What has happened this week in my life?
I almost didn’t feel comfortable sharing all of the emotions and events of this week with the public, but I have kept it ‘real’ and honest with you up until this point, so why change that now?
This week we’re discussing hormones, both fertility and mental health related, in addition to a few embarrassing moments I have had this week, so bear with me.
For a ‘boring’ week to the outside world, I am exhausted.
For my Crohn’s Journey, I started my Humira treatment last Wednesday, and by Friday I was having worse symptoms, with bleeding, and fatigue, and diarrhea, and vomiting.
I just can’t win.
I spent the weekend in the bathroom, but that’s nothing new. I am still vomiting dinners, the only meal I’m attempting to eat, and September would mark a month of puking, so I’m working towards a month-and-a-half of doing that now.
My throat hurts from the vomiting and my abdomen hurts from dry heaving so often. Sometimes, it almost feels like I have a collapsed lung, or I have a hard time catching my breath. It’s exhausting.
‘Embarrassing moment’ number 1 came Monday, and I had my first accident on myself.
What do I mean?
I mean my Crohn’s caused such pain and urgency, that I used the bathroom on myself…..you know, bowel issues.
How’s that for honesty?
If you find this only funny and not serious, then you don’t understand and you are missing my point. My body is losing control over itself a little more each day, and it’s terrifying and saddening living with this disease I don’t control.
It’s also super embarrassing, and I broke down crying after a shower and laundry.
What if I wasn’t home?
How can this be happening!?
Is this something I need to worry about being a problem forever?
Is this my life now, too?
Why, Crohn’s? Why?
Next week, Humira Wednesday is back, with 2 new shots for me to give myself at home. Yay? I am not looking forward to it.
Last week, I started birth control, inserted that dreaded NuvaRing, and began the wait to see what happens with my ovarian cyst, Myrtle, after 3 cycles, to see if she has ‘dissolved’ herself. (See Loading Dose and Frankie, Myrtle, and the Double Balloon).
This week, starting cycle day 14, (mid-cycle for those who don’t understand or who are male and don’t suffer from shark week)… I was surprised and got my second period for the month. Of course, this is NOT supposed to happen normally.
‘Embarrassing moment’ number 2 came while I was eating dinner, that’s when it happened. I didn’t I know to prepare, I’m supposed to be fertile this week, but I got up from dinner and I bled all over myself. You ladies know, one of our worst fears and why white pants are a rarity.
I got up to rush out of the room, knowing something was happening, and I tried to avoid letting Philip see me leave.
Ugh, talk about added stress and TMI.
Early this week, I began having lower back pain, too. At first, I thought Crohn’s issues or that Myrtle was rupturing, that that was the cause of my extra bleeding, perhaps.
I mean, the ring had only been in a few days, so, I didn’t expect any issues so soon.
Is Myrtle being vindictive again? Who knows.
When I called my primary care nurse and doctors at the VA, they told me that sometimes this happens when people start a new birth control, and, that I could expect this to happen, possibly every month, for at least the three months that I am on this NuvaRing treatment for Myrtle.
This is not something that I’m looking forward to, but if it makes my cyst subside, or helps my left-sided pain go away, I suppose it’s worth it in the end.
But, to be fair to me too, it is a definite smack in the face for what would be our 1st IUI cycle, the one that we postponed until 2017, maybe.
Yes, I’m still dwelling on that IUI that isn’t happening, so let me grieve a little on the cycle that’s been lost, and let me hate on the one that’s been given to me.
I would be going in for the procedure, TODAY, if my cycle were right and my Crohn’s and Myrtle were under control.
It’s a lot to think about.
This week I have had more bad days than good, both physically and mentally I have been a total wreck.
After Monday’s embarrassing moment and Wednesday’s added cycle, I have felt more emotionally drained than I ever have felt before in my life, and I finally had a meltdown.
And again, I did not want to share any of this with you, but, I’m trying to be honest, with both you and with myself.
And, if I talk about it, I can hold myself accountable and seek the help I need.
I caught myself in crying fits all week, worrying about my body, worrying about what people think about me, worrying about my future, worrying about my life, my goals, worrying about what is happening and what isn’t. I worry about family, and the friends I have and the friends I don’t, and the drama, the stress, and thinking of it all, I want to run away, but I can’t.
Please don’t take me as ungrateful for things I have, sometimes I just feel like I need more. More help, more understanding, more reassurance that it’s going to be okay. More people to confide in and more people who just ask if I’m okay.
Isolation is not a good feeling and I have a very small support group. Hell, I even shared a post about Crohn’s and depression and isolation earlier this week, and you know how many likes it got? 2. I feel more alone than I ever have.
To some, Mary needs attention or Mary is having a pity-party. To some, Mary is having a meltdown or Mary is being dramatic. Or worse, to some, Mary is just ‘crazy’, but don’t believe everything you hear from she-who-should-not-be-named.
None of these are correct, and if you think these things, then you are a part of the problem.
Sure, I post ‘happy selfies’ and talk about myself in my blog. I try to stay positive on there as much as possible.
I share what I want you to see and know, as I search for confidence and acceptance in my own way.
I share with the world my story.
I share Crohn’s information to be helpful, and, I support causes and others journeys as much as I can.
I share parts of my past and I share my week-to-week, but of course, there are parts of my life that I don’t share with you.
I don’t share out of feaar, fear of embarrassment, fear of shame or judgment, shamefulness and for fear of being put into further isolation, more than I already am.
I AM suffering from and have BEEN suffering with issues of depression and anxiety, and I don’t talk about it.
Not even Philip and I talk about it.
We both know, but we both choose to ignore it.
For 7 years now, we have ignored it.
Until this week.
After probably my third meltdown this week, I found a few articles about Crohn’s disease and depression, articles about anxiety, and how they can make matters worse.
I never thought to myself that I suffer from these, or at least I didn’t admit to it. (The article links are below)
Once I read the anxiety article, I was baffled.
So much made sense to me and these examples from real people struck a nerve.
It was if they were picking my brain and knew what I was thinking.
And then, reading about depression, I go back to every bad day I’ve ever had for the last few years, and I think about my struggle of worrying. Thinking I’m not good enough, worrying people would be happier without me around, worrying that I don’t matter, that people would judge me or that they do already, or I worry they’ll treat me differently with our without the stigma that surrounds mental health.
I worry that I don’t do enough, but my body hurts and I feel guilty for it. I feel current l guilty for being sick. I worry I am different from the ‘happy girl’ I used to be, and Philip agrees on that. It breaks my heart.
Worry, worry, worry.
What if, what if, what if.
These are the thoughts that I suffer from every day.
My body is breaking and so is my head. And in my head, no one cares.
I think about my bad childhood, with an abusive parent and spending time in a homeless shelter. Add to my worry my sexual assault, the one I don’t really discuss, or the trauma that has caused me. Add every bad relationship I’ve ever had, from cheaters to liars to thieves. Now, add our fertility struggle, my Crohn’s journey, my migraines, and not working anymore. Add school and trying to maintain a happy composure, even though I fail sometimes.
It’s so much to handle and I fear I will reach a breaking point.
So this week, I asked for help.
This week I called the VA and spoke to a mental health representative.
I have been so torn up and distraught this week, that I needed to talk to someone, anyone, and it’s hard to find that person to call. I’m afraid to call the people I know, and I shouldn’t be.
I sat on the phone with the therapist, for over an hour, crying, explaining my life, and my struggles, and my issues, and I filled her in on what’s gone on for the last 28 years, and what’s going on in my life currently.
The things I think and feel sometimes are not normal, I should never feel less than or broken, but I do.
With her suggestion, I am going in to speak with her, in pperso, on Monday. She has also suggested that I have a hormone imbalance, causing the bad, the sad and the anxiety.
She told me it takes a while for your brain to change how to send out good, for that much bad to come out, and so it would take a while to get those good to replace the bad.
She spoke with my primary care doctor, and they agreed with a prescription for Escitalopram, or Lexapro, an antidepressant.
It could and will hopefully help my ‘hormone imbalance’ and help me get back to being Me.
We also got Fioricet, to replace the Imitrex, since I can’t mix it with the new prescription.
I am too sad, too often, and I worry about too much, too often.
My body hates me.
I’m in a constant battle against myself, and I have memories and struggles that no person should have, let alone to deal with alone.
It has taken me this long, like a decade, to even talk about it, admit it, to ask for help, and I ask you to stop and think, how much is too much, and how much does Mary have on her plate already? What are you adding to it? How can you help?
So, yeah, it could be worse, and that’s why I’m getting help now.
What you see versus what Philip sees.
“Every day in the United States, 22 veterans succumb to suicide — losing their personal battle to invisible wounds of war.”
–Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), news release, Jan. 13, 2015
Anxiety story: 24 Quotes That Show What It’s Really Like to Live With Anxiety By Farah Musallam – https://themighty.com/2016/04/what-it-is-like-living-with-anxiety/
Depression and Crohn’s by Pat Katzmann: http://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease/depression#Overview1
For help: #Mission22 offers many resources to veterans families:
I have chrons disease and have suffered depression and anxiety as well. I have a lot of fear for medicine for these conditions sometimes they can make things drastically worse. And without warning. Please continue to ask for help if you need it. And continue to be strong. You are helping by putting your story out for other people we all need to feel not so alone with our conditions. I too have suffered embarrassing accidents(at home and alone thank god) but it unfortunately goes with the teratory keep your chin up and a sense of humor for things you can’t change.