Headaches & Seizures
First came the headaches and seizures. I had them when I tried to diet, didn't sleep well, the heat, dehydration, stress and my feminine issues. Eventually, I did get them under control but, it was difficult being married to a military service member and not having family in the area. However, I still wanted to be a mother. I spoke to my Doctor about weaning myself off of seizure medication, as the seizures had been controlled for awhile. Preventing having a child born with neural tube defects.
My first child was high risk. A son. They thought I was leaking amniotic fluid. I went through genetic counseling. Cystic Fibrosis was ruled out with blood tests from both me and his father. Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida and prematurity were still a consequence. In the end, my son was born one month early, at 6 lbs 3 oz and 19 1/2 inches long.
The only issues I had with the pregnancy were having an amniocentesis if they thought I was leaking amniotic fluid. (I didn't have an amniocentesis) Also, passing out at the grocery store in July. Doctor was called and I was put into a tub of water. My guess heat exhaustion. It didn't appear to be like any of the seizures that I had had before.
Later, I had two other children, but never had the same issues as before.
My second, a daughter, was born 2 weeks early, 7 lbs 4 oz and 20 1/2 inches long.
My third, a daughter, was born on time; 7 lbs 15 oz and 20 1/2 inches long.
Both were perfect.
I continued to have seizures as a stay at home mom, but I had to remain quiet about them. Because my husband was in the military, and I had no family that lived close. I monitored my health. If I didn't feel 100%, I wouldn't get behind the wheel. However, with 3 kids, and a deploying husband, sometimes I really didn't have a choice.
Of course my husband wouldn't get me any help. The military doesn't pay much as a Seaman. Obviously, Country comes first. Not a wife with a seizure disorder. Sometimes trying to have your kids think you are okay when your not doesn't help you. I had no support where I was and much responsibility. I tried to keep them in age appropriate playgroups. They were all pretty well advanced for their ages. Except the youngest, when she chose not to walk until 15 1/2 months. (Why would she walk when she had a BIG brother who LOVED to carry her. LOL)
Later in life, burning myself completely out. To where I couldn't finish my job as a mother. The job I have always wanted. We divorced. Dad, got custody of our two young daughters (our son was in college) and Dad's girlfriend got stationed in another State. I moved back to where I did have family. Where I did have the support that I needed.
Two months after having moved, due to the stress of leaving my girls, I ended up in the hospital with no health insurance after having a seizure while working. I had this job only 30 days but, was let go because I couldn't go back to work until I could get back on seizure medication, and deal with the dental issues that I had due to the fall from the seizure. Also, one can't drive to work until six months after a seizure. I still tried to find work with my parents help; by them driving me to interviews. Obviously, after something like this seizure happening. You won't be successful.
However, thanks to Obama Care, the Affordable Care Act, I, FINALLY, started to get the care I needed.
Different Medications that made my life
After seizures, I was put on medications such as Dilantin, which caused blisters in my mouth and were discontinued. Tegretol, which was the medication I was weaned off of when I decided I was ready to become a mother. Which I should have probably delayed and got to know my husband again, as he had just returned from a six month deployment.
I was put on antidepressants such as Lexapro and Celexa while living in Virginia and after having children and during my husband being accepted into the MECP program and going to college to become a registered nurse.
Later, I took Cymbalta while living in North Carolina.
Then our divorce loomed. My psychiatrist tried to give me samples to keep me on the drug to prepare for the loss of my Military Health Insurance, because we separated at 18 years instead of 20 years. (If we had remained married until 20 years, I could have kept my health insurance.) We divorced at 19 years and 2 days of marriage.
I was paying $400 in health insurance. Later, I asked my father, who lived in another State, to help me pay my premiums, at least until I had a cervical biopsy and my tubes tied. There had been a couple concerns for cervical cancer. I had a biopsy in my Gynecologists' office but, had a seizure on the exam table. Thank God I know enough about my condition to have had brought my son with me to my Gynecological exam. He had his driving permit and he had to drive to pick up his little sister from school with me in the passenger seat before we could go home that day. However, the Doctor said, "The Pathology was abnormal but, not cancer." I was a charity case for the hospital. They waived my part of the bill and just charged the insurance their part. Once the bill cleared the Insurance company the Insurance was canceled. I couldn't afford it. My husband made sure to keep me silent and NOT speak of anything in court that would make our divorce harder for him.
I was silenced in the courtroom on July 13, 2011. (Our Wedding date was July 11, 1992.) No help whatsoever with my medical issues. As stated above, my father made sure that I got what I needed before I canceled my health insurance.
I had no choice, I was forced to leave my two younger kids with their father, and left North Carolina. As they were moving to another State with their father and his girlfriend. I sure wasn't welcomed. I tried to find work in North Carolina after obtaining my Bachelors in Social Work. I had interviews but, was offered nothing. I had a job interview at fast food on the Saturday but, I ended up leaving the State on that day instead. Later on, I got a call from North Carolina for a job that I had applied for using my Bachelors in Social Work degree but, I had already left the State.
Currently, my two younger kids hate me. However, I am in contact with my son via email. Who is a remarkable young man. I know him well enough to know his heart. Situations in his childhood where he could never lie. Doing the right thing in remarkable situations, even when peer pressure was involved. I did a remarkable job in raising him when his father was on deployments. My father also still says, "Alex was always a good kid." One of the most understanding human beings in my life.
This is the norm though. Estrangement in families. I have a cousin who hates her mother, who also has anxiety. While I look up to my Aunt, as a kindred spirit. I hear so many families are estranged. It no longer phases me that this is the norm. I never expected it to become my life, but I know I am not alone in this.
In moving on.
It was an amazing feeling to FINALLY stand up for myself. I sent the courthouse on a scheduled court date proof of my last seizure. Where I lost one tooth and chipped both front teeth. I was working at Walmart when this seizure took place. I sent in the packet a picture of me with my chipped teeth, and the information for them to get the video clip from the Walmart I had worked at. (I sent the date and time it happened etc.)
I told them about having to file for bankruptcy. My father helping me obtain a Bankruptcy attorney and my mother taking me to the proceedings, as I still could not legally drive. I was still waiting the six months of being seizure free.
I sent copies of Letters of Recommendation as proof that I had been searching for work. Since I had to give up my job at Walmart because I was only there for 30 days when I had the seizure with no health insurance. They were nice enough to put me down as leaving a temporary position, in case I wanted to go back. However, there was no way I would be able to go back. Epileptics aren't allowed to climb ladders. I had to spend the night at the hospital. Luckily, I filed for hardship with the hospital's billing department, and they wrote off 80% of my bill, and I put the last 20% on bankruptcy. I could, FINALLY, start my life financially fresh.
I sent everything that happened since our separation, proof of character and lack thereof, on both of us. He didn't win his court case to stop paying alimony. I got him for pain and suffering. My Gynecologists' who did my surgery, she sent me a post card with a smile on it. She was at my court date, in which I was unable to attend, since living in another State. They did deduct child support. Which I was expecting.
I saw online that he wasn't happy about what transpired at the court date. I saw a post. "I don't give a crap." (I believe that our son was at that court date from college. However, he won't confirm or deny. Nothing has ever shook that feeling that my son had my back.)
Dad ended up taking our youngest daughter to Italy without my knowledge. Don't you still have to have the other parent's signature for a pass port? He never got that signature. Therefore, he either forged it himself or had his new wife do it.
At this point, I had a job as a Job Coach. Finally using my Bachelors in Social Work degree. I called Legal Services. This is where they got me in contact with a private investigator who found out that my ex husband was in Italy with his new wife, Theresa Barlow Hoyer, stepdaughter, Rachel Crews and our youngest Erica. The private investigator found out that Danielle was listed as paying for Utilities at their rental house in Pensacola Florida. I am guessing it was to give her good credit, as she was heading to University of Central Florida for college as a Minor, while her father was in Italy. She came to St. Louis to stay with her Uncle Lars Hoyer but, she didn't look me up. Nor her grandparents. Nor her Uncles and Aunts. Nor her cousins. (In which she hasn't met 3 out of 4.)
I am, finally, passed all this. It no longer phases me that me and my side of the family are estranged from the majority of my children. (We are always delighted to hear from Alex. I share my emails with my parents. He sends pictures.) Their choice. I'm not going to rock the boat. Danielle is in law school. She already threatened me with a restraining order. However, she and her boyfriend should stop trying to disguise themselves and come into the store that I am currently working at. I do know its you.
My crack teeth
Me and my clan
Me & my boy
My Mental Health NOW
After that ordeal, I found a job using my Bachelors in Social Work. (Did you know that there are actually many with Mental Health issues in the field?) I worked as a Job Coach from 2015 to 2018. I helped those with disabilities get and remain employed. (Many that hired these individuals back then; Walmart affiliates, Walmart, Sam's Club, Neighborhood Markets, Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, Steak N Shake, McDonalds, Movie theaters.) I frequented 4 Walmart's, 1 Sam's Club, 2 Neighborhood Markets, 3 Lowe's, 1 Target, 2 McDonald's, 2 movie theaters and many MANY assessments done at Walgreens. I had two clients who made Employee of the Month. I am still in contact with one of those clients, who is still at her job.
I gave that job up, after getting my sister in law a job at this firm. She's still there as an Administrative Assistant. I went back to retail. Only because a Job Developer that I get my clients from didn't know how to do her job. (My sister in law says this Job Developer is no longer at our firm but, the one in the City of St Louis.) If I was available, I was always the back up for someone who couldn't be at their job coaching job a certain day. I was always the back up for someone who could not make it to their assessments of a client. I was always the back up for the summer coaching for Juniors in High School to be assessed if they can hold a job after high school. This was a paid summer job, for 6 weeks, for the Juniors.
I, currently, have been working at Burlington from 2018 to present. It's not my favorite job. Many people steal from our store. However, now I can enjoy a bit more of life. Now, that the law has stepped in, and the ex husband has retired from the Military. I collect my share of military pension. At work, I dropped my hours to 15 to 18 hours a week. I will be doing volunteer work to have an Animal Shelter built in our County. I hope to do more with the Animal Shelter once it is built. The location has been found. We are still fundraising to get it done.
I have health insurance. I love the Affordable Care Act. I have been seizure free for 6 years this November. I take an anxiety medication every morning. I just turned 50 and had my first colonoscopy, and no polyps were found. I have a paternal grandmother still alive at 100. I don't plan on leaving this world until God calls me. Gone are the suicidal thoughts. Gone are the desires to remarry. This is my life now.
This is the healthiest I have been in years. While my daughters hate me, I continue an email relationship with my son, Alex. Now that I have decreased my hours at work, I will be spending more time with my mom, dog and hobbies. Maybe even heading to my brother's house and reading the books I bought to my nieces. (He only lives about 20 miles away.)
I can't change the way my daughters feel. I do know that I am doing much better without having their father in my life. (His mother too) I had to learn how to be happy without the kids. It wasn't just my choice, it was theirs too. They were pushing me out of North Carolina, because the girls were going to move with their father and his girlfriend, to another State. Our son was in college at that time. In which he piggy backed on my FAFSA application to get there.
Going forward, I have thought about many things; like getting my Masters in Social Work. Although I want to do something worthwhile. I've thought about Mental Health myself. During my Bachelors in Social Work my Elective was School Environment Social Work. (Probably due to all the volunteer work I did at my children's elementary schools.) However, with my own daughters' hating me, I don't think that is the route to take.
I, then, thought about getting my Masters in Social Work, but going the route of working in an Animal Hospital. Grief Counseling type stuff. Because as the doctor that shoved my tooth back in the gum line of my mouth, in the E.R. after my seizure said, "She's grieving for leaving her kids behind." Now, I have worked through everything.
Will this route teach me to learn more about my own mental health? Prevention up front. Bring me closer to the population I want to work with. Animals. Because that's all I want to do now.
Or, should I travel? There are still many places I would love to see.
Now that I have no desire in dating or remarrying, it's easier to keep the wrong people away. Stay away from Narcissists. Learn the type and keep away from them.