... was hard.
Well, for that matter, Monday was too. I had my follow-up appointment with my local GI doctor to talk about the plan going forward after what he lightly referred to as the Million-Dollar Workup.
I was glad he wasn't put off that I'd gone to someone else for all the testing. I'd planned to be forthright about discussing the findings, no matter how he seemed (I did have all the new data sent to him). But it was a relief all the same that we didn't have any awkwardness about it.
The good news he had for me: my liver enzymes are completely back in the normal range. Which means I can drink again -- at last! -- with continued monitoring every few months.
The bad news I had for him: this little problem called depression is not going away.
It is not the fault of any single thing. But we were supposed to start trying to have a baby this month. That was, in essence, the plan D and I framed up last summer, which was why we were so intent on getting my health issues fixed -- or at least properly examined to see what kinds of risks and other concerns we needed to take into account before trying to get me pregnant. We went to a reproductive endocrinologist, who ran the usual blood tests to get baseline readings, which revealed the abnormal liver numbers (you know the rest of that story). He also discussed the things I ought to consider to get my body in the best shape for this new adventure -- including tapering off the antidepressants I'd been taking since mid-2008. Commuter marriage? Not good for someone who's been dealing with chronic blues for a long time. But D and I were done with that, and I was working through family stress in my writing. I felt ready to move forward.
So I timed the step-down very carefully, waiting till after the holiday season to attempt it. The process seemed to go well; by the first week of February, I was done.
But the combination of things that was the rest of that month -- I didn't anticipate how they would affect me. I thought I was in a better place; really, I did.
Of course, it's not just February I'm trying to work through. February was just a month of triggers. But, given their effects, it's clear that there are underlying griefs I haven't found a way to manage completely. And knowing that, knowing I haven't yet achieved that goal is what kills me now. Because I wanted to be ready for motherhood (at least, as ready as one can hope to be). The reality is that there's no way I can look myself in the eye and say, "Sure. You can handle it." I know at least that much about where I am, even if I don't know much else.
And yet. No matter how wise that decision, for me and for the little life that will be utterly dependent on me, it is still heartbreaking -- because of the delay, because of the reasons for the delay, because there is no clear mark on the horizon to tell me when the delay will be over. And the irony of it all: the antidepressants were quite likely the source of the liver damage.
I know I shouldn't be hard on myself about this as it certainly won't help. If there's anyone who needs to be in my corner with me, it's me. "You've got a lot going on," the GI doctor said sympathetically as I confessed to him that I'd relapsed (with not just the GI problems but also depression) and what that meant for our plans for a family. He urged me to take care of myself first.
I spent much of Tuesday trying to write this post, but it was still too hard to put everything into words, so I gave up and cuddled our foster kitties for a while. They seemed to know I needed their company and stayed close. Today, to my relief, felt better -- even though what I've described isn't a fraction of the way it all feels, at least some of that was writable, which means I'm working through it. I am taking care of myself here.
I just wish I didn't have to.
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