Tuesday, August 12, 2014

K1, P2


Dave and I took a knitting class this past spring.  It's something that has been on our bucket lists for a number of years.  And we've finally been able to cross it off our lists!

We took a Beginning Knitters class with the Community Education Program offered through the school district.  After our 6 week course was up, some of us wanted to continue meeting on a regular basis to sit and knit and chit chat.  So we now have a knitting group that meets every week.  :)   During the summer our little group sat outside on the lawn of the library, listening to a different band each week while got our knit on.

We both really look forward to our Thursday night knitting group.



My first attempt at socks.  They came out quite nicely!


Fingerless gloves for Megan





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Out of the Dark Shadows


Yesterday news broke about Robin Williams.
His death by suicide.  Hanging.
This was not accidental by any means.

Yesterday I couldn't stop crying.  I was so, so sad.  Sad that someone felt so hopeless.  That there was no other option.  There was no way out.  Someone so wonderful, generous, giving, funny, & bigger than life could be lost to this ugly, monstrous disease we call depression.  It just made me sad down to me inner being.

And sad that I, too, battle this same disease.  This disease that can make someone feel so utterly lost, so despondent, so tormented, so worthless.  I have not publicly talked about my depression and anxiety, but today that is going to change.

I battle depression & anxiety.

Mental health issues seem to be taboo.  There is a negative stigma, embarrassment, fear, too many judgmental people.  But it needs to be brought out of the dark shadows.  Those of us who have been diagnosed with a mental illness need to rally and stand up with our heads held high.  We need to stop living in fear... fear of being judged, fear of someone "finding out", fear of someone thinking we're weak, or that we're just "looking for attention".

Many people are shocked to find out that I battle depression & anxiety, that I've been diagnosed with clinical depression, that I've seen psychiatrists, have been in therapy, that I take anti-depressants & anxiety meds.

"But you always have a smile on your face!"
"You're so happy all the time!"
"You are so outgoing!!"
"You're always laughing!"
"You're so confident!"

Here's a little secret:  It's all fake.  Yep, it's a mask.  A facade.  Smoke and mirrors.   It's all an act.  I am not happy.  I am not confident.  I feel worthless.  I feel insignificant.  I disgust myself.  I feel my life is meaningless.  I struggle to get out of bed each day.  EACH day.  I hate to leave my house.

There.  The secret is out.  The cat is out of the bag.

Nicole Curtis, the Rehab Addict says: "...battling my own demons for years and masking it with sarcasm, wit and overconfidence to make everyone else feel as if it's okay...."

I feel like I could've said that.

I've been fighting this disease for decades.  My earliest recollection of it is sometime in  jr. high/middle school.  But it took me almost 25 years before I finally sought help for it.  I was 36 when I first broke down in my doctor's office and told her I needed help.  I was depressed and I couldn't do it any longer on my own.  It was the best decision I've ever made.  It took a few months to figure out the right combination of meds.  I began seeing a psychiatrist.  I began therapy, I went every Friday afternoon.  For a full year.  Eight years later I'm in a much better place, but it is *still* a daily struggle.  I should still be in therapy, I know I would benefit from it.  But we've moved and I don't have the energy to start all over again with a new doctor/therapist.  To rehash it all over again.

So there you have it.  ANYBODY can be affected by this disease.  You would probably be shocked at how many people you know that battle depression and anxiety.  This nasty, ruthless, quiet, hidden disease.  And make no mistake, it is a medical disease.  Much like cancer or diabetes.

A friend of mine said:  "Something many, many people don't realize is that being depressed about "something" is NOT the same as depression. It's 2 totally different things. I call depression the black hole. It sucks you into an abyss of hopelessness."  

Very well said.



Here are three blog posts that are really worth reading.




Here is one more interesting read.  I fit many of these points, especially #'s 6, 11, & 13.
































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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hysterectomy


Hysterectomy.

Usually given to a woman.

Not a teenager.

Megan will be going in at the end of the month for a hysterectomy.  I'm trying to accept this decision with my heart.  In my head I know it's the right decision, but it's a decision that makes my heart hurt.  I mean, seriously, who wants to give their 17 year old daughter a hysterectomy??  I know she can never have kids, I know this is what is healthiest for her, but it still makes me weepy to think about it.  So, I can't let myself think about it.

Megan was diagnosed about two years ago with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).  She was prescribed Metformin & Ortho-tricyclene to regulate her hormones.  This also regulated her periods.  Managing her periods has just become too much.  Too much pain.  Too much mess.  Too much hassle... it all has just become too much for Meggie.  Could she continue with this monthly hassle?  Yes.  Is it something that she needs to deal with every month?  No.  Having babies is not an option for her, so there is no reason to keep dealing with it.  Let's take the plumbing out, and be done with it.  In the process, we'll also cut down on the chance of cancer in the future.

Medically, it all makes sense.  And all four doctors I've talked with support the decision.  It's a common procedure for young women with Down syndrome.

But it still hurts my heart.

....sigh




Read more about PCOS here.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

Indecision


So the thing with having a teenager is that they just don't know what they want to do with their life.

In the past 10 months, the Boy has changed his mind numerous times about his post-high school life...

  • Prior to graduating, he had enrolled into the local university for Business Management 
  • Then a couple of weeks before graduation, he decided he wanted to go into the Marine Corps (OOH RAH!)  He was put on a "Med Hold", and after a few weeks decided to not join the Marines
  • Enrolled in the local community college for Law Enforcement 
  • A couple weeks later, he decided to stick it out with the Marines after all
  • After a 7 month long, drawn out "med hold" at MEPS, he again decided to not join the Marine Corps
  • Re-enrolled in the local community college for Law Enforcement
  • NOW he has decided to go back and re-enroll with the local university for Business Management

To say we are a little frustrated with this kid is an understatement.  My patience has been stretched to the limit.  He continues to work at the local burger joint, usually getting 35-40 hours a week, and has just been promoted to Supervisor.  When he's not at work, he's usually in his room playing video games.  If we don't push him, I can see him being 35 yrs old, still living at home with mom and dad, still flipping burgers and playing video games.  Somebody help me light a fire under this kid's butt.




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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Parent Liaison




I recently joined the Special Education team with our local school district as the District Family Engagement Liaison (Parent Liaison).  My role is to help families and educators work together in a positive way to make the special education process as smooth as possible. 


As a parent of a child with specials needs, I'm aware of the many questions and challenges that may arise in the course of navigating the Special Ed system. My job is to be a resource of information for parents and to support families and their student(s) as they strive to reach their educational goals. 

And just for fun, here is an IEP joke. 
This is what I try to help parents and educators avoid.










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