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Depression


Apparently depression is more dangerous than Diabetes, Asthma and Arthritis.

So I should be worried. More worried, in fact, than I was all of last year, when the whole illness thing was upon me (oh, yes, I was ill, and for some six whole months – we made acquaintance with many varied members of the medical community in this city). It had been nice then to talk about random symptoms to doctors who couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was wrong with me, and I reveled in the attention. To re-live it, I had:

  • A continuous low-grade fever (which I attributed to missing P on his long Canada trip)
  • Weight loss (I went from 140 lb to 95 lb; I celebrated so much, of course, at P’s cousin’s wedding when my darling women-in-law went literally green. Weight issues are so critical to them)
  • Night sweats (I remember throwing off the sheets in Dublin and sleeping near-naked next to a snoring P and two other semi-patient strangers)
  • Day chills (when I would load myself up with more sweaters and jackets than the average TV mom would demand of her ‘beta’; and of course with all that we couldn’t really walk around much except go eat lunch at a vegetarian-friendly place, which almost always turned out to be Indian- or Indian-influenced).
  • Fatigue. This last was embarrassing, and I could only think about my grandmom. When my granddad and she go out, she routinely walks some 10 steps behind him, and not out of respect for her husband, but because he simply refuses to walk slower and she cannot walk faster. She decided at 15 that she was going to be ill most of her life, and has suffered one illness after another till this day.

I remember times last year when going to the next-door Publix was a long, well-planned ‘evening out’ and I’d come back exhausted. I remember not seeing the car P bought for three days because I couldn’t get up and walk out the front door. I remember days when P left home for work in the mornings and found me exactly in the same place when he came back, not having moved all day, not even for food or water. I remember him loading the Container Store nightstand (one of our first purchases) with a fruit, water, a tic-tac and a book. I remember always leaving the book untouched because I was too tired to read.

So, that was fun; at least it wasn’t Lymphoma. But to get to the point, all that is not totally in the past. In the last few months, I’ve relieved the same existence. And not out of physical fatigue – no, I drive, I walk, I talk loudly, and I do have energy when needed. But other days, like this past week, I’ve stayed in bed – all day, every day. I don’t eat because I don’t feel hungry, I don’t talk to anyone, I do not go out for days on end. And I feel guilty, useless – considering I’m burdened with the paradox of being a fiercely feministic housewife, my life’s strings are all neatly tied up.

So when I read the news article about depression, I took a few of the 3 zillion depression-self-tests. Guess what, I passed (or failed, depending upon how each one was framed) each one of them – I’m clinically depressed. You gotta love this century, they have a name for everything. That does really make it easier to bear.

I’m going and getting St.John’s Wart tomorrow.

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Categories: diary, family, food, general, health, P
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