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Today was the day when reality finally set in…

I like to play this game sometimes called, “Even though the doctors are diagnosing and telling me things, maybe everyone who kept telling me over the years that I was just making stuff up was right, and nothing is really wrong with me.” It is a stupid game to be honest, and I think the only reason I do it is because I struggle to wrap my head around all that is going on right now.

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You may have noticed that I am not writing much right now. It is summer, and I know some people take the summer off from blogging. However, I am not one of those people. If we all want to be honest here, my writing has been somewhat sporadic for two years, ever since I landed in the hospital from having symptoms of a stroke. I was told it was not a stroke. I followed up with the world’s worst neurologist. Then before I could get a second opinion, my husband lost his job, and well I only ended up being able to start getting the ball rolling again this spring to find out just what is wrong with me.

I have a brain injury. I have probably mentioned this a few times over the years. I was hit by a car. Even though it was not my fault, I basically got screwed over majorly. I worked really hard trying to keep myself literate and even taught myself how to build a website, build a business, blog, and do social media. I worked really hard, and it all fell apart again when I ended up in the hospital two years ago.

I have been having some issues lately, and I seem to have some good doctors figuring things out now. However, it is hard on the kids. My almost three year old has become super clingy, and when I see her playing with her dolls, it is often the scenario that Barbie has to keep going to the doctor.

Today, she and I started having a conversation about how Mommy is sick. I told her I am not sick, but that my brain has a boo boo. Later, she hurt herself, and I looked her over and then gave her boo boo a kiss. I told her that it helps make things better. Soon after, my child took her hands and placed them on my face. She told me that she needed to kiss my head to make me feel better. I tried hard not to cry. It hurt so freaking bad. Why should my almost three-year old be worried about her mommy? Mommy is supposed to take care of her!

As the day progressed, suffice it to say that I ended up having an experience that made everything I know about what is going on with me right now seem very real and kinda scary. I do not feel like going into details just yet because I don’t want to share everything I have been told just yet. Part of me is hoping that my neurologist will have some light to shed on things, and I am seeing her next month. All I really want is for someone to fix me.

However, tonight, I am sitting here kinda scared and angry too. Fifteen years ago, I was hit by a distracted driver. With social media and texting, distracted driving seems to almost be a norm nowadays, and lately when I see it, I just want to scream. I think part of me is still angry at the woman who hit me because she gets to live her life, and here I am constantly giving up my dreams and also trying to downplay things because I don’t want my kids, my family, and my friends to worry about me. I am scared. I am scared because I want things to be organized. I want to be able to plan and do. Right now, I feel like I am staring into a big, dark void. I want to try to stay positive, and lately I am really struggling with that.

With all of this in mind, I have decided that I need to take these feelings and let them out, so here we are because I know that somewhere out there someone else probably feels the same way, so if nothing else, here I am saying you are not alone. And if nothing else, writing always makes me feel a bit better. I have not been writing much though. It has been so hard to sit and try to make the words come alive because I want to say things, but I don’t want your pity. I just want to get it out and tell my story.

So right now, this is my story. Life kinda sucks right now, and I am a bit angry. I have no words of wisdom, but I feel better now that I actually have said what is on my mind. What is on your mind right now? Feel free to share in the comments below or join the discussion on Facebook!

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Fighting Inflammation with Aloe Vera

*I received product in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own. May contain affiliate links.

As many of you know who follow me on other social media accounts, I have not been very active for a while because of my health. I do plan on going into detail about things and giving an update in the very near future, but I have been in a lot of pain. I have migraines and other issues related to a brain injury, so when the opportunity presented itself to try Nature’s Factory Earth’s Aloe, I thought it was worth a try.

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Photo by Birgit_H

I have an aloe vera plant at home that I use for topical medicinal purposes. However, the aloe vera plant can also aid in digestion issues and help fight inflammation. Because of the neck injury I received from my accident fifteen years ago, I fight pain on a daily basis. It made me curious to try this product.

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I honestly wish I would have known about this before because it does help with some of the pain I experience from day to day. Because I have such chronic pain, it makes me deliriously happy to get any sort of relief! It can also be useful if you have arthritis as well.

While I do not have issues with is now, I have had stomach issues in the past, and many people take this to help relieve IBS and other stomach issues. Who woulda thunk that this plant you use for cuts and scrapes could also do all of this?

Needless to say, I am hooked. Plus, it makes me happy that they are also a small company and made in the USA.

If you have chronic pain, like me, or if you have stomach issues, it may be worth looking into taking this as a supplement. You can find more information on their website or follow them on Facebook. You can also find them on Amazon as well.

I hope that if you have some of the issues I do that you can find relief, and if you have used this product, please let me know how it helped you in the comments below!

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Coming up for Air

Living the past few years the way I have, I would have to say without a doubt, that the worst the universe could do to you after having a rainbow baby would be to grant you with postpartum depression. You get something that you so desperately want, and then your body turns against you making it so that you do not enjoy life or that little person you so desperately wanted.

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I had PPD with my oldest daughter, but I did not think I would have it with Miss Crankles. She was my rainbow, this joy we waited for so long. A lot happened in a short amount of time after having her, and I felt like all the happiness had been sucked out of my body. On top of that, she had colic, and with a husband that was out in the oil patch, I did not get much relief to sleep. I felt like it was a cruel joke. On top of that, there are still many people that do not understand PPD at all! They think you are faking it or flaking out. They talk about you behind your back in hushed tones thinking it will never get back to you, but inevitably it all does. It makes one feel so much worse and so useless. I struggled so much that first year to keep my shit together and get the big kids to the places they needed to be for their activities. I struggled to keep going on little to no sleep for days on end. When my husband ended up on a stint that lasted two months, I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. It sucked. It was not how it was supposed to be. I felt cheated.

Ending up in the hospital last summer, only to discover it was related to the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I received years ago felt like the grande finale to the shit show that was my life. One of the medications they gave me post-visit was a low dosage of an anti-depressant to help prevent the migraines I kept having. It also should have helped with the depression. Mostly, it just made me feel numb and extremely unproductive. We moved, and it while it was the right thing for my family, I was an emotional wreck. I lost friends. My kids lost friends. My kids were excited about their new surroundings but sad at the same time. My husband lost his job. It felt like the universe was giving my family the finger.

The part they don’t tell you about taking an antidepressant, no matter what the reason or dosage you have, is that they are a pain in the ass to stop taking. Even on a low dosage and gentle, slow weaning, I ended up with ALL the side effects you can have. It was glorious I tell ya. The moment you start to have energy again, you get brain zaps and feel like a bumbling idiot. The effects can last weeks or sometimes months. It is brutal. I have spent the last 6 weeks feeling energetic, then followed by being so tired I could sleep for days. Then just for shits and giggles, I get to feeling like I have PMS on crack. I am not saying that one should never take anti-depressants by the way, just to be clear. Some of us need them. Some of us need talk therapy. Some of us need both. However, I am saying that the side effects when taking them and coming off them should be discussed better.The problem is that people don’t talk about it, and if you experience any of this, some people either think you are nuts or that you must be making it all up so they want to condemn you and tell EVERYONE THEY KNOW how horrible you are or that your kids are going to end up in therapy some day.

Funny thing about my kids, they think I am awesome. They do not think I am a failure.They know I have been run through the mill, and they love me, imperfections and all. So many times in the past year or two, I have thought that my PPD and TBI have gotten the best of me. However, my kids think I am doing just fine. They know Mommy has been really hurt, and they know that I am getting better. I am. It is baby steps, but I am. It is hard though. I have hurt for a long time. I keep trying to find things to give me focus on off days, like play with the kids, sitting out on the patio and watching Sissy swing on the tree swing her dad made her. Sometimes, it is talking to my son about computers. (He is a little obsessed.) Other times, it is sitting in the chair with my toddler at my breast while she holds onto me. She is a happy child, despite being called Miss Crankles. While I feel I failed sometimes because things did not go the way I wanted, she is happy. If I really was THAT much of a failure, she would not be a happy child, and neither would my other kids for that matter.

As mamas, we beat ourselves up so much about the job we do as parents. We let society, family members, and the people around us tell us how we are screwing it all up and let us know that we are all just horrible at what we are doing. That is when we need to find our tribe. We need to find those people that are not only honest with themselves, but honest about themselves with others. Those are the people we should seek. Those are the people that will truly let you know if you are mucking it up or if you are just a human being trying hard to be the best mama you can.

It has been hard this past year, but I have definitely found my tribe here. The funny thing has been that I have been pretty honest in where I am with my life when meeting them. I pretty much have met my tribe by being like, “Hi, I am Lesa. I am a hot mess. Do you still wanna be my friend?” Then I find out even the moms that seem so perfect have a hot mess side too because we are ALL hot messes one way or another. However, we are all bonded in that we want our kids to grow up and become awesome adults.

My youngest turns two in about a month, and I finally feel like I am coming up for air after feeling for so long like I am drowning. It has been a long, hard road. If you are on this road too, know it gets better. Reach out to your tribe. Find help. Don’t go it alone. Know that you are awesome and doing the best that you can!

Do you have anything to add about your experience with PPD or have just come by to say hi? If so, please feel free to comment below.

 

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So much for new beginnings

This summer has been long and tiring for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons, of course, has been because we recently made a move to a different state. We downsized for a house that needs a little TLC but has a huge yard to begin a new adventure to financial freedom and living with less. However, our packing and plan to move hit a huge hurdle when I ended up in the hospital late June.

Photographer: PublicDomainPictures (pixabay )

Photographer: PublicDomainPictures (pixabay )

In June, I ended up being life-flighted to the hospital with symptoms of a stroke. As it turned out, I did not have a stroke, thank goodness. However, I had a major setback in dealing with issues from a traumatic brain injury from years ago that involved being struck by a vehicle while I was crossing the street. All the progress I have made over the years and all the things from my TBI that I have tried to hide and pretend that it was nothing has all come back to haunt me in a bad way.

When the accident first happened, I had a lot of memory issues, concentration issues, troubles with reading and speech, and other issues that were not visible to most people. When I would stutter, people would treat me like I was stupid. I started avoiding large groups. I had trouble typing and took classes the summer after the accident in hopes that it would help me get over it all quickly. I read anything I could get my hands on because I had trouble reading and concentrating. I wanted to stay on track. I had big dreams. I was getting married that summer. I was going to graduate college the next year, and then my husband and I planned on going to the same university for our Master’s in Poland. I was planning on getting my PhD after that. I wanted to teach English to international students either in the US or abroad. I thought I had my life all mapped out that day. What I learned since then is that we can make plans and think we have it all figured out, but we really don’t. I was reminded of that again this summer when I found myself going backwards instead of moving forward.

It’s funny really when I think about it. I had been planning on writing this big post in June about how I was finally moving forward in how I viewed my life because of the accident, that I have made peace with things. Then all this happened, and I found myself stuttering and some days not being able to really get anything to come out of my mouth. It’s all in my mind, but it just won’t come out. I don’t have a lot of energy. It takes a lot to concentrate, and I ended up having to close my website down and stop blogging for a while because I just couldn’t write. I have been taking it easy on social media all together, which in some ways has been good. I think sometimes we are all too plugged in and too connected to Facebook and social media. All the anger and frustration has come back, and some days I just cry because I feel that I have worked so hard the last several years, and it was all for nothing.

After my accident, I had so much trouble with concentration and other issues that I eventually took a break from college. I concentrated on being a mom shortly after that. I took part-time jobs for a while to help financially since my husband and I were just starting out. However, after being bullied and made fun of for my stutter, among other things, I eventually just decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I sold cosmetics and candles through home parties, and after the birth of my oldest daughter, I started my own business. I spent the last several years learning how to build websites, do SEO, blog, and manage my own social media. While it didn’t make a lot of money, I have gotten a lot of satisfaction from the people I have helped, the children I have made smile, and the businesses that I have assisted along the way. I taught myself new skills. I lost my stutter for the most part. I was able to hide all the little things from my TBI. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t make a big deal about it. Yes, I was still angry. Sometimes, I would think about what I would be doing if I hadn’t been hit by that car, how my husband might not be working in the Oilfield if I was doing something in my field, how wonderful things could have been. I know that my dream of how life could have been would probably have been very different if I would not have been hit, but sometimes I couldn’t help myself in thinking, “What if?”

I have not been doing a lot with my website the past few years. I have focused on my blog, telling my story of trying to conceive and having Sweetpea. I started making new plans, ones that included me moving forward with doing social media at a more professional level and also just enjoy being a mom. I wanted to have fun with the kids and explore. We were preparing to move to a more urban area and also an area that had lots for us to do in regards to hiking, biking, and being active. I felt by taking the “What if” away and just learning to enjoy life as it is I would be happy, the kids would be happy, and I would finally be moving forward with my life. After all, I am still young. As much as it has sucked that the accident happened, I am alive, and it it is time I start acting like it. And then I ended up in the hospital, and all those plans I started making for a new leaf felt like they had just been ripped away.

All that anger that I have tried to push down has bubbled to the surface, and I am angry. I am angry that I don’t have energy. I am angry that I had to shut my website down, even though I do plan to resurrect it this fall. I am angry that my stutter is back, and I hate when people treat me like I am stupid when I am out and about and can’t get my words out. I hate that my kids have to guess what I am trying to say sometimes. I hate that I just don’t have the energy right now to be the fun mom. I hate that I am so tired. I hate that I haven’t been able to help as much in packing. I hate that some things got left behind. I hate that my husband has had to carry us, and I hate that I can see how tired he is. I hate when my mind turns to mush, and I can’t do anything about it. I hate that my neurologist didn’t seem to care and just wanted to medicate me. I hate that I have to get a second opinion. I hate that I might get over this, only to have another episode of this again. I hate that I may never be able to plan another party, never be able to entertain kids again. I hate that I have to make new plans.

This move was supposed to be a new beginning. I was nervous but excited for it. Now I see everything as so overwhelming. We have a house to fix up, and I see it as a task I don’t know if I can finish. I feel like my body and mind have let me down. I feel angry at the woman who was careless and hit me. I feel angry at God. I feel angry at the people in my life who don’t know what I am going through, and I feel angry at myself for never fully letting them in so that they would know that I even had these issues in the first place.

I am not saying all this because I want anyone’s pity. I am saying this because I need to get it out. I need to deal with all of this, with all of this hurt, with all of this anger. I also want to say all this for any of you who may have suffered from a TBI and are suffering alone. It sucks. It sucks because it is not something that people can always see, and I have found that if people can’t see it, they are more likely to think it doesn’t exist.

So yeah…new beginnings. I think they suck. I want some sunshine and rainbows. I just want to dream a dream that comes true or make plans that work. That’s not too much to ask, right?