Friday, May 13, 2011

We interrupt gratitude broadcasting to bring you a note about surviving

I really am going to get back to our vacation trip posts. On Mother's Day Shutterfly emailed a code for 50 free prints, and I received them today. It's so fun to see photos in print and not just digitally! It reminded me how recently we were feeling so well and having a such a great time and why vacations and rest in general are part of God's plan for us. Regular day to day life no matter what your circumstances gets tough and when you add years of extreme physical, mental, emotional and financial stress to the mix the pressure makes you want to find a permanent place to run and hide. Dan and I have said over and over since the Florida trip which was amazing and wonderful but exhausting for us, "Now WE need a vacation."

This week began with Danica waking up Sunday night with the flu bug. It involved lots and lots of throwing up and every time I said a prayer it wasn't spreading, but I knew in reality the germs were probably already doing their nasty work. Monday night we had an amazing fundraiser planned by my book club friends at The Barrel Room. All together they raised just over $800 for Team Danica. This is such a blessing as so much support has dwindled as our lives have moved on from the surgery stage, and still we have so many financial burdens. My mom came to watch the girls, and I felt super guilty for leaving Danica but also relieved to have a little breather. Danica seemed much better my mom reported when we got back late that night. At 2 am I heard the sound coming from her room every mom dreads. The vomiting began again. By Wednesday night our Laney had it, and after the intial getting sick which completely ruined her beautiful comforter and terrified us both because of the violence, she threw up every hour on the hour 6 more times. Every time I held her hair and rubbed her back and emptied the bucket and washed her face. As dawn came my fatigue spoke to me. "You're next!"

Wednesday night it came to me. I don't remember being this sick in years. It's odd to have suffered so much pain and many surgeries and lots of true physical suffering and then get the no holds barred flu. There is nothing like it. The throwing up, the fever, the aching, the way your head hurts and your eyes sting and the soles of your feet burn. Dan really had no choice but to miss work yesterday. As the only provider now in a particularly busy time at his job this was horrible timing. Classic for us, I guess. I was so sick I could barely lift my head. Last night I called my mom. Dan desperately needed to work today. I was still shivering and crying from the aching. How in the world would I care for Delaney and Danica today? Mom had a full plate. I prayed a prayer. "God, you have to get me some sleep and make me feel some better tomorrow. PLEASE."

Here it is, noon on Friday. The house is a mess. The bathroom needs scrubbed. The carpets need vacuumed. There is laundry. I am disgustingly ragged. I've yelled at the kids. I've climbed out of my stupor enough to try to deal with the week of phone messages and bills on my nightstand. Danica's therapist was out this week. I need to coordinate donating her wheelchair to a local child who needs one. Danica's walker is in at Motion Mobility. Would I like to come pick it up? Time Warner Cable called. Our service is in danger of being deactivated. (Yes, I know. I can't pay the bill online because you decided to change Xpress pay which I've used for the 3 years I've had service with you to some other log in system which doesn't recognize my old login or help me in any way get an effective new one to pay my bill. An hour later I have accomplished one thing on my list.) Cleveland Clinic has finally given me a total for what I owe. $4,225.21. This is actually less than I thought it would be, although there is over $7,000 that Summa has still not paid in the pending category. I call them. Why have I called over and over and over the past few months for a financial assistance form and cannot get this mailed to me? They are sorry. It's going out today. SIGH. I call Cincinnati Children's about a balance from last June. Why are payments being applied to later things and this account not credited so it goes to collections. This is a full time job. The kids are screaming at one another about something. Hold on. Pray. Step into peacemaker, loving mother role. I know, let's have a quiet time.

I go downstairs and for some reason my craziness kicks it up a notch, and I began taking art work off the walls. We are moving in less than a month. How in the world will I do this? The things on my walls are my treasures. I want to move them myself, in my car, and hang them up in the basement of my parent's home. They will help give me strength to do this. The words, "Keep Calm and Carry On." "Keep the Faith." "Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much." "Love this Day." The beautiful watercolors we bought at the beach in 2006. Our gorgeous family photos taken by our friend Christina Adam at Grace Designs Photography . . . STOP. Monica. STOP. Clearly I threw up my medication. You cannot do this today. You cannot.

I came back upstairs and crawled in my bed. My muscles are still burning. My head hurts. I am still sick. Today, this is what God has for me. It doesn't look or feel like thriving, but we will survive. Dan emails. He's driving from Fairlawn to the Green office with a load of equipment. The JEEP is overheating AGAIN. This might be the end for the old car. Keep the ringer on if he gets stuck on 77 somewhere, and I have to go get him. Seriously.

I'm searching deep down for the gratitude in barely making it. I'm crying and read what I've just written. In every paragraph there is a remembrance of God's faithfulness to us. The fundraiser this week. We have not been forsaken by those around us in our continued need. The insurance we have that has covered hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills the past years and provided access to some of the best care in the world for Danica and I. My loving family who is willing to open their basement to us so we can try to recover from these things. A JEEP that was literally given to us two summers ago by a dear exchange student our family loved. Although we have put considerable money into keeping it going we have not had that car payment and Dan has been able to drive to work while I have had a reliable car for all the medical appointments.

Maybe this is STILL a post about gratitude. Because I am finally really grown up enough to say, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." God is good. All the time. In thriving and in surviving.

No comments:

Post a Comment