WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve- Goodbye 2011~!

So a rough year. Yet, a really good one.

Our family saw our 18 year old graduate from the U of H with her BA in Anthropology. We watched Abby somehow manage a full time load at College with a perfect 4.0. We have made a ton of new friends.

The bad- the Mito label. A huge relief that we now understand why she has been sick all her life, but after the relief wore off, the fear set in. We saw Abby really start to struggle this past spring/summer. Between full time at College and a zillion high stress Dr. appointments and a muscle biopsy and kidney biopsy we thought a term at home in PJ's and a pile of movies would restore her and she would bounce back. She hasn't bounced back yet, and now is struggling with her GI. Yet, I still believe the potential for a bounce is there- after all, without even knowing what was wrong with her all these years we followed our instincts despite often alienating ourselves in the process. It worked though. There has to be the perfect mix of food, supplements, rest that will settle her down- that will be the focus of 2012.

Despite our terror at the potential that Abby will get sicker, we made lemonade out of our lemons. For years, I have admitted to be eccentric, a little nutty really and a flavor at times that you have to learn to appreciate. I have tried to hide my unique flavor to blend in for years- this year, I feel like I am okay with who I am. I was right to push all these years to find a diagnosis for Abby- despite what seems like a zillion Drs. rolling their eyes,denying, referring Abby on to someone else and surely some very interesting comments about us in her medical records- I was right. They with all their experience and education were wrong. Abby said for years she thought no one besides us would ever believe just how miserable she was.. Can you imagine being a little kid struggling to just crawl out of bed each day, but Drs. never believing you? She too feels more centered- like the biggest battle in the war is over and since she won it makes facing the rest of the war easier.. Our daughter Sara has had her own struggles, but this year she too has found herself connecting more with us, appreciating that between the 4 of us we can conquer anything. Derek amazes me daily. He can rolling with the punchs and swim upstream all at the same time. His patience with a houseful of women while maintaining his status as the only guy in the house is quite the accomplishment. He is tireless with all of us.

I could never say Abby's mito journey is a blessing in disguise, but I can say that through the Mito journey each of us values the other more- we each marvel at the strength we find in each other. If one doesn't have enough energy, there are 3 others who will help carry them. My little family has indulged me in repairing vintage sewing machines, freecycling, 3 months of a hideous farmville addiction and now Shrinky dinks. When so many Drs. thought Abby was just exaggerating, or I was simply nuts, we found strength in our absolute belief and faith in one another.

With or without Mito Abby is something very very special. She never judges, she is always that one person everyone wants on a project or team- she just makes everyone feel charmed. Quiet and strong. Somehow no matter how terrible she feels, she rarely complains- and she always finds a reason to smile. That type of inner strength is going to help her on this Mito Journey, and through her the rest of us have begun to appreciate ourselves a lot more.

May 2012 bring our family even closer and stronger.



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