Sunday, October 25, 2015

Everything Began to Fall A p a r t...

Kayla's issues began after she injured her quad during her freshman year of cross country. Before this point she loved running and she was doing very well. She adored the varsity girls, and believed that running was her entire identity. Her injuries appeared to multiply throughout the next two years. We went to so many specialists, trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors and doctors. It seemed as if every time one injury was controlled, another one developed. I have been running for, well... forever, and I would have traded places with her in a heartbeat. Her passion, and her ability to self-accept were being taken away from her, and she began to fear and hate running.

Not only was she dealing with muscle and tendon problems, she also developed Vocal Cord Dysfunction or VCD. VCD occurs when the vocal cord or voice box does not open correctly. It is often confused with asthma, but instead of having trouble breathing out, VCD causes more difficulty breathing in.  So she was trying to run at full speed and her voice box was blocking her air intake. It was like she was having a panic attack, while running. To top it all off, she also began showing symptoms of acid reflux. She needed to change her entire diet and started taking some hard core reflux medication.

The problem was, she was able to deal with the stress and anxiety of being a high achieving, disciplined student, (and why we had two of these types of kids in high school was beyond me) when she was running. But take that stress reliever away at age fourteen, and she began to fall apart, both physically and mentally. It is certainly all connected. 

It still probably took longer than it needed to for us to realize that Kayla was suffering from anxiety and clinical depression, but it certainly didn't take years, like it did with Jordan. Sadly, we had done, and seen this before. Distinguishing between what is normal teenage irritability and negativity towards their parents, from the slow plunge into depression is (at least initially) difficult. But at a certain point, you just know.

There is nothing worse than helplessly watching your own child gradually lose control, hope, joy, and love of herself.  Nothing except watching two of your children going through this at the same time.

As you might predict, I was wondering what the hell Adam and I had done wrong with this whole parenting thing. My reactions and coping skills were a mess. I was angry and sad about everything and everyone, including the girls. I was feeling hopeless, overwhelmed and tired of not being able to affect change.

And down I went...

Thank you.  Us Too

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