Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Last Week: A Missing Husband, A Dentist, and A Dead Fish

Last week was rough for many reasons.

My husband was out of town for work all week. When I wanted to watch 90 Day Fiancé, my husband wasn't home to protest. That is the one positive thing about being the only adult at home. Beyond that, it's kind of hard to suddenly do things without help when you are accustomed to having it. Jaycee's morning and evening medicine runs were all on me. The bi-pap at night was placed on Jaycee every night by good ol' mom. The school drop offs and pick ups were all me. The homework fun was all my department as well. Did I mention I work too? (Kudos to all you single parents out there!) It's an adjustment being the only one at home. But, then let's throw some added stress into a new routine with a dental procedure.

In the middle of the week, Jaycee had 10 baby teeth pulled. (Yes, 10! Her baby teeth just wouldn't fall out!) Because she aspirated the last time she had other baby teeth pulled and ended up in the ICU for several days, this relatively routine procedure had to be treated like something more. To keep her safe this time, we had to do the teeth removal at the hospital under sedation with her on a ventilator. Since my husband was away at work, I took Jaycee to the hospital solo and had to make arrangements for my son for 24 hours.

Everything went well, but there were two unsuccessful IV attempts Jaycee went through as well as some pain from the procedure afterwards. Even though this procedure was "uncomplicated," it still required time off work, schedule adjustments, and more medications to dose out for a few days.

Before the pain and misery, Jaycee was all smiles with her iPad and Beast doll.

That leads me to the dead fish. (Sigh) Let me first make it clear that I am not a morning person. I'm not thrilled to be waking up at 6 am every weekday, but I deal with it. I'm an adult after all! Anything before 6 am just feels wrong! The morning of the teeth extraction I had to wake at 5:30. I was already not in the best mentality when I came to the kitchen to prepare Jaycee's medications. Then I saw my son's fish floating in the aquarium.

Here's Redhead the goldfish on his first night in our home last month.
My son won this goldfish, which he named Redhead, at our town's fall festival last month. Honestly, we walked up to this game, and I didn't even know he was playing to win a goldfish. On his 11th out of 12th toss, Elijah scored, and a fish was ours. The next day, we bought an aquarium, rocks, food, and all the accessories. This $2 goldfish became a $70 investment. Did I mention we got him a friend? Jaycee chose a beta fish named Daddy Beast. (He survives.) We warned Elijah that goldfish are tricky to keep alive. As the days turned to weeks, we thought we were in the clear until that fateful morning. 

I have to admit that I cried a bit when I saw that floating fish in the aquarium. Should I flush him? What if it clogs our toilet? My husband isn't here to fix that problem. Should I throw it outside? There's no time this morning to bury the thing, and I didn't want the cat to traumatize my son with a half eaten carcass. I chose to throw it in the garage before taking it to the dumpster. Jaycee and I did say a short prayer first committing the fish to God's kingdom if he so desired. The death had no effect on Jaycee just FYI. Luckily, my son was spending the night with my sister-in-law who was responsible for getting him to school that day, so I was spared of his heartbreak for a few hours.

That night, I had to break the news to Elijah. My husband was on FaceTime and provided words of support as best as he could from two hours away. Elijah handled his first dead pet pretty well. 

By Thursday morning after all the chaos, I was spent. The hospital tends to make me nervous and uptight. I had been managing all the care on my own and disposed of a dead fish. What a day! What a week!!! I was feeling very overwhelmed. 

This post isn't very encouraging is it? I'm all about Down syndrome awareness this month, yet I'm in the verge of a tiny breakdown. Hang in a bit longer though. 

I was reminded of something in all of this. 

Parenting is hard. 
Whether your child has Down syndrome, autism, heart problems, or a developmental delay, there are times you are going to feel overwhelmed. You know what else is true though.....
Parents that have no child with a disability or medical issues have these same moments. 
Jobs may change. You might have to do things without your spouse that you'd rather not. And pets may die. Every week can't be carefree. 
My child's diagnoses were a small part of the stress, but most of it was just normal life stuff making me feel a bit overwhelmed. (Maybe more than I want to admit.)

For me, I knew I needed God more in those moments. I knew I needed to take someone by the hand a few days later at church and say I've been overwhelmed the last few days with life. Will you pray with me?

Maybe you aren't religious, and that's something strange for you. Then I hope you have someone to talk to and a way to de-stress after a hard week. 

Down syndrome diagnosis or not, life can have its moments that make us feel like giving up. But, there is hope for all of us moms and dads.

When all the chaos quiets and my kids cuddle up next to me at night, there's nothing stronger than a determined mom armed with love to keep going.

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