Posted by: Kate | April 2, 2009

Just Breathe

I spent about 24 hours in the deepest, darkest depression I have ever experienced. Literally could not stop crying, couldn’t get off the couch, couldn’t see why anything mattered anymore. It was triggered by the fact that I didn’t get the job I interviewed twice for last week; I really believed I was going to get it, but no. So that felt crappy, and I’ve been on edge anyway because the migraines have been so intense and so completely untreated – and the neurologist wants me to continue to try the new medication for a month before we move to something different.

I was in a bad way. I had all but decided to delete the blog so I could more effectively isolate and hibernate, and I’m not sure what else. I would never deliberately harm myself, because I know too well what that does to families and I cannot imagine being permanently without my children and husband, but it was still worrisome. I wonder just how broken someone can get before they can’t be put back together again?

Then reality shifted around a bit, and I was forced back into a more productive, responsive mode. It started when I packed up the kids and headed down to L’s place, because I had left X’s inhaler and spacer in the minivan. She has had a chest cold, so she needs it more than usual. (They had a spare, but still.)

No one was there, so we waited for a half hour, and then I called. Turns out, L was at the hospital with the baby, who was wheezing and gasping, oxygen sats down into the 80s (they should be right up around 99), heart rate fluctuating all over the place. X had been checked out, too, but was diagnosed with a viral infection, and discharged. She came home with us, after a flurry of errands and stops, because baby K was admitted for observation.

So here we are, 10:30 at night, listening to X wheeze and bark in her sleep. From what I can gather through online research, I don’t need to take her back into the ER unless her breathing goes above a certain rate or her wheezing becomes prevalent on both the inhalation and exhalation. For the moment, we’re staying home.

But I’ve called everyone on the planet, trying to get a hold of L to get her opinion, and of course I can’t get to her. I know why; they need to register anonymously at the hospital because of the big-scary-ex situation, and the hospital really is good about protecting that privacy. I was able to get a hold of a nurse on the Pediatric floor and she agreed to leave a note “just in case someone by that name comes in.” Cell phone reception isn’t so great in a hospital, and I’m not sure how long L was planning to go home (she needed to get a change of clothes and do some work for tomorrow so that she can take the day off).

It’s always hard when a child is sick. The worry and the doubt about whether to fire up the shower for a steam treatment, or to bring medication into the party, or just head into the ER… It’s all so prevalent and intense, and of course the cost of a wrong decision is awfully steep.

And somehow it’s even worse when it’s not your kid. I know X pretty well, and I know a lot about her health history and so on… but I’m not her mother. I don’t know her as thoroughly and minutely as I know my own children. And if the cost of making the wrong decision with my own kids is unbearably steep, it’s only magnified when you’ve been entrusted with someone else’s child.

So, we have a bit of stress and worry here tonight – but, in a horrible and convoluted way, my mood has vastly improved. Just because I have something to do, a task to attend to, important things to consider. I feel useful, and I really, really need that.

And so, at least for now, I’ll keep on blogging, because as dark and dreary and whiny as I have been lately – stuff I don’t necessarily want to remember once it passes – it’s all real and true to my life at the moment, and I think that if I allowed myself to become that much more isolative, I would have a very hard time ever crawling back to my own version of normal. Not that I think it’ll be a walk in the park in any case, but maybe, just maybe, having a consistent outlet is good for me.



  1. Oh, {{{hugs}}} I hope it gets better for you, soon.

  2. Gosh Kate – how scary all the way around. Please, please take care of yourself.

  3. If in the darkest time, you can hold on to the thought: “I have to move for the children, and I have to blog these feelings–have to, whether I comprehend a why or a what for.” –perhaps the Universe will continue to show you a reason to keep going. If you hadn’t been there for L and X, what would they have done?

  4. There is no easy fix for what you’re going through. Your experience last night reminds me that I have found that I ALWAYS feel better when I move the focus off of myself and onto someone else, no matter how bad I felt initially.

    No matter how tenuous, any hold is a good one.

  5. God, I hate this for you. When all else fails, one step at a time works for me. Get Out Of Bed. Brush Teeth. Make Coffee. These are the caveman-esque commands I make to myself when I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know what else to say, really … but I want you to know that you’re in my thoughts.

  6. And it’s a witness. You’re there, and it’s a terrible place, but look at what you’re doing — caring for another person. I wish it was so different, but it’s not and you are still putting one word in front of another.

    Rooting for you, but wishing it were different.

  7. Keep breathing. You and X both. Hugs.

  8. I’m sorry you are having such a hard time right now. But – sometimes it takes something like an asthma attack and hospitalization of a child to put things into perspective…. eventually, things will work out. I truly believe that.

  9. Thinking of you.

  10. I, for one, am selfishly grateful you’re keeping the blog. I use your blog at a litmus test for so many things. Right now it’s helping me understand my spouse who is unemployed for the fifth time in 22 years of marriage.

    I empathize with your reactions to depression cuz I have been there. I have been at the bottom of the pit and I recognize how high the walls are and how dark it is.

    You are a touch stone for me. I’m not sure why except we kinda clicked at some point.

    You have encouraged me exactly when I have needed it and read through my blather time and time again.

    Kate~you matter very much to many of us “invisible” people. I wish I lived next door to you or was part of your special triad of close friends.

    In real life I might been slightly intimidated by your three master’s degrees with my lil ol’AA. Probably not. 😉

    Love ya girl. Hang in one minute or hour at a time.

  11. […] 3/31 -I found out I didn’t get the job.  As time goes on and the hits just keep on comin’, I am losing my resilience.  The […]

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