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Friday, March 15, 2013

Going Crazy and Coming Back (Part 1)

I wrote a while back that a lot of things had been happening, and I honestly didn't even know where to begin to write. I have really felt afraid that if I started to write, I wouldn't be able to stop because it would all just pour out of me. And trust me, there are some things that a lot of people just don't want to hear. But more importantly, there are two very tiny people who would much rather I play with them and occasionally cook them breakfast. And lunch. And sometimes dinner.

I'm going to try to post an abbreviated version, because I do think it's important to post my whole story. Though it won't be life changing for anybody else, my life has changed very much on the inside over the last year. Where I am now doesn't seem very significant if you don't know where I was 6 months ago.

Last April, something happened..I wasn't me anymore. I was anxious, depressed, tired.. constantly on the verge of tears. But, I was also in the process of a PCS move, where I would be single-momming it for a month, then going with  my husband to a 3 week school 3 states away, and oh you know.. raising 2 babies under 2. I felt like I had a right to be anxious, tired and depressed.

Toward the end of the Summer, it got worse. My first thoughts were the same.. "I'm a stay at home mom with two very little babies. Maybe I just need a break." So I enrolled Katie in Preschool 2 days a week. That didn't help. I was still just as stressed when I only had Garrett to care for.

Then I made a friend and got a hobby! That's what moms are supposed to do to keep their sanity, right? So I was following the rules. Well, that didn't help, either. (To be fair, I do now have this friend, and she is wonderful! And I'm so thankful for her! And I do pretty much adore sewing more than anything else I've ever done.)

Also, around this time I saw a doctor. I told him what was up with me, and he suggested an Anti-Depressant. He said he thought it was Post-Partum Depression. I disagreed, and in a big way.

Then, it came time for Christmas, and I thought maybe the holidays were just adding to my stress and anxiety levels.. maybe it would all level off after the holidays. Nope. That didn't happen, either. But around Christmas is when I began to realize there was something else going on. It wasn't just new mom stress. I felt really, really off.. So, obviously, I turned to Dr. Google with my symptoms. Once I got to clicking around, I found more and more that sounded like me. I don't remember where I found this to cite it, but I found one article that said "If you have 6 of these 14 symptoms, you should really see your doctor." I had 10!

It's not some scary disease, it's just too much Estrogen, but here are some of the symptoms:

Water retention
Irregular periods
Breast swelling and tenderness
Fibrocystic breasts
Increased PMS symptoms
Loss of sex drive
Uterine fibroids
Cravings for sweets
Weight gain
Recurring yeast infections
Leg cramps
Cold hands and feet
Hair thinning

Of that list of 20, I had 13 symptoms. Can you just take a second and imagine what it feels like to always have PMS? That's what I felt like! I felt like I was going nuts.. always so emotional and exhausted. So back to the Dr. I went, and I listed him my symptoms. As soon as I started describing how I felt, he mentioned an anti-depressant again. And he mentioned a therapist again. Once I got through the physical things that were going on, he agreed that it might be hormonal and agreed to do a test. But in the mean time, he would really prefer that I see a therapist. "Oh, and here's a prescription for an anti-depressant."

So, about a week later, my hormone test results came in. Or, at least that's when they called me and said I really needed to see a Gynecologist.

During the time between seeing my doctor and finally getting in to see a Gyno, I did see a therapist a few times. After our first assessment, she *strongly* recommended that I actually take the anti-depressant I had been prescribed. I didn't want to! I felt like taking that would just mask whatever might be going on with me, and that whatever WAS going on with me was not just a chemical in my brain.. it was something else. But, since two medical professionals had pushed it, and after talking to some friends and family members, I decided to take it. Umm.. Once. That was miserable and terrible and God-awful. I had some of the gross side effects, and yeah... that business is not for me.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I saw my new Gyno. Estrogen was through the roof. Fortunately for me, there is an easy fix, and that's birth control pills. I wasn't thrilled about going back on them, especially since I've had my tubes tied, but on them I went. And now, two months in, things are finally better. I finally feel like Emily again!

Part 2 coming tomorrow! Thanks for bearing with  me long enough to read this!

1 comment:

  1. Emily - what a great story to share. I never knew anything like this was going on with you, you always seem so happy. I am glad your doing much better, when I tell my mom about my stress and anxiety first thing she suggest is medication and I do not want to take them. I did start taking some herbal stress pills and they seem to help out, but reading your story I need to go check and see if maybe something like this might be my issue.