Saturday, May 31, 2008

a fun little quiz

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

more of me

Sunday, I spent the better part of the evening reading old posts here and I've come to a bit of a conclusion or two or three.

1. I don't respect the blog in the way I did in the past.
2. I should write more.
3. Maybe I'm not as out of my mind as I think I am.

Sunday was Michelle's birthday. She would have been 39. Alas, she ended her journey at 36 1/2. It is funny to me, in this very moment, that she would have cared to note the 'and a half'. She always noted the 'and a half' in her 5'2 1/2" height. I miss her. Church was amazing. I wish she had been there. I wished I could have talked to her. I wish I could share with her the inside of me right now. She'd tell me that she loves me. She'd tell me that sometimes life isn't always handed to us the way we wish it were.

She would have understood me. She would have loved me inspite of what's inside me right now and she would have been encouraging in the ways that are right. She would have laughed with me that maybe indeed, I am not depressed, but rather bi-freaking-polar just like Cinda-freakin'-rella.

I think it's quite possible that I'm not actually out of my mind, but rather a full understanding of my being is imperceivable inside the limitations that exist inside the understanding I'm currently aware of and will only be fully realized in the Heaven that awaits me.

Probably, part of why I'm still here and she's not is that they're not ready for me as yet. Also, maybe there's more for me to do here; for me to accomplish, to understand, to bless with all my being. HAHAHA! Mostly, that's doubtful. But apparently, embracing me and loving me is important for me to do. To build up myself with God's grace is my calling, perhaps.

I do find it strange, admist all this, that God is so clear and easy for me to understand and so terribly difficult to explain. Also strange. When I read through my "seriously? I am out of my mind" posts, it was so strange how many of those labeled posts relate in some way to God.

Also, I'm pretty sure my period is about to start. That would make SOO much sense.

How 'bout that?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A little self reveal

This is the post where I tell you about the crazy places I live in.

These places are all in my mind (thus the URL).

I really do live on a tenuous string of sanity. I manage pretty well from day to day with the ever present help of my chemical romance, Zoloft. I joke heartily of the need for meds each day, but the reality is that I require medication to function. This reality breaks me sometimes. I absolutely hate the meds. HATE...HATE. HATE!

The saneness you think you see in me, where you think I'm as normal as you, is 100% due to my medication.

My need for medication really pisses me off.

I've been consulted by people about the whole "should I take meds" thing and my response is always the same. "Taking medication to affect change in the chemical imbalances in the brain that cause functional changes is the same thing as a diabetic person who takes insulin. It's nothing to fight. It's just a necessary thing!"

Funny, that when the rubber met the road for me recently, I found myself complaining about how AWFUL it is that I have to take STUPID medication just so I can get up in the morning and even then barely think straight to someone. I confided my hatred for my meds with a new friend of mine. This friend has type I diabetes and has been on insulin since the age of 12. I was quickly informed by this friend that I was talking to the wrong person about not liking the reality that I require a chemical to sustain normalcy. The reality that I can even take meds, when someone like my Middle Mann has no choice but to endure life as it rolls toward him, should comfort me more than piss me off.

Lately, I'm not convinced that Zoloft will be my life long friend. Or least not the at dosage that I'm curently on.

My world has been rocked recently. The rocking action that knocked me down from my string of sanity is really just a little thing. Just a simple email, probably sent with the best of intentions, but an email that rocked me nonetheless.

I try to learn from everything. A situation. A circumstance. A relationship. A song. Right now, I'm learning not to hate the meds, and I'm learning how to better prepare for the unforeseen mental side swipe that can strike from nowhere.

My Middle Mann - Part VI

From where I left off...

....His development was pretty boring for the next couple of years. Honestly, he didn't change much.

Until about 3 months before his 2nd birthday.

He got a little sick one day. A little more uncomfortable than usual. He never seemed completely comfortable, but this was definitely different. He couldn't keep anything down. Actually, it was so bad that I couldn't even wipe his face with a damp cloth without him throwing up.

I was completely at a loss for what to do.

So we went to the doctor.

He was diagnosed with extreme dehydration and admitted to the hospital for fluids and observation. It was the strangest thing to me. Strange, because when they admitted him, they ordered a CT scan of his head. I really didn't understand that, but the lack of clarity only lasted a short time.

His shunt had failed.

There was no reason for this. It just happened. I'd been warned that it may, though I had no idea what to look for. But in a few short hours, I learned what his symptoms may look like if it ever happened again.

He had a second brain surgery, though he didn't look nearly as alienesque as the first time. He didn't have any physically altering symptoms, specifically head swelling. He did have a complete shutdown of his systems. There was the obvious digestional shut down, accompanied by a loss of visual function. He was completely dehydrated. In fact, when they tried to use a catheter to get a urine specimen, his little bladder was completely empty.

He came through surgery flawlessly. Woke up and acted mostly like the little man I'd come to know, and life just went on.

Did I mention that I knew what it might look like if it happened again? Yeah, it did. 2 months later.

Apparently, the first time, it got plugged up because the pressure valve that was originally used enabled for significant decompression of the ventricles. So much so that the brain tissue was able to, over a period of two years, completely block the shunt's flow. It was gradual, but when the blockage was complete, the disintegration of function was hasty.

The second time it failed, I discovered it was because during the first replacement, he suffered an additional bleed in his brain. The shunt grabbed some of that blood and since it's not a native internal object, the body didn't do the work of cleaning up the blood inside the shunt.

The really great thing about the 2nd replacement is that when my dude woke up, he really woke up! The doctor - who walked out of every surgery completely free of wrinkles (something that makes him just delicious in my mind) - decided to use a different pressure valve in this shunt. It was a higher pressure valve, so there would be marginally more pressure inside the kiddo's head so that the brain tissue wouldn't be impacted and the possibility of another bleed caused by the shunt would be reduced.


He tore the dressing off his head within 12 hours after surgery. He started sitting up. Scooting around on his butt. And within a year, he was walking! Granted, it was only when he was holding my hand, but the 2nd day he did the walking thing, we went to the mall, and he walked the WHOLE way around. He was ready to meet the world and the world needed to watch out! (check out that run on sentence...)

About the time he was upright and walking, he started going to school by way of the short bus. He was 3 little tiny years old and he started riding the bus the same day as Sweetie started Kindergarten.

We had IEP meetings and goals were set. He was suddenly so big and I learned things about him I hadn't known before. Things like he could put his shirt on all by himself. It's strange how when you have a special kid, other people can make them do more than they'll you'll let them do.

As a mommy of a special boy, I do everything I ever did for him. Once he went to school, there was an unknown about him there. The teacher and the assistants and the therapists didn't know that he couldn't do what I knew he couldn't do. So, they just expected that he could. And actually, they were right!

He has continued to blow my mind with his development. He can walk and talk and eat and grow and think and read and add and subtract. The reality hits me from time to time that when he was 4 months old, I was asked to sign a DNR.

I talked to his pediatrician, who left private practice to work exclusively with kids like mine, about 6 years later. He told me things I never knew. Those things have stayed with me in a special place that I go to when I need a little encouragement. At the times when I'm convinced I'll never be able to die because of my baby's need for me.

That doctor told me that when we were at his office nearly every day, he was as certain as the morning comes, that I would ask him to take my baby from me. He was certain that my baby wouldn't make it very long. He was certain that my baby would never really function.

His certainty was so significantly rocked as a result of my baby's life, that he had to re-write his conclusions about what could happen with babies like mine.

Now, my little baby is nearly 14 years old.

He loves NASCAR. He loves people. He loves music - singing and playing and listening. He adds 2 digit numbers and subtracts without borrowing. He reads at a high 1st grade level. He can't wait to cheer on anyone and everyone he can. He's competed in Special Olympics and taken the Gold!

He is an amazing creation. I can't take credit for his awesomeness anymore than I can for Sweetie's. God is so good and has blessed me through my kiddos.