Sunday, May 24, 2009

After 5 year, I'm finally back!

You may think that my post title is a little weird, but I assure you that its 100% fitting! It has been a real struggle these past 5 years and I'm finally out of my funk - thank you Lord! In March I really started to pray that God would take away my weariness and allow me to regain some of my pre-children energy. You may laugh, but since pregnancy with Drew, fatigue has ruled my life. It wasn't odd for me to get 10-12 hours of sleep each night. I've had other weird quirky things going on too, but in the last 6 months it has all compounded into - complete fatigue, lack of ambition, irritability, episodes of depression, tension, and a few other symptoms I won't name. I have been trying to exercise routinely since January and end up so tired afterwords that I can't even keep my eyes open to watch the kids. My exhaustion had turned into a huge issue! The Lord was so faithful to listen and wait patiently to "heal" me at just the right time.

I'm a naturalist at heart, my first son was suppose to be born in our home by a midwife, but due my body going into preterm labor at 20 weeks, we had to go with plan B - bed rest and a dreaded hospital stay for 5 weeks and a hospital delivery. Due to an incompetent cervix & pregnancy induced hypertension, my home birth plans were sadly terminated. Both boys were born about 4 weeks early using natural childbirth methods - just so I got to control a little of their birth! I love organic food and dream of having my own chickens and acreage someday - maybe a diary cow too? Can't forget the horses either! We plan to home school the kids and use a natural/classical method, we love the nature God created! So when I was diagnosed with TMD back in 1996, it didn't really fit into my earthy/naturalistic plans!

During my high school years I was diagnosed with TMD (or TMJ) which is a condition where your TM joint in your jaw gets inflamed and if left untreated can wreak havoc with your entire body. Due to the timing, it was probably caused by my late high school braces! I had some mild symptoms in high school, some upper body muscular pain and my jaw would lock for various periods of time. I saw a chiropractor and suffered through the pain until moving to Texas in 2003. TMD is aggravated with stress, so getting married, moving, changing my job function, and setting up a life in a foreign place sent my body into stress and my jaw locked shut. It was great on the figure, I had a hard time eating, I was exhausted, I clenched my teeth almost continually, but especially at night. After 6 months of marriage I seriously wanted to die. I couldn't sleep, eat, think, I had a continual migraine and I remember just laying bed crying all night long because everything hurt so much. The next day John forced me to go to a TMD specialist who prescribed a whole ton of stuff, including a high tech mouth guard, physiotherapy treatments, nerve block treatments, muscle creams, and an oral muscle relaxant. I was desperate and forking over $4,000 to cover it was an easy choice - even though we didn't have the money and had to take out a medical loan to cover it. Within a week I was able to tell a difference and months later all the symptoms had subsided (not eliminated, but it was at least 50% better and I was able to function!) except for my jaw unlocking. It actually remained locked through two years of treatment - God miraciously healed it one trip to Oregon when 8 weeks pregnant with Drew. My doctor had told me I was the 5% he couldn't fix and that I would require surgery to unlock my jaw. My insurance refused to cover the 20,000 surgery so I had prayed and left the rest in God's hands. He worked a miracle - even my doctor was in disbelief!

When I became pregnant a few years later my O.B. had to switch me from my TMD medication to a more researched drug - flexeril because it was FDA approved for pregnancy. I remained on flexeril for 5 years never knowing that it was making my body crazy the longer I stayed on it! The longer I remained on it, the more my body reacted. I blamed all my symptoms on the fact that I was pregnant, or a new mom, or nursing, or not getting enough sleep, or stress, or a mother of two, but never had a clue it was from the medications I'd been taking for over 5 years.

A few months ago I was getting low on the flexeril and my jaw hadn't been bothering me too much so I decided to only take it every other night, then it would last until my next appointment and I wouldn't have to make a special trip for a refill. I soon noticed a trend, one good day - one bad day - one good day - one bad day! Then it all came out, my body was reacting to the drugs each night and my symptoms were due to an adverse reaction. I always wondered why mornings were really hard for me and evenings I seemed to feel "normal!" I chatted with my doctor about this on Thursday and she replied, "yes, flexeril can really make you tired." What, it was way more than just being a little tired, I feel like my brain has been in a fog for 5 years and I'm just waking up. Just in case you may think it is only me that notices my change in attitude, here are two responses from my family this past week. I had to laugh at them both, though Drew's comment really made me feel bad.
John: "So, you've been really sweet lately, did the doctor tell you anything I should know about? (AKA - are you pregnant or something?)"

Me: "Not really, what do you mean?"

John: " Your not dieing or anything, right? You've just been acting sweeter than normal."

Me: I laughed and continued rubbing his feet!
Drew Sunday morning over breakfast: "Mommy, have you decided to be nice to daddy?"
Me: "What!" "I'm always nice to daddy!"
Drew: "Oh, well, your nice to Daddy now."

So, there you have it! The past few weeks I've been going through detox (I think). Each new day brings emotions, energy, tiredness, clarity, confusion, and a whole ton of other cleansing feelings. Last week must have been when most of the drugs were completely out of my system because I actually wanted to go to the gym and work out at 5:00 am - what is that all about! I've been praying for so long to have energy enough to keep up with the boys, God is so faithful to also give me energy to work out and get up early.

The exercising has also relieved much of my tension in my upper back and neck so I'm not even needing the tratizone that my OB prescribed - it is nice to have the option in case I can't get rid of the tension with stretching. So, on MWF's you will find me going to bed early, taking a 5:30 am spinning class with my neighbor, and then heading to Starbucks for some quiet "me" time to read my bible and just relax until heading home by 8:00 am. So far, I've been returning to a quiet house of sleeping family members, so maybe my new found energy is actually wearing them out too! I'm loving this phase of life! I pray it lasts a long time!

1 comment:

Megan said...

I am very excited for you- that you are feeling more "like yourself" and I can't believe you are waking up that early to work out! WOW!