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Topic : 08/14 Hitting Rock Bottom

Number of Replies: 156
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Created on : Friday, March 28, 2008, 02:28:54 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/02/08) Is your life in the ditch, and you can’t see a way out of the quagmire? Dr. Phil's guests say they've lost money and careers, and now they fear losing their family. Lisa says she feels betrayed because her estranged husband, Anthony, is leading a double life. She says Anthony had a great career as an accountant, but was secretly gambling their money away. Now he’s jobless, homeless and living in their minivan, which is about to be repossessed. Anthony invited the Dr. Phil cameras along to capture his life on the streets, and you won’t believe where he winds up at the end of the day! Anthony says he knows his gambling addiction is out of control and says he wants to be back home with his wife and four kids. Can he cash in his chips for good, or will his addiction cost him his family? Then, Shauna says her life is unbearable. She and her husband, Kevin, have filed for bankruptcy, the IRS is knocking at their door, and they’re taking care of a terminally ill son. Shauna says Kevin’s heavy drinking only adds to the chaos, but Kevin doesn’t think he has a problem. Is Shauna overreacting, or is Kevin an alcoholic in denial? Can this marriage be saved? Tell us what you think.

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

August 16, 2008, 9:22 am CDT

08/14 Hitting Rock Bottom

Quote From: jewelsf

Dr. Phil had a reason to make this man wait for 30 days until he would get him some help. It's because this man was still in denial about his addiction. Dr. Phil could offer him all of the best help this world has to offer but at that time, it wouldn't have done any good. He wanted to see this man finally admit his problem and be willing to do something about it first, that is understandable. He wanted to make sure this man would commit to any program that he put him in. Maybe you missed the beginning? This man was still making excuses for his behavior and arguing over whether he gambled away $60.00 or not, and saying that he doesn't have "much of a problem anymore". And even though this is a disease just as any addiction is a disease, this is one that you can actually still hold down a job at the same time.  Dr. Phil "has" been doing this for 30 years so maybe he knows more than we do about how he decides to go about it.
Anthony was in such serious denial about his problem that Dr Phil was wise to make him prove himself.
 
August 16, 2008, 9:35 am CDT

08/14 Hitting Rock Bottom

Quote From: lmhawk1

 I'm usually very much in agreement with the "swift kick in the pants" that he usually gives a guest when they need it, but not offering the gambler help until he can "prove himself" just didn't seem fair.  It even seemed harsh in contrast to how he responded to the second guest.

Seemed like he ripped the gambler a new tush hole, told him he was an MBA so he was smart enough to get his act together and then moved him right along.  I just think he was way too tough and instead of helping the man get to the root of what might be wrong and offering counseling and follow up...he kinda just said "get outta here".

So why did the alcoholic get help?  Isn't he destroying his family and himself in much the same way?  Now he did give him some "tough love" Dr. Phil style, but was he more reserved because the man's son has a terminal illness?

I was left wondering if the gambler pissed Dr. Phil off during one of the commercial breaks or what?  Seemed like he just wanted to get him off the stage.
I think Dr Phil offered Krvin more immediate help because he had more than a terminally ill child to deal with. He also had a critical, carping wife.
 
August 16, 2008, 5:10 pm CDT

On the Brink of Disaster

 In 2007 our daughter Kaitlyn was one of 5 children recognized as a  "Hero for Ability" .  She was Microcephalic!  The doctor's only expected her to live one day, one week, one month but never 6 years 1 1/2 months later.  She passed away June 17, 2008!

As a parent of a severly disabled child, seizures, tube feeds, suctioning, visual impairment, hospitalizations and on and on...I can truly relate to what your going through.

I would like to share with you the speech that I shared at the above event to 300 guests.

Thank you for recognizing our daughter, she is truly our hero!

I would like to start by saying that we do not feel anymore of an inspiration than other parents who love their children.  If we are an inspiration for loving our child unconditionally and being proud of her and encouraging her, then all parents who love their children unconditionally should be looked upon as an inspiration.  We are proud of Kaitlyn, who she is as a person just as we are proud of the differance she has made.

The #1 thing that I find to be true is that children with extra challenges give us a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for everything in our lives.

We suffered a great deal upon Kaitlyn's diagnosis.  We did not eat, we did not sleep, we could not concentrate and life seemed like it wa ending, but everyday we still kept waking up.

Nevertheless, after the pain, the shock and the devastation...there is a unique strength.  We have learned to appreciate and value life in ways that we did not in the past.

If I had to say one thing that I wanted people to know about my life with Kaitlyn it would be that she has touched my very soul, the core of my being.  We have the greatest gift of all that some people may not recognize and many do not recognize it because they have never had the opportunity to experience Kaitlyn.  I used to feel sorry for families that have children with a disability, but I do not anymore.  In fact, I think we are to be envied because we have found the secret of life in our children.

I think many of us go through our lives only using a portion of the potential we are blessed with.

Kaitlyn has taught us to slow down and look for things that are beautiful and wonderful regardless of how small they may seem.  She has taught us to appreciate and accept help when it is offered and because of this we look more readily for ways we can be of help.  She's taught us that what's on the outside isn't always reflective of all that's there and we find ourselves looking more closely at situations now to see what may be there that we just weren't seeing.

We have learned how strong we can be and at the same time how vulnerable and afraid.  Kaitlyn has taught us a better way to approach life and in doing so we try to make ourselves as well as others around us better.

We try to empower other parents through mentoring and participating in workshops.  We pray and we have an amazing support system.  For me, my husband has been my pillar of strength!

We have had extensive early intervention from the beginning of our journey with an amazing support system in our medical community.  Infant Development, Physio, Occupational, Speech and Language, Vision as well as many other developmental therapies and workers.

It is only because of the amazing support team that we are standing before you today.  These teams of professionals that work daily with Children with Special Needs and their families, They have a gift!  Not only do they make a difference; they do not expect anything in return.

Our life as well as many others has been enriched because of their Commitment and Dedication.

Is that not worth something?

I think it is!

As parents, we have advocated at great lengths not only for our child but for other families.  My child may be gone but her memory will always be alive because of everything she taught my husband and I.   Because of my child and what she taught me during her life....my life is changed forever. 

You only have each other and while it is a difficult journey..don't give up on each other and what brought you together in the 1st place.  Enjoy whatever precious time you have with your son because the decisions you make now will affect you for the rest of your lives.

God Bless you Both, I wish you the best!

Sincerely, Suzana
 
August 16, 2008, 6:10 pm CDT

Quote Re: Krvin and his critical carping wife

Quote From: ramair

I think Dr Phil offered Krvin more immediate help because he had more than a terminally ill child to deal with. He also had a critical, carping wife.
Caring for a special needs child is very taxing on everyone....parents and society as a whole.

It is emotionally and mentally draining facing these challenges on a day to day basis.  You should be grateful your not in their shoes and count your blessings you aren't on the opposite side of the fence.  God only knows where you would be right now!




 
October 3, 2008, 9:20 am CDT

08/14 Hitting Rock Bottom

Quote From: specialneeds

 In 2007 our daughter Kaitlyn was one of 5 children recognized as a  "Hero for Ability" .  She was Microcephalic!  The doctor's only expected her to live one day, one week, one month but never 6 years 1 1/2 months later.  She passed away June 17, 2008!

As a parent of a severly disabled child, seizures, tube feeds, suctioning, visual impairment, hospitalizations and on and on...I can truly relate to what your going through.

I would like to share with you the speech that I shared at the above event to 300 guests.

Thank you for recognizing our daughter, she is truly our hero!

I would like to start by saying that we do not feel anymore of an inspiration than other parents who love their children.  If we are an inspiration for loving our child unconditionally and being proud of her and encouraging her, then all parents who love their children unconditionally should be looked upon as an inspiration.  We are proud of Kaitlyn, who she is as a person just as we are proud of the differance she has made.

The #1 thing that I find to be true is that children with extra challenges give us a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for everything in our lives.

We suffered a great deal upon Kaitlyn's diagnosis.  We did not eat, we did not sleep, we could not concentrate and life seemed like it wa ending, but everyday we still kept waking up.

Nevertheless, after the pain, the shock and the devastation...there is a unique strength.  We have learned to appreciate and value life in ways that we did not in the past.

If I had to say one thing that I wanted people to know about my life with Kaitlyn it would be that she has touched my very soul, the core of my being.  We have the greatest gift of all that some people may not recognize and many do not recognize it because they have never had the opportunity to experience Kaitlyn.  I used to feel sorry for families that have children with a disability, but I do not anymore.  In fact, I think we are to be envied because we have found the secret of life in our children.

I think many of us go through our lives only using a portion of the potential we are blessed with.

Kaitlyn has taught us to slow down and look for things that are beautiful and wonderful regardless of how small they may seem.  She has taught us to appreciate and accept help when it is offered and because of this we look more readily for ways we can be of help.  She's taught us that what's on the outside isn't always reflective of all that's there and we find ourselves looking more closely at situations now to see what may be there that we just weren't seeing.

We have learned how strong we can be and at the same time how vulnerable and afraid.  Kaitlyn has taught us a better way to approach life and in doing so we try to make ourselves as well as others around us better.

We try to empower other parents through mentoring and participating in workshops.  We pray and we have an amazing support system.  For me, my husband has been my pillar of strength!

We have had extensive early intervention from the beginning of our journey with an amazing support system in our medical community.  Infant Development, Physio, Occupational, Speech and Language, Vision as well as many other developmental therapies and workers.

It is only because of the amazing support team that we are standing before you today.  These teams of professionals that work daily with Children with Special Needs and their families, They have a gift!  Not only do they make a difference; they do not expect anything in return.

Our life as well as many others has been enriched because of their Commitment and Dedication.

Is that not worth something?

I think it is!

As parents, we have advocated at great lengths not only for our child but for other families.  My child may be gone but her memory will always be alive because of everything she taught my husband and I.   Because of my child and what she taught me during her life....my life is changed forever. 

You only have each other and while it is a difficult journey..don't give up on each other and what brought you together in the 1st place.  Enjoy whatever precious time you have with your son because the decisions you make now will affect you for the rest of your lives.

God Bless you Both, I wish you the best!

Sincerely, Suzana

Thank you so much. I too had a daughter that was ill and passed September 3, 2005. My daughters name is Jessica Caitlyn and she was born with a severe, rare and terminal illness. She was expected based on the 7 cases in the world prior to her to live maybe 1-6  months; yet with faith, love, relocation to a better medical facility, my lack of backing down and some luck she lived 15 years.

 

I appreciated reading your speech. It is very difficult to put into words what life as parent has with a severely disabled child is like. My life has been changed, I am a better person just for knowing my daughter. She taught me, as well as others, kindness and quiet strength during adversity.  My daughter taught me not to whine, life really is short and to ALWAYS say what you mean and mean what you say.

 

Jessica's father could not handle the responsibilities of have a sick child, leaving the job to me. I believe people are a hindrance or a help.  It was not easy but a journey. If you can support each other through the difficult or mundane every day tasks, great; if not then separate. Don't subject the child to the turmoil of emotions. Just my humble opinion. 

 

Before I lost my daughter I met a great man who accepted all her physical and mental abilities and did not run. I was shocked at the ability he had to accept her and me as "messed up" as we both were. I figured out later that she waited to pass away until I had found him, she let go when she knew that I had someone to lean on, someone to support me when she was gone. I could not or would not have survived her death had my then boyfriend and his family not been there. My heart was so broken, I loved her so much.

 

Watching this show taught me that others feel betrayed, there is no complaint line to say, "Hey God why did you give me a broken child? This was not what I was planning during pregnancy!" There is no return line! And the odds of getting a child like my daughter was less than hitting the California lottery of 90 million. So where do I email about getting the healthy child and the lottery money instead? I HATED being told that I must be so strong or that I would not have been given this unless I could handle it. I was not handling it, I was struggling each day. I hope that others will find strength in posts like these. There is respite care, there is community services, and there is hope.

 

These times are a compliment to YOU from God. If he didn't love and believe in you, he wouldn't give you challenges. These are opportunities for grace. From a Nora Roberts novel.

 
October 3, 2008, 9:48 am CDT

08/14 Hitting Rock Bottom

Quote From: maddies_mom08

I hope you two read this. I watched this show twice with my husband. I feel for you guys.

 

Our background:  We are also taking care of a terminally ill daughter. I do not know your specific situation with your son's illness, but I bet we are living similar lives. I only saw still shots of your son on tv, which makes me feel like he probably cannot talk, or smile or do much that gives you guys that feeling of a job well done at the end of the day. My daughter, Madison, was diagnosed with brain cancer at 2 years old. Up until that point she had lived a normal live, and so did we. Our lives changed literally overnight. She required an emergency surgery within 3 days of her diagnosis that ended the quality of her life immediately. She can no longer talk, eat, focus her eyes, respond to us, she is maybe one step above a vegetative state. It has been over 3 years.

 

I love Dr. Phil, but I feel like he may have missed some big points on this show, and maybe it is because there isn't enough time to address them, or maybe the public doesn't understand, or maybe he doesn't because he has never walked a mile in those shoes. This is hard to say, but you don't necessary want to focus on how long your child is going to live. These children are not a burden by any stretch, but it is very hard to care for a child that is in constant agony and they can not even tell you where it hurts. It makes your heart break. I haven't had to deal with the death of my child yet, but it is like having someone RIP OUT MY HEART when she crys and she can't tell me where to medicate her. I cannot imagine having to be the one to inflict the pain on her (in the form of shots). We used to have to give her chemo pills, and then watch her throw up and choke on it for days on end. We would wonder if this round of chemo was going to give her pneumonia from aspiration, or lead to an infection that would kill her.

 

Like I said, I don't know your son's specific condition, but I can tell from the pictures it must be similar to my daughter's. She was trached too. That is a lot of work. I find myself "picking" on my husband the way Shauna does. I recognize (and so does he) that it is a way to control something. You feel helpless. I can see why Kevin would drink...the situation is terrible. It doesn't excuse it, but these people saying that Shauna should end this "mockery of a marriage" need a reality check. Dealing with terminally ill children is very, VERY hard. We lost our business too. It feels like your life is falling apart. Like you have no control over anything at all. Maybe he feels like by picking up a glass of wine, he is in control of when he gets a break from the situation. I can relate to that. If you had a good marriage before this happened, then try to work on it. This has actually brought my husband and I closer. It takes a lot of work. But I can honestly say that he is the only reason that I am not an alcoholic, pill popper, etc. You two should be relying on each other for comfort. I am not trying to give advice. It just broke my heart to see you two, and we could relate to a lot of what you had to say.  Like I said, NOT TRYING TO GIVE ADVICE, but you guys NEED JOY. Life gets to a point where it is not worth living. I can say that I hit that point. This may not be right for you, but if you can get it back together somewhat it may be something to consider- we had another baby. It absolutely does not fill a void or replace Maddie, but I cannot tell you how much the smiles, coos, and wet baby kisses have helped. I was ready to see a doctor about my depression before having our second. And FOR US, it has changed life completely. I still struggle with depression, but there is finally a silver lining again. I didn't think that I wanted another, but my husband really pushed hard for it, so I gave in, and the joy has helped so much. Also my husband and I make it a point to sit down and talk about Maddie's illness once a week. We dicuss everything for an hour or two every week until we are on the same page with one another. We can appreciate each other's point of view more after talking. If I am having a bad week, he is aware and sensitive. We try to get an idea of where each other is at in the grief process, and take each other's feelings into account. My husband is aware of my limitations/weakness and makes sure he helps me with them and vice versa. My daughter's illness has torn our external family apart. There has been agruments with how much we should fight the cancer, when to stop, etc. With the exception of my father...my husband is the only one that understands it. You guys need each other right now, faults and all. Just try to build each other up instead of tearing one another down. You are both going to have individual "flaws" right now, you are losing a child and watching it happen. And if you are like us, not getting any hugs and kisses for the battles you are fighting. It is a hard job. Try to find joy somewhere, without it- it is impossible. I did it without any joy for 3 years, and watched my childhood dream of being a mom and a business owner disappear overnight. I also lost my the support of my mother in the process. I do not know what I would do without my husband, your marriage should be what pulls you through this. And Dr. Phil is right about that little boy needs to know he cared by parents that loved him and each other.

 

 My daughter's website: www.prayingformaddie.homestead.com  If you read this and ever need to talk, please do not hesitate. I am not apart of any support groups or anything, I am not one of those people that will tell you "everything happens for a reason," it sucks, sometimes there is no silver lining (you have to make your own).

 

Also one other point that has helped us, HOSPICE. Everyone hates the idea of it, but it really has been a huge help. There are misconceptions about it. But it really is something to check into. We don't know how long Maddie has, but she can have hospice benefits indefinately. Hospice is covered in some states under Medicaid, no matter what your income, even when your regular health insurance runs out. It is covered under something called the Katie Beckett clause in some states, also known as a deeming waiver. Hospice has set us up with volunteers that have been background checked...so my husband and I can have a date night every once in a while. Every six months they give us 5 days of respite care where the nurses that check on her weekly, care for her in a facility so we can take trips (we haven't had the heart to leave her yet, but it is good to know we have that resource if we ever need it). It also saves us a ton of time and money in co-pays and prescriptions. They actually hand deliver prescriptions to our home. If you guys have no external support then this would be a really good resource to check into.

 

 I hope I have given you guys some things to think about. Don't listen to these people beating up on Kevin for his drinking problem. He needs to get it under control, but you guys should take a serious look into what started to cause it in the first place (lack of happiness, too much workload in being a caretaker, etc) and try to work on those things together.

 

-Crystal

Crystal, I know this was posted some time ago but I just saw the show re-air. I had a trached daughter for 15 years and agree with your posts about people not understanding the daily struggle. Respite, Hospice, community services are available for parents. Medical technology has gotten better and sick children live longer. This is a reality; however, there is no guidebook for how to parent sick children, their siblings or keep a relationship stable. I had a child after my Jessica, facing the ups and downs of a beautiful and healthy child next to my terminally ill child. I think the lynch mob mentality is wrong and Kevin is in need of guidance, support, direction; not, criticism. People do not know what they can handle internally until faced with it. 

Each person that posted a note saying that Kevin was (insert mean statement), if faced with their own child being desperately, critically and terminally ill may react the same exact way! Point being, be careful of glass houses.

 
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