Category Archives: vomit

A letter to myself

I’m semi-participating in a Summer Blog Hop Challenge meant to show others how the life with a disability, or with a child who has a disability, is a journey. A never ending one, for sure. But a journey filled with triumphs and some tears. Of course per my usual stickto-break-the-rules reputation instead of starting in week 1 it is now week 3. So today we are starting the journey half-way through with a letter to myself. Even though that was week 2’s prompt


Dear Younger Me,

I was going to write to the much younger us. The one who is upset because our first love left us. Or the one who just met David and thought um….not my type but sure let’s go to dinner. To the younger us who on the eve of her wedding and asked David to elope instead. Or to the new mom to Abby who was scared out of her mind at this thing that wouldn’t stop crying and tell you eventually she would no longer seem breakable. 

Instead I am writing this for you to receive after Boo’s birth. She is now four months old and you are thinking Holy Crap not only did I just get puked on from my neck to my toes I am getting a letter from the future. You are also thinking I’m writing to give you good news except you know us by now and realize maybe not.

First I want to tell you that Boo will survive. You can cry and breathe and rejoice. Now the other shoe dropping on your head is me telling you she will survive but it will not be easy. I am not writing to tell you what will happen. Because no matter what I write it either won’t change things or worse give you the magic answer you are looking form. Rather I write this to the mom of four-month old Boo to give you some advice.


Now you know it is really me, right?

Well here it is:

Never listen to a doctor, a nurse, therapist or school teacher that Boo cannot do something. There will be a doctor or two you will want to punch in the nose, but you will refrain from harming them.  

Pay no attention to someone who says that Boo is just like their daughter/son/grandchild and “will grow out of it”.

Never give up hope. In yourself or in Boo.

Do not ever, for one minute, stop searching for an answer. Do not listen to the doctor who says just accept Boo for who she is. It is too important. You and she need the answers and being an unknown neurological syndrome is not an answer.

Keep Early Intervention. As awful as it is you will need them when she is three. But do not listen to them when they say she does not need Spaulding Center for Children. You are right they are wrong and they will deal with being offended. 

As much as you have to fight to make Boo all she can be, you will spend more time loving her than fighting for her. She will impact not just your life but those around her. Boo is making a difference in this world one smile at a time.  You just have to get through the what seems to be unending puke phase. But I promise it does end.

You know all the friends that say “let me know if I can help”? Here’s the thing they WANT to help. You have to TELL them how. Instead of waiting for them to call you, call them. Say I just need someone to come over and sit with me. Call them and say David’s home do you want to go to the canal with me. Call them and say I’m drowning and just need a friend. Cry and laugh with them. You will be amazed at the support just waiting for you. Your future self knows she waited way too long to reach out. Once you do life will become so much easier and less lonely.

Remember that David is there and he is your partner in this unexpected life. Don’t wait so long to include him in Boo’s therapies (yes, there is more than one). You will be amazed at how well he does.

Lastly, give yourself a break. You are allowed to feel tired and overwhelmed. You are entitled to feel like this just isn’t fair. I promise you that this life becomes easier. You will one day brush your teeth before dinner time. You will one day wear a shirt without Boo’s remains on it. You will be amazed at her journey.

I won’t spoil the good parts for you. Be prepared to be amazed.

Love,
Older (but less tired) Me

PS–oh and don’t worry you will not cave and buy Abby a pony.







TBT–That Parenting Manual needs updating

Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I’m taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts.  I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.

Originally posted 23-AUG-2013

You know how before you give birth some one gave you a What to Expect book? You also probably did a birth class. None of which prepares you for life with an actual child.

Last night Boo woke up at midnight and proceeded to throw up every 15 minutes for the next couple of hours. Then she only woke every 45 minutes to throw up. Eight hours and four loads of laundry husband comes home from his shift.  As I lay Boo on the couch to go to work, she throws up one more time….all over me.

Second shower and a change of clothes and off I go to my paying job. You know when you get into the office you ask the question, how are you to your coworkers. Not that you actually care after being up all night, but just to be polite.

And then that one coworker, the one without children. The one who is unmarried and lives with the dog that is her life. You know the one that I mean. The one that has time to exercise, take long walks, drink her wine without interruption. The one who has the life you used to have before children. Let alone a sick child. She proceeds to tell you that she is ‘exhausted’ but ‘surviving’.

And all you want to say is survive this (with the one finger salute) and walk into your office. Instead you empathize and escape to your office as soon as it is polite. You walk into a call from your husband saying Boo has now spiked a temp. What should he do? To another call saying the contract is ready to be picked up and that a hundred emails that tell you other things need to be done before you can escape to take care of the most important part of your life.

But you need the paycheck. So you put your big girl panties on and go to work.

And think to yourself, I’d really like to meet the author of that book, because they have no freaking idea of what to expect.

Mike never met Boo

Yes, it has only been 48 hours since my bright idea to emulate Mike and Carol Brady. Funny it didn’t take a half-a-year for me to begin failing. I know, you want to pat me on the head and say give myself a break.

But truthfully I sometimes wonder where the brakes are.

Boo has been out of her school program for just over a week. I thought going away would be a great idea. We went camping and instead of camping we dodged rain storms. Being away set off her bowel issues.

Which I was prepared for, seriously, I have enough meds to rectify either option: Hazmat or Obstruction. What wasn’t I prepared for was Boo’s regression to happen so quickly. Only two days home from vacation and she is no longer feeding herself, not going to bed without screaming for over an hour (whomever said that children cry themselves to sleep after 10 minutes never met Boo) and having frustration issues.

I just do not know how to calm my child. First she wants her shoes off. Okay, I can do that. Then she screams, bangs her head and throws herself to the floor because they are off. I swear she made her head spin. Maybe it was mine.

www.goldderby.com 

I caved and put them back on. Nope, she wanted them off. Then on. Then I want a cookie (her, I wanted a glass of pinot grigio–there was still some left in the box). I decide to put on therapist/mom hat and employ the ABA therapies. She wants the shoes off they stay off. She can’t decide between Oreos and goldfish? She gets her first choice even if she runs away asking for a donut.

I’m done at this point. Mike is nowhere to be found. Carol, well I don’t have her hair or patience. So I put on therapy hat…we will by all that is Holy employ ABA. If she wants her shoes on, then they stay on no matter how she screams. She wants cookies? Then she gets her first choice, even after she walks away screaming.

The icing on the cake? Allie comes up to me and says:

Is it times like this you wish Boo wasn’t Boo?

And I break, again. I channel Carol and explain, it’s not Boo that is the problem. It is that Mommy doesn’t know how why Boo is screaming. Why Boo can’t decide between shoes on or off.

Mommy just doesn’t get it sometimes.

That Allie or Mom or Dad can’t “fix” this, we just have to try anything that may work. That I have to put up with behavior I would never allow Allie to get away with. That Allie sees that Boo gets treated differently by her parents. That we have two children that we have to treat differently.

That is not Boo’s fault or really mine. But that whole Catholic guilt thing…with an added dose that as a mom we are not doing quite enough makes me wonder.

Why

Why don’t I have the answers. A mom is supposed to, right?

Why does Boo get so frustrated?

Why can’t she use her words?

Why am I so whiny. For Cripes sake my child has words, and can walk and can show her frustration. There are so many parents out there with less.

Why, oh why must I be down?

Why the freak can’t she realize she is supposed to sleep alone. Yes, she slept in my arms for a weekend camping. But that’s over now. Why does it take five nights to undo two?

Why if I have to be Carol is there not an Alice? I mean, seriously people do you think Mike and Carol would have been so calm without their Alice.

Just think how much easier life would be with Alice.

There would be pork chops and applesauce. That I wouldn’t have to cook or force Allie to eat.

Alice knew that the one thing not to stomach was a perfect kid. Although I wouldn’t mind that perfect kid for an hour or two.

Alice knew that a five letter word for exhaustion was ALICE. Another good choice would be MOMMY

Alice, when asked an unanswerable question would reply if the right answer meant a trip to Europe. I wonder if the girls would have to go?

Anyway, I kind of got off point (are you still out there), is I wonder if this gets easier. I thought Boo’s first days in the NICU were bad. Then I thought, when she threw up everything I put into her, that this was the hard time. Then and then and then….there are a gazillion times I thought life would be getting easier.

Then there was summer break.

And sleepless nights.

Wondering if I am every going to get being Boo’s mom right.

And so thankful, from the bottom of my soles, that Boo is back in school on Monday.

There better not be snow.