When Your Child Shares The Worst Part of You

It’s bad enough that I have suffered from anxiety for my entire life, and depression for the last 3 years, but the worst part of having mental illness, is being aware that it could be passed to my children.  Well, I thought the worst part would be being aware of this fact, but the worst part is actually seeing it happen and not knowing what to do about it.

My daughter, E, has been struggling for the past couple months (and as I write this, I’m realizing that’s how long she’s been going to occupational therapy… I’ll think on this as I write).  She started picking the skin on her lip when she was sick with a cold.  You know how it goes, your nose is stuffy, so you mouth breath all day and night and dry your lips out until the crack and peel.  When this happened, E realized that she could pick the skin off, and she started doing it.  No big deal, right?  I’ve done the same thing.  Then she started doing it when she was better, and her lips began to bleed.  Both top and bottom lips were picked to excess, and she kept doing it.  She’d do it in bed at night, at school, and at therapy.  It looked awful, and I knew it had to hurt, but she kept at it.  Then she started picking at her fingers….

First she just picked the skin around her fingernails when she had a hangnail.  She’d bleed and whine about the pain, asking for a bandaid.  She fell in love with bandaids and would ask for one every time she got even a little scratch.  Soon she started picking at the skin so much she was picking off chunks of skin.  The bleeding was bad, the fingers looked awful.  We tried everything from asking her why she was doing it, to telling her that was not a good thing to do, to pleading with her to stop hurting herself.  Nothing has worked, and now all ten of her fingers are picked raw and bleeding.  Still, she picks.

I’ve had to send her to preschool with six fingers in bandaids.  The teachers are aware of what’s happening, and they are trying to redirect her attention when she’s doing it.  I know a lot of the time it’s just something she does.  She’s not actively thinking “okay, time to pick the skin til it hurts!” She’s just doing it.  It’s just something to keep her hands busy when she’s bored, nervous, anxious.

(I did think, for a few days, that she was doing it just because she wanted bandaids, but after offering her a box of bandaids all to herself if she stopped, and still not seeing her stop, I knew it was something else.)

…but what can be done?  Is this a phase?  Is it something deeper?  If it is, what set it off?  Could she be suffering from my depression, anxiety, and anger?  Are my outbursts and crying getting to her?  Is listening to her brother scream all day (because I’m not holding him) grating on her nerves as well?  Does it bother her that I have to hold him and give him more attention BECAUSE he will scream if I don’t?  Does she feel left out?  If so, what can I do?  How can I help her if I can’t help myself?  When will S be easier so that I can give equally to them both.  Or, can I?  Is that ever going to be a thing?

I want to help her, but I don’t know where to start.  Should I start with myself and hope that helps her? Or is this something that also lives inside her and has nothing to do with me or S?  Is this something that therapy set off?  Does she feel odd, knowing that we are taking her somewhere because she thinks we think there is something wrong with her?  I never really have been completely on board with the therapy (it’s for social and gross motor skills), but is 50 minutes a week doing exercises and interacting with other kids something that could set off her genetic anxiety bomb?

I’m not sure what we are going to do, but my husband definitely wants us to take her in to the pediatrician.  I assume they will want us to take her to a child psychologist, but I just can’t believe that it’s to a point like that.  Isn’t there anything that can be done by me first?  Can’t I help her?  She’s my little E, and all I want is for her to feel happy and safe and loved.  Can’t I push aside my own issues and do that?  I think I can…. and I will be better for her.  She needs me, and I can do this.

Right?

Advertisements

Who’s Life Is This?

A few days ago I was standing in my kitchen.  S was propped up on my hip (as is his usual position, even though he’s 13 months old and weighs 22.5lbs), and E was screaming at me to fetch her some milk (as is her usual go-to thing to scream at me about), and suddenly I had this odd sensation that I was in someone else’s life.  It was almost like someone had transported my 20 year old conscious into my now 33 year old body, and I had no clue what was happening.  I felt like I was a stranger, that I had no idea who these kids were.  I didn’t recognize the kitchen, or the way my body felt.  I was thrown into a panic.

It was quick, maybe half a second, but I felt all of those thoughts and sensations.  Then I was back to normal.  It’s been an incredibly stressful week.  My hormones are flaring because my period is on the way, my son is teething and has become some sort of horrible beast monster, and my daughter is needy beyond reason because she sees how much attention I’m having to give my son.  I am stretched thin.  I’m tired, and angry, and sad.  I guess I’m also hallucinating, or experiencing some kind of out of body experience? Is this what four straight years of stress can do to a person?  Yikes.  I need a break.

If It’s Nothing, Why Does It Feel Like Something?

The CT scan came back and said everything looked fine.  No indication of an aneurysm, brain bleed, or tumor.  I have an appointment on Monday with my general practitioner to go over a few things, like my anxiety (he thinks I’m still taking the anti-depressant – I’m not, thank you Magnesium!), and this will now be included.

So what comes next?  A Neurologist?  What will they do?  Will they tell me the same thing the internet is telling me?  That this is just something that happens and there is no explanation for it?  How can something so horrible come out of nowhere AND have no explanation?

Could it just be that there is something wrong with my muscles?  I suffer from back and neck pain, due to having size H boobs that I have to lug around all day, could the pressure of that be causing tension that happens during sex?  Why is it only during sex?  Does this make any sense?

I’m not going to lie…. being a person with a WAY above average sex drive, and not being able to have sex because it feels like your brain is going to explode, is just bad on all levels.  What the hell am I supposed to do if this is just a thing I have to live with?  How do you live with wanting to cry and scream (not in a fun way) when you have sex with your husband??

I’d like for someone to please call me a whambulance, I will be taking a ride in that thing daily for as long as this continues.  I still wonder if there is something wrong that the ct scan didn’t catch.  Maybe an MRI could?  Will they do one?  Will they tell me to suck it up?  Will going to the chiropractor this week help?  Do I need a breast reduction? (Yes, of course I do, but is it because it will help with this too?)

Blerg.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be watching Friends….

It Might Be Nothing…

Today I went to Urgent Care.  I just couldn’t wait to see my doctor tomorrow at 10:15.  I needed to talk to a professional, have my fears put to rest, or validated.  I needed something other than my own fear repeating itself in my head.

On Friday I had one of the worst head pains I’ve had in my entire life, besides three months ago when I had the exact same thing happen.  Last time, though, the event had started with a headache, so I figured the extreme headache/pain was just from over exertion.  You see, the event was that I was having some rocking sex with the hubs.  Last time, I blamed the skull exploding pain on having a headache before all the orgasm fun started.  I mean, orgasms can really take a lot out of you.  Soon after, I forgot about it.  This time though, this time there was no headache.  I felt great, but with each orgasm (if I have one, I have more… it’s like magic), the head pain got worse.  I didn’t black out, but I’d assume I was close.  Ten minutes later the headache had subsided and I fell asleep.  I had a little residual head pain the next day, but the extreme pain haunted me.

I figured it was a fluke.  I’d had this happen once before, maybe it was something I ate, something I had done that day… I just don’t know.  So Saturday we had sex again (PCOS gives me super high sex drive — i’m one of the lucky ones, that’s not super common).  No big O this time, as it was a quicky, but the closer I got to the big O, the worse my head felt. Luckily, no big O meant no brain bursting pain.  Now I was worried.  Why did this happen two days in a row?  Was there something wrong?  No way….

Last night was my birthday.  The hubs was being very generous, again.  I had to stop him because the closer I got, the worse it got.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t have an orgasm.  I was so scared of the pain that had already started, and the pain that was coming.  I stopped my husband from “working” and we finished the deed.  As soon as we were done I burst into tears.  Now I was scared.  What was happening to me?  Why can’t I have sex?

I had researched it after Friday, but now I was sure that I needed to go to the doctor asap. There was no way around it.  My primary couldn’t see me until tomorrow, so I went to urgent care.  I told him what had been going on, and after talking to his doctor (he is a PA), they decided that I needed a ct scan asap (today or tomorrow, depending on when the place could fit me in), to see my primary tomorrow and tell them what’s happening, to see a neurologist asap, no sex, and to take motrin if another headache starts.  Although, they only start with sex, and no sex… so… no motrin.

The diagnosis?  At the moment it’s called a sex headaches.  Pretty simple.  Most of the time they are benign.  No cure, no reason behind it, just something that happens.  BUT, it can also be a warning sign.  A warning sign of an aneurysm, a hemorrhage, or a brain tumor. The medical page I was reading even mentioned that sometimes a small bleed can happen, heal itself, and then reappear later, which could explain why it happened once and then stopped.

I’m scared.  I’m really scared.  I’m sitting here, writing this, but my ears and my attention are on my phone, waiting for a call.  I need that ct scan done.

You know what makes me most upset?  The thought that if this is something serious, that something could happen to me and then I wouldn’t get to see my daughter grow up.  Then I think about how she is so young she wouldn’t even remember me.  Can you imagine? She’s only 1.5, I am her favorite person on the planet, but she wouldn’t remember me. I can’t imagine.

I am so sad.  Please think about me this week, and hope the answer is just that it’s a problem I have to deal with.  I just don’t know what to do at this point.

It might be nothing…

Magnesium — I Owe You My Sanity

I’ve started taking magnesium once a day.  Magnesium citrate, to be clear, since I heard it was the best at being absorbed.  I had to go to GNC to find this version.  I began taking this because I was recently prescribed an anti-depressant.  I knew as soon as I held the prescription in my hand that this was not what I wanted to do, but I felt I had an obligation to myself, my daughter, and my husband to try it.  I was in no shape to take care of anyone in the state I was in.  So I filled the prescription and took it.

And I got SO SICK.  Not just physically, as I felt like I was going to vomit every minute of the day, but I also spent an entire day curled up in my bed, sobbing.  Sobbing, and sobbing, and sobbing.  I sobbed myself snotty, I sobbed my eyes swollen, I sobbed myself into a pounding headache.  Just when I thought I couldn’t cry anymore, I did.  Then I was really, really, really sure that this was not the path I wanted to take, so I did some research.

I learned that a lot of anxiety problems are caused by a magnesium deficiency.  Apparently all our processed foods do not having any magnesium thrown in at the end, so most diets nowadays do not contain any.  There are non-processed foods that contain high amounts of magnesium, such as Spinach, Chard, and dark chocolate, but I don’t eat a lot of any of the high magnesium foods (although I plan on loading up on dark chocolate – tehehe – Also, what the hell is chard??)  So I got some magnesium supplements and started taking one a day.  The suggestion on the bottle is three a day, but I didn’t want to over do it.  So far it’s been two weeks of taking a B complex vitamin and fish oil in the morning after breakfast, then taking a magnesium around 1pm when I put little E down for a nap.  I decided to take this at this time because I heard conflicting stories about magnesium making people really tired, or really jazzed up if taking it before bed.  Turns out magnesium gives me energy.  I haven’t napped IN TWO WEEKS!!  I also *drum roll please* haven’t had an anxiety attacks in two weeks, which is amazing because I was having them daily.  Some worse than others.  Some of the worst being really, really bad.  For anyone who has extreme anxiety, you know that it can get so severe that it causes depression.  I was there.

So, magnesium has saved me.  I feel like a completely new person.  I am also working in an anxiety workbook, suggested by a fellow blogger and friend, which is helping me understand my anxiety and how to live with it, but not let it control my thoughts and actions.  It is very helpful so far, although I haven’t made it to the juicy goods yet.  I’ll update once I do!

If you are feeling like anxiety is taking over your life, like I did, then I suggest you look into magnesium.  It could be a simple mineral missing from your life that can help you feel like a normal person again.  Maybe even better than normal.  So far I have had two weeks free from debilitating anxiety and chronic fatigue.  That is more time away from anxiety than I’ve had in months, and more time away from chronic fatigue than I’ve had in my entire life.  Not to mention that I sleep better at night!  WIN!

I found this page really helpful.  Magnesium can affect way more than just your mood.  Talk to your doctor first if you have kidney disease or a heart condition.