Friday, June 5, 2009

The Way We Were by Kari

Here is Kari's latest note. I have to admit, it made me laugh and cry all at the same time! Just one year ago I worked at the Mother's Day Out she mentions in this note. If I were still working there, I would have been one of the ladies in that office. In fact, I can just see the looks on the faces that she mentions! And, I know their hearts and am so thankful for their willingness to welcome William right back in. So, as continue to pray for William and his family, please lift up the MDO and Sunday school workers as well! Thanks!

I know it says in Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun. But there is certainly "new-for-me". The funny thing is that when new-for-me becomes been-there-done-that, I get to turn around and be the bearer of new-for-me for all of William's other caretakers, of whom there are many. New-for-them is just as scary as it was for me. How quickly one forgets.

The first inclination for a mother in a situation like ours is to want to coddle and protect. Surely the rest of life can wait for this difficult time to be over. William doesn't have to go back to his Sunday School class or to Mother's Day Out this summer. He can stay home with me while the other two children continue on. Well, not so, said William's child life specialists I spoke to, as well as the respiratory therapists who trained us in as deputy nurses. According to them, William should be allowed to go about life as usual. Their one requirement: that whoever is responsible for his care knows how to care for him. This is more easily said than done.

When I start to add it up, my kids are watched by others all over town! For one thing, we're involved in so many church events and productions, that some weeks out of the year, I find myself the first to arrive at our church nursery with my kids, and sometimes the last to leave. In order to get a chance to work out at my gym, I take advantage of the two-hour daily childcare limit in the staffed playroom at least once a week. All three of my kids go to Mother's Day Out twice a week, a church program at First Evan that is in my opinion one of the best kept preschool secrets in Memphis. My kids love all the different playrooms, classes, and teachers they have. They've rarely shown any signs of separation anxiety, which I know is a blessing I should count. Sometimes in fits of PMS, I wonder if I'm really such an ogre that my kids just can't wait to get away from me! Anna Kathryn tried to explain it to me once recently. "Mom," she said, "I just like to get to know other grown-ups sometimes." Hmph. I refuse to wish my kids would throw a fit at the door, but sometimes my mother-heart wants to see them want me. Then when I pick them up later, and their faces light up and they call my name, I realize that I've worried for nothing. They love me just fine.

I figure I can handle a month off from the gym, or go odd hours when John is home. And I don't have to be at church for anything except Sunday mornings this summer, so I won't be dealing with major commitment issues there. But the twins' Sunday morning class would be sorely missed by William if he had to sit out every week, and Mother's Day Out is also a much-loved favorite. And so, armed with my suction equipment and emergency gear, I'm heading out this week to deputize other people not related to my son. It's humbling to both John and me that they have all expressed such willingness to do what it takes for William to come back. Everybody wants him to feel as normal as possible, and as comfortable with this uncomfortable process as he can.

Sunday, one or both of us will stay in William's class with him the entire morning. We don't plan to leave him alone with anyone who doesn't feel completely comfortable with his trach, and looking back on these past three weeks, we can completely understand the psychological process it takes to get comfortable with it. Today was Mother's Day Out training. Once we had pastoral permissions all settled, and all the available former nurses and childcare staff at the ready, we sat William up on the table in the main office and got started. I went through everything that had been taught to me while the ladies listened intently and asked questions. I looked up at one point, and saw the exact same expression on their faces that I know I had in William's hospital room a couple weeks ago. Seriously? I'm going to do what? In where? I wanted to hug them all.

It's hard to believe it's only been three weeks since his accident. In these three weeks, I feel like I've experienced a lifetime of emotions. At the forefront of these is the constant desire to push forward. I can only describe it as an overpowering need to get to the end. If we keep pushing onward then we'll get there. To the end. Whenever the end is. Overshadowing my restlessness is the realization that I can't push at all. This experience is completely out of my control.

That being said, you will understand my elation when we walked out of William's appointment with his surgeon this morning. William was worked into a slot today, so we spent about as much time in the waiting room this time as we did waiting for him to come out of surgery a few weeks back. John caught up on his newspaper, and I wheedled the M-pages out of him so I could see the Thursday MidSouth Moms section. William and I will have a little story in there one of these weeks, I'm told. Then I pulled out the ball of yarn I'm learning to crochet with, and watched William watch Toy Story II and fast-walk around the chairs. When we were finally called, our visit lasted all of fifteen minutes. It was the best fifteen minutes I've had in a while. Not because we had to hold William tightly while the surgeon stuck a scope down through his nose. But because what he saw prompted him to set an appointment for June 29th at LeBonheur. To remove the trach. Oh yes. I punched the air in elation as we left the building. I can only describe my emotions as the fulfillment of that need to push forward. I was finally able to set a date to the beginning of the end!

Now, we still may have hold-ups once they go in there and take a look on the 29th. If things could use a little more time to get back to normal, we may have a few weeks or even months of continued trach, or smaller trach before complete removal. It will all depend on how well William has healed, and what kind of scar tissue they find down there. But I feel confident in the God to whom we have all been praying on William's behalf. And the doctor seemed reasonably certain that he would be able to pull out that trach and bandage up the hole. From there we will wait the several days for it to completely heal over. And after that, the end.

Hallelujah!
That boy loves his daddy.

1 comment:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh, that is good news!

Julie