Monday, April 2, 2012

The Basket is Seeping

I debated which blog to blog on today....either mine or David's but because my life and David's life are so tightly intertwined lately and because I have so much catching up to do....I opted for this one. It has been ages since I last posted and since I just taught my yearly free college day "Creative Writing and Blogging" course this last Saturday, I decided I better get back on the horse and practice what I preach. I am.

Life continues to speed by with barely a chance to catch my breath. In the last two years I thought I was busy taking care of the house, the boys and working. The truth is....I had no idea what busy was until I no longer had a job away from home and started working at home. Partly it is because there is no time clock here with definite "working" hours. My time clock now starts the second my eyes open and is often still ticking up until 10 or 11 at night. Much of this never ending work day is due to the fact that I am on both an emotional and physical time crunch due to David's up coming surgery. There is an ever growing list of things that must be accomplished in order to be ready for this surgery....along with cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids and baking and delivering "lots" of cheesecakes. So far (for the most part) I have kept my head above water and the rapid pace of life has helped me not to dwell on or even think much at all about the details of the impending surgery. I have also been very happy of late. I have accomplished more in the last couple of months than I had in the prior six months. It is a good feeling.

Last week though.....things started to unravel a bit for me. Because I am going at break neck speeds from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed, when I do is not always restful and when I get up....I am not always as alert as I need to be. I find myself having to check and double check things I do from making sure I haven't missed any cheesecake orders to making sure I am getting David's daily meds laid out correctly. I described to someone the other day that my brain is like a basket that has been overfilled. When you get to a certain point...things start falling out and slipping through the cracks and that is kind of where I am. As I said...last week kind of had me hitting some rough spots.

The closer David's surgery gets, the more knotted my stomach gets. It is the not knowing and the not feeling like I am completely prepared. Balancing that with all the day to day things I need to accomplish is alot to deal I have little room and even less patience when things unexpectedly get thrown at me. Z has been having health issues for awhile now....most centering around his stomach. Now I myself from time to time have thought some of his issues were brought on by stress. Lets face it....the kid has had a steady diet of stress since he was five so it only makes sense. In the last year his symptoms have gotten worse and he has been diagnosed with abdominal migraines and what they felt was "likely" an ulcer. These diagnosis basically came to be when three separate doctors had ruled everything else out. The diagnosis was great but saying there is a problem without fixing it really does very little to help the situation. So we continued on. Finally....Wednesday while I was fighting with insurance, case workers and trying to deliver cheesecakes.....all while feeling as if someone had run over me with a truck.....I get a call from school that Z is having some very serious stomach issues that had to be addressed immediately. I had to rearrange delivery schedules and shut down the insurance company conversation and run Z to the doctor. Immediately they felt that this was something that needed further investigation so they set him up with a gastrointestinal doctor that same day. I was told that if I was a minute late that he would not be seen. Since I had about a two hour window before that appointment....I thought I would have plenty of time to deliver the cheesecakes that I had promised earlier and still make the appointment. In theory it should have worked easily....but the basket was overflowing and things were steadily seeping out the cracks.

I had three separate orders to deliver and they were all within a short distance of each other. It should have been a piece of cake, but my brain and my emotions were on over load. I over thought the whole process and ended up getting lost not once but twice. In the process my road rage kicked in (don't cut me off when I am lost), I was worried about Z and right there on Central in Wichita.....I had a melt down. I screamed, I yelled and used words that would have made a sailor blush. Poor Z just sat there (being as he had no escape from the situation) and let me rant. Once I pulled myself together and was more than a little embarrassed over my out burst....we made it to his appointment with less than a minute to spare. While waiting for the doctor to come in I sheepishly apologized to Z for having to witness the insanity which has become his mothers life....and then he reminded me of why I am so blessed to call him son. He looked at me and said "I have no idea what you are talking about," and changed the subject. What an awesome kid!

Following his apparent amnesia over my mental instability.....the doctor walked in and informed us that she felt a colonoscopy and endoscopic procedure were necessary. WHAT??? I hadn't planned on him having to have one of those for several more decades. It was felt though that this was the best way to see what was actually going on with him. All I could think was....another medical procedure....more waiting.....what new speed bump? The basket was seeping fast! Luckily they could get him in Friday and so they sent us home with prep instructions and a whole new list of possible outcomes to worry about.

Friday came fast and after the unpleasantness of the prep...the test was quickly and skillfully executed by the doctor and I barely got through a chapter of my Valerie Bertinelli biography before she (the doctor) was giving me the findings complete with pictures. Z has an infection in his colon....apparently there for quite some time and causing ulcers. This apparently explains a lot the last couple of years. They sent biopsy's of the colon off for pathology and hopefully today or tomorrow we will have the complete picture and then she will proceed with treatment (likely antibiotics) and soon he should be feeling like a new man. Prayers were definitely answered as I prayed like a fiend for those 48 hours, that God was not giving me more of what He felt I could handle. Perhaps He was peeking during my little meltdown and realized I was at my breaking point.

I am running on a short fuse right now and in the midst of all of this while telling a couple of key people who "had" to be informed of the upcoming test....I was given a bit of bludgeoning that I really wasn't expecting (although...I probably should have). The first one took the opportunity  to go back over the past let me know that I had "never" allowed Z to be a kid. I was told that he was way to involved with David's life and that my actions were the cause of Z's stomach issues. They were just sure that Z's issues were stress due to the fact that in their opinion....I had not been the "mother I should have been" all these years and that he had never been able to have fun or be a kid. There were other things said that made the conversation even more fun...but the gist of it all was that I was a horrible mother. The second conversation was just as fun....but in reverse. The second individual felt that I "allowed" Z to do way too much. I was way too "permissive" and because he was always running with friends, having parties and involved in music and theater that he was overdoing and I was not being the parent I should be by allowing all of this "nonsense!" The family support I get is often amazing (and not necessarily in a good way!) So I am doing it all wrong! Big shock! Perhaps if these youngsters had come with owners manuals.......but I digress! After giving it some thought though....maybe there is a grain of truth in what they say. I probably don't get it right much of the time, but it is not for the lack of trying and they like me are probably more than a little stressed over the upcoming surgery. So maybe that day...we all got it wrong! Who knows?!

And so the surgery. We maybe flying out as soon as this time next week. It will either be Monday or Tuesday and then we will be on the road to a different life for us all. I find it an amazing blessing that I have been so incredibly busy during all of this. The time has flown and I have had zero time to think....let alone worry about the down side to all of this. I have an extremely fertile imagination and it takes nothing for it to walk on the dark and negative side of uber busyness has been a good thing. This weekend though....even through the hecticness of life....the thoughts have started creeping in. I am scared! I have not voiced those words before and yet they are the essence of how I feel right now. I have no doubt that David will be in the best hands and that the surgery will go as planned.....although the thought of that little guy having to endure the surgery and then the pain is almost unbearable for me. Knowing that for some time to come he won't be able to move about the house as he pleases or follow me from room to room brings tears to my eyes. Feeling as if his laughter and happy sounds are going to be replaced with frustration and tears turns my stomach inside out and makes me almost go weak in the knees. Other than the melt down the other day I have remained emotionless on this whole thing. I have not allowed myself to think too much, feel too much or research too much of anything about this process. I am so afraid that if I did....the realization that in some very large part....David and I are alone in all of this would become very overwhelming. When David was born and his life was in such a precarious state.....I swore to him and God and anyone else who would listen that I would give him everything in this life. I would give him every opportunity and chance and that I would protect him from all the bad stuff. So far his life has been a whole lot of bad stuff and his chances and opportunities have all been achieved because of his own inner strength and his constant desire to fight his way through the toughest situations...and here we go again. More bad stuff that he is going to have to fight his way out of.

Don't get me wrong. I still feel so blessed that Shriner's came along and that David has this opportunity. I was warned from the get go that the journey would be very hard but the destination well worth it. I also know that even as stressful as the last couple of months have been.....this has been the easy part. The hard part is just on the other side of that door and next Wednesday....that door will swing open. I can't even imagine the road that is ahead and I really can't even prepare David for what is in store. All I can really do at this point is....pray. I pray for an easy and successful surgery, little pain, a quick recovery and the ability to hold it together through it all. Perhaps it is no accident that the week prior to his surgery is Holy Week and perhaps this week I too will be carrying my own cross of fear, worry and self doubt. It all seems a bit overwhelming. I have shared my fear(s). Life goes on. Whatever is suppose to happen...will happen and we will have to go through what we have to go get to where we need to be. I guess it is time to clean, bake, fight with insurance companies and get my day started. I am okay. I am still happier than I have been in ages and I have faith that all will be fine. David is a strong young man and because of that....I too will be strong for him.


Anonymous said...

God is with you, David and Zach. And your MANY friends have your back as well.

Steve J.

LisaAnne said...

Lisa, you continue to amaze me.

But at this moment, I am more struck by the comments of the first person you reference here. He/she is correct; if we focus on one thing, Z does have alot of responsibility within your family and he did have to grow up faster than kids his age.

Sometimes that happens.

But God doesn't make mistakes. He put Z in your family for a reason. God created him to be the child and young man that he is. God created Z to fulfill a role, just like he created you for the role you have been given.

YOU did not make Z grow up faster than his friends. The circumstances surrounding his life made that happen. You are not to 'blame' for that.

If you were a dead beat mom who made Z stay home while you were out partying, then maybe it would be 'your fault'.

But let's get real here. He is part of a loving, caring family. Z is valued, appreciated, and loved.

He does bear responsibility that other children his age may never see in a lifetime. But is that in itself a bad thing?

Stuff happens. Things we don't understand. It changes all of us.

Your family has been and continues to be refined by fire. And the gems that have been created because of this pressure are beautiful.

You and Z are both amazing, beautiful and perfectly flawed people.

And God intended that.

I love you Lisa, and I am so glad that our paths crossed. Because of you I have learned so much.