Friday, July 6, 2007

The Doldrums of ICP


That's how it feels. I think I've been hit with another symptom of cholestasis. Depression.

I started noticing a week or so ago that I wasn't getting anything accomplished. Like probably everyone else in the world I've got a nice long list of things I'd like to do when time allows. Well, in the past week I've actually had plenty of time but no gumption to do. One day I even pulled out my sewing stuff in preparation to sew the Bunny a skirt. But that's as far as it got. A few days later I stashed the sewing kit again before a realtor tour.
It's an insidious thing, depression. You think you're tired, even though you slept fine. You're not hungry or maybe you are but you don't care enough to go cook up a meal. Or maybe you're not but you find yourself eating a muffin anyway. The smallest inconvenience stops you in your tracks. You can't quite squeeze out the smile you know someone deserves. Your inner voice grumbles. You lose your resiliency. It takes twice as long to get out the door, you keep hoping you don't really have to go. I sobbed for an hour after seeing 12 more dead US soldiers on the Newshour. They deserve my tears, but still.

At least now I am pretty confident that it is a symptom of this curious, deadly disease I'm harboring. The only blip on my blood tests now is a *very* slight dip in my blood proteins. My OB explained that that number would dip significantly if anything was wrong with my liver, so far so good she says. But I itch all over. Like sitting in an invisible swarm of mosquitoes.

Today I saw my OB and told her that I'd found studies online saying that multiple courses of steroids have more risks than benefits for babies. She wasn't pleased. She told me that she would never prescribe something that could harm me or the baby. She clearly resented the implication. I felt really bad questioning her judgment but I'm the one I have to live with. Still, it was hard to sit there and look her in the face as she told me how misguided I was. Dh was there. He kept quiet. Originally I'd hoped he could pretend to have been the one to find the information and pretend it was on his orders I hadn't gotten my shots. But when the time came I was the one who had the printouts to give her. He said afterwards that he hadn't wanted her to feel ganged up on and that he is confident that by our next meeting in three weeks she will have found a face-saving way to agree with me. I think he's probably right and I don't want her to feel like we're ganging up on her. But it still sucked in the moment to be the only one on the other side of that line, sticking up for myself by myself.

Dh knows what it's like to feel ganged up on. The past couple of weeks have been rough ones for him. We've come so far together since February 2006 when we were practically strangers, angry ones at that. But we aren't through the thicket yet no matter how much we want to be. But I have a different point of view about what it takes to get there, one our therapist shares, and so every week he feels like it's two against one, like he's being bullied. I hope that his defenses, old ugly ones that in the past drove me into the worst place I can imagine going, are in their death throes. I am daring to hope that they are. And yet it is such a delicate balance. Encourage, bait, pull, side-step, redirect, confront, comfort. It feels like we are looking down the same path but where I see a little bit more rough going and then a beautiful clear opening beyond, he sees a dark, dangerous cavern with no light within to guide us. And yet, despite this depression which is tugging at me, I feel so much stronger than I have in years. I'm ready for this final battle to pull him through the wall, the forcefield that surrounds him and lies to him of its protective nature. It can't keep out how much I love him, how much I want to free him. And he can't suppress his love either, he's got too much that needs to get credit, too much for such extreme caution. I know he will soon be startled with the clarity that's coming. It is so close. We can practically touch it.


Katherine said...

Oh, Penelope, your last paragraph is so beautiful. I am glad you feel strong and I hope you are very close to that beautiful clearing. You've been at this a long time, and I wish you all the perseverance and faith you need to see it through.