Since I have last posted a blog I have thought of writing a new one about a million times! This break had been pretty easy as far as fertility goes so I first wanted to write one about Fibromyaliga. For those of you who do not know I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyaliga in October though I have been living with the symptoms for just over the last ten years. I have had three surgeries to try to discover the source of one specific pain spot and come to find out it is actually musculoskeletel is pretty frustrating and quite infuriating to be honest. To know that I didn’t have to put myself, and those around me, through those surgeries was tough to swallow. I have to keep reminding myself it is called “medical practice” and not “medical perfection” for a reason. I get that part considering what I do is also a “practice” as a counselor. I don’t have all the answers and for about ten years nobody had them for me either. Aside from the length of time I have been suffering through this disease, or what ever it is considered, I have had times of remission. Most of these times I was a lot less overweight, and I was happy, mostly. I know stress tends to aggravate symptoms as does weight but then you get in this vicious cycle of pain-sit around-gain weight-feel depressed-pain and on and on and on. I have been trapped in this cycle for a few years now. While I have had long and lasting moments of happiness this has been the cycle pretty true to words. Since October when I got the diagnosis I have been on two separate medications: the first was Noretriptline which worked amazingly! I felt so good! The mornings and nights are the worst pain-wise and I would actually wake up and be feeling ready to get moving and go do something. Typically in the mornings it takes me awhile to find a way I can lay to have the worst amount of pain, then it takes me even longer because as soon as I sit up my whole body hurts and walking is at times just too painful. So I stretch in bed for awhile before I can get up, then I come out and stretch on the floor a little longer so I can be able to move without excruciating pain. Don’t get me wrong though there is always pain. Always. I try not to use all inclusive words like “always” and “never” because nothing ‘ALWAYS’ happens, but not in this case it is true I am literally “ALWAYS” in some sort of pain. A headache (usually with something else), pain in my knee, wrist, leg, electrical shooting pains down from my hip to my knee or foot on the other side of my body, foot, neck (mostly neck), and shoulders. It literally doesn’t end. There will be times when it is tolerable enough to be nearly normal; or at least to act normal to the world and my husband. But on the inside I am never without pain. It is crazy to me at this point to think that some people live their lives without being in pain everyday. Every moment. I can’t even conceive of that.
After my three month check up with my prescribing doctor I asked about if I get pregnant on this medication and what to do. He said that I cannot get pregnant on it and if I think I am going to try I need to tell him and he will take me off of it. I said how I have been trying for the last two and a half years and it should clearly be there in my chart. I was pretty irritated he didn’t see that in the first place! How could he have put me on something so serious and not have even asked me if I was on other medications. In fact, I handed him a list of medications I am on when he came in the room, protocol for the clinic, and had he looked over it he would have seen I was on fertility meds and known not to put me on this medication that made my quality of life so much better! Ahh! I’m still mad! Plus even worse what if I HAD gotten pregnant?! After all this time and pain with trying what might have happened!? Ugh! Anyways so I had to wean off that medication as I weaned onto another, Gabapentin. This one is apparently safer but switching was a real pain in my ass! Literally it was. For a couple weeks if felt like neither medication was working and it was awful. It did however make me realize how much the meds really do improve my pain because without them I was back to not being able to get out of bed without it being literally excruciating. Now I am at a settled place I suppose. I have to take this medication three times a day and if I miss a dose I definitely can feel it. This sucks! I hate it! But at this point in my life I don’t feel as though I have much of a choice until I can learn to control the pain with food and movement/exercise. I am currently on this road to being committed to getting there. Almost. I am an emotional eater and I have to eat with the medicine so it’s a hard thing to balance. I also still get nauseous all the time too because of the PCOS so that makes it the hardest. I realize I may have said all this already in my previous post since I remember talking about taking care of my body and not trying to conceive anymore. I had been totally fine with that since my last blog but recently things took a very different turn.
I was seeing a pretty good number of clients and/or having respite kiddos enough to keep me busy so I was not feeling sad about no baby in the past or in sight. I even got this job for a few weeks which required more than double the amount of hours I told them I had to give them and among other reasons I realized fairly quickly it was not a good fit, as they realized I was not a good fit for them. That for sure kept me busy and my mind occupied from thinking about a baby. It kept me thinking about the Fibro a lot because it required over three hours of driving every day and that more than aggravated the pain. Not good. This made me really nervous about my ability to have a full time job. I was in pretty much only in career mindset at this point so I was not sad about the pain that could be associated with pregnancy with this thought. Well as the weeks went on I interviewed for another job but still have not heard back yet. I am indifferent about it. Well sort of. I want it but again I am scared. Though I have noticed the pain is better when I am active all day rather than laying around. BUT I have to be careful about what I am doing when I am active because it could aggravate the pain. I clearly have not yet found that balance and it sucks! So these were all topics over the last few weeks that I have wanted to blog about but didn’t for whatever reason. Maybe I didn’t want to feel the feelings that may come up that were still there below the surface regarding the infertility. Maybe I was just lazy and feeling down and unsure about sharing a potential depression with the world since I am a counselor an all. People tend to think counselors live these perfect lives and I don’t know what that means if I were to say I am battling depression feelings. I found solace in “LAShrinks” which is a new show about counselors in LA. It actually follows three shrinks personal lives, as well as a few of each one’s clients and how they do counseling. This show has been a big support to me as oddly as that sounds typing that out loud (lol, is it called out loud if it is typed and not said? I don’t know, hehe). It gave me a good reminder that I am human first and a counselor second. And the point of this blog was to come out and be honest about all these feelings associated with infertility, naturally depression would be one of them.
I have been depressed before, a couple times in fact. Suicidally depressed actually during more than one of those times. Statistically speaking the odds of getting depressed again after being depressed more than once is just huge. I don’t have a number but it is crazy high, I wanna say like seventy percent or something. Either way I am sure it’s over fifty. So here I am. Battling this for I would say my whole life, but really battling depression since about six months after we were married and I wasn’t pregnant yet. Some days it really shows and somedays it doesn’t show at all and I feel genuinely happy. I am happy. I love my husband and he is more than amazing! I feel very lucky that he chose me and somedays I feel as though I am still glowing from this realization. Somedays I cannot think of anything but the fact that I do not have a child, or even a single pregnancy. This time this feeling started a couple days before Easter when I realized how immersed I was in a life filled with children.
Facebook can, usually is, the worst! All I see sometimes when I look on my page are pictures of babies, pregnant bellies, newborns, little kiddos, little kid clothes, and most of all beautiful, loving families. All I ever wanted since I was little was a big family. I have a brother and a sister and while my parents are still married my family is still broken. All families are broken in some way but mine can’t, or won’t, be in the same room with each other maybe ever again. So my family is not ‘traditionally’ broken in the sense most people think of, like a divorce between parents, but my family is divorced from each other and it is sad. I cannot have all of my family together at the same time and that hurts. It makes me sad for a lot of people but what this blog is about is me so I will talk about how that makes me sad for me. I don’t know what my baby shower will look like, with both people show up? What about when I deliver, can they sit in the waiting room together and not cause me anxiety and stress, or will one part just not even show up because the other is there? The point is my family has really been broken in this way since I was a child and I think this contributes greatly to my desire to create my own. This was one of the big reasons that pushed me into deciding to take my hubby’s last name and not keep my family’s name. I wanted to start my own family where everyone loved each other and were taught to treat each other with kindness. This is not an unrealistic expectation, I realized, in college when I met families who were not broken to the point where they did not associate with one another. I could not even begin to describe how excited I was to start this family with the man of my dreams who complimented and balanced me perfectly in every way, especially in the way of parenting. This is not a new subject I am dealing with it is just new that I am sharing it. This blog has been difficult in knowing who reads it and what they will know about my life and loved ones as a result but the fact is this is MY blog and MY life and while some people may think I am being respectful of keeping things secret and not sharing the truth is secrets hurt. Secrets keep shame alive. The shame I felt about not being able to conceive before I started this blog was unreal and I am tired of carrying around shame. Especially shame that is not mine to carry. I am already carrying around enough physical and emotional pain on a daily basis I am done carrying more than my share. My family is broken and it hurts me on many levels, especially the one where I cannot make my own and have it be different. I went to school for a long time to learn how to be different to people, and to teach other people how to be different to each other and it kills me that I cannot make wonderful people to bring up with having this knowledge from their roots. I am breaking the cycle but I cannot have any new tiny humans to teach the new cycle to. It hurts more than I could imagine. It hurts that all these other people in my world get to have these tiny humans and either do get to break their unhealthy cycles, or even worse they do not because they don’t know how and yet they are all leaving me behind.
When I first came out with our infertility issues and started this blog I had a huge uproar of women messaging me sharing their similar struggles. I would say probably just under twenty women contacted me and let me know they too were struggling with infertility. Today nearly all of those women have left infertility behind them and conceived a child. This is wonderfully amazing! I am so happy for them! A few in particular I really connected with and I could not be happier for them, end of story. End of their story, my story however is complicated. While I do feel happy for these families and I wouldn’t wish they still were suffering with infertility it does take me back to that place of loneliness, a feeling I had escaped, for the most part, by coming out with this blog and feeling the outpour of women letting me know I was not along, and in that me letting them know they were not alone. Now I am realizing how I am pretty alone. These women still know the pain and I realize that doesn’t go away with the birth of a miracle but their story has a happy ending and since my story is unfinished I am by default left behind.
This started on Easter because I saw all the pictures of families celebrating together. Holidays have to be split in my family if I want to see everyone because it is broken and going through another holiday without a child is that much more difficult. What sucks the most is that I didn’t get together with any of my side of my family for Easter but you bet your ass if we’d have had a baby or a toddler on this Easter there is no way my family would have missed getting together with us. I have already prepared myself for how that may be hard in the future and am dealing with how it is hard now. I watched all these videos and adorable pictures of FB friend’s kids dressed all cute for Easter and I guarantee my parents wouldn’t miss any of that stuff on any holiday. But since my family is broken or incomplete none of us even talked. I am not blaming anyone for this, I realized I could have just as easily planned something for one side of my family but sometimes that just makes it that much more striking that there is no joy of young children. In fact the youngest member of my immediate family right now is twelve. That means its been twelve years since we have had a baby around; the longest our family has ever gone considering my parents started our family with my brother, nearly two years later my sister. When she was eight I was born, when I was nine my first nephew was born. He was four or five when his sister joined us, and she was two when my littlest nephew was born and that’s that. Twelve years without another birth the longest my parents have gone since their union without the blessing of a baby. It is my turn. It is supposed to be me now, and its not and there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s nothing to look forward to. No first crawling, or walking, or talking. No cute funny things to report to Daddy or Mommy while they were off at work and there is none of that in sight now that I am off the hormones. Right now being without a lot of work makes it especially difficult because I have all this time to be home creating a secure attachment for an infant and I can’t do that. If I were working more I would at least have my career to lean on, which is what I go to every time I feel depression coming on about infertility. I wanted this career so badly and I have that so it is okay that I don’t, can’t, have my family YET. Now I don’t really even have that excuse to tell myself. LIfe is just hard. And I obviously don’t mean there’s nothing in life to look forward to! I have things I do look forward to they are just not the things I thought I would be excited about right now. They are not the things my friends are looking forward to and thus I am still here. Behind them and still waiting for my miracle. For my blessing. My moment of getting to say “I’m pregnant!”. Still just waiting while what feels like EVERYONE else gets to announce theirs.
Whelp that’s that. This is where my head and heart are at these days. I know it’d been awhile and I’d been feeling pretty good there for awhile but that damn Easter out pour of children and families around me. Another is seeing someone who I sort of thought was having issues though I didn’t know for sure, that person was pretty horrible to me in the past and I saw that he/she is getting to start their family. Those ones are the hardest because, yes speaking honestly, I feel like they don’t deserve it as much as we do because we are good people, and kind people to others. I would never do to anyone what this person did to me and they get to raise a precious human life and teach them how to be to others. I get this person has probably, maybe, changed and is kind to others but in the end it doesn’t really matter because they too are leaving us sitting here behind them without a family. Ahhhhh!! I’m glad that’s all out! You know it is really difficult to sit here and talk about my being a ‘good’ person when I have all these feelings of envy, jealously, and whatever else about life and others but as a counselor I know those feelings are all normal in this situation, or any situation really, and that they don’t make me a bad person for having them. I don’t sit here and lie about them or hurt anyone because of them so I feel I get to keep my good person patch. Thank you all for listening to my heart and hopefully not judging me too terribly. And if you are judging me I encourage you to find the empathy and realize we are all human which sometimes comes with nasty un-Jesus-like emotions. Haha.
Thank you all and of course well wishes are appreciated! Right now I need a job so throwing some of that type of wish out there would be great. Goodnight! (Or probably good morning by the time you read this).