I go through a lot of ups and downs these days. The phrase about transplant recovery being a roller coaster is no joke! I also struggle with depression, due to the MS, and exacerbated by my new life of disability, recovery, and minimal energy. Instead of complaining about how crappy I’ve been feeling lately, I am going to write about how to get out of a real depression funk.
The first step is something I cannot really help you with. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. The first thing you need to have is the hope of feeling better. You have to have a plan in place to know that you are going to start feeling better soon. For me, it is the hope that we’ve finally figured out how to get my meds and serotonin levels more stabilized and someone is finally listening to me.
Once you’ve got that piece figured out and you can feel a little better, it’s time to start thinking about how to enjoy life again! I personally need a lot of social interaction in my life in order to stay happy. Not having a job that make it necessary to interact with people on a daily basis makes this part difficult. And kids do not count! This means I have to make plans for lunch dates, make more phone calls, and make it out of the house every day.
The other very important piece is to love yourself every day. I am using the term ‘love’ as a verb. This means I have to do something intentional to take care of me every day. Today, I went for a walk/jog, and I’m going to lunch with a friend. I am also going to style my hair before I go out. These are things I enjoy. That is very important. You have to take care of yourself! This is something I often forget to do, but you can’t take care of others if you do not take care of yourself first.
I also know that enjoy life so much more when I exercise. It is hard to do it without energy, and impossible to do when I’m depressed, but I think I can finally get back to it now. This makes me feel better. Whatever you do for just you, it a necessary thing nearly every day.
For fun, and to prove to you all I have not given up on my book, I am going to give you all another sneak peak at what is to come! I am really feeling like I need to get this book done and published soon. This last chapter I’ve been working is going through the transplant when I was staying at the hospital. I decided that it is intriguing if I write this part from everyone’s own voice; going back and forth from caretaker, to caretaker, to me and back. I had everyone take detailed notes of this part because I knew I was going to write a book, and I knew I would not remember it all. This is not to say this won’t change before publishing, but this is what I’m doing for now.
This particular part is using my mothers voice when I got my stem cells back:
At 1:50 Rachel spoke to me, but I couldn’t understand her. When I went closer and asked her to repeat herself, I realized that her speech was slurred and what I could decipher didn’t make sense. That led to a flurry of phone calls, an army of staff showing up, the bed being wheeled out to the elevator, emerging on the imaging floor and into a cat scan room. As she was wheeled away from me, she could no longer respond to me in any way. She was completely unconscious.
Scared and alone, I debated about what to do and realized there was nothing for me to do but wait for information. Both Josh and Mike (the main support team) were in cars with kids, so calling them without any useful information would only lead to potential panic. Luckily a nurse came out and explained the CT Scan had ruled out a brain bleed and that was very good news. Good news or not Rachel was still out of it and there was, as yet, no answer as to what had happened. Back up to the 8th floor and down again to imaging for another look at her brain. By this time they were asking me if Rachel had had seizures in the past, to which I answered “no.”