Sunday, April 03, 2011
Yesterday, as many of you know was a very difficult day for me. I arrived at church a little earlier than normal and as I was sitting in my pew, I took out a cough drop from my baggie in my purse. I like to keep them with me because my throat often gets sore from allergies or to use when I am working out so my throat won't become dry and sore.
As I unwrapped the Hall's cough drop, I noticed that wrapper had sayings on them. I straightened out all the crumpled ones in my baggie, I had yet to throw away.
I hope you enjoy what they said as much as me,
You can do it and you know it.
Buckle down and push forth.
Nothing you can't handle.
Put your game face on.
Go for it.
Go for it, was a huge blessing to me. On January 12, 2011, I called Jonathon Roche's radio program No Excuses to a Healthier You and talked to him about how upset that I was that I am morbidly obese and not a candidate to be tested to see if I can donate a kidney to my Dad. During this call, I also mentioned how I failed as a mom because I weighed too much to take my son to theme parks and ride in roller coasters and do things like that that kids love to do.
He assured me that I was not a failure and that what was important were hugs and letting my son know that he was loved. He really touched my broken heart that day. He also said that if Adam could tell me anything that he would tell me to "Go for it". I started working out that day and haven't looked back since.
On to the rest of the wrappers:
Take charge and mean it.
A pep talk in every drop.
Get through it.
Don't give up on yourself.
Don't try harder, do harder.
Tough is your middle name.
Flex your "can do" muscle.
You can do it and you know it.
Keep your chin up.
Get back in there champ!
Seize the day.
Dust off and get up.
It's yours for the taking.
Get back in there.
I love affirmations and quotes and keep an email open in yahoo all the time to add new ones to so I can email my sister and myself each week with the new ones I have collected. I believe in reading positive stuff as much as possible to keep a positive outlook.
After writing my blog, I went to my room to do Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVDs. I started with the Walk and Jog and grabbed another cough drop; here is what it said:
Don't waste a precious minute.
Go for it.
You can do it and you know it.
Get through it.
Get back in there champ.
I know a couple were repeats but I think I needed to hear them again, I know I can take this journey and grow. I will get to 190 so I can be tested and I pray daily that my Dad will accept my kidney if I am a good match as right now he doesn't want to accept it because giving up a kidney is harder on the donor than getting a new kidney is. I obviously do not care about the pain or the recovery time but Daddy's can be overprotective and mine is, I love him dearly though and just want him healthy again.
After my 2.5 walk/jog interval the DVD gives you the option of choosing another walk or quitting. I chose to do the 4 mile advanced walk and took another cough drop. This time my cough drop said:
Don't wait to get started. (LOL, I put my walk off until close to bedtime)
Tough is your middle name
I really appreciate all the support from everyone that prayed with me yesterday, today, and along this journey. Sparkpeople has been a true blessing to me and I am blessed to have you in my life.
I would also like to mention since I didn't realize not everyone will know how my son died or information about it, you can go to www.gaspinfo.com and learn about the dangers of the choking game and how to talk to the children in your life.
Thank you Jenn for sharing with me today that she talked with her children about this deadly activity, I am so grateful.
I pray that you have a wonderfully blessed day.
In His Grace,
Amber, Adam's Mommy Forever
Saturday, April 02, 2011
I woke up with flashbacks. This is two weeks in a row that I have woke up this way. The only worse way I recall waking up was when something was misfiring in my brain and every day I had to relearn that my son was dead; this period lasted several months and was excruciating. I'm not sure what is going on with me, perhaps it is the homework I am doing for therapy.
This past week, I covered three very difficult topics. I wrote the other day about signing my name Amber instead of Amber, Adam's Mommy Forever and the guilt associated with it. After talking with my therapist about it, she said unless I can come back with a reason next week how signing my name that way is a negative thing then she doesn't see a reason or a need to change it.
The most important part of my Cognitive Process Therapy is how they teach you to take a thought that you are having problems with to make the thought positive or less difficult to handle. I practice this every day and it has really helped me cope with every day life and helped me learn to enjoy life again.
I did one homework assignment on oatmeal creme pies because Billy and I were buying them at the time Adam was dying and every time I see them I am triggered back to that day. My other homework assignment I did was on milk, I used to love milk; however, I was pouring milk when I heard Billy scream the most horrific, animalistic scream when he found Adam. I have a very hard time with milk, I don't drink it anymore, I don't like to see it, hear the word, I don't even like typing it but I need to get it out and pray that I will grow more from this experience.
I don't know how long it took for me to regroup but when things were better I took some me time and quietly read my Bible for a while. I felt so much more at peace afterwards even though I still was somewhat shook up and wasn't ready to tackle the day.
I usually eat as soon as I take my morning medicine, I have bipolar and major depressive disorder but today I was too emotional and settled for morning coffee instead. I had a few cups of coffee while catching up on emails and facebook and then my sister called and we had a good talk and I was feeling more optimistic.
I went to church and shortly after the Pastor started talking, I started having flashbacks again. I was immediately taken back to that moment of seeing my son lifeless. I can't explain the pain and horror of knowing your child is dead but something was working in my head that day and I performed CPR and brought him back to life before the ambulance arrived. The time between the medics taking over and us arriving at the hospital seemed to take a lifetime but I know it wasn't that long because it wasn't geographically a long distance.
I watched as the doctors and nurses worked on my son, I will never forget the moment when the doctor came and kneeled in front of me and told me that there was nothing more that they could do. God prepared me for that moment just seconds before but I asked if he would try just one more time and he did. I hate having these visions in my head and I've always had a rule about not using the word hate but I can't think of a better word right now.
I used to have excellent grammar, spelling, and a wonderful memory; however, all of that changed on 28 February 2006. The doctors are waiting for testing to be completed but they believe the testing will confirm that I had a partial stroke from the trauma which has affected me in many areas of my life. I often struggle for the right word now and it is quite frustrating. The worst problem I have is that I only have bad pictures in my head from that day. I lost all other pictures. I can't sit and close my eyes and remember what my son looked like. I spent almost every day of his life with him but I have to look at pictures to know; this just crushes me. My sister, a fellow sparkie and Christian, lovingly shares memories with me because I have lost most of my memories too.
I really struggle at times like now though because of the many precious moments I spent with my son that I can't recall and reflect upon. I know how much I loved him and how much I love him now and always will but I don't remember all the small things that I used to treasure. I really regret now that I gave up writing in a journal when I became an adult because at least I could reread about our life from my point of view and know how I felt and what we did. I will always be grateful for my family and friends that have shared with me things that have been meaningful to them and I might enjoy.
Thank you for letting me work through my problems by blogging , for praying with me, for rejoicing with me when I have victories and holding me up when I am too weak to stand alone.
Because I care, I want you to know it is important to discuss end of life decisions with your loved ones and get your wishes in writing. It is important to learn CPR, you never know when you might need it. Consider talking to your older children about end of life decisions as well; even though, Adam was only 11, he was very mature, we had that conversation and he made the decision to donate. I am not pressuring you by any means but I think it is important to honor your loved one's wishes and you can't do that if you don't know what they are.
May the peace of Jesus be with you always,
Blessings and peace,
Amber, Adam's Mommy Forever
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I wrote an email to someone in my yahoo group for people affected by the "choking game" and signed my name "Amber". I never sign my name Amber, I always sign my name "Amber, Adam's Mommy Forever". I am sure a lot of moms can identify with the feeling of being a mom first and a person second.
When Adam was alive, I would always introduce myself as Adam's mom, Amber. After he died, I created a new email address stilladamsmommy because I will always be his mommy since he died when he was 11. I hesitated for at least a minute before I hit the send button but I did it. I do have some guilt which is natural and I will talk with my sister tonight about and with my therapist on Friday. I don't know if I'm ready to take the plunge and change my signature line on my email but I definitely made progress because I didn't feel like a horrible mom for not signing my name as Adam's Mommy, Amber.
When I made my sparkpeople account I chose the name Looking For Me because I felt so lost; I no longer feel that way. I've went through a lot of change since I lost my son but I am a much stronger person. A year ago if you gave me a billion dollars and fulfilled all my worldly dreams, you could not have convinced me that I could be happy; however, now I am here now a recently divorced and living with my parents until I can save up enough money to buy my own place and I'm truly happy. I have peace in my heart and I know God can bring me through anything.
Little things like figuring out why my ipod wasn't working brightened my day even more.
This morning as I was walking towards the coffee pot, my phone rang and I quickly answered it. I was so grateful to learn that my local courthouse still had a copy of a document from a North Carolina prosecutor clearing my driving record because my identity was stolen in 1992. Last week when I went to renew my drivers license, I found out there are new charges on my license and I have to go through the process of clearing my name again. I'm one step closer to clearing my name, Praise the Lord for answering my prayers and the prayers of those that have prayed with me.
I had a great workout with my sister and came home from the gym to watch last night's episode of Biggest Loser and weighed myself as I do every week before I watch the show. I have lost 10 lbs. in the last 3 weeks so my day has been filled with truly wonderful gifts from above. I'm so grateful to be part of sparkpeople where I can interact with goal orientated people and get encouragement when I need it, you are a true blessing to me. I'm actually looking forward to my weigh-in at the doctor on April 5th because I have 6 more days to lose even more weight. This spring challenge on Christians with more than 100 lbs. to lose has really inspired and motivated me and kept me focused on my goals.
May God Bless and keep you safe.
Friday, March 18, 2011
In 2006, I was labeled with major depressive disorder after my only child Adam died while "playing" the "choking game". I only have 3 or 4 weeks of Cognitive Process Therapy left and it has helped so much. I can turn every negative thought into a positive thought including losing Adam which I never thought that I would be able to say that. I doubt that I will be thankful that Adam was taken from me but I am grateful that he saved other people's lives through organ donation by his own choice and by publicy doing an interview to inform people about the choking game and people finding out their child was doing this and stopped them from losing their child.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Today was a great day; I surrounded myself with positive people, influences, material, and thoughts. I started the day off in a bit of a funk because I was missing my precious son, Adam, who died 5 years ago last month but I walked/jogged 6.5 miles and felt so much better afterwards. I went through my cell phone saving all the positive text messages that have been sent to me so I can read them when I am needing encouragement.
I finally broke my plateau this week which is very encouraging and I look forward to waking up tomorrow and having a good day and spending time with my sister at the gym.
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