Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brain Overload

     Have you ever heard someone describe their loved one as a person who "never ever complained about anything"?  Well, I admit to you right now that my family will never say that about me.  Over the last week I've caught myself being excessively crabby on more than one occasion, and my poor family has had to put up with me and my frazzled state of mind.  My brain has been on overload with all the things on my mental (and written) list, and if my family could just read my mind on what all needs to be done and just totally clear their schedule so as to accomodate mine, life would be picture perfect, and we'd all live in perfect harmony together. 

     Unfortunately, though, we're dealing with real live family members here who all have busy lives of their own and who don't always see things quite the way I see them, and therefore, this mom tends to buckle under the pressure at times and do things and say things that she later regrets and wishes she could undo.  All I can do is apologize, ask for forgiveness, and then move on.  Love again.  Be more kind and sensitive to their needs and remember that they are under stress too.  And laugh.  Laugh at myself.  And then do something even more stupid and go public with just how disoriented I've been so you can laugh with me or at me, whatever you want!  It's okay.  It's confession time.  I'll never be able to live it down around here, so you just as well hear it from me personally so that when you hear it from them, I can just laugh right along with you.     

     It was the morning of May 10, the morning I traveled to the hospital in great anticipation of bringing my husband home.  You would think that would be a pretty big deal, right?  It really was!  Monumental, in fact, considering that was the 7th day in a row that we were looking at each other in a hospital room.  We had everything all packed up and ready to go, so I said, "I'll go ahead and walk to the van with some of this stuff and then bring the van closer to you and pick you up."  The nurse was going to push him out in a wheelchair as soon as one could be found, and I knew they could handle the rest of it.  After starting the van, the radio came on, and immediately my attention was diverted to the talk show that was playing.  Someone was reading the exact same devotional that I had read that morning, starting out with "Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life.  These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth." 

     And that's where I got lost in that little world.  I was contemplating this whole health situation that had entered into our lives so unexpectedly and so intrusively.  Wondering why.  Trying to figure out what kind of blessings would ever come of it.  My mind was whirling as I was assessing our situation compared to whoever was reading and talking about theirs on the radio.  It wasn't until I got a few blocks down the street that I saw a "for sale" sign in the front yard of a house, and that triggered something in me that I should mention to Harris.  Wait.  Harris.  You know, that very important man in my life who had just spent the last several days of his life in the hospital and was anxiously awaiting to go home.  In fact, duh, he was sitting by the curb in a wheelchair with the rest of his belongings and was waiting for me to pick him up.  Oh, noooooooooo!  I had just forgotten my husband!  How completely humiliating and embarrassing! 

     Oh, I tried to nonchalantly pull up to the curb and pretend as though that little detour never happened, but no, his mind was simply filled with wanting to go home, and the first words out of his mouth were, "Why did you take a left out of the parking garage instead of a right?"  And for the next few minutes, I found myself explaining to him how my van was on auto pilot, how it's turned left out of that garage so many times that that's the only way it knew how to go, how captivated I was by the talk show on the radio, how overloaded my brain really was (all while trying to not make him feel guilty for the stress I was feeling), and how he really is the love of my life and how I could have never gotten all the way home without him.  He gave me his pouty eyes, milked it for all he was worth, and then I made him promise that he would never tell anyone what just happened.  He agreed; we laughed.  It was our little secret.

     It was our little secret until I totally let it slip out to one of the kids a couple nights ago.  Dumb.  Very, very dumb.  We laughed about it together, and while I can't even remember for sure, I'm quite positive that I probably tried to use it to my advantage and explain to them that that's just how badly I need their help around here because that's how stressed their mama is.  But then a couple nights ago when we were driving somewhere with Vance and Steph, Harris let our secret out, and we just all had a really good hearty laugh over my stupid mistake.  The secret was out for good, and while I could have been upset at him for telling on me, it actually kind of just felt good to laugh at myself and relieve some of the stress that has been building up inside of me.

     It's just been that kind of a week.  Haley's prom was last week Saturday night, and as of Friday morning, she still didn't have a pair of shoes that would work well with her dress.  I promised her that after her awards ceremony on Friday morning, we would go shopping, and even if it took till midnight, she would have some shoes.  All I can say is "Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayers and leading us to the right pair so very quickly."  We did seriously pray about it because neither one of us wanted to spend our whole day looking for shoes.  We even walked a few stores down and found some accessories, which is something that hadn't even occurred to us as needing until we happened to see that store and realize that we hadn't even thought about what she would wear for jewelry.  Haley's definitely not our "girly girl," so this whole prom experience was a little frightening for her, but by the time she slipped into that dress on Saturday night, she was super ready to just go have a ton of fun with her friends.  Don't they all look gorgeous?


Haley and Stephen went as friends.  They looked stunning!

     Once we made it past prom, more craziness ensued.  Haley left for Oskaloosa on Sunday afternoon to spend a week with all our family back home, but we had to get a tire fixed before she could go.  While we were waiting on the tire to get fixed at Sam's, we spotted a great big watermelon that needed to be purchased.  While cutting that great big watermelon, half of it plopped over and hit the two Corelle plates that were setting nearby, and pieces went flying everywhere.  We've had a dishwasher repairman come on Monday, and we have a stove repairman coming tomorrow.  We've had kids' friends coming and going out of here, and we've sent Heath and Jenny off to visit friends in Texas.  We've been to our last concert of the school year, and we've been to our last elementary school function ever.  Kelsey and Keaton are wrapping up all kinds of final school projects, and we're sorting through all the options for summer activities that are available.  Some flowers have been planted, and the garden is tilled up and waiting to be planted.  I've shown up at a blood clinic after fasting for 12 hours, only to be told that it was canceled and be given a $10 gift card for any inconvenience they caused.  (Just normal annual blood work needed for me).  We've spent copious hours sorting through the pile of mail and school papers that have been accumulating on my desk and have entered about 1,327 grad party invitations onto our calendar.  Okay, so that's a bit of an exaggeration, but there were 11 that got entered in just one setting. 

     Meanwhile, Harris has had moments of feeling somewhat decent and moments of feeling mighty low.  He's actually gone to the office right now to try and work a little bit for the first time in a long time, so we'll see how that goes!  He's making very slow but steady progress.  Last weekend was really tough for him because he seemed to get really bloated after eating certain things, but we've been trying to determine whether that's a reaction to certain foods or whether it's a normal part of the healing process or whether it's a side effect from the medication he's been taking for his esophageal ulcers.  We've been testing that theory by not giving him any meds the last couple of days, and he has felt better, but now he took a pill again this morning, so we'll see how today goes.  One night this week he was really craving Kentucky Fried Chicken, and that seemed to go so well that he decided he should try a banana split from Dairy Queen later in the evening!  Those maybe weren't the best choices for him, but it was awesome to see him get really excited about and enjoy some food.  Ever since his first initial endoscopy, his voice has been very hoarse, and the NG tube down his throat for several days really aggravated that situation.  His voice is finally starting to get back to normal, and that is so encouraging!  It feels as though he's making some good progress, but please keep praying for him.  His energy level is still not up to par, and he's just not fully back to normal yet. 

     Overall, it's just been a whirlwind.  Bound and determined to get a grip on my crabbiness and life in general, I sat down yesterday morning and picked up that same little devotional book ("Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young).  The message couldn't have been more timely and perfect for me, and I have a hunch that many of you could benefit from it as well.  Maybe you haven't had a husband in the hospital at the same time a child is graduating, but there are bound to be all kinds of life circumstances going on in your lives as well that are causing all sorts of stress.  This was a great reminder for me, and I trust that it will be for you as well: 

"Come to me with your plans held in abeyance.  'Worship Me in spirit and truth,' allowing My Glory to permeate your entire being.  Trust Me enough to let Me guide you through this day, accomplishing My purposes in My timing.  Subordinate your myriad plans to My Master Plan.  I am sovereign over every aspect of your life!  The challenge continually before you is to trust Me and search for My way through each day.  Do not blindly follow your habitual route, or you will miss what I have prepared for you.  'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" 

John 4:24; Isaiah 55:8-9

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to let you know that I've been following your updates and have been praying for you guys. It's great to see progress! I know how it feels to just sense some relief when your husband is acting just a slight bit more "normal" and less sick. It does wonders! Praying for your journey!