I should have known that 2018 wasn't going to be my year when I missed our annual tradition of spending NYE with our good friends at their home because I was sick and sent my son, husband, and even our dog there without me.
Shortly thereafter, I turned 40. Tim planned a fun-filled staycation which was amazing and Kane spent the weekend with my parents probably doing whatever he wanted to. When my parents returned him to us that Sunday (my actual birthday) at a local birthday dinner, I realized just how sick my mom really was. The weekend with Kane had absolutely exhausted her. No one in this world wanted that child more than my mom. She LIVED for him! For her to say that taking him for a weekend was too much for her made me realize she was doing way worse than we actually had thought.
Fast forward to June. I was in Denver on a business trip when I got a call from my dad that we were likely at the end with my mom. She had been in the hospital for weeks. The day before I left for Denver, I visited her at a rehab she had been moved to and she was doing great. Sitting up, flat ironing her wig and putting on makeup and generally just bossing me around as far as where to put her clothes away. How quickly it had all changed. He asked me to have Tim to get Kane to the hospital immediately. Tim left work, went to the school and headed there. Things were bad. I actually sat sobbing in my hotel room writing my mom a letter letting her know everything I had to say and emailed it to Tim to bring to the hospital because I wasn't sure I'd make it home in time. When I got to the airport, I lost my shit on the woman behind the counter and cried hysterically to her to get my on an earlier flight and told her what the reason was. She got me on a flight, but not before comfortingly telling me that she was in the air when her mom died and never got home in time.
Fortunately, I did get home in time. I got 10 days before she did pass away in hospice. Tim had gotten her the letter, but I also got to spend time with her and say what I wanted to, have her tell me what she wanted to, and essentially watch her die in hospice for three days with my dad, aunt, and brother. That was July 11. July 13, we buried her.
I spent months taking care of my dad's well-being, helping him go through things, and comforting my devastated nearly 4 year old. I paid no attention to my own feelings or emotions as I was too busy worrying about everyone else.
Did I mention a lot of tension was kicked up in my family and drama ensued with extended family members over all kinds of fun topics?
In October, I headed to DC for a business trip and I got a call that my dad was in the hospital. Fortunately, he was ok. He had fallen off a ladder he shouldn't have been on and wound up with seven staples in his head and a cracked vertebrae. Again, I worried about everyone else.
I wish I could say November came with no events, but hey, 2018 has been a treasure trove of hell for us! First, my grandmother passed away. I was fortunate enough to have four grandparents until I was 21 when the first one passed away. The next two to pass away was only about 8 years ago. My Nana was the one I was always closest with. It was sad, but she was 93 and had lead a very full life. We buried her in the family plot where the dirt was still fresh from my mom and that's when my emotions and feelings came to a head. I had a full-on panic attack at the gravesite. Tim had stayed home with Kane as we didn't want him there and fortunately, my sister-in-law was there to keep me from crumbling (literally!).
Finally, a bright spot. Kane's birthday! He was SO excited to be four. He was so happy to have had a party with all his school friends that he helped to plan. On his actual birthday, I left my office early to get to school with cupcakes for his class. His friends all sang happy birthday and ate the cupcakes and then Cassie and I took the kids to the playground for like 15 minutes. We parted ways because it was freezing out with birthday present bribes. As I was parking my car by our building, Kane started slurring like he was wasted. I looked at him in the rear view mirror and he was slumped to the side, slurring, and his arm was shaking and twitching. I thought he was having a stroke! I did a u-turn on the street without even looking at traffic coming or going and started speeding to the nearest ER while calling my husband yelling God knows what. By the time we got to the hospital, he was speaking clearly and stopped twitching, but his arm was completely dead. He couldn't lift it or use his hand. About an hour after arriving at the hospital, a blood panel, a CT scan, and a lot of waiting, his arm and hand worked again, but no one had answers for us. They sent us via ambulance (spoiler alert...four year olds love this!) to a children's hospital specializing in neurology. We were admitted...on his birthday...and stayed there for four days...through Thanksgiving! He wound up with a 52 hour video EEG and was put under for an MRI. It wound up NOT being a stroke, but a rare form of epilepsy that they believe he had all his life, but never exhibited itself until that day. They also believe he will outgrow it by puberty and he's on an anti-seizure medication. He is totally fine and we've seen NOTHING happen since that day, thank God!
Once we got home, I spent three days in bed because my body physically rejected all my pent-up stress that I'd been saving for months and months.
We've got about a week left of the year and I'm just hoping for an uneventful Christmas and New Year's and we can't wait to kiss 2018 goodbye!
Here's to a happy and HEALTHY 2019!