...and I now have official medical bona fide proof! Last Monday, while I was in the doctor's office of a new PCP (primary care physician), I began filling out the usual "new patient" paper work. You know, the form where you give all the intimate details of your life -- like last period, if you smoke or drink too much alcohol or coffee; what medications you're on; if you've had any surgeries -- who you made out with at prom, etc... You know the one. Well, now I guess there is a new part of the inquiry into your health and this new form is a bit of a psychiatric evaluation where they attempt, in a way too short survey, to assess your mental health.
I knew I was in trouble from the get-go. I'm a comedian by profession and NO ONE who does what I do for a living is sane. We may pass for "normal" but trust me, it's an act. Still, I thought, what the hell, I'll fill it out. I've got nothing to lose -- I think I've been channeling my crazy pretty well in my blog: www.DiaryofaPregnantComedian.com
The aforementioned form includes 10 "yes" or "no" questions and if you answer "yes," then you must rate how often you have said symptoms. The scale goes from least to most serious and it reads: "Almost Never," "Frequently" and "All the Frappin' Time" -- okay I made that last one up, but it really says something like, "On a Constant Basis." I won't bore you with the entire survey, but I'll share the symptoms for which I answered a resounding "yes".
• Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Yep, and it's just awesome that it takes me three times longer to fall asleep than my husband or my Chihuahua because I can't find a comfortable position and then when I finally get into a nice REM I have to get up to go tinkle or remove every stitch of clothing because I'm having a pregnancy "hot flash." But what's really fantastic is when I've only been asleep for a couple of hours and I wake up from some freaky dream -- like the one where we go for a routine ultrasound and the baby has lobster claws instead of arms. Or the reoccurring dream where I go away on vacation and come home to find my baby -- who I totally forgot I had -- clinging to life in the bureau drawer where apparently, in my haste to pack, I left the Little One.
• Do you worry that you're not enough for your family or are letting them down in some way? Um, yeah!!! I constantly wonder if am I reading all of the right books or if I'm on the right websites -- I can't even decide what type of cloth diapers I'm going to get yet. And then there's the question of should I really push for a water birth instead of a hospital one, which could mean I'll have to deliver in an entirely different county, but because of my asthma, the water birth thing may go out the window, anyway. The list of stuff that is going through my brain is never-ending. All I want is to do the RIGHT thing!
• Do you have an increased appetite which causes you to overeat? Hmm, let me think about that. When I say I could eat Winchell's Donuts out of their entire stock of apple fritters in one sitting, does that make my answer "Yes"?
• Are you irritable or short-tempered at times? F*@k yeah! I'm tired, I'm hot, I only crap twice a week -- if I'm lucky, I'm worried and I'm eating like an elephant. What do you think?!
So there are you are ladies and gentlemen, official scientific proof that being preggers qualifies you for having a mental health condition. It's real. I'm not making any of it up. So don't fret if you're in the same position. And, if you're the spouse, friend or family member of someone who is "with child," go easy on us. We are legitimately crazy.
Karith Foster is a comedian and humorous speaker who performs at colleges, clubs, organizations and corporations across America. Visit her website www.karith.com for more funny and to find out how to bring her to your event.