Monday, February 21, 2011

I Want To Move... a desserted island where the influences of this sinful world can't touch my family. I want to go back to a time in life where all my kids were tucked safely into bed by 9:00 and my biggest concerns were what to make for dinner each evening. I want to live in a place where sin and death and ugliness don't exist. A place where beauty is everywhere and breathtaking. Oh wait... that would be heaven and we can't go there yet. So in the meantime, I have to live in this world and deal with the sin, death and ugliness that exists here. God, help me to see everything through Your Eternal Eyes. Give me grace to live each day with purpose. Prepare my heart for all that You have planned for us, good or bad. Protect my children from the lies and schemes of the evil one. Give them a passion and a heart for You! Amen.

Sad Goodbyes

Saying goodbye is never easy. It is especially hard to say goodbye to a loved one when you don't know if you will see them again on this earth. That is what we experienced last weekend when we took the family to say goodbye to their grandfather. It was a really hard trip to make, but one I am really glad we did. I think that it was important for the kids to have that time with their grandfather and say goodbye in their own ways.

Mary did really well the whole time we were there. She shared "her song" with her grandmother and they both sat on the couch and cried as they listened to it. She was able to give her grandfather a hug and tell him how much she loves him. I think that just being there and seeing him has helped her in many ways.

This past week has been harder on her as the reality of his upcoming death is setting in. She told me on Thursday that she is feeling very sad and angry about 98% of the time and very manic the other 2%. I think that is very accurate. She breaks into tears at the blink of an eye and her frustration tolerance is very low. Then she has these bursts of energy that are disproportionate to a situation... happy, giddy, silliness that is out of the ordinary. It is hard to gage how much of this is related to normal sadness over her grandpa and how much is cycling.

I found a picture of her sitting on our front porch, on her grandpa's lap, wrapped up in his jacket. I gave it to her last night and she loved seeing it. She remembers that day (it was a couple of years ago). It is a picture that I know she will treasure in years to come. Her biggest question right now is whether he will be her guardian angel when he gets to heaven. We told her that is probably going to be his first assignment (after he says hello to all of his loved ones already waiting for him there).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trip Preparations

Tonight we are packing for a trip to VA to see Mark's dad. We have decided that all the kids need to see their grandfather at least one more time while he is still with us on this earth. Along with the usual things we normally pack for any trip away from home, we are also taking along an arsenal of medications just in case.

I would have to say that this week has been worse than last week as far as the cycling goes with Mary. The highs seem higher, the lows seem lower, the anger seems greater, and the time in between cycles is almost non-existent. I did call the pdoc to see if it was wise to take Mary. We all agree that she needs to have some say in how and when she says her good-byes. She has decided that she needs to see him. Unfortunately this has not helped with the cycling issues this week. The pdoc asked me if I thought that we were seeing cycling or if it was anxiety? Well, good question? Is the anxiety triggering the cylcing, is the cycling triggering the anxiety, or is it just anxiety mimic-ing the cycles? And to throw one more thing into the mix the pdoc said there could be a slight reason to believe that some of this could be caused by her thyroid being off (which can cause psychosis). Her last blood draw did not indicate that the thyroid was off, but some of the things like the agitation and the constant feeling of being tired could indicate that it might be off now. We have no way of knowing if this is the case since we still can't get her to have blood work done.

The visit in Virginia could go two ways... it could make things better since Mary tends to build up anticipatory anxiety (she builds things up in her mind until the monsters that grow out of it are far worse than the reality of the situation). Once she sees her grandpa and spends some time with him, some of this anxiety could be relieved. Or it could make things much worse. Seeing him as he is now instead of how she knows him to be could make her extremely sad. My fear is that she will be overwhelmed with sadness and ultimately this will make her suicidal again. But we will take one step at a time and not borrow trouble from tomorrow. Focus on today (or just the next hour or even the next minute) and trust that God is in control. Our motto for the weekend is "Semper Gumby" (always flexible).

Before we leave we will put together an "exit plan" with Mary so that we can all be prepared if she starts to feel overwhelmed and can get her out of that situation. We will all know what we need to do to help her through it and also to help her know that she is not alone in all of these sad feelings. We will be staying at a friend's house so that Mary will have some time to decompress every day. We are really hoping for some great visiting time with family, and we will also get to see some wonderful life-long friends while we are there. It is my prayer that we will be a blessing to those around us and not so consumed with our own troubles and exhaustion that we fail to be other's focused.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


That is what I am tonight, tired, physically, emotionally, mentally! Tired of the cycling, tired of the mania, tired of the anger, tired of the frustration, tired of the depression, tired of the constant flux of emotions, tired of the obsessive thoughts... Just plain tired! I am ready for some peace. I am ready for some stability. I fear that another stay at the hospital looms in our future once again. I do not know why I fear that? The doctor has not indicated that it is even remotely on the radar. Maybe it is just intuition? Maybe it is knowing the end result of the roller coaster she is on right now? Maybe it is just fear? Whatever it is, I pray that I am wrong. I pray that the medications start to work their wonders on her brain sooner rather than later. I pray that God would prepare my heart for whatever the future holds. I pray for peace. Like the old prayer goes... God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.