I wish I had a tractor 2 weeks ago when I decided to drag my family out to the old Jenkins Cemetery in Caldwell county, Kentucky. Many of you may not know, but my most popular post was on finding a haunted cemetery. It has been a top 10 google search especially during halloween. Go check it out: The Haunting .
However, if you want to come on this adventure just keep reading.
Luke’s autism is a story I have chronicled so you could see the challenges we face. This disorder comes with a big price and it takes much determination to succeed. Along with Luke’s disability, he has significant cognitive delay. His mental age in my opinion (his mom) is about four years old. The question by some may be, “How does one live like this?” The answer is, “It depends.” For example, many people have their own commentary of quality of life. We all have “our truths” about that subject. So do we impose our idea of quality of life on the one that is actually suffering, yet he does not even know it? My perspective is pretty simple. Life matters. No matter at what stage or age you are in. Life matters. Why are others quick to pull away from their responsibilities? See what you think of my example below as I describe a week in the life of a mom and her son trying to find medical help. Sorry medical professionals–you seem to get picked on by me a lot.
We have had quite a week dealing with Luke’s need for dental surgery. I spent undo precious time trying to find a doctor willing to do the surgery for Luke without giving him General Anesthesia. Finally I found an oral surgeon willing to take the chance to do the procedure in his surgical suite under IV sedation. I am very grateful that Luke was taken care of there and the surgery was a success ( no general needed!).
The post op journey has not been easy though, but I believe we may have made it through the worst of it. We make a third trip to the dental surgeon this week, and I hope that will be it except for routine cleanings! I think Luke would agree. I wonder how many people could go through the agony of hearing from one doctor’s office after another not willing to care for Luke.
I say Luke will endure and maybe Mom will too! I am glad sometimes he does not understand the discrimination he gets. So many are still ignorant that Luke is human and made physically just like them. Anyway, this is just one example of how autism impacts families and brings undo burdens that should not be there.
There are dentists who actually say: ” I don’t take care of that kind of medical issue (even though they do) because there are “others” who will. I wonder which dentists are the “others?” For now our other was Dr. Sorenson. He was great as well as his competent staff and front office. In the photo –you will see Luke is still smiling!!! He always will.
It was the sound of scratching nails getting louder and louder. Then silence. Moments later, a small whimper began.
Lying down on my bed sleeping, I flinched realizing what I was hearing.
Quickly standing up from a deep sleep, I saw my dog Linus stuck under my bed. All I could think about doing is pulling him out. I had never seen him do this before.
It is not unusual for Linus to sleep at the side of my bed. Although, He must have moved in his sleep to get himself trapped under it.
I tried pulling him out unsuccessfully. Realizing the weight of the bed was on my dog’s back, I lifted the bed frame up. No easy task for someone in my physical shape, but it was the only way to pull him out.
After coming out from under the bed, Linus could not seem to hold up his own body weight. Suddenly to my relief, Linus managed to pull himself up.
Feeling nauseated from lifting the bed and the ensuing pain I felt in my head and back, I laid down quickly praying for relief.
Not quite awake, I thought to myself, “What just happened?” However, relieved that my dog was Ok and my pain subsiding, I drifted back to sleep.
beep…beep…beep…My alarm wakes me. Time to go to church.
Leaving the house, I eyed Linus sleeping on his own bed. Quietly I thanked God he was not hurt.
I wondered where my strength came from. It was crazy to me that I could lift the bed up.
To my surprise, the pastor spoke about, “You’re stronger than you think.” As the pastor was wrapping up his message, I could not help but smile knowing God must have given me a supernatural ability to help my pet when he needed me the most. God does indeed use the weak. In fact, it seems many times God uses the smallest of things to His Glory. My own strength certainly fits the bill.
I am now talked about in scattered ways. A true story whispered across the table about the break up. It is being alone that is not spoken of. Instead it is the sustaining half-truths played out by those who do not know.
Some of my life is well worn in my mind like coming out of anesthesia. You feel distance yet you know you are in the same room. “Help me!” I said struggling with pain during one surgery two years ago. “Oh, honey, I have some medicine and I am putting it in your IV now.”
Suddenly you wake up more and do not say a thing at all. You know you need that nurse to help you and he does. He knows exactly the right medicine to administer. You drift back off to sleep.
Hi. My name is Alesia. That pain is not so bad anymore. Two years have gone by and I am now experiencing a whole new kind of pain. A kind I did not expect. It is the end of an almost 23 year relationship. My partner in life has made a choice to move on. I still do not know if the move is permanent. It is what it is for now. The details are not worth the read, but it is the cracks in it that are compelling.
Choosing to not dwell on the details, it seems better to talk about my state my mind and the emotional impact of this loss. With the Christmas season especially, I am reminded of not only my hurt, but also the suffering of many of you. If you sat at home alone on Christmas knowing the season should be enjoyed with others-the harsh reminder of the heartache is painful.
But, tonight as the Christmas day comes to an end, it is hope I would want to bring you. Know you are not alone. I know your pain, but there is always hope. Tomorrow is a new day. God has promised us this through His Story that came through the birth of a baby called the Christ-Child. It is a hope worth pursuing.
Again, do not give up. Life is worth living. Think about the things you love. For me it is fresh flowers, birds in my backyard, watching a great movie, or listening to beautiful music. Life is also about touching others, being touched, and feeling loved. Sweet friendships that are rekindled or perhaps even ambiguous loss of love that gets rejuvenated awaits you and perhaps me one again.
Life is hard. Do not give up. Anesthesia may have worn off, but hope is always attainable.
My grandmother had a saying that just about sums up how I have felt this week. She would say, “I think I am gonna crawl into a hole and pull in the hole after me.” She lived her whole life in Western Kentucky and died when she was about 80 years old thirty years ago.
Grandmother could be a strange woman, but I know I only saw love from her. She cooked the best butter biscuits and fried chicken a little girl could ever want!
Yet, it seemed to me she suffered at times from depression. I do not know if she was ever clinically diagnosed with it, but I do wonder now about it. But you know one thing I do know is she loved me more than life itself and that was for real. Thank you grandmother.
As I struggle with the angst of my life during a season that we should be thankful, I must accept what I can not change. I recently wrote that my gut check times have become downright vomitus in nature. See this post to catch up: https://alesiablogs.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/acceptance/
I however at the time did not share about the separation I am going through with my husband of 22 years. What I tried to do is put on a good face with you to bring positive in my life when in reality it is not there.
One thing I must do though to move on from this timeframe is to accept what I can not change. We raised two beautiful sons and one of them you all know is Luke who has autism. My life’s journey brought many people through the doors of my home to assist me with him. This perhaps may have been more of a gift to humanity than I will ever really know.
Out of all the care providers that assisted me with Luke, I saw many of them leave our home and become professionals in the world of Teaching, Physical Therapy, Speech therapy, Psychologists, and last but not least Nursing. My life meant something and the lives touched have gone on to touch 100’s of others.
If you are suffering depression and you are reading my post today-know you are not alone. Your life matters. It really does. People come through your life everyday and you have no idea what you did to have made a difference. Remember it is at times the unseen that you are not aware of that is life changing.
Today I am thankful for you my reader. Happy Thanksgiving to my “blogging family” and especially those of you that really do take the time to read.
This post is dedicated to Myrtle who cooked many of my Thanksgiving meals when I was growing up.
Gut Check times can be down right vomitus. Time has come that all is left of my inner being is my gut feelings. Have you ever been there? Maybe more than you ever really want to share if the truth were to be told.
My earthly time has been challenged in ways that are hard to put into words. Those are the times we must just let go. It could be that the time has come for me once again. Unfortunately for me, my gut check thermometer did not read the situation as clear as it is now.
When something becomes clear to you-yes at a gut level-you finally can start Letting Go. Obviously a clarifier has to be put with that statement and it is this. Letting Go is a process and looks different to every individual.
Cancer tried to take my life. Autism has tried to take a son. Hardships tried to take my joy. Depression tried to steal my soul. But at the beginning of the day and at the end, I stand up still even if with a cane and call my life a victory. You can too.
God Bless your Weekend Word Press Friends. Here are a few photos to help keep things in perspective. Enjoy: