So, I have been Depressed, capital D, for the past year. I haven't known whether to write about it or not because it's one of things that people don't really talk about, and if you can't talk about it, well, it seems you shouldn't write about it either, right? But now, I feel like I am kind of coming out of it a little, and I want to cleanse myself of the experience.
I have something called a Vagel Nerve Stimulator, VNS, implanted in my chest that is supposed to help control Depression. However, two things potentially messed that up in the past year. 1) The battery went dead. 2) The wire going from the generator to the Vagel Nerve in my neck broke. So, I wasn't getting much help from the VNS. The VNS also probably helps my migraines--although other than my anecdotal experience there is no official evidence of VNS helping migraines. So in the past year my migraines have been worse than usual too, which also increases my Depression. This has been a perfect storm of physical and emotional torture for me for the past few months.
So, one might think, big deal. Get the VNS fixed. Oh, no, my friend. My insurance company had another plan in mind. See, somewhere between 2005, when I got it implanted for treatment resistant Depression and 2012, when I needed the generator replaced, insurance companies decided that there wasn't enough evidence that VNS decreased Depression sufficiently so they stopped paying for them--even for people who already had them. So, I was looking at having a dead device in my chest that I had proof--to me and my doctors--worked in my particular case, but I still couldn't get replaced. Brilliant. Anyway, luckily, very luckily, because my husband's company is a self-funded insurer and they were willing to overrule the insurance company and pay for the device, I was able to get it paid for. However, it took an almost year long fight for this to happen. So, now I have a new VNS and I think I am starting to feel some effect from it. My doctor has also tinkered with my anti-depressants for the past year and I think finally has them where they need to be.
My migraines still are a mess. So it's quite impressive that I feel like I am coming out of the Depression already given that my head still hurts 85% of the time. That's why I think that the VNS and anti-depressants must be working, because usually, with my head like this, I would be feeling pretty desperate emotionally. Finally though, I am starting to feel a bit more like myself.
That's the problem though, I don't feel quite like myself completely yet. I'm no longer an emotional basketcase--which is a HUGE plus. But I went through this long period where I just couldn't make myself care about things that I have always cared about, and I am still there. I guess I am just wondering when that's going to come back. I know deep down I still care, I just can't manage to make myself act like I care. Does that make any sense to anyone but me? I guess I have been pretending to care, acting like a placeholder for my other self. I know when my real self comes back I will want to be involved in the things I was doing before, so I have to force myself to do them now, but damn, it's been hard. And I only have the ability to pretend for a little while, then I am emotionally drained and can't do anymore. But I keep trying. This week has been a little easier. I at least want to be around friends again this week. It's been hard to be around anyone until just lately.
I know I am not the only one who feels this way, so I thought maybe writing about it would let others recognize themselves or at least make me feel a little better. And it has. It's hard to keep things in forever.
I hope this finds you well. Very, very well.