Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Appt with Dr. Short

Well, it was my turn to have a first doctor's visit yesterday.  It's been over two years since I've been to a doctor. Not having health insurance, doctor's visits are almost a "luxury" that I've denied myself for several years now.

Two years ago, I went to see Dr. McDougal and explained to him about Tanner's diagnosis and my struggles in trying to return to a "new normal" life, the thoughts of depression I was dealing with, and my inability to sleep through most nights.  He told me, "You aren't depressed. Look at you. You've lost weight, you're taking care of yourself, you're going to work. You aren't depressed. This is just life and you have to live it."

Well I've been trying to "live it" for a couple of more years now - and I'm still not sleeping through the night.  I take Tylenol PM or Benadryl or Melatonin - and nothing gives me beyond 4-5 hours of continuous sleep.

I "function" for a while and then I start quietly falling apart again... and it's been years.

People talk to me and give me their advice... "You have to let go of what you can't control"... "You have to look on the bright side"... "You just have to put your faith in God"...  All good advice. All things I know. Advice I wish I could follow, but I am who I am and that's a person who has always had depression issues.

My childhood... My childhood had "issues" and I've been plagued with migraines all my life.  I carry my worries and fears inside. I try to lean on my friends, but when "it" starts taking me over, I pull away and I internalize.

I was fifteen when my oldest brother was killed, 27 when my mother went into a coma and slipped away, in my thirties when I lost my dad, around 40 when my youngest brother lost his battle with drug addiction and shot and killed himself, I've watched my own son battle addictions and endured him being locked up for years,  I've loved and lost, I've trusted and been betrayed, I have a son with incurable cancer.

It's true.  This is all just "life"... It's all things many many people live with and endure all around me. I'm not special or different than most people I know... Everyone has issues in their life. No one has a "perfect" existence.

I went to my cousin's house this weekend and had such a wonderful time, and underneath it all is "everything"... Everything pressing down on me. A constant presence in my life. I talked to Kathy about it and she understood. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and she understood... because she too lives with "depression" as a constant companion always following in her footsteps.

I function.  I put on my makeup and I dress up and I go to work. I go out and laugh and have fun - but then I also struggle.

So yesterday, I went to another doctor and I talked with her and she understood and I'm getting some help.

There's been a rash on the back of my right shoulder and it's been there for more than six months. Sometimes it's painful and flares up.  Sometimes I can get it under control by using hydrocortisone cream and Aveeno baths, but it's been there for months and months. The doctor told me she thinks it's shingles and is caused by stress so here in a bit, I'll go to the drugstore and pick up my prescriptions and I'll hope for some relief.

I will be okay.  I know everything isn't hopeless.  I know there are many good and positive things in my life.  My oldest son seems to be winning the war with his addictions at this point in time and has a good job with a hopeful future. Tanner remains in remission and is building a life for himself - and is in love. I have beautiful grandchildren that I love with all my heart. I have friends who are always there for me.

Things will be okay and I'll continue to "live"... I just needed to seek some help.

"What do you do when you first learn to swim? You make mistakes do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you make all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning - and some of them many times over - what do you find? That you can swim"...Alfred Adler


  1. Angie, I am so sorry for all you have been through, and am glad that you have finally found a caring and more competent doctor. I hope you pursue finding someone who can help with the depression which seems as though much of it comes from multiple losses. Layers and layers of loss can be so hard to deal with alone and you deserve to have someone who can guide you to an understanding of how it affects our life, and also empower you deal with all you struggle with. you are a loving and wonderful person, and have many positive things going for you. you have walked a path few people can truly understand. platitudes, though well meaning really don't help. often they are expressed because those around you want relief for themselves - it's hard to watch the person they love go through incredibly hard times. they feel desperate for you to be happy. maybe the doc who has helped you get on the right path physically could be a resource for finding a counselor or therapist you could talk to. many communities have services for uninsured persons. my heart goes out to you, angie. i know how devastating it is to live with depression. but i am hoping that you will find help so you can be free to live this new chapter of your life happy and healthy in mind and body.

    1. Thank you for your kind words... They are very much appreciated!! It's nice to know that there are people who truly understand how hard depression can be to live with!

  2. Depression is sometimes as debilitating as any ¨disease¨ and it is good you are getting some help to ease it... your life has been a hard one by all accounts, and I really like the photo of you above... my mother was a depressive all her life and I was just plain lucky I didn´t get it, too, but there are times when it seems too much. I take sepia for those times - a homeopathic remedy for low moods, they call it. It helps me. Anyhow, just know your words are being heard.

    1. Thank you Sandy!! I always appreciate you and your understanding!

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