It all started back on Mothers Day. . . No, probably a few weeks before then. . . I just wasn’t feeling like myself — whatever that is supposed to feel like. Tired all the time & wanting to sleep the day away. Didn’t want to do anything except zone out on the television. Phases of not wanting to eat at all to eating everything in sight. . . Tears for seemingly no reason.
We came to the conclusion that, while some of my symptoms could be attributed to my pregnancy, I was definitely falling into my depression. I have a predisposition for it. Maybe the pregnancy hormones tipped me over the edge. I try to “snap out of it” when I notice. As silly as it sounds, sometimes just making that conscious effort really does work. But this time, it wasn’t.
The Friday before Mothers Day, I saw my doctor to discuss depression & was diagnosed with severe depression. (Surprise, surprise!) I am frustrated, though, because, instead of referring me to a provider themselves, they told me to call the EAP (employee assistance program) number on the back of my insurance card. I was also irritated that the front office staff felt the need to whisper every time they said the word “depression.” I get why they did it. . . But, it’s already a hard thing to admit to. . . Even harder to actually take the initiative to attempt to seek treatment. I didn’t appreciate being made to feel like it was something to be ashamed of. . . I can’t think of another ailment they would’ve whispered about like that. . .
That same day, my father called & said he was passing through our town. We went & met him at the truck stop up the road where he happened to be stopped for the night. I do have to say, in the midst of all the crap going on in my brain, it was a nice visit. The past, for the most part, was left in the past. I saw him in a slightly different light. We’ll see what the future brings in that regard. . .
On Mothers Day, the handsome husband called from work — which he pretty much never does. He said he was on his way home to get me to go the emergency room, as he had been having chest pains for the last few hours & it had gotten to the point where he felt he needed to go in. He said not to worry, but of course I did. Plus, the fact that we only had one vehicle meant he had to drive himself the twenty-five minutes from work to home to pick me up, rather than just go to the nearest ER so I could meet him there. . . Of course I was worried.
The ER doctor didn’t give any direct diagnosis, but once the handsome husband’s pain was under control, he had the option to be admitted for further monitoring or to go home & follow-up with his primary care doctor as soon as possible. He opted for the latter. Those that know my husband won’t be surprised by that. He even went to work the next day & worked his entire shift.
That Wednesday, three days after his emergency room visit, he got in to see his doctor. There were talks about his lifestyle & past history, a referral to a cardiologist to “cover all their bases,” & a lab visit to test for various different things that could be attributed to his chest pain.
The next Monday was our one-year wedding anniversary. The handsome husband took the week of work to make sure we could get in some quality time. We had just purchased a new bed that we desperately needed & we got our little RJ’s plane tickets for his first visit from Washington State, so we opted to keep our anniversary low-key & just went to a movie & out for lunch. That afternoon also happened to be the handsome husband’s first cardiologist appointment. Nothing horrific. . . Just more history & talking, then three more appointments for stress tests & other necessary follow-ups.
That evening, some spotting that I had over the weekend that did not seem worrisome to begin with got heavier, with some slight cramping. It got to the point that we could not, in good conscience ignore it until morning. SO, despite it being nearly 11 o’clock at night when we are used to going to be three hours earlier, the handsome husband whisked me away to the nearest emergency room — the same one we visited for him just over a week earlier.
Our visit this time was about four hours long. Long story, short, the doctor was not worried about the bleeding. He said it was mostly old blood & that on its own it wasn’t anything to worry too hard about. BUT, we should watch it. The ultrasound, however, was an entirely different story. I was supposed to be about nine weeks along, but the ultrasound showed no baby. . . Just a gestational sac measuring just shy of seven weeks along. At discharge, the doctor told me, for future reference, that my HCG levels were at 22,944. . . I was directed to follow-up with my obstetrician as soon as possible & diagnosed with a threatened miscarriage — a “fancy” way of saying I might or might not be miscarrying. In other words, they couldn’t be sure.
When I called my OB’s office the next day, I was told not to worry because maybe I was just not as far along as they had originally thought. Of course I worried anyway. I just knew. I know my body. I know my cycle. The math just couldn’t work for me to be two weeks behind what I thought. . . BUT, even though I tried, we couldn’t help but hold onto a glimmer of hope.
We kept our “ten-week” appointment for the following Thursday (over a week away) & were asked to go in for a lab visit immediately & a follow-up ultrasound in about one week. More waiting.
Later that week, we got a call from the handsome husband’s doctor. They asked him to come back in immediately. His cholesterol levels were three times what they should be & they needed to discuss their options. He went in the next day & opted to try to stay off medication, which means we changed our diets drastically. A LOT less red meat (damn!), less starches & sugars. We’ve basically been living off chicken, fish, turkey & lots & lots of vegetables since. I guess that’s better for us anyway. . . But it’s a lot harder than I imagined. . .
Then, the next Tuesday, the handsome husband’s father went in for heart surgery. All I will say about that is that it has obviously been weighing hard on our minds. . . The handsome husband has been a lot more brooding than usual. . . It’s hard to see your strong parent in a frail condition — or even imagine it. It is even harder when the surgery is taking place in a completely different state. . . And harder, still, when you can’t help but make the connection between your parent’s health & your own.
The day after my father-in-law’s surgery was our follow-up ultrasound. No good news there. There was no new growth, (i.e. still no baby. . . There never was). Still just a gestational sac, not much, if at all smaller than the week prior at the emergency room. A miscarriage was now confirmed.
At the doctor appointment the next day, we learned that a D&C (where they suction or scrape the remnants of your pregnancy out of your uterus) would be too high risk for a first-time miscarriage, so early in pregnancy. SO, I go in once per week to have blood drawn to test HCG level to make sure that my body is “purging” on its own. I can expect anything from spotting to heavy bleeding for an indefinite amount of time. Once my HCG levels are below 5, it can be assumed that everything is gone, the bleeding should taper off within two weeks of that time, & we can start trying to get pregnant again. The catch is that if HCG levels start to go UP or do not steadily go down, it is a sign of complications & a D&C might still be necessary. . . Plus, anything from two weeks to six months could go by before my HCG levels get to where we want them to be, even if everything goes “smoothly”. . . More waiting.
Today, I got the phone call regarding the blood-draw from that last appointment. My HCG levels have gone down to only 7,000. That’s some decent progress. . . I’ll go back in this Thursday for this week’s blood draw. We will see. . .
As you can see, it’s been a rough several weeks. My depression hasn’t really let up. The handsome husband has been in a funk too. I have been toying with the idea of finding a psychologist, (not a psychiatrist, as I do not intend to go the route of medication). . . BUT, it is a difficult thing to do. The EAP line that my doctor told me to call wanted to do a whole assessment via phone. Um, no. That’s just not something I am comfortable with. I’ve gone as far as looking up psychologists in my area from my insurance company’s website, but I haven’t made it any further than that. . . We’ll see.
Anyway, for the people who have wondered why I haven’t posted in a while. . . For the people who wonder why I’ve been unusually “quiet” lately. . . And as an explanation of the several non-returned messages, texts, or phone calls over the last month or so. . . There you have it. My tendency during this time is to withdraw, stay home, & get lost in my own thoughts. None of which are necessarily the healthiest of options. . . But, it is what it is & this post is, at least, a step in the “right” direction, no?