Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I feel like we deserve to catch a break. The last two years have been, to say the least, stressful.

Liz had two miscarriages. Both required surgical intervention/resolution. One of these had some lasting side-effects that made for multiple visits to the Emergency Room and additional inpatient stays. Miscarriages are hard enough (emotionally) without the additional medical problems. About a year ago, I had a sudden, spontaneous pneumothorax. My lung had collapsed. I spent about a week in the hospital with a chest tube abd eventually had a VATS procedure in which the top 5% of my lung was removed. The collapsed lung, the chest tube, the surgery and the recovery were all painful and frightening for both of us.

Not long after the surgery, we conceived Simon with the help of some painkillers to make the heavy breathing of the ...babydance... less painful (that's commitment to making a baby, friends).

The pregnancy was very difficult. Liz has awful nausea that losted through all three trimesters. It was so bad at one point that she was hospialized so they could get her dehydration and migarines under control. When she was discharged, we had a wek of HOME-BASED IV care. It is an unnerving thing to have an IV pole in one's home. It seems as out of place as would a fire hydrant or a coffin.

Despite her nausea, we went to Ohio for Christmas with Liz's family...where Liz's father had just been admitted to the psyche ward against his will. It was a tense Christmas.

Late in the preganancy, Liz's father (after being discharged from the psyche ward) tried unsuccessfully to kill himself. This was, of course, very hard on Liz.

So after the difficult pregnancy, Simon was born.
He was a little early and a little small, but got 9/10 on his first two APGARs.

Four days later, Liz's father successfully took his own life. He'd never even seen a photo of his grandson.

My beloved boss/mentor/friend left our place of work, leaving me reporting to the same lunatic incompetant who drove her away. I miss her terribly.

I had a panic attack for the first time in my life maybe two months ago. I'm now getting counseling and taking medication for an anxiety disorder that was diagnosed many years ago- it seems to help. I need to be a patient and gentle husband and father. They both need that. I need it, too.

Simon has been an easy baby- cheerful as long as he's not overtired, hungy, or in need of a fresh diaper. Except now Simon has this tremor, and doctors are unable to tell us why...or if it should be cause for concern.

I know that awful things happen to everyone and we're luckier than most...but I feel like whining anyway. Why does it feel like Liz and I can't catch a break?

Thanks for letting me vent.


Infosciphi said...

Dear David,
You deserve to be able to share your woes with friends, and my heart goes out to you and your wife. You know I have dealt with suicide, health problems, and anxiety, so very much of what you mention seems like you could have been reading from *my book* instead of yours. I only mention this, not to bring the focus to my problems, but to let you know that you are not alone - that you have folks near you who have had similar issues and understand the difficulty.

I comment often to my wife that it seems some sort of stress law of the universe that at least three of the major life factors you find on the "stress tests" have to be present at any given time. If you're not on the verge of a nervous breakdown, you aren't 'livin'. lol Sad really.

The beauty of it all is that you have an adorable son and a loving wife. While many things will come and go, and there will always be new stressors to replace the old ones, you always have each other. Tell them you love them as often as you can and take strength in being the best Dad and Husband you can - knowing that even if nothing else in life matters, your relationship with your little family is the most valuable contribution to the world that we may ever make.

In the meantime, look at your values and reassess things you have taken for granted as being important. Things you have placed value on that you may have allowed to become unquestionable subconsciously. We all create value patterns that we eventually forget are just something we we wanted and which eventually became a rule.

For example, we had a dog. I spent tons of time walking it, and training it, but it was still crazy. It caused me lots of stress. It made me angry. In the end I realized with all of the major stress I had going on in my life, the added stress of dealing with the dog was pushing me over the edge. I started wishing it would die.

So, I worked it out so that the dog went to live with the grandparents. Sure, the boys were upset for a few weeks, but they got over it and I was much happier and a better dad as a result.

Cut as many things that cause you stress as you possibly can, even if it might be something you think isn't negotiable. Reassess your values.

You are on my mind buddy. :-)


David said...

Thank you, Chadwick. :)

Laura said...

I think Chadwick has already said it all, but I just wanted to add that you all are in my thoughts. I, too, have dealt with mental illness and my father's suicide--the other things you have had to go through I can scarcely imagine. It just plain sucks. I don't have anything better to say. But I will think of you, and Liz, and Simon, and hope for many better things to come.

David said...

Thanks, Laura.

Martha Hardy said...

Hugs to you, David. I hope the universe cuts you a break now :)