Tuesday, August 12, 2014

There is too much to 'splain, I will sum up...

This line from The Princess Bride seems appropriate.  I've taken a very long break from posting because so much has been going on in my life. 

Once this summary is out of the way, my plan is to start posting again the little musings I have about the intersection between my relationship with God as grace-giving Father and how I live as His daughter, especially in the context of parenting and homemaking. 

So, in no particular order:

In the early spring, my almost six-year-old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, mild gross motor delays and mild sensory quirks that aren't severe enough to require professional occupational therapy.  We started her on Ritalin, 5mg once per day and it helped her tremendously with focus on her school work and helping her be a more flexible resilient participant in social situations.

On Good Friday, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  A week later I was readmitted to the hospital with double pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  I stayed in the hospital three days.  Recovery was slow and nearly four months later I'm only now getting to the point where my energy levels feel back to normal for me.  I was blessed to have two mother's helpers come a few times a week in May, and with amazing support from my church family and MOPS friends.  My underlying heart condition is a little more serious than I previously thought and not only am I recommended not to have more pregnancies, but I may need to have a pacemaker or defibrillator implanted eventually.

I finally started on anti-depressants.  I'm currently taking 50 mg of Zoloft which has made a world of difference.  I like my husband and children again instead of constantly feeling a low level of irritation and resentment toward them.  My brain's executive functions have returned and I have ideas and can carry them out.  I feel like writing again.  I feel comfortable at home instead of restless and wanting to escape through the internet or too many activities in the community.  I don't overanalyze every social encounter and can just relax and enjoy the company of people around me.  My spiritual life has reawakened too, no longer feeling flat and cold and distant.

In October, we moved to a new house in town and almost a year later as I heal and regain strength and energy and as my depression, anxiety and ADHD symptoms gradually lift, I've really started to enjoy and improve in my role as homemaker.  I've been able to reorganize things, start routines and set up systems that make our family life run more smoothly and keep the house at a level of tidiness and cleanliness that is comfortable for living and conducive to fun and creativity

I feel like each of these areas could spawn many detailed posts of their own, and perhaps that is a good challenge for me.  This fall, I will blog at least once per week (oftener if inspiration strikes), delving into a specific aspect or thought triggered by reading through this summary. 

When I was depressed early in my married life, one of the internal messages I had to overcome was that I had nothing to say.  I overcame that by beginning to post blogs on Myspace and eventually by starting this blog.  Then there were periods when my brain fog and exhaustion made impossible to turn the swirling grey into black and white words. 

Life has rhythms and cycles.  A pearl in an oyster is formed not all at once, but layer by layer.  One season of growth in my life is ending and another beginning.  The previous season was inward and quiet, but this one is bursting out to be shared.  Isaiah 43:18-19 seems very appropriate:

“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands." (The Message)

God is doing something new in me, in my family, in my community and in the world.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another mental health update

Two weeks ago, I spoke with the psych and told him about my pregnancy and overall results with the Cerefolin. He was pleased with my progress and gave me samples of Deplin 15 to try, and a prescription for the CerefolinNAC that I could fill when the Deplin ran out or if the Deplin didn't work as well.

The Deplin 15 made me super anxious and ragey, (overmethylation?) so I discontinued it. I didn't fill the prescription for the Cerefolin because it costs $4 per pill and is not covered by my insurance.

Instead I researched over the counter options and found Methyl-Life but forgot to actually order anything for a week or so.  I ordered the 2.5mg dose, $36 for 90 pills. I decided to start with that level and bump it up to the 5mg dose by taking two pills if it seemed necessary (the CerefolinNAC is 5.6mg of the l-methylfolate for comparison).

I am pregnant (8 weeks or so!) and of course am going to be tired and emotional, but I think without the methylfolate my brain doesn't work as well and my thinking and mood is more negative overall..

Oh, and I'm still mostly grain free, but on Labor Day, I cheated for my brother-in-law's birthday and mother-in-law's famous corn tortilla enchiladas, with beans and rice (she used GF sauce and left the cheese off for me).

That whole week, I really struggled with anxiety. My thoughts went in circles. I was worried about Curly-Q, about DH, about our new house, about the move, about the new baby, about everything!

I don’t think it was a coincidence that that level of anxiety came on the heels of "cheating" with grains  at my brother-in-law's birthday party, or that I continued to "cheat" for a few days afterward with the gluten-free chocolate chip cookies left over from Curly-Q’s school birthday party.

Between not having the methylfolate and adding grains/sugar back in, it put me back where I started but maybe even worse because I know now the anxiety and depression/dysthymia I was living with isn't normal, and more importantly, what it's like without it!

So finally the Methyl-Life brand of l-methylfolate came in and after a few days of taking it, I started to feel much better.  I started out with the single pill (2.5 mg) dose and then after a few days, increased it to two pills for a 5mg dose.

5mgs is my sweet spot I think. Since starting at that level, I have almost zero anxiety, clear/positive thinking, and an ability to plan ahead and execute tasks.  It’s like l-methylfolate gets me to the place where my coping mechanisms work again!

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