Monday, December 21, 2015

Serenity...Courage...Wisdom... My journey to 5 YEARS

Five years ago today I woke up feeling riddled with guilt, shame, defeat and self demoralization.
The memories are foggy. We were packing to leave for Morgan Hill to celebrate Christmas 2010 with our families in the bay. I remember being able to cut the tension between Chris and I with a dull knife. The disappointment in his eyes are forever seared in my memory, I'll never forget how defeated his eyes were, red and puffy, I had actually broken his heart. We finished packing the car in silence as the 3 kids (obliviously) ran around talking about not having school, maybe some dirt bike riding with grandpa, or getting money secretly handed to them from Nana and Papa (without us noticing of course).

On that day December 21st 2010, I had woken from an alcoholic bender. I quietly cried for the 3 hour drive, asking God "why?" "why me?" "why us?".

The disease welling inside of me started to really take its toll and have me instead of me having it in the Spring of 2010. There is no discernible moment. No DUI. No arrest. No loss of job. No divorce. No death. So why? The truth is... my name is Yvonne and I am an alcoholic. I have a predisposition to carry the disease of alcoholism. And today December 21st 2015 I have been sober from alcohol for 5 years. 

My journey IS exciting and I still continue to walk this adventure... "One day at a time". 

I want today, with this blog, to show that the stereotypes in my head of what an alcoholic looked like, acted like, lived, drove and worked are way different than what I thought. I often now (as some know) share my story and my journey with others. In the beginning of my journey when asked to speak publicly, I would say "no thank you" as there was no jail time,  loss of family, nothing extraordinary about my story for people to relate to. That was my ego telling me that I wasn't good enough to help others. My ego was wrong. 

The hope in my transparency today is that I may help someone that is in a similar situation. For me, the stress and pressure  I put on MYSELF of being a mom to Malia (a special needs child), 2 beautiful boys, a supporting husband, a sister, daughter and friend took me from having a bottle of wine every 2 weeks, to a glass of wine a night to hiding vodka in poweraid bottles throughout the house. Alcoholism is a disease that strikes fast and hard. I feel so incredibly blessed to have gotten the help that I needed quickly. 

As most know, our family has struggled with numerous health issues, hospitalizations, and daily struggles. The difference now is that I am emotionally and mentally available to take on what ever is thrown at me! LOL  Getting sober didn't mean that all my stress would go away or Malia would be healed or that Justin and Clay would finally listen the first time I asked them to do something (lets not get crazy now), It meant that I can go to my "Higher Power" who is different for some but to me is Jesus Christ. He died for me! Wha?! I know right but he DIED so I can go to him throughout my day and lay my struggle, insecurity, stress, shame, guilt... at HIS feet and press restart. I AM BLESSED! 
It is so easy... Why I don't do that all day every day? I guess is what makes me human :). 

I know there is risk in pressing "PUBLISH" on this blog. 
It opens my choices and decisions up for scrutiny. 
There will be some question and doubt about my past.
It is even possible for me to lose friends that have their own insecurities about sobriety.


Guess this is your answer. 

Thank you for reading! 

PS I stay sober for me... But these are good reason's too :)


Thursday, October 29, 2015

W's... Wondering Waiting Worrying

Update on Malia October 2015

Malia was last hospitalized in June of this year. That was after a severe seizure. It is hard to explain the complex nature of her health if you haven't walked this path with us. A seizure disorder by itself would make things hard. Malia's complications come with a list of other diagnosis's 

  • ID= Intellectual Disabilities, cognitively age 4(ish).
  • Mild CP= Cerebral Palsy
  • OCD= Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Baraitser-Winter Syndrome- This condition affects the development of many parts of the body specifically the face and BRAIN.
  • Irregular and malformation of the left frontal lobe (which may or may not be from the BWS).
  • Pre-puberty= License to drive me insane! (Hormone changes)
  • And more...
Since MG's hospitalization in June, a new medication was started. At first this medication seemed to have stopped the seizures however the concerning side effect was severe academic regression at school and home including some behavioral aggression. Her doctor increased the meds in hopes of just trying to balance her system. Things got worse including staring/fainting spells all last week. By Friday, she had 2 seizure and because of the amazing staff at her school in Shingle Springs (Buckeye Elementary) Malia was safe and in good hands. I was able to get there about 5 minutes prior to her next longer seizure. EMT's arrived quickly and Malia was rushed to Sutter 35 miles away. 
Malia was seen and released with yet another increase in meds. Her doctor was not availble that night. 

On our way home after being very quiet (Post seizure norm), she rolls down the window and yells... "JESUS THANK YOU FOR MY LIFE!" LOL. Tears of joy and sadness overcame me. Once again thinking "ok, Lord I get". 

Malia  had mild spells over the weekend but a lot of it was thinking that we had to give the increase in meds a chance to work. By Monday, she was showing some concerning signs at school again. Not responding to cues, glaring/staring out, left arm curling and spasm, pail complexion and some sweating at times. Her doctor wanted to see her in his office Tuesday morning, she hasn't been home since. 

Her neurologist is mostly concerned about what can be causing the seizures which is leading to fainting spells and or fainting spells that are leading to seizures (even while on meds). She is now undergoing a 24 hour a day video monitoring EEG to yet again catch a seizure or spell in action to see where and what to do next. As of this yesterday morning he had seen some mild spikes in her left frontal lobe (consistent with her BWS). We are making sure there isn't something more serious going on. This is a process that is long and mentally exhausting however the days are blessed by wonderful offers of help and visitors. My mom dropped everything to help me with Chris and the boys and we have enjoyed other help and visitors...

I have to admit, this has been one of the harder weeks. Spending moments WONDERING if 911 calls will be made, ER visits,  hospitalizations and maybe more invasive surgeries are in her future? WAITING for the next test, seizure, fainting spell, aggressive hitting, punching or emotional breakdown will come? WORRYING about what kids will think, people will say, will she mentally get worse, will I lose her? The thoughts exhaust me. When I am alone for brief moments while Lisa, Chris or my mom take her for walks... I stare at her empty bed fighting the lump in my throat and the precipitation from hitting my cheeks. Then she returns with a Pumpkin bag she made in the playroom or I stare as she smilingly asks, "Are YOU ok mom?" :) 

I can't help but think of others that were less fortunate. I have two friends that lost their sons in July and October. That's when I am reminded of the blessings. I get to hold my baby girl. I get to tell her I love her, I get to hear "I love you" back.  Please keep my friends & their families in your prayers.

I write this anxiously waiting for her doctor to make his rounds this morning. Did he see anything in the tests? Are we going home today? If so, what next? If not, how much longer are we here? Worry overcomes me till I glance up and see my mom doing a unique version of stretching/yoga with her and through my loud ear buds I hear relentless giggles. Again, I fight the tears. 

I need to wrap this up because as most of you know... I hate to write but it is very therapeutic. It's good for me :).

SHOUT OUT to my prayer warriors, you know who you are. I have been praying for you all because I cannot pray for Malia very much. 

HF friends, your support and checking in with me has been very appreciated (especially for mental well being) One day at a time right?

Lastly, THE COUGAR NATION, my boys have been worried but thanks to their school and football families they have been able to maintain some normalcy this week. Now... "BEAT MESA FRIDAY!" in the words of Malia, "GO COUGARS"


Monday, August 31, 2015



Synergy= is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts OR in other terms= the increased effectiveness that results when two or more people work together.

TODAY I did NOT have SYNERGY with the obnoxious and rude lady I spoke to over the phone in regards to getting Malia some supplies needed to help her maintain important physical functions. 
Over the last few months I have heard, "Your daughter should be doing (this) at her age", "What's wrong with her (Malia) its creepy the way she just smiles and doesn't always talk", my favorite "Special needs or not that's not an excuse for her to..." 

I fight back tears on the phone today because I don't want the voice on the other line to know I've gone from angry to hurt then just broken :(. For a second (while on hold) I think of 13 ways to hunt, stalk and torture said insurance claim person, knowing darn well that I wont go there but its easier than the tears and the lump in my throat that feels like a lightening bolt to my heart.

I don't blog often (last one was a long time ago). I'm hyper sensitive about writing because its never been a strength of mine but I literally found myself picking up my computer and typing my feelings. It then dawns on me that a year ago THIS week, I received a call that Justin was being transported to UC DAVIS Med Center for what looked like a multi-fractured leg from a horrific hit in football practice. That was also the day before we found out that Mystery Malia finally had a chromosomal diagnosis. 
Has it been a year already?

I guess subconsciously I've been grieving Malia's diagnosis ever since. There is just no preparation for finding out what life will be like. Staying optimistic is still our #1 goal. We believe in a power greater than this genetic malformation. We stand together in prayer with our family and friends that Malia's destiny was already in God's hands and we will continue to pray that the Lord uses her. 

For a bit more insight... This June marked an annual IEP (Individualized Education Program). It was a triennial so a lot of tests and assessment were performed on MG and the results were glum. I never thought that I would pray for the day that my daughter could cognitively develop enough to bag groceries but it was a blow to find out that based on her 11 years of tests, assessments, MRI's, CAT Scans, blah blah blah... that she will more than likely NOT ever develop past the age of 4, she will never work. She will never live independently.  ARE YOU SERIOUS?! 

Ask anyone that knows me well, it was time for me to SHUT DOWN. Then Malia was hospitalized June 22nd for migraines and more seizure activity. That was followed by a world wind of a summer. Malia's birthday, Clay's 14th birthday and a devastating loss of our dear friends son at 18 years of age. I continued to SHUT DOWN... Close and protect my heart from hurt. The out of sight, out of mind continued to work, till today. 

I stand humbled by my trails as they are NOTHING compared to those of others in my life. The loss of a son? The loss of a Mother? The new diagnosis of cancer? A family torn apart by infidelity? 


In writing this I find a way to not focus on my hurt but yet to acknowledge it (does that make sense?). So that I may soon... Learn from it and move on... NOT to shove it down...

-Yvonne (Marty) (Y-Dawg) (Martinez) (Mrs. T.)