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Thread: How is everyone holding up?

  1. #11
    MERC Ra\/en's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Death Engineer View Post
    Last 2 years have been pretty rough on the family front. Lots of mental health related issues with my now 18 year old. He went through some pretty serious depression and was hospitalized nearly a dozen times in a year with suicidal thoughts before we finally found the Huntsman Institute. We had tried most everything typical by that point (tons of different meds, carefully titrated, etc, but nothing very effective) and therapy/counseling. This was expensive financially, but the real cost was the emotional toll on the family.

    Thankfully, the wonderful team at the Huntsman Institute for Mental Illness suggested trying ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy). Basically shock therapy, but it is nothing like you're picturing. They induce a controlled seizure for a short period (just under a minute) with high voltage to the left frontal lobe while under full anesthesia with muscle relaxers to prevent associated spasms and teeth protection, etc. They have an 80% success rate bringing treatment resistant depression under control and this has definitely been the case with my son. He became more like the person we've known for the 17+ years before this started.

    He still makes trips back to Huntsman for maintenance treatments, but this has given him a new outlook on life. He is on track to graduate high school with his peers and is looking at college plans. A huge step in the right direction!

    My daughter that is now 16 began having panic attacks in mid 2020. This has been compounded by a home situation where we weren't sure if her older brother was going to survive his depression, and we were concerned about finding him on a day to day basis (he made several attempts). Meds helped her quite a bit, but she has faced a new phenomenon called PNES (Psychogenic Non Epileptic Seizures). This is basically an anxiety induced seizure. The difference being that unlike an epileptic seizure where you lose consciousness, you are present and aware through the event despite not being able to control all of your major muscle groups. It looks pretty freaky, but ultimately is not dangerous provided that you protect your head. She fell once and hit her head and ended up with a concussion. She is learning how to retrain her mind to "fight" these PNES events, but it is a tough battle. All things told, she has missed a good bit of school this year, but is doing OK. She is so strong!

    My wife has been amazing during all of this. She's basically super woman and has been clutch in connecting to find the right therapist or treatment and helps to follow up with the insurance folks when they get things wrong (which is often). While I know these kind of things can pull families apart, it has definitely caused us to draw closer. I'm so thankful for her.

    Our youngest 2 (8th and 7th grade) just completed their Cross Country season running 2 miles at our state meet where our team took away 1st place in 5 out of 6 events (2nd in the other). My 8th grader finished 5th in state with a PR.

    On the dog front, we lost our larger Dane (Dallas) last year around this time. He got bone cancer and had started limping. There isn't much they can do with large breeds once it is in the joints and we're not the kind that would do all kinds of surgery when they are suffering. 2021 was a tough year for us. George, our "small" dane (at ~100 lbs) continues to be a goofball. We talk about getting another dog for him to play with, but haven't pulled the trigger yet with everything else going on.

    And then there's me. I am still working at the same place. Thankful to have a job and a business that is going well. We completed a contract with Raytheon for the Air Force and got a follow on contract designing modern HF radios for them. Our company (I was employee #2) has grown to nearly 50 full time folks and we will break into the $10M/yr range this year. This has allowed us many advantages when dealing with the mental health issues that I know not everyone has access to or funds for. We are definitely privileged/blessed/whatever you want to call it. And we do our best to be generous in light of that to those less fortunate.

    Part of what has kept me sane these last 2 years is exercise. I was on track to run 100 miles / month this year (a modest increase over 2021) before I injured my knee jumping back and forth over a gaga pit wall (sigh, getting old stinks). I need to see a specialist to figure out how bad it is. When I'm not working, exercising, spending time with family, or sleeping (lets face it, that's pretty much it these days), I play Rocket League. Rocket powered cars playing soccer with a giant ball. Good fun. Come join me -- my Epic ID: DeathEngineer1.


    PS. We should really setup a Gamemecca Slack or Discord or something for those that still want to keep in contact.

    I'm sorry to hear about all the struggles that have beset your kids. I can't imagine that the pandemic 2020-2022 years were easy on them either. It is wonderful to hear that you have the resources to provide them access to the best possible care. I hope that things continue to improve.
    Also great to hear that you are staying active.

    My kids are now 9 and 6. My wife/kids and I live near the Rocky Mountains in Canada, and I try to spend as much time as I can out in nature with them. We ski/snowshoe/hike/bike etc. My oldest kid has mild autism. With added supports he has done very well and is functioning normally. Our youngest is healthy and well. Wife went back to school this fall, so we have been busy.

    As a family/ER physician , my last 3 years have been hectic to say the least. I honestly feel that I am more focused on what's important (family/health/connection), instead of the endless workaholism that my career usually involves.


  2. #12
    The Kool-Aid Pimp Dangerous Dan's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    oh my gosh, RaVen's update is a year old... anyone here but the tumbleweeds? I'm a year away from 40 now. My, how time flies...

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