Mental Health Monday

Beth Hardinger Blog Mental Health Monday
I’ve had depression, anxiety and social anxiety all my life. A few weeks ago, I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I have so many issues, I feel like I will be in therapy for the rest of my life (which is maybe a good thing, I don’t know). I’m not sure how much I will share here, mostly because I’m no good at writing about how I feel. I do know that I’m sick of hiding it. It’s hard enough to live with my issues every day in my own head, but when people start wondering why I keep flaking out on plans, or I get angry and lash out for no good reason, I feel like I need to say something. I’m not crazy. I’m not stupid. I have a legitimate disease that I am seeking treatment for. 

Which brings me to my next topic: treatment. I will be seeing a therapist weekly for at least the next two months (I have to call today and make more appointments for June). I will also be seeing a…I’m not even sure what she is called. Social Anxiety Helper? I don’t know. But basically, she will be able to meet me where I am (home, coffee shop, park with my kids) and help me through my immediate issues. So that’s three and a half hours a week of therapy.

MEDICATION

I will be asking for medication at my Tuesday appointment. I am not sure that I want it, but everyone in my life is telling me to go on meds. So, I will. Even though the thought of taking meds every day gives me anxiety. I have a hard time swallowing pills. I even had to switch my methotrexate from oral pills to an injection, because I was having such a hard time with the pills.

I’m terrified of side effects. I’m terrified of getting used to one med and having to switch and get used to a new one all over. I’m terrified the meds will make me worse, not better. Going on meds for other people is not a good reason to go on meds. I know this. But after my horrible panic attack the other night, and just a shitty, embarrassing weekend, I am wondering if that would be the best decision. 

Please feel free to share your stories in the comments, or if you feel more comfortable, you can email me. Bethahardinger@gmail.com

March

March kicks off several “National” things, such as Caffeine Awareness Month (drinking coffee right now – super aware of caffeine!), Frozen Food AND Nutrition Month and also, Trisomy Awareness Month. Trisomy is three copies of a chromosome – for example, Down syndrome, which is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. 

National Procrastination Week starts on the 5th. Or the 6th. Whenever you get around to it. Next week (March 5-11) is also Words Matter week (so stop using the word ‘retard’!) And National Aardvark Week. I’ll be getting in on that one somehow, because aardvarks are cute.

Oh! Act Happy Week is March 20-26, but I’ll just be honest – every week is Act Happy week for me. If you can’t actually be happy, just fake it, right?

And the most important day – March 21 – World Down Syndrome Day! 

Today is Spread The Word To End The Word Day. So head over here to learn more about why you should stop using the word ‘retard’ and its many forms (celebutard, libtard, f***tard, etc). Just stop. It’s not cool. It’s offensive, no matter how you try to spin it.  

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Diagnosed

This morning, I finally had my skin disease diagnosed: guttate psoriasis. It was most likely triggered by the horrible case of strep I had back in November. That’s when the spots really took off. I really love my dermatologist! (Lauren had one too, in Kalispell, and she was also amazing.)

I was prescribed methotrexate, Folic Acid and a steroid cream. She said since the spots cover more than just my arms and legs, the cream won’t help by itself. So I will take 6 methotrexate pills once a week until I go back in a month. Then she will re-assess my spots and see if I can be done, or if I need a higher dose. She said this may be a clear cut case, or it may have already developed into chronic psoriasis. If that’s the case, I will have it forever, and will need a different course of treatment for flare-ups. I also need blood work once a month to check liver levels.

Sometimes, it goes away on its own. My case is super stubborn and has been resistant to all of my home remedies.

I’m a little nervous taking the methotrexate, but if my brother can be on it for months at a time for leukemia, than I can handle it for a few months for stupid skin spots.

Hannah is 3

I don’t have a big long, sappy post planned for today. I’m just not that kind of mom/blogger/documenter. I do have a few pictures.Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog

Hannah turns 3 today. I can’t even believe it. I don’t know when she stopped looking like a baby and started looking like a big kid. She doesn’t eat much and avoids most tomato-sauce based food (pizza, spaghetti, etc) but loves cereal and mac and cheese.

The black and white photos were from Christmas Eve, when we had her party. The bottom photo was taken yesterday, after she got home from Gramma’s house. She wanted to wear her new Elsa dress (one of 3) and carry her snow globe/wand.

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Happy Birthday, Hannah!

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Nine.

Lauren is nine years old today!

She is in third grade, loves to ride the bus home, is obsessed with Elena of Avalor and loves to play with her sisters and cousins. She says she missed summer – going to the park is her favorite thing and she can’t wait until she doesn’t need a coat.

The following photos are from January 2016 to December 2016 (not in order).

Halloween

(I can’t find my photos from 2008-2012, sadly. I thought they were backed up on my old hard drive, but nope.)

This was 2013. It was so cold we had to go home and get the winter coats. We didn’t spend much time out there that night. We went home early and made frozen pizzas. Never had one trick-or-treater. 🙁

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This was 2014. Hannah’s first Halloween. It was much warmer than the year before, thankfully, and the sun even came out for a little bit.

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And this was last year, while we were in Montana. We didn’t have much money, so we got their costumes from the thrift store. Beth Hardinger - Blog

The Great Pumpkin Festival

This afternoon, we went to the Great Pumpkin Festival here in town. I can’t share many photos because of privacy but we played at the park afterwards. Hannah wasn’t able to go on the jumpy slide because it was too hard for her to climb up the rope ladder thing, so she was a little mad.

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Lauren had a great time going down the slide. She didn’t like having to wait her turn but she did a great job at being patient.

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And Lauren got a haircut today! Finally! Now, with her glasses and her new hairs, she’s ready for school! She was a little ticked that today was Saturday.

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Hannah was talking to a grey squirrel. She was fascinated by it, and it just sat and looked at her (from pretty far away).

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We also met a new little friend, Willow, who lives about 30 minutes from us. She’s 3 and has Down syndrome, like Lauren. Willow just had her heartiversary (anniversary of her open heart surgery) the other day. She’s doing so well and is adorable. We hope to get together soon!

Happy Weekend!

The Last Warm Days

There’s snow in our forecast, right before Halloween. So when the weather app said it was 60* we headed to the park. It was pretty nice, even with 20mph winds. Most of the trees still have their leaves, and are still so colorful.

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I let Hannah play in the sand and leaves. She was a little surprised that I didn’t stop her, but took full advantage of it.

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Lauren got to go to the Farm today with her special ed class. She brought home a tiny gourd – not a pumpkin – which I thought was pretty unique. She wore her new glasses all day, even though we didn’t buy her a strap for them yet. I think she looks older with them.

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 They all played in the leaves a little, and I cringed every time they threw a handful in the air, but they were having so much fun!

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Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 70* and sunny, so we are planning on spending most of it outside. There’s also some sort of free Pumpkin Festival tomorrow afternoon, with a pie-eating contest and horse-back riding. And – gramma’s coming!

Have a great weekend! I’ll be sharing photos of all our fun on instagram.