Category Archives: challenges

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.

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.

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.

The Long Week

So tomorrow I go back to work. I’ve had the last four days off. The storm is coming….

Several therapists-co workers are off this week, both our psychiatrists, three of our directors, and several mentor staff…

Tomorrow morning I have a process group with perhaps 30 people. It’s less than ideal but many people are on PTO.

I am just taking the attitude that I can only do my best and then…

It’s only four days (I have Friday off) and what I can’t do-does not matter.

Frodo eventually returned the ring to the fires of Mordor. I can get through four days.

Home on the Range

Hey friends! I’m going shooting on the range again today and really looking forward.

On Sunday, my son helped me learn how to dissemble my gun to clean it and last night I purchased a cleaning kit and cleaned my gun all by myself.

I was very proud to learn how to clean it and learning how to use a gun is a form of self care and also mindfulness; this is a dangerous weapon in the first place.

But now my gun is shiny again and I’m taking 200 rounds to the range. Hopefully my aim improves too! (picture of my aim from last time at the range)

Faced and Masked

Hello friends!

Now that I’m, and many others are wearing masks every day when not at home I’m noticing some things.

I’ll be in my office, alone-not required to wear a mask while alone in a room- and I’ve had my mask on for at least 15 minutes.

My husband and I leave a store and he’s mumbling while we drive home-I realize he still has his mask on.

I used to think people in their cars with masks on must be weirdos but now I know

It’s like wearing a bra (maybe this is a stretch) -lets go with PANTS. Once you get used to wearing pants you kinda forget they’re there. I think it’s the same now with masks. Now we’ve got used to wearing masks we forget they’re there.

Don’t judge the people in their car with masks on, our world has changed and it’s the new norm.

I AM ENOUGH

Hello friends!

It took me a month or so to be brave to make this post.

At first I thought-maybe I should try to lose weight and then I caught myself. No not that. That is not right. I am enough.

Then this morning (when the stars aligned so to speak) I thought: my eyes are puffy. I have this red spot on my neck. Nooo not that again. I am enough.

It was also difficult to take a picture and be happy with one. I am enough.

I am enough, without makeup, with hair loss, in my body that is brave experiencing autoimmune disease, in my changing body, in my age. I am 56…..

I AM ENOUGH (even with all the pictures I did not like)

Painless

Hey friends! I hope you had a safe and fun 4th of July!

I’ve experienced a few physical injuries that might have contributed to my chronic neck pain- two falls and one big punch between the eyes (this gave me headaches, that’s why I think it hurt my neck). And I’ve found two (2) things that reduce my pain.

ICE-yes ice. I have a big ice pack in the freezer and some nights after work my neck and head are particularly tense and sore (lets be honest-some mornings and some days and some afternoons and some middle of the nights) and if I lay on that ice pack-most of my pain is numb because it’s so cold. (I once used heat after ice-never again-it was terrible to flare up the pain)! Also-sometimes laying down is terribly painful.

Guns-I had just made the decision to buy a gun (was in terrible pain) and stopped by a local gun store/range. A clerk told me about the different guns and then I rented some to try them out-DUDE I was distracted from my pain because I had to focus so especially solely on the gun I was using to be safe. Since I noticed this wonderful affect, I’ve been going to the gun range often as I can. I didn’t even notice when the slide took a chunk out of my hand until my blood was dripping down my hand (sorry but this is important information) I was so focused on shooting the gun and trying to figure out how to hit the target that I didn’t feel any pain.

THIS COULD BE A MARKETING POINT 😊

ICE and GUNS-why don’t doctors tell anyone about this??