Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When it's to much

By now I think most people with a tv or computer have heard that the great Robin Williams has passed away. Suicide is suspected. It comes as a shock to most people that a man who on the outside gave so much to others to make them happy was suffering so much on the inside that suicide was his answer.

The thing about depression is that like autism it is a spectrum.  Some people can suffer from the blues, while others suffer from a debilitating breakdown that makes living a day to day existence hard. Some can recover with therapy while others need medication and continued therapy to exist.

Our society though has made depression or taking medication something to be ashamed of and to be kept secret. How isolating it is to be told that it's not ok to be sad. You have everything, money, fame security and adoration but it's not ok to be sad or have bad thoughts. That if you are sad about your life or situation that you are ungrateful or bitter. How does that help a person?

Most people who struggle with depression feel alone. The fact is that they are not alone.

Post by NAMI.

Seeking help for depression or any other mental illness is not a weakness. It's actually a sign of strength. Taking medication is a courageous step to take when it comes to taking care of yourself. It might take awhile to find the right medication to help you. It might also take awhile to find the right therapist who you feel like you connect with.

Why is a blogger who talks about running, life with Autism, losing weight talking about depression? For full disclosure I have suffered on and off for the last 15 years or so.  I've gone through periods where everything was good, then through periods where I was just not happy.

One day I was done. I didn't know what else to do. I just no longer saw joy in anything. I was just going through the motions of my day to day existence. I got out of bed, took care of my kids and repeat day in day out.  I knew I had to take control somehow. Today I am making progress and have a plan for myself.  What I want to reiterate to you the reader is that you are not alone. If you feel this way the fact is that someone else feels the same way as you do.

If you or someone you know might be a danger to themselves,
 please call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August Update

I keep thinking I should write.


The last time I blogged was in May. This is the longest I've gone without giving an update of some sorts.

So here's an update:

School: I busted my butt at a summer Biology class. For 6 weeks, 4 days a week for 3 hours a day I learned about the human body. I even got to hang out with a human cadaver. It smelled. It was a relatively new cadaver as the school received it in the spring. Only one other girl and me showed up for the study session with the professor so we got a front row view of the cadaver. Passed with an awesome grade. Looking forward to the fall semester with my internship. Only 284 days until I graduate!

Anybody want to guess what part of the foot I got wrong during a bone test? Yes. I got a bone wrong in the foot (very classic of me to do actually, hahano.) Not the metatarsal that's for sure.

Kids: My oldest spent 3 weeks in Georgia with my sister and her cousins. The first day went great, second day she wanted to come home. The first week was rough but she bucked up and made it through the whole 3 weeks with some tears but with some more independence. Skype worked every night. Sometimes multiple times a day...

The first and last day of 2nd grade.

The youngest turned 6 at the end of May. As usual every progression equals some type of regression and vice versa. We had a few months of an increase in aggressive behavior, then followed by a trip to the gut doctor for treatment of a yeast overgrowth and she calmed down again. Still not potty trained (if this your first visit here she has Autism so don't go all child protective services on my ass please) but is progressing finally in that area. She has new words, sentences, sayings finally. She doesn't use her communication device much anymore. Her receptive language is scored at the level for a normal 6 year old. Which is completely awesome.


He looks excited, no? This was taken on the last day of my husbands old job. Gone is the 1 hour + commute in good weather. Gone is the not awesome pay and benefits.  To come was a 16 minute door to door commute. He doesn't even have time to finish his coffee because he works so close to home! New job has better pay, benefits and a better discount for stuff I care about (makeup and stuff!!)

Me:  Besides school this summer, I've been to a few concerts.

This was the Sammy Hagar show in Joliet. FYI- Nothing good comes out of a mango-rita in a can. NOTHING.

Then of course the summer ritual of Toby Keith. Which this was a really good show this year because he played a bunch of stuff from the mid 90's. Of course it was me and Speedy on our annual adventure. This year we actually got to do a meet and greet with his daughter Krystal Keith who opened up for him.

Weight Watchers: Eh. Honestly if I wasn't tracking my food I would probably be huge. I can't honestly say it's the right thing for me anymore. I have not felt right about it since I returned 2 + years ago and it switched to points+. I don't know why but the scale doesn't move for me anymore. I have a good group of friends from WW. So sometimes I feel like this is a social group for me on Saturday mornings. Which sometimes just getting out of the house and meeting up with others who are struggling with their eating and weight makes me feel like I am not alone. BUT I feel stuck. Not just stuck stuck but more like halted/grounded.  Which this might have something to do with my anti depression medicine. 

My doctor had upped my depression med at the end of spring. We talked about it yesterday and it just doesn't seem like the right concoction for me. So I am weaning off and starting another one. Hopefully this won't make me feel so even keeled and actually allow me to start having feelings again.

Running: So if you add in the Weight Watchers, school, husband new job, life with kids and the depression I have had no desire to run. At all.  Chicago?  yeah no. For two reasons. 1) I'm drained right now and can't find it in me to push forward with another thing on my plate and 2) which is the most important part of this and that's the aching pain I have in my right foot. Right along my metatarsals. A sharp, radiating pain. The thing is that there is no moment I can pin point it to be from. On occasion I get little bruises on the top of my left foot where I injured my metatarsal a few years back. Needless to say both of  my feet are jacked up and I don't know why.

Why haven't I made an appt with the ortho doctor yet? I am being a big baby and putting it off because I just don't want to hear, "you are done running" or "why are you still thinking of running?". blech.

So that's the update. It's not fantabulous but I'm pretty focused right now on school for myself and being done soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

School Update

I don't think I could describe this semester in one word. It was crazy. It was short. It was cold. It was stressful.

I went back to school last summer officially to finish my social work degree. Last semester I had 4 classes and this semester I had 5. Four actual in class and one online class. To say I jam-packed my semester would be an understatement. I did that because I was told I would have no problem taking a human biology class in the fall. Errr. Nope I can not take it in the fall because it will now interfere with my social work internship. So next week I start biology for a 6 week class at the local junior college. I had to go thru some hoops to get approved to take it off campus but it saved me a boat load of money and I'll be done before Avery is done with her summer session of school.

In the fall I start my internship along with 4 classes. Then in the spring it's internship plus 4 classes. Then God willing I'll graduate with my bachelors in social work in May!!

So some snippets of interest if you don't follow me on Instagram.

One of the things I found in a washroom during one of my days of agency observation. This was in the womens room of a DCFS building.  We had to do a 30 hour observation at an agency shadowing a social worker.  It was awesome. I spent my time following child welfare workers for Easter Seals who deal with foster care for special needs kids. 

My oldest went to my statistics class with me when she was on spring break. She was pretty good and asked questions. lol. Statistics was just as exciting as you can imagine. My teacher was cool, she didn't make me cry like I've heard other stats teachers at the school have done. It's a required class for my major. I passed and that's all I cared about.

We spent a day in Springfield at the capital building for social work advocacy day.

That was an early morning and long day down to the capital on a bus. The point of the day is that you are to meet with your state representative and discuss the issues that are concerning you. You were to arrange a meeting with your representative and write about it for a paper. I contacted my representative 3 times before the day and not a single person could tell me if he would meet with me. Awesome. The day we went down there they were in session and could not meet with any students.

The capital building was packed that day with a few different groups from Chicago trying to raise awareness for charter schools. We did the best we could to enjoy the day.

This is not even a good picture of the crowded rotunda. It really was wall to wall people at times. The heat was also still on in the building. For one of the first nice days in months.

Before we knew it the semester was winding down. Our big projects were due and it was time for finals. This is when it was crazy. I just wanted to get to the end.

This is how I feel about group projects. My solution for this is pretty easy. The first semester you have everyone doing group projects you will find out who does not carry their weight. So the next semester you stick all of those people in a group and let them fend for themselves. Seems fair right?? Yeah. You would think people would learn a lesson that way. Needless to say I did not get totally screwed in any of my group projects but it was always the same people who were last minute students in every group.

The Sunday before finals when I was finishing up a paper at school this is what the library looked like. Dead. Where the hell was everyone? Oh hiding. The school had an orientation for new students that day and there were tours going through all the common buildings and library. Weird ass school.

This is how my brain felt during my stats final.

Thank God you could use your notes. We were allowed notes for all exams, had one take home exam, only one assignment and I suck at this stuff (hello I haven't had any math classes in 20 years!!) and I still eked out a C in it. But 8 people still failed (D's  &F's). Its a required course for I think all students so you have to get a C for it to count. Our teacher gave us a breakdown of the class grades at the end which I kinda of wish all teachers did because that way you got to see if you were in the majority or you were part of the low end of the curve.

Our social work class is pretty close knit. It's amazing and our professors are aware of that. They haven't witnessed that with other recent classes. Our class is mixed with younger people and those of us who returned to school in my age range. Everyone is great and I really miss my friends.

That's how I felt on our last day of finals. It wasn't that classy though!

I hit refresh on my school portal like a mad woman for a few days. I knew some grades but one I was waiting on and it was important. The one class I really busted my ass on and I got an A in.  I still got a 3.0 this semester but I really want to get all A's next semester. I really want to get into the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work before graduation. Even though I've heard this from a few people that "C's get degrees" I know I can do better. It will be all worth it next May!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K Race Report

What??? A race report? Well you fell off the face of the earth BabyWeight!! Yes, yes I did. But I did a race today and I feel obligated to tell the few people who read my blog that I did do something physical! Today I ventured on into the city to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K. I did the 10K.

So this race was a little different for me from the get go. I hadn't done anything in months. I knew I was going to walk it with my friend Kris who did her first 5k and 8k last year. The 10k is a race I haven't done yet so no matter what my time would be a PR.

I wasn't really familiar with this race. I knew it was all lakefront course by the course map but I was kinda of unsure of where the start, gear check and all that jazz was. So in typical Michel (me) ways I chose to park where we park for every race where it's normally cheaper ($14) for some reason the machine said $20. ugh.  But then we realized it was farther from the starting area/race area.  Oops but let's get going since Jan was doing the half and she started earlier.

We followed a big group of people to the lakefront. That should have been good. It normally is. But today we followed the crowd like a bunch of lemmings. The race starting area/gear check was in a completely different area park then where the start line was so we missed important stuff.
We dropped Jan off after the porta pots and tried to get to gear check.  Gear check was under the expressway down a street and at this point I had to go potty so I told Kris she was walking with her bag.

Which in general there had to be about 20 porta pots at the starting line for about 4500 people. Which we had we known about this gear check/race start area in the park we would have realized there was 100 porta pots over there. Oops. Newbie mistake.

My friend Jan was doing the half marathon and we found her in the corrals.

We waited for the waves to start and it seemed very organized.

Half marathoners were off and running so the 10Kers just kinda of moved on in to the corrals. No big deal. We just stood around for a few minutes freezing in the shade. When we got to move up in the corrals we got to be at the starting line for our wave. LOL. So the announcer was staring right at us screaming into the microphone telling us to go! Awesome.

Miles 1-3 weren't bad. By mile 3 though I was getting warm. The sun was finally in full force and I no longer needed my jacket. At the turn around point I lost Kris. I knew at this point the half marathoners and 10kers will start to interfere with each other. So I was trying to be to the right the whole way back.  I also started to not feel to well.  I just wanted to finish this race standing up and not on a stretcher. blah.

Everyone says running on the lakefront is great. And it is, it's beautiful on a day like today. Except for the sidewalks on the right side going North along the lakefront are pretty broken up. So if you are a walker guess what side you are on? Yes the side that you had to be really careful on.

Not feeling well + watching my footing = me not wanting to fall into the lake! 

The only part of this race I wasn't keen on was right before and after the 6 mile marker where we are under the viaduct for the expressway and going down a gravel area to get to the street for the last .2 miles.  The finish line was great. I saw Kris right away and she waited for me to get our medals. 

It was time to wait for Jan to finish the half. I knew she was meeting up with her boyfriend at the half way point for water. So when we were looking for her at the finish line I kept looking for her pink jacket. lol. The announcer was saying peoples names as they were crossing the line and thank God I was listening!! I heard him announcing her name and then I saw her!!

She did awesome!

 Congrats Jan!!

So all in all the race was a pretty nice. IF I had paid attention to where it the area was for gear check and the tents I probably would have thought better of it at the beginning. It honestly was a nice little race. Kris wants to do the half next year so we'll see what we end up doing. This was one of those races that makes you pick up your packet at Fleet Feet in Lincoln Park OR you could have paid $25 to pick up race day. We drove into Chicago on Friday morning but this option only worked out for us because I was off of school and our kids had school. The shirts were a really nice V Neck and the medals and ribbons were really nice too. 

Also it was nice to do a lakefront race that didn't make you go under McCormick Place!! I'm bummed I missed so many local bloggers today but there will be other races hopefully!! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So where in the heck is BabyWeightMyFatAss lately?

More school.
Observations for school.

This is the time of the semester when stuff starts being due. We only have about 5 ish weeks left of school for this semester. It's flown by. In the next two weeks the girls tag team me with spring breaks. They will never have the same week off for spring break so figuring out what to do with them is hard. This is what life will be like when I finish school and eventually go to work. ARGH!! LOL

I do have some good updates though.
Remember when Avery went to the dentist for the first time ever last year? It was horrible.
Time has passed and this time we were able to schedule her appointment first thing in the am. When I say first thing I mean 6:30 am.

As I white knuckled it there in a snow storm to bring her to this appointment I just prayed that it would go well and we could get back home. It did go well! She didn't even want to leave but it was not the traumatic experience (for me!) like it was last time. A big thanks to Dr. Rita and her staff who made it wonderful.

Her sister is doing well to. She's just a happy kid, doing really well in school.

She still want's a dog but she settled for a fish.

It's still alive so she's doing something right!

We spent the month of February passing along some illness or another. Four trips to the Doctors. Three pink eye diagnosis, 3 upper respiratory infections, two thrown backs. February was not a good month health wise or food wise.

March is almost over. Have you freaked out about that yet? I am only freaking out because that means deadlines are looming for school now. I've spent the last few years being a stay at home Mom just trying to figure out how to occupy a kids time during the summer. Now I have to figure out how to arrange childcare so I can take a biology class in the summer so I can graduate on time in the spring of 2015. Only a year away!!

In the fall I'll be doing my social work internship in the early intervention program for our state. It was my first choice and I'm very happy to being able to put my perspective of what it's like to be the parent on the other side of the table who comes to a social worker and says, "I think my child may have some issues." I know how it feels and I know how scary it is to get those diagnosis at the beginning.

I've been doing an agency observation the past few weeks and it has really opened up my eyes to how DCFS systems are ran. I had a very heart warming experience last week on a home visit. The child,  was autistic and never acknowledged the caseworker before in her experience in previous visits. About the time we were ready to leave the child came up to me, motioned for me to pick him up. He proceeded to hug me to the shock of his foster mom, caretaker and the caseworker. It was pretty cool.

Know what today is??  It's Chicago Marathon registration for the lotto! If you want a guaranteed entry into Chicago you can always raise money for Run for Autism for a FREE entry with raising a minimum of $1,000. * Cough * Cough* because I am a person who apparently thrives on chaos I have ponied up my body to raise money for this wonderful charity!! I  am already at 20% of my goal!

So contribute to the crazy this year!  Help me, help make a difference in the lives of kids with Autism!

Thank you!