Thursday, May 1, 2014

T -5 days and counting.

On May 6th, I have a doctor's appointment.

A while back, I started a(nother) new journey in the hopes of being... well... normal-ish. My psychiatrist, who I'd basically fired because there was nothing new to try for my depression and anxiety, called me. Himself. Not his nurse or a receptionist. HE called me. The long and the short of it? He'd found someone in the state that was willing to do hormonal testing.

Let's back up a little. The theory here is that all those drugs that are supposed to make my brain just a tiny bit happier and feel a little less like dying, don't work for a reason. The thinking is that maybe it's not really a true depression at all. What if it's my hormones that are out of whack, and the depression is just a symptom of that? I've been trying to find someone to take me down this rabbit hole for a while now, but NO ONE was willing to go there. Not one doctor. And the one place in the entire state that does it is completely private pay. It's for rich people only. Apparently not being suicidal all the time is a luxury, and poor people need not worry their little heads about it. But I'm not bitter. *sigh*

So, I get the call from my old psychiatrist. He's excited. There is a doctor who is now specializing in hormones. She takes insurance. And a couple of his own patients have shown great strides in recovery while in this new doctor's care. I made an appointment. A few days later, I was sitting in her office. It went well, I suppose. I explained for the 5,000th time the symptoms I have, their severity, etc. We schedule hormonal blood tests and a follow up appointment. She gives me a book to read. I leave the appointment with a sense that maybe, just maybe it will work. But honestly? I'm certainly not holding my breath.

Thing is, I've done this sort of thing before. I find the new "best" doctor who supposedly knows all about tough cases like mine. I sit across from him or her at a desk. I spill my guts and talk about all the feelings that make me not want to exist any more. He or she nods politely and writes lots of notes. Usually, on a legal pad. I get a new prescription, leave full of hope, and wait. And nothing good ever happens. In fact, typically, only bad things happen. Nights spent puking happen. Vertigo happens. Feeling worse instead of better happens.

But this is different. It's a completely different journey. Hormone treatment is even less of an exact science than psychiatry. Can you imagine that? Another chance to be a guinea pig... but on an even bigger level. And this chance just feels a little different. The road is different. The view is different. And there are absolutely no promises. Just creams that I rub onto my skin every day and a hell of a lot of hope. Wishing and waiting for my body to cooperate.

We'll see. Next Tuesday is simultaneously hurdling towards me and slowly creeping along. I'm scared and excited all at once. The blood tests will be in, and hopefully a treatment plan will be put in place. But when the lights are out, and I'm lying in bed with my thoughts, all I can seem to find is fear of all this. And a million questions swirl around in my already chaotic head. Will this work? Will it fail? If it fails, will it at least give me a clue as to what to do next?

And the answer to all those questions in my head?

"It's hard to tell, smalls. It's hard to tell."

Thursday, March 6, 2014

14,600 Days Old

Today is my 40th birthday.

I have to be honest. I never thought I'd see my 40th birthday. I was pretty sure that depression would claim me as yet another fatality. But, it didn't. I made it to FORTY YEARS. I made it! And at this moment, I'm doing so well. Life is not perfect. It never is. But, it's so, so good right now.

To many, thinking I'd never see this day may seem so very sad. But you know what? I don't see it that way at all. Y'all, it's a huge reason to celebrate. I proved to myself that I can do it... with a little (or a lot) of help from all the people who love me. And ohmygoodness, am I loved!

If you're reading this, there is a big chance that you've contributed to my life in ways that you don't really even know about. A smile here. A kind word there. Celebrating with me when things were AMAAAAAAZING. Holding me tight when things were not so amazing at all. Thank you for all of it. All the things big and small. You are loved and appreciated for it.

So, you know what's next? All sorts of things... big and little. And hopefully at least another 40 years. If I'm really lucky, even more. But mostly? I'm looking forward to the love.