Sunday, April 20, 2008

What Next?

Wow, it's been two weeks since I last posted ... didn't realize it was that long. I always hear how people say that once all your kids are off to school it doesn't get any less busy, it just becomes a different business. I can fully related to that feeling ... yes, I realize my kids are not all in school yet (sometimes I wish :) When James was here it took every ounce and effort to keep up with his care and appointments and try and balance the rest of the familiy (and I'm afraid we didn't always do so well there). We got used to be homebound, to not having a social life, to living in our own small world of home and hospital. Life was busy and we learned to survive on the absolute necessities and let the rest be. Slowly we stopped missing the things going on around us because we didn't have time to think about what we were missing.

Now that James is gone we are no longer homebound, we can attend societies and meetings again, be more involved in what's going on around us, enjoy a social life and the joys of being able to just pick up and go out last minute. We can feel "normal" again. But I'm quickly realizing that "normal" can be just as busy as the life we lived before ... the only difference is we have more control over the business that takes over our life. We have more freedom to say "yes" and "no" to things, our business is more then just necessity, it's going beyond necessity. And then suddenly that business gets overwhelming and you start to wonder where you are suppose to stop. There is so much you see that you want to do and you feel lost in it all. And as I dive in I start to feel my family is losing out again, and I have to learn to say "no" ... but to what? And so I realize that life is always busy ... it's just depends on how busy we make it and what we are busy with ... and I need to step back and remember my family and that it still comes first.

Matthew has helped to slow down the business by once again giving us a "run for our money" (what money?). I think he just figures if I'm going to be busy it should be busy with him!! Self-centered little guy, eh!! :) I can sit here and joke and write like it's all good, but I won't ... for I'm not feeling so fine lately. We sang Psalm 102:1 this morning and the words struck me as so often scripture and singing does at various times in our lives.

Heed my prayer, O LORD, be near me;
O incline Thy ear to hear me.
Let my cry come unto Thee;
Do not hide Thy face from me.
When I pray in grief and worry,
LORD, to me Thy answer hurry.
Listen to my supplication;
Quickly come with consolation.

The last few days I've felt like I'm going insane as I try to keep my head on straight and the tears of frustration, worry and the unknown from falling. I realize tears are good, I have no issue with crying, but I cannot let the girls know that we worry when we have no valid reason to be so worried at this time. Life is so much easier when we are clueless, when we don't look ahead and just dwell on the present. It seems my mind is constantly fearing the worse, doing battle with myself on just dealing with the present problems and not reading too much into them. I wish I was clueless and not so prone to make a mountain out of a molehill. I wish I could use the knowledge I have gained to comfort myself instead of add extra stress.

So you're wondering what I'm rambling on about and I'm sure you've gathered that Matthew has something to do with it. As I wrote last time we're still not confident we have the answer on Matthew, but yet we have nothing that strongly indicates there is something wrong with him. Sometimes I think we read too much into things and create a fear that shouldn't be there, at the same time I will never forgive myself for ignoring things that could mean something ... and it is always a balance of when to act and when to sit and wait.

This past week Matthew developed what we thought was the flu. As I mentioned we have days where Matthew doesn't really want his bottle, Tuesday was an excessive day, where he cried and cried but absolutely refused the bottles for hours at a time, before he finally gave in and drank something. He woke up Wednesday morning in a bed full of vomit, continued to vomit his formula after that. We put him on water and worked him back up to full-strength only to have him vomit again. We switched him to Pedialyte (rehydration/electrolyte fluid) and spent the next days monkeying with this trying to get him to drink, he would only take little bits at a time, usually refusing anything that had too much formula in it, preferring the Pedialyte. His vomitting turned to extreme diarrhea. By Saturday we felt he had been off formula long enough that we had to start getting him back on full strength formula. Our readings indicated that once a child stops vomitting to start feeding them normally even if they have loose stools. And so this is what we did ... and he slowly took his bottle (I think he was getting to the point of starving as Pedialtye is far from filling) but not even 24 hours after back on full strength formula he starts vomitting again. Nevermind that while you feed him from one end he's moving stuff out the other end. With the restart of vomitting we begin to doubt that we're just dealing with a flu ... still possible ... still hoping ... but rather doubtful.

Although the symptoms are bothersome they are not near as bothersome as his constant ... and I mean constant ... crying. He is a permanant fixture in our arms (as he is sitting right now with me ... and still complaining). There is little which entertains him for more then a couple minutes. He snuggles and falls asleep in my arms ... which at first I enjoyed since he absolutely never sits still, so snuggling is a luxury. He's sleeps more often, but usually for short lengths. And after several days of not drinking formula and not eating and surviving off of pediatlyte it feels like we're constantly trying to feed him and since it's not long lasting he doesn't sleep the greatest. Getting up two to three times a night shouldn't be all that bothersome to me, but I guess the body gets to a point where it says enough is enough and so tiredness makes for two (at least) miserable characters.

And as I walk or rock and snuggle with Matthew my mind has more time to think and while thinking is good at times, it can help to drive a person insane at other times. Our snuggling chair is across from my computer which slideshows James' pictures and so I have entertainment while I sit with him. Sometimes this brings happy memories, other times it just brings an overwhelming sense of sadness. I remember writing a blog entry on James' Story called The Lord's Blessings and another one talking about Why and as I read them now I wish I had the strength I did then, for I'm not feeling all so blessed right now and I constantly wonder what the purpose of this extra stress is. I may not ask "Why Me?" But I find myself asking "What Next?" I try to tell myself that half a year from now I'll be looking back and laughing at how paranoid I was, but right now I can't convince myself that this will truly be the case. I can only pray fervently that it will be.

So here's to hoping the family wakes up tomorrow morning with the worst flu of the season that lasts a week and makes us feel so awful that we just want to cry all day long!! :)


HH said...

Oh Steph, giant hugs to you. I pray and hope it's just the flu too. Vomitting and diarrhea is no fun and days of it at a time is exhausting. We've just had a couple of days where Lieschen has been grumpy and crying and not sleeping much and we are exhausted. It's mentally tiring as well as physically. Try and sleep when you can so that you get as much rest as you can. Hope things improve on the home front soon. May God answer your prayers and be near to you in this unsettling time.

Kevin & Amy said...


Anonymous said...

((Hugs!!)) and prayers!

Tracey Stam

Anonymous said...

Continuing in our prayers for you and your concerns about Matthew.
the Noots

Anonymous said...

Oh Steph, sorry to hear that Matthew has been sick. If its any consolation, everyone here got the flu twice, it was either vomiting and diaharria, or one or the other, some had fevers others not. This past Mon. Joe got it again for a third time,he had all three symtoms, he was down for a day,and was able to go to school the next day, hopefully we are finally done with it, we will see what this week brings.I think for us anyway this was a bad year for the flu, just lingered, and we hope and pray that is all it is for Matthew.
We pray that God gives you all the strength you need,and we hope he feels better soon.
Thinking of you all: Martha

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph,

I don't know you (I do know your mom though) but found your blog when James was ill. My heart goes out to you in your struggles and grief. I'm wondering if you (or your doctors) have considered the possibility that Matthew could have reflux problems? I can't remember how old he is. My nephew has had problems with that, and he used to scream from pain and discomfort, and while he did not vomit, it is very common for babies with reflux to do that. They also do not drink/eat well. Just a thought to consider.
Our prayers are with you as you continue in your quest to find answers.

Anonymous said...

Oh Steph - I hadn't looked here for awhile, and had no idea that Matthew was still causing you so much concern. Its so hard just to put these things in the care of our Lord - there's so much that we want control over here, and now! It must be so frustrating. We will continue to pray for your family - that you may have answers, and that Matthew "just has the flu." It is going around, if that's any consolation - our kids had a bit of it too, but we will still pray for peace and strength in whatever comes your way.