Mental Health

Year in Review 2019 – Life & Health

gold sparkly wrapping

Blogging and other writing take up a huge amount of my life, but I covered those in the last couple of days, so this is the assorted leftovers.

I started off the year with two casual nursing jobs.  In the spring I started finding that the patient visits I was doing for one of the jobs were feeling really overstimulating, which was making my lithium-related tremor worse.  Given that I was doing injections, worsening tremor was a problem, so I decided it was time to leave that job.  I was unhappy with the company I was working for anyway, so that was definitely the right decision.

I don’t particularly like the job I’m still doing, but I just pick up the odd night shift here and there so it’s not that demanding.  I have a very low capacity to tolerate work-related stress, which can be problematic.  Stress from work at the end of November has knocked me on my ass for all of December.

Early in the year I was having a lot of physical health issues with no obvious cause.  I saw a rheumatologist for a consultation because of some abnormal bloodwork, but he didn’t see any clear indication of something autoimmune going on.  I had a rather horrible ER visit for dizziness and shortness of breath, and at this point I’d have to be having a heart attack to even consider going to the ER.  Physically things have settled down in the later part of the year, but there are still a few odd things that don’t have an explanation (at least not yet).

The depression remains ever-present, with the exact mix of symptoms fluctuating over time.  It takes little in terms of situational stressors to set me back.  I’ve had at least some psychomotor retardation for a significant chunk of this year; it’s not the most severe it’s ever been, but it’s been the longest it’s ever persisted uninterrupted.  It seems like whenever it starts to get better there’s some sort of stressor that slows me down again, and the length of time I remain really slow post-stressor has been increasing.

I had some psychotic symptoms earlier in the year, which was odd in that there was no worsening of other depressive symptoms that would have prompted it.  It settled down after boosting the dose of my antipsychotic (quetiapine).

Overall my level of functioning has been trending downward over the last year.  I don’t see any reason why that would spontaneously change next year, and it makes me wonder how long I’ll be able to continue working.

One of my self-care mainstays was weekly massage therapy.  My amazing massage therapist started her year-long maternity leave at the end of October.  I had some massages booked with another therapist at the same clinic, but after one visit I decided that wasn’t going to work out.  Rather than fuss around trying to find someone I feel comfortable with, I decided to just wait until my regular therapist comes back, although I do miss it.

Things were going so-so with family in the earlier part of the year, and I made a few trips out to visit them.  Then I drove out there in the summer and took my boy guinea pigs; I hadn’t had them for all that long at that point, and one of them can get aggressive, so I didn’t want to leave them unsupervised.  My dad was a complete ass about the piggies, and I ended up turning around and coming right back home.  I haven’t talked to my parents since.  My grandma lives in the same city as my parents, so this means I haven’t seen her for several months.  I feel kind of guilty about this, but mostly I’m just indifferent.  My brother’s wife is pregnant, and again, I’m just indifferent.

I lost one of my guinea pig boys, Squeaky, earlier this year.  He was a bit of a curmudgeon, but in the week leading up to his death he became a total cuddlebug.  Having an empty boys’ cage just didn’t feel right, so a couple of months later I adopted 2 more boys, Peanut and Butternut, to add to my family.  Butternut is kind of a spazz and likes to pick fights sometimes, but most of the time they’re good friends.  Most guinea pigs don’t fart, but Peanut is a farting machine.  The boys live in a cage in the bathroom, and the girls are in my bedroom.  My little munchkins seriously rock my world.  I don’t know what I would do without them.

So overall it’s been a challenging year, but enough guinea pigs will make anything more manageable.

34 thoughts on “Year in Review 2019 – Life & Health”

  1. I was sad to hear that your dad was such a jerkface over the guineas! Like, can’t he be accommodating at all and appreciate how much joy and stability the guineas give you? Grrrr.

    It sounds like it’s been a hard year. 🙁 I remember most of the stuff you referenced. I wish it hadn’t been so bleak! 🙁 God bless the guinea piggies!! They’re good friends. 🙂

  2. “Indifferent” is a powerful word. We don’t consider it spiteful to be indifferent. Sounds rather healthy given the options.

    Your summary about the year was very engaging. You cover broad topics judiciously, by which we mean the right amount of everything: content, parts of speech, etc.

  3. Ha! I have the same (but different) thing, when something seems to clear up, I’ll plan to do something fun and boom there we go feeling low. I mean I don’t get it, can’t ‘Depression’ itself come down from its ‘cloud’ and just tell me what I can and can’t do?
    Pets are luckily always fun and make some things more possible. I made such a long and fun walk with the doggie of my sister-in-law before the fireworks started. Then we cuddled up in the couch 🙂 I can understand how you would made a u-turn when someone is being not to nice about your favorite compagnons in the world. I wish you all the best possible for 2020!

  4. I am sorry to hear your symptoms are worsening! I can relate! My anxiety and low moods seem to be gtting worse also! I hope this year is better for you! And I am so sorry to hear about squeaky! Your new boys sound like a right pair of cheeky monkeys!

  5. I sadly can relate to you on the family visits. Although my last visit was better… different but different people- different circumstances- probably made it all better- I too didn’t see my grandma or my Aunt which our my people and I feel crazy guilty about. The rest I’m very “whatever” with.
    Why does family make but and mean literally? My mental health wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for them? 🤦🏻‍♀️
    My animals give me peace and it sounds like yours do too. ❤️ No one understands that better than an animal lover with mental problems 😉😁😝

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