I am at a loss for words. I have no fancy post to write, no beautiful words, no award winning content, just me talking to you.
2013 started out great, and gradually declined. It started with the bombing at the Boston marathon, finishing my next marathon with a pr but excruciating neck pain and chronic migraines that have never gone away and seems to get worse. Since my last marathon, I really haven’t run all that much. My neck and back ache so bad that I am in constant discomfort and running only highlights this pain. It was supposed to be the greatest running year of my life, Boston, HighNuun, HTC with Nuun, RnRLA w/ Pavement Runner, and WRS. These events were amazing, but clouded by a bombing, my discomfort, and my constant popping of Anti-inflammatories, visits to the chiropractor, and migraine medication.
Then in early November shortly after I ran WRS in Scottsdale, my oldest son started having seizures. There had been little warning signs his entire life, moments when he would black out, look like he was staring off into space and then throw up and fall asleep. These episodes were all seizures, but I thought, since I’ve had migraines my entire life, that he was getting migraines, too. I wanted to believe my child was ok. Then, one morning he fell to the ground and stiffened up, followed by throwing up and sleeping. My husband insisted that we take him to see the doctor.
After several trips to Children’s Hospital LA, his doctors diagnosed him with epilepsy. I was still having a tough time believing he was not the perfect picture of health. His doctor wrote out a prescription for Keppra and Diazepam and I was told that he would have to take the Keppra daily and the Diazepam for any seizure that lasted over 5 minutes. I got home, still numb from the news. Migraines I could understand, this was something else. Something scary.
I started researching alternative treatments, as the side effects for these drugs could be severe. I discovered that many had excellent results from a Ketogenic diet. This is a low carb, high fat diet similar to Atkins. I consulted with his doctor and he agreed to let us try it until March, when we would re-evaluate and do another EEG. That’s good doctoring if you ask me.
It was difficult at first, my son would cry in his bedroom about his new way of eating. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I am a baker. I love to feed my family and my baking was never met with, “ew I don’t like this”, like the other meals would. So I baked… a lot. This would have to change, and we all went through a mourning process. My son is doing well with our new way of eating. In fact, he has told me on several occasions how clear his brain feels, and his seizures have lessened. A huge improvement from what was happening in early November. My hope is that we can avoid medications all together. Fingers crossed.
To make matters worse, over Thanksgiving we were in Washington state visiting my Dad and Step Mom, and my husband and children were involved in a accident on an ATV mini tracker that landed us in ER. My daughter had to have 6 stitches on her forehead, my son emergency dental work on his front tooth, and my husband cracked his knee cap. It could have been much worse, but at the time, when blood was squirting everywhere and I was attempting to comfort, stop the bleeding, and calm my three children, I thought perhaps the world was coming to a gory end.
I don’t like to write when I’m down, I don’t like to open up because I feel guilty for feeling this way. You see all of images and blog posts telling you to, “Choose Joy”, “Be Happy”, “It can always be worse”, “Choose a Perfect Life.” It makes me want to bury my head under the covers and stop all social media and never talk to a living soul again. Why can’t I “Choose joy?” Why can’t I see the silver lining? Why do I feel so sad?
Day after day, I was met with frustration, anger, guilt and would often times spiral down into some very dark moments. I have many friends getting me through this. My friend Nicole and her Mom, Chris, who checked on me several times a day despite her own much bigger issues. My, Dad, Step Mom and Sisters were in constant communication. My Mom was there every day, supporting me, keeping me calm, and caring for me and my other children, while I went back and forth to doctor appointments. She has always been, and continues to be, my rock solid foundation. Others would text, email, send care packages. These are women who are real, who are sincere, and who care. It filled me with hope in my darkest moments.
Lindsay, Bry and Holly, you did not need to do anything, and yet you not only reached out, you took action weekly, sometimes daily making me feel loved during some very dark moments. I am in awe of all three of you. Don’t think for one moment I don’t see what ties all three of you together, and that is your belief and devotion to the teachings of Christ. You are not the kind to flaunt or boast, you are subtle, and TRUE Christians. I am learning so much from all of the people who have been there for me.
I am still struggling, but I’m crawling my way out. My entire life I have wrestled with depression and it is years like this when the darkness can take over and bring everything to a halt. I have isolated myself long enough. I am forcing myself to get back to blogging, I will make myself train for Boston this year. I don’t have pure joy in my life right now, but I have will power. I am not going to PR at Boston this year, my goal is to enjoy myself and be able to finish. I look forward to running with my friend Travis and being with my community of runners, to finally be able to celebrate what was taken from all of us last year. I am not 100% yet, I am still dancing with depression, but for the first time in a long while I able to smile. I hope and pray that nothing more happens to us. I daydream that my son can stay healthy.
My recipes from now on will be low carb. Maybe I can turn this situation into something good? Maybe I can give other Epilepsy Moms a place to feel hope, to cry, or even just to know that they are not alone. Plus, so many health fitness people are low carb anyway, that I think it’s all good. We’re all a community helping each other.
There were many people who reached out on twitter or email, who were wondering what was wrong. I want to thank those who showed such concerned (Carla), dm’ed me (Katie) , sent me Starbuck’s cards (Cori) and texted (Melody) and so many others who commented and showed concern.
Writing down all of the many friends and family that have been and continue to support us fills me with gratitude and hope.
I saved my greatest supporter for last. The man who without his love, patience, devotion and kindness I would not be here. To the one who knows me more intimately than any other, and still stays. We had our 9 year anniversary on November 7th, at the peak of all of the craziness. To the greatest partner, friend, father and love of my life, my husband Rob. Thank you.
Good bye 2013 and hello 2014. I am excited and hopeful to see how the story will unfold.
With all of my love, Lisa