Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Salon - May 29, 2011

Whew!  We've been on a roller coaster for a while these last few months, especially with the firstborn's high school graduation.  A lot of things have taken a back burner to getting her situated, dealing with my own emotions and handling the normal end of the year hoopla at our college...banquet after banquet after banquet.  One week in May I swear we attended some sort of banquet every single night that week. Yeesh.  (While I was happy I didn't have to cook, there's only so much overcooked steak and green beans anyone can handle.) :p

I mentioned the chaos my life had become and the blubbering goofus I had become in response to that chaos to my M.D. during a regularly scheduled check-up.  She called my once controlled but now now slowly but surely increasing anxiety symptoms "situational anxiety" and assured me it was normal for me to feel this way at my age with all the changes going on inside my body as well as outside.  She also changed my medication temporarily ("situational" anxiety should ease once the chaos settles down, hence the "temporary" change in meds).  After a couple of weeks of woozy, and a couple of visits to our family therapist, I feel great again!  Thank Goodness!! 

I am constantly stunned by the numbers of people who refuse to take medication because they 1) think they ought to be able to handle it by themselves 2) don't believe mental health issues can cause physical symptoms 3) are afraid of the social stigma associated with mental health issues/medication. I am able to enjoy my life...really enjoy it, rather than just making it through each day on pins and needles because of therapy and medication.  It's not rocket science, people!

My M.D. also noticed a spot on my leg she wanted me to get checked out with a dermatologist.  Now, let me tell you; I come from the baby oil era.  Sunscreen and sunblock were dirty words and nobody used those might as well stay inside if you were gonna slather that mess on yourself.  When my biopsy reports came back with basal cell carcinoma in the result section, I was sure wishing I'd slathered a little more on myself :(
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer and lucky for me the most easily cured.  I will have an in-office kind of removal surgery in a few weeks and my understanding is that the dermatologist will remove tissue until all the yucky stuff is gone.  I'll get stitched up and have a nice scar to remind myself to keep the SPF 45 handy :)
Case closed.

Somewhere along the way I decided it was time to pick up something to read just for fun...I tore into the new Sookie Stackhouse, the new Women's Murder Club mystery, Water for Elephants, Deception, and a few other books on my Nook and Kindle...Reading has always been my outlet...and it obviously still is.  I do have quite the backlog of reviews to post, but I'll get them done in due time. 

I'm also cooking more...I love to cook but just don't always have the time.  I will only be teaching online in June so I plan to stay home most of the time and take care of me and mine 24/7 for a few weeks :) 

Last but not least, I have a new baby. Tee Hee.
One of our vets takes care of strays and helps find them new homes.  My girls and I frequently stop in to hold, pet, love and otherwise help socialize the animals while they're waiting for adoption.
You already know the end of this story, right??

Her name is Layla, and she is actually a full bred German Shepherd.  To offset the cost of caring for the strays, the vet buys a few purebreds at a time from local breeders and re-sells them to established clients.  I don't mind paying a little extra when I know I'm not only doing something for myself but also something for our community as well as the homeless animals. 
Gemand Shepherds are incredibly intelligent dogs and require lots of time and training.  Layla is my new best friend...I've spent so much time with her that I think focusing on her has helped me redirect my anxiety from my firstborn leaving the nest.  Does that make sense?
Anyhoo, I'll have a whole Layla post coming up the short 2 weeks we've had her she's already become a huge part of our lives.

Here's a little sneak peek for you dog lovers out there:

Have a wonderful relaxing Sunday :)


  1. That must be what I have, situational anxiety. I become a blubbering goofus too every now and then. For me, it's the low iron levels. My doc said that I may need to transfusion soon! No one can find anything wrong with me, except that my iron levels continue to drop but with the drop comes a lack of oxygen, hence the goofus'ness.

    Layla is adorable!! I know I am loving our Chloe, whom we've already had for nearly four months. You are going to have such a great time with her.

  2. I was very much of the opinion I ought to be able to handle my anxiety myself, but that's all changed now that I am enjoying a wonderful respite with my meds. It is just so amazing to be able to experience life normally, not on the bad hallucogen of anxiety. Letting go of children is extremely anxiety-inducing, as is finding a melanoma, but you'll definitely adapt to one, and be able to free yourself of the other very easily by the sounds of it (and I am so glad to hear that!). Your new dog looks completely adorable, too.

  3. I'm so glad your skin cancer was easily taken care of! Whew! My MIL gets those a lot. She's very fair.

    I think I have situational anxiety too. Layla is adorable and I hope she can help (as well as the meds) cope! I imagine having first born graduating didn't help! I know that would be enough to send me over for a bit. ;)

  4. Medication for mental illness is such a controversial issue. I have suffered with depression from the age of 13 (I am 25 now) and have been on and off different meds, especially Zoloft. I have taken the decision to be medication free and have not taken any medication since the age of 21.

    I didn't choose that because of any profound philosophical reasons or because I think I should be able to cope on my own. Medication did make me less sad, but it also stopped me experiencing the world and made me constantly feel as though my head was made up of cotton wool. I wasn't really living at all and lots of my teenage years are a blur to me.

    What helped me most is accepting depression as a part of myself and realising that it may come back, but it will always go. My depression is serious, but not as bad as it can be for some. In very serious cases, of course people need medication.

  5. Tiny, the phrase "mental illness" covers such a gamut of conditions, doesn't it? My anxiety causes my body to be flooded with adrenaline so it's as if my body is in the "fight or flight" mode all the heartbeat, short of breath, tight chest...almost as if I'm having a heart attack. The meds I take keep those adrenaline levels balanced. I'm thankful that my meds do allow me to live my life more fully instead of being in a state of panic all the time. I have never experienced depression and can only imagine what you must have gone through as a young adult. My firstborn was diagnosed with OCD a couple of years ago. We have a family therapist that we see regularly who has helped us immensely deal with our problems. She uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help us recognize our symptoms and redirect our focus...most of the time if we can "distract" our brains just for even a minute or so, we can keep the panic at bay. :) Our obvious goal is to someday be med free...but, if that's not the case, then we're ok with that as well.
    Hang in there :)

  6. Ti, fluctuating estrogen levels are also to blame for me...I've battled low iron for most of my life as well albeit nowhere near as serious as yours. I just stay exhausted. :(

  7. Litlove, AMEN!! I love my life :)

    Heather, a lot of fair skinned people seem to get these which is weird bc I have olive skin and tend to tan very easily. It will all be fine though.

  8. Oh yes, there are so many mental illnesses and so many variations of each, and I didn't mean to generalise. I've had cognitive behavioural therapy and I found it very helpful too, so I'm glad it's helped your firstborn. Life can be a battle and anything we can do to stack the odds on our side can help :)

  9. Congrats on your newest family member I hope she helps eases missing your eldest a bit.

    I completely agree with you about medication. I'm always surprised when people are so resistant. I have some situational anxiety stuff coming up and already have an appointment with my doctor to discuss it. Glad to hear things a leveling out for you.

    Sheesh, what were we thinking in those baby oil days. And I'm a fair-skinned red-head.

  10. I'm glad you were able to get everything sorted out with your medication, that they found the skin spot and will be able to take care of it (still freaky, but so glad it's treatable).

    I think it makes a lot of sense to adopt a pet at this time in your life.