Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011 ~ Day 230
(Slowly) Getting Better At It

One of the interesting parts of keeping this 365 blog for 230 days now has been watching myself slowly evolve as a parent.

Subtle changes that I would not normally have been aware of become more obvious because I've actually thought and written about my views previously; gradual shifts in perspective become more blatant.

This afternoon, our two year old daughter was diagnosed with pneumonia for the second time in a calendar year.

The first time she had pneumonia last December - right after I started to keep this blog - I was absolutely beside myself with worry.

In fact, I wrote an entire post chronicling the depth of my concern for her health and well-being. I even called it Worry ~ and in that same piece I dredged through the deeper issues of my lack of faith and tendency to equate anxiety with love.

Seven months later, I find that I'm in a totally different mental and emotional space about this new pneumonia.

First of all, so much has happened this year. We've been through a lot as a family and had many tangible successes... so I've started to grow in my capacity to feel faith. There have been a lot of moments when I needed to trust that everything was going to be okay; for example, when we moved to a brand new community in our quest for better schools and a better life for our kids. We took such a risk and left so much behind... but in the end, it all turned out better than I could have hoped for. Sometimes, a leap of faith is the only way to go.

Next, I've started working again as a tutor. A little here, a little there... but all in all, having my own work gives me a sense of personal power that I didn't have seven months ago and I no longer feel as though everything in my world is outside of my control. Even when truly bad things happen, like our son getting injured this week. Because our financial picture is brighter, I have confidence that we will be able to pay for any treatment that our children may need to heal. It's such a good feeling.

Then there is the case of my own health. In sum, it is so much better. Huge leaps forward. So that gives me a sense of permanency and greater belief in a bright future.

It's also true that within the last 6 weeks my son and then my husband both came down with a walking pneumonia. So, this "pneumonia" thing that I used to think was so rare? Not so rare at all. At least, not rare in our family. We've had four cases of it in seven months! From this I have learned not to get so worked up about illness. Kids get ill, but they also get well - in fact, getting well is the typical outcome.

Lastly, I've done a lot of studying this summer about the Law of Attraction and I realize more than ever that when I project fear and sorrow into the world, I usually manage to draw more situations in that create fear and sorrow.

It won't help either of my children for me to dissolve into a pool of anxiety over their respective health situations; so I'm choosing to keep my thoughts on how wonderful they are when they are healthy and 100%, and how grateful I am that they've come into this world to be my kids. At the very least, this keeps me calm and able to deal with them a lot more rationally and positively... which I believe helps them to heal!

I've seen firsthand the powerful effects of prayer too, thanks to the amazing women in the Mom's church group I started attending a few months ago. I have a different sense about faith, community and the web that connects us all together. I'm better now at asking for help, and requesting prayer or positive thinking when I truly believe that we need the support. There is no question in my mind that prayer can play an important role in regaining vitality.

All of this put together gives me a totally different attitude about our little girl's newly diagnosed illness.

I felt completely calm while making her doctor's appointment, and assumed based on our recent family history that she probably did have a pneumonia... but didn't go rushing right into their office. I waited for four days to see if her fever would break first. (It didn't.)

When her doctor suggested a chest x-ray today (just like she did seven months ago) I didn't worry at all. Didn't even blink an eyelash, not even about her radiation exposure. I now know that a chest xray contains about 1/400th the amount of radiation of a single CT scan; in essence, nothing worth writing home about. No biggie.

"Ok, sure - where?" was my only response... and then off we went to get it done.

When my daughter screamed so loud in the lobby that the office manager of the x-ray facility actually asked us to go outside, I took it in stride and managed not to get frustrated with my daughter... even though she next decided to lay down flat in a parking lot in front of an oncoming car and WOULD NOT get up until I had to physically pick her up to stop her from getting run over.

"Poor thing just isn't feeling well," I understood, and I hugged and kissed her.

When the doctor called two hours later to affirm (based on the chest x-ray) that yes, she DOES have pneumonia, my only question was which antibiotic she was going to receive.

I didn't feel anxious about going to pick up the prescription and was even able to give her the first dose myself ~ whereas a year ago, that was a tough thing for me to do.

Now my girl is sleeping peacefully and I'm feeling pretty relaxed knowing that two out of my three children are actively healing right now (and the third one is presumably healthy).

Within a week, both of them should be infinitely better. I actually feel pretty happy right now... much better than last night. I am filled with gratitude for modern medicine, and relief that I may actually get a full night of sleep tonight for the first time in days!

So either I've grown a little in the last 7 months... or maybe I've just reached a saturation point where my body physically cannot absorb any more stress, given the week we've had; so my brain just isn't going to let me get too worked up about a little mycoplasma pneumoniae.

I love my sweet girl like crazy and I am totally convinced that she will be 100% well in no time at all.

* * * * * * *

Before signing off, a little bit of good news did come out of our appointment with the pediatrician. I asked our family doctor about the likelihood of the tissue necrosis that the ortho physician had described to me yesterday for my son's hand... and she said she thought that was very rare and quite unlikely. "The greater risk in a situation like your son's," she added, "is really just the risk of an infection getting into the bone. Tissue necrosis is pretty unlikely."

This news brings such a relief! Obviously none of us can see what is going on inside that bright green cast of his, but our boy says he can wiggle all five of his fingers and they are hurting less - so that has got to be a GREAT thing! No infection so far after 4 days, which has also got to be a good sign that the antibiotics are doing their job.

Onward and upward. Knock on wood but I've got a good feeling right now -
I think we're rounding another corner as a family.

More than anything tonight, I realize that I'm not exactly the same mother I was seven months ago. This is a good thing! Very grateful for the wider perspective that continues to come with time and experience.

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