The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for psychiatrist

Poppies and such…

I’ve decided not to read in bed anymore. It was disturbing my night’s sleep and upsetting my schedule because I got too caught up in the book and didn’t go to sleep when I was supposed to. So now I only read during the day in my armchair whenever I have a spare moment and I do have enough of them. I don’t read non stop because I don’t completely want to lose myself in the book to the exclusion of everything else. It is so easy to lose track of everything and time and forget the world around me. So I do put a limit on how much time I spend reading at one stretch. Every once in a while I have to put down the book and do something completely different.

It’s not like it was in the olden days when I could let myself go and spend a whole afternoon doing nothing but read and completely shut out the world around me. I don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore. I would feel too disconnected. I do feel that I regularly have to stay in touch with reality and be reminded of it and even take part in it. I also have to do the ordinary things like the dishes and walk the dog and watch the news on TV. The last is especially important because it makes me feel connected to the here and now and that’s very important to me.

I suppose that’s why I like listening to the radio so much when I lie in bed at night. The programs deal with current events and I always feel up to date and I hear a lot of the news on the radio. I hear more of the details that I don’t hear on the news on TV.  There are a lot of background stories and interesting guests on the talk shows. The same goes for when I take my nap in the afternoon because I go to sleep listening to political discussions about some current issue. I’m better informed now that I listen to the radio than I was before and all sorts of points of view are represented, though they all are sensible ones and well thought out. There’s no idiotic shouting just to make noise and intimidate. Everything is very civilized.

The fields have been mowed and the wildflowers have been cut down. Except for in the flowerbeds, there are no poppies left. All the chamomile has been cut down too. Now I’ll have to wait a while and see what comes up next. It’s still raining regularly, so hopefully that will help with whatever is going to decide to grow. It’s a shame to see everything gone, but it can’t be helped. Beside the street, on the stretches of grass that have not been mowed, there is wild yarrow growing and I hope to see more of it. There’s always hope for new plants.

Today is going to be a peaceful day. The Exfactor will be here to do the groceries, thank goodness, because I’m almost out of milk. I don’t have any appointments. I didn’t think it was necessary to make one with my psychiatrist and my SPN is on holiday until the 27th.  I will see her next week but I don’t have any pressing problems. I don’t consider the issue of the ‘Black Dog’ serious enough. He is slowly slinking away. I do have to have some amount of self sufficiency and to be able to get myself through these spells. It’s good for my ego if I do. I do have to show some amount of inner strength.

It’s going to rain again today and it will be for the rest of the week. I don’t mind it too much as long as I get the chance to take out the dog regularly. It’s quite cozy inside when it’s raining. I still have the bedroom windows open and it’s not cold inside, though outside it isn’t all that warm. I just have to make sure that I wear enough clothes. My black leather jacket is coming in real handy, although it’s getting a little big on me.

I haven’t been on the bathroom scale, but I think I’m losing weight because my latest skirt is getting a bit big on me, even after I washed it. I’ll have to try and remember to get on the scale when I get up again this morning and I’m in my underwear. That’s always when I weigh the least and that’s the weight I go by. I do want to weigh myself at the most opportune moment.

I’m going back to bed. It will be nice and warm in there under the duvet.

Have a good morning when you get up.

Ciao,

Nora

Awake, am I…?

I would really and truly be sound asleep still if the dog had not woken me up, of that I am convinced. He did have to start barking and in my sleep I thought I had to remove something from his throat to make the barking stop. That’s until I woke up and I realized that was not possible and he just wanted to tell me that he had to go out back for a piddle.

Darn dog. He does have bad timing. I considered going back to bed, but then decided to stay up for a while and have my coffee and write this post. It’s good to sit here half asleep in a stupor and to try to make sense. It’s a bit of a challenge that I’m willing to take on. I do like that half awake state of being I’m in anyway. I feel sort of dopey and it’s very pleasant to force myself into the mental activity that I’m almost not up to.

No doubt I’ll be better up to it once the coffee starts working and that will be a whole different experience too. You see how I like to play with the different states of my mind and live vicariously through all of them. As long as I’m good natured, I see no problem. And good natured  I am, make no mistake about it.  As a rule, I’m not foul mooded when I wake up.

Yesterday was a fine day. It went by quickly and I enjoyed t well enough. The Exfactor was here to do the groceries and he stopped by the pet shop to buy the dog another rubber toy. It was a great success. It is a rooster instead of a rabbit like he had the last time and he’s very busy chewing it to pieces. I don’t know how long it will last, but he’s having a very good time with it.

Thank goodness there’s milk again and I can have tall glasses of it. That’s what I missed most of all. All the rest of the groceries I didn’t care about.  Not that they weren’t necessary, of course. I’ve stopped eating chocolate pudding and now have vanilla pudding instead. I thought it might be a little lower in calories. I eat the same amount every day, so maybe I will see the difference on the bathroom scale. I keep forgetting to get on it first thing in the morning in my underwear, so I don’t know exactly what I weigh now.

My psychiatrist called me and had expected me to have reduced the anti-psychotics by half a milligram starting last Friday. I had to be honest with him and tell him that I had reduced them with a full milligram two weeks ago. He was not that happy with me for taking such a chance and for not informing him earlier that I had done so. Luckily, it had a good outcome, but it very easily also could not have had. He is trying to instill in me the precariousness of my situation and the danger of slipping into an instable mood. I’m not to undertake these actions on my own.

I’m going to stay on the dose that I am on now for a while and make sure I’m completely stable. In a few months we’ll try to reduce it more. I really feel good and have no problems with my moods. I’m not going up and down and generally feel the same every day. I’m quite content with how I feel and have no complaints. I would always like to feel this good. I think what I did was the right thing. I did it instinctively and I don’t feel like I’ve made a mistake. I would have gone back to the original dose if there had been a problem.

This morning at 9 o’clock my personal helper is going to be here because she couldn’t be here on Monday. I’m looking forward to it with mixed feelings. She can help me do the dishes, so that’s good. We can walk the dog together. I don’t know what else to do with her except pass the time as well as possible.

We’re supposed to have spotty showers today, but the temperatures are going to be good. It’s not at all going to be cold. I’m looking forward to the day because, except for my personal helper, the rest of the day will be very uneventful. That’s just the way I like it. I don’t really enjoy being up that early in the morning, I like sleeping later than that, but I’ll take my usual nap in the afternoon to make up for it.

I’ve got my clothes picked out and they are very comfortable and just right for this kind of weather. I’ve been wearing my high tops because it’s so nice to walk in them and they’re easy to get on. My hair has been especially no nonsense and I’ve had to do hardly anything to it in the morning. I just run my fingers through it and it’s in place. I guess it’s just the right length now.

I suppose I’ll go back to bed for a few hours. I can get a little bit of sleep yet.

I hope you’ll all have a nice day.

Ciao,

Nora

Can’t get my act together…

I laid in bed for two hours and couldn’t fall asleep. I tried my best by listening to the radio and being relaxed, but sleep would not come. I finally said, “The heck with that,” and got up and made myself some coffee. Now I will sit here until I get good and tired, although I am somewhat in a slightly sleep induced state of mind now. It just wasn’t enough to make me fall asleep. I had too many thoughts going through my head and the radio only distracted me more.

It must have been the subject matters that were discussed because they were all about problem areas in the world and what should be done about them and I felt very frustrated in not being able to do anything at all except being very well informed and knowing what I’m talking about. It might have been better to put on a CD by Erica Satie and have listened to his very soothing piano music. He was considered eccentric in his day and age, but I think he is perfect for this century.

I watched and listened to a repeat of the Prinsengracht concert this afternoon of 2010 and it was very lovely. The 30th one will be held this year and it is always a big happening that everyone looks forward to. There’s always a big soloist and a good soprano who sings arias. It’s held on a podium in a canal in the middle of Amsterdam surrounded by people in boats and on the docks and bridges. It’s got a good atmosphere and is a fine evening. There’s a sing along at the end. Young and old go to watch it. It gets you in a fine mood.

We had a brief shower this past evening when I was lying in bed. It sounded very cozy and I hoped it would last a while, but it was over in a few minutes. That was a short lived joy. It barely got the ground wet and didn’t amount to much. That was the rain that was predicted. It should have been a few showers like there are supposed to be today but I won’t hold my breath for them. We here in the very southern part of the country don’t always get the rain that is predicted. A lot of it passes by to the north of us.

I’ve run out of milk and have had to drink orange juice. Since this does not agree with my stomach so well, I’ve had to take stomach tablets that reduce the acid. Luckily, they work. I won’t get new milk until this morning when the Exfactor will get the groceries. I hope he doesn’t get here too late. Doing without milk is difficult. It’s such a soothing beverage for me.

Yesterday was the last day off. Today is not a holiday anymore, but not a lot is going to be happening. It will be a rather peaceful day and only my psychiatrist is going to call me to inquire about my state of mind. I will be able to tell him that it is good after having reduced the medication.  It’s the anti-psychotics that I’ve reduced and I feel fine. I did that two weeks ago and have had no bad effects from it. i have to reduce them one more milligram.

I’ve got to think about the clothes I’m going to wear tomorrow. It’s going to be cloudy but not too cold. Still, I’ll want to wear a cardigan. I want to wear my red one for the cheerfulness of it. I have to think about the rest of the clothes I want to wear with it. Or maybe I’ll pick something completely different. It depends on what skirt I can find to fit me. I washed the one that’s my favorite and it’s not dry yet. The possibilities dazzle my mind.

I’ve got to go back to sleep now and make sure I get up on time in the morning. I can’t stay in bed endlessly, much as I’d like to. Sometimes I do have to act like a responsible person and get up before I’m ready to. It’s really not as painful as I make it sound. It just hurts a little bit.

Have a good morning when you get up.

Ciao,

Nora

 

 

>An innocent dog…

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He is sound asleep in the armchair now and you wouldn’t think that he is guilty of waking me up out of a sound sleep, but he is, that darn dog. He had to go out and do a piddle and as a result I am sitting here somewhat grumpy and not quite awake with a cup of coffee. 
He was softly barking at me to let me know that he needed to go out and he couldn’t be ignored. It’s very irritating to listen to when you are trying to sleep because he keeps it up at a steady pace. There’s no rest for the wicked or even for those who have been good as gold. 
Now he is sleeping the sleep of the innocents, not even the cat can wake him, and I’m sitting here yawning. But I will be alright after another cup of coffee and not be grumpy any longer. I already feel my mood improve after this first cup. You can’t keep a good woman down forever. At least not for the duration of the night.
Speaking of keeping a good woman down, in two weeks time I am going to start decreasing my anti-psychotics in 0.5 mg increments. My psychiatrist has decided that I’m going to do it very slowly so as not to cause any mood disturbances. He said that we should have learned our lessons from the past and not decrease them too quickly. 
I can only concur and agree to this course of action. I want to decrease a total of 2 mg so that will take me several weeks. I’m much less cocky and assured of myself than I was at earlier attempts when I overestimated my ability to decrease them. I think I actually got in trouble because of that attitude. Hopefully this time things will go much better. 
I got a flat tire on the way home from seeing my psychiatrist and had to walk my way home with my bike. Luckily, it wasn’t too far. I have to pump up my tire and see if it is a true leak or just a slowly emptying tire. If it is the latter, the tire won’t have to be patched, which will save a lot of work. For the Exfactor anyway. 
I had a nice enough day. Nothing too exciting happened, which is fine with me. I like uneventful days for the most part. I talked to both my sisters on the phone and listened to their tales of woe, leaving me feeling frustrated. And then having to push away that feeling because there’s nothing I can do about any of it. Their’s are ongoing sagas that seem to have no endings. 
That’s why I like my life uncomplicated. There’s enough excitement in the lives of the people around me. I function as a sounding board. I hear it all. I would hate to have complications in my own life on top of that. I do appreciate the simplicity of my days. 
Yesterday we had beautiful weather. The sky was blue and the sun was shining all day. Today things are going to look a little differently. It’s going to be colder and overcast and rainy and it’s going to stay cooler for the next couple of days.

That means a change of clothes and I will have to look through my closet and see what is appropriate. Hopefully, something fun will jump out at me. I’m sure there are still forgotten clothes there that I will rediscover.
I’ve got to go and rediscover my bed. It’s time to sleep some more. 
I hope you’re all having a good night. 
Ciao,
Nora

>Over the hills and through the woods…

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That’s not really where I’m going. I just felt like saying that. It’s in the middle of the night and I’m sure I’m not going through the woods now. That would be a bit scary even if I had a strong flashlight. My imagination would get a hold of me and I would think of The Blair Witch. Remember that movie? That was pretty gruesome. 
No, I’m staying right where I am, safely inside by the light of the desk lamp with my cup of coffee. I do know where life is good. That’s right here with my dog and cat. 
I’ve already slept and woke up writing a blog post in my head, but I’ve forgotten what it was about. I was formulating a sentence in my head as I became conscious. I had to immediately let the dog out back when I got up and go to the toilet myself, so by the time I turned on the computer, everything I had dreamed was forgotten. 
I just made myself a small pot of fresh coffee and am drinking the first cup now. For a change, I didn’t make it so awfully strong. That was a deliberate choice on my part as I often make the coffee too strong and get too wired. I only want to drink two cups and then switch to cold milk and go back to bed and sleep some more. 
I have to see my psychiatrist at 10 o’clock in the morning, so I do have to get up on time. I’ll even have to set the alarm clock.
My SPN told me yesterday that she is pregnant, so we had a happy talk about pregnancy and what I remembered about it. I’m thrilled for her and can’t wait to see her belly grow. I had already noticed that the last few times she was wearing the same roomy tops, but had not put two and two together. 
She’s going on maternity leave in October and that will be the end of our therapy together. I told her it’s all for a good cause. What can be a nicer reason than having a baby? I certainly can’t think of one. 
The Exfactor did manage to do the groceries after all yesterday, so I didn’t have to do without milk for too long a time. I drank glasses of water when I did. They made me feel a little sick to my stomach and I was happy when I could drink milk again. Plain water doesn’t seem to agree with me very well.
I picked up the Metamucil from the pharmacy and mixed a spoonful of that in a tall glass of water and I will hopefully notice the result soon. I’m planning on using it every day and will hopefully get the rewards of it every day. It will certainly be a relief if it works. 
It’s going to be a bright and sunny day and feel warmer than it actually is. That means I can wear the same clothes I wore yesterday and I’m glad because it was a good outfit and I felt comfortable in it. I wore my favorite dress.
As I lose weight, the clothes that I wear fit me better all the time, but some things get too big and sometimes that’s a shame because I’m attached to them.  I try to shrink them in the laundry, but I only have partial success with that. Some things just need to be put on the obsolete pile. There’s no help for it. 
I hope you’re all having a good night and those of you who are still up, I hope you are having a good evening. 
Ciao,
Nora

>…and then it was morning.

>

I’m sitting here with my third cup of coffee and it tastes very good. Thankfully, the Exfactor did the groceries yesterday and the cupboards and the refrigerator are filled with food again and I have milk! I don’t need to use powdered creamer in my coffee anymore. What a relief and therefor I’m enjoying every cup that I drink. 
I do know a good thing when I have it and I’m grateful for it, but I have to plan my milk consumption better. I have to not be so greedy at the start and save some for later. I run out the day before the groceries are done. If I’m careful, I should be able to make the milk last longer, but I love it so much. A glass of cold milk is one of the best treats of my day. 
I slept well and had an interesting dream in which I met a new man and I explained to him what it was like to be hypo-manic. As I did, the world around us changed into Technicolor shades of green and blue and yellow as if we were taking drugs and it was a surreal experience. Things were very beautiful and I guess that’s the point I was trying to make. 
I told him to take me out of my environment so I would no longer be mad. It was my environment that was making me so. He was a very normal man, as normal as they come. He was almost unrecognizable to me because of it. I guess I only recognize crazy people, or people who come with an instruction booklet. 
Yesterday, as I sat in the hairdresser’s chair in front of the mirror, I saw my scarred arms in the glaring light of the shop. It was very confrontational and I saw what other people see every day. My arms had gotten tanned and my scars were white. It looked very awful and I thought it was hard to go through life with arms looking like that. Luckily, I am normally not aware of them and don’t pay attention to them and I don’t think of what other people see.I think that’s for the best. Oblivion is a good thing. 
I saw my SPN in the afternoon and she told me that she’s going to be my SPN for only several more months. Her job is going to be moved to another city to which it will be impossible for me to commute. I have not yet reacted on a gut level to this news and have only taken it in as an abstract sort of knowledge. No doubt it will sink in later when I’m fully aware. I feel now that I have to detach myself from her emotionally and the sooner I start, the better.
I have to become more self sufficient  and self reliant. At least I’ll still have my psychiatrist, although he’s less good for the emotional issues. I’ll have to have less of those and concentrate more on the practical matters. My SPN is going on vacation in the month of June, so I’ll get ample opportunity to practice being self reliant then. 
The first birds have started to sing as it is now early in the morning. Sunrise won’t be for another hour. It’s supposed to be a pleasant and not too hot day today. I will interpret that in the best possible way and figure out which clothes to wear. I suppose I will start with layers and peel those off as the day progresses. 
Nobody is coming to the apartment today and I have no appointments. It will be a day to do chores and walk the dog as many times as possible. I hope the cat doesn’t bring another mouse home like she did yesterday. That’s turning into a bad habit of hers. The dog thinks it’s great fun, but I don’t think so. 
I hope you’ll all have a great day, dressed in the clothes you like with the kind of weather you want. And if you’re about to go to bed, sleep tight. 
Ciao,
Nora

>Alertness at the wrong time…

>

I’m not at all supposed to be awake now, but the dog climbed on top of me while I was sound asleep and started being grumpy at me as if he wanted me to wake up in a hurry and I did. I tried to push him off, but he was insistent that I get up. He pulled the duvet right off me and pushed his nose against my body in effort to get me to move.
I finally had to get up out of bed before he was satisfied and he settled down as soon as I had gotten a cup of coffee and sat down behind the computer. Isn’t he quite the character? He’s sound asleep now in the armchair as if he had nothing to do with me being up. He’s as innocent as a newborn baby. 
He didn’t want anything else. He didn’t want to go out for a piddle or want a treat or a fresh drink of water. He just seemed to want me to be up. Apparently he appreciates my watchful company. It probably makes him feel more secure. Maybe he doesn’t like to feel alone in the dark. Or he has gotten so used to me being up in the middle of the night that he thinks it’s normal.
That leaves me sitting here in the middle of the night, slightly sleepy headed and with some empty time to fill. I usually know how to take care of that. A post is quickly written. Or as slowly as I want. I can take all the time in the world to do it. All I have to do is make sure that I’m up at 9 o’clock in the morning when my psychiatrist is going to call me. 
I mustn’t miss that call. I’ll have to set the alarm clock for it so I will be coherent when he does call. I have to make sure that I’ve had a few cups of coffee before I talk to him. The worst thing in the world is talking to someone on the phone right when you’ve woken up. You are so vulnerable when you do and you can’t think straight yet. They’ve really got you at a disadvantage. 
At least I went to bed at a decent time last night. I got my pajamas on early and watched a consumer program on TV, but it was only mildly interesting. I guess I’m supposed to get outraged every week, but I’ve ceased to be because nothing surprises me anymore. They do have to find new items every week to air on their program. 
It does go to show you how much there’s screwed up in this country, but I can’t get excited about everything. We live in a banana republic. Things that don’t work well here have been resolved perfectly well in surrounding countries and we’re just muddling along, especially with the government of major cutbacks that we have now. All we have to do is look how they’re done across the border. And successfully so. 
Don’t get me started. All things lead to politics. Badly done politics.
I mustn’t get bogged down in that and focus my vision on a totally different subject. I’ll talk about the weather instead which was decidedly cold yesterday, although the sun was shining all day. There was a cold wind blowing from the north east and it was only 15C. I needed both my cardigan and my jacket when I went outside to walk the dog. 
The weather is going to slowly improve by the end of the week and it will be a little warmer by the weekend. I don’t mind if it’s cold as long as I’m dressed for it. The fact that the sun shines makes it easier. It stays light late now and the days last long. This pleases me very much and I’m happy for all the hours of daylight. I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain, especially because there are wildfires here and there. These are started by opportunistic arsonists who are hard to catch. 
The fires get started on the moors and they smolder underground in the peat for a long time, even when it looks like they have been put out. They need infra red cameras to see where the fire is still alive and tackle it there. They use firetrucks and helicopters with big water bags to fight the fires.
That’s about as interesting as I can get right now. This post has gotten long enough anyway. I mustn’t bore you. I will go and find some other way to amuse myself right now because I’m not nearly ready to go back to bed. Hopefully, something joyful will pass my path. 
I hope you’re all having a good night or are about to. I hope your weather is treating you right and that your government is also. 
Ciao,
Nora