|Seriously, they wouldn't stop.|
So lately I have felt far less than my usual almost happy self. Like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Something was about to go cataclysmicly wrong -- I could sense it.
I have had to exert great effort to drag my lazy self out of my bed before the sun is up to get the kiddos ready for and delivered to school, I have only done household chores when faced with the possibility of wearing dirty underwear or eating Frosted Flakes out of a coffee mug with a knife, and I have kept the clutter in piles only to keep from tripping over the random crap that the kids leave everywhere. The cleanest thing in my house for the past few weeks has been my DVR. Something has been wrong, but I didn't know what it was.
|Special thanks to Allie Brosh over at Hyperbole and a Half where I stole this fitting image.|
So yesterday, I went to the doctor and asked her to figure out what was wrong.
After a lengthy discussion about everything that is going on with me -- the no sleeping, the weird eating, the general lack of motivation, etc. and a quick review of where I was almost a year ago, we determined a few things:
1) I'm depressed. (Well, duh Doc, I didn't need a medical degree to figure out that part.)
2) I am gaining weight. (Well thanks for the info, but this is not helping with issue number one....)
3) I am not getting enough sleep. (Again, thank you Captain Obvious.)
4) Even when I sleep enough, I am not rested and feel lethargic most of the day.
5) All of these things are related.
And then she earned her money. She asked why I had stopped taking the synthroid that I was prescribed by an endocrinologist last year. I had quit taking it because the stupid insurance company had quit paying for it and because I could not tell that I felt any different while I was on it. This is how the next part of the conversation went:
Her: "So, you quit taking the Synthroid because you basically couldn't afford it without insurance?"
Me: "I probably could have, but not every month and it wasn't doing anything."
Her: "You sure about that?"
Her: "Synthroid regulates your thyroid function. Without it, your thyroid works extremely slow. You will feel tired all of the time. Your metabolism will slow down causing weird eating habits and difficulty losing weight. This 'heavy' or lethargic feeling will make it difficult to get out of bed and get moving, thus making you depressed because you feel unable to accomplish anything."
Me: "Huh. So you're saying that I don't need a lithium drip, I just need to get my thyroid back on track?"
Her: "Well, you might need a lithium drip, but let's focus on one problem at a time. Let's get you back on the meds -- there is a generic that isn't quite as good, but it's better than nothing -- and then in a couple of months we can reexamine the need for anti-psychotics or, more likely, anti-depressants."
So my problems could be traced back to the stupid decision to quit taking an obviously needed medication because it was too expensive. The symptoms that I was feeling were compounding one another. I was gaining weight because I was lethargic because I was fatigued because I wasn't sleeping because I was anxious because I was depressed because I was fat.
She also explained that because of all of the crap that the thyroid problem causes, any and all external events that might be sad or stressful (ie your dad having triple bypass surgery, a death in the family, your home state being ravished by hundreds of deadly tornadoes) effect you 10 times worse than they normally would. So I am not as much of a loser as I thought. But my thyroid sucks. She gave me meds to help me fall asleep and sleep better so that I can get my sleep patterns back to what they would be if I were a normal person.
So last night, I took the little pill and went to bed and I FELL ASLEEP. It was amazing. I didn't get up 15 times to check if the door was locked, to make sure that my kids were still in their beds, to turn on the dishwasher, or anything. And I slept through the night without getting up to see if it was my turn in Words With Friends, or to check Facebook. And when I got up today I took my thyroid medicine. It's effects will take a little longer to realize, but I feel better already.
Unfortunately, she had no pill that would make laundry, dishes, or any other housework enjoyable (that most likely WOULD take lithium), but if I could get myself out of this funk, I think I could do those things. It won't happen overnight, but better days are ahead. I can FEEL it.