Monday, February 21, 2011

I hate depression

I'm depressed again. I don't know when it started but I'm fully entrenched in it now. I don't want to get out of bed, I'm irritable, I don't shower everyday, I go to work grudgingly, I don't enjoy my hubby like I should, I don't enjoy much of anything. I'm unhappy with my body (I've gained weight recently) and hate choosing what to wear in the morning, yet I don't want to workout. I'm tired of picking up the house. I've been struggling with the issue of childbearing (see previous post) and the sadness that comes with my decision not to have a child. I'm moody. There is nothing there when it comes to intimacy either. On the weekends, I sleep a lot and don't bother to get dressed. Lately I'm not even brushing my teeth. Ugh. It's affecting my relationship in so many ways that I'm concerned, yet I feel powerless to do anything. It takes so much energy and work...

Some days are better than others, but I inevitably want to do nothing by the end of the day but go to bed and forget everything.

I recently went off one of my meds thinking that I don't need it all year. I was taking lamictal to supplement the Cymbalta when I go through my yearly depression in August. Figuring this phase only happens then, why should I take yet another drug that I might not need except for a brief period each year. I've been off for at least a month after tapering down. Today I took my first dose to see if it will help (doc ok'd this strategy).

Depression has been with me since I was a teen. My dad has it - might even be bipolar. Is it genetic? Is it related to EDS? Is it just me? I've had two major depressive episodes in my life, with one ending up in the hospital (checked myself in; slipped through the cracks in the medical system - long story). I've been on some sort of med since 1999, but it seems my body is able to defeat the effectiveness of it. I know I need to seek counseling, but it takes so much effort to find someone that fits right. How many therapists have I seen in my life - too many. I know from experience, though, that the combo of meds and therapy are the most effective for me. It can't be too inconvenient for me to go to the therapist or I'll stop going so I have to find someone nearby home or work. Hypnotherapy works well for me to shut off my self-critical conscious mind. Sometimes I wish I could just hypnotize myself out of my problems! Ha ha! Maybe I should ask...

I'm getting up to make the call to a therapist near my work now. I can't let this get too much farther out of control. Depression sucks.

Baby on my mind

"You have to want it more than you fear it." - unknown

I've always wanted to have a child of my own. I seemed to only find men who didn't want children, though; or, if they did, they were just not the right guy. What was up with that? Then I met Mr. Right. A few dates in, I learned that he had decided not to have any more children, that his two beautiful teens from his previous marriage were sufficient. However, I was falling for him and had to decide whether to end the relationship and continue to search for the right man to have children with, or give up that dream and take a risk that a life without my own child could be very fulfilling. I had a heart-to-heart with my mom, mother to three children, and we discussed the pros and cons of my possible futures. I decided to continue dating Mr. Right and today we are happily married. I love his children as my own.

Six weeks after we married, I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Hypermobility Type), a painful genetic condition. My husband told me that he had been prepared to ask me about having children because he loved me so much, but this new diagnosis and all the uncertainties that we faced nixed that idea. Genetically, there is a 50/50 chance of having a child with EDS, and then the manifestations are different person to person. I also struggle with clinical depression that also seems to have a genetic component, though it's possibly related to the EDS. In addition to the risk to the child, it's possible that the damage to my own body from the relaxin hormone released during pregnancy could leave me disabled. This hormone is what enables the pelvis to relax/spread enough for vaginal birth. For some women with EDS, their pelvis is never the same.

So, life has been fine without a child in the house. We travel a lot; I can sleep in regularly; and we enjoy eachother's attention without much distraction. Yet I have this emptiness deep inside that I've been struggling to keep quiet. Am I making a mistake by not asking my husband to have a child together?

My two best friends have very different baby stories. One friend had an unexpected pregnancy that ended in an amazing, smart little boy who was intensely loved by his single mother. The boy's father was not in the picture until he was a toddler and even then, my friend didn't want him around. The father was dangerous and took unnecessary risks in life, so it was inevitable that his son would get hurt. My friend tried to limit contact and even took court action but they favored the father. At 5 1/2, her son died in a tragic accident caused by his father. She has never been the same. Though I knew her since she was pregnant with her son, she and I only bonded after his death. She's not able to have another child due to age, but she's considered adoption. However, she is also taking into consideration that she's enjoying her life as is, with no child or husband.

My other friend just had a beautiful baby boy a month ago. She never wanted kids but she married someone who really did. She said the other day that if she hadn't had a child, it would have been a big mistake. She's totally in love and will be an amazing mom. It's neat to be around a newborn too. Could I handle a newborn?

So, DH and I finally got around to the subject and he just doesn't see how it is possible, especially since he'd have to have surgery. He's also of similar mind to me that this world is pretty f'd up. And then I saw the quote above on a friend's Facebook page. She actually wrote, "When it comes to making big decisions - you've got to want it more than fear it." That struck a HUGE chord with me. At this point in my life, I have way too many fears about bringing a child into this (crazy) world. I think I'm done.

Although I know I'll have more moments in life where I regret not having a child, I now have this saying to look back onto. I don't like to succumb to fear, but this is one decision that will forever be ruled by it. If I were younger and unaware, I could have ignored my fears of the world we live in - who's to say we wouldn't have the world's next Nobel Peace Prize winner, or president; plus being a good mom is one of the best jobs ever. EDS is too big for me to handle. Plus, what if we had a child with autism or some other disability - yikes! I don't know how those moms do it on top of handling their own disability. At least EDS is familiar. I guess you do what you have to do for the loves in your life.

So, I will be the best mom I can to my two beautiful grown-up kids and will spoil my future nieces/nephews like crazy. My bff has also granted me honorary auntie status for her little guy. I am so grateful for these younger people in my life.

God works in mysterious ways...

(Do any of you deal with these worries or issues? I'd love to hear your perspective.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

2010 New Year's Resolution achieved

I'm not sure I've ever taken New Year's resolutions seriously since the joke is that they are always broken. However, I publicly stated two last year and actually achieved one of them, to my surprise!

I planned to get my pain levels under control and succeeded. It's been several months since my last serious post but I know I blogged about my stress over switching pain medications (click here). This change was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time though. I can say that my pain is generally now ~2-4 on the pain scale on a daily basis. Of course I have my days, my injuries, and seasonal/hormonal issues that impact my general well-being, but I feel more in control of my life and less anxious about long painful days.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Obligatory "it's been a long time" post

I guess I got writer's block, or blog fatigue, or just lost interest since my last post. Really, I think I got EDS overload at the last conference, in a good way, but I also got socked with one month of insomnia just after the conference, which didn't help my desire to write on my blog. Got me off track.

Lots of changes happened at the EDNF since July that I'm still at a loss to understand, and I've felt a bit removed from it since it changed hands. Perhaps once they get the message boards going again I'll feel differently - more connected.

You know how bears hibernate In the winter? I think my hibernation period starts in August. I always get a little low around that time of year for some reason. Not like people with SAD because I perk back up in November. It's weird.

We went to Australia in Sept/Oct and yet I still didn't feel inspired to write. When we got back, I had a major work deadline for end of Oct. Then post-grant recovery. I found out two of my friends have breast cancer (one a rare type and the other has metastatic bc)- a heartache. Then we hosted Thanksgiving. Decembers flew by! I did most of my gift shopping online this year - wow, great feeling to avoid the malls! Went to my parents house for Xmas. At in-laws for NY holiday.

Now it's 2011. Time to start afresh...