I can't remember ever experiencing this kind of depression before. It's so novel, I'm not sure how to describe it. I can't really figure out the exact cause either. It's all very... vague, discombobulated, unfamiliar. I think it may be a combination of depression and anxiety, born out of hopelessness, denial, and a complete inability to cope.
Nobody died. No one's getting divorced. Things are generally going well. But a series of events on top of each other left me spinning, and whenever I try to find my bearings, I realize I am too dizzy to even try. It feels almost like... gravity has multiplied by 100 or 1000, trying to crush me down to the floor, but if I turn my head, it goes away. The problem is, when I turn my head, everything else goes away too. In order to avoid this... hopeless weight, I have to completely vacate the premises, and run on auto-pilot. Unfortunately, unlike auto-pilot, I can still feel the pull backwards. I feel something is missing. I don't want to turn back around to face it, but I can't find myself, and I'm pretty sure I have to turn around to find me and this giant black hole at the same time.
It's very much like catatonia, except I force myself to do the bare minimum.
What happened is this:
1. I was told my ovaries are kaput, due to Low Ovarian Reserve and PCOS. Eggs are not forming, so there is nothing to harvest to try IVF with my own eggs. This was very bad for me, but each day it was easier.
2. About 4-5 days later, I decided we should go ahead with IVF through donor eggs. Eric wanted this to be the next step too. We made appointments.
3. I started my "period", which marked the first day of a "Mock Cycle" - I would take an entire cycle's worth of hormones identical to those that would prepare my uterus for an actual IVF implantation. At the end, they would do a "mock" implantation - everything would be done like a real one, except there would be no egg on the end of the... thread-like tube thingy.
4. I went in for my first bit of hormones: a shot in the hip. I was taught how to self-inject once that step would start in about 1 week.
5. Had a "baseline" ultrasound. Results: I have cysts in both of my ovaries. A month earlier, during my first ultrasound at this clinic, they could not find 1 ovary, but the other looked fine. Empty, but fine. On this day, I had 2 distinct ovaries, and each had 1 cyst almost large enough to fill the entire ovary. I was told this can be a natural occurrence that clears up on its own, and the shot I had just gotten the day before would more than likely clear it up. We were told not to worry, this doesn't affect anything. I scheduled my first uterine test for them to measure the volume of my uterus.
6. I got a call from my sister telling me that she had "pre-cancerous" cells on her cervix, which was going to be removed in 2 months. Without a cervix, you can't carry a baby. A suspicion was confirmed - my mother had to have a partial hysterectomy when I was in college, which left only her ovaries in place.
7. I went in for my uterine test procedure. Eric was there thankfully. They squirted in some saline to "fill" my uterus, so it would show up on the ultrasound monitor for them to measure. Lots of pointing and clicking and poking and prodding and hoping I wouldn't pee on the doctor. Then she pointed out that I had a polyp in my uterus. I instantly asked about cancer, bringing up my recently revealed family medical history. I was told that (a) cervical cancer is completely different than uterine or ovarian cancers, (b) technically there was a possibility it was cancer, and (c) these were somewhat common, easy to remove, and in all her years of removing them not one had been cancerous. We relaxed. We cancelled the next test, which was going to check on my fallopian tubes, and instead scheduled a combined hysteroscopy and laparascopy to remove the cervical polyp and check out the ovarian cysts.
8. I completely checked out of my life.
I have endured so much, it seems ridiculous that this should be what breaks me. Utterly, totally, entirely, insanely ridiculous. I DO NOT HAVE CANCER. This is a simple procedure, similar to one I had 2 years ago that went amazingly easy and quick.
But whenever I try to think about it, to rationalize these things to myself, I feel this giant pit of hopelessness open up in front of me, with monstrous gravity sweeping in behind to send me in and squash me at the bottom like a giant paperweight. It is suffocating. It is despair.
So I turn away. And then my entire personality is gone. One of the symptoms of depression I haven't experienced often is the lack of desire to do activities previously enjoyed. I have become bored with some of the things I like, not feel like doing them, sometimes avoiding them - but there is always something else I would like to do, if only to watch TV and eat junk food.
For the past... fortnight, I have dragged myself out of bed, forced myself to eat some cereal, laid down in front of the television, and done some mindless web surfing. The web surfing makes me tired, and I avoid any of the sites I usually go to because I don't want to deal with reality or people or responsibilities or conversations or deep thoughts. Watching the TV just makes me wish I was back in bed. After about 2 hours of this, I go back to bed. About 2-3 hours later, I wake up and repeat.
Yesterday we went back to Port Orchard to spend the day with family, and I finally smiled and laughed for what seemed like an eternity. But only when the dogs jumped into my car in their exuberance, when my niece tried to talk to me and I didn't want her to think I was upset with her, and when I was playing with my nephew. There was one day last summer, for just a few hours, when I was very bitter and jealous that my sister-in-law was pregnant. And later that day it was gone, and hasn't come back. My nephew has been a complete joy to me. But I didn't ask to hold him. I was afraid it might bring "Me" back, and all of the emotions I was denying too, and I would start weeping all over him. Not out of jealousy or anything, but the depth of emotion that I feel for him, would wake me up finally. I just couldn't wake up with him there. It would have been... bad.
My pre-op appointment is Wednesday afternoon.
My "procedure" is the following Wednesday.
We will be spending the 4th of July weekend in Las Vegas with most of Eric's extended family. I have done some planning and purchasing for this as if there will be a future. But I'm not excited. Something about... being disconnected to the present makes the future seem just... a mirage.
I've written all of this without crying. I am vaguely worried about myself. Worried that I'm not upset. This isn't exactly numb, more like vacant automaton. I can analyze the situation, I just can't experience it. I never thought I would find myself looking forward to surgery. But I am. I have this tiny bit of hope that once I wake up after the surgery, they will tell me it's not cancer, I'm all better, there's nothing preventing me from going forward with IVF except a few weeks of healing, and ta-da! I'll be right as rain.
ps: oh look, a cherry! I have to lose 15 pounds just to qualify for the privilege of applying (with a check for $75) for IVF financing. Whoot!