This post is in response to: Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/daily-prompt-best/
Where do you do your best thinking?
My mind is one of those that always seems to be going non-stop, even when I’m trying to get to sleep (sometimes especially then). To make it all make sense takes special focus. It takes actual pen and paper to chart out those processes, expand them, tie them together, and condense them in an organized, easy to tend manner. While thoughts on everything from finances to short story ideas come in a mudslide, my key to gaining this coveted organization is sensory deprivation – or as close as I can get to achieving that.
This state of thought can rarely be achieved at home. With seven or more people in the house at any given time, there is rarely any quiet, much less a time of few to no distractions. Our back yard provides a very temporary haven to sort things out as we have a large fire pit set far enough back that household cacophony does not reach. It does seem though that every time I retreat to the fire pit for some brain-time, soon someone realizes I am back there and comes to hang out, the rest following shortly after they’ve realized the first is missing.
Alternately, beautiful shorelines are all around me. Be it a small lake, a creek, river, or beachside, there is always somewhere I can go if I have the gas to get there. The area around the library is one of my favourite places to sit and sort. If one view becomes monotonous, another is only a couple minutes’ walk away. People don’t bother you much out there, aside from the expected nod, smile and “good morning!” as they pass you walking. Being surrounded by natural scenes allows my mind to pause, take in the simplest of sounds, sights and smells, and stop long enough to think on paper, one topic at a time. Nature gives me the space I need for my body and soul to just breathe and just that in itself helps everything fall into order. Oddly, the darker, rainier, stormier it is, the more creative the thoughts become. Until of course every hair on my body starts to tingle, then my only thought is “Lightning – Shelter!” *winks*
The only time it becomes impossible to think straight is when I am under extreme stress, and I have had my share of that. When depression starts to creep in over the things causing stress, there is no place or situation that seems to help me think. In fact, thinking when I am feeling depressed is something I try to avoid because it tends to begin a downward spiral which only ends badly unless by some miracle something happens to pull me out of it. Likewise, I try like hell to avoid making decisions or plans under pressure. Those are the ones we tend to regret the most.
So nature, every bit my thinking box, especially when the calming energy of water surrounds me. Your turn – Where do YOU do your best thinking?
Trying to come up with some radical new idea (ok, maybe “radical” in this day and age was a bad term) – a BIG new idea for research for my next FME article. With everything happening in the news, I should not be at a loss for a topic, however my fear is that I will just come across as repeating the same news we’ve been hearing every day. What would YOU like to read about, or hear a fresh view on? Tell me in the comments!
Just to drop an update on myself, ever since my boss passed away on December 28th and the company subsequently closed on January 2, I have been seeking work. For 3 1/2 months, I have been living on my tax return and the grace of friends and charity however that is all running out quickly. If I don’t find viable work *this month* I will be facing very dire circumstances.
The stress of this has caused my blood pressure to shoot up as the worry is constantly there, 24/7, and I have rarely been able to sleep at night for the past couple months. A week and a half ago, I ended up having to break down and go to the doctor with the joints in my right wrist severely inflamed – I was unable to move my wrist, hand or fingers at all. The wrist was treated and cleared up in a matter of days with a brace and a prescription anti-inflammatory but we still don’t know the cause of it. X-rays showed no fracture, blood tests showed no elevated uric acid and therefore no possibility of gout, and the doctor also ruled out arthritis. It remains an excruciating mystery but at least I have leftover meds to treat it should it recur.
While at that doctor visit, whereas the wrist was treated quickly enough, the focus of the visit quickly turned to my blood pressure when my vitals were taken. Back to that – my BP was 210/140. YIKES! The doc immediately gave me a Clonidine and told me to go to the emergency room however if you’ve ever read my previous post about Lawnwood Regional, you’ll understand why I was loathe to even consider stopping in there. In the end, I did not go to the ER, taking the prescription for Clonidine and hoping that would start to lower my numbers.
Like an idiot, I started right in on the full prescribed dose. Had I remembered the problems I had when starting on another BP med several years ago (heart rate below 60, fainting, inability to walk more than a few feet without severe difficulty in breathing), I would have started small and worked my way up to the full dose. The first 3 days of full-dosing this time, same thing. I was fainting, could barely breathe due to very slow heart rate, and (thankfully this was over the weekend) was barely able to stay awake for more than a couple hours at a time. My thinking and reaction times were very slow so driving anywhere was NOT an option. By that Monday, I was vomiting and fainting and I stopped the med completely (another stupid thing, but I did consider how my BP would shoot up in doing so). I called my doctor and told him I *have* to do this my way. By stepping the dose up slowly over the next few days, I was fine on the prescribed dose. Hitting my system all at once though is something my body just couldn’t handle.
In taking my BP every couple days over a week and a half, I saw the numbers were going down but not nearly enough. I called the doc and reported the latest readings and he still *insisted* that I go to the ER. It was either that or drop another $60 at his office to be seen for another reading and a dose adjustment. I did not have $60, I’d just dropped my entire unemployment check at his office at the initial visit, so this time I had no choice – I had to go to Lawnwood.
Checking into the ER, my initial reading put the staff on alert: 240/120 – Hypertensive Crisis. The previous afternoon’s reading was around 203/116 – I am willing to bet that just the thought of having to go to this hospital spiked it. Immediately, I was in a bed hooked up to a monitor, getting about a dozen vials of blood drawn, the works. The odd thing is, I *felt* fine, but this is why they call hypertension “The Silent Killer.” They ended up doing a chest X-ray on me and an EKG. Bloodwork came up clear, X-ray came up clear, I don’t know what the EKG said. After receiving additional medication, 3 hours later my BP had reduced to 174/91 – the lowest it’s been since this whole ordeal started. That was enough for them to discharge me with two new medications in a combo pill to be added to my original one.
Because of the urgency in getting those numbers down to stay, I have gone headfirst into the full dose of the new med(s). Since I lack a way of checking my BP at home (can not afford a home device), I have to go to a pharmacy or a fire station to get it checked for free. Driving right now is not an option, so it’ll have to wait until my head clears from the new med. What a headache this has all been, especially thinking of all the medical bills when I’m trying to survive on a tiny unemployment check that pays my rent but nothing else 😦