Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rough Road Ahead


These are beautiful roses, aren't they (if you can get past the poor arrangement- not a talent of mine!)? I woke this morning to my three year old ramming these into my face, "Momma, Momma? Smee Momma". My husband took the boys to the store early so I could sleep in. By the time I rolled out of bed, it was nearly 10, which, in pre-kid days would rank somewhere around 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

Part of the reason he did this was guilt. He has a strange condition where he doesn't quite wake in the middle of the night when it's his turn to get the baby (this isn't often). He wakes the next morning with little to no recollection of my trying to roll him out of bed. This must have been a morning of recollection.

I should really cut him some slack though. The man is working 12 hour days and put in another 5 hours this weekend. We are both being worked to the bone. It really is no wonder that he slept through all my poking and prodding. And if our little guy wasn't recovering from strep, he wouldn't be waking until morning. We aren't used to getting up nightly anymore.

But, the main reason he let me sleep in was because despite his long hours and lack of sleep during the week, I was in BAD, BAD need of a break.

I'm an addict. So it probably shouldn't surprise anyone, least of all myself, that I've become addicted to a prescription drug.

About a year ago, following a complicated pregnancy and birth of our second born, I began to notice a change in my thought patterns. It had seemed normal at first. I had spent two weeks in the hospital before our little guy arrived and he was born a few days pre-term. It was obvious at his birth that something was awry. His color was pale, even more-so than the average newborn, and his cry very weak. There were moments where he would make no noise at all and I could hear the NICU doctor urging him to breathe. He was then whisked away with my husband jogging behind the NICU team, leaving me alone with a handful of people who were concerned with the amount of blood I was losing. Thankfully, he and I were both fine... but I was left hooked to an IV and unable to leave my bed to visit him until late that night. I sat as my other family members brought in pictures and videos. They were able to see him before I was, part of me was very concerned that he wouldn't know I was his mother. I believe it was this moment that started it all.

He ended up being diagnosed as a late preemie, as having prematurity apnea and respiratory distress syndrome. I had received magnesium sulfate during delivery, which was in part responsible for repressing his respiratory system. He stayed nine long (which to other NICU families, this would be considered short) nights and came home a healthy baby a week and a half later.

The thoughts slowly started trickling in. I was checking his hands and feet for color every half hour. Lifting his onesie to ensure he wasn't having retractions. And all the while, I was suffering from an untreated postpartum infection, oblivious to my own medical problems.

I took a can of hairspray when we went to the doctor's office. I was certain someone would try to take my baby from me. The sad part was that I knew I was being irrational, but I was powerless to stop. I called the doctor at least three times a week, certain he was suffering from petichae. It was horrible.

I was diagnosed and treated for the infection at 6 weeks out, then at 8 I was back in the ER for very high blood pressure. No one realized this was due to intense stress and anxiety. My meds were adjusted and I was sent for an MRI. Everything was normal and the new meds masked the underlying medical issue.

Two weeks later, I declined to take the baby to the doctor for an ear infection. I was afraid someone was going to kidnap him from the parking lot. I wouldn't go to the grocery store, out of fear he would disappear from the cart. I knew things were out of control. It took every bit of strength to call my OB for help-- I feared they would deem me unfit and take the baby.

My OB was very reassuring and quickly diagnosed me with postpartum depression. He explained the depression part is a misnomer, many more women suffer from severe anxiety over severe depression. He prescribed Paxil CR, which worked very well and I returned to my normal self within a matter of weeks.

I didn't think to mention my previous problems with addiction (actually, I was afraid to-- you know, they'd take the baby if they knew...). I wish I had. Paxil has the potential to become very addictive and very, very difficult to come off of. I've been trying for months now, as the benefits no longer outweigh the side effects. Withdrawal is terrible, shaking, insomnia, hurling, and horrible bouts with anxiety. This week, I adjusted my dosage down a notch. So, it's been a bad week.

And the frustrating part is that it will only get worse before it gets better. But I feel in my heart that the Lord is leading me away from this drug. I am also confident that He will use this time to work on my character and build my strength. But I covet your prayers, dear friends. There's a rough road ahead and I'm eager to get past it.

Thanks for listening.

Love,

6 comments:

He & Me + 3 said...

Thank you so much Lou for sharing. I will be praying for you my friend.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I have been sober for over 32 years. God totally delivered me and I've never had the desire to have a drink in all those years of sobriety.

Early on I recognized my addictive personality and have been very cautious about what I eat and any medicine I take. God seems to have allowed you to find this out by what you are currently going through.

I pray that when you get through this trial it will cause you to be very cautious about what you put in your body in the future. I pray that God will protect you and your family and you will have a productive life for Christ.

~Ron

Saleslady371 said...

Thanks for sharing this, Lou. I am praying for your total recovery with no side effects. You are a great mom to those kiddos.

Hugs,
Mary

RCUBEs said...

Joining these precious friends in lifting you up sister Lou. May the Lord's healing, guidance, protection, strength cover you and your family. Be strong in the Lord's mighty power!

Lloyd said...

Lou...I am praying for you now for God's love, mercy, healing powers and protection. God's blessings. Lloyd

Andrea said...

Lou,
I am thankful I hopped over from Kat's blog. I am lifting you up in prayers, today. I thank GOD for your honesty and transparency, here. GOD will use you to help so many others as you reveal HIS strength in your weaknesses.
Big HUGS and lots of PRAYERS,
andrea