Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Leaving Some Things Behind

A new year has just kicked off. There are many days ahead of me filled with promise, hope, and life. When looking forward into the new year, I can't help but reflect on the year I just lived through though.

There were many happy days in 2018 and some that weren't so great. Recently at church, the pastor asked us what we would like to forget and leave behind from 2018. I could easily give the guy a list, which mostly involves illnesses.
Let's start at the beginning of the year because it was a flurry of chaos. On January 2, 2018, I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with Jaycee who was battling a respiratory illness and sepsis. It was ugly and rough. When she went home, she wasn't well at all as she needed oxygen off and on with near constant monitoring. All this happened while my husband was a few states away working.

Before she fully recovered from that illness, the horrible Influenza A virus inflicted itself on both of my children causing Jaycee to go right back in the hospital. All of January and most of February was spent battling different respiratory problems. By the time Jaycee felt well enough to go back to school at the end of February, I was completely drained from the stress of being her sole caregiver.

Three more times in 2018, Jaycee's lungs just couldn't fight through issues at home and required hospital stays. April's hospital stay was relatively short. Two hospital stays in the fall were only a few days each, but the majority of her illness was intensely treated at home. All of November and the first week of December was spent monitoring and medicating Jaycee. The illnesses that go on for weeks and weeks require so much of my energy and focus. That's a fact and not a complaint. But, many times people think illness that happens outside the hospital is no big deal. I can assure you that there are many hectic times at home during an illness.

I would like to forget those weeks and months from 2018 for sure. They were scary, challenging, and mentally draining. More importantly, they taint my thoughts about the future.

When I start a new year, I try to project what may happen. Part of this is my type A personality that seeks to find routine in my life that is often not routine. I look for patterns in Jaycee's health and try to predict problem months in the future. Therefore, I look to the past to see what may happen in the future. That's exactly what I need to leave behind going into 2019.

I have come to accept and wait for illnesses and hospital stays. They have happened every year in almost 13 years of Jaycee's life. So of course, I anticipate them. In that lies the problem.

This year I am trying to leave the baggage of that behind. I'm trying to go in to 2019 with a clean slate. I'm trying not to anticipate some problem months for my daughter based upon her past. I'm trying not to predict illnesses and hospital stays. I'm starting, instead, to hope for a future of health and not be in dread of something bad that may occur.

As I write this, we are only a few days in, and I'm already struggling to stay completely positive. I have had a few fleeting thoughts in my head: Last year at this time, Jaycee was in the hospital. She was so sick, and it was hard. That thought is usually followed with this thought: I hope she doesn't get sick like that again or get Influenza again. And these are the thought patterns I am trying to correct by telling myself this: Today, Jaycee is healthy. God, let her health continue. 

I'm a work in progress. I'm trying to let the past with its fears and stressors go. I'm trying to see the future for the hope and optimism that may occur. After all that my daughter's been through, I haven't given much room for hope to grow based on past experiences. This year, I want to make a place for it to flourish by leaving some things in the past where they belong. 

1 comment:

  1. I deal with the same struggle. My daughter is medically fragile and medically complex with rare chromosomal abnormalities. Finding hope is hard when illness is a part of everyday life. I have happy moments. It took 1 year of avoiding inpatient stays to convince me we could live outside of the hospital.


submit to reddit