Oh dear, I disappeared, didn’t I?
Well, it’s like this. I am part of an online group to support mothers with peripartum cardiomyopathy, or PPCM. We are a large and diverse group, coming from all over the world. We come together to pray and support one another. We share research and bounce ideas off another pertaining to the nature of this disease. We share our struggles and lift each other up. We support the women who are newly diagnosed and can’t sleep at night because they’re having panic attacks and worrying about leaving their children motherless. We support the women who are years and years past diagnosis and still haven’t fully recover, handicapped day by day with a decreased heart function. We support the women who are technically recovered, but still have this hanging over them like a shadow and wonder if and when it will strike. We scour the internet and the real world, searching for other mothers who have this supposedly rare disease and when we find them, we invite them to join the group. We help each other discern things like what is a panic attack and what is congestive heart failure, sort out supplements and meds, weigh the risks and benefits of having another child. We are a group of women with big hearts, literally and figuratively. And when you put yourself out there like this—when you are there to pray and hope and support, sometimes you get burned.
Sadly, that is what happened to our little community this week.
It started when she joined our group six months ago. She was supposedly recovered within 6 weeks—a wonderful occurrence, although it does happen. My recovery took 2 years, so I will admit to being a little jealous.
A month or so ago came the friend request as well as the beginning of a constant litany of complaints about family, finances, and how she was inexplicably getting sicker. And again, this is unfortunately not without precedent. There have been cases where mothers get better only to become ill once more. She friended many of us, going off on unhinged rants on our personal pages. And if some of us thought it was odd that she never mentioned PPCM on her own personal Facebook page or shared pictures of her son other than right after he was born, we never mentioned it.
Right before Christmas, things kicked into high gear, and then next thing we knew she was in the hospital and her husband took over her Facebook account. She was in surgery. She was in complete organ failure. She was in dialysis. She was given last rites. She was the center of bedside brawl between her husband and her father. She was in a vegetative state. She was in a medically induced coma. She was waking up. She was flatlining again.
Some of us still believed. I’ll admit, I am a suspicious wench and was unbelieving from fairly on, wracked with guilt because what if I was wrong?!?! Other women rallied the troops, praying hard, offering money and goods. One woman had sent 9 large boxes of toys and supplies to help her make a Christmas. A woman who was 9 months pregnant with her post-PPCM baby was scared out of her mind. Lots of women were.
It hit the fan pretty quickly. Any messages on her personal Facebook page were quickly erased by the husband who didn’t want her young nieces… no wait, now it was her younger sister in another state… to know about what was happening. He refused to give the name of the hospital where she was so we could send flowers and cards. One group member took it upon herself to call every hospital in the state, only to find no woman by this name was listed. Another contacted her mother-in-law and asked what was going on. The backpeddling that occurred next was amazing.
She must have been hacked by her crazy stalker ex-husband, who somehow knew the intimate details of her life right down to the stuffed animal her baby boy slept with and knew all about PPCM. She denied. She swore. She raged. And now, thank goodness, she has disappeared from Facebook altogether, but not without leaving behind her a wake of confusion, hurt, and anger.
And that’s why we didn’t have Waldorf Wednesday last week—because I got caught up in a scamming fraud who tried to hurt a group of women I have come to call my friend.
Ah well—onward and upward, right?
I never did post some of my blog plans for 2013. I definitely want to keep going with Waldorf Wednesday, so I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for that, OK?
I also want to revive my “A Month of…” series. January will be A Month of Mondays. The first week we’ll focus on Monday’s chore rhythms. Around here, that means the laundry and cleaning the living room. The second week, we’ll focus on food rhythms, including the grain of the day (rice) and Monday’s kitchen chores. The third week we’ll focus on school rhythms, including the first day of a three day main lesson cycle and crafting with others in mind. And we’ll cover the color of the day (purple) and anything else I wanted to smoosh in there.
Another thing I am looking forward to is an online Spring Faire. I have a goal of really helping to create some online community. Because despite hackers, scammers, and frauds, we all still need that.
Peace to you and have a great week!