petronia: (Default)
[personal profile] petronia
My grandmother passed away Thursday night. We learnt she had terminal cancer in January, which is a story in and of itself, and after that her decline was shockingly rapid. Insofar as I can reconstruct the timeline, I was halfway through an 8-hour session of straight whiskey drinking and hashing out of emotional topics with an old friend (including but not limited to major family death). Went to bed at 5:30am, got up at 8:30am, got on the bus to work, received my mother's email informing me about my grandma, cried, got off the bus, got a coffee and croissant egg sandwich, took two Tylenols, and went into six straight conference calls before 2pm. Actually, the entire week has been straight conference calls 9-5, which is pretty impressive; a normal week for me is 25 hours of meetings, not 35. 35 means I have to write emails and review documents *while* on conference calls. Friday was the MEGA drop-deadline we'd been working toward since the start of the year, and there were the usual last-minute switcheroos and wrenches in gears, punctuated by background screaming whenever Canada scored a goal in Olympics hockey. By the afternoon it was mostly out of my hands, but there are people on the project who worked into the night and, I suspect, are working over the weekend to get tweaks in. The team is good; it probably did me more good to be in meetings with them all day than sit alone moping.

Other things that happened this week: my sister had to go in for two four-hour plasma transfusions for an autoimmune disorder diagnosed in early February. I started taking gingko biloba, St John's wort, and all my vitamins, because 1) I really cannot be sick right now, see above and 2) although $BIGTELCO's whole charitable endeavour *thing* is mental health and the insurance policy is accordingly generous, ironically I don't have time to set myself up with a therapist. I mean, nothing serious: the list of no-duh Sherlock causes for anxiety spikes, irritation, mental fatigue and general existential malaise is high. [ profile] flemmings has done great with gingko, it seems like, and you can teach yourself to soothe yourself. (One of the best things you can do for a strongly metacognitive child is to teach them about Vulcan mind discipline, frankly. Not the shallow idea of the thing, but the way the books delve into it.)

Spoiler: it worked. It worked immediately and freakily well. The standard dosage for St John's wort is 300mg three times a day, and I basically just stuck to the minimum HIGHLY EFFECTIVE dose of one pill in the morning because o_O. The gingko also worked, in that thinking is generally easier, brain fog was setting in around 3pm and has been pushed back to 10-11pm where it belongs. I've lost all need for caffeine, which is probably the greatest thing because coffee and anxiety form a vicious cycle. (St John's wort, it turns out, is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor as well as serotonin - as I discovered when I drank that one coffee very slowly Friday morning. It gave me heart palpitations.) I've fallen back to one or two cups of tea a day; ten years of encroaching caffeine addiction erased at a swoop.

I feel much more like my normal self, which is to say I don't really have negative emotions. Which is worrisome for a couple of different reasons, to be honest.

I don't know what would happen if I take this combo for an extended period. Herbal remedies have always worked on me. Effectively, reliably, and with no side effects, once proper dosage is established; it's actual pharmaceuticals (including antibiotics, steroids, whatever) where I can't tell half the time if they're working or if I'm experiencing a placebo effect.

Date: 2014-02-22 05:44 pm (UTC)
ukefied: (wordless // firion & minwu)
From: [personal profile] ukefied
I'm sorry, Sabina.

Date: 2014-02-22 09:04 pm (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
I'm so sorry for your loss. (And I hope your sister's doing okay!)

Date: 2014-02-23 01:35 am (UTC)
brooms: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brooms
oh, man. my condolences and well wishes to your sister. having to go through treatment right after a loss like that, damn.

Date: 2014-02-23 04:14 pm (UTC)
canis_m: Spitz album cover (souvenir)
From: [personal profile] canis_m
Oh, no. I'm so sorry for your loss, and sorry to hear your sister has been unwell. I hope she's doing better.

Date: 2014-02-25 01:00 am (UTC)
canis_m: Souji says dame da (dame da)
From: [personal profile] canis_m
Aaah tbh I regretted it after and thought you were quite right not to dignify with a response; if it were a DW comment I'd have shame-deleted it.

Date: 2014-02-27 08:03 am (UTC)
sputnikhearts: (umbrella girl)
From: [personal profile] sputnikhearts
You and yours have all my sympathies and best wishes.

Date: 2014-02-22 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Really sorry to hear about your grandmother - best wishes.

Date: 2014-02-24 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Date: 2014-02-22 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hugs* I'm so sorry. My grandma died in September. Thoughts about that generation really and truly being gone are ever present at the moment. If your herbal meds continue to work miracles, I'll need to get more dibs from you. *hugs again*

Date: 2014-02-22 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, omg YOUR SISTER. It's weird, I read your post, and registered it, but it took an hour for the notion to kick in. Nothing is supposed to happen to your kids and younger siblings, it should be the law. Keeping fingers crossed for her and hoping she pulls through and this thing goes away the way it came, quickly!

Date: 2014-02-24 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hugs* Thanks a lot, Mare. With chronic autoimmune stuff there is a lot of try-and-see -- reasonable chance of spontaneous remission as well, so. (I have been remiss in answering comments and message, I know. ^^; I wish I'd sent you those volcano photos, because then someone would have a copy!)

Date: 2014-02-22 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry for your loss.

And yeah, St. John's wort works wonders, without having nearly as much nasty side effects as "regular" antidepressants.

Date: 2014-02-24 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you.

I didn't really think it would work like an antidepressant (I've never taken any, only analogues), more like valerian tea or whatever, so this is impressive.

Date: 2014-02-22 10:34 pm (UTC)
ext_99196: (zack - pride and dreams)
From: [identity profile]
wow, that definitely sounds like a tough week. i'm sorry for your loss.

as for the herbal remedies, i'm glad you're getting some benefit from them. however, make sure you always keep your doctor/pharmacist updated on your meds/herbals/supplements, because st. john's wort is notorious for making other medications less effective.

Date: 2014-02-24 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for the kind thoughts.

I will definitely update my doctor, if it comes to that/I take it long enough. I'm lucky in that I'm not taking anything prescription, except allergy sprays, and even those I've stopped since it's not the season.

Date: 2014-02-22 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dear god. Yes, a week. Also your sister- yikes.

I'm glad the herbals work for you, since they don't for a lot of people. Ginkgo you can stop and start at need because it loses its effectiveness after a while; St John's Wort I just took for the duration of the trauma (return from Japan reverse culture shock/ Harris gov't IIRC) and dropped it when some kind of equilibrium had re-established itself. You with a busy-busy job may need to stay on it longer. But as [ profile] celestriad says, inform anyone who prescribes you things that you're using it.

Is it possibly the negative fallout/ emotions have just taken cover for the duration, since having them is inefficient and a waste of energy needed for other things?

Date: 2014-02-24 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This week's at least kicking off better. Birthday party was over the weekend, and that was quite nice, actually.

I've decided to take the gingko on weekdays and leave off on weekends. The St John's wort... I don't know? I didn't expect it to actually work like an antidepressant pill, I thought it'd be like nettle tea for detox or valerian for sleep or ginger/cinnamon for cramps. (Though ginger concentrate for motion sickness works just like popping a pill, which also weirds me out.) Then again, from observation and experience I'm sure half a tab of amphetamine a day is easier on the body than four or more cups of coffee, and I was up to three.

(And yes, I'm pretty sure this effect is the pill. Without getting into the details in a public post, I know what a serotonin reuptake inhibitor feels like. XD; Weirdly enough, I was on the other kind when I found out my grandfather died a year ago.)

Date: 2014-02-25 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was thinking- and then she has a birthday, worst possible timing, etc etc. I'm glad it went well.

Staggering the ginkgo is probably a good idea. It's still a drug. Same goes for the St John's Wort. I'd tried a couple of anti-depressants prior to that, which had all the side-effects and none of the effects, so I wasn't terribly surprised when the herbal worked and the expensive meds did not. Package it up and charge $100 for 30 tablets if you like, but it's still a plant-derived something or other.

Date: 2014-02-22 11:54 pm (UTC)
incandescens: (Default)
From: [personal profile] incandescens
I'm sorry for your loss.

Date: 2014-02-24 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you.

Date: 2014-02-23 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry for your loss.

Date: 2014-02-24 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you.

Date: 2014-02-23 03:26 am (UTC)
ext_2858: Meilin from Cardcaptor Sakura (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry about your grandmother.

Gaaa, I get freaked when I have 3 hours of meetings a week.

The actual flu is going around and it's not the one that this year's shot covered. Discovered that the hard way. Glad you've found stuff that worked for the rest of the problems.

Date: 2014-02-24 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks -- much appreciated. The job's been... an adjustment, but hopefully the awfulness of 2014 has been front-loaded. ^^;

Date: 2014-02-23 10:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Whoa, I'm sorry about your grandmother. Hope yr sister's condition improves. Your job sounds like a crazy thing.

Date: 2014-02-24 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the kind thoughts. ^^ The job is, in actuality, pretty crazy; I can't lie.

(If I've not mentioned it: thanks for the Christmas card! It's been up on my fridge since.)

Date: 2014-02-23 01:41 pm (UTC)
ext_20958: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I'm very sorry for your family's loss. Best wishes for everyone, especially your sister.

Date: 2014-02-24 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you very much.

Date: 2014-02-25 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sabina ♡ I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. :( Loss is always hard; I can't even imagine how you juggled it. Hope your sister is feeling better, & also thank you for sharing your experience with gingko biloba!!

Date: 2014-02-26 04:57 am (UTC)
ext_1502: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
If you don't have negative emotions now, are you going to have them twice as much later?

Really sorry to hear about your grandmother, and your sister as well. R got diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder last year and it's no joke.

Date: 2014-03-21 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hope things are working out well with your own health and with your sister's.

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