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360* Stress

Monday, May 10, 2010

My four month old granddaughter underwent very delicate brain/skull surgery three days ago. My daughter's family came to stay with us while the baby is in the hospital and until she is released to return home. This is such a challenging time. We had a baptism in our home for the baby two days before surgery. Preparing for that was exhausting after the many months of helping this little family in every way we could. My daughter underwent several serious medical procedures herself in the past few months. So much of my energy went towards caring for her three children and her as much as possible. We've had so much support in so many ways, but in other ways I feel pretty alone. My husband and I are exhausted and at times we feel we must walk on eggshells so we don't say the wrong thing to our daughter, son-in-law or their older boys. We so enjoy our time with these grandsons (5 & 7), but they are a handful. I have MS and my energy is not what I wish it could be. When I've been able to touch and even hold the baby briefly, it was such a joy. Her eyes are swollen closed now. She has stitches from ear to ear where her little skull was taken out, rearranged and repositioned. It is no wonder that her parents are besides themselves with worry. I pray. I encourage. I share updates with friends and family. I fear the worst and hope for the best. We keep the boys busy. For myself, the added exercise is a good thing, I think. It is the diet that suffers more. We try to snack healthy as much as we can. Yet, that cake from the baptism calls to me and I give in to temptation. It is a comfort to taste and remember that happy evening, that blessed time.
Every day is a gift. Though I may try, in reality I cannot give more than I have to give. I cannot change the things I cannot change. Sleep comes with difficulty. But it comes. I don't know what tomorrow might bring our way. Will the baby breathe on her own and be released to recover more in our home? Or will the hospital keep it's dark grasp on her little life? One day at a time. One moment at a time. The seconds tick away. Tonight it seems I will always remember every detail of this challenging time. I doubt that will be true. Details will fade with time. What do we take away from such experiences? There is much to learn. Love one another. Overlook the frustrations that surface from those we are so close to. They have to vent. Family should be a safe place to land. Try not to hurt those we love. Try ever so hard to not allow the barbs that come our way to leave lasting wounds. Let these trials help us to grow into the people we were destined to be. May we be stronger tomorrow than we were yesterday. May we care for others and ourselves better next week than we did last year. Preserve, protect, and recognize the worth of these lives we've been given. Be kind to one another and to ourselves. So much to learn, so much to give. Be willing to receive. Be willing to rest. Share hugs. Share hope. Enjoy the laughter. Remember. Be open. Be honest. Be careful, but not too careful. Today is a gift. Let us unwrap every precious part. I don't want to miss a thing. How about you?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNE-ELIZ 5/10/2010 11:41PM

    I'm so sorry that things are so difficult!

Your love and caring show through every word you've written and you have done beautifully in caring for your family and others as well as managing your own health and well-being.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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MEADSBAY 5/10/2010 10:01AM

    I cannot begin to express my sorrow for your painful situation.
I am in awe of your wonderful attitude and how much love and giving you have to offer, despite your own physical and psychic pain.
My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time.
I am so grateful that my only grandchild is a healthy soon to be one year old and truly wish the same for your precious little one.

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FITMARY 5/10/2010 5:43AM

    May you find the strength to keep going. Best wishes.
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A week to Prepare

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I just returned from a rush trip to help my daughter with her family of three children and one husband. My daughter had been in the hospital for the third time in as many weeks due to surgery, kidney stones, lithotripsy, stents put in and stents removed. She is a trooper and my hero these days. Her youngest is just 4 months old and will have brain surgery in 9 days. She will come to the children's hospital here so the family will be able to stay with us and I can help as much as possible. My heart is so broken about all of this and yet I know the Lord had purpose and will use it all for good. The baby is strong and so very cute. She is ahead of the curve in everything except growth. Her brothers are so crazy about her as are the rest of us. So, since my return two days ago I've been trying to get things in order here in preparation of their arrival a week from today. Though I love having them here anytime, this time is certainly different. Other family and friends will also arrive for support so it will be a wild few days. Then there will be a time of healing for everyone. As I look forward to all of this I pray for strength for everyone and wisdom for the docs. My daughter's husband is a neurologist so he is keenly aware of all the possible things that could go wrong. I'm focussing on all the things that have and will go right. But, when I do succumb to stress, I add a bit to my workout and activity levels. I sip a glass of water or a cup of tea and I munch on some carrots, a handful of nuts or an apple. That seems to be the very best medicine for me these days. When I sit too much I know it is not good for me in any way. My mind wanders where I don't want it to go. My energy dips. My sleep suffers. Life in general is less satisfying for me and anybody near me. So, I remind myself to keep moving, keep praying, keep an eye towards good nutrition, spend time with encouraging people, and read uplifting words. I know that the best way to help take care of my family is to take care of me. How I feel next week is intimately related to what I do this week. May all your tomorrows be filled with blessings pouring out of your choices for today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 4/28/2010 6:21PM

    Oh, me, oh, my- what a difficult time for you and your family!
I am sending you all the positive energy and uplifting thoughts this medium will allow. You are a very wise woman to take very good care of yourself right now so you are in the best possible condition to care for your loved ones.
Best wishes,
xoxoxo
elizabeth
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FANAMAMA 4/28/2010 3:52PM

    I am sending up prayers for your family and the health care providers that will surround you all next week. You have a great attitude and mind set. Take one day at a time.

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One of those days

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I woke to a smattering of fresh snow. I left the house for a prayer meeting to sunshine and blue skies. I left the church to overcast and drizzle. Those conditions remind me of my own feelings this day. I've been down and up and then down again. I think most of our lives share a thread that is common. When I get overly optimistic and expect to accomplish something important by a particular date and in a particular way, it seems there are often demons of many kinds ready to plant obstacles in my path. It may rain on the day I want to garden or walk at the park. It may blow far too hard for me to trim the shrubs. A migraine may prevent me from finishing that book. The multiple sclerosis I battle may flare in a very unwelcome way that conflicts with everything I had planned for the day. Yet, I know tomorrow will come. I also know that I am quite smart enough to substitute another activity for the one that isn't going to happen. I find that I only really get down when I give in to disappointment. A pity party is not much fun. I'd much rather take a bubble bath, walk on the treadmill, listen to music, pray in a quiet dark place, write a letter, call a friend or any of the countless other things that can easily replace the 'plan'. Goals are awesome. Flexibility is healthy. Life is good!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 4/13/2010 10:07PM

    How uplifting this blog is!
We are happier when we are at peace with our lives just as they are and understand what we can control and what we cannot.
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SASKATIA 4/13/2010 9:02PM

  I love to deviate from my plans at times to reward myself.

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ERINLINDSAY83 4/13/2010 6:45PM

    What a positive blog to read! Thanks for sharing! It is a good thing to remember...that you NEED to be flexible in life, because there are always things you cannot control.

Good luck on your journey!

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Another storm or just a little more wind?

Monday, April 12, 2010

After a beautiful beginning to the week, I am sad to feel the windstorm today. Perhaps another real storm is on its way. We'll see. But, I'm using the day to get caught up on so many jobs around here. Bills are calling to me, laundry is not quite finished, ironing awaits and correspondence continues to pile up. There are many phone calls and emails to be returned. But, when my daughter called from far away, I stopped everything. She was back in the hospital over the weekend fighting response to surgery she had two weeks ago coupled with some kidney stones. She went home after they flushed her kidneys and got her pain under control. Meanwhile, I sit here too far away to be of much help. I offered to come, but she thinks she can manage still. With her three young children including a 3 1/2 month with some birth defects all wanting her attention, I can only imagine her current stress level. Still, this is her family now, not mine. I must remind myself that she will tell me to come when she needs me. I was there for her surgery and then she came here after I came home so I could help her some more with the children. She knows I'm here. She knows I'll be there in a heartbeat if she calls for me. So, I wait and pray that all will soon be well once again. My little eaglets left the nest some years ago. They can fly on their own. And, I know they must. There may be a storm on the horizon, but right now it is not my storm. I will sit tight and not let the wind blow me over today. I may bend, but I don't think I'll break any time soon. How are you doing as the winds blow in and through your life today?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 4/12/2010 9:07PM

    You have the right attitude- it's hard to watch your kids struggling.
Sounds like you have done a lot already and your daughter knows you're just a phone call away. I hope she's feeling better soon!
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Spring is really here!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I can hardly believe that another winter has gone to sleep and spring flowers are raising their lovely heads everywhere I look. This change of season encourages me so much. I know that I can put away my winter wardrobe and begin wearing those bright and lightweight things that have been sleeping in storage. I somehow wonder if I will fit into those brightly colored clothes this year. I'm continuing to have my ups and downs with weight and exercise, but overall I think I'm headed in a healthy direction. I'm eager to make the time to dig through the drawers and closets and start a new season in earnest. I will trade in my treadmill most days for walks in the beautiful nearby parks. I will trade in my comfy chair for outdoor projects and indoor sprucing up. I look forward to finally buying the glass tiles for my kitchen backsplash and the paint to compliment the job. Everything feels better when the seasons change. Somehow, there is more hope and I become a more positive person as I look around me at all that is in the offing. I may dream big. I may never accomplish all I hope. But, I will never accomplish anything if I don't start by dreaming the possibilities. I hope you are dreaming big this spring!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITEMAN3D 4/10/2010 5:44PM

    Reach for the stars. You might not make it, but you could get to walk on the moon a couple of times in the attempt. The cool thing about Spring is that it comes back every year.
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HOPE2BE 4/10/2010 5:20PM

    I love your idea about spring. If we don't dream we don't realize what we can change and make possible. Changes are good. Very good blog.

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REDHATLADY9 4/10/2010 4:37PM

    Spring is here and it brought the pollen with it.

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BECKYCRAFT 4/10/2010 4:23PM

    I loved your post about spring. I have already painted the living room, dining room and hallway area. My hubby went out and mowed and cleaned up the yard today. I am seeing flowers all over my nightly paper route and they are so gorgeous. I love the ones that are pink and purple and lavender and white and look like little bunches of blooms...hyacinth i think.



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