Black Dog Days. Elsie and I, day #269

Today has been one of those days. One of those days I fear. On the face of it, it was just a little bit disorganised, tired, grumpy and clumsy. Stuff had been going wrong all week and I can usually tell how my mental health is by how well I cope with the little surprises that life has a habit of throwing at you.

We had a near miss earlier in the week with the power supply unit for our router. Burned out and smoldering, I had to turn off the power and quickly get it out of the house wrapped in an oven glove. I’m one of these folk who goes around switching things off obsessively when they’re not in use. Thankfully, as I’d been out just bfore it happened and there was noone at home. This left me shaken and stuck in fight or flight mode for the rest of the day.

On top of that, I had 2 sensors for my Freestyle Libre give up the ghost within a couple of days of one, another. To be fair, the sensors didn’t give up the ghost, the adhesive did. I also have a suspicion that I may be allergic to them. Not sure if it’s the adhesive, or if it’s the actual sensor. I’m waiting on replacement sensors and fully intend to continue using them. It may just mean that I have to use it intermittently, raher than continuously. I’ve already had fantastic results with it – fantastic in the sense that I had enough, reliable data, to fine tune my pump with a notceable improvement in my numbers, and more importantly, in how I was feeling.

So, why the black dog days? It’s hard to put my finger on it. Nurses have this thing called Hypothetico-deductivism. I should point out here that it’s not exclusive to nurses, but we use it a lot. It’s basically grand sounding words that mean trusting your gut; experiential learning.  I’ve been here before. Lots of times in fact. I’m getting lots of cues and red flags about my mental health and I trust them. Being incredibly, disproportionatly disappointed or angry when something doesn’t go to plan, for example. See earlier mentioned sensors not sticking when they should. I ignored these cues in the past and ended up in a state I hope never to be in again.

The list of my warning signs includes not sleeping well; Anxiety and stress – That’s the big one.  The problematic one. The most disruptive one.  I find myself questioning and doubting myself all the time. I’m a rubbish partner, parent, friend, boss, colleague, <INSERT RANDOM RELATIONSHIP/ROLE HERE>. I know where this, in particular, comes from and thankfully, after years of living with it, I have strategies to deal with it. Then there’s the catastrophic thinking. Don’t get me started on the catastrophoc thinking.

I also get grumpy and irritable and have a tendency to care less about my physical health.  I had 2 custard doughnuts for my lunch today. Not the best choice I’ve ever made. I also never bothered to change a set yesterday when it was due.  The net result was a painful lump in my abdomen tonight and a BG of 17mmol/l. Thankfully only 0.1mmol/L of ketones.

Talking (and blogging helps). Identifying triggers definitely helps. Recognising when the self help stuff isn’t working and knowing when to ask for help and/or medication helps. Thankfully I have people around me who know when I’m not so well and have the confidence to speak to me about it.

Despite all of this, I’m nowhere near as ill as I have been in the past. Winter is always a bit hard for me. I’m still getting a fair amount of pain in my feet, leg and my hip, with no sign of a physio appointment yet.  I’m also still waiting to get my left carpal tunnel sorted. To cap that all off, my trigger finger in the left hand is back too. Work is busy and I have lots of days where I feel I’ll never get everything done that I need to do. I’m well aware that most of us have days like this. That it’s perfectly normal. That I shouldn’t judge my performance on days like this too harshly.

I found this on Facebook, and thought it summed up perfectly where I am just now.

Don't forget

So, tonight, I’m going to publish this post, have a long bath, have a medicated sleep (OTC stuff only), do my best to stop the negative thinking – I know I can do this, because I’ve been here before and managed.

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