Moving on to 2010, I was totally and utterly exhausted. Exhausted from waking up in the middle of the night for feedings, diaper changes and vomiting or waking up early to do a 30 minute commute that took an hour, exhausted because during my commute my two children wouldn’t be quiet, sitting at a desk for 8 hours, seeing about 10-15 clients a day and spending anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours with them, answering phones, meeting deadlines and sitting like a drone at the computer doing data entry.
That was pretty much how my day went and even though the days were stressful and long, I enjoyed it. I embraced being a mother of now, two young children, I loved my job, my marriage, my life and all the ups and downs life threw at me. Even though I had to juggle the kids schedules now, I still felt like I was pretty on top of things.
After my first “brain jolt” (that’s what I called them), I of course went straight to my doctor to figure out what was wrong with me. She did all the general things that she had to do and said she couldn’t find anything significant about me that would make her think to test me further. She thought that perhaps I was probably experiencing stress and that we all experience stress in different ways. So I was okay with that answer and I left feeling relieved. I hadn’t had another “brain jolt” for a while, but then I started to notice something really strange about myself when I was at work. I had three new symptoms to add to my one, already frightening symptom and they were brain fog, lack of focus and short term memory loss. I would sit at my desk typing up notes from an interview I had conducted with a client and I had clearly forgotten every single word that came from a thought I had while typing it out. It was as if my thoughts were flying out of my head and into “thoughts heaven” the very second I thought of it. I sat there confused and even shook my head in disbelief thinking that a quick shake to my brain would somehow bring back all of my forgotten thoughts. I found myself double checking and sometimes even triple checking my work and during that time, my job was already stressful enough as it was. Time was of the essence and if you wasted it, you found yourself quickly drowning in your case load. Then there would be days where I would feel high as a kite! I could not focus on anything for the life of me. I felt loopy, confused, light headed and totally out of it. During interviews with clients, I would have to use every ounce of my will power to concentrate on what clients were talking about. Sometimes I’d have them repeat themselves. When my co-workers would come by to chat I’d have to focus on their mouths and my brain would have a delayed response in processing what they were saying. During my conferences with my Supervisor I would start talking about something but would completely forget what my point was! I would have normal days but these not so normal days soon became part of my daily routine. I pushed through my absentmindedness but it began to affect my work. I fell behind in my work, my stress levels began to increase, which caused me to become irritable and short tempered. I started to pull away from co-workers because work became more important. I worked through my lunches and ate at my desk and I’d sit alone at my desk because I just didn’t feel like myself.
Through all the changes I was going through, for some crazy reason, I was yearning for a third child. Unfortunately, I had gotten my tubes tied after delivering my daughter because at that time, we had thought that was the best decision for us, plus my babies were so hard on my body, I truly felt like I was done having children. So we looked into IVF, signed up for our health flex accounts and started the process. I started doing the research, tried to start saving more money and started taking all the necessary lab work. Thinking back, I remember my Doctor being confused with my level of progesterone. He said something about my hypothalamus not telling my body to do something, but then when we re-tested that particular lab, he seemed satisfied with it so I never questioned it again. Had I known then what I know now, I would’ve realized that my hormones were all screwy and that I should have perhaps looked deeper into the situation. Sadly, we had to postpone our dreams of IVF because our water heater had broken at our rental property and ended up having to shell out a big chunk of money.
Besides dealing with the rental property, my husband and I decided to move back to the house where I grew up. My parents were retired, my brother was alone in the house and the kids were getting bigger. So we thought that moving would be beneficial because it would give the kids room to ride their bikes and play in the front yard. I was excited for the move but my now supposed to be 30 minute commute that took an hour, turned into a supposed to be hour drive commute that took 2 1/2 hours long, even with car pool!
Well, I was still feeling mild brain jolts, brain fog and lack of focus but nothing that was unbearable. So I pushed on. I was determined to not allow these symptoms take over my life but at times I felt they did. It soon became difficult to handle stress, I felt frazzled all the time, I was agitated, irritated, short fused and it was even starting to affect things at home. I was taking out my frustrations on my kids and even my husband could tell that I was off. I suddenly started to notice new symptoms that I hadn’t noticed before. This time I felt like I was experiencing a bit of anxiety and even panic attacks. I started to feel anxious over everything, like I was waiting for something all the time. Even the panic attacks started to freak me out because I felt anxious and panicked over everything! One question turned into a whole slew of questions and then it turned into worry, fear, anger, guilt – it was awful! “What if I don’t finish my work? What if I get in trouble by my Supervisor? Then I’ll have more work waiting for me tomorrow! What should I make for dinner? Will I have time to make dinner? What about working out? Wait, I’m too tired to work out. That’s not important anyway. Why am I feeling like this? What if I have cancer? Then what’ll happen if I die? What about my kids?!” It was horrible! My mind started to be in this continuous battle everyday. And although I was able to talk myself out of these conversations in my head, it did start to become a nuisance. But I refused to believe there was something wrong with me. I knew deep down there was, but who had the time to really figure it all out if there were doctors already telling you that you are fine.
The end of 2010 was coming and the holidays were coming and I was disgusted with how I was feeling internally and emotionally. I felt like I was slowly losing myself and holding on to what was left of myself.