Wednesday, November 3, 2010


So, I am going to go ahead and acknowledge before I even get into this post that the LAST place I should be today is on my blog.  Unfortunately listening to my inner Jiminy Cricket has never been my strong suit and I am going to give this post about 24 hours before I come to my senses and remove it.

Maybe, maybe not. Here’s the thing, when you break an arm, poke out an eyeball, get bronchitis, lose an appendix (well hopefully not LOSE, but you know, get it out) you can wear a sign if you want to, put it on your facebook, post pictures, tell strangers on a bus. Sometimes I would kill to have a broken leg.

I don’t have those though, no, in my limited 31 years I have suffered from things like Interstitial Cystitis, where my bladder behaves like an old rubber band and cracks and bleeds as it fills and empties, I have had 7 surgeries for endometrioses, you know, stuff all screwed up in my uterus?! Say that out loud at your desk, I dare you. You can yell sprained ankle all day long and people will just think you’re weird, but talk about your uterus? Now you’re weird and gross. And do my ovaries look fat? That would be the polycystic ovaries, people, not the extra cheeseburger last night. Oh, oh, oh, how about this one, I have mysterious pain in my ribs that they have diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Fortunately I haven’t had that pain for a while, but I used to get it a lot back in the days when I had a 9 to 5 job and telling your boss you can’t come in because apparently the pain under your shoulder is being caused by your bowels?! Oh. Em. Gee.  I might start a movement to get that renamed, because how can you possibly try to recover from something you don’t even want to whisper under your breath TO YOUR DOCTOR?

And that stuff? Not as bad as this one


lean in a little closer…

I am mentally ill

SHHH!! Don’t yell it! People will think you are talking about yourself and nod to themselves that they always suspected you were.

5 paragraphs in, sorry, would you like to know what this is about? So last night I ended up in the ER at 2 in the morning because my heart is making it so I couldn’t feel my fingers or face for about 15 minutes. Wait! Heart?! Alissa, you can totally put that as your facebook status!

Yeah, except it’s a result of my crazy pills. Or lack of crazy pills since I am having withdrawal as I try to change up my meds and that makes my heart try to escape from my body. Either that, or it’s having some kind of rave in there. So now I’m home from the ER for my heart but I’m in that situation where you can’t give people details about why the murmur you’ve had your whole life is suddenly raging and inviting teenagers over for booze and heavy petting without telling them you. take. PAXIL.


Here’s what is making me tell you this now, what is going to make me cry myself to sleep tonight, what I hope you will understand and support me through: Why do I have to pick between my mental health and my physical health?

I don’t go on medication like someone who just wants to try one of each, my med doctor has seen me more in the last year than my parents and siblings and Brooke, combined!  I felt at the beginning of the year that, more than you’re average young mom of two rowdy kids, I did NOT have access to the information in my head. Like, I thought I might developing some kind of dementia, I’m not dumb but I felt SO DINGY. So juggling all the other elements of my life, I interviewed 4 different psychologist 0ver the phone until I found Dr. Stone and in…      slow…            motion…          I began trying some things for my ADD.

It was like a light switch. It makes me want to cry remembering that feeling of the fog lifting, of being able to tell people where I live because I am able to learn the names of streets around my house, starting and finishing projects, making and keeping goals about money, russell, my blog and my etsy store. Stuff that wasn’t just difficult before, but IMPOSSIBLE.

2 bad things, something about the Vyvanse (my ADD medicine) made there not be a pause between an event and my anger reaction. It was like it really took away an ability to control the feeling of anger, I didn’t have disgruntled or annoyed anymore, all I had was creepy rage reactions to stuff that happened around me with Jon or with the kids that wasn’t a big deal. And some days it made me feel a little TOO focused, too intense. So we added the paxil to help take the edge off. It really helped! And it really helped me get through the three days of downs I always have before my (get ready to yell it out) period! Yeah, I’m gross, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.

But Paxil and Vyvanse? Keeping in mind that for the first 4 months I took them 2 or three days a week, eventually it grew to daily because I was starting to get weird with the inconsistency, and taking those two everyday? Well, say goodbye to sleep, and begin round 3 of trying xanex, vallium, ambien, sontata, and sure, you can go ahead and call me Elvis now.

Now you see why I haven’t told you any of this on my blog. That shit is CRAZY. (sorry grandma, had to be done)

So about 8 weeks ago, I’ve finally gotten to a little balance with my cocktail of medicine’s, when my heart starts to think about it all, and I’ve had bouts of being tired and disoriented, and I’m always trying to make sure my meds are right, but when you are in this deep it’s so hard to switch something out without going into withdrawal. Which is where I am now. I spent 5 days in the hospital in 2007 when I tried to get off of another antidepressant that had worked great for about year but suddenly was giving me back my heart murmur, too, and coming off it was killer. We thought it was just that pill, but I guess this confirms it’s all anti depressants that actually work on me.

How depressing is it to find out you can’t take your pills for depression? TOTALLY depressing.

But I’m not as sad as I am freaking annoyed! What a drag, voting to legalize pot yesterday was the highlight of my week, but then it got all tainted by spending the night alone in the ER wondering if taking meds so I can be a good mom has done permanent damage to my body so maybe I won’t get to be a mom for as long as I know I’m supposed to be.

And I put my hands out, and I look up into the sky and can’t tell you right now if I am enough. I feel broken in ways I can’t talk about without sounding crazy, or gross, or both. I’m serious when I say I would kill for a broken leg right now instead.

I can’t tell you if this will ever get better or easier, but I can hold out hope that it will always be different, changing, livable. I already know that the walking prozac that is Alice helps, and when Russell comes out of a few hard weeks to be focused and charming again, or to stand on the table in the back yard gripping a dangling extension cord yelling into it at the empty chairs he has arraigned in a semi circle around him “And Jesus Christ! He is in YOUR heart, right now! He’s in the sky and the water and Jesus!! He loves good boys!” despite never having seen a televangelist once. That I know of, anyway. That stuff helps me.

Plus, you can have people sign you’re cast, but don’t ever ask anyone to sign your uterus. That’s just gross.


kateastrophe said...

First AGAIN! Suhweet. You can always tell when I have a slow afternoon.

You did hear about the doctor that signed the uterus of a woman he was operating on, right? She was all pissed and sued him but I thought it was totally sweet! I mean, come on! You have a signature on your UTERUS!

On a more serious note, I have recently delved into the world of trying to tell your boss you need a day off because your private insides seem to want to be on the outside. It sucks. And people think I'm gross too but I just finally started saying it. "I'm bleeding non-stop and at some point almost my whole uterus along with my no longer living embryo is going to fall out so I shouldn't be at work for that." I think I lost my filter sometime between my ex Richard and my last job.

I'm so sorry that all of this is happening. You really shouldn't have to choose and that's unfair.

On a tangent, I'm sick of life being unfair. It makes me angry.

Anyway, I love you to pieces and if there's anything I can do to help add some non-medical prozac or joy to your life, or even just act as a human punching bag, I'm your girl.

Brookelyn said...

Oh my friend. I am sitting at my desk at work with tears for you in my eyes. I don't have to explain it here at work, but I am heartbroken for you. I will call and I will say all the things that I'm not supposed to say over the phone that I won't write here and we will laugh, maybe cry, and we'll find the hope for this being fixed for you.

But until then be assured that you are amazing. And that your constant trying and searching and learning will be a legacy in your honor for all time. It doesn't make it easier for you, but when someone needs something medically You are always the first resource that I know will know what to ask, or where to look. The knowledge that you have compiled is great and so useful and I'm sorry that you've had to do it all.

I listened to an interview on Radio West about a documentary called "On the Edge-Mental Health in Utah" that was really incredible. I'll link it, and I know that most of the cases they are talking about are extreme in a way that you aren't even close to, but it talks a lot about the stigma that needs to be broken down, and that I support. Ok, I'm calling you for the rest.

I love you and your bravery.

Brookelyn said...

Oh duh! the link:

Tara said...

I love your introspection and your honesty. You WILL get through this, with grace and perseverance, even though you may be feeling very discouraged right now. Keep writing, if it helps, because I love reading about your thoughts.

Why can't everyone be as verbal and as expressive as you? Especially the "mentally ill" folks?

madre said...

do you want me to break your leg for you? or i have an assortment of 7 mules/horses/donkeys here that could assist you. it would be fun, right up until the last part...
i'm glad we got to talk for a long time tonight. things are just about to get better. you are brave for getting off the paxil. you are doing a good job. i am very proud of you and love you very much~

Carly said...

hahah! what you momma said! But she is right, you are so brave and and you are doing an excellent job at life. getting off any drug like that is hard, let me just tell you. so, keep writing. let me hear your thoughts. its so healing for you and your mind. you are so amazing beautiful wonderful and really one of my most fav people on the planet. love you forever.

Marcy said...

I'm so sorry, my friend. I applaud your honesty and love your humor as you talk about something clearly so difficult and sensitive. Here's where I'm bad: I don't know what to say...just wanted to be the #7 comment here to tell you that I'll start saying prayers for you, and I think you are a rockstar. I enjoy your energy and we need to hang out more often. And if I can help you or your kidlets in any way, please let me know. xoxo

Susan King said...

Dear Alissa - I appreciate your blog and keeping up on you. Sorry to hear of this last adventure to the ER. Sounds like you are staying strong and working through this with the joyful personality I love about you. I had endometriosis and that's why I don't have kids. Be thankful for your two beautiful children and embrace life each day. Love you, xoxo

Tara Boschetti said...

Oh Alissa, I can't even imagine! Hang in there lady! Oh, and I'll sign your uterus if that will make you feel better. :)