Sunday, May 25, 2008

I am so Lucky!

I have had a bit of a hard time this weekend. It's one thing to think there might be something wrong with yourself, I have found, and a whole nother thing to have it confirmed. It has seemed very strange to think about the ramifications of that doctors appointment.

1. I will have to take medication for most of the rest of my life. This makes me glad for being military and I hope we can retire as such, for the insurance purposes. This also means constantly readjusting dosages, switching medications until we find what works. The amount I pay for the meds is very low, about $9 a month, and would be free if the base pharmacy carried it.

2. I will have appointments at least once a month to check dosages, side effects, progress... I am lucky again that Tricare will pay for 2 med management appointments a month, and up to 8 therapy appointments a year without a referral, with more if I get authorization. All these are paid by insurance, with no copay.

3. Bipolarism is hereditary. My children have inherited the possibility of having this disorder too. Like how diabetes can run in families, so can this. And it is just as serious and can be just as deadly if not dealt with properly. Will my children have it? How will it affect their lives? How can I have more children knowing that I may pass this on? Plus some medications can affect babies in utero, birth defects and miscarriage. Can I go through that just to try for that little girl I want so much?

4. How is this going to affect my relationship with my husband? He has very patiently put up with my mood swings for a long time, but now that it has a name, can he deal with having an ill wife? Is he going to treat me differently, or look at me differently? He has assured me he won't, but it is still in the back of my mind.

5. I don't know what my personality will be like. It has been so long since I have felt "normal". But was that normal like other people, or normal for me with the ADHD I have had since childhood and didn't know for certain. I like to think I will still be "me": upbeat, friendly, chatty (but not hyper), interested in others, someone people confide in. I like to think that is my normal. I don't want to change, I just want to cool it down a little, be able to control certain things I do, like the talking.

With all these things going through my head, it has been really nice to have people that love me to talk to. Mark, Stephanie, my friend Amanda. And today we asked the bishop and the elder's quorom president, whom we are good friends with, to help give me a blessing. Our bishop deals with troubled teens, half of which are bipolar in the group he works with. And the elder's qorum president confided in me that he is too. So there are good people at church who understand. The blessing was something I really needed, and I am so lucky to be in such a good ward, with people I trust to do that for me. I also spoke about it with some close friends today. My visiting teacher I have known since Japan had felt inspired to talk to me about getting help, and cried with me a little today. I know I can call her anytime.

So these things are still swimming around my head, and if I let myself think about all of it too much it would be so easy to get overwhelmed. (Part of that is my condition I'm sure) But on the whole, I guess I am lucky. I have great friends, a wonderful supportive family, good doctors, good insurance, a blessing to think on and more if I need them, and I am young. It's not too late to have good relationships with my children. It's not too late to learn skills to deal with myself.


Kathy & Dave Whittle said...

What a beautiful post! All your concerns are so valid - so much to think about. You are blessed in so many ways, especially to have so much support from people right there in your ward. If you ever want, you could call Aunt Annette - she hadn't read your post yet, but I asked her if it was okay to share with you - she was diagnosed with bi-polar last fall. I know she wouldn't mind talking with you at all. Hugs,

Stephanie said...

And you know you can call me anytime too, even though we still often screen our calls :)

I think it's great that you have the guts to post these thoughts. I don't think you're sugar-coating the situation, and that's brave. Always know that we're all here for you. We're family, and we love you!

CissaLynn said...

Hey girl!!! Take it day by day! Try and not think about tomorrow! Cross each bridge as they come! :) Thank you for sharing your story w/us!!! I have two cousins who have been diagnosed w/bipoar disorder and mental illness runs in my family as well. I have suffered w/depression and OCD (OCD sucks, man) - those repetitive thoughts that you can't escape! Please know there is light at the end of the tunnel! :)) You will feel better soon! :))

Calista said...

Those are some pretty big (valid) worries, but I'm really glad that you are still able to think about the blessings in your corner :) You know... "When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed..." And there's no need for me to type it all out, cuz I know you know it! I love the amount of power contained in remembering our blessings, and I know that you'll be able to handle this :)

Melinda said...

I so completely understand your concerns! When I found out I would be on meds for the rest of my mortal life, (ha, ha, at least there is more than that...) I was so frustrated. The only person I knew at that time who took meds like I would be was Grandpa...and it wasn't encouraging. Also, I found out about my Crohn's about 4 months into our marriage and I was so worried that Aaron wouldn't want a sick wife. But he's been so completely supportive the last three years! Don't doubt your husband. Different diagnosis, but same concerns. I'm glad I read your post and hope you know you can talk to me anytime. ( Thanks for sharing!

Kevin said...

Since I do know your husband better than I know you, I would like to add that I do beleive that Mark would always be supportive and I don't think that there is any reason to worry about that. I have confided in him many of my problems, more than I'd like to admit that I have, and he has never been the least judgemental. I figure that if he can put up with me for these many years, he's just getting warmed up with you. I also think that he likes you a bit more than me, and that counts for a lot. If he ever does though, you let me know, and I'll come beat him up (as if I could).