Friday, September 13, 2013

the weeks since camp have been a roller coaster for sure. having gotten a fun little broken ribs injury the last night of camp i’ve spent these few weeks doing very little and taking mild pain meds on and off. the first week after camp i was in an ACTUAL state of euphoria…something i’ve never experienced before and it was awesome. and then one day it all shifted and i started into a bit of a downward spiral of depression. i finally talked to scotty about it wednesday morning and he said it’s a common thing that happens among athletes and is often referred to as “post-ironman depression.” (i just found this in an online article: “but it can stem from any event that has demanded a large amount of your time in preparation and planning, and then is finally over”). wow! i feel better just knowing it’s an actual thing. very validating.

edit: it was pointed out to me by kelly lovejoy that post-event depression it is just like postpartum depression.

but then later that day i took all the kids for their 6 month dentist appointment for cleaning. i was feeling really good and having random conversations with the kids about all sorts of things and then they were all behind closed swingy doors getting their teeth cleaned. i flipped through some people magazines and just as i was about to be thoroughly bored they each came out one by one as usual first sadie and silas…their hygienists telling me all is good, no cavities etc etc.

and then samuel comes out with his hygienist and she says she wants to show me his xray and talk about it. first she said he needed his one and only wisdom tooth out soon and then she showed me an unusual dark area on his jaw bone that they were very concerned about and then another hygienist came out to get me and brought me in the back (a place that has always been off limits if you’re not a patient so i was starting to get worried). and all these doctors and hygienists were all around us and talking at the same time and showing me the xray on the computer and pointing out the dark spot and it was all a bit overwhelming. and then they were emailing the xray to a specialist and wanting us to make an appointment ASAP and samuel was talking about all the dates he would be gone this month and the receptionist was like no you will need to go to the specialist this week. now i was getting more than a little concerned. they said they would call and let us know. we went home and just as we were starting to tell scotty what was going on they called and said they made the appointment for the very next day!

i was trying really hard to hold in my worst fears when samuel started to worry and got on google (something i do not recommend when you are in this sort of situation). he found images of xrays that looked very much like his…and they were all bone cancer. and then he read up on it and found that most people only live about 5 years after getting this kind of cancer (upon doing my own looking today out of curiosity i found this was something he simply misunderstood and is related to a term doctors use called “5 year survival”). so there was a lot of trying not to freak out going on in our house for the subsequent 24 hours. i didn’t sleep well that night. and thursday was the longest day ever just waiting for his appointment, luckily he had to work and so his day involved less pacing and distraction making than mine. i finally had a little break down when scotty got up, i just couldn’t hold it together anymore. all the thoughts i had been suppressing just finally overwhelmed me.

finally, we went to the specialist. the radiologist was super nice and kept telling us over and over how easy we were and nice and friendly…made me wonder what sort of people they were used to dealing with. then she took samuel for the xray, i swear if xrays took as long to develop as they used to i might have had a nervous breakdown by now. but technology is an amazing thing and within 5 minutes of taking the images we were looking at his new xray on the computer screen. and it looked pretty darn normal to me. and so i started feeling excited but waited for the doctor before allowing pure relief to flow over me. and sure enough he came in and took one look at it and reassured us that everything was perfectly fine and that the other xray from the dentist was, using professional terminology, a “crappy xray.” i had the biggest smile and finally i just cried a little. i have never felt so relieved and exhilarated.  he talked a bit about why the wisdom tooth needed to come out and what the procedure would be like and then we left. we picked up sadie and silas and went out for a much needed celebratory lunch and had a lot of fun talking and laughing and making our usual public display of total weirdness.

so for 24 hours i was at rock bottom. the weeks of mild depression were nothing compared to this. and it feels like having hit that super low and then having that super high jolted me out of whatever i’d been feeling about my life. like nothing, NOTHING can ever be as bad as how i felt for those 24 hours. it was definitely perspective shifting. not that one can always be lifted out of depression just by gaining perspective. for me i think it was definitely a chemical thing that happened in my brain and body when that relief spilled over me. major endorphins and dopamine spreading through my body like crazy to the point i didn’t even notice my ribs hurting for a little while. and i think the chemical jolt was enough to undo the spiral i was in. or at least i hope so. i hope this feeling sticks around for a while longer. when i was walking this morning i was thinking about all of this and how i was feeling a lot of self-doubt and frustration and how now i just can’t see any reason to let those feelings and thoughts creep in.

it seems like it wasn’t that long ago we had a similar scare with a lump on sadie’s throat. she ended up actually having surgery to remove it but it was benign. and just like yesterday we were on edge until we knew. i don’t think there is a single thing as terrifying and heart wrenching as thinking your child might die…and try as you might not to, just the suggestion of a possible illness will set your mind down that road of thinking about it.

believe it or not i had about a million more things i was gonna say about all of this but i am just gonna leave it. i feel good. samuel is fine. we are all fine. it’s all good.Share

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