Living in “Not Enough”

I’ve spent most of this afternoon/evening crying.

Daily PhotosThis sweet kitty came and snuggled me all on his own initiative.

I’m okay…..well, I’m not okay but I’m sure I will be and it’s not the end of the world…..I’m just tired.

Well, I don’t like that either, because I’m not “just” tired.  I’m exhausted.  I’m wasted.  I’m trying…..

I’m trying really, REALLY hard.

I’m trying to hold myself together.
I’m trying to hold my boys toge……………

I edit myself all the time.  I figure that you must be as sick of hearing “all that I have to do” as I am of thinking about it.

And yet, every  time that I hit “POST” someone leaves a comment or sends me a message or tells me later, that they don’t feel alone, or they “get it” a little bit more,or that they had no idea.  All of that….it brings awareness.  It helps to create community.  And community is especially important for our parents/caregivers within the special/high/complex needs community and that’s why I continue to write and overshare.

I know that some people look at me and think that I have it all together.  Ha Ha Ha ha!

I would NEVER claim to have it all together.  I am a hot mess, sometimes presented fairly nicely, with overly done make up and enough hairspray to make my 90s’ self proud. Sometimes I’m rocking the greasy hair, messy bun with yesterday’s yoga pants and baggy shirt, all rounded out with lipstick and shades…….like putting lipstick on a pig, right?

I wish I was perfect…..well, not really but I wish I had a house cleaner and maybe a nanny.

I might be a little more sane, if I had that…..but I don’t and so I do what I can and often…..always…..that’s not enough to be perfect.  Mostly, it’s just not enough.

I struggle with the fact that I may be judged for my children’s inability to self-regulate like lots of kids can.
I struggle with my inability to do everything that I want to do.

I struggle with my inability to do things that I feel others think I should be able to do.

That last comment is a huge issue for me……. I tear up writing it. I tear up re-reading it.  It’s where I’m stopping today……why do I place so much weight on what “people” may think of me…….

Maybe this is why I feel so strongly to advocate and champion for kids with invisible disabilities; and for understanding and compassion for all!

The fact of the matter is…..I am disabled!

Definition of disabled

1 a : impaired or limited by a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition 

I look healthy and for the most part happy and well rounded BUT…

I am limited in my physical and mental abilities.  Not cognitively, although the “brain fog” from stress and exhaustion is a real thing.  I have HUGE amounts of empathy for people who have Executive Function Issues and even Brain Injury because…….I used to be extremely capable of an insane amount of organization and administration. With all the stress and trauma we’ve dealt with over the past decade (its been over a decade), everyday I walk around saying, “Why am I here and what was I going to do?”  I walk around in this “fog” where I can be talking to someone, and suddenly realize that I have no idea what I was talking about…..it’s gone.  That too happens, daily.  Some days its better and some it’s worse.

There are things that I can’t do from an emotional energy standpoint and even from a physical energy standpoint……and its hard…..because I look like I am okay.

And every time, I have to say that “I can’t”… it feels like a punch to the stomach.  I can’t do a school project with my kids. I can’t go on a field trip. I can’t run to the grocery store for a quick pick up. I can’t make that phone call. I can’t type that email. I can’t do that laundry. I can’t clean the way I want to. I can’t…….

Can you imagine?  If you can’t…..call yourself extremely blessed.  I don’t begrudge it of you.  I used to be you.  You are blessed. Please don’t take it for granted.  But Please… do have compassion for those who may not be able to.

If you can imagine……know that I get it.  To some degree, I get it. I get that there are things you are good at and things you wish you could do. I get that there are things you CAN make happen , but it comes at great cost and sacrifice to your (and your family’s) well being. I get that there are things you just CANNOT MAKE HAPPEN.  And I get that it sucks.

If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone. It’s hard.  Know that it’s okay to have the good days and to celebrate them; and to have the bad days and to hate them. Know that a good morning can turn into a bad afternoon or vice versa; and that every day starts anew with new possibilities.  Know that it’s okay to be filled up with sadness, and even to sit with it for a moment, but that you need to let it go to make room  for something else. Be easy on yourself and extend grace and compassion to yourself.

Judah wondered why I was  crying today and I told him that my heart felt overly full of sadness and crying was helping to pour some of the sadness out.  That I was making room for other emotions to come and fill me up.

I think I’ve emptied enough sadness out and I’m going to be careful with myself over the next few days and do things to help fill me up.  Tomorrow is a “Mental Health Day” for me and my littles. I’m looking forward to it.

 

 

 

Connection

I posted a picture the other day….


And my thoughts keep returning to this…

We have an appointment on Wednesday to go and talk with someone at the School Board about this most recent incident with Jeremy. 

I haven’t overshared about this situation for a number of reasons.

  • I’m utterly exhausted and traumatized by it all.
  • It requires immense energy to barely hold together a sweet boy who has been traumatized by it all.
  • I alternate between anger, apathy and anguish on an hourly basis. 
  • It’s almost surreal to me except that it altogether , too real.
  • This is a culmination of years of educationally based trauma for Jeremy and us.

My brain keeps hurling words, thoughts and feelings at me and this is my attempt to capture some of those words and make sense of them all so that we can share consisely on Wednesday.

At the very Center of all of this is Jeremy.

My sweet boy.  He struggles immensely as a young boy and that was the one thing that he ALWAYS had going for him.  He was SO sweet and charming.  Couldn’t focus if his life depended on it.  Couldn’t read or write.  Couldn’t decode social situations…..but he was absolutely darling.  That was probably his biggest saving grace. 

For all of his struggles, Jeremy has been desperate to connect…..desperate for relationship.  He hasn’t been very good at it and when he was finally diagnosed at 13 years old, during his second attempt at an assessment, with Autism…..so many things made sense. 

I find it interesting and so very incredibly frustrating that the older he gets, the less patience, support and care, people seem willing to offer.  It’s like they expect him to have “gotten” it (whatever “it” is) and are more likely to judge that he’s just not trying hard enough. 

Let’s break it down extremely succinctly:

On a daily basis, with NO RELIEF, Jeremy deals with:

  • Social/emotional deficits (Autism)
  • Severe Executive Function disorder (ADHD)
  • Faulty sensory perception (sensory processing disorder)
  • Constant worry and stress (Anxiety)
  • A huge discrepancy between his academic abilities and his output (Learning Disabilities)

That’s a HUGE load to be carrying…..and he’s been carrying it for 16 years.  Its an incredible testament to his resiliency that he keeps trying every day.  That he gets up and in spite of his worries, in spite of inaccurate and hurtful judgments, in spite of constant internal and external pressures…he gets dressed, packs his bag, says “bye mom, I love you!” and heads off to school.

On an aside, Jeremy has been looking for a job.  He’s handed out a lot of resumes, but between a “special needs label” and a service dog….his job hunt hasn’t been very successful.  We’ve heard SO many positive comments about how Polite and Courteous he is.  How he is SO respectful and seems incredibly keen to work…..but nothing has translated to actual employment.  

This past week, in the middle of this chaos, Jeremy got a job.  He got a job because someone gave him an opportunity to show them what he is capable of.  The feedback we got, was that he is probably the hardest working person they’ve had.  

THAT……….THAT is who my son is.  He IS hardworking.  He IS responsible.  He IS respectful. He is DESPERATE to please and to succeed.  He WANTS to do his best……not just for you, but because working hard, being respectful, and doing your best are characteristics that we have consistently and tirelessly impressed upon him as critically important to his very being.

Down to his very soul, to the core of who he is…….Jeremy is desperate for connection….for relationship.

If you were to ask me what he wants most in this world…I would say that relationship trumps everything. 

If you were to ask me what he struggles the most with….I would also say relationships.

This is where his disability comes into play…..

Would you get angry or frustrated if a person who was missing a limb couldn’t climb a ladder as fast or as nimbly as someone with complete functioning limbs?

Would you be short tempered with someone who had a cleft palate or was in a wheelchair?

Now I realize that every disability has people who are cruel/uncaring and judgmental…..but that’s not what I’m referencing here.

How about someone who is blind…….but you didn’t realize they were blind?  You may be frustrated that they weren’t as fast and nimble at everything but as soon as you realize they are “differently abled”……more often than not, we have an “AHA!” moment and our compassion increases.

How often do we see a child having a temper tantrum in a public place and judge?

Or is our first thought, “oh I wonder what’s stressed that sweet little one to their breaking point?”

How often do we hear that a child in our child’s classroom “freaked out” and they had to clear the room; and judge that that kid is spoiled and gets away with too much?

Or is our first thought, “what perfect storm of physical/mental or emotional triggers overwhelmed him till all of his energy and ability to “hold himself together” was depleted?

Do we judge the behaviours or see the behaviours as communication? 

It doesn’t matter who you read, Stuart Shanker, Ross Greene, Gordon Neufeld, Gabor Mate, Brene Brown or countless others……..CONNECTION is CRITICAL!

We crave connection and acceptance on a very deep level.  Disconnection and rejection have a HUGE impact on humankind. Without connection, we are more easily succumbed to addiction, depression, self harm, etc.  It’s hard to find the strength to carry on when we are alone.  But when we know that we have the love and acceptance of those who care for us……..amazing things happen.  We can shine and grow.  We can reach and exceed our expected potential. 

How many inspirational stories do you hear and read about where “someone believed in me so I believed in myself and accomplished great things? What’s at the core of those stories????? Connection.  We are hard wired for connection. 
 Will you look for moments to connect, this week? Especially with someone who is struggling to connect. Reframe “behaviours” from “a terrible child” to a struggling child and ask Why they are feeling and acting this way and what is instigating the behaviours. 

To see our children as struggling and not as defiant or problematic is the start of an incredible journey towards connection that will benefit you and I and the world.. 

Exhaustion

20130905-214113.jpg

I’m so tired…….I think I’ve been doing better and then something comes along and knocks me down so flat that I feel like any forward movement I’ve made has all been taken away and I’m right back down to scraping the bottom of the emotional/mental/physical barrel.

This week has really done me in. Between first days and lunches and anxiety and high school……it was all pretty overwhelming but I was hanging in there.

Today totally just knocked me over the edge.

I was originally going to take Jeremy out to the appt by myself, and then we had some issues trying to work out who was going to watch Judah and who would pick up Siah and I thought that maybe I might get out of having to deal with today (avoidance……awesome escapism tactic). Jon felt I really needed to be there.

Oh, I didn’t want to. It’s so hard. When your son doesn’t fit “the mold” neatly and nicely and attempting to diagnose the “puzzle” that is your child means that you have to fight with every ounce of strength that you have and even with some that you don’t have…….it’s tough. And after fighting last time and being so dismissed…….it was such a blow that I…..we….didn’t even really want to hope for this to work out.

And yet we want the best for our son and so we scrape together the courage to go to a meeting where we bare our souls and pull out every negative aspect of our son and of ourselves and of our families…….and lay it all out for someone to see and hear and sift through, in the hopes that they will be able to give us answers – or at the very least clues that will help us to help our child.

I sit there in these meetings and wonder how our genetic soup managed to come together in such a way that our son was given this……

ADHD, ODD, Anxiety, SPD and possibly ASD…..all mashed up together in one small child.

It’s SO much. It’s so much for us to deal with. It’s so much for him to deal with. It’s so much.

And yet, like with Angelica……..we make it as “normal” as we can. Bald is beautiful. Confidence is beautiful. And our brains are all unique and the things that make us unique make us so very special. We play up the incredible aspects and attempt to make the difficult things “just a matter of fact”.

But the truth is……it’s not easy. In fact, somedays it feels like a crushing impossibility.

We won’t know the results for a bit. I’m hoping for an Autism Diagnosis because there is so much in that particular diagnosis that makes sense and yet, I’m so scared to get my hopes up.

I want help. I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of trying to be strong. I’m tired of carrying everyone. I’m just really tired.

To be honest, getting the diagnosis would feel like someone was validating just how difficult the past 12 years have been. Don’t get me wrong. I love this young man with every fiber of my being. Which is why I’m fighting with energy that I don’t really feel I have to give…….but it’s been tough…..really tough. And I’m tired.

I’m so tired.

Through The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.
1THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

3 He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.

6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

This passage keeps running over and over inside of me. Different aspects of it hit me at different times of the day and the night.

The Lord is my Shepherd. He will feed, lead and guide all of my and our steps. I will lack for nothing. He provides a place for me to lay down and be at peace and rest. I can feel safe and secure, knowing that He has made a quiet, peaceful place for me to relax when I feel tired or overwhelmed. I can be still knowing that He is in control and caring for me. He refreshes me and restores me when I feel worn down and so tired and so very, very broken. He does lead me into places of uprightness and right standing with Him, because He loves me and Geli and us. Even though we may be walking through a very deep, dark valley and may feel like the shadow of death has touched us with it’s evil and destruction – I WILL FEAR NO EVIL. I will not fear anything because HE IS WITH ME, WITH HER, WITH US….every step of this journey. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He protects us and guides us and in spite of all of our pain, or hurt or confusion or anger – HE COMFORTS US! He provides for us in the middle of all of this garbage. In spite of all we have gone through, in spite of all we are are going through….my life is full of love and joy. Goodness, Mercy and His Incredible Love is with me every moment of every day and I choose to live within His LOVE and PRESENCE all of my life. Nothing shall sway me from this, not life nor death.

Angelica is on the list to get new knees. In all actuality, her shoulder is WAY worse than her knees, but she doesn’t walk on her shoulder. And so, from her standpoint, dealing with the pain in her knees is a higher priority.

I’m very aware of exactly where we are at, and we are taking the steps that are medically necessary to replace her knees, and her shoulder will be shortly behind that. We believe that there is SO MUCH GOOD that the medical profession can offer to help us out.

And in spite of all of that, I am praying for Angelica’s healing.

I would love if if you would stand with me and support her and us with your prayers.

I believe that….. “Where two or more agree concerning anything, it shall be done!” and so I’m asking for two or three….or many, MANY MORE…..to stand with us to declare healing for Angelica.

Looking at the reality……we need a miracle. Aside from the replacements…..that’s the only other possibility. I’ve seen the pictures of her shoulder bones and the left one has collapsed. There is no natural possibility for healing or regrowth outside of a miracle.

And so, I’m asking, praying and believing for a miracle.

I would like to invite you to join with Jon and I and more importantly Angelica as we pray and believe for healing and new bones for Angelica.

I realize that to some of you who don’t believe, this may sound crazy. And maybe, I’ve gone crazy….there has been a whole lot of stress over the past 2 years. But………in my mind, as much as it might be good to have knee replacements instead of pain and eventual immobility for the rest of her life……the best thing would be to have new, healed and restored bones. Until the moment that they cut her open to put new knees and other joints in….I will pray and ask and believe for God to work a miracle in her life and in her body. At this point, we have nothing to lose….

Angelica doesn’t finish treatment for Leukemia for another 6 months. The list for new knees has a 6-9 month waiting list….and so the timing works out well for her to be on the list starting now.

She starts physio and OT on Monday at GF Strong.

For those of you joining us in prayer, here is a list of things to pray about:

1. New, Healed Bones for Angelica. Currently they have said that her knees, shoulders, hips and elbows are showing signs of bone death….but we want everything in her body and mind to be healthy!
2. We are all feeling quite emotionally tired, fragile and broken. So prayer for strength and comfort, peace and joy.
3. Geli is so tired of feeling physically exhausted all the time. She’d like to have energy to be able to enjoy life.
4. Geli is starting physio and we want her to be able to build as much strength in her body as possible.
5. Prayer for sleep….restful, peaceful sleep for everyone in our family.
6. Strength for us all to be able to keep going on in spite of how tired and worn down we are feeling
7. Protection for our family that each and everyone of us would be safe and healthy
8. We have had so many things break on us recently…our microwave, my laptop, our toaster over, our scale, my breast pump, and I know there are more that I’m not remembering, but we’ve had enough…..this all needs to stop. It’s a drain emotionally as well as financially!
9. PEACE!!!!!! in every area of our lives and minds and bodies……for all of us.
10. Employment – Jon’s job is very uncertain right now. He is a contractor and currently working for a GREAT COMPANY, working amazing flexible hours and making enough to support our family. His contact is up as of March 31st and his boss has applied for his contract to be extended but the boss’s boss has not not yet signed off on rolling over the contract. Jon would love to actually get hired on full time at this company, with benefits and a regular salary, but even just a contract renewal would be amazing.
11. Mini-Vacation – Personally, I’d really love to be able to get away as a family. Somewhere not too far away, but where we can relax and just escape! I’m just gonna be specific and say that I’d love to be on a beach somewhere to hear the waves crashing and smell the salt water and feel the wind on my face, but honestly….any where would be nice.

Thank you for all your support. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your prayers. We need them now, more than ever.

Normal is gone……and we grieve

I lay beside her on the bed tonight, cuddling her…my arms wrapped around her while she sobbed and wailed as if her heart had broken. I held her and whispered quietly, my lips against her shoulder, “It’s okay to cry. Just let it all out.”

The sounds coming from the very core of her….so hurt and wounded and broken and tired…..so very very tired.

She cried until she was spent and then she lay, breathing jerkily, as she tried to settle.

***************************

We went to see the Rheumatologist early this morning. He gave us news that no one wants to hear. Especially not a child……

Double Knee Replacement!

Shoulder Replacement!

Most likely looking at bone death in the hips and the elbow and who knows where else…..

Possibly hip replacement in the future…… who knows about the elbow.

He would need to look at the previous X-rays and we’ll probably need more in the future.

It’s a lot to deal with.

I’m not coping very well. She’s struggling. We are all struggling.

This is tough.

So painful.

She’s looking at knee replacement surgery after treatment ends in 6 months.

She’s already feeling like Grade 8 and Grade 9 have been taken away from her by cancer and now to hear that grade 10 will be taken up with bone and joint issues…..

This just feels like too much.

For all of us.

We are hurting and wounded and broken and in the moment, it feels impossible to think about how we can possibly recover from this.

I try to put as many positive spins on this as I can. To think about those we know who have overcome great obstacles and even faced death and now are thriving, but in the moment……

It’s overwhelming and we cry…..

And we hurt and we wonder how we will carry on and yet…….we must!

We will get through.

Nothing will ever be as it were.

Our old “normal” is gone……never to be found again and we grieve. We grieve hard!

We must find a new normal.

Again.

It’s getting harder and harder to think about creating new normals.

It’s getting harder and harder to try to create new normals.

It’s getting harder and harder.

It’s just really hard!

Tonight is a bad night.

Hopefully, tomorrow is better!

What are you Thankful for?

It’s Monday morning….well, it’s almost noon and I’m sitting on my couch….in the sunshine….in the quiet……well, it would be quiet if Geli wasn’t hacking and couching and sneezing in the back ground. She’s stayed home another day from school. She woke up this morning with some “gastro-intestinal issues” and that’s all we’ll say about that. It’s all just a part of the stupid virus. I can’t wait for it to run it’s course and be gone from our house.

My mom came by this morning and has taken my boys for a walk. It’s nice cause they’ll get back, we’ll feed them lunch and then the baby will go for a nap. That’s some good timing, as far as I’m concerned.

Things are okay this morning. I’d be lying if I said that I bounded out of bed this morning, ready for the day. Certain that today was going to be a good day. It was more like I rolled out of bed ’cause the baby needed a diaper change. And then I folded 3 loads of laundry before even heading upstairs.

We managed to get breakfast made, school started and the house somewhat tidied and so right now things feel peaceful. I know what’s happening for dinner and I will put it in the oven in a few hours. There are no appointments, or places to be or things to pick up and so today is a quiet day.

I’m noticing that right now, my patience is not at the level it normally is. I snapped at Jeremy this morning instead of calmly explaining to him why it’s not a good idea to shout in the hallway when his brother is still sleeping. I don’t like being rude or disrespectful to my kids. I’m trying to teach them to talk respectfully even when they are frustrated or tired or upset and so to model the very behaviour that I’m trying to teach against……frustrating for me. It’s all a lesson, isn’t it? I get to apologize and explain what happened and how it’s not okay. We hug and move on….it’s just life lessons, but it speaks to me of how little I have to give.

I’m not hopeless. I’ve not given up. I’m just tired. Imagine if you had been walking in the desert for a month and you knew that just over that hill in front of you was a town and there was water, food, a bed….rest……and you just had to make it there. You’re exhausted. You don’t want to carry on, but there is no point in lying down and dying now. The end is close. Your dessert experience won’t last forever, but…..you are tired. You don’t feel like you can take another step. All you want to do is to lie down. But if you do….you will end up losing out on everything that you struggled for….that you fought for….all that pain and energy was, then, for nothing.

Sometimes, you just need to sit down and cry. Let all of the pressure off. And then you pick your tired self up and carry on……that’s where I’m at….I’m carrying on.

We all go through things. Have I ever wished that I was not going through this…..OF COURSE! Do I wish that I had a close friend, someone who really understood……honestly, as nice as that would be….NO! Because that would mean that you were going through this and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Sure, I’ve looked at you and wondered why “I” am going through this horrible time in my life. And then I remind myself that WE ARE ALL going through things….Life is a constant state of living and dying…of good and bad….of tough times and easy times.

I’m so aware of the tough times right now because there seems to be so many tough things going on in my life and yet, I try to keep aware of the good things in front of me….I have so many good things. I have an amazing husband….who I don’t get to see nearly enough. But isn’t that amazing that after 16+ years that I want to have more time with him and not less. I have 5 amazing kids. I am all so proud of each of them. They work through their own struggles and come out winning, and loving and embracing life. My family is amazing and well,…..I’m alive and breathing.

Alive is pretty good, no?

Today I’m choosing to be thankful….. I’d love to hear what you are thankful for, if you wouldn’t mind sharing?

I’m thankful for Jon and my kids.
I’m thankful for my health.
I’m thankful for my home.
I’m thankful for sunshine.
I’m thankful for my momma.
I’m thankful for this quiet moment.

What are you thankful for?
There are no wrong answers……

seasons change……….

It’s been a while since I last posted.

We’ve been trucking along and then……. I don’t know what happened. This last week was horrible and by Saturday I fell apart.

We slept in until 8:30am (That’s a sleep in ’round these parts) and then I got up and went to my exercise class where I managed to finished the first third of the class and then I started crying. And crying and crying and crying. So much so that the girl in front of me stopped her practice and gave me a box of Kleenex. I managed to sort of pull myself together (or not) and hung out through the rest of the class and then went home. And then spent the rest of the day crying and crying and crying and crying.

It’s all just too much.

I don’t know how else to put it. There is too much. Too much for one person to handle. Too Much Stress. Too much pressure. It’s just too much.

Xani got sick about 2 weeks ago with some killer nasty cold. She made it through the first week hacking and coughing and sneezing and then the two littlest boys picked it up. Saturday night Josiah woke up unable to breathe. That’s scarey, eh? His panicking didn’t help the situation, either. But, what would you expect if you woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t breathe? He had a fever from Saturday until Wednesday when it finally broke. I figured that we were just dealing with some nasty virus. The Baby started in on the coughing on Sunday and rocked out a fever then too. By Thursday night when his fever was still in the 39-40 degree range, I was starting to get worried. He was so cranky. So whiny. So tired. So upset. Not eating, not drinking and starting to not wet his diapers. I took him to the clinic where the dr diagnosed him with a lower left lung infection and put him on antibiotics.

There was a massive issue at the pharmacy because they didn’t have the antibiotics that the dr had ordered and there was a HUGE run around trying to get a new prescription. It was unreal. The pharmacist dude was unreal and we know them by name – We spend a lot of money at this pharmacy. I’m not sure what the problem was today…maybe he had a fight with his girlfriend before he came to work or something….it was awful……we finally got it sorted out and started Judah on the antibiotics late on Thursday night. He was still feverish on Friday morning, but by late afternoon the fever was starting to come down.

Friday morning I got a call from Geli’s nurse, saying that her counts were really low and that we had to stop chemo and that they’d like her to be taken into our Dr or a clinic or something just to get her chest listened to. She started feeling crappy on Monday and didn’t go to school the whole week either. She had a low grade fever for most of the week. Just before we were taking her to the clinic, we took her temp and she was at a 38.1 – when she is neutropenic (has really low infection fighting counts) we have to take her into the hospital anytime she scores a temperature of 38 degrees or higher. If she has normal counts then we have to take her in, if she has a fever over 38.5. We chocked it up to the smoking hot bath that I had just pulled her out of and carried on down to the clinic. Her lungs sounded clear, but the clinic dr clocked her temperature in at 38.7…….so Jon called the hospital to let them know they were coming in and they came home to pack up.

We were not sure what to expect. Worse case – she’d be admitted for 3 days. Best case, they’d come home that evening but needing to go back for a 24 dose of antibiotics.

They did get to come home. It was viral, but it rocked us. We have been been so battered and beaten over this past year and half that we have no reserves to stay strong about this. I felt like I was in shock that night. Jeremy was crying off and on because they had to go. The babies were sick. Jon and Geli were gone for who knows how long. I just emotionally and mentally shut down. My mom came over and she helped with the boys and took Xani to youth and picked her up while I tried to clean the house so that we could “carry on” on Saturday. But inside I just felt dead about it all. I have to do this. I can’t just not. I have no time to just be. I have no opportunity to get away from this all. For the past 19 months, we have fought and fought and fought and fought and I don’t know how much fight I have left in me.

A friend stopped by to drop off a few groceries that I needed and we were talking for a moment and I shared with her how I feel like I’m in a bad dream or a horror movie. There is just one bad thing after another after another and I can’t see the end to it all. I know this sounds bad. I know this sounds down. I know this doesn’t sound encouraging and that’s how I feel.

I’m so tired. I’m so worn out. I’m exhausted. I don’t know how I will be able to make it through the next 9 months.

I feel like I’m barely existing. It’s a horrible place to be. There are so many things that are hard right now. I am trying to hold onto faith and hope and yet……..honestly……it’s really tough.

And that’s how I came to yesterday…..I spent most of the day crying. I crawled into bed at 6pm finally fell asleep at 8pm. I woke up at 2am, at 3am, at 4am, at 5am, at 6am and then slept until 8:30am…..sleep evades me this past year and a half…..even if the baby sleeps, I wake. There is so much going on. So many things that have gone wrong. So many things that I’m trying to organize and manage and sty on top of……so many other things that I can’t do anything about……

This is a very tough season…..I can’t wait for this season to pass…….it must!

Another Blow

I’ve had a few days to process and …..we were not prepared for this.

As of October 31st, Jon has been laid off.

The church has not been doing well financially for a while and at this point cannot afford two pastors and so, we are now out of a job.

I felt okay for the first part of this week, and I think that was shock. As the week as progressed, it has slowly begun to sink in…..we have no job! No employment! No Income!

This past year has not been kind to us and we are not in a position financially to absorb any time without a paycheck!

I believe with all my heart that we will make it through this. By that I mean that we will all have each other and that we will love and that we will live and yet……..I have no idea what this means for us practically and realistically.

Will be have to sell our house? Without a job we can’t buy another one, but without a job, we can’t pay for this one either. I know that it sounds rather dramatic, but I’m feeling rather traumatized right now.

I feel like I’m floundering and I don’t know where to go or what to do…..I’m trying to figure out what we can sell and what we can live without and how I can make some money. Even if Jon were to start his business up again, there is no way that he can just instantly make enough to support us…..

I just want to run away.

I know that there is never good timing for this, but this….this is just really, really difficult. Especially after coming on top of this past year.

I’m so tired. I want to sleep and yet, when I lay down….I can’t. Too much to think about and yet I feel so helpless…so hopeless. It’s been a hard day….a tough week…..

She Needs…..

I know that a fever is not that big of a deal….well, most of the time a fever is not that big of a deal. And really, it’s not the fever that’s got me so upset….it’s the timing of it all.

It seems like every time something goes wrong….a few more things all jump on top of us, and we are left under the mountain of crap trying to not be squished. Frankly, I’m tired of it all. I just want to have things go really, REALLY good for a long time. Is that seriously too much to ask?

The fever is not that big of a deal, but it means that I cannot go in to see Jon or Angelica and because I cannot go in to see them, the other kids cannot get in to see them. It’s possible that I could drive us all in and I could hang out in the car for a couple of hours with Judah while they visit, but that really doesn’t sound all that fun, does it? So not looking like it’s going to happen like that.

Jon and Geli are doing well, but they are BORED. She feels fine and yet…they must just hang around.

She seems to be doing amazing. There are a few things that need to happen in order for her to be discharged.

– She needs to have negative blood cultures over 48 hours (that’s up tomorrow at 1pm)
– She needs to be fever free for 48 hours (that’s up in the wee hours of Saturday morning)
– She needs to actually have a neutrophil count (that won’t happen until her WBC is over .5 and today she was at a .3)
– She needs to have one blood test trending downward instead of upward….it was at a 25 today and needs to hit lower numbers.

Basically we are looking at the earliest of Saturday morning before she would be discharged. I’m hoping and praying with everything in me that they do get to come home then.

It was a tough day today and yet I supposed it was a good one, in spite of it all. I have really low expectations on what constitutes a good day, ya’ll! Ummmm there was no puking. Very little fighting. Everyone was sleeping by 8pm….and um…ya….everyone got fed. So ya…..it went okay, I guess!

Well, I’m headed off to bed myself….two night with very little sleep are….well….ya….that…..

Night!

ps. Could ya pray for Judah? He’s still feverish and I’m not sure how the night is going to go and I could really use the sleep and he could really use the health……m’kay??? Thanks so much!

Like a Bad Dream

You will NEVER believe what I am about to tell you.

I can hardly believe it.

I put the kids to bed and was in bed and sleeping just after 10pm. I was so tired because we’d been up most of the night before.

All the kids went to bed happy and healthy. Judah woke up at 1am screaming. This is normal. This is how he wakes up. Frustrating, but oh well…..I went into his room to pick him up and he felt like a hot coal.

Can you believe it? Judah has a fever. I was in shock. How the crap does this happen? Why is this happening? I just don’t understand.

I mean, I understand the how and why of a fever, but I really don’t get the timing.

He clocked in at 37.7F and over the night just continued to rise.

He and I were awake from 1 until after 4 am. Right around 4am, Xani came down to my room to tell me that she’d been awake since 3:30am because she had a nightmare.

It was pretty bad. I prayed with her, talked with her and asked her to try to get back to sleep. She went up stairs and I didn’t hear back from her again.

Judah finally fell asleep on my chest and I just used my pillows to prop myself up so that he would stay there and sleep.

He woke up at 6am and Xani came downstairs just before 7am to let me know that she’d not been able to get back to sleep. She was too scared that she’d go back to sleep and “finish” the dream.

This morning Judah’s temperature hit a 39.7F and I decided that it was time for some Advil. I don’t typically like to medicate my kids but this temp was higher than I’m totally comfortable with.

I’m a little perplexed about what’s going on. He isn’t throwing up and he doesn’t have a cough. There is no runny nose! He’s peeing and not crying hysterically. He’s nursing. He’s even eaten a tiny bit of breakfast. He does have the feverish, hot looking eyes and it definitely not his usual chipper self.

He just scored a 37.5F after a dose of Advil…..so its responding to the meds which is a good thing.

I’m tired and upset and really, REALLY frustrated about this. This is absolutely ridiculous. We had planned to go in and see Geli and Jon as a family today. The kids were pretty excited to be going in to see them as they were pretty upset that they had to go into the hospital in the first place. To wake up and hear the news that we were not going in….well, there were a few tears.

I know we will make it through this but it’s still tough. Mostly, I’m angry. Angry that this is happening. It’s crap!

Geli and Jon had a good night last night. She felt pretty good after getting the blood transfusion and didn’t get to sleep as early as I would have liked her to but I’m just happy she was feeling a bit better.

Her counts are all up this morning…

for those who care:

White Blood Count is .3
Hemoglobin is 94
Platelets are 66

So everything is up, even if artificially, which is good. Her temps which were up last night have been hanging around 37.1F which is normal. So we are just waiting to for her counts to come up and for her cultures to come back negative.

I’m hoping that Judah will actually sleep today and then I will hopefully lay down for a nap as well.

I’ll update as soon as I hear any news.