Extol December 2019 - January 2020 - Page 36

A LESSON OF LOSS AND GAIN and had gained a lot of weight. I was unusually fatigued and has trouble sleeping. I was always on edge and easily upset about trivial things like messes or scheduling issues, and the more out of control I felt, the more controlling became, which any parent or newlywed knows is not a recipe for success. My family doctor suggested antidepressants. I was hesitant but welcomed the possibility of help. I try to look back now and imagine the toll on the family that I loved so deeply, but the truth is I don’t remember much of it because as I was going through the awful ordeal, my memory and attention span failed me, and I was having full blackouts where I couldn’t remember anything from my day. I also had trouble recalling things from my long-term memory. When prompted to recall things about my childhood, I could remember very little, as if all of those memories had disappeared overnight. I remember calling my husband in a panic, all of a sudden desperate to remember what my life had been like as a child. When my doctors’ solution to my symptoms was simply to up the dosage on my antidepressants, I knew they weren’t taking me seriously. This I WAS TOLD I WAS CRAZY, LITERALLY, MORE THAN ONCE. - SALLY HUGHES wasn’t depression, although that became a common theme over the course of my journey. Soon, I became completely unrecognizable to myself. I was so exhausted at times that I couldn’t get up and walk from one room to the next without having to lay down and take a nap. I would sleep for 14 hours straight and not feel rested. When I slept well, I had nightmares and night sweats. And I was in so much physical pain, I could no longer exercise at all. My joints ached so badly at times that I felt sure that my 85-year-old grandmother could move easier than I could. I ached getting in and out of the car and going up and down stairs. My muscle pain was so severe that something brushing against my skin would cause me to wince in pain. My husband would try to massage my achy muscles, but it was so painful that I couldn’t tolerate the touch. My moods were all over the place, too. I had anxiety attacks on a daily basis. The smallest stressors became unmanageable. I developed chemical sensitivities that were so intense I had to avoid places that used air fresheners, people who wore perfume and banned all chemical cleaning products from our house. I stopped having bowel movements on a regular LOvE WhErE YOu LIvE Each Office Independently Owned & Operated 300 LaFollette Station S, Ste 305, Floyds Knobs, Indiana 47119 Paul Kiger grouP 5 02 . 3 1 4 . 674 8 | PAU LKIG E R G R O U P.CO M