Mirena, PPD, or both?

I started writing this about two months ago. I had initially not posted it because I wasn’t “feeling it”. Two months later I’m starting to feel like my normal self again, and decided this needed to be posted.

Post Partum Depression is a serious subject and is often not recognized/treated until there’s some kind of crisis involved. At least, that’s how it went for me. If you have struggled with PPD or anything similar, I’d love for you to comment on what helped you and how you realized that something was not right. I’m interested in what you have to say.

So here’s the story:

September 13, 2012

Well, it’s been a bit over a month since I had the Mirena hormonal IUD removed. I am highly disappointed to report that not all of my symptoms have disappeared.
Panic
Anxiety
Depression
Apathy
Inability to start tasks
Inability to complete tasks
Hopelessness
Palpitations
Rage
Lightheadedness
Dizziness

Extreme Fatigue
BO requiring 2-3 applications of deodorant application per day. Prior to this I barely needed it at all. I tried 6 different brands marketed for both males and females and none were effective. (sorry if that’s tmi for you)
Thinning hair-clumps falling out daily
Peeling fingernails

Weird swelling in hand (one spot on each hand would would puff up and have a burning sensation. There were no changes in lotion, soaps, etc)
Upset stomach (nausea)
Stomach pains
Abdominal pain
Stabbing pains in uterus

Memory loss
Poor vision
Vision disturbances

Joint pain
Impatience
Severe mood swings
No libido
Always cold
Cystic Acne (had this while on other BC)
Shaking/tremors (hand)
Stabbing pain in head
Pain during sex
Shaky when hungry (even if I had just eaten a meal a short time ago. Note: I was once diagnosed with mild hypoglycemia but it was never EVER to the point where I’d be shaking if I wasn’t eating every hour)

The ones in bold are better. The rest apparently fit the criteria for Post Partum Depression.*

Well SHIT. NOT what I expected there.

I made some calls. Had several trips to the ER for panic attacks. Called the NJ Speak Up When You’re Down hotline for PPD, who helped me get set up in a support group and with psych services in my area. They’ve helped me apply for a grant to pay for those services through a local mental health center. In the meantime I’ve been seeing a wonderfully attentive Nurse Practitioner who is helping me get the remaining symptoms to a point of manageability.Things are improving slowly. What I hate the most is the medication issue. I CLEARLY need medication. Unfortunately, to treat my variety of symptoms effectively, several medications were needed. Which led me to make the decision to gently wean my youngest daughter sooner than intended. I had made it past the one year mark, and that’s something to be proud of. Still, it’s sad for me, and I’m sure my little Bean is missing the all access pass she once held.

*some of these symptoms can also be explained by thyroid issues, but I had that checked too and mine wasn’t the issue.

Update 11/15/12

Things finally seem to be normalizing. After several months, different combinations of medications, support groups both online and in person (I only made it to that once, but REALLY REALLY love the ladies there and want to go back), talk therapy, essential oil therapy and the end of a less than healthy relationship, I am thrilled to report that I have hope. The suicidal ideations I was experiencing and obsessing over all day have stopped. I am able to laugh and play with my children. I no longer become so overwhelmed at the thought of a task that I can’t even bear to do it. Bits and pieces of me are showing up and I’m starting to learn who I am. I’m finding my identity as a mother and a woman. It’s kinda cool.

This is not to say I am cured. I am, however, better. Much better.

If you are stuck in it, I feel for you. I know your pain. Please read this and know, it gets better. The most important thing to do is speak up. Ask for help. It makes all of the difference in the world. It was the hardest thing in the world for me to admit that I was not ok. Once I said it though, I couldn’t stop saying it. I am not ok. I am not ok. I am not ok.

Today, I am ok. I hope you are too.

🙂

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On car repairs, anxiety, and early mornings

I woke up at 630 am. I never do this except under great duress generally brought on my my children. Today I have things to do. Many, MANY, things to do. I’ll start with the big one. And a fun little anecdotal account of my car history. Because again, it’s early, I don’t do mornings, and maybe you’ll enjoy my foggy morning brain. Mostly, though, blogging about this is easing my anxiety.
I bought a used car from a lovely elderly couple. The woman is of the generation of women who generally didn’t get drivers licenses. Her husband, also an octogenarian, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. They needed to sell the car, I needed to buy a car. A good, reliable, inexpensive, safe car to transport my little lovelies. It was bittersweet. I had a car, the elderly gentleman cried as I drove away.
Shortly thereafter, I thought perhaps my brakes needed to be done. They were squeaky. I asked a couple friends and we unfortunately were never able to make that happen. After that, on a trip to Maryland, my check engine light went on.
*cue panic*
We had just bought a car, shelled out a security deposit on a new place to live, and living on a modest to meager income. Holy crap of all holiest craps, I bought a lemon. (This has yet to be proven or disproven.)
Anyway, time passed, the check engine light went off. Sigh of relief. But then the brakes went from squeaky, to kind of grindy, to kind of stuttery.
I know these sounds. My first car? I drove through the pads, shoes, rotors, whatever else is in there-basically to the point my wheels were about to fall off. I had no idea. And I was 17 and on Phish tour so I wasn’t particularly worried about anything. $800 dollar brake repair later, I got into an accident and my car was totaled. I think that was maybe a month after my mom shelled out the cash.
Next car? Same deal. Paid for big repair, totaled car.
By my third car I thought I was much more responsible about the whole car repairs thing. And I may have been. However, the dear old girl ended up with close to a quarter of a million miles on her and was in need of a $2500+ exhaust system repair (in addition to the couple hundred just shelled out for various other things). She was only worth $1700 on a good day. Big Blue had seen better days. I sold her cheap.
Then I got another car. One of the first things I did? Got the brakes checked and fixed. No big deal. The check engine light went on. PANIC. Got a diagnostic. Catalytic converter. Dude. Seriously? I had a new tiny baby, a commission based job and absolutely no way to pay for $1000 repair. Eventually I got it fixed by a mechanic friend and no lie, less than a month later, my radiator hose blew, and in the process of fixing it, we discovered some seal in some part of my engine had stopped doing its job and fluids were all mixed together and was probably not a good idea for me to drive it again. My mechanic suggested head gasket. Considering the amount of time and labor needed to fix this, I opted to look for a new car.
In rolls Bessie. She’s a sweet girl. I can fit two big girl car seats in the back, she’s clean (aside from the ton of kid stuff in it), plays my old live Grateful Dead and Phish tapes and gets me where I need to go.
Basically I’m telling you all of this because I’m sitting here waiting for him to give me the damage. To any of you who know me IRL, on FB or Twitter, you know my anxiety/panic issues have been kicked into hyperdrive. I’m trying not to freak out and throw myself on the floor crying and hyperventilating. So far this has helped.
And hey, maybe some of you can relate.
Cross your fingers and toes, do a happy car dance, send inexpensive quality repair vibes and calming energy my way.
Pretty please with a cannoli on top.

And have a lovely day.

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