I Got A Health Wakeup Call Today

I Got A Health Wakeup Call Today

Me at 52.

Me in June, 2012 at 52.

I had an appointment with my family doctor today to discuss the initial report from a psychiatrist I’ve started seeing about my PTSD, depression and anxiety.

To be honest, I haven’t had a good experience with the one psychiatrist I saw in the past. During my very first appointment, when discussing my childhood sexual abuse and how vague my memories were because I was only about 4 years old at the time, he informed me that he didn’t believe in vague or recovered memories, calling them false memories. He pretty much scolded me. Now, there was nothing ‘recovered’ about these memories. Vague as the memories themselves were, I lived with them all my life.

Christine and Family in 1967.

My whole family in 1967, when I was about 8. I’m in the rear with the white lace frilly collar.

Unfortunately, I have very little memory of anything prior to my eighth year. I’ve always believed this was my way of coping with the trauma.

Christine in about 1972 at about 13.

This is me in 1972 when I was about thirteen.

I was depressive during my teenage years, very much a loner and somewhat antisocial. I was never comfortable in groups and social situations – and that’s something that has never changed. I’m sure my parents put my behavior down to being solitary and preferring it that way. I never talked to anyone about my depression, coping as best I could. They were not happy years.

In my mid to late twenties, I had been working and enjoying my work, and had managed to build some self-esteem. As a result, I was much happier and actually managed to lose a considerable amount of weight – approximately 80 pounds in about eight months. Being the slimmest I’d been in my entire life, feeling better about myself and having become quite close to the people I worked with, including on a social level, I managed to be more comfortable in social situations.

Our engagement photo.

Our engagement photo in 1990. He picked the occasion of his best friend’s wedding to propose.

On one occasion I met my husband. I liked him immediately and luckily for me, he seemed to feel the same. He lived about 1,000 miles away working in the military and we corresponded, talked on the telephone and visited a couple of times before he asked me to move out with him the following year. Then, a year later, we were married and in each successive year, we had each of our two children.

After the birth of our daughter, I had a mild bout with depression, but I managed to cope and didn’t seek help. With our son, however, I suffered severe post-partum depression and sought a doctor’s care, ending up on anti-depressants for about a year.

Myself, Mark, Erin and Stuart in 1995 when I was 35.

Myself, Mark, Erin and Stuart in 1995 when I was 35.

The following year, we moved to Trenton, Ontario. This was the community I had lived in as a child and it was here that I had suffered the sexual abuse by a close family friend. I never thought much about it and thought I was fine. However, when my daughter reached about four years of age, I became depressed, again seeking a doctor’s care and being put on anti-depressants. It was then that I started seeing a counselor who became a great friend, and discovered during counseling that there was probably a link between my daughter’s age and my having been that age when abused. I do know that Mark and I never – and I mean never – went out without the kids or hired a babysitter to look after our kids after that year. I was very concerned that they were vulnerable and did not trust anyone alone with them.

During these years as a wife, mother and business owner, I gradually put on the weight until I was right back where I had been prior to my marriage.

In addition to dealing with all of the ‘baggage’ from the sexual abuse, I was constantly bullied during my teen years for being overweight. Now, when I look at pictures of myself then, I actually think I looked good, and would give anything to look like that again. I was never made to feel good about myself though because of the bullying.

Me on Cruise Ship

Myself at 50, one year prior to my breakdown at work.

Then, I dealt with some bad work situations, ranging from discrimination because of my weight to outright bullying, but never did I experience anything as horrible as the bullying and environment in my last job. Had it not been for one particular staff member, I’m sure I would have been fine, but because of the ongoing bullying and the trauma of dealing with a final blowup with the staff member, the stress and anxiety took their toll until I had a breakdown. I left work that day in tears and have not been back since.

Today, I met with my doctor at her request to discuss the psychiatrist’s initial report on my condition. I had actually expected to be scolded and pressured into getting better and returning to work, but nothing could be further from the truth. In his report, he advised that my condition as a result of the traumas was such that he believed I would never be able to return to work.

So, this is where my doctor took me to task, saying that since there was no return to work imminent, and since I had gained some weight due to the increased inactivity over the last 20 months on disability, she was concerned about my weight and health. To be honest, the last time I was weighed, I was shocked at how much I actually had gained. So, I’ve been watching what I ate since the last appointment and lost ten pounds. She took my blood pressure and it was high, but she said she was reserving judgment until she checks it one more time during my next appointment. She has scheduled me for a complete workup, and we’ll see how that goes. She also wants me to keep a diet journal and bring it to our next appointment.

Although I was upset and uncomfortable after leaving the doctor’s office this morning, I’m actually feeling pretty good about it all. After all, I have lost ten pounds on my own and would love to lose more. So, I started my daily log on myfitnesspal.com. It tracks what I eat, when I eat it, what kind of exercise I get and how much, tallying calories in and calories out and arriving at a total for each day.

I’ve actually made this site my new home page on my browser. When I log on, the first thing I see is my daily log and goals for the day. This will be just the reminder I need to keep with it.

Published by Christine Blythe

A fifties' child, mom, wife, avid genealogy researcher, web contributor and author/owner of four blogs including Empty Nest Ancestry, Feathering the Empty Nest, Top Web Blog Tips, Job Bully, and our extensive family genealogy database site at Blythe Genealogy.