Antibiotics Fight Depression?

It’s a very odd thing, to realize that you’ve come out of the depression.  You start wondering how it happened.  What have you done differently?  Will it last?  The latter being the biggest question of all.

About a week ago, I was diagnosed with strep throat.  Not surprising, since E has brought home every cootie available from preschool, but it was pretty bad for a couple days.  The doctor prescribed amoxicillin three times a day at a 500mg dose.  I began it immediately, and within two days started feeling better physically.  Then my period started, so I started to feel bad physically again, but in an entirely new way.  I felt exhausted…. but… I felt fine mentally.  In fact, I could not drum up the sadness if I tried.  I’m not sure how many of you reading this have had to fight depression, but it’s not just a mental burden, it actually feels heavy.  You can feel it on your shoulders, in your back, in your chest.  It’s overpowering in every way…. it drags every inch of you into the abyss.

….but on amoxicillin, it’s gone.  I thought I was crazy.  I thought it was some sort of weird coincidence.  Then I turned to Google, my long-time friend for finding weird information, and there it was.  Not only articles about how doctors were studying why this happens, but there were people just like me asking if anyone else had suddenly felt better, after years of suffering, while they were on a round of antibiotics.  And there were people who noticed, and they were all just as shocked, happy, and terrified as I am.

From what I’ve gathered, it turns out that antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can aid in helping depression because “Infection causes localized and body-wide inflammation. Inflammation generates substances called cytokines that have been shown to change how brain cells communicate. In autoimmune diseases, the body’s defense system attacks healthy tissues rather than threatening invaders. It’s possible that in some cases the wayward immune reaction could target brain cells and other nerve cells throughout the body.

I guess it’s important to note here that five months ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto immune disease.  That’s right, for those of you who have been following along with me for the past four years, I now have TWO incurable diseases, PCOS and Hashimoto’s.  I’d say I’m special, but apparently I have two of the most common diseases on the planet, so I’d say I’m pretty average, but maybe a little on the unlucky side.

Anyway, back to the topic, my brain appears to be 100% better since starting antibiotics, and I’m terrified of what might happen once my course of treatment is over.  Now that I’ve stepped back out into the sunshine of a spotless mind, I am so happy to be here.  I’m not yelling, or crying, or desperate to be anywhere but where I am.  I don’t want to sleep away the day so that I don’t have to face it.  This is what it feels like to be myself, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt this way.  I’m not sure if a full-time treatment of antibiotics is possible, or even if it’s the best idea in the world since I’ve already got a tolerance for antibiotics due to being on them so often growing up.  What would happen if I was really sick and really needed antibiotics to work.  Would they, if I was taking them daily?

Honestly though, I wonder whether it’d be better to risk it in the long run.  It would have to be better than living with demons inside your head?  Right?

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My Little Man

Well, everyone, I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to post about this, I could probably come up with a few good excuses, and a couple bad ones, but instead I’ll just say that it took me too long and I apologize.  I am pregnant.

That’s right!  For anyone who’s been with me since the beginning of this blog, you know that we struggled for three years to conceive our daughter.  We tried naturally, we tried Clomid, then we went to a Reproductive Endocrinologist and finally got a diagnosis of PCOS for me, and some wonky (not the medical term) sperm from my husband.  After that we tried four medicated rounds of IUI, with only three being viable for the actual insemination part, and after a chemical pregnancy with the first IUI try, and two failed IUI’s after that, we took nine months off, regrouped physically and mentally, and then went back for IVF.  FINALLY, we had success!  Little E was conceived, carried, and born in June of 2013.  Phew… long ride… but we had made it.  Now, with a little lady on my hands, I wondered at the prospect of more.  Was I willing to go through fertility treatments again? I mean, after all, my husband and I were still considered infertile so it would take more medication, more money, more time, to conceive again, and I just wasn’t ready.  My heart wasn’t in it.  I was content, happy, finding my new balance in life with E.  *heartfelt sigh* But then…..

So, remember this post I wrote on July 13th of last year?  It was all about how I wasn’t sure a second kid was for me.  Well, three days later I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant.  Go figure!  To say I was shocked is putting it very, very mildly.  In fact, it was until recently that I think I actually kind of accepted what was happening, and I’m already 31 weeks along.  I am now elated, but at first I was scared and upset.  I didn’t know if this was something I wanted, or could even handle.  I’m still not sure I can handle it, but I know it’s something I want now.  HE is something I want.

That’s right, I have a little man on the way!

I’m hoping to post one day about how this is a wonderful thing for people who have suffered through infertility and can now have hope of a natural second, but I feel like I would need more than two minutes, and sadly, that’s all the time I have left this morning.

Until next time, lovelies!

-E

Raising Girls and Raising Boys

I’m sure you’ve all seen the latest story about the frat guys who hung signs up basically insinuating that they’d be having all the sex with all the freshman girls.  It happens year after year, time and time again, across every campus in America… and maybe other countries too, although I feel in my gut that America is the worst.  Anyone know for sure?

Anyway, every time I see these things I roll my eyes.  I don’t get angry and scared for the girls, which I know many people do, which is why news anchors say idiotic things like “I’ll put my daughter in a convent” or “I’ll keep mine home in the kitchen.”  Instead, I say, women are intelligent.  Did you know most of us can read now and everything??  Why not put a little faith into the women to make a good decision.  Why do we assume that the freshman girls will be lining up to let these guys have their way with them.  Like we are helpless and find ourselves drawn to their sexy signs about banging us and our moms. Oh, I’m turned on just thinking about it.  *This is the part where I roll my eyes*

Do you know where this world is going wrong with raising girls and boys?  We treat them differently.  We treat boys like they are supposed to brag about their conquests.  We treat girls to be embarrassed or ashamed about theirs, and it begins in infancy.

Whaaaaaat?? You say, confused by conquests in infancy, but let me explain….

When E was a little, tiny, baby girl, we went to a friends house who had a little, tiny, baby boy.  They rolled on the floor together (as neither of them could crawl or talk or do much of anything but roll), and they eventually got near each other and grabbed each others hands.  It was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen.  What wasn’t so cute, however, was my husband growling and the boys father saying “that’s my boy!”

And that’s where it starts.  You don’t notice it, because you think it’s funny, or cute, or whatever, but that’s where it starts.  We automatically think about daughters and sons as totally different beings.  We buy boys blue and girls pink, even though those are just colors and mean absolutely nothing.  We make boys play with Legos and make girls play with dolls.  We buy girls kitchen sets and brooms, we buy boys toy trucks and building sets.  I met a girl at a nail salon who said she wanted a boy because she wanted a child that could play soccer and watch sports.  My daughter has two soccer balls, which she loves to kick around, and she loves to watch football.  I know, she’s two, but she loves it. She even does the touchdown sign.

Girls and boys aren’t different beings because they have different sex organs.  They are different beings because we make them believe they are.  Women struggle to be heard, and men struggle to show emotion, both because they are told these are not important things for them, just to realize later in life that they are, but it’s too late, we’ve already been raised to believe that we are different and have rolls based on what’s hiding in our pants.

Women are more than a vagina, men are more than a penis.  Teach your children from the start that they are no different from one another and maybe, maybe, one day we can have the kind of world where we don’t see gender as being a defining criteria for life. Maybe women won’t think that their sexuality is a powerful tool, and the only tool, to get ahead in life, and maybe men won’t think they have the right to do and say whatever they want just because they are told they are the dominant sex.

Let’s remember that we are all human.  One species, not two separate species.  Let’s teach our children to love and respect one another, to hold hands, to play soccer, to watch football, and pretend to cook together.  Let’s start now, before the cycle repeats itself.

Hope (For the Second Time Around)

This entry is intended to give those of you who struggled with infertility the first time around, a little hope.  I am here to inform you that out of the three other women I know in real life who have gone through IVF, two of them have been successful in getting pregnant naturally the second time around.  Isn’t that amazing?  It is so exciting for them, and I hope that it is exciting for you too.  Just because you struggled so much, and went through so much heartache the first time around, does not mean you have to face this type of hurt the next time you try.  Not that it is full-proof, or that it is a guarantee, but it does offer a glimmer of hope.

The most impressive thing?  Neither of them were “trying.”  No scheduling sex, no temperature taking, no ovulation tests, NO HORMONES!!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  Too good to be true?  Fantasy… right?  Well, it is possible.  I offer you all love, good vibes, and hope.  For those of you continuing on in your journey for more babies to love and squeeze, I wish you all the luck in the world!

Need Good Vibes For A Friend

I just got done chatting with a friend on Facebook about her IVF cycle.  They ended up having to cancel the cycle before the egg retrieval.  She had three on her right ovary around size 18, and a few on her left ovary only measuring between 5-7.  So, since there was no way to have those little ones catch up before the others were too big, the cycle was canceled.  To say that she is disappointed and highly frustrated would be putting it mildly.  Now she’s going through all of the questions like “will my ovaries ever produce follicles consistently enough?”  “If not, how many will they allow to do the retrieval?”  “Will my body even do this?”  Ugh, I feel for her.

One of her main problems is that this is the first time she’s been on injectables.  She was on pills for her IUI’s (three failed) so they didn’t really know how her body would respond to Follistim.  They had her on 50mg AM and 150PM with 10 units of HCG (not sure what that means… anyone else?)  The two things that make me maddest are these… 1. She thought that the reason the medicine wasn’t working was because her body was confused coming off of birth control.  I had to explain to her that that has nothing to do with it, since that is the protocol for everyone.  And 2. She thought that her high estrogen level was bad. No one explained to her that the high estrogen level was great.  I know she’s going to one of the highest rated place in our state, but geeez.  I can’t help but feeling like she’s not getting the answers she needs.  The place doesn’t even have a visit to show you how to do your injections, they just send you home with a piece of paper with pictures on it.

I just really hope they can get her dosage right and that she can have a little more hope that all of this is going to work.  I know it’s a little harder on her because she and her husband have absolutely zero medical reasons why they shouldn’t be able to conceive.  At least I had reasons… lots of them.  I think it would be harder to keep hearing there is nothing wrong, yet you still can’t get pregnant.

They are going to try timed intercourse with the follicles that have been made.  Let’s send out some good vibes for her and maybe she won’t have to go through anything else!  That is my hope for her.

It’s True… But How?

I’m so confused right now.  I went in for my ultrasound thinking “stupid blood test making me spend $250 just to find out that everything is fine!”  Well, how wrong I was.  The blood test was right.  Somehow I’ve misplaced all my eggs.  I went from a 6.9 AMH in August (super high because of my PCOS) to 0.67 now.  How the hell does that happen?  I still have PCOS.  Do I now how have some of other super fun piece of shit disease or disorder or something?

I am so angry and upset.  I don’t understand how all the sudden, the ONE thing my body did right, can’t do it anymore.  How did this happen? HOW?! And why!?

I wish my doctor had been the one to do the ultrasound today.  This lady doctor doesn’t have a very good bedside manner.  The only thing she asked when she saw it was “have you had any pelvic surgery recently?”  I said “No” and then that was it, she didn’t have any other ideas at all.  She said “It’s good you’re doing IVF! We definitely have to have you on a high dose!”  IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!! I had to be on the lowest dose possible (25 units of follistim) for the start of my IUI’s.  So, any explanation doctor….. Oh, nothing?  Just the words “Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay” as you walk out the door?  That made me feel even worse about it.  I knew it had to be serious for her to give me the reassuring BS as she walked out the door.  I mean, thanks, but now I know it’s worse than I thought.

This kind of takes away some of my joy to start the process.  Now I know there is a chance that I won’t make a lot of follicles, which is insanity! I am the girl who made 9 follicles on the lowest dose of meds possible.  How is this happening?  Is there something wrong with me?  I’ve been on BC since our last IUI failed in January, so I know they didn’t all ovulate out over the past nine months.  Where did they go.  I’m so confused. Someone help me!

I’m just going to have to take some advice from Florence and the Machine in their song “Shake it Out.”  I’m grateful for my husband, my family and my friends.  And I’m lucky to be able to do IVF at all.  I must remember these things, because she’s right, it IS hard to dance with a devil on your back.

I’m going to take the rest of the weekend to be ill about this though.  Hopefully I’ll be better by nursing class on Tuesday.

____________________________

“And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa”