In my son’s eyes and through our relationship I am finding out things about myself – some just at a greater depth than what I knew existed. Some new. Some expected, some unexpected – both affirming and areas for growth.
Last month was a month which magnified so much of all of this.
The discoveries of new.
The knowledge of what was known.
The challenging space of dealing with what was known intellectually but I was confronted with emotionally and physically.
I feel like I am still playing catch up.
Like at times, a lot of time, I need to remember that I can breathe out and not just in.
Last month saw the whole household hit with survival spaces in different ways. The car broke down twice. The dog spent a night at the vet. My husband was ill. I was ill and bed bound – something that hasn’t happened in months and months.
This was the hardest part of all. My son was ill and just didn’t get better.
Despite the conservative alternative approaches.
Despite the modern medicine approaches.
Despite resting. Despite everything we tried.
He just kept getting worse. It was exhausting. It was frustrating. It was perplexing.
It left me feeling helpless and questioning the parenting decisions that we, I, had made around certain issues. It left me searching for concrete answers and affirmation.
I found myself often looking into his big beautiful eyes and seeing my reflection and in doing this needing to confront my biggest, deepest fear.
My biggest fear is losing someone close to me.
During all the screenings for adoption, we were asked about out biggest fears. My gut response is this:
‘to lose someone close to me’
I recall this fear when my mom was in hospitalised for a triple heart bypass 6 years ago.
I recognise this is in my worry when my husband used to ride a motorbike to work in wet and windy conditions and I would hear ambulance sirens from our apartment.
This past month though I had to live through it. I have only once been able to acknowledge to a friend how afraid I was without bursting into tears.
Right now, the floods are threatening once more. The floods are getting less though.
I am so grateful for the fact that we had doctors who picked up a rare and uncommon, but not unusual, to quote the paediatric cardiologist, illness.
I am grateful for doctors who were honest enough to say that they were concerned by the fact that my son wasn’t responding to the ‘big gun’ medication and that while the tests were all showing indications of different things, that my son wasn’t responding to the treatment of these.
I am grateful for doctors who are humble enough, professional enough to consult colleagues and talk through possibilities and options.
I am grateful that the day after the turnaround happen, our paediatrician said to me that he had gone home and was starting to feel desperate himself about what would happen next if the strategy we were employing didn’t yield a positive response.
I am grateful for nurses that were compassionate and understood that making sure my son was comfortable despite the raging, repeated temperature spikes was as important as observations and the clinical parts of their work shift.
I am grateful for friends, like Belinda, who came and helped me make my son comfortable, repeatedly. Who in her professional role as a nurse knows things, who in my role as friend knew what I needed emotionally and physically to get through this.
I am grateful for visits and meals and prayers from many people.
Right now, I am grateful for the space to remember to breathe out even if there are still tears in this
The day my son was admitted to hospital I thought about Mary (Jesus’s mother). Elizabeth (John’s mother), Hannah (Samuel’s mother) and committed my son to God.
My heart was at peace.
It was also aching.
After repeated days and nights of him struggling to breathe, of seeing him not responding to meds, of seeing the impact of his body trying to deal with different things (and now the peeling skin as a reminder of what his body has dealt with), of eventually feeling fobbed off with this is “just” and recognising that this was more than that, I am grateful to God for the peace that came in that commitment.
I am grateful in a weird way for a nursing sister mom who verbalised that this fear wasn’t ungrounded if we hadn’t made the decisions in managing this like did.
I am grateful for a demanding, busy, mischievous, chatty, dancing, affectionate little boy.
So, now I get to breathe out.
And remember that we have lived through this fear.