• Depression
  • Happy with a side of turtle shell

    Not to self: don’t post poignant stuff on Fridays. ?I should also add to that post, among the sobbing that the child said, “I just really wanted a mom and a dad.” ?Doesn’t that just break your heart? ?I’m still slightly disturbed by the whole incident.

    Moving on.

    After 2 years of seeing my acupuncturist I think we’ve finally gotten a groove going on. ?The groove gets disrupted by shiny objects on occasion, but that is my problem. ?A few months ago I mentioned some issues I had with concentration and a few other personal matters. ?So Lisa* whipped up an herbal formula to help with such matters. ?It just so happens that this particular formula has turtle shell in it. ?She assures me that it is humanely “harvested” turtle shell, but shell nonetheless. ?Like usual she gave me the herbal formula in a way that I had to make tea out of it. ?This particular tea wasn’t that pleasant tasting (are they ever?) and of course I got distracted by something shiny. ?However, when I remembered to make (and actually drink the tea) it worked.

    I had this brilliant idea to ask if she would take my remaining herbs and grind them into a powder and encapsulate them. ?They do this for a not so small fee. ?So now I take 8 of these big capsules a day and get shit done. ?As in getting it done with a smile on my face. ?It’s amazing.

    There’s no real point here. ?I just thought I would share.


    *oddly, my acupuncturist is also named Lisa. (um… that’s my name for the noobs)

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • That blog thing

    Oh right!? I have a blog.? I forgot about that old chestnut.? Actually, unlike 3 million Americans I have actual work.? The kind where I perform a service and people give me money.? The bonus is that I get to keep my clothes on… but I still do it in front of a computer.? Want to see what I’ve been up to?? Check this out.

    Liza contacted me weeks months ago wanting? a redesign on a blog she wanted to make into a business.? I like Liza.? She lets me do fun things.? Of course I said yes.? Besides, someday I’ll visit Maui and maybe she’ll let me crash on her living room floor.? (so kidding… um, maybe not)

    Then, as I was finishing up Liza’s stuff Amy asked me for more stuff.? After that Rebecca asked for a site* too.? And then I was contacted by a friend who works for Microsoft wanting Power Point slides.? And despite Power Point being the most horriblest** program in the world I said yes because, Microsoft = Money!

    In between all of that I’ve been working on a project of my own, that no, is not doing a new header for February.? You’ll be lucky if you get that.? The header that is.? The new project is very exciting, but I’m not quite ready to launch it yet so you’ll have to wait on that one.

    Now consider that I’ve had all of that work in the month that my SAD is the worst.? January was a little rough.? I went in for my monthly sticking last week and my acupuncturist demanded that I come back in a week.? So I go back this afternoon.? I’m fairly certain that February is going to be much better and still with TONS of work.

    The bottom line is that this little blog is waaay down on my list of priorities at the moment.? It isn’t that I don’t like you anymore.? It’s not you it’s me.? Oh wait, we aren’t breaking up.? So just go about reading blogs that update a little more frequently and put mine on a feed reader so you don’t waste your time clicking over here for a whole lot of nothing.? But still leave me comments.? I like comments.


    *Of which I’m not even started with so please don’t judge on the basis of what you see there.

    ** I am fully aware that is not a word.

  • Elle's World
  • Paralyzed

    Like many, I have fears in life. Fear of wolf spiders, fear of suspension bridges, fear of dying. But those fears are few and far between. I can have the trusty husband take care of the spiders (god help me if there’s one in the shower with me) or I can elect not to walk across a suspension bridge or I know I won’t die for quite some time (I hope). However, I have a few that haunts me every month. A fear that makes my heart race and that keeps me up at night. It’s pain.

    This is where my 3 male readers can stop. This doesn’t pertain to you and by the end you’ll just wish you could erase the next few seconds from you memory.

    So pain ladies. Some of you may know this pain. Some of you have no clue. We are talking cramps. Mine aren’t any ordinary cramps. It starts as a low dull ache. Just enough to make me think that nothing is going to happen this month. Then somewhere around 3 a.m. it strikes with a vengeance. A pain that is searing from my front to my back. All the way to my toes. My legs hurt so bad I can’t walk. A pain so bad it finds me curled up on the couch in the fetal position.

    Over the years I have developed quite a pain tolerance because of this. I took a hockey puck off the foot (broke a toe) and kept playing. Two days after major surgery I took myself off any narcotic pain killers because they were making me so sick. I stuck to the lighter stuff. But this pain is something else. More than the bridges, more than the spiders, more than dying it is my worst fear. It paralyzes me.? About a week before my period starts I begin wondering… when is it going to start.? 3 days in advance this time or will it tease me like last month and wait until day 1.? I keep piles of pills on my night stand just in case I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t walk to the kitchen.? I start to panic when there is only 1/2 a bottle of ibuprofen in the cupboard.? I worry when the last of the “heavy drugs” are gone.? Where am I going to get more?? Because while my OB/Gyn believes there is pain, he’s a guy and doesn’t understand completely.? And asking him for a script for such drugs would get me an eye roll and a “take tylenol and IB alternating.”? (ok, he’s not that uncaring)

    This pain is something my acupuncturist and I have been working on since June.? It was one of my major complaints from the get go.? For some reason she hasn’t been able to get the formula right to stop the pain.

    That is…

    until now.? I am day 2 into this month’s cycle and other than a very brief episode (cured by 2 tylenol and a glass of wine) I’ve been pain free.? That could all change later this afternoon or tonight, but for the moment I’ll take it.? I’m still scared. I don’t know what it is like to have a period without the pain.? She assures me that the pain is not normal and I shouldn’t be feeling that way.? I want to believe her.? I really do.? And this month I’m starting to think it is possible.? But for now… I’ll live with the fear in the back of my mind.

    And for you guys that made it through all of that… I”ll buy you a beer.

  • Depression
  • Better living the natural way

    I hate writing about my depression. Really. 9 times out of 10 I get at least one comment that I should be medicating myself with some sort of pharmaceutical. It’s not that I’m against Western medicine. I don’t feel that option is the best for me. I can, with certainty, say that I am not sitting around wallowing in my own self pity when it comes to SAD. There is no woe is me in this house. If that were the case I’d lay around in my house coat and never shower. Better yet, I’d stay in my nice warm bed and never get out. But I do get out of the bed every day, I shower every day and I get dressed. I may not be the most fashionable every day, but I don’t wear my pjs at 3 in the afternoon.

    I recognize that I have problems and I really am doing something about them. I see an acupuncturist 1-2 times a month. (come on February 8th!) I take Chinese Herbs to help with the depression and the endomitriosis pain (which is quite severe on occasion). I do my best to get outside as often as possible. I am working at getting better. I may never be 100%. I don’t think I ever was 100%. Hell I wouldn’t know what it feels like if I got to that level.

    What I can say is I know there is a difference between now and this time last year. Or this time last June for that matter. Last May and June (sunny spring weather) I yelled at my child. I was much more impatient. I was angry. It was a combination of things that led me to where I am today. My child still irritates me, but I can see past the food flinging and laugh at his off jokes. I melt when he gets right in my face and says, “time to get up mom.” Or when he crawls up in my lap and says, “I love you mommy.” Before there would be a knee jerk reaction of, “boy, you are hurting me” as jams his knee into my uterus. Not any more.

    I have my down days. I am allowed to have my down days. They are few and far between. I write about them for the same reason I chronicled as less than perfect adoption journey. Because there is someone out there with the same issues. I know I am not the only one with SAD. I know I am not the only one with pain from endo. And that other person(s) will be happy to know they aren’t alone either.

    The sun will come out. And I do live my life a little better, but it isn’t through chemistry. It is through what is produced naturally. And I prefer it that way.

  • Elle's World

    Today my child was an angel for me.? For his father, he was a shit.? Nothing like having a nice trip to accu-land just to have it brought down my someone jabbing a 16 gauge needle in your arm and then coming home to your husband who tells you the child didn’t nap, threw his snack and every other toy he owns.? Talk about bad Qi.? Although the needle doc did give me some new herbs to combat the fact that it’s January and I either want to crawl under a rock or mow someone down with my car.

    I finally made it to the lab this afternoon to have some blood work done.? Thus the 16 gauge needle.? Damn.? Do all phlebotomists hate people or what?? Chick got the needle in on the first try, but I think it poked out the back side of my arm alongside my elbow in the process.

    Why am I having blood work?? I’d like to say it is for something fun like a round with an RE, but let’s be honest.? We all know that’s not going to happen any time soon.? No.? Shortly after Thanksgiving I started having really odd heart palpitations.? The kind that had me laying in bed at night thinking I was going to be one of those medical journal “rare cases” of a woman with a heart attack in her early thirties.? So crazy that I scheduled the appointment with the regular doc.? On my own.? Doc hooked me up to an EKG machine, asked me all kinds of questions, but found nothing odd.? She asked if I was stressed.? I lied.? I told her no.? I didn’t want the “you need to cut back” lecture.? She proceeded to order blood work to rule out thyroid issues, anemia and other possible things.? A week later my heart was somewhat normal and I got busy.

    I had fully planned on not having the blood work done.? Why the hell do I want someone to go rooting around in my puny veins in the off chance I might need to eat more spinach.? However, for the past week I’ve felt like I wanted to urp every afternoon.? The trusty husband comes home to find me laying in the fetal position on the couch and the boy poking me in the eye with a crayon saying, “Mommy, wanna play wit me?”? I know what you are thinking.? “Elle, did you take a pregnancy test?”? I assure you.? That isn’t it.? Really.? If it were you should inform the holy rollers of the second coming of Christ.

    Needless to say, I went to the lab.? The results remain to be seen.? Rest assured, internets, you’ll be the first to know.

    In the mean time, I’m trying to cut down on stress.? And eat more spinach.

  • Elle's World
  • Christmas gift to myself

    About 6 years ago I spent the day before Christmas in the hospital.? Actually it was an urgent care clinic located in a hospital, but I like to be dramatic and all.? It was the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever experienced.? We were at the trusty sister-in-laws apartment and sleeping on the hide-away.? I woke up around midnight and rolled over to tell the trusty husband I thought I was going to be sick.? I ran to the bathroom and for the next 6 hours I threw up every 30 minutes.? There was not that much stuff in my stomach.? My sis-in-laws tried giving me everything they could think of, but it wouldn’t stay in long enough to make a difference.? When they finally agreed I should go to the hospital we had to time it just right.? Needless to say I didn’t make the car ride there without incident.? Funniest thing is the trusty brother-in-law slept through the whole thing.

    My Christmas dinner that year consisted of crackers and 7-up.? Yummy.? I still can’t eat crab cakes or bread pudding to this day.? That’s a darn shame too because I really like bread pudding.

    Every Christmas I am damned determined to not end up in the hospital for whatever reason.? Of course shouldn’t that be the goal of every day.? Honestly, who wakes up in the morning and says, “I think a trip to the ER would be nice this afternoon.”

    Last week I woke up with a sore throat.? Lovely.? It never really manifest itself into anything other than that and an eventual stuffy nose.? A stuffy nose that is hanging on like bubonic plague.? Then the stuffy nose decided it wanted to share the love with my upper respiratory system.? Last night they ganged up on me and migrated to my stomach.? So now I have a horribly stuffy nose (with a solid #3 on the charts downgraded from a previous #4), a icky cough also producing a #3 and I feel like I’m going to throw up at any minute.? Which I almost did into my grocery cart this morning while picking up something for lunch.

    The good thing is that I had an appointment with the needle doc this morning and she gave me some herb that are supposed to fix me right up and keep me away from the ‘regular doc.’? Problem is the herbs are the worst thing I have ever tasted in my entire life.? Seriously.? This stuff makes my ass tea taste like Liptons sweetened.? This is chug and chase with a gallon of OJ nasty.? Which I quite literally did.? But she assures me that I will be feeling better in no time.? I sure hope so.? I have Christmas shopping to finish.

  • Tastes like Qi
  • Tastes like Qi

    While I relaxed at a massage a few weeks ago my mind wandered. I tried to simply be, but as always that is a less than comfortable feeling for me. I tried not to think about the things that needed to be done, if my child was ok or how I was going to cope. Instead I thought about me. Novel concept. I rarely take the time in life to think about me. Everything that I do is for someone else. My son, my husband, my friends, or family. I feel a sense of guilt if I take the time to do something for me or even do something as simple as painting my fingernails. However, this time was different. I reflected on the state of my mental health. It was poor. I was tired, cranky and wearing thin. As Anne put it, on the verge of the mommy apocalypse. I didn’t want to travel down that road. Sure, I’d fallen into the hole, but this time I didn’t bring my shovel. I had a bit of an epiphany, laying on the table.


    It is something I’ve always wanted to try. I have heard so many good things.

    So June 26th I ventured out into the world of Oriental Medicine. I have seen the light and it is bright and shining. It is a happy place. I am smiling. I am enjoying my son. I am laughing. I haven’t felt this good in years.

    I have had so many stories to tell you guys over the past few weeks. I have refrained because I wanted to make sure this was the real deal. Not some half-baked idea that I thought was good at the time. This is it ladies and gents. I am a changed woman. The depth of how screwed up my body was is difficult to describe without you all thinking I am nuttier than you already do. It all has to do with Qi*, yin and yang, and at the very core what is called the Body Blues. If you are interested in hearing about the ins and outs of Oriental Medicine please, just ask. I would be happy to explain it.

    For now I am having bi-monthly acupuncture treatments and taking herbs. I have no clue what all the herbs are, but I drink them in the form of tea and it tastes like ass. So. many. funny. stories.

    Basically the water element of my body wasn’t working and at the very heart of that element is the endometriosis. Who knew the root cause of my infertility was what was screwing me up so badly.

    I also recommend the book, When Your Body Gets the Blues, by Marie-Annette Brown and Jo Robinson. I will write a whole post about this soon. It is amazing that so many women suffer just like me and don’t really get it.

    Within a week of my first treatment I was calmer, the noise in my head quieted and I was a much nicer person. The drawback here is that with the depressive state I lived in I had no interest in food. Now that my body is getting balanced I have rekindled my love of food. I think I’ve gained 5 lbs in the past week.

    Look out world… Elle’s back. She’s kickin’ ass and taking names. Ok, maybe I’ll just meditate quietly next to you.

    *pronounced Chee