Monday, April 17, 2006

so the good news is...

1) I have a brand new prescription for the anxiety - klonopin. It's a twice daily dose, and should give me some more stability. I'm a little tired on it today, so I may knock back the dose to a half pill, but overall it's better than having to wait for an attack to come and then take a xanax.

2) I've been able to work with my team lead to do some major prioritization *and* to realize that I'm not the only one feeling the crunch here. It did wonders for my ability to come to work.

3) I'm not manic depressive. Seriously, after the start to my week, when I had a nice, almost UPBEAT day on Thursday, I was thinking maybe, just maybe. The psychiatrist said that no, I may just have some more severe mood swings but that doesn't categorize me as bipolar. I did mention to her that I suspected I might have some form of ADHD, and she said that after I get through pregnancy/nursing that we can discuss a trial of strattera.

Now, the bad news. Bad is a relative term, I guess. It's more of a trade-off, a consequence of sorts, but is it really bad? (What, you're asking yourself, is she talking about??)

Simply put, we're holding off trying to conceive until at least after my work stress is done (early June is the conversion date, although it may be hectic for some time afterwards). And it was my decision.

In a short period of time I have seemingly become the poster child for psychiatric medications. With the meds and the stress and a work deadline that is just six weeks away now, I reasoned that the added stress of trying to get pregnant wasn't a good idea. That waiting two months or so would not only give the work stress a chance to die down, it would allow me to escape having a possible due date in early February, to coincide with my second pregnancy's not-to-be date. All good reasons to wait some more. Again.

G was surprised, to say the least. Also not quite sure how he felt about it. He's turning 40 this year, and to him, imagining having a high school graduate when he's 60 is rather anxiety producing to *him*. It is what it is, though, and no matter what I say to try to alleviate his fears I can't make him feel better about it. I'm hoping that after "the birthday" comes and goes this summer, that he'll be in a better frame of mind.

Truthfully, it's not my favorite answer, either. I worry about being 36 before conceiving, my egg quality, the possibility of trisomies and other birth defects increasing with every year. I worry about my body suddenly deciding that it's *not* easy to get pregnant like it was last year, and suddenly we'll be faced with waiting even longer. (I know that there's no evidence to worry about that, of course, but historically I worry about things that I shouldn't, and apparently the new meds have not reduced that just yet. I'm giving it time in the hopes that it will diminish.)

On another, unrelated note: I am experimenting with Yahoo Avatars. I like that they can be changed along with my mood (ha!) so my new one is currently my "work" persona. In a few weeks I'll have my vacation one on, and will theoretically be much, much more relaxed. At least electronically.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

the only thing we have to fear...

This past few days have been eye-openingly (yeah, know that's not a word) scary.

I had the panic attack to end all panic attacks (at least in terms of the ones I've had thus far). It began Monday morning as soon as I got up, and it took me two hours to get up the courage to call my boss and say I was having trouble leaving the house. (Truth is, it was far worse -- I was having trouble even getting dressed. Leaving the house wasn't even in the equation at that point.)

Now, despite my comments a few entries ago about not being able to take anti-anxiety meds when TTC, I had in fact gotten a prescription for xanax. A pill later and I was out like a light.

I heard the garage door go up some three hours later; it was G, who'd taken the afternoon off to do some yard work. He came in and asked "what's wrong?" and I broke down. Told him some of the self-destructive things I've been doing lately (drinking more than I should, binge eating, some other things I'm ashamed to mention). Told him I didn't know what was going on in my head and I was worried that I needed serious help, and had even been contemplating inpatient treatment. He was in shock, I think... didn't know what to think. But told me I had to call my therapist and see when my options were.

When she returned my call she told me that she didn't think I needed to be hospitalized. I'm not at risk for hurting myself and am not suicidal, so the mere fact that I recognize I need more help means that outpatient treatment should be able to help. It needs to do more than it currently is, though. Or rather, I need to try harder: I need to learn how to cope, need to reduce my stress, need to learn how to push myself to do healthy things when my brain says "you don't really want to do that... you're just going to fail anyway"...

G says that I need to stop seeing this as black or white: black as in staying and possibly driving myself crazy; white as in giving up (i.e., quitting) and hence feeling like I'm a failure and disappointing my co-workers. There has to be some gray area in between, and that's what I'm trying to find. It took all I could do to come to work today. But I was honest with my boss, told her I was overwhelmed and needed help, and am proceeding as though I am going to try to make this work.

If I'm not careful, fear will end up making my life vastly different, a shell of what it has the potential to be. And that makes me very afraid.

It's a vicious cycle, I guess.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"Your opinion matters!"

Just now, I logged into my email. I belong to an online survey panel and periodically get links to surveys in my e-mail, so when I got one today, I clicked on it without reading it completely.

Question number one: "Is anyone in your household currently expecting a baby?"

Gee, how did you know?? It's my sunny outlook, I'll bet. I'm just GLOWING.

Question number two: "How many children between the ages of 0 and 48 months live in your household?"

Well, it's hard to count, there's so many. Plus, they keep moving around, and they won't sit still to let me number them...

Question number three: "Does anyone in your household participate in WIC?"

*blink.... blink...*

Question number four: "Please enter your age."

Hey, I'm 35. Feel like I'm about 58 most days, except when I have holy-crap-someone-kicked-me-in-the-uterus cramps like I do today, which reminds me that I have not, as of yet, gone into menopause. Could be just around the corner, though, so I'll keep my eyes peeled!!

"Thanks for your participation. That is all the questions we have for you today."

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

oh-so-happy holidays

This New Year's Eve, I said that 2006 was to be our year. Positive energy pretty much poured out of me.

When we didn't get a Valentine's baby, I was fine with it. "There's always next month!" When St. Patrick's Day arrived without a positive test, I was glad for the opportunity to go raise a pint at the nearby Irish pub.

Easter's almost here, and with it the potential for a Christmas baby. (Strange how that would have worked, isn't it?)

*Would have* worked. Cycle day one.

I found out last night that a good online friend of mine (who reads here BTW - M, if you're reading this, don't feel badly, ok??) got her first big fat positive. I am happy for her, by all means, but the onset of red flow did not do much to lift my spirits. I'm coming into the season of holidays that signal nothing but bad memories -- Memorial Day positive test, Independence Day miscarriage (another ironic holiday trick there) -- and with it the thought that even if we get pregnant now, and even if the pregnancy goes smoothly, I will not have a baby until 2007.

Recently, someone on a message board I belong to was trying to make herself feel better about the fact that she may not be pregnant this month, and posted that "at least she wouldn't be in the hospital for Christmas." I couldn't resist posting a polite but honest response that basically said I'd be thankful for any baby at any time of year, but instead of taking that the way I intended (a reminder that it's ok to hope) she got upset and others jumped to defend her right to post her feelings. My feelings apparently didn't carry the same weight.

At this point, the only holidays that don't carry any stigma are Labor Day (umm, well, except for the obvious), Halloween, and Thanksgiving. I may have to start celebrating holidays from other countries.

Oh wow. A search for new holidays tells me that April is apparently National Anxiety Month.

I've got an excuse now, I guess.