Tuesday, January 16, 2018

One Thing I Remind Myself in the Pit of Illness

Being Jaycee's mother has been emotionally hard at times.

With every diagnosis, life-threatening emergency, surgery, and hospital stay, there is understandably some fear for her future. When she was born, Jaycee was diagnosed with a heart defect that almost immediately put her in congestive heart failure. I was very fearful that Jaycee wouldn't make it. I worried her heart failure would worsen, and I wouldn't see the signs in my infant. I worried something would go wrong during or after her open heart surgery that would cause her life to end. I wasn't obsessed with this thought/fear, but it would pop in my head uncontrollably at times. I worried how my life would go on if hers didn't. These thoughts scared me, and her future seemed so uncertain. 

Then I had a God moment. It's one of those times when a thought came to my mind that I knew wasn't from me. In the midst of my fear and worry about Jaycee's life, this came to mind: 
Don't mourn your daughter while she is alive.
I knew what that meant. I knew I wasn't suppose to worry and fear for my daughter's life because she was after all still alive. Those thoughts were making me sad and depressed. I didn't need to focus on a possible bad outcome for her that wasn’t our current situation. I was letting those fears about her future affect my emotions. So I got it. There’s no reason to mourn a situation that isn’t one yet. This thought has stuck with me over the years. 

Before she started kindergarten, Jaycee had two open heart surgeries, two heart ablations for Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome, and had been in the ICU a few times for pneumonia. Since then, she's had a few more rocky times in the hospital with surgeries or ICU admissions. Some of these things have been hard to process. 

On the one hand, I feel she is invincible. She has survived so much despite having many health conditions that put her at risk. Jaycee seems to bounce back. She fights hard during illnesses and wins.
On the other hand, I wonder two things. How much can a little girl's body take? How many times can a child go into respiratory distress or shock or acute respiratory failure? I start to have doubts about her life.

These doubts have came at me a few times (maybe multiple times) recently because of Jaycee's two admissions into the ICU within two months and the one admission we are currently on. Old fears and thoughts come back. When they return, I remember again:
Don't mourn your daughter while she is alive.
So I take a breath. I take a second and clear my mind. I can't control the future. I don't know what lies ahead for Jaycee and her health. But, today she is here. I will be joyful for that. 


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