Monday, August 20, 2012
Back to life...literally...
My lack of posts are due to a minor technicality: I.almost.died.
...okay, so maybe it's a big technicality. *wink*
Prior to this summer, I was living life just like all the other busy moms of preschoolers: getting my kids ready for school by playing with Busy Bags, taking the oldest to gymnastics, teaching my kiddos about God and His goodness, making food, changing diapers, dealing with a not-good-sleeper baby, playdates with other mommies, more food and more diapers, being there for my hubby, and so forth.
Then *BAM*, one day I was sick....REALLY sick. My doc thought it was a virus because my symptoms were unusual: I had basically every illness in the book with only one constant pain which was that my intestines felt like they were on fire. After a few days of suffering, we ignored my doc's review and my hubby took me into the ER.
The result after seeing several doctors and a surgery = my appendix had ruptured!!
Here I was, a VERY healthy person with no prior surgeries, no illness, no daily aches or pains, and I even birthed 3 babies with just mild meds....and I had a near-death experience! Who knew that could happen?!?
Before the operation, docs weren't sure if it was my appendix because it didn't even show up on the CT scan and my symptoms were a-typical. After the operation, we found out that my appendix had spewed all it's infection all over my insides and it was now flat as a pancake (usually the size of your thumb)! And if I had waited another day or so, it would have infected my liver and ovaries. And if I had waited much longer...well, that's the scary part.
I am happy to say that I am back to life and back to a similar version of myself. I doubt I will ever be the same person I was before because I've learned a few things this summer...
What I've learned from this experience:
~~My husband is an amazing care-taker (which I already knew about but had 1st hand experience receiving his care) and I've also realized he is so forgiving of me.
Even when the house is a wreck, encourages me to rest; and even when the laundry piles up, he encourages me to just hang out with him.
I consider it the highest honor to have a husband that loves me this much. We celebrated 10 years of marriage a few weeks after this happened and we have a lot to celebrate after realizing how fragile life can be!
~~I've gained a new appreciation for motivation...when you have it, don't waste it!
When life hits you in the face and you think about all those projects you procrastinated on finishing...you suddenly realize it's time to find what inspires you to be motivated and keep that inspiration nearby.
It has been many weeks of waiting and praying for healing from all the intestinal damage, of dealing with a constant brain fog, and several other side affects. I can feel great in the morning while taking a shower, then 3 hours later, I am suddenly wiped out!
So I am learning to take advantage of motivation because I realize that my body doesn't let me work at the same pace as I did previously. Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing you will have one hour of work-time during my baby's nap or in the early AM....you can get SO much done if you just start that time by being motivated!
~~I am thankful, so thankful, for a healthy body.
Right after surgery, I couldn't lift anything; not even my baby - not out of his crib or the high chair, not even in his carseat in/out of the car! We had to get very creative with naps on the floor and having my 5 year old pick up the baby to put him on my lap and using a travel high chair on the floor.
These days, I can now carry the baby but there are still challenges in very simple, daily things, Activities like going to the grocery store take longer because the baby + groceries in the cart exceeds my ability to push for very long. And that means I also am working on teaching grabby-handed 2-year-old how walk next to his older brother by the cart versus riding in the cart itself!
So I am daily reminded that I have a healthy body that I am working to regain! And I'm reminded that we have only one body in this earthly life...so it's so critical that we work our hardest to make it work well for us!
~~I've watched my children give me so much patience and grace and forgiveness; and realized that God does that for us every moment of every day.
On the days when I struggled with muscle cramps, my boys gave me extra gentle hugs and knew that I couldn't wrestle (one of their favorite things). On the days when my head is in a fog, my boys found new ways to play with each other and gave me a little space. On the days when I was grumpy from dealing with my pain, I would see their sad faces from my harsh reactions yet they would still be happy campers 10 minutes later and readily forgive me for my outbursts.
And the Lord is like that too. He knows all that we are dealing with and working through and how we sin against Him, yet he shows His unconditional love for us through the gift of His Son.
~~It's incredibly important to say "thank you" to people who support you; whether that's parents who help with your kids, or neighbors who bring you food, or friends who simply pray with you.
Take time to thank them so that those resources are there in the future. If you don't have these resources, take time now to find good connections with people in your community so they can be there for you if/when you need it.
For those that have been reading this blog over the past couple of months, I have been blown away by your continued interest and support! I look forward to bringing you more ideas and connecting with you.
For those still reading this post, thank you! *wink*
~~And it's also incredibly important, as noted from above, to BE that person who can be 'thanked'....meaning, take the time to make a meal for a neighbor (even if they aren't so neighborly), and help a sister/cousin/friend with their kids (even just watching for 2 hours so that mom has a moment of free time), and, most importantly, pray for those around you!
~~Lastly, if you haven't already picked up this theme: TODAY IS A GIFT! Choose life... and choose to live it!
Again, thank you to those that continue to support this blog and to those investing your life to the betterment of your child. Check back regularly for new posts planned to bring you lots of tips for inspired playtime with your preschooler!
Deuteronomy 30:19 - "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."