Thursday, August 28, 2008

worry blogs

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I'm a worrier. World class, even. My grandmother, who had no room to talk, said that I was so bad that I'd worry even when there was nothing obvious to worry about, in the fleeting chance that I was missing something. I'd like to think that as I've gotten older, I've gotten better, but it's something I fight daily. It's a hell of a way to live, and I try as hard as I can to not let it get me down.

But today it's kind of getting to me. And rather than go to sleep and toss and turn, I thought I'd use this post as a kind of world wide web worry beads. You know, take each piece out, examine it...and hopefully let it rest. At least until there's something concrete to worry about.

Bead One: Gumby has been complaining about his stomach for weeks. As much as I honestly chalk it up to anxiety, I took him into the doctors today for a check-up. He, of course, ordered lab work to be done Thursday, in addition to trying him on a med to see if it helps. For someone who personally draws labs all day long, you'd think I wouldn't be so freaked out about this, but when it's my kids I just can't hang. I'm always amazed at people who stay calm and collected when something is going on with their kids, because, let me tell you...that's not me. Well, to their face I'm calm, but I'm like a big bowl of mush inside.

And because of the Labor Day holiday and the fact that this doctor has to send all of his labs out, it will be Tuesday before we get the results. If I was at work I'd have the results on my computer screen fifteen minutes after I drew the blood. I don't like it much when people come in because they're too impatient to wait to see their own primary doctor...but I sure do understand it.

Bead Two: Ninety minutes after I take Gumby for the blood test (across town), I have to be back in almost exactly the same spot to take Isaiah (The most perfect dog in the universe) to the vet to have the lump on his foot looked at. I had my hair cut even more today and when I was there my friend the hairdresser was telling me that her dog was just diagnosed with a seemingly harmless lump on his head, and it turned out to be cancer and there's nothing they can do. Our vet, who is normally scrupulously on top of things, has her own hands full with a pregnancy that went horribly wrong last month. Her twins died shortly after they were born, and she is understandably distracted. I love this woman, but I honestly think she should take a little time for herself, a little time to not have to be "on". So I'm worried both that something is wrong and also that if there is it might be missed. No matter what they tell me tomorrow - I'm going to worry.

Bead Three: I'm finally (for the first time since the separation) starting to worry about money. It's not that I'm short - yet - it's just that I feel like an ATM lately. One kid playing violin. Ka-ching. One kid playing baritone. Ka-ching. One kid taking photography. Ka-ching. Drama classes, soccer, choir, bus passes, lunch cards, fixing broken windows, heartguard for the dogs, a toilet that has water running constantly, the prospect of a cold (and expensive winter), the fear of large vet bills, and so on and so on. I'm being so careful about spending - and so quick to pick up overtime - that I should be okay. The child support payment is always on time - and a nice sum (soon to go up when the divorce is actually final). My ex is always willing to split kid fees, even on top of the child support. But still...

Bead Four: Closely related to Bead One. Sasquatch was about the same age as Gumby when he had a very bad year in terms of anxiety, misdiagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and just generalized psychological angst. I dragged the kid from one psychiatrist to another for a full year, and it was truly awful. I almost had to drop out of nursing school with eight weeks left to go. It was that bad. At the same age I had the same kind of OCD-like behavior - and it was really bad for about a year. I worry so much about Gumby along this same vein. He's just started Junior High, he is the closest of the three kids to his dad, his hormones are kicking in, he's starting to do little tiny OCD things...and he plays his cards very close to his chest. I don't want him to have to go through this. I know it's out of my hands, but I don't have to like it.

Okay. That feels a little better. I'm glad I got that out. I need to not borrow trouble and just wait and see what tomorrow brings. Maybe it will be good things instead of the awful things running through my head.

Maybe I will sleep tonight after all.


Anonymous said...

I so understand the anxiety/worry thing. When I was a child I was always told I was "nervous." When I got older, had kids, it went off the charts. I was asked, "what is it like to live on the edge of disaster?" Feels like shit, what do you think? I finally ended up on Buspar, to help what was finally diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Yep, that about summed it up, perfectly. I hate it, sometimes it is not rational, I know it in my head, but my emotions go the other way.

Anyway, I just really wanted to say that you all have been through so much this year. No wonder anxiety levels are up, it will take time. Plus, with me, it comes down to control, realizing I can't control everything in my world.

I hope that everything turns out okay with your boys and your dog! As you know, it will most likely all be fine. I am glad you posted to get it out, sometimes that helps.

Sending lots of hugs and good thoughts your way. I am so impressed with what a wonderful mother you are (and person).

Make sure you make time for yourself!

Devon said...

Wow, that is a lot to deal with, actually any one of those alone is a lot!

The anxiety, stomach pain hit my daughter in 4th grade. At that age in California the class size goes from 20 to 38 with one teacher. We went to doctors and nothing helped. Finally, I just picked up the slack at home until she felt less overwhelmed and she made it through that challenging time.

I'm sure Gumby will get through it like they do the other phases, but I understand your concern. My girl is now in 7th grade and again I have been cleaning her room and just trying to lessen her stress in simple ways. Easy for me to say though, I don't have any of my own stress to deal with.

-Ann said...

Glad that the post had a cathartic effect for you. I've also always been a worrier - it like if I worry about it, then I'll be prepared if it happens. (Of course, I'm only now coming to the realisation that if I worry and it doesn't happen, then I've wasted all that time and gone through unnecessary stress.)

I can't really offer advice on kids, but I can on dogs. :) If the vet says nothing's wrong and you're still not convinced, get a second opinion. (If it's not going to add to your money worries unduly.) Although it could be something like cancer, it could equally be nothing. If there's a lot of stress in your house, it effects your dogs too. One of the things dogs do to deal with stress is obsessively lick and chew on a spot (often on a paw) and it can cause a lump.

This happened to a cat we had, after his best friend cat died. We ended up having to put the cat on anti-depressants, which sounds mad, but it worked.

WT said...

Hang in there. You know I'm always around for support, well ok you know I don't give support, but you know what I mean.

laurie said...

the reason we worry is to make sure we can handle whatever might come our way. so worrying isn't all bad.

the good thing is, most of our worries never come to fruition.

bet and hope yours don't, either.

Kaycie said...

Sweetie, I know your pain. The best thing you can do is trudge through it and try not to let the worry consume you.

Thank the good Lord for your ex. It sounds like he's a good one. I would have killed for child support sent on time. I'd still kill for splitting extra expenses. I'm about $6,000 into braces with the older two kids. I've picked up every bit that wasn't covered by insurance, courtesy of my angelic husband. The ex's take on it? "Child support should cover it." Right.

Marti said...

You have a lot on your plate, RC. Please let me know how things go with Gumby. I can have Lu call him just to see what is on his mind. He might talk to him since he is not part of his daily world.

I hope your dog is fine too.
I will keep sending you best wishes and I hope your worry is all for nothing.

LCM said...

You know, sometimes it feels better to just say it outloud. Everyone has these anxiety issues about their kids, even me, the non worrier. It's nice to hear that we all feel the same. And sometimes the lack of sleep comes from these thoughts in a vicious whirlpool in your head, huh? I hope everything turns out all right, you guys certainly don't need any more upheaval.

Iota said...

Glad it helped.

aims said...

You are great at worrying - and for good reasons that I can see and I know this is just the teeny tiny tip of the iceberg isn't it.

Sweetie - you need to teach yourself something. For every single worry - you need to tell yourself something good. Visualization. You know what I'm talking about.

I'm not one to preach - but sometimes - just sometimes - it helps.

I have to tell you - my hands flew to my mouth over your vet's horrible story. How incredibly sad!
Perhaps - if you worry so much about her not paying attention - then you know there are tons of vets out there. And good ones. Make the choice - not out of compassion for your vet - but out of compassion for your beloved dog.

Now - visualize good things. Look what you did with your bedroom. That was a good thing. And btw - thanks for putting in the the ex does help out with everything. I'm hoping absolutely everything. Take the bills and say pay exactly half right now. I'm really hoping you get lots more because he doesn't have any kids to look after in his life now does he. Not on an everyday basis. Your life is - wow!

Visualize. Sorry this is so long - I probably should have emailed my friend.

Swearing Mother said...

Hi RC, you sure you're not my long-lost twin sister?

I can so identify with all your worries. I would just love to be able to control mine so that they don't control me so much.

Let me know if you find a way of dealing with those anxiety thoughts, and the OCD, both of which are so exhausting.

Is that where our sense of humour comes from, do you think? A coping mechanism maybe.

Maggie May said...

RC.......... you & me then........ a right pair of worriers!
The beads would take up pages if I got started.
Hope you get the stomach ache sorted for your son. I have come across quite a bit of it and it seems to often be caused by a worry that a child might not even be aware of. Best to get it checked though.