Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So Can Mom Be Calm or What?

I am done with psychiatrists.

I am not "cured." But I am done with them for now.

In my first blog post, I wrote about how Klonopin makes me a better parent. At this point, I can just say that Klonopin can temporarily make you a better parent. What I've learned is that spending the afternoon by yourself can possibly have the same calming effect as medicine. Unfortunately, it is easier to take a dose of Klonopin on a daily basis, than to spend an afternoon by yourself. This is where the trouble begins.....

Here is the list of things I have done in trying to find the "Calm" in Can Mom be Calm? (many of which I have not followed through because I'm too lazy, tired, whatever.... ):
  • Relaxing meds like Klonopin (2 different kinds)
  • Antidepressants (3 different kinds)
  • Mood stabilizer with a relaxing med
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Seeing friends
  • Blogging about my life lessons as a mother of 2 children with special needs
  • Going on Dates or doing Date Night with my husband (of course, not anyone else)
  • Psychiatrists (2) Internists (1)
  • Talk therapist/social worker (2)
  • ADHD drugs (2)
With all this, you would think that I could breathe and there is no chance I would ever have to go to the E.R. again, right? Wrong. While I doubt I'll ever go back to the E.R., I still have trouble breathing. (In case you're wondering, I have checked myself out physically to rule of lung and heart issues.)

I think I'm doing a really bad job of coping. Yeah, yeah, I got a lot on my plate, I know, but I was relying on psychiatrists too much. I don't think I was doing my part. I gave up on the swimming, the yoga, the date nights. I see friends sporadically and the only time I ever spent for myself was when I went to see the psychiatrist! I know, this is just no good.

So here is the new plan. I'm taking a break from trying to fix myself, at least with a psychiatrist, for now. I didn't realize how hard it would be to find the right fit or the right diagnosis. It's also possible that I'm not being cooperative or patient enough, but then again, no... I am cooperative but definitely can work on the patience.

When I was doing medical public relations, I met many patients who went through the "medical mill." That is, they would go to the wrong doctors for many years and continue to suffer as physicians tried to figure them out. I would always be publicizing their "A-Ha" moment when they finally went to the right doctor at the right hospital and then they were cured! HOORAY! I'm sure you've seen those stories. It's on the news all the time.

I often wondered how these patients could endure such a series of misdiagnosis for so many years. I guess I kind of know how they feel now. It is really tiring to fix yourself. The hope and disappointment coupled with the actual fatigue that goes into seeing doctors and answering and asking the same questions over and over again. Of course, dealing with your insurance company throughout all of this also adds to the workload of fixing yourself. Who needs such aggravation when you are already sick?

Hopefully, I will find calm soon enough but for now, I'm going to just take a break. However, I won't be completely letting go. I have decided that for this next month I will try to exercise and just take some time to myself (I've been approved for respite services so I can exercise during the day twice a week for about two months). I am also going to try to sleep more which is what my last psychiatrist advised me to do anyway. The one great thing about sleeping is that it is cheaper than doctor visits, pool memberships, babysitters, and even generic medications. I could do cheap. We definitely need more cheap around here.

Picture: A day of calm at the beach. It wasn't a perfect day but I remember clearly being calm about whatever happened that day. I relished in the kids' accomplishments (in play skills and eating skills) and just chatting with my friend.


Kel said...

Good luck, hon! Calm is hard to find, and it's fleeting. I'm still adjusting to one SN kiddo, and I struggle so hard to find that "me" time you mention as well. I love your blog, and I find some calm for myself by reading your journey - so thank you!

Anonymous said...

Go Jenn! I am so behind you. Look at all you've done not only for yourself but for your kids. It is a tough balance, particularly in the beginning when they are so young. You are doing great. You inspire me to try to take time for myself as well. You are a fighter for your kids, yourself and your marriage. You've got great skills to assess, analyze, make a plan for change etc. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear about the respite services... time to yourself is crucial to the calm, I think... love, Lorna