Thursday, August 02, 2012
Wow! Lots of things have been happening in the past few weeks, and unfortunately SP had to take a backseat for a bit.
I asked for prayers for my 9-month old niece a few weeks ago. She was seriously ill and the doctors couldn't figure out why. After two weeks in the hospital, a pediatric gastroenterologist from Children's Memorial Hospital finally diagnosed her with Hirshsprung's Disease, which is a condition that develops during gestation. Without going into all the details, the disease causes part or all of the large intestine to not work. Most cases are identified within a day or two of birth, but for some reason, Audrey was able to survive until she started solid foods. Extensive biopsies showed that she was in the top 5% worse cases in that her entire large intestine was diseased and needed to be removed. She will need another surgery in 3 months and a third one a year after that. Needless to say, our entire family has been STRESSED!
On top of that, my son Fred will be going in for major surgery a week from today. He has a condition called pectus excavatum. Basically, the cartilage in his ribcage grew too much, pushing his sternum into his spine. As a result, he has developed scoliosis in his back and is starting to feel that his lungs can't expand fully. He will be having an extremely painful procedure in which steel rods are inserted under his ribcage, forcing the ribs to "pop out" normally rather than sinking in, like they are doing now. The ribs will need to stay there for two years and then be removed. I am worried sick about this surgery and possible complications, some of which are quite serious.
Other things have also been contributing to the general feeling of panic around here...the fact that schools are starting in two weeks and (my own fault) I did not get enough applications out while I was working summer school. That means no money and a lot of pressure. Right now I'm fighting the urge to beat myself up about it and/or feeling that it is hopeless to even look now because all the schools are hired up.
I also just got back from visiting my grandmother, who is 93 years old and the one person in my life who has ALWAYS been there for me, no matter what. She is a remarkable, independent woman, but her body is starting to fail and she is in chronic pain. When I hugged her goodbye, I had the very strong feeling that I would not be seeing her again.
So....that is my long-winded way of saying there are a lot of things in my life to be stressed about right now. But as of this moment, I'm not. I was flipping through a catalogue last night and saw a t-shirt which read, "Too Blessed to be Stressed". I thought, "Wow! That is SO TRUE!" Yes, I can choose to focus on the negatives...why a sweet little baby had to suffer for 9 months, or the fact that my son is faced with an agonizing surgery and recovery. I can continue to worry about the dwindling money in my checkbook and the fact that the teaching jobs for next year are most likely gone. I can even choose to dwell on the fact that I do not have much time left with my grandmother, a thought which instantly causes tears to well up in my eyes.
I can remember that I am BLESSED with a niece who is healing and happy when by all accounts, her large intestine should have ruptured a long time ago. I can focus on what a huge blessing my son has been in my life and how fortunate I am to have him. How lucky I am that he has access to one of the top surgeons in the country for correcting his condition. I can be thankful that I have an education and an automobile to get to work, and parents who have been so kind in helping me through this difficult financial time. Instead of crying tears because my grandmother's life is ending, I can celebrate that I was able to have such a close relationship with her for 49 years.
It really is all in your perspective.