Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New Diagnoses call for new measures

I had never heard of "conversion disorder."  I had heard of major depressive disorder, chronic depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorder, addiction, and PTSD.  All of those things I had already been diagnosed with at one time or other.  Conversion disorder was a new one for me.

I don't remember much of that day.  I remember feeling poorly, having a migraine (not unusual) and crawling in for a nap with my bird.  That is what I remember.  Afterward, I have no recollection of but my family does.  They remember me not being able to walk correctly and toppling into walls and chairs.  They remember me not being able to speak correctly and laughing and making no sense.  They remember me seizing and asking for my dead grandmother and not recognizing them or knowing who or where I was.  They remember the hospital where I continued to seize and the ambulance ride with lights and sirens.  They remember the MRI, two CT scans, EKGs, EEGs, and more blood draws than they can count.  They remember the next 5 days.  I do not.

I have been spared the memory of not knowing who they were or thinking it was 1998 or 2011.  I have been spared the memory of being told my grandma had died two years ago, every day, at least twice a day.  I do not remember having multiple seizures...over 17 in all.  I do not remember.

This is conversion disorder.  My stress, anxiety, and depression, along with my migraines, are manifesting themselves in physical symptoms.  This can be "cured" with meds and talk therapy and stress reduction.

Stress reduction.  Hmmmm. I have two teenage children, one is in the army.  I have a tiny bird with autism and epilepsy.  I have all the other diagnoses, still...and now I have a new one.  Reducing stress and anxiety seems kind of hard.  Which is stressful....great.

I usually write stories about my birds...about their nest.  Today, the story is about me.  I am the mama and my job is to keep the nest running smoothly and lovingly.  My job is to greet the struggles with strength and a "can do" sort of attitude.  I can't do my job.

But then, is that really my job?  Is my job to protect the birds from life or is it to show them that sometimes, we all need help.  Sometimes, the help isn't something like "can you throw in a load of laundry" but it is something like "I need a break."  Sometimes the help needs to come from someone outside our little flock...or sometimes from someone inside the flock but outside of the nest.

Sometimes we all need help.
Sometimes the mama bird can't fix everything.
Sometimes things are broken and can't be "fixed" but they need to be worked around and with.

So this is our new season.  It requires some adjustments and some new understandings.  It requires some new ways of approaching things.  BUT...we will do it.  We will do it together and with the help of others.

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