Below are two stories about the stuff that has happened the last few months. I've written two different accounts of the same events. They're both true stories. They're both accurate. One of these stories will make you want to curl up and cry; the other one will make you feel, well, read the stories yourself and you tell me how they make you feel.
This fall, the catalytic converter went out on my van, costing me $1000 to repair. I hate spending money on car repairs, especially stupid ones like this. I mean, my car was working just fine with the old converter, but noooo, you can't renew your registration unless you can pass the emission test and you can't pass the emission test without a working catalytic converter.
Soon after this, I developed a horrible pain in my abdomen. I waited it out for several days, thinking it would eventually go away, but it just kept getting worse until I couldn't stand it any longer. I decided to break down and pay the stupid $800 a month for COBRA and I went to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. I had to spend a couple weeks on a liquid diet with strong antibiotics that made me feel much worse than the diverticulitis ever did. It was horrendous.
As if the diverticulitis wasn't bad enough, they also found a mass on my ovary that I had to have surgically removed. While doing the surgery, my doctor discovered that I had a considerable amount of endometriosis as well. Fabulous.
On October, all six kids and I came down with the virus from hell. We were all puking and pooping for days. It was so disgusting! I don't know how we survived that.
Then, during the first really bitter cold weather of the season, my furnace went out. I don't even want to remember how much that cost to fix! We spent two days and nights freezing our butts off, waiting for it to be fixed which totally sucked.
Soon after the furnace went out, Austin came to me with the news that he was really depressed, had been self-injuring, and wanted help. After taking him to the ER, he spent a week in the hospital and then three more weeks in outpatient treatment.
Before Austin had even been released from outpatient treatment, Jackson was admitted to the hospital for his own depression issues.
While I was driving back and forth to the hospital every day, sometimes several times a day, I had to leave Savannah in charge of the little ones and I felt horrible and guilty for that. Too often, I threw some pasta or McDonald's on the table and called it dinner. Meanwhile, all my Christmas preparations were put on hold.
My medical bills were stacking up, but still, I couldn't get my ex to pay a penny of his portion of the medical bills (not to mention school registration fees and extracurricular activity fees).
Then my ex texted me to tell me he'd been fired. There went all medical insurance for the kids and all child support.
And then someone went and called DCFS on me because Jackson was depressed and in the hospital. You know, because I didn't have enough to deal with. It's a good thing I have such wonderful people looking out for my kids' well-being. Of course, the person who reported me had very specific things to say in the report. Things I'd never written about on my blog. Things that only a couple of my very best friends and my ex knew. Gee, I wonder who could possibly have called?
Jackson had to be admitted to the hospital not once, not twice, but three separate times before they finally changed his meds completely. After five or so weeks of inpatient treatment, he was discharged.
Then I decided to get my bathroom fixed to remove the little bit of mold that was on the baseboards. As the work got underway, we discovered the mold on the baseboards was only the tip of the iceberg. It was a much, much larger problem than was anticipated. There was a ton of mold!
Then I cracked a tooth. I have no insurance for myself.
Austin's hair has been falling out for a few weeks. It's gotten to the point where I'm really concerned. When I added the hair loss to the depression, total lethargy, constipation, and dry skin, I began to wonder if he has thyroid problems. I took him to the doctor where we had to wait for almost an hour while a little kids walked around the waiting room coughing all over the place. That was fun. The doctor sent us for bloodwork, but failed to mention that the lab was closed for the day. We drove to the hospital for the bloodwork, but were turned away and told to come back tomorrow.
Life sucks so bad. I don't understand why all these things keep happening to me. When will it stop? WILL it ever stop? I just want to crawl into bed and stay there forever. It's unfair!
The catalytic converter went out on my van this fall. It stunk having to pay for that repair, but I'm thankful it wasn't anything serious that could have caused a dangerous situation or an accident. I'm lucky that my friend, Doreen knew of a reputable mechanic, and both my friend, Eric and my dad were able to give me rides to and from the repair shop.
Soon after this, I developed a horrible pain in my abdomen. Thankfully, I was able to sign up for COBRA insurance so I went to the ER to get checked out. The doctors diagnosed me with diverticulitis. The good news is that it was managed with medicine and I only had to endure a couple weeks of pain and nausea.
The CT scan I received in the hospital also uncovered a mass on my ovary. How fortunate that they found this mass and were able to surgically remove it before it gave me any pain or problems. While performing the surgery, the doctor discovered that I had a fair amount of endometriosis. Thank God I have a high tolerance for pain and haven't needed any intervention for this yet.
In October, all six kids and I came down with a nasty intestinal virus. Thankfully, it was fairly short-lived for each of us and even more thankfully, my hero, Eric, came over and cleaned up and puke and took care of us. Plus, I got over the virus just in time to leave for my author retreat in California.
Then my furnace went out. Thankfully, I have a friend who works for a heating and cooling company and he was able to give me a fair deal while I was able to help him out with some side work. We only had to be without heat for two days and it wasn't all that bad since my friend lent us his space heaters during that time. Now I have a brand new, efficient furnace and will receive a sizeable tax credit because of it.
Austin told me he'd been feeling depressed. How awesome is it that he was able to recognize his feelings and share them with me, knowing I'd be able to help him. After only a few weeks of treatment, he's doing so much better. I am so thankful he came to me when he did and that help was available to us.
Jackson also approached me with his own feelings of depression and we were able to get him help too. As much as I didn't like driving back and forth to the hospital, at least the boys were in the same place and it was only half an hour away.
While I was driving back and forth, I knew I could count on Savannah to put the little ones to bed for me. My kids were thrilled that they got pasta and fast food so often during this time. I was able to make sure Savannah still got plenty of time to hang out with her friends and go to the movies and the mall during this time too. As far as Christmas preparations went, this year, we celebrated the little things and realized that baking cookies, sending out cards, and decorating weren't all that important.
My medical bills were stacking up, but I was able to keep up with them despite the fact that my ex wasn't being reliable or responsible.
DCFS called me to ask me a couple questions. I answered them and she scheduled a visit with me for the next day. The next day came and she called and said she wouldn't be able to get out this way for another week or so. Clearly, this was a routine thing that she had to follow up on, but she wasn't concerned about it. It's good we live in a country that has these measures in place to help protect children who are really abused or neglected.
On Jackson's third hospital admission, the doctor decided to radically change his medication. There have been some positive changes in his mood since the medication was revised.
Because my dear friend, Kelli, hijacked my blog and my awesome readers came forward with the most amazing outpouring of support, I was able to have some mold removed in my bathroom. It turned out to be a much bigger problem than I originally thought. Thank God I was able to have this taken care of now!
I cracked a tooth. Thankfully, it doesn't hurt so there's no hurry to get it fixed right now. Hopefully the state insurance will kick in soon. If not, my awesome readers gave me the idea of checking into dental schools to have the work done at a reasonable price.
Because Austin's hair has been falling out and he's experiencing some other troubling symptoms, I took him to the doctor. The doctor thinks it could very well be a problem with Austin's thyroid. All he needs is simple blood test to find out. If that's the case, it would explain a lot of symptoms. And with just a little medicine, he should feel a lot better!
Yeah, I've had a lot of crappy things happen in the past several months, but I still know that God is with me. He's got a plan. It must be a pretty big plan and He's preparing me in a major way. I'm not sure what the future will hold, but I'm excited about the possibilities. And I'm so thankful for my friends, both real-life and virtual, who have been a HUGE source of encouragement and support! Life is good!
We choose how we look at things. We can dwell on the negative and get pulled under and drown in a sea of despair, or we can look at the positive, find hope and happiness and go on, trusting in God.