I started the steroid Tuesday morning bright and early right after my OBGYN gave the thumbs up. FYI, steroid taste NASTY. Which is probably common knowledge, but since most of my steroid doses in the past have been via injection to the ass, the taste bud aspect of it was avoided completely. And root beer, does the opposite of helping the taste. Just trust me on this. Mt Dew (2 a day early morning to help with chronic headaches that nothing else helps) on the other hand is a bit smoother. The first bite of cereal (the milk actually) removes all after taste. So if you have to take a steroid, immediately chase it with cereal. Really.
So train of thought derailed there. Where was I?
Steroid started Tuesday. 10 days worth. 6 the first two days each, 4 the next two, etc. It would take 2-3 days to kick in but then I’d be good. Only, it didn’t kick in. It’s been 4 days and it’s not even trying. To add to the fun, every joint in my body is suddenly inflamed and well fuckin‘ ow. Which I’d deal with if the sciatica was gone or going, because the sciatica is by far worse, but all of it together… There is literally nothing left on me that doesn’t hurt.
Today is Friday. I was suppose to be at work at 10AM this morning. That realization yesterday complied with the degree of pain and no end in sight, led to the final push towards my mental break down. I was terrified that on my feet three really long days in a row would take a bad situation and make it worse. I’ve already been paralyzed in my right leg on and off for the past 2 weeks, how much more could I take? BTW, spending hours crying DOES NOT help with massive headaches. No amount of Mt Dew will change that.
So this morning I was back at my regular doc. We agreed that the steroid needed to stop immediately. He has me out of work until the 4th. And then I brought up the mental health.
I understand that the sciatica (etc) is not life threatening to me or the baby, so while working isn’t really an option, neither is short term disability. My mental health, however, is a different story.
Let’s be honest. I’ve been struggling with my mental health since I went off my meds. All that time I was miserable but it was doable. x number of weeks and I can have my meds back. Just get through this day. I also was smart enough, and know me well enough at this point, to know that while my BPD wasn’t helping, if I was in a better work situation and wasn’t dealing with so much pain (months ago it was the constant cramping and the occasional bleeding) I would be closer to fine. So I pushed through. Zoloft wasn’t going to fix a physical condition.
Things took their turn for the worse these past few weeks with the breaking point yesterday. In the height of my pain and the fear of what working would do, but knowing money was GONE and I had no choice but to return to work… I was at the point where I was ready to kill myself if it meant I didn’t have to make that decision. Now let me stress here and now that me being pregnant means my life has a greater purpose for the next 10 weeks, so ending things is NOT an option. My life is supporting another life. So no matter how much I want to (oh sweet blessed release) I won’t. And once I’m no longer pregnant and I’m free, well I’ll also be out of the constant hell of being in pain and have the added bonus of my meds. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to get there.
When I called off this morning, it was met with understanding (I want to stress that work has actually been VERY supportive every single second of this current saga) but was told point blank I needed to get on medical leave. Mostly so that they could have it in the system, I wouldn’t be added on the schedule, I wouldn’t be calling off, and they would be able to accommodate in advance without being short a person. Logic. I have no complaint. None.
So it was no matter a point of if I went on leave, but could I find a way to have it be paid. I’ve been paying into short term disability for a year now, I need it.
My reg doc couldn’t do it, it was out of his jurisdiction (mental and gynecological). So that left my OBGYN or my Psychologist. I knew with the physical issues not being a threat to the baby, my OBGYN couldn’t do it, but well, like I’ve established, my mental health is well at that point, and mental health is grounds for short term disability.
My next appointment with my meds doctor is Wednesday. I did call to see if by some miracle there had been a cancellation and I could get in earlier, no such luck. I did however, knowing I couldn’t go til Wednesday stressing and not knowing, decide to go ahead and call her.
I filled her in on everything. Well, the condensed version, she’ll get the full story on Wednesday, but she does agree without hesitation that work REALLY isn’t an option and that I do mental health wise qualify for that disability check. So she is filling out the paperwork on Wednesday.
And so this is what it feels like to have a 1000 pound weight suddenly removed from your shoulders.
I have a couple of weeks before that first check kicks in. And it will in no way be a full check. But it will help us survive. We’ll have to be smart, but there will be something.
And I can spend however long this takes focusing on my health (physical, mental, emotional) and getting better instead of scared shitless that my health is going to land my family on the streets.
Meanwhile, as for the sciatica, there is nothing else we can do. No more follow-ups. Nothing. The only option was the steroid and it didn’t work so that leaves nothing. I can’t take pain meds without harming the baby, physical therapy just makes it worse. There is no magic pill other than the steroid. So that’s it. It will sort itself out. Sometime in the next few weeks, or after the baby is born, I’ll be ok.
All the other pains (cramps, back, head, etc) will work themselves out when the baby is born as well. Those are all within the realms of pregnancy. Pregnancy is no picnic and apparently the third will do you in. But they are a part of the pregnancy package.
As for the hospital, because that I’m sure is a question at least one of you has. I did bring it up with my meds doc on the phone today. At this point, there really is no point. They can’t put me on meds, I’m already in therapy, and I have a shrink. That’s what the hospital does for you. (Well, besides take away sharp objects.) I’m in crisis mode but not willing to follow through. So it’s would be a bed, in a ward, away from my family who is currently my strength, and would make seeing my OBGYN every 2 weeks a bit harder. Not to mention my in hospital mental health team wouldn’t be my already in place mental health team who knows me and my history and what I really need to survive. I’ll increase the frequency of seeing my meds doctor if we decide it’s needed, I’ll make sure I’m in therapy as often as needed. And other than that, that’s all we can do. So there isn’t currently a point to a hospital stay. It would do more harm than good. And yes, I know a lot of mentally ill people refuse hospitals when they really need to be there. I’m usually the one saying suck it up and go. They can help. But I’m really already getting that help. And that silly piece of paper my doctor is filling out Wednesday is what I need the most, and knowing it’s in my future is in itself more help than the hospital could be.
Should things change, and believe me as always I have a dozen pairs of eyes intently focused on me, I’ll be there in a heart beat. And if it’s anything like last time, it’ll be my idea.
In the meantime, of all the pills I’m looking forward to popping in 10 weeks, I think I’m actually looking forward to an Ibuprofen (or stronger) the most. Because really, if I wasn’t in so much constant pain for so very long, my mental health would be in a much better place.