Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sailing, Sailing, in the Ocean Turquoise Blue, When days are Hot, When Days Are Cold (especially then!) in a Caribbean Pool

This year is Bruce and My 25th Wedding Anniversary, so we've done some things that were rather expensive but cool.  I found out that Les Miserables was coming to Toronto in Dec. so instead of a big celebration last March, we got tickets for the show.

We also decided to join some of my family members on a cruise in the Caribbean.  After many months of waiting, it is finally here.  We leave this week for Florida (a very long car ride) with my brother and his wife and my other brother.  We are taking Katrina, so will be doing some animal-oriented things because she is an animal lover.

Because Katrina has been diagnosed with ocd, her counsellor wanted me to go to therapy to make sure I didn't get any relapses, or have a problem with her doing ERP.  So I am seeing a student therapist- ok by me, as I am not in any big crisis, so I can be a guinea pig.  In Ontario, or at least at this Centre, you don't pick your therapist, you get assigned one- hopefully it clicks.  I guess if you want to hunt for  a psychologist not at a clinic you get to pay out of your own pocket?? 

She asked me if I had any concerns about going away- any OCD issues.  I thot for a moment and said 'no'.  I remember going to Moosonee 3 or so years ago and hitting OCD after OCD issue.  I made it thru, but it was WORK for me, and filled with anxiety.  This time, I don't feel much anxiety at all- just lots of excitement. 

I listened to some cruise travel advice which said to rewipe down your cabin, since they do so many in the short time between arriving and leaving again.  I bot a small container of wipes- not javex bleach wipes but just wipes for the car in case they are needed.  So IF the cabin looks dirty, I have an option.  But hopefully I wont succumb.  I'll be with my sister & her family (who are flying down), with my 2 brothers, my brother's wife and of course Bruce & Katrina.  I hope I will be so busy that disinfecting my cabin will be at the bottom of my list of things to do.  Just in case, tho are the soapy wipes (notice they aren 't bleach, so a) they CAN'T disinfect, hence why bother and b) they are able to be used to wipe sticky fingers in a car should that be needed.

This new therapist also suggested 5 books for me to read about OCD and family.  Only 1 was actually at my library.  I asked for Interlibrary loans, hoping they'd all come at separate times over the past few months.  Nope, 1 had 2 I had to read rather quickly, but I made lots of notes.  I got Up And Down the Worry Hill'- a book for kids, on Saturday so we can read this one at our leisure -even on the cruise if we want.  But first i'll see if her therapist is going to read this with her, or if he wants us to wait to read it until he explains things to her.

Just as a sideline- I'm a Harry Potter fan and while on Pottermore this afternoon, I read something about how green and purple are wizard colours.  Funnily enough, green is my son's favourite colour & purple is my daughter's.  I guess that means my kids are the magic in my life.  So true.   I loved home schooling my son, I learned lots and became clese to him; my daughter will be going thru her own OCD journey with my help (not therapy, just as a parent, thank goodness).  She's an artistic girl and has the moods and perfectionism to go with it. 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Dermatitis- is it contageous?

This past Nov.  my chin and nose areas started to look red and had lots of red dots.  The doctor wasn't sure  what I had, so he gave me some  steroid cream which didn't do too much.  I saw my sleep disorder doctor who thot it was rosacea and gave me some gel which really stung.  I endured for hours and by the next day was begging for an appointment with my regular doctor.  Then he guessed impetigo and gave me anti-bacterial cream and pills to add to the corticosteroid one.  The cream  didn't hurt and it seemed to go away a bit.

The problem is that impetigo is contagious.  I don't want to contaminate the whole universe by giving it to every random person I meet, right?

 Well, aren't we all in luck!  I know how to deal with contamination issues.  After all I have OCD!

 Contamination is right up my ally.  I just have to wash my hands every time I touch my face.  OK.  I know how to do that AND I am conscientious enuf to actually follow thru.  After all, this is a REAL contamination situation, not imaginary germs.  I can handle this.

So now along with my facial problems, I also have really dry hands from washing them so often.  I  try hard not to touch my face by my nose and mouth.  Amazing how often my face itches!  Ever try scratching your mouth area without touching it?   If you stick your tongue under your lip and stretch it, with any luck the itch goes away.  Good thing I don't have a job where I'm dealing with people because I sure make some weird faces.  My dogs haven't complained- yet.  I wonder what all the people on the cruise ship are going to think about these weird facial contortions, tho?

Actually, I don't want to have this problem when I go on vacation next week.  So tonight I started looking on the internet for alternative skin conditions.  I found one that fits what's been going on with me- perioral dermatitis.  Rash around the mouth.   Not contagious, gets exacerbated by topical steroid creams but does respond to erythromycin which is what I have been taking, on and off, 3 times now.  They're not sure what causes this but do say being out in the cold is one.  This year I've been taking the dogs outside for a walk/play nearly every day for over a half hour at a time! 

Normally I'm not really a outdoor-in-40-below kind of girl.  I' m more a 'sit-by-the-window-reading-a- book-feeling-sorry-for-all-those-who-have-to-go-out person.  But I will do for my dogs what I won't do for me.  I will be mentioning this to my doctor when I go again Friday morning.  I will also be stopping that steroid cream!

Is this the universe's idea of a funny joke?

Saturday, February 01, 2014


I was visiting Tina's site tonight and she  had a picture of a Trixie Beldon book.  That got me thinking about how much I used to love the church rummage sales.  Even our mall had non-profit organizations setting up their craft/ rummage tables once or twice a year.  I loved to hunt thru the book piles for that next great read- another Nancy Drew, Donna Parker books, The Sound Of Music (who knew that that was even a book!) I loved Sound of Music.  I reread that so many times, I don't need the book anymore to remember scenes!

 Second hand book stores were also great places to hang out- until OCD hit.  I couldn't even go to the library without worrying I was contaminating their book and I didn't want to bring them home in case they contaminated my house.  Even starting a book didn't guarantee I'd be able to finish it.  If I couldn't bear to touch the book anymore, it went back - after being cleaned, but that cleaning didn't didn't satisfy me.  I never told the librarians that I contaminated their books.  After awhile I just stopped going. 

The librarians knew I had a small baby, so probably didn't think much of the fact that I wasn't rummaging around in one department or another.

I worked very hard to get back the ability to use the library.  I remember sitting in the library already feeling contaminated but continued reading until the contamination feeling went away.  It took about a half an hour.  I am soooo happy I can use the library again. 

Unfortunately I can't say the same thing about used book stores. Brown marks and other old smells attached to the books now remind me, not of generations past enjoying the book, but of mold and mildew.  Since I don't know where the books came from, who is to say they didn't come from an old mouse-filled attic or a hoarder's house, again full of mold or  mice.

But I love the memories I have of browsing thru books, looking for either a great read or a book I've already read that I want to add to my personal library of books.

I hope that one day I will feel ok about going into a used book store again.  Even at Value Village, our local used items store, I can buy clothes- had to work hard to get that back but not adult books.  I have decided that I CAN buy children's books that aren't too old.  Popular books that have been written in the last 10 or so years.  Books I can tell were donated as the child got too old for them, not as a result of a cleaning raid on someone's house.

I won't even take back the box of 'my' books sitting in my parent's attic- in case they were touched by mice.