Torpedo Tube

Yes I had an MRI today

I wasn’t that worried about it to begin with because usually they ask if you want something to calm you down. Today I did; I thought it would cause me pain to lay on my back that long.

But I got there and they said “oh we don’t do that anymore”! You are kidding? The comfort and peace of your patients is no longer important? No it’s not.

Okay so I didn’t start to freak out until 5 minutes before.

And the MRI was for my lower back so I knew I was going ALL THE WAY IN.

I practiced my mindfulness deep breathing and somehow made it through with only a (felt like) bruise on my head and foot/nerve pain like always.

I’m really proud of sitting in the torpedo tube for 40 minutes and returning without any permanent harm due to my wildly creative imagination.

Strange Medicine

I saw a new doctor last week; to have a nerve induction study. It’s to rule out a nerve autoimmune disease.

They strapped electrodes to my feet and legs and zapped me. It’s not as fun as it sounds. And to top it off, the doctor and his assistant come back after 10 minutes outside the door and he tells me: “I want you to know that I KNOW your pain is real”. (I had a mask on so they could only see my eyes or they would have been able to read the expression on my face which essentially said “no shit Sherlock”.

He went on to say that I needed treatment from a neurologist and a psychiatrist to treat my pain (that’s not in my head) and to help me with CBT- (hint-therapy) but he doesn’t know me and doesn’t know I’m a therapist.

He doesn’t know that I’ve been to therapy this year talking about two deaths of clients (past client and present client), trauma in my family, death of a friend. He doesn’t know I practice a lot of self care, I read, I shoot, I talk about my worries, i get my toenails done, I meet up with friends, I practice a great deal of skills that I teach my own clients. He doesn’t know I work, and I’m highly efficient at my job, and he doesn’t know I detach when I leave work.

He doesn’t know I haven’t weighed myself in years, I try to notice my thoughts and don’t buy into judgements about my weight, age, and hair even though I live in this society/culture which only values women for their appearance. He doesn’t know I’m intelligent and a high functioning adult.

I have one more appointment with this doctor this week to test the nerves in my upper body-but NO my pain is not in my head. Thanks for giving me your opinion after meeting me ONCE, for ten minutes, and not asking me any questions about my health. When I do an assessment with a potential client, I spend up to three hours interviewing them and then up to two more hours writing up my recommendations. Pardon me if I don’t appreciate your ten minute assessment of my whole life.

Thanks for listening to my rant. I think it helped.

Ma’am Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?

So I was driving to Jackson Hole, my son was in the car, and we had fallen behind the family wagon train (so to speak). We got to a section of the road that is two lanes. My son said “pass em” to the two slow cars in front of us. So I did.

My husband calls my car a rocketship. The rocketship accelerates pretty quickly and soon I was ahead of the two cars-but then heading towards us in the other lane was a state trooper. I immediately knew I was busted-he flipped around quickly and turned on his lights.

“Connor! It’s all your fault” and slapped my sons leg as he is laughing hysterically (almost the whole time).

I pulled off the road before the trooper even got to me because yeah it’s obvious he’s coming for me.

He walked up to the car “ma’am do you know how fast you were going”? I said I thought it was about 80. He replied “thanks for being honest, I clocked you at 74”. “Do you know the speed limit on this road”- and I honestly didn’t. It had been maybe three years since I was on that particular highway. “It’s 55”-yikes

I told him it was my son’s fault-that he told me to pass the cars-while my son is still laughing.

He asked for my license and Ins and registration. I knew I had my gun in my jockey box (I drove to Wyoming by myself and won’t be one of those women out in the middle of nowhere unable to defend herself) so I was trying to get my license and concealed carry permit out quickly because my son was also opening the jockey box and I knew my gun would slide out!

It didn’t seem appropriate to yell “don’t open the jockey box! My gun is in there” to my son, so I quickly said “I have a weapon” as I handed the trooper my license and concealed carry card luckily before the gun rolled out. (I also couldn’t remember the wording a person is supposed to use when letting an officer know you have a weapon. I was a little anxious. My first stop since getting my gun.

Luckily he didn’t feel threatened and thanked me for letting him know. Asked if it was loaded and I said no, it just has a clip in but… couldn’t remember what it’s called and he finished my sentence-“doesn’t have one in the chamber” and I said no.

He went back to his car to decide my fate. I was just thankful I wasn’t going to jail for saying “I have a weapon”!

Connor is still laughing his head off and I start laughing too. He didn’t know my gun was in the jockey box and we thought of all the problems it could cause just rolling out as the officer is standing there.

The officer returns and says “I’m doing you a big favor, you aren’t getting a ticket but you’ve got to slow down”. I asked him if he could make my son stop laughing and he said he couldn’t do anything about that unfortunately. He told me to avoid caving into peer pressure 😂 and wished me a good day.

Peer pressure🤨😂

Swimsuit Triggers and Focusing on Joy

Here we are: summertime, swimsuit time, and it’s hard to let go of judgmental thoughts of my body.

I remember the first time being worried about wearing a swimsuit. I was at a youth activity (maybe I was 14?) at a pool about an hour away from home. For some reason I didn’t have a suit, so my mom gave me money to rent one. Yikes a rental suit.

It was a one piece with huge cut outs on the sides and I felt super self conscious wearing it.

I’ve always been very physically active so I’m guessing I looked fine. I don’t have the wherewithal to make that judgment looking back and that’s ok. I did struggle with acne -seems like I did forever (obviously that’s not a fact) so I had judgements about my face.

Every summer I try to find a swimsuit I can feel comfortable and try not to judge my body. I play in the pool with my grandkids, I play in the ocean, I play in the lake, I play in the sprinklers. I love the water-I wear lots of sunscreen because the rosacea on my face doesn’t like the sun but I love the water.

The last couple of years I’ve purchased two piece suits to practice nonjudgment about my body; plus it’s easier to find separates that fit my top and bottom better.

Here’s another summer where I am triggered to judge my body as not good enough and I’m trying to be mindful of those old crazy thoughts (that are not facts) and in the moment to just enjoy the water. Just enjoy the water.

Here I am off Grand Cayman trying to hold a stingray

Here I am in Jamaica riding a horse in the ocean.

Here I am in Tulum Mexico in the prettiest water ever.

Yes I think it’s more important to enjoy.

I know who I Am

Last week I participated in part two of a training at my work for DBT with clients with psychosis.

The trainer was on zoom and next to her name was (they, their).

I made a comment on some content and the trainer referred to me and my comment as “they just said”…. I responded in private chat to refer to me as she/her yet the trainer did not acknowledge what I asked.

I was stunned. I was angry. I am not a they.

This goes back to an irrational thought I have due to my hair loss and my hair style -(not wearing wigs anymore because it causes me more neck pain and headaches) that I am not feminine “enough”. It’s an irrational “not enough” thought.

I know this is a thought and is not a fact. Logically I know this; and when this person referred to me as they, this thought raised its ugly head. It’s an ugly thought, it’s not a fact.

I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me. I know who I am. I am not neutral; I am a woman, friend, daughter, mother, and grandmother. I am worthwhile and important and that doesn’t have anything to do with my appearance.

I can note my appearance because my hair curls in the front like my dad, my lips have the shape of my mother, I have dark eyes like my great grandmother. My children have physical traits of mine passed on. My appearance connects me to my ancestors and to my progeny.

After this happened last Thursday, I had two strangers comment flattering about my appearance/hair and two people I know comment flattering about my appearance/hair. It reminded me that one person’s opinion is not a fact. I see this as a sign that my Heavenly Father knew my heart and tried to soothe my wounds and remind me who I am.

I KNOW WHO I AM

Therapist Difficulties

Hey friends

On Friday I found out that a recent client had committed suicide. This is a complicated emotional experience for me because he was a difficult client.

He didn’t want help, he liked his suicide thoughts-he romanticized them. He also had some narcissistic personality traits and tried to make everything a debate. Most times he wouldn’t do DBT (a therapeutic intervention for people with Borderline Personality Disorder and works very well with suicide and self harm thoughts), and he stooped taking his medication several times.

He left treatment with me when I told him he needed to have boundaries with a friend he often talked about suicide and self harm (glorifying and romanticizing) -they had both been in the hospital twice very recently at this time and I felt the risk was too high for me to be his therapist as he continued this friendship.

He wouldn’t accept my limits and left. He also was somewhat nasty to me as he left-I told him I wished him well and enjoyed getting to know him-he retorted “I wish I could say the same”-he was very mentally ill. And often destroyed relationships as a way to control how others felt about him.

I’m angry at him for not accepting help. I’m sad for his family-his sister found him. I’m sad sometimes that I work in this wonderful and terrible field.

Yesterday I (we) painted our bathroom-the second to last room in our project of re painting the inside of our house after living here for 13 years.

I did not once think of my work. I was on a ladder, I was sitting on the floor, I was going up and down my stairs and completely focused on the task at hand. I’ve never been so thankful to be distracted by hard work. What a blessing not to think about work.

Hard work is a blessing.

Adventure with a hint of danger

So I get a chance to take a last minute trip tonight (return flight Saturday night) with my son, daughter in law, grandchildren and DIL’s parents. My DIL works for an airline and can fly free along with her immediate family and parents-I can fly with a small charge.

Because I am flying kind of “stand by” there is always a chance I could get bumped if the airline sells the empty seats.

Our destination after the red eye flight tonight is Fort Lauderdale. A beach. Sand. Sunshine. I know, it’s so awesome and I’m very lucky.

There are a lot of open seats on the way there so chances are low of getting bumped. On the way back home there are fewer open seats and a higher chance of being bumped, having to get a hotel and stay in FL by myself.

At first that sounded scary.

Then I remembered my solo trip to Washington DC for a training and getting lost one day and close to death on a tour the next day. I survived. (Obviously) this is another blog post.

I also remembered another solo trip to Boston for a training and taking a trolley tour to see some of that beautiful city. No problems-I survived.

So I think to myself: SELF-you can do scary things. Be brave. Go to the beach for a day. It will be an adventure with a hint of danger.

What’s up Danger?? 😂

Internal Dialogue

I had a dream the other night that internal dialogue was recognized as a different language and was named something weird.

I woke up feeling a little confused but then realized I focus A LOT with my clients and personally on internal dialogue.

Do you speak to yourself in your thoughts or out loud-things you would never say to another person? This is called negative self talk (it hasn’t been named something weird LOL) but I am betting most people do not pay much attention to the language they use with themselves.

If you use negative, demeaning, bullying judgmental, or unnecessary apologizing-you might be stuck in negative self talk.

Be mindful of how you speak to yourself-you never know when you are listening and think what you say is true.

Hair Dilemma

Happy Thursday everyone!

So I have a dilemma.

I have some gorgeous wigs that I love.

I also have a neck injury which I am seeing specialists to help with pain. I received two shots in my head (my occipital nerves are pinched-as they go around my scalp on the right side).

My headaches and general pain is decreased but I wore my cute blonde wig for a few hours on Monday and 🔥🔥I was in such pain!

So…I can’t wear wigs right now. Who knows how long that will last.

I am now wearing my own hair although it’s pretty thin. I do like the color-it’s mostly silver with some black/brown. It makes me think of Storm on X-Men 😂

I just need some shaping-trimming as it is different lengths in different spots.

I guess I don’t have a dilemma. I’ll be who I am and wear my own hair.

Score for me!

Be You too!

Pretty Perspective

I remember growing up compliments on my outward appearance were rare.

I heard the skin on my legs and arms looked smooth. I heard my hands/fingers were long and shapely.

I had acne, I struggled with styling my hair, my teeth were stained because my mom used a certain antibiotic while pregnant with me, and I fell on the ice and knocked a tooth out. I did not ever think I was pretty but I thought I was important to my Heavenly Father.

Then as an adult (with four children) I ran into a couple from my youth. I worked part time at Mervyns while attending university. They stood agape at me when I said hello, “you are pretty” they said but their tone sounded incredulous like what the hell happened to you?? I didn’t know whether to say thank you or be offended.

I thought it was odd because I had not changed as a person. I had matured, still had acne (I have rosacea now which is very similar) I did fix my two front teeth-one that broke when I was 17 and the other chipped several times by my rambunctious children. I experienced several challenges and overcame and I think more confident in myself.

I realized then that other people’s view of me is not important and interestingly enough changes all the time. My view of myself is what is important and it should not be based on my appearance because it also changes every year. My appearance is a ever changing landscape. I am grateful to have the chance to live and experience; I am less grateful for chronic pain but it sure is nice when I don’t notice it.

I am grateful to be a daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, friend, co worker, therapist, hard worker, fun loving, funny (sometimes only I think this 😂) caring, loving, kind, thoughtful, determined, and creative person. None of this has anything to do with my appearance. Thank goodness for that.

I’m the same person in all these pictures no matter my appearance.