Things Only Parents Appreciate

Lately there have been a lot of posts circulating on Facebook and blog sites about the choice to go kidless and all good and bad (mostly judgement) that’s goes along with it. I’m not going to say that people are missing out by not having kids, and I certainly spend some time wondering how much more sleep, free time, and disposable income I would have without kids… (And I won’t lie, sometimes it seems like a wonderful choice).

Regardless of your preference for children, there are just some things that only parents will ever understand (and that’s okay). So, I think only parents will truly understand my emotions this morning when husband sent me this picture:

Yes. That is poop… In a potty. This poop happens to belong to a very stubborn two-year old who poops, on average, 5 times a day and has consistently refused to poop on the potty. Until now. I felt like announcing to everyone I ran into that E finally pooped on the potty. But I didn’t. I blogged about it instead. (After all, I don’t want to the THAT person who gets criticized by the non-parent people for posting poop pictures on facebook)

If you’re a parent, what are some of this things you appreciate?

If you’re not a parent, what do us parents do that annoy you?

Night Time Attack

For some reason I have most of my anxiety attacks at night. I am (was?) having one right now. I don’t know why they always hit me at night – usually waking me up from my sleep. It used to be that I would have them on the nights before I was on call and I assumed it was because I was anxious about the upcoming shift and, likely, the possibility that I would get nauseous while at work. The last few attacks I’ve had, however, haven’t been associated with a call shift.

I’m not really sure what’s been going on. I know that one of the hallmarks of my anxiety attacks is nausea. The whole emetophobia thing is something I’ve been working on with my new psychologist. But, I’m not so sure my anxiety is related to the nausea as much as its a cause of my nausea. Why do I think this? Well, despite my best efforts, I still feel nauseous most days. Fortunately, I haven’t been having anxiety attacks every day that I am nauseous. My nausea has also improved so much that I hardly take any medications to help with it. There have been nights where I have been quite nauseous and needed to take medication again, yet I wouldn’t have an attack. Tonight, much like the last time I had an anxiety attack, I had very little nausea up until I actually started the attack.

Tonight I fell asleep right after the end of my headspace meditation (ironically I am in the midst of a series of anxiety meditations). I woke up very suddenly in the same position that I fell asleep in and realized I hadn’t yet taken my anxiety medication. So I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, and took a sip of water with my pill. Right after I swallowed the pill, I felt just a little bit “off.” I got back into bed, turned off my lamp, and got comfortable. Very soon after that, though, I felt the panic attack start. After awaking suddenly, it almost always starts with a feeling of nausea, and then a flushing sensation over my whole body. I did feel some slight nausea and flushing and thought to myself, “gee that’s not as bad as it usually is.” I tried the technique I’ve been learning in my meditations that involves “noting” the feeling, labelling it as anxiety, and trying to observe it rather than experience it. Unfortunately, the feeling came back again, but only stronger. And then a third time. At this point, I had to get out of bed because the nausea was so bad. I went to the washroom and did my usual “routine” that I do when I’m feeling very nauseous: I take some gravol vaginally – yes, you can do that – and then I sit on the toilet (sometimes I find when I’m nauseous, the other end of my GI system gets excited too). After a 4th round of intense nausea and flushing, I moved to the next stage of the attack: chills and shivers. Usually this marks the winding down of the attack. Occasionally it will repeat itself another time, but I find that if I get to the shivering phase “successfully,” I know I can make it to the end of the attack.

At this point, I climbed back into bed with the pillows propped up against my headboard. I pulled up the blankets, and stayed sitting to let the attack resolve enough to go back to sleep. I tried to think about my day and the events of the evening that could have precipitated this panic attack. I know my kids drove me crazy and we ran a lot of errands, but I remember thinking one prominent thought right before I got into bed the first time: I was having a really great weekend without call or the stress of crazy work hours. I was thinking about how much more enjoyable my life would be if I wasn’t in such a stressful residency program. I’m not sure if that thought is what precipitated my attack, but I just thought it was an interesting “coincidence.”

I know I have been struggling a lot lately with feeling unhappy with my life choices and not being able to tell if it’s the choices or the exhaustion making me unhappy. This was a topic of discussion in psychotherapy this week and I thought I realized that it was mostly the exhaustion. I really do like my job – I just hate how hard I have to work right now. I also haven’t been feeling “great” for the last week or so – like I’m coming down with a chest cold that just won’t actually come… There have also been other stressors, like my nanny situation, feeling lonely, still adjusting to my new life… Just to name a few.

I just wonder, why do these attacks always happen to me at night? At a time when I need to be getting rest. A time when I am alone and have no one to talk to. A time when I really just feel isolated and helpless. I thought maybe blogging would help me to reflect on the attack, let it pass, and give the gravol time to kick in (both for the anti-nauseant and the drowsiness). I’m not sure if writing it down has changed anything or made me feel any better. I know I didn’t make any major or profound discoveries about my anxiety, but this is the first time I’ve done writing during (or at the tail end of an attack) and hopefully that is part of the next step to overcoming this anxiety.

Fall baking time

This week someone at work gave me a huge bag of tree apples. In my old, old house we had two apple trees and I used to spend all of my fall evenings baking apple treats! Needless to say, I was rather excited to start baking with my apples. It took a few days to find some time, and I really had to “force” myself to get started. Once things got going, I felt so happy and at ease. I forgot how much I love baking!

Apple crisp is one of my favourite fall recipes. My least favourite part is Peking the apples, but even this was relaxing for me this time around. I’m sure it won’t be good for my waistline, seeing as how I ate crisp last night and this morning (with ice cream, no less). But, I think this weekend I am going to work on some apple butter and maybe an apple pie! IMG_4470.JPG





Why Leaves Change Colour

In the springtime it is refreshing and exciting to see the bare trees growing their green buds. There is hope and wonder and reassurance that new beginnings are always on the horizon. The green leaves grow bigger and turn their faces towards the sun. They have the job of seeking out the sunlight and providing the energy and the food for the whole tree to grow stronger. For months. The green leaves persist and never let up – staying strongly attached and grounded to the body of its tree.

Like all things in life, however, the green can’t stay forever. Eventually, the leaves begin to lose their energy and the brilliant and strong green is the first to suffer. Every autumn the beauty that was marvelled in the spring begins to fade and give way to everything that it left in its shadow. The orange and red and purple pigments that stood behind the green – they finally get their time to stand out for all to see. The leaf, even in it’s time of suffering, reveals a hidden beauty that was never appreciated in the midst of its strength. Even though the end is nearing, the leaf gives the world a glimpse into the full beauty and splendour of its life.

Despite the inevitable end, the tree never forgets the leaves that so faithfully provided for them. The change is certain, and perhaps unwanted, but the tree prepares to say goodbye:

“…At the same time, the tree seals the cut, so that when the leaf is finally blown off by the wind or falls from it’s own weight, it leaves behind a scar.”

Fall is the time we say good-bye. It’s when we let go. It’s when we reveal the true hidden beauty that we hide for the better part of our lives. And despite the pain and the difficulty, there will always be a memory – even the beauty will leave a scar.

And, it is for this little reminder that the leaves change colour every year.