Adventures of a Bipolar Mom Life as a mom living with bipolar disorder (manic depression). 2016-08-21T23:03:48Z https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/feed/atom/ Beth <![CDATA[Autism: Regression Sucks!]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1856 2013-02-24T00:08:23Z 2013-02-23T00:47:39Z tantrumcrpdMy little one with autism is approaching 3 1/2. He’s a great little guy with a ton of personality and he’s so smart. I have watched him grow for the past few months in his therapy at school and it has been so exciting. We got a progress report recently showing he is meeting all of his IEP goals.

I have felt hopeful. I have felt proud of him, and often filled with intense emotion watching him advance. I have felt many things, but disappointment has not been one of them.

Over the past 10 days or so, we have seen major regression but it has only been at home. I have spoken with his teacher and his day care provider and they have seen no change in him. He’s still doing really good.

So why are we having so many problems at home? I just don’t get it.

There haven’t been any major changes or adjustments at home. Things have been normal for the most part. I am home almost every evening so he’s not “rebelling” to me being back at work. I am home almost every night when he comes home.

Suddenly, he’s gone back to showing behavior that we haven’t seen since last fall. He frequently starts spinning in circles, throwing himself around, hitting, biting, scratching, screaming, and of course the tantrums. The tantrums are exhausting.

He is picky about his clothes and shoes again – only wearing one specific pair of boots. He harasses his siblings, tears things apart, he’s so destructive. All of our potty training efforts have been for nothing as he wont even consider going near the potty.

I am mentally exhausted by this.

I have been paying close attention to anything that could potentially be disruptive to him and his routine and I find nothing. We try to talk to him and all we get are no’s and fighting. Eating is even getting challenging because he has gone back to only eating starchy foods.

He is only 3, I am hoping that this is not the start of his autism getting more severe. I am so anxious. I did not think it could get worse without any triggers once progress was being made. I know that change and major events can cause a child to regress, but this is out of the blue.

I am very concerned that he will start these behaviors at school or even worse, at his daycare. If he starts doing this at daycare I know he will not be able to attend. It was discussed when he started that if his behaviors got severe he would need to be pulled from her care.

Now my anxiety is extremely high. I feel like I’m losing the battle with his Autism. I don’t want to let it defeat me.

I am completely out of options.

Tantrum photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[Recovering From Depression Is Hard, But Not Impossible]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1849 2013-02-14T22:35:07Z 2013-02-14T14:59:47Z yoyocrpdI have had a really, really tough couple of months. Between starting work, the holidays, and everything else in between I have been one big, giant yoyo.

With pretty severe depression settling in, I started the Effexor and ended up a little manic. I knew it was likely, actually, I knew it was inevitable. Going a little manic created it’s own set of issues for me and this life I live. My doc spotted it long before I did, only I didn’t want to listen to her.

Typical.

So I had a very dramatic upswing, major irritability and crazy sleep habits started. To say I had trouble sleeping is an understatement. It was impossible.

I was all wired out. I felt like I was running and running, hyper-focused, and extremely productive. Initially I thought I was just back on an upswing grateful the low was over. Ah, not so fast.

I started my latuda and down I went. A quick crash into the sleepy, weapy, overwhelmed, agitated and irritated bum I had previously been.

I kept asking myself, “what in the world is happening?” I couldn’t understand why the yoyo, over a matter of two weeks I had rapid cycling between very low, low, good, high, very high, and then way low again.

During all of this I have been working. Granted most of my work has been from home, but I have been working. Once I hit very low again, I realized maybe latuda wasn’t the best for me. On my own without speaking to my p-doc I halved my dose. That seems to be what I needed to come back up. I haven’t come back up much, but I’m better than I was.

The latuda is supposed to put a ceiling on my high, but it is not supposed to throw me into a severe depressed state almost instantly. I have an appointment with my p-doc next week and I really need to get stable. This up and down crap is making life awful.

Last night I just laid in bed thinking about what the past two weeks have been like for me, and I realized I havent even written. I always write, why haven’t I?

Writing is so theraputic, I love to write. It is everything to me. This blog, it means the world to me. So why haven’t I been writing? It’s simple, I’ve lost interest in what matters the most. I’ve lost interest in my children, my husband, my home, my dog, my work. I’ve lost interest in everything.

I need this vent, I depend on this blog to help me through the every day ups and downs, the trials and the triumphs. I love telling the world about the amazing stuff that happens in my life and my many blessings. It is hard talking about my failures, but I do the best I can.

I think the past two weeks of up and down I have experienced could have been helped if I had just sat down and told my readers about it, but I was almost embarrassed.

Me? Embarrassed? Yep, I felt embarrassed by my yoyo, and maybe I just didn’t want my readers to experience such an emotionally challenging time. There had to have been a reason for me not being able to write, and that seems like the only logical one. Then again, when dealing with bipolar and the rapid cycling, logic doesn’t exist.

The house is messy, the kids need baths, I haven’t done laundry in two weeks (my husband has been doing it) and I haven’t cooked dinner in, well, I cant even remember the last time I cooked.

I’m working on it, I’m trying my best to get back to a good place. I’m okay today but that is not very comforting as I know within a matter of hours I can soar up high again or hit rock bottom.

I hope my doctor has some answer soon, living like this is horrible. I need my life back.

Yo yo photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[Autism: School Has Made A Huge Difference With Our Son]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1828 2013-01-31T23:55:26Z 2013-01-31T21:41:44Z autism and schoolMy 3 year old son has autism. He is a wonderful little boy. He is very smart, playful, and so sweet. We love him so much. He is also our baby.

We worked with a program locally for about 6 months to get him into school. They provide a variety of therapies and work to help them. I really wanted him in a good program because I felt I was out of steam. I had spent 3 years working with him and teaching him that I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I was ready to pass the torch to those more experienced with kids his age.

After a ton of testing and writing up a plan, he was accepted into the program. The program only in the morning, but it is a fantastic program. I was also on the hunt for a good child care provider for him for after his preschool. That was hard.

I had previously had some very bad experiences with childcare providers both in home and in a center. I was full of anxiety that for a while I didn’t think I would be able to place him in any type of child care setting. Until we met the most wonderful woman in the world!

I had interviewed several places and didn’t feel like I clicked well with them. I was very nervous about finding a good, quality child care setting for him. She was amazing from the first time I talked to her. I explained about his autism and she wasn’t scared or intimidated at all. She really wanted to meet my incredible little guy.

We set up a meeting. She has a licenced in-home center. It is set up beautifully. It is organized and full of wonderful and educational toys. It seemed like a perfect fit. From the moment I walked in the door, I felt a connection. It was cool.

We sat down for quite some time and talked to her about all his challenges as well as ours, and she was not scared one bit. She expressed concern over him possibly hurting other children in her care but once we went over the details (him not being violent or aggressive) she was more than happy to welcome him into her home

This was amazing. She is a very kind and loving woman. She is affectionate with all of the kids but very strict. She makes him follow the rules, but loves him to pieces. He is so happy with her. He is excited every day when I pick him up, and he tells me about his day as best he can with his very limited vocabulary.

I think the biggest sign of how a provider is doing is in the actions of my child. He is happy to be there, loves his little friends, and he loves her. It warms my heart to know he is safe with her and he is thriving.

He is growing, learning, and advancing. He may still be just over a year behind, but the important thing is – he is thriving!

It is an expensive investment, but a good one. We pay a lot for her, but in my opinion you get what you pay for. I don’t mind paying a little extra for the wonderful care she provides our son. She is an angel.

I feel blessed to have a new job and a safe place for my little one to go. I hope he continue to grow, learn, and blossom as he has and I sure do hope we never lose the wonderful provider we have found. She knows my little guy is special and she loves everything about him. That means a lot to us.

Young boy and toys photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[Going Back To Work Is Great For Me, But Not For My Teenager]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1826 2013-01-28T19:41:25Z 2013-01-28T18:38:43Z bipolar momI took some time to write about all the things I love about going back to work. With my kids though it has been a little tough. They have been so used to me being home that they don’t really know anything different.

I had expected my two middle kids to have the hardest time but to my surprise, they’re okay. When I get home they run to hug me as they used to always do with my husband. They greet me with smiles and kisses and quickly get back to whatever they were doing.

My teenager, now that is a totally different story. I expected he would handle it the best but it turns out, it has been the hardest on him. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on with him but now that I know, it breaks my heart.

If I am not home when he gets home, he will text me asking when I am going to be home. This has been going on since day one. Often he will text me while he is in school and ask me if I am going to be home when he gets home. I just thought he was being nosey or up to no good. This was not the case.

Had I been more aware of what was going on I could have prevented the meltdown that would come. Assuming my teenager was mature enough to handle things as an adult backfired in a major way.

One day he appeared to be very emotional. I was trying to talk to him to see what was wrong but he closed up. He does that all the time and it makes it very hard for me to get through and try to help him. Well his attitude and demeanor began to get even worse, so we started trying to tell him that his behavior was unacceptable and nasty doesn’t work in our house.

Finally, he could no longer hold everything in and he lost it. He flipped in the kitchen, painfulling punching the granite counters while yelling at  my husband and I about how everything is horrible and why did I have to go back to work.

My aha moment. I got it. Say what?

He stormed upstairs, locked himself in his bedroom and just sobbed. I could hear him sobbing but he wouldn’t let me in. Finally I unlocked his door and went in. He was laying on his bed, I sat on the edge of the bed and tried to hug him. He was stone cold, sobbing, and very closed off.

I laid my head on his chest and began sobbing with him. He reached up and grabbed my hand and we cried together. I always told him his pain was my pain too, and it would always be that way. This moment proved that to be true. Finally he started to calm down and I reminded him how much I love him.

We had a long talk about change and how important it is he learn how to adjust to things changing. It’s part of growing up. Holding my hand almost immediately stopped his sobbing. I was surprised that initially I was certain there was nothing I could do to stop this incredible ache in his heart and then I realized I am still his mother. No matter what, I will always be his mother.

I told him probably a hundred times how much I love him. In his eyes I could see this deep pain, he hugged me so tight. He is still my baby. He might be a teenager in this overgrown body, and he may be twice my size, but he is still my baby. He will always be my baby. When he hurts I will hurt, when he laughs I will laugh, and when he needs me I will always be there for him.

I never imagined going back to work and disrupting our families routine would be hardest on my teenager. We are working on it and I think he is doing a little better since he let it out. As for the other kids, I am so glad they aren’t going through the same thing because that would just be too much.

Mom and son photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[Finally A Job I Love! I Hope This Lasts]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1824 2013-01-28T19:38:00Z 2013-01-26T13:45:48Z bipolar momI started working again last month. I have been anxious, but I have enjoyed everything about it. It’s a great situation for me and my illness and it’s working out very well. Let me tell you all the wonderful things about my new career.

I get to work in my PJ’s. Yes, that is awesome! When I’m having a tough day I can throw on my robe, park my bum on the couch and work. Ahh, that relieves a massive amount of stress for me. I can have a bad day and quickly come out of it because I can be free to be lazy and irritable at home and avoid any conflict with other people.

I get to set my own schedule! No playing hookie or trying to plan out the use of vacation and sick days. I can decide on my own which days I want to work and which days I don’t. It doesn’t typically work out too well but overall, it’s a great plus. If I need to be home by a certain time I can schedule around it. This means I can put my kids in sports and do other activities, again less stress for me.

I am my own boss! Granted there are people out there I have to answer to and rules I have to follow, but I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck. I have a mentor I can ask questions to and I can go to her if I need help with an issue, but she’s not my boss. I don’t have someone criticizing me all the time and pushing their weight onto me. The freedom feels incredible!

I get to meet new people. Yeah, I said it. As crazy as it sounds, I have been enjoying meeting new people and new clients. It has really gone a long way with my social anxiety. I don’t feel so overwhelmed and consumed by it either which I still cant figure out. I cant handle large crowds, clubs, or groups, but I love working with these clients. I get to build a relationship with each of them, and knowing I am helping them helps me a lot.

I get a break from being a “stay at home mom” if I need it. I no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don’t have every household responsibility weighing on me. My husband helps out around the house and things have become more balanced and equal. Having something other than “home” has been good for me.

I have become an individal, a person. I have been a wife and mommy for so long, I feel I was losing my identity. That is dangerous when it comes to mental illness and I know it can prolong any sort of recovery. I am figuring out who I am again, and I like me a lot.

I can taste success. Everything I have ever done I have failed at. I could list a hundred attempts at some sort of career I have tried and I have always failed. It is usually because of many things combined, but regardless of the reasons I have always failed. It’s a very hard fact to face and the risk of failing is still huge but I am not giving up. I can see the success and I am excited for it.

I may be able to shed the label “disabled” next year. I would love to stop SSDI and have a career. I would love a plan, goals, and a steady salary. Being disabled is somewhat embarrassing. People look at you funny and say “well you look fine to me!” and it is really hard. It goes along with the sterotypes, that the only disabilities out there are the visible ones.

I am going to keep doing this. I love it, and I think I have a chance at success. I have not yet had an epidode severe enough to cripple me for any length of time though. I am taking my meds an I am working hard to remain stable. I am keeping regular contact with my p-doc and we are watching things closely. The depression has been tough, but I am doing what I can to overcome the obstacles without giving up.

Finally, I love a job. Tomorrow may be different, but for today I feel like I am oozing awesomeness.

Woman working in pajamas photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[“But MOM! I’m 16 now!”]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1818 2013-01-22T20:47:06Z 2013-01-21T14:43:09Z bipolar momYep, my teenager turned 16 this weekend. Aside from feeling old it was an exciting day. We took him to breakfast for his birthday and took him to the mall so he could go shopping. It was strange that my 16 year old was at the mall and didn’t find anything at all to buy. It was fun though.

He’s probably the only kid in his class without some type of a smart phone. I was okay with that, to me that screamed spoiled and I think he’s been plenty spoiled enough. My husband and I had tossed around the idea of buying him an iPhone for his 16th birthday, but we hadn’t made any firm decisions yet.

Anyway, I knew I had to change my cell minutes to unlimited with my job, so I was going to upgrade from my iPhone to a better phone. My husband and I decided it was time for him to have his own iPhone, versus a very basic phone with a sliding keyboard. Well, now he is big stuff. He has an iPhone which (for today) doesn’t have a broken screen like most of his friends. After squealing with excitement, he puffed his chest with pride. He almost cried.

He was pretty certain he would never get a smart phone, at least not before he could pay the bill himself. What he doesn’t realize is I have the best leverage ever. I’m such a sneaky mom!

Anyway, he’s flexing his muscles now. He is 16 going on 21 and he thinks that gives him a pass to do whatever he wants. I think not.

He called me yesterday and asked if he could play football at the park up the street (about a mile away). It was close to dinner time and I asked him to come eat first and then he could go, and then he says “I’m already up here, so I’m just going to play. I’ll eat when I get home.”

Ut oh. Oh dear. Oh my. No he didn’t.

So on the verge of freaking out I question him, who gave him permission to walk so far away? No one did. I fussed at him for walking all the way out there without telling anyone what he was doing or getting permission, and that is when he said it. Yes he did. He said “but MOM! I’m 16 now, I’m not a kid anymore!”

Oh I nearly lost my mind when he said that. As long as I am feeding him, clothing him, providing him a home to live in, and a freaking iPhone, he is still a kid!!!

I was so mad but I bit my tongue and asked him to be home by 6. He quietly agreed and hung up. I sat in my chair and I stewed. It bugged me so bad. Since when was 16 and adult? He is not an adult, and he is not allowed to do whatever he wants whenever just because he had a birthday.

He is no less my son, my dependent, or a child than he was one week ago when he was 15. I tried so hard to maintain myself, and gave him a nice gentle reminder when he got home all of the reasons he will still abide by our rules. The most important reason? I am his mother!

Just because you turn a certain age does not mean you can freely and openly disrespect your mother! I will be his mother until the day he dies, and goodness gracious I am not going to tolerate this type of nonsense!

I agree it is time to start allowing him to stretch his wings and grow, but as long as this kid is mooching off me I am going to call the shots. Now, when he decides to get good grades, a job, a car that he can pay for himself, and some responsibility we can talk about extending his freedoms. As for now, he is no different than he was a week ago except for the fact that my cell phone bill increased by $30.

What he doesn’t understand, I will always love him and it is my job to protect him and try to keep him safe. 16 or not, he’s still my kid and I’ll always try to do my job. Period.

Birthday cake photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[I Failed My Depression Test Miserably]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1812 2013-01-17T20:29:57Z 2013-01-17T13:50:12Z depressionDepression is sneaky. It’s almost like one day you’re okay and then next you are wondering what happened to your life. Well, it feels that way to me at least.

I have brief episodes of depression more often than I would like. I cant say that it is crippling or severe depression, but it’s annoying and nagging. It’s just like a rain cloud hovering over me. A simple med adjustment usually does the trick to kick me back into high gear, but not always.

I started effexor the first of the year because I knew I was feeling glum. I was sleepy, overwhelmed, weapy, and extremely sluggish. I had no interest in anything and I just wanted to be a bum. I knew it was time to bring effexor back because I felt like I had lost all hope for happiness. I was right.

She gave me the effexor knowing I was not doing well just by the signs and sympoms I was having. Yesterday she pulled out her sheet of paper to score my depression since starting the effexor and it doesn’t look all that good. I’m right at the bottom of moderate almost to severe. Yikes.

I’m hanging on. I think I’m barely hanging on but I haven’t yet lost all hope for success and happiness but I can feel my grip loosening. My will to fight this is nearly non-existant, and I don’t want to do anything. I cant be like this. I’m trying to start my career and I cant afford for it to get much worse. I cant fall apart now.

I have been wondering if the classes, tests, and new career adventure I am on is part of what is causing me to fall so low. It’s a scary but constant reality I live with. Any time I try to work this happens. I get low, then lower, then to the lowest and I get to the point where functioning is impossible.

I want to be better than this illness. I want to succeed and I want to blossom. I want to be a happy woman with a good career, goals, and acheivements. I want to be anyone other than who I have been. I want to find a new me.

No matter how hard I try I cant.

I am considering taking a couple of weeks off to regroup, pull myself together, and get my head back in the game. I don’t know that it will help much, but I am considering it. I’d rather do that than fail again. I’d prefer doing anything over failing. I cant fail again.

My marriage is doing much better and my husband is doing much, much better too. I think we are on a upswing, no, I hope we are on an upswing. I love when our marriage is healthy and communication is there. I like when he sees me, and when he notices where I am weak and helps me to be strong. I love his strength – when he has strength.

We have taken a lot of time and have focused on the things that matter. It has been good. So if it has been good, why am I doing so very bad?

I increased my dose of effexor last week to 75 mg, so after one more week if the symptoms don’t improve I will increase to 150 mg. 150mg often throws me into a manic episode. I would almost welcome a manic episode right now it would definitely be better than what I’m dealing with. We do have the Latuda on hand if I start climbing my way up to mania we are able to quickly put a lid on my mood.

All I can say is I am crossing my fingers right now. I want to feel good again. I want to get better. I need to get better.

Depressed woman photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[Going Back To Work Is Tough, But I’m Doing Great!]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1806 2013-01-16T22:48:13Z 2013-01-16T00:11:04Z working womanThe decision to go back to work was a hard one. We went back and forth for a while trying to decide what I wanted to do exactly. Well, now that we have figured it out things around here are changing a lot.

I haven’t been blogging as much, but that will pick up real soon! It’s just been kind of nuts. I’m adjusting pretty well to all of this and I think I might actually like it. Yes, I said it, I think I like working.

I am on my own I don’t have anyone breathing down my neck and telling me how to do my job. I don’t really have anyone to answer to and I can set my own schedule. That makes a big difference when it comes to me getting out of bed. I don’t feel the pressure like I used to.

My kids are struggling a bit with the change. They are used to me always being home. Honestly, they don’t know what to do with themselves. We don’t have a robust selection of groceries because I’ve been to busy to stop at the store, and boy the kids are fussing about that too. Hey, this is going to take some getting used to.

My husband is hanging in there doing the best he can. I think it’s a slight adjustment for him too. I don’t think he had a full appreciation for everything I had to do until he had to start doing some of it. It’s good for him though, he should need to see, feel, and understand how much I do on my own. He does help with things, I’m just saying I don’t think he has a full understanding of how much I do.

He came out with a statement the other day, “hey, the baseboards aren’t as dirty in this house as they were in the last house!”

Hmm. Well, maybe that is because I can actually dust them easier here. They surely don’t dust themselves. Granted, the house has a bit less dust, but the clean baseboards are from my cleaning. It’s certainly not magic.

Anyway, I guess what I have to say about all this is I enjoy getting out of the house. I like dressing up, putting on my high heels and my cute clothes, fixing my hair and make-up, and having a reason to leave the house.

I feel – great.

I also have been enjoying the effexor. Maybe that has a little to do with it too.

The true test will be in 3 months. It always lasts about 3 months. Where will I be? Hopefully I will still be working, and  will still be doing well.

Working woman photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[My Teenager Has Sex On The Brain, Oh Boy….]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1800 2013-01-11T19:12:56Z 2013-01-11T14:10:49Z bipolar momI have never had a hard time talking to my oldest son about sex. It has never been this huge hush hush subject. We are very open with him about everything.

Unfortunately, he is turning 16 next week and all that talking and open honesty hasn’t been as effective as I had hoped it would be. He has sex on the brain, and I don’t know how to approach it.

I am good friends with his girlfriends mom, and we talk a lot about how we will approach the sex thing when the time comes, and it appears the time is near and we are both just sorta going “Uhhh, what’s next??”

Last night as I was driving home, I saw him walking up from her back yard. Her parents were not home and they know the rules. He tried to lie to me telling me he had found a shortcut to his friends house, but I knew that was crap and I called him out on it. It is not hard to know when he is lying. He tells on himself through his actions.

Just a couple of days ago, my sons girlfriend confided in me that his friends have told her if she doesn’t have sex with him he will break up with her. C’mon, seriously? My son is turning into that guy? Oh goodness. Not my son. I cant have this. His father was that guy, and I don’t want him to be that guy. He is better than that guy!!

I stressed to her as hard as I possibly could that her virginity is something that she needs to hold on to, and that every single guy from now on will try to get it from her. I know I was just echoing what her mother has told her, but still I had to try!

These two have had their make-out sessions and some time to be stupid before we figured out they were up to no good. Their hormones are going bonkers and my son is thinking with the wrong head. My son has turned into a typical, nasty, horny teenage boy and I hate it!

I left the tough task to my husband. He was a teenage boy once, he can relate – right? Well, no. Apparently it’s tough for him to address this too and it makes him very uncomfortable. So what now?

All these kids at school talk about sex, everyone is doing it, everyone loves it, and no one can be honest about it! Everyone says what everyone is supposed to say, and it’s so frustrating!

I wish these kids would listen. I didn’t listen, I was 14 when I decided I wanted to have sex and it took many years before I understood what it was about. I cant expect my son to be much different than me. He is stubborn, very hard headed, strong willed, and very independant. He always has been and those are traits I try to work with. Right now, however, I wish he could just understand that sometimes parents really are smarter than them.

At this point I cant be naive. I know that he is going to do what he wants to do whether I agree or not. I also know that I have to protect him and to do that I need to give him as much information as possible and hope he makes good decisions. I am not going to continue to be that parent who says “Oh my son wont have sex” and then boom he’s gotten someone pregnant.

I guess now it is time to arm him with protection instead of words. Dammit.

Teenage boy photo available from Shutterstock

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Beth <![CDATA[I Had The Worst Paranoia Episode Ever, I Thought My Toddler Was Going To Die]]> http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/?p=1793 2013-01-05T20:07:12Z 2013-01-05T15:47:28Z bipolar momOn Christmas Eve we were all standing around the kitchen as a family. We kept it simple and made nuggets for the kids. It wasn’t an “around the table” dinner; we were all too anxious awaiting Santa.

In the middle of the commotion my 3 year old walks into the middle of all of us with a distressed look on his face. He was gagging. This is something that happens pretty frequently with him because he tends to take larger bites and packs his mouth full of food. Typically it is not a problem.

I leaned down to him to see he was choking, really choking. He wasn’t just gagging. I didn’t start to panic right away, but I grabbed him and started the heimlich. A large chunk of food fell from his mouth and I felt relief, however, he was still choking. That is when I started to panic.

I started the heimlich again but it was not working. As the baby started to freak out I did too. I couldn’t get the food out of this throat. My husband yelled at me that I was hurting him. Like I cared I was hurting him? I’d rather him hurt than dead!

He grabbed him from me and just stood there. My husband wasn’t doing anything to try to help him. I started screaming in the middle of the kitchen at my husband to do something, because he was choking! He managed to get some screams out that were more like a muffled squeak than anything which meant some air was passing, but only with force.

My baby was still gagging with an obvious look of panic on his face, and my husband finally started the heimlich on him. By this time he was foaming and bubbling from his mouth and his face was turning blue. His lips were purple.

I was certain my baby was dying in my kitchen. I was so scared I couldn’t even think. I picked up the phone to call 911 while screaming at my husband that he was passing out and turning blue. I couldn’t function.

I was shaking uncontrollably so bad that dialing 911 was so hard I couldn’t even hit the numbers and had to keep clearing the screen. With my 5 year old and 8 year old screaming and crying, I was hysterical; my teenager was flying down the steps I finally made contact with the 911 operator.

I guess at that time my husband decided he wasn’t going to be gentle anymore for fear of hurting our toddler, and he gave another very forceful attempt at the heimlich. Finally, I heard our little guy wail. I turned around and another large lump of chicken nuggets lay in front of me on the floor.

I hung up with 911 and then lost my mind. I started shaking so bad that it was hard to walk, I began having trouble breathing. I just couldn’t catch my breath no matter how hard I tried and my breathing exercises were not working. I stepped outside and just cried. I allowed myself a moment to completely fall apart. It took me a good 30 minutes to calm down, but I finally did.

After this episode it made it very real how quickly one of my children could be gone. That fast. Without notice, just gone.

A few days later he was lying on my husband and I saw that his face had a slightly blue tint to it. I freaked a little bit and leaned into him to kiss him, as I did that I noticed he was not breathing. My heart jumped up into my throat again and when my husband moved him he took a huge gasp and a breath. His face turned pale pink.

That set into motion a 3 day long episode of extreme paranoia. Why wasn’t he breathing? What was happening? What could I do to protect him?

That night I was hysterical, I was lying with him afraid to take my eyes off him for fear he would quit breathing. My husband noticed my distress (and the tears streaming down my face) and told me to put him into bed with us. I did, and I still didn’t sleep. I spent most of the night watching him breathe.

This happened the following night too. I could not rest. I was certain the moment I took my eyes off my baby he would stop breathing. That was twice in just a few days. It was too much to bear.

I started the Effexor and the fears stopped. I feel a little bit calmer and I am not so scared. I can say though it was the worst week of my life.

I watch my kids closely, still feel nervous, and still have trouble letting the baby out of my sight. I am doing okay though, fighting the thoughts and working through the anxiety.

I am still afraid that my toddler will die though. I hope that after I increase my Effexor and add the Haldol those fears will vanish. Hope is all I have.

Toddler photo available from Shutterstock

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