So...I announced to my Always Really Nice Practitioner (ARNP) this weekend that I thought I *might* be having symptoms of clinical depression, and she more or less announced BACK to me this has been obvious for quite some time to those around me. WTF?!? Why am I always the last to know or be let in on the secret? I said to her it sure would have been a nice gesture if *those around me* would have had the kahunas (brass ovaries or balls by definition) to SAY something...but then I remembered, I DO bite...so I can't really hold *those around me* responsible for not wanting to get their hand chewed off by a rabid dog such as myself when reaching out to pet it. Sigh.
I'm not really sure if there's a chicken or the egg theory as a cause for what has begun to feel like a dark period in my life (and no, not menstrual...psychological! Although peri-menopause hormones really have not HELPED the situation.)...I've certainly had a host of *unusual* stressors of late.
My work hours have become quite taxing and I am STILL dealing with that accommodation request which I can't mention to you (or I'd have to have you shot)...because I WORK for Big Brother and therefore, know BB watches over me...kind of like Baby Jesus, only not in a necessarily "loving" way. LOL
Then, there is this constant, nagging, gnawing, aching, annoying, irritating, agitating FREAKIN' PAIN I have been trying to manage in my body...this drains me, stealing my joy and bumming my voyage...like a constant pebble in my shoe (only poking me in my shoulder and back, but you're smart enough to make that jump in analogy, right?). When I try to describe the pain to others, words fail me...it's a deep nerve pain and, if you've never experienced it, consider yourself fortunate versus trying to assist me with adjectives to describe the continual hell in my spine.
I DID get the TENS unit...it's pulsating tiny, electrical shocks as I type, deep into the muscles of my back...it's rather like a S & M toy (sadism and masochism, for those of you not into deviant behaviors!). IT HURTS GOOD. Thank you again, Jane, for the suggestion! But unfortunately, I can't leave the little dominatrix box blasting on my shoulder/back ALL the time...it's just not recommended...and having electricity pulsating into my spine every 1.5 seconds offers it's OWN distraction in a somewhat negative way when trying to follow the conversations of a bouncing psychotic person at my work (that's referencing PATIENTS, not my coworkers...just for clarification). This little stimulus package (economic AND physiological) costs about $800, so the company is "letting" me borrow it for a month to see if I can't live without it before deciding if my insurance and I will cough up the fur ball of cash to buy it.
I seem to also be taking WAY too many medications for my liking in dealing with this discomfort...the meds leave me hung over in the mornings and with cotton mouth, like I've been on an alcohol bender for 24 hours...minus the blackout sex, throbbing headache, and lack of knowing where my car keys are (not that I have any IDEA what a *24 hour alcohol bender* is like...ehem). But if I don't take the medications, the trade off is feeling like I've been run over by a semi-truck in the morning...either option leaves much to be desired. And I personally think I'm a far more manageable addicted-Courtney-Love-type person in the mornings than I am a flattened-road-kill-nasty-smelling-in-pain-type person...I dunno...just my opinion.
My good friend, Skeeter, was also just here visiting in Seattle on the spur of the moment this past week...one DOES this type of unannounced/unplanned trip after receiving a diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer, three weeks post bilateral mastectomy. I now hang my head in shame for my "pink envy" I have so flagrantly discussed here on CHEESE (although, those breast cancer peeps DO still have all the good colors and fund raisers compared to the Multiple Sclerosis *Movement* peeps!)...thank GOODNESS there is so much focus on breast cancer...ten years ago, my dear friend would already have been pushing up daisies at this stage in her disease. We had a sweet, yet difficult/teary-eyed time together as we struggled to find words to balance the grief with the good times...her incisions look like something from a horrific Frankenstein movie with drains hanging out of both armpits...this was enough to sober me up and realize how FORTUNATE I am to JUST have MS. I am certain I would not be so full of grace as my friend if I were wearing her shoes...and she remarks how freeing it is to not have to wear a bra? I seriously need to quite beauching about the minor discomforts in my life...
And of course, my 45 birthday looms just around a sharp corner. I had an epiphany as to WHY forty five seems so freakin' OLD to me...it is because at around the age of 12, this is how old my MOTHER was...45. And I remember thinking how absolutely ANCIENT I thought she was at that age! I am now also interfacing with medical students and other professionals who are the same number of years OLD as I have been practicing nursing!!! 23 years...I seriously CAN say I have underwear as old as they are (something I like to announce when trying to put a green-behind-the-ears medical student in their place)...but if I do say that, I'm liable to have an investigation into the *WHY* I would be saving or wearing 23 year old underwear. I really can't win with this... :-)
I suppose the point I'm trying to make here (if I really have one at all) is, I honestly don't know if there is any one cause for my depressive symptoms...it just is. That's the cold, hard truth. From my sudden tearfulness to the extremes of insomnia, I have no clue where or how this *blue* fell over me...only that it is here and I must be responsible for recognizing it and doing what I can to mitigate the effect it has on my life.
I'm going to start by cranking up my TENS unit another notch...then maybe placing the electrodes on my forehead. If it were only that easy...sigh...