Friday, January 7, 2011

Well, its 130 am...

And I can't sleep. For the first time in almost ten years, I will visit a shrink tommorow. And I hope I shall come home medicated. This scares me a bit, I've always been the "If you take the meds you admit you're crazy and admit defeat" type. Those feelings weigh much less right now, the feeling for calm inside my head a much more needed reprise.
For anyone unfamiliar with my story, 11 years ago, my son Hunter was born with a congenital heart defect. When this heart defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, was discovered in a routine ultrasound at around 5 months, the best advice my doctor could give me? "It's too bad it's too late to abort.". Every doctor I saw told me basically I was having this baby for him to die. It would take a pile of miracles to save him. He couldn't get one. He was to be born in Birmingham. Go straight to heart surgery, see if they could repair enough to keep him alive long enough to get a heart transplant. The docotrs wouldn't listen when I told them he would be born the day after Thanksgiving. They wouldn't listen to the fact that I had ALWAYS gone into labor at 38 weeks. They schedule my induction for 5am, Dec 01, 1999. Hunter was born in Enterprise on Nov. 27. He died December 01. The day I told them I would never make it to. Being born in Enterprise, he could not go straight to surgery. He had to wait on a lifeflight to Birmingham. The first jet malfunctioned, leaving them to send for another, from even farther away. 6 hours lost. That jet arrived. They told me as they wheeled him into the elevator, me seeing him briefly, only maybe 2 minutes since I had him, that if I went outside in about 20 minutes, we would be able to see the jet leave. They would call me as soon as he got to UAB and the doc saw him. I had my father wheel me downstairs, I stuck at that hospital for another 12 hours, to watch my baby fly away. I waited. and waited. and waited. I waited an hour outside that hospital. I decided I
had to have missed it somehow. And I had my father wheel me back upstairs. Another hour passed, no word. Another, no word. Another, no word. Finally, the phone rang. During an inspection before takeoff, a crack had been found in the wing of the second plane. They sat, in the plane and waited 2 hours on yet ANOTHER flight for my baby. Once he finally arrived at UAB, it would be around 5am the next morning before the surgeon would see him. Then, once he made his descisions, they would have to wait until I could be discharged in Enterprise, get to UAB and sign all the forms for his surgery. A baby that had no time, and I was watching time tick through my fingers with nothing I could do. Needless to say, a number of things went wrong, further after that. My son, that was supposed to be born at UAB and go straight to surgery, had to wait until Sunday morning after being born Friday at lunch to have his surgery. And when they did the surgery, I'll never forget the doctor coming out and telling me he had accidentally torn a hole in the only good part of a heart my baby had. There was nothing we could do but try to keep him alive and pray for a heart. Hunter declined quickly, coding several times, including while I was standing outside of a CICU, being told they couldn't let ANY of the 30 of us waiting to see our various family members in, because someone was dying. That someone was my son. But they brought him back. I saw him. I went to the Ronald Mcdonald house. They called me and said he was much improved. They were weaning him off of life support. That was at 9pm. I decided I was tired, and I was hurting, my body ravaged from giving birth and the journey I had been on. I was going to skip the 12am and 3am visits, get some sleep. I would be there at 6. At 2am, the phone rang. My mother answered it, all she said was hello, and silently handed it to me. They told me I needed to get there, SOON. Mom ran every bit of 100 through the streets of downtown Birmingham. When I arrived, they put me in a private doctors conference room, asked would I like to speak to the chaplin, and told me someone would be in very soon. An hour later, the doctor came with no good news. Hunter had coded again, it took 45 minutes to get him back, but they had. All of his organs were begining to fail, even on full life support. In a moment that still stuns me today, I simply said "This isn't fair to him, you're telling me he's going to die anyway, I want to take him off support". All of his doctors met and discussed it, 30 minutes later I sat beside his bed as they unhooked all the tubes and wires. For about 5 minutes, 5 of the longest minutes I have ever lived, I watched his breathing become more and more shallow. He squeezed my finger I placed in his tiny hand and took his last breath. They sent me out of the room, cleaned him up, put him in a beautiful angel looking blue gown and when I came back in, I held my baby, 4 days later, dead, for only the second time in his entire life. The first and only time that I could hold him and see his little face, because the wires that kept him alive, were gone.
Fast Forward to only 4 months later, April 2000. In a deep dark place, I decided maybe what i needed to snap out of it was a weekend trip out of town. I set off to visit my best freind at her Florida home, seeking a reprise. What I got was pure hell. We got up, the kids went outside to play, and Tyler, my 4 year old son had an asthma attack. When he hit the ground gasping, he fell into a small pond, no more than 2 foot deep, and still gasping instantly filled his lungs with water. I remember being hysterical. I remember screaming hysterically at my cold blue son as the other adults did cpr, waiting on an ambulance that took 45 minutes to get there. I remember about the 3rd compression, water shooting from Tylers mouth, just like on tv. Only on tv, when that happens, said person sits up, coughs and sputters and is fine. Tyler continued to lay limp on the ground. He was pronounced DOA at the hospital around 10am, April 08,2000.
Thats when my depression spun out of control. Thats when I was forced by family services to go to the doctor and I was diagnosed bipolar and PTSD. The doctors said I was probably bipolar as a child even, but the tragedy of the last several months had brought the disease to the forefront.
I couldnt find a counselor I liked, I was forced to go to group therapy in a womens group where the women only complained about their children. The third week I listened to the same bitch about her child not picking up his dirty socks, I told her "Bitch, be glad he's alive and shut the fuck up." I was asked not to come back...
For the most part, since I was exiled there, I managed to keep myself fairly well under control. Sure, there were times, days, even weeks sometimes that were very rough. But I did it...
However, right now, I can't. Theres too much. Watching this cancer eat everything that once was my mother, daily, anytime I wander through the house we share. Watching the kids, especially Savanna, hurt for her. Losing my job. Thinking of Hunter and Tyler. Struggling with 2 kids whose father thinks its ok to pay his child support whenever he wishes and in whatever amount he wishes, living 5 minuttes from them and never having them or seeing them. These babies are watching their grandma die because his sorry ass is at the peanut festival with his freinds, too busy to see his kids and to broke to pay his child support. It was just Hunters birthday, then his anniversary, and 2 days before Christmas? Tyler would have been 15. And Christmas. Oh, and lets not forget, a 16 year old son who decided he hated me so much, he did such dangerous things to the other children, He wanted to go live with a grandmother that turned her back on him the day of Tylers funeral. He was 5, and she never looked back,never called. At 15 he snuck to meet his father, whom signed away his rights to a child he didn't know because he spent his first 8 years of life in prison. When he got out, he didn't want to pay 8 years of back support. So he signed my son away. And Amos? He hated me so much for some reason (maybe it was the bipolar in him, he was diagnosed at 8 years old), he left me to live with strangers. Now he wants to come home. Almost 2 years later. I was right about them he said. They do and did lie. But the damage is done...


  1. Hey, it's Dave--I don't understand where the "admitting defeat" thing comes from. Admitting defeat to whom? Here's the thing Jamie. I don't really believe in god or a soul or any of that. Bipolar disorder is a physical problem with your brain because the word "mind" and "soul" are magic words, words that don't describe any part of you or mean anything ("point to your soul or your mind").

    If you accept that feelings and emotions are just very small electrochemical charges or impulses traveling from one part of your brain to another, and the whole thing including what we call "consciousness" exists only on a physical dimension (which I personally believe is true and the evidence bears me out) then the term "crazy" essentially describes a *physical disorder*, just like diabetes or the common cold and you fix it the same way.

    Forget the whole "disease of the soul" thing! There ain't no soul, there ain't no mind and there ain't no magic. People are very, very complex machines. Isn't that wonder enough in and of itself? it is to me...

  2. Side note: you talk about "admitting defeat". Do you mean admitting that the State of Alabama was right or your exes were right and you are crazy?

    The State of Alabama and your exes and everyone else used a different definition of the thing you are admitting to. Crazy when they say it means something different and has very different implications than "crazy" when you say it--I think you shouldn't even use that term but that's a different story.

    For the record, and i don't have space to explain why this is true--the State of Alabama's definition of crazy has a lot less validity to it than yours should. Part of the problem is that the State of Alabama has a financial/economical interest in defining you as 'crazy' by their definition--they make money off it.

    Crazy to me means that one has lost touch with objective reality--the television is talking to me, aliens are sending me messages from outer space. I think your problem is the opposite--you are totally plugged into a reality that is often horrific and you cannot disconnect at all. Most kids parents would get a babysitter and bomb off from time to time (mine certainly did) but you regard that as betrayal. Your problem isn't a disconnect from reality. It's that reality is real, real bad and it's flashburned into your brain. You *need* a disconnect and can't get one.

  3. I'm so glad you started this blog and have a safe place to say what you need to say. It's hard to believe one person could deal with so much. You are a strong woman. There's no shame or defeat in taking the pills. There is a point when we just have to say, "ok, I need help!" It's ok to take that help. I hope you can get some sleep. ♥

  4. Jamie, I know how you feel about religion, yet I PRAY hard for you every single day. You need the numbness that medication will give you, I just hope that it don't it don't take you away from Jacob, Savanna, and little K man. They don't understand, but I feel like you are going to spiral completely out of control if something doesn't change. I'm going to continue to pray for you,without fail.I love you!

  5. Jamie, I am sorry you have had such major struggles, it's good to be open and get it all out, I hope it helps you to heal. *hugs*

  6. Hey girl, I'm glad you found you a safe place, everyone needs one!
    You are a strong person, and everything that happens, happens for a reason. Don't dwell on the past, look to the future.
    I'm always here if you need me, any time of the day or night.
    I love you girl. You will beat this, you will rise above.