Ahhhhh…I’m back. It’s been just over a year since my last post. So much has happened in a years time that I never thought I would be sitting here writing again, or much less giving thought to a blog. Given, it was a blog that I had worked hard at but it was still just a fashion blog. And 12 months ago hard as it is to believe, fashion meant nothing to me.
A year ago, at this very computer in my parents house (where I sit right now because I refuse to leave) I was researching how I was going to keep my mother alive. Two days prior to Memorial Day of 2013, my mom was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Her diagnosis was Myxedema Coma (a severe form of hypothyroidism where the body starts to shut down) and as the result of a totally non-functional thyroid, subsequently end stage heart failure.
While she was conscious but extremely out of it, the team of doctors did their best to give us hope, but her prognosis was poor. I had to ask one particular nurse to leave the room because while maybe what he was saying was a reality, I couldn’t hear anything negative. I already knew the facts–it was time to focus. My goal was just to have her stabilized enough to where I could get her home. From there, I would handle it. I know I sound like I thought I was Hercules, but I was up for the job. Never had I been so strong and so weak at the same time. My husband Mike and I slept at the hospital every night, sending my dad home as we couldn’t all be there. Everyone in the building knew that I wasn’t going anywhere. That was clear. I refused to leave for more than two hours a day. I would run to whole foods so I could get home and make green smoothies and protein shakes with nothing but fresh organic ingredients for her. I was convinced the hospital food was going to kill her. She wasn’t eating much at all and I wanted to nourish her the best I could. While they pumped her full of Synthroid (thyroid medication) heart medication, and Lasix to remove the swelling, I did hours and hours of research. She wasn’t actually able to drink the smoothies as they weren’t palatable (not much was) but I think it was more about what I could do then. I actively had to be doing something to where I thought I could make a difference. That was all I knew to do besides staying up all night and reading and researching. I literally looked like the walking dead. When I showered, it was in her room. Thank God all rooms in that hospital were private. Her endocrinologist told me (as I have a condition of my own), “if you keep this up, you’re going to die.” Frankly, I didn’t care. That particular endocrinologist was the one who diagnosed me with my autoimmune disease–Type 1 Diabetes, in that very hospital years prior. While her team of physicians were excellent, I credit this woman to saving my mother’s life. She made tough decisions. She consulted with other doctors who didn’t agree with her slightly advantageous course of treatment (given the state of my mom’s heart at the time), yet she took the risks she deemed necessary and I will forever love her for it. She told me in what may or may not have been these exact words,–I have no other choice, it’s a risk I have to take and while some don’t agree with me, I believe it to be the right decision. And I trusted her. She took great care of me and I knew she would do the same for my mom. And her regimen worked.
Seven days later, the beginning of June 2013, we brought my mom home. I told the whole team of doctors that I was moving in–my husband and I decided very early on that was going to happen. Thankfully our apartment is three streets away and while it’s still ours, we are not currently residing there.
Once home, I became nurse, chef, giver of medication, pharmacist, receptionist (as I made calls to and answered call from doctors), made sure appointments were lined up, along with many other things. It was a team effort for sure but I was running the show, and admittedly I was not always nice. If something needed to be done, it had to be done then. The three of us, my father, husband and myself had a good system. We each knew our role. Okay, I knew mine, Sometimes they got momentarily confused but it didn’t take long for me to make sure everyone was back on track. #likeaboss My husband given the nature of his position is fortunate enough to work from home at times. This was one of them. My father is retired, and then I was an unemployed housewife looking desperately to regain a position in the news industry…a career that I had left in 2008, after my own medical crisis. I realized that the hours I spent mourning “the good old days” in the newsroom were over and meaningless. I had a much bigger job. The biggest of my life. And this one, I was going to succeed at..with the help of the powers that be.
The four of us caravanned to every appointment. I say caravanned–actually it was a trusty Volkswagen golf. I kicked my father out of their bedroom and I slept in his place. I would stay up all night watching my mom breathe. The first few weeks she couldn’t even walk to the restroom by herself. And then slowly it got easier. She was able to walk very short distances without assistance. I was right there behind her, but she did it on her own. I ran the house like a hospital. Breakfast in bed, lunch in bed, and she had to try to get up for dinner. At first that was impossible. As time went on, many days she was able to. She certainly wasn’t able to sit at the table, but on the couch in the living room. Our Summer days not spent visiting doctors were spent in bed, watching the entire original Beverly Hills 90210 series from start to finish. #dylanmckayforever
At the suggestion of my best friends mother, I brought a Reiki Master over once a week to perpetuate healing. It was near labor day that she was no longer bedridden for 20 hours a day, and was able to be in other areas of the house. Still weak and unable to leave for anything other than doctors appointments, the drive to and from said destinations made things a bit more bearable. Her condition improved slowly and as the doctors said, it would take six months to a year before we could expect much. Her first outing was to a holiday craft fair last November. She is now about 80% better. We are so grateful to God. Who can ask for anything more.
As for me, I’m back to loving fashion and figured it was about time that I got this blog back up and running. Do these pictures look anything like a fashion blog. No. Is the content fashion related–negative. It’s quite obviously a much-needed long therapy session that cost me nothing except $98 for a Lilly Pulitzer “Tusk In Sun” Eliza Elephant Printed Dress.
Here’s where the fashion comes into play though. The dress was actually quite instrumental in my writing again. Elephants by nature are nomads. They have families. They take care of one another, they feel happiness, rage, terror, and grief. They mourn for one another and as far as I know, in the animal kingdom, no other animal comes as close to humans in the emotional sector. Babies stay with their momma’s until they are 18 years of age and beyond. Lastly, there is no greater love in the elephant society than maternal love. That is why I love elephants so much. That is why I love this dress so much. When I received it in the mail the other day, it touched my heart. I looked up at my beautiful mom sitting on the couch across the room and tears started streaming down my face. They’re streaming now. Here we are a year later and while we all have challenges, while life can be so hard, I am beyond blessed in so many ways. Not a day goes by where I don’t thank God. No matter what I did, he did it through my hands and while I provided endless amounts of care and love, it was he who pulled her through this. My friends and family who were by my side, I can never repay. My best friend Tracie who called nearly every day and listened to me cry when I wouldn’t share my true pain with anyone else. That’s love.
Fashion is about expression and can be tied to emotion. Look at what a simple piece of fabric constructed into a dress did. I finally opened up. I’m here. I’m back writing. And I’m darn glad that I picked up the shorts and the blouse of the same print–lol. Thanks Lilly.
And thanks to all of you who read this. If you choose to follow my blog, it will primarily be about clothing, accessories etc. but I make no promises that every now and again something heartfelt won’t weave itself into my writing.