Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rest

rest1
rest/
verb
verb: rest; 3rd person present: rests; past tense: rested; past participle: rested; gerund or present participle: resting
1.
cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

"he needed to rest after the feverish activity"
Sometimes it feels like I am drowning.  I remember this time last year we were in much the same place we are now-surgeries, hospital stays, doctor visits, ER visits-it just never seems to stop.  This year has been a mix of all of us have medical issues.  I think everyone other than our youngest has spent time in the hospital or the ER or had surgery this year.
The one thing we have not done is rest.
With a family of 5 and parents who both hold full-time jobs (albeit mine is a telecommute position, which is sometimes a gift and sometimes a burden), we seem to always be in motion. The girls both ride horses (at different barns, of course) and our teenage son (who does not drive yet) always has friends he wants to see or places he wants to go.
Sometimes we have to rest. And if we don't do it on our own, sometimes our bodies will force us to do so through injury or illness.
It's hard to rest sometimes.  I have learned to do so, not by choice, but because my body (or the chronic illness and pain it bears),  requires me to do so.  My teenager is good at resting, as long as it doesn't interfere with his other plans.  My girls have not yet conquered the process of resting, they seem to need entertainment or distraction A LOT (I read somewhere that it is good for kids to be bored during summer break...clearly this person was not a parent).

That brings me to my husband.

I have posted before about how he is the pillar of strength that holds me and our children up.  He is, by a large margin, the strongest of the two of us.  But he needs to rest.  He is not good at rest.  He is good at work and cooking, cleaning and parenting.  He is an amazing father and husband. But, he sucks at resting.

His need for rest has meant that I have had to step up and boy has that been challenging.  Since he had neck fusion surgery 3 weeks ago we have had a pile of dramatic events. 3 ER visits, 1 hospital stay, and other (more stressful-if you can imagine) events.  

Don't get me wrong, I still don't feel strong and he still is very active in all aspects of raising our children and running our household (often too active for his recovery period). But, despite my lack of confidence, I have picked up and done the best I could so he can get some much need rest and relaxation (okay, rest maybe, but I don't see him relax much still).

In this season of our lives, it is my turn to step up to the plate and care for my husband the way he has always cared for me.  I doubt I will do as good a job as he does, but I will give it everything I have, so he can rest.

Blessings,

Meri

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I'm Fine

I lied to my daughter today.

She asked me about a bruise on my forearm and I lied about how it had gotten there.

Now-before anyone starts dialing the Domestic Violence Hotline, the bruise was from a blown vein where a nurse had tried to insert an IV to give me fluids during yet another ER visit.

My youngest daughter has been shielded, for the most part, during the events of the past 2 weeks (details are too personal to share yet) that have rocked our family to the core.  She has blissfully spent most of this time hanging out with and camping at the beach with her friend (whose parents I cannot thank enough for taking such good care of my girl). 

I spend so much time in pain, being sick, at the doctor's office, and in hospitals and I just didn't want to burden her with the fact that I had gone to the ER yet again during this time.

Chronic illness is an ever-changing beast.  There are new symptoms every few months (or more often) that we have to determine if they are related to my illness or if they are something entirely separate. It takes a toll on my family as much as it takes a toll on me.  Mentally and physically, this illness wears me down until there is almost nothing left and the worst part is that it does the same to my family.



As a mother, it is my natural instinct is to protect my children.  But, I cannot protect them from the reality that is chronic illness. My heart breaks each time I see the disappointment in their faces when I say I can't do something with them.

So many times I say "I'm fine" when I am anything but.  I simply get tired of talking about what hurts.  "I'm fine" is almost always a lie when I say it, but I say it anyways because I don't want to force the burden of this illness on those I love any more than I have to.