Friday, August 16, 2019

Riverbend

We had the Alexa playing Disney radio this afternoon after Sonzee got home from school.  I feel like more often than not it plays the same exact songs on repeat; songs from Beauty & the Beast, Frozen, Moana, Tarzan, Little Mermaid, and The Lion King are the most often played.  For some reason today I noticed not only once, but at least twice "Riverbend" from Pocahontas came on, I wonder if it has played before and I just didn't hear it, or if today it was just one of those songs that came on because it was so relatable.

I feel like life has given us a swift kick in the behind these days.  These last two weeks especially have been weighing ridiculously heavily on me.  It seems it is just one thing after the other and I have no idea why it feels like everything is crashing down around us.  We have been in the trenches before, but for some reason, this time just feels different. As usual, I have no idea what lies ahead, but this time my heart hurts for different reasons and my gut is yelling at me at the top of its lungs.  It is deafening and suffocating any other thoughts all at the same time. 

It's tough, although I feel like that word doesn't really bring justice to what this whole journey has been and continues to be. But tough is just what it is, and for now "I look once more just around the river bend.  Beyond the shore where the gulls fly free.  Don't know what for what I dream the day might send. Just around the river bend for me"


The Mighty Contributor

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Resurface

The pain that accompanies this experience is one that I am sure will resurface as the years continue to breeze on by. 

I was driving in the car this morning on the way to a toddler gymnastics class with Sonzee's baby brother.  I have been looking forward to starting this class since the minute he was born.  As the months past by I was so eager to enroll him, and finally about 3 weeks ago I did just that.  I confirmed that our beloved Coach Susan was teaching all the morning classes like she did over the previous years.  Halfway to the gym my eyes filled with tears as I was thinking the first time we set foot in this gym was 8 years ago, then our second child followed suit as soon as he was 18 months, followed again by our 3rd, but then our time with Coach Susan came to an end with Sonzee, and now here I am bringing baby #5.  At that moment I remembered I had written a post about that chapter closing.  While not completely surprised I found myself crying again in the car, it still caught me off guard.

My heart finds itself in a constant battle of celebrating these amazing family milestones and broken over Sonzee never being able to be part of them.  Had she been able to bear weight maybe we could have modified the class?  Had she been able to sit maybe we could have had her do the circle exercises?  Had she been able to use her gait trainer when she was younger and in an efficient manner, maybe she could have run in a circle?  Maybe if she hadn't spent her earlier years in excruciating pain we might have learned she loved gymnastics?  No matter how many therapies or activities we have tried her in, it won't ever make up for the things that she has been unable to participate in. 

Lately, my heart has been in so much pain over where we are today.  A giant disaster of a circle that truly is never-ending but yet always seeming to start back up with pain, discomfort, sadness, and difficulties.  I do not understand how much more her little body can take and I do not understand why it has to be this way.  I can't even imagine what else could pop up, but I am sure I won't have to wonder too long because inevitably it will present its unwanted self.  Not surprisingly, but yet at a level of fascination with myself, I cannot believe how spot on I was so early on in this journey to assume all of these emotions would resurface, because they certainly always do.

The Mighty Contributor

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Processing

It feels like it has been forever since I last sat down and allowed myself to take a deep breath.  I decided even though I am exhausted from our final drive home, the beginning of unpacking, and the fact that it is 1:44am, I wouldn't let myself go to sleep without writing a blog post.  So many thoughts popped in and out of my mind over the last couple of weeks, yet time didn't allow for me to devote more than the second to them, and I know I need to make them coherent and sort them out in and outside of my mind.

This summer has officially come to a close in terms of travel and play, albeit not so much in terms of Phoenix's 112-degree forecast.  I am not fully ready to reflect on the events of summer as a whole because for the first time in Sonzee's life I feel like this summer was not actually a summer.  I honestly feel in a way we were robbed of my expectations, and maybe that was my fault for even setting any.  That is what I hate about CDKL5, so many plans that don't come to fruition, in their place is the life that I have minimal say and control over, and for some reason, I am still unable to relinquish the reality of that concept.  Deep down I know that there is a reason for everything, that there is a purpose for everything that occurs to Sonzee and for all the experiences we have because of her, but closer to the surface it remains a constant struggle.

4.5 years in and I still cannot grasp why she needs to struggle for any potential "better good".  While I am so fortunate to those who have literally become like family to us, I wish it was not at our daughters' expenses.  There is no amount of life learning lessons or inspirational gain that should come at the hands of pain and suffering of Sonzee or any other child.  I still have moments, like right now where I wonder why her?  I still hate that this is her life and her reality.  I still hate having to act like I am okay with any of it because of occasional societal pressures.  I still cannot shake the pain and physical strangling feeling that has consumed my heart since first hearing and reading the letters CDKL5, and I am starting to understand that I don't think I ever will.


The Mighty Contributor

Monday, July 22, 2019

Stacking blocks

When my oldest was a toddler she had these rubber squeaking building blocks that she would play with.  She would take the blocks and build a tower high as she could before it would either tumble down to the floor or she got overly excited and decided kicking it down would be more fun.  Each time they fell she would squeal with excitement and then start the process all over again.  I can still envision her huge baby toothed smile while she was jumping up and down.  This morning her smiling face popped into my mind as I was thinking about how much this relates to Sonzee's milestones, more specifically her GI accomplishments, the main difference every time the tower falls there is no smiling face there to celebrate.

We spent years building tower after tower trying to find a solution to Sonzee's GI difficulties and pain.  Every time the reprieve would be short-lived and we were back to situating our building blocks into the perfect configuration to maybe reach some kind of success.  Finally, in December, after close to 3 years of being made aware of her struggles, it felt like our final tower was built.  Since then there have been a few occasions where a couple of blocks have fallen.  Every block that fell was replaced within a few days, maybe a week tops, but slowly the tower would resume its height and we would breathe in a sigh of relief.  It had been close to 6 months since the last time a few blocks fell from the top of the tower, so maybe my comfort in the situation was unfounded based on history, but since they say we are supposed to have hope,  we did. 

Over the past month, it seems like we have been traveling in a falling block zone.  It started with a single block falling, turned into 2-3, and now there is no proof there ever was a tower.  The base block is nowhere to be found, it too has lost its grounding and has completely disappeared.  We are back at square one, really below square one, everything has been erased, it is as if the tower was never built in the first place.  I feel defeated, I am angry and so incredibly sad.  I am in the place of wondering if this tower can actually be rebuilt or if our new tower will even include all the blocks we used in the first tower.  Everything is lost.  Everything is gone.  Everything has been erased, yet a tower needs to be rebuilt, but there is definitely no eager toddler awaiting the thrill of stacking the blocks waiting for them to eventually fall down.

The Mighty Contributor

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Reset Button

The big kids are off at camp, little brother is on a walk with his babysitter, Sonzee is in her P Pod, Sam is in Phoenix, and I just finished vacuuming and doing a couple of loads of laundry.  The last 24 hours have been a complete whirlwind of experiences and emotions, scratch that, the last 5 days.  I feel like that is synonymous with life in general.  We spend all this time anticipating and preparing for a wedding, a family celebration, a big event in general and then when it happens some things go as planned, others don't, but after it is over you just want to plop onto a fluffy piece of furniture, let out an exasperated sigh and reflect on what just occurred.

Since 2016 when Sonzee received her first intestinal feeding tube we always had steps in place for what to do if the tube came out.  The first summer in NY with the NJ tube was so scary because it had just been placed, she was fresh off a 28 day hospitalization that had included TPN and left her stomach unable to be used, but at that time we were not even fully aware of the extent of her GI issues.  It was all new to us and we had limited experience with intestinal feeds in general.  We thankfully never needed the tube replaced during that summer, but we had our backup plan in place; to go to the hospital we initially attempted to go to this past Friday.  Every summer since, that was the plan on record, and every year we skirted by with no tube issues.  Thankfully all of the other summer hiccups had been easily handled at the local regional hospital or the urgent care clinic.  I suppose "luck" eventually runs out, and maybe that was why my gut was nagging at me as summer 2019 approached. 

Until yesterday I looked at the summer as a sort of escape, a place for us to go as a family and reset so we could take on the next school year and 11 months in general until we could again escape.  What is something that I have known since the beginning of life with Sonzee but for some reason always need some sort of harsh reminder is that there is no escape.  There is no putting a medically complex life on hold.  The challenges are always there, they will always be there, it doesn't matter that you planned to leave them back home, miles away, as if they didn't exist.  The only difference is that you have an extremely long yet amazingly beautiful view as you drive to attempt to sort through your emotions, to reflect on everything that is occurring, and to realize there is no way to plan a reset button.

The Mighty Contributor