Tuesday, July 11, 2017

One Step, Broken Bones, and the Dance Between a Fighting and Defeated Spirit

I haven't updated in a while, but I'm sure that everyone is aware of my recent adventure falling down the stair (yes... ONE stair), my ambulance ride to the ER, and my fantastic 2-week stay in the hospital. However, because I'm trying to use this blog as a sort of documentation of my life for my kids to enjoy later and as a public platform to show that an imperfect life is still a beautiful one, I think it deserves an entry. It's taking days to write it because I'm tired, loopy on pain meds, and I have the focus of a goldfish. I'm sure I'll look back at this entry and shudder at the errors and rambling nature. But that's my reality right now, so, I'll just embrace it.

This experience has been filled with ups (Look for the good in even the worst of situations; it's not always easy to find, but it's there.), downs, unexpected problems, and tons of delays. When things are hard, and I am at my worst, it's easy to live in my hurt and self-pity. Why me? What if I had just done this one thing differently... maybe this wouldn't have happened? Why right now? Sitting in a hospital bed for 13 days certainly left me plenty of time to go there.

I would be lying if I said that I haven't had those moments. Each day, when PT pulled back the curtain hiding my door, I got a hollow feeling in my chest and tears started to well up. You can only fight them back for so long...  and when two people are trying to heave me up while I struggle hopelessly to hold my weight on a leg with a small fracture and damaged ligaments... the sharp burning pain and the shame and frustration of failure are just too much. Silent sobbing is no easier to hide than screaming when you are the one with tears and snot dripping to your chest. But somehow it seemed a little more dignified, so I kept the screams on the inside to echo around my brain with those why me thoughts.

The physical pain, without a doubt, is trying. Pain meds keep it reasonably manageable most of the time as long as I'm not doing PT or moving around too much. Elevating it keeps the excessive swelling down most of the time as well. However, the drugs make me loopy, tired, forgetful and unfocused. I fall asleep with visitors, I don't even have the focus to watch a full-length movie, I don't remember who knows what, and apparently, I like to repeat myself. ;)

What all of this means, is that I'm unable to do many of the things I normally do. I can't drive (obviously). I can't walk, cook,  take my kids fun places over summer break. I can't clean, run errands, or enjoy a long hot bath. I can't do homework. I'm working out the details of my incomplete because my professor (the tough grader who I've been busting my ass for) has been incredibly compassionate and supportive. She's really working with me, and I couldn't be more grateful to her for helping me not lose all of the hard work I've put in for the first 4 weeks of this 6-week class. I've also dropped out of the next class. *heart breaks a little more*

So, after 3-4 days of working on this entry, I get to the point of this whole rambling mess. I've always been big on getting help for mental health issues. I've always said there is no shame in it and I've been very open about my past struggles with anxiety and depression. Well, that's easy. That's in my past; something I've overcome. But here I am... that same familiar empty feeling of hopelessness starting to creep in. I'm a mother who cannot take care of her children, a wife who cannot be half of the marriage. I am a (TEMPORARY) college dropout. Again. I am cooped up and relying on the kindness and generosity of others. (And boy, is there a lot of it!!! I am very aware of how loved and blessed I am.)

I am struggling with a serious setback in my independence. I depend on others to make sure that I have food available that I can reach and prepare. I count on others to take care of Nora and my kids. I count on Jenny to make sure I can bathe and even that my commode is emptied because I can't get into a bathroom. Everyone is happy and willing to help, and I'm dying a little inside every time I can't do it alone. Progress is slow, and people are concerned and want to help. And everyday, I'm a little more discouraged and broken because I can't just stand up, drive to the store and get what I need. There are many things I can do for myself, and I am so grateful that although I'm staying with Jenny and Jerry, that they don't just do everything for me. They don't get things for me just because it would be faster or easier. They leave me alone and let me have time to myself or to visit with other people who come by, even though they are their friends too. I am grateful beyond words to be so loved that Jenny takes me in with no question and treats this like a positive because we get time together rather than a burden.

But gratitude doesn't negate the depression that is creeping in. So, I'm practicing what I preach, and I'm being real and honest. Right now, I'm starting to struggle with depression again. It's been well managed for quite a few years now, but I feel that hopelessness settling in. I'm tired of fighting doctors for answers. I'm exhausted by the constant battle with insurance companies for getting coverage (no, really, deny my hospital stay, why not... seems legit...) and getting the help I need to be safe. I'm sick of not being a functional wife, mom, friend, PERSON. I'm tired of the pain, the grogginess, and not being with it. My anxiety is likely only under control because I'm doped up on drugs, but as I'm able to ween off of those, that is going to spiral out of control too. I am a control freak, and right now, I have very little. That triggers panic attacks that are sometimes unmanageable.

I've been here. In the past I let it get so bad that I hated being with people because I couldn't control the panic. I've been in a depression so low that I couldn't leave the house or be a good mother. At first, I was too ashamed to get help. And then I got so hopeless that I just didn't think anything could fix it. I know that's where I'm going.

That's why I'm writing this. I'm starting to sink to dark places. I'm starting to hurt and feel hollow in a way that scares me. Friday, I see my Primary Care Physician. I don't know if I'm ready for a med change yet or not but I'm open to discussing it. I'm being honest about it, and I'm facing this out loud; in the open. Tonight I'm struggling, and others are too. I don't expect anyone else to plaster it on Facebook or on a blog. Just know that if you are struggling tonight too, there's no shame in it. Help is available, and you can seek it privately if you choose to. You have nothing to lose by trying. Call a doctor, a therapist, a pastor or priest, a doula, a hotline number, a friend you trust... no matter your political, medical, moral, or religious views, there are methods out there that fit you. What works for me may not work for you. That's ok.

And a preemptive response to my friends and family, I'm in a rough place. I'm actively working on both my physical and mental health. Love is good. Smothering is bad. I do not have feelings of hurting myself or others. Being public about this is important because I feel strongly about speaking out about the stigma society places on seeking treatment, however, being public while I am dealing with it opens me up to more coddling, ideas on how to fix me, offers of help, and even less independence. Those are not helpful.

Now, another day of working on this... what is that now... 5? I don't even know. And I'm too tired and loopy to proofread this to check. I think it's really long. Sorry. Drugs... I babble. I hope it makes sense. Hopefully, the importance of this post comes across anyway because it's important. Better days are coming... that's what they say. I'm just going to have to trust that they are right because I've struggled through this before and seen that it's true. Hopefully, it will be again.

No comments:

Post a Comment