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.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Where are You?

I have been MIA, I know.

I had a feeling that the two classes I am in would be intense. And, I was not wrong. These last seven weeks has found more dust bunnies in the corners, less full meals and everyone trying to fill in the gaps as I slave away at technical texts and terminology. Having to learn two programs (MS Project and Photoshop Elements 7) while completing assignments on time has taken its toll, and the one thing to go by the wayside for a moment has been my blogs.

And yet, within these seven weeks, my final blog took shape! I now have three places to put my thoughts. This will continue to be the personal blog of the Unique Family. Celebrate Connections will continue to be a blog about different topics that come up in my blog readings (yes, I have to get back to that, too!) as it pertains to five different categories. And now, I have a new blog, which will talk about the greeting card industry.

Why a 3rd? Just because I wanted a place for the research that I do all the time. Since I am now part of that industry through my Send Out Cards distributorship, I like looking up and finding interesting tidbits about greeting cards.

I know, weird.

Anyway, I have to go back to some downloading, so let me get started.

Some have asked about various family members, so I will try to bring everyone quickly up to date:

He finished 11th grade with poor Chemistry limping through with a D, but aced English and Food/Nutrition. We know he has a love of food and so we feel this will probably be his future, career-wise.

He has decided to put off driving for now. The entire experience left him stressed and tense. Though I am sure he will eventually master this, for now, we are moving ahead with filling out the forms for Paratransit, so he can be mobile, safe and calm. He will get further transportation skill training when he goes away next year.

For the next two weeks, he will be living in a Workforce and Technology Center as part of his IPE with DORS (Division of Rehabilitative Services). He will undergo two weeks of career assessment. He will stay on campus, and eat and sleep there. Trust me, I am typing calmly, but I have been a nervous ninny since we found out. He has only been apart from me two times and that was for only a week and with very close family. He, on the other hand, is as calm as a cucumber. Have I really had something to do with raising this tall, confident young man? Somehow, it just doesn't seem real.

We are going to his medical support group conference over the 4th of July weekend. This will be a great time for us, because for three days, we will see other children who behave like Russell. We will fit in for a hot minute. Even though this is only our 2nd year there, it is like family to us; others who know the world of dysautonomia.

We hope to see a new specialist in Maryland soon, but I am already getting myself prepared for no new answers. Russell is in the chronic stage of this disorder, and will spend another (his third) year in Home and Hospital, unable to attend regular school.

But as usual, things are always positive here. He finished this year of tutoring with 2 As and 2 Bs! Though I thought the tutor gave him many breaks, I witnessed him push himself further this year than ever before.

Also, he landed his first voice-over job! At 13, he recorded a character voice and won a spot on an independent online video project. No pay, but he likes it, and mastered the audio recording program quickly.

He still creates Flash animation and is drawing more and more everyday. We know he will be our artist.

Sister, Kim:
My sister is doing well, having shed more than 30 pounds since last year. She is stable on her meds and will be going with us to the medical conference. Though her memory is still sketchy, she has compensated nicely after the stroke scare, and it is not that noticeable.

She is working and in good spirits. She is finally acknowledging her issues and seeking help for all of them, physical and mental. More on her to come.

Husband, Matt:
Some of you know, but for those who do not, this year saw my marriage hit the rocks. Although there are several blog posts to be written on this subject, I will just briefly touch upon it here.

My husband has been formally diagnosed with depression and anxiety mood disorders. That with his epilepsy has made life very difficult. Knowing the odds against a happy outcome, we are forging ahead, remaining faithful to our vows and facing this battle together. Yes, there will be therapy. Yes, there will be more medication. But, just these last two weeks, I saw my loving, gentle, blue-eyed darling return, and the tears of joy were overwhelming. There will be a lot of discussion here about depression. I intend to speak out. I am no longer afraid.

Also, he is up for a promotion at work!

I continue to request prayers and positive thoughts for us.

And finally, Me:

What can I say?

School: 3.88 G.P.A. Soon to go a little higher.

Health: very stable and manageable, now that I know what to look out for.

Business: Growing by leaps and bounds! There are chances coming up for me to do short seminars about Shoestring and Relationship Marketing, webinars about Insurance and the Uninsured, and presentations to sales executives. Very exciting stuff.

My mental/emotional state: Mending a frightened, almost broken heart. I will survive intact.

Faith: stronger than ever.

There it is. A quick run-down about everyone for all of you faithful and new readers. That will have to do until I finish this round of classes. I promise you, I will be back. Stay tuned.