Lets just say, its either been weeks or feels likes weeks of downward sliding on my part. To say I've got some stress factors around me would be an understatement. My son is continually battling heavy nasal congestion which has me back to sleepless nights which brings back memories of his infant years. For 2 weeks now we've been crashed on our reclining love seat and sofa for our sporadic night's sleep.
Next on the line up is my husband's health which has me concerned about his eye sight and the onset of early glaucoma, and we've now found out why he's experiencing arm/hand numbness- a disc in the neck or upper area is crushed and pressing on those nerves. So the options are cortisone shots in his neck and then talk of surgery.
Last week I took my son's best friend and dog, Nitro (our Boston terrier) to the vet's for immunizations and a check up only to find out he's got mass cell tumors on him and not fatty polps which is what we thought they were. I've cried and thought out what our options are and how to tell my son. We honestly don't have the money to undergo surgery, chemo, and radiation for the dog. The only way to tell if they are cancerous is to do surgery and then biopsies. I know it will change the dog's temperament and currently he is acting fine and actually more like how he was as a puppy. My son is too smart and realizes something is wrong, so I had to have the honest conversation with him over his buddy. Talk about a tough one.
Bring on my parents who live in Florida. This week my dad's awaken early only to pass out and find to be DRENCHED in full body sweat and loss of urine. So far, its been 2 visits to the emergency room, with one full day's stay in the hospital for testing. Mind you, at the same time my mom's been experiencing extreme chest pains and was scheduled for surgery for a stent in an artery that was 70% blocked but only a few months ago was fine. She wasn't suppose to be driving and yet she was taking my dad to the emergency room. I did my best to put my deep breathing exercises to good use and remain calm as I hear this news over the phone at my home in Jacksonville, NC. I can hear the stress in my mom's voice as she relates getting my dad to the hospital and trying to put plans in action to get to her own surgery at another hospital the following day. Of course, I am on the phone to my 3 brothers to send out the news and pow wow on what course of action us kids should take.
I am fighting the urge to jump in the car and see how well I do in driving to Florida. The thing holding me in place is my son- to go to Florida on a trip like this I WANT my son with me. I know how much good it would do my parents to see him, but the school system will not allow me to take him. My only alternative is to wait for school vacations. UGH!!!!!!
Once I got my head straight I went to work to talk with my store manager and explain the situation. For weeks now my hours have been cut back, yet when they run into trouble with sick calls or whatever who do they call to come in quick to cover- ME. I am so desperate for work hours I juggle what I can so I can be there. Why- I need the money so I can buy those airline tickets to see my folks. At this point I am not stressing over Christmas I just want the gift of spending time with them with my son along. So I pleaded with my boss, to please give me more hours and if our store is booked with hours for other employees to please transfer me out to another store in the area if they need the help and can comp for my work hours. Its so frustrating because I do give my best each time I work and am getting faster and more efficient.
Yesterday when my mom was going for surgery and my dad was back at the emergency room I had a job interview with the county school board. Its the next step in my pursuit to becoming a substitute teacher. So, yet another reason I had to stay planted here since by calling it off my chance become nill. I knew my folks would be upset with me if I blew my chance. So, despite all the thoughts screaming through my mind I sucked it up and gave it my best. I will say I believe I did very well in the interview against the 2 people panel and hope my responses and references put me in the running to end up on the substitute teacher roster. It will be 2 weeks before I receive a letter letting me know either way.
I called my dad to give him the news on the interview and see about an update on his and my mom's health status. I was overjoyed to hear my brother in Florida decided to get in his car and drive up to my parents for the weekend to lend a much needed hand. Of course, my folks are having a fit over any of us coming to their aid. My youngest brother, in NH couldn't handle it any more and got time off from work to help out in FL once my other brother has to head home tomorrow since he runs his wife's family business among other responsibilities. Me, I am so thankful they stepped in since they know its eating me up not being able to just go.
Maybe you are thinking, screw it go, Suzy. The thing is I do know how much my son coming along will mean to my parents. He is the one grandchild who talks easily with them and they love to pieces. I don't want to go without him since I know he will be great medicine to their spirit and will to live. So, I am saving my money, searching for bargain ticket prices and resolving to raid the home equity line if need be to get us there during either winter school break or spring's one. Why wait till Spring? My mom has told me she has a BIG surgery coming up in March/April to resolve the other arteries that require stents. Can you just picture the gray hairs popping up on my head or actually the handful's of hair I keep ripping out.
My eating, exercising, and sleeping pattern is totally out of whack and I feel like I am hanging by my gnawed down fingernails. For a while I was doing what I could to counter act my lack of sleep at night with some power naps when I could. I also was doing what I could to do a workout here or there. My eating choices were healthy and though I haven't had much time to log in and track what I've been consuming I've felt good about the choices until lately.
It feels like the mountain I've been climbing up for over a year using SP as my anchor line just snapped and I am slipping fast. I have been hearing lots of negative word choices pounding in my brain at me and trying to figure out how to pull myself up and move on.
Here's what I've done. I make it a point to call my parents a few times each day for my sanity. I don't get off the phone until I hear them laugh. I took a good look at my home today and saw the neglect that's occurred and scrubbed the entire place top to bottom then went outside and took on my car. I made it a point to eat healthier choices today and use the scale and measuring cups. And despite seeing the new work schedule and seeing yet again my hours being very minimal I've come up with a plan. This week, I will get at least 1 workout in each day with that extra time no scheduled to work and then I will be off to the schools volunteering and doing something constructive.
I've been asked to help with a school wide project where they will have all the student making Patriotic Christmas ornaments to decorate a 8 ft. tree. It will be auctioned off with other pre-decorated trees by the county to help raise money for local hospice care. I am in and feeling better about using my time constructively. Sitting at home is eating me up inside and I've been allowing the stress to overwhelm and control. No more- I will be trying hard to log in, track and inch my way back up that mountain. The pounds that have come back on will start to recede back to where I banished them a few months ago.
But dear friends, I will need your help, encouraging words, and to know I am not in the battle alone to become a healthy person. Now more than ever this is what I need to be. My mom is in her early 60s so genetically I have a big battle ahead and need to be healthy now so I cut my chance of early heart disease down. Wish me luck and hope my inner determination keeps me inching forward again. No more sliding backwards there is too much at stake.
How do you overcome life's stresses and handle the backwards slide?