Turn It Over

A post on the Fibular Hemimelia and Limb Lengthening Awareness Group has inspired me to write about fear. If you are a regular reader you know that I have experienced plenty of fear and I am sure I will continue to but there are some things I have mostly been able to let go of, and the ability to do that is why I am sane. 

Specifically when discussing surgery, I wrote that I turn that over to Dr. Standard. I do. I let that go. We chose a surgeon for our son who we trust. I mostly don’t worry about what happens during surgery. I don’t think too hard on how Nick’s rod was put in his femur. I don’t imagine the screws being drilled into this bone. In fact I hate even typing that. I don’t go there and it’s for the best. 

Interestingly Nicholas does not go there either. When people ask him if he is scared of surgery his replies make that clear. Once when asked he said “Why would I be scared? I’ll be sleeping”. 

Some people who are religious or spiritual can turn it over to God or the Universe. There is a part of me that does feel that things will unfold as they need to so stressing them really wont change anything. Worrying in this moment wont make the next easier or better. It just makes this one a bummer. 

Staying in the present moment is probably the truest and realest way I say sane. It involves letting go of worrying about the future. The future might be one hour from now, or one week from now, or one year from now. I am not always able to do it but when I do, when I try, I always feel better. 

Having a baby with a birth defect has shown me how important it is to be here now. How could I enjoy all his baby goodness if I was stressing what the future would bring for him. Of course I did stress some and I stressed a lot of other things too during that time in my life, but my stress never made anything better and yours wont either. 

So if you are a parent to a baby with fibular hemimelia and you are reading this please turn it over… Surgery fears can go to surgeons, or god, or the universe. Realize that worrying in this moment wont help your child one bit. Having a strong parent will. Thinking fearful thoughts does not make anyone feel strong. 

A deep breath with a s-l-o-w exhale often helps connect me to the present moment and turn it over. One intentional breath is sometimes all it to takes to remind me that right now things are ok and ok is actually, usually, pretty great. 

*** This does not mean that you should not research and educated yourself about surgery. I just think if you choose the right doctor and make a treatment plan together then you don’t have to stress those things!  I’ll have a follow up post soon about this piece of the puzzle.

State of Stress

This is where I am today. I do try to be positive here and I do have some other more fun things to write about, and I will, but right now I am just stressed. This stress, I realized today, is making me interpret other things as more negative than they are. I feel ultra sensitive and like a raw nerve.

I know it is normal to feel stress because of surgery. I kind of feel like it’s everything surrounding the surgery that is stressing me, and not surgery itself, but that also makes me wonder if it really is about the surgery.

The one thing I know for sure is that I am thinking too much. Meditation helped some. A snowy walk in solitude helped too. My healthy kale and eggs lunch… not so much! I need a snow day chocolate delivery service. I know it wont fix anything, but the heart wants what it wants. It didn’t help that I started the day with a crazy headache that I can’t seem to shake completely. It’s the weather. I know it is.

Staying in the moment is a remedy I know but it’s just not working right now. I had expectations of my week off from school that are not panning out. Expectations are evil, IMO. Maybe this post is just venting. Maybe I just need to say I feel shitty. I wish this surgery was not happening now. I wish Nick wasn’t up to surgery 14. He’s doing so great but it’s still a lot. Thankfully he remembers only a few surgeries really but some days it feels like it sucks that he has to go through all of it so that he can have two functioning legs for the rest of his life. Sometimes I feel like the whole rest of the world (almost) takes legs for granted. Myself included.

I worry about all the random things that can happen in surgery. I have crazy fears. I don’t care to type them. At some point this will all give way to peace and acceptance. I know it will. This agitation and stress is not my natural state but its my state right now. Maybe just letting it be and not resisting would help… maybe it has.

It’s all ok!

As I had hoped our trip to Baltimore relieved all my fears about Nick’s arm. Within minutes Dr.Standard explained it all to me compared to having spent hours in the er and gaining little understanding. Ok I should explain that it was minutes with Dr.Standard not minutes at the RIAO ; ) But it’s that ability to communicate that is the icing on the cake that is Dr.Standard. Some call him the wizard but really it is his humanity, I think, that makes him able to look at a scared Mom, explain what’s wrong and make it all feel alright. Plus promising Nick will be in something removable by the time we go on vacation is just awesome!

That’s the RIAO though. It is my comfort zone and Nick’s too. He is so at ease there. He even made a friend. A boy about his age shared the cast room with us. He had broken his arm 8 weeks prior and had it reset at another hospital but when his cast came off his arm was bent. He was an awesome sweet kid and had a kind mom and dad. It was doubly good cause this awesome kid also liked to play bay blades and I was not in the mood to battle. Bess required my attention. Searching YouTube for Dora videos takes concentration.

So it was a good visit at Sinai but it was a bit of a trip to get there. I blew a tire on a curb trying to pull into a McDonalds to get lunch. Oddly enough once I realized what was wrong or what I suspected I turned off the busy road I was on to try to pull over and could not find a place to park safely. I basically drove on the rim for two more blocks and ended up pulling into a little auto shop. Totally by chance. The gentleman who worked there stopped what he was doing, sold me a new tire and sent me on my way. Had I had a spare he would have put that on but I only had a donut. The random discovery of the auto shop and the kind man turned what could have been one of those “WTF” moments into a reminder of how good life is. Because it’s just life. Hard stuff happens and if you’re lucky you find kind people to help along the way.

And I am lucky! I really am. I am lucky to have connected with so many wonderful people (in a variety of settings). Today was one of those weird days when coincidences happen, connections, plans and general good stuff. Small stuff but the kind of stuff that if you appreciate it makes life good.

For instance, yesterday our ac broke. We just bought this house a few weeks ago. An expensive repair would have been debilitating. A new friend recommended a repair company and it tuned out to be an inexpensive fix. That felt like good luck to me. I love the ac. I felt kind of guilty for loving it so much. When it went out I worried my honeymoon with our new home would end but it didn’t. Even sweaty I love it.

I had told a neighbor that I loved it so much here but I worried the honeymoon would end. He said for him the honeymoon lasted 30 years! We are in an amazing community in a beautiful setting with tons of opportunity for involvement. It is what I was looking for when I knew we would have to move and I found it. It feels kind of miraculous sometimes. Is it perfect? No, but it’s real and it’s great. It’s the kind of place I feel will embrace Nicholas through his surgeries and lift him up. Folks have already been so kind.

I left my peaceful little rural mini forest and yet I am still surrounded by beautiful trees. I left so many of my loves but I know love travels and endures distance just fine. This is not our first move so we knew that already. Our old town will always feel like home because of the people who are still there. I can’t imagine not feeling at home in a house full of Curley’s as there has been at my mother and father-in-laws lately. I can’t wait to have a house full here!

So for now it’s all ok and that’s good enough for me.