NOTE: This post mentions children *****
Does it happen for you – that when you’ve been on the verge of tears all day, they just come out when you are in your car? I’ve had tears sitting just behind my eyes since 1 am and they flowed out today on a 40 min highway trip.
You see (this is the children bit) at 1 am this morning my 3.5 year old DS was having trouble with breathing. This appears to be the second asthma episode he’s had – the last one was in November. I had been starting to hope that maybe November was a fluke, something other than asthma. Now, I’d have to say that’s unlikely. Thanks to help from many people, and especially Amy (she has an amazing asthma site), I was able to calmly & competently give him the right meds and calm him down. I didn’t want him to see how upset I was. And then when he was in bed, I didn’t want to let loose on my DH – he has been unemployed and job searching diligently since February, and he had a big interview today. He is an amazing guy! But I still didn’t want to bring out any extra stress just then.
This long-awaited, much treasured little DS just seems to have gotten the short end of the stick in some ways. He has food allergies – egg, tree nut, and fish – and the last two are in the category of “most likely to be life threatening” allergies. If you also have asthma, your chances of having anaphylaxis from your food allergy (ie. you die if you don’t get the epi-pen) are much greater. Is it any wonder I’d hoped so much we didn’t have asthma too? Food allergy itself takes such a toll in terms of stress and lifestyle. In its own ways it destroys – well, I should frame it positively and say changes dreams. Many dishes and foods are off-limits. Going to restaurants or parties is stressful and limiting and can be isolating. Travel seems like such a challenge. I know there are solutions for all of these, and we’ve managed quite well. But every now and then it just beats down my spirits and I have to bleed a little. I love him so much and it makes me sad that things most kids can do – like go for ice cream – are just not going to be possible for him – or at least not possible at any time like they are for others.
And then DS also has lazy eye – so he wears an eyepatch 4-5 hours a day, glasses always, and hopefully he won’t need surgery. It seems like he just got hit with a few difficult things at a young age.
I’ve noticed a theme in my life lately – through the prayer/meditation that I do, and through some of the comments coming through here too. I have to learn to let go more – instead of clutching at my sadness, sense of unfairness, hopelessness, despair, self-pity – I have to try to let them go. I did try last night, thinking instead of the many many things we have to be grateful for. There are so many people dealing with even more devastating things – like me, 5 years ago when we were slogging through infertility. I would have been overjoyed then if someone had told me that in 5 years time, these would be the things I am grieving.
This counting my blessings effort did help. I was able to hold it together and calm down enough to function. I think it helped me move from that feeling of “it’s just not fair” to simply grieving another blow, yet knowing that we will get through somehow. Clutching on to the unfairness, the resentment of those who appear to “have it easy,” being bitter, even angry – these are all feelings from the time we were ttc and experiencing IF. They are feelings that I seem to have nurtured and now it’s harder to let them go, maybe because they are so familiar. It’s easy to walk in that well-worn path when I am scared of what the future holds.
I’m really trying to turn this momentum around too. I’m trying to let go. All of these challenges my DS will face – they will help him build character and resilience. I’m going to remind myself to treasure every day with him, every hour. Nobody knows what the future holds for any of us, regardless of having food allergy or asthma or whatever. I wish he didn’t have such a hard road marked out. I hope and pray for him to outgrow his allergies, for medical science to provide more and better answers (and be grateful for the answers we do have). But people all over the world are walking their own difficult paths, and this just happens to be ours. Please, God, help me let go of the spirals that deaden the life and joy out of me. Help me to grieve cleanly, then get up and go on with courage, peace, and joy.
The song that really brought out the tears for me was “Let It Go” by Great Big Sea:
“Let It Go”
Hey man, you don’t know what you’re missing
You count your curses and forget about the blessings
Don’t you think you should learn a little lesson
What are you waiting for?
Hey man, what makes you so special
Can’t seem to find the angels for the devils
Don’t you think that if you learned to love a little
You’d live a whole lot more
Let it Go Let it Go
This is smaller than you know
No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road
Let it Go Let it Go
Got to leave it all behind you
Give the sun a chance to find you
Let it Go
How can a man not see
It seems so clear to me
You’ve just got to live and learn
Smile at the simple stuff
This road ain’t long enough
To miss a single turn