It's been a busy week. I had intended to start trying to structure my time more this week, but that didn't happen. I did get a lot done, though, and I don't feel too upset about the lack of "structure." My time was spent well; it just wasn't spent in the order I wanted.
On Saturday morning, I went with a lady from church who is raising a puppy for Leader Dogs to an event where the raiser group had a booth. It was fun until the dust started blowing and my allergies kicked in. I need to buy stock in Puffs, I think. Meghan had fun playing with the puppies, and I met some nice people. Most of the raisers are older people, working age or older. This is a pretty different thing from what I know of the raiser groups for Meg's school. Many of the raisers are teens, and some are adults with careers. I may do some other activities with the group from time to time.
On Sunday, I was still recovering from the allergy stuff. I planned to go to my small group activity in the evening, but it was cancelled. So I spent the day working on a book I am validating for Bookshare. I'll write more about the book soon--I'm still not finished with it. It ended up needing a lot of corrections, and I decided to make them rather than reject the book since it would also give me a chance to read something stimulating. Well, provocative is more like it.
I went to Detroit for another eye exam on Tuesday. I took all my reading material with me, and that was a good idea. I bought a car charger for my laptop, and it has totally revolutionized the long car trips. I didn't come home feeling like the whole day was spent doing nothing! I've spent most of the week, including a good part of the time on the way back from Detroit, catching up on one of my Beth Moore studies. (Notes to come.) I still have some commenting to do, but I'm caught up with the group on reading and studying portion, and that feels good. Next week I'll go in and watch the two videos I've missed, and then I'll be able to completely finish the study with the group. That's a very good feeling. This weekend, I'll work on the material for the Tuesday morning group. There is not much because the group started late, and I can watch the video online.
Dr. T. wants to do an endoscopy on my left eye to see exactly what the condition is since there is no way to observe it visually. The catch is that the machine is being repaired. So I have to call back in a few months and schedule another exam under anesthesia. He says my right eye looks fine. My vision is stable, so that's a good thing.
I saw Dr. U., my primary care doc, yesterday. (I'm not seeing any Dr. V. or W. next week!) We talked about Atarax being a good med for times when my allergies were intolerable and I needed rest but not for use during the day and not for my panic attacks, which come on too quickly. We decided to stick with the Xanax for panic attacks since my reliance is low and keep the Atarax for allergy flare-ups and add a nasal spray for mild allergic stuff. We talked about my EEG testing. He wants to call my symptoms "unspecified anxiety." I don't think it's accurate, but at this point I'm too tired to argue. I decided to go ahead and try raising the Topamax dosage and see if I can tolerate it. Dr. U. agrees that it might be fine now that I've acclimated to the medication and if I spread the dosages out over the day instead of taking two big doses. I hope so because that would take care of things and I could just forget about all this medical stuff. I'm tired of dealing with it.
I did some research last week on the concept of neurotoxins. I suspect that part of my problem may be a sensitivity to certain types of additives in foods and other products. There are ways I could test this out. I'm not sure that I have the energy or patience to do it completely. I went shopping and bought mostly fresh foods so I can return to eating things I make myself and control the additives; but I'm not willing to limit myself so much that I can't eat something when I'm a guest at someone else's house or enjoy a meal out once in a while, etc. Maybe that means I'll have to endure symptoms sometimes. I don't know. Part of the problem that I have is it takes time to eat like this and that takes time away from other things I'm trying to do. I don't really know how to balance it all. I think back to the time when I was in school and working, and I really don't know how I would manage everything and have any energy or time left for things that are enjoyable or relaxing. That's part of why I think that my work needs to be enjoyable or at least tolerable to me. I can't spend my lifetime living just to get by. But most people I know have a problem with this mindset.
Regarding work, I spent a couple of hours perusing job sites yesterday. The story is the same: jobs best suited to my degree and skills require either heavy paperwork or driving clients to and from places, inspecting living quarters for cleanliness as part of instruction in living skills to clients with mental illness, etc. On a day when I'm emotionally strong enough to handle it, I can make some connections and find out how people do this stuff. Right now I am just not up to the challenge of dealing with the interviewers who can't imagine how I can handle my own housekeeping, much less teach someone else. If I was applying for jobs in the blindness field, I might have more stamina for this: I could at least tell myself that the interviewer might be familiar enough with blindness rehab to find it possible that a blind person has learned to do these things. But these are mental health agencies, and I don't expect the interviewers to be any more familiar with disabilities than the rest of the public. I learned that the hard way by interviewing for these very jobs in Florida. I can't get past the driving issue, anyway... I would be required to hire my own driver--these are small agencies; and if they had to hire a driver for me, they would likely just move on to the next applicant with a psych degree. I encounter the same problems when I broaden my search to jobs with lower qualifications. In customer service posiftions, I'm dealing with companies that shuffle a lot of papers back and forth here in town, not good call center environments. So it seems that the doors are closing and I need to continue thinking outside the box. The most frustrating aspect of all of this is the feeling that I should somehow keep one foot in each direction: be open to a job possibility if it comes along but also think outside the box and plan for whatever that means. It's a very stressful position to hold myself in, but I feel that if I choose to stop looking for jobs and look for other opportunities, I will be perceived as lazy if those opportunities come slowly--and I'm very aware that they will likely come slowly because my particular areas of "expertise" don't lend well to high-paying jobs. Perhaps I should care less what people think; but that's much easier said than done.