Thursday, July 7, 2016

Keeping me sane...

Thanks for the all the comments and commiseration on my last post. I hesitated hitting "post" but in the end it was really quite cathartic. Guys, I'm struggling a bit right now. I really wish that therapy appointment hadn't been cancelled (and cancelled...and cancelled again...I'm going on Saturday hopefully). I was 100% going to ask her about seeing the prescribing provider in the group (I could call myself and make an appointment, but you get in WAY faster than 4 weeks if the therapist talks to them to get you in). This anxiety/depression/whatever is the worst I've felt in many many years---probably since early residency when my activities consisted of working & crying.

I keep trying to talk to G about it, and I think he's not seeing how bad it is because I SEEM fine. Of course I seem fine! I have to hold my shit together for everyone! I don't have time (aside from that hour last weekend when he took the boys to the park) to just wallow.  And I've been trying to keep really busy...because busy means less time for thinking/feeling. Distractions are good.

A few things that are really helping right now:
  • Exercise: more than usual. tired also means less thinking/feeling. 
  • Getting out of the house in the evenings: sometimes I really start to chafe against the feeling of being trapped in the house from 6pm on every night (to begin/get through our evening routine with the kids). Last night I went to a neighborhood "book club" which was sort of fun. There was a period of time where birth stories were being exchanged and I sipped my drink and mentally went bye-bye because ugh. Other nights I make up errands. I signed up for an evening work out next week. I just like being out and about on summer nights. 
  • Camp: B loves camp. Camp loves B. He's happy. He NEEDS to be active to the point of sheer exhaustion. He eats ravenously and GOES TO SLEEP.
  • CSA share: I am also enjoying the challenge of trying to cook up all the veggies we get in our box. I've made all kinds of stir fries, crumbles, salads, roasted things. another thing that's keeping my mind off my worries in the evening.
  • TV: after a run of mediocre book choices (I've abandoned the last 2 books I started), I've been preferring to wind down at night with an episode of a show. I'm trying to finish up season 7 of Gilmore girls, and am 10 episodes into (out of 100+) Lost.
Hope you guys are having a great summer! What's keeping you sane these days? Suggestions for what to do with a cabbage bigger than my head? 


  1. Honestly, positive relationships/interactions with people I work with help the most. Probably makes sense because that is where I spend most of my time. Stepping a bit out of my comfort zone with what I do for fun, and going out with new friends. I took Dyl to Ocean City on a post-call day last week, which was amazing. I'm trying to look forward to a week of vacation I have in August. Trying to look forward to starting to do research again (but when???). Being happy about being 1 week into July (only 3 more July weeks, 4 more calls, and 2 more overtime days left!) and then I move on to a lighter rotation. I'm taking care of sicker patients in the OR now, and being given more autonomy to do things like intubate without direct supervision, both of which are exciting. I'm feeling incompetent all over again, but telling myself it will get better with time. I hear you about feeling down, and I do hope it passes soon.

    Part of why I told you about my successes with bribing Dyl wasn't to suggest doing exactly the same with your own children. I was just thinking that trying to be the perfect parent who says and does everything right/by the book and has magically perfectly behaved children can be exhausting and demoralizing. Sometimes you are going to just tell your children to stop the whining, even if you're not "supposed to" do that as a parent. You sometimes just have to do whatever works for them regardless of what the stupid parenting literature tells us we're supposed to do.

    1. Yes, part of my issue is actually not having much interaction at work these days. I come to work and spend 8 hours at my desk trying to write papers/grants. Or I just go from room to room in clinic seeing my patients. Occasional meetings with my tech, who I employ and so cannot be truly friends with, though we get along & are friendly. Even our usual academic conferences are on hiatus for the summer. Positive interactions at work are a huge boost for happiness.
      I get it, re: the bribes. I was trying to assure you guys that I totally do that kind of parenting, too. I'm in no way "trying to be perfect". Bribes are the only way I got B to go to bed this past year. And I often tell them to just stop the whining---but just "telling them" doesn't work and I end up ranting/yelling/lecturing at them which is what I'm not really proud of!

    2. I got L to take a bath last night by threatening to take away his brand new book that he loves. I do threats a lot, too (and yes, I do follow through. The top of our refrigerator is always full of toys in purgatory.

  2. That sounds like a good list of things to stay sane! I find myself happier in the summer, period. Less traffic, more daylight, more options for outings/trips. I'm on an earlier schedule now due to J's camp, and that's making me happier too. Worries about running late everywhere add so much stress to my life. I'm hoping I can use this time to make changes year-round (I can hope, right?)

    Anyway, so frustrating about the therapist being rescheduled! Do you have another appointment? Good luck with that. I'm glad you are going to ask for a referral for meds.

    And as far as husbands not getting it - don't get me started!

    1. I am also generally happier in the summer...but I guess chemical imbalances know no seasons. I am going tomorrow, she has Saturday appointments.

  3. *hug*

    I have tons of suggestions for cabbage-- will list in a few hours.

  4. Ok, my favorite thing to do with cabbage is to fry it. There are a bunch of different fried cabbage things you can do, but it does work really well with random Indian spices. I also like it stirfried with vinegar and a little sugar (or just vinegar when I can't have sugar). And you can just add it as a vegetable in whatever random stirfry you're doing. Fried cabbage pairs well with sausage and also with apples.

    Bubble and squeek is another great one, either the standard meat version or a vegetarian version with just potatoes (and cabbage and onions).

    Then you've got your cole slaws.

    If you've also got beets, a borscht will use up a lot of your cabbage.

    Some people like stewed cabbage, which I think is ok, and some people like stuffed cabbage which I am not a fan of.

    My favorite recipe is a pretty time consuming one involving phyllo dough, cabbage, and raisins. It's called sweet cabbage strudel and if you google cabbage raisins filo, you can get a google books copy of the recipe (p.47 Victory Garden Cookbook).

    For CSA needs, if you've got a few dollars spare, I'd strongly recommend getting a used copy of The Victory Garden Cookbook.

    1. My mom makes a similar dry-fried cabbage with a little sugar/salt/Indian spices. I just...don't like cabbage that much though G loves it. I think I'm having a hard time with the cabbage because I don't care for it. The strudel thing is interesting...I want to make something totally out there like that, to see if maybe I would like it that way, since I hate all the other usual ways of eating cabbage.

  5. Cabbage sautéed with turmeric--vaguely ethiopian

  6. Oh yeah for the nights out. I miss being out at night too. I go out to take the trash or pick up my kid from somewhere and I get a whiff of a summer night's scent and I feel like a teen again. You have my wholehearted blessing to make up errands or anything you need and get out of the house in the evening.


    My favorite -- raw, cut up thin (but not shredded), with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Great as a side salad instead of lettuce.

    I put it in stir-fry as well as a secondary or tertiary ingredient. Also thinly sliced, but not shredded.

    I am assuming you don't want to pickle it? There are recipes for stuffed cabbage with rice and beef and bacon that I can share, but they are never quite as good with quick-pickled cabbage as they are with the slowly pickled one.

    If no pickling, then sweet cabbage with carrots and beef, basically a single-pot stew [needed: head of cabbage, 1 lb of beef cubes for stew, 1 lb of carrots, a med size onion, a few bay leaves, salt and pepper, oil; saute onions, add beef and carrots until almost done, then cubed cabbage (1 inch side) for another 20-30 min, add bay leaves and spices; if you don't like the sweetness you can chuck the carrots and add things like tomatoes near the end].

    1. YES! The summer's night scent...and feel. Yesterday's "outing" was a volunteer obligation to water the plants at B's school. We both enjoyed it so much I signed up for several more days.
      So here's the thing..I actually mostly hate cabbage. I like a little bit as a tertiary ingredient in a stirfry & Asian-style slaws are kind of fresh/tasty.

    2. Cabbage lasts forever, so you can slice off some as a tertiary ingredient for many many stirfries.

  7. Oh, cabbage! I loved stuffed cabbage, with my grandmother's recipe. It's so time-consuming to actually stuff it, though, so I just mix all the ingredients together in a pot. Still yummy and reminds me of my grandmother.