At the end of January, I started a bad cold. It was the same cold my lovely, 5-colds-a season, daughter had. My version turned into bronchitis. It was miserable. But the real fun began when the coughing was so bad that I broke a rib! Well, I think I broke a rib. My doctor said it was more likely a pulled muscle.
Well. Whatever it was, that $h!t HURT! I couldn’t do anything. I was in so much pain. Coughing, bending, laying, sitting, sleeping…were all torture. No pain killers, not even the opioids the doctor gave me, worked. I begged Dave not to travel early, one Tuesday morning as he was suited up and was ready to head to the airport. He had to go, but promised he’d come back early. I had to rely on neighbors, family and friends to survive until his return.
But guess what happened? Since I could no longer lift Kelsey onto the toilet, onto the bed and onto the barstool for her breakfast, SHE HAD TO DO IT HERSELF! Because of my broken rib, she became a more independent child!
I learned that Kelsey, can in fact, pull her pants up and down on her own. Her cute tushy hangs out a good bit of the time but it’s good enough for me! She has gotten just tall enough to shimmy back onto the potty and back up again. Now, a lot of this is owed to her wonderful “close adult support” at school who demands more of her than I do, as well, but the need at home made it more of a reality. She still seems to need us to come in and talk her through the process, and has had accidents while waiting for that support, but we are getting there.
After her seizure, and resulting paralysis, a year and a half ago, she is still experiencing limited use of her left hand. Before that seizure, she could climb up and down onto the barstool where we eat most of our meals and onto her trundled daybed. But after the seizure–18 months later–she was back to being hoisted up and down because she didn’t have the second arm to do the work. That’s a lot of lifting of a 50 pound, dead weight kiddo.
Because of my immense pain, I literally could not lift her. So for meals we switched to eating at our beautiful, neglected farm table. She has a chair with a footstool at the table but that, too, was always too involved for her to get into on her own. Since I literally could not even help her get into a table-height chair–she had to do it on her own. And apparently, after many tries, she can! Hallelujah! She still can’t climb onto the barstool like she once did but she’s getting taller and soon enough I think she will be able to slide down, a la the toilet!
A month and a half later, I’m still experiencing pain from the pulled muscle, broken rib or a combination of the two. I can’t lay on my back and sitting for long periods of time, especially in a comfortable, lounge-y chair is still painful. I can only sleep on my right side. It sucks but it’s much more manageable.
I tell you all of this in hopes that the social distancing we are doing to flatten the curve from Coronavirus will also yield some positive changes in our family and yours. Right now? I can’t see it. I’m pretty depressed with the thought that the kids will not go back to school for a lonnng time. Please don’t mistake this post for a Pollyanna view on things. I am NOT happy. The kids are NOT happy. I don’t want to teach them, nor do I want to have a picnic at the stream on a Thursday afternoon in March. I don’t want to watch a virtual trip to the zoo or even bake cookies. I don’t want to take my almost-seven year old–who doesn’t understand why she doesn’t have school and can’t go out to lunch at The Greene Turtle– on an hour ride in the car, because even at her age it calms her like an infant.
But, maybe it will become more manageable. Maybe our kids will learn to do something they couldn’t do before (No, Karen, I’m not talking about changing a tire or learning Spanish). I’m sure there will be silver linings and ways to look on the bright-side.
This morning I decided I needed to go back to listing three things I’m grateful for before getting up. Just like Oprah taught me. Gratitude always sets your mind in the right direction. Today I’m grateful that no members of my family are essential employees that have to go to work. I’m also grateful that today is Saturday and Dave can be on Kelsey duty. And finally I’m grateful that we have a spacious house with many rooms, corners and outside spaces to get away from my beloveds when they’re driving me freaking insane. 🙂
What are you grateful for during this weird time? More importantly, what’s driving you out of your mind? What are you pissed about? I find I feel better when I know others are suffering along with me!!
I know…we can do hard things…it could be much, much worse…blah blah blah. Some times a good gripe session is also very healing.
Good luck today, friends.