On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quilting the Blues

Sitemeter is telling me my readership is dropping. Well, when you don't have scary stuff to talk about because your RADling is safely tucked away in a hospital and when you're busy living life without the chaos and drama of said RADling, then there isn't much to talk about.

Except there is.

In November, after months of grinding my teeth while I slept because of the fear that Sissy would hurt me (even with the alarm set) and because it was just that traumatic and violent all day long, I lost a filling. And because we're living on the edge of U.S. poverty level without insurance, I had to pay down my credit card that is used specifically for medical expenses. And since Sissy was still wango-tango until her placement in March, the tooth, the money, my well being all got put on hold. This past Monday I finally made it to the dentist.

"Doc. Before you look in my mouth, you have to know a few things." I clued him in to my insane life and that it isn't because I'm intentionally negligent with my teeth but that it was a burgeoning set of circumstances that kept me away. Of course, the tooth was decayed to the bone, not salvageable. Doc was nice. He took x-rays of the others. The other side of my mouth is threatening to suffer the same fate so I have to go back in a month to repair the damage before I lose more. Then he referred me to an oral surgeon that did an emergency extraction Tuesday morning.

I left the dentist and saw the voicemail on the cell phone. The Dad and a 40 foot extension ladder had a wrestling match while I was in the chair. The ladder won but not before The Dad kept it from destroying the customer's house. The Dad's arm? Not so much.

So Tuesday was fun. Me on percocet with a swollen mouth, The Dad on prednisone with a cortizone shot in his arm. Fun times.

Then AFO's for AB on Wednesday (i forgot the camera) and back to my PCP to discuss the panic attacks and my meds. Well, panic is morphing into depression. No surprise there. So a slight med switch and the suggestion from my therapist that the PCP write a letter on my behalf to the hospital therapy team where Sissy is at to let them know that I'm being treated for situational panic and depression as a result of my child's severe needs.

It's a crap shoot but Sissy's case is being audited on the 25th of this month, a meeting I can't miss. For now, medicaid has approved her stay through the 6th of June but her meds have just been increased and she's not responding to therapy.  In other words, she may have bought herself more time. The hospital is making noise about pulling PDD-NOS off her charts so she can repeat IFI and CBAY, two excellent services ... provided the youth is receptive to that treatment plan. One long, harrowing year of those services and Sissy changed nothing. Not one damn thing. In fact, she got worse. So I'm bringing biograndma with me because she can cite family history and I'm bringing the letter from my PCP and we're going on a wing and a prayer that Sissy will stay longer than June 6th.

I like my newly found quiet, happy life. I know I'm on drugs to help me enjoy it, but the thought, just the mere thought of Sissy being home and my heart races. It is right now, just typing these words. And now tears ...

I don't really want to be the momma that has to say, "i can't raise my daughter. I love her but I just can't. It's killing me." I just don't want to be that mom. I don't think I have a choice. I love my life too much. I love that the other three people in my family are happy too.

I've also learned that I'm a slow healer. Funny, that I am just now realizing that at age 36. This tooth extraction has been tough. Recovering from the panic attacks and taking it slow to ward off depression has been slow. Recovering from the fall at the pool four weeks ago took three weeks and I still have a bruise on my leg. I'm just slow to heal. I'm also slow to process emotions. I get in a place emotionally and it just takes me time to walk through it.

Seems strange to make this revelation about myself, I doubt many people actually think about how long it takes them to heal. Turns out, I'm just slow at it.

This is the last week of school for my crew. AB's triathalon is tomorrow. Monday The Dad and I have to see Sissy for therapy and an on-campus TL. WG has her award ceremony Tuesday and a dance recital Saturday which is also The Dad's birthday. Then I'm taking my therapist's advice and getting out of here. Going some place quiet and green to think, to rest, to recuperate. With the exception of the audit at the hospital on the 25th, I'm not thinking about it. I don't want to spend my time without Sissy panicking or crying. It's hard but I'm not going to do it.

So, since I'm such a slow healer, I'm quilting. And others are quilting for me, a first.  No one has ever made a quilt for ME before!

May Quilt Panel - sandwiched
made with scraps some readers have sent me!!! THANKS!!!!

Quilted and waiting for the binding to be tacked down
The quilting is random strings in gold - my quilt interpretation of Starry Starry Night

A quilt panel the kids' grandma got for me
border added, triangles attached, pillow-cased and quilted

Baby Blues - flannel for my sister's baby
I have to finish hand quilting the cross-hatching in the nine-patches!!!

 More scraps a reader has sent - recovered old sofa pillows and ...

made matching valances for the back door

and back window!

The kids' grandma's quilt group made this prayer quilt for our family

paper piecing?!?
kids' grandma is talking me through it
Pie in the Sky is going to be the June Wall hanging!

On Thursday, the kids' grandma and I went to her quilt group/bible study where they presented me with my quilt.  We worked on paper piecing, had lunch, I took a percocet and tossed my lunch on the drive home (literally, hung my head out the window at a traffic light and hurled it all out.  fun times).  Really, I'm a SSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWWW healer.  slow. Snails?  They got  nothing on me.

Anyway, while at the meeting, they read this quilter's prayer that made me cry.  It embodies who I am and what I do while I quilt.  Quilters prayer for the original site. And before I post the prayer, many, many HUGE thanks to everyone that has sent me fabric. I have been able to quilt my fingers raw without spending much money. In fact, in some cases, I've only spent the money for the batting. Words can't say how much I appreciate your generosity.

On that note, because it is helping me heal, I want to return the favor. I would like to make some lap-sized quilts for auction to raise scholarship money for Orlando 2012. If you have scraps, finished blocks without a purpose, unfinished projects, or other quilt notions that are taking up space, please consider donating them so I can turn them into love (and money) so other hurting moms can get some time away in Orlando.

Lastly, the prayer:
Guide my hands to work as Your hands work, to know the power of Your love in every stitch I make, in every thread I knot. May my hands be guided by the same love and care with every quilt I make, knowing that this love and care was and is and will continue to be a gift of blessing to the one it is intended for.

May the works of my hands be pleasing in Your sight, O God.

Lord, bless my work today.

As I choose materials and patterns, may I be reminded of the uniqueness You blessed us all with.

As I cut each length of thread, may I be reminded of the doors that must be closed in our lives so that a new and stronger door may be opened.

As I twist each knot, may I be reminded of a bond of love so strong, nothing will break it.

As I run the thread between my fingers, may I be reminded of the times You have touched my life, my heart, my soul.

As I sew each stitch, may I be reminded of the healing power of Your grace in each of us.

As I concentrate on my craft, may I be reminded of the love and care You put into each of our lives.

As I add my last stitch, tie my last knot, cut the final cord, may I be reminded of the completeness with which You commanded in each of us before we were ever given to this life.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom." (Ecclesiastes 9:10)


GB's Mom said...

I never miss a post and I am so happy that, at least for now, you are getting to sample the happy life. Readership is only one measure and not even the most important one. I miss you.

robyncalgary said...

re: grinding teeth, im not sure if you have them in the states but in canada at pharmacies we can buy rubber mouth guards that you mold at home to your own bite and theyre for bruxism (teeth grinding). just an idea, my stress is nothing compared to yours when things are bad but my dentist recommended it for me and now i cant sleep without it :)

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Thankfully, healing is not a road race and we all can do it at our own pace. Here's to better living through chemistry and quilting! Cheers, sweetie darling.

triplehmoms said...

How much fabric and what type of fabrics are best? I have tons of scraps but I do not know if any of it is worth using in a quilt. I'd be happy to gather it up and send your way.
I do read almost daily. Thankfully for me, I do NOT have the stress that you have in parenting Sissy. Keep writing! I love to read!

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

I read every post, but I fall behind often. Sometimes, like this time, several weeks behind. I still pray for you often whether I read or not! (((hugs)))