B-I-N-G-E and Binge-o was her name-o

I struggle with depression. This galls me because I think of myself as a basically happy person. I'm happily married. I have two great kids. I have the luxury of staying home with my children - even if I don't always love it. The first bout was a pretty cut and dried case of post-partum depression after Z was born. Zoloft worked like magic from almost the minute I started taking it. I got off of it when Z was about nine months old. It was rough for a few weeks, but then I got to be my old self again.

Somewhere around this time is when my mom got the official diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. She had been getting more and more forgetful, so the only real surprise was how quickly it was progressing. At Thanksgiving, she was pleasantly dotty, by Christmas she had tanked. At this point I am seven months pregnant with Q, fully into the cocktail of crazy that is pregnancy hormones and the situation with my mom was the straw that broke the camel's back. My particular brand of depression manifests itself with an irrational desire to kill my husband. So once I started plotting his death, I knew it was time to talk to my doctor. Turns out that depression during pregnancy is a thing. Something like 10% of pregnant women have this problem. Taking the Zoloft presents less of a risk than a depressed mama, so I got back on it. Again it worked like magic.

Q's first birthday came and went and my symptoms didn't appear to be waning. My OB/GYN referred me to a shrink because my depression could no longer be characterized as post-partum. Big love to Dr. A! She let me know that I was one uncontrolled episode of depression away from lifetime membership in Club Crazy. She added Wellbutrin to my anti-depressant arsenal and I finally started to feel like myself again. T and the kids released a collectively held breath and we got on with things.

My mom continued to deteriorate and by summer she required more care than my father could give her on his own. We made the brutal decision to move her into an Alzheimer's unit. Then I would go for a visit and I'd be on the roller coaster again. Dr. A and I started scheduling my appointments to shorty follow trips to see my folks. In the year after my mom went to "her new place" as Z calls it, I have put on 25 pounds. Better living through chemistry? Bah! That's for sissies. Better living through Hostess! Then you can be depressed and fat!

So all of this is an excessive lead in to this act of idiocy: I made it to my dad's house without my meds. I tried to get a partial scrip to hold me over, but crappy state insurance and the mouth breathers at MegaMart were agin' me. They wanted to charge me $500! Apparently, my insurance card doesn't talk to my prescription card any more. But that's a whole other rant. So I gritted my teeth and hoped for the best.

The best didn't happen. Mom doesn't have good days any more, but before the Ike evacuation she had been having less awful days. Not so for my visit. Each visit was sadder than the one before, culminating with us dancing to the music on the radio and me bawling my eyes out. Though she had no idea who I was, she didn't want to let me go and was clearly feeling very sad. Brutal.

The kids and I left for home shortly after. I have had car trips across Europe that took less time. Two hours in, we stop to fill up and Z knocks over the DVD player, killing it dead. So here we are looking at a minimum of seven more hours in the car with no entertainment. I got stuck behind some huge farming implement going 50 mph in a 70 mph zone. For hours. I was like the thirteenth car back behind some machine the size of my first house. Z finally gave up and went to sleep, but Q decided that this would be a good time to randomly shriek until an icepick through my ear would have been sweet relief. Figured out that a blown fuse was the culprit in the non-functional movie player, so I stopped and bought a package at a gas station. They were the wrong ones. Stop at two more stations before I find the right ones. Systematically try - and blow - every one of them. Give up on movie. Feed children crap and try to keep moving, arriving home at 10:30.

And the cherry on the sh!t sundae that was my day? Aunt Flo paid me a visit after a two-and-a-half year absence. Joy.

It's enough to make you start drinking. Or if you are me, binging. I fell off the diet wagon in a big (mac) way. Gardetto's? You bet. Big Mac Combo? Only if you get a shake, too! Cookies? Bring it! Throw in some Zebra Cakes and it would be a full on reunion. Blah. I dread weighing in. I am my own worst enemy.

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