In my first post: Don’t Look Back, Keep Moving Forward: Post 1- Reflecting on my depression, I reflected on my realization about depression. Something that came about because I had moved to a place of high functioning, an upswing, which helped me see my depression more clearly.
Now I will share the turn my life took after those wonderful 5 months.
I don’t recall when I truly saw that I was sinking again. *After i wrote this post, I reread this post: Quicksand that I wrote on December 15, 2014.
I know that the surprise party I initated and created with a good friend for both our children was the high point. Maybe it was the last big thing I had to look foward to. I remember that Thanksgiving was a big disappointment last year. I usually look forward to the holidays especially when my family is getting together which happens either at Thanksgiving or Christmas each year. Yet, last fall things were very different. My parents had moved out of their large lake home where we had been gatherning for the past 15 years. My children “grew up with their cousins” at the lake house, meeting twice each year for many years, we celebrated holidays, birthdays, and childhood. In 2004, my parents moved to a significantly smaller home on a small property located a 40 minute drive from my home. Instead of taking off close to a week of work to spend at the lake house, 2 hours from home, I juggled working at three companies where I do prn work and went back and forth to the new house to spend time with my family. I don’t think I anticipated hte impact of this difference. I knew I was sad that we would no longer be all together staying in one house at the lake. Yet, I was trying to stay positive and seeing my being able to work and see them as a plus. I was wrong.
Not only did I find myself feeling down, I also got sick, very sick. Some sort of intestinal distress that even caused me to call out sick 2 days and stay home a full day alone rather than having time with my family.
We did have a wonderful Christmas despite financial challenges thanks to a wonderful humanitarian and friend. Yet, in January, I found myself with my new close friend having a talk with me about my depression. It was a good wake up call. She could see it as could my husband. I knew I was down yet not fully taking responsiblity. She helped me make a plan and I scheduled an appointment with my primary doctor (a nurse practioner who I respected and have been going to the past several years). My intention was to ask for medication because I now knew this had been going on for too long.
I even took my husband to help ensure that I would follow through. I respect this nurse practioner because she is accepting of alternative therapies. So I was not surprised when she asked if I had tried some supplaments first. Why had I not thought of that? I suppose because I was depressed and not able to make good decisions for myself. She gave me several options including alternative therapies as well as tradional medical treatments.
I decided to order some supplaments and try that first. Yet, part of me kept wondering if I shouldn’t just try an antidepressant. It took me about 2 months o contact her again,after trying 5HTP and another supplament she recommended, but seeing that I needed more help than that. I needed more help to function as a mother and help my chidlren.
My youngest’s sons anxiety issues and possible OCD became much worse that winter and spring and I knew I had to take care of me in order to best help him.
I started on a low dose anti-depressant as per her order and slowly increased it, still a low dose. It took a good 6 weeks for me to see any possible improvements and then after about 3 months, I was not sure if it was helping or not. I went back to her and she increased the dose, and again it took weeks to see any change. Meanwhile I had enrolled in another program with Jan Luther, it started in April, right at the same time I started the antidepressant.
When I look back on those months, some of it really is a blur. In June, my youngest had such a strong increase in his anxiety that we knew we needed help fast. We took him to the Children’s ER at a friend’s recoomendation and with her help after over a day of debating. Spent much time waiting only to be told, “because he is only 6, we can not do anything… and here call this developmental and behavioral pediatrician”. And the other option was to go to the local Mental Health emergency program. We drove their and went inside. It was scary- cold, concrete walls, bullet proof glass, and was told the average wait was 5 hours- it was already 3pm and we had spent several hours with our 6 year old waiting. He was calm- probably because I had decided to give him the herbal supplament that his sister, diagnossed iwih OCD,had taken for some time before she went on medication. We also had been using energy tools like EFT and had reached out to a community of like-minded people who also do energy work.
I decided that staying at the mental health facility and waiting, not knowing what the result would be, would not be in his best interest. We drove to the pediatrician and saw her and found out with Medicaid, she would need to refer us to the specialist anyhow. She could only prescrive him medication for sleep- but also recommended Melatoning which we drove to the pharmacy to buy- because getting a better night’s sleep definitely would be helpful for him and for us to help him.
We also got a referall for OccupationalTherapyfor sensory integration evaluation and that happened in July. It took over 5 months to hear back from the developmental and behavioral pediatrician. By that time, he had been going to OT weekly and we also started taking him weekly to our chiropractor. He was taking some supplaments and overall doing so much better. Yet, I do know the improtance of following through with the doctor appointment. Yet, the papers sit on my desk with me having all the intentions to complete the forms.
Myabe it is denial. Not wanting to bring him to another medical doctor, to “diagnosis him”. When so far, I had been the most knowledgeable in diagnosising what was wrong with my son. See, we had taken him to a Psychologist last Febrruay but he was not able to “sit through and take all her tests”. She sent us her assessment months later, but that experience was so disappointing because I felt like she made no connection with my son in the 2 hours we spent with her and did a lousy job of trying to assess his issues. I also was not prepared and took him by myself rather than having someone with me so he could sit with that person, while I answered questions.
It is also challenging for me to answer questions about him because he acts differently with me than he does with others, even other family members. Maybe another reason, I have not yet filled out the form for the doctor. They ask for a teacher report. He is homeschooled.
As I write this, I have a friend who has and observed him through our participation in actitivites with our children, she was the first person who stated, “social anxiety” in regards to him, opening my eyes to what was going on with him. She has also been his teacher for a class and is again now. I think her input would be valuable being an observer and interactor with him but removed, not a family member.
This post has taken an interesting turn.
Once again, the song on my Pandora app rings of truth…
“Can I handle the seasons of my life”
“Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
’cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too”
-Fleetwood Mac, Landslide