Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I've followed a number of blogs that have addressed PPD (postpartum depression) in one way or another. To some extent, I feel that I've found companionship in these strangers, in that I know what those feelings are and they are familiar to me. It's like a sisterhood of sorts, but more subtle. It's almost like we're all part of a gigantic "You're not alone" amoeba. Anyway, I've been examining my own mental state, and I'm very happy with where it's at, which is huge for me. I realize that I've been falsely placing myself alongside sufferers of PPD, because my depression/anxiety/OCD is much more deeply rooted than something that showed up postpartum. Yes, it got worse after my son was born, but was it truly PPD? I don't think so. I almost feel jealousy toward the women with PPD, because their illness has a distinct cause and there is an end in sight. PPD doesn't last forever. It may last a few months or years, but it does end. (If this is an incorrect statement, please comment and let me know.) In my case, the cause is genetic and possibly also epigenetic. For me, there is no end in sight. If I stop taking my meds tomorrow, by Sunday I will be a complete wreck, and probably have horrifying visions in which I slap my child or beat my dogs. I will become short tempered, and I will have to physically remove myself from frustrating situations before I do actually become violent to my loved ones. I will not be able to suppress the panic attack when I accidentally grab the caterpillar on my spinach plant. I can always hope that someday normal will not be maintained by taking one and one-half small blue pills every day. At this point, I've pretty well accepted that I will be on Zoloft indefinitely. I would be thrilled to be able to wean back down to 25 or even 50 milligrams, but I'm still far under a hefty dose and I try to content myself with that knowledge. I can hope that someday I will not need medications to stabilize the serotonin levels in my brain so that I can be a rational and functioning person, but I also realize that placing too much desperation on that hope is a silly and unrealistic expectation.

Do I wish I had PPD? No. If someone gave me the chance to trade my mental health problems for PPD, would I take it? In a heartbeat.

I think part of this is that a support system for PPD is developing all over the country, both in "real" life and in the blogosphere. Don't get me wrong, this is fantastic. But what about those of us whose depression is not PPD? Those of us that are looked at funny like it's "all in your head" if you mention it in a gathering of friends? It seems that when a woman mentions she has PPD, fellow sufferers come out of the woodwork to embrace her and support her in her struggles, offering sympathy, empathy, and the knowledge that she is not alone. When someone mentions that they have depression, an image of an attention starved artist type, or a person involved in a shooting, comes to mind and everyone steps back, emotionally speaking. It's almost like only really, truly crazy people are depressed, and anyone else doesn't actually have it. Depression is called the "common cold" of mental illness, and is so often treated as such- something not really worthy of paying attention to anything, because it will just go away on it's own. I know that for some people that's true; people who become depressed after the loss of a loved one or a job. Situational depression is a real thing; but what about those of us with depression that doesn't go away? Those of us who deal with it week in and week out, treading water indefinitely in the oceans of our minds.

I've just been mulling this over a lot, as one of my coworkers is going through some situational depression of her own. Watching her struggle with the stereotype she's so afraid to become has made me aware of how the world sees people like me; it's been a sobering experience. This coworker is a friend, and someone with whom I share camaraderie, but our struggles are definitely very different. Hers will smooth itself out and go away; mine will stay, lurking under the surface, possibly until I die. I am so grateful that I have the option of being a normal person again, but it's still hard, knowing what lies underneath. All the meds do is allow me better control of my anxieties, and allow me to be a bit more apathetic toward my compulsions. I no longer have to get up 4-6 times a night to check that I turned on the alarm or that I locked the front door or turned off all the lights. I usually don't have to stop what I'm doing to clean off my desk (or clean the closet, or reorganize my dresser, etc) because if I don't do it right now, some dark and ominous force is going to make me have a panic attack. I no longer sit in a fetal position trying to breathe through the overwhelming desire to flee from an unseen terror.

I am grateful for my relative stability of mind. I wish I knew that there would be a time in the not-too-distant future when my mind would stabilize itself and I would no longer need the help.

Ding, Dong, the Cast is GONE!

Yay! No more cast for my boy! He's healed up well, and theoretically can walk, but hasn't tried yet. He can stand up though, which is still pretty good.

Wordless Wednesday: Cutest Ancestor Ever

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Boy and His Cast

J was very, very well behaved when we went to get his cast on (5 days after he broke his leg). Much better than I'd expected, given the fit he threw for the splint (which he tried to remove during naptime the day before he got his cast on, hence the duct tape in the picture above). It may have helped that we bribed him with a cupcake from our favorite ever bakery, Lovely Confections. When given the list of colors to choose from (black, blue, green, pink, purple), J initially said "PINK!" with gusto. I asked if he was sure, and told him the list again, and he thought about it a second and then said "Want blue one." Whew. Pink would not have gone with any of his outfits. The whole process of wrapping the fiberglass around his leg absolutely fascinated him, and he made sure to tell the orthopedic tech when to "Det nother blue one!" each time the roll ran out.
Showing off his cool cast. And where the heck is my baby?! Who is this kid looking up at me with a grin on his boyish face?!
Summertime, no A/C, and a kid who is limited to crawling. The couch has become his toybox. He's even sporting an Econobum diaper in this picture. :-)
This evening Buzz and Woody were flying, (along with the Buzz and Woody in Toy Story) and J thought it was pretty funny, so I took the chance to take a picture. Not the best ever, but cute. And yes, he is wearing his Toy Story jammies. Daddy let him wear them all day. Lucky kid.

Lots of people have asked how he's doing with his cast. Well, basically, since he broke both bones in his lower leg, they didn't want him to be walking on it at all. In order to ensure that he couldn't walk on it, even if he tried, they had to put the cast on in a way that holds his knee in a bent position. As a result he crawls everywhere, and his toes are really dirty. (It doesn't matter how much I try to wash them, there's just no good way to clean them without getting the cast wet. So his toes smell a little like cheese. It's pretty gross. Now where was I?) He also scoots around on his butt pretty well, and the last week he's been trying to stand up with limited success. He doesn't walk but he certainly can get where he wants to go. It's very weird having a toddler suddenly limited to crawling. He's much more dependent than he used to be; I think to some extent he milks it. I am going to be so glad when he can walk again, because 30 pounds of toddler is killer on my back when I have to carry him this much.

J gets his cast off in 2 days. Day after tomorrow. Hallelujah.

I had hoped it wouldn't come to this.

I am going to have to moderate comments. Nobody's being mean or anything, I am just sick of the "hey, come look at my blog" whoring that people are doing here. It's one thing to leave a genuine comment, then at the bottom have a link to your own blog. It's something quite irritating to leave a crappy, "I didn't really ever read your blog but here's what my blog is all about, ha ha this post was funny even if that makes me a complete asshole for saying that, come visit my blog."

That is all.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

An Experiment

I've tried just about every antiperspirant/deodorant out there, including clinical strength. They all keep me from stinking, but I've yet to find one that keeps me dry. Commercial deodorants/antiperspirants also have the unpleasant side effect of chemically reacting with my sweat in such a way that ruins any white shirt I wear within a few months, so I generally don't even bother to try wearing white shirts. Well, I was thrilled to come across a recent post by Mary at Slow This Ride Down entitled 5 Steps to a Thrifty Face. What does a face have to do with an armpit, you ask? Well, in this post Mary introduced (to me) the idea of using Milk of Magnesia instead of commercial deodorant. A little bit of Googling showed me that this was not, in fact, as crazy as it might seem at first, so I decided to give it a try. A brand name bottle (no flavors, I don't need minty armpits) cost all of $5 and some change; one stick of clinical strength deodorant costs that much. All you do is shake up the MoM and use a cotton ball to apply to your underarms. So far I'm 2 days into the experiment; I don't stink and I haven't been too wet either. I have reapplied the MoM toward the end of the afternoon both days, but mainly that was because it was disgustingly hot out and I just wanted to see if that would cut down on my sweating.

Generally, when I wear regular antiperspirant, my left side stays totally dry while my right side doesn't seem to notice that it shouldn't be sopping wet. Lovely, right? Well, the past couple days, my right side is slightly damp at worst, while my left side is even less damp (though not totally dry). I think once my body adjusts to the change, this will get better. I love not having to deal with residue in my pits all the time, and I won't complain one bit about not smelling like flowers or baby powder or whathaveyou. It's actually nice, I don't feel overpowered by conflicting fragrances now (shampoo vs bodywash vs deodorant). Anyway, this is also nice in that I will no longer be putting aluminum near my boobies. I just thought I'd share my experience, in case anyone out there wanted to test it out too.

Fruits and Flowers

All my flowers and fruits as of this weekend. They're all so lovely! I love my garden!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Recent Freebies

Thanks to Swagbucks, I was able to earn $30 worth of gift cards (just by searching the internet!), which I redeemed for the following (plus two songs) COMPLETELY FREE! Swagbucks = AWESOME.

Also, since I'm posting freebies, I got this in the mail recently:
I've actually gotten 4 samples of the new Pantene, I'm not sure how that happened but I figure I'm set for any and all future travel ;-).

The Color of a Rose

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Baby's First Broken Leg

My baby has a broken leg. He was playing on the trampoline at my parent's house with my younger brother yesterday afternoon, and kept falling onto his hands and knees and laughing like a maniac. Until the last time, that is. He suddenly didn't find it so amusing, and cried for about 30 minutes. We thought maybe he'd sprained his right ankle, as it was a little swollen, but it wasn't too bad. So this morning when he still wouldn't put weight on it I called the pediatrician and she sent us to the Children's Hospital clinic in a nearby ER. I totally love the Children's Hospital now. They took great care of him, and had fun movies (like Ratatouille and Finding Nemo) on for him to watch while we were there. Anyway, as C discovered while doing some online research last night, kids J's age are more likely to break a joint than sprain it, and that's what J did. He valiantly screamed and fought during the X-ray, and even pinched and tried to bite the radiology tech, but we got two very clear pictures of his broken leg. Both of the leg bones (the tibia and fibula) are fractured, with the tibia, or the bigger bone, being the worse off.

He really hated getting the splint on, and we'll be getting him in a cast as soon as we get in to see the orthopedist later this week. In the meantime, no walking or standing or crawling for J.

Breaking your leg isn't all bad, though, since Grandma bought him all kinds of goodies like a piano (a small keyboard/synthesizer that looks like a grand piano, a steal at a secondhand toy store!) and Chicken Run and two books and some clothes and a cookie. Plus I got us pizza for dinner, which he got to eat on the couch. Lucky boy!