Posted by: hockeygrl1 | February 5, 2011

Hello world!

How did I get to this spot? To writing for a bunch of strangers and thinking what I’m going to say will touch them in some way. Or maybe it’s a kind of therapy I cannot get, a spot to put all of my thoughts and fears and see if anyone feels the same. I really don’t know the why I’m here, I just know that it has happened and I have no control over most of it and this little bit of writing is something I do control. (This is coming from a control freak!)

I’ll start by telling you about me before October 3, 2007. I’ve been a single mom since my son was born on September 22, 1993. I was married at the time and living with my husband, but he wasn’t much help. We did get divorced 6 months after our second child was born in 1995. Through all this I worked full time to support myself and my children. I had no other choice. I had to be strong for them so that they would have a good life. There was no help from social services. I did it all and paid for it all. Child support is a luxury to me. It is rarely received and when it is, it’s not for very long. My children’s dad owes over $65,000 in back child support, is walking the streets of Minnesota and the Minnesota Government is unable to find him.

About 8 years ago, I decided I’d need a college degree to support my children. I was still working a full time job and now going to night school, all this while raising 2 children on my own. There was no fanfare for me, no one saying how proud they were of what I was doing for my family. It was just me doing what needed to be done. Going to college helped and I quickly moved up the ladder at work. I was working in the main office of an insurance company and moved from the call center, to a trainer, to a technical writer/web development, to human resource trainer. Each step brought more responsibility and a nice pay raise.

Things were moving along nicely for us and I decided to take the big step of buying a house. While looking for a house I was training to do the Breast Cancer 3-day, (All this seems so long ago)  and planning a trip to Disney World with the kids and mom and dad. on the second week of August 2006, I walked 60 miles in support of Breast Cancer victims. It was the most inspiring thing I’ve ever done and I did it with one of my best friends, Sara. (We still go to see them finish the 3-day at the State Capital) 5 days later, I was on the plane to Disney World with the kids. Everything was going my way!

Then in February 2007, I was laid-off. I did get a severance package, but it took until July to find and start a new job.  I noticed at that same time that I was extremely tired and my legs were swelling, but I was training to do another 3-day so I just chalked it up to training too hard. I also began to have a steady pain in my back.  The doctors checked it out and it wasn’t gull stones so they said the tiredness and back ache was due to stress. After all I am a single mother that works full time and is training for the 3-day.

The symptoms kept getting worse. Nausea set in with a vengeance and keeping food down was a challenge. I couldn’t take much time off because I just started a new job and didn’t have much vacation or sick leave. I just kept pushing because that’s what I do. I was ignoring what my body was telling me and plugging along like everything was ok. I didn’t do the 3-day. I was too sick. This was in August. That’s when the symptoms began, but the doctors ran their tests and said it was just stress.

Finally in October I couldn’t hold down anything anymore. I went to a local ER. They ran some tests and didn’t find anything. Sent me home and said to see my regular doctor. The doctor I saw thought I had a rib out of alignment so he adjusted me, but he also took blood and urine. I got a call that night to see him in the AM.

I didn’t get to see him. I had my dad take me to a different ER that night. By this point, I couldn’t even hold down water. I was seriously ill and when they took the urine sample, I could see something was wrong. It was red. This began my journey with lupus. I was admitted and my whole world collapsed. I’m still trying to find my way out; find a ‘normal’ for me living with lupus; find a way to explain how I feel to loved ones and friends; find a way to be the best mom I can with as little change to my kids life as possible; find a way to keep pushing because I know I deserve more than this.

So here I am, writing my deepest feelings and thoughts for strangers and friends to read with the hope that it can help someone else as well as help me. I know I have a story to tell and that I have a great strength inside me that is waiting to bust out. Maybe using this as an outlet will help me think or write my way to it.

I’m happy to introduce myself to you world. I am hockeygrl1, Ann Bouvette, and I will make a difference!

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