Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today was a better day.

Yesterday wasn't really a lot of fun, what with the fasting and glucose and needle sticks and all. And the surprise 'payroll is running a day early!' escapades and so on. But the good news is that it ended and overall, I slept a little better (by which I mean it didn't take me two hours to fall asleep again after I got up to pee).

Today had its moments as well, which weren't fun, but I didn't cry. I didn't feel like crying. I laughed several times. Dealt with a few issues, and absolutely loved the Onion article from today that could be read as a retelling of my recent work experience entitled "Nation Trying, Okay?" (can be found here). (Seriously - LOVED IT).

Oh, plus also?


Chocolate cake and donuts for all! Ok, not really, because that's not healthy. But I could not be more relieved. All the values from all four draws, plus the HGBA1C, were well within normal ranges/cut offs. That risk being off the table is so huge to me, I cannot explain the buoyant feeling I had much of the day. The idea of the increased risks associated with GD, the additional stress of monitoring and treatment . . . all of it, no longer a concern. Thank you, body, for getting this one right.

Of course, the swelling is getting worse and my b/p is creeping up. And my doc said I've got to find a way to destress and cut my hours or I'm going to be pulled out of work, so it's not all roses. And I know nothing about the job application, except that my coworker was apparently really surprised I applied (I wasn't supposed to hear that. But I did.) - I try really hard not to fret and worry over it, though I'm not always successful. I've left work earlier than usual, though there is still work to be done in that arena. I'm scheduled to discuss these issues with my boss soon - not put off on my end, but massive budget reports can't be put off either, and I was happy to wait until we could really discuss it.

The anti-depressants were not fun the first few days - nausea, headaches, dizziness, etc. But it seems (a week later) to be getting better, and I do see some improvement. Like I said - sleep is a bit better, not crying every day, feels like a better ability to focus or at least not get completely overwhelmed. I mean, I can still hear the voices and they say awful things, but it's easier to remind myself that my perceptions are skewed right now. I don't know if that makes sense or not. I don't feel suddenly all better, it's possible this is initially a placebo effect, but I feel a little more centered or stable and that makes the day easier, so I'm not going to analyze it too much.

So yeah. Something feels a little like sunlight today, and I'm going to take it for what it's worth. And maybe enjoy a cookie.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just to ice the cake . . .

Oh, that's an even worse pun than I realized, because I am about to update on my glucose screen - FAIL. Cut off is 130 and I came in at an astonishing 144.


Three hour glucose tolerance test up next, on Tuesday. I cannot express how delighted I am. Of course, if I have GD (as I'd expected to), then I want it known and treated. Unquestionably. But oh, it makes me so nervous - baby is already measuring/weighing ahead of the curve (good growth or macrosoma?) and that is worrisome. As is the risk of delayed lung maturity associated with diabetes (particularly when one considers I've just started taking Zoloft again, which carries a minute risk of breathing problems at birth as well) and the increased risk of prematurely aging placenta. I know I will be in good hands and continue to be monitored and everything, but the anxiety just ratcheted up ten notches.

But baby is kicking hard inside me, still head down (back to my right side, I'm guessing), so I have to suppose whatever happens we will be fine.

I'm still really unhappy about this whole GTT thing though. Been there, done that before. It's massively boring, headachey, shaky and generally not fun.

Update to the last.

Not much of one, I'm afraid. I'm feeling pretty scattered and uncertain. I felt a bit more peacefulness having a plan, and to be honest, I had a really nice weekend. I slept a bit better, went out with DH and even updated one of my stories (the Ron/Hermione piece of Controversial Horror That I Just Do Not Get).

Oh, right. I need to back up a moment. My coworker/former supervisor announced her resignation Friday. That has affected a number of things. I don't care to go into all the backstory, but I knew awhile ago this was possible, and knew last week when the new job offer was made. The soon-to-be vacant position is a couple of grades higher than my present position, pays well, and is busy and carries a lot of responsibility, but is less work than I am currently trying to manage (being one job, not three). They are looking to hire an internal candidate and to move quickly. I applied yesterday. I have no idea what will happen. I want that job so badly I can taste it, and the thought of not getting it fills me with despair and tears. It would be so much better for me personally that I feel sick whenever I think about it.

So that's going on. I had a panicky couple of evenings struggling with rewriting my resume and penning a good cover letter and digging up references and chastising myself for over-thinking the entire fucking thing because, dude, the hiring manager is my current boss; she knows me and is going to hire me or not on the basis of my performance to date and my strengths/weaknesses. She's not even going to read my resume or cover letter except to see if I took it seriously. It's done and out of my hands now though. I don't know if there is anyone else they have in mind, and I haven't spoken to my boss about it except a brief conversation in which I told her I was going to apply and that I wasn't sure about using her as a reference since she is the hiring manager, but that I would like to list her since I'm just updating everything anyway. She said it was fine, not to worry about it, and chuckled. Whatever the hell that means. I'd like to think she wouldn't let me make an ass out of myself and get my hopes up (she knows how badly I want a higher salary and how much is personally dependent on it for me) if I weren't in consideration, but who the fuck knows?

I didn't go to work on Monday. I didn't sleep well and was exhausted and decided if there was one day I could spare, that was it. I slept for 6 extra hours and felt relatively good when I got up. I then logged onto my work remotely, thinking I could do one or two things from home, and lo and behold, I had nearly 50 emails. I immediately felt a headache come on and subsequently wanted to cry. So I shut it down and ate some cereal. Tuesday was ok. Yesterday was a lot of walking and an OB appointment.

Baby looks fine. Head down (for now), good fluid, cervix over 4 cm (the tech wasn't sure why I had a cerclage, but I didn't bother explaining). Baby kept trying to grab a very long, big foot. It was entertaining to watch. I've only gained 1 pound in the six weeks since I last saw my OB. My b/p was ok, but Dr. B wasn't thrilled with my regular readings. I redid the 1 hour glucose challenge (rather unexpectedly). Talked with Dr. B (whom, you may or may not recall, is due 6 days after I am) about the upcoming rotation and how things will work as she is cutting back hours and availability.

And then we talked about the two big things. Work and depression. She said that I have to work less and find a way to reduce the stress. That she will write letters or make calls or do whatever she can to help but that if I don't, she's going to pull me out of work and put me on full bedrest. She said she doesn't like bedrest, it's not fun, she isn't sure how effective it really is, but that if it is the only way she can get me to stop, she will do it.

She also agreed, when I laid out my symptoms for her that I am depressed, and that starting medication immediately was a good idea. She wants me to follow through with getting a psych, but called in the prescription for Zoloft with no hesitation. Glad it's not just in my head, anyway.

So while it seems like a generally good visit, I left feeling so much worse. When I returned to work, it was nearly 5:00 (DH had to stay late and I had reports due yesterday that I hadn't yet submitted). There were no handicap spots available, but I was already in a lot of pain from the walking I'd done already that day. So I drove around, eventually for 30 minutes, waiting for someone to leave so I could park near the building and go finish my reports. The longer it dragged on, the more upset I got. I started crying in the car as I circled the building.

It comes down to this. I feel like an utter failure. I'm failing at my job, and now I have to reduce my hours and my stress. I'm already so far behind I don't know how it's possible. Reduction in hours isn't even realistic, given that I commute with my husband who can't reduce his hours. I feel like I've let everyone down by taking on a task I couldn't handle and now things are falling apart and I'm walking in and announcing my doctor says I have to stop it. I feel like a failure as a mother/pregnant woman because I shouldn't even question the necessity of it or how to do it if it's affecting my child and his/her safety. I can't even manage the balance when the kid isn't even here yet. And I can't stand how limited I am and how bad it makes me feel, like a total failure as a woman because I need that stupid handicap permit and that stupid handicap spot and was in tears of pain because I could barely walk back out to the car to leave last night. It feels like everything I'm touching is failing.

Maybe that is depression talking. But there again, is another failure. I managed through the terrible, horrible anxiety of first tri and then through 21 weeks, and then through viability - white knuckled and sick with fear, it's true - but without medication. The times I teetered, I went back to trying to make it. And now my job has driven to back to taking meds and I feel weak. I know that isn't true. I don't think people who need meds are weak, and I've taken meds before and they helped. I think I've been right to say, "No, I'm past the point I can do this without help" and clearly, my OB agrees with me. But it feels like another jeering voice, another cry of "See? You aren't good enough, and you'll never be good enough. Someone else could manage all of this. You are too stupid or too weak to get it right." It's nothing to do with logic, but it hurts a lot.

I just want everything to stop. I want the other job to come through, which would resolve my money fears and my daycare dilemmas and the worst of the job issues. I thank those of you who commented or sent messages encouraging me to quit or find a new job or make a plan. I wanted to say - I get it. I do. It's just not that easy when you are 28 weeks pregnant. There is no way I could just quit - we've got debt, not enough savings, my insurance is provided through my job, and I make about 60% of our household income. Quitting is simply not optional. As for a new job - well, I've applied for one. If that doesn't work, there will be serious conversation about how to adjust the current one - but I will, whatever happens on that front, probably look for another job after I return from maternity leave. There is no point in looking now. I do want to say though, that part of what makes it hard is that I actually really like a good deal about my job. Not the current situation, not the new department, but the other departments (frustrating as they can occasionally be, that will be anywhere), and my division. I like where things are headed under the big head boss and I want to be a part of it. That makes the rest of this feel so much worse.

Anyway. That's where things are right now. That's where I have to leave it. Just try to get through the day, and then rest. Repeat tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And the sun will continue to rise.

So. Here's the thing.

The baby is fine. The husband, pets, assorted family and friends are all generally fine. I, on the other hand, not so fine.

I hate to say this. I am a blessed individual in so many ways, that it feels like the height of ingratitude or the grossest display of selfishness and indulgence to be not fine. My health is pretty good, all things taken together; this pregnancy has progressed with relative ease (for me) and relatively minimal physical discomfort (apart from the increasing difficulty that comes with both third tri and diminished physical capacity from weeks of near-bedrest). I have a steady job, a house in decent condition, climate control, many things we don't really need, and I have amazing family and friends who love me more than I deserve.

Which makes it hard for me to say what is true: I am depressed. My life currently reads like the questionnaire for a depression medication ad. Work has gone from bad to worse, and the situation is upsetting in the extreme. Most of my stress, but not all of it by any means, stems from work; as things get more grave, I am able to do less and less and I feel more and more incapable of doing any of it. I am not compensated appropriately for what I'm doing and haven't any idea of whether or not appropriate compensation is a) possible or b) forthcoming. That, in turn, is stressing out other things like planning for daycare when the little one arrives and general stresses that many other expectant parents share about how a budget suddenly accommodates a third, quite expensive being.

But I came to the realization this week, following what can only be described as an utter and complete meltdown on Friday, in front of my boss and coworkers (that I could not control at all, which kills me with mortification): I am on the verge on a nervous breakdown. I cannot continue to cope with everything.

-I no longer see a point at which this gets better.
-I no longer see a light at the end of the tunnel.
-I no longer have interest in things I enjoy, and no energy or desire to do things I expressed interest in.
-I find myself unable to write.
-I have no energy or interest in the state of my house.
-I am constantly tired, which after a bad day borders more on sheer, total exhaustion. I know this is probably exaggerated by pregnancy and interrupted sleep.
-I am having more and more viscerally disturbing dreams.
-My appetite is not what could be called desirable.
-I find myself lapsing into escapist daydreams more and more frequently.\
-I am averaging a cry a day, which is really unlike me generally.

The list continues. I am well aware that some of this is normal. Some of this is attributable to circumstances (pregnancy, stressful job). But the sum of it is that it is affecting my life in a negative way. When asked for his opinion my husband said immediately and with no hesitation that yes, I am depressed, and yes, he's noticed. A friend said some time ago that my work situation was untenable, and that something would have to give and I needed to ensure it was not my sanity.

It is my sanity.

So, here's the deal. My next OB appointment is next week. I intend to lay it out for the OB, and express as fervently as I can (while remaining calm) that this is really adversely affecting my life. That reducing stress at work is not an option, that fewer hours aren't really an option, and that I cannot cope any longer. There is a physical toll this is taking. Seek a prescription for Zoloft or a referral to a psych. Go from there.

In one sense, I feel massively relieved for finally stopping the struggle and admitting to myself that this isn't working anymore, that I can't do this. In another sense, I feel like a massive failure at work and at home, and I know that mental health is insidious and awful, so I'm trying not to listen to all of that. Work can't be changed. It's a shitty situation and I'm furious with myself for agreeing to it and putting myself in it. I'm angry that I was overly optimistic about it. I'm angry about the compensation. But I also recognize that it's not changing anytime soon, and if I can't cope with it anymore, then I need to find some other form of support or help.

I've known all along that I would probably need meds at some point in this pregnancy, and I've held off for a good long time. Baby is a good weight right now, and one of the reasons I've hesitated to do anything is because of the risks associated with low birthweight, and how important birthweight is to a preemie. I'm hopeful that I can start meds after 30 weeks, when it will be a little critical, especially given baby's current size.

I just can't go through everyday feeling like this anymore. I honestly don't know if things will get better. It doesn't feel like it right now. I do know though, that it will either get better or it won't. That at least I'm doing what I can do to get some help. And that no matter what the sun will keep on rising.

Or it won't, which will make this pretty moot anyhow. So, really, it's sort of a win-win, right?