In this blog I really try to be as honest as possible. I show the good,bad and ugly. I talk about mistakes I make as a parent and what life is like for us. One of the things I have stayed away from in detail was Lizze’s health. Instead I have tried to stay focused on the kid’s and the daily struggles that we go through raising 2 most likely 3 Autistic children.
I talked it over with Lizze and have decided to spend a little time talking about what she has going on. Without going into all the details I wanted to explain what is going on with her.
Lizze has had a rough life to say the least. Much rougher then most, I will say that. She was briefly married to Gavin’s biological father who was extremely abusive. He was a drug addict and alcoholic. She left him before the abuse spread to Gavin. The next 9 years were spent trying to protect Gavin from that same abuse and much worse. You can read the details of all that stuff at
I’ll say that all the stress she has been under over the years and the trauma and abuse she has suffered has taken its toll. Her body has basically turned on her. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 5 years ago. Her symptoms are severe. She endures daily migraines that don’t respond to medications at all. Sometimes she will have a migraine that lasts for weeks at a time. These migraines are triggered by lights, sounds and smells. They are so bad she can suffer visual impairment.
She developed osteo-arthritis in most of her joints and they are very painful. She deals with severe acid reflux and other issues along those lines. Most of the time she can barely move. Her muscles burn as though they are literally on fire and her skin hurts to be touched. She can no longer do all the things she once loved doing like writing and scrapbooking.
The only relief she gets is when she finally caves and takes the carefully managed pain killers perscribed by pain management. This will prevent her from being able to drive or even simply stay awake. Speaking of sleeping she has been recently diagnosed with something called hypersomnia (I think that’s what it is called). She falls into a very small group of people (about 2% of the population worldwide) that require 12 hours of sleep a night in order for her body to recover from the day. 98% of the population recovers just fine with 6-8 hours of sleep a night. They had thought she had some form of narcolepsy but it turns out to be this hypersomnia thing. The kids don’t sleep through the night for various reasons outside of our control so getting 12 hours of sleep is next to impossible.
The thing that truly amazes me is that she never complains. I’m completely serious, she NEVER complains. Most people don’t even know she is suffering every minute of every day because she hides it so well. She pushes herself each and every day in order to help me take care of the kids. She is truly an amazing woman and I count myself lucky to have her. If the world was as selfless as she is we would all be living in a better place.
This does however present extra challenges in our life. No one prepares you for raising an Austistic child, let alone 3. Further, no one prepares you to raise 3 Autistic boys and have a chronically ill wife to boot. This makes for more challenges then I could ever possibly explain. Money is always an issue because the only way we all survive is if Lizze and I are both there all the time. We have had to trade financial security and peace of mind for practicality. Simply put, there is no other way for us to survive unless I stay home to help Lizze with everything.
The emotional stress can be overwhelming as well. I am always worried about trying to make ends meet and I lose many a nights sleep over that. I do my best to shield Lizze from as much stress as possible. Her doctors have told us over and over that she needs to reduce her stress level in order for them to really be able to help. They make it sound so easy like we enjoy living like this. They don’t have any Autistic children at home so they can’t fathom the amount of stress we are under each day.
Every night before I fall a sleep (until one of the kids gets me up, currently I’m laying in Elliotts bed with him because he had another nightmare) I ask God to let me carry my wife and kids burden. I guess he doesn’t think I’m strong enough or smething because that prayer remains unanswered. Until the day it is I will continue to be amazed at how strong and brave this woman I married is (even though she doesn’t think she is).
You can read her story in her own words at www.dailymommysurvival.com