Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pain of a Different Sort

I think this whole journey is starting to get to me. Today was hard. Really hard. It's the first day of summer vacation & I was either super bitchy or on the verge of tears all day. This is all from emotional & mental issues. The physical pain is there, it always is, but the emotional pain was the worst it's been so far.

The girls sat on the couch this afternoon going over all the things they want to do with me, but haven't been able to because of my back problem. None of it was anything radical, it was things like riding bikes & running together. I would've cried if DaddySpeak hadn't rescued me from the conversation. I explained to the girls that I feel the same way, that's why I'm going through all of this; doctors appointments, physical therapy, epidural shots... but they don't understand any of that. They only understand that mommy says, "no" a lot about things. Things that all their friends' mom's can do. Things their mommy ought to be able to do.

I believe I'm in the middle of a trifecta of chemical imbalances (in my brain,) at the same time. You may think I'm off the deep end with this one, but once I tell you why, I may seem more sane than before. A few weeks ago, I realized that the neurontin, was fogging up my brain to a fault. I couldn't remember anything specific about conversations. Even conversations that had occurred less than a few minutes before hand. I was starting to get concerned about what I might be doing, while say, driving and not be remembering it. Realizing how bad it was getting I decided to pull myself off. The doctor and I had discussed how to do this when I first started the drug, so I followed his instructions from before. Guess what else it was doing? The neurontin was helping with my pain. I know, because of how much of it was back once I was completely off the drug. It was that, or I just couldn't remember how much I'd been hurting.

In the meantime, my other doctor wanted to schedule another epidural shot. After the last one, I did have some reservations. We had a discussion about where my pain had been & where it was now. We determined that I'd had about a 20% reduction in pain, which seemed about right. "Would I be willing to go through that for another 20%?" Well duh! If I thought I really was going to get another 20%, but that much is unlikely. It did seem to be helping some, and I'm at a loss for what else to do. The skin problems were resolving themselves, (with some help from the spa in Vegas,) so I signed up for one more round.

Also you may remember, I mentioned I had a visitor at this same time? Aunt Flo is not friend of mine, and has not improved my situation. The night before my epidural shot (Tues) I had a discussion with a friend about our shared perimenopausal symptoms. Long story short, her doctor had recommended birth control pills to help with the symptoms. I had my annual OB/GYN appointment (because an epidural shot isn't enough for me in one week) scheduled for the day after my epidural shot, (Thurs) so I brought it up to my doctor then. She agreed and put me on birth control pills. I started those on Friday night.

Do you see where this is going? Me neither. Oh yeah! My point, (yes, I did have one) is that in the last week:
  • I've finished weening myself off a drug that was affecting my memory (neurontin)
  • I've had an epidural shot (steroids)
  • I've had a visit from Aunt Flo (hormones)
  • I've started birth control pills (more hormones)
I'm not sure my emotional reaction to the girls was entirely because of what they were saying. I do feel awful about all the things there were bringing up. It was the first time they've done that to me, (probably won't be the last) but I do think there's some things going on chemically in my brain that really gave my emotions a big boost. Since they were negative emotions, it wasn't good. All day I felt awful, like I had a wet blanket weighing me down. Not only did my back hurt, but I felt queasy, achy, clammy... As the day progressed it worse, not better.

Saturday night the girls were sleeping over at my parents so we could go to a co-workers party. I begged off. Luckily, my husband knew I wasn't really feeling up to it. I think he was afraid I wanted him to stay home and babysit me. What I wanted & needed was some alone time. He took the girls to my parents house & went to the party. He sent me texts a couple times to make sure I was still okay, (and probably be sure I wasn't pulling a mind game on him). I had the opportunity to wallow in my pity party. I decided to have a drink, instead of a pain pill & things seemed to chill a bit for me. I watch some mindless TV on Hulu. It was pretty much what I seemed to need. Of course, I'm feeling a ton of guilt now; over not keeping the girls home, not going to the party with him, etc... because I don't give myself any slack.

This morning, Sunday, I was able to sleep in. We had NOTHING planned today, and I needed that. I'm much better. I've still got the black blob of unhappy in the back of my head, but it's not winning today. I'm not sure what to do, and maybe that's my problem. I'm at a crossroad of sorts, the stuff I'm doing for my back isn't working but I'm not sure what to do. Today I refused to take a pain pill till I really couldn't stand it anymore. (My personal protest against my body, I guess.) I also did two loads of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, etc...stuff that isn't great for me, so 1:30 is pretty damn good, I think.
I'm hoping the big black blob of emotional pain was a "perfect storm" (drugs, steroids, hormones,) that won't show up again, but I'm seriously not sure. And upon reading this, I have to say, I'm playing this down a bit. The reason I started writing this is because I think I need help, but I'm not really sure what/how to do it. I've asked doctors time and again for a referral to a (mental) therapist and every time I get a "look in your insurance book" at best. I've had bad therapists, I don't want to make this situation worse. I get plenty of bad advice for free already. This bout I had yesterday, I had feelings that were...I wouldn't call them suicidal, I don't want to kill myself, and I wouldn't, but in a respect I feel like it wasn't entirely me. And they were really, really black. I don't know exactly how to describe it. It scared me. But like I said, I think it was the "perfect storm". I don't anticipate that happening again.