Friday, April 1, 2016

The Struggle

I apologize in advance that this post is not written in my typical fashion.

The past couple of weeks have been quite exhausting in my world.  Two weeks ago, my dad had a stroke.  I packed up the kids and drove to Minnesota to be with him in the hospital, freaking out internally the entire drive, so they wouldn't see my fears surface.  

My dad is recovering in a nursing home currently, with medications and therapy to help improve his life and hopefully get him back to where he was while attempting to disintegrate the potential time bomb in his carotid artery.  

I came home for Palm Sunday, so the children and I could be at church (and feed the cat), and I wept repeatedly in church, both out of gratitude for God allowing my dad to live through the stroke and to have a second chance.  I wept out of fear of losing him despite it all.  And I wept out of loneliness.  I realized in church that God is with me always, and I have friends and family to support me.  But, I also was presented, again, with the reality that the person who chose me, that I chose to spend my life with, well... he is still completely missing.  The one who promised to be my pillar of strength when I would someday lose my parents is nowhere to be found, and in his place, I have to place my trust in Him who I cannot see, cannot audibly hear, cannot feel him hold me.

As you know, I believe in God, devotedly.  I am striving to raise my children to feel the same.

But sometimes, it's still very difficult.

Fast forward two days, and I sat at work coughing and coughing and gagging and coughing.  I had been fighting off a cold for about three weeks as it was, and didn't think too much of it, other than it a continued nuisance.  But as Tuesday became Wednesday, and the cough got worse, and one of my ribs (which had admittedly been giving me issues for a few weeks after a coughing spell at the beginning of March) felt like it was piercing my side.  It made it hard to breathe, which made me cough more, which made my lungs hurt.  It was a mess.  Come Thursday night, I was actually a bit scared about it, but still trying to push through it, because I was sure it was just a cold and I was being ridiculous.  Then, my friend told me, "It shouldn't hurt to breathe," and I decided to bite the bullet and head to the doctor (uninsured, which is another story).

I saw a CPN who listened to me, felt my rib cage and could tell it was swollen and tender, took my temp and oxygen, and diagnosed me with bronchitis and a bruised/fractured rib, or possibly just swollen cartilage from forceful coughing.  She prescribed two medications and listed a bunch of others that I was supposed to buy and take.

I tried to tough it out and go to work the next morning, but it wasn't getting any better, and I just couldn't do it.

I haven't been back since.

Over the course of the weekend, I was blessed with the opportunity to sleep while my children were loved on by other people.  I missed Easter church, which would have felt incredibly devastating had I not been feeling so wretched physically.  Easter is my favorite holiday.  The kids and I watched it online, which was nice enough, and then they went to our "adopted" family's house for Easter while I stayed home and slept.

I cried quite a bit before I finally fell asleep.  Easter was the last holiday that the children and I had with their father before everything truly fell publicly apart.  And here I was, alone, sick, almost unable to function, and while my children were at the same place we last celebrated Easter.  This year they had no dad with them, and their mom couldn't be there either.  

That moment began the struggle I've been fighting most of the week when I'm awake.

Monday led into Tuesday, and by Tuesday night, I had made my rib worse and my coughing was not better, likely worse, and I was completely freaked out.  A friend met me and waited with my children while I had x-rays done proving that I had pneumonia and a fractured rib.  I was given more prescriptions and advice and sent back home.  It's insane how much a fractured rib hurts. It hurts to walk, to sit, to lay down, to cough, breathe, cry, lift, push or pull with that arm, drive... pretty much everything.  And then the pneumonia, where it hurts to breathe, to cough, and I cough every time I walk too far, or there's a slight breeze, and I get dizzy and lightheaded. It's a stupid combination.

It's been very rough being home this week.  My children are very energetic, and I have zero energy.  It hurts to breathe, even though my cough has finally began to become less frequent and forceful.  I still sound raspy and wheezy, but it's become productive, so I feel like there's at least some light at the end of this tunnel.

But the struggle to be mom while being sick has been intense.  The children have been pushing all the buttons and pressing boundaries, testing and trying, making mess after mess, fighting and needing and jumping on me and being mad that I'm no fun.  It hasn't been that way 100% of the time, but it feels overwhelming when it is.

I have found myself crying in front of them, because I feel like this week, I'm failing them.  They've eaten cereal for almost every meal.  They've been left to their own devices in the living room while I lie down in my bed from time to time, fending for themselves when they're able.   I know that's okay and kids need to be self-sufficient, but I still feel horrible.

I've had to ask them multiple times not to jump on me or hit me because of my rib, and it makes me so sad, because my middle child loves to climb and jump and I feel like he thinks I am personally rejecting him, even though I know that's not the case, and I would just love for him to sit calmly beside me or on my lap and snuggle.  But he's rowdy and he doesn't seem to have time for that.

I feel like I'm boring and no fun.  In fact, both of the boys have told me more than once they don't want to be here with me.  I don't blame them, because I'm so exhausted that I, as much as I hate to say this, wish they could be somewhere else so I could just sleep.  I don't let them know that of course and attempt to engage with them as much as I can, even if it means Netflix watching on my bed, reading books together on the couch, rocking Norah's babies, or watching videos of them on my phone.  It seems like every part of my body hurts and aches and is exhausted, so I don't blame them at all for thinking I'm such a bore.  I totally am.

But I'm trying. I keep telling myself that.  I hope that they know.  Because right now, I'm struggling feeling adequate and not a failure.  I'm struggling feeling like they think I don't care and don't love them as much as I should.  I struggle to feign the energy and excitement they need when they ask me to put up the basketball hoop yet again.  I struggle with the creativity to find things to engage them day after day in this apartment, because even being on the deck has made me cough so hard that I nearly throw up.

Then, I've been struggling with frustration and anger at their dad.  I have to tell myself that while I think "he SHOULD BE HERE" to help me in times like this, it's not the case.  But it feels horrible to know that he's chosen to not be here and care even a little bit and help me out during a week or two when I could have used his help so desperately.  I don't like feeling this way, especially when it seemed like a couple of weeks ago, I was at peace with this whole marital saga and how it ended.

I'm going to be better, and soon. I tell myself that.  I've been praying fervently.  And I will be returning to work next week.  It's going to get back to normal.  It just seems like it's been forever.  

Sorry for all of the whining and the incessant rambling  I am not looking for pity, I just needed to get it all out.  I know I've been incredibly whiny and negative lately, as much as I've been praying against it.  I've not had contact with many people for that reason, because I believe I am likely irritating in this state, and I feel bad for subjecting people to that.  I haven't been this sick before, ever, as far as I know, and I think I handled all three of my children's births better than I have been this pneumonia and broken rib combination.  It's quite a paradox though, not wanting to bother people and missing adult interaction so deeply.  I've been more lonely than I care to admit.

  I haven't blogged in quite some time, I know, but I haven't felt up to it with everything going on. 

No comments:

Post a Comment