Women Have Heart Attacks Too!

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Ladies, go with your guts. The chest pain you may experience could be a heart attack and not indigestion, a panic attack or just in “your head”. Don’t be afraid to show your face in the emergency room just because you are a woman and the facts have shown that men usually suffer from heart attacks.


My story occurred in August 2018:

My chronic migraines strike daily, and I suffered a horrendous two weeks of these excruciating headaches, and measuring on the unintelligible doctor’s pain scale of 1-10 the pain was nothing short of 10+ each day.

However, migraines had nothing to do with what was to follow.

Seated on my recliner chair attempting to ease the throbbing migraine pain, I suddenly felt an unusual kind of aching; surrounding my chest area above my left boob.  It wasn’t an intense or stabbing pain, but similar to somebody wrapping and pulling a massive bandage across my chest becoming more and more agonizing.

As my upper left arm and shoulder gradually began to feel terrible pain, it was now radiating down my left arm and behind my shoulder blades. Also, breathing was becoming difficult.

What the hell was this?  I was puzzled.

I’m aware from health research that pain felt on the left side of the body can signal a heart attack, but as a healthy female, with no prior heart problems or family history of heart attacks, I was questioning the ‘heart attack’ theory.  Besides, the pain wasn’t overly “painful” compared to my migraines. Continue reading “Women Have Heart Attacks Too!”

The “Everything Happens for a Reason” statement is Crap

Opinion

I think about this statement often, and when someone utters these words, it pisses me to no end. 

What precisely does it mean, and why do people say it? Are they so narrow-minded, wrapped up in religion, or in another world?

Does it mean when there is a world disaster, a plane crash due to a mechanical issue, a school shooting, childhood sexual abuse, people diagnosed with an illness, cancer,  kidnapping, serial murderers and rapists, riots, war veterans killed or any other horrible occurrence, it happened for a reason? Please explain.

For me, it goes way back to my very ill years struggling with major depression and my mother once commenting the ever so “everything happens for a reason” words. Really, mom? You mean the sexual abuse, which led to therapy, which led to depression, which led to hospitals, a myriad of meds, which led to suicide attempts, countless ECTs, which led to losing my career, almost foreclosure on my house, hubby losing his job, losing friends and let’s include the horrible migraine headaches etc. What exactly do you mean?

I don’t believe people recognize how much these words can sting, it’s almost a “whatever”, said in a flippant moment. IMO, just support that person, show comfort and most of all keep your trap shut.

Edited and reposted

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy 2019

Is your doctor always running late? Does 10:15 become 11:15?

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Doctor’s appointments, do you really ever get in @10:15?

I doubt it. Success in seeing your doctor at the scheduled appointment time is like a crap shoot, and typically not my luck. I’m forever on time, I don’t know why she never is and I keep forgetting to bring my camping gear to set up for the day.

You recognize a dilemma when the receptionist slides the plexiglass window and smiles, “Hi Deb, she’s a little backed up this morning, we’ll call you soon”. ‘Backed up a bit, call you soon?’ “Backed up” in my experience translates to at least a minimum of 1 hour or more.

I detest these ‘backed up’ doctors, people are trapped in the waiting room fearful to leave for even a snack or pee break in the event your name is called. I think to myself, “Why did I take all morning off work, run like an idiot for the bus, not grab a coffee or something to read on the way, all so I wouldn’t be late for this appointment. Why do they book every 15 minutes, when they’re never on time?

After you have called everyone you can think of (most are at work or waiting at their doctor’s office), play scrabble or crossword on your phone or delete old contacts and your cell is frantic for a charge…your name is called. Yippeee! Now you are escorted into a smaller waiting room to wait and wait and wait some more!

~~~ Article written & copyrighted © by Deb McCarthy

 

It’s not just a ‘headache’ ~ It’s ‘CHRONIC MIGRAINE’

These chronic migraines are not “pop 2 aspirin and call me in the morning” headaches……

Image Source: “Making Migraines Visible” image included in a slideshow by: Teri Robert on HealthCentral.com

Chronic Migraines

That’s me, that’s what I suffer with.   Winter has been unkind to me, especially January through March, where very few days did I escape not having a migraine headache.   The pulsating, throbbing head and face agony had me bedridden most days, and other times unable to wear my glasses due to tenderness over the bridge of my nose.

Since thoughts of jumping over the balcony crossed my mind to end this crap and a trip to the emergency isn’t an option anymore (wait times approx. 10-14 hrs. and their refusal to use narcotics), I had to ‘suck it up’.

My neurologist suggested Botox treatments, but I’m unsure of this method for chronic migraines, and the research I’ve done has shown some people were worse off with the treatment due to constant stiff necks and even more pain + medications.  I am considering chiropractic or acupuncture methods, but for this past week, I’m experimenting with a natural herbal medication which has shown good progress so far.  Fingers crossed!

This wonderful link provides a more in-depth look at migraines @ HealthCentral.com http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/cf/slideshows/migraines-visible#slide=1

(updated and reposted)

My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves

Have you ever had someone enter your life that really made a difference when you were a child, validated your feelings or listened with concern when you spoke?

Perhaps it was a mentor, coach, Girl Guide leader; you get the idea. Reflect for a minute who that person was. For me, it was my high school home economics teacher, Mrs. Fox.

Each day I was greeted with a brilliant smile from her, and the only teacher throughout my entire schooling that I connected with.

I was emotionally abused by my narcissistic mother, forever feeling depressed, apathetic, sullen, despondent and isolated. Her home economics course, for grades eleven and twelve, included both cooking and sewing/crafts (this was back in the early 70’s when it was assumed girls who graduated would ultimately become secretaries or housewives!).

Continue reading “My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves”

My Interview: Views on Stigma, Depression & PTSD

image: niume.com

Nuime.com is a blogging platform which contains postings I selected from this blog, as well as, personal articles that I have written over the years with a mixture of other topics.

I was delighted when chosen “Niumer of the Week” and the opportunity to be interviewed.  Here’s how it went:

Depression and mental illness affect many people all over the world, but despite its prevalence, it is still met with stigma, silence and even scepticism. There is still a notion many hold, that people who claim to be depressed are ‘making it up’, ‘seeking attention’ or just ‘feel sad’ and will get over it in time.

But the question still remains, why do we shy away from this topic and what do people who suffer from mental illness go through on a day to day basis?

Niumer Of The Week, Deb from Living in Stigma, bravely gives us her thoughts and explains what we can do to understand this issue better.

1) How did you discover Niume and why did you decide to use it over other blogging platforms?

Niume approached me via Twitter, so I checked your site out and was impressed by the layout and features offered. I have ‘signed up’ with other blogging platforms but my posts were not acquiring much exposure and others didn’t have well-defined spheres to post in. It became frustrating and I soon left.

2) Which of the others spheres do you enjoy browsing through?

I browse through most of the spheres, however, my favourites are Literature, Interesting, Humour, Lifestyle, Photography, Music and Art.

3) What are some of the biggest misconceptions about depression and mental health?

One word – Stigma. Mental illness is not a choice; it’s an illness. Who would choose to have an illness, and be so embarrassed and ashamed of it? This leads to isolation, fear, fake smiles, feeling hopeless, and worthless.

Continue reading “My Interview: Views on Stigma, Depression & PTSD”

Why Was I A Disappointment?

Image source: differentdream.com

WHY WAS I A DISAPPOINTMENT?

why was I such a big disappointment
and what age did you start loathing me
your son wasn’t treated like that
and I tried everything in me to please

the sexual abuse wasn’t my fault
yet you made it and believed it to be
to save face in the neighborhood was so important
keeping the secret didn’t destroy you as it did me

Continue reading “Why Was I A Disappointment?”

Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?

I used to ask myself, almost every day throughout my depressive illness; is this it?  Does it get ever any better?  Am I stuck here in this black hole forever?

Sounds pessimistic, but my history of recurring hospital admissions and medications that were ineffective, coupled with suicide attempts and unrelenting depression, didn’t illustrate a positive picture.  At separate hospital admissions, I was frequently greeted by the same bed, same patients and same nurses who precisely dispensed my medications.  Many years ago, hospitalization was a sort of an incarcerated life; that of daily rituals, set meal times, social activities, lights out at 11:30 pm, and scheduled visits from visitors.   Finally, discharge, after serving my “time”, which meant adjusting to home life all over again.

With zilch changing; I’m asking “is this as good as life gets?”

It’s both upsetting and scary, no one should ever have to endure this type of life, and depression, for me, proved a dreadful existence.  After spending months in the hospital, I would continually sense that I was one footstep away from hospital waters every waking day.  Continuously, just a step away from hell; surviving only on the surface.

Continue reading “Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?”

PTSD, Narcissism & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again

Just a quick glimpse at a man’s hands with dirty fingernails is my worst trigger, followed by a flashback.  Seems whacky, doesn’t it?

Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time.  You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.  You may feel like you’re going through the event again.  This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event.  Triggers might include:

  • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran.
  • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident.
  • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped.    Source:  WebMed.com

Continue reading “PTSD, Narcissism & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again”

“Once a Victim ~ Now a Survivor Award” for Everyone who is a Warrior

I created and designed this “Once a Victim, Now a Survivor” award in March/2015, as I wanted it to represent and award those who have struggled with mental illness, and especially everyone who is living with C/PTSD (complex/post-traumatic stress disorder).   PTSD includes those dealing with trauma, abuse and for many childhood sexual abuse.  We were victims once, but now we are Survivors

So pay it forward if you’d like and nominate others; it’s a way to recognize some of the bloggers you’ve discovered who are worthy of this award OR accept it for yourself.  You can display it on your own blog and be proud of it.  Congrats!

Deb

 

What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?

There has been a secret you’ve been concealing, that’s most likely eating you up inside, however, you now have mustered enough courage to tell someone you trust.   It’s rough, you’re just a kid.

Protection and trust have already been shattered by your abuser; you just couldn’t take it anymore, now it’s time to receive compassion, tenderness and told you were so courageous for coming forward and that person will be punished.

It may perhaps have been very positive for you, you were believed, acknowledged, obtained love, affection, sorrow and apologies for this ever happening; possibly counselling.  You went on to recover with perhaps some difficulty, but you received support. Continue reading “What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?”

PTSD & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again

Just a quick glimpse at a man’s hands with dirty fingernails is my worst trigger, followed by a flashback.  Seems whacky, doesn’t it?

Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time.  You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.  You may feel like you’re going through the event again.  This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event.  Triggers might include:

  • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran.
  • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident.
  • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped.    Source:  WebMed.com

Continue reading “PTSD & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again”

MOM, YOU’RE STILL TOXIC & YOU’LL NEVER CHANGE

Who was I kidding, reuniting again with my mother.  I should have left things alone after no communication for three years, but no I had these grand ideas in May of this year of reconciling.  How many times have I attempted to make it work before? Three, perhaps four?  I’ve never truly had this woman’s tenderness or support for fifty some odd years, and it ‘aint ever going to happen.

Why can’t I get this through my thick skull and I allow myself to be disillusioned repeatedly?  But, was craving for parents, namely a mother who truly loved me instead of criticizing and showing my brother the same affection that I deserved, too much to ask for?  I don’t think it was.

You constantly told me to lose weight, criticized me too many times, making me feel worthless and sub-par.  I lost weight when you saw me this May, I thought you’d be so proud of me and things would be different; guess it didn’t matter.

But mom, you surpassed yourself this time, with selfish words again, and presented the “toxic mother” that you are, sent in reply to an e-mail a few days ago.

Continue reading “MOM, YOU’RE STILL TOXIC & YOU’LL NEVER CHANGE”

FOR ME: THE END OF MY SEXUAL ABUSE

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This year was productive in therapy.  I can breathe after 51 years.  Yes, I can finally breathe now with no fear of a meltdown, flashbacks or sudden tears as I know for certain that the man who abused me when I was six was a bad man.  I can watch Dr. Phil when he has a guest who was sexually abused, not have nightmares, and therapy has helped me recognize that it wasn’t my fault.

The numerous articles i’ve written about my abuse on this blog, described how my next door neighbor gratified his needs, yet sent me onto a hellish future.  He deceived me, pretended to like me and tricked me into thinking I was ‘special’, yet planning and taking advantage of every chance he could get to abuse me.

Continue reading “FOR ME: THE END OF MY SEXUAL ABUSE”

Always The Fat Girl

In 1997 my weight ballooned to 285 lbs.  That was the heaviest I had ever been, and the reason I recall that number is….my vacation to Disneyworld in Florida.

It was a humiliating situation, to say the least, and one I will never forget; too portly to enjoy.  For one, I couldn’t schlep my enormous girth up onto the horse Carousel, and that not being the worst, the long, arduous wait to experience the “Space Mountain” roller coaster ended in a calamity.  Hubby and I squeezed ourselves in, but there was no way I could do the seatbelt up; no way that sucker would clasp, so we were booted off of the ride.  And that was that.  I felt so miserable and it certainly put a damper on the entire trip. I vowed under no circumstances to be that hefty again and never was, but certainly, I wasn’t all that slimmer.

I have forever been the 200+ lb. girl for most of my adult life; the one who always shop in the plus-sized section, loathed visiting the doctor’s office for fear of getting weighed and knowing how much my weight increased. My weight usually fluctuated between 220-230 lbs.  Also, I was and of course, the yo-yo dieter.  The unsuccessful diets throughout the years, losing then gaining back extra.  I failed to ever reach that my magic goal weight (180 for some reason), therefore, constantly considered myself a failure.

Really, at age 56, I faced the fact that I’m fat, will probably remain fat and that’s all there is to it.  My clothes were always clean and neat, and strived to look as good as possible, but that fantasy of being thinner or even the thought of being thin was so far away that it was….just a dream.  An unattainable dream…until I became very ill….

To be continued…..See “THE GALLBLADDER FROM HELL

Written by:  Deb

THE GALLBLADDER FROM HELL

In November 2012, I had slimmed myself down to 185 pounds. I hadn’t been that low since my 20’s. Mental illness, namely depression that I have dealt with for decades, now reared its ugly head and caused difficulties with my personal and work life.  I had years where I was hospitalized on and off, and now found myself repeating this with an admission to hospital on the psychiatric wing in March of 2012.

I lost some weight prior to the hospitalization, and then quite a bit throughout the 3 ½ week stay, and managed to keep it off; remaining at 185, but then disaster struck…

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YES, the extra-large SAUSAGE/HAM/GREEN PEPPER/ONION/BLACK OLIVE/EXTRA CHEESE pizza started the ball rolling into gallbladder hell…

My whole gallbladder story is a nightmare.  I had my first attack on Nov 19, 2012 (didn’t know it was my gallbladder, in fact didn’t know where the gallbladder was in my body, but soon found out).  That pain was the worst pain I have ever experienced, a rush to the emergency, and they were going to perform emergency surgery, however, after extensive tests (CT scans, ultrasound, x-rays), decided to wait until things settled down and sent me home.  Two days later, another attack.  Identical story, further tests, blah, blah, blah…but this time they admitted me where I was on  a heavy course of IV antibiotics for a week, and then sent home.  All was settled in the pain department.  I was warned:  No fried food and no rich desserts.

Continue reading “THE GALLBLADDER FROM HELL”