11 December 2013

What's happening to me?

Here I recall when everything went a bit weird, and why.

I was utterly convinced that I'd give birth and be one of those women who still looked pregnant, forever. I'm not lucky when it comes to how I look and I have to try quite hard to look nice so I was sure I'd probably quadruple in size in pregnancy and never revert to normal. You can, therefore, imagine my surprise and delight when my beautiful baby was born and I was back to my pre-pregnancy size. Not skinny, because I never was, but I hadn't quadrupled in size and I hadn't morphed into a weird Mr Blobby shaped version of myself. That was all I could have hoped for.

Unfortunately the delight at not being permanently huge was short lived because now I had to work out how to keep this little human alive. No plump faced, homely, warm smiled apparition of a fairy godmother appeared to tell me how on earth to do this so I had to work it out myself. Somehow, despite the lack of apparition, I managed. We bumped along together, Molly working out the world around her and me working out her.

When Molly was 5 months old I went back to work. After a few tears, at the thought of my baby wondering where I'd gone and me not being able to explain to her, I settled back into work with minimal upheaval. I likened that bit to the uncanny ability of a situation such as animals being lead into a truck to go to slaughter, or a dog to the vets, or a child for vaccinations to reduce me to tears without fail. I am just not programmed to deal with another person or animal thinking everything's ok and as it was, when it isn't. It really gets to me. This felt like that.

As we all adapted to our new regime I became less and less able to cope with everyday stuff, with life. I was putting on loads of weight, couldn't stay awake and could not stop crying. With the 'able' assistance of Google I managed to persuade myself I had postnatal depression. Or was it anaemia? I'm always anaemic. That makes me tired and cold. Not fat though. Shit, was I eating too much because I was cold and tired. Or was it postnatal depression? Depression, really? I've heard that can make you fat. But I am one of those people who don't believe in depression, for me anyway. I am not denying it in others. I just don't get depressed. I get on with stuff. It's what I do. Anyway, I wasn't right so I went to the doctors. Something else I never do. 

The NHS website will tell you that 'An underactive thyroid means your thyroid gland, located in the neck, does not produce enough hormones. Common signs of an underactive thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed.' Why did nobody tell me? Textbook broken thyroid. Phew. I had armed myself with every possible defence I could in case he tried to put me on anti-depressants but luckily he, being a doctor, was able to spot a very obvious textbook condition. The relief swelled up around me and washed away all my irrational fears that motherhood had somehow broken me. I could go back to working out how to help my baby to grow, to be happy and to discover the world around her, which was what I was trying to do when it all went weird.

Just over 2 years in and I am much better on medication which replaces the hormone that my thyroid gland can't be bothered to produce anymore. It needs tweaking from time to time because it is a hormone issue and the body is constantly chucking in curve balls to mess with the hormones therefore you can't assume that the levels of the drugs will stay correct. I still fall asleep a lot and get fat easily and, apparently, I am allowed to blame the Hypothyroidism but I have to make sure that I balance that with the effects of working too hard and eating too much. Other afflictions of mine.   

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