Shaken

Some of you know, and maybe even experienced, the earthquake that hit southern Illinois yesterday morning. According to our news reports, some people felt it as close as Des Moines, which is only about 40 miles from us. Although I can't say we felt it, my husband and daughter-in-law both woke up unexpectedly at that same time yesterday morning, so it is possible they felt something, For my family, the real shaking began a few hours later.

I told you about the troubles my daughter was having in a post a couple of weeks ago. She put in her time in the hospital and was doing better and even got released sooner than she originally expected. Home, she appeared to be doing okay to the point where they even let her husband go back to work this past week. She was home alone and was trusted to be home alone. Before you start worrying, she is still alive and didn't try to harm herself. She was having a pretty good week until near the end of the week when the weather got really crappy again. Wind, rain, more rain, more wind, cold… I swear, it is enough to make a person who isn't having difficulties depressed! On Wednesday we had a long, good talk and I thought she wasn't doing too badly. Then on Thursday evening she told me it had been a rough day, but she didn't know if it was the depression, the weather, or if she was just coming down with something. She was scheduled to see her doctor yesterday, Friday, so would talk to him then.

I got a phone call from her yesterday around noon. Her husband was taking her home to pack her bag… she was being re-admitted to the hospital. This time she was crying not out of frustration because she had tried to end it all but because she was upset and scared. She is going to have electroshock therapy.

They are taking her off all her medication. Monday she will start a series of nine to twelve treatments, three times a week. At this point they are thinking they'll keep her in the hospital for all of next week and she may be released the following Wednesday, depending on how things go… then have the remaining treatments on an outpatient basis. At first thought the vivid scene from "One Flew Over The Coocoo's Nest" with Jack Nicholson comes to mind. The barbaric scene has tormented many a person with mental illness and the fact remains, in earlier years this was a very barbaric procedure and was not done in a humane way. Times have changed. They now have learned the procedure does have a place in modern medicine and that it can be done with anesthesia and muscle relaxers and the discomfort can be minimalized.

Still. That helpless feeling is back in full force. This is a path I've not walked before. i can't give my daughter the benefit of my experience. I can't tell her that I've done this and it will be okay. I was trying to explain this to my husband on the phone yesterday as I told him the situation. He quietly said, "Now you have to be like the rest of us. This is how it was when we watched you going through it." I guess if that is meant to be a life lesson God wanted me to learn then He can stop smacking me upside the head. I get it.

I haven't been good about getting around to everyone's blog. I know there are a lot of things going on out there in your world. When I've gotten around even a little I've seen things happening with you, your loved ones, your friends, your family. As much as distance of time and space seperates us all, we still have a bond… I feel it. Do you? Although I may not have been there lately, I still care. I still want to have hope and belief that you are all doing well and that the things that are troubling in your life are being resolved, healed, mended, better. I want good things to come.

Over the next couple of weeks, if you could, just give a little good thought my daughters' way, okay? I'd surely appreciate it. The doctor says this treatment could be life-changing. There is a 90% chance she could come out the other side and not have to suffer from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. There is a great chance that instead of being on large doses of five or six medications, she may be on one or two… and at a tenth of the dosage. There is a side effect of memory loss and that has her terrified. She's afraid she'll lose "herself", forget "who she is". Again, I can only look to the research and the doctor and listen when they say she will probably lose the next two weeks of her memory. She will 'fill in' with previous memories of another day spent at the hospital, as that is what the mind does. Still, she will at the core be herself and will be cognitive and be able to make decisions and know who she is in the moment. I can't think this will be a fun time or stress free. However, I weigh the memory loss with the potential loss of depression, anxiety and suicide and I've got to think this is a good thing. At least, that's the light at the end of the tunnel I am personally holding onto.

I love my kids. I love my daughter. I wish I was the one carrying this burden, so she wouldn't have to. I want it to be all right. I need it to be all right. I'm just going to go with, "It will be all right" for now. Still? The ground can stop shaking any time.