Since the beginning of this blog, I’ve talked completely open and honest about myself and my life and struggles. I’ve talked of loss, parenting (seriously those kids are trying to kill me) and marriage. I’ve talked about my periods, deliveries and medications. I thought if I’m going to broach the subject of medication, I should really share my point of view.
If I’m going to tell you anything, I should tell you I STINK at taking medication. I don’t think I’ve ever finished an antibiotic in my life (although the nurse in me in rolling her eyes). I’m not consistent and never have been. BUT it has helped me hang onto the little bit of sanity I have left. My doctor thought it was a good idea right after Heath died (wow, just typing that took my breath away) and as usual, she was right. I hate it when that happens.
Let’s go back a ways before that.
After Noah was born, I was anxious and stressed, but what new mother isn’t. My doctor at the time recognized that I was struggling with postpartum depression and suggested that I start medication. It was not the kind of depression where I was in danger of hurting my baby. It was the kind that if I asked Jimmy to take out the trash, it needed to be taken out NOW, not in 5 minutes; not in an hour. NOW. Let me point out that in hindsight, I was NUTS. I just didn’t know it then. After Noah, I was on medication for about 6 months.
After Zoe, obviously I had some depression and not just the postpartum kind. I saw a therapist and again, went on medication for 18 months to help me manage. Things got better in time and then we had Avery. To say I was anxious would be the understatement of the year. I didn’t sleep because I would watch her sleep, waiting for her to be snatched away from me by something unseen. Even after she was in her own room (which took 4 months) I would lay there and stare at the video monitor. Again, I had a great doctor that heard what I wasn’t saying and adjusted care accordingly. I was on antidepressants for 8 months that time.
Then came Heath. The day he died, Jimmy called my OBGYN (I seriously had the best) and she talked to me over the phone for almost an hour. She agreed that some antianxiety medication would be a good idea but that she thought that I could use something long term as well. She gave me Zoloft to take every day and Ativan as needed. She was right. The Zoloft helped to even me out (no peaks and valleys) and the Ativan helped when I had panic attacks (such as the funeral). Now 9 months later, I am still on Zoloft, but have stopped all other medications. They were extremely helpful when I needed them. I’m so grateful that I have had amazing physicians that saw what I needed when I couldn’t.
I’m not saying that a pill is the answer to every problem. Sometimes the side effects are worse than the actual disease they treat. But sometimes, you need help. I needed it and I’m not ashamed to say so.
I watched my sweet boy take his last breath on Earth. I held him as he slipped away. I rocked him after he was gone. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I’m not ashamed to say that I needed help coping with it. It still threatens to swallow me up when I think about it.
I’m not ashamed. You shouldn’t be either.