Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Not an Easy Read or Write

Saw the doctor yesterday, follow up after my "episode", last week. I was taken off one of my medications, switched it to something else, I was also given potassium as mine was low. The follow up was very surprising to me and I believe I need to share it in order to get my head around it. To start with my pulse was back to normal which it hasn't been for nearly four years, my blood pressure was still a little high but much more acceptable, the blood work all came back negative so I have no major infection or disease, I am grateful for that.Then doctor started interviewing about my life and what was happening, I gave him a very short version. His conclusion was that the episode was either a result of the meds,..or an anxiety attack, he is guessing meds. The fatigue, lethargy, pain in my legs and shoulder, along with the heaviness I feel in my legs, he says is "severe depression".

After I told him about my life and the trials I'm having right now, he said to me," I am not sure how you managed to get here and are not curled up in a little ball somewhere screaming. The average person would be so overwhelmed they would fall apart." My answer, "This is the way my life has always been, you just do what you have to do to cope and get through it." I asked how am I depressed, I go all the time, I take time for myself at least a couple times a week to go take pictures and be alone, my house is clean and I don't spend all day in bed. I don't feel like I am depressed.

He explained it to me this way; "When you get punched in the nose, unexpectedly (why would anyone expect it?) there is an instant shock, your eyes water, your nose bleeds and you may even bend in half out of pain." Me being me, interrupted and said "yes, but I have been dealing with this kind of stuff all my life." " That is my point," he says after an exasperated sigh," When you are hit repeatedly, your body responds and generally you will pass out.  In your case where you have had a lifetime of traumas and abuse your brain chemistry has changed and your body is breaking down, not your emotions or mind." "when we think about the people a hundred years ago, they had no real medical knowledge even less psychiatric knowledge, no place to get help. They just went crazy, to drink, or died. Today we know when we are being hurt and try to get help, but not until we have stuck it out as long as we can." "Oh", was my comment. It actually made sense to me after I thought about it for a bit. I have been desensitized emotionally because the damage and trauma started at such an early age.

My heart is soft yet and I sincerely love the people I love with everything I have. In doing that in giving so much of myself I have saved little for myself. My chemistry changed probably a couple years ago when I had to quit work. Reb said,"I've seen you depressed, this is not what it looks like." She is right to a degree, it looks different yet I am doing the same things, I'm running and running hard, I am just making better decisions about where I run too!

I am overwhelmed, the heartbreak in my life has been at times almost terminal. It started when Mikey died, which also brought some blessings into my life which in my twisted way I felt guilty for, the if only's ya know. His death brought me sobriety, my mother and my daughter. Then just when everything was okay, I broke and ran to an ex abuser, almost losing everything all over again. After I started to heal from that, Randy's family started getting sick and we lost three of them one at a time, one of the things that hit hardest was when his mom died, he was on the road, no one let us know until the next day and that was because he called his mom. During this we had a granbaby born that I was witness to, he was born grey and dead, they saved him but he was not right and we all knew it inside. When I saw his birth I passed out. I had 2 other grans born the same way but they were fine after a few minutes. It took a year to find out what was going on with him. He is 2 1/2 years old now and has severe Cerebral Palsy.
 Let us not forget during all of this I was evicted on a no cause clause from a home I had been in for 7 years, and I can't tell you how many times I had to have Kenny arrested for drunkenness and being high on one thing or another. I kicked him out time and time again.
At one point he was shooting up in my bathroom, with just water, so desperate for the burn. The horrifying part was that his sister,(who knew nothing of this world of his), was there and so freaked out she left in the middle of the night with no where to go.

I said it started with Mikey, that is not correct, it started when I was 6 mo. old or so, I wont rehash all that right now, what I will say is, that although I may have brought a lot of drama on myself, I certainly did not begin that way. I watched my father terrorize my mother, I had a grandmother that talked shit about my mom all the time, A grandfather that abused me.Because of the abuse I was receiving from my grandfather I tend to minimize the mental and physical abuse that my sister and I received at the hands of our father.  That is where it started 54 years ago. I guess the doctor is right, my brain has changed and he is trying to balance those chemicals.

What I found disturbing was that he will not even address the weight issue until we get to the root of my depression and get me balanced once more. His simple statement of,"If your depressed , your gonna be fat." Nearly broke me right there in his office. I almost gave up with, "why should I even try." I will be fat and unhealthy anyway so really what difference does it make, I know the root of my depression for heaven sake, you just helped me define it.

What was I thinking, going to a doctor in the first place.

This is all rather long and drawn out, truly it is only a portion of the traumas I have survived and grown from. I thought that I had survived with minimal damage, incurring some on my loved ones was part of the syndrome I wish I could change. I was wrong or in denial because I am more damaged than I have ever admitted, suffering from PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and was at one time diagnosed with Bi-polar Disease. Even though I have had these for years I still believed it was mind over matter and I was just weak. That is probably left over from my dad.  I despise labels, I felt that if I did not acknowledge the label, I didn't really have it. What I have come to learn is that these are much more serious in the way they affect the body than I had ever imagined.

I must say this before close, my husband Randy has been there for me in every way, even when I abandoned him. He is my definition of a man. Taking the good with the bad, loving me and mine all the way through it, even in his own grief. There are some other people I would not have made it this far without and I am forever grateful that they never gave up on me.

I don't generally like to talk about these things in such a personal way, I feel as though I am being dramatic and a bit histrionic. I never wanted the attention I got and I certainly don't want attention for the telling of it, what I want is for someone to be able to learn and help themselves sooner than I did.

I will follow the doctors orders, check out some groups, work on a healthier diet and keep reading blogs and writing this one.           


  1. So touched.....hope that you come out off your depression and find answers. Love and hugs.

    A couple of home remedies for you( you do not have to take pills unnecessarily for these)
    To increase your potassium level (if it is less) then eat a medium sized boiled potato with its skin, every day. Banana is fine too...but, potato has more potassium than banana.

    For your high blood pressure...try chewing a piece of cinnamon stick before you go to bed..will also reduced cholesterol.

  2. Thanks Janu, I appreciate it. I am never sure what to do these days, but I sure hate pills.

  3. I am glad you are following drs sucks i know I'm in it..I understand a lot of your history..I have been there too...but as always..know I am here..loving you...As always...XOXOXOXOXO

  4. Thank you Bonnie. Where would I be without you!<3<3<3

  5. Your story will help others suffering with the same problems and will also heal you. I think Janaki's tips are excellent...god bless and take care.

  6. Thank you Sulekkha, I appreciate the support.

  7. Thank you, Jan, for having the courage to share; I pray this will be of help to others.
    May God bless you and heal you!

  8. Jan, writing this post is just the beginning for you. Depression is so unique as it doesn't present the same symptoms for everyone. It is true that your body adapts to life, so to speak, as your doctor said. But taking care of your depression first is what is important. Once you have conquered that, you may find that your weight issue is no longer an issue :) Thank you for sharing!

  9. We can go through each day, doing what we are supposed to be doing...going through the motions, I like to say. Most of us who have these kinds of experiences in our life are very good at hiding behind our wall without even realizing it. We can look happy and healthy on the outside when inside, we are breaking down bad. It sounds like your doctor has hit the nail on the head. Heed his advise. Definitely keep writing!

  10. @ Martha, thank you for stopping in, my wish is to give others a heads up on these issues.
    @ Mary, thank you for the encouragement.and stopping in.
    @ Anna, thank you for stopping in and for your words, I appreciate it.