Without a Leg to Stand on…But With Hope

Because of complications of diabetes, my beloved mother-in-love needed to have the lower part of one leg amputated. (Sorry if the title offends…this is not my intention and I am not making light of this).

When Mom died this past January, my daughter told my granddaughter that Grandma is in heaven, with two legs, bouncing around in a field of flowers.

This is how my Isabella interpreted this tableau:

I lost the picture!

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Oh, no, not again

Something I might not have shared with you in the past is that, in the past, I have suffered from crippling panic attacks. It has been a while since I feared them but, this past week, that has changed.

Out of the blue, this past Tuesday I had a full blown attack. It popped up, seemingly, out of nowhere. I was so thankful that Isabella wasn’t with me as I have no idea how she might have reacted to her Booboo freaking out.

What does one of these attacks look like for me? The pressure in my chest makes me fear a heart attack. Sometimes some pain in my left arm almost convinces me. I tend to feel very hot. I believe I said out loud, “Oh, dear God, help me!” I left my seat in the living room and walked to the kitchen where I held on to the counter for dear life and remembered my training from the Claire Weekes book Hope and Help for Your Nerves .

Self talk:

You are having a panic attack
You have survived them before.
Accept that you are having this panic attack
Your heart is a very strong muscle and it will not explode.
Breathe and float through it.

Sounds too simple, right? Well, it took years for me to be able to work through this. Still, it is a horrible experience.

Why am I talking about this? Why do I talk about most things? To get the word out that we are not alone with our ills and heartaches. I could write about only rosey, wonderful things happening in my life and you could say, “Oh, what a lovely life she has!” Well, I do have a pretty good life but it is not all flowers and butterflys! It has ugliness in it. However, I always have hope.

Hope. How glorious is hope?! I know that this earthly shell is temporary and that I have a heavenly home being prepared for me. When I get there, I will not have panic attacks or fibromyalgia or weight issues. My Isabella will join me there and her autism will be left behind. My grammy, whose Parkinson’s stole her expressive face, will greet me with her smile. Oh, what a wonderful hope!

Life has been tough lately. My mother-in-law is in poor health and I am the only one not working full-time so I need to be available to her for doctors’ appointments. The Girl needs Himself and me to care for Isabella when she is not in school. Two things that have probably brought back the panic attacks.

Things will get better.

Blessings, g

Hurting Hearts

My daughter called me this evening to ask why “A” doesn’t sit with Bells on the bus any more. Truth be told, I didn’t know this. Isabella was obsessed with A and we have had a play date and A came to Bells’ birthday party.

When The Girl asked Bells why, all she could say was that A is now sitting with L who is mean. “Is L mean to you, Baby?” “Yes. She makes this face(makes an ugly face) at me.

Although our Bells has come so very far this past year, it is hard to not be able to get the whole story from her. I know I can ask the bus driver and monitor on Monday but this leaves the entire weekend for my daughter to feel badly and fear that her baby is hurting.

Our girl has been going through some changes lately. She is still loving and sweet but she has learned how to throw a wicked tantrum and can shed crocodile tears with the best of them.

On the positive side, she is progressing socially and educationally. We are seeing an improvement in fine motor skills. Her school saw fit to get her physical therapy because, well, she needs it! She falls down a lot and bumps into things. (Yes, we did get her eyes examined.)

Last year, my dear daughter would say, “If only she could tell me what she had for lunch today.” This year, our girl can tell you what she had for lunch and who did what during lunch!

Maybe next year we will be hearing what is going on on the school bus in detail from our dear one.

Different, Not Less

 
As a rule, I don’t cry.  Well, maybe at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life at the line, “To my big brother George; the richest man in town!”
 
However, tonight I cried like a baby.  Himself and I watched the movie Temple Grandin on HBO.  Claire Danes’ performance as the title character was brilliant.
 
Temple Grandin is a woman with autism.  She didn’t talk until she was four years old.  Now in her early sixties, she graduated college, earned a Master’s degree and has a PhD.  She is a highly respected scientist and advocate for autism.
 
Why was I crying?  Because the sky’s the limit for my Isabella!  She may never be a scientist or have a PhD but, although I have always had hope for her, this movie gave me even more.  We don’t know what is going on in Bells’ mind; how she processes information.  Hopefully, like Dr. Grandin, she will be able to tell us one day.
 
Don’t give up!  As Dr. Grandin said, people with autism are different, not less.
 
Thank you, HBO.
 
With faith and hope, g