Sunday, January 22, 2012

It Will Not Be Unredeemed

My heart is so heavy for a friend today. She lost her baby girl yesterday at 38 weeks. Beautiful angel baby Mya is being born today. I just can't even imagine what my friend is facing right now. A friend and co-worker of mine lost her baby girl at 38 weeks about a decade ago and I remember the deep deep sorrow they faced and the stress of planning a memorial and all the funeral arrangements. Not at all what someone 38 weeks thinks they will find themselves doing.

In moments like these there aren't really any words that seem to fit. Everything feels too small and not enough and trite no matter how sincere we are. But yet ignoring (by not saying anything) someone's loss carries with it it's own pain. It's different but I remember feeling that way after Craig's accident. Many people seemed to just fall off the face of the earth. They didn't call or come visit or talk to me if they saw me out in public. They just didn't know what to say, but I felt shunned and alone in my pain.

A friend of mine who recently suffered losing her own sweet baby wrote a blog about how to help a friend who has lost a baby. Read Rachel's blog HERE. Thank you Rachel :)

Life can be so messy and painful. Yes, we know there is joy even in the midst of trial, but sometimes the trials waterboard us and we are doing all we can just to take a breath. Life is so heavy right now for so many people. My mother in law is back at Virginia Mason after having another problem with her feeding tube. She still has stage 4 cancer. My sister in law is having to relearn how to live after becoming a widow 4 weeks ago.  And now my sweet friend has to deal with losing her baby girl. I feel raw and it's in these moments that I wonder when life will feel "normal" again. It's been messy for what feels like so long and people I care about keep suffering. Jesus carries us through these times, I do know that. In the pain we just do all we can to throw ourselves at Him and surrender and allow Him to carry us. This song is beautiful and so true:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Deprivation

Shortly after my last post life took a rather interesting turn. Eliana, my child who loves sleep and would typically sleep from 7pm to 9am.... stopped sleeping! What I do mean, stopped sleeping? Well, pretty much she decided she didn't need to sleep at all...naps, nighttime, nothing. So here I am 1 1/2 weeks later living off no more than 3 hours of sleep each night and ready to crash at any moment. I'm cranky, sensitive, rude, emotional, lethargic...you name it. We're talking major sleep deprivation here. And the 3 hours is 3 hours total- not consecutive. Some nights it's closer to an hour. My brain hasn't gotten the deep sleep cycle in a LONG time. The irony in all this is that Evangeline, who has been a terrible sleeper since day 1, is finally sleeping! She's up 1-3x to nurse and then goes right back to sleep. It's Eliana that is giving me hell.

I took her to her pediatrician a few days ago and he confirmed my suspicions that BOTH of her ear tubes have fallen out. It's sucks, they were only in for 5 months. But, 30% of ear tubes fall out before their time and unlucky us, we're in that 30%. I am praying that getting tubes back in will fix things but now we seem to be in a such a bad pattern of her constantly waking and not staying in her room. Our consult with her Ear Nose Throat Dr is on the 24th, so I've got a week at least til any slightest hope of reprieve. She's currently receiving an antibiotic for her ear infection and the fluid sitting in her ears, Benadryl to help things drain and dry out, Tylenol for the ear pain, and Calms Forte to help her chill out and go to sleep.....and still- no sleep. It's insane and leaves me in a total quandary. How can I be SO exhausted but she's acting like it's not big deal?

It all basically started after a crazy weekend 1 1/2 weekends ago. We had to be out of town for family stuff and didn't get home til nearly 11pm. Neither girl slept a wink all day. Eliana hasn't been the same ever since. I sort of think maybe her tubes fell out that day. Life is basically back to how it was before she ever had tubes; she doesn't hear us, can't sleep, complains of ear pain, etc. But this non-sleeping stuff is the worst it's ever been. I just fall asleep and she's at our door knocking. 2 nights ago I was up nursing Evie at 1am and just after I got her back to sleep Eliana was at my door wanting to be awake. I took her into the kitchen for more Benadryl and Calms Forte. I set her on the kitchen bench and started getting her doses and she fell off the bench onto her back and was screaming. I turned around to go to her and stepped on my fleece pant leg and my entire body fell on my upper arm that was trying to catch me. I thought for a minute I broke something. It still hurts. We both sat crying on the kitchen floor and I felt in that moment how deeply my life sucks right now. After that I got Eliana calmed down, back in bed and then the baby was up again. I calmed the baby and got her asleep and then guess who was at my door again? Yup, Eliana. 1 1/2 hours later it was 3:30am and I finally got to go to sleep....well, until Eliana woke me up at 5am and 7am and 8am. And so it goes every night, all night.

Sleep deprivation does crazy things to us. I feel angry a lot, have no patience, waver between feeling depressed and feeling normal, take things too personally, and don't have any desire to do well, just about anything. Last Sunday I almost got in a car accident because I was so tired my brain actually forgot I was supposed to stop at a stop sign!

I guess we're in a holding pattern for now until we can see the ENT and get her surgery scheduled. Every day and every night I pray that THIS will be the better night and I'll get sleep and every night it's horrible.

Eliana has typically been a very easy, gentle-spirited child so all of this craziness is so out of character for her. Granted our family has had to endure an enormous amount of stress the last 3 months, but even so it's weird. Some days I feel like I don't even like her, although I still definitely love her. It's just hard when a little 3 year old is making your life feel like living hell. Amidst the non-sleeping, all the other responsibilities still exist. I still have 2 household's finances and groceries to take care of, medical bills and calls to deal with, not to mention 3 kids to raise including a baby. I have to believe that God sees me and loves and wants my life to be better than this.

Check out this list of the effects of sleep deprivation:

Physiological effects


Main health effects of sleep deprivation.[5]

Minor dark circles, in addition to a hint of eye bags, a combination suggestive of minor sleep deprivation.
Generally, sleep deprivation may result in:[6][7]


Crazy, right? Anyway, I know I'm a total Debbie Downer lately and I'm sorry. Trust me, this wasn't exactly how I pictured my life going.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Emotions On My Sleeve

You know how prescriptions, shoot even cold medicines, have warnings, "don't operate heavy machinery while taking this medicine"? Sure seems like life should have similar stickers. "Don't try and blog while sorting through a crisis." "Don't try and have a normal life while dealing with cancer and care taking." "Don't expect your babies to behave normally when they don't get to have a present parent."

This is my life these days. I find myself wanting to blog, but I honestly live each day with tears just below the surface. My poor husband gets to see them, most of you never will. 2 1/2 months ago Craig's mom was diagnosed with stage 4 laryngeal cancer. Our life has not been the same since that fateful day, nor has hers obviously. Since then we have been handling ALL of their affairs. About every 3 days we bring groceries to my father in law who lives about 30 minutes away. We check to make sure he's taking all this meds, refill prescriptions if needed, and do whatever else he says is needed. This is typically stuff like "I can't get my tv to work!" and "I need my beard trimmed!" CRISIS to him, but just wearing to us after so many weeks of doing it. I handle all of their finances which includes paying regular bills and managing their money so as to be able to pay for 12 hours of caregiving a week for him and everything else, too. I handle all the applications to medicaid and finding assisted living facilities for them. Just last week I faxed 24 pages of stuff to medicaid- just for the financial assessment part. On top of all this we try to see Craig's mom in Seattle as much as we can and I do what I can to send her whatever she needs; clothes, books, crochet how-to's, etc. as well as write to her because she can't talk on the phone due to her tracheotomy.

Where do three kids and a marriage fit into all this? Plain and simple- they don't. We are coping and I'm tearfully praying that Jesus will protect our family from the damage that all this is doing to us. My children need their parents and I need my husband, but yet we feel the intense burden of other people relying on us for such basics as food. Craig and I do our best to protect our children from the crisis as it's our burden to bear, and not theirs.

On top of all of this, my wonderful brother in law (my sister-in-law's husband) passed away very unexpectedly on Christmas Eve morning. What a shock. It still doesn't seem real even after going to his wake on Saturday. He was a great man and it was so clear at his wake that his life touched countless people. He was generous and kind and cared about people. When Craig's accident happened and all of Craig's 'friends' left him to die and me to fend for myself in pajamas without a car or wallet- Jim came to our rescue. He was a big man with a gentle heart. He came and got me and gave me a huge hug and drove me the 1 1/2 hour drive to my parent's house like it was no big deal. He did that for anyone he could. He'd drop his life and help others. But now his life is over and as a family we are trying to deal and I find myself praying constantly for my sister in law. Jim was 36.

These are days of coping. I'm tired of crying and I'm tired of living in crisis. Yet there are no ways to change our current circumstances without harming another person's life. I'm sorrowful that Jim is gone, Craig's mom is battling cancer alone in Seattle, his sister is now a widow, and his step-dad spends his days in his wheelchair totally alone in his apartment. Some days it's incredibly overwhelming.

Our next step is getting my FIL into a facility, but there is a wait list so...we wait. Once that happens we'll need to clear out the apartment and that is no small feat. That's all I'll say about that but you get my drift. Basically we're a ways out from life feeling 'normal' again. So I find myself saying, "Lord, what do we do? How do I raise three kids and juggle homeschooling, Little League, laundry, meals, paying bills, etc......AND all the stuff we have to do for everyone else?"
Then there's all the cliche's. IE:
God never gives anyone more than they can handle
What doesn't break you makes you stronger

But as anyone that's ever dealt with anything like this knows, those cliches don't mean a hill of beans. It's just people trying to find the words to say when situations like these don't have words that fit. I get it. It's awkward and hard to see a loved one suffering and have no way to help them and not be sure what to say. We do appreciate prayers and friendship and NO DRAMA :)

Last week I was up til 3am 5 nights in a row. Only one night was because of the kids, the others were because I literally have that much to do after the kids go to sleep. 9pm comes and then my real work begins. Paying bills, filling out more paperwork, correcting schoolwork, load after load of laundry, etc. Craig is my partner for sure and works just as hard as I do, if not harder. But we are carrying the burden of 2 households,4 adults, and 3 kids and 2 of those adults have MAJOR health issues. The burden is heavy.

I try to cope by praying, remembering my blessings, saying no to things as much as my brain will let me, and trying to remember to love and hug my kids rather than being mad that they are acting out because they need ME. I'm not supermom. I'm just Diana. 28 and thoroughly overwhelmed most days and doing my best to trust that my Savior loves me and is carrying us through this. In many ways I am perfectly positioned to be given this burden. I have a background in finance, my brain is typically very organized, I'm a good multi tasker, a night owl, and medical crisis is nothing new to me.

I can't change my circumstances, but I can choose to trust my God. New Year's resolutions feel hollow in spite of everything else going on. But New Year's prayers seem to fit.
So, my prayers for 2012:

For my FIL to get moved into a facility asap and the apartment to be cleared out and gone through as quickly and smoothly as possible.

For Jacob to choose to live here long term as he is experiencing family, Jesus, school, siblings, and life in ways he never has and won't get to if leaves here.

For our Durango to sell. We don't want the payment anymore and we need a vehicle with more seats.

For God's will for my mother in law to happen swiftly, whatever that may be.

For my sister-in-law to experience healing and to feel how much Jesus loves her and will pursue her. He is a husband to the widow.

For God to clean up the mess of our life right now and give us another baby.

That we as a family would have the means to take a trip or go camping or do something outside of our everyday life to build memories this year and experience joy.

And as I pray every single day, "Lord, bind our family together. Protect our family from whatever satan hopes to accomplish in destroying us. Bring peace, unity, and contentment in our home. Protect our children from any harm. Bless Craig and give him continued favor at work. Expand his territory. Bless us with a baby and a car that will fit all of us."