So I finally have some good news to report.
First good news is... I may have a home. I say may because... I can't officially claim it yet. My beloved sister who I have been staying with for the past three months has a roommate and he may be moving out soon to pursue a better job in the city. So if he does... we are moving in. Which is... epic fantastic. Awesome sauce beyond words. I would love to get to live with my sister for a while. For the moment, we've rearranged our living area in her living room and it's more comfortable now... And I know at least that I have a place to be. So my level of stress is declining finally on that note.
With the pressure off my back finally... I was able to consider other important things that I've neglected for a ridiculously long period of time... such as health care. I got to a doctor finally... and this time I've finally found the right doctor for me. She's absolutely fantastic and has treated me so well that I'm coming to trust her and feel safe with my health in her hands. We tried one med for my depression and it had some seriously bad side effects. As it turns out... that particular drug only causes that particular side effect in people who have one of three major conditions... two I know absolutely that I don't have (because I've had tests to prove against them) and one that I've suspected having for most of my adult life. That is to say, since the med I was taking only causes this side effect in people who have the disease I think I have and two diseases I know absolutely I don't have... it's a pretty solid confirmation that my suspicions were correct. I have Multiple Sclerosis.
*But Arsh... I thought you said this was GOOD news??*
Well it is. I have suspected I had MS for most of my adult life. My mother had it. While it's not directly hereditary, it is considered more likely you'll have it if your parent had it. So if I have it... I'd rather know so I can get the help I need. So it is a good thing.
I began to suspect it a few years when I had some limb paralysis and then complete and utter lack of ability to function in heat. (It causes me to simply shut down. I literally can't move if it's too hot for me.) I have had increasing symptoms since then... and finally it had gotten bad enough I had to look into it more. I have applied for charity care to help me get the tests I need to confirm it so I can get help. In the mean time, the med I was taking caused severe reactions and I started having more severe limb paralysis. I collapsed in Walmart and had to ride an electric wheelchair because my leg went completely numb.
And the nerve pain... oh goddess the nerve pain is terrible.
Fortunately, my fantastic doctor took me right off that med and prescribed me the one depression med that is confirmed to be best for MS patients. And it's working TERRIFICALLY! I finally feel things again. I started having these strange little flashes of emotion... little flickers of happy or what I called "laughter" because it didn't fit anything else. I'd stare hard at myself afterward asking "Is that what happy felt like?" Because I realized I had honestly and truly forgotten.
But after a few weeks on my new med, I am a different person. My depression has subsided. I have a personality again! I still feel lethargic a lot and my ability to cope with stress is still very fractured... But if we go back to my broken-arm analogy from before... I'm on the mend. Because it feels better doesn't mean I'm all healed. I need time. I know this.
And now I have hope that it will get better. That I'll get better. And that's the biggest thing. When you are seriously lost in depression... hope is the most beautiful thing you could possibly glimpse.
Like water to a parched throat. Like oxygen to suffocation. I needed hope. And I did not have it. And then suddenly... it returned. I cried. A lot. And they were good tears.
Most importantly, this has come with a whole-hearted lifestyle change. My new priorities place "Medical Care" high above other more frivolous things on my budget. I make my appointments. I don't avoid them anymore. I go pick up my meds. I take them. I don't forget or ignore them. I'm finally being given medical care I can trust enough to stick with it. As a result, I'm finally working through the pile of problems I have.
I went to a follow-up with my doc today and as I came in and stood on the scales, she greeted me from behind the Nurse's station and cheerily chirped "By the way, you're anemic!" I blinked. "AM I?" She nodded, smiled and started for another room. "Yup but it's going to be okay! I'm going to give you a pill to fix it!" I sat down in the room and tried to process that. When she came to see me, I told her I'd been anemic some in youth but it was minor and I'd outgrown it. She said very seriously that I was quite anemic and I needed an iron pill 3 times a day. I was very taken aback by this. I told her I hadn't had a low iron count in ages. But then admitted it'd been ages since I had been to a doc for labs. I asked her if I couldn't fix it with diet. She stopped typing, stared at me and proclaimed concernedly, "Absolutely not!" Then went on to tell me that my iron should be around 14. (I don't know what unit of measure we're using, she just said 14.) And that it was at 8. Then she explained that while that doesn't sound like much, if I were at 6, she'd be sending me for a transfusion. Apparently, I'm quite anemic.
We figured out why and how... and that's personal so I won't get into it. But the good news is... if I get better, within a month I can drop to 1 pill a day and then just eat my spinach.
I guess this seems like rambling but it's really not. No. This is the most important good news really. Because no doctor I've ever had was so concerned, helpful, and knowledgeable. This doctor makes me feel at ease. I believe she wants me to be well. She is concerned about me. She asked me a few moments later if I'd take a steroid for my bronchitis instead of an antibiotic since I have asthma. I told her, "If it's what you think I need, I'll do it." And the funny thing was... I realized that was completely true. This is such a huge weight off of my shoulders. I have a doctor I can trust.
So TLDR; I have good medical care now and a home on the horizon. I'm on the mend. I still need time, but things are getting much, much better. I'm finally feeling like myself again.
So in other, more light-hearted news!
1. I have been reading again... crazy amounts! I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy last month then started into the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss! OMG BEST SERIES EVER. PERIOD. END OF STORY. YOU HAVEN'T READ IT? GO READ IT! NOW! Seriously, best series of my life. I can't put it down. (The first book was 800 pages and flew by even for me... slow reader that I am. The second book is 1100 pages and I'm halfway through it.)
2. I got a Kindle Paperwhite!
We came into a little bit of money and now that our situation was settled down, could afford something... so my mate insisted that I get a Paperwhite for myself. OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK READER SO FREAKING MUCH. I can read in ANY lighting and even in the dark on my bed and it's not straining to my eyes at all. The battery is amazing! It lasted 10 solid days of me reading like a beast... 6-12 hours per day... without needing to be recharged and that was with the light on all the time!!! Seriously, this is the most epic ebook reader of them all. I adore it so much! The case I got with it has auto sleep/wake on opening and closing so it's a breeze to jump into my book, just like opening a book to a page. But I can keep all my books in something that fits in my pocket! It has the same size screen as the original kindle, but lost ALL the bulk. It has a capacitive touch screen and a front-lit light screen over the e-ink screen. It turns pages super fast. I can even borrow ebooks from the library from my computer! It's insanely awesome!
3. I started going vegetarian. Before you say anything, this is NOT why I'm anemic. I haven't cut meat out yet. I'm just slowly working my way toward it. I read that vegetarian diet may help my health in various ways that I sorely need... including improving my MS symptoms. So I'm eager to include more vegetarian meals. If I ever go fully vegetarian, that'll be cool, but I'm only do this because I want more health. My vegetarian meals so far have been DELIGHTFUL. I made stuffed eggplant parmesan and it was to DIE for. I have made it twice more since! I am eating roasted sweet potatoes for lunch and LOVING them. There are so many tastey foods to enjoy as a veggie-vore. I'm glad I started giving this a try. It feels great and it's delicious.
4. I have been killing some Mass Effect 3 multiplayer with my mate, sister and her husband. We have hit it so solidly every night for the past month! Love it! I don't talk about my gaming habit too much here, but I'm a solid gamer at heart and I really enjoy shooters.
5. Playing Minecraft again, this time with my daughter and the rest of the household. Not much to tell really... but it's part of what I'm up to right now.
6. Just got ahold of Game of Thrones season 3. I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!
7. I seriously can't wait for a copy of Adventure Time Season 5. Ugh. I can't find it anywhere. :/ I need my Adventure Time damnit!
8. I probably sound like I've gone nuts by now... and I bet you think I am a total bum since I play games and read so much... but for right now, I don't care if I am. I worked my ass off for the past two years to the point of exhaustion, depression and absolutely stressing my health to the max. I am taking a break. It may even be a long break. But I literally have no other choice. My health needs this. I'm glad I have the ability to take a break now. I must take care of my health.
9. Oh... another little happy morsel... The Academy accepted my grievance letter and I get to retake my missed courses in the Fall! Yays!
10. And finally, this year marks my daughter's 6th trip around the sun. She's being officially enrolled in a cover school for her unschooling and I'm really happy to have found a nice pagan cover school so I can avoid giving money to all the insane christian covers around here. (Not saying all christian covers are bad mind you, but it's so much nicer to not have to skirt questions about church and all that. And most of the covers near my home are really crazy christian. Not the good kind... the crazy kind, seriously.)
So ... lots of happy happy happy. Yes, there's still issues. Yes... there is still time needed for healing.
But so much better than it was before...
Thanks again to all of you for sticking with me. I <3 you guys.