Dec 16, 2011
Hi to all - be forewarned; this is an entirely selfish account of my situation. Please understand, with everyone in my little family struck by trauma, medical and otherwise, I am using this as a small outlet for my own problems and perspective only. ...mostly for my own sanity, but also because the situation is incredibly confusing ~ it would be impossible to follow or explain everything that's happened to us.
OK, *deep breath* I'm 40, female, married and the mother of a 20-yr-old son. My present situation is convoluted mess, so I'm starting with my background: I've had major depression and anxiety since childhood. (the school district paid for home tutoring for a few years based on MDD and GAD).
By 20, I'd been through every AD under the sun, none worked, some made it worse. ...then, after my son was born, I *found* exercise. Intense exercise. I've always thought of depression as my personal demon ~ sometimes along for the ride, sometimes driving the car ~ and when IT takes over, I would jog. 4 miles routinely, but over 12 when needed. It worked so well, there were periods I'd lapse, get out of shape, and experience taught me to get the endorphins I needed, I'd have to walk until running was again an option (shin splints & muscle strains = no more exercise, which in turn = no relief from hell) So I'd walk for hours; up to 4 or 5.
Then, three years ago, I became (physically) ill. No one has found the source of my condition, so it's been chalked up to CFS and/or my old friends Major Depressive Disorder & Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and recently, my Rheumatologist gave me a preliminary (?) diagnoses of Systemic Lupus.
My mystery illness began with a real illness. A high fever, a hot, swollen, lump in my breast & flu-like symptoms treated with antibiotics. Lump went away, nothing else did. Highlights: debilitating fatigue, insomnia, periodic high fevers, more seemingly random, hot swollen lumps appearing out of nowhere (foot, back, neck), swollen glands in neck, overall aches & pains, dry skin, itching, hair loss, headaches, lately I have difficulty walking.
My illness, unfortunately began immediately AFTER the *emergency period* of a series of traumatic events (but by no means did the effects end, especially for my son) our healthy, good, kind & wonderful then 17yr-old son was diagnosed with rare, untreatable kidney disorder out of the blue. Within two weeks of his biopsy confirming his disease, my husbands aortic valve began to fail while he was in another state on business (he continually fainted). They could not initially find the cause, so many hospitalizations later, he had an artificial valve surgically implanted.
Shortly after his recovery & return to work, I became ill. Two months later, my personal family pet of 10 years suddenly died ~ he was like my child, the first face I saw in the morning, the last before bed, and during my early illness, was with me constantly. ...due to his sudden death, my unexplained symptoms, my husband made the decision to remove ALL of our (my) pets against my will as a "safety precaution"
The youngest pet was with me 7 years. I'm home full time, rarely leave the house except to walk, jog, or do household errands so I spent an inordinate amount of time with them ~ they were ALL like children. The larger reason, I believe, is because he was still recuperating, and that, + work, +stress of our son's disorder & subsequent reaction to it, helping me care for them was, I admit, difficult. He never had to feed, clean up after them, but I spent more time in bed. Except for my little guy who passed away (he stayed in bed with me) they were all over him for the attention they were used to getting. It devastated me in a way I cannot describe.
Meanwhile, my husband recovered, but his job had him gone for the better part of a year, and unavoidably, I was by necessity left alone like this. My son had difficulty handling his diagnoses (what kid wouldn't) and all of our other problems (he was very worried about his dad). Unfortunately, he turned to drinking to cope.
My son has inherited an inability to handle alcohol - his kidney disorder AND a genetic history of dangerous problem drinking. During this period, he would blackout, and become regularly verbally abusive towards me, and occasionally physically abusive. i could not tell my husband; he was away and I feared another heart attack. The cat came out of the bag when my husband, returning home, unfortunately caught the brunt of a violent blackout during which my son, who deeply loves him, struck him in the chest (his surgery made this highly dangerous).
Things now have improved. My son is trying to change and is seeking help, my husband is home.
However, my physical symptoms are getting worse by the month with no relief in sight. i am afraid I am going to lose the ability to walk. My doctor has finally given me a tentative diagnoses of Lupus but is awaiting further tests.
In short, I am severely depressed, in pain, ill, scared and looking for any and all the support I can get - all aspects: my physical, mental and emotional issues.
If you read this entire *book*, I most sincerely thank you for your time ~ and feel free to contact me if you're in a similar situation ~ I'm a good listener :)
my best wishes for hope & health to all,