Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Knock on Wood

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Knock on Wood

Have you ever been close to tragedy
Or been close to folks who have
Have you ever felt a pain so powerful
So heavy you collapse
I've never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could

-- "The Impression That I Get" (Mighty Mighty Bosstones)

This week I feel incredibly heavy. I have battled depression on and off in the past, but it's back with a vengeance. I feel worse than I ever have in my life and am considering calling my doctor. It does not rain much in this area normally, but the sky opened days ago and has not let up since. Our Memorial Day weekend was spent mostly inside doing a lot of nothing. Supposedly, things will begin to clear tomorrow. I normally love the rain, but this is a bit much.

Erik is vacillating between being a delightful angel and throwing fits straight from the depths of hell. We had a good morning yesterday before work. I constructed a rather shoddy fort out of couch cushions and a blanket, and he dove into it, hitting his head loudly on the door that served as one of its walls. He came out holding his head, and when I made a big fuss over him and planted my lips over the spot where his hand had been, he said, "That's better," and went back to playing. By the time my parents brought him back in the afternoon, he had decided he was furious at the cat for no reason and flailed his limbs around, slapped the air, growled, attempted to slam furniture and toys into the floor, and generally had a giant cow. After dinner, the three of us walked up the gravel drive to the neighbors in the drizzle and enjoyed cocktails together. It did Erik a world of good. He was offered some orange juice, which he politely accepted. He sipped from his glass and told my friend, "This is very good. Thank you." He was excited to play with Max and Maggie, the two daschunds there. He gently held their long faces in his hands and talked to them in a funny voice that sounded an awful lot like one of the funny voices I use frequently (yeah, I'm insane). He said, "Whatchoo doin dere, Maggie?" Too funny.

I purchased noise-cancelling headphones for the flight to the convention this summer. They cost approximately the same as a small sports utility vehicle, but the little airplane we will be flying on is extremely noisy. I worried aloud that Erik won't even wear the headphones, but Brian suggested that if Erik won't wear them, we can wear them instead so we won't have to listen to him screaming. I laughed and imagined myself strapped into my seat holding a glass of wine and watching my Will and Grace box set on Erik's DVD player, smiling pleasantly while he screams bloody murder with his hands clamped over his ears. I think part of the reason I am a little (okay, a lot) off is the upcoming convention. Because we are geographically isolated from the families we know, this is a huge deal for my family. While I am looking forward to going, I will be relieved when it's a memory. I know this year will be the hardest, and once I get it under my belt, I'll be fine. My parents are going to be there, and I will likely get to see my brother and his wife as well. Still, I plan on firing up my margarita machine when I get back and throwing a giant barbecue party. My support group is next Thursday, and I feel a little sick to my stomach about actually talking this time but know it would be good for me.

Erik's physical therapist told my mother that Erik's body was tight this week in the pool. I hate hearing that because it makes me worry. Any physical change in him frightens me. I'm thankful he has PT every week to keep mobile and stretch his body out, but I still fret. I suspect he is growing at light speed again. He doesn't have to stand on his toes to see out my office window anymore. That's new.

Oh, yeah -- The porch is officially open for the season! Even in the rain, there's a dry, relatively dust-free seat ready for you if you want to stop by. I sure could use the company.

That's it for now.

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Blogger Laura said...

I would LOVE to join you on your porch!!!!

I hope that once you are at the convention you will be able to enjoy yourself. It's definately a lot to take in, but it's incredibly liberating to be around a large group of people who "get" it.
I'll be working at the childcare check-in on in the morning of the "First Timers" day that Wednesday and I'll be on the Parent Panel that day, as well. I can't wait to meet you all!!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

If I was closer I would stop by with a bottle of margarita mix. I hope he does well on the plane. I will be praying for you. That is funny that he was mad at the cat. Noah said his first sentence yesterday as he threw our cat off the couch. "Kayeee (katie) get out of here." Pour cats. They need a vacation.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I struggle with depression too. Especially when Payton is having so many behavior issues and I feel so alone. I have since got myself on medication and feel better, but still have very 'low' days. Please call if you need me.

I haven't gone to a convention yet. I'd like to go - but fear the travel wouldn't go well with Payton. And - right now - seeing how bad her behavior has been, I can't imagine sitting on a plane or having her in a hotel room. We may get kicked out! I will be very anxious to hear how it goes for you - and praying for a good trip for you all.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

I hope the conmvention does dyou some good

6:51 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I told my husband yesterday that i wanted to move to America. He laughed out loud and walked away...
I was 85% serious.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I'll be right over to hang out on the porch...I'll even bring a margarita machine! I understand your reservations about the convention 100%. This is why decided to wait and go to Disney instead...we only have 1 vaca. a year and I wanted it to be stress free. Although, now that we had our stress free vaca. I wish I was going to the convention too.
Maybe the plane ride won't be too bad. I will certainly keep you in my prayers for a phenomenal week filled with love, support and friendship, and a peaceful plane ride.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

If it is any help, I thought a plane ride would be HORRIBLE, turns out Abi loved it. She did cover her ears but she was loving the captive audience for her cuteness and knew she would get a pop when we were up in the air. That was enough for her to make it through the loudness of it all. I truly hope that Erik surprizes you! If not keep those ear phones handy, and away from Brian. Make sure they are in your bag not his :)


6:12 AM  
Blogger Tes & John said...

I am with Noel on the plane thing. We flew to Las Vegas with both girls and they both loved it! On of Lila's phrases is WoooHooo Party. Not sure where she got that from:0 When the plane took off she put both little fists in the air and let out her best woohoo. the other passengers got a kick out of it. I brought plenty of stuff for them to play with and back then it was CD players with headphones and tons of snack bags. If needed a little benadryl or melatonin before the flight(if you have tried it before).
I personally take a antidepressant, attend therapy AND drink! At least I am calm when I have a cocktail:) Anyway take care of yourself, don't put it off and I will bring the big Texas cups when the porch party is assembled.
Lila's mommy

1:13 PM  
Blogger Mercedes said...

It sounds like you won't have enough room for all of us who want to hang out! You'd better get a bigger porch.

You know that I color my hair and shop for shoes when I'm down. So now my hair is black and I just bought a pair of rollerskates. We all cope the best that we can. :)

I have never heard of this convention! I can't even begin to imagine how it would be to see somebody who looks/acts/thinks like Niko. I think I would just sit on the floor and cry. In relief or not, I don't know. I'll check it out.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

I would give just about anything to walk up that gravel drive of yours and have a nice cold drink with you on that porch. I will...I will someday.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Believer 1964 said...

Believe me I could use the company too!

I'm sure there are mixed emotions about the upcoming convention, but you'll go and live to share it.

Thanks as always for sharing with us. We're blessed because of your life story and Erik's journey.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You know how I feel about the porch...I wish I were able to meet you all a the convention, or when we move in down the rd. LOL that is so cool about the baloon I bet it was neat to see

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Cheyne said...

You write very well.

8:27 PM  

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