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Stopping by.. dropping in

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Been a while since I last posted anything, and I wanted to drop in an update.

Lets see, when last we left our merry band, my wife was in Hospital and doing "okay" (definitely not great, but not BAD either).

The highlight reel says that where we are now is.

Taking more medication, upto 150mg of Lamictal (as of yesterday) and 200 mg of Seroquel again (also up as of yesterday), still taking Klonopin at night, also Zyprexa, and then some sort of sleep aid if sleep doesn't come (not Ambien, some OTC pill).

Moodwise I'd say she's relatively fine, if actually getting a little more OCD the last few days, but I'm not sure if that's because she's actually getting better, and beginning to freak about about what a state the house is in, or OCD tendencies coming back. Sleepwise, it's still pretty much god-awful (IMHO) sleep still is very elusive, still doesn't seem to be "good" sleep, and it's (currently) still the big thing, and I can guarantee will stay on the burner as a thing until it goes away.

Shaky feelings all seem to have stopped (or rather, she's stopped reporting any to me, so I assume they have stopped, probably should check on that one tonight) everything else... well it's just continuing really, it's not good, it's not bad, we're living hour-to-hour, day-to-day, can't plan for anything because we have no idea what she's going to feel like, so, kinda bleh. I really hope this sleep comes soon! Not sure what else to put, I have a meeting with somebody on Friday to discuss stuff, I guess I've not been saying the right stuff, or I need help to know what the right things are to say (or something).
post #2 of 15
I've been checking every day for updates from you. Thank you for checking in!

Well, at least things are not WORSE. Remind me, how long has she been *consistently* taking meds for? How long at a level and consistent dose? I know myself and others here have told you that it does take some months for things to level out once you find the right dose of meds.

Did you look in to the PTSD after childbirth stuff? That and the anxiety that comes with it can make OCD worse. She really should be reliving her childbirth experience, with a doctor's help, in a safe and guided experience, that is the only way to get through it and PAST it. But if you or her doctors don't think that is what she has, then never mind. Just look up PTSD symptoms online and see if you think it fits.

Otherwise, all you can do is ride with this until the meds really have a chance to work. And they can't do the entire job, she needs to be in therapy every week and IF she can, she should be exercising every day and getting in the sun. I know that sounds impossible sometimes, but it will help.

The only other thing I can offer is support. Most of us here went through a pretty DARK time. Some women here still are, some have gotten great help and taken meds and gotten all better. I know there are others that have been waiting for an update from you and they will chime in with their support, too.

Whomever you are going to talk to on Friday, be BRUTALLY honest with them. Tell them exactly what is going on and don't leave anything out. Bring notes if you have to. You have been such a wonderful husband and support to her, please hang in there, there is light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Best to you.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the words of encouragement mom0810,

With regards to consistent medication, hard to say that one, she's still taking the medication that the Dr's at the partial hospitalization program she was at (until Friday, then Insurance stepped in and SCREWED everything up) so a week now I guess, although she's due to go up on the Lamictal again tomorrow (currently upto 150, which actually isn't a theraputic dose).

I haven't really looked into the PTSD after childbirth stuff, to be honest between work and her being in the partial hospitalization program, there just hasn't been time, but will try to do it, especially if her insurance is going to be wankers and refuse to allow her to go to the intensive outpatient program. She has been exercising, she has been getting some time in the sun, and I think a big part is everyone kept saying that the Lamictal was there number one choice (which in her mind translated to, it's going to make me better) so the fact that it hasn't yet, is beginning to bother her.

I'm still lost as to what I should be doing (or not doing) to help her move forwards from here, the complete lack of consistent sleep is still a massive driving factor in her feeling like she's never going to get better.

Anyway, we'll see, I'm still hoping the insurance company will wake up and approve her treatment so she can get better.
post #4 of 15

Glad to hear back from you and I just wanted to say again that the meds have to be CONSISTENT for at least 6-8 weeks before you can expect significant change. So if things are even a tiny bit better after 1 week, imagine what 5-7 more weeks will do.

The sleep will come once she is stabilized on consistent meds. Each time she goes up or down, there could be some disturbance there. I think her huge issue with sleep is the meds have been changed so many times that he body keeps having to adjust, which in most cases and with most meds involves insomnia. Once she is settled on meds and dosages and STAYS there for 6-8 weeks, her sleep should get much much better. She needs to understand this because I know there is some hesitation on her part to stay consistent with meds because she doesn't like the idea of them. She has to make a leap of faith and just trust the people who are caring for her now that the meds are right, they are what she needs, and that she has to take them and stay steady on them. Then she will be able to sleep.

We are all thinking of you, I check here every morning for updates, and hope she is feeling much better.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Back again, but just a checkin (or should that be check-up?)

Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
Once she is settled on meds and dosages and STAYS there for 6-8 weeks, her sleep should get much much better.
Things are much better still, but still not great, Insurance is doing a huge run-around and we now have tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills headed our way, which isn't fun, and oh yeah, stress doesn't help (her), however, overall doing better.

With regards to the resistance to the medication, that's almost completely gone, in fact she went back to see her old psychiatrist recently (not the really bad one, just the "pre-hospitalization" one) and he recommended she stay on the med-levels she's at, but the doc in the hospital had said going up, so, she's still going, but I'm pushing her to do what her "regular" p-doc says, at least while she can't be in the IOP program.

Anyway, just a quick update, hope you all have a great thanksgiving!
post #6 of 15
hey, a couple of resources that might be of use to you


Depression/Bipolar support alliance. They usually have connections to support groups for both people who have mental health issues as well as friends and family. There are a few resources on there

There are a lot of resources on the Wellness Toolkit page http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/Page...mpower_toolbox
which may be helpful with tracking how much medication she is taking, side effects, and if its working.

For me, I'm bipolar. Getting stable on medication took time. I've been really happy with Lamictal, but it does take a while before your blood level is high enough for it to be effective. Seroquel I've heard really mixed reviews about. Klonopin is also great -- longer half life than Ativan (Lorazepam) so it's slightly easier to get off of.

Also, re the medical bills, I got an accountant to help with my taxes last year b/c my medical bills (even with great insurance) were over 7 grand. Having an accountant who thought to add up travel time and gas expenditures made a bit of a difference with figuring out what my tax deduction was. It was a pain in the butt to itemize, but well worth it in the long run.
post #7 of 15
I've been thinking about you guys a lot. Glad for the updates. Not resisting medication is a huge step, and I agree like the others that it can take a longer time than expected for things to really hit the system.

Keep us posted, we're all rooting for you guys
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by yogachick79 View Post
I've been thinking about you guys a lot. Glad for the updates. Not resisting medication is a huge step, and I agree like the others that it can take a longer time than expected for things to really hit the system.

Keep us posted, we're all rooting for you guys

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
I guess it's been longer than I remembered, sorry, so here is an update

First, I want to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas, I really hope that everyone finds the time to enjoy at least a small part of this season.

So, lets see, where are we, since I last posted, still fighting insurance company, although they have ended up paying for most things now, just have one large hospital bill oustanding, although that still adds an enormous amount of anxiety to my wifes overall feeling. Next year she switches to my insurance, which, THANK GOD, does NOT have limitations on number of mental health visits, so "in theory" they will pay for as many as she needs.

Plan is to go back to the hospital program in January, right now I'd say the biggest problem is boredom, trying to think of things to do, when our son isn't home (day-care or at his Grandma's) it's slightly easier because she enjoys watching TV, so does quite a bit of that, still finds it quite hard to look after our Son, although is seeing a new therapist who seems to be helping her with that. Medication was mostly stable for a while, recently dropped some Klonopin, and has had a few shaky feelings in the morning come back, although not yet as frequent as before (but also still taking some Klonopin, so who knows). Overall, we're surviving, but there still doesn't seem to be much enjoyment of things, so here's hoping next year is better.
post #10 of 15
I've been following your story, not sure if I've posted before.

It sounds like she could really do with some "activities". I'm wondering about things she could do with your son at the times that grandma is available, preferrably by joining a class rather than self led as it's often easier to stick to a commitment that has been paid for in advance!

I found swimming with my first baby to be really really helpful, there were times when it would seem completely overwhelming and sometimes that meant DH would take us to class and occassionally that he would go in the water instead of me, but if you could find a class that was at a time that Grandma was available then she would be able to help. Time in water with a baby or toddler is amazingly bonding and if the pressure of changing him before and afterwards is taken away it could be a great activity for her to do.

Also look out for other activities, story time at the library, kindermusic, baby signing, there are lots of things to do.

Having a hobby might help your wife, is there anything she is interested in? An old hobby she could take up again? Or maybe there is something she's always wanted to do? Even taking some classes at a local community college during the hours you have day care.

Day hospital programs have their roles and maybe that is still a good thing for her, but even one step into positive parenting would be a good step and a class can provide a structure for that.
post #11 of 15
Hi there,

I've been checking in to see if you had any new posts. Glad the meds dosages are consistent, and hopefully now she can see that this shaky feeling is from the Klonopin going down (and anxiety increasing) since it happened at the same time. I don't know why the dr. keeps changing doses, but that's for them to decide.

I agree with maybe trying a class or something IF she feels up to it. Even just reading a book or something when she's on her own will help. Yoga helps with anxiety and she can learn some good breathing techniques. Any form of exercise will help a lot. I disagree that she should take a class WITH baby... it should be on her own, something just for her, to give her a feeling of routine and doing something for herself. I hope she will consider doing that. There are also wonderful guided meditation cd's that she can listen to. Indigo Dreams for adults is one. My kids listen to Indigo Dreams for kids before they go to sleep. She needs to teach her body to relax.

Still always thinking of you guys, everytime I come to MDC I check to see if there's anything new. I know there are a lot of us thinking of you and your wife and wishing you the best.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Again, with the posting

I know, two posts in a month, and both relatively posative.

Well, it's a new year, new insurance company, and so far things are good, she's gone back into the PHP program for a bit, although from the sounds of it that won't be that long, she's not finding it as "useful" as the first time, which I'm somewhat hoping means that she's getting better, and beginning to just realise she doesn't need the program. Dr there also feels like she doesn't need it as much, meds are still changing around some, gone down on Zyprexa now and up a little on both Seroquel and Lamictal, hopefully that will help some, I know the Zyprexa was supposed to be a short-term stop-gap while the Lamictal kicked in, so just have to see how it goes.

Overall not doing too badly, and the Dr at PHP actually mentioned her possibly going back to some sort of work soon, so we'll have to figure that out, or possibly doing some volunteer work, or something (basically, as I expected, part of the problem now is that she is either ratling around the house alone during the day, or ratling around with her Mother and our son, which isn't the "least" stressful situation). She's getting a bit better at dealing with our son and generally keeping the anxiety levels down, although still gets a bit overwrought at times, especially when our son does something silly like falling over and hitting his head on the ground.

annekh23, I do keep gently pushing hobbies on my wife, one of the problems there I think was simply that she really liked watching TV and movies prior to our sons birth, and we don't really let him watch TV (okay, so he might watch 10 minutes every 3-4 days now, but really not much, and mostly only his programs (he did watch some of the final of wimbledon earlier last year)) so finding other hobbies is a challenge, especially when depressed, because that leads to a lack of motivation, the whole thing is a vicious cycle, but, personally, I still feel it's getting better, although I still occasionally get the "I don't enjoy anything" speech from my wife, but it's a lot rarer than it used to be.
post #13 of 15
Your life shouldn't have to totally change when the baby is born, that is part of what has led to or can lead to depression. If she loved to watch tv or movies, then you guys should make a movie night and watch movies together. Something we did when my first son was little, we would order a pizza and camp out in our bedroom and watch movies.

And if she has shows that she used to watch, she SHOULD WATCH THEM. She needs to feel like herself and if she loved tv before, she should have it! She doesn't need to turn it off because she is a mom now. SHe needs to let go of that.

I always have the tv on and my kids never paid any attention to it. Now, at 4 and 2, they have some things they like... Thomas, the Fresh Beat Band, and Max and Ruby... but they only pay attention to it for a few minutes and then they are back to their own creative play.

She can certainly incorporate tv in to her day. I know with me, because I have anxiety, I CAN'T not have the tv going, I need the background noise and it's very comforting to me.

Whatever she used to like, she needs to have again now. It's so important not to lose yourself once you have a baby. That is contributing to her depression, I believe.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
Your life shouldn't have to totally change when the baby is born
I'll take issue with this in a second, still going, still not really getting consistent good sleep, although someone at her PHP program (a nurse or instructor, not sure what they are really called) suggested that she might goto a sleep clinic to confirm that there is nothing else going on, I know that pre-baby my wife used to always sleep on her front, now she always sleeps on her back, I've wondered about that to my wife a few times...

I think it's just been a big life adjustment for my wife overall, I do think your life does totally change, both me and my wife were pretty good procrastinators prior to our son, we would do, pretty much whatever we felt like, whenever we felt like it (baring work and such, but at home at least) some days we were bad, just watched TV all day doing nothing, other days we'd get lots done. With a 20 month old it's all very different now, you CAN'T just do what you want to do, when you want to do it, at least not with our son. He requires quite a lot of time and attention, he needs things, he demands things, this I think is a fairly large area for adjustment, just the demands on our time and attention (and our inability to necessarily do what we want to do, when we want to do it).

The other seems to be just, as my wife puts it, prior to having our son pretty much everything in her life she either figured out she was good at it, and did it well, or gave up, not something you can do with a child (well, you CAN but).

Anyway, still hanging in there, I'm hoping 2010 is going to be better than 2009.

Sorry, this all sounds a bit negative, I do think you are right, I think my wife did somewhat lose herself when our son was born, not with TV watching or whatever, but just having constant demands on her time, I should really have spotted this a mile off by the almost 'expectation' that essentially she was geting 4 months of vacation when she gave birth, just for some reason never seemed to twig that this was going to actually be quite a lot of hard work.

I think a lot of that is now actually better, mostly now it's just this horrid sleep issue, that still comes and goes, night before last she was up every hour or so to check the clock and see how long she'd been asleep for, goodness alone knows why (and she KNOWS that she's not supposed to do this) last night was much better, while she woke 2 or 3 times, she didn't actually get out of bed (only way she can check the clock) and she felt like she went back to sleep relatively quickly.

I do appreciate all the ideas, and sorry, this is probably just therapy for me, venting my complete frustration at not actually being able to do anything about this, I can't help, I can't fix it, all I can do is help where I can.
post #15 of 15
But that's just what I mean... if your life totally changes (and by that I mean if she or you give up things that you used to do or love to do before you had kids) then that is a fast track TO depression and anxiety.

What were the things she loved before? Why can't she do them now? She needs to make SURE she is doing them now. That would be good homework for her... to write a list of all the things she used to do, that made her feel like, well, "her," and she needs to start doing them. One a week. She needs to be herself and get back to that person she was. That is VITAL to recovery... from depression, anxiety, everything. Adding some of those things back will make her feel like her whole self again.

Perhaps I didn't phrase it correctly... of course your whole life DOES change... but that should not mean the exclusion of things that you used to love to do before. Hobbies are so vital. And it's also vital not to change the entire structure of one's life when a baby comes. Initially, and temporarily, that does happen, but it should not be a permanent change.

I also wonder, do you and your wife ever go out *without* baby? On a date? To dinner and a movie? That is vitally important, also, and without that kind of outlet, depression can sneak in.

Depression and anxiety can creep in if we are not doing the things we need to do to take care of ourselves. Sleep is a huge one. So is exercise. But another factor is self love and self care... doing the things that make our souls happy. Whatever it is that she used to love to do... she needs to make sure she can do that at LEAST once a week if not more. I hope you can help her try.
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