Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today someone handed me a huge gift. It didn't come wrapped in pretty paper and it didn't have a bow on top, but it was a gift none the less. It was the gift of my freedom, my sanity and my time back to me. The person who handed me this gift had no idea what he was really giving me. His view of this was that it was not a gift at all, but he was wrong. Today I became an unemployed, much happier, stay-at-home Mom. I was upset briefly, and then I realized that I finally got what I wanted. Wow! That revelation was huge. Even better was the looks on my boy's faces when I told them.

One of the reasons I am so relieved about this turn of events is that Ashley is quite sick. I didn't really spell out anything in particular when she was in the hospital in December. I was trying to respect the privacy of my 16 year old daughter. Apparently she has interpreted this as me not loving her! I have ignored her issues here on the blog, but only out of the best of intentions. So here is a synopsis of what my sweet girl is going through.

Years ago we discovered that Ashley inherited a hypothyroid disease that is auto-immune in origin. Her body was attacking her thyroid hormones, causing her thyroid to continually work harder and harder to make enough hormone to be effective. Her thyroid was enlarged and had many nodules in it. With several years of therapy with synthetic hormone, her thyroid returned to normal size and the nodules disappeared. My mother and sister both have this condition and because they did not receive enough therapy early enough, both have had to have their thyroids removed completely. In my sister's case, because her thyroid had worked so hard for so long and become so enlarged it had actually become cancerous. Luckily they got it all and she is cancer free.

Back to Ashley. Ashley is very bad at taking her medicine regularly. Her father, whom she lives with, counts out the meds and puts them in a weekly pill box, but heck if that child can remember to take them. She has been known to forget them three days in a row and then take all the forgotten pills at once. Her med levels were way out of control. A very, very bad thing for a hormone that controls so many other bodily functions. Over the holidays we got her re-regulated and onto a new med regimen.

Then last week, her joints all began to swell, her muscles ached, her skin got tight and unbelievably her skin began to turn blue in big patches. She saw the doctor immediately, but he had no clue. They sent her to the ER but they had no clue. They put her on pain meds and steroids and said to come back if it didn't get better. Her dad took her to another doctor who immediately thought 'auto-immune'. This doctor did a ton of blood work and is of the opinion that Ashley has Lupus. The tests should come back tomorrow.

So not only is Seth a handful of RAD and Ahren is a medical mystery, Ashley is facing a life long debilitating disease. My heart is breaking for her. You know, if I wasn't the one living my life, I would seriously think that I was making up this stuff just to get attention. Ask anyone who knows me in real life, this is all true. Unfortunately, all true.


bearie1 said...

First, congratulations on your unemployment. You really need to be home. But, you already knew that.

Sorry to hear about Ashley. I thought, based on a comment, that she was feeling left out. I'm sure it's hard to know how much, or how little, to post regarding older children. Lupus is a rough diagnosis. Hope you can convince Ashley how important it is to take those meds. Our daughter was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and she has learned the hard way that the meds have to be taken on a regular basis and she can't skip a dose without paying the price.

You have too much on your plate but I know you will somehow manage it all. Really, there is no other choice. Take care, Elaine

Diana said...

Blessings come in strange packages, don't they? I'm glad you have the perspective to see it as a gift.

I'm so sorry to hear about Ashley.

Keep hanging in there, my friend. Keep hanging on. Keep breathing and even though it seems impossible and unfair, take some time for you. Your kids NEED you to do it.

Anonymous said...

You are by know means unemployed, you have just gained employement in the best job going that of a FULL time Mum.
Congratulations you are where your heart and soul need to be at this stage of your life.
Even on rainy days the sun still shines through the clouds and after every big storm there is a rainbow.
So hang on in there even if it is by your fingernails (grow them long just in case)the rewards of staying at home will be great. It is what you wanted to do before because you can now put your Family first all of the time. When you are working as much as your heart wants to put them first it is not always possible.
Make sure though that you have some ME Time, so you can recharge your batteries because a Full Time Mum works 24/7 and sometimes you don't even get to break for coffee.
Kind Regards
From My End of The World to Yours,
Jo from South Australia.

Mamita J said...

Oh Wendy...May God carry you and strengthen you and encourage you.

I'm so sorry to hear about Ashley's diagnosis. That stinks. I pray it is able to be controlled with medication for a long time.

Hugs to you and yours.

whtmtnmom said...

Many hugs from me to your beautiful Ashley! And keep a few for yourself too.

Shelby said...

First Congrats on being the stay home Mom. You certainly have plenty to keep you busy. It's sweet that the boys were so happy.
As for Ashley I just recently had a friend told she had lupus and the weather here in FL was part of how they found it. She faithfully takes her meds and does what the Dr says and she is doing very well. I hope and pray that Ashley will realize just how important it is to do that. As the Mom of a teen on daily meds I know how bad they can be at taking them!
We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

ManyBlessings said...

Aww..prayers for your sweet girl. That's a tough one. :(