September 10, 2009

Light the fires

Let's start with me having the crazies, shall we?

Okay, maybe "crazies" is a little harsh...more like the 'sads.' Let's start with those.

Several years back, I desperately wanted to be a mother, to the exclusion of just about everything else in my life. When I finally became a mom, it was everything I had hoped for and then some. Perhaps it is that 'then some' that put me over the edge. Perhaps it was the birth of my second daughter, the neonatal stroke she suffered, the hospital transfer, the 11-day NICU stint. Wah, wah, wah, I know. Others have had it so much worse--sicker babies, longer NICU stays. Who knows what did it to me. But something put me over the edge, had me barely holding on emotionally and physically. So I brought it up to my OB at my six-week postpartum visit, and she brought out the rx pad and wrote a 'script for a low dose of pr0zac. Why that one? I had been on it back in 2001 during the first-ever bout of clinical depression I'd had, diagnosed by my then-primary care doc and a psychiatrist.

So, in the past two years since stroke baby (I think I need a more clever moniker for her, don't you?) was born, I've tried--on my own accord--to wean off of it on two different occasions, to disastrous effects. The most recent one a month ago. It--I--was worse than ever before. Anger, rage, irritability, lethargy, and so on. And the worst part? They're all still hanging around.

It frightened me so that I found myself in my doctor's office this morning, crying (which I swore I wasn't going to do) at the very fact that someone was listening to me, and taking me and my concerns seriously. Off I went with a 'script for a different AD, pr1st1q, indicated for adults with major depressive disorder. I guess that's me.

Women all over the world can mother children with their hands tied behind their back and without the assistance of medication. Me, not so much.

The doc warned me, it might get worse before it gets better and the med kicks in. I'm already holding on with white knuckles; how much worse can it get?

Wait, don't answer that.


  1. I've been on Pristiq for over a year and I LOVE it! Going off of it is dicey (I had to go off for a sleep study) but I have no plans to try that again as long as it keeps treating me so well (no side effects that I've noticed). Dunno that I'm "major" but eh...maybe? My life was sucking pretty hard when I went on the stuff. Anyway it apparently gets a lot of bad press so I just wanted to weigh in and say it rocks my socks off. Good luck!

  2. I just came over from the LFCA to say hello - don't think I read you before the switch, but greetings nonetheless.

    I hear you that things are really hard right now. But I just wanted to say that none of the mothers I know (and I'm only just about to become one for the first time myself, but my observations bear out their feelings on this issue) would say that they can mother their children with their hands tied behind their backs. In fact, I think the consensus is that it is the hardest work in the world.

    So I hope that you can be gentle with yourself right now. You are doing the hardest job in existence, and it is ok to need some help.

    I hope the switch in meds makes a big difference to you, and I truly hope that if it does get worse before it gets better, that it's barely even a noticeable dip.

  3. Thank you for talking about this. I will follow your journey, it mirrors my own, but I don't write about it much yet.

  4. I know your head already knows this--but your pain is your pain, your body's response to stress, your body's response. Others may have had a longer or different NICU stay, but they didn't have your NICU stay and there is more to an experience than the black-and-white event. There is everything else that came before it as well as the things the body does that are out of your control. Just sending love.

  5. Oh gosh, I had no idea you went through all that. Hope the meds will help you tons.