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When it rains...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

...it's a hurricane at my house.

Life has been coming at me with double fisting punches for about 2 months now. Let me encapsulate the craziness as quickly as I can:

August: My 2 year old grandson came for a visit from Colorado and I knew something wasn't right - the way any mother of 4 knows when something isn't right. Sure enough, DD#1 takes him home to the doctor and he's diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Lots of assessment and treatment plans to come for my sweet boy - I know he's going to be okay but the work to get him to that point is going to be fierce.

Okay - we can handle that.

Then DD#3 arrives home from her summer job out west unable to start school because of a virus.

No problem.

Then the virus segues into a tonsillar abscess followed irrationally quickly by cellulitis and meningitis - IV antibiotics, hospital visits, doctor's appointments - exhausting but, yep...

We're good to go.

Then her eyesight left. My sweet darling 21 year old is now vision impaired - has to drop out of school, give up her dorm room and move home to be completely dependent on mom and dad. MRI, CT scans, specialists, lab work and a blind frantic DD.

It's starting to get to be a little too much.

Then, DD#1 calls asking what a seizure might look like in a 6 month old? WHAT?? DGS#2 has had 3 seizures (etiology unknown) so pile on another set of appointments for DD#1 - neurologist, MRIs, CT scans, EEGs etc.

I'm almost over the edge.

Now DGS#2 is at the pediatricians office and, why not, he's officially diagnosed as Failure to Thrive - add gastroenterology specialists to the huge pile of stuff that DD#1 is trying to manage all on her own because her mother can't come help her out because her sister is blind.

That's when I had my first anxiety attack.

Is it any wonder that when DD#2 called to say her SO had to leave suddenly to go home to Australia with his return date unknown that I had not a shred of sympathy left to give? Curl up on the couch and I'll join you in the crying fest - it's all, simply


So - for the first time in my life, I hauled myself into my physician's office and asked for help.

This is very, very hard for a perfectionist to do. But I have learned in this long recovery process that asking for help is okay - in fact, it takes more strength to ask for help than it does to go it alone. We can't do all of this business called life on our own - there's a reason we're born into families who have families with friends and communities - we need other people to shore up our frail reserves when they start getting a little low.

After the doctor suggested I take few weeks off work to reduce the stress, I went one better by calling my darling sister to ask her to take on the Herculean task of making Thanksgiving dinner this year - of course she said yes - those who love us worry about the things we worry about too - she wanted, no, NEEDED to help. Then, when DH's mom called to say she was uninviting herself from the weekend as she knew we wouldn't be up for a house guest we immediately thanked her for her kindness and cancelled the airport limo.

When I was suffering from obesity and perfectionism these events would not have happened. The need to be seen as coping perfectly, admirably, amazingly well would have over ridden anything that I needed for myself. I would have rolled myself away from the table after 3 helpings of turkey dressing and 2 slices of pie and started on kitchen duty while my mother in law watched from the couch.

No more - the healthy person asks for help; recognizes her right to have needs and limitations and knows that if she's not caring for herself, she won't be able to care for anyone else.

That's why, 2 months and 50 crises later, I still weight 138 lbs.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is a fantastic blog for many many reasons. I'm inspired by it, while I wish *I* could help you deal with all of this!!!

    3810 days ago
    I'm so sorry for the heartaches and stresses in your life, but thank you so much for sharing them here. You are honest and insightful and I truly appreciate your words.
    3825 days ago
    My goodness! My prayers are for you and your family. Good thing you are taking care of yourself. You are wise. emoticon
    3825 days ago
    It's hard to understand why so much is dumped on one family at once. It takes strength to seek help - a very hard thing to do for us "control freaks" who tend to think we can fix everything. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    3831 days ago
    This is a remarkable blog: you are dealing with so much so well -- by giving help to your family but also by reaching out and asking for help, expecting help, receiving help. And that's why you're continuing to be healthy.

    I'm glad you've come here to reach out for help too. Because what you're facing is overwhelmingly tough, not quickly to be resolved and this is a great great group for the long haul.
    3832 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2560890
    OMG- How is everyone coping? I do not wish any of this fory you and your family. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers and remember to come here to vent or ramble or cry etc. We are all with you,

    Blessings to all,

    3832 days ago
    OMG good heavens that is too much to do alone. I sure hope that things get sorted out, and answers and help come along on all fronts. Could the blindness come from the Meningitis? I know when my son had meng. at 10 months they told us he could be deaf or blind from it. I hope she gets better and they find out that the blindness could be temp?. And as for the grandkids OMG that too is a huge worry.
    I hope all works itself you and that you do fine in all this too. hugs
    3832 days ago
    Thank you for posting this blog. I hate to have nothing to say. I wish I could be there to hug you, to give respite, to allow you to be in two places at once. Being a mother and being unable to help is crushingly painful. Having a multitude of disasters requires triage. Determining where to start first and focusing on one problem at a time.

    My best friend's DIL's sister works for CNIB with newly vision impaired adults in the GTO. Apparently she is very good. I hope that there is a lot of support there for you.
    3832 days ago
  • T_LYNN
    Wow, you've really got your hands full! I am so sorry for your troubles, and all the difficulties that your children and grandchildren are going through. emoticon

    It is great that you managed to take a step back and realize that you needed to ask for help. That took such strength on your part! Congratulations on not giving in to the food to help you feel 'better'. I'm still trying to learn that lesson for myself... I am in awe of your willpower and emotional strength!

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life with sparkpeople.. emoticon
    3832 days ago
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