A small red and white sundress hanging on a rack the other day at Target hit me like a physical blow, just knocked the wind out of me like a belly flop off the diving board. A small boy with reddish curls in a tee shirt with a homemade cape sewn to his shoulders crossing a parking lot in front of us has been on my mind for weeks. Sassy tweens no longer repulse me (much). I no longer see a baby and think that is what I want. I see a child and think I want to parent, to nurture, to help create a grown up. And this is new for me. Maybe it's a result of having such a tumultuous six months. Maybe my biological clock finally kicked on. Maybe it's some cockamamie notion that by being a decent mother, I can repair myself in some way. I don't know. These are things I need to get to the bottom of as I work on my mental and physical health. All we are sure of today is that we aren't making any major decisions for six months.
Speaking of, physically, it's been a mixed bag. After beginning to treat my shitty thyroid and settling into the diabetic lifestyle, a lot of my health numbers have improved. And then there is my liver. My liver is once again a little pissed off about things. I need to have another hepatic panel drawn in a couple of weeks. That is fairly concerning. My doctor speculates that I took ibuprofen a bit too often in June. I maybe took 5 or 6 gel caps over the course of a week, this is hardly taking much of it at all, that is how persnickety my liver has been since the pancreatitis. It's an angry liver. I don't know why it has to be such a dick about everything, it's had a pretty cushy life. I haven't had a drink in probably a decade and I never even was a big drinker, I just never got any good at it and then I decided that with my genetics, getting good at drinking? Was a very Bad Idea. I have never done recreational drugs, either. And I have been eating pretty clean for years. So a few advil might be enough to piss it off. I don't even know.
And why did I take all the ibuprofen? For cramps. Because (TMI WARNING!!) one of the meds my endocrinologist put me on was The Pill. Specificaly he put me on a 91 day cycle pill, the kind where you only have a withdrawal period every 3 months. It is anti-androgenizing, so would help to counter balance some of my excess masculine hormones. Which seemed to help right away with the hair loss. My hair was coming out by the wad pretty much since I got sick. I was going through a very large amount of 10-minute hair clog remover, about a gallon a week. Even after chopping all my hair off into a 2-inch pixie cut. But the perk of keeping some of my hair came with the price of a really painful period that began in my second week of being on the pill. And continued for the next seven weeks. Much of it was more like spotting, but it was still seemingly endless. After going to my GP/GYN (she does both, and she has tiny little hands, WIN) for a thorough rummage in ye olde junk drawer and getting the all-clear I finally had to wave the white flag of surrender to Quasense. The endless bleeding was really the least of the side effects I was experiencing. My depression was right back up where it hadn't been for weeks, I started getting zits, lots of zits. I was a raging bitch pretty much nonstop, I had more intrusive and alarming thoughts and compulsions, and then sexual dysfunction joined the party. There is only so much I can endure even in the face of keeping more of my hair.
So I went off of that nearly three weeks ago, took a course of progesterone to try and reset things and have a new Rx for a new variety of pill with a traditional 21/7 day schedule. I am hopeful that it will work for both the hair loss and to help regulate my cycle.
None of this was particularly helpful for my mental well being and balance, let me tell you. Keeping the cheese on my cracker has been a job this summer. I am doing cognitive behavioral work for treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia, with a surprise guest star of OCD. I didn't expect that one, either. And much to my chagrin it's not the tidy kind. It's the all or nothing kind where I have to be perfect label-maker organized, or everything just goes to shit. It's exhausting being terrified of pretty much everything in the world and having to obsess about whether or not my spices are still in alphabetical order (they so are). So, I go to therapy. I do homework. I conduct exposures where I have to read, or say, or look at, or do something that upsets me over and over again (spoiler alert: everything upsets me.) to try and wear down my panic response. I watched Cameron Diaz barf into a dancing trophy around 45 times this morning until seeing someone vomit didn't make me look away from the tv or even flinch. My silverware drawer would give Joan Crawford an aneurism.
|The yellow thing is a citrus reamer, not a marital aid. |
I have what feels like a million things going on like this around me. Things are half cleaned, half painted, and half put away. It's harder work that I thought it would be. But it's also more rewarding. And this is why I do it.