Yellow roses from Al in Vietnam to Fran Oct. 1969

Post Operative Depression By: Frances M. McCrory-Meservy July 1968-March 1972

After David was born, I went into heat exhaustion if I did the least little thing. Al bought our first air conditioner so I would not overheat.

David was colicky and I walked the floor with him at night so Al could sleep. Sam took care of him in the mornings so I could get a few hours sleep. It turned out he was allergic to my milk. We put him on soybean milk and the problem went away. He was a happy baby.

I went into a postoperative depression that lasted five years before finding a doctor who could diagnose and treat me successfully.

Until David was born, life had been easy for us - there had been no real problems. Now there was a big problem - keeping the house picked up the way Al wanted was impossible and sexual desires began to diminish. After five years of depression, I saw little, felt little and did not respond at all. I felt as though I were a dead person who had to function.

During this period of time is when Al became so domineering and hard to live with. He did not understand and didn't seem to care about how I felt. He just wanted things to go a certain way and if they didn't, he would explode.

As long as things were going right, Al was the person I thought I had married. There seemed no need for him to change; I just wanted him saved so he would go to church with me. When our problems started, a hidden side of Al emerged. Oh, I had heard about this person from other people who knew us; but he was not that way toward me.

Al had always been the type person who needed me to prove I loved him over and over again. It was as though he had a hole that needed to be filled with love. I could never seem to love him enough. Now, no matter how hard I tried, he always felt unloved.

Al turned out to be the kind of person that if I did one thing wrong, I automatically did everything wrong: that is how he saw things. There was no pleasing him and he let me know it in no uncertain terms. I began to feel incapable of doing anything right.

Although Al never hit me, he would throw things and start yelling. Violence of any kind made me nervous. Adding bad nerves to the depression didn't help matters.

Just before we met Al in Hawaii, Davis was 18 months old and could not walk yet. I took him to the Doctor and it turned out he had an inner ear infection. The Doctor gave him a shot and he started walking the next day. It was amazing. David never fussed – he would just shake his head back and forth.

In July 1970 I while Al was in Vietnam, I had a nervous breakdown.

Al was in the Navy but he was not on a ship in Vietnam. He was on shore just south of Saigon. He was dropped out of helicopters into rice patties to repair communications equipment or onto and Navy riverboat to repair the radar. He was in harms way.

If Al didn’t get a letter every day, he would write about how easy it would be to walk in front of a bullet. I was really worried about him.

He did not seem to care that I was taking care of 2 children and could not write every day. I think I only missed writing 4 or 5 days while he was gone. When he would get mail, there would be four to five letters at a time.

This is also the time when I found out Stephie was deaf in her left ear and was taking her back and forth to Fort Polk, LA for special tests to see if it could be repaired.

Then Stephie had a kidney infection. She was on antibiotics but it still took 72 hours to get her temperature below 105 degrees. I was up with her constantly giving her alcohol rubs and tepid baths to cool her down. Then I had to make several trips to Fort Polk, LA for kidney tests to see if they could find out what was causing her infections.

I started having horrible chest pains. I went to my doctor and he had an upper GI test run because he thought I was having a gal bladder attach. Turned out my nerves were so bad that the tube coming from the gal bladder was having spasms and completely closing up.

Dr. Todd put me on Phenobarbital for a month and then slowly reduced the dose until I was off during the 2nd month. I was still in the depression but my nerves were in tact.

Al came home in October and had to report to Quonset Point RI in November. The children and I had to stay in Buna until the Navy built a trailer park because there was not enough housing there and the locals were prejudiced against Navy families. They finished the trailer park and new navy housing in January 1971.

Eccl 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.

Ezek 13:22 "Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; …

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