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Under Pressure

I’ve been neglecting you, my readers.  Only one post in a whole week.  Shameful, I know.  It’s not like me to be so quiet.

It’s been a rough few weeks.  My child is sick.  Not like runny nose sick or sore throat sick.  I mean really sick.  She can’t go to school, she can’t eat, she’s losing weight and no one knows what’s wrong with her.

On the optimistic side, which is where I’ve been trying to live, we have ruled out a number of major problems.  Although she is far less than 100%, she is still in good spirits and feeling reasonably well for someone who has taken in little to no nutrition in the past three weeks.  She has an outstanding specialist on the case and we live relatively near a highly ranked children’s hospital.  I know it could be much worse.  I know there is an end in sight.  I know she will be okay, one way or another.

This is not happening to me, but it’s happening to my child, which, in a way, does mean that it’s happening to me.  It’s my job to find the best doctor, to make her comfortable, to deal with her school (which, with the exception of her French teacher and one kind lady in the records office, has been worse than useless and incredibly un-helpful), to keep her spirits up and to never, ever let her see me cry.  I have been unspeakably blessed to have had two healthy children.  I’ve never had to face a serious health problem before.  I know that mothers the world over do this every day and I’ve often wondered how they deal with it.  Now I know they deal with it the best way they can, day by day, because that’s the only option.

Here’s what I have to do.  I have to be strong for my child, because a child needs someone to lean on.  I have to be optimistic for my child, because I know that there is always hope and she needs help finding it sometimes.  I have to make her smile when she feels her worst, because there is always something to smile about.  I can do these things, I have done these things and I will continue to do these things for as long as it takes.

But you know when you have a pair of shoes that really, really hurt your feet, and you take them off just for a minute?  You know how hard it is to make yourself put your feet back in those shoes?  My strength feels like a pair of ill-fitting shoes.  If I take it off, even for a minute, I might not be able to put it back on and I can’t afford to take that risk.  So, I’m keeping busy sealing up the cracks in the façade.  I know people want to support me and I love them for it, but I can’t allow it.  The slightest weakness will be my downfall.  There’s time enough for my hurt later, right now I have things to do.

But I’d be lying if I said it’s not wearing me down.  Fast.  I have always thrived on stress.  I’m at my best when I’m under pressure.  I have always been pretty darn good at hitting the curve balls life throws at me.  But, friends, this is a whole different kind of ball game.  This is pressure that no one should ever have to bear, not for a day or a week and certainly not for a lifetime.  I am terrified.  I am worried.  I am angry.  I am completely overwhelmed.  And in some irrational, dark part of my soul, I feel guilty for failing to protect my child from this. (Yes, I said it was irrational.)  I am just barely hanging on and it doesn’t feel like I’ve got very much more to give.  But I will find more and I will give as much as I have to.  There’s no mystery or magic in this.  I’ll do it because there is no other option.

via seabreezephotos.com

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  1. September 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I want to comment and show my support, but I can’t think of the right words to say. So I’m just going to say that I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I look forward to the post where you tell us she’s all better and has just finished eating an entire pepperoni pizza on her own.

    • September 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you…your words are perfect, because there really are no right words. The fact that you’ve looked for them says it all and is incredibly touching. 🙂

  2. Mart
    September 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Shel Love you guys..love your posts.. You are the strongest mommy..be there for her take care of yourself..she needs you and let others be there for you..its their way of coping when they feel helpless..hugs and kisses for that sweet girl!! Let me know if you need ANYTHING!!

    • September 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you, Martha!! Love you!

  3. Barb Strimple
    September 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    God will make you strong at the times you need it. When you were Sophie’s age and sooo sick I was going through what you are. I look back now and don’t know how I did it but the strength turned up out of the blue when I needed it, and all was over and you were well I fell apart and family and friends were there to pick me up that was the easy part.Cry at night in bed it’s okay let Eric hold you but you hold him also. When you need anything Daddy and I will be there. Love you baby!!

    • September 16, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Love you, Mom

  4. September 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I hope you all feel better very soon. I don’t know any mother who couldn’t relate to this.

    • September 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Thank you. I think every Mom goes through this, in some way, at some time. Part of the job description.

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