Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lessons - Walking with You

I have taken part in the bible study on the Walking With You blog by Sufficient Grace Ministries. The book that we are working through is called "Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy, A Bible Study". I have posted lesson 2 today.
See the page titled "Lessons". The page tab is just up the top of my blog under Thomas' picture. There is no way to leave a comment on that page so I have made this little post so you can leave any comments.

If you have done the same lesson, how did you find the questions? I think it took me about 2 hours to work my way through it. Did it take you that long too?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Its a little bit different

I have been "shopping" for new page elements and there are a couple of different things on my blog now.

There are the buttons along the top which will lead you to different parts of my blog. Also, I now have some pet fish, they want to play with your mouse pointer. I hope you like them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Why I feel So Rotten

I have been feeling unwell for a while so I eventually went to the doctor and asked him to tell me why. He ordered some blood tests and listened to my symptoms, he also looked carefully at a lump I have growing on the knuckle of my index finger.

Lately I have been feeling really flat, I have been having palpitations, I can't seem to wake up in the morning, I can't seem to get going either. I have been feeling sluggish and sad, resentful of working, and powerfully sleepy in the afternoon. I haven't been interested in being intimate, I have had yuckky and long menstration, symptoms of PMS at the wrong times with an aching belly and tender breasts. I have been gaining weight steadily, with sore and stiff feet, and fluid collecting under the skin on my shins. And I had a lump on my finger that was sore.

Even I feel sorry for me after reading what I just wrote.

Anyway the upshot of the blood test is that I have Hypothyroidism. All of the things described above can be symptoms of it. Except the lump. Add the above symptoms with depression and anxiety, low heart rate, sensitivity to heat and cold, and one I don't have, high cholesterol, and you have an almost complete picture of my unhealthy grieving mind and body. I was just going along with this poor state of health, I was waiting for the day I would start to feel better. Apparently I had to do something about it. I have become used to feeling unhealthy, I wonder if I will feel, dare I say, good, soon. I hope so, I hope feeling good doesn't mean that I will stop being sad about Thomas dying.

Since I received that diagnosis I have been reading about Thyroid testing. I know that Hypothyroidism can run in the family because Thomas had it too. After Thomas was diagnosed with it, one of the first things that the doctors asked me about was the family history. My Grandmother had Hashimotos Disease which happens with untreated Hypothyroidism. For me, I need to take a thyroxine tablet everyday for the rest of my life, I need to have some more blood tests to determine the level of medication required but I need to take the medication for a few weeks first.

There were other things that they checked with varying degrees of good and bad, but the thing about the Hypothyroidism is that I have it and Thomas had it too. Maybe I gave it to him, genetically speaking, although apparently if you have Down Syndrome there is a higher likelihood of having a Thyroid issue. I am not happy about giving it to him, but I feel sort of closer to him because of it.

I have been reading as I said earlier, one of the reasons for secondary infertility is thyroid disfunction. It also can cause birth defects and cause problems in pregnancy. I wonder how many people out there who are ttc have checked their thyroid function. I can't remember when mine was last checked. I would think that mine has been bad for a while. Maybe it was the reason I lost a pregnancy at 5 weeks in April of last year. I had no idea that it could affect pregnancy, the doctor didn't suggest testing back then either.

I don't feel better yet but I have started taking the Thyroxine, and Vitamin D tablets because I have a deficiency, It is good to know that I don't have to feel so bad. Feeling bad is so tiring. Have you had a check up or a blood test lately?

Here is a picture of my finger and the reported Lump. It's not very big, it's below my fingernail on the left side. It doesn't show up on the x-ray so the doctor says not to worry about it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Blogging Birthday to Me

Today marks one year of blogging on this blog, more importantly it has been one year since I found this community. I can't imagine how I would have survived this previous year without you all to "talk to". Thanks everyone for sharing your babies and your lives.

I am sharing a video of Thomas that I took when he was only a week old. It is titled Thomas the Mouse because that is the nickname we gave him before he was born. He was so very quiet when I was carrying him, he hardly ever kicked, when he moved it felt more like wiggles and he never let my husband feel any kicks, as soon as he put his hand on my belly Thomas would stop wiggling around. Quiet as a mouse.

Just to let you know I took it with my mobile phone, I wanted to send something to my Husband who had to be at work and away from his newborn son. Its a huge no-no to use your mobile phone in the NICU but the nurse knew I was doing it and let me break the rules, anyway, its low quality and goes for 20 secs. It is my voice that you can hear. The last sentence I am saying and gets cut off is "He's had a little bit of Morphine, so he is having a bit of a cruise-ey sleep".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentine

My Valentine to baby Thomas, click here to go to Still Life 365 where a slideshow of Valentines made by grieving parents including me will play.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where have I been? And, where I am now

I haven't been blogging very much thats for sure. The date on my last post tells that story. I cant even say that I have a heap of "almost posts " with draft stamped on them in my list of posts. I simply have not been writing. I have been reading though, I read blogs most days and I have been reading novels, and I have been reading about Aspergers Syndrome too, this is because a pediatrician told me that my 3rd son has AS, but I think he is wrong, we are currently having that investigated further.

Reading blogs helps me. I know that everyone has a story and I am not going to find someone else with the same story as me but I read blogs of people who are writing the chapters that come after grief. That is what helps me, knowing that there are going to be more chapters.

I have been thinking about the similarities between Grief and Love.

Love comes when you least expect it and when you are not looking for it. It explodes into your life, love day dreams consume your day and your thoughts, touching or coloring every part of your life and making it difficult to carry out more than routine tasks. I have experienced this "Falling in Love" kind of love. I have declared to myself that this is the one, declare that I will never take this perfect relationship for granted, my love will always be fresh for my wonderful amazing man who will always strive to please me and succeed. I have thankfully moved out of the falling stage.

Grief has a similarly devouring affect, it also arrives without warning, completely bowls me over and leaves me gasping for breath. It is so powerful, it illuminates this single relationship to the point that I am blind to the many other relationships in my life. I am driven to gather things that have a smell or a date or any memory attached, things that bring a moment in time back to my mind. I am very emotional, I write poetry, I draw, photograph, scrapbook, treasure jewelry, plant seeds, I file and store faithfully.

Its a lot like falling in love, except it feels so bloody crappy.

I used to have grief dripping off me, all over the place. I was an automatic walking grief machine, I had buttons all over me and it was very easy to push any of them (or all of them at once). I dispensed anger, pain and sadness when I was gasping for breath at the shopping centre because of a panic attack, or when I was bawling my eyes out because someone else got their baby, and when I was very angry and self righteous because someone else didn't take notice of the danger that threatened their child, and sadly when the stony unfriendly silence that I presented to someone with a happy attitude. I alienated a lot of people and lost a lot of relationships.

Grief is not the same for me anymore. In the beginning it was on the surface of my skin, dripping off onto everything I came into contact with. It's now almost 2 years since Thomas died and I have found that it is easier to tell my story, I am more comfortable, less shocked. I feel like grief has grown into me, its deeper now. I feel like it has reached under my skin and blended with my muscles. Like a slow growing creeper I imagine it moving toward my core where it can live, sheltered privately. I like the thought of it becoming part of who I am. I do not have get over it, move on, and heal, leave that experience behind me as I move forward without the baggage. Feeling sad sometimes will always be part of who I am, and writing that makes me feel a bit happy, less pressured.

I think that grief might follow the trend that Love follows. Love kind of grows comfortable. It's still love, but it becomes comfortable. It grows deeper and stronger. Deeper than the love I had at the "Falling In" stage but maybe not so gasping for breath. I have seen older lovers grow into each other. They become like a matched pair. They start looking like each other and talking like each other too. Its like they have blended a bit of the other person into themselves.

I imagine that one day people will not be able to see my grief anymore. They won't see it on my face, they will just see me. Over the years it will have altered and I will have accommodated it to the point that it is no longer recognised. It will become a treasured and guarded resource, a place where great strength lives. I am not in that place just yet (of course) and I often go back to the dripping stage. At the moment I am in the place where I can catch glimpses of the future and want to step into it.

That is where I am now. On the doorstep of Thomas' 2nd Angelversary.

I love you Thomas
Wish you were here

Your Mum.