It’s been a busy couple weeks since I last wrote.
Most notably, our cat has been sick. One of the outdoor cats apparently caught a respiratory infection somewhere, and then passed it to our cat through the open, screened window. (Our cat’s a strictly indoor kitty.) She was in bad shape at the beginning, at one point sitting on my feet, head raised up as though she were looking at me, eyes half lidded, and breathing through her mouth, absolutely motionless for close to a half hour. We got her to the vet (we call it the kitty mechanic just in case she ever learns the word) and was prescribed four different medications to give her – two pills twice a day, an oral liquid once daily, and eye drops three times a day – along with questions about whether we were sure about giving her all this medication. We said we’d give it a try and took her home. During the next 24 hours, we got the eye drops in her twice, and one of the pills down once before realizing that if she was fighting us that much while feeling that bad, she’d be impossible to deal with once she got some strength back. So we crated her back up and boarded her at the vet for a couple days before picking her up again, with the instructions to give her the eye drops only.
I am happy to report that our cat is back to normal – in turns feisty and affectionate, eating and drinking normally again.
As far as my own situation goes, since we last spoke I’ve started doing something that I haven’t done in close to a year – driving the car with my wife in the passenger’s seat. I would drive myself to appointments if necessary, but pretty much didn’t go anywhere else on my own. Now I’ve started driving again in low-traffic conditions and doing fairly well with it.
There were also a couple instances where I managed to use the tools I’ve been given to combat negative and irrational self-talk. On Monday of this week, I went to go find my psych medication manager’s new offices so the appointment I had on Tuesday wouldn’t be tied up with me trying to find the place. My wife drove, and we went late at night, after her work, so there weren’t many lights in the area. I fought down panic about not finding the place on Monday night and continued to fight it down while we drove to the appointment itself on Tuesday. Turns out we found the place just fine, and in fact drove through the building’s parking lot, but the lighting was so bad I couldn’t see the street number and name of the building on the side of it in 12 inch high lettering, despite driving right past it. Then again on Wednesday, I panicked about dinner. I pulled the chicken out of the fridge (it had been thawing there for a couple days) in enough time to prep it and cook it before my wife came home on her mid-shift break, and discovered that it was still partially frozen. I spent a few minutes panicking and then realized that if I gave the chicken a tepid – not cold – water bath it would speed up the thawing without cooking the chicken. Dinner was a few minutes late, but well within her window of being home to eat. Panic once again averted.
Yesterday at my therapist’s we started setting goals for my therapy for the next quarter. I’m to continue driving and getting out of the house and around people, as well as putting more emphasis on my own self-care. We’ve implemented rewards for this. For instance, my daily checklist is organized more or less chronologically throughout the day, so I can’t do anything leisurely until I get everything done that should be done before a certain time on the checklist. The overall reward for sticking to this plan for the first quarter of the year, or what’s left of it, actually, is both a reward and exposure therapy – tickets to go see They Might Be Giants in concert at the end of March.
We’re also planning a bit of exposure therapy a week from Sunday, when we’re going to our favorite restaurant/bar to watch the Super Bowl. We’re going to have a plan B in mind that’s a little quieter, just in case, because for the first time in 12 years, my team’s in the Super Bowl! I’m excited for that, but Denver is going to be a dangerous, dangerous opponent.
Anyway, I’ve blathered on about a lot of things that are on my mind; apologies for the ramble through my thoughts.