Disability Grant Money To Help Seizure Disabled Mom Not Lose Daughter
(DeKalb, Illinois, USA)
My daughter is the most important part of my life
My name is Holly. In 2005, I suffered a head injury during a domestic incident.
Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow me to seek immediate medical or legal attention.
After the bump on my forehead went away, I basically went on with my life and tried to forget about it.
It was a fairly new marriage and we had a wonderful new daughter, so I assumed it was just the stress and I worked on forgiveness.
Time passed. Things between my husband and me did not get better, but they did not get worse. Occasional arguments and physical altercations just became a part of the norm.
That fall, I went back to school. I was studying electrical engineering and applied physics at the nearest state college. I did surprisingly well (3.8 GPA), juggling school, work, and family. I was very happy, all things considered. And then everything came crashing down.
In December 2005, during finals week at school, I had my first seizure. Doctors initially assumed it was a fluke, being brought on by all the stress caused by my many obligations.
My seizures continued, however, and progressively became more frequent. Now, after surgery and a myriad of medications, I am still having uncontrolled seizures. I have two or three a week.
I was understandably freaked out, scared, and angry. Everything I loved was taken away from me. Despite repeated efforts to return to school, I was never able to repeat my previous success.
I began dropping classes, and ultimately, I failed out of school. I lost my job, and then lost several more. My promising career as an engineer faded into oblivion.
Thankfully, the new friends I'd met at school helped me to escape. I left my husband. I still weep when I think about how I could not take my daughter with me. I left her in the care of her grandparents.
It sounds horrible, but I know it was the best thing. With unpredictable seizures, I often injure myself, and I could never forgive myself if I somehow injured her.
It took some time to get on my feet, but I did. I was granted Social Security Disability. I also receive other assistance from the state. It's a wound to my pride, but it's necessary. I simply cannot survive without the help.
The divorce with my husband was an ugly battle that I won't bother to completely describe. But one day, I received a text that he had not meant to send to me. Basically, it indicated that he was intentionally keeping my daughter away from me.
And things got even uglier. Between our lawyers, the only resolution that was reached that allowed me to see my daughter requires me to take complete care of her over the winter and summer breaks.
Now I know that that is a fairly common arrangement. But it did not take my situation into consideration. Even though she is five now and more independent, it is still unreasonable to expect her to deal with the scary and adult situation of caring for a disabled parent.
Most of the time, I'm fine. But during a seizure, and for some time after (called the postictal period), I am not in control of myself. I lose consciousness, shake, make loud breathing noises, drool, and can lose control of my bladder.
Afterward, I am confused, disoriented, emotional, clumsy, sore, and overwhelmingly tired. I don't know where I am, what the date is, or sometimes who the people are around me.
I have hurt myself many times with dropping hot cooking pans, falling down the stairs, or falling in the shower. During and after a seizure, I am a mess.
Luckily, I do have some support even though I do not have family in the area. My friends help as often as they can, especially my roommate. Since I cannot drive or care for my daughter alone, she has become an integral part of my life.
As the summer approaches, I have been searching for a solution during the hours that my roommate cannot assist me with my daughter. I basically watch her alone; but if I have a seizure, she steps in and watches her until I am recovered.
I have applied everywhere that I can find for financial assistance with child care this summer. I cannot believe that I seem to fall through every possible crack in the system. Most of the programs require that I be employed or be in school, which initially makes sense.
But, if the government considers me too disabled to work, how does it make sense that I am not given any assistance with child care? Taking care of one's child is just as much of a job as a career outside the home!
I need help. Without help, I will lose my daughter. And when does it ever make sense to take a child away from a loving, involved, supportive, active, and responsible parent?
I really hope and pray that there is someone out there who can help me with this situation. I need help.