Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Mother's Hurt

As I sat catching up on one of my favorite blogs, I found myself with tears streaming down my face over a post where she takes her daughter to the ER. Instantly I could recall the fear that encompassed me as I listened to my infant son screaming as the staff took a fluid sample in the ajoining room. He was only weeks old with a bad fever and they wanted to check for spinal meningitis. When I was allowed back in the room, he was still crying and now had a shunt in the top of his scalp so they could run an IV.

It was Friday night and we were at one of those smaller hospital centers. They put us in an ambulance and transported us to the children's hospital. I was scared and hurting all over for my baby. I couldn't even hold him because he had to be strapped in his carseat. When we checked in it was obvious the staff here was very concerned for their little charges. They were also good at reassuring the parents. Our son was put on an IV with anti-biotics "just in case." He looked so horrible with the long tube sticking out of his head.

It was a long week-end of no answers, tests, little sleep, and aching. I ached for my child, for the stories of the children around him, the children who may spend weeks or months before they go home, if they go home. I ached for all the mothers who ever took their child to a hospital and cried for all those who watched their children suffer because they couldn't take their children anywhere for help.

Monday morning as we waited for the doctor I noticed a swelling starting on my son's head where his IV went in. I was concerned so hit the nurse call button. It took awhile for them to respond. I am not sure if they were busy, or sick of me. By the time the nurse came I was in near panic. The swelling now covered almost half the top of his little head! The nurse calmly reassured me the vein holding the needle has just burst so the fluid was just pooling under the skin. (A vein burst and this is suppose to be reassuring?!?!) She removed all the IV stuff explaining the body would eventually absorb the excess fluid. I was in tears. She was kind enough to wait on another IV, "since the doctor will be here any minute. Then we can see what he wants to do." The doctor came in and casually informed us they could find nothing wrong with our son. He probably had just had a viral infection and had been held over the weekend for observation since no doctor could make it around to see him and discharge us. Oops.

I was so relieved my baby was okay it out weighed my anger. I just kept thinking how blessed I was my baby was okay, my baby was going home, my baby would grow up to be healthy and normal as far as fore-seeable. I held him a long time. Love can hurt so much sometimes. I had felt so vunerable, so weak and naked because there was nothing I could to make him all better.

Since then I have learned I can make the calls about what I allow to happen to my child. Unless it is immediately life and death, it is worth taking some time to find out some information before allowing tests or treatments. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. It is also reassuring.

I also switched to a much better pediatrician who takes time to answer all my questions, explain everything, goes out of his way to check on and follow up on my kids. He also has a daughter, so he knows the fear and aching because he is also a Daddy.

Hopefully, you will never find yourself in the sterile white rooms praying your child will be ok. But if you do, know there are hundreds, probably thousands, of mothers also praying for you and your little one, probably in that very moment. Our hearts and love are with you.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

She Must Not Be Home

"It's such a nice day out today," I think as I meander out to the mailbox.

"MOM! Phone!" I walk back to the house hearing the machine kick on through the open door. *click* They hung up. Hmm...wonder who that was.

You see, our main line has no caller id box and is a corded phone right now. (The cord helps me remember to use the cordless voice-over-IP phone to call long-distance. We currently have 3 phone lines running in our 1400 sq ft house. Why? No clue. That's a Honey thing.)

"Ugh. Baby we have got to potty train you. I am so not a fan of stinky diapers." *ring* "Kinda' busy here, " I say to the ringing phone. *ring* "Leave a message" *click* Well, it was probably some survey or charity.

"Can we please keep the water in the tub?" Faintly from the kitchen I hear "Hi. I can't come to the phone" *click* Arg.

Besides baths, diapers and mail there is also potty training, cleaning, time outside and the occasional few moment I get to go to the bathroom myself, (rare as that might be.) If you want to talk to me, leave a message!

*ring* "Hello?" (Ha. I caught it this time.) "Hey Sis. Aren't you ever home? I've been calling all day!"

Friday, January 13, 2006

Today's Profound Insight

As I was cleaning the family room today I put in Kenny Rodger's "She Rides Wild Horses" cd. The second track is "Buy Me a Rose." For those of you who don't remember or know this song it's about a modern couple. He works way too many hours to get her everything he thinks she wants while she's at home feeling a gulf building and becoming more desperate to just get his attention. The Chorus always touches my heart.

Buy me a rose. Call me from work.
Open a door. What would it hurt?
Show me you love me by the look in your eyes.
These are the little things I need the most in my life.

Finally the singer realizes the song is about him. So he buys the rose "to open the door to the heart that he hurt." It always touches me. Today it really hurt though. At first as I began tearing up I couldn't understand why. My husband is wonderful about these things. I can't bear the thought of losing him, but the feeling now was a hurt, not a fear.

In my mind's eye I could see myself crying inside, the me I thought I would be at this point in my life. Suddenly I realized it was me who hurt me. My early choices had stolen the future I thought I would be living. I have forgiven myself for those choices, but not the lost future. I had never even really apologized to "me." Worst of all, I have done nothing to try to make things better. I have simply been existing with what has come about on it's own. I have wrapped myself in a protective coating of excuses to create denial. Oh, it hurt so bad to see what I did to me. This may sound hokey, but it is all so real. Tears were steaming down my face as I apologized to me. My other self wasn't angry, just so hurt at being forgoten and that I wasn't making anything of myself. She felt it was okay if I wasn't her, but not if I am not aspiring to be or do something. I committed I would begin today to start making it up to her.

Today I commit to living my best today and stop concenrating on "when things get better I will be/do." Today is what I have. This is where I am. I will do the best with where I am.

This will be enough.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Overcoming "What's Wrong With Me?"

Like many people who deal with depression I have a recording in my head that plays the phrase"What's wrong with me?!?!" as often as I will listen, and often when I am not. It gets really old.

New Year's is a traditional time to "start fresh." I didn't want to post any resolutions until I was actually doing them for awhile first. For two of my New Year's Resolutions (which I believe can be made anytime) I decided to do something different. I resolved to think of me less. Everyday I now make an effort to ensure I have taken focused time to hold Sarah (17 mos), playing with her one-on-on. During her nap time I spend time doing something with TJ (5) and Emily (2) that they enjoy. We have colored, sang, built play-dough, painted, cooked, played games, and other activities. No TV during this time. Last Saturday I took the 3 of them for a walk to the park. I wasn't in a hurry. It was their walk. We went at their pace. It was nice.

What does one have to do with the other? Well, I don't know if any part of me is getting "better" or more "normal," but that annoying voice in my head definately gets a whole lot quietter when I am consentrating on making someone else happy. I remember being taught when I was younger the cure for a broken heart is service to others. Maybe it is. Maybe, just maybe, it can be the cure to a "broken mind" as well.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Message of Hope

No matter how bleak it seems...hold on. Eventually the light will come. It may not always stay, but it will come back, especially if you are looking for it.