|April 12, 2008|
|September 16, 2009|
I have been struggling to write this post off and on since I first started this blog. Since I was 13 years-old, I have been battling with depression and generalized anxiety disorder [GAD]. Sometimes I think it goes hand in hand with my majorly type-A personality. Worrying is perhaps the definition of Type-A when things do not go as planned or when things are out of our control. I have my neurotransmitters [serotonin and norepinephrine] pretty well balanced with a combination of medication, therapy, and cognitive behavior strategies. However, sometimes, it rears it ugly head (especially when there is lack of sleep) and I have trouble coping. I have trouble balancing life and things seem bleak. I get frustrated, but I also feel hopeless.
|Sophie & Amelie = Friends|
|Ellie at 3 months|
Ellie has DS and I try not to focus on it too much, but sometimes it is hard not to when you have a developmental therapist coming throughout the month along with multiple doctor's appointments with "ologist" after their name. I love my little Ellie, but sometimes I just want to scream "WHY CAN'T WE JUST HAVE A REGULAR DAY WITHOUT ANYTHING SCHEDULED???"
|My Love, My Soulmate|
Sometimes I think we paint a very rosy picture. We want so much for our children with that extra special chromosome to be accepted like everyone else. We want total inclusion. We want them to be treated just like other kids. We want people not to be afraid of a child with DS or be afraid of being pregnant with a baby with DS. So we make life seem so "typical" and for the most part, it is. Ellie will do things that other kids can do. She will go to school and possibly college. She will perhaps get married and hopefully to a man that I approve of. She will be a contributing member of society. Yes, these things are all true. She is a super star with such determination and motivation that I wish I had growing up.
|Ellie and Mama at Thanksgiving 2010|
However, it is a CHALLENGE. The road to Holland is HARD. It is not all peaches and cream. We are blessed that Ellie does not have many of the health issues associated with trisomy 21 (believe me, I know many people whose road is much more treacherous and difficult). Yet, that does not mean we do not have to visit all of these specialists on a regular basis and get all sorts of tests to monitor for these problems. It is often difficult for friends to understand that "no we cannot have a play date, because we are too busy forcing barium down her throat for an Upper GI". No, we cannot meet up for fun and games, because she is having ear surgery or we are having blood drawn or an EKG or yet another doctor's appointment. These things exhaust Ellie (and mommy) and wipe out the entire day.
I thought that I had accepted this a long time ago, but sometimes these feelings come forth and rear their ugly heads. I try to stomp them back down, but then there is a trigger. Right now, I would say the trigger is the lack of sleep associated with Ellie being sick, the ear surgery, and some GI testing.
|Andrew and Ellie preparing for the Buddy Walk|
Then there are my feelings that we clearly must be the only people in Austin who have a child with DS (I know that is not true as I have been with DSACT and the Buddy Walk). Just once, I would love to walk down the aisles of a grocery store or Target and see another person with DS. Nope, in the past 16.5 months, that has not happened. Sometimes I feel so alone and the thing is, I know that I am not alone. I know that there are other people out there blessed with children with DS. I know that there are other people blessed with children who are differently abled. We all must face challenges. Every parent does. I know that we are blessed with Ellie. We are so fortunate that she is a mostly healthy little girl. I am blessed to have a great Internet support group as well as my friends, family, and local mother's group.
|Happiness and Joy|
|The Face of Innocence|
I will conquer this depressive episode. I will strive to be the best wife and mother I can be. It is time for me to reach out to one of my coping skills. One that I will share with you. These pictures always life my spirits.
Information on Depression: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
Information on Anxiety: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org/