Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I've listened far too long to the woeful sobs of my 5 month old granddaughter. I get migraines often and know how much they can hurt. I've had three concussions and know how debilitating they can be and how long the pain can go on. But, I've never had my skull removed, cut into ribbons and repositioned and molded as has this little girl. It breaks my heart each time the tiniest bump leaves her shrieking and sobbing anew. Since her surgery nearly two weeks ago I've been very reluctant to complain about the various pain issues I continue to face in my own body. There is something about a tiny baby in pain that makes all my trials seem less important.
I can't seem to get the scale to budge lately. Perhaps the stress of little Ziva's pain has something to do with that. Perhaps not. I don't know and it really doesn't matter. I'm thankful to not be gaining...to not be reacting to Ziva's struggles by medicating my life with food. I pray countless times each day for the Lord to take away Ziva's pain, that her little head might be healed quickly and completely. I am thankful she won't remember any of this. I am thankful that I will. I will always remember the brave little one who has had such a rough beginning to life. I will remember her smiles through her tears. I will remember that when everything else seemed to be impossibly horrible, her mom (my daughter) could still comfort this little one. It is not unlike the way I feel comforted when I look at something of creation. My mind is calmed, my cravings lift, even the pain of a migraine or the nerve pain of multiple sclerosis are relieved in part when I remember how small I am, how brief a life, how quiet a heartbeat, how great our creative God. Yes, prayer and meditation can indeed calm so many struggles in my life. As I gaze into the dark pools that are Ziva's innocently trusting eyes, I see beyond a little baby...I see a loving God who cares enough to touch this little one with His presence. And, He touches my pain, my stress, my cravings, my mistakes and He truly can make all things that are broken in my life new once again.
Pain, pain go away and if it is possible, please don't come back another day. Let us live our lives one good decision at a time. Then, I suspect we can all reach the goals that are truly important.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Our granddaughter is healing a little more each day. Now here eyes are open again after her brain surgery ordeal a week ago. Though I can't remember when last I was so tired, it is a good tired all in all. I help take care of 5 & 7 year old boys and the baby as much as needed. She is so fragile and will be fore up to two more years. Then we don't know if more surgery may in her future. Now that the swelling is a bit down she's really looking more and more like her almost 5 month old self. What a doll. What a blessing. I can almost feel the stress falling away from all of our lives. We can take a deep breath and actually let it out again. Yes, her brothers are still sick, my husband is sick, and now I'm sick, too...throat, cough. terrible laryngitis...but in many ways I feel better than I ever thought possible a week ago. Our son-in-law most leave us tomorrow and the kids and our daughter will leave in two weeks. I will miss them terribly. But, this has been a long five months and we look forward to a little down time. I may go home with our daughter for a short time to help her with the drive and watch over the baby on the trek. But, for the most part the stress has dissipated. I am so thankful for the outcomes to date. Perhaps with the stress alleviated my body will stop putting out those nasty stress hormones that love to interfere with weight loss. I feel like I'm about to embark on this journey once again. This time I feel like we've been through so much that sticking to a healthy plan will be far less difficult than what we've had the past months. What stresses have challenged you along the way? Can you look to those memories to remind you how far and through what you've come. I hope today is a good day for you in every way. I suspect it will be a great day at my house.
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?
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.
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