My home is my castle (cont)

I ended yesterdays post with the line “I’m not ready to let go of this place just yet”. Since then I’ve read and re-read (like I always do) the post and this particular line got me thinking. It’s true I’ve always been protective of who I let into my home but for this apartment it’s particularly sensitive, and I asked myself Why?

As I went over it with T yesterday after I received the text, it hit me. We’ve been living here for 10 years. I have never, in my whole life, stayed at one place for so long. Due to my mother’s diagnoses we have always moved around quite a lot. Mostly we moved within my childhood city but a few times we adventured out into the great unknown and at most we stayed about a year in the same place. But often we headed to a new place much quicker then that. At 14 years old, I had moved 17 times in my life. 10 times within the city limit, 4 times outside the municipality and 2 times several hundred of kilometers away.

When I got my own place at 15 years old, I stayed there for less then a year. Then I moved much further south since I wanted to attend a specific private school and stayed in that city for about 8 months. Then I met my future husband and soon after I moved to “his” city as I had trouble with finding a place to live in the city where the school was located. But in that first, super small apartment I got in “his” city, we stayed for 6 years. Then we got this apartment, to which we moved a few months after we married, and here we still are.

If it hadn’t been for SJ (Swedish Railways) and the train commuting being such a hassle for him, we would probably never even thought about moving at all. That and the small lecture I got from my father two years ago really set things into motion. With less then 3 months away I can’t really decide what I feel. I’m both exited and saddened. I know very well how to pack and care for all those things, it’s leaving this safe haven I think I’m mostly afraid of.

T has said that he hope that this will be the last move we have to make, for like, ever. I smiled a little when he said it but you know what? I also hope that we will live there for the rest of our days. I have moved around enough to cover several lifetimes, I’m ready to settle down. There’s something about staying for so long at one place and I think I like it.

Don’t put words in my mouth

Something I’ve witnessed the past year or so is an attitude that gets me wondering what people are really thinking with. It’s no secret me and T have decided against having children, biological or adopted. We have our reasons but the long and short of it is basically that neither of us have ever wanted that kind of life.

Now, this isn’t something that have always been set in stone, it took until I needed to make a choice regarding trying for a kid before the hysterectomy or not. I’ve seriously pondered this question for many, many years but I always came to the same conclusion. No. Just, No. But for a long time it was: “Not until I can be sure that I can provide for a person who will be completely depended on me for it’s survival”. So we kept pushing the question/decision in front of us year after year and since we were so young when we met, there were still time to figure things out. For some this meant that we would most definitely have children, for others the opposite. We’ve had all kinds of people predicting every possibly outcome but this have only annoyed us.

I was extremely nervous/anxious about all this when bringing it up with T in december 2014, after the gynaecologist appointment. He was as much of a part of this decision as I were, but what if he wanted something else? Could I go through a pregnancy and raise a child for his sake? Would he leave me when he found out that I didn’t want children of my own? Thinking back on my early life, I’ve never seen myself with a big family like so many others have described. Of course this didn’t mean anything, I could have if I wanted to. But that was just it, I have never wanted it.

As it turned out, T had also been thinking along the same lines. He had come to the conclusion that he could live with getting a child if that was something I really wanted, but in reality he didn’t want children of his own either. When we talked it over I was so relieved that I actually began crying out of sheer relief when we came to our decision.

But no matter how much I don’t want children of my own, I can still be happy for your sake. I’ve had several friends nervously approaching me with the happy news that they are expecting, almost to the point were they don’t even want to talk to me directly about it, and seriously believing that I would stop being friends with them.

I mean sure, I’ll admit it, I downright dislike children if truth be told and I have not exactly hid it. I will not scream with joy or faint once you reveal it. But if I know you and your partner have been trying for a little one, I will be happy for you regardless of my own opinions. Heck, I’ll be happy for you anyway, if you show me a sonogram and beam a huge smile at me I know this is something you wanted and I’ll share your happiness. What kind of friend would I be if I wasn’t happy for you when your dreams and wishes come true?

To some more sceptic friends I’ve had to put it into contrast with this comparison: Have you ever wanted to stream? No? Did you feel happy for me when I became a Twitch affiliate and was all over the place? Yes? See, you can be happy for me even if our dreams and goals aren’t the same. This goes two ways.

Past vs. future me

Everyone struggles with things they feel unmotivated by or boring. As many others, I too try to avoid such things, but in the instances that I can’t avoid it I’ve often thought “That’s a problem for future me” and left it at that. The problem with that mindset though is that “future me” always stands around the corner and whatever she has pushed in front of her are still there for me when I get there. It makes life unnecessary hard and often leaves you with a pang of guilt and regret.

The most prominent thing I’ve pushed in front of me was when it was time for me to begin my regular checkups for Lynch Syndrome. Because of strong anxiety and fear of what would be found, I kept pushing that call to next week so many times that the weeks turned into months and months turned into years. Eventually I did make the call and now I go on my checkups without delay. But what if I never had taken control over it? Who knows what might have happened down the line in 10-20-30 years.

A subtle, but still noticeable, change within me are that I no longer systematically push boring/scary things in front of me. It set in about the same time I got my hysterectomy. On some subconscious level I’ve realized that I much rather say “Thank you past me” then the other way around, meaning that I did whatever I had to and (hopefully) got done before the deadline. If I still took more time then I had, at least I can say that I started in time so that wasn’t the leading cause as to why I couldn’t finish in time.

This morning was a typical case in this way of thinking. I had done my biweekly cleaning a day early, leaving me free to take as big of a sleep-in that I wanted before it was time to go to the health centre and get vaccinated. I didn’t get up until an hour after the alarm rang, but I didn’t have to, I had done today’s chores yesterday. Sleepily, with the cat purring to my right, I thought “Thank you yesterday me, you did good”. And darn it if that doesn’t feel better then shame and anxiety.

Cholesterol and statins

It’s been another one of those anger days. If I had to pinpoint the reason I would guess it’s because of the news I got on Friday last week. The mystery tests that I was ordered to take was one of those once a year deals where they check every vital they can think of and hands it off to your house doctor to sum up and return to you.

Among the weight, height and blood pressure was tests for my blood sugar and cholesterol. Both the pressure and sugar was excellent which was a relief to hear, I’ve had problems with both for many years. But the last one, my cholesterol, was bad. Don’t ask me how bad, I didn’t understand the numbers the nurse presented me with in the letter and since she refuse to call or give me an appointment, I haven’t had the chance to ask her myself.

But this person, who I’ve never met and only gotten letters from, wanted to put me on a statin, Atorvastatin to be precise. Now, I’ve taken Simvastatin before but had to phase it out because I got so nauseous on it. If the nurse know this or not, I have no clue about.  This behaviour annoyed me as it felt quite sketchy to inform a patient of such a change through a letter.

At the end of the letter though she had written “It would be good if you could reduce cholesterol heavy food”. One single sentence. And this is what’s causing me so much grief. It’s made me feel very bad about myself. I know that wasn’t the purpose, but that’s still the effect it had.

I moped about for a day or two before I went to the pharmacy and made a withdrawal on my prescription. I might as well give this one a try, maybe this brand will work better. I also read a lot of articles on what food you should eat to reduce your cholesterol. Most of them are things I don’t usually eat or choose. But as a general first step most seem to agree that introducing lots of veggies and fruit to your diet is very good first step to take.

As someone who has issues with food already, this is very hard for me. I never learned what was considered “a good diet” from home, I was lucky if we had fish sticks or frozen meatballs and macaroni or instant mashed potatoes. We never had veggies, unless you count ketchup and salt.

I’ll get on top of this too, I’m sure of it. It’s just.. right now? I’m sensitive to changes and gets stressed out when I have to venture into unknown lands.

Ps. I can’t for the life of me spell the Swedish “Kolesterol” but I haven’t once spelled it wrong in English 😏

Update: I’ve cleaned the apartment, taken a shower and eaten. I’m almost falling asleep but it feels so much better ^.^

It’s not something magical, it takes hard work

The 2nd of February 2018 we will celebrate 16 years as a couple and 10 of these years as husband and wife. We got married on the same day we became a couple to tie the two events together. The anniversary days have always been very important to me. I can’t exactly say why that is, but I always want to celebrate that very special day all those years ago that have led to so much happiness and positivity in my life through the years. Now, I don’t mean to say that we haven’t had our fair share of fights and disagreements, it’s been a long time after all, but once you pass a certain amount of time you start to understand how the other one thinks. This hopefully leads to better arguments and less feelings being trampled upon. But sometimes a friend says something down these lines to me:

“You and T seem to have such good communication with each other, you never seem to disagree. You also seem so know each other so well that it feels like you’re reading the other one’s thoughts. I wish I had the same with <insert partners name>”

Well, again.. 16 years, you are bound to learn something about the other in that amount of time. But the level of communication and understanding we got for each other haven’t come for free. We have worked hard on it and even if we have smoothed out the biggest and most common bumps, we still run into occasions where we disagree with each other. But knowing when’s a good time for your partner to bring stuff up is key. It’s also important to set a base ground so you respect each other’s feelings and emotional integrity. The biggest things I’ve learned in our marriage are:

  1. If I’m unhappy with something he have done, I don’t bring it up in public or even among friends. I make sure we’re in a calm and quiet place, preferably at home and well fed, so we can talk it through without being disturbed by people or have our feelings distorted by hunger. If we are out in public and something happens I signal T that I wish to talk to him afterwards. But I do so discreetly via eye contact or facial expression if that’s possible, neither of us have anything to gain from the other making a public spectacle.
  2. Something I’ve really worked with to change in myself is a thing he told me a long time ago. I would guess it’s 14-15 years ago so it was just in the beginning of our relationship. He simply said to me: “Say what you mean and mean what you say, I’m not a mind reader”. That really stuck with me. It took quite a while for me to incorporate it in my way of thinking (because I’ve been brought up expecting the guy to know everything without me saying anything), but it have helped us a lot since he does the same for me.
  3. Just because you had to tell your partner that you wish something from them (a hug, a fancy dinner, a game, a necklace) doesn’t make it less thoughtful. If you know for sure they don’t really care for that stuff themselves, isn’t the act of them doing it to make you happy something that you can cherish? For example: T never cared for marriage, but it meant a lot to me. So we agreed to get married and he went through the whole process just because it meant so much to me. In the end he said “It was a lengthy and troublesome process, but it was worth every step of it to see you so happy.”

Now, it might sound like I’m doing most of the work and maybe I am. But he have changed and added things to his behaviour that makes it easier for me to understand what he needs. And in the end, isn’t that what most of us are after? Feeling loved and respected by your partner, knowing you can trust them whatever the situation? That have always been my relationship goals.

Busy days

It’s been a hectic few days lately. Nothing big have happened really, it’s just been jam-packed with a bunch of smaller things. Yesterday though was a long and tiring day. I was supposed to help one of my students with her schoolwork but that was cancelled so I decided to clean the apartment instead. That took roughly three hours and once I was done I had just enough time to shower and eat before it was time for me to leave for my biannual lecture at the local hospital.

Twice per year I’m invited to the local psychiatry institution to talk about how it is to live with my diagnose in front of 30 or so people. It’s usually a very intimate occasion, I speak very openly about what problems I run into on a daily basis, how my mood violently swings without notice and how I work with it both on my own but also through psychotherapy.

So in total I do four appearances though a year, twice at the local University and twice at the local hospital, talking about my diagnose and how it affect me and my daily life. I usually focus on when things go wrong as that’s what most of both groups will benefit from learning about. At the University I speak in front of student nurses and at the hospital I talk to patients and their relatives such as partners, siblings, parents and even grandparents. It’s usually a very appreciated lecture and I like doing it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t tire me out..

Twitch subs and my loved one’s lost voice

Yesterday was a strange kind of day. T was out with his colleagues on bowling and beer to take farewell of a co-worker that did his last day yesterday. This meant I was on my own the majority of the day. But I had promised to be on stand by for pickup service wherever T happened to find himself once the night was coming to an end. T works in the city we’re moving to in February, which is about 36 km (22 miles) away so it’s a bit too far for him to walk..  In any case, I hadn’t intended to stream for as long as I did but I’m really happy that I did. I clocked in at 8 hours and had both 2 new subscribers (IIH SUBSCRIBERS!!) and 500 new shiny bits to show for it. It was a very good day and even if I was quite exhausted once I took the stream down I was so happy. I even gave away the most rare thing I could come to think of to one of my new subs: a picture of me with a huge smile.

But I’m worried about T. During the past week he had his first lectures for the term and since then he has had problems with his throat. Initially we thought it was only because he had been talking so much more then he was used to for two days straight. But as the days have passed he haven’t gotten better at all, it’s only gotten worse. Today it was so bad he both lost sleep and threw up from the discomfort and once I got out of bed we realized he almost couldn’t talk at all. I’ve told him to rest his voice as much as possible these coming days so he has the best chance to recover from whatever he have gotten. I give him clear yes or no questions when I have to communicate with him so he can minimize the usage of his vocal cords by just nodding one way or the other. I also serve him cup after cup with hot beverages like tea and chocolate with a huge spoon of honey in it as that seems to soothe the soreness.

My poor love.. my heart always hurts whenever he’s sick or doesn’t feel well. And him throwing up was something that was really alarming. I remember the times he have felt that bad during all our years together and him getting to that point has always been because he drank to much, never because of sickness. I guess I can’t do more then I’m already doing, but I wish I could take the sickness and discomfort away from him and suffer through them myself on his account. He deserves his weekends and days off, he work so hard already 😔