Update on Ellie

1/16/2018     2:32am

So, Ellie had her last surgical check this week and the surgeon said she’s doing “Terrific!” They are amazed at her progress from paraplegic to walking around now and playing, and she just started physical therapy last week. He said we’re doing a great job with whatever we’re doing. I am so happy. I am grateful for everyone who helped out with the fundraiser in prayer or money and am grateful to have my dog back. She still has some pain and stiffness and walks a bit weird but I’ll take it. ;) Thank you SO MUCH.

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© Michelle Routhieaux 2018

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Update from the Farm

11-8-15     2:55pm

I want to die. There is no simpler way to put it. I’ve been in the hospital since Sunday night. After two days of Hell with a doctor who yelled at and literally threatened me I got a really great doctor who is working very closely with me to try and make me better, or at least less close to death. He listens to me and reads my journal and talks about what actually matters instead of bullshit. He changed one med this week but I think it’s making me worse instead of better. I’m more “withdrawn, depressed and apathetic” according to my nurse.

I want to get better. I just also want to die. Quite the dialectic. A lot of stuff is going on in my life, both good and bad, and I’m tired. I am soul weary and worn. There is barely anything left in me. 10 of the 12 days before I came here I came closer than ever to suicide. I don’t care about almost anything. It’s not that I don’t genuinely care about and love my friends and family, adore and protect the girls, desire for nothing more than to lead my group to greatness. I just don’t have it in me right now. It hurts to be alive. I’m using skills. I’m trying. I’m alive. The people who’ve seen me are concerned. I am too.

During the midst of all this a group member decided to try to oust me as President of my group. I did not need that. I was supposed to have a family session with my mom and the social worker yesterday but the social worker never showed up. I tried to have the conversation with my mom anyway. It wasn’t so successful. She says she’ll do anything for me but when I called today to ask for something she was busy. She’s going to the Garth Brooks concert tonight. We were supposed to go together. I want to die.

My nurse today told me suicide is the most selfish act and that sometimes we need to be more selfless. I don’t think that’s true. I spend most of my time giving selflessly to others. I don’t do much for myself. Suicide would be the ultimate selfish act, me choosing to do one final thing for me. People can’t understand that.

I want to not want to die. I want to believe there is a reason for my living other than helping others. I want to be free. I want to believe I can be. Right now I just want to die. I pray for God to take me home and make bracelets with positive phrases to wear just to get me through the day. Am I concerned? Yes. Am I safe? Yes. Do I want to be? No.

It’s been a long year and I’ve done everything in my power to cope and push ahead anyway. I can’t do this anymore now. I want to die. I miss Dr. N. Maybe some sunshine or a nap.

Sorry for the dreary update. I just don’t have anything positive to share right now. I wanted to touch base. I appreciate you reading.

Love, Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Elephants

9-27-10     10:25am

I’m struggling this morning to find the motivation to take a shower. It’s been over a week. There is a show on the television about elephants in Bali. My mom is asleep. We’re supposed to be at dog training in a half hour. I don’t want to go.

Something is wrong with me. I am weak, lethargic, having episodes of tachycardia, muscle spasms in my back and head. My headaches have returned. My blood pressure is spotty. I know some of this can be attributed to stress but not all. I’m having this thing where the muscles in my face pull my eyes open wide and make it difficult to blink. So I don’t blink often and then my contacts get dried out. It hurts and when I do close my eyes it’s hard to open them. Consequently, I fall asleep. This has happened several times while driving. Yesterday I almost hit a car in traffic. It comes on quick and is often preceded several hours by happiness/euphoria. Yesterday I felt sincere joy and cried happy tears although I have no idea why. I made an appt with my chiropractor today. In this process, there are few if any thoughts in my head.

I’ve at least been thinking about blogging lately, even if I haven’t done it. That’s a step up from forgetting I have a blog. I saw my new psychiatrist a few weeks ago and she seems nice and competent. I don’t know what to do… I’m tired. So tired. A better word would be lethargic. I had apple and peanut butter for breakfast. Thank God for honeycrisp apple season. Lets work it in.

I have to go. I’m having trouble staying upright to type. Just checking in. Oh, I made reservations for CLOG National in Reno. I’m excited. Something positive to look forward to.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Chaos in the Chorus

9-10-14     11:26pm

I knew it had been awhile since I blogged but I didn’t realize it had been almost 2 months. 

So what happened 2 months ago? Dr. N, my psychiatrist and main support person, told me he took a different job and can no longer be my doctor. He explained the situation and I understand but it’s fucking me up. This is the first time I’ve experienced real grief. I don’t know what to do with it. At first I couldn’t stop crying and carried around the means to kill myself. Then I shut down. Then it would hit me in waves. All of last week I was bitchy and angry. This week I just sit and stare. I was supposed to see him yesterday but he cancelled to pick up family from LAX. I’m concerned about him and his family because his home country is Syria. That place has gone to shit.

I’m tired. I’m so tired. The sky is falling. I struggle to dance in the rain. The moon is under construction and it’s raining Starbursts.

My mom had cataract surgery on both eyes. She can see now and is fascinated with colors. We are working on decluttering the house. Our dog is amazing. I’ve decided to train her in French. Mom doesn’t buy it. I went to Harvest Crusade with Mom and my friend T and rededicated my life to Christ. I’m reading the Bible when I can. I keep praying. I feel my problems are insignificant compared to others’ but it’s the intensity of emotion that bothers me more than the stuff. I also started watching two little girls. They make my day every time I see them. One is 8 months old and the other is 2 and 1/2 and has autism. Mom is helping and it’s a good time to bond and learn.

The word “transition” keeps coming up. Everyone says I’m in “transition.” I’ve come to view it as an evil word. What does it even mean? The shitty, unorganized period of time between two or more important events? I feel selfish for having such an intense reaction/response to the situations in my life when those less fortunate can say nothing. I have a home. I have family. I just got approved for SSDI. I’m driving now. I finally have a room that feels good to me. I worked over a year saving up money for a new mattress and putting art up on the walls. Now it feels like me. Butterflies and tranquility.

My thoughts really haven’t been coming to me. They are either nowhere to be found or showing up in pictures. There is chaos in the chorus and sometimes I can’t even hear the thoughts. I just hear the cadence, the timing. Last night 7 had so much she just needed to get OUT so I walked around the parking lot after DBT talking to the moon. She’s so scared. 

Yoga therapy has been really great. It’s exactly what I need. A quiet space to explore me with someone who cares. An opportunity to move my body, to listen to it. I am so grateful for Soleil. I found a new friend at group too. Her mom hates me but that’s okay. She is fun. She reminds me a lot of me when I was her age. I want to be free. 

Right now it’s Comfort Drive time – the 3rd year I’ve done it. I’m concerned because there aren’t many donations coming in and usually it’s a flood. I’m too tired to hit the pavement so I wait and pray. This current situation has me praying a lot, relying on faith when I usually wouldn’t. I don’t have the answers. I don’t know why. Dr. N said I’m a fixer and this can’t be fixed. Then what do you do with it? 

I recently tried Amitiza for my stomach. I took it for about 3 weeks. Then I stopped because it caused debilitating, mind-numbing pain for me. Head pain, burning face, lack of thought, super weak, can’t stay awake, can’t breathe pain. My head feels much better. Now if I could only get the…  (falling asleep)

I really like the little girls. They make me happy, even when they’re sad.

I have to go. I’m literally falling asleep at the computer. Just wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten you. I want to write and I want to blog but I’m not writing much and what I am is not internet-friendly. I managed to hurt my shoulder somehow while thrashing around in my sleep. I really should get it checked. Feels like someone is cutting me with a knife when I reach for anything. 

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Buried Treasure

5/22/14     11:56pm

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My surgery went really well today. I had my wisdom teeth removed. It’s been on my list for 15+ years and I finally found an amazingly kind and talented surgeon and all the stars aligned to do it. He pulled the two top ones whose roots were in my sinus cavity and did coronectomies on the bottom two – some fancy procedure where they take the tooth part but leave the root. He did this because the root was wrapped around the nerve controlling feeling to my face. He’s the first surgeon I’ve met with who had a solution for this.

Mom took me this morning and has been caring for me all day – no small task. I woke up feeling excited (not sure why) and took a shower. I was mad we were late but calmed down. I remember before but not much after. She’s been there for me all day with meds on time and approved foods and attention. In fact, she’s in the kitchen now refusing to go to bed until I do. I just want to finish this.

The pain meds have been great, except for this afternoon. I’d been in bed all day and didn’t want my vitals to go too low so I skipped my 1pm flexeril. Shortly after, I began having trouble breathing, severe pains in my stomach and back, blood pressure 69/46 then 76/44. I was shaking all over, white as a sheet, freezing cold but my body was hot. I had to pee but couldn’t. The intensity grew quickly by the moment. My mom called the doctor. I tried to get from the bathroom to my bed but couldn’t. I opted for crawling on the floor, then lying on my back. Blood from one of the incisions ran down my throat. I could barely talk. I prayed she’d just call 911. The doctor wanted her to at least take me to urgent care for fluids, make sure I was alright. While they were on the phone and I was lying on the floor an image popped into my head. It told me to put my feet up over my head, upside-down like plow pose in yoga. I put my hands in the small of my back and my knees in the pressure points on the inside of my eyes. I could breathe. It was like magic. Mom propped some pillows under my butt so I could relax while still partially posed. Such relief. No ER. We didn’t go to urgent care. I didn’t know until tonight that my doc said he wanted me to have an IV. I would’ve gone. There was great concern that I might be allergic to the pain med he’d given me since I’d only taken it once. Turns out it was probably really bad cramps from a period I didn’t intend to welcome today. With blood pressuer that low I think it was safer for me not to take the flexeril, but I haven’t had pain like that in ages. Needless to say, I took my next dose of flexeril.

I am so grateful and fascinated that they let me take my teeth home. It’s like buried treasure. I want to see my incisions and stitches but Walmart didn’t have one of those little dental mirrors. I’ll look or have my mom look at Target tomorrow. I’m so tired now that it’s hard to keep my eyes open. Everyone is asleep but me. I think i’m doing well with the surgery because of my awesome mom and doctor and dentist but also because I’m already on an NSAID, muscle relaxer, and nerve pain pill. Without those I think I’d be melting. I got several crisis calls from people today. My face hurt after answering them but it was nice to be able to. Ellie, my dog, has been very receptive to my pain too. I am learning that people really are there for me if I pay attention.

I have to go. My meds are kicking in and the screen is becoming blurry. I didn’t forget you. Live long and prosper – toothless or not. ;)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

I wish it was Tuesday

11/28/2013     10:29pm

Dear God,

I wish it was Tuesday. My voice is stuck inside me and nothing reaches the page.

I’m sitting in the car outside Mesa Vista. Light from Cog lights my page. I feel myself falling in slow motion, like a feather through Jello. Life moves quickly around me. I feel lifeless. Can’t move. Can’t stop. Another holiday out of touch. I need to catch this one early.

December is coming. Tomorrow’s Black Friday. I’m about to break. Double on Wednesday. I need so badly to be held. God? What are you training me for? What do you need me for now? I need you. I need a lot of things. I don’t want to end up back in the hospital and that’s the direction I’m headed.

Red flags

  • Self-harm
  • Dissociation (more frequent & intense)
  • Desperation/Agitation cycle
  • Nightly dreaming
  • No interest in food (ED + decreased appetite)
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Episodes of tachycardia
  • Weak/Dizzy
  • Depersonalization
  • Derealization
  • Really out of it
  • Increase in switching
  • Intense need to be held
  • Confusion
  • Decrease in personal hygeine
  • Severe fatigue
  • Rocking
  • Racing thoughts or no thoughts
  • Feel my face hanging, heavy
  • Late frequently
  • Anhedonia
  • Can’t complete tasks
  • Catastrophize more often
  • Don’t care about my appearance
  • Not feeding animals
  • Sleeping in makes me feel worse
  • Soul-crushing depression
  • I just watch from behind the glass

Coping Skills I’m Using

  • Day list (when I remember)
  • Walking Ellie
  • Sticking to a schedule
  • Eating nut bars
  • Deep breathing
  • Singing
  • Watching NCIS
  • Decluttering
  • Sensory distraction – light, temperature, sound
  • Scented candles
  • Getting out of the house
  • Eating regularly
  • Rocking
  • Chewing gum
  • Projects

Triggers

  • Driving
  • Mom
  • Too busy – outreach, S, appts
  • No music nights
  • No free/down time
  • Money problems
  • Ankle injury
  • Gluten-free transition
  • -‘s episode, –
  • J/M/S drama – trust
  • Brother’s HD
  • DBSA business woes
  • Heartland scuffle on Monday
  • Clogging – Quarternote end, dying, teaching, etc.

What do I need?

  • Modified schedule w/emphasis on self-care
  • Talk to my providers
  • back to Day List
  • Go back to the bus half time
  • Meet with a dietician
  • Go back to Dizzy’s
  • Start writing again
  • Find/schedule more alone time
  • Go back to the gym
  • Schedule garage time
  • Pray

Let go.

  1. Schedule – weekly
  2. Menu

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Making Friends with a Bush

11/2/13     12:18pm

2013-11-01 18.09.53(deep sigh)

I feel nervous. I know I haven’t blogged in forever. Sorry about that. I’ve been so busy and unaware of time or space. I’m barely writing at all. I blame this on driving. And partially on the fact that my brain is turned off.

Yesterday my brakes went out on the freeway. I know that God was there. A few moments before I switched into dissociative or crisis mode for no apparent reason. I was listening to my friend apply a DEESC Script to my current situation. It was afternoon traffic and all of the sudden my brake pedal no longer worked. I could press it all the way to the floor. No stoppage. The emergency brake also failed. Yet, I didn’t freak out. I swerved to miss one car and then again to steer clear of the car I’d just swerved in front of. I made it to an off-ramp and coasted into a parking lot. I chose a bush to stop the car with. We jumped the curb, I turned off the ignition. We were inside a bush. So I put the car in reverse and let it roll back off the curb and out of the bush, pulling the key out midway. We stopped.

My friend Sue who was with me had no idea what was going on, other than that I had swerved twice and that we were now friends with a bush. The car smelled like something was burning and I told her to get out. The drivers side panel was smashed so the door only slightly opened. The windshield wipers held decorative pieces of bush. I called State Farm and we walked over to the farmer’s market. I’ll tell ya, like a good neighbor State Farm is NOT there. I even tried singing the jingle. Didn’t work. It took 3 hours of call after call after call, being transferred and cut off. Didn’t help that midway through my phone started shutting itself off whenever they put me on hold. Eventually the tow truck got there and took the car away.

I did everything right. I did not freak out or fail to respond to the situation. I kept myself and my passenger safe. I did not hit another car. I stopped the car with relatively minor damage. I called the insurance company and had the car taken to my mechanic. I’m proud of myself. I also kept my friend calm who had 2 panic attacks and was freaking out. My mom, however, is not happy with me because I called the insurance and filed a claim. In that moment, and now, the only thing that seems to matter is that her car insurance rate might go up. I might as well have smashed into something dangerous and been injured to distract her from the money. I wish she could see that my coping was AMAZING. I even continued on with my plans for the night and attended a zumba party at my gym and had dinner with Sue. I didn’t freak out. Now I am exhausted.

Today I feel frustrated because our mechanic says there is nothing wrong with our brakes and he doesn’t know why the car would do that. IT WAS REAL. I WAS THERE. IT HAPPENED. I want the car fixed. I can’t have it do that again. I could’ve really been hurt. But for him the car is fine. My mom told me I should never call the insurance before calling her. I told her she’s the last person I call because she freaks out. I just really need somebody to say, “Damn, girl. You’re fucking awesome. You did a GREAT job. We’ll deal with the car later.” My mom wants to go to the gym now. I just want to write.

(eyes closed, head down, deep breath)

I haven’t been writing. My writing time is now taken by driving. All of my story is in me, mixing itself up. I joined an adherent DBT program and got a new therapist. We’re laying all my issues out there and it’s freaking me out. I need about an hour of down time after I see her before I can leave. I want a better life. I want to feel good, be independent, free. But I’m scared of dealing with my issues. All those scary things tucked away in neat yellow boxes tied with a ribbon on the back wall of my life. I don’t open them for a reason. Now they’re all in a pile on the floor and I’m freaking out. Do I want to change? Can I tolerate it? I don’t know. I think I trust her but I need to teach her about me. And communicate. I am in an almost constant state of fear lately. Except when faced with a crisis. Oddly enough I wrote the other day that I need the calm of a crisis. Well, I got it. Now I need to run away.

I gotta go. My mom wants to go to the gym and I’m trying to promote her exercising. I’m so tired, physically and spiritually. I’m singing a duet in church tomorrow that I haven’t practiced. I’m excited. It is “Pie Jesu.” Lord, grant them rest. Lord, grant me rest. I have the appropriate feeling state for the song. Now I need to sing it.

Thank you, God, for keeping me safe. And thank you to whomever is reading this. I really appreciate you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Help Zoe!

3-15-13     9:21pm

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Sooooooo… As you may know, I have a super awesome kitty named Zoe. She is black and shiny and lovely. She talks to me all day and shouts when she’s angry. Her favorite toys are my hair ties, which she often loses under the couch.

Anyway, last week Zoe got really sick. She had a very high fever and wasn’t moving. I took her to the animal hospital and they kept her for a few days – gave her medicine and fluids. She was refusing to eat or drink or pee. When I finally brought her home she started eating and peeing again. She is on the mend. Today she watched birds. She hasn’t played yet but she is cuddling and meowing and not crying anymore.

I set up a fundraising website to help pay the bill. I’m usually pretty good about budgeting for things but I never factored in a kitty emergency. I’d appreciate any help and would LOVE it if you could share the link to the site with your friends & family. Strangers are good too. ;) Every little bit counts. I’m working on getting her pet insurance. For now, I’m just grateful she’s getting well. The site is here. I’m so tired but I’m proud of myself for asking for help. It’s new for me.

Love, Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Rainbow Update

5/30/12     9:09pm

I know I haven’t blogged in forever. I feel it only fair to give an update.

Today I woke up with a horrible headache, probably from a new medication last night, and I cried and cried and cried. I put on a pretty dress and went to lunch with a friend. I’m so glad I have good friends. When I got home another friend was waiting in my driveway to take me shopping for items for my Comfort Drive. I’m exhausted.

I’ve been really all over lately. I haven’t posted because there haven’t been many postable things. I’m swingin’ and switchin’ and crashing all the time. In the span of a day I can hit happy, productive, rageful, depressed, suicidal and euphoric. There are hours that I am a Rainbow and light is God and God is in me and I am God. When I hear him talk to me and I twirl and skip and there is this peace like I’ve never felt. A quiet calm in the middle of the storm. My head hurts almost constantly and whatever’s going on in my neck comes and goes. Yesterday I found myself hiding behind some dumpsters crying and fighting my thoughts.

My psychiatrist says he’s proud of me for surviving the crises and that I’m doing a good job. My therapist is becoming a life coach. My mom has a boyfriend and a job. And my cat cries a good portion of the day. I agree that I’m doing a good job handling crisis, but I want to be more stable. I want to be able to live one day at a time instead of fighting for moment to moment.

I saw a new doctor yesterday way the Hell up in Encinitas. He seems a bit cocky but like someone I could trust. He wants me to get off as many meds as possible to figure out what symptoms are side effects and what symptoms are organic. This terrifies me, as I know what happens when I don’t take medication. Last summer I was all for a wash. That’s what they call stopping all your meds. I was ready to do whatever it took to get better. But right now I just want to stop hurting. I want to be better or dead. A wash is a long painful process that doesn’t really establish any betterness. It’s sole goal is to bring out the worseness and identify the actual problem, which in this moment I don’t care about. I care about not hurting. And about preserving my inpatient Medicare days. I might be willing to do it at a facility that did not affect my Medicare days, definitely not at home.

I use my phone a lot as a coping skill and tool. I work on the bus, communicate, look up my medications and bus information. I went to group with my phone a few days ago and didn’t leave with it. It walked away. So now I have my old phone, which is great for texting but does none of the things I use my phone for now. I feel like I’m in some other world. Like everything is changing and it’s only a mirage. Today I shopped with a friend for stuff for people in the hospital. I had a good time. I felt bad because he was paying and I was shopping and I usually finance my own impulsive spending. But it was his idea. I just feel like I’m on the edge and I’m livin’ it.

I keep fighting. I’m not writing much. I’m switching too fast to follow. When I do write it’s in several colors. I go in and out of being afraid of certain colors and there are voices talking/writing that have their own colors. I’m exhausted. I need some time as Rainbow.

Thanks for listening. I really appreciate it.

Love, Michelle

PS – I gave up on brushing my teeth after a bad encounter with the dentist. I still like the toothpaste.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Polka Dots & Puppy Dogs

2-27-12     12am

I’m sitting in my living room working on my friend’s MacBook Pro, with which I am falling in love. We are helping my mom with an aptitude test online and I can faintly hear the radio coming from my room.

I haven’t journaled in some time. I’m afraid to open the book. And when I do I just draw. I drew a picture today of my feelings. It was a bit weird. I send bizarre emails to my therapist and have started walking in circles talking to myself again. There is simply too much going on in my life. But my friend’s boyfriend fixed my wifi so I can work from the couch. I also love her dog. Quite helpful. And my cat is readjusting to life with a dog in the house.

I know I haven’t blogged in forever. I’m sorry. There just hasn’t been anything I can really say online. I’ve been having a lot of really intense symptoms mental health wise and some nasty body symptoms as well. My body is just freakin’ out and they finally found something wrong with me. But not something definitive. They’re slowly trying to figure out what’s going on with my neck/throat. I’m having trouble swallowing and throwing up and choking. The muscles connected to my larynx are popping and it hurts to sing. And apparently I have a nodule on my thyroid. So I went for a barium swallowing test and upper GI series and will have a biopsy of the nodule. I don’t really care what comes of it. I just need it to be over.

I just finished helping teach a clogging class at an elementary school. I had so much fun. It was physically more than I could really handle, but I loved the kids and having a reason to be out of my house. I also started bowling again. I didn’t go this week but I really like it. And the bowling alley cafe has awesome food.

My mom’s looking for a job. I’m trying to make meaning of my life. And it’s almost my birthday. I seem to have a birthday every other year and this is an on year. Last year I had a non-birthday. This year I want to celebrate. I’m not sure how but I’ll figure something out. I’m alive and I’m grateful. I pray a lot more these days. Give myself over to God. I realize that I have no control over my life and that scares me. But instead of just being scared I can acknowledge that I don’t have to be scared alone, that He is always with me.

I don’t know what’s going on or how to fix it. I know not the how or why. I’m just cruisin’. Sticking to one moment at a time. Not trying to write a masterpiece here but just a note to say I’m still alive and haven’t forgotten this thing called a blog. I’m just in the middle of a twister right now waiting to get out. Having some fun. When the writing comes back I will blog again.

Take home message: I recently discovered I love bowling alley corndogs and I’m now in love with the new version of leggings. I now like wearing dresses. And I’m getting tired of pizza. I thought I wanted a dog, until I lived with one and realized they don’t purr. If dogs purred, they’d be close to perfect pets. I love having a friend living here. I wish I was the one looking for a place to live. I feel scared a lot. I miss my tv. I haven’t gone to jazz in a long time and the void is rotting my brain. I still love laundry. I still want to feed the ducks. And I still love NCIS and stickers. I wear a lot of mismatched things now. I love polka dots, and all things sparkly. I’d really like to pay my bills. And going to an awful board meeting today made me appreciate my board meetings SO much more. I love being alive. Finally.

Love, Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Soooo…

3-29-11 11:43am

I know I haven’t blogged in forever. Sorry about that. My blog starts in my journal and there hasn’t been much I could put online.

I wanted to check in, let you know I’m not dead. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital trying to get my meds right. Still working on that. Not even close. Tweaking my list of diagnoses. Dealing with voices in my head, confusion, and big mood swings. Random happiness. I’m functioning more efficiently than a month ago… It’s not good.

I went to a clog convention this weekend that was a short reprieve from the madness, polka-dotted with madness. I’m so grateful for Scotty. And for learning I still can dance. Pain or not, it’s do-able. And I decided I should teach dance again and came up with this grand plan. I brainstormed all day and was so happy. And then I got home. And now none of it seems possible. I don’t understand. A friend wrote on my FB wall, “Michelle has returned from her alternate life on Planet Scotty to the real world on Planet Shit.” Exactly. It’s like detox.

My mom’s having surgery tomorrow. Instead of spending time with me she’s cleaning the house. What? She’s freaking out about it. My doctor told her I am NOT to take care of her.

(break for Mom to freak out in apology for something she didn’t do. I can’t take this. I feel like I’m gonna throw up. And I’m pissed.)

I went to my group last night. I just wanted to talk. Instead I facilitated the most intense group of my life. My stalker is back and came to my group. I also had a very manic guy. I’m really glad I had a good group there to help. I can’t do this. I am alone.

Right now I am supposed to be supportive and empathetic of my mom, productive for my choir and the group, and effective at taking care of myself. Well, I’m not. I’m angry and sad and completely NOT effective. My new med’s making me fat. And I don’t know what to do. It is simply too much.

Soooo… I stopped for a moment to pass you a note. (deep breath). Lady Gaga sings “Just Dance” behind me. You have no idea.

-Michelle

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

What to Contemplate

9-7-10                  8:10pm

Last week I was contemplating opening a dance studio. This weekend I was contemplating how to stay conscious. I just went to a lecture on motivation and now I’m contemplating contemplating.

Change, is inevitable. Change is hard for me.

I’m looking at a lot of change and stress, good and bad. Here’s the layout. Work at my group is slow but about to pick up. Gospel choir brings me great joy, and great responsibility. A storm of planning and fundraising awaits. No Broadway San Diego events this week. Those are my work-like activities.

At home, mom is spiraling. She’s depressed and irritable and she doesn’t hear half the things I say anymore. She’s constantly yelling at the cat. The tension really gets to me. And she’s gonna have another surgery on her arm soon. I don’t know when. I’m still paying on the last one. I am significantly less healthy this time around and I barely made the last one.

I saw Dr. Tecca today after I had my mom page him last night. He couldn’t find anything wrong (as usual), other than slightly high blood pressure and a low fever. He doesn’t deny my illness this weekend. His verdict? “You are… a marshmallow.” He says I’m too weak and fragile (like a marshmallow) and that I should exercise.

The question for me is how much? He said an hour at least 3 days a week. By why, you ask, did I page and see him today? Because after attending a baseball game Saturday (attending NOT playing) I was barely conscious but for an hour here and there ‘til today at noon (Tuesday). Severe weakness that nothing helped. I know there’s something between nothing and an hour, but what is it? This guess-and-check method is costly.

I finally talked to Dr. Licht and he’ll order one of the two ataxia panels I asked for – either the complete or the autosomal dominant. Mom is pissed that I told him there’s no definitive diagnosis of HD. But at this point there isn’t. She doesn’t think it’s important. She yelled, “IT IS WHAT IT IS!” Ya, but what is it? I can’t write that on an insurance form and a doctor can’t treat “it.” It’s not fair for her to try and block me from finding what “it” is. It doesn’t mean she did anything wrong. But someone did. It’s not her body. “It” is killing me.

And I’m trying to come to terms with that and I don’t know how. So yes, I am a marshmallow. I am fragile and weak. But I’m here. What of this do I contemplate? It’s too much to handle. Thankfully, dissociation and memory problems help with that. But what do you do?

Pray. “Paciencia y fe.” Thank you, Broadway.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010