Please read Chronic Pain & Depression Part I to get my full background if you are new to the site. It’s focus is about my other autoimmune disease chronic pancreatitis (CP).
BACKGROUND/So getting you quickly up to speed: It’s been 6 long weeks since Jax split up with me and moved 2 doors down. It has really shaken me up. It is not the core reason I am so severely depressed, but it was certainly the catalyst for my deep depression. Clinical depression is a pretty serious issue as I am coming to learn. If I don’t get my act together and snap out of it then I could end up with diseases far worse than RA and CP. Mainly the issue is that Jax leaving has accidentally brought up all of my old childhood BS. Well, it is not BS at all. It’s some very heavy sh*%@!! Sexual abuse comes back at you so many times through your life. It is so unfair. My experiences covered many years and with over 4 different people who did not know about any others being so awful at the same time.
But I really don’t want to write about this topic now.
To make matters more complex I recently switched to a new Rheumie (rheumatologist) and am now waiting for the paperwork to go through on the Enbrel. So i stretched out 1 month of doses of Enbrel to 2 1/2 months. Naturally, all of the RA symptoms have been coming back full force. Massively swollen ankles and legs. My feet are larger than horses hoofs. THE INSANITY is that I waited an entire week to get the prescription filled. I am positive I have clinical depression – as is my Dr. but what to do about it is a totally different story.
IN THIS MOMENT: Since today was my birthday, I invited a small group of friends (5 total) for sushi dinner. Jax was one of the guests. I’m so happy I invited him. All of us had a very nice conversation about politics, silly things and such. It was great to get out of my own crappy head space. Even though I am a total dog person I did get a kitty-cat – Guvnor (pronounced with a British accent) and that is helping my blues a lot since he has real needs and I can’t just ignore them. So far I love the responsibility. He’s getting used to me and the house so looking forward to taking photos for this site.
OVERVIEW: I imagine it must be very common to have a chronic disease along with depression. When my RA is untreated or under-treated then I get so extraordinarily tired. It’s the “I can barely move” tired. It’s extreme and insane all at once. That causes me to fall behind on work and important things in my life… which leads to more depression until everything mounts to become full-on depression. I’m at the point now where I have severe insomnia, but so afraid of the sleeping meds that make me fall asleep for 15 hours straight. It’s probably because I need 15 hours straight of sleep to be ore healthy, but since I am looking for so many hours a day and then doing the work I have for current clients I simply don’t have time for that much sleep.
MY RA STORY: One year ago almost to the day I was diagnosed with severe RA. The damage was very obvious on the xray and MRI so I was put on steroids (prednisone) and promptly gained 45 pounds. My doctor was awful and only asked me to stop eating so much. She hadn’t mentioned that I should join a group like weight watchers. After that rheumie put me on methotrexate (which would also be the plan in case I had lupus). During that time my relationship w/ Jax was getting harder and more strained. We had aready gone through three years of the medical roller-coaster with CP & surgeries in order to live. I started to hate my appearance and myself. It was a very slow process to get here to this place where I am at now. Before this i had the confidence of steel. I was the “can do” attitude poster child. Slowly it all gave way to a haze – the haze i find myself in now.
I imagine the path to discovering you have a disease is often like mine. I certainly didn’t realize it at the time, but now that the dust has settled I realize the whirlwind I had gone through. I was using a cane all the time. I couldn’t grab things w/out much focus and effort. If I had buttons on clothes I would be forced to deal with them but my path was to always buy clothes without laces, buttons, or any small fingers-needed items. My legs and feet were so giant and swollen at 3 1/2 size their normal shape. I couldn’t stop sleeping. At one point when I didn’t know I had RA & I also had untreated pancreatitis I slept 5 days a week and then stressed out the other two while trying to squeeze a week’s worth of client meetings and work into them. At some point during this I started the doses of enbrel. Within a few weeks the symptoms of RA went away. It was a true miracle. But as you might’ve read I have been off of it twice due to my awful finances. It’s my own fault for spending all of my money on my huge project working with at-risk teens the past two summers. But when the Enbrel is kicking in then things are good again. I got my new shipment of Enbrel in today. I am so thrilled and can’t wait for the swelling to go back down. I’m also looking forward to getting back into a decent sleeping pattern. I am debating whether to take Wellbutrin (an antidepressant) or not. I might only need proper sleep to get out of this depression.
Over this weekend I realized my depression only has a small part to do with Jax leaving me. Mostly it is my fears about no one ever wanting to put up with me. A larger portion is due to my mind dwelling on my past. There’s been so much violence and sexual abuse in my story/life that I am often amazed that I’ve even gotten this far in life in general. So Jax is only one small portion of my bigger demons. He’s been a great friend through this even if he broke up with me. I know I should let go and lose hope so I can move on faster. Well, I don’t think it’s actually as easy as that. He got me through the worst of my medical issues for 4 years. He’s a gem of a person which is probably making this more tough.
I lost 4 pounds this past week from weight watchers but have been pigging out from my birthday week. It’s only Monday so I have 4 days to be very careful before the next weight watchers meeting. Now it’s time to go to bed and see how Guvnor the cat deals with it. Anything to keep my mind off of the core issues.
It’s raining now and very late (5am). The rain sounds beautiful. Goodnight.
Love, Sasha, xoxoxo
ps – dont forget to read about my life with pancreatitis in Part I.