I keep trying to figure out how to start this post. I need to share a few things since I have decided that I need to share "our story". What I have to say is raw and hard to share. It's hard to be so vulnerable and let people know who you are and what has shaped you. Let's start off with what made me think of writing this post. Last week was Feeding Tube Awareness week.
(I urge everyone to check out the website www.feedingtubeawareness.org as there is a lot of information on this website that may help you to understand our journey just a little bit more.)It got me thinking about our journey and where we started with Blake and Payzlee and how far we have actually come.
I home school, I am a mom, and I deal with medical. I am not a superhero I am not extraordinarily amazing. I am a just a mom doing extra things then most moms. I love my life. I love who my kids have become. I LOVE our trials. This last week or so has taken me back to when Shaun got hurt. Shaun got injured at work May 1, 2009. Tayla was 2 1/2 and Mylee was a month away from being 1. We were living in Burley Idaho at the time. Shaun was drilling water wells. He loved his job. I liked that he was so happy. Shaun got his arm wrapped into a drill rig while it was spinning. It broke both of the bones in his forearm (yes his dominate hand!), broke all of the bones in his wrist, crushed his ring finger, tore ligaments and more in his wrist, dislocated his shoulder leading to the stretching out of the muscle that keeps your shoulder in place, and also tore his ACL and meniscus in his left knee. I remember the call like it was yesterday. Shaun spent almost 5 years on workman's comp and had 8 surgeries. Shaun had a doctor, in the beginning, who wouldn't listen to him. This doctor did some really unfair things to our family causing addition pain and heartache. Had he just listened Shaun wouldn't have had to have a wrist fusion and would have been able to start getting better faster. Instead we had set back after set back. Had he just believed Shaun that he had actual pain, Shaun's arm wouldn't be near what it is now. During this time, We endured a lot of trials and A LOT of heartache. I made enemies with friends, went a bit crazy, and pushed everyone close to me away. I pushed God away. I didn't understand WHY we had to go through this trial. After a while I realized this wasn't a trial that we could be removed from. It wasn't something that would just go away or get better. We had to ride this to the end. We lost our house. In a chain of a ton of very unfortunate events we weren't able to pay for our house and it went into foreclosure. This has been something that I rarely talk about and usually only with people I am close to. I still have family members who I'm assuming know but I have never talked to about this. In Idaho, after you have been on it a certain amount of time, they are legally allowed to drop you in pay. Now we had issues with our workman's comp person assigned to our case. She was new to the area but had done this same job in a different state. She was rude. She was brutal and she was a trial in and of herself. She made our life a living hell and after a couple months stopped contact with us altogether. We had to hire a lawyer just to get our paycheck. When you get put on workman's comp, your pay is decreased by about 50% depending on your tax bracket. We actually were decreased by over 50%. A little over a year after Shaun had been hurt, this adviser made the decision to cut back our income. We knew it could happen but were reassured by our lawyer (he had been a workman's comp lawyer for 25 years) that he had never seen anyone have less than 100 maybe 200 dollars taken away from their monthly paychecks. It just so happened that we got lucky and had around 800 dollars removed from our paychecks (monthly) instead of 100 or 200. That was a really tough pill to swallow. The lawyer told us that he had never seen that before and was thinking that this advisor was pushing her weight and pull around, making an example of us because we defied her by getting a lawyer. (previous comments made to the lawyer from her made him believe this) Yet legally there was nothing we could do because the law did not state a specific amount or percentage that they were allowed to or not to deduct. At the same time this was happening, the bank decided to raise our mortgage by almost 400 dollars a month. Our house went up and our income went down. Shaun was not allowed to legally work and I was a few month pregnant with Blake and SO SICK. (maternity shots when I was pregnant with Blake. This is a typical family shot!)
I had all day long morning sickness and could barely function. I remember sticking cereal and bread down where the girls could reach so they could have snacks while I slept on the couch. Things felt SO unfair. But I knew I couldn't change our situation, we just had to ride it through. The dr we had in the beginning told Shaun, "you'll be off 6 months tops." We held on to those words for the longest time until we realized every word that came from his mouth would never happen or never come true. Shaun will never be able to run and play with the kids like he used to. He won't be able to pick them up without pain so intense he winces and cringes (yes even our youngest child who weighs barely 22 lbs is too big) He will never be able to be the dad he once was. We are STILL riding through this journey. When we realized we couldn't save our house, we decided to short sell it. We fought the bank for 2 years and they did everything in their power to make sure a short sale would never go through. In recent events, we have come to realize that although we were told our house auctioned off on Dec 31, 2013, it actually sold to a buyer a week or so before it went up for auction. This is hard to talk about. I feel numb having to explain. This. is. embarrassing. Unless you have been there you don't understand the judgments and guilt you feel. I didn't want our house to go, I didn't want to look stupid to hundreds or thousands of people but I did. It was our fault that all of this happened but we chose to ride things through and rise above to find out where our story would take us.
About 8 months before Shaun was finished with workman's comp, Blake was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitus. EoE for short. In a later post I will explain that more. WE prayerfully made the choice to move to New Mexico, as there was a (supposed) great specialist in Albuquerque just 3 or so hours from where Shaun's family lived. We moved there and struggled. I missed what felt like my home. I missed my husband who was still in Idaho and would be for several months after the move. I missed my friends. Knowing that my son was getting treatment for his disease was what kept me going. We lived there for almost 3 years when Shaun's company decided to transfer us to Greely Colorado. I love it here. This feels like home. This is our home and will be our home. We may move within this area but we will stay HERE til we die!
So back to last week. I was posting about feeding tubes and bringing awareness to light when I snapped a few extremely cute pictures!
I love that my kids can do anything while getting their feeds. They aren't tied down and they can move and jump and play just like any other child! Blake and Payzlee don't know they are different. This is our normal. This will be our normal, forever. We may not have feeding tubes for the rest of our lives but EoE won't ever go away. Blake's allergies won't ever fade, and doctor's appointments will stay regular. This is a journey in our story that we will have to ride through forever and ever. Am I sad about this? Occasionally I am; when I realize we can't do certain things with food I get sad. Do I hate it? Some days I do but I have learned these trails can't and won't define who I am, who my family is, who we are now and who we will become. We are amazing, and we are The Pruitt's. Our life is PERFECT just the way it is. Now for some picture overload!!