On Christmas Time

In the past week or so, both parents have checked in with me to make sure that I’m ok with Christmas.

As the days wind down I have to say I’m doing fine.  The most stressful part of Christmas for me is the shopping and shopping centres in general.  As December rolls around the local Wesfield fills up with stressed out people, finding a park takes ages, it’s always too hot and claustrophobic no matter what they do with the air conditioning.  This is the reason why I do most of my shopping online and well before the last week.

Trying to find a car park is really the worst though isn’t it?  To a point with the crowds I can put my head down, stick my elbows out and just barrel through to focus on the task at hand.  But you can’t focus on anything if you can’t get into the building in the first place.  Some shopping centre parking situations are so ridiculous they’re getting media attention.

Three hours?  Really?  Everyone’s parking tickets would have expired!

My mother went to the shops twice yesterday – once at midday to do the food shop, and then returned at around 4 to do the last minute presents.  At midday she was circling the parking lots for ages, at 4 she got lucky because someone left.  Today she returned at 9.30 to get some fish and there were no parks.  None.  After driving around for ages she gave up and came home.  She intends to return at about five because she thinks there will be a lull in between the people on holidays and the people who work rushes.

As for me, I asked my family what they wanted in mid November – trying to be organised and all that – but no-one knew what they wanted.  I had known what I was getting my BF for months – new Nike running shoes.  He knows what he’s getting because he couldn’t tell me what shoe size he is, so I had to have him try them on.  The wrapped up shoe box was sitting in our living room long before our Christmas tree was.

My sisters continued to be coy about present ideas so I got sick of waiting and just bought them both surprises that they’re just going to have to like.  One is getting a new Lorna Jane top for the gym and the other is getting Peter Alexander pyjamas.

My parents did eventually give me some ideas – mum wanted a cooling jacket for her wine.  Huh?  I had no idea where I would find such a thing and in the end just googled “wine jacket” until I came up with something I could order from an online store.  Dad wanted a bottle of port so, given that my BF lives close to a bunch of vineyards we went up there to source a bottle.  It just so happened that as we went to the cellar door for this vineyard where we got the port I saw a whole lot of these cute and colourful wine jackets for sale, but these ones had handles to carry around.  I couldn’t resist buying another for mum.

And yes, this is a secret blog.  My family definitely aren’t reading here.  My BF might be, but he already tried his present on, soooooo…

The last few things I have to do before Christmas is clean the house and help with the cooking.  My jurisdiction of the house is done – upstairs hallway, bathroom, toilet, stairs and my room – and mum will do the ham tomorrow.  She ordered a smoked ham from the local butcher which she picked up this morning.  It smells great.

Today I will go to church with my grandmother and when we come back from that we’ll have the ham and fish.  On Christmas morning – I either wake up inordinately early or sleep in on these meds so we’ll see what happens.  Either I’ll be pestering everyone else to get up for presents or they’ll be waiting for me.

Christmas lunch will be with Dad’s side of the family and Christmas dinner will be with my BF’s family.  I’m not sure what’s happening on boxing day but I know mum has a rib roast.

Christmas is a stressful time for many people but I don’t really feel that stress.  This year is very different to last year when I was in hospital, which was added stress for me and everyone around me.  I’ll be able to enjoy the day more now that I’m not adjusting to new meds, or having to go back to a ward and marinate in all the other patients’ dramas.

Of all the anxiety inducing things that happen to me in a year, Christmas is really unremarkable.

A Doctor’s Appointment and Lots of Hairballs

My hair is falling out.  In freaking sheets.

I can’t quite remember when it started – maybe at the end of last year sometime – but I’m shedding like cat coming out of winter.  I fill up my hair brush in just one brushing session.  There’s always masses of it on the back of my shirts.  When I wash my hair clumps of it can be seen on the floor of the shower.  I swept out my bathroom and created a massive blonde tumbleweed.

It ends up absolutely everywhere – all over my clothes, through my car, my boyfriend’s beard – everywhere.

I’ve been a bit concerned even though I don’t appear to have thin spots on my scalp, but I do have way more hair than the average person.  I’m not sure what’s causing it, my meds, my anxiety or bleaching my hair.  I’m pretty sure it’s not the latter because it appears to be falling out at the root, not breaking off.

My anxiety has been up and down this year depending on what’s going on in my life – I had a particularly stressful end to the college term, but the hair loss has been steady and constant.  As for my meds, I don’t know what could be causing the shedding.  I’ve been on meds before that did it – on epilim I nearly went bald – I had never heard of any of the current set causing hair loss.

After a frustrating afternoon of pulling my furballs out of his shower drain, my boyfriend insisted that I raise the issue with my doctor.  I had an appointment coming up so I promised to do just that.

I haven’t seen my doctor since the Zeldox discussions.  She’s only seeing me six weekly now, as opposed to three.  I’ve been handling things well I think.

On the day of the appointment though, it was obvious that I was having an off day.  I usually take my night time meds early in the evening so I can have a good long sleep and wake up early.  Even though I take the maximum dose of Zeldox I don’t usually experience a hangover effect, but this morning was different.

My boyfriend pretty much had to drag me out of bed when his normal alarm tactic – rolling a chilled can of diet coke across my face – didn’t work.  I slept in the car and when I got out I was immediately overcome with a wave of nausea.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my ginger pills on me.

It was obvious to my psychiatrist was soon as I came in that I was doped up, and she questioned whether I was on too much medication.  I assured her that this episode was unusual.  I must admit I panicked a little – I think every appointment I have with her I’m going to be worried that she’s going to take me off Zeldox.  It’s not just that it works, I’m keen to stay on it because it keeps me thin.

Shallow, I know.

I didn’t talk much because I was so tired but somehow I convinced her that I’m going ok.  We raised the hair loss issue with her and she told me what I already knew – that none of my meds were known to cause this.  She also said that while it might seem like a lot of hair falling out, if I can’t see any thin spots then I probably shouldn’t worry too much.

I was probably in and out in under twenty minutes, and that was me done for another six weeks.  It looks like I’ll still be scraping furballs off my shower floor for the foreseeable future but hey, at least I get to stay blonde.

Mac