Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"How was your appointment with the cra-cra doctor?"

Those were the exact words my 19-year-old sister said to me earlier this week.
Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn't it? It did me! (Insert extreme sarcasm).

If you have NO idea what I'm talking about, head over and read my "Bad Mom?" post from the other day.

Now that we're all caught up, you guys realized I'm not really crazy.
I don't hear voices.
I don't have any feelings of harming myself or anyone else.
I don't have an imaginary friend named Gary who I talk to...on a regular basis anyways. (I kid people, I kid).

I have, however, been diagnosed with post-partum anxiety.
"Post-partum anxiety?", you ask. Yes, post-partum anxiety.
Researchers have shown that approximately 50% of woman who have recently given birth actually have post-partum anxiety, but most confuse it with the stress of a new baby, so most women go undiagnosed and untreated. I was incredibly close to being one of those women, until I realized that it was something more than just regular stress. This was interfering with my everyday life.
So when I finally went to get my post-partum checkup with my OB/GYN I mentioned the extreme anxiety attacks and insomnia with him. He said it was more than likely one of two things:
 1). Something was wrong with my thyroid
2). I was having actually anxiety attacks and needed to be treated for them.
So blood work was done and everything with my thyroid came back okay. Which was awesome, because honestly the last thing I wanted to deal with was thyroid issues, especially since a friend of mine was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer (at the age of 28, mind you) and I've seen the problems it has caused her.

My doctor informs me that since is isn't my thyroid I would need to contact the base clinic to be referred to someone, and that's exactly what I did. The nurse I spoke to at the clinic was extremely nice and more than helpful. So I start calling the long list of places in my area that deal with anxiety and insomnia. I called 3 of the 5. One place was closed, one placed was no longer accepting new patients, and I made an appointment to fill out paperwork at the third.

The next day I load Easton up in the car and head downtown to fill out the paperwork so I could get this show on the road.
I pull up to the building and it LOOKS like it's a place where, for lack of a better term, crazies hang out, and upon walking into this absolutely disgusting establishment, my "judgements" were (unfortunately) confirmed. There was 2 men handcuffed to chairs, one lady literally sitting in the corner talking to herself and another man doing laps around the waiting area. You would have thought after the exterior AND the 3-ring circus on the inside I would have just walked out, right? I wish I would have only been so smart!
I check in at the front desk, get my 15 pages of paperwork that I was required to fill out and plop myself and Easton closet to the door (just in case I wanted to run away).
I hadn't even finished writing me name when I smell "that" smell. You know...that smell like someone just shat themselves. Well nobody had shat themselves, but the had definitely tore up the bathroom I just happened to be sitting next to. "Surely she left now," is what I'm sure you're thinking, right? Unfortunately, wrong.
It wasn't until the man who was doing laps around the waiting room decided to stop and stare at Easton.
I was done after that. I grabbed Easton, got up and went to the front desk, said see ya later and walked my anxious ass right out of that door.

As soon as I get home I called the place that was closed before and made an appointment. It would be a week wait, but they were able to get me in (AND it was in a good part of town).

Monday, I walked into the building (which was very nice from the outside), got the paperwork from the receptionist (who was very sweet), sat down in the waiting room (which was spotless and didn't smell like death and eggs) and patiently waited for my therapist to come and get me.

Melissa (my therapist) is a mother of three in her mid-30s (I think) who might possibly be one of the sweetest women I've ever met. We talked for about 45 minutes about everything that was going on in my life, and by the end of it she diagnosed me with post-partum anxiety. She said with me it was more than likely some minor anxiety that I had before the pregnancy that I would shrug off as stress and keep busy. She informed me that it was very easily treatable with medication, if I chose (which I did) and weekly therapy sessions with her to keep track of my progress.

I had my appointment with Dr. Chengappa this evening to get my prescriptions, and he agreed with Melissa's diagnosis and prescribed me Lexapro (to take every day) and Lorazepam (to take when I have extreme anxiety attacks). I'm also taking Melatonin right before bed. It helps me GET to sleep, not STAY asleep. That way, if for some reason Easton wakes up in the middle of the night I won't be drugged out of my mind on Ambien and trying feed one of his stuffed animals instead of him.

I've done some research on both Lexapro and Lorazepam, which is actually anti-depressants, but they actually have been proven to work even better on anxiety. The only downsides I am seeing is temporary insomnia (not really a biggy since I already have that), mild nausea in some people (saltines and ginger ale right?) , decrease in sex drive (well damn...THAT'S not what I really wanted to hear), and...wait for it...weight gain (THERE IT IS!). I'm trying to LOSE weight, not gain it.
 But if it makes me stop feeling like a cra-cra, whatever I guess huh?

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you are seeking treatment!
    Watch out for the Lorazepam though! It can be pretty addictive, so be careful!