It’s been quite a while since I updated this blog. I have been in some form of survival mode for over a year now. How to update? Well, I guess I can put it this way: Facebook is a liar.
I’m sure you are aware that your Facebook life is WAY different from your actual life. There are of course things that you would never post but nevertheless are dealing with. Any of my acquaintances who have seen my updates over the past few years probably only know about 20% of the challenges my family has faced recently. So I’mma unload that here. Hang on, it’s a bumpy ride.
- My family's been struggling with finances. Between unexpected expenses and my own fluctuating income, this has made it very hard to plan ahead and stay on top of things. Credit cards are evil sometimes.
- My father-in-law was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. This came out of nowhere. He is not super old and has taken fairly good care of himself. Because my father died of cancer when I was 16, I struggled with helping him through this since it was giving me some PTSD recalling my own history.
- We nearly lost our house. We were renting, and I got a text from the rental manager asking if we still wanted to buy the house. They wanted to sell it by June. We did, but we couldn’t make an offer just yet (see number 1). Fortunately, my mother was able to give us some money for a down payment.
- My middle son was diagnosed with autism. He has been struggling the past few years in school, not academically but socially. He would occasionally have problems with making friends and relating to his peers, as well as what looked like ADD/ADHD but is actually sensory issues. Because he was diagnosed in June, we didn’t have the opportunity to get his IEP in place for this school year until November (the district has to do their own evaluations as well), but the team and plan are now in place and he is slowly making strides in learning how to function more effectively in the social and academic spheres.
- We had a water heater failure weeks after closing on our house. The inspector sent by our rental manager to look at it because we knew it was old, assured us that it was fine. The spigot broke off sometime early in the morning and started gushing water into our basement. While we’re fairly certain that we shut off the water in about 30 minutes from the start of the failure, it still cost us $12,000 in damages. We had to replace our basement carpet and a section of drywall had to be replaced and repainted. Much of this work was delayed because our loss happened just days before the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, drawing a lot of the repair workers from here down south for months. The work was finally completed on Halloween.
- My youngest son was re-qualified for Special Education because of his motor delays. He has always struggled with motor skills, due to his neurofibromatosis, but he had been exited from Early Childhood Special Ed at 3 years old because children need to qualify in two areas at that point. However, his preschool teachers asked to have him re-evaluated because his classmates were literally leaving him behind and he was falling down a lot. He was re-classified as physically impaired, which helps him to get physical and occupational therapy services at school. I’m glad he can get these services; that will hopefully help him to get stronger faster.
- My mother was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. This is the exact same diagnosis that was given to my father, and then he died three days later. Fortunately, my mom seems to be staying healthier so far, but she has good days and bad days. Due to her age and the fact that they believe it mutated from an existing condition she had with her bone marrow, a bone marrow transplant and high dose chemotherapy are not options, but she did qualify for a promising clinical trial. Needless to say, this is the most terrifying development of all for me, since AML has been a personal nightmare to me since 1994. However, understanding of the disease and more effective treatments have come a long way since then, so they have hope that she can reach remission. She is my best friend and I am so scared to lose her. Because I am the primary caregiver for my 3 boys and my oldest has been in travel basketball, I haven’t been able to see her while she’s been stuck in the hospital out of state since mid-January. It is killing me not to be able to talk to her every day like we always do. Sometimes she’s been too tired to answer my texts or calls, so I’m dependent on my brother and sister to give me updates. They are good about it, and fortunately they live nearby, but it still sucks to not be able to see her. I’m hoping after basketball ends this weekend that I can see her the following week.
So there are a whole lot of things I don’t really post about on Facebook, but 100% of the reason I’m on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds. Facebook is a liar. I love it for keeping up with friends, but I have to remember that they likely have a bunch more going on beneath the Facebook façade as well.
I’m not looking for pity or whatever. I just wanted to lay out somewhere relatively anonymous what has been going on beneath the surface that I present elsewhere. Good thoughts and prayers for my little family are most welcome. If you’re nearby and willing, coffee or a stronger drink would also be appreciated!