January…

 

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It has been a busy month so far, and tonight I’m taking a few moments to catch my breath. This is the first evening since my new nephew was born that I haven’t been holding him — giving my sister a few hours of a break so she can get some sleep. Over the past week, I knew that she wouldn’t be needing me in the evenings much longer — Little One had begun figuring out the difference between night and day, which meant he was sleeping a lot better.  So, this evening, almost three weeks to the day that he was born,  I stayed home and read my book here –rather than rocking him in her chair down the street. (I’m so thankful to be living so close by!)  Her postpartum period this time has been rather healing for me so far, simply because I get to be here — rather than far away in another state like I was after Little Boy was born. It is a blessing to be with my family — one I will never take for granted.

 

While my evenings have been spent rocking Little One and reading, my days have been almost overwhelming. Both the Professor and the Philosopher are in therapy right now, and it’s been a challenge to keep everyone’s schedules straight. The Philosopher has his physical therapy for recovery after his spinal cord de-tethering — his entire recovery is a bit of a roller coaster ride, but then they warned us that it would be — he sees a specialist again on the 30th and we’ll have more of an idea of how well he is progressing. From our viewpoint it feels like he’s doing very well most of the time. The Professor is struggling with his brain injury from his concussion last summer… he is now in occupational therapy as well as speech therapy — physical therapy won’t begin until his brain has healed more. I can feel him trying not to be discouraged, and I’m so proud of him for doing the best he can despite it all. It has been about six months — and all the therapists are very careful not to give a time “prognosis” for when he might be “better”. We really have no idea… I’ve written multiple follow up sentences to this one simple thought, and none of them have “worked” — there just aren’t any words right now… Thankfully, he was actually able to attend his piano recital without too much pain and nausea – which made him a very happy guy. Right now the piano is keeping him from feeling like a total invalid, even though he can only play a few minutes at a time before the pain and nausea force him to lay down.

 

Aside from all this, we’re still surrounded by boxes from our most recent (and hopefully last for a long time) move. I am so thankful to be in this particular house — there is plenty of running water, plenty of heat, and I’m just a couple doors down from my sister and her family. (In all the crazy snow and ice we’ve had I was able to just walk over for Little One’s labor and birth since he was born at home, and I didn’t have to worry about not being able to be there.) We are now only 10 minutes from the Professor’s therapists and a half hour from the Philosopher’s, which makes my life much easier. I just wish that I was closer to having all the boxes unpacked — cardboard boxes make me anxious and all I want is to have them all out of my house with everything “put away”. I can only do so much though. Even if I wasn’t busy doing the basics of running a house (hello never ending dishes and laundry), balancing the boys’ therapies, and helping my sister — unpacking is actually really hard on my (post-strokebody — and I can only do so much before I’m dealing with symptoms I’d rather avoid. Afterall, rocking a baby isn’t as physically demanding as unpacking books — which are basically all I have left in these boxes I’m surrounded by.

 

In my free-time right now I’m doing a lot of reading (I just picked up 11 books from the library today – such a happy thing!) and I’m hoping to get back to my knitting and rosary making soon. My dear hospice patient that I had been visiting for the last year passed away, and I’ve taken about a month or so to let myself grieve before I take another patient. It isn’t often that you get a year with someone in this work, and I want to make sure that I appreciate our time together — to make sure that I’m really ready to share moments with someone else. I can tell that it won’t be much longer though before I’m ready. I am so grateful for the privilege of sharing someone’s end of life journey. It is as much a privilege as sharing their labor and birth journey’s — totally different, and yet, so similar.

 

At this moment tonight, though, what I’m yearning for is simply Rest. I am struggling with the fact that my nights are too short (as they have been since the boys were born!), and the next day keeps coming even though I just want the world to stop for a bit and give me a break. What was it my patient said? I wrote about it earlier and I’m going to have to go back and read it — something about how you just keep going. So, tonight I’m thinking of her and pausing for a deep breath…

 

By Grace… I will just keep going…

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