It’s hard to believe almost 3 months have gone by since my last blog post. It wasn’t my intention; with the holidays and having 3 weeks off work, I had intended on doing blog posts, record guided meditations, and create lots of art.
But life had other plans for me.
By the start of December, my anxiety levels hit the point of being incapable of going into the office. My medical appointment ended up getting postponed twice – and each time, my anxiety levels spiked even more. My original appointment was on a Tuesday, it got postponed by 2 days to the Thursday – but then it was postponed by a full week. I knew I couldn’t make it a week and I knew work wouldn’t support me continuing to work from home during this time, so I went into the walk in clinic and he put me on sick leave for a week – to get me to my appointment. Luckily our Christmas leave was to start just a couple days after my actual appointment, so my doctor put me on 2 days sick leave to get me to the weekend – I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and moderate depression.
So I ended up having over 4 weeks off – and it was so nice!
Hubby and I exchanged gifts early – neither of us were really in the Xmas spirit so we didn’t really care when we did a gift exchange. Hell, I didn’t put up any Xmas decorations…. Which, granted, was kinda nice not having anything to clean up and put away after Xmas! But he ended up getting me a tablet for my digital art! I literally created art over 12 hours a day in some cases, every day for 3 weeks!!!
I had to go into the hospital for a sleep study on the first day of my holidays. The walk-in doctor “misunderstood” (I think) me saying how exhausted I was. I wasn’t tired because of not getting sleep – I was exhausted from trying to pretend I was happy. I was actually sleeping surprisingly well despite my anxiety. However, because of my high blood pressure, they wanted to rule out having a sleep apnea.
My blood pressure has been too consistently high, so my doctor also put me on blood pressure medication. A healthy BP is lower than 120/80… and mine, when I started monitoring it at the start of taking the medication, it was averaging about 150/105. By the beginning of Feb, it was averaging about 145/100 – but since starting back at the gym, it’s now closer to 133/93. Still high, but MUCH better!
When it was time to come back to work, due to covid numbers, the office was working at 50% for about a month. I was lucky that I was in the office only twice a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was nice to ease back into things and be able to see how I would do – mental health wise – and I was pleased to see I was doing fine!
I got the results back from the sleep study and I was somewhat surprised to learn I did in fact have an apnea – albeit mild. When he was talking to me, I pretty much told him no C-PAP machine. My husband is a light sleeper as it is – the last thing I need is something like that to keep him awake and be driven out of the bed. So he suggested a dental appliance – basically a “mouth guard” of sorts – it essentially “locks” the lower jaw forward to prevent the throat from closing which can cause the apnea and/or snoring. And according to the dentist, I have a small jaw AND I have a large overbite which can also be prone to snoring/apnea. Unfortunately, during the dental appointment, as I hadn’t had my annual dental exam, I was advised I would be required to have the dental surgery that I had 5 years ago again. I literally cried!
For the most part, that’s been my own personal life over the last few months but it’s not where my stress stops. My husband has some health issues that he’s waiting for further appointments – but anything to do with cancer (or potential of cancer) has me on edge. I’m trying not to over think things, but it’s hard.
Additionally, there’s everything going on in the world – from the “freedom convoy”/occupation of the city I live in, my father in law’s wife leaving him and the stress on the family because of it, the general discord around the world, being in various stages of lockdown for coming up to 2 years now, and now Russia invading the Ukraine… it’s just exhausting!
Most of this is out of my control and I try not to let these things bother me… but it’s hard when it feels like so much!
Hubby and I have been going to the gym now since the start of Feb – about 3 weeks now. I was ready to go back in early January, but we ended up in another lockdown and they had to close again. But it’s rekindled my love of lifting weights – and heavy weights! I’ve been working really hard – challenging myself to get stronger. This seems to be helping my stress.
Now, if we can just get warmer temps and have all the snow and ice gone, I’d be happy!