Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Here it is: The dirty little secret. I suffer from bouts of depression. As described by the National Institute of Mental Health, I am most likely experiencing a minor depression right now; a lackluster feeling of not wanting to do anything or see anyone and an overwhelming sadness that could last up to two weeks. I've been here before and, trust me, I'm not good company.

My work halts. My mood is low. My appetite is poor and my health issues are exacerbated. I actually had an episode of sweating through my pajamas one night this week and fear struck deep. The only other time that happened was when I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma and that was more than 15 years ago. It is a symptom and it also brings back hints of my PTSD from the emergency tracheotomy and its aftermath.

I think, too, I am wary of my 'ologists' month. By January 31st, I will have seen my rheumatologist, my oncologist, and my gastroenterologist and, undoubtedly, will be run through the gamut of testing I hate and the never ending adjustment of medications. Shortly thereafter, I will get my osteoporosis injection (the latest and greatest, or so they say) and continue my blah diet regimen. I have some new concerns and some old concerns. The docs and I will undoubtedly discuss them all.


I don't like dealing with my health problems. I like putting them on a shelf and rolling along. But this past week alone, I've spent hours up late at night wondering whether or not to go to the hospital because my stomach is in spasms and pain from the gastroparesis I have lived with for some two years now, the strange night sweat and headaches and overall malaise. It is not pleasant when I have to go to the ER when the pain is at a +12 on a scale of 1 to 10. But that's what I wait for - the +12. I've learned.

For those of us classified as 'sick' or disabled, we don't know which comes first - the physical maladies or the depression; but both always come and there is no schedule. I know that, too.

According to the NIMH:

"People who have depression along with another medical illness tend to have more severe symptoms of both depression and the medical illness, more difficulty adapting to their medical condition, and more medical costs than those who do not have co-existing depression. Treating the depression can also help improve the outcome of treating the co-occurring illness."

I don't think many 'ologists' get this; nor the many specialists we must see individual for each piece of our bodies. There are so few holistic practitioners. Thanks to friend and colleague Susan Murphy Milano, and her courageous fight against Stage IV cancer last year, I've become acquainted with Dr. Dalal Akoury and her AwareMed Center in South Carolina. God, I miss your wisdom, Susan, and I'm definitely going to set up an appointment to meet Dr. Akoury when I'm down south in February. I know Dr. Akoury gets it and, perhaps, (just, perhaps) I might finally have a captain of my ship to guide me. Many have promised, none have succeeded. But it's worth a shot 'cause I ain't givin' up yet.

Lone Mallard


  1. Amy, friend to friend...I know what clinical depression is as well. Although probably not to the extent as someone who has had the illnesses, etc. you've been through, mine are more "anniversary" depressions as well as seasonal affective disorder, manageable.

    I do hope you have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Akoury while you're here. If for no other reason than to get another perspective about healing as well as depression. And, of course, be sure to ask to be put into "Susan's Room." Her presence is forever there!

  2. Thank you, dear Delilah. See you soon.


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