Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reality

The blogs I enjoy reading the most are not the ones that only post about the best part of a day, or just the fun and exciting things they do or accomplish. My favorites blogs include sad things, or difficult things - real life. The good, the bad, the ugly. (okay, maybe not the really ugly!)

That being said, I want my blog to be "real" also. So I've decided to share a little about the health adventure I've been on recently. Actually, the latest chapter is recent, but the entire story began a long time ago - almost 14 years ago.

I've always had to take medication for post-partum depression after each of our babies being born. My body doesn't do well with all the huge hormone changes that happen after delivery. It was very scary and overwhelming the first time. After our second baby, we knew it was likely and I started med. right away

But then, about 2 years after the second baby was born, I began a descent into other chronic health problems and was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was getting sick all the time, had no energy, didn't sleep well, was sluggish and achy, and had "brain fog", among other issues. It wasn't the same every day, some days were better than others. But sometimes, just taking a shower and doing the barest minimum to care for the kids was completely exhausting. I just felt yucky a lot.

Fast forward a couple years - I had discovered a holistic doctor who helped me clean out and strengthen my body, get off all medications, and get rid of the worst of my symptoms. I became aware of, and a big fan of, the whole natural health world that I had previously known nothing about. And then, I got pregnant again.

I'd hoped this third time I wouldn't have to take medication for depression. And yet, despite trying nutritional supplements first, I ended up with the same old symptoms and resigned myself to taking antidepressants again because I was spiraling downward quickly.

I was determined not to stay on the med. long though, because it eventually contributed to the fibromyalgia symptoms that I'd had before. I was able to decrease my dosage after several month, but not go off completely, though I tried many times. "You'll probably need to stay on the medication for the rest of your life" my regular doctor told me. I was worried she might be right, but I wanted to prove her wrong.

Last November, our third child turned 5, and I was still taking the antidepressant. We'd been going to a different chiropractor/natural health doctor for a while now, and he felt I was ready to try weaning off again. Thus began the latest curve of the roller coaster.

Happily, I had no problems cutting down my dosage through November and December. But by mid-January, when I was down to just a teeny amount every-other day, I started having the dreaded withdrawal symptoms of dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Going in right away to see my natural doctor, we adjusted the nutritional supplements I was taking, and I felt tons better in less than 24 hours. Yea! I had hope that it was really going to work this time.

So . . . I've been completely off the med. for 3 weeks now. I've had lots of ups and downs. I've had my share of really yucky days, but I've also had some good days where I felt fairly "normal" and actually felt like I had my brain and body back!

We're working on getting my dysfunctional thyroid to behave properly, which I've learned was likely the main cause of my depression and fibromyalgia in the first place. My biggest enemy right now is insomnia. My thyroid has been kicking into high gear at night and slowing down during the day - apparently it thinks it's nocturnal - and we're trying to convince it that it's not.

Well, this has gone on long enough. But it's been a big part of my life and I just wanted to "put it out there". It's my hope and prayer that I will continue to see improvement, and have the opportunity to really enjoy life instead of feeling like I'm just surviving day to day.

I also wanted to say that my marvelous husband has been sooooo supportive!! I couldn't have done this without Rashed's support and encouragement. Thank You Rashed. I love you very much!

3 comments:

Dana said...

You are brave to keep it real and put it out there like that. Thank you for sharing your story.

I too suffered with PPD after the birth of my girls. IT was of course worse with the second. I commend you for taking charge of your health and doing all that you can to be a good mother!!

Thanks for reading my blog. It is a Canon 40D. :)

Chris's Mom said...

Thanx, Chris. Your last comment made me cry. You really do have a wonderful husband, which I can certainly attest to. After seeing the Fireproof movie, it just reinforced to me that you have such a wonderful and adoring husband. You both are truly blessed.
Love, Mom XO

Nancy said...

Thanks for stopping by my Lessons Learned on the Farm blog. We have SO much in common! I'll definitely add you to my bloglines so I can keep up with you!

I'd love to hear more about what nutritional supplements are helping you. I take Ambrotose & Plus from Mannatech, Flaxseed Oil and Omega 3 Oils, and am drinking concentrated tart cherry juice. It all helps, but I'm just in a horrible phase right now.