I am going to officially call this a good week. It wasn't perfect, but it was so much better than last week and it doesn't even belong on the same calendar as the week before last, so it was good.
I've had 6 days of feeling like myself. There have been moments of panic that have seeped in, but it's been brief enough and mild enough that I can work through it and do okay. I've spent full days alone with the kids without watching the minutes tick by on the clock until David gets home. I've smiled and laughed genuinely. I've had an appetite (and then some) and interest in things besides laying in bed. It's good.
Tonight I walked out to the living room right at dusk and felt the old panic feeling set in. Dusk was a huge trigger. But it hadn't happened in several days and I hadn't thought to steel myself for it. Fortunately I recognized what was happening right away and was able to close up the blinds (dark is better than dusk) and it eased again. Anxiety is weird. And sneaky. But Lexapro is stronger.
Truthfully, I think it's a combination of things. The Lexapro for sure, getting further from delivery (6 weeks now) and I really think that coming off of the Labetelol helped a lot, too. My blood pressures have been great. There have been a 2 or 3 spikes in the last week, but mostly 130/80 or below. The last few days have really been in the 120s/70s. That's better than it was before I got pregnant, so that's awesome. I'm sure that's attributable to being 60 pounds lighter than I was a year ago.
In other news, I started a round of gentian violet tonight for my thrush. I spoke to the nurse about the issue but she and/or my OB don't seem to think it's thrush. The reasoning she gave me was that Charlotte is asymptomatic and because my breasts don't have streaks. But streaks could be a sign of mastitis, not thrush, so that makes no sense whatsoever to me. She told me to call a lactation consultant.
On the other hand, I was on antibiotics during delivery, another round afterward, I had a yeast infection after the 2nd round. I've had no pain with nursing for nearly 6 weeks and all of a sudden it's major. It gets worse at night. It lasts through the nursing session and after. This is all consistent with thrush. I did confirm that with a doula friend. Everyone seems to agree it's most likely thrush.
However, because they didn't take me seriously, I did some more reading and it seems like gentian violet is the better option anyway. It's cheaper, has few side effects and works both more quickly and more reliably. It's just messier.
I had to have the GV ordered through the pharmacy. In the mean time, I started vinegar washes and probiotics to try to contain it. Things have improved a little but still aren't great. My left breast still kills, particularly in the evenings. I did my first GV treatment tonight, though. Both Charlotte's lips and my nipples are a lovely shade of purple. Of course, she promptly spit up afterwards (she's a spitter) which also left a lovely blue stain on the blanket I had under her and the pillowcase because it soaked through to the pillow. Oh well. I'd gladly buy all new linens to keep my boob from feeling like it is being ground in a grinder every time I nurse.
I really do enjoy nursing, even with the thrush trouble. She's doing really well. She's been gaining around an ounce per day. She's up to 6 pounds 12 ounces as of tonight. She came home from the hospital at 4lb 12oz, so she's a full 2 pounds heavier now. She's still tiny, but she feels like a chunk to me these days. And it feels really good to know I've been able to do that for her all on my own. My body is keeping her alive and thriving.
I realize that technically it was before she was born, too. But to be frank, it felt like she was surviving in my womb IN SPITE of my body, not because of it. Now it feels like something is actually going right. What a concept.
In any case, it does feel like the spiral of depression has shifted. As my anxiety has improved, everything else has, and has everything else has, my anxiety has. Obviously things aren't perfect. My cat still has cancer (and isn't doing well, I'm afraid. I don't think we have a lot longer with her. Every time Robbie hugs her, my heart breaks a little more.) I still have an anxiety disorder and thrush. Charlotte is still a preemie and we're still in quarantine. But we're so far ahead of where we were a week or two ago, I know we're going to get through it.