Oscillating Wildly

March 12, 2009 at 1:10 am (Uncategorized)

It was the drugs what made me do it, officer… Wow, I cannot articulate the improvement in my state of mind over the past 24 hours. It is a physical, palpable sensation of my head having cleared. I realised it yesterday afternoon: I felt like myself again. I felt well, I felt clear, cheerful, energised…mentally and physically fit and well. And it was only when I met Llew at the ferry last night that I realised there had been a distinct shift. “How are you?” he said, and I stopped, thought about it, and said, “I’ve just realised I feel great for the first time in weeks. My head’s cleared.” And he looked at me and said, “You actually look healthier.”

On the other side of it, it’s only now becoming screamingly apparent to me that I was in a drug-induced fug. That miserable person is not me – I am a born optimist. That self-pitying, downhearted person – you know the one – is some hormonal monster that swept in and devoured my soul. I feel like I have exorcised something terrible. And you know, it makes me super dubious about continuing with these fertility meds. Clearly it caused a little estrogen tsunami to kick off inside me, and the results were pretty diabolical compared to the way I usually feel. I tell you, it’s in my HEAD. I can actually feel the lightness and clarity returning to my head. 

What a relief. I honestly can’t describe the shift from that state to this – it’s marked, and it’s further confirmed my general preference for not taking drugs for anything unless it’s absolutely necessary. I am going to return to my GP and my obs/gyn guy and ask if this is Really Absolutely Necessary. Because the last few weeks have been shit, with the notable exception of the retreat at Aireys Inlet, where I think I was so euphoric about being with the Darklings and having our Virtual Varuna that I kicked some kind of override switch. 

And just in case we were in any doubt about whether or not this was going to be a better day, I’ve also been granted a stay of execution… or at least persecution. My sister called this morning, and I thought it was to confirm the arrival time of their flight for Nana’s scheduled return home today. The one thing I didn’t expect her to say, of all the possible things she could have said, was “I had a call from St Andrews this morning, and they’ve offered her another fortnight’s respite,” but that, my friends, is what they said to her and what she then said to me. Talk about rescue at the 11th hour. I just spluttered down the line, scarcely able to believe the change of fortune. Needless to say, she leapt on the offer the second she recovered her own power of speech. Oh, the RELIEF. What I didn’t know until yesterday is that Nana has no recollection of her life prior to St Andrews, no concept of home being elsewhere, and no desire to return to wherever the hell Kate’s threatening to take her to. She can’t understand what it’s all about, nor why she has to move anywhere at all. Well, unfortunately the reprieve is only going to last another two weeks, but seriously, that feels like the best Christmas ever. I am still in shock. Happy shock. 

So there you go, the pendulum swings and moods improve and things get better. One of the other things I noticed yesterday, when I started emerging from the fertility fog, was that I called up a couple of friends I hadn’t spoken to in ages. I initiated contact because I wanted to know how they were and realised I didn’t really know. I didn’t want to talk about myself, I wanted to hear about them, and it’s only now as I reflect on the last few weeks that I realise all that looking inward was perhaps a symptom of this drug’s effect on me. I wonder if it wasn’t almost a form of depression, because certainly every single person I’ve ever known with depression has also been sort of narcissistic and self-absorbed, and that’s exactly how I’d characterise my own recent obsessions with self. Interesting from a purely intellectual perspective, but frightening at the same time. 

Thanks for bearing with me.



  1. davidrochester said,

    This may be an entirely inappropriate suggestion, and I don’t mean to be presumptuous at all, it’s just that it crossed my mind … have you ever considered, or tried, fertility treatments via acupuncture? I’ve known several people for whom the strategy has been effective, without the debilitating side effects of drugs. Women’s health is one of those things that Chinese medicine tends to be very good at.

  2. charlotteotter said,

    So glad you are feeling better, and that you have had good news about your Nan. Also the insight about the drugs seems to be a good thing. I would be interested to hear what your docs have to say.

  3. Jenny said,

    Hurray! Particularly good news about Nan.

  4. doctordi said,

    It’s not inappropriate in the slightest, David! Good heavens. Presume away, please! Yes, I was talking Chinese medicine down at Aireys on the retreat… one of the Darklings had good luck with a Chinese herbal concoction… evil tasting, no doubt, but successful. I’ve never had acupuncture… the sight of all those pins sticking out of people has always put me off, but I have no needle or pin phobia as such, so maybe I’ll give it a go. A good friend of mine goes, or at least was going… I’ll ask her about it.

    Thanks, Charlotte! I will definitely feed back onto the blog what the docs say…or I’ll post you a note on your own blog. I haven’t made an appointment yet because I hate going, but I will. I think the more women share information about these experiences, the more we can help each other through these grey areas.

    Yes, Charlotte and Jenny, GREAT news about Nana! So this is what overjoyed looks like… man, if they had offered her a permanent bed, I don’t think my heart could have handled the excitement.

  5. piereth said,

    Wonderful news about your Nana, and it’s just what she needs, and you too I suspect.

    The hormones issue is a toughie. The chemical cosh of fertility meds is totally debilitating, and frankly overkill of a most invasive type. I like David’s idea, and it might be worthwhile seeing a registered medical herbalist as well. See if you can cajole your body into producing what’s required to kickstart the baby cycle!

  6. Pete said,

    Yay re the mood upswing and the nana respite! I must add on the acupuncture issue that my sister (who hates needles) swears by her Chinese acunpuncturist. Doesn’t hurt a bit and apparently they’re very good about balancing whatever needs to be balanced. Worth a try. And having been through a few of those depressed / narcissistic / self-absorbed phases, I can just say yay for coming out the other side. But it’s always interesting to read what you post – self-absorbed or not. And, while we’re on the subject, doing Masters in Psych is such an inward-looking phase that I’m heartily glad it’s over.

  7. piereth said,

    … just thought I’d add that when I glanced quickly at the heading of your post, I for some reason thought you’d written ‘Oscar Wilding’. Don’t ask. You MAY ask what Oscar Wilding might entail – again, perhaps its better to draw a veil of decency…!

    This is what bid preparation does to me. I’m off to a darkened room and some neat oxygen.

  8. Lilian Nattel said,

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling better, and wonderful about more respite for Nana.

  9. doctordi said,

    Thanks, team – Piereth, a friend in my book club had a great experience with a naturopath, so I’m feeling inclined to try her myself, especially as she’s local. Again, alternative medicine has been a big void for me to date, I haven’t needed the conventional variety often enough to start thinking of what else is out there (and believe me, this is an inexperience I value very highly!!), but now might be the time.

    Okay, you realise I will now HAVE to Google ‘Oscar Wilding,’ don’t you?!

    Oh, Pete, good, this is just the sort of anecdotal evidence I need to hear. Afraid of needles AND loves the acupuncture… yes, that is most encouraging, particularly because, as I say, needles don’t worry me. I think I’m just (hold onto your hats) a little bit of a sceptic… but these are ancient remedies, so far be it from me to dismiss them out of hand. I will definitely follow this up. And thanks for the licence to post freely even when I’m feeling blue. Yes, I bet that is a huge relief for you, and it’s probably still sinking in.

    Lilian, thank you, and yes, isn’t it though?! And the most important thing, of course, is that it’s wonderful for Nana. I am scared about her reentry once respite is over, and can’t help holding on to the vague hope that a permanent spot may suddenly, somehow materialise. Wishful thinking, but I can’t help it.

  10. litlove said,

    I’m feeling a little smug here because I just knew it was the drugs. Your writing sounded like the inside of my head when I have bad PMT. So…. I would heartily second David’s suggestion. I’ve worked with a Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist and what they can do is amazing. And wow, good news about nana. I am so glad you are feeling better, and that you have another fortnight to really feel expansive in.

  11. doctordi said,

    Litlove, it was EXACTLY like a long, unbroken stretch of PMT, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Right, that’s it. You’ve all convinced me. There’s bound to be at least one of each in Man Town and I will busy myself sniffing them out…

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