Trigeminal Neuralgia – Officially an Underlying Diagnosis for MBHM

It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts enough to sit down and write this. I feel I should dive in and just say it, and then ramble about after. I also feel that just saying it here makes it final and real, and perhaps that is why I have been putting it off.

On November 3rd, my neurologist declared that given my pain history and my response to Oxcarbazepine, that Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN2) is an underlying cause for my Monster Migraine. The TN2 continually triggers migraine symptoms, and everything keeps cycling, and this is why nothing has been successful.

This diagnosis means a few things. First, it means that I have a reason for my pain. Second, it means that I have a community of sufferers to join and learn from. Third, it means that I have a disease that currently has no cure. Fourth, it means that there are new treatment options open to me that, if successful, may lead to a better quality of life than I am currently living.

And, lastly, it means that I have gone from hoping that my pain will one day end to realizing that my pain is something I will have to manage for the rest of my life.

That last thing has been difficult to process. I have cried. I have been angry. I have acted rashly, or hyper-rationally… or something. I have turned to treatment options I have previously refused because I saw them as too painful or too pointless. I began acupuncture this past Friday and am going to see my acupuncturist twice a week until I see some results. I am going to turn to outside-the-box pain medications.

I have launched my own, personal war on Trigeminal Neuralgia.

I have curled into a ball and hidden under blankets.

I have talked to friends.

I have avoided friends.

I have felt relief.

I started a secret self care group on Facebook for when I have feelings and I need some kind of support. I started writing in a journal. I started falling apart. I started getting my shit together.

I definitely started forgiving myself for some things.

I have a disease, and that makes my head hurt all of the time and fires up ye aulde migraine making machine constantly. Fuels it. Makes it glow red hot.

Cool. So there is that.

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Oxcarbazepine, Botox, & The Cefaly- Which is Working?

My pain levels are wonky to be sure. One day I’m a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale, the next three days I’m a solid 9. Then I’ll have a few 6-7 days. What I do know is that this is a vast improvement in the quality of my life over the period between September, 2014 an August 6th, 2015. I am in no way complaining.

However, I would like to know what is making the magic happen. I’ve been using the Cefaly device for a while now. I’ve been on a larger dose of Oxcarbazepine (or Trileptal, used to treat Trigeminal Neuralgia) for several weeks. And I’m right in the sweet spot of my most recent Botox treatment where the Botox flu and droopy-eyes are gone, and it has not yet worn off.

This is the problem with chronic condition. We’re so eager to try everything that we just want to do it all at once, which makes it hard to determine what is actually working. That leads to being on tons of medications and afraid to stop even just one.

ALL OF THE PILLS! ALL OF THE WEIRD TREATMENTS! GIMME!

Really, I’ll do anything to feel less pain, but it sucks not knowing which thing to credit for better days!

Trigeminal Neuralgia & a Better Day

I woke at 5:30 this morning. As always, I stayed very still as consciousness slipped into my body. As always, I waited for the pain to wake up and spread through my head like a hot poker. The pain wakes up 1-2 minutes after I do. Some miracle of body chemistry keeps me from feeling anything for a moment or so. This moment is both my favourite and most hated time of day. For a moment I am pain free. For a moment I am terrified that the pain will start and be worse than it has been before. For a moment… I am frozen.

This morning, as I waited for the pain to burn through me, I thought about how my pain has aged me. I thought about the bags under my eyes. I thought about my skin and my hair that falls out in clumps. I thought about the weight all of the stress and medication have caused me to gain. Then the pain hit, starting from my left eye and radiating outward, across my forehead and scalp, down my neck, into my shoulders. It’s an evil feeling. It’s like being afraid of the bogeyman, arm hairs on end, knowing he’s real but also knowing no one can see him.

But this morning my bogeyman was less frightening.

It has been approximately 10 months since I experienced anything close to a decent pain-level day. It has been exactly one month since I began taking medication intended to rule out Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN). Today, my pain level is a 6. This past Thursday, I experienced a level 5 pain day.

I can’t express how amazing this is.

My neurologist was not able to rule out type 2 TN at our consultation last month. Her only solution was to put me on the medication most commonly used to treat TN, Oxcarbazepine (OXC) and  wait for improvement. OXC, also known as Trileptal, is an anti-seizure medication. My dosage started at 300 mg per day and was then increased to 600 mg per day two weeks later.

Granted, I received a Botox treatment the same day I began taking the medication. It is highly possible that the Botox is the reason for my random better pain level days. Two good days out of an 8-10 month period is not a trend. It is an anomaly.

A very welcome anomaly.

Having a better day, not a good day, but a better day makes me want to accomplish things. Unfortunately, the best way for me to keep my Monster Migraine tamed is to rest and avoid over-exerting myself. A better day merely means a more restful day.

A very welcome anomaly.

It Hurts to Do Anything, Might As Well Do Someting

I’ve been in 9-10 level pain hell for the past two days with no dips back down to 8 where I have uncomfortably hovered for the past 6 months. Nothing I do makes it feel better, but nothing seems to be making it worse.

My attempt at productivity today has been a tad successful. Every 15-30 minutes or so I sit up, do a thing on the computer that takes maybe 2 minutes tops, and then curl back into a ball.

However, I don’t know what the quality of said productivity is, because I’m looking at the screen with my left eye closed and my right eye squinting. Bed rest is absolutely the best thing for me right now. But bed rest is ALL I DO ALL OF THE TIME.

Bed rest is boring.

I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t stand to listen to anything today. Between the nausea and the light sensitivity I just want to cut my head off.

Is cutting my head off productive? I don’t believe it is. But I could be wrong about that.

Stay cheery, Brain Victims

Living Around Pain

My son is about to leave for his busy summer of camps, mountains, and road trips. All together, he will be gone for six weeks, so we really wanted to make these past few days special. We made family plans to go to dinner and then go do something fun Friday night. Today, Saturday, we planned to run errands separately and relax before a long drive tomorrow.

My brain had other ideas. Friday was a level 10 pain day. Today hasn’t been much better.

I’ve been in the 8-10 pain range solidly for the past 6 months. I’m more than used to moving things around on the calendar because getting out of bed isn’t an option from one day to the next. However, I really wanted to spend some enjoyable quality time with the boy.

Rescheduling and cancelling plans is always disheartening. I cry a little nearly every time. It alienates friends and family, and, honestly, for long stretches of time it even feels easier to avoid making plans at all. I always hurt. It’s just a given these days. I do my best to hide it when I can get out and pretend to be human, but I spend most of every day in bed dreading the preparation it takes to put my human mask on. Letting the pain “win” isn’t a way to live, however.

Friday night my husband made frozen pizza for us for dinner and I did a DHE injection. Today, a level 8 day, we beat the pain by finishing up my son’s camp shopping as a family. Then, instead of going to a special dinner out somewhere, we got take out. We also got toppings and ice cream to make sundaes and watched a television show we always watch together. Dinner and dessert at home is much less impact on me, and we still spent some good time together.

I could have spent the weekend being bummed about how much I hurt and how it took my time away from us… but instead we took the time back and made the most of it.

And that is how you live around pain…

… you make the most of it.

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Connection = Humanity

My plan for the day was to work on some vlogs, but it’s freezing, and tea and a shower most definitely have to happen before anyone (let alone a camera) looks at me.

One of the things that has been really important and special to me since I started writing My Brain Hates Me is connecting with you, my beloved readers and fellow sufferers. I love hearing your stories and getting and giving advice. When I have a bad day, you’re there with a kind word. You’re like my own “hang in there” kitten poster.

I try to respond to comments and e-mails and tweets and things in a timely fashion. It doesn’t always happen though. I sometimes go weeks without internet contact because I just don’t feel up to it. When my pain levels are as bad as they are I tend to retreat, and I’m trying very hard not to do that.

For me, it is very emotionally unhealthy to cut myself off from everything, and that is my exact instinct when things are bad. And right now I’m doing the exact opposite. I’m putting it out there for the world to see. I’m talking about my depression. I’m talking about my pain. In my next vlog I’m going to talk about my stupid brain thing that never ends. I’m asking the world for help. I’m doing all kinds of things that are very contrary to my instinct. My instinct is to hide under the covers, cry a lot, clutch my ice pack, and wait for some kind of end.

Maybe this is me fighting. Maybe this is me trying to stay sane. Maybe this is me just doing a better job taking care of myself.

Regardless, keep commenting. Keep telling me to hang in there. Keep telling me your stories. It means a great deal to me. You are precious parts of my life.

Here’s how to contact me:

Twitter: @MyBrainHatesMe

Facebook: MyBrainHatesMe

Tumblr: @BrainHatesMe

E-mail: brainhatesme@gmail.com

Interacting with you makes me feel like a person.

Depressive Valley

This evening I said I was done.

My son is a teenager and therefore hates the world, being at home, and his jerk parents who make him do homework.

My husband is incredibly stressed and going through an emotional recovery and is depressed but doesn’t believe in talking about his feelings, so I don’t know how to communicate with him about my feelings on the same issues.

I threw up my hands in frustration, stormed into my bedroom, and slammed the door. Our bedroom door, which I have already broken. I’m at a 9 today. I’ve little tolerance for people who can’t communicate or listen or do anything on my terms at the moment.

My husband chased me down and said something that put blame on me in some way and I collapsed inward and all of the suicidal thoughts that have been swirling around came swooping in as if they had been waiting for their chance. It was literally as if I’d been an injured animal and suddenly my legs had given out.

I work very hard to keep those moments contained to my lonely hours at night when the family is sleeping and I can use music and silly television and other distractions to calm myself down. My husband doesn’t understand how I go from sobbing to entirely calm. Hyper-rationality, that’s what I call it. It’s the calm, chemically-induced quasi-sanity that makes me think that killing myself is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

He suggested I call my therapist.

And say what? Honestly, I’m so used to battling the chemical reaction that happens when I get like this on my own that it felt intrusive to have him present. The thought of having a nice chat on the phone felt like it would make me worse.

I’m fine now. Well, I’m not fine. I know I’m not fine. I’m in such great pain and so very worried about money. But I am not a danger to myself.

I just need to win the lottery so we don’t have financial stress. Simple.

Guilt

So… art therapy today was well-timed.

It’s not that I’m a danger to myself. But it’s not like I’m great. I’m suffering these peaks and valleys (mostly valleys) and the valleys are really deep… and all of it comes back to this thought:

“If my head would just stop, and I could go back to work, all manner of things would be better.”

Which translates to:

“It’s all my fault.”

I didn’t ask for this. It’s not my fault. My therapist(s) can tell me this. My family can tell me this. My friends can tell me this. I can tell myself. It doesn’t matter that the root of most of our worries is my stupid brain malfunction.

My art therapist asked me what colour my guilt is.

I think my guilt is the colour of everything, because it is all around me.

She gave me the “call me or go to the emergency room” speech today. Previously it’s been a stern word or two about calling her or calling my county’s crisis line.  Apparently, it isn’t emotionally healthy to compare the cost of living to the cost of death. I figured out that I’m presently worth more money to my family dead.

Money isn’t everything, however. I know that, logically, my thoughts about not wanting to exist are driven by chemical reactions and aren’t how I really feel. I know it’s depression talking, not ME talking. I’m here forever. No one can get rid of me.

Snow Storm = Pain Storm and Musings on the Dead

Level 8 right now, but the burning has subsided as the snow storm that hit the East Coast has moved on.

I’m awake, but exhausted. I’ve been in this dream-like state all day. I know I’m awake, but if someone told me I was dreaming or had gone back to bed I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve eaten a lot of food and very painful memories of the last few times I saw my mother before she died are floating through my mind, her emaciated form crumpled on a couch… at a window… on a hillside… in a car.

I dreamed about my mother the other night. She had come back to life and was once again corpulent and healthy. Before she arrived at the house I had a talk with my son about making the most of our time with her because she wouldn’t be back for very long. In the dream we all knew she had died of cancer, quickly wasting away and choosing to peacefully sleep rather than continue treatments. And in the dream she returned, knowing every detail of her illness and death and all she wanted to do was to catch up.

A psychic once said that this is how our loved once visit us once they’ve passed on… that they come to us in dreams. They check in on us. I really hope that is true. I cried for my mother recently, and then I had the dream. Whether it was my subconscious fulfilling a need, or a visitation, or something else… doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was the good I remember of my mother, the best of my mother, and not the collection of bitter, confusing memories I have of her. Somehow there is something important about that that I cannot place.

Or maybe it’s just the fact that, now believing that my mother was also autistic, I see my mother far differently in death than I did in life.

Nerve Block Life Block Mental Block Blocky Block

My adventures with nerve blocks:

7:30 AM Bathe and dress.

8:05 AM Drive son to school so he doesn’t scuff up his dress shoes (worn for an orchestra performance. He plays cello.)

8:48 AM Sign in at my headache specialist’s office too early for my 9:30 appointment.

8:50 AM Realize I have panicked text messages from my son saying he forgot his Santa hat for his concert. Reply with sympathy but no assistance. I am on the other side of town.

9:20 AM Cathy, my doctor’s nurse, sarcastically but pleasantly says long time no see. She calls me by my first name like all doctors and professors and bankers always will and we talk about our lack of preparation for Christmas. We never say the word Christmas. Neither of us will break the delicate politically correct film that coats every surface of the room.

9:22 AM Nurse Cathy drops the C-bomb and suddenly every other word is Christmas. My blood pressure is good. My light sensitivity is not. She gets me a pillow and turns out the light. I stare up at the tile ceiling and listen to the air circulation system blow.

9:35 AM Dr. H. comes into my darkened exam room an calls me by my middle name like every friend and loved one always will and she asks me what happened. I tell her that yesterday… was a good day. Today… not so much. She asks if I’m flying solo or if my husband is waiting. I explain that since the appointment was made on such short notice I couldn’t ask him to miss work.

9:37 AM Dr. H. asks me where the instructions are. I tell her that the Jefferson Headache Center should have faxed them the prior week, and that I had called to confirm on Monday. I tell her that the gal I talked to said that there was a 20 or so page fax from Jefferson scanned in recently. Dr. H. wanders off in search of the paperwork because it is not properly attached to my records.

9:47 AM Dr. H. returns with a stack of very illegible copies, complaining that the girl I talked to doesn’t care about anyone but herself an isn’t exactly respectful. Dr. H. says, “I wonder how she’d feel if someone in her family was trying to get a helpful procedure done at the last minute before Christmas.” I am here for a nerve block and my doctor, whom is trying to replicate some success I had at Jefferson, wants to do things just right.

9:55 AM The paperwork has all of my progress notes, but no procedural notes from Dr. M. at Jefferson. Dr. H. says she can just do the major occipital nerve block and guess. She asks me about needles and medications. I explain that it was a big needle, and that I had definite needle marks and bruises after the nerve block Dr. M. performed back at Jefferson. I recall it was the same needle for my occipital nerve and supraorbital nerve, the nerve behind my eyebrow. Dr. H. teeters indecisively then decides to call Dr. M. and try to get the details. She’s dealt with me enough to know that I’m very good at recounting names of medications and procedures and the order in which they were administered, but she wants to be sure. She leaves me in the dark examining room to make the call.

10:15 AM Nurse Cathy pokes her head into the room and offers me a cup of water. I refuse.

10:32 AM I look at my phone and wonder how my son’s concert is going.

10:37 AM Nurse Cathy again. This time she wants to give me a donut. I refuse. She tells me that Dr. H. is seeing her 10 AM patient while we wait for Dr. M. to call back. She turns off the computer in the room so it is pitch black.

11:03 AM Dr. H. pops in to offer me ice packs, apologies, and to enthusiastically tell me that they are installing dimmer switches because so many patients wear sunglasses to appointments. She says I started a trend.

11:30 AM Nurse Cathy is back. Dr. M. called back! She tells me I should go grab something to eat and come back about 12-12:15 PM when Dr. H. is on lunch and we’ll get everything taken care of. She apologizes and thanks me for my patience. I tell her it’s no problem… that I have a pillow and a dark room. I decide to drive to Starbucks and eat a little something. OOO! They have chestnut coffee now!

11:56 AM I wander back into the doctor’s office. First I totter around the waiting room in my sunglasses. There’s this cool bug thing for kids to play with that I always want to look at but am too embarrassed to look at. My theory is that near-lunchtime will be slower and the waiting room will be empty. No such luck. I walk over to the DOOR. You know the DOOR… that barrier between the waiting and the doctoring. It’s not locked or anything. I just walk through and find my examination room once more. At first I sit in the chair with the lights on. I put my headphones in and listen to acoustic Christmas music. Then I decide that I want the room dark again and I want to sit on the examining table. It’s just more comfortable.

12:24 PM Dr. H. comes in with a flustered smile on her face and claps her hands. She starts moving furniture loudly as she tells me about Dr. M. calling her cell phone directly (I’m pretty certain that Dr. M. has a weird crush on my Dr. H.) with all kinds of details and news. She says he wants to see me soon and that I should increase my Mexiletine (used in the treatment of refractory pain) dose to 600 mg daily. She says it’s good that noise doesn’t bother my head as a chair squeals across the floor. She helps me down and moves the examination table and we proceed. She says that he did use a big needle, but she is going to try a Botox needle with the bupivacaine and steroids to minimize bruising. It seems to work, and she has me on my back as she does a few injections into my eyebrow. It hurts like a mother fucker. It’s not the sting of Botox. It’s a pressure, then burn, then bigger burn, then eventual numbing that isn’t so bad… but it’s over and over until the numbing fully kicks in. She finishes with my forehead, then moves on to my left temple. It feels like she’s pouring acid into my skull. I remember all of this vaguely from Jefferson… but I remember the 3 pain-free days that happened after that nerve block more.

12 Something PM She has me come off of the exam table to sit in a chair so I can lean forward with my forehead on my forearms. Her phone makes a Tinkerbell sound and she complains that her boyfriend doesn’t understand that she is having a busy day at work. She says she told him that poor *insert my middle name here* has been waiting around all day to get needles in her face. He is having trouble deciding what to get his mother for Christmas. Dr. H. can’t fathom how that is in any way her problem. She starts injecting the back of my head many times with the bupivacaine and steroids. It doesn’t take her nearly as long to do the back of my head because she’s done this procedure many times. She says she wants me to track my progress with this so we can repeat it as necessary. She tells me I could suffer some hair loss at the injection sites.

1:04 PM Dr. H. tells me to have a Merry Christmas with no qualms and gives me a gentle pat on the shoulder. I am to see her in a month. I have received 3 times as much bupivacaine in the left side of my head, but the right side of my head is completely numb. I can still feel pain in the left side of my head, but some numbness in places. I have to keep my head down for 10 minutes so the medication doesn’t migrate.

1:15 PM Nurse Cathy comes to set me free and walk me to the check-out desk. Dr. H. catches me in the hall again and says she really hopes it helps. I tell her I hope so too.

1:24 PM A text message from my son saying they didn’t need the Santa hats after all.

 

M.A.P.S. Group – Honouring My Journey

When we live with any kind of constant Bad Thing in our lives, be it chronic pain, or abuse, or disease we suffer losses and gains along our path. At Jefferson University’s Methodist Hospital Headache Clinic I had the opportunity to take part in a group session with one of the Chaplains from the hospital. There were only two “headache” patients plus the group leader, so it was an intimate and heart-wrenching session of talking about the way our lives have been affected by constant pain.

In the session, the Chaplain asked us a number of questions that fell under different categories: Mourning, Acceptance, Perservering, and Soul Searching (M.A.P.S.). Here is how she defined each category:

Mourning losses that resulted from your headaches.

Accepting where you are now in your journey.

Perservering in the midst of pain.

Soul Searching and asking yourself questions about who you are and what you believe.

The other patient and I were each given a piece of paper with those categories across the top, and the Chaplain asked us questions in each category. This is not the complete program, and I am not sharing all of my answers, but some I feel are important to place here because you might be going through a similar ordeal. The largest lesson that I learned from M.A.P.S. was that I am not alone. It is so very very dark when we feel alone with our pain dragons.

Mourning – “To grieve over a loss.”

When did your pain begin?

August 7th, 2013 around 6:30 PM my head started hurting again after days and days of pain. Earlier that day I felt so good. That was the last day I remember feeling good.

How has your life changed because of your headaches?

I’ve lost my career and my mother and my activities and my identity and my dreams.

Have you grieved these losses? Why? How?

I have been trying to grieve but I am so angry.

Acceptance – “To acknowledge life as it is now”

What are the major struggles in your life?

Just getting things done, paying bills, my relationship with my husband and my son.

What feelings do you have?

ANGER / SADNESS

When do you feel powerless?

I feel powerless when I can’t do anything and my family has to do it for me.

When do you feel powerful?

When I sing and play my ukulele, when I organize and write.

What are you proud of?

I am proud of my home and my son.

What gives you joy?

My family and my music and my words give me great joy.

How are your relationships with others? How is your relationship with yourself?

I don’t understand people, but I am learning to understand and like myself. My relationships with family are strained and tested by all of this.

Perservering – “To continue to work toward your goal in the midst of your struggles.”

What do you want for you life?

I want to be published, my Masters, my son to have everything he needs, my husband to feel happy.

What are the ways you cope with your pain?

I play my ukulele and write and bury it all inside and try not to spend the day crying, because it only makes things worse.

What encourages you?

My family.

What are your small victories?

Laundry, school, any chores, my son getting into camp under the wire.

Soul Searching – “To ask the often difficult questions of your life.”

What gives your life meaning?

My family and my writing give my life meaning. They are the most important things I do.

Who/what can you rely on?

I know I can rely on my husband and my son and the principle that all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well.

What questions do you ask? Do you wonder why this is happening to you? Is there an answer for you?

I always wonder why an the answer is, “Things just happen.” Sometimes I feel like I’m being punished or like I did something to deserve this.

Is there anything you need to let go of?

I want to let go of anger and resentment and rely more on outer family.

What gives you peace? What gives you hope? What can you hold on to? What moves your forward?

I can hold on to my faith that things will be as they should and my goals move me forward. My drive moves me forward. Who I am moves me forward, when I remember who I am. My family gives me peace and hope, always. They are the rock I to which I cling.

What insights have you gained?

I have learned that I am different, and that that is okay, and that the world is a place I don’t have to suffer alone. 

It may seem pretty straight-forward to read, but imagine being in that room and being asked, by a real human voice no less, those very questions. Imagine the welling up of pain and sorrow. Being in pain doesn’t allow us time to mourn properly. We can’t cry because maybe it makes us hurt more. We can’t stop eating because maybe that makes us hurt more. We can’t stay in bed or stay out of bed because we don’t know what the day will bring. And we can’t control the heaving ocean of emotions that is always so much closer to the surface because we hurt.

Or, at least, I can’t.

All program materials shared above are credited to Rev. Marcie Brozyna, Methodist Hospital, and should not be copied or duplicated in any way without permission.

One of Those Days

I went to Philadelphia yesterday. I’ll write a post all about my trip and treatment plan when my head lets up a bit. I had to reschedule today’s appointment with my Psychologist because driving just was not in the cards. 

I will share this with you:

In Philly a blind man had a potty emergency and ran into the parking garage as we were leaving. He dropped his cane, and frantically unleashed and proceeded to pee a mighty pee right in front of us. 

A friend of mine in Philly said that I had seen all of the sites and that they were well known for their public urination.

Cities smell bad, and are loud. I lived in the city for eight years, but my city occasionally smells like freshly baked cookies. 

I like my house in the trees.

Hangin’ with Dr. B.

I feel like I’m being tested by my Psychologist, but I can’t figure out how.

During our previous sessions he has gone off on tangents and attempted normal conversation with me, which is met with me being polite, staring at the floor, and trying to jump in if he says something that I can relate to, which I haven’t usually. I just wait for him to get back to making me talk about uncomfortable things.

This last session, however, was just weird.

Last week I got my diagnosis, and that is this BIG THING in my life that explains so much! I thoroughly went into this week thinking there would be all of this magical discussion about how life-changing it is to finally know why I am the way I am…

But no.

We talked about:

  • His license to practice, which was sitting on his desk, unopened, in it’s Virginia State envelope and how after all of the college, graduate study, and testing and training… it was weird that his qualifications to practice in Virginia came down to a little piece of paper they sent in the mail
  • Mountain Retreats, and where “Kellerman’s” from “Dirty Dancing” was shot, and Shrine Mont… my favourite place on the planet
  • My Monster Migraine and whether I have explored alternative healing, and that awful “Saturday Night Live” acupuncture skit that has traumatised me
  • My hellish path to the lovely Dr. H.
  • About how people either like chiropractors or chiropractors are quacks
  • Briefly about my religious-all-over-the-place-ness-but-I-believe-in-God stuff
  • “Downton Abbey”, which I have never seen, and will not see for at least another few months because I have other shows I’m listening to. But my Psychologist really likes “Downton Abbey.” Primarily we spoke of class separation and the fact that the show centered around meals, and who was or was not present at said meals given their social status.

I am thoroughly perplexed. During the appointment Dr. B. stretched out in his chair, got comfy, apologized for doing so, but did not change his position. He didn’t write anything down. I feel like he was just interested in talking to me… like a person.

I don’t really understand. My summation is that my last few sessions have been stressful, and he was trying to give me a break and let me get to know him and be more comfortable with him. I have to say that it was a pleasant break from having to think about the unpleasantries of my childhood. However, I feel like an animal who is being trained with positive reinforcement- if I cry and fidget for so many sessions I get to have a session where I can just ramble on about things.