Thursday, November 19, 2020

July 2020: Deja Vu of Times Past

 Wednesday July15, 2020

It's time to take a minute to write some things down.. . And to think, back in the day I used to write every single detail of our lives down.🤦‍♀️ Believing that I'd print them out for others to read... 🤣 Its still a hope and dream of mine to get everything printed... but once again in my life, I'm just treading water. It takes everything I have to keep one thought flowing to the next. Praying that I'll remember the most important things and appointments. Human bodies are so fragile. Well, mine is anyway. 

In January 2020, I felt a very eerily familiarity seep into our life. I felt like we were re-living the year(s) 2012/13/14. Except that we were actually living 2020, but with a clear remembrance of the hardships and lessons learned that year(s). Leif moved to Flagstaff AZ for nursing school that year. It was the second hardest year of my life. I wish I could say I passed the "single married mom" test with flying colors. Uuh, NO. I fell apart. Physically and mentally. Which led to a shutdown spiritually. The breakdown closed what used to be an open flow of two way enlightenment. Thus the end of the "blog years." When Leif finished his year of school we packed up and moved to Missouri. But thinking back to that time, we had buried two loved ones and almost lost another one, Leif graduated with his Bachelor's in Nursing AND we had a burst appendix scare from Caleb, all within the last six months of Leif's finals and our cross country move. It was a ridiculous roller coaster ride. Leif secured his employment while I was loading the kids in the van after staying the night at a hotel as we drove to MO. NOTHING big in our story ever happens on its own, long enough to appreciate and celebrate. It's just a Check Off on the To Do List. ... Some things never change. The first year living in MO was as enchanting as it was challenging. We lived on my uncle's ranch. It was Heavenly! We quickly started gathering animals and lived as exciting as possible. The challenge came when Leif was rescheduled to Night Shift. His commute to work was 1 hour each way. So he just started sleeping at the hospital a few nights each week. As time wore on all I remember was frozen pizza. Lots and Lots of frozen pizza. And M&Ms. My health was steadily declining and there wasn't a blessed thing I could do about it. I remember focusing on scripture study. Teaching the boys "The Lord's Prayer." And I remember retreating to the peace and animals outside because I knew they most likely wouldn't talk back or scream at me. And it was so calm and clear out there in the country. This was also the timeframe when we were having Caleb evaluated and diagnosed. His very first diagnosis from a pediatric neuropsychiatricst was "Oppositional Defiant Disorder."  The diagnosis was spot on. But we didn't accept it, nor did it really rear its head, until this year. He was also diagnosed with ADHD and Autism. The only way to prepare and curve ODD is through establishing rigid values and routines. So that when the child is of age, he can at least know right from wrong and have a structure to fall to when the battle within is SO HARD. Gratefully, values and structure were already the foundational plan.

The second year of life in MO was far less enchanting. We had to sell all of our beloved animals, except for my puppy, Mia. Then we moved into an apartment in Springfield. We were leaving family, teachers, and ward members whom we loved. But we/Leif couldn't keep up the schedule he was working. We needed to be together more. 

Soon after moving to Springfield, River was diagnosed with Cancer.  Words and logic can't exactly explain the final blow that that shock had on me. From there, I remember my bedroom. Show after show on Netflix. Day after day. And M&Ms. My entire view of reality was distorted by the physical and mental imbalance. Karin, River's mom, was stalwart in her faith and search for hope. She strengthened me. Through the Merciful Grace of God, River survived that round of Cancer. We had her for 5 more years. The Cancer took her in May of 2020.

Somehow throughout those 3 years, my kids were bathed and fed. My house was never clean. But it was rarely filthy. It's a miracle that we all survived. Still married and together. 

Leif is a Master Compartmentalizer. It's a gift. Whether it's healthy in the long run or not, that's to be debated. But because he's able to flip one switch off and another one on, he's able to cope with our reality. I didn't understand what was happening during that first year of Nursing School. I just felt forgotten and abandoned. Not the case. He is just able to triage what is most important at the exact moment. As opposite as we are in this regard, it is the saving grace of our marriage and life. Because if he couldn't shut off the stress of having a sick and crazy wife, and his four sons, then he would be useless at work. Not to mention his full time career as a student. … Yes, I often wonder how long a man can live a compartmentalized lifestyle. 

By the end of our second year in MO, I was barely getting out of bed. It was time for drastic measures. That's when we moved to North Carolina to live with my sister. Leif started as a Travel Nurse. 

For the next 2+ years we lived with family or in exotic places. This allowed me time to rest and share the household duties with someone else. It also marked 5 years of my body not being pregnant.  

Leif came and went from us throughout this time also. We had learned how to live apart and still carry on a relationship. Although,  I think that was ONLY possible because I was always sharing the chore load with another woman in the house.

I think the dejavu between these years and now actually started when I got pregnant again and had an immediate miscarriage and then complications throughout Joshua's pregnancy. That definitely threw Leif and I both into rounds of PTSD that we hadn't dealt with for a long time. And then as Joshua has grown it seems that he, just as Caleb and JJ, has had a lot of delays and milestone issues along the way. It's all felt surreal. Just so vaguely familiar. Except now, we tend to stop and look back sometimes and try to learn from the experiences of the past. 

In addition to Joshua's issues, we have Caleb flaring up with his developmental/behavioral issues. And JJ with his likely ADD and "middle child syndrome."  And like a cherry on top, Jakob's musculoskeletal pain and injuries are often an issue. All of these boys have Things, BIG Things that Really need to be tackled. Not to mention teeth and eye issues. 🤦‍♀️

So for me to be so sick again is an absolute Twilight Zone type nightmare. I keep reaching towards the dejavu, as if there's a message there of how to make everything work out. A secret answer to make me healthy and strong. 

The one similar vein that flows between each time is Leif and his work schedule. The months and years when he has a reasonable amount of time at home without distractions, or if I have someone I am sharing the household load with, then things seem to be manageable. But in both times, once Leif is forced to juggle long work hours, school, and home, that's when I seem to crumble. Through absolutely no fault of his. He's incredible. All that he does around the house is astounding compared to most men. 

It's just Me. I'm the one who can't keep it together. It's tragic, really! If I could function like he does… it would be amazing. 

So what does a mother do when she's broken? We all came to earth knowing that we would each face different trials. My trial is having a body and a mind that holds me back from a spirits’ desire to do Great Things!  They say that our bodies are made up of clay. Well, my clay got a heap load of jumbled upon being built. And the disconnect that has resulted is extremely challenging. 

I wonder… I wonder if all that we really need to do is figure out how to afford a housekeeper? Could the answer really be that simple? During times before now there was absolutely no possibility of this option. But there was the option of living with someone who could help. But now, there's no chance of living with someone. But there is more money flexibility. 

And then I remember that we are, in fact, living in the year 2020. The year that will forever be named the year that 'Hell Froze Over.' Anything we thought just "couldn't happen" has, or will, happen this year. Including a quarantine that doesn't allow housekeepers to come into family homes. … I wonder if that is still the case? It's incredible how resilient we are as a people when faced with completely new problems that need to be overcome. They've probably figured out a way to keep their business going.

As for tomorrow, well, I'll wake up. But I need to do more than just wake up. I have to Get Up!!! I have been sick in bed officially now for 10 days. Times up!! Mom's don't get the luxury of slowly regaining their strength after bleeding their guts out [Colitis flare].🤪🤣  It's just not in the cards for us. It doesn't matter how wretched you feel. Clothes have to be washed. Dishes must be loaded. Baby's need to be bathed. Husband's and son's can only do so much before it's time to step in and straighten the tower of pisa that has become the house. 

Appointments need to be made. Appointments need to be attended. Thank you, Father, for introducing the medical world to Zoom. My life will forever be easier because of this! … Always, Always, search for the things to be grateful for. 

Do I remember what two big appointments are happening tomorrow? No. But I'm sure I'll get a text message, reminding me to pay my co pay beforehand. 😉 Thus, reminding me of my schedule…. It's a new day in age, to be sure!

July 26, 2020

What a story we are living right now. It's only 9:15 in the morning and so much has happened.  The night was filled with three hour increments of deep sleep. With waking up to comfort our own baby from nightmares or hunger. Along with feeding kittens. So gratefully the mama dog slept through the night. Albeit, in our bedroom. I was so worried that she'd be disturbing. 

This morning at 6:00 I woke up and took the dog out to pee. I then went to feed the kitties. There were two out of a litter of three. One passed several days ago. One of the two left has been sick for a few days. This morning she was really sick and dying. Instead of letting the process drag out, we prepped things to put her to sleep (baking soda and vinegar gas.) Poor Leif got emotional as I was loving on her and setting her in the pale for sleep. He's so tender hearted about the animals when they're sick and dying. I guess I compartmentalize.

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