Sunday, February 12, 2012

The PPD Buffet

I took the girls for their 4 month checkups the other day and things went swimmingly well!  They are growing- not on the charts, yet, but thriving and that's all that really matters.

When I arrived I noticed an all too familiar paper attached to their files and when we got into the exam room, Peggy, my pediatrician's nurse handed me the paper and asked me to fill it out.

It was the PPD questionnaire that measures, or attempts to measure, how depressed you are and if you're in need of help.

I've filled this questionnaire out three times so far since the girls were born.  The answers really haven't changed each time.  Although I don't think I cry nearly as much as I did when they were first born.  That's for a few reasons, 1) I've learned to hold it back quite well and 2) my hormones are finally starting to level off and my thyroid meds are really doing their job. 

YAY for less hair loss!

I didn't fill out the questionnaire this time.  I shuffled it in with the rest of my papers and "Accidentally" threw it in my diaper bag with the vaccine info sheets.


My answers haven't changed.  And I'm not sure they're going to change any time soon.

I go to work each day at job that I like ok but don't really love and don't really enjoy anymore.

I went from having two kids to having four kids in no time at all.

I am in graduate school getting my MBA.

I am moving and trying to sell my home all at once.

I am scheduling specialists and doctors for myself and my twin girls along with making sure I take care of my older two kids' needs, as well.

I am attempting, with my husband's help, to keep our house in some order and out of squalor.

I am worried about each of my kids but most especially my twins and possible issues that they may have and how to treat them.

I am concentrated on medical bills and regular bills and getting them paid and out of the way.

I am missing the gym and running because I just cannot find the time or energy.

I am trying to figure of what I want to do with my life.  What do I want to get up and do each morning, other than be with my kids?

And there's more.

And I'm stressed and I'm sad and I'm overworked and I'm overwhelmed.

And I'm lucky to have all of these problems and people to help me with them.

But all of that, and more, would be reflected in the answers to that crappy, poorly constructed, instrument of inquiry.  And, really, I don't need to hear that I should be seeing someone or maybe consider meds.

I know all of that.  But I don't want to do meds and I'm not quite sure where or when I'd fit a therapist into my schedule.  I'm not opposed to therapy but, really? The time commitment and the cost just doesn't fit right now.

So, I avoided the questions and I thought about a conversation from a few weeks ago with a good friend.  My plate is full, full of good, full of bad, full of overwhelming and fun and sad and scary but it's full and it always has been and always will be.  When one thing gets figured out, something else will take it's plate.  It's like the endless buffet.  We just keep going up for seconds and thirds and so on and so forth.  And I'm lucky for all of the fullness of the plate because it's certainly worth a lot more than what I paid to get into the buffet. 

But I really think that a lot of what I'm feeling isn't any more intense than it ever has been.  When my second baby was born, I went into a deep dark place that was very very very hard to get out of.  This time around, I went somewhere, and I still go there occasionally, but it's nothing like before.  And this time around I have tools that help me.  I know what I need to do to get me out of it.

And filling out a questionnaire and having ANOTHER person tell me to call a therapist is not how I can get out of it.

Maybe I'll take a breather before I head back up to the buffet or when I go up I'll get something a bit lighter, like salad or some fruit.  But I doubt it.  It's not who I am.

So, for now, I avoid the questionnaire and I rely on my somewhat developed coping skills and my friends and family who have been there every step of the way.  I allow them to answer the questionnaire in my head, the questions that I ask myself when I think I'm getting too deep into it.  And when the answers are what I don't like, I have them to help pull me out.

Or help me clear my plate a little bit more.

And for that I am lucky.


Colleen said...

Seriously... if you need to fit in a visit to a therapist... drop those kids off with me. I feel so much better after talking with my dr. I just force myself to get there. Seriously... call me. :)

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