Therapy Update - Need Advice? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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okay... I was not the biggest fan of therapy on Saturday. It was finally brought up about our whole Friday night issue of who is going to pick DSD up. DSD's Mom refuses to now since DH confronted her about not telling us about kindergarten orientation. *sighs*

DH at first did say he'd pick DSD up at her house after work. But he brought it up in therapy as he feels 9:00 pm is too late for her to be picked up. Which I do agree... but I don't understand why he can't get up early Saturday and get her... he doesn't get to see her Friday night anyway.

Basically the therapist told me in not so many words that I should just suck it up and get DSD Friday nights. That I'm Mom in our house and I need to think of DSD and how important I am to her. Which I agree... but I tried explaining how utterly beat I am on Friday. Even DH agreed that even last weekend when DSD's Mom did bring her down and I only had both girls for 3 hours instead of 5 that I looked absolutely wrecked by time he got home and he tried sending me to bed... but of course I couldn't because DD was still awake and wanted to nurse more and she does not like side nursing anymore.

To which the therapist basically told me I need to learn how to hide my emotions from DSD and just deal with being tired. *blinks*

So, right now I'm really struggling with trying to figure out how I'm going to do this. And I'm SUPER resentful that I need to schedule another pumping session into my Fridays and am really worried about how this is going to affect my supply and all kinds of things and being resentful...

How do I deal with this?

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#2 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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Could (would) your DH give you a LOT MORE help during the week so that you're not quite as exhausted by Friday?

You can only do so much. Something has to give. If it's not you doing the Friday pick-up, then it will have to be something else. Something during the week so you're not too tired by Friday.
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#3 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ione... there really isn't anything else DH can do during the week to help.

I'm simply exhausted just trying to get through the week of work and such. Stupid fibro... I also explained to the therapist how it is really hard for me. Last year was actually the first year I have been able to work full time with the fibro and now it's trying to learn my limits and push all over again with the added work of a baby.

I am by myself from 3:30 in the afternoon til about 11:00 pm at night when I am finally able to go to bed... only to get up 5 hours later to face the day again. I need more sleep than 5 hours and there is just no way to help in that department right now.

Plus work just got way more busy as I have been made an internal auditor and a point person on two big projects. So the extra tasks during the day has me more run down than normal too.

but no one understands this because they all say I don't have a physical job so I shouldn't be as tired as I am.

I honestly don't think the therapist beleives in firbomyalgia either. He just thinks I'm some emotional loon that needs to learn how to deal with life better... I think therapy in general is a bit unfair because even though this isn't the therapist I normally see at the practice for my solo counseling, since it's the same practice he has my file and all of my background, and none of DH's... so usually anything brought up in therapy he turns around on me as not dealing with my emotions well enough. His collegue diagnosed me with bi-polar a few months ago and got mad because I wouldn't go on medication because my peditrician told me if I did I'd have to wean and I told the physcologist I am not weaning, that I have been dealing with my emotions for 20 some years without medication I can continue doing so for another several til my DD is weaned.

Is everything really my fault becase I'm an emotional person?

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#4 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 10:39 AM
 
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I may have missed something on a previous thread, but is it possible to switch to a female therapist - preferably one who has actually had children? I've never had any luck with male therapists understanding women or child-rearing. I think male therapists are great for one-on-one counseling with men, just not for marriage counseling.

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#5 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I probably could find a female marriage counselor... but DH won't go to a female therapist. He said he wouldn't be able to take any advice from her because he would always feel she is being biased since women always back each other up.

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#6 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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No, everything is not your fault and your counselor sounds awful and frankly, mysoginistic (which I cannot spell )

I think you should feel free to say no and set boundaries that are important to you whether the counselor agrees with you or not.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#7 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I probably could find a female marriage counselor... but DH won't go to a female therapist. He said he wouldn't be able to take any advice from her because he would always feel she is being biased since women always back each other up.
In this case, a man is doing the same thing. Your counselor is telling you to suck it up and do what your man wants. Where's the fairness in that?

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#8 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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I'm NMY but I've been reading your threads...wow...hugs! Just because someone is a therapist DOES NOT mean that he/she is right. Sigh.

Okay, would it be possible to hire a college student to pick up DSD on Fridays and then stay with y'all and be a mother's helper? I don't know what the schedule looks like down to the hour but if you paid $10 an hour for 5 hours of help (getting her, helping out afterward then) that might be a great job. I don't know what your money situation is like. To me it would be worth it but if it is the same as not working Friday, I'd do that instead...

Would it be possible to work 1/2 day on Fridays? Would it be possible to work parttime period? Would it be possible to work flexttime on Friday and go in an hour or two earlier, get off work, nap, nurse, and then go get DSD? Could you hire a mother's helper during the week to ease up your schedule a little bit? What about a housekeeper? Would that help?

If I'm remembering correctly your DH does not want to pick up your DSD on Saturday mornings. Could you pick her up Saturday mornings? Would that be better for you then Friday night? Maybe that is the compromise? "Ok, I'll be the person in the family responsible for DSD's transportation. I cannot get her on Fridays and function. I will get her first thing Saturday morning. If this doesn't gel with you, please feel free to pick her up on Friday." But that's the kind of b!t@h I am.

Can you take your marital therapist info on Fibro and review it with him? I guess I just don't see how these other people get to decide what you can and cannot handle. I'm sorry!

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#9 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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I'm NMY but I've been reading your threads...wow...hugs! Just because someone is a therapist DOES NOT mean that he/she is right.
Yeah. Your therapist is not the boss of you - just an advisor. In your shoes, I'd Just Say No. I'm not sure how much I'd actually work to bring research in to the therpaist, etc - if it makes you feel resentful to have to defend your position, then don't. Just Say No. Set your boundary as "I will not do Friday pickups."

The only thing you owe to others is to behave with integrity.
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#10 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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9:00 PM is late. But if your DSD is only staying up that late 2 days/month for a few more months, it probably isn't going to damage her forever. Heck, it won't even be dark until that time pretty soon. Have your DH bring her pjs to work and have her change at her mom's before she gets in the car (Because Lord knows her mom probably wouldn't be helpful enough to have her dressed in pjs before he arrives if you guys ask ). There is probably a good chance that she'll fall asleep and your DH can just carry her up to bed.

By the time the summer is over, your DD will be a little bit older and you'll be in more of a groove. I know that for me, by the time DS was that age (8-9 months), I was a lot more used to having a baby, the baby was sleeping a little more regularly, and I was feeling less like postpartum me and more like me. It took about that long, though, and I don't have a chronic illness. So don't be too hard on yourself.

I would put my foot down about doing the pick-up until the end of the summer. Your DSD has two parents, they can work something out between themselves. I love how the stepmom only counts as another parent when it is convenient.

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#11 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I may have missed something on a previous thread, but is it possible to switch to a female therapist - preferably one who has actually had children? I've never had any luck with male therapists understanding women or child-rearing. I think male therapists are great for one-on-one counseling with men, just not for marriage counseling.
I had this thought, too.

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#12 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Exhaustion is dangerous. Get a counselor who understands exhaustion...or print off some reading material for him. Don't do what you know you can't do.

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#13 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I'm going to be the voice of dissent here and say that now you've got your DH going to this therapist, expressing himself to you, standing up to ex more etc., you do NOT want to rock that boat. It seems to me from your other posts that things have improved in many areas. A better strategy is to learn how to adapt your responses to the therapist's inherent biases - sucks to have to do that, but the biggest goal of therapy was to get your dh to stop acting abusive to you, and I think that goal is being met, yes?

"If I'm remembering correctly your DH does not want to pick up your DSD on Saturday mornings. Could you pick her up Saturday mornings? Would that be better for you then Friday night? Maybe that is the compromise?"

This sounds like an excellent idea to me. And it would be a time for dh and dd#2 to have some alone time together. Just nurse her when she wakes, get in the car, and zip on over to pick up dd#1!

Of course, ex may object to not having her Friday nights "free" to do whatevertheheck she usually gets up to while dh is working and you are taking care of her kid. But honestly, who cares? Offer to do an extra weekend day a month to "make it up" if she gets an attitude about it. Your dh would probably love to have an extra weekend day!
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#14 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah the whole mind boggling thing about the therapist... He was telling me that I need to ask for help more and let my husband know what my limits are, so I told him that is what I was doing in regards to pick up... and then somehow that isn't one of the things I can limit. I don't get it.


I don't want to say I will do pickups again come fall because apparantly now DSD's Mom isn't sure which kindergarten place she is sending DSD to. So I have no idea where I'd be volunteering to drive... it could be farther away or something. I don't like commiting to something until I have full details. I need to know how far a commute I'd be looking at...


Oh, yeah, and I love how DH says it's too late for her, but he usually lets DSD stay up much later than that anyway.


I don't know.. I have a feeling DD is going to be ready for some solid introductions come 6 months because she is already showing an interest in food and has been steadily gaining a pincher grasp, and is doing really well on sitting, not unassisted yet, but I can see her to that point in another 2 months.... At that time I'd feel better about re-evaluating and possibly picking up DSD. Heck, even if DSD went to school closer to us, it may not be that big of an issue! I just wish I could communicate this better with DH because he still thinks it's just that his "first born is an inconveinece to me." Which I keep telling him isn't true!!! I just feel like I'm talking to a brick wall half the time.

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#15 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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Try this:
"DH, I would love to pick up DSD but I am so exhausted from working full time, caring for NewBabe, and all the housework I do it's just too much. What can you take off my plate and do instead of me from now on? Great. Thanks. Now, how are we going to arrange for [remaining household tasks] to be done? A cleaning lady? A mother's helper?."
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#16 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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Well, you're a much nicer person than I, because I would have just said "Hey, DH, I'm not picking SD up on Fridays. It's your job, so figure it out."

Because, while this may be an unpopular opinion, it IS your/my DH's job, not ours. I thought what pinksparklybarefoot said was really true: isn't it interesting that stepmothers are only parents when it's convenient?

And, I don't think you got a good therapist. Was this all in the first session? Geeze. I would look for a new one, though now that you got your DH to commit I can see changing therapists being a credibility problem.

So I guess that's my bottom line. I really just don't think you should have to pick your stepdaughter up. I think it's your husband's job (unless you OFFER to do so) and if he works late on Fridays, well, he can figure out what that means. Natural consequences and all.
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#17 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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What concerns me is that the discussion was just again about whether you "should" or "should not" pick her up vs you and your husband getting a better understanding of what the other is feeling. I would want to know more why your husband thinks you find his "first born an inconvenience" and for you to be able to communicate why it's not possible for you and how you do feel about the situation.

I think you need a therapist versed in stepfamily issues. I've heard that counselors not trained in this can actually do more harm than good. I'm listing the list of stepfamily certified counselors in PA below - not sure where you are.

You shouldn't be going to therapy to be told what to do or have someone else judge who is right or wrong in your relationship. You should be going to understand one another better. Your therapist does not sound very good. I would consider alternatives. I just realized all the pple below are women but not sure what to do about that. Maybe the stepfamily expertise would help convince him?

Good luck! If you can't do the pick-up then don't do the pick-up.

PENNSYLVANIA

Doylestown
Jane Kessler MA
Bailiwick II
252 W Swamp Rd., Ste. 56
Doylestown, PA 18901
215-348-8212

Wayne/Lansdale
Elise Artelt, M.Ed, MS
141 W Wayne Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
610-585-0066
EArt54@aol.com

Children's Aid Society
306 Madison Ave.
Lansdale, PA 19446
215-362-8422 x232 / fax 215-362-3112

Media/Lansdowne
Elizabeth Dale Blair, PhD, Licensed Psychologist
16 West Front St.
Media, PA 19063
610-565-1129

14 E. Stratford Rd., Suite 1B
Lansdowne, PA 19050
610-565-1129

Pittsburgh
Heather B. Newman-Trivus, MSW, ACSW
615 Washington Rd, Ste. 504
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
412-343-1009 / newmanh@sprynet.com

Bradfordswoods/Wexford
Anna McManus Gay, Ph.D.
62 Seldom Seen Rd.
Bradfordswoods, PA 15015
724-799-2123
stepfamilyconnection@zoominternet.net

Wexford
Veronica A. Zinkman, LPC
6200 Brooktree Rd. #110
Wexford, PA 15090
Phone: 724-940-7649
Fax: 742-940-7649
leachcounselor@aol.com
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#18 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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*HUGS*

Okay.. Let's think about options.

#1. Ultimatum - I'm not picking her up. It's your job. YOU are the father, and I have my limits. I can't. I won't. Figure it out.

The problem here, is that you DO care about your relationship with your husband, and I get a feeling it won't bring peace to yourself or your marriage, no matter how tempting it is.

#2. Suck it up - and drive sleep deprived and all.

Resentment and exhaustion are not that good of a combination. It will eat you up before it will eat up your marriage. So I'm not sure this is a good option either.

#3. Something in between. Demand a compromise.

"I will pick her up, but you will have to do XYZ for that to happen. I'm tired, I'm exhausted. WE need to figure it out, or we will have serious trouble on our hands." Be honest with your husband, and expect something in return. Tell him you are waiting for his ideas on how to make it work as a couple. NOT on how to make it work on your own, but as a couple. What is he willing to do for you each Friday to make things happen.

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#19 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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What is he willing to do for you each Friday to make things happen.
NOT "each Friday" but throughout the week EACH AND EVERY SINGLE DAY. There is no reason she should be so exhausted by Friday that she can't make the drive. If she's that wiped out, she needs more help ALL THE TIME.
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#20 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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NOT "each Friday" but throughout the week EACH AND EVERY SINGLE DAY. There is no reason she should be so exhausted by Friday that she can't make the drive. If she's that wiped out, she needs more help ALL THE TIME.
You are right, of course.

New endeavor coming soon...
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#21 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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Do you have a fibromyalsia specialist? Somebody I love (my mom) has fibro, and as it happens, a dear friend of mine is a specialist, and through the years has been able to help her to find the "stuff" that helps her to be less achy and less exhausted in day to day life (when she is under stress, though, typically all bets are off!). Two things that help my mom are exercise (yes, it gets worse for the first ten days or so but then she has HUGE improvement) and deep sleep. For exercise, she just walks. I know that my friend suggests swimming, because it is gentle on the body...but my mom almost drowned three times the summer she turned fourteen, so she doesn't swim. They tried to give her zoloft (first) and paxil (when zoloft didn't work) to regulate her pain response and her sleep, but they didn't work. In the end, what DOES seem to work, though, is St. John's Pleasant Thoughts (a muti-supplement that has vitamns, minerals, herbs, and fatty acids) daily with a liquid cal/mag at night before bed and some nights, calms forte as well. When she sleeps well, she is just overall better off. The nice thing about the St Johns Wort is that it is safe when breastfeeding, and helps both with pain and sleep. Also, type A personalities tend to have fibro the most, and the St. Johns seems to make her a tiny bit less type A.

I mentioned all that because if you haven't tried those things, they may help you to have more energy and less pain. And I know...when are you supposed to exercise with a six month old and a full time job? My mom walks on her lunch hour when she can't walk any other time during her day.

Also, I agree, I would find ways to make your life easier. Don't ask permission, instead, tell him that if you are to have more energy at the end of the week, you need to make changes throughout the week. Hire a homeschooling teen to do the housework if you don't already have somebody helping you with that, a grandma from the local church or senior center as a mother's helper in the evening. Find out what shopping, meal planning, and/or meal prep he can do when he is home...what childcare does HE do when he is home?

Have you talked to a LLL Leader about the drugs they want to put you on? I'd suggest having somebody look the drugs up in Hale, rather than depending on the pediatrician for the okay. True, there are drugs that control bi-polar that CAN have an impact on the baby through breastmilk, but there are also similar drugs (listed as alternatives in Hale) that can be taken with significantly less of an impact. I'd check that out if you think it might help and the St John's doesn't work or isnt an option for you.

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#22 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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I thought what pinksparklybarefoot said was really true: isn't it interesting that stepmothers are only parents when it's convenient?

all.
Yes this.
I was and still am flabbergasted that you choose to be in your relationship. I just can't conceive of it. My dh works 50-60 hour weeks, and sometimes goes to get his sons at midnight after a double shift (on non-school nights)...but he would never, EVER in a bazillion years even consider asking me to pack up my 2 kids and drive 1.5 hours round trip to go pick up HIS children. Heck,the first couple months after I have a baby, he wouldn't dream of asking me to WORK, CLEAN or do anything except eat, sleep and nurse/feed the older child. Seriously. A decent man steps up when his wife has a baby, he doesn't guilt her into taking care of his other kids at the expense of her health. :

I'm just....appalled.

I'm not even sure what else to say.

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#23 of 27 Old 05-11-2009, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is a lot of really great advice here! Thank you so much!!

Bronxmom, that list is soo helpful! No one is very close to us, though. But I may call the one in Lansdale and perhaps they can recommend a colleague that is closer? Worth a try anyway...


Courtney, I will have to look into St. John's. I do know getting proper sleep makes me feel 1000 times better!! Unfortunately it is really hard for me to get into a good sleep, and by time baby gets to bed for the night, I am only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. A good night I will get 6. And I know that is my biggest problem right now. I do walk at work when I get a spare moment and that moment isn't used to pump. lol I have found a lot of tricks to help manage my fibro over the years as all the meds they were giving me did nothing or made other things worse, so a few years ago I got off everything and started on a natural road. Unfortunately the things that I found that help the most with my mangement are rest and hot baths... neither of which come easy with a little babe. So I'm trying the best I can...


As for DH stepping up more during the week? He already does do a lot around the house. He cleans the bathrooms and vacuums. He even unloaded the dishwasher a couple of times last week for me. Cooking is split up pretty even between us too. He really has stepped up to helping out around the house. And he is the care provider for DD in the mornings.

I am afraid my exhaustion at the end of the week is no one's fault but my own. I just have not gotten the fibro under control since birth. I have only really had it very manageable for a year. This is actually my first year being able to work full time since I got really sick. Throw into the mix a nursling and I'm kind of back at square one trying to get my pain and exhaustion all balanced again.


As for the thoughts on it is DH's kid and he should be doing the pick up... I am only half on board with it. I have always wanted to provide an equal home to all our children. And DH has always faught me on it, but I told him I would not raise the children separately and so it was important for us all to be a family. DH has really come around to this since DD was born and now it's like I have to prove I still mean it and love his DD just as much or something... And I do love my DSD very much! I'd do anything for her, just like my own DD. But sometimes I feel he should do some things more because well, he is her Dad.

I think as of right now he will be picking her up on Fridays... but it is a sore and sensitive issue between us. I wish the therapist did more like what bronxmom has pointed out and helped facilitate conversation to get us to understand each other instead of sort of point out who needs to step up or whatever. I'm just not loving this guy at all.

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#24 of 27 Old 05-12-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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Have you talked to a LLL Leader about the drugs they want to put you on? I'd suggest having somebody look the drugs up in Hale, rather than depending on the pediatrician for the okay. True, there are drugs that control bi-polar that CAN have an impact on the baby through breastmilk, but there are also similar drugs (listed as alternatives in Hale) that can be taken with significantly less of an impact. I'd check that out if you think it might help and the St John's doesn't work or isnt an option for you.
When I had DS, I received very different information from the lactation consultant at the hospital (who had a copy of Hale's) than from the family practice dr that had been prescribing my medications. It might be worth a shot to talk to someone who is well-versed in nursing and meds.

ETA - When I mentioned the bipolar to DH, he was pretty surprised. His mom has it, so he views bipolar as a pretty serious diagnosis. It has been pretty debilitating for her. Are you sure this diagnosis is correct?

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#25 of 27 Old 05-12-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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I think you need a new therapist. Your current one sucks quite frankly.

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#26 of 27 Old 05-12-2009, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ETA - When I mentioned the bipolar to DH, he was pretty surprised. His mom has it, so he views bipolar as a pretty serious diagnosis. It has been pretty debilitating for her. Are you sure this diagnosis is correct?
Honestly... I'm not sure. lol I think the pyschologist I was seeing was quick to label me. I was sent to him from the therapist I was seeing for post partum depression and he quickly decided I had bi-polar and wanted to get me on meds. I did do some of my own research on the med and was uncomfortable with the research that it could build up to too high of dosages in the baby and that was part of my decision to not take it.

I have battled depression all of my life, but most people with fibromyalgia have. I have been in therapy on and off over the years and the only consistent label I have received is mania, as in I don't like to sit idle and need projects going on at all times. lol Kind of funny considering how exhausted I am all the time.

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#27 of 27 Old 05-13-2009, 10:08 AM
 
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Yeah. Your therapist is not the boss of you - just an advisor. In your shoes, I'd Just Say No. I'm not sure how much I'd actually work to bring research in to the therpaist, etc - if it makes you feel resentful to have to defend your position, then don't. Just Say No. Set your boundary as "I will not do Friday pickups."
Absolutely. JSMa, you have GOT to take care of yourself mama.

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