Incredible amounts of stress and now severe pain (sorry, long)
I will preface this by saying that I am not eating primally right now. I have in the past, and look to this board for wisdom. I usually read without posting, but I'm beside myself.
I have had a very rough year. I had a baby a little over a year ago (my second) by c-section. Five days after delivery, I was readmitted for sepsis. Thankfully, I survived, though I was away from my baby and my daughter for a week. Of course, with sepsis, I was given huge amounts of antibiotics. My husband was only home from work one week after I was discharged. Then I was to fend for me and the kids. I had not recovered at all and was still exhausted. Stupid me decided that pumping breast milk was more important than healing my body. I will never forget my doctor's words, "Your baby will be okay if you give him formula; he will not be okay if you die. Stop the pumping or I will throw it out the window. You need to rest." But, alas, I didn't until he was about 3 months old. Then, just 8 weeks after I had the baby, I finished my clinical rotations for PA school and graduated. Then the real hell began as I accepted a job in thoracic surgery for outpatient clinic. However, once I started in November, they decided they wanted me in the operating room, on the inpatient floor, on consults, and in outpatient clinic. My hours were grueling and I became very depressed and anxious. In January, I tried several antidepressants, which I could not tolerate. I still take Ativan for the anxiety at night because sometimes I can't sleep. At the end of January, I told my superiors that I could not do the job they were requiring because my kids are too important to me and I was working 60+ hours/week. They said I could stay with them until I found a new job. Yet 3 weeks after this, they said I was doing so well, they wanted me to stay in the outpatient clinic capacity role for which I was hired. I agreed, not knowing I'd still be working 60+ hours/week. By February, I was completely exhausted. I was hardly able to work, though I kept plodding away. I would drive home crying every day. I had no energy for my kids. I had gained 30 pounds! in 4 months, even eating very little -- mostly likely due to excessive coffee intake (always my vice), but also stress. I started looking for another job. I (thankfully) found one in a holistic family practice, which I will start on June 3. Until then I am off for a break.
In any event, during this entire time, my marriage completely collapsed as well (it was never great). My husband has proven to be a very unreliable provider (read: got himself fired for tardiness while I was in PA school and then blamed it on me/our daughter/everything else). Initially after I graduated, I said I would solely work until our youngest was 18 months and the job I had would have provided a sufficient income for him to stay home. But I had to quit that job for the aforementioned reasons. He is absolutely refusing to get a job (his exact words, "I'm not getting a job until you actually prove you'll stay at this one"). Additionally, there is no intimacy, no loving feelings, nothing. Just criticism. His words to me are so harsh that my 4.5 year old daughter looks at me with a look of pain on her face. I cannot let my kids see this! He is so mean and critical. He's even critical to them. He calls our 13 month old son a PITA, a moron, and "the worst baby ever" because he's still not sleeping through the night. My daughter was eating something the other day and he said, "Take it away from her! She has no control" (which is not true...she regulates her eating more than any other kid her age I've seen). I know he's tired and sleep deprived too. The worst part to me, though, is that he spends at least 5 hours/day playing fantasy sports instead of spending time with his kids or bettering himself. He then stays up until 3 am and gets angry if one of the kids awakens before 8. I don't know who this person is anymore. I am strongly considering divorce. :(
So, this present day, I am in so much pain especially my knees, hips, thighs, and feet. This started 3 weeks ago. Even more, is the weakness that I feel. I cannot stand up out of a chair without using my arms for assistance. If anything, I have lost weight in the last 3 weeks, so it can't be sudden weight causing this. I saw my holistic MD yesterday and he did labs, so I don't know the results of those yet. I also have chronic yeast infections now, which I never had before. This started after the mega-dose antibiotics for the sepsis. I feel hopeless. I can't believe the pain I'm in. My doctor said it's a stress response, likely adrenal exhaustion.
I'm so scared. I need to get better. I start a new job in 1.5 weeks. I need a plan of action. My doctor said I must sleep. However, my son wakes up a lot and then wants to sleep with me (so then I sleep light). I just have this guilty conscious because I feel like I missed so much time with him when I was working so much, so I let him sleep with me. Also, both of my kids want me, me, me. I don't know if it's because my husband is mean or because I was working so much. And, again, the guilt factor kicks in. The only reason I'm up this late is because I can't sleep due the pain. I just tried to sit on the floor and meditate, but I cannot get comfortable in any position. Then I got up and started crying because of the pain. The emotional and now the physical pain. So I decided to write this while a pain pill kicks in (yes, I've resorted to taking a 1/2 of Vicodin when the pain wakes me like this).
My doctor hugged me yesterday and said, "You will be okay. I know you. You're nothing if not resilient." He's right. He knows me so well. But I want this pain to go away and my strength in my legs to come back and my energy to return -- it's been so long since I felt well. He did acupuncture to balance my autonomic nervous system...I feel a bit different, but not much. I will see him again next week and we'll look at the results of my blood tests. In all, I think he drew thyroid panel (all), cortisol, DHEA, candida titers, CBC, Iron studies, B12, CRP, sed rate, and maybe some more. (As an aside, I do have Hashi's, but my last labs were fine).
I need a plan of action. I need to know what I need to do for the next week. I'm very sad and discouraged. Instead of viewing myself as a survivor, I just feel like this woman who is in so much pain emotionally and physically. My poor doctor had never seen me break down before and he started tearing up. I am a mess. I hope someone can help me as to where to start.
Thank you, in the event that you actually read this. I appreciate it.