Life is not easy. Especially when you are in a family of invisible illnesses and disabilities. It can be serious, funny and downright hard! But we make it. Just like everyone else. We just do it in a different style.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Year Ago

I cannot believe that it is over a year. One whole year since this saga seemed to begin. Though hindsight is 20/20, we were blind until April 2nd, 2007.

Up until that date, I was a mother of two, newly married to a wonderfully crazy kind of man, and slightly troubled on what to do about my sister.Though that day would change everything, right then and there, I wasn't thinking about too much. I had weathered becoming disabled, losing the ability to work. I had survived back surgery and once again could stand on my own two feet. I couldn't wear heels anymore, but, hey, we all can't walk the catwalk!

We had bought a house and moved in, trying to create a home. The two boys now had their own room where they had had to share for so long. We had enough room for an office and the master bedroom nearly blew my mind away! After living in what I affectionately called "two boxes on top of each other," I was happy to have a master bedroom at all!!

My sister had not come with us. In fact, she was going through shelters and transitional housing. But it looked like progress. After so much pain, disappointment and loss, I began to have a little hope that she would FINALLY be okay. They would help her get on her feet, and maybe, for the first time in 33 years, she would not live with my brother or me. There had only been one year she had been on her own, and that was over 10 years ago.

She never seemed to be able to get it together. All through high school (which she eventually dropped out of) and the brief stint of college, we all thought, maybe, just maybe, she would pull herself together. Maybe she would make something of herself. She had two jobs now, one she loved more than the other, but she was trying. That is all you can ask sometimes.

It looked like things were going to change for the better. I had finally accepted that I could no longer even sneak out to work. It had been hard to become disabled at 37. I had worked since I was 17, and hated it at first. But after the last round of sickness had caused Ramsey-Hunt Syndrome (a VERY BAD version of Bell's Palsy), I was finally humbled. I would stay my butt home and be a housewife. As my peers went on to better and better positions, I figured out how to cook organic and vegan. I just wanted to live...pain-, diabetes-, high blood pressure-, nerve flare- free.

I remember the day. I was in the kitchen. Of course, I was in the kitchen. I love cooking, recipes and food!! While other people dream of big screen TVs and surround sound, I dream of outlets every three feet, so I can plug in more gadgets! My dream kitchen would be 20' x16' with counters that went all the way around...

Anyway, back to the point. I sent my son out to play with his friends. He had sustained broken ankles, sprains and a chipped foot lately. Very clumsy, I thought. But the foot surgery seemed to have cleared everything up. But he had become chunky, and needed to move.

I told him to go get some air. The other boys were already out in the warming sun. Well, out he went to play football. I smiled because he was my athletic one. Soccer player, football, junior fire fighter. We had plans for him. Bigger than most boys 2-3 years older than him, everyone wanted him on their side.

I remember looking into a pot, then glancing out the window.

That was no way to play football. My son was lying on the ground, like he had just fallen asleep there. All the boys gathered around him, looking quizzically at him. Just as I got a little scared, he moved his leg and began to sit up. By the time I got to the door, he was heading toward our gate, holding his head.

All he said was, "I'm tired. I don't know what happened.' That was the first faint. He had never fainted before even under a blazing August sun, kicking soccer balls down a field. By the end of the week, it would be almost one a day.

The saga began.