4 Years, 1,460 days, 35,040 hours, Too Many Minutes and Seconds to Count

So here we are another anniversary, another year gone by, another set of days without your smile, your laugh, your presence here for me to take in. This year has been a year of reclaiming myself. Finding a small amount of peace within my grief. Learning that I can feel happiness again and not feel guilty to have that in my life.

For those parents who are on this journey with me, we all know that grief is a very complicated place to be. For me, it is especially complicated by having other children who have grown over the last four years. Married, graduated from college, starting their careers, all without Big Bubby present to see their accomplishments. For my situation, I have seen that I grieve not only for my loss but for what future I am missing out on. The future of Big Bubby. The future watching him and his siblings move through life events together as a family. Oh I will watch Million Dollar Brother and Baby Sis do amazing things, but it will all be without their brother there to watch as well. These are the bitter sweet moments of my life now.

As for our family, we are in a better place than we were even a year ago. Each year seems to move us to a better place (if there is such a thing now). Cowgirl has found someone who can love her unconditionally and we are grateful for him. She deserves to be happy again. She deserves the best life possible. We are excited for her and her new future. The marriages of our two kids this past year and a half was wonderful to see. We know there were some hard moments each time but we made it through and the days were beautiful. I couldn’t ask for a better match for each of them as what they found.

We, as a family, have found a routine now that we are all in the same area again. We try to have dinner together once a week when we are all in town. This keeps us up to date on what is going on in everyone’s life. As I have said before, we never get off the phone without telling each other “I love you” because unfortunately we know the all too real aspect of life that it isn’t a given tomorrow will come.

For myself, I have started a new treatment. After struggling with my depression, anxiety, PTSD, and a host of issues, my doctor was able to get my insurance to cover TMS therapy. This is a therapy that is approximately 36 treatments, 5 days a week, for about 30 minutes a day. It is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or a “form of brain stimulation in which a changing magnetic field is used to cause electric current at a specific area of the brain through electromagnetic induction”. This is supposed to stimulate the brains nerve cells that have gone dormant due to depression. I am about half way through the therapy treatment. Those around me have noticed some difference in my mood which I am happy to report. This treatment is just one in many I have tried over the last four years. This one I am hoping to be able to leave the prescription medication behind and live as normal a life as possible with the loss I have suffered.

Although my anxiety and depression seem to be under better control now, I still rely on Krissie for support sometimes. She has been there for me almost since the day we lost Big Bubby. But again, I think I am more support than she is to me. Poor thing is scared of her own shadow.

I plan to take today slowly and one breath at a time but feel that I am more in control than I have been since we lost Big Bubby. He would be proud of where I have come from and where I am headed, I think. But oh how I miss him so!

Things Learned After Loss….

Today marks a very dark day in the history of our country. 18 years ago a terrorist group thought they could take us down with the acts of September 11th. I saw a post this morning on Facebook that stated, “I miss September 12, 2001”. Meaning the coming together of our country to unify as one showing terrorism they couldn’t break us. But we have broke our country, we need September 12th back. It is just another loss that is felt for so many of us who have lost so much.

Eighteen years ago I didn’t know the true grief of losing a child, I wasn’t “one of those parents” yet. Since 2015 I have come to know all too well the grief associated with losing my child to a traumatic loss. Although not the magnitude of September 11th, it is still a loss greater than I could have ever imagined it would be.

I have noted that since the loss of Big Bubby I have learned many things. Good and bad, these have been life lessons that I would not have learned without the loss of my child.

  • I have learned that people will pull away from you so they are not uncomfortable around you
  • I have learned that there are soooo very many different types of loss and that even though I have lost a child, doesn’t mean that the next mom who loses a child will have the same type of feelings
  • I have learned to show grace and forgiveness before holding tight to grudges – they are not worth losing a relationship that you treasure
  • I have learned that you must be “that person” who is there for others to talk to in their time of need
  • I have learned to lean heavily on those who know what I lost when Big Bubby went ahead of me
    I have learned that you find your true family and friends and the support system you will forever need

Update on New Treatment

So I went to the referral that my doctor suggested for a different type of treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). I would be interested to know if anyone who has lost a child, been diagnosed with clinical depression, or other have tried this therapy. I do have to admit, I am a bit nervous about them messing with my brain activity.

They say that there are no side effects, but we all know what that means, just none noted that were too bad not to use the treatment. So just curious if anyone had tried it before.

Of course trying to get insurance to help with coverage is probably going to end up causing me to have to change antidepressants two more times before they will cover it. Ridiculous if you ask me. If a doctor is stating I should have the treatment because of my condition, the insurance should pay. I even work in healthcare and sometimes I have to step back and shake my head at what people have to do to get coverage for a service. Typical insurance run around.

So now, I am going to have to see the office where the TMS therapy is treated, a new doctor once again. Explain my story one more time. And hope that we can get this treatment covered. I am hopeful from the studies that have been done that it will eventually help me too. Although, because of the depression level and reason for it for me, it will not be as easy as some. I will have to have more than one session of treatments. I am OK with that if it works.

So speak up anyone who may have tried this! Give me your experiences either through messages here, facebook, etc.

Two Steps Forward One Step Back

So I am still seeing a doctor for my medications that I am on and talking to her. I went last month right before Baby Sis’s wedding. The doctor suggested that I start going back to a therapist to talk about my loss. I haven’t talked to a therapist since I moved back to Dallas a year ago. I have done pretty good I think, but there are times where I know that I am not in a good place and talking to a therapist might help.

June is PTSD Awareness Month

June is PTSD Awareness Month

I have always associated PTSD with soldiers coming home from war zones and trying to acclimate themselves back into the life they left behind and first responders. There has been several movies that touch on PTSD not really talked about it but if you know the signs you can figure it out.

After losing Big Bubby to such a tragic accident the way we did, I have had several doctors who all state that I have some form of PTSD. When they tell me that, I feel like I am dishonoring the military and first responders who see sooo much more horrible things than what I have been through. Yes, my loss was tragic and I wish every day that it hadn’t happened to me and my family but military and first responders see it every day.

Night terrors, night mares, whatever you want to say they are can rock someones world since there is no going back to a peaceful sleep. Being scared to go anywhere afraid something will trigger a memory that is too hard to relive. Or meeting someone on the street that stops you and wants to talk your ear off when all you want is your cup of coffee and your couch.

This was never a worry of mine, put to the back of my mind especially when Big Bubby came home from Afghanistan and I didn’t know what was transpiring in his home with his wife. He did have some trauma from going over to fight for terrorism. He never told me or his dad about the mental struggle he had. He wouldn’t seek treatment because he said there were others worse off than him and that he could deal with it. A chip off the old mom block right there my friends.

Now, three years in, I know that to some extent, there is a PTSD side to my loss. Not being able to see Big Bubby after the accident before the burial, the nature of the accident itself, and just simply losing a child out of order has shown that PTSD is not just for the military or the first repsonders.

Don’t let this blog go without saying, if you are struggling with PTSD today, please reach out to someone for help. We are many and we are here to be a voice of reason when the memories are too much. No life should be lost to this tragic disease.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

How Triggers Impact My Life Now

So I have been in this crazy, horrible club now for three and a half years. I have seen myself go from totally numb from drugs and drinking to feeling every small pain staking step through my grief.

For those who follow me, this is a post about grief, learning to hide it from those you love, and how it impacts every aspect of your life. You may want to pass if you are my family or friends as it is not something for everyone.