Sunday, December 26, 2010

"We Need A Little Christmas"

Another Christmas come and gone and we had a great time. It was what we needed, just a few days together as a family with nothing (almost nothing) to worry about. Matt was home both Thursday and Friday which was really nice. He needed the break and so did I. He is not well enough to help out like he used to but just having him around helps. It's nice to have someone to back you up when it comes to the kids. This is the first year since we have moved to Arizona that I did not wish we were home in Utah. Don't get me wrong, we missed a lot of people but we wouldn't have traded the weather down here for anything (almost anything). We did not have anyone staying with us over Christmas and it was a little uncomfortable at first. I was not quite sure what to do with myself or how to behave without company here. I quickly got the hang of it though, staying in my pajamas and giving meals little to no thought. Christmas Eve was when the loneliness set in but it was short lived. I was determined not to be down and so I posted on Facebook (my new best-friend) that we needed a little company for dinner and some awesome friends and neighbors came to our rescue. It was so nice to get to know them a little better. We were able to have a wonderful dinner and a great evening. Christmas Day was spent with two of the most wonderful families I know. We had a HUGE breakfast with our wonderful friends across the street who have made life so much more bearable for us here on the nearly vacant end of Whitehall Drive. We were able to special order what we wanted for breakfast which is something my kids never get to do. They had such a good time playing and eating. We spent the afternoon being lazy and then we were off to Grandma Kathie's house to enjoy our new found family here in AZ. There were so many gifts given to our family that were completely unexpected. My heart was touched to realize that they truly mean it when they say that we are family now. God sent these two families to us when we needed them the most. They have been our comfort and joy. Today (the day after Christmas) was harder for us. Both Matt and I were not feeling very well today and so we took turns sleeping and cleaning and sleeping and feeding and did I mention sleeping??? Matt has been a little more forgetful and a felt a little worse this weekend but I am grateful that we got to spend it with him. I wish I would have gotten more pictures and more video of him with the kids but he slept a lot this weekend. I am grateful that we had this lucid Christmas with him and I am praying for more.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Nice Visit

Tonight we had the chance to visit with a friend from Utah. He was passing through arizona (he drives a semi) and we were able to spend some time with him. Matt has known Kevin since they were kids and it was great to see them together again. It was potentially dangerous but anyone who knows Matt and his childhood friends knows this. I took the camera to get a picture of the two of them together and I am so glad I did. Matt has been doing a lot better lately with his memory but we are still working in "just in case" mode. So just in case it is the last time Matt sees Kevin while he is lucid, we have photographs. This kind of situation used to send me over the edge. I would cry for hours at the thought of it and now I only cry once and a while. I am grateful for the ability to adapt and the comfort that I have been afforded.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Best Friend

Tonight Matt and I had the pleasure of attending his annual company Christmas party. I say pleasure because we have not had the opportunity to go out since we last went to a hotel courtesy of some super awesome friends. We also haven't had the opportunity to dress up and go fancy for some time. I was so happy for the occasion that I bought a new outfit, shoes, purse and had my hair colored (again by above said super awesome friend). We had a great time. There was dinner and dessert and dancing. Matt and I did not dance because neither of us felt up to it (due to shear exhaustion from recent events) but we had a great time sitting at the table and talking. It was so nice to have un-interrupted time with him. It was so nice not to have kiddo's crawling all over me fighting for my attention. I think the best part about tonight is that Matt was feeling better than he has for a while now. It was time spent enjoying one another and not worrying about swollen ankles, medications, blood pressure, shunt pressure etc. For tonight, Matt was not sick and I was not worrying. I was not calling in medications, leaving messages for doctor's on call or wondering if we should take him to the hospital for the latest (and greatest) symptom. He was playful and smiling and I loved every minute of it. We have fallen into these patient/care-giver roles ever since the surgeries and sometimes it is just so nice not to be those people for a few hours. Matt spent the evening getting me coke and chocolate and I spent the evening enjoying every minute being spoiled. I am so thankful that I am married to my best-friend. I cannot imagine being married to anyone else. What we have is awesome. Things have been so hard for us for the last 2 years. We have had more trials than I ever thought possible but we are still together and holding strong. This Wednesday we celebrate 9years of being sealed for Eternity. What a blessing it is to know that when this life is over we have eternity to spend together. These last 3 months have been nearly unbelievable for our family and for Matt. He has gone through so much that seems so unfair and yet his attitude is amazing. I only wish I were enduring this trial half as graciously as he is. I am so lucky to be living, loving and learning with my best friend.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful for Each Other

Last night Claire Bear and I had a fight. She and I are so much alike that often we clash in many areas. Last night was particularly hard on both of us and neither of us acted very grown-up. When I found out that I was going to be a mother I knew joy that I had never known before. Since the day that Claire was born I have been absolutely in love with her. So it has been for each child that has followed, those that have joined our family and those that we lost. I knew that motherhood was not an easy task, I knew that I would be tired and over worked but somehow I was not prepared for the emotional aspect of it all. As my children get older and become individuals I find myself more and more terrified of them! LOL. With all of the stress that has been plaguing our family tempers have been flaring. Last night after the house was quiet and I had spent sometime with myself I decided to wake Claire up and tell her how sorry I was. I am so thankful that I did that. It was just us, no other children to interrupt and we were able to just be sorry together. I am amazed how easily children forgive. What an example they are to us hard-headed adults. Today when I was out I was thinking of her. I was missing her. It seems that every afternoon I start to miss her and there are many times I am tempted to take her out of school just to spend some time with her. Well, today I wanted to stop by with a little gift and let her know just how much I love her. I stopped at her classroom and she was so surprised to see me. I told her that I missed her and that I was so sorry that we had fought the night before and that I just wanted to give her a hug. I am so glad that I chose to stop instead of waiting until the end of the school day. It made my day better just to see her smiling face and feel her arms around me. She and I have been through a lot together and being the oldest she is going to go through more than the others before all is said and done. Having her dad unwell has been hard on her and I need to remember that. She and I are going to have to stick together through all of this. I feel so blessed to have the children I have. I know that we won't always get along but God has given us so much to be thankful for, each other.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That's a Big "If"

"The first 24 hours after surgery are critical. Every breath you take, every fluid you make, is meticulously reported and analyzed. Celebrated or mourned. But what about the next 24 hours? What happens when that first day turns to weeks and weeks turn into months? What happens when the immediate danger has passed, when the machines are disconnected and the teams of doctors and nurses are gone? Surgery is when you get saved, but post-op, after surgery, is when you heal. But, what if you don't?" (Meredith Grey; Grey's Anatomy Season 7)
I cannot imagine a better way to put my feelings into words than the above quote. Seeing Matt after his first surgery just 3 short months ago was terrifying. I sat and waited for what seemed like hours for the damn nurse to come and get me. I sat alone and scared. I felt so little. I felt so alone. I needed my mother and she wasn't there and I am mad about that. How childish is that? I am 30 years old and all I wanted was my mother. All I still want is my mother. I will admit it out loud, right now. I think it is the first time I have put it out there. She doesn't even know that and I am too childish to tell her that. I am too childish and too scared because I know she will tell me that I am strong enough to do this, I am strong enough to make this work and that is an answer I sincerely disbelieve. When the nurses finally did come to get me I followed quickly and quietly. Had I known that our world would change forever that day perhaps I would have slowed my steps just a little. I would have dragged my feet and cherished the last few steps of ignorance I would ever walk. The first 24 hours after Matt's surgery were nearly identical to the above quote. I watched the monitors, I watched the fluid drain from his head and I obsessed over every sound that he and the monitors made. I think that because my mother was not there to hold my hand I turned into a version of her and I shut my sad and scared little self away somewhere. To this day I have been shutting that sad and scared little part of myself away. Once and a while she will try to surface and I will get a glimpse of her and I hate her. I hate her for her weakness and her fear. I hate her for her obsession and her worry. I have been watching him ever since. I have been silently charting every noise and symptom that present themselves. I have been analyzing every little part of him that is or is not working right and it is driving me mad. The sad and scared person inside of me is pushing her way to the surface and unfortunately although while she is pushed deep down inside she is quiet, when she surfaces she is angry and hurtful. She cannot handle the changes that are flying at her so fast...I cannot handle the changes that are flying at me so fast. What's even worse is that I am selfish enough to feel all of this when I am not even the one who had the surgery. I am not the one in and out of the hospital every month. Is it possible that it is just as hard for the caretaker as it is for the patient? Surgery is when they saved my husband, when they gave him back to me. Now that surgery is over and we are home, I feel him slipping from me. The countdown has started and I haven't even begun to heal. The race has begun and I haven't even made it to the starting line. This illness, this surgery has left a hole in our lives. Matt is beginning to heal but with major set backs at every turn. I have not yet begun to heal. I still want my mother. I want someone to take me into their arms and tell me that everything will be alright. To tell me that my husband will get better and we will be happy once again. To tell me that I will be able to stop worrying that he will die. To tell me not to be afraid of him, that it is okay to touch him and that I will not break him. I want us to be able to go back to the life we had and that will never again happen. I want him to be the strong one, I don't want to be in charge anymore. I want it to be okay to be scared and sad all at the same time and have someone else pick up the pieces. Would that I could tell that sad, scared little person inside of me that it is okay to face the world without being angry. I want to tell her that things will be okay physically for Him and emotionally for her. I cannot think of a better way to express my feelings about the future than with the following quote:
"The goal of any surgery is total recovery - to come out better than you were before. Some patients heal quickly and feel immediate relief. For others the healing happens gradually, and it's not until months or even years later that you realize you don't hurt anymore. So the challenge after any surgery is to be patient. But if you can make it through the first weeks and months, if you believe that healing is possible, then you can get your life back. But that's a big if."
(Meredith Grey; Grey's Anatomy Season 7)

A Lifetime of Smiles Lost

Once again Matt was in the hospital for several days. He was able to come home on Sunday. It was a crazy weekend. Claire had her 7th birthday party and he was not there. He was sad about it but he probably would have hated it, it was 14 girls in one house. He is doing much better and home now and hopefully will not have to go back. Despite the hard weekend things around here weren't too bad. I have decided however that it is getting harder and harder to deal. I just don't feel like doing anything. I've been hurt by people closest to me and I have decided that I just can't care anymore. I can't keep trying to be friends with people who just don't want to be friends with me, wether we are "related" or not. I am so thankful for the family that I have chosen. I Guess depression has gotten the best of me lately because I just don't care anymore. I just keep trying to make things better and it seems like the more I try the harder they get (Just in case you weren't aware, this is me throwing a pity party). I have often wondered how much heartache one can endure before it get's the better of you and I beleive that I am going to find that limit very soon. I am so tired of having the same fights over and over, I am so tired of being treated like I don't matter by the very people that should love me the most. I am so tired of being invisible. It's as if I am not a real person to some. It's as if I am expected not to have feelings. What they don't understand is that it has been years and years of heartbreak and I just keep taking it. Well I can't take it anymore. I just can't. You can only walk the same path for so long without getting anywhere before you must choose another path. There is a person inside of me, somewhere hidden inside that thinks to herself that leaving wouldn't be that hard. Leaving those people who don't appreciate me far behind. There is a longing to take my little family and disappear. I have come to some very hard but necessary conclusions lately and although they are not one's I would have liked to have to make, I know that in the end they will make me a happier, healthier person. I will no longer strive for the approval of those who neither uplift nor respect me. I will no longer pretend that it does not hurt when I am lied to, talked about or put down (you know who you are people). I have been presented the ultimate example of what family should be. I have met a family that in their own words "sometimes want to kill each other but would always kill for each other" and it is amazing to see the way they interact. They always want to be together. They are best friends. I am thankful that they have taken us in because I can no longer try to belong to my husbands family. I can no longer look upon the rejection I have been shown and pretend it doesn't hurt. I am thankful for a father in law and a mother in law that have shown unconditional love and respect for me but the rest of them unfortunately will miss out on a lifetime of smiles from my little family.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Can't Find My Niche

I'm not sure if today is a blogging sort of day but I am itching to write and so here it goes. Today has been long. I have not felt well this week, fibromyalgia has gotten the better of me but some days are better than others and I am thankful for that. The kids are playing outside (which is so odd to me because it's December) and I have a moment to myself which can be a dangerous thing. For reasons I cannot understand I have not wanted Matt to go to work this week. I have been afraid to face the days without him. It's not as if I want him here to do anything or take care of anything in particular, I just want his company. Matt has not been sleeping well lately, his arms are numb and tingling the majority of the time and it keeps him awake. Last night I felt so guilty for being able to sleep because he was up. I never realized that I would worry about him so much. He probably hates it but I am definitely the "mothering" type. His hours at work have changed which makes life around here seem a little more lonely. He is gone an extra hour into the evening and I hate it. Without him here I feel as though I don't fit. I have to change that, especially given our circumstances. This afternoon has been rough for me. I have watched the world going on around me from my front room window and for some reason I don't feel like a part of it. I think the term I am looking for is lonely. Today I feel lonely. I am sure the vast majority of my readers are thinking "again?" and the answer is yes, again. I'm not sure what to do to make this lonely feeling go away. Two weeks ago my solution was to leave the house, run as far away from it as I could but I always came back to lonely. I have determined that the loneliness is probably coming from within and leaving the house was merely a distraction from what I was carrying around inside. Living here has been such a change from living in Utah. In Utah I was needed. I had friends that needed me as much as I needed them and as exhausting as it was to be there for everyone all of the time, it fulfilled some dysfunctional need inside of me. Living here has been awkward and different. People seem to already have what they need in others or they have family nearby. I guess I just haven't found my niche yet and I am ready to find it. I am ready to find the place where I belong. That place will have to be discovered within long before I can feel accepted by the others around me. I just don't understand why being happy with one's self is so trying.