It's been a bad anxiety day. David has a cold and Robbie has had a very low fever all day long. So on top of my completely irrational anxiety, I've had actual things to worry about. It's not been a good day.
I'm hoping that it may also relate to some BP meds as well. I'll explain.
Last night, my blood pressure was high (150/90) again and I was feeling pretty crummy. Eventually I decided to take an extra dose of labetelol. About 20 minutes after I did that, everything went really blurry. I mean, REALLY blurry. In an effort to convince myself I wasn't having a stroke, I did some googling and found that blurred vision is a side effect of the medication. So I felt better. But while I was reading, I came across a note that another side effect is "Mood changes (depression)" and was just floored.
Now, I somehow doubt that it's responsible for everything I've been experiencing. I have a history of anxiety anyway, and a lot of other things going on. But the notion that it could be aggravating it just left me flabbergasted. And hopeful. Maybe if I could get off the labetalol, I'd feel a little better?
Then I went back and looked and that one day I had where I felt really good was last Wednesday. On Monday, we had cut my dose of BP meds by 2/3. Maybe the reduction in meds had given me a little mood boost? I hoped.
Of course, I had taken a bigger dose than usual yesterday and then I felt worse than usual today. So I'm hoping my theory will work out.
I called the doctor and asked about stopped the med. She gave her blessing to give it a try. Of course, I have to watch my pressures closely and call if the spike up again. But if that happens, we'll try a different med. I'd obviously prefer not to need any blood pressure medication at all, but if I do, hopefully a different drug will have fewer side effects. Even just the double vision is obnoxious and if it truly is contributing to my anxiety, I really don't need that.
In the mean time, I'm just trying to get through the day. I have tried to breathe through the worst of it, but the waves of panic have been incredibly overwhelming today. It's definitely been a day where all I want to do is crawl in bed and hide. Robbie did sleep in this morning and then the nanny was here for 2 hours so it should have been an easier than usual day, but Robbie then didn't nap and all the worries about germs and Charlotte.. well, it just wasn't.
On the other hand, my amazing friend Amy sent me a book this week. It's been Beth Moore, "Praying God's Word." She sent it in response to my confession that I was having trouble finding the words to pray. There is a section on battling depression, which is where I started. Depression and anxiety go hand in hand. I'm only a few pages in (time is a commodity, after all) but it's already resonating with me. I read some of the passages aloud and did feel some peace.
The one that brought me close to tears:
Lord God, I am hard pressed on every side, but I don't have to be crushed; I am perplexed, but I do not have to be in despair. (2 Cor. 4:8)
I do feel pressed on every side. I feel like I can't win no matter which way I turn. If I'm tending to Charlotte, I'm not tending to Robbie. If I'm tending to Robbie, I'm not tending to Charlotte. David's almost completely left out of the equation. In trying to care for the kids, I feel like I can't devote 100% to trying to heal myself (even is as much as I can't take any med available because I'm nursing.) And if I'm doing something to try to soothe my nerves (a bath, reading, whatever) I'm not tending to any of them. All I really want is for someone to come save me. Who? I don't know. If I had a real mother, I'd say her. But I don't. I want my mother-in-law to come, but she has a job and it's not her responsibility. It's no one's responsibility but mine. And I feel like I'm letting everyone down.
Don't get me wrong, I'm getting through the day. The kids are fed and clean seem content. But it's all fake. I have to force myself to use a soft tone when I speak. I have to force myself to smile at something sweet. I have to force myself to get up and do.. well.. anything. All I really want to do is hide in my bed with the door closed. And then I feel so guilty about that because I know that's not normal. It's not normal for a mom and it's not normal for ME. I love my kids.
There is this picture from the day Charlotte was born where they've just brought her to me to hold for the first time. I look happy. I was happy. I couldn't wait to get my hands on my baby girl. My perfect, beautiful, healthy baby girl. I wanted to hold her forever.
Looking back, the anxiety started within the next few days. It was partly the pre-e. I was sick and felt like crap and couldn't hold her. I didn't want to because I felt so weak and sickly. What I wanted was to sleep and just feel better. What I realize is that it never really changed at that point. I hold her because she needs to be held, because it's what I'm supposed to do. Because it keeps her from crying. But it's not that burning desire to get my hands on my baby girl the way I felt in that photo. I don't feel anything that strongly except panic and fear.
I don't even know what I'm afraid of half the time. I'm afraid when I'm alone with the kids. Of what? I don't know. I mean, I've done it day in and day out. And so far, we've managed. You would think that would build confidence. I'm okay. I'm doing this. The kids are amazing. But I'm still scared of something.
I wish I could enjoy them. I keep thinking any day now. I keep reading your comments and emails about how one day, you just did. And I keep hoping that tomorrow is that day. But so far it's not. And when I have a day like today that is worse than even usual, it's hard to feel like the day is really coming. I want to have hope. I NEED hope. But it is incredibly elusive, more elusive than I've ever found it to be.
Truthfully if it weren't for Charlotte and Robbie, I'd probably stop the meds. I'd just give in to the urge to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. Maybe drug myself up with some Xanax, but maybe just google all my paranoid symptoms into oblivion. But even though I can't feel what I should, I love the kids and I know they deserve a mom. Even if the best I can give them is a fake mom, they need at least that. My mom checked out physically. I know how that feels. I know first hand the damage it does. I can't do that to them. So I keep pasting the fake smiles on and moving forward.
All I can do at this point is hope that tomorrow is that magical day where I can see through the darkness again. I'll keep praying. And keep asking you to pray. It's all I've got.