Monday, April 04, 2011

Not So Happy Pills AND | Fruit and Nut Tabbouleh

Fruit and Nut Tabouli
I had my yearly physical on Monday. I was glad that the appointment was this week as I wanted to let my PCP know that I had started therapy and also that I had been dealing with a rather bad stomach ache for the past few weeks. Its not a constant ache, but one that seems to come and go, but gets worse after I eat (sometimes while I'm eating) along with this ache are some serious noises in my belly, the kind of growling swirling noises that make people look at you in meetings, like their wondering if you you're going to have to excuse yourself to go shit your pants.  So I explained the stomach issues, the stress issues, the I'm in therapy issues and the doctor along with a battery of questions asked if I was "happy". I had to be honest with her and reply "I've been happier." 

After my physical she asked if I would talk with her in her office. Dum, dum, dum. So, I took of my johnnie, put on my street clothes and walked into her office and shut the door behind me. First, she wanted to let me know that my stomach issues were most likely caused by stress induced Irritable Bowel Syndrome, great, so not only is my throat filled with polyps, my head is going in a hundred different directions, now my colon has decided to join the party and get pissed off too. I picture my colon as an angry old man with salt and pepper hair sprouting from his ears, clenched fists and a horrible screwed up face like he just walked into someone elses fart. 

It was after the IBS conversation that she asked me if I wanted a prescription for an antidepressant/anti anxiety medicine. 

I was crushed. 

I do not want to be looked at as the type of person who needs the help of pharmaceuticals to be happy, I want to be happy on my own, on the inside, without help. I explained to her that I have a stigma when it comes to drugs, my father was not part of my life because he was addicted to drugs, heroin to be exact, and he's dead because he couldn't stop, because the drugs and the alcohol killed him. Its too close to me. I've always prided myself on being the strong one, the one who didn't need the things that other people needed to get by, I'm the girl who wouldn't take the Vicodin that my doctor prescribed when I broke my pelvis, I didn't need it.

I refused the prescription, and walked out of the doctors appointment with what felt like the scarlet letter of depression tattooed on my face, like everyone could clearly see now that I needed help.

It just so happened that I had a nice calming bikini wax scheduled right after this  appointment, lovely. There's nothing like the first bikini wax after a long cold winter, and yes, I'm being facetious. As I disrobed from the waste down and hoped up on the waxing table, placed the soles of my feet together, I realized that the position that one gets in for a bikini wax is quiet similar to the yoga pose Baddha Konasana - see below.

So, basically you do this, but then lay down on your back. So, I laid back, in my modified yoga pose and said to myself, "I can relax, I can deal with stress, watch me, I'll be the best yogic bikini waxer ever", so I closed my eyes and felt no pain. Which is no easy feat as the woman who was doing my bikini wax clearly had nothing to do for the rest of the day, and took her sweet time, going over spots that I swear she had gone over 2 or 3 times before. At the end she commented to me that I never flinched or said a word, or seemed to feel any discomfort at all. No, no I didn't, because I don't need no stinking pills.

We're had dinner at a friends house Saturday, a married couple who are also in therapy, although they go for couples therapy. I think it's funny that Chris will be the only one at dinner not in therapy, its like he's the one thats weird.

I'm made a Mediterranean grilled vegetable appetizer platter to bring over and I thought that this would go perfectly with the roasted vegetables and hummus. This recipe comes from the Vegetable Planet Cookbook that I bought last summer, which has just been waiting patiently for me to give it some lovin'.

Dried Fruit and Nut Tabbouleh
1 cup bulgar wheat
2 1/2 cups hot water
2 seedless oranges peeled, segmented and chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsely
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cucumber peeled seeded and diced
1/2 cup onion finely diced
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove minced
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup currants
1/4 golden raisins
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Combine the bulgar and the boiling water and cover for 20 minutes, strain through a fine mesh strainer after and put in a large bowl. Add the orange segments.

2. Combine the rest of the ingredients into the bulgar and oranges, mix to combine. Enjoy warm or cold....its great either way.

Rating = Good


AM said...

I like your new blog template, it has that spare minimalist look. Thanks for the info on bikini waxing, having never done that, I've been curious about how it works. Now we know and now we're never ever doing that! Thanks for posting on the therapy, and I do hope you reach a truce with the guy with hairy ears.

JB said...

AM, thanks for commenting, I look forward to your comments. Although I'm sad that I've scared you off of the bikini wax. Some women say they are torture, some don't mind them, I'm obviously in the latter group.

Have I ever asked where you live? Just curious.

Meg said...

Hey Jules, just popping in to say hi and give you some IBS solidarity and encouragement. I've ALWAYS had stomach issues, so the minute you described yours, it brought back so many familiar feelings. "Brought back?", you may ask? My IBS is pretty much non-existent these days. It turns out that mine is absolutely correlated with stress and anxiety. Even if I didn't *think* I was stressed or anxious about anything, my gurgling intestines begged to differ. These days, I only suffer occasional flare-ups, and now I look at them as an opportunity to try and center myself and reflect on what is making me nervous. For me, it was being in a job I didn't like that was a trigger for my IBS. but, I've suffered with it on-and-off for probably about 12 years. There was a time when the GI doc thought it was Crohn's so they put me on steroids which messed with my head, so I stopped the drugs and got a 2nd opinion. Nowadays, my PCP (in Melrose) specializes in gastroenterology. If you want his info let me know. All this blathering on is to say, I feel your pain. I know how much that aspect of what you're dealing with sucks, and I offer you hope that, as you become more adept at handling and managing the stressors in your life, your IBS symptoms will likely go away. In the meantime, it can help to keep track of whether any certain types of food make your symptoms worse and try avoiding them. That didn't always work for me, but it could help. Thinking of you, my dear!

Ann MacIntosh said...

My God! An annual physical and a bikini wax on the same day?! That doesn't sound like fun at all. I've never had a bikini wax and now that I know how its done, I think it is something I can definitely do without. Best wishes with the therapy. You deserve to be happy.

AM said...

The spousal unit and I lived in Seattle for decades, working for a large manufacturer of airplanes. We're retired now, and live full time in a 5th wheel RV. We sold the house, ditched the bulk of our belongings and became full timers. We're in Tucson Oct - April. We orbit up and down the west coast in the summer.

Terri said...

Yeah the pills do get a bit of a stigma and I would have put one on there a while ago. But I literally saw one of my good friends do a complete 180 after she started on some. She was a stay at home mother and was not feeling it. So much that many of us wondered if her kids were in danger. Long story short, she was having her own crisis and needed some help. She tried some of the offered prescription pills and found that after just a few weeks on them she felt 100 percent better, she had her head clearer than it had been in a long time and overall a much better outlook on life. She has since weaned off them but she was converted.

Not that I am telling you to run out and get a script for them now, but as a friend of a once non-believer it was refreshing to see how much the meds helped her.

Hugs to you lady!

Michal said...

Your tabouli recipe looks PHENOM! I LOVE tabouli, and I am always adding dried cranberries to mine, so I cant wait to try yours out :)