The 10 Little Milligrams that Changed My Life
Snuggling in bed after a whole “I’m telling Dad on you”—“Fine. Tell Dad on me. I don’t care.”—kind of evening, Emma Claire finally settled and apologized.
And so did I.
My big offense?
I let them stay up late watching a movie.
Which was super fun until I broke the news that it was too late for books.
Anyway, I should’ve just read the dang books because for the next hour Emma Claire asked question after question—
I have promised two things. To myself and to my children.
I will always tell the truth.
And I will not spend a lifetime telling them they are too young to understand.
Even though quite frankly, I’m still too young to understand.
I recalled a moment getting into my van. Emma Claire was on the verge of 3. I had just handed off my resume and was brushed off without a second glance.
And I had used such nice paper.
And it went straight to the shredder.
So I drove off.
Emma Claire said to me, “Mommy why are you always crying?”
A couple of weeks later I and a doctor’s appointment.
Yearly exam and my first in Nebraska.
I sat in a waiting room and I am telling you that everyone woman in that place was glowing, bellies full except for me.
The nurse calls my name.
She’s 12. Maybe 13.
I start crying from the minute I step onto the scale.
“Any issues for you today? Anything that you’d like to discuss with the Doctor?”
“No, ” I squeak through sobs.
“Uhm, OK. Well, is there some… are you… uhm, OK.”
The Doctor walks in.
She’s 15. At what point did people start going to med school in their teens. These people are not old enough to babysit my children. How can they be old enough to take care of me?
She’s very kind and very gentle but I am super annoyed.
“The nurse mentioned you were upset. Do you want to talk about it?”
“Uhm. OK, sure. Well, I think I hate my husband.
No, I don’t hate him.
I love him, but I think he hates me and so yeah, I’m pretty sure I hate being married.
And I hate Fremont.
And I can’t find a job.
And I didn’t date a whole lot before I got married so I’m not entirely sure, but I’m pretty sure that my life is not normal and everyone gets on my nerves.
The only people I actually like right now are my children.”
She talks for a while and finally says, “Do you think you might be depressed.”
Ha. I laugh. No, I’m not depressed. I cry all the time, yes.
But I’m a Christian.
Good grief, No!
Christian’s do not get depressed.
“OK. Yes. I understand. You are not depressed. But maybe, just for a season, you might consider a low-dose— SUPER low-dose–anti-depressant to see if it might help. Ya known, with your non-depression.”
I asked her if I would gain weight. Because this fog that I’m in, crying everyday, all-the-time, yes it’s not too much fun, but let’s prioritize. Gaining weight, well that would actually really depress me.
I mentioned it to my mother on the way home. I told her I would not fill the script.
She thought perhaps I should consider it.
I was afraid that my husband would try to use it against me if we divorced.
Spoiler alert: I’m a pretty smart chick.
I mentioned it to my husband. I told him I would not fill the script.
He thought perhaps I should consider it.
I get a call. The lump I felt? Needs to com out. Appointments were made, surgery was scheduled and I decided what the HALE.
I will fill the script.
And then, bam! One morning I woke up and I can’t explain it but it was a type of clarity. Like if you have a smudge on your glasses and they clean them for you at the eye doctor and then it’s awesome how clearly you can see.
I don’t know if it was un-diagnosed postpartum.
I don’t know if it was simply circumstantial.
I don’t know and I don’t care. 10 precious milligrams and I started to wake-up.
Yes. Out of a fog. And my life was un-recognizable.
And the lump came out and it was not cancer.
And after my surgery, my neighbor down the street, Tina brought me a meal. My husband didn’t eat it.
My children didn’t eat it.
But I ate it and I loved it and more than that, I loved that I had a neighbor who would bring me food.
And I quickly went off the pain mediation because it made me forgetful and irritable.
But I continued to take the 10 mg. And the fog continued to lift.
As my friends and family can so easily attest, the 10 mg. doesn’t solve all your problems and I didn’t stop crying and it’s not a quick fix and it’s not a failure of faith.
It’s an imbalance.
My doctor described it like this. There are these little balls, bouncing around in your head and when there’s an imbalance, the balls don’t bounce as high as they should and no, it’s not a failure of faith.
It’s a failure of chemicals.
And flat little balls that have lost their bounce.
I’m still taking my ball-bouncing medicine.
I’ve tried twice to go off it.
Last time, I went cold turkey because I forgot to fill it.
Three days in, I called my handsome friend (let’s call him Mike. Ya know, the one that was in my Easter pictures where it looked like I wasn’t wearing a shirt, but I was wearing a shirt, anyway, we’ll call him Mike because that is actually his name, so I called him. Wait maybe I texted. See? The fog?
Anyway, I can’t even tell the story because I was ranting and raving about stuff that I shouldn’t have been ranting and raving about and by the end of the night, lying in bed I had decided that I needed to leave my church.
That I love!!!
My covenant family; those that have walked beside me and held me and loved me and prayed for me and been a husband to the widow and a father to the father-less and Praise the Lord, that’s when I remembered.
My 10 little mg. Although, for truth and credibility I should clarity that it’s now 20 mg.
Stupid bounce-less balls.
A year later, I was back in the doctor’s office.
The nurse looked a little older. The doctor a little more qualified and I did notice a few 40+ women in the mammogram room. At second glance it appeared that I wasn’t the only one who had said goodbye to her baby years.
The doctor walked in and I had to hold myself back from just hugging the breath out of her.
She did not deliver my babies. She did not watch me go through miscarriage and fertility drugs and here is a woman I did not know and still barely know and yet she changed my life.
And in a way and by the Lord’s provision, she actually saved it.
I know there are more late-night conversations coming about why and how and it’s-not-fair. But I also know there is always, always, always—
For the moment.
Turns out, I actually know why we got divorced. That’s a question I can answer.
And it’s a much easier question, than 3-year-old Emma Claire’s asking her Mother why she cried.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b