Postcards From The Edge (Or “The Day I Saw The Devil”)

When I started this blog, it was such a completely different animal. I didn’t really mean to get personal, just have this nice “online persona” who was going to kick her own ass back into shape; but the past fifteen months have changed me so much in not only a hormonal and emotional way that it feels like my own self has changed in a molecular level. I’ve gone past the whole “weight loss blog” or “parenting blog” thing so long ago that if you asked me what I really blog about I would have no idea what to tell you. I feel like this is a safe place to just let it all out sometimes, which is strange because when you put things in the Internet really there’s no way to take them back. Maybe that’s what I find so freeing about it, who knows?

Anyway, yesterday I had one of the scariest experiences of my life.

Concussed Kat and my cousin Diana

As you may know, I’ve been struggling with Postpartum Depression since my daughter was born and have been medicated for over a year. Also, since then I’ve had kind of a bad luck streak. I have suffered from a crazy allergic reaction to the copper IUD which made me bleed for over 31 days and has resulted in me still being anemic; after that there was the crazy Tamiflu episode  in which that horrible medication was erroneously prescribed to me and mixed so strangely with my antidepressants that I basically had a psychotic episode; I’ve been so sick on and off with all kinds of ailments (flu, stomach flu, h1n3 flu); had a horrible car accident last December which resulted in a NASTY concussion. During a scan at the hospital they found a crazy lump on my left Thyroid that has been growing and the biopsy was inconclusive so I have to re-do that and the labs in two months. Two months of limbo, basically. Then last Thursday (after waiting MONTHS to get my car back because my car insurance is a piece of shit) I got into another car accident. Yep. This asshole causes me to hit him, sees me lose consciousness and just leaves the scene of the accident. Mark was close by and so he drove me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with yet another concussion (second one in less than 3 months!) and an acute cervical sprain -I got a neat neck brace as a souvenir. Yay.

I was advised to avoid all kinds of stress and rest my brain. The fun thing with concussion is that basically your brain is swollen and you’re all fucked for weeks, sometimes months. Post-Concussion Syndrome makes you super irritable, super sensitive to light and noise and BEYOND oversensitive.

That brings me to Yesterday. Hereto known as “The Day I Saw The Devil.”

My brain had been all funky all week (I fainted on Monday, had been suffering from dizziness and tunnel-vision and crying jags) but I managed to have a full 24 hours of rest on Tuesday because Mark is the most amazing human being on earth. I was feeling a little anxious Monday because of having gone outside with my father in law to see why my car keeps overheating (it’s either some leak in a tube or a hole in my radiator -yet another thing to pile on all my worries) and the sunlight gave me the worst migraine I have ever experienced. I was alone with the baby and you can imagine that taking care of a 15-month-old while feeling like your head is going to explode is not pleasant, to put it mildly. Then the stupidity began. Facebook drama is something I try to avoid but alas, it finds all of us. I have two friends, R. and G., who were once also friends until they were roommates and things ended BADLY. So R. now absolutely hates G. and makes no qualms about announcing it to the world. I don’t want to get too into the actual Facebook drama because it’s really insignificant but what did happen is that R. absolutely out of left field started attacking me about first still being friends with G. and then other things that he thinks I’ve done in the past and how I’m no longer a good friend, blah blah blah. Usually this kind of exchange would end with me telling someone to go fuck themselves and be mildly upset that a friendship that had lasted over 10 years had ended. But, my brain not able to process stress like “Normal Kat,” this triggered an extreme stress response that just kept escalating, and escalating, and escalating. I started seeing huge black spots and suddenly I couldn’t breathe because I was crying so hard and started feeling like I was dying. I called 911 and remember talking to a paramedic who was trying to talk me down and told me to unlock my door for them.

Then nothing.

Next thing I know I wake up screaming and kicking as paramedics are literally punching my sternum to wake me up (whatever happened to smelling salts?). And that’s when it happened. Right there, in the right corner of my ceiling I saw it. The Devil, a Demon, whatever. I have never been so scared in my life. I couldn’t stop screaming.

Not Exactly What I Saw But Close Enough

Not Exactly What I Saw But Close Enough

They had to restrain me to get me in the ambulance. I don’t remember how it all went down but apparently I kept telling everyone that no matter what they did they couldn’t fix it because I was cursed. Jinxed. Hexed. Doomed. They shot me full of Valium and nothing could calm me down. I was also convinced my eyes were popping out of my head like I was in Scanners. Needless to say they called the shrink. I was super scared and kept crying that no one believed me and that I wasn’t crazy. I remember Mark almost yelling at me that there are no such things as curses and that I was just concussed. The doctors, the nurses, everyone was very nice and managed to finally calm me down with Risperdal and ease my headache with Tramadol. A couple of hours later I spoke to the shrink. I felt like myself again. No longer cursed, but still just an all-around feeling of “being unlucky.” The Psychiatrist was actually very nice and made me feel better. He told me that I needed to see my own shrink again and consider adding talk-therapy besides just medication. Then after seeing my history at the hospital (I swear, I should totally have VIP status there, I visit so damn much) he told me I need to see an endocrinologist that specializes in Thyroid issues because all my symptoms could actually stem from that. He assured me I wasn’t cursed but I should try to meditate and practice positive thinking. He held my hand and smiled when he told me that no, I’m not crazy.

I still haven’t exactly processed all of this but find that writing about it makes me feel better. I’ve always been somewhat of a sardonic pessimist since young adulthood but never really serious about it. I would say things like “Of course that would happen to me, I have the worst luck” but never really fully meant it. In fact, I’d always really considered myself lucky underneath it all and was always able to crawl out of any emotional funk. Then something shifted. It got harder and harder to crawl out. Then I gave birth and I couldn’t even deal with just living. I felt like a shell of a person. Did I have untreated depression that I self-medicated before and just got worse after the hormonal shift of giving birth? Or has this been a Thyroid disorder (which actually runs in my family) that has been lying dormant and suddenly hit me now? Or is there really a curse on me? I don’t know. The questions and what-ifs are an endless stream on repeat inside my head and sometimes I feel like I’m slipping further and further away down a rabbit hole of insecurities.

All I can say is that I feel better today. Functional. Like myself. I imagine the Risperdal is helping with that (it stops paranoid, negative thoughts after all) but I can say that today I’ve had an actual good day. A whole good day. That’s a lot more than I’ve been able to say for a while now and it sure feels nice.

Are you superstitious? Do you believe in curses? Or do you think we create our own positive/negative energy?



“This Sucks” And Other Thoughts That Go Through Your Head While Staying Home with a One Year Old

They call them “terrible twos” but I don’t know who they’re kidding with that bullshit. They started the minute Francesca turned 12 months. I’m talking full tantrums, “talking” back, hitting, even biting! I feel like I’m getting bullied by this tiny little person and there is nothing I can really do about it. This coupled with such a stressful time in my life (thyroid-related issues, finding new work, finding a new daycare) is making coping with the simplest tasks extremely difficult. My emotions have been on this crazy rollercoaster, not unlike when I first gave birth, and it’s making me have not the best of thoughts on a daily basis. I wonder if all mothers go through this when they stay home with their children and start dealing with their “little angel” turning into a “little devil.” I’m fine most of the day but by the time 4-5PM rolls around and Francesca is at her rowdiest, moodiest, and just trying to do ANYTHING to get my attention (negative or positive), I feel about ready to throw in the towel.


My Adorable Little Tyrant

My Adorable Little Tyrant

That’s when the doubts start.

“Oh My God, what was I thinking having a child?” 

“Is she purposely trying to kill herself by climbing on/jumping off that table?” 

“I was crazy not doing Day Care earlier”

“Kat, women have been doing this for centuries, what the fuck is wrong with you? Get it together!” 

“What if I can’t do this?”

“Oh crap, I’m the worst mom ever.”

I think the stress of my upcoming thyroid biopsy has a lot to do with the crazy moodiness, plus I feel tired and run down all the time so that all I wanna do is sleep. It could be that my symptoms of PPD were related to my thyroid the whole time. Funny how life works sometimes.

I’ve decided that what I’m really not cut out for is being a SAHM. Man, I have gained some appreciation for the ladies who can do this full-time and just love it but this shit just isn’t for me. My best friend Leslie confessed to me that she suspected this all along, knowing my personality. I’m trying not to feel too guilty about this decision but it’s hard, you know? There’s this crazy Mommy Culture out there that always makes you feel like you’re not measuring up. It’s like as women there is always some unattainable goal we’re all supposed to be fighting to get to; be it perfect motherhood, size, sexuality (just enough that we’re sexy but not too much cuz then we’re sluts). Ugh.  We just can’t win, amirite, Ladies?

Anyway, we’ve narrowed it down to 3 different Day Care Centers that we like   and should be making the decision in the next two days. It’s weird. Part of me is like “Day Care can’t come soon enough!” and the other is like “No! Frenchie! I’ll miss you! You stay here!!!” The good thing about her going off to Day Care is her getting to socialize with other kids (I think she gets in so much trouble here because she’s just bored) and I’ll get time to focus on finding a good job full-time. And have more time for creative outlets (like this blog).


How about you? Has there ever been a time in your life where you were just ready to give up?

To Be Or Not To Be, Blah Blah Blah

First, there was the fact that everything I had planned since pregnancy seemed to go out the window once Francesca was born. I wanted to breastfeed but my body had other ideas; after two months of frustration, countless visits to lactation consultants, all kinds of supplements and home remedies I finally had to give up and switch the baby to formula while feeling totally guilty about it. And in the middle of all that, there was the postpartum depression. Ah, depression. It felt as if I was in the middle of a crazy blizzard with no way to see what was in front of me. I got overwhelmed by the simplest tasks, and had an panic attack every other day. Sometimes it got so bad I daydreamed about running away in the middle of the night, figuring Mark and the baby would be better off without having to deal with me.


Post-Partum Hysteria!

ImageThree weeks after being thrown into this whole motherhood thing and finally I’m beginning to feel like a more recognizable version of myself. The first two weeks were spent in a whirlwind of diaper-changing and crying. Yes, crying. If the baby cried, I cried. If she didn’t sleep, I cried. If she slept too long, I cried. If she didn’t make a sound, I cried. And what’s worse, I couldn’t even explained why I was crying at all. I guess that’s what they call the “Baby Blues” which is a bullshit cutesy name and they should just call it “Feeling Like a Hormonal Shell of Your Former Self.” I guess that’s not as catchy.

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