Every time I encounter something scary with my 3-year-old son Kayden, it really is has an effect on my mental health. While this is to be expected, it certainly isn’t easy to deal with.
I became seriously depressed after Cayden was diagnosed with infantile Pompe disease at just one month old. I was a first time mom and I was only 16 years old. When the doctors made the diagnosis, I wasn’t sure how to handle that.
I remember going days without food, crying so that no tears came out. I knew I needed help and fast. Fortunately, my doctors were able to see me and recommended that I start taking it Zoloft (sertraline) repeatedly. I wasn’t fond of this idea, because I didn’t like how the drug made me feel when I had taken it in the past, but decided to try it again.
She was a very helpful assistant. It didn’t solve or fix Kayden’s diagnosis, of course, but it did help me cope. I was able to start eating regularly again, and found ways to smile instead of crying.
Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of my own Psychological health battle. When Kayden got sick the first time at 10 months old, I ended up where I started. In a hurry to get to the hospital, I left my depression medication at home. This, combined with the madness going on in Kayden, affected me a lot.
I refused to eat for the first four days because being mentally exhausted killed my appetite. I couldn’t do anything but cry and sleep. My dad came to visit Kayden and I, and we had a great time, but that didn’t take the pain away. I was in pain and didn’t know how to get myself out of this deep depression.
When Kayden started getting better I felt like I could breathe again, but Kayden got sick again by the time I graduated from high school, when he was about 14 months old. I almost didn’t show up, but my son’s doctor insisted I go. It wasn’t easy to fake a smile all night, but it was great to walk on stage. However, I got my diploma and went home and broke down in tears. All I was able to think of was my son. I had planned for him to be at my graduation so he could see me walking on stage.
I still struggle with my mental health
I’ve been going through some very scary feelings lately, and I’m starting to worry that experiencing so many bad events has led to me developing PTSD. kayden gold respiratory failure Earlier this month after contracting respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus/enterovirus, I know I didn’t have a chance to deal with my feelings from that experience. They’re hitting me now like a freight train. I’ve also had some very vivid and horrific nightmares, the most terrifying of which was that Kayden was dying.
In the dream, The doctors swept the room and started shouting, “Help me!” And “His lung is collapsing!” I dreamed the doctors worked on it for what seemed like forever, but my son did not survive. When I woke up in his hospital room, I was in shock until I realized it was just a dream. I looked up and saw Kayden alive and breathing and felt very relieved. But I was still terrified of the dream, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
And nothing could prepare me for the emotions I felt when I came home the next time Kayden’s Apnea episode. Walking through the front door and seeing trash from medical supplies scattered throughout the living room was too much. I broke down crying. I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened in that very room a few days ago. When I entered Kayden’s room, I remembered the sight of his seemingly lifeless blue body lying in his bed. It is an image that will haunt me forever.
I have to constantly remind myself that even though this has happened, it is now in the past.
Mental health can be a struggle for anyone, but especially parents of children with rare diseases. We deal with a lot. Getting to the doctor for help was the best decision I could ever make. I plan to see a therapist after Kayden is discharged from the hospital. There is nothing wrong with getting help, and I am grateful that I was able to realize that.
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