side of a fast and busy freeway) place.

We both sit there for a moment, making sure we’re really stopped and OK. A good samaritan pulls up behind us and rushes over to my door and opens it. “Are you OK? Are you both OK?”

“I’m OK.” Hubby and I say in unison.

“Are you OK?” Hubby asks me. Then, “We’re OK.”

“C’mon, get out.” The lady says as she holds out a hand to me. “Were you asleep?” She asks, and I find that an odd question as I unthinkingly answer no.

“Our seats broke on impact.” Hubby says and then I realize my seat is laying in a half down reclined position. I look over to the driver seat where Hubby still sits and see that his seat is also laying back.

“Oh, wow.” I say in surprise. “We were hit that hard…”

“And your airbags didn’t go off?” She half states half asks.

“No,” Hubby says, we’re now out of the car and standing behind it. “I think maybe because we were hit from behind and thrown back? No forward force?”

The other person in the good samaritan’s car has called the police. We talk about what has just happened, the truck that hit us was a work truck and it drove off.

“A hit and run.”

A friend we work with has seen us on the side of the road and pulls over. We talk to her for a bit, explain what happened. She also has called the police.

Eventually all others have to leave and Hubby and I wait alone. Hubby calls the police two more times before a motorcycle cop finally arrives. We get towed off the freeway and make our report, call insurance, find out the guy that hit us didn’t run, he just pulled off further up ahead. car

Long story short, we got in a car accident on the freeway, hit from behind. At the time we think we got away with nothing but bumps and bruises. I did not hit my head. We do not go to the doctor because we have no reason to think we need to.

We do not go to work the day of the accident because it takes over half the day to take care of all the initial stuff and get a rental car to cover us the next few days.

I start to feel stiff and sore all over by that evening and take 400mg of Motrin and a muscle relaxer before bed to make sure I sleep well and get the rest my body needs that night.

We return to work the very next day. I feel stiff and sore that day and have a couple nasty looking bruises on my left ring finger and left shin. I feel a bit tired/sleepy, weak in the legs, and have a bit of a tension headache on and off. I blame all this on my body being stiff and sore from the accident and nothing more.

That evening I take 400mg of Motrin and a muscle relaxer again.

The next two days I continue to feel stiff and sore, but it is less and less severe as the days go on. I continue to feel tired/sleepy on and off and have the tension headaches on and off and everything I eat or drink seems to taste like chemicals, but these symptoms are not severe and are easily ignored. The weakness in my legs when I walk is getting worse and worrisome, but I have no reason to think this has anything to do with the accident, I’m more inclined to think my already bad heart is acting up.

Friday night I go to bed around 10 P.M.. I wake up Saturday at 1 P.M., it is very rare these days for me to sleep past 8 A.M. at the latest. I feel stiff and sore, dizzy, unsteady, and just plain ‘off’. I blame it on being overslept.

Hubby asks me more than once within the next hour if I’m OK. I tell him all my symptoms and that I think I just slept too much. I also point out that it seems really, really bright, all the light is bothering me a bit.

Hubby tells me to just take it easy today, and he is going to as well, we deserve it.

I slowly keep feeling worse and worse all day, I can’t quite put my finger on it, something just isn’t right. We had planned to go hang out with some friends that evening but I decide I’m going to stay home. I tell Hubby to go have fun, I’ll be fine just watching movies.

A couple hours later I’m feeling miserable so I decide to call the advice nurse. I tell the nurse all my symptoms and how long I’ve had them, I mention the accident earlier in the week. In addition to the symptoms I mentioned above, I also by now have started feeling short of breath and having a tad bit of chest pain.

The advice nurse puts me on hold and consults the ER doctor on call. The ER doctor doesn’t think I need to go to ER but should make a next day appointment. I make the appointment and then hang up.

It’s now well past time to feed my cats so I decide to do that. As I bend over to set down a bowl of food I just keep going down and end up on my hands and knees. The dizzy feeling, the unsteadiness is getting to me. I get back up and go to the sink to wash my hands. A loud ringing comes up in my ears and I lean over the sink and close my eyes until it passes.

I decide to take a shower, showers always make me feel better. I go to my bedroom. Why did I come in here? I go to the bathroom, I set my phone on the counter, I take off my insulin pump and put it in the drawer where I always put it for shower time.

As I wash I have to keep one hand on the wall to keep from losing my balance. I’m washing my hair and then wonder why it’s not getting sudsy. I had put conditioner in my hair, not shampoo.

Somehow I make it through the shower and get out. I almost fall over again as I dry off. I walk to my bedroom. I stand there blankly for a moment (I really don’t know how long it was). I realize I left my pump in the bathroom and go back and get it and return to the bedroom. I get dressed. I decide to call Hubby and tell him I think I need to go to ER. Where’s my phone?

Where’s my phone?

I want to cry. Something really isn’t right. I’m worried about myself. Maybe I’m overreacting…

Where’s my phone?

I find my phone in the bathroom and call Hubby. He asks what’s wrong. I try to tell him everything but it all comes out not quite straight. He asks me if I need to go to ER. I say I don’t know. No…..

He asks me again. I mumble something and then say never mind and hang up on him.

My breath is getting shorter, my chest is hurting more. I’m very worried. Am I having a heart attack?

Hubby calls back. “Tamra, if you need to go to the emergency room it’s OK, we’ll come get you, Nathan said it’s no problem. Do you want us to come get you?” We didn’t have a car at this point because we had to return the rental that morning and hadn’t bought a new car yet.

“I don’t know.” I said pathetically.

“OK, we’re coming right now.”

Hubby and our good friend, Nathan, arrived in just a few short minutes. We were dropped of at the local ER within a few more short minutes (Hooray for small towns).

My mind was getting more foggy at this point but I remember checking in. Hubby explained my symptoms (primarily the chest pain and shortness of breath). A band was placed on my wrist (if I saved every single one of those I’ve ever gotten I could wallpaper my house. #chroniclife) and papers were signed.
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They gave me a wheelchair and told us to wait to be called.

A few minutes later they called me into the triage room. First they weighed me. I watched the numbers on the digital scale. They settled on a number, I new I was looking at numbers but for the life of me I couldn’t understand what it said, what it meant! I looked at my Hubby with a frightened face.

I was immediately ushered to a seat and my BP and temp were taken as two nurses asked me questions. Hubby answered most of them. I couldn’t keep up. One nurse asked me a question and I started to answer, then…”I’m sorry, what did you ask me?”

“It’s OK, I got everything I need now.”

Later I would get a glimpse at my paperwork and see that one of the symptoms they listed from triage was sluggishness.

We were sent back to the waiting-room and sat there for the next 45 minutes before getting taken into the actual ER. I just sat there in the waiting-room with my head down and eyes closed because the light felt so very bright and I was so very sleepy.

In the ER they took my BP again and asked more questions. They checked my blood-glucose as well since I am type 1 diabetic. It was high so I gave myself a correction bolus right then and there. I was a little worried they might protest that (you’d be surprised at how much hospitals/ERs feel they need to control while you’re there) but the nurse said nothing. Good.

The ER doctor ordered a chest x-ray, so I was taken for that.

I was brought back to ER and given an actual bed this time. They hooked me up to the heart monitor and automatic BP machine that checks your BP every ten minutes.

By this time I was feeling better. Not a ton, but better. The shortness of breath and chest pain were gone. I lay there with Hubby sitting in a chair at the foot of my bed. All the curtains were drawn, we listened to the goings on in the beds on either side of us. The guy to my right had a painful toe infection (abscess). The poor guy to my left had a blocked GI tube and it sounded miserable for him.

Finally I got to actually meet the ER doctor. He was young and kind, albeit serious.

He went over the reasons I came in, and all of my symptoms. He asked exactly what day we had been in the accident. We told him everything.

“Well, your heart is just fine. What you had tonight was a panic attack.”

“OK, so nothings wrong…” Hubby said.

“Nothing’s wrong with her heart,” He said to hubby, then he looked to me. “What you have is Post-Concussion Syndrome. Panic attacks are one of the symptoms, as well as the light sensitivity, dizziness…” He mentioned some other symptoms as well (see below for a list of all common symptoms).

“How do we treat it?” Hubby asked.

“You need to be lazy, basically,” He smiled. “stay in low light, avoid computers…”

“She has a pair of those dark sunglasses they give you after eye surgery…”

“Those would be great.” He nodded. “Don’t use your computer, no reading, audio books are good, but no reading…basically be as lazy as possible for awhile. Don’t do anything to stimulate your brain…light is a big stimulator that’s why you want to stay in low light…”

We talked a bit more and he told me to follow up with my doctor.

We went home. I felt better knowing now why I felt so off. IMG_20190818_032411

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

The syndrome is complex in that one can suffer many or few symptoms that last days, weeks, or even months. The syndrome often sets in anywhere from 4 days to 14 days after the concussion occurs. Basically, you get a concussion, then 4 to 14 days later you start to have the symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome, which indicate the brain has been injured and is probably in process of healing. Some people get the syndrome, some don’t, it is not understood why. Some professionals think it is psychological while others think it is physical, and many think it is both. With my current experience, I think it is both.

Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome are:

Headache (usually tension or migraine)
Dizziness
Fatigue (physical and/or mental)
Irritability (mood-swings)
Anxiety
Insomnia
Loss of concentration and memory
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Blurry vision
Noise and/or light sensitivity
Changes in taste and smell

Treatment: Generally treatment includes staying in low light and avoiding mental stimulation as much as possible. Basically, get lots of rest. Your doctor may order tests such as x-ray or CT scan to check for skull fractures and bleeds in the brain which may require more/other treatment.

The following Monday I did go and see my primary doctor. She agreed with the treatment the ER doctor had suggested. She also ordered a leg x-ray because of the pain and large bruise on my left shin, and a CT scan of my head to check for bleeds and fractures. Later that day I got the x-ray and scan done and the next day my doctor e-mailed me the results, no fracture in my leg or skull and no bleeds. So my brain is just bruised and needs time to heal. OK, no problem, right?

Over the next couple of weeks I did not go to work. I just sat around the house watching T.V. and movies with the screen brightness way down, and listened to audio books. I checked my Facebook via phone now and then, with the screen brightness way down, even though I wasn’t supposed to at all. I was bored out of my mind!

All the symptoms I had came and went, sometimes mild, sometimes more severe. I had trouble talking sometimes. Sometimes it was like I wanted to say something, I knew what I wanted to say, but it got all road-blocked and jumbled on the way out. Other times I could talk just fine but I didn’t use the correct words. For instance one morning Hubby and I were talking about a volcano that was erupting and I was trying to say something about the lava but the word lava kept coming out “volcano”. This type of aphasia came and went over the first week of recovery.

I suffered a lot of tension headaches often. I wore sunglasses constantly for the first week and a half because I was so light sensitive.

Then the insomnia kicked in. There were several days where I was tired, I was sleepy, but I could not sleep. One night I just couldn’t sleep and I sat on the couch just trying to relax but my brain kept telling me Hubby didn’t love me and didn’t care about me (which I know damn well is the farthest from the truth) and I just sobbed and sobbed. At the very same time I was so super light sensitive that even though it was the middle of the night and nearly pitch black I could still pick up the tiniest bit of light and it bugged the hell out of me! On top of that every little sound seemed to be supper loud! It wasn’t a good night.

I had many days and nights of hypersensitivity to light, sound, and emotion.

The insomnia didn’t come or last as long or often as the fatigue/sleepiness. It seems that every few days I have a 30-40 hour period of time where I can’t stay awake. I literally shut down and sleep a solid 30-40 hours straight. Nothing wakes me up that would usually wake me. Hubby would have to shake and shout at me to wake me, then I would just mumble, grumble, roll over and fall right back to sleep. It’s almost like I’m in a coma rather than just sleeping (but I do dream). I don’t even wake to go pee (no I don’t wet the bed). This worries Hubby and me quite a bit.

At the beginning of my recovery I had a lot of short-term memory loss. I would forget to do things I normally would never forget to do, like feeding the cats on time, taking my pills, checking my BG, eating (I lost most of my appetite for a while), showering, etc.. And whenever I tried to actively access memories, recent or long past, I would get a headache and become very sleepy, as well as have trouble accessing those memories.

I also had trouble with critical thinking. Whenever I put effort into concentrating my critical thought I would get a headache and very sleepy. I would be able to do the thinking with success, but it hurt to do it and took a bit longer than it should have.

I had a lot of dizziness, especially upon waking, sitting up, walking. Usually it would go away and then come and go throughout the day, but sometimes it would be there all day, all the time. As of today (Sept. 2nd) I still have quite a bit of dizziness, this is one symptom that doesn’t seem to be getting better with time. Hopefully soon.

I have anxiety. I’ve had it all my life and I take medication for it. The post-Concussion Syndrome has made it worse, to the point where my medication isn’t helping. I can say, however, that it does seem to be getting better with time.

I’ve only had two instances of ringing in the ears. The day I went to the ER, and about a week later. Both times the ringing was loud but only lasted a minute or so.

I did not have any trouble with blurry vision until about two weeks into recovery. One day I just noticed that with or without my glasses my vision was so blurry it got in the way of life. I kept rubbing my eyes and blinking, putting eye drops in, and cleaning my glasses, then it dawned on me, “damn, my vision is blurry”. As of today it still is.

That chemical taste I mentioned earlier, it went away about a week into recovery.

OK, so now it’s time to talk about a symptom that I have not seen listed on any symptom lists for Post-Concussion Syndrome. Maybe it has something to do with my injury, maybe it doesn’t…

I have always had very vivid dreams, that’s just me, a very vivid dreamer. Since my head injury my dreams have seemed even more vivid. Sometimes when I wake I am stuck in a confused state for a minute or so. Am I still asleep or am I awake? Am I still dreaming or is this reality? Was I dreaming or was that something that really happened?

This can be kind of scary.

SO, here I am still recovering. Who knows how long it will take. Hopefully soon I will be able to go back to work and get back to life as I once knew it. I have an appointment with my primary doctor tomorrow. And I have a mental health appointment next week.

The Head is Sh**

“The head is shit”, my husband said as he was giving me a pep talk. “You are strong, bullheaded, and determined. That’s why I love you and that’s why you are going to overcome this.”

Hubby was giving me this pep talk regarding my agoraphobia. I’ve been struggling a lot with it lately. Hell, truthfully, I’ve been struggling with it since junior high school.

Although I’ve had agoraphobia for many years, I didn’t know it was agoraphobia until 2015. I’ve been seeking help via therapy and medication to control and overcome it, but it’s been rocky going. I’ll be fine for months and then, suddenly out of the blue, I can’t leave my house. Most of the time it’s somewhere in between, I have the anxiety but it’s not so bad that I can’t push myself out the door and live life.

But then there comes the days where it really interferes with life, I miss a lot of work. The agoraphobia anxiety manifests in many ways, there are many symptoms, the one that really keeps me from work is the nausea and vomiting. I had thought it was my gastroperesis that was causing this particular symptom, but recently I came to realize it’s actually the anxiety.

As I write this I am sitting at home, on a work day, rocking back and forth (anxiety symptom) and resisting the urge to clench my fists and massage my hands and crack my knuckles (anxiety symptoms). My stomach is nauseous and I may throw up at some point.

My mind is a blender set to high and full of horrible, panic laden thoughts mixed with a good helping of self-loathing, self-destructive thoughts. It is so very difficult to  pick one out and concentrate on it. My therapist tells me to do that, to pay actual attention to the thoughts I’m thinking and not just dwell on how they make me feel. What is the thought? What does it mean? Is is true? 9 times out of ten, it is not.

It’s just so difficult to straighten out the thoughts, to calm the mind and actually think about what’s going on up there. The instinct is to run away from it, that’s what anxiety is, fear.

It makes me cry. I’m letting down my job, I’m letting down my hubby, I’m letting down myself.

And all I want to do is stay home, never leave… hide from the world.

But, truthfully I’m not hiding from the world, I’m hiding from the anxiety, by giving into it I’m calming the symptoms, but that’s no cure, that’s just a band-aid, a very bad band-aid. If I were to give in I would sacrifice life, sacrifice everything I love and waste away in my little home, because every time I try to leave the anxiety would attack again.

The only way to overcome anxiety is to face it, find it’s roots and pull them out.

And, whatd’ya know….that’s the most scary and difficult thing to do! And you have to keep doing it…for the rest of your life, because this is who you are, this is a part of you, and you have to be strong and on top of it…FOREVER.

I’m drained, I’m tired. I have to be forever vigilant and on top of my Type 1 diabetes, and agoraphobia, and so many other things.

Sometimes I think this is all just not sustainable. I can’t keep living like this, but how do I make it better?

 

Ponderings Post Hypoglycemia

Today I had a low BG, the lowest it read was 40. It hit quite suddenly, one minute I was happily cleaning house and the next minute my CGM alarmed at 46 (it’s set to alarm at 55), I got sweaty and felt like I was in a sauna, I was weak and sleepy, I thought to eat something but then just sat down and swiftly got to the point of not caring about treating it, I just sat there on the couch wanting nothing but to fall asleep. Thankfully my hubby walked by and noticed I wasn’t looking ‘right’ and made sure I ate some ice cream and a couple glucose tabs.

The first thing this episode made me wonder once I was back to a normal BG: what happens in the body to make one sweat profusely and feel so hot when their BG is low?

The second thing I pondered was that there are two general types of low BG ‘after effects’:

1. You stabilize your BG feel fine and move on with your day.

2. You stabilize your BG but continue to feel weak and sleepy and generally worthless the rest of the day.

What makes the difference? The only thing I could think is maybe it has to do with how fast the BG initially drops? I don’t think it has to do with how low the BG got because I’ve had BGs hit the same low level and I come back just fine on some occasions and continue to feel blegh on others.

I’d love to hear your stories on low experiences and what you think the reasons are for the two ‘after effects’.

 

Life Goes On

A lot has been happening these past couple of months. Things are just barely starting to “get back to normal” (whatever normal could be when someone who should be there isn’t) since my brother-in-law passed away. My health is doing some weird things. Work is good, but because of my health issues I’ve had to take more time off than I’d care to.

My brother-in-law passed away in early December. It was extremely shocking and sudden and very hard on all of us, but especially hard on his wife, mother, and brother (my hubby). Everyone has been in a depression and trying to cope and get through it. It’s tough when you think things are getting better and then there’s a day where you have that overwhelming rush over you of fresh disbelief, almost as if you just discovered he’d died. That “I just can’t believe it, he really is dead” feeling really hurts.

Seeing and interacting with my sister-in-law is heartbreaking. I want to hold her and comfort her. I want to take all her pain away. To see her and talk to her it’s obvious how very depressed she is. She is strong, though, very strong. She knows exactly where she is at emotionally and psychologically and doing all the right things to help herself. But the fact remains that everyone around her loves her and supports her and sees her pain and wants to take it all away, but we can’t. We can only be there for her and wait. Time will heal her. There will be a huge scar on her heart forever, but a scar is better than the gaping open wound she has right now.

My hubby is a similar story. He’s depressed but working to overcome it. He thinks he has to be the strong one for everyone else, and he succeeds at that, but at his own emotional cost. I am here for him, but there is only so much I can do. I hold him, I kiss him, I let him know how much I love him and that all of our friends and family are here for him, I listen to him talk about how he feels (when he’ll talk about it). I pick up on his queues of sadness and I rush in to comfort him and give him whatever he needs. The problem is that he won’t let himself fall, he won’t give in to the sadness and just break down and bawl his eyes out for awhile. He breaks down a bit and then he stops himself and swallows it. He acknowledges the behavior, “I want to hide from my feelings”. This behavior is typical of men. Raised to be “manly” and strong. What it’s doing to him, though, is making him short tempered; his buried pain is now manifesting as anger, impatience, and pessimism. At this point I’m not so sure time will heal this. He’s looking into getting counseling. I’m glad for that.

My pain is much more low-key. I find time in the evenings and on the weekends to write it out, think it out, and cry it out. For me, I find taking time to specifically dwell on the pain and give it undivided attention is a good way to lessen it, work it out, so I can function the rest of the time. This, I’m sure, won’t work as well for Hubby or sister-in-law because their pain is more profound and overwhelming. It’s a good exercise for me and other people, though. Whatever works, right?  As long as it’s not detrimental.

 

As far as my health goes I’ve been experiencing some tummy and hormonal issues. They may be linked, but I’m not thinking so. For the past couple menstrual cycles my periods have been 2-3 weeks late and very heavy. I have been in Peri-menopause for several years but until now my cycle had shrunk from my normal 27 days down to 25, but now it has suddenly switched to more like 40+ days. My periods had been very light but now they are very heavy. And to top it off I have been a basket case with all these mood swings! I suppose the Peri-menopause is advancing?

The tummy troubles I think are just a bad gastroperesis flare-up. My GP had been diagnosed as mild and I haven’t had a whole lot of trouble with it this past year. I would get some nausea and vomiting once or twice a month that only lasted a day at a time. This past month I’ve had to go home early or call out from work several times due to severe nausea and some vomiting that will last two or more days. This may have something to do with my hormonal issues, but I’m not sure.

As far as my type 1 diabetes goes, things are getting better again. I had been in an extended burn-out which caused my A1c to rise an entire percent. A couple of weeks ago I saw my endo and she convinced me to try using the CGM and Auto Mode on my pump again. My regular readers will remember the nightmare I went through with this system not working right and driving me so insane I stopped using it. Apparently Medtronic has improved their transmitters and greatly reduced the occurrence of loop-traps. I agreed to give it a try and so far it has been working fine. I’ve had one failed sensor but otherwise no issues. As a result my BG’s have improved. Hopefully this continues.

Why Do We Live Like This?

The past seven months have been a big change for me. But now this is the new norm and wont be changing anytime soon. It has been hard to adjust for many reasons.

Don’t misunderstand, it’s not bad. Life is better than ever, in fact. But, as is life, there are both pros and cons. It’s just been an adjustment that seems to have stalled, or, more accurately, I’ve been resisting.

Back in July I got a job. I had been unemployed for nearly five years up to this point due to serious health issues, and now here I was starting a brand new full-time job! I was worried over how this was going to play out considering my myriad of health issues. But I chose to draw on my strong will and ability to “do what needs to be done” and just deal.

Beyond the health issues there was the fact that I was going from near total freedom of my own schedule to near no scheduling freedom at all! It felt like a huge sacrifice, but my guilt over not working and not contributing financially motivated me. Yeah, I know, just because one doesn’t make money doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing! Society makes us think you must bring in an income in order to be worth something. Bullshit.

But I digress.

Then there were the worries that almost everyone would call “little worries” or “unnecessary worries” like how are the cats going to adjust to going from having me home all the time to me hardly ever being home? Answer: if they noticed, they hardly showed it. OK, one of them decided to chew up my phone charger cords.

I thought it would only take a couple of months to adjust and work out a good routine for my work, diet, exercise, BG control balance. Here we are seven months later and I’m still trying to work it out.

Part of it is my health issues that never fail to complicate things. But most of it is just me resisting. Resisting change, resisting becoming just another cookie-cutter person trapped by culture, society, and “They” who control us. Nobody tells me what to do! Nobody steals my freedom!… I am aware of the fault in my logic. It’s just my rebellious nature. I just hate the feelings of loss of freedom, loss of control over my own life. I’m struggling to change my thinking on what control I actually have now. What freedom I really do have now.

They by Jem

I just keep reminding myself of exactly why I am doing this. Why I’m forcing myself into and through this struggle. We are saving money to fix and remodel our home. We are able to have a retirement plan and safety bubble now instead of living paycheck to paycheck. We can enjoy fun and extras without feeling guilty. It’s worth it.

You’d think it would be easy to work out a meal plan when you have a set work schedule. Not for me. Well, I’m making it more difficult than it needs to be. I hate eating breakfast so finding something to force down my gullet in the morning is near impossible. I just don’t have an appetite in the morning. My gastroparesis, propensity toward high morning blood glucose, and my hormone issues all cause me to not want food in the morning. I have low-grade nausea most mornings and the thought of food makes me want to puke.

Lunch is easy. I take to work either a pre-made salad or a cup-o-noodles along with a can of diet soda and am set. No BG issues with that, and I like the flavor and serving sizes.

Dinner is another issue. We get home late for eating. We get home around 6:30 and I don’t like to eat after 7 due to overnight BG issues. So, why not prep the dinner’s on the weekend? I hate the idea of preparing the week’s meals on the weekend. Why the hell would I want to spend time working on the only two days I have some freedom?! So we need to find healthy, low carb, fast and easy meals. Salads are a simple go-to and that’s fine except we don’t want to eat salad every friggin’ day, and remember, I often eat salad at lunch. So we came up with the idea of crock pot meals two or three nights and salads two or three nights. We’re going to test it out and see.

The first six months of my new job I had intended to not take any time off. It looks good to the bosses, and it helps to be there in order to learn and get settled into the job. Duh.

It didn’t work out that way. There were a couple of days where I had to call out or go home early because my gastroparesis acted up bad enough to cause severe nausea and some vomiting.

In December, five months into the new job, my brother-in-law suddenly died. I took a week off for that.

During those first six months, though, I did not see any of my doctors. Nope, not even my endo. Now that the first six months is up I’ve made appointments to see my endo, cardiologist, and ophthalmologist.

Today I went to my endo appointment. It was pretty straightforward. She was not too happy to see my A1c has gone up an entire percent. We talked and I told her there are no excuses, it’s all been my own choices and behavior. She asked me to reconsider giving the Guardian CGM another try, and using Auto Mode on my 670G pump. Apparently they have made progress on fixing the dreaded loop traps.

I agreed to give it another shot and we agreed I’ll go back in and see her again in two months.

I plan to get my crap in order once more. It’s been too long and too much laziness.

This Is Love

I will never not write a love post about my husband. He is my love, my life, and quite literally, my hero. It’s that time of year again, our anniversary. It’s been 19 years of wedded bliss.

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I was trying to think of a new approach to telling you all about how awesome he is and how wonderful our relationship is and, of course, how very much I love him. I have written about him and us so much in the past, how can I do it from a new angle, without sounding like a broken record? I can’t not repeat how much I love him and why, but how can I repeat it with new words and descriptions? I came to the conclusion of using my current favorite love song as a prompt.

Right now  I use Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol as my go-to love song because, quite frankly, it is the most basic and true depiction of love and how it feels that I have ever heard. It really hits a chord of truth within me.

Now, you might be thinking this song isn’t really a true relationship song. Maybe you’re thinking it’s a song about a guy in love but too scared to act on it (hence the term “chasing cars”). Or maybe it doesn’t touch you the same way it does me. Or maybe you just don’t ‘get’ the lyrics. The beauty of music and art is that it can mean different things to different people. Music can evoke thoughts and feelings in one person and nothing at all in another. Gary Lightbody wrote this love song not knowing exactly what it meant. Many songwriters don’t have a specific story in mind, they just feel it and write it.

Anyway, here’s what the song translates to in my mind, and how it relates to my relationship with Lee… and a bit more to fill out this love post:

We can do anything side by side. We support each other. We help each other. We work so very well as a partnership. We recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses and have organized our roles and responsibilities accordingly. And we pick up each others slack when and where needed. This is what love is. This makes a lasting relationship.

We don’t need or want anything but each other. A simple life, a simple world. As long as we have each other we have everything.

We’ve all been with someone at some time in our life- maybe it was just a moment, an evening, or maybe, like with me and my hubby, a lifetime- where you just wanted to be there, in that moment, that feeling, forever. It’s perfect, it’s right, comfortable yet overwhelmingly emotional, good emotion, joy…love. This is what love is. This is how I feel every moment of every day being with Lee. I don’t ever want it to end. Let’s just lay here, forever, and forget everything else.

There really is no way to adequately describe love. You really and truly do have to experience it for yourself. It is a pure emotion. It is also in actions, words, and in everything you do and are. It just can not ever be described satisfactorily. “Those three words are said too much, they’re not enough”. So true.

How did we fall in love? What made it happen? When did it happen? I don’t know, it just did. We always knew, really. Why does there have to be an explanation? Why do we need to be able to explain it in detail? Love happens. It is. It just is. It’s wonderful and nothing more needs to be understood.

It’s true, most of what we’re taught about love and relationships growing up is untrue, misleading, and total bullshit. I could write a book about how damaging a lot of life lessons are. It’s no wonder so many relationships fail.

I will say this, though, the best line I’ve ever heard as a description of love comes from Chasing Cars. “Show me a garden that’s bursting into life”.  This is exactly what happened to me when I met Lee. He watered me, he cared for me, he loved me and I burst into life. This is love.

Another great line from the song that hits a personal note, “I need your grace to remind me to find my own”. Basically, he loves me, he wants me, he shows me I’m worth something and it teaches me to see these things in myself. And I do the same for him. This is love.

We are all of each other. Everything that we are is each other and found in each other. No, this isn’t some morbid “I belong to you, you own me and control me” bullshit, this is a love so profound and deep that we are like one person; soul mates, if you will. I couldn’t go on living without him. I’m perfectly fine with this. We are still our own people, we still have our independence. We each do our own things that the other isn’t involved with. You see, this is where so many people get it wrong. They think being in love means you can’t have your own life as well. They become controlling, they become clingy and overbearing. Jealousy, distrust, etc., begin to set in just because one partner wants to do something on their own and the other thinks that means they aren’t loved because they aren’t included. No, no, no. You can have a soul mate and still have your own lives. Try it sometime. Trust, commitment. This is love.

This is a never ending love. It sparked into life and that spark can never die. We aren’t perfect by any means. We are individuals in love. We disagree on occasion. We get on each others nerves sometimes. But no matter what, we love each other, forgive, and show each other that no matter what, we are here and not going anywhere. This is love.

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