Saturday, December 1, 2012

SECURE YOUR MASK BEFORE ASSISTING OTHERS WITH THEIRS



“TSC is relentless. It has no boundaries. It doesn’t take breaks. It has no mercy. It controls. It steals dreams. It’s attacking my son’s brain, heart and kidneys. It threatens our family’s mental, physical and financial well-being. I want to get away but I can’t. There is no solution without negative consequences. That is not a solution. It is trying to take my soul. I regret not being nice to the girl who accidently smashed my bread at the store today. She was sorry, but I couldn’t even look at her. I’m angry all the time. My heart breaks all day every day as I watch my son struggle. How can I care for him if I, myself, am unhealthy?” – An excerpt from my journal this past August


My body has been put through the ringer and my health has spiraled downward. I have thyroid issues (a story for another day =). I had my thyroid checked about 6 times in the past two years and each time the hormone level was off, resulting in constant changes in doses of my thyroid supplement. In April of this year I had it checked again and it was high. In an attempt to regulate my thyroid we slightly adjusted the dose down. Two months later, I was so exhausted I couldn’t get out of bed. I had ongoing, intense migraines that were not alleviated for long, even with the strongest and best meds. I chalked it up to a stressful school year (yep I’m a teacher), or pushing hard on a trip to Chicago right after the school year ended (which, by-the-way, was one of the best experiences of my life thanks to two of my siblings). I had many “explanations” for why I didn’t feel good, so I kept pushing my discomfort aside. After being home from Chicago a week and no longer able to move, I finally decided I’d better get my thyroid checked again. Low and behold it was so off-the-charts low that the doctor’s office couldn’t believe it.  They said, “We don’t see people who already have a thyroid diagnosis and are being treated get this bad.” How did my thyroid go from being too high to shockingly low in just two months!?! This was a rude awakening that FORCED me onto a path to take care of myself. I have since acquired three new doctors and am taking steps to get myself the care I need for multiple ailments that have risen from the stress in our lives.


Thanks, guys, for making this one of the best trips of my life!



As I started on the path to getting better, I was shocked at how bad things had really gotten. I didn’t know I needed to get help. I had endured so much mental and emotional turmoil I wasn’t aware of my physical condition. If I had broken my arm skiing, I would know because the change would be immediate. But, my body was breaking down in increments, which is why my problems were more difficult to detect. I’d been so caught up in meeting the needs of my children that I was honestly unaware of what was happening with me. I had been functioning in survival mode for years. I had no idea what my “normal” was anymore. I have asked my new doctors about the symptoms I’ve been having and they all agree…”You do NOT have to live like this! There are things that can be done to help you!”



I have often rolled my eyes when hearing people give the advice to moms that they need to take care of themselves first…that this is the best thing they can do for their family. I would think, “Duh, you need to make sure you can function for your family!” It was always so clear to me when I saw the moms that needed to take time for themselves, and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t see it themselves. Yet, now I found myself somehow being that mom that really needed help. I am in the healing process, and more conscious of what it means to take action for myself. Still, this is easier said than done! Oftentimes it is so stressful to arrange things so I can go do something for myself (e.g. go to the doctor). I then have to stop and say, “Remember to take care of you or things will get worse.”




I still can’t believe I am doing a blog. Writing this has forced me to take some time to do something that I enjoy and is just for me. My ever-so-wise mother recently shared some advice she’d given someone close to her. She said, “Find someone to be accountable to. It will help you get the things done that you need to do for you. I could never have gotten myself to go out at 6:00 am to walk on a winter morning if I didn’t know there was someone out there waiting for me. This is how I made myself accountable to exercise every day. You need to find ways to make yourself accountable.”



Putting my writing in a public format has helped me be accountable. It forces me to take time to put my thoughts into words that make sense and not just scribble random things in a journal (which I have been doing for years). Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with my life. This blog is an outlet for me. It helps me channel my emotions rather than be paralyzed by them. It has been part my healing process. It is a manageable thing for me to do. I don’t have to leave my house or find a sitter that I can leave Nami with. It is my ongoing therapy. I’m in no way saying this should be everyone’s avenue to feeling better. For some it may be exercising (oh how I wish that was me), for others massages, shopping or hanging out with friends. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m actually shocked that blogging is what is doing it for me, so thanks for reading.

7 comments:

  1. Writing has always been therapeutic for me as well. I have on a few occasions felt silly when talking to friends who are struggling and I offer the suggestion of keeping a journal, so I am glad to know I am not alone! Thank you for sharing your experiences, struggles, and strengths. You are amazing and it is wonderful that you have found an outlet that not only helps you, but also those who are inspired by your experiences.

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    1. Thanks Lindsey, and no, you are definitely not alone!

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  2. I love reading your blog you are amazing at expressing yourself. I learn and grow so much as I read your entries. So greatful you are posting them.

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    1. Thanks! We need to get together again soon.

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  3. Thank you so much. Although I am a college and have no kids, your blog inspires me.

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    1. Thank you, that means a lot to me!

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  4. Chicago was the best and so enlightening in so many (cultural) ways! Thanks for being my travel buddy. Keep up the good writing. Love you!

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