Posts Tagged ‘ Prolactinoma ’

Disappointment

I have a love-hate relationship with The Twitterz. I love the ability to connect with people who share my ideals, my situation. I love getting updates on Vital Remains concerts and yelling about my stomach aches. I do not love my proximity to overzealous lactivists.

Let me state first and foremost: Breastfeeding is natural, beautiful and the best thing for Mama and Baby alike. Usually. That said, I don’t like it when people start fighting over someone else’s decision to not breastfeed. You, as some random chick on the internet, do not know someone’s personal reasons to bottlefeed. There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to not breastfeed. Maybe the new mama has to take a medication that could pass through her milk and harm the baby. Maybe Mama has an eating disorder and doesn’t trust herself enough to provide adequate nutrition for Baby. Maybe Mama’s like me, and for six exhausting weeks she tried relentlessly to breastfeed but she just couldn’t produce enough milk. Maybe she pumped for hours to procure, maybe, an ounce. Maybe she tortured herself with thoughts of inadequacy. Maybe she thought she must be destined to be a horrible mother, because her body couldn’t complete this most basic of tasks. Maybe she cried and cried and blamed herself. Maybe it hurt like 1000 knives in her heart as she bought that first tub of formula.

I sure hurt. That deep kind of hurt that comes from feeling like you Failed Your Child. But then my daughter grew. She thrived. She smiled. She learned. I carried that girl in her baby sling and cooed at her and held her as close as I did before the bottle.

It didn’t matter that she drank formula from a bottle instead of milk from my breast, because the heart was there, the love was there. She’s healthy. She didn’t fall apart without breastmilk. She’s fine. She’s better than fine.

One day I will have another baby. One day I will again try to breastfeed. But if again, it doesn’t work out, I won’t torture myself over it. Switching to formula was the best thing I could do for *my* family. Everyone deserves the right to choose what they believe to be right for their families and their situations. If those decisions don’t match your own, that doesn’t mean you should sit behind your computer screen and call them ignorant. Raising children is about love and compassion, not unsolicited judgments and name-calling.
It's about love.

Of a Life Lost

2006 wasn’t good to me.
I turned 18 that year and I graduated from high school, but after that it was pretty downhill. I struggled through my senior year, having been diagnosed as bipolar the year before, being subsequently overloaded on meds and frequently hospitalized. The trend continued after graduation and I went away to college. I was only there a week, when the campus psychiatrist said I had to take leave and enter an eating disorder treatment facility. I convinced my parents to keep me out of treatment, but in return I had to leave their house. I was on my own.

Very on my own.

More hospitalizations, more and more meds. Then the headaches started. In january of 2007, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Not cancer, but still horrifying. Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

My world had ended.
I was an 18 year old unemployed college dropout, living on disability, and very sick. I had no family, mine having long abandoned me. I had no friends, having alienated everyone around me. I spent all of february psychotically depressed. Perpetual panic attacks and mocking voices punctuated the time, eventually culminating in my february 27th suicide attempt. Everything I had was lost, including my future.

That night, I turned off my phone and swallowed over 200 pills. Thousands and thousands of milligrams of psychotropics and narcotics. I took handfuls of pills, puked, passed out, repeated. I cut my arms, took more pills. I kept going and going until I couldn’t bring my hand to my mouth any longer, and then I laid down.

Hours passed.

On february 28th, I was found. I was taken to the emergency room, then transported to a larger one. I spent the next few days floating in and out of consciousness, some section of myself continuously pulling me out of the coma.

Something in me wanted to live. Something in me begged my heart to beat, my eyes to open. On march 2nd I woke up. I saw my arm, the cuts held tight with steri strips, bruises from multiple needle pokes, and an IV site, I followed the line up, then noticed an EKG lead, followed it up to the monitor. To the right of the monitor – my father. He sat there and he smiled through tear-soaked eyes.

I knew then that I was loved.

After recovering in the hospital, I returned home and started again. My suicide had been successful, that girl died that night. Three years later, I’m a new person. No meds, in school, a new mother. I don’t regret my actions. Death gave me life, new perspective. Everyday I’m grateful for being given a second chance, and I make the most of every minute. I’m actively involved in my medical care – now knowing I’m neither schizophrenic nor bipolar. My future was not taken away from me – It was given back.

New life, Indeed.

Waiting

The prospect of having cervical cancer wears on me — like I’m losing something before I ever got it. The idea that I’m diseased and the only way to cure me is to freeze my cervix off or remove my uterus is frightening and immobilizing and my upcoming appointment has been a source of fear for the last six months.

Six months ago, my colposcopy showed precancerous changes of my cervix and now I’m going back to get it rechecked. Has anything changed in the last 180 odd days? Is it worse? Could it be better? What if it is worse and I need surgery…chemo? Will I ever have another child? Will Eden ever be a big sister or will my uterus have to close up shop?

It’s depressing. I’m afraid. I’m 22 years old and I could be facing infertility, menopause. Why? What have I done? I understand the prevalence of HPV and the symptomlessness of most strains, but I don’t understand why it had to happen to…me. Little Amber with her eating disorder, her brain tumor and her biliary disease — let’s give her some cancer too. We’ll just add another specialist to her phone book, no problem.

And my miracle baby…who’s very existence was a medical improbability. A major symptom of my brain tumor is decreased estrogen levels and infertility. My little angel Eden, who seemingly knew that I would lose my fertility at 22 and decided to come early. What does this mean for her? How do you explain it to a 2 year old, why her mom is so sick? I know I should wait until I know what’s going on, but I’m a planner…I must plan. I must have a game plan for when I find out I have cancer, so that I may be pleasantly surprised for when I find out I don’t. I try to stay positive, but it’s hard sometimes. But who knows…right? Eden could be a big sister after all.