When it rains...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
...it's a hurricane at my house.
Life has been coming at me with double fisting punches for about 2 months now. Let me encapsulate the craziness as quickly as I can:
August: My 2 year old grandson came for a visit from Colorado and I knew something wasn't right - the way any mother of 4 knows when something isn't right. Sure enough, DD#1 takes him home to the doctor and he's diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Lots of assessment and treatment plans to come for my sweet boy - I know he's going to be okay but the work to get him to that point is going to be fierce.
Okay - we can handle that.
Then DD#3 arrives home from her summer job out west unable to start school because of a virus.
Then the virus segues into a tonsillar abscess followed irrationally quickly by cellulitis and meningitis - IV antibiotics, hospital visits, doctor's appointments - exhausting but, yep...
We're good to go.
Then her eyesight left. My sweet darling 21 year old is now vision impaired - has to drop out of school, give up her dorm room and move home to be completely dependent on mom and dad. MRI, CT scans, specialists, lab work and a blind frantic DD.
It's starting to get to be a little too much.
Then, DD#1 calls asking what a seizure might look like in a 6 month old? WHAT?? DGS#2 has had 3 seizures (etiology unknown) so pile on another set of appointments for DD#1 - neurologist, MRIs, CT scans, EEGs etc.
I'm almost over the edge.
Now DGS#2 is at the pediatricians office and, why not, he's officially diagnosed as Failure to Thrive - add gastroenterology specialists to the huge pile of stuff that DD#1 is trying to manage all on her own because her mother can't come help her out because her sister is blind.
That's when I had my first anxiety attack.
Is it any wonder that when DD#2 called to say her SO had to leave suddenly to go home to Australia with his return date unknown that I had not a shred of sympathy left to give? Curl up on the couch and I'll join you in the crying fest - it's all, simply
So - for the first time in my life, I hauled myself into my physician's office and asked for help.
This is very, very hard for a perfectionist to do. But I have learned in this long recovery process that asking for help is okay - in fact, it takes more strength to ask for help than it does to go it alone. We can't do all of this business called life on our own - there's a reason we're born into families who have families with friends and communities - we need other people to shore up our frail reserves when they start getting a little low.
After the doctor suggested I take few weeks off work to reduce the stress, I went one better by calling my darling sister to ask her to take on the Herculean task of making Thanksgiving dinner this year - of course she said yes - those who love us worry about the things we worry about too - she wanted, no, NEEDED to help. Then, when DH's mom called to say she was uninviting herself from the weekend as she knew we wouldn't be up for a house guest we immediately thanked her for her kindness and cancelled the airport limo.
When I was suffering from obesity and perfectionism these events would not have happened. The need to be seen as coping perfectly, admirably, amazingly well would have over ridden anything that I needed for myself. I would have rolled myself away from the table after 3 helpings of turkey dressing and 2 slices of pie and started on kitchen duty while my mother in law watched from the couch.
No more - the healthy person asks for help; recognizes her right to have needs and limitations and knows that if she's not caring for herself, she won't be able to care for anyone else.
That's why, 2 months and 50 crises later, I still weight 138 lbs.