Archive for May, 2014

Dear self,

May 30, 2014

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Dear 20’s self,

I see the love as you hold his hand at the alter.
I hear the words spoken. Remember them. As you journey this journey together.
Cherish and love, even in the scary, hard moments, grab that hand and hold on tight.
Because you’re going to have times you’re lost.
But know this, you’ve chosen well. He’s not going anywhere!

That baby boy your holding?
Life’s not going to be easy. You’ll have hospital stays. Close calls. And scary moments, and in the first 2 years of his life you’ll almost loose him as many times.
But you won’t. And you’ll appreciate life more for it.

I see you lost, distraught and devestated a few years later as you leave from the first round of tests with information.
I hear you question, I see you transform your mind as you let the typical life go, and accept that that precious boy won’t be one of the team, won’t fit the box society desperately tries to put boys into.
I watch you on your daily trips, to doctors, to therapist’s, for tests.
Youre doing ok ! You’re holding up. You’re learning, and guiding. Give yourself some credit.
And remember that hand you held at the alter? Grab it tight, because you need it!

I see you filled with pride,as you hold that baby girl. The girl that shouldn’t be here. But she is. And because of that you believe in miracles.
I watch you while you learn how to juggle two. I watch as that determined little girl grows
I see you teaching her acceptance and kindness. Though there wasn’t much teaching to be done. That little girl has carried that personality since before you met.
I love watching the soulful, spirited girl she is! Be proud, she is unique, creative, compassionate and down right funny. Don’t expect much down time, she’s going to wear you out!
Be proud that you’ve raised a daughter in this crazy world to be just who she is, nobody else.

Remember there’s moments that you don’t know how you’re going to do it. Remember you will. And remember it’s just a moment in time.
Those moments that you question things that will never be answered, accept that. Those moments that hurt your heart so bad it physically hurts. Cry.

When that baby boy is no longer a baby and is faced with more than even you could bare. Carry the load and hold him. You’re strong enough for both of you. Know that you don’t know what the future holds, but know that you’re doing all you can, and for that he is grateful. Know that though there are scary, unknown, heart breaking moments, that those moments will make the good one’s that much better!

When that baby girl is growing into a young woman. Know it’s not you she hates. Hug her and let her lose it,because being a girl is hard. She’ll need you more than ever. Remember to tell her she’s smart, funny, and talented. Yes she’s a beautiful girl, but she needs to know she’s more than just a pretty face.
And that man you looked at all those years ago, hug him. Be thankful that he’s been your rock so far on this journey. And thank him. Thank him for being an understanding, supportive father. Thank him for loving you at your worst as well as your best.

And take a moment every now and then to just breathe!

Most of all remember you are strong, you are courageous, you are you!

Sincerly,
34 year old self.

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Why me? !

May 26, 2014

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So I spend a lot of time sharing about our lives in the upside down world that is parenting, especially a child with high needs. But why?
Everyone knows I share to break down some barriers, and to let others know they’re not alone.
But those who know me also know I don’t shut up and I don’t back down when faced with injustice or adversity!
I figure there’s a reason we’ve all been dealt the cards we have, it’s how you play the deck that matters.
I haven’t always been so gracious (hell I’m still not at times) or proactive.  I tended to be more reactive, and not always graciously!
There was a time I was a little shit. OK maybe a big one.
I struggled in school academically because I had un diagnosed add until I was 17.  God was I social, a smart ass, ya I talked a lot, I was mouthy, and could be down right mean.
That being said I was typically only mean to those treating others wrong in my opinion.  If you ask my friends I took on anyone that was anything but kind to them, I didn’t care if you were the top dog, or a teacher. 
I always stood for what I believed in!  I always will.
I’m a clutz, I’m high strung, I’m emotional, and my heart is always on my sleeve.  I’m highly sensitive, I’m extremely impatient, and more often than not my mouth opens before I think!
Looking at the past brings me to the present.  I’m still all of the above.  I doubt that will change. Quite frankly I don’t want them to, they make me me.
But if you asked me 20 years ago if I would be a business woman, running a pretty incredible, steady business, being able to create with flowers every single day. A fierce mother who has  traveled the roads we have, been faced with the fear and obstacles of raising a child with a severe illness, in a not always kind world.  And a daughter who is possibly her mothers mini. Always trying hard to teach my children they are good enough, strong enough, smart enough just as they are. To be kind to everyone, to believe in themselves, to push themselves just enough, and to love themselves.
A wife of 14 years, who works hard everyday to be the wife my husband deserves. A volunteer on boards.  The founder of anti bullying organization.  And all with this lovely add that makes it a bitch for me to remember more than one thing, or retain anything we discussed yesterday. 
I would have told you were crazy!
I never thought I was good enough, smart enough or fierce enough. 
I  expected nothing less than the white picket fence, 2 happy, healthy children, a part time job, a home grown garden, and home cooked meals on the table.
Well apparently my deck of cards said screw that! And handed me this.
But this is perfect.  This isn’t the ideal, or the always easy,joy filled life I thought it would be. Damn Disney anyway!
Instead of the visions I had, I am a mother trying to remember things, trying to find the energy to do my job everyday, and attend meetings after complete disaster has struck on a regular basis as the bipolar moods see fit.
I am my childrens biggest fan, their biggest advocate.
So I look back and can’t help think these cards were handed to me with trust.  Trust that I can handle it. Trust that I will share. Trust that I can make a difference.  Trust that my voice will be heard, even of only by one person.  Trust that I can be just who I am, and do what I do. Trust that I am gracious enough yet strong enough to fight the good fights and support, guide and help those that can’t always help themselves! 
In my life I try to be kind. I put away the boxing gloves years ago, but there’s times it’s tempting to break them out again!  I try to be grateful, even when the days thrown a curve ball. I try to be sympathetic and empathetic.  I try.
Life’s not full of sunshine and rainbows, and there’s so many days I’m faced with thing’s I wouldn’t wish on anyone, except for a short time to open some eyes!
This is the life I’ve been given, and I plan to make the best of it.
One smart ass comment at a time.

Damn Google anyway ;)

May 22, 2014

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This cartoon makes me laugh my ass off! And only because I’m an offender now in recovery!
DO NOT.  I repeat DO NOT do this!

First of all when dealing with children going through the process of being diagnosed with anything, Google can not diagnose them!!
Google is full of this, that and everything, it is wonderful in it’s own right, but you search a possible diagnosis and I guarantee you’re gonna find things in every article or check list that some what describes your child.  
Your going to take said evidence to heart,and quite possibly pre diagnose your child, and disagree with anyone who says different because they matched a bit of stuff.
SLOW DOWN!!  All in good time will the appropriate professionals have answer’s for you, but no it won’t be as quick as Google will give you the answer.
And possibly it will not match what you have found.
Disorders are complicated, complex,and most individual.  Google can not assess your child, meet and speak with all involved, and give treatment.
Googling prior can actually cause the process to take longer, and really who wants to wait longer than we do?!  That and it causes a lot of undo stress!

Twice I have been banned, literally the hubby disabled it from Google.
First when Dude was starting the whole process.  And only when his doctor gave us a diagnosis and credible sites to visit was I handed the Google card back. And I then used it with a vengeance! Because Yes then a)I knew what I was researching and b) I was allowed; )
The second time I was banned was when I was struggling myself, and Yup I was dying! I was having a heart attack, had cancer and hell some incurable, rare disease!
OK no I really wasn’t, but Google told me I was. In reality I was tired. And banned again, sheesh! 
So I laugh, but not really.  But mostly I’m a tad worried I’ll have Google banned again!

Stop growing dammit!

May 18, 2014

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OK I can’t be the only one. I am hating my children grow up!!
Dude will be 13 in a just 2 months, and the adorable little sister of his, well I took a picture yesterday and apparently she’s not so little anymore!  I’m toast!
I was a younger mom so many of my friends have little darlings 5 and under, and as I watch them, I can’t help but miss those days!
I am not ready for a teenager dammit! Let alone two in a couple years!
Rewind. Now! 
I want to be able to cuddle them. I want mommy hugs to fix everything.  I want to tuck them in! I  miss the days of playgrounds, of story books, and toys!

Most of all I miss the time.

Not saying that I don’t love the young people they are becoming.  They are kind, caring,empathetic and genuine.  But do they have to do it so fast??

Yes we’ve battled long and hard with dude, that’s not about to change.  Yup we’ve got a little spitfire whose be herself and a stubborn self at that since day one!
But I wouldn’t change a thing!
We’ve had our share of blood, sweat and tears. But God we’ve had so much more! The bonds, the laughter, the hugs, and the fun.

We’ve become the family I always dreamed of having.  We’ve done our time our time of sleepless nights, hospital stays, tests, tests and more tests.  We’ve changed those diapers, we’ve wiped those noses. Heck in those cases I guess growing up isn’t so bad!

But we didn’t get to where we are over night!  This growing up thing seems to happen without you even noticing! I think that’s a nasty trick to play on parents! Not nice at all!

So folks with little ones, I’m not kidding when I tell you, cherish every moment of them being where they are. Right. Now.
Enjoy the wonderful.
But also enjoy the hard, tough moments.  Not only will they not last forever, but you’ll probably laugh about them later. 

I believe our children are born with who they are. Work with their individual personality,  don’t try to cram them in a societal box. Teach them, and guide them, show them the way.
Love them.

Almost everything else in life will still be the same tomorrow,  but your children will not, they’ll be another day older.

Mother’s day. The gifts we’re given.

May 10, 2014

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*Warning this post written by a florist Mom during mother’s day. Where’s my damn coffee?! *
Mother’s don’t expect praise,gifts and all sorts of jazz.  That’s not why we’re mother’s.
It’s nice to have a day though to thank our mom’s for all they’ve done for us.  And we love and keep all the things our angels give us.But I really feel like my kids have given me more than I have them. I think all mom’s feel this way: )
Here’s my list of thing’s I’ve been given: 
1.  Pain. Lots of pain. A baby belly isn’t all that comfortable. Labor ain’t that nice. Toddlers biting, babies pulling hair, ya kinda hurts. Giving them trouble, then watching them sleep, pulls on  your heart strings,.Yup you’ll cry, alot! Heartaches and heart breaks. Their pain is your pain. You thought your first fight with a friend, or first break up sucked?!  Just wait!
2. Nerves (and stomach’s ) of steel. Good lord. The puke,the diapers, the snot. Never ever did I ever think I would have to deal with so much! And yes I still suck at it. Watching the first bike ride,the first fall,the first shiner, stitches and broken bone. The needles, the hospitals. Pretty sure our nerves are shot by the time their 4! No wonder we have to color our hair!
3. Fatigue.  Let’s see we start with a max of 4 hours a night for a solid few months.  Followed by many,many years of up and down all night. Every night. Then we chauffeur, cook,clean, at least 3 times a day. Every. Single. Day. Throw in a a job (full time, part time, at home, out of home ) and you count your lucky stars the kids like kd some nights!  Oh and no no you don’t sleep until their home, in bed and asleep (I’m thinking this should last a solid 18 years ).
4. Disaster .  Oh yes,  mama’s get disaster in any way shape or form .  Anything from a Lego filled floor, to science concoctions on the table all the way to sibling world wars to world’s worst mom, cause God forbid you should ask them to wear clothing, brush their teeth, or the ever dreaded bedtime! Yes that my friends is disaster! And it’s usually our fault!!
5. Strength.  Hell hath no fury like a mama!!  Physical,mental and emotinal strength like no other, we possess that.  We pack more in our arms in a day, then heman did in his whole series. Ya ya we cry,we yell,we loose our minds, but you won’t see that!  We put wonder woman to shame.  Scaling walls,and flying have nothing on us.  We take on the world from the moment our babes are born!
To all you super mom’s, do what you do. Love those kids. Cherish those moments, each and every one.
Flowers are nice, chocolate, sleeping in and rocks and paintings are awesome.  But everyday moments are the best gift of all!

Not just a trend!

May 5, 2014

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Ah yes trends and fads in the world of health care. Remember when everyone one you knew was diagnosed with add?  More recently how almost everyone second person you talk to can’t eat this or that?
A recent blog I read on bipolar went in the trendy diagnosis direction (and disproving that idea).  So I feel it only fitting I share my view. Though having a child diagnosed with bipolar, let alone the complex form of it dude has is still NOT common, I think I  have a pretty fair handle on this part of our world.
Here’s my thought, and bare with me…
It’s not a fad, It’s not a trend!
I can remember a conversation with my grandparents about cancer. In their early years the diagnosis of cancer was almost non existent!  As they aged and science continued to progress forward, so did the word cancer.
Remember every illness at one point was new.
My thought is that as we learn more, we treat more.
Now mental health has sat in the back corner for far to long in my opinion.  It’s taken a back seat to physical illness and new methods and education in that field.
Mental health is finally coming into it’s own shall we say.
The prejudices and stigmas are starting to fade, albeit not fast enough,  so head way is being made in diagnoses and treatment of mental illness. Though it is extremely tricky, because each and every case is different! Under each umbrella is a handful of types and under each type are people, and as with anything involving the brain no two are alike.
So though it may appear more and more people are being diagnosed, that does not necessarily mean they are being over or mis diagnosed.
It means, in my mind anyway,  that people are seeking help, people are finally Thank God getting help. For things that so many have suffered in silence with for decade’s.
It means that lives are being saved.
Yes like with anything, there are those that jump on wagons.  There’s doctors that treat the wrong thing, hence why in my question it’s so important to have these diagnosis and treatments over seen by specialists in the field. Yes there’s those who jump the gun. But that’s not the norm.
And here’s the other reason I don’t believe it’s just a trend.
We live it. Every. Single. Day.
As a person who has a gluten allergy lives that life daily, and the reality of it. We live bipolar every day. As they have to be so careful, so they stay healthy and can function,  so do those with mental illness. 
Bipolar is chronic.  It’s not going away. We find things that work to lessen the symptoms, but it’s not going anywhere!
If you were to spend a couple days with dude, you wouldn’t question this trend question!
You would walk away with a whole new opinion.  You would learn what it is like to walk this path.
You would have your eyes open to a whole new world!
And you would walk away most.likely not question the reality of it.
The thing is as life marches on, and mental health continues to gain ground, new things will pop up. It doesn’t mean they’re not legit, and Oh so real.

Getting picky and choosy!

May 3, 2014

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So…. here’s the thing, not everyone agrees.
I know it, you know it. I sure don’t expect people to agree with every thing I do, and I don’t always agree with others.  I actually in most regards respect and appreciate that.
I’m so not a black or white person (hence why someone has to make my decisions! ). I am the grayist of the gray! I tend to always see both sides, and positives in both.  I tend to trust easily (not as easily as I always have ). I tend to understand individual choices and decisions, and I tend to support them in most people I know.
God I’m far far from perfect, I’m not pretending I am! I’m stubborn, I’m loud,I’m anxious,  I’m a Tad bit crazy, but typically I’m not opinionated unless I feel strongly about something, and usually that something is some sort of judgement or injustice.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this crazy world of disorders in being passionate, and vocal, and firm in my beliefs. To each their own in said belief.  But hell hath no fury like a special needs parent feeling mis judged, or having something pushed on them.
I speak our truth and ours alone.
I’ve been asked if dude has been mis diagnosed, I’ve been tried to be sold every concoctions under the sun. I expect this because I’m open with our journey.  But I tend to hop on my opinionated train when I feel someone else has jumped on theirs and won’t let it be.
We’ve been at this for more than long enough to know what works for dude. We’ve awaited the final puzzle piece for all of those years.
We struggled for years, because we felt lost, there was something missing, something not quite right in his list of diagnoses.
Now we have our holy Grail! finally thank god we have the diagnosis that makes perfect sense in our world! For years the adhd, odd diagnosis didn’t seem quite right, now we know why!  We’ve researched and learned and are extremely relieved and confidant that we’ve found that missing piece.  Proof has been monumental in strategies and meds working.

We’re well aware that there’s good products and potions out there that work for mild to moderate mental health disorders, dude’s is far from it, pretty Damn severe actually .
We choose to use what we choose.  Yes he is on medication, yes he will continue to be. We’ve recently found a meditation he’s comfortable with,and like minded strategies that help with his anxiety and rage states.  For us it’s finding a balance that works for him.
We know firmly now what we are dealing with (though yes the states change extremely rapidly ), and now we tweak and tune. Medication and therapy will always always be a part of that!

Compare it to diabetes if you will.
Once you know what you have, you will have to take medication, and have regular check ups. Yet you will also exercise and have a different diet.
Bipolar is not all that different.
You will take your medication, have your check ups. Yet learn personal strategies to help calm, regulate and keep your head above water!
As you wouldn’t try to convince a diabetic to change their treatment plan or diagnosis .  Please don’t try to convince a parent of a bipolar, anxious (Or any special needs) child to change theirs .  Trust me we have enough pressure and questions as it is. We are doing what we know to be best, after many years. This doesn’t happen over night. Sometimes you have to wait an awful long time to get your Holy Grail!  I for one am at a place of confidence and peace with dude’s diagnosis and treatment.  Quite honestly I’m tired of trying to “convince ” people that I know what I know. Trust me i know. So now it’s my choice to let that (and yes that means some people) go.
I don’t owe anyone an explanation,  those who know our journey, understand  and respect why we do what we do. I will always speak up and yes be opinionated when it comes to mental health,  but I’ve come to realize I want myself and mostly my son surrounded by people who care enough to try to understand without trying to change.. So I’m going to try to “weed my garden “, and post only for my fellow parents and myself, I’m not going to try and justify our life as much.
Because those who matter care, and those that don’t, don’t matter!

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