This week is kicking my ass and it’s only Monday

Hi. How are things? Long time no see. Look, so here’s the deal: last Friday I went in to the doctor’s office to get some drugs for my seasonal allergies. It was a new doctor, recommended by a friend, and I thought a standard allergy visit would be a good way to break in the relationship. Then they took my blood pressure, and it was 171/110. That’s BAD, in case you were wondering. Bad enough that the rest of my visit was spent doing things like getting an EKG and hearing things like “high potential for stroke.” Left the office with blood pressure meds and a return ticket for this morning. Spent the weekend trying not to panic about high BP (panic = not good for blood pressure), got to doc’s office around noon, and found out two things right off the bat: 1) my blood pressure was exactly the same as it had been on Friday, despite the meds, and 2) the blood test they had previously done indicated that I have type two diabetes.



Or, perhaps more accurately:


Only with less shouting and more crying. Ahem.

Those of you who have followed this here blog for a while will recall that I had high blood pressure and gestational diabetes with both pregnancies. AND IT SUCKED. And, I’m not gonna lie to you, one of the reasons I haven’t been to a doctor since my last postnatal checkup was that I was so goddamn tired of being a high-risk medical case. SO SICK OF IT. So happy to rejoin the ranks of the relatively healthy. So ready not to have to *think* about my health or lack thereof all the goddamn time. At the same time, the last couple of months have been kind of really totally rough, mentally speaking (you know how I haven’t been posting so much? Yeah. That.) Not the kind of thing you can put a finger on, but, you know: stressing about money, not having a career path, feeling isolated, lack of identity outside parenting, feeling angry and frustrated all the time, feeling like the anger and frustration are making you a horrible parent and wife, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. Call it “stay-at-home-parent-malaise.”And I was just getting myself psyched up to deal with THAT problem when, whammo: blood pressure and diabetes. For fuck’s sake. Just to contextualize my mental state, I will tell you that my first reaction to the diabetes news was, “Great. Everyone I tell about this is going to think it happened because I’m fat.” Healthy, no? Really, totally balanced. Because I definitely have friends like that. Sigh.

Anyway. The good news is that my new doctor so far seems really awesome (thanks for the recommendation, Scott!), and not only did she NOT tell me I needed to lose some weight (and if you want to know why that’s a big deal, go here or here), she also told me with great confidence that we would get me back to pre-diabetic health and lifestyle by October. “Both of these conditions are totally treatable. We are just going to be aggressive about this.” I’m trying to take this in stride, focus on the positive – it’s good that they found this early, it’s a motivation for the whole family to be healthier, it’s not a life sentence – but I’m also Just. So. Tired of it.

Any words of wisdom on getting over life hurdles would be appreciated. Except the ones that tell me to think of all the other people in the world who have it worse than I do, because goddammit, I already DO that and it just makes me feel even WORSE.

13 responses to “This week is kicking my ass and it’s only Monday

  1. Oh, man. I’m so sorry to hear about this. This is officially the Last Thing You Needed. At least your doctor’s cool. I’ll be thinking about you (et alia).

  2. Connie Carlson

    Here’s the definite upside: you know about this NOW and you can do something about it NOW. You just took major steps to prevent having a stroke–which would truly be the worst thing for EVERYONE. Even humble me, a reader of your blog & a longtime friend. I wish I had magic words to make all your pain go away…but, the best I got is that I’m sending all the good vibes, strength & courage I can to you & your family during this time of change. Ever the optimist, I hope come October you’ll look back at this April and recognize it as a time that truly changed your life for the better. xoxo. c.

  3. Insert many sad faces here. 🙁 I am so sorry, hon! And you were so cute and cheery at your daughter’s birthday party on Sunday! I didn’t even get a chance to talk to you.

    When I read this post, and read the part where you described your recent stay-at-home-mom mental malaise, I went, “Hey! I have that exact same thing!” (though not the lack of identity outside of parenting. I mean, I don’t have much of an identity outside of parenting but for some reason for now at least that does not bother me.) I know you’re not in a position to be comforting anyone else, but it was sort of comforting to read that you feel like a bad parent too, because of all this stress. Exactly! Me too. Sometimes I lie awake at night unable to sleep b/c I’m ruminating on how bad a mom I am. (I know. Totally pathetic and unproductive.)

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, you and I suffer some of the same stresses, you up there and me down here, SO WE SHOULD BE TALKING TO EACH OTHER. 😉 Yes?

    I cannot know what it feels like to be struggling with high BP or diabetes, but I can relate to the rest, and I really really hope we can do a summer morning playdate when school is out in June (Julia goes until June 11th, GAH, but let’s seriously plan something for soon after). I will come to you OR if you want out of your house and no responsibility for entertaining, come down here and I will feed you and the girls can wade in the splash pool and play in the sand table on the patio.


    • Well, I’m going to Europe from June 11th-20th, but maybe after I get back?? We for sure need to schedule some time to come down there over the summer.

  4. The first person who starts blaming you for this–including you–gets a swift kick from me. You just canNOT catch a break this year!! Thank goodness you have a good doctor, and a good Mr. Squab, and good friends who can help you jump this hurdle with your usual intelligence, wit, and aplomb.

  5. Oh BLECH. I am super sorry for all the ickiness and just hate that you have had it rough. No fair! C’mon, stupid gods-of-the-health! Pick on someone else for a change! And, I miss you dearly. If we’re going to be isolated stay-at-home-parents, let’s be isolated together, huh?

    • Thanks, Sal. I totally miss you, too! Are you full time at home now? I can’t imagine THREE kids – just the two is more than I can handle sometimes! Would love to see you sometime soon.

  6. Oh Squabbers! Your description of SAH-Malaise is right on the nose for so many of us, I can’t imagine how annoying it must be to have to deal with this new stuff. The one thing I know about you is that you are one of the most intelligent people I know, plus someone who always made me laugh and surrounded herself with great friends — all qualities which make me know that you will, as your doctor assured you, be back in style in October. Take care of yourself and give Ellie a birthday hug for me.

  7. Elise, what a great doctor you have, since she’s given you two really important things: hope and a time frame! With those tools, you can do whatever you need to do.

    Although I’m about a million years older than you (and besides that, to me you’re always going to be about 8!), I’m empathizing with your blood pressure surprise, as it happened to me about 3 years ago. After a lifetime of perfect BP readings, I was getting a pro forma physical at a gym when the meter spewed out amazing numbers, and I just denied it–had to be a broken meter, of course. Went along another 6 months or so, then at my doc’s office the same damn numbers popped up. Hmmm . . . .

    Anyway, I’ve been “managing” blood pressure now for about awhile, and it’s neither as hard or quite as easy as other people would like for you to believe (right up there with the friends who will tell you that losing weight is the answer are the ones who’ll tell you how they immediately lowered their blood pressure with flaxseed oil or oatmeal or ). So don’t listen to anybody who doesn’t make sense to you. Do your reading, and you’ll find a path.

    Having said that, I will tell you–without a hint of preachiness, I hope–what works well for me: yoga, breathing and meditation, and walking. Friends closer to your own age will be able to tell you better how the hell that works with 2 small children, and maybe it won’t, but something else will, and you’ll find it.

    I love your blog and your Facebook posts, and of course I love you and your whole family including the babies I’ve not even met–if you ever want to talk further about it, I’d be happy to go a few rounds on the topic–or on any other, for that matter.

    • Thanks for the good thoughts! Yes, I like the yoga/meditation route – those are both things I used to practice regularly and haven’t done … well, since I had kids, at the very least. Don’t quite know how to integrate those things, but it’s certainly something to pursue – for stress relief if nothing else. What kind of yoga/meditation do you practice? I’ve done Hatha yoga and am interested in Zen meditation.

  8. You’d laugh if I told you how low-key my yoga practice is! Really, I had a pretty good beginner’s class a few years back, and I just call on the poses I learned from that and the few I’ve added along the way, and it’s mostly just really great stretching and breathing. No warrior poses except on very special occasions!

    I’m a big fan of Dr. Andrew Weill, and he has a CD of a simple breathing program that I do–it’s very calming, can be done almost anywhere, and takes literally no time–I can’t remember the name of the CD, probably something like “Breathing”. . .

  9. Oh Ceesa. I am so sorry to hear about all of this. Let Elliot and I come over and watch the girls. You need some time on your own. How about this Friday or Saturday night? You and Chaddy can go out or I can help him and you can just get a break for awhile. Elliot and I would be happy to work with Sylvia on her developing skills with the Force.