We plugged away at BJU Press for as long as we could, but we just hit a wall. It’s actually a very good video curriculum taught by experienced teachers, and with accompanying review material. The problems we ran into were numerous. Angelica did not grasp phonics at all. They were teaching how to sound out basic words like sin and tin. Nothing worked. Phonics cards didn’t work. The teacher’s lessons didn’t work. Our explanations didn’t work. She wasn’t catching on and would cry with frustration.
Then there was the issue with math. She did finally count to ten by using this curriculum, which was great. But Angelica didn’t always connect numbers to actual objects, and getting higher than ten just wasn’t happening. Lesser and greater were difficult for her. And comparing ordinal and cardinal numbers, forget it. Tallying did not go well either.
We took her to a developmental pediatrician twice and what she determined is that Angelica probably has dyslexia and dyscalculia. She doesn’t handle those disorders though, so we have scheduled a full evaluation and diagnostic session at a literacy center in Denver. They were booked out until January. The Colorado Springs location, where we live, was booked out until April. The center will test for dyscalculia, dyslexia, and pretty much every other learning and developmental disorder. It’s expensive, but we need to do it. Something is clearly wrong, and we can’t seem to overcome it. We need to find out what Angelica has so we can learn how to teach her in a way she will understand. Hopefully we can also find a tutor with experience in whatever disorders she has who can come and do math and language arts lessons with her each week.
October was worse. I haven’t written in a month, or even read much. My mind hasn’t been clear. I’ve tried to edit massive amounts I’d already written and my mind was just dry. It wasn’t a creative block. It was depression and mixed mania. Half the time I was too depressed to do much. I fell so behind on housework for a few weeks that I felt terrible when J came to clean. The house was a mess from floor to ceiling. We alternated between running on dirty laundry and getting dressed downstairs when the laundry was clean because I couldn’t muster the will to bring it upstairs and put it away. We went to get the car washed and I had so much anxiety waiting for it to be detailed that I tried to walk off and leave. Craig had to bring me back. At one point I lost my mind and engaged in some brief self harm.
Last Monday Angelica and I went to our first social event for the Peterson Wives Group, even though we’ve been here since the end of February. So many of them have nothing but strangers there and have tons of people going. I have so much anxiety that I can’t seem to get up the courage to go. But a nice girl I’ve talked to before hosted this event, so I decided to take the plunge. It was an adorable thing where the kids could paint little pumpkins. Angelica had a wonderful time and it was so good to see her get to play with other kids. She really hit it off with K, the hostess’s, son. We want to get them together again for a little playdate. The other women there were so nice and I enjoyed the conversation with all of them. And yet….toward the end I felt like crying. When I got to the car and buckled in I did cry. I cried on the short drive home and I cried when I got in the house. I was no use the rest of the day. It was a wonderful event and the company was superb, but I just fell apart afterward.
Craig has had a hard time with me for awhile now. I just haven’t been good company. I’ve been so low that he has resorted to letting me watch Real Housewives even when he’s home and stuck in front of the TV. It’s a mercy thing to raise my mood. Usually I like scary shows, surreal stuff, and nature documentaries. But for some reason I love the Real Housewives franchise. I never put it on when Craig is home out of consideration, but it is mindless entertainment and can help me while away hours when I’m really not up to do anything else. Poor Craig. I have been living as much life as I’ve been able to, but it isn’t easy. The other day I wasted two hours of the babysitter being here so that I could sleep.
For now, Trazadone is no longer part of my nightly med regimen. Last summer I was waking up early naturally. I’ve been sleeping later and later and it has just been adding to my misery. Not only does my day suck and I accomplish very little, but I have even less chance of making something of myself and my day than I usually do because I’m asleep for half of it. I pulled myself off and I’ve started waking up early again like I like. I’ll keep it on backup for when I go to high to sleep. I also have some other medicine I can take if I go to manic. I haven’t had a full blown psychotic mania this season, which is odd. But I’m grateful.
Instead I’ve had those delightful things they call mixed states. That is where you are manic and depressed at the same time. So I’ve gone through periods of super high energy and agitation, combined with hopeless and suicidal feelings. These spells haven’t lasted long (otherwise my house might have been cleaner), but they’ve been miserable when they’ve happened. I’ve had to walk out of restaurants countless times. It isn’t constant. I’ve been able to eat out without trouble a few times. But it has been a regular issue.
Hopefully I’m on the rise again. They have doubled my mood stabilizer and my antidepressant. I have had to go to the psychiatrist each week for weeks. I’m tired of waiting for table scraps of life – for just a few moments or hours here and there when I can be of use to my family or shop or hang with friends. I want to be able to write again, and have the focus to read. As I write I’m listening to music. I haven’t sat and just listened to music in weeks.
I have missed blogging so much! I’ve had some scheduled posts go up, but I haven’t been doing fresh posts for a few weeks. Part of it is certainly that I’ve been crazy busy. We took a wonderful four day trip to see my Uncle Jerry in New Mexico. I did not feel well, but really enjoyed seeing him. I have missed him since he came to Colorado Springs to visit us last May. My uncle has a lot of beautiful land in the heart of an Indian reservation, and he has built his house himself one step at a time. It is an amazing place. He has benches throughout the property and beautiful rocks to climb. The sunset views are remarkable.
I have also had doctor appointments. I’m back to seeing a podiatrist, and I also got an MRI done last week. Friday I go in to see the results. I see an orthopedic surgeon in the next week or so. I’ve also had several psych appointments over the past few weeks. Bipolar issues have been bad. We have had lots of other family activities, and a lot of days where I haven’t moved much. I did manage to take Angelica to church by myself on Sunday. Craig wasn’t able to go because he was sleeping in after a mid shift. Gratitude is the only way to describe what I felt. I sometimes struggle to get through a service when I’m not alone. Doing it alone – and bringing my little person with me, was daunting. I also got the UMW newsletter created and ran and folded the copies at church. Craig helped with making the copies. I’ve done it myself once before, and it is my job. But my anxiety was high and my mood was low, so I was grateful for the company.
The past few weeks I’ve gotten a bunch of photographs, which I only just loaded onto my computer and then on to my phone the other night for editing.
For the past few days I’ve had a lovely experience. Something bit my ring finger. It swelled so bad on one side immediately that I didn’t have the option to get my rings off in a hurry. Then the swelling spread to the other side of the lower section of my finger, then even to the underside. The swelling then advanced over my knuckle, and into the next part of my finger to the fingertip. I used benedryl cream and the pills for two days and it got worse instead of better. I tried hot and cold water. Craig tried the string method to get the rings off and I ended up down on my knees screaming. I finally went to urgent care and they said they needed to cut my rings off. I love my wrings. They are the most sentimental things I own. And they are expensive to boot. So I gave a firm no. They agreed to try me on a high dose of steroids instead. So far so good! I finally got my rings off this afternoon. The finger is still swollen, but the rings aren’t there to cut into me anymore, and I can move my finger freely too.
The last stones are
Diamonds are dust.
Rows of bad things
around my neck.
Something I’m writing for
The secret between my sin and the spirit.