Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Clawing Step


That was a "fun" year a half.

After getting diagnosed with epilepsy, I spent nine months on a terrible medication called Depakote. I'm sure for some people, it is a miracle drug.  For me, it almost killed me, and I am not being dramatic.

Depakote is a drug that can cause toxicity.  Though my neurologist watched my blood levels (and had to reduce my dosage twice), he stopped monitoring them when I was on such a low dose, that he didn't think it possible that I could be toxic.

Well.  I was.  I heard ringing in my ears, vomited constantly, felt as if I had fallen into a black pit.

One time, I lost three days of my life.  Three days that I can't remember, during which time, I went on a $700 shopping spree (not like me at all), and met my new neurologist, whom, I vomited all over.


So.  Two neurologists, two psychiatrists, two counselors, a week-long hospital stay (in-patient epilepsy monitoring unit) which included a neuro-psychological evaluation (make that three psychs, and it's at a teaching hospital. so I lost count of how many docs rounded on me), thousands of dollars, and testing later, it was determined that Depakote was making me sick and also not controlling my seizures.  So I was finally switched a different medication and things have been somewhat better since.  I say somewhat, because I still have seizures; about once or twice a month.  I can't drive, haven't since June 2, 2015.  I can't really be alone with Andrew, since my seizures leave me unconscious for awhile.  So while the big kids are in school, I have a nanny, which we can ill afford. 

In the middle of all of this, I had a seizure and fell on (then two year old) Andrew and BROKE HIS ARM.  I broke my baby's arm.  It was decidedly the lowest point of my motherhood journey. Accident or not, knowing that I hurt him was excruiciating.  And I was so out of it, I couldn't even comfort him afterward.  It was awful.  Fortunately for me, Andrew was a trooper.  He only cried when they took the cast OFF.  He loved being the center of attention with his little cast and proudly told everyone that "mommy fell on me and broke my arm".  Also fortunately for me, no one believes a two year old when they say that.

Oh, we almost lost our house.  I mean, I couldn't work when I was Depa-drunk.  I could barely walk a straight line.  

I got depressed.  I got a little suicidal (one of the medication side effects was suicidal ideation).  I hated life, I hated myself.  The ONLY thing that kept me hanging on...

Will.  Emma.  Andrew.

They deserve so much better than the mom I have been these past 18 months.  I haven't been all shitty.  There have been moments when I have managed to pull my act together and be a decent mom. But I also spent a lot of time in bed, a lot of time hiding, a lot of time feeling sorry for myself.

It's only in the last few months that I have finally started to really poke my head out and about of my self-imposed prison and looked around.  And I still have terrible-awful-no-good-very-bad-days, like after a seizure.

Will is 8.  Eight years old, you guys.  He has turned into such a compassionate little guy.  I hate that my illness has impacted him so, but our pediatrician says that children of parents with a chronic illness usually grow up to be in the medical field or some sort of caregiver.  I could live with that.  He is in second grade and KILLING it in school.  He reads like a champ and behaves so well.  Not a single complaint from his teacher. 

Emma is 6.  SIX.  She is sweet and fiesty.  She started kindergarten this year and has two best friends, loves riding the bus, and lunch.  She still loves her stuffies (stuffed animals) and only has about 556 million of them and counting.  Unfortunately, she caught a bad cold the second week of school and it ended up turning into a raging case of sinusitis which she can't shake.  We visited the ENT yesterday and they are recommending taking out her adenoids.  Yikes.  We are seeing an allergist first and will go from there.

Andrew is 4.  This one really blows me away.  How can my BABY be FOUR?!?  It's just ridiculous.  HE is just ridiculous.  He is funny, sweet, cuddly, stubbon, and makes my world complete.  I can't describe how much I love that kid.  I don't think I've ever really had to discipline him.  Not that he isn't ever naughty, but he is so eager to please, and when he does do something bad, he instantly knows it and apologizes or puts himself in time out.  That kid.

I started working again in July.  I was blessed to find a company that allows me to work from home most days.  I even get to go into the office somedays for some social time.  Working has been GOOD for me. I was drifiting for awhile.  I love being home with my kids, but having the nanny there, and family all of the time, made me feel unnecessary.  I am good at what I do, and feel appreciated.  And since I mostly work from home, and am only parttime, I am able to still be there for them most of the time.  And since I am working, we are able to hang on to our house, by our  fingernails.

I feel as if we are scratching our way up from the bottom of a deep, dark pit.  I still get knocked down from time to time, but I am climbing, here and there.

I hope all of you are doing well.  If anyone even comes by here any more.  But if you do, this is where we are at.  One day.  One clawing step at a time.