Sunday, May 4, 2014

PPD (Maybe?) Update

Last week I wrote how I'm thinking I might have PPD, or some sort of carry over emotional stuff from the stroke (or both).

I knew things were pretty bad, and I just didn't want to feel that way for any longer. So, with gentle prodding from DH, instead of just keeping my head above water, I decided to try and be proactive. Here's what I did last week (hopefully this list can help anyone wondering what things they can do in a similar situation):

1. I called someone for help. I called a women who facilitates a PPD support group who is available 24/7 to talk, and she helped me calm down and reassure me I was doing all the right things to get back on the rails. I also talked to a couple friends and I now know I can count on them to help if we need it.

2. I went to my family doctor. She did the Edinburgh Scale (for potential PPD), and I scored 12. She also tested my blood for various things that could be (or adding to) the problem (glucose, thyroid, iron, B12, etc.). Turns out I'm anemic and my thyroid level is low. I am now taking iron supplements and I'm getting my thyroid re-tested in a couple of weeks.

3. I made an appointment to see Carter's paediatrician. She thought his restless sleep was due to congestion as he was getting over a cold. She also suggested giving him water at night instead of formula -- since he hasn't had a nighttime bottle for months, she though he was probably dehydrated.

4. I made an appointment with a counsellor who works with women who have PPD. We went over my history and discussed things I want to address and work on. I really liked her and I hope she can help me work through some things. I'll see her every 2 weeks to begin with and go from there if we're a good match.

5. I started to take better care of myself. I got more sleep (DH took on the Carter-care at night, and I got a good sleep every night). I went to the gym a couple times, put Carter in the daycare, and went swimming. I made sure I was eating 3 meals a day and a couple of snacks.

6. I started tracking my mood. In my journal, each day I record how I felt overall that day. :) for a good day, :| for a "meh" day,  :S for frazzled, :( for a bad day, and :'( for a really bad day.

So, a week and a bit later after my crash, how am I feeling now? Not back 100% (whatever that means for me these days), but I feel like I'm doing things to make progress on addressing some of the issues that have come up from time to time the last few months. One good thing is I have more good days than bad, and I just need to remember the good times when I'm not doing so well. And to also remember that, usually, if one day is really bad, the next day will be better somehow.

Basically, this whole parenting, getting over a stroke, and being an adult thing is hard!