into the big deep hole and out again

I've been in the big deep hole again. Should of have seen it coming but didn't. I keep thinking that it will be better each year, and kind of it is and then again it isn't. I'm out of the hole again, I think, but you know, just need to process. Maybe the coming of Spring isn't the unadulterated joy it once was.

Not last Saturday afternoon, but the one before, I sat for a few moments in the car. Having just backed it in to the driveway of the new house rather badly after a big sunny morning: a garage sale, meeting a neighbour rennovating a house I loved (he's ripped out all the beautifully maintained period features, sigh) but didn't bid on because it's on a main road, scoring (and helping load and unload) another casement laundry window for an idea I have, followed by rushed time at the house, then off in the car to a crowded local bakery where Grace, as is often the case at present, acted very badly just as I needed to complete the transaction (next time I will leave with no cake), then off to a mother's group reunion (very pleasant except that I kept loosing sight of Grace in the playground which makes me nervous) and finally to Nana's for lunch where Grace remained for her afternoon sleep while I returned to the house to do some paint stripping. Anyway, there I was sitting in the car feeling hot, hayfevery and discombulated. I opened the car door and the wind blew in with a certain edge of coolness. Instantly I was transported back to another September Saturday five years ago. The second day after returning from hospital. My family came over for lunch. To be there, with us. I remember it was sunny and almost warm, and I had the lounge room windows wide open and the wind blew through. Up and down the walls. I wanted everything to be bare and stripped back. We had no meat at lunch and I let Gerard be. Saturday before last, sitting in the car, I glanced at my watch for the date and all my emotions fell into place. Like G said, this year sad day crept up on us. Rest in peace Frankie.

I tried to give myself some space for feeling sad, but my emotions felt muffled. Like when I used to smoke alot of dope. So the next few days were tough. I'd prefer to be properly sad, have a cry, then dry my eyes and go on. But it's been hard to feel anything lately, other than excessive tiredness and stupidity. And footsore from constantly swelling feet. Which I've only ever had before in the late stage of pregnancy. I finally came to the conclusion that the extra medication was a big part of the problem. So I did something I've never done before and decided to go back to my original dose without consulting my doctor first. I felt like I was entering a dangerous depressive hole, a floundering place of unformed emotions and strong feelings about things I couldn't name, where monsters gain their power from being unknown and amorphous. It seemed to me that it was getting so bad that there was no way, if I told the doctor how I was truly feeling and thinking, that she would agree to reduce my medication. Indeed, all I could think was that she would try and increase it or change it. And I would sit opposite her with drool pooled in the side of my mouth and my head falling into my lap and have no convincing argument as to why she shouldn't. For the last few weeks I've felt like even the smallest action needed an excessive degree of concentration. As if really, really stoned.  If only I had a brain, I could think myself out of the hole. If I could just do the things required of the day without stumbling.

Last Tuesday, I had a hilarious session at the community health centre having bloods taken for my epilum (ooh just look at the other medication possibilities, what fun I could have, not) levels and liver function. The nurse was asking me if the needle hurt and I kept laughing and saying, I don't care if it hurts. Nothing touches me. We had quite a chat and she agreed that I did seem quite well um, medicated. So that night, as I had planned before, I stopped taking the extra 200mcg.  The impact was almost immediate. My feet are nearly back to normal, my brain is returning and maybe 8 hours sleep a night will be sufficient in the forseeable future. It hasn't exactly been plain sailing, the odd vice like headache, more patches of extreme tiredness, some yelling and some generally feeling rotten. But it feels like coming down not like going mad. And I'm starting to feel alot better, like myself again. Which has to be a good thing.  

Although I keep having this dialogue with myself about whether I'm doing the right thing and about whether I just lack something, strength or courage maybe? The same old, same old. That I don't believe enough and that I could think myself right, even on these brain deadening drugs. Because they're supposed to help.  But too much of this medication and any thought at all wears me out. The rational process of reframing of my thoughts that I've relied on since the 90s just stops working. Under the slightest pressure, I become anxious and frustrated, even the simplest thing is absurdly difficult. Then throw in a 3 year old in a cake shop and I'm mincemeat. Not pretty. How can I find the inner resources to work on the house, do my job, be a good parent if I can't remember what happened yesterday or an hour a ago? And I'd like to enjoy the process too. Today was not too bad, once the headache passed. Actually it was pretty good. So maybe I was right. I'm just going to have to figure out what to say to the doctor. Oh well, we'll see, the worst that can happen is that I'll have to increase the dose again. Right. Bed. Rennovation updates soon.


shula said...

It's simple.
Try it and see how you go. If you start cooking out off the face of the earth, take it back up again.
It's a question of confidence in your own judgement
Took me years to learn. I still have trouble with it. But the truth is that no one can know better than you.

Frogdancer said...

Phew! What a rollercoaster. I have no advice, just wanted to pop in, give a quick wave and offer bloggy support.

bluemountainsmary said...

Me too - same drug J is on but he is at the beginning of the ride of course! I know about sad day but I have read that this particular change of season (winter to spring) can be very tricky too - J seems to be finding it a bit difficult...
So the fact that you are doing so well is fantastic... and as you say you can always up the dose again!
big hugs to you...

Leah said...

Thinking of you here too.

Stomper Girl said...

I really think you should email the guts of this very lucid post to your doctor to read prior to your appointment. I really do.

janet said...

I don't have her email address, they write their appointments in a book. How prehistoric is that?
But I am thinking of writing a dot point summary or taking it along for reference.

suse said...

Hugs and all that. Always here if you need time out or an op shopping session, or just a laze in a park now the warmer weather is appearing and an ear.
I think you are wise and brave, for what it's worth.

Bird Bath said...

Hope you find your way. don't be too hard on yourself. some days are better than others :/

ThirdCat said...

I have nothing remotely useful to say. But what stomper and shula said do seem like good ideas. Also, this is an amazing, deeply moving post (which seems a rather trite thing to say).

kate said...

Like it's not bad enough feeling crappy, realising the drugs are part of the problem doesn't help. Especially when they're quite helpful in the right dose.
Definitely take a copy of this to the doctor. I always forget everyhting I wanted to tell them.

Susan said...

I really admire the way you articulate your thoughts: with great skill and insight.
Thinking of you.

blue milk said...

Motherhood is a vulnerable business, hey? My thoughts for you at this sad time of year. Take care.

victoria said...

HUGS!! xxoo

kim at allconsuming said...

Oh bloss,
Big hugs to you.

Blossom said...

I hear you girl.Having just climbed out of my own very deep dark hole.....I do understand where you are coming from.
I couldn't get in to see my shrink until next year!!thats caring for you eh!!!
lots of hugs

Trish said...

Janet - I am a first time visitor - blog hooping and I didn't expect to read about ~Frankie~.
What a difficult path you are on .I can only imagine the ups and downs ,the highs and lows . It is so beyond the realm of my life-experience. I have no wisdom to add.
I do know the memory of those anniversary dates etched in our mind so deeply that though you know they are coming... weeks, before they arrive... they do creep up.
The day lives, hopes and dreams get shattered when we have to say goodbye to a precious baby, like your son Frankie too soon or even at all. Our life is spun off course and into disarray as we muddle through a different course in life...not one we had planned.
Dig deep and marvel at all the overflow of support and affection I see coming your way.
Not to add to to your grief or trouble but to remember Frankie with love - Did you know tomorrow October 15th is World wide Pregnancy and Infant loss Day ... I will light a candle for Frankie too.
Remember Faith and Hope are eternal.Faith in yourself to continue to carry you through this difficult journey.
Hope in solutions... as well as your strength and tenacity.
For me 4 years ago I wasn't sure where we would be 4 years from then ...after my daughter died in utero - I struggled now my hope is my children.
They a constant reminder of my worthwhile purpose on this Earth, and for that I am the most grateful.
take care