Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Few Days on the Sunny High Road; A Day in the Crooked Path of Dark Fog.

Remember how I took a great homeopathic remedy awhile back and it wiped out my short term memory? What, I didn't tell you about that? Oh. I may have told my mother three times...

Yesterday I had to get a new driver's license because I lost mine. A few months ago. Then I forgot. Thought of it. Forgot it. Finally got it done but had to go home and get the ID that I needed and had forgotten.

The good news is that I spent the last two weeks feeling really dang good! The remedy works! Just too well! I had energy; I didn't feel like I wanted to go back to bed at 10am. I took the dog for hour-long walks. I went to Ikea. By myself.

Two days ago I went to the dreaded grocery store and got $190 worth of food. Do you understand the hugeness of this? Not only was I in the store long enough to put that much food in the cart, and NOT run screaming, but I did it without the help of my Ipod. (I forgot it.) I was thinking about food, and cooking, and I wasn't intimidated but it. There was enough money in the account to pay for it! And, I even remembered to bring my wallet! This was a stunning achievement.

But yesterday for unknown reasons, things started to unravel. I felt that unfocused low grade panic creep back in. My thoughts were disjointed and alarming. I felt it coming on and I knew it, before it hit me, I recognized it. I tried to tell myself that this was okay, that a year ago I wouldn't have had this much warning because I was too mentally confused to see it.

There wasn't much comfort in this. I liked feeling good. I still felt borderline crazy. All the time. I've decided to be okay with feeling constantly borderline crazy. At least that way, I know that I am still alive and that I'm still ME. But this, this brain fog. Not just lack of memory; that in itself is scary, but the doom!

There are a few things happening here. One is my struggling to accept that I have been dealing with the Dark Doom of Fog since about age twelve, and it's been seizing me and releasing me ever since. It will always be there. My challenge is to learn to deal with it instead of fighting it, because I think when I have fought it, it has won.

The other thing is that I'm in pain, and it's not just my mental struggles. It's physical. I have Scoliosis. Or did I already tell you that? I forget. My spine is crooked. I wake up stiff and creaky every morning and for the last few months I don't always feel better as the day goes on. I was in tears about it a few nights ago when my husband and I went to bed at the same time. He quietly said that he's noticed that my back seems to be getting worse. He noticed that I mention it casually more often; it just works its way into my words. And he's noticed that visually, I'm more crooked than I used to be.

This is me. I asked him to take a photo because I want to see how bad it is. It was a terrifying idea but I've faced it now. I mean, I can look in the mirror and see that one shoulder is higher and my collarbones are uneven. But I can feel it. I could reach around right now and point to the spot where my spine heads off in a different direction.

I was standing up straight for the photos. It drove me nuts. I never stand straight. I always have one knee bent and one hip out. I've noticed lately that I can't even hold one position long. Constantly shifting to try to get comfortable.

This is me after Jethro traced the crazy meandering cow path of my spine. I looked at the photos and said, "Oh God. No wonder I'm in pain."

He said the photos don't really convey it because in my lower back, it also twists. Like a spiral. He's a little concerned.

This is so scary. I'm 35. I hope to get another 50 years out of this body. I ache like a 90 year old dairy farmer already.

Worse, I've passed it on to both my kids. The Girl's is very mild, which is a relief because she's a ballet dancer. But the Boy. I'm already worried. I'm actually getting choked up in my throat as I write this.

I have been going to a chiropractor for years. Yesterday on my run through town, I drove yet again past a new place that's opened up called "Spine Stretch Studio." It's a Pilates clinic, a serious one where they have these machines that are meant to pull you into place. It's been rattling around in my head that I would like a spine stretch. It would have to feel better than the way I feel now. I think it's time to get medieval about this.

And today I feel very apprehensive about what I'm facing. But I had my off day. I crawled down the path. It's okay. I don't believe in taking the easy road anyways...it's almost against my religion to take the smooth easy path.

There are good things to tell you before I get on with it today.
-My son, the child of two non-athletic people (neither of us were sporty) is going to the area track meet tomorrow! He's competing in the standing long jump. He's the second shortest guy in his class, but he's as strong as an ox! A very cute ox with blonde curly hair.

-My daughter, the child of an innumerate, got an A+ in geometry!!!!!!!! That's going up on the wall. She worked hard for that mark.

-Somebody bought a Hick Chic tank top and I'm so thrilled. I'll probably never know who it was but it doesn't matter. Just the thought that somebody else out there is wearing my "brand" is such a buzz.

And after agonizing over the trashing I gave an artist that I like, I've decided to not be ashamed. Scroll down to the link, and let me know what you think about it. I'm curious now.

No shame, not in my opinions, my decisions, my mental state, or my physical oddities. I'm stepping over the branches on the path and the fog is thinning out....


Kari said...

I've been fighting "the fog" since I was 12 too. And I'm like you sometimes it gets me other times it lets me go. Right now I'm on my way up from a deep depression. I've hit a few road blocks, and that's ok, but I know that I want to get better. And I do. I'm sick of being metally sick.

So, Heidi, keep your head up and remeber we're here for you. No matter what. And I think you should try the spine streching. It's worth a shot. If the Chrio isn't working any longer.

Smartypants said...

Oh sweetie. I'm thinking of you.

I wish I could make your spine straight and push the fog away for good. = )

Heidi the Hick said...

I can't tell you how much it helps to be able to "talk" to you, my blog buddies! It's a very odd relationship...but meaningful. I still have a hard time talking about this with those who have known me for years.

They all think I'm a happy fun life of the party person. And I am, generally. I just have this dark side.

I just gotta deal with it!

Thanks, my loveys!

Heidi the Hick said...

ugh. Just looked at the pictures again. So so so unattractive!

I'm not in shape at all. I have the body type that gains muscle easily but I spent the last year or so crunched up on the therapists office couch. Walking the dog isn't enough...

Maybe that Pilates class will shape me up both ways?

CindyDianne said...

Heidi, so sorry you are feeling ths way! I too know what it is like to fight depression. I've been doing ok these last couple of years actually, but am fighting what I feel may be a descent right now! So, you are in my thoughts.

It was me. I bought the tank top.

Heidi the Hick said...

Cindydianne, isn't it staggering how many of us are taken down by depression? It makes me wonder if this has always been around, and wasn't recognized, or if there's something wrong with our world now. Or both.

Thanks for thinking of me.

(and it was you. Thank you. You'll look gorgeous in it!)

Timmy said...

take care of you.

I want you to be around fereva!

Heidi the Hick said...

Tim, you sweet guy, I'll stick around.

pluvialis said...

Dammit, Heidi, you're too far away. I want to give you a hug. You are amazing and funny and brave and practical and smart and brilliant and I know that people telling you this isn't going to make the back hurt less, or the fog disappear, but that's not going to stop us all saying it. We all love you...

John Q. Public esq. said...

Granted a serous post, but I could not help but think of it has some form of Anabaptist HNT.

All my best,


btw: you still my fav. Canadian, it helps that your cute

Heidi the Hick said...

Man. Pluvialis, you're good for me. Let's go hawking next year. I mean it.

JQP, I feel so good to be your fave Canadian. And even though I think those are the least sexy 1/2 nekkid pix EVER I can't help but be some form of flattered that you still think I'm cute.

I really didn't expect blogging to be this much of a lifeline!

Balloon Pirate said...

I understand all too well what a terrible companion pain is. It robs you of your energy. The littlest things become immense tasks, and you take no joy in anything.

Have you ever considered one of those 'inversion' tables? The ones where you hang by your ankles for a while?

They look like they'd feel great for lower back pain.

I'm pullin' for ya, o Hick-of-my-heart!


Balloon Pirate said...
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Balloon Pirate said...
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Heidi the Hick said...

Pirate, it's good to know that you're pullin' for me!

I don't know if I'll ever be pain free but I would like to be pain lessened. We'll see...

Douglas Cootey said...

What a heart wrenching blog, Hick my dear! Hardship is a difficult road to walk down. My Mum has post polio syndrome, so I know how draining it can be to live with daily pain.

I'm glad to see you're making progress on the fog. Do you have ADHD? Or is your absentmindedness symptomatic of depression? Your attitude about all of this is commendable. To have an early warning of an oncoming fog is really a fantastic vantage point to be at. You may not be able to stop it from coming, but you can prepare yourself to work with it while it's there. I think your attitude to work with it instead of fight against it is really impressive. When I feel my fog coming on all I can hope for is to make sure its stay is as short as I can possibly make it.

So much to comment on - I feel my words are inadequate. The nicest thing I read in your blog was your husband's caring support. You are really lucky to have that. He can't kiss your boo boos and make them go away, but he can comfort you when you need it. Chin up. The sun will come out again.

The Splintered Mind - Overcoming Neurological Disabilities With Lots Of Humor And Attitude

Heidi the Hick said...

Thank you Douglas! Your words are never inadequate.

I haven't been diagnosed with ADD or HD but I suspect I have something. Depression sure as hell makes it worse though!

It can knock me over but it can't take me down forever.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Heidi - I don't have words so much, but I do get depressed myself (though you'd never tell from my blog). I get deep lows and just don't want to be around anyone.

I just wanted to say that I'm sorry this is happening and I love you. I don't have anything else to offer.

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh Jas, that's more than enough.

We're all good actors, aren't we? No, I don't think anybody would guess from your incredibly funny and thought provoking blog that you have such deep lows...but I am not shocked. You're not a one dimensional person.

None of us are, by the looks of things around here.

Thanks for your comment.

Heidi the Hick said...


I am so humbled by all your helpful words. I just can't believe how much you have helped me this week!

Next week is going to be better. I have to believe that!

Notsocranky Yankee said...

I'm sorry I've taken so long to comment. I was out of town for way too long.

Anyway, I took several pictures in Rome with you in mind. I haven't posted them yet, but I will soon.

There's a wine bar where all the crewmembers meet in Rome. The owner is a super nice guy who grew up in Toronto. His parents are Italian so he's fluent in both languages, although he's sounds more Canadian than anything. I think you guys are everywhere!

Hope you are feeling well. My spine is a little bit curved, but not enough to cause any pain yet.

You're doing a great job handling "the fog". Recognition is so important. I would definately check out the ADD possibility. (Check out the "distraction" book listed in my profile as a favorite.) Hang in there.

(I'll get a picture of my dog posted soon. I'll have to screw with her to get some good ear photos. hahah)