Tuesday, April 16, 2019

What Helped My Foul Mood

I was in a foul mood when I woke up.

After the morning rush of administering medications, making my son's lunch, and getting everyone dressed, we were ready to load into my van.

I told my daughter to sit in the back seat, but she ignored my words. She went straight to the front passenger seat. Jaycee can legally ride in the front. However, she demands I take objects like a cup or my phone without regard to the fact that I am occupied driving. I didn't want to be distracted today as we were driving two hours to the hospital for an appointment. Jaycee continued to make her way to the front and buckle up, not pausing at all when I told her to stop.

My voice had a sharpness to it when I told her that she needed to move again. I could see I wasn't going to win this argument with her already buckled up, so I resigned and let her stay. As I pulled out of the driveway to start our long day, I felt frazzled. My patience was thin, and it wasn't even 8 am.

Then, I recognized what was really happening.

The hospital brings out some ugly parts of me. I have associated the hospital with pain, fear, trauma, and emergencies. I have had good experiences with the medical profession but many negative ones. I have felt every emotion in a hospital.

When there's an ordinary appointment for Jaycee, my brain has a difficult time shutting off old negativities and emotions. Just thinking about going to the place filled with memories of surgeries, hospital admissions, and scares with my daughter puts me on edge.

I took a breath. I noticed the tension in my shoulders and arms. With great effort, I tried to relax them. I put on some music. I said an inner prayer and began the familiar route to the hospital.

Once there, Jaycee willingly exited the van, and I was relieved. Typically, she refuses to get out because she recognizes the hospital. Once we arrived at the parking garage elevators, she refused to board them and said, "Uh-uh." By the time a second elevator arrived, Jaycee was ready to board but then refused to leave it a few minutes later. The promise of lunch after we were done helped move her forward.

The meeting with the new specialist proved to be informative and helpful. But, there were the same old annoyances that come with any appointment. There was the handing over of the insurance cards and going over our demographics, even though I reviewed this information at this hospital two weeks prior. I dutifully provided Jaycee's list of medications for what must have been the 5,000th time in my life. These things must be done, but the repetition of it all can irritate me.

I was in a foul mood indeed.

We walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch between appointments. We have just recently started having some nice weather. It felt good to be outside without a jacket. I saw some flowers in a bed providing beautiful color to an area surrounded by grey buildings. I could have easily walked past those flowers because I was in the hospital area where nothing "good" could be appreciated. But, I stopped. I told Jaycee to look at the flowers.

"What's your favorite color? Yellow or red?" I asked.

Jaycee responded with sign/words, "Red. Like my shirt."

"I like the red ones too. Let's take a picture."

We snapped a few pictures, and I tried to snap out of my foul mood. When I am feeling discouraged and irritated with the medical situations in our life I can't control, I try to focus on the good. I made myself list some positives:

Jaycee is walking today! We normally would have had to use her wheelchair for all of this walking, but the progress she has made from outpatient physical therapy has done wonders. Jaycee is walking this distance to the restaurant! 

We have specialists available to see our child and help with her medical problems.

My van has faithfully made another trip to the hospital. 

I have the ability to pay for my daughter's medicines and supplies we'll be picking up later today. 

As long as I have been on this journey with my daughter, I still make mistakes. I let negativity get the best of me at times. I can get into foul moods even though I really know how blessed I am. I am human. That's the problem. I need to be more spirit-filled and allow God to work in me more.

I'll have another chance to get it right in a few weeks when we go back for another appointment. I will be sure to stop and smell the flowers again. 


  1. Oh how well I know your feelings about being at doctor's appointments and having your child in the front of the car. You speak of the experiences of a lot of Mama's and it's okay to have a bad day once in a while.

    1. Thanks for that. Oh the fun of having your child hand you a drink because it's empty while you are passing a car going 70 down the interstate. Fun times for sure!

  2. I like the yellow flowers best, Evana and Jaycee.

    And the weather must have been so nice!

    Good the van was working well.


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