Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mental Health

It's a little scary how necessary horses have become in my life. When I didn't have Gwyn immediately following our move to Michigan, things seemed hopeless and awful and I hated everything. As soon as Gwyn got here, I was so much better. Really, as soon as I had that weekend of camping at the endurance ride things got better.

Now, despite staying a part of horsey activities, like the Distance Derby meetup, I'm finding that I'm still falling apart and fraying at the edges. Last month I had crazy anxiety about the birth that I was able to simmer down and feel reassured after meeting with one of the midwives.

But yesterday, after meeting with the OB again, I had a breakdown before I was able to even leave the office. The poor nurses who found me, they kept asking if I was alright, if my appointment went well, if the baby was okay. And yes, everything was outwardly fine and I couldn't explain why I was sobbing uncontrollably.

Personally, I think it's a combination of a lot of things that are all piling together, one or two of them alone I could handle, but all of them is a recipe for disaster.

1. I do not trust medical doctors. This goes back several years to when I was considering starting the process for bariatric surgery. We had just moved to Washington and I went to establish care with a new primary physician. I laid out the difficulty I had with losing weight, the strategies I was trying and what my general diet was like.

I was told to stop drinking soda. I did not drink soda. It soured me, but not fully until I went to have a well woman check for a pap smear. I was intrigued by the concept that I could use a midwife for those check ups and made an appointment. The person I had looked into was on maternity leave, instead I met with her substitute, Elias, also a midwife. He looked at my history, saw that I had mentioned my science background and thought that was cool and proceeded to talk to me and send me science journal articles to support the advice he had given me. I talked to him about my same concerns, my heavy period, trouble losing weight, and he helped me come up with a game plan and strategies we could try, different foods to focus on once he had a hormone panel back that showed slight irregularities.

I followed his advice and suddenly I was successful with my weight loss, without adding in any more exercise. That experience was so positive, I drove out of my way to use him for my prenatal care when I became pregnant with Kaylee. He was worth it to me. Even later, seeing more doctors about similar weight issues and minor stuff, I kept feeling like I was being brushed off, or talked at. So I wouldn't really bother going in for stuff for me.

It's probably why I waited so long for my leg pain.

2. That damn leg pain. Somehow I think I still haven't fully processed the bilateral PEs and my DVT. I feel fine, just as healthy as before, only now I have medicine I take twice a day. It's either that or I resent how this has changed my life. Michigan was supposed to be awesome where I could just go out and ride and I can't do that.

3. Not riding. This is killing me more than I care to admit. With this most recent breakdown I talked with Eric and we're taking a position of "my mental health needs to take priority right now".

So screw the blood thinners. I'm going for a ride today. Bareback, in the arena, at no more than a walk, and probably no more than 20 minutes. But I need it. Just making the decision that I would do that today has perked me up considerably. Screw the doctors. I warned them this was going to be bad for me. I TOLD THEM when I met them.

That all being said, I'm fairly certain I was triggered at my appointment, in a very subtle way. At my previous midwife appointment we worked out a plan where I could ask to alternate care with OB and midwives in the practice, rather than doing only OB. I was told I would be 'allowed' to see the midwives if he, the OB, was in the office at the time of the appointment.

I asked about monitoring my blood glucose rather than taking the gestational diabetes test and he very begrudgingly told me maybe, if I tracked a couple days to show that I was doing okay on the glucose monitor (which I now need to dig up and make sure it works).  In pressing to assert the kind of care I want and received with Elias last time, I was chided because my 'condition' was very serious and DVTs and bilateral PEs are not something to take lightly.

Fuck dude. I UNDERSTAND THAT. I just feel like all control has been taken from me. I'm trying to snatch it back in bits and pieces. Work with me, explain why, come up with a plan with me, don't just tell me what to do because I'm going to dig my heels in if you do.

Anyway, I asked to talk to Joanne, the other midwife, who was thankfully in the office that day. I explained a lot of this to her. And she got it. She talked me through some things that I was worried about (induction, mainly) and I did feel better at the end.

I don't know that they realized how serious this is to me. And how much Eric and I have been strategizing labor. We're laboring as much as we can at home. If we go in and are sent back we're going to just go and walk around a nearby mall depending on the weather. We're semi-seriously joking about delivering at the mall because we'll probably wait too long. Eric gets me and he's going to be an excellent advocate for me, just like he was with Kaylee. I trust him wholly and completely.

So, now excuse me while I go throw my middle fingers to the sky and all my medical care team, screaming FUCK YOU while I ride my horse.

Because they'd all have an aneurism if they found out.

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