It is a sad state of affairs, when you are a tiny bit excited that your child is sick and have to keep her home from school only because it means that you only have to drive to one school instead of two for the day!! I have gotten the taste of what my 2009-2010 driving schedule will be like during the last two weeks as both girls are now finally full time at their respective schools and it is bleak. And at the end of last week, I felt overwhelmed. Are you ready? It's time to whine...
Okay, hold on, I'm completely switching gears now, I started this blog and I posted a completed version of my life in my van, driving endlessly, week after week bringing children to and from their schools and to and from extracurricular activities, but something happened and I had to rethink it. I got in my car to drive!!! and turned on the Oprah XM channel and listened to yesterday's show about a set of parents who have a seven year old girl with schizophrenia. It humbled me immediately. I know I have a life to be grateful for, but I have to be reminded every so often when some of the monotony gets to me. I have been turned off by Oprah lately, especially when she interviews celebrities (too easy on Whitney, too hard on Mackenzie) In general, Oprah shines brightest when she interviews everyday people who overcome overwhelming situations.
It is hard to fathom what these parents go through on a daily basis, dady after day, week after week. I had heard of children with major mental illness but didn't realize a child as young as seven could be diagnosed with schizoprenia. These parents have decided to have two households as they have a 20 month old son and were scared for his safety around the sister when she began acting violently at age five. They rent two apartments and one is for the daughter and one is for the son and they take turns sleeping with each of the kids. The daughter has had up to 200 different friends which are the voices (hallucinations) and some of these tell her to do bad things. She is on heavy duty medications to keep the voices at a minimum and where she is sometimes able to engage in the parent's world versus only being in her world. She has to go to school with a one on one teacher and has no classmates. She is friends with one other child who she met during one of her many inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations and they are able to have playdates.
And I was complaining about driving my van...To cut myself some slack, it is human nature to get caught up in our own lives. That is one of the major reasons as a stay at home mom that I have to get out and mingle with other adults. At the point I am still in, it can still be isolating and I need to hear what others are going through, even sometimes if it is just Oprah. Her show can still serve me as a wake up call to know that I can be thankful for my own situation, even when I feel overwhelmed.
The little girl's name is Jani. You can go to Oprah.com to read or watch more about her.