Here I am, settling in with a scoop of Cheesecake filling (Blast You Philadelphia!) and a can of Pepsi, leftovers from my sons very first Birthday party yesterday. We had wonderful weather at the park and a great turnout. A few people were missing that might or might not have hurt my feelings by not coming, but, it was all about Nicolas, not me, so... whatever. I'm trying to catch myself up (Could someone put out a memo that it is spelled "Catch", not "Ketch"? Seriously...) on what's been going on and mostly, it sounds like a lot of the same stuff. Problem is, the same stuff is lingering, or going away and then coming back. The other problem is that I don't name names about work or family, so a lot of the REALLY good stuff has to be censored because I still care about being found out at work or I'm still trying to keep family members in my life. So, updates abound:
My brother is currently back in Neuro ICU, but hopefully it is very temporary. He had surgery a few days ago to put the part of his skull back in that was removed when they had to take part of his brain out in July. He has a nice round head again! The surgery was Friday and he was prepared, a little nervous, but he was okay. On Saturday, he was doing fine, but then on Sunday he became very agitated and began hallucinating. They did a CT Scan to try and figure out what was going on, but no word yet on what they believe is causing this. I have my suspicions, but I'm not a Doctor, so I'll just keep them to myself. They moved him out of Post Surgical ICU and back to Neuro ICU. He was sitting up and eating when I saw him today. He was able to have a conversation, but was easily confused and couldn't remember some events from yesterday. I'm trying to encourage him to blog when he gets home (hopefully will be this week) because I think he could greatly benefit from the cathartic effect of blogging. He is aware that he is slower than he used to be and that things are harder for him than they were. Sometimes, speaking to him, it is clear that he has suffered a brain injury and sometimes it is not. I've found one blog by a brain injury patient and I would love to show it to him. I would love to be able to spend some time every day with him helping him come to terms with what has happened and how to move forward, how to deal with the depression and how to see that he can progress even more but that he would have to put more effort into it. I love my brother very much and I pray everyday for his continued recovery.
Husband has finally been given the all clear on his back surgery! YAY!!! He would do it all over again too. He feels about 90% better than he did before the surgery. He is going back to school starting in January and I am super excited for him! Unfortunately, he has run into another circus of medical treatments: After his surgery, he was on a medication for pain that he believed also helped his mood. He had the med refilled specifically for it's anti-depressant benefits (off label). He then had blood drawn so his Primary Doctor could make sure there wasn't some other thing going on that would cause the Depression. Now, I am not a Doctor, but riddle me this: How does anyone welcome their first child, go on medical disability, get laid off and have back surgery in the span of EIGHT months and NOT end up with a little depression? SERIOUSLY!!!!! But nooooooooooo, the Dr. that pushed for the blood draw came back a few days later, forced a redraw and diagnosed my Husband with Low Testosterone. He has NO OTHER SYMPTOMS. There is no low sex drive, clearly the sperm count seems okay and his body hair is right where it should be. SO, WTF? Dr. puts him on a Testosterone patch. Husband begins analyzing every single change in his mood, in his body and begins thinking that the LT was the cause for everything ever. Then, he starts getting fevers. He's up to three fevers a day for the last two and a half weeks. Dr. took him off the patch, but thinks something else must be wrong if he's continuing to get the fevers... so, Husband is going every couple of days to his Dr. to find out what the hell is wrong. In the meantime, he's connected with a Psychologist for the Depression, he has to have MRI's and CT Scans on various body parts and he still sees his Spine Surgeon once a month. So, yeah, his appointments are hard to keep up with. (Sidebar 1: I have a great respect for his Dr., I really do. I just think if you look hard enough, you're bound to find something. Sidebar 2: I have a great deal of experience with my own psych disorders, so I am not discrediting the idea of the Depression, nor the importance in treating it, I simply think the Dr. may be off the mark a bit.)
And that leads me to my baby. My sweet baby boy turned ONE today and it has been one helluva year. In one respect, the things that have happened in the house make it difficult to view this as an awesome year, but in another, it strikes me as so very wonderful that my son has had the best year of his life. A better first year than any of his siblings will have. BOTH of his parents were home through all of it. Granted, not under the best of circumstances, and certainly not without financial struggle, if not demise, BUT that baby boy doesn't even realize this isn't normal, and it breaks my heart that the moon and stars will never align in this way again for any of our future children. But boy oh boy, I love this child. He has changed my life. I know children are supposed to, but I didn't know it would be this drastic. I'm nicer, more patient, more accepting and more empathetic. I also get my feelings hurt easier and expect much more from other people than ever before. I can now put myself in any parents shoes, whether I want to or not. It's far more difficult to watch the news, or even a Movie/TV show that references a child, especially a baby. It's also far more difficult to understand the choices some parents make regardless of how old the child is. I am more judgmental towards other parents but also more understanding of their perspective and their battles. There are certain songs I've loved forever that take on such greater meaning now, I can barely keep myself from pulling to the side of the road to weep into my hands because I'm so overcome with emotion at that very moment. Right now, as he sleeps, I consider how lucky I am to have had him happen to me and it makes everything else go away. All of the stress and chaos of the last year, so very little of it has to do with him, but at the end of each and every day, I squeeze that baby and my world is righted again. He is all that matters. And today, he turned ONE. Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Boy!