Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm In My Dark Forest And Not Having A Fun Time

I am normally happy. I normally see the glass as "half full" rather than "half empty". I am normally satisfied with life. I normally see much more of the good in people, in situations, in life in general, than I see the bad.

But I can go into a dark, dark forest that is very scary. And I'm not a grown-up walking around in the forest. I'm a young child. Probably between eight and fifteen years old. Those were the bad years of my life.

Some things that DON'T put me in a dark forest:
* lack of money
* $602 worth of speeding tickets
* home repairs
* work problems
* friend problems

What DOES put me in a dark forest:
* worry about loss of my children
* worry about health issues

I'm a therapist. I know that the real name of the dark forest is anxious depression. Maybe, situational anxious depression.

I used to think I never experienced depression because my depression is not like most people that I know. I don't feel sad. I don't think "what's the use?", "why am I here?", "what's the purpose of it all?", "why are things always so hard?".


Yesterday, I had my annual physical and blood work. This morning, my doctor's nurse called and said that Dr. Church wanted to see me today about my lab work. She had already made me an appointment for 4:30 this afternoon.

I forgot to tell you, I don't do anxious depression quietly. My doctor and his nurse know that ANYTHING WRONG is going to send me into an emotional tailspin. As Dr. Church told me today, "I knew that one of us would go nuts if I didn't work you in today to go over this."

All my blood work was good except for my calcium. The high end of the calcium scale is 10.2. Mine is 10.4. But, you obviously don't screw around with high calcium because it affects many parts of your body.

It's weird because my calcium has always been normal until last May when everything got out of whack because I was taking 1600 mg of Ibuprofen a day for arthritis in my knee. My calcium was 10.4 then, too. I had to do all these scary-to-me tests and go off Ibuprofen and half my daily dose of HCTZ, a blood pressure medicine. My calcium level dropped to 9.6. Now, it's back up to 10.4.

So, today, I had blood work to check the hormone level of my parathyroid, four little glands that surround your thyroid gland. Apparently, you can have a benign growth on your parathyroid that causes increased calcium.

It will be a week and a half before I know the results of today's test. I can choose to spend the week and a half in the dark forest or to somehow figure out how to climb out.

I really hate the forest. It's not good for my stomach, my blood pressure, or my mood.

I googled. I know that's bad because, when you have a health issue, you can find all sorts of scary stuff on the Internet. But Google and Dr. Church seem to be pretty much on the same page:
* high calcium is usually caused by the parathyroid
* there are cancers that can cause high calcium like metastasized breast or lung cancer, multiple myleoma, or leukemia but those seem to be more rare. And, besides, they actually checked me for those things last May when all my blood work went out of whack because of the Ibuprofen. They were "ruling everything out".

I just hate this. Sometimes I wonder if I keep experiencing this because I haven't learned the lessons. The lessons I think I need to learn are to just stay calm, not catastrophize everything, have faith in good happening in my life. I think "normal" people (meaning the majority of the masses) take a blood level being off as a glitch. I take it as a calamity.

I become a child.
I become whiny.
I become needy.
I become terror-stricken.

GLITCH. GLITCH. SPEED BUMP. NORMAL. LIFE. (I can't find any more words in the thesaurus that fit.)

Blah, blah, blah. Sorry to lay this on you. But, you know - transparent, no boundaries.

Love you,
Calamity Jenn


  1. I will comment because I posted a health-related whine earlier and no one felt sorry for me, except my husband, which doesn't count. I feel sorry for you because I have an irrational fear of freeway driving and it causes me to feel exactly that kind of overwhelming, embarrassing fear. So I get it. Let me know when they find out what it is and I'll call from Bernalillo next Saturday to let you know I wasn't killed on the way, along with my mother and two oldest children. xoxox

  2. I am not going to go to extreme measures to distract you for the next week and a half. But i do love you and will hang out and be here no matter what the results turn out to be. I would say it is going to be okay but I don't really know that. Dr. Church thinks it will be okay and that reassures me that it will be. But we all are who we are with the things that get to us so don't worry that you are Jenn. We love you just the way you are. keep blogging. God has a perfect plan.

  3. I love you too, my Calamity Jenn :)

  4. So I have spent the last two years in therapy trying to learn how to shut up the inner child. I am getting pretty good at it, but there are times when she just won't shut the hell up. Some times I have to be really, really bossy with her.

    All this to say - don't let your "little girl Jenn" take over your adult Jenn.

    That...and I have learned, looking back on my life, that God absolutely, without a doubt, uses anything and everything for good in our lives! He loves you and has plans for you. Good plans.

    Oh...and I love you too!

  5. I'm thinking that perhaps that little girl in the forest is so scared because she didn't get the right kind of parenting. But YOU can give it to her! Reach down, take her in your arms, give her a big hug and tell her that no matter what happens, you will never leave her alone in there. Good luck with your test results, Jenn. A lot of people love you like you NEED to be loved, don't forget that!