Archive for ‘Biology 101’

January 23, 2012

Chemistry.

The face of depression isn’t always a sad one.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that no one other than McDreamy could tell you that I am depressed. I’ve even managed to hide it from him for a long time. I managed to hide it from myself for even longer. Probably because my depression doesn’t manifest itself as sadness most of the time. Yes, I get sad, & I cry over stupid things, but mostly, I’m angry. & tired. Oh, so tired.

I don’t remember the last time I wasn’t tired. I’ve tried sleeping more, sleeping less, different mattresses, sleep aids, et cetera, infinity. Nothing helps. I’m always tired, unless I don’t get decent sleep & then, I’m exhausted. Small, easy tasks are insurmountable obstacles because I can’t possibly have the energy to do a load of laundry when it takes everything I have to stay awake & breathe. I want to do things, I just simply can’t.

I’m so forgetful. McDreamy can ask me to do something, & within minutes I’ve forgotten, so it doesn’t get done. I start something & it takes 3 times longer to finish it because I get distracted & forget what I was doing in the first place. I can put something next to my purse so that I “won’t forget it!” & then walk right out without it.

& then there is the anger. Or, THE RAGE as I call it. It bubbles up inside of me so quickly, at the smallest thing. Sometimes, I can squash it back down, but most of the time it takes over before I even realize what is happening. I have zero patience. I feel like a crappy parent to Zola more & more often; her issues make it challenging to do things with her, & my fuse is so short that I avoid playing games or doing crafts with her because OH MY GOD, YOU AREN’T DOING IT RIGHT, & DO I REALLY HAVE TO EXPLAIN THIS AGAIN?!? I know how horrible that sounds, trust me. Which is why I avoid doing things with her that I know will trigger it. There are a lot of times that I just have to walk away. I hate hate hate it. I feel like I’m turning into MY mother, which is the worst possible fate in the universe. I KNOW what it was like growing up with her; I know what it felt like to be her daughter. I don’t want that for Zola, & I don’t want it for any other children we may someday have.

Once you combine all of this together, I feel like the biggest failure on the planet. I can’t keep my house clean, so I fail as a wife. I can’t get pregnant, so I fail as a woman. I can’t be interactive with my daughter, so I fail as a mother. I can’t hold my temper, so I fail as a person. Everything I do is wrong, no matter how hard I try. I want to be a good wife, a good mother, a good person. I try so, so hard. But it isn’t good enough.

It isn’t good enough because my brain chemistry is out of whack. The chemicals in my body are betraying me, every day. They are causing these feelings, this little voice telling me that I’m not worth it. They are causing the bone-crushing exhaustion that envelopes me & keeps me from doing the things I so desperately want to do.

& this sounds like excuses, which is another reason I’ve put off getting help for so long. I (& that little voice) had convinced myself that I was just a lazy, mean bitch. I had convinced myself that this is just how I’m made, that if I really wanted to, I’d get up & do the dishes. If I really wanted to, I could have more patience. That if I wanted to, I could stop being so lazy, so angry, such a failure. That surely, I must be doing something wrong.

Well, I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t getting help. But that’s about to change. Because I’m going to fight chemistry with chemistry, & be the person I’ve dreamed of being.

Bring it on. I’m done being depression’s punching bag.

May 18, 2011

Focus.

I’ve been meaning to update Ye Olde Blog for several weeks now. I’ve got several posts simmering on back burners right now, but haven’t really had the passion to write them down.

So, an update. McDreamy finished his field training, meaning he is now working the night shift. Alone. Well, not totally alone, there are other guys on his shift, but alone as in, only one in the car. Like, backup might be miles away alone.

I’m a complete contradiction over this. On one hand, he is GOOD at what he does. I trust him to make good judgement calls & come home safe at the end of his shift. I don’t really mind being home alone, other than the fact that I sometimes often lose track of time & end up not going to bed until 1am. Mainly because I get sucked into the vast expanses of The Internets & before I know it, it’s late (10:32pm) & I still have dishes to do & laundry to wash (because I have NO scrubs to wear to work tomorrow) & there are so many dust bunnies I need to sweep up that I’m afraid they are plotting world domination starting with my house, & before long, we will all be subservient to the dust bunny war lords & it will be all my fault.

On the other hand, he is ALONE. In the dark. Checking buildings when alarms go off, stopping (potentially) drunk people for swerving, going to houses on domestic calls. Now, typically, there is an officer to assist in the first & last scenarios, but still. He straps on his bullet-proof vest on work nights & drives away into the impending darkness. My husband has to wear a bullet-proof vest to work. ::deep breath:: & because he’s gone, the dogs are on high alert ALL.NIGHT.LONG. The slightest noise sets them off into the Apocalyptic Death Nell. It is ridiculous. They were like this when he was in the academy, too. But then, he would come home in a couple of hours. Now, he isn’t home until morning. Which means I usually get at least one rude awakening that has me reaching for my gun because OMG THERE MIGHT BE AN INTRUDER THIS TIME FOR REAL. It’s quite nerve-racking.

In uterus news (are you listening, GOP Uterus Police?!), I had my appointment with the RE today. We discussed my long, sometimes anovulatory cycles. He feels that I probably have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). He recommended 3 treatment cycles with a medication to help ovulation. If I haven’t gotten pregnant by the end of the third cycle, we’ll pursue testing to see if there is a secondary reason. He feels that, baring any other issues, I may have just not had enough true opportunities to get pregnant due to my lack of ovulation.

He gave me the choice of the standby Clomid, or a drug called anastrazole. They work differently, but achieve the same effect. Clomid is an anti-estrogen drug; it binds the estrogen receptors, effectively stopping the effects of estrogen – which signals your pituitary gland to produce more Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) & Lutenizing Hormone (LH). FSH & LH are the two hormones primarily responsible for follicle growth/eventual ovulation. The side effects are mainly due to the estrogen-blocking effects – vaginal dryness, mood swings, thickened cervical mucous, thin uterine lining. Clomid has been approved by the FDA for treating infertility caused by anovulation.

Anastrazole is actually a breast cancer drug. It is used to prevent breast cancer in high-risk women, because it is an estrogen suppressant (most breast cancers are estrogen-driven). Instead of completely blocking estrogen like Clomid does, it lowers the overall level of estrogen. The level is low enough to still cause a stimulation of FSH & LH, but without completely shutting down the other functions of estrogen – mood regulation, thinning of cervical mucous, thickening of the uterine lining. Using it to help with ovulation is off-label (which I’m okay with).

I’ve chosen the anastrazole to start with. But, because we are out-of-pocket for all treatment expenses, it will probably be a few months before we start our first treatment cycle. I still need to go in for blood work on day 3 of my next period (obviously if I’m not pregnant this cycle) to measure FSH, LH, A1C, lipids, prolactin, etc. The doctor is also going to write a letter of medical necessity to my insurance company to see if they will cover a test for Fragile X (which is a gene linked to mental retardation & autism – my maternal half-brother is severely autistic). Luckily, my CD3 blood work & baseline ultrasound will be covered as diagnostic, so that helps. But a cycle will still run us between $200 – $400, depending on how well I respond & whether I need additional drugs/blood work/ultrasounds. We could probably swing the $200 next month, but not $400. We’ll have to save up for that.

This month has been absolutely crazy. McDreamy started nightshift, Christina is getting married, we had massive storms & tornados all across the region (& in our figurative back yard – lets say  I’m very lucky to still have a job to go to). So, I am on a self-imposed charting break this month – that is to say I have no effing clue where I am in my cycle. IF I ovulated “normally”, I should be starting my period (or be getting a positive test) in the next day or two. If not, who knows? I’ve decided I won’t test until Saturday morning, & that is only because Christina’s wedding is Saturday & I shouldn’t drink if I am in fact knocked up 🙂 The doctor pulled a progesterone test today to try & confirm whether I have ovulated or not, so that should help.

& now that I am quickly approaching 1,000 words (this is what happens when I slack off & don’t update often enough!) I will bid you adieu, before your head explodes from the wordiness of it all.

P.S. Could you please pray/light a candle/meditate/whatever you do for me? I’d really like to see a second line on Saturday so I don’t have to shell out wads of cash to get a chance at a baby. Thanks.