Thursday, August 21, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness in memory of Ryder

"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees." -Amelia Earhart

We have been doing Random Acts of Kindness in memory of Ryder for the month of August. Tomorrow marks 2 years since Ryder flew home to be with Jesus. We miss him incredibly! It's been a rocky journey of grief these past few years (especially this past month). Instead of focusing on my heartache I am trying to focus on the joy that Ryder brought into our lives. He was such a special little boy with the sweetest demeanor!

We have decided to keep Random Acts of Kindness going all year long. What could be a better way to remember our Bubba than spreading love and kindness to brighten someone else's day like he did ours?

I made cards that I pass out when I can. I have had requests to send others these cards as well so that they can participate in Random Act's of Kindness in Ryder's memory. If you'd like cards message me your address and how many you'd like and I'd be happy to send some to you! 500 have already been passed out!!!! I just ordered 1000 more. Imagine all the smiles in Ryder's memory!!!

I don't have much money, but acts of kindness don't need to be about spending money. However, since August is a month we celebrate Ry's life (of course we do every month...but you know what I mean)I cashed in my coins to use that money on other's to brighten their day. I think I'll make that a tradition in August :) This year I had a whopping $44.87 to spend!

What we've done so far:

-picked up litter in the park
-made a photo album for a friend whose son passed away
-entered another friend whose going through a difficult time into a contest for a free art sketch (will find out if she wins tomorrow!)
-Sat with and listened to people in the hospital who really needed a friend
-donated books to the hospital library that I had already read
-reached out to a friend who is struggling with depression

Other acts I've done or will be doing in the near future:

-print out extra coupons when I go to the store to share with others
-tape a bag of popcorn to a Redbox for someone to enjoy
-tape a quarter on parking meters
-Les is passing out 200 free cookies to high school student's tomorrow with a RAK card. A HUGE shout out and thanks to Coconino High School culinary program for donating the cookies!!!
-Sending a small special gift to a friend (don't want to ruin the surprise lol)
-give someone flowers just because (I'm giving them to someone I don't know)
-bring cookies to the local fire department
-let someone know you are thinking about them
-volunteer (I'm volunteering at the local Humane Society....but there are soooooo many places that could use volunteers!)
-make care packets to keep in the car to pass out when I see someone in need (I did this in the winter and included water bottle, small snack, hand warmers,chap stick and kleenex)

RAK people have recently done for me:
- sent a thinking of you card
- sent a book
- sent meditation CD's

These are just a few ideas. I'd love to hear your ideas too!!! Also if you have found this blog because of a random act of kindness I'd be grateful if you shared where you are (these cards have been passed around the USA!) and what the act of kindness was :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Clarification from Rock Bottom Part 1 & 2

I just wanted to write a quick clarifying post because I've gotten several questions and comments. I am not addicted to pills like Xanax or Ambien. I was prescribed them after Ry passed away. I very rarely (maybe a handful of times over 2 years) took these prescriptions. That is why I had the amount I had to OD on. Also I have been drinking a lot as I mentioned, but as I have learned there is a big difference between having a physical addiction to alcohol and an emotional addiction---both not healthy for sure nor is one better than the other! I never had a physical addiction so I didn't go through with-drawl. EMDR really got rid of the traumatic images I was having so I haven't felt that need/desire to numb myself and sleep. I've been a little moody, but hey, I don't expect to be peachy keen after all this right away :) I really appreciate the outpouring of love we have received after my last few blogs. I felt it was an important subject to be honest and open about because many people struggle with depression and mental health, yet it seems very taboo to discuss. I want others to know they are not alone. I also want my friends/readers who have lost a child to know that grief is such a bumpy, often times lonely road and can quickly feel unbearable. Parents who have a special needs child or caregivers are more prone to depression. There really is help out there. If you ever feel helpless, reach out to someone you trust. You are not alone!! Much love to all of you!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rock Bottom Part2....

Alright…where was I?

I think I left off talking about details Les filled me in on. (I’m on his computer and don’t feel like rereading what I wrote last night lol). Anyway, I vaguely remember waking up a bit (possibly Monday night, but who knows!!) I remember seeing my Mom there. Les called her on Sunday night and she made the late night drive to northern AZ. I remember the respiratory therapist and the nurse telling me to cough (still being intubated) and trying to listen for airflow. I tried to cough, it hurt so much. Still no sound or evidence that I’d be able to breathe on my own….. I remember the nurse really trying to relax me and told me to try my best to cough, if I couldn't cough or breathe on my own I might end up with a trach. That definitely got my attention and I tried my very best….no success. They decided to leave it in and try again the next day. The only other things from that night I remember were my Mom and the Sitter (used for every suicide attempt) combing out the massive tangled nest of hair I had from everything and using the bedpan—A LOT!!!!! God bless those amazing nurses and nursing assistance's <3 If I never see a bedpan again it will be too soon--- blah. Each time I got turned the tube really, really, really hurt and put me in a panic. My Mom was able to read my eye expressions and quickly learned I needed deep suction (into my lungs) each time I got turned and shared that with the nurse.
Next memory I have was on Tuesday afternoon. I remember they took out the tube and I was immediately able to cough and breathe on my own. I guess I was vomiting so much, even being intubated and I had chunks of vomit that were lodged in the tube which was the reason they couldn’t hear airflow the previous day. Mom told me the tube was actually too big for me as well which probably added to me discomfort.(I totally caught that spelling mistake on spell check but left it cuz me sounded like a pirate and had a good laugh-arg!). I am covered in bruises as well. Les and the BEST ICU nurse in the whole wide world KJ (the other nurse was absolutely amazing too, but I was too out of it and don’t remember her name) finally had to stop the people that draw blood (what are they called again??? I should know this one!!) Four different people came up from the lab to draw my blood at four different times within about an hour and a half…who knows why, but I’m sure happy I have no memory of that part. Hey—I’m ALIVE and it was an emergency situation, so I’m not complaining here, only purely grateful for everyone’s help. I’m being as descriptive as I can remember so that maybe one day, someone with suicidal thoughts might read about how horrible this was for me and seek help right away!!! Don’t let it get as far as I did!!!
I made the choice to go to the behavior health floor later that night. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go because I thought the whole thing scared me enough to never ever want to attempt that again—ever!!! I remembered the time I asked for help 7 months after Ryder passed away and checked myself into a hospital. While it was great and I made a life-long friend there, all of the positive thinking couldn’t change my depression. They put me on meds that made me feel extremely shaking and horrible. They put a Band-Aid on my grief, gave me some great ideas to help with my depression and sent me along. I am not saying it was useless and if you are feeling depressed and can’t climb out of it, please seek help! I’m glad I did then; I just wished they helped me get to the root of my depression and help me/ explain to me the grief process. Okay, back on topic! I wasn’t sure I wanted to go onto the behavior health floor again, but I did mainly to help ease Les’ stress. He didn’t want me to be alone for a minute by myself at home, which I totally get.
I spent 4 days on that floor, which is actually a pretty quick stay. I sure did have my mind set to do the work and change the course of my life and thought patterns and I was remorseful from the beginning which helped me make fast progress. The first night was rough. I had to sit up straight all night long due to acid reflex from the tube being in. My throat was a raw, sore, throbbing mess! I spent some time coughing up blood and tissue from having the tube as well. Folks….you DO NOT want to be intubated if you can help it! Learn from me!
An awesome therapist recommended EMDR (google it). It is often used for veterans with post-traumatic stress. I was willing to do anything…..absolutely anything to start healing, to see a glimpse of a brighter future at least. I did 2 sessions of EMDR for 2 different issues (visual flashbacks of Ryder dying and my triggers/anticipation/obsessive thought of numbers and dates). PEOPLE it worked IMMEDIATELY!!! Truly unbelievable stuff! It often works in 1 session (for 1 issue). If you are suffering from post-traumatic stress seek a therapist certified to do EMDR. LIFE CHANGING!!! I am going to continue EMDR at least 2 more times….one for drinking and one for sadness of a lost friendship. I will also be seeing the same therapist for counseling. I am joining a grief group, specifically for people who have lost children. I attended my first AA meeting today. I am getting outside daily (I was going days without even going outdoors). I am getting exercise and I am eating at least 3 meals a day. Those who know me well know this has always been an issue. I’ve never had an eating disorder or anything, but I’m just not a food person (except sushi…. I will eat sushi anytime, anywhere, on a boat and with a goat!)
Before I tell you how you can help, I wanted to mention one more insanely terrific life- saving moment (positively divine intervention in my eyes, but take it as you will). I have spent hours and days for the last few weeks trying to get my newly prescribed Xanax. I had just seen the doctor, I rarely ever take Xanax (maybe 2-4 times a year) and she wrote a new prescription since what I had was expired, just to be taken as needed. Each time I went into the pharmacy I spent a long time trying to get my insurance worked out. They kept telling me my insurance was canceled since January, but I knew that wasn’t the case and I refused to pay full price. I’d been getting my other medicine like Crestor and a hormone replacement patch without any problem what so ever, even the week before! I went in 3 times to talk to the pharmacy who keep telling me they would take care of it and call my insurance. I got 3 calls saying it was ready and when I went to pick it up (3 separate times) I got the same reply- your insurance has been canceled since January. The last try to pick up more Xanax was with Les on the day before I OD’ed. I would have taken those 30 more Xanax if I had picked them up. I wouldn’t be here right now.

I obviously am a very transparent person. I like who I am and I like being honest. I hope my stories and my journey will help someone someday. Part of my openness is also my way of taking responsibility and account for my actions. If I didn’t share, it would be much easier to stay in that dark place in my mind, to continue drinking and deny I have a problem. I ask all my family and friends, co-workers and people who care to help me monitor myself. You can do this by noticing my posts. I will always continue to miss Ryder, share his pictures, videos, and write about him. I will still have sad days. I promise to keep being open, but if you notice my post continuing to be sad for days at a time, if I write something that concerns you or if I try isolating, backing out on plans and becoming inactive or indecisive—these are my red flags that I’m not in a good place. Please reach out to me in some way. I do tend to be sensitive in moods like that, so words like Denise, I’m worried about you how is your mood today, or I am concerned because ….(no tiptoeing just tell me). If you don’t feel comfortable with reaching out to me or have a gut feeling I’m just starting to slip down that road again, you have my permission to contact Les (I can message you his # or message him on FB). I’m open and honest with you so please feel free to be open and honest with me.
It’s so humbling all the messages and calls I’ve received from so many people, including people I don’t know since yesterday’s post. I have had 9 people tell me that I was heavy on their mind and in their prayers last week and they didn’t know why, but now they know—WOW! I believe in signs people! If you feel that strange tug at your heart or in your mind about me or ANYBODY, check in on them immediately. Try to gauge their mood, most people don’t reach out or even realize they are sinking into depression. It was mentioned by a few people that actually saw me spiraling down into depression quickly, that they wanted to say something, but they didn’t know if it was their place or not. YEP, it is!!!! ALWAYS!!! Just use gentle words like, I’m concerned and I care about you….etc. It’s better to step on someone’s toes, make them upset, or feel uncomfortable yourself not knowing what to say than not to do anything at all when that 1 small thing can save someone’s life.

Thanks for all of your love and support!!! I feel it!! Know that I love and care about you too. Please know that I will be spending some quality time taking care of me, getting therapy, grieving in a healthy way (therapist have said I might just be starting grieving process since I’ve numbed myself with alcohol for so long),loving on my family, and limiting my time on social media (that sure can be addicting too, right??!!). I will not be able to reach out to my dear friends, who I know are having a tough time right now too. Don’t take it personally, don’t think I’ve left you or stopped caring, but please understand I need to help me first and will be focusing all my energy on making a bright new path.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rock Bottom... but climbing up (Reason I've been MIA) part 1

So you may or may not have noticed that I have been MIA for a while. You may or may not have also noticed that my posts for several weeks prior were getting more and more somber…..
Here’s why. I spiraled quickly downhill the last 2-3 weeks and hit rock bottom last Sunday, July 27th. Anniversaries of Ryder’s 1st seizure & 911 call, quick regression, entering hospice, Make-A-Wish Day, 2 year angelversary, and birthday are all close together from July 25th- Sept 5th. I do have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and suffer from very vivid images and flashbacks of these events. My triggers are specific dates, numbers 22, 3, 8, 5, certain smells and certain places. On top of these approaching anniversaries, several more children that I love have passed away, I am sporadic with taking my anti-depressants, I haven’t been sleeping AND I decided to watch Heaven is for Real (excellent movie—just not excellent time to watch it.) So what have I been doing to cope with this all? DRINK….and DRINK and DRINK!! Basically, I have been numbing myself since Ryder passed away because it has been too painful for me to deal with. It was easy for me to convince myself I had it under control because I only drank at night time, I was completely functional, and I was being responsible in my mind because I would NEVER get behind the wheel even after 1 sip. So again how have I coped? I haven’t.
July 27th I started drinking early. We were planning on going fishing, but I backed out at the last minute so I can finish up the laundry and get ready for the busy week ahead. I cleaned, drank, looked at pictures of Ryder, drank, listened to sad music, drank, cleaned and drank---you get the idea. When the boys came home Noah went to his friends to spend the night and Les and Ty proceeded to the living room to watch boring tv shows that I had no interest in. I went to my room to look at more pictures and videos and just sunk deeper and deeper into a dark place in my mind. After a while, I went out to be with the boys again, but after seeing them comfortable and into the show I just decided to give them a kiss and tell them I was going to bed. I went to my bathroom (connected to my bedroom) and sat on the floor crying. I stared at the bottles of ambien and Xanax that I had sitting there. I knew alcohol is dangerous with both of those. I held them for maybe 5 minutes thinking….crying…. I put them down and decided to put on my butterfly pj bottoms, a cute little fake dragonfly tattoo Ty had given me, hold Ry’s teddy bear and blanket and then I went and sat for a bit in the bathroom again. I’ve been struggling with suicidal thoughts for a while and never acted on it. I have reached out for help several times before and just found myself feeling this way still…. I was permanently damaged in my mind and it wouldn’t get easier—EVER! I quickly swallowed both entire bottles of pills so I wouldn’t talk myself out of it like every time before…….. okay…I did it… it will end soon…..
WHAT DID I JUST DO?????? WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I DO????? I panicked, NO—I WANT TO LIVE….. I ran and got Les (life saving moment #1). The look on his face was something I never want to see (or cause) again. The pills quickly started taking affect. I remember Les calling 911 and trying to force me to throw up, sticking his finger in my mouth. That was all I remembered until waking up in the ICU Tuesday afternoon with a tube down my throat and my arms strapped down.
Filling in some of the details from Les’ account: it took about 10 minutes for the fire truck/ambulance to arrive and treat me. They were staged several houses down waiting for a sheriff’s deputy to arrive and give the okay (I guess that’s protocol for suicide attempts). Les dragged me to the ambulance and basically threw me in and backed away (knowing that was the only way to go against protocol). (Life saving moment #2- Les knew what to do being a former EMT/ firefighter). In the ER I guess Les would come check on me, but sat with Tyler in the waiting room. (Yes, my son witnessed a lot of this which is TERRIBLE!! No comments about this please- I feel bad enough and YES we are getting them support to process this as well). Les asked what the treatment plan in the ER was and he was told they would let me sleep it off thinking I just took a lot of Benadryl. (Life saving moment #3) SHE TOOK AMBIEN & XANAX!!!! I THINK THAT CHANGES THE TREATMENT PLAN!!!!!
Yep, it sure did. I had my stomach pumped. At some point I was intubated because I wasn’t handling other methods they attempted to support my breathing and I couldn’t breathe on my own. I was throwing up with the tube and was in distress trying to pull the tube out (Don’t remember this at all). They had to restrain my wrists to keep me safe and the tube in place…..

Okay guys…. I need to go to bed. I will continue this blog tomorrow. I don’t want to leave you worried—so know that I am okay. I am in a very healthy state of mind now, getting intensive treatment for PTSD, counseling, going to AA (sober road from here on out), and more----details tomorrow and safety/recovery plan. YOU can help me and I’ll tell you how….
I Must have an Angel watching over me and sure am grateful to be alive!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Recreating myself and want to write again :)

I haven't posted in a long, long time. I haven't felt the inspiration to write since Ryder died. My life is being recreated... I'm a different person. I have a new purpose that keeps my heart beating. There is so much drama and meaningless problems in life that I'm trying to process through. is simply beautiful. Everyday, all I can ask for is a positive meaning, something beautiful that happened and something I did to contribute to make it a good day. This day, I hugged my boys, told them how much I loved them, hugged my hubby and appreciated him, reached out to a Mama in need and educated her on her rights, and treated myself to some much needed down time. It seems simple to me. I can do more...give more! I have so much in my heart to share and give! Yet, I feel so very alone. I love to write, to share Ryder's story, to educate, do crafts, be in nature, take photos and sleep :) I know I am important. I am making a difference. I am loved. I am Gods daughter. I pray to live my purpose in life and feel the comfort of the Lord and my family and friends to get through this life, until I am reunited with Ryder. My words don't flow as eloquently as they used to...hoping to get my groove back some day :)This post is me attempting to get back out there! I want to write again,but don't have a topic! Any ideas?