A year and a half ago we lived in a different house. Sick at times with unexplained issues, but basically normal, for a family suffering from multiple food sensitivities (which in itself is pretty normal nowadays). Then, suddenly, a whirlwind, and we were gone. Our house fixed and sold, all of our belongings given away or sold, or simply tossed in the trash when we couldn't face another day of trying to decide what to do with it all. Then a nightmare ensued - blackouts and congestion at my mother's, coughing and disorientation at a friend's borrowed house. Watching my children deal with migraines, joint and muscle pain, stomach issues, rashes, fatigue, confusion, muscle weakness, and watching it all through the haze of my own similar illness. Working until the wee hours of the morning on our new house, or waiting up until my husband staggered home, exhausted from his "two" jobs. Then a lightning fast move into our new house, spurred on early by severely increasing health problems. A week or two of trying to put together a house from scratch with two sick kids and a sick mommy (just fyi - rolled up bathroom rugs do not make comfy pillows, even in an emergency!). Running again while our water was shut down for a week due to a bacterial contamination in the well - dragging the kids around South Carolina, sitting in parking lots while my dear hubbie tried to find a hotel we could handle without getting more ill.
So doing something as normal as dividing up my baking ingredients suddenly seemed overwhelming, especially today. Today our doctor told us that:
1. we will get better, probably (yeah?)
2. it will take several years (no words)
3. it will be hard work
4. we have to institute a policy of zero tolerance for the things that affect us, because every exposure will set us back (is a party worth a two week set-back?)
5. a lot of our options are costly
So I'm sitting here dipping out the almond flour and thinking things like this:
1. How do you tell your kids that they cannot go to the State Fair (we go EVERY year)(and usually participate)?
2. Does having to wear a charcoal mask in public scar your child for life?
3. How will this affect my soon to be teen daughter as she struggles to define herself?
4. How will this affect my nine year old - how will she find friends?
5. Will our friends just melt away? Is it too hard to love us?
6. Can we still go to piano and violin lessons? Does this mean no recitals?
7. Will there be anyone who does not think we are crazy?
8. How will I uphold my responsibilities at my volunteer job? Can I Skype staff meetings?
9. What will I do about art? No more acrylic or oil paints - just drawing and watercolor? No more pottery?
10. Will we really get better?
11. Well, Laura Ingalls Wilder was pretty isolated and she seems to have turned out ok. Can we use her as a role model?
12. What is life like when you can't go anywhere?
14. What do we do about visiting or being visited by family?
15. Thank goodness we already homeschool so the kids don't have to deal with a big school change.
16. Is it ok that I'm feeling rather fragile and shattered?
17. How will we afford treatments if we decide to try them?
18. Is it possible to look stylish in a mask? Maybe fling a scarf over it? Or should I go for the cowboy look and invest in a red hanky to wear? Could I pull it off if I wore a cowboy hat and boots? Can I decorate it and go for artist-funky?
Meanwhile, downstairs I have a child with a migraine and another who looks like death warmed over. They are watching a movie right now - a rare treat - because honestly, none of us feel good enough to function normally today. The nurse at the doctor's had some sort of fragrance on (detergent? scented candle at home? lotion?) that pretty much ended the day for us.
So thank you for sharing my pain today. I don't think I really have any blog followers other than my sister in law and my mom, but it helps to write something and then share. I process through writing. Obviously. But you know me, I don't like to leave a negative spin on things. And even though my complaining may seem like I'm depressed, I'm really not deep inside. God has been kind enough to put me through enough in life to have scraped out all that ick that makes you able to be deeply depressed. I can get very sad, but only for a limited time. After all, once you know the joy of Christ, it's really hard for anything in the world to really get you down. Man that sounds sooooo corny, but the reality is that it is True. This world, after all, will pass, and that is Reality. So the little things every day that could make me sad sort of melt away when you think that eternity is coming and this is just a little blip. Also, we have many blessings, which I have listed in other posts on this blog - and I go back and read them! So I'll leave you today with this:
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, "Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!"
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.