I remember that day almost two years ago
And you felt so heavy in my arms. My grief heavy in my heart.
You were born on the Fourth of July.
Gone the moment you entered the world.
You also died on the Fourth of July.
An occasion you share with your great grandfather before you.
That day was not an end of Avery but a beginning
A beginning of the grief her parents and sisters would share.
Mama cries still sometimes. It surprises her when the tears come.
Papa cries too. I’ve just never seen it done.
Now I’m over protective with your sisters
My two babies I have left
Not to leave the house without their cell phones.
I couldn’t bare it if one left.
Your second birthday is getting closer.
That means Mama and Papa fight more.
We love our baby girl so much
The one who will miss all of her milestones
We’ve put in many of your firsts without you
But those firsts, those are memory’s never made
But those are the only memories We have left.
Love you always baby girl
At last its Friday night and I am snuggled down deep in my head. And my bed, but I’m digging in my head too. This is an exciting night for me. After months of nagging my husband, I finally located a hair on his head I haven’t turned grey yet and I threatened it. I threatened to yank it. Make him completely grey if he didn’t allow a new laptop to enter the threshold of our home. Through blood, sweat, tears and promises of things only I know help me get my own way, he crumbled like everything I’ve ever tried to bake. ( I’m horrible at remembering to set the timer when I’m baking or forgetting ingredients or I’ll get distracted texting with someone I absolutely haven’t texted with for at least 10 minutes. I have a 99.99 percent fail rate, and the 1 percent that isn’t is Pillsbury) And now I’m writing my blog for the first time on a shiny new laptop. The laptop I just absolutely couldn’t live without. Obviously with me having ADHD there are some things I cannot be in charge of. One of those things is more than a couple hundred bucks at a time. Otherwise there would be a lot more boxing gear, tech gadgets and boots in our house. I just had the funniest thought. If I were to require use of the facilities, they are just across the hall. My grandparents went to a bathroom in an outhouse. Even in the winter. They probably had red rings of frostbite on their bums if they slipped while hovering and I wanted a laptop so desperately because the typing on the touchscreen tablet was highly annoying for me and I absolutely couldn’t live like that any longer. It has become obvious the outhouse would have been a complete fail if I had to resort to that. Because a tablet was too much of a hassle for me. I have ADHD, I like to have things done in a hurry, and the processors on tablets are not fast enough for me and I cannot type as fast as I would like. I became obsessed over it and then I found that grey hair and here I am. So this morning I was all hyped up buying a laptop and then I brought it home, left it on a chair in the living room, didn’t even open the box for like six hours because I got distracted doing a ton of other stuff. Finally I got enough focus to fire it up. I played on it for two minutes, looked at my husband ” This set up process is taking forever, I have to get ice packs at Walmart”. So off to Walmart we went mid set up. On the laptop I absolutely had to have. It took me 12 hours to use it. But now at least I recognize it. I think my boot collection and technology collection and books, the books…..I need a rule. You know how they say you shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Well I shouldn’t go shopping on an empty stomach or unless my ADHD meds have been in my system for at least two hours.
I see the family’s at the mall. The ones pushing a stroller with a bored toddler crying for attention. The parents don’t notice. They are to involved in their cell phones to notice, or at least be annoyed enough by the sound of their flesh and blood crying to bother themselves to comfort the child. And then your husband shows you the news and there is a story of a woman dumping three babies in a dumpster, the first two dying, the third being saved by a passer by who randomly happened to be the screaming infants father. And then there is Facebook. Everyone posting pictures of their big round bellies of great expectations. I envy their innocence. What they don’t think could possibly happen to them. At age twenty-nine I also had great expectations. Six pounds and one ounce of pure baby. Her name was Avery. She was a beautiful chubby baby with rosy cheeks and dark hair. She never took a breath outside my body, so to many people it greatly diminishes the value of her life and the grief that as her mother I feel. There is lots of eye rolling on my behalf. No one wants to talk about Avery. Avery is a dirty word. But I want to talk about her. I have memories. She lived her whole life inside of me. She was my Avery girl. I’m not stupid. I know that I cannot get her back. I know another baby won’t replace her. What my arms and my heart want with this nagging hell that is a cross between feeling hurt, and feeling sick right in the pit of my stomach is to try again. Respect that almost two years has been a good grieving point and push forward. But something is different now. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of Thirty. Now we have to slow down and look at this potential pregnancy differently. We have to take into account we dodged a major bullet that our two living daughters are not showing any symptoms of ADHD and if Avery had it, it died with her. What if we run out of luck on the ADHD wheel of fun and get a child that has ADHD. But what if I didn’t have ADHD and it was heart disease that ran in my family. Would I give it a second thought ? And would it be horrible if the child had ADHD? Am I so unloveable god forbid I have a child just like me? I am a productive member of society, I box, I’m active in my children’s school, I take very good care of my children. I stay on top of their commitments as well as my own. Without the stimulants and as a united front with my husband, to date we have raised two little girls who are smart, funny, excellent students, never get in trouble, never ask for anything unless we tell them we can . They are respectful of their teachers and their peers. And I did that before the diagnosis . So would I be burdening another child if it inherited my ADHD? It’s a tough call. I don’t think it isn’t a reason not move forward. I certainly have not gotten this baby ‘thing’ out of my head. I think a baby would bring a lot of happiness to our home . As far as the ADHD goes , maybe I would be the best mother for that child. One who is compassionate and understanding. Oh wait I already am that mother to my living children. And then there is a chance that the child would not inherit ADHD at all. But there are no guarantees’ in this life. My husband and I have certainly taken what life has grown at us this far, what’s one more time? We survived Mallory and seizures and Sydney the climber and delivering Avery, our child born an angel. We handled it all. And I have ADHD. I know we can do it all, as long as we do it together. And having another baby falling asleep on my chest, making little baby sounds, smelling like little baby’s do… I’ve done it before the diagnosis. As soon as I wear my husband down I will do it again .
I really like to watch David E Kelly’s new series Monday Mornings. It’s an excellent show with a diverse mix of characters that only the genius of David E Kelly could produce . There is an Asian doctor . His English is as horrible as his bedside manner. But he is honest. And devastatingly so. If asked what will happen if the patient rejects a surgery he simply states
Not do, dead.
. His honestly sends me into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. He is no dancing baby but he is the best character David E Kelly has ever created. Do you know what irritates me about this character? The fact that I have in fact watched all ten episodes of this show I love so much and if the Asian doctor looked at me and said
What my name? Not do dead.
I would not be able to tell him his name. That is the worst part of ADHD for me. Memory loss. I know that I’m on a much lower dose of stimulants right now due to circumstances in which a higher dose would have agitated my emotions, making it much more challenging to stifle my agitation. On Monday Mornings the ‘Blonde girl doctor’ and the ‘chief of staff doctor’ did a surgery on an OCD patient to eliminate the symptoms and improve his quality of life. A Surgery to cure what ails in the brain. Changed the boys life. Of course It’s all fictional. A girl can dream can’t she, that a surgery would give the the capacity to remember names, walk upstairs to my bedroom and know why I am there rather than stand and stare and never remember why you went there in the first place . If such a surgery were available I would be the first in line. I know a lot of people say given the option they would never change having ADHD. I am currently grieving the woman I could have been. Today I cannot simply be thankful for who I am. Tomorrow may be different. I try to make the best of the situation. Today my frontal lobe is the enemy. I want to remember names , faces. I was late for boxing today. And then I went grocery shopping and I forgot the items on the list because I forgot I had a list. Stress effects how ADHD meds work, which is why my dose hasn’t been increased. Today I can honestly say I can’t stand it. My husband has mentioned the serenity prayer to many times.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
. Ok so it’s here and it’s real. They say I have ADHD, and a lot of people laugh and think its something so simple. Normally I can find humour in having ADHD, but today I am annoyed and frustrated and I hope the diagnoses is wrong because I am thirty-one years old and I can’t remember where my keys are. And sometimes trying to have a conversation with me is like talking to a rock. And I wish I could express myself better. There is still a small part of me that hopes the doctors are wrong. There is a bigger part of me that wishes there was a surgery to take the forgetfulness, and the easy irritation, and the small things being so huge on my mind and the huge things being so small. Give me the power to prioritize. And just one day not screw up. So I ask
grant me the surgery to remove ADHD and allow me to function as the beautiful , smart and confident woman I know lies beneath it all
I could see the look on his face. I had so much to tell him and it was all coming out at once.
Go to the gym Jan
Translation: I know you hurt your knee and not getting to box is getting under your skin but hit pause and go to the gym. Of course I’ve caught on. My mind may be in overdrive but I can still be cheeky.
Are you sure you don’t want to spend time with me? I can stay home it’s OK
I’m laughing so hard at myself . I know I’m going on and on and he doesn’t give a shit.
Go to the gym Jan. Have a tan.
. I haven’t worked out since last week sometime. That means I’m at my breaking point. And bouncing around like Mexican jumping beans. In front of the TV he is trying to watch. He knows if he doesn’t get me to the gym to burn off this excess energy it’s going to be a long night.
So here I sit. On the exercise bike. My knee burning. Swelling. Pissed right off at me. I usually run so this isn’t even close to be challenging. Exercise is important. It helps me fall asleep at night , it will keep me fit enough to hopefully not get shit canned in the ring. And Steven hopes the only words I will be able to utter when I get home is ‘ turn the light off, I just want sleep.’ And Silence.
I often wonder how he hasn’t set me on fire yet. I always have something to say. And it can be hoping from one subject to the next with no rhyme or reason like I’m an iPod set to ‘shake to shuffle’ and its a bumpy road I’m running on. And then there are times where I will fixate on one thing, like why no one have mentioned a match for the may fights.
Steven do you think Coach has issues with me? Am I not working put hard enough Do you think I’m too heavy? Maybe if I lost 40 pounds he will find someone my size.
That though is stuck on repeat and Steven just wants to shake me so that I shuffle. Then there are moments when I’m not missing a beat. I get up and I put dinner in the slow cooker. Then I get to an appointment on time, rush home and then make work on time. And work is amazing. I am enjoying my customers and the sales are coming free and easy. Turn the volume up and rock it out. I love good frontal lobe days. Steven has gotten very good at ‘That’s just Jan’. But I’m sure his favourite time of day is when I call it a day. To him it’s like the baby just got over the colic that made it scream and cry all day. His wife is snuggled down in the queen size bed, sound asleep. I picture him watching me sleep. My eyelashes laying softly against the thin skin beneath my eyes, and my cheeks flushed from having the covers pulled too high . Then he takes in the drool and the sound of the fart that escapes while I sleep. I don’t stir and he thinks
If she found pause to sleep I can handle whatever else escapes her
I think I will take a moment , celebrate my age, the ending of an era and the turning of a page. Now it’s time to focus on where I go from here
That song came from Tim McGraw. I’m a huge fan of his older music, and for his present work… I would award him with the best ass in country music. My next thirty years are that. My past . I can’t change the excessive drinking, or the men, the recklessness, the good decisions I didn’t care to make. How frustrating it was for my husband that I only lived for tomorrow and not for today. I could kick myself hard in the ass about a lot of things. I’m not going to. I can’t change it so I’m moving on. I like my new focused self. I often feel ripped off that it took thirty years to get the diagnosis that would ease the anxiety and depression. I am so happy I have ADHD because even that is better than my life before the ADHD medication. Now I’m moving forward with a vengeance . I didn’t start boxing at 16. I started boxing at 30. Doesn’t mean I still won’t meet my goals and get my bouts. I got burnt pretty good this week. I thought some people actually got it. I was wrong. I ended up getting yelled at by this friend for not realizing at the time I was saying something wrong. I really honestly didn’t. He called bullshit but i honestly didn’t know. I really do make a horrible puppet. A skill I am desperately working on is how to read people better so that I can surround myself with people who have a positive impact on me and don’t make me want to crawl in a hole and die. I know I keep saying this but my diagnosis came at thirty. It’s never too late people! It is hard to hear your husband say ‘your right Jan people don’t like you, they find you annoying, but it’s because they don’t know that they have to dig a little deeper to get to you’. I learned in a therapy session this week that I actually say one thing but completely mean another. Sometimes I will say something that sounds absolutely awful, but if a person were to question it, it was probably my hair trigger anger that spit it out and by digging past the surface I actually mean something quite different. It is just that my brain moves so fast I will have an entire thought process and just spit out the middle and forget the beginning and ending.
I’m getting closer to saying I’m looking forward to the future. I still have a few good years of boxing left in me. I don’t have to close the door on having more babies just yet, and I finally have he drive and the focus to be a real productive member of society. And the focus to watch my daughters grow and actually slow down enough to take it I. And feel pride. I’m looking at a new career as a police officer if all goes well, and I’m learning to break down my emotions so that the small things don’t seem so big. ADHD is always going to be a struggle. But now I know what it is and I can learn how to carry on carrying on. I am so excited for the next thirty years of boxing, working, saving money ( I understand the concept of that now) watching my girls become strong, independent beautiful women, great friends, and a chance to retire with my sexiest man alive. So baby, here is to a new and improved Mama and the next thirty years.
I’m sitting on the sofa I decided I absolutely had to get rid of. It was as immediate as a fire in the garbage can. I couldn’t wait an hour for my husband to get home from work to assist me with the task. The couch was leaving and it was leaving then. A lot of swearing, repositioning and broken knuckles later, my daughters decided to grab thier friends older brother to help get the couch through the patio doors so they at least can get on with thier lives. And stop bringing thier clutz of a mother plastic bandages. So here I am sitting on said sofa, like a redneck in my ghetto looking backyard. I’m enjoying the sinking sun, crackle of the wood, and crisp evening air. The sexyness that is my husband. Said husband is grumbling beside me. He simply states ‘Mallory started this fire.’ I’m not surprised. She is my mini Sheldon Cooper. I have always figured Mallory would be the reason for some high rise not having an elevator someday in true Sheldon fashion. Thats not where Steven was going with this so I said ‘ Did that make you proud?’ And he said ‘ yes, I talked her through it, but they have to learn…have you seen some of the boys around here? God forbid they have to depend on one of those knowing anything someday!’ Ok. And he says I over think things. He also says ‘ Jan hasn’t done anything until she has overdone it’. But Steven seriously thats great. Now when she’s sixteen and her friends parents go out of town and half the neighbourhood kids gather to drink beer in thier backyard, and your daughter lights the bon fire during dry season that has the fire department show up followed by the police who arrest her for breaking city bylaws and underage drinking. I am sure she will be forever grateful for the arson lesson. I’m glad he’s thinking about the future. I have been too stuck in the past all day. Weepy. Irritable. Wondering if its because my ADHD stimulants are being increased and my brain is throwing a fit or because its the emptyness I’m feeling in my heart and my gut. Avery would be almost two years old this Easter. It would have been fun for her and us. And then there is the empty arm thing. If I would of had it my way, the baby who followed Avery would be celebrating her first easter. So as is typical with all holidays and milestones I tourture myself with the what could have been done differently to have her here with me today. Why our family was punished. Why I can’t get her back. I am not sure if thats grief or the ADHD not letting me let go. I just hope I can contain it to get through my shift on Sunday. Don’t fixate. Thats exactly why I joined my husband outside to begin with. I was going to go for a run to exaust myself. Take a break from my racing thoughts. I caught a glimpse of him sitting outside alone. His daughters took thier leave as soon as thier friends showed up with the idea of ‘chalk tattoos’. My poor husband. All three of his girls are growing up on him at once. Sydney really started to come inti her own. Discovered boxing. Digs her heels in a little more. Mallory is reading novels, journaling, bringing up boys and talking about periods. And I? A big adjustment for Steven as much as myself, I got my diagnosis. ADHD was pinpointed, and now he has for the first time in our relationship a partner. Someone who can be entrusted with the grocery budget, will discuss a weekly budget, plan with him. I’m not opening bills yet, and I want to plug my ears when I see Steven open them, but Steven knows to pick his battles. And I’ve had the same job for a while now. Its amazing thst I havn’t gotten overwhelmed by the pace and stress of the position and quit. The self control isn’nt perfect and there is still a huge hole in my filter. I’m restless. Which leads to reckless. But I’m not drinking or doing drugs. I never picked up cigerettes again. I’m even off caffine. I know to stay away. I have an addictive personality and I have to stay aware of it. The biggest thing I have taken from the diagnosis is awareness. Aware that I have the impulse to blurt out whatever is on my mind. Aware that I get irratable when I get overwhelmed. Ask Sam my supervisor. She has to interact with queen bitch daily. Do I still forget a lot of stuff? Hell ya. But with awareness I can practice . Practice makes perfect and for me to even be half as flawed as I used to be is a full time job. I feel like I am still constantly dropping the ball at home and at work. But its an improvement, and its a life long challenge, one that won’t show impressive results overnight. If I could leave my readers with something other than boredom, it would be the facts. Four percent of adults have ADHD. Twenty percent of that four percent get diagnosed. One quarter of that twenty percent actually seek treatment. Now let me ask you this. How are we suposed to focus on whats important. Have the paitence to reason with our children. Raise them to be productive members of society, if we can’t do these things for ourselves first?