4 Years of Marriage

Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary. It has been four years filled with lots of highs and lots of lows, yet here we stand, together still.

Our wedding story is super untraditional. We originally planned to elope in Vegas. We were going to go down for my birthday and get married on October 10, 2014. We began planning a reception that would take place back here in Minnesota in January. We booked a venue, I bought my dress, things were going smooth. Then I found out I was pregnant with G. Vegas plans were cancelled and we changed our would be reception in to a full blown ceremony.

We planned an entire wedding in a four month time span. Cake, photographer, food, flowers, DJ… the whole thing. It was a whirlwind.

The day of the wedding, I decided we would wait to see each other until the ceremony. No sneak peak. No hiding behind a door to say hello. Full on first time seeing each other was at the ceremony. What. A. Mistake. I balled like a baby when I saw my husband for the first time. He had cut his long hair off and was standing at the front of the room ready to promise a future together forever.

My mother-in-law officiated the wedding and I wrote the entire ceremony, including the vows. It was truly beautiful. Towards the end we did a sand ceremony in place of a traditional unity candle. Mr. B, myself and B and D each poured sand into a picture frame and then we announced the gender of G and what his name would be. A surprise for everyone in attendance.

Nothing about our relationship or our family has been traditional. Nothing ever goes as planned. Even on the day of the wedding there were hiccups. But somehow we always manage to work through them. Our relationship is far from perfect. If someone asked me for marriage advice, I’d likely direct them to the nearest couples counselor rather than defer to any sage advice I may have. I do know that we have a love that will never die and through the highs and lows we call on that love to get us through.

We don’t always make time for each other, we don’t always do the little things they recommend. But there is one thing that we do follow. We choose each other. Every. Single. Day. We continue to choose each other. Some days other things might come first… like the kids, work, writing, the need for time alone. But we still make the conscious decision to be with the other person forever.

I also rely heavily on my relationship with God to help shape my relationship with my hubby. Cliche to some but my relationship with God has gotten me through some dark times and continues to do so. I firmly believe that God keeps our relationship strong.

After nearly eight years together, four of which we’ve spent married, we’ve added two kids to the mix and spend every day choosing this life over and over again. I know that the future won’t promise a life of ease but I also know that if we continue to embrace our love and choose this life that we can get through anything the world throws our way.

The #10YearChallenge

I reached out to my friends recently to see what they would want me to write a blog post on… one of the things brought up was where I thought I would be in life right now, 10 years ago. With the #10YearChallenge underway, I thought the timing of this blog was only appropriate.

Now, I did the challenge a bit differently and took my first photo from Facebook and my most recent photo. The difference? 13 years. I was still in college. I was actually in Australia at the time. Acting a fool and learning about the cultural differences between Australia and the United States.

I still thought I would be a nurse at the time but with my indecisive nature I ended up switching my major not once, but twice, only to end up with a double major in two areas I’ve never used. Women’s Studies and Broadcast Journalism. At that time, I think I probably thought I’d end up married to my boyfriend at the time, hopefully have kids and be working as a nurse.

Here I am today.

I’m employed as a Pharmacy Technician, although at the moment I’m back to being a full time stay at home mom due to my health issues. I definitely did not marry my college boyfriend and the kids thing definitely went a lot differently than I thought it would.

I didn’t think that I would never use my degrees that still have me in debt to this day.

I didn’t think I would ever be a stay at home mom.

I didn’t think I would fall in love with and marry someone younger than me.

I didn’t think I would have what was once considered an untraditional family.

I didn’t think I would eventually finding a job that I love … even if it is outside of my degree.

I never thought I would be a stepmom.

Or a boy mom.

Or a hockey mom/basketball mom/swimming mom.

Here I am though. I struggle like everyone else and post happy, smiling photos on social media. Life is crazy beautiful and I know that I am blessed beyond measure. Overall, I am happy with the way my life has gone. There have been ups and there have been downs but I know that there is a plan laid out for my life and I’m just trying to enjoy the journey.

50 Simple Acts of Kindness

As the new year is underway, I was thinking of ways I could make this year truly amazing. What better way then doing something kind for someone else. I know that when I do something nice for someone else, it always makes me feel better no matter how bad of a day I’m having. So here are some ideas for some simple ways to give back and put some good karma into the world. I tried to pick some easier ones since I know how busy life can be, but remember that there are so many ways to give back to the community.

  1. Stop by a friend’s house with their favorite kind of coffee.
  2. Hide a love note for your significant other to find.
  3. Make a donation to a local Museum for a family in need to get their admission free.
  4. Send a bouquet to someone on a random day.
  5. Give a gift to someone – just because.
  6. Write a thank you note to someone who has touched your life recently.
  7. Donate old books to an at-risk youth program.
  8. Offer to do laundry for a friend that just had a baby.
  9. Become a classroom volunteer in your students classroom.
  10. Adopt a family during the holidays.
  11. Organize or participate in a park clean up for Earth Day.
  12. Babysit for a single parent.
  13. Call an elderly family member just to say hi.
  14. Help motivate a friend who is working on a new goal.
  15. Adopt a section of highway.
  16. Walk a friend or neighbors dog who might be having a hard time getting out for whatever reason.
  17. Plant a tree.
  18. Sign up to be a bone marrow donor.
  19. Donate blood.
  20. Shovel snow for a neighbor.
  21. Stop and help a car stuck in the snow.
  22. Donate unused toys to a shelter for children in need.
  23. Bring flowers to the hospital and leave them at the nurses station. They’ll know who needs them most.
  24. Leave an encouraging post it note on bathroom mirrors.
  25. Give fair trade gifts.
  26. Help unload a neighbors car.
  27. Give a hot drink to your mail carrier on a cold day.
  28. Bring in a box of donuts for the office.
  29. Read a story in the childrens section of the library.
  30. Adopt a soldier.
  31. Send a post card to an old friend.
  32. Hold the door for someone.
  33. Pay for the coffee for the car behind you.
  34. Leave change in the vending machine.
  35. Let someone go in front of you in line.
  36. Insert coins into someone’s parking meter.
  37. Leave a large tip for your server.
  38. Buy groceries for the person behind you
  39. Pick up the tab at dinner
  40. Smile at someone
  41. Offer to help a mom who is struggling
  42. Offer to help someone carrying a lot of items
  43. Donate to a cause you care about… need ideas? Check out the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation or the Blue Dot Project.
  44. Make no sew blankets to donate to hospitals or homeless shelters
  45. Put together packs to hand out to the homeless
  46. Pick up litter in your neighborhood
  47. Make greeting cards for residents at a retirement home
  48. Make a tag announcement that reads “Take What You Need” with pull offs of words like compassion, faith, happiness, etc.
  49. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  50. Leave money in your DVD case for snacks for the next renter at the Redbox

Surviving the Threenager

As a self-proclaimed veteran mom – simply because I have older children as well as younger – I try to be as candid as possible about parenting. In other words, dont expect me to sugarcoat anything. When people ask me to describe my children, many colorful descriptions come to mind but usually the word “terrorists” make it’s way in. And if you were to ask me to describe my 3 year old, well, the kindest way I can do so is calling him “spirited.”

Everyone has heard of the “terrible two” stage but it seems that we are unfairly kept in the dark about the threenager years. Like, as soon as they turn 3, things will get easier. NO. NO. NO. This is a lie to try to keep you sane during the “terrible two” stage. Then 3 comes along and they become absolutely impossible to control and their attitudes become comparable to that of a teenage girl who was just told no to going to prom as a freshman.

This age is best survived with a tribe of other moms whom also have tiny little terrorist threenagers ruling their lives. It is also helpful to read as many mom blogs centered around the threenager as possible – not for the advice per se, but for the solidarity.

At this age, they’re working on developing their emotions and being able to verbalize what it is their feeling. That might be why you’re seeing a Jekyll and Hyde situation where one minute they’re trying to push/punch/slap and the next they’re hugging/snuggly/loving. These little ones dont have the vocabulary to express how their feeling in the moment so they act out their emotions instead.

The best thing to do with a 3 year old is to model the behaviors that you want them to mimic. Easier said than done. Because it is so easy to snap in these trying times when they’ve done the same bad behavior 300 times that day or have broken down for the millionth time in an hour. And it will happen – you will snap. Give yourself grace. Apologize. Give them a big hug. Move on. They have and if you dwell on it, it makes parenting that much harder.

This age is hard. Hell. It can plain old suck at times. Remember that this is just a developmental phase and you’ll get through this one, just like you got through the last one, just in time to start the next one. You will not get out unscathed, but you will come out stronger and able to manage your tiny person a little bit better.

Trust me when I say, I know what you’re going through. G has used a brand new television as a slide. He tells me he doesn’t love me when he doesn’t get his way and then that he does love me when he’s in trouble. He will try to beat O one second and then snuggle him up the next. He runs through this house like an overzealous tornado. Most days I want to cry, pull my hair out and laugh all at the same time.

Just breathe. This too shall pass. Laugh when you can – even if you have to do it so they can’t see. Take a break from them – put them in their room for quiet time so you can breathe for a minute. And remember that one day you’ll be the old lady at the park telling a mom how much you love this age.

“Ask Me Anything” answer portion

I didn’t get nearly as many questions as I thought I would. I answered the few that I got and maybe I’ll try again in the future.

Why did you start blogging?

This is an interesting one for me because I don’t have a solid answer. I thought I would be entertaining and full of dry humor and wit. I also thought that it would be a creative outlet and my art of choice is writing. I’m not sure I’m reaching many people or that I’m entertaining them or if my blogs truly resonate with readers but I have found that when I’m writing consistently, I am far less bitchy and quick to snap.

Who’s your biggest famous person crush?

I am so boring. I don’t really get celebrity crushes. But if I were going to pick someone it would probably be Ryan Reynolds. I think he is humorous and a great dad and he is pretty damn smokin’

What are your greatest accomplishments in parenting?

This could be a blog post in itself. But honestly, I’m going to get all mushy on ya and say my children. My kids are my greatest accomplishments. I’m raising four very different boys, all with separate learning curves and obstacles. But each one of them finds a way to prove that what I’m doing is working even if we have some really shitty days together. Like, I can see that these little dudes are going to be adult gentleman eventually and I had something to do with that.

How do you keep the spark alive in your marriage?! 😉

This may not be as fun of an answer as you’d hoped. My hubby and I have our fair share of up’s and down’s but we genuinely love each other and will do anything to make things work between us. Some things I think help keep our relationship going are:

  1. Put the electronics away and be present during your alone time. We all know its few and far between after kids.
  2. Find a way to date each other
  3. Try some new things together
  4. Try new things sexually
  5. Surprise each other with small acts that coincide with their love language
  6. Let the other person know you appreciate them
  7. Spend time apart so you can see how much you miss each other
  8. Have fun together

Some of these things definitely come easier than others in certain times of our lives but I really believe this list has things that have helped us throughout our marriage to keep the spark alive.

What was the most difficult thing about being a single mom?

I think the hardest part of being a single mom was sharing my son and missing out on things with him. There are so many more difficult struggles that come along with single parenting but for me that was definitely the most difficult. Not being there for some of his firsts broke my heart to pieces. I am one of those moms that loved to document all the little things – not as much with the youngest now – and knowing I was missing things was so hard. There was always the struggle to make sure he felt loved as much as possible when I did have him. I definitely would not wish single parenting upon anyone.

Who has been the most influential person in your life, for better or worse?

Another difficult question to answer. I think that a lot of my friendships have been influential on my life as well as my husband. But the most influential person in my life would probably have to be my aunt. She took us into her home when things were pretty complicated in our lives. She helped to raise us and tried to be an amazing role model and adult for us to look up to. She is compassionate, caring and responsible. Although we don’t always see eye to eye on everything, I know that I could entrust her with anything.

This is a sensitive one, so don’t answer if you don’t feel comfortable: what was the lowest point in your life? Thus far, what is the highest point in your life?

If I’m being completely honest – the lowest times in my life were when I was addicted to methamphetamine and after every break up I’ve had post high school.

In high school, I had a huge problem with methamphetamines and didn’t let anyone know how bad it was. I was running myself into the ground and I’m just really happy I was able to pick myself up and adjust my life.

After every break up post high school I let myself fall into some pretty self-damaging behaviors. My best friend pointed this out to me after I did something that really hurt her and I’ve worked really hard not to be that person anymore.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you have gotten?

Everyone is a perfect parent until they become one AND each age is difficult in it’s own right and it will never really be easy.

What are some things you want to accomplish this year?

I really want to work on my writing this year. I’m working on blogging more and I’ve started writing a book. That’s my primary goal for the year. Although buying a house would be pretty amazing too.

Hopefully more questions will keep rolling in so I can do another post on this. Until then! ✌🏻

Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

I feel as though no one tells you what parenthood really has in store for you. Like, not the funny little things … like how even babies get erections and it’s totally normal or how potty training is MESSY. Or the multitude of stages kids actually go through. Or about how tired you’ll be. Or the craziness that parenthood just is in general. But I think that the thing that you really go into parenthood not expecting – and wind up getting slapped in the face by – is the feeling of not doing enough, being enough, feeling like you’re just plain not good enough. And I’m not going to sugar coat it for you – if a parent says that they’ve never felt any of those things than they are lying. You will feel this way about something.

Whether you delivered by c-section or vaginal, with drugs or natural, adopted or foster, breastfed or formula fed, co-sleep, spank, work or stay home…. you will have feelings of inadequacy in some way when it comes to parenting. And you know what? You shouldn’t. These children were entrusted to you, to raise with your abilities and your strengths and weaknesses. There was no mistake.

And there is no expectation of perfection except those that we put on ourselves because of what we think that parenting should be based on what we see in the media.

Going into motherhood I never expected to be faced with so many issues and obstacles. Currently I am dealing with my pre-tween who absolutely hates it at my house, thinks I’m a terrible mother and would prefer to not even visit me. Yet, here I stand. His mother, trying not to give up on him. Taking him to his appointments and his practices and trying so hard to have him know I love him. And he is smart, empathetic, polite and talented. But I feel like I am failing him.

Take my 3 year old. He is destructive – he used a 60 inch television that we had for 3 days as a slide. He is rambunctious and challenging. He is also sweet, loving and genuinely happy. Two days a week he goes to speech and occupational therapy for areas I haven’t been able to help him. I feel like I am failing him.

I wasn’t prepared for therapists and psychiatrist’s, speech and OT. I wasn’t ready for the simple things either though. I wasn’t ready for potty training or temper tantrums or straight up MELTDOWNS. I wasn’t ready for a c-section, VBAC, breastfeeding, postpartum depression and anxiety or the fact that you will WANT to wear depends after having a baby. No one prepares you for these things. And it feels like no one understands what you’re experiencing or where you are. But they do. You are not alone.

The pressure we put on ourselves and the impossible standards we try to live up to are leading us into lives full of worry, fear, anger and shame.

We need to all let go of this need to be “good enough” because we already are.

We need to embrace the wonder and amazement that is parenting even through the darkest days of it because our children continue to grow up and we should be enjoying these times while we can. We also need to be making ourselves a priority. It is impossible to fill others cups when our own cup is empty. My amazing friend explained Rachel Hollis’ theory to me. As moms we are constantly tipping our glasses over to splash water on others… giving our little bit of energy to our kids, our husbands, our jobs, our homes. But a glass that is constantly ripping over becomes weak and eventually breaks. Instead of tipping what little water is in our glass onto others, fill the glass to the top and let the excess spill out onto everyone else. By filling your cup first – through self care and self love – the energy we gain will naturally just spill onto all those around us. Leaving us intact, rather than broken and leaving us, and everyone around us, happier.

Take a bible study. Join a gym. Get up an hour early and spend some quiet time with yourself. Or with God. Enjoy your cup of coffee.

I know this is easier said than done but I’ve found I deal with the trials, tribulations and heartache of parenthood a lot better when my glass is a little fuller.

Where are you struggling with parenting? Let’s see if we can work through it together.

Ask Me Anything

Here’s your chance. I’m opening up my blog to any and all questions. Personal. General. Want to know my favorite pizza? Ask away. Wondering about my relationship goals? I’m an open book for this post. I’ll pick a few of my favorites to turn into a post.

Make sure to comment or message me your questions by tomorrow evening.

A (busy) Day in the Life of the Bad Ass Boy Mom

Let’s be honest, all of my days are busy, but let’s go ahead and pick one of the busier days to do a “day in the life of” post. I kept track of things as they happened so this post would be as accurate as possible. With my recent health issues, my normal Wednesday routine has changed quite a bit and isn’t nearly as busy as it was a couple weeks ago. Yes, you can call me crazy.

6:15 a.m. – my alarm goes off. I shut this alarm off. Some days I get out of bed and other days I finally roll out bed around 7.

6:22 a.m. – get myself out of bed. Ugh. So not a morning person.

6:23 a.m. – start coffee and go let the dogs out.

6:30 a.m. – pour myself a HUGE cup of coffee with an overabundance of creamer. Let’s get this day rockin’.

6:32 a.m. – check my emails and scroll Facebook for a few minutes while I try to wake up.

6:40 a.m. – get myself dressed, throw some leave-in conditioner in my hair to try to tame the frizz, brush my teeth and throw a layer of mascara on. Trust me. This is not a daily routine but I will be leaving the house today and this is the only time I will get an opportunity to do any of these things.

6:45 a.m. – write. I force myself to write something every day as part of my 2019 goals.

7 a.m. – kids still aren’t up. Put on eyeshadow and eyeliner as well. Holy crap. This never happens.

7:15 a.m. – still no kids. Get to work on my normal routine and start putting the dishes away.

7:30 a.m. – still no kids. Is it the apocalypse? Guess I’ll start making breakfast anyway.

7:45 a.m. – eat my breakfast. Holy crap is it nice to not inhale my food.

7:54 am – Oliver starts stirring. I’m finishing my breakfast before I run in to get him.

8 am – get Oliver up and dressed for the day

8:10 am – Oliver gets his breakfast while I try to figure some things out for the blog on my computer

8:12 am – Gabe instinctively knows that I’m trying to get stuff done and finally wakes up

8:15 am – Gabe already starts asking to watch YouTube videos

8:20 am – Gabe starts on his breakfast

8:35 am – Get Gabe dressed and shoes and socks on everyone

8:45 am – let the dogs out again before we leave

8:50 am – Gabe decided he wants to finish his breakfast

8:55 am – get the kids in the car to leave

Normally I would be dropping Gabe off at preschool but today is the first day of my new bible study and I dont want to show up late.

8:57 am – go back inside to use the bathroom

8:59 am – double check we have the pacifier and llama for Oliver

9:01 am – leave to church

9:15-11:00 am – moms bible study

11:15 am – get home and start getting lunch ready usually chicken nuggets or leftovers – today we had chili

11:25 am – let dogs out while kids get started eating

11:27 am – start eating my own lunch track my meals as I eat

11:36 am – finish lunch and start clearing the dishes. The running water reminds me that I have to pee.

11:51 am – Gabe needs his “butt yiped” yay me!

11:52 am – put the kids laundry away while listening for sounds of destruction and fighting

12:06 pm- put Oliver down for a nap only because the hubby is home from work today, usually he sleeps in the car while Gabe is in speech

12:08 pm- get Gabe ready to leave for speech

12:18 pm- leave for speech

1230 PM- head home to wait for speech to be over

12:37 pm – time for some alone time

1:08 pm- leave to pick up Gabe from speech

1:15 pm- pick up Gabe

1:27 pm – get home and get everyone ready to leave at 2

2 pm – leave to tour a preschool closer to our house

2:05 pm – preschool tour

3:10 pm – snack time

3:15 pm – shampoo the carpets because my dogs are disgusting freeze babies

3:44 pm – switch the laundry

3:50 pm – feed the dogs

3:54 pm – change into comfy clothes I’m so hot I can’t even stand it

4 pm – email preschool

4:05 pm – spend some time with Gabe playing

4:30 pm – add meal recipe into my meal tracking app and start thawing shrimp for dinner

4:40 p.m. – start making dinner

5:10 p.m. – get everyone to the table to eat said dinner

5:15 p.m. – eat dinner

5:40 p.m. – get the kids into the bath

5:55 p.m. – get kids out of bath and dressed for bed

6:05 p.m. – clean up the kitchen

6:20 p.m. – fold a load of laundry

6:30 p.m. – Oliver’s bedtime

6:40 p.m. – fold another load of laundry how do we have this much laundry??

6:50 p.m. – do Day 1 of my bible study

7:00 p.m. – work on my blog

7:30 p.m. – work on odd jobs around the house like picking up toys, cleaning up the bathroom, switching the laundry, etc.

8:30 p.m. – bedtime for Gabe

8:45 p.m. – take a shower thank God

9 p.m. – spend the next hour with my hubby and write down my 10 gratitudes for the day

10:15 p.m. – bedtime so I can get up and start all over again tomorrow

This is one of my busier days. Some days we get to do art projects and spend more time playing together, other days I’m strapping them in and out of the car as quick as humanly possible to get from one place to the next. I know that my days aren’t perfectly put together. I’m sure that there is a way for me to be more concise and more organized. If you have any suggestions for me, I’m all ears. Any questions, lay them on me.

This Crazy Thing Called Step-Parenting

When my hubby and I met, neither one of us had any intentions of getting into a relationship. We both had complicated situations going on and we both already had children. Fortunately for us, life had different plans for us and here we are 8 years later, married with not only the two children we brought into the relationship but two new little ones as well.

One of the things that has continued to be difficult for us both is step-parenting. Because just like with regular parenting, the kids change so much throughout the years and the way you parent them has to change a little bit as well. Being a step-parent has been one of the most challenging and most rewarding things that I have ever done. Especially as our relationship continues to grow.

B was turning four when we met. Maybe I’m a terrible person, but there wasn’t an instant love, like, bond when we met. What there was, was this inherent need to keep him at a distance. What if we broke up and I not only lost the man I was dating but also this new little person? How do I form a relationship with him without getting in the way of his relationship with his mom? So many “what-if’s” ran through my mind. It didn’t help that the relationship with his mom was bumpy, always making me worry that we wouldn’t get to see him or that she would just keep him from us (which never happened, it was just one of my worries).

But people expect you to love these little people instantly for some reason. “Love them like they’re your own,” they say. The love for my stepson was one that developed over time, just like with any stranger that comes into your life, not like that of a baby that you carry for 9 months. But honestly, for me, who struggled to feel that instant love with my own child, it was even a little harder than it probably is for other people. I treated him with love and cared for him and wanted nothing but the best for him, but the love didn’t come right away. Now though, I would not only llama mama anyone who ever hurts him but I love him exactly like I carried him for 9 months.

We’ve had our fair share of struggles over the years as well. From the “you’re not my mom” fight to flat out being a jerk because he can be. There was the lying stage and the stage where he always made D ask us for everything. It really has been hard in so many ways. The hardest part was when he wouldn’t listen to the things I said, because I’m not his mom. He would constantly push back against everything and I would be chastised for punishing him and feeling sad that we couldn’t form a better relationship. It was a hard time in my life with him.

I think one of the hardest things that’s affected our relationship though doesn’t have anything to do with him at all. There is this whole other relationship that comes with having a step-child and that is the relationship with the other parent.

I know that not all step-parents have this struggle but the other parent is one that affects lots of people. This person will always be their mother or father and while you aren’t trying to replace them, the child at some point and most likely the other parent, will think that you are. There really isn’t a way to convince them that you aren’t but don’t ever give up on loving them. There will be the constant power struggles over the rules that are set and allowed. At times you will butt heads on exactly how to have duel homes with duel rules. There will be battles of will throughout. Some times you will just not get along and not agree. At some point there could be a friendship. Even if it solely revolves around the child. But what will always be there is your desire for the kids to have the best and to be loved. Because of that desire you will continue to fight the fight for them.

I love B just as much as any of my other children. And even though I didn’t give birth to him, life gave him to me regardless and I couldn’t be any more proud to call him my son. There have been times that our relationship has struggled immensely – I won’t call out any behaviors specifically but will say that things weren’t always easy. But I have watched him grow and mature and continue to become an amazing, respectful, empathetic young man that everyone wants to be around.

I don’t know that I’ve got this whole step-parenting thing down. I struggle still knowing whether or not I’m overstepping in certain areas, whether or not he feels like he is the same as the other kids and just generally trying to make sure he knows that he is loved as much as the other kids. I struggle every day trying to make sure that he is happy and knowing that there isn’t a whole lot I can do from a distance. But I will never stop trying.

That is my biggest piece of advice I can give step-parents. Never give up. No matter how much the kids butt heads with you, no matter how shitty a relationship might be with the other parent, no matter how hard it gets – and it will – NEVER GIVE UP. Because these kids need you to love them and care for them and show them that they are worth the fight to you.

If you’re a step-parent, I’d love to know your struggles and triumphs or ask me questions about mine.

When the Doctors Don’t Have Answers

For the past two months I’ve been struggling with syncope, which is a sudden temporary loss of consciousness. The problem is, when I faint, I have full awareness of what is happening, yet I am unable to move, speak or open my eyes. These fainting spells leave me in complete awareness, lasting anywhere from 2-15 minutes before I am able to “wake up.” I spend days at a time feeling as though I have vertigo and then suddenly, one day, my vision closes in on me and I essentially faint. My eyes flicker as I try to open them, my eyes will roll and if they don’t my pupils are constricted. My right hand will twitch as well as the right side of my face. My body is completely tense. These spells typically happen while standing, although at my last hospital visit it happened in the upright sitting position.

I’ve had two hospital stays. They have me on a constant heart monitor which has presented nothing of significance during any of my spells. They’ve run an MRI, CT, ECHO, EEG and EKG. Still nothing of significance has presented itself. They are at a loss and so am I. This last visit they didn’t run a single new test, leaving me frustrated and at my wits end. All I want is some answers to this apparent medical mystery.

So I write this blog post. Hoping that someone out there has experienced this or is a member of the medical community who might have some insight. I have had to stop working and they now want me to completely stop driving as well. I bawled my eyes out to my last nurse because I am expected to carry on my life normally although I have four children at home and there are times that I am alone with them.

What do you do when the medical field has no answers for you?