Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Then: A Slow Journey Through Hell...Trying To Hang On

Friend K. called one day, newly pregnant and suffering from hyperemesis.  She was calling for advice/information/support/sympathy and to find out if there was anything she could do to lessen the suffering.  I told her where the best place was to get IVs and everything else I knew or had tried.  When I finished talking to her, my chest felt like it had burst into flames, and the fires of anxiety burned for the rest of the day.

December 2, 2009
I’m feeling bearable today, but I don’t know what to do with myself. I know there are lots of things I could be doing, but every time I try to think about picking one of those things I get a nervous, smothering feeling in my chest. I haven’t even been able to work on pictures for about a week, and for a while there I was having good luck doing that. Yesterday I did manage to go through the house and get rid of some random things that I have been wanting to get rid of. I really am having a hard time restraining the urge to go through the house with a shovel and a garbage bag; even with my things! If I could find anyone to give yarn and stuff to I would so give almost all of it away.
Sometimes the Lord saves you from the fiery furnace, and sometimes He lets you burn.

December 3, 2009
I am hoping that I am not heading for another weekend of alternating between sitting on the couch and crying in my room, but I just don’t know. I’ve had to pick the boys up from school a few times this week, and I have to get Marie to the dentist tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t all end up being too much for me. And I’m really bitter that those few things could actually send me back to the couch……ok, the children constantly  squabbling might head me that direction too. Still, it’s so disappointing to me that it takes so little to make me crash. Maybe this is just the Lord’s roundabout way of ensuring that I get to enjoy this last baby; chances are, once he’s born, all I will be able to do is sit and hold and feed him all day.

December 4, 2009
I feel like I’m right on the edge. Close enough to normal to remember what it feels like, but with that feeling in the background that I could fall off the edge if the wind blows too hard.
These hard things don’t look quite so virtuous and character building when you’re smack in the middle of them, do they? I’m trying so hard not to be bitter, but it isn’t working. I really was OK with my attitude about the suffering involved with this pregnancy, going through EVERYTHING as patiently as I could, until I had my breakdown; that just seemed like the final insult after everything else……like kicking someone when they’re already down.
I’ve got to go now to feed the kids and get them down for quiet time so that I can rest; I’m terrified to miss my afternoon rest because I seem to plunge downhill if I get tired. I suspect I’m going to live my entire life in fear……like I didn’t have enough of a problem with that before all of this……

December 7, 2009
Tonight I’m going to actually need to interact with the children; make sure homework gets done, lunches are packed, break up fights, get people fed and in bed……I just miss the days when an evening like that didn’t fill me with dread almost to the point of panic.

December 8, 2009
I don’t feel as bad today as I did yesterday, but I have not yet heard what late time Husband is coming home tonight. I hate that feeling that lurks at the edges of my mind that tells me that the slightest pressure is going to crush me.
Well, Joseph’s dentist appointment was highly entertaining. I figured he was going to have a fit, but I thought the fit would start when they tried to put the nose mask on him or when they started giving him the first shot. Instead, he was perfectly fine for the drive there and while we were in the waiting room, but when the dental technician asked him if he would like strawberry, bubble gum, or orange flavor he hid his face in my lap and slumped to the floor. Then the friendly, peppy dentist came over to give him the happy version of what was going to be happening, and he crawled under my chair and curled into a ball. The dentist pulled him out from under the chair and he started screaming. He screamed all the way to the procedure room, being carried as he flailed around. He would not stop screaming to let any of us talk to him. He sat on my lap in the exam chair and managed to scream with his hands over his mouth so that the dentist couldn’t even get the mirror in there. I couldn’t help laughing because I just thought it was so funny that he threw his fit before they even tried to do anything. The dentist left the room a couple times; I got the impression he was trying not to throttle Joseph. In the end, the dentist said Joseph’s cavities aren’t desperate (it would have been nice if he would have mentioned that BEFORE this appointment) and we can try again in a few months.  Nice:  wasted morning and gas.

December 17, 2009
I’m still here, trying to not go crazy or drown in anxiety. Woohoo, on a really good day I can manage to go to one store to do a little shopping. I am slowly getting stronger; if I look at what I can do now compared to a month ago, there is progress, but it’s just so slow and so much less than I used to be capable of. I’m trying not to panic when I think about trying to take care of a newborn in this state; hopefully my hormones really are doing a lot of damage that will stop once the baby is out……but when do I ever get the best case scenario? I’m so sad because Friend S. thinks she’s having a girl, and I am pretty sure I am not going to be able to make any cute girl things for her. I would really like to, especially after all of the help she’s given me this year and because girl things are so fun, but I feel a little smothered every time I think about making something. The boys are now home for Christmas break; that could be good or bad. It is nice to not have to get up so early with them and then figure out how to get them home.

December 18, 2009
Today is turning out to be a pretty crappy day; my body is not my friend. Maybe things will look better after nap time, but I doubt it.

December 19, 2009
I am still not quite myself and unable to do much without wearing myself out and the nausea comes and goes, but at least I can eat and drink a little. The baby is due Jan. 30th; we’re hoping he will come early. Husband and the kids are doing fine. Ian and David are happy to be on Christmas break, and Joseph and Marie are happy to have them home.

December 20, 2009
My mom talked to more doctors that she works with/around and told me that they said it is pretty normal for someone who has starved for months to have problems with anxiety and depression because your brain gets depleted of everything it needs to work correctly; that explains why I get so tired too. They also said that things should get better as my body gets a chance to heal. I can only hope that healing is as quick as breaking down, but I doubt it. At least I have hope that this might not go on forever.
I don’t know if I have any Christmas spirit either; every time I have tried to think about Christmas, I have been overcome with anxiety because I’m supposed to get presents and stocking-stuffers for all of the children (not to mention all the other people I usually shop for), but I’m already overwhelmed with the amount of THINGS in the house, plus, half the time I can tell when they open something that they don’t really like it——if I’m lucky they don’t actually say anything, but I can still tell. I did manage to slowly get a few things for them during the month, and I think I managed to get everyone at least one thing they really wanted, so that’s done except for wrapping. I’ve listened to Christmas music so much (because it’s the only music that doesn’t cause me stress) that I may never be able to listen to it again if I ever get better because it will give me flashbacks of this awful time.
I was hoping the children would get something good out of this whole situation……something along the lines of, “Gosh, we’re lucky that mom usually does so many nice things for us”, but they seem to have more of the attitude of, “Gosh it would sure be nice if mom would stop sitting around and start doing her job again”.
I should really go to church today, but I just don’t know. I’m tired from not sleeping during quiet time yesterday and then not getting to bed until, gasp, 8:30 for various reasons, and I can still feel the fire of anxiety burning in my chest……I just don’t know.
If “sitting on the couch weeping, wishing someone would put me out of my misery, unable to do anything but stare out the window and keep my mind blank” for weeks, despite my other responsibilities, qualifies for “handling it” in the great, hated phrase, “The Lord won’t give you anything you can’t handle without His help” then the Lord and I have differing definitions of what constitutes "handling it".

December 21, 2009
I’m having trouble letting go of the future because this pregnancy has been such a horrible experience and yet I must be “handling it” if God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, so I’m pretty concerned about what else He thinks I can handle.  There was something comforting about being able to believe God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle; I’ve lost that comfort now, so I feel pretty vulnerable to the miseries of the world.
Marie is sick today, sigh. At least it doesn’t involve throwing up……yet, but now I get to look forward to it going through everyone because Friend S.’s kids had it last week, so, chances are, all of mine will get it too. So far it is just a sore throat and being tired; hopefully it will stay that easy.

December 23, 2009
Today is sucking. How long can I keep doing this? It’s so miserable, and I can’t even hope that it’s ever going to get better (I’m trying to fight that slim hope that I might feel better once I give birth because I don’t want to be disappointed). That whole Christmas is a time for miracles idea is, in reality, really cruel. I think it isn’t helping that I spend all day, every day saying the same things over and over and over again: Get your clothes off the floor, stop throwing things, stop bothering someone on purpose, speak instead of whining, I’m sorry you’re scared to go anywhere in the house by yourself-do it anyway, do your chore, do your chore, do your chore, we don’t have a maid so clean up after yourself, FLUSH THE TOILET, WIPE OFF THE TOILET SEAT IF YOU’RE TOO LAZY TO LIFT IT AND YOU MAKE A MESS……something about the fact that I can’t even get people to flush the toilet just makes all of the rest of it seem so hopeless. I miss the days when food made me feel better; what are you supposed to do when nothing makes you feel better?

December 24, 2009
Argh! Of course, even though they went to bed later than usual last night, Marie and Joseph were up at 6:30 today. Sigh. At least Husband will be home early today.  I hope today is better than yesterday; yesterday was pretty hard.

December 25, 2009
Well, the kids have had a nice day……even though David has been throwing up since last night. They each got at least one thing they really wanted, so they are all happy.  Ian has been talking and talking and talking and talking and talking at me all day; I’m still not sure how to get him to stop doing that because every time I politely tell him I’m not interested and try to explain to him about not talking someone to death, he gets snappy with his siblings the first time they try to say anything. I managed to do a couple of things that were making me anxious, so I guess that’s good. Maybe my general level of anxiety will go down now that I don’t have to worry about the closet-full of presents that need to be sorted and wrapped, and whatever else was worrying me.

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