Anxiety back day two. It comes in waves. All of a sudden I’ll start to feel light headed and weird. Not dizzy, but strange. The lights get too bright and it becomes hard to focus. The silence in my ears becomes loud and whatever’s happening in the room starts to feel out of this world, out of reality. I’ll start to feel weakness in my legs and arms, hot, and sweaty. I may have a bowel movement, and then I’ll get the chills. All the while this is happening, I’ll tell myself I’ve been through this before, to not worry and focus on keeping my jaw, neck and shoulders relaxed. It will pass I keep telling myself. And it does. Eventually.
I had about three of these episodes today, on a much smaller scale than yesterday’s big one which started the whole damn thing back again.
Debilitating anxiety where I can’t leave the house or drive. I was so out of it I had to cancel a get together with friends I never get to see. I had a low grade fever too so maybe I have the flu I thought. But the fever went away. It’s anxiety.
I’ve been getting signs it was making a comeback the past month. It’s a tell-tale pattern – starts with muscle tightness, irritability, irrational fears, excessive spending, over-abundance of ideas, night wakings, insomnia, lots of energy, nightmares, specific nightmares about tornadoes, and one poignant short, albeit noteworthy episode of brain fog and derealization on New Year’s Eve. Just a one-off I thought. I hoped.
And now my daughter is off to emerg because she has hives all over her body and a severe stomach ache. I’m sure it’s just a virus but J is worried and is taking her just in case. I’m staying home with little C and trying to keep myself calm. It’ll pass. Eventually.
Before I go back to the doc and get back on meds, I’m going to try the natural route. That means GABA, vitamin B, black cohosh and some other stuff in the Healthy Hormones bottle I’ve been neglecting, some calm magnesium powder, proper nutrition, yoga, meditation and qigong. That’s what I tried the last time I had an anxiety flare-up postpartum and it didn’t work but I’m hoping it will this time. Then, I had to go on medication for 18 months. I just weaned off them this past March.
Why go the natural route if it didn’t work before? Because it did, prior to my second bout of PPD. For a while, I was in my normal, calm, heyday living the dream as a yogi and nutritionist. Life was beautiful. Then PPD hit for a second time and it was bad and I haven’t fully recovered since.
As much as I hate to admit it, I think what triggered this relapse is the stress I’m under with the kids – getting them ready for school and daycare in the morning and picking them up at night and the whole night time routine. It wouldn’t be so bad if they just cooperated. But little C’s temper tantrums and E’s ADHD is just getting to be too much for my impaired nervous system to handle. That, coupled with the fact that I haven’t been eating properly or practicing yoga and voila, one little trigger and I’m in full blown anxiety mode.
A live-in nanny would solve all my problems. But who can afford that? I did, well not a live-in but a live-out, during my postpartum recovery but there went our savings. I can’t afford to do that again so I’m trying to find a part-time babysitter to help me in the mornings and after school getting the kids ready and making them dinner. And in the meantime I have to be well enough to go to work and keep my job because we can’t afford to live on one salary.
I have to be well.
In the News:
1. Kaffer: It’s time to make mental health care a priority, not a privilege
An opinion piece in the Windsor Star by a nurse on how the federal health deal would translate into mental health improvements directly in the community. It would go towards the development of a community mental health centre. I thought she could give more details on this but it was nice to try and paint a picture of what the mental health money would actually do. Helps people imagine actual, real, tangible services that would be put in place if all the provinces would just sign the deal already.
2. Health Beat: Kids in crisis: Training next generation of mental health doctors
A story out of Pennsylvania about the need for more child psychiatrists. Here here!
3. Mental Health a Provincial Priority
A brief report on the Saskatchewan Minister of Health declaring 2017 will be a priority for mental health in light of the suicides happening there.
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