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Archive for the ‘Rocky Roads Ahead’ Category

The window of energy is small and needing to take advantage of the Adderall rush. Completely weened off Prozac now. Was the past 3 months of hell due to the fact that Prozac was prescribed for a diagnosis of depression for me? I am hoping Lamictal will take effect in the next 2 weeks (I have been on now for 10 days).

Looking at my life and putting the pieces together for bipolar disorder is overwhelming and bittersweet. Finally a possible diagnosis, but fear of the future and managing this unpredictable condition for the rest of my life. Sometimes I feel like the bubble boy because I can see or feel the world continuing as I am at a stand still. It is frustrating and I get down because I have all these plans and ideas needing to implement and cannot. There are piles of projects inside and outside of the home just waiting for me. It is junky here, another reason to feel down.

It has always been a struggle for me to stay organized and neat, leading to anger with those around me who did not respect and comply with perfection. Below is a post regarding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (yet another issue that sounds like me)

Obsessive-compulsive

Patients diagnosed with this disorder are preoccupied with keeping order, attaining perfection, and maintaining mental and interpersonal control. They may spend a great deal of time adhering to plans, schedules, or rules from which they will not deviate, even at the expense of openness, flexibility, and efficiency. These patients are often unable to relax and may become “workaholics.” They may have problems in employment as well as in intimate relationships because they are very stiff and formal, and insist on doing everything their way. About 1% of the population has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; the male/female ratio is about 2:1.
 
I don’t really believe in the zodiac signs, but Virgo’s ( August 23) tend to be perfectionists. Here is a good article on perfection and bipolar disorder. If you are Virgo, take a look at this article. I cannot believe how right on this is to describe myself, obsessive about order.
 

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Last night was absolutely horrible. Called the doctor, unfortunately he wasn’t on call and I talked (or cussed) at another. Cried, didn’t want to be around anyone, wanted to talk to someone, lastly, took 3 xanex to pass out and numb “it”.

Mind racing and tired thinking about teenage years. Found a good article to spot bipolar disorder in your teenager. Never thought I would see age 19 as a young teenager. Tried to commit suicide by swallowing aspirin (many), but didn’t work or maybe I didn’t really want it to work. Another try was with a friend driving after an event with a physically abusive boyfriend. I was so devastated at my life and my choices, I just wanted to die. My friend, who was at the wheel stomped on the gas and we were at high-speed and he yelled, “Do you really want to die?” I did not want him to die, so I told him no and I don’t think I was ready myself.

Another serious thought about suicide was after a DUI ticket, the end of a relationship, graduation from college and completely unsure of what to do next or what I could do next.

Teenage years were full of confusion and dealing with my shyness. I made compulsive choices during this time and actually all through my life. I remember riding the bus home and eating tons of chocolate and other kids saying, “How do you stay skinny eating all of that?” My hair changed color on a weekly basis and I would not hesitate to cut it into various styles. Later in life I actually shaved my head bald.

Teenage years I had a serious issue with rules and authority (from anyone). I would feel somehow imprisoned and trapped. Later on this led to job problems. My only solution was retiring to my bedroom and slamming the door or exploding with such passion I would see white.

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Organizing buttons, cleaning junk drawers and laundry are the only tasks I can complete to feel some kind of accomplishment. I have no interest in watching TV or listening to music, my life has come to a halt. My feet are molded in concrete and I’m donning a lead cloak. People would say, “I wish I had your energy” or “You are a superwoman”, before all of this started or maybe while in a manic state. I had been wanting to write of my thoughts and feelings many weeks ago, but just did not have the energy.

Why am I writing this on my stillborn son’s blog? It was only after his death in 2003 that I was introduced to medication. After my subsequent pregnancy (a living child) I suffered severe depression and since then have been on and off antidepressants with little relief. Was the reason he passed was to give his mother some direction as to a diagnosis for my problems? I don’t know.

After 3 months of being on antidepressants I knew something else was wrong. My highs and lows are very drastic and scary. I am confused and have issues needing to be fixed. My living son said I was lazy and my husband said I am always stressed. There is no mid ground for me, I am either very high or very low and small problems are NEVER small to me. I obsess over them and I am physically altered. My work is suffering, my home life and social is mostly non-existent. I was all packed up yesterday to get off to work and all of a sudden I sat down with dread and could not go.

After researching Bipolar Disorder online my mind is constantly racing trying to think of past events to affirm this diagnosis and many are present. I never gave Bipolar Disorder a thought because I assumed this is for crazy people. I am now prescribed Wellbutrin, Adderal, Prozac and Lamictal with Xanex taken when needed. Full of drugs and feeling this way is just incredible to me.

My dear son, if you ever read this, know that I always loved you the best I knew how…

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It has probably been here all along, it’s just now saying hello again. The time change, the colder weather, the darkness and financial issues have helped this horrible condition surface with vengeance.

Before I was diagnosed with depression I would see commercials for anti-depressant meds and think, “Why are people struggling with this when they just need to take their medication?” How easy this would be if true. Your body no longer recognizes the medication after some time and meds for depression take 3 months for full effectiveness. It is a frustrating process and the anxiety intensifies after your Doctor of 13 years leaves the practice.

Last month  my bills for doctor visits, health insurance and medication exceeded $500. This is so stressful and I am only on week 4!

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How many children do you have?

The dreaded question and the guilt surrounding it could be overwhelming. The hesitation of the parent being questioned is much more than a mere pause. A child born (subsequent pregnancy) after or before the loss of a baby is recognized as an integral part of the family, in most homes.

My subsequent pregnancy was another son and he is well aware of his older brother. He is now six and draws pictures of our family, including Tanner.

When in preschool, he was asked how many brother’s or sister’s he had.

As you can see the teacher painted white out over the number one, for how many brothers he had. In a way, Tanner dies again. I do not blame the teacher, but if a child acknowledges a deceased sibling, they should too.

I asked my six-year-old about this questionnaire and he said, “Yes, I told her I had a brother named Tanner and he died.”

What you tell someone in the grocery line may be different from telling someone who works out at the same gym as you, it is your decision. We only do the best we know how and what feels right for the family.

The warmth inside my heart is tremendous when my 6-year-old wants to let a balloon go up to Tanner, draw a picture of him or just ask how he is doing.

People ask, “Doesn’t it make you sad talking about him?” No, I choose to remember my angel son because I love him and that love is manifested through me in my willingness to help, give, and support others. It is nothing but positive energy and it’s all because of Tanner.

How many children do you have?

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TTC for those not familiar with this acronym means, Trying To Conceive. For those who are trying to conceive, these 3 letters are frequently used in emails, forums and message boards.

Knowing all of our losses are unique, do we share a common waiting period from the doctor when it’s safe to start trying again?

For us, after Tanner was stillborn and our doctor informed us that a 6 month waiting period was recommended. He did explain that this includes physical and emotional healing.

Because it took us 6 months of SERIOUS PLANNED intercourse to conceive Tanner, having unprotected sex after his death was safe, so we thought.

I would have never thought seeing the 2 pink lines (or PPT) would happen so fast. No, I was not ready emotionally, but 3 months after our little angel left us, another baby was developing in my womb, ready or not.

Another boy and he is healthy.

I had talked to a few friends who have had miscarriages and they too say 6 months is the waiting period and one said 3 months.

What did your doctor say and did you listen?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana  www.justacloudaway.com

 

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October 11th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memory Walks took place across the nation, recognizing the babies who left this earth too soon. Bereaved families came together to pay tribute by walking, lighting candles, or releasing balloons or butterflies. October 15th  being the actual day.

Heartstrings located in the Piedmont Triad Area of North Carolina had their memory walk October 11th, Saturday morning. I attended and brought all of the many angel crafts I created in memory of my stillborn angel, Tanner. Next to me was a table full of books by a local writer and bereaved parent of stillbirth, Anna Marie Smith. She would also be the keynote speaker.

She would share a similar story with me about her first born son, like my little Tanner Nanner. Her baby Mac was stillborn 4 years prior to my son. I decided to purchase her book “Sleeping Angel”. I have a library filled with pregnancy loss books, but none by someone I have met in the flesh.

While I was taking pictures of the event, my mother sat and read the entire book. I asked her how it was. She said, “It sounds like everything you went through.”

There were similarities and there were differences because no 2 people are exactly the same. A few of those differences were looking pregnant after our stillbirths and how other people would notice. For me, I wanted so much to look pregnant as long as possible. I wanted people to ask me if I was pregnant or when I was expecting so I could talk about my angel. Another difference was how I dealt with Tanner’s death the month afterward. I would start drinking wine early in the morning, smoke 2 packs of cigarettes, wander through my garden and cry all day long. By the time my husband would arrive home, I would be passed out for the the evening until the next morning. Another huge difference was that unlike Anna, I knew how my baby died, the umbilical cord. She would never know. 

I will finish the book and continue to note the differences and similarities of our journey of grief.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above   www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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The angelversary date has no rules. For us it is the day Tanner’s stillborn body laid in my arms (also my husband’s birthday), for my girlfriend it was the day of her D&C, for another, her child’s expected due date.

Once the month of August hits, my anxiety starts building. September 28th is Tanner’s angelversaryand for years I have become very tense beginning in August ending in October. Maybe because October 1st was Tanner’s memorial service and October 14th was his expected due date. Now that I am on Citalopram, anxiety levels shouldn’t be unbearable for my family.

Tanner’s first angelversary we had a few close friends over for cake. I had both Tanner and Todd’s name on the cake and we sang to both. My girlfriend brought balloons to tie onto Tanner’s memory garden cross which started this tradition. Even if we do not have a cake, it is a new tradition for my husband and myself to visit Tanner’s memory garden with balloons for his cross. I also like to bring his journal to the memory garden and write a letter wishing my angel a happy birthday in heaven.

One of my girlfriend’s started a new tradition for her baby’s angelversary by visiting her stillborn child’s grave bringing flowers and also placing flowers at the graves of other deceased babies. Another friend makes a donation to the pregnancy loss support group that was very supportive in her healing. Another tradition is assembling care packets for the homeless and inserting a small note- in loving memory of our deceased child.

What ways do you remember and honor your baby’s angelversary?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Our precious Tanner was stillborn and several weeks prior another Tanner was born healthy and safe. After almost 5 years it still hurts me to see this little boy in church. This Tanner is almost the exact age of my angel Tanner.

My husband is Methodist and I am Catholic so we are members of 2 wonderful churches. We attend both parishes. Pleasant Union United Methodist Church is right around the block from us in a rural setting. There are approximately 150 families where everyone knows each other by name.

This past Christmas we attended the gingerbread house activity at Pleasant Union. This was our 3rd year decorating the houses where we can visit and share decorating techniques. We prepare for this event weeks prior gathering all sorts of candies for roofing, snow, and shrubs. This time was different for me. The little boy Tanner that had lived sat next to us with his little sister and mother. I had my back to the family the entire time and every time the mother would call “Tanner’s” name I would cringe. I tried very hard to concentrate on what I was doing and ignore surrounding voices.

They are good people but I just don’t have it in me to talk to them yet. My little boy is now an angel, how can I talk to a living child named Tanner who is the same age as my Tanner in heaven? This is such a small community I wonder what they thought when my Tanner died? I think my husband even went to school with Tanner’s mother.

I have noticed Tanner in church several times and discreetly stare at him. He is quiet and well behaved. His head tilts slightly down with his big brown eyes so innocently looking around the church. I think my Tanner would have been similar, just my intuition. Tanner would love to read like his father, tall in stature and quiet natured with a heart of gold.

He is in heaven reading among the flowers, animals and the stream with Uncle Jim.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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I used to think everything happened for a reason before my son was stillborn. I am guilty of uttering those insensitive words, “Everything happens for a reason”. I remember them rolling off my tongue to my uncle whose new grand baby was born with a terminal illness.

This phrase “Everything happens for a reason” is now non-existent in my book of sayings. Whoever started this was apparently without compassion. The phrase still lingers in today’s society without batting an eye. Once you are faced with a tragic death of your own child the world around you is an enemy for a time.

We are good parents, we have so much love to give and we desired to teach our children how beautiful the world is. It isn’t fair that people are having babies and ultimately neglect them. Why do they get to have perfect and healthy children and we are denied? What would be the reason for this?

My much wanted child died before he could see me with his own eyes how much I loved him. The reason he died was a cord accident and I do not think God intentionally tightened the cord to cut off his oxygen supply. This is not a perfect world and accidents and tragedies occur completely out of our control. We do not have much control anyway.

“Time will heal” is another saying people provide after the death of a baby. I don’t believe this either. I believe it is what you do with the time that mends our broken hearts. After Tanner died I drank heavily everyday for a good month. If I continued this ritual I would have self destructed and become a woman with the only indication of being alive- a heartbeat.

I like to think that because my son became an angel I have become a better person. My heart is filled with much more love of the physical and spritual kind or the visible and the unseen.

The play has been written but we can change the perception of the audience by sharing our love for our angel babies in heaven, whatever the reason was. They are our children.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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