Sunday, August 10, 2014

tangible encouragement

Children's Hospital called, there is finally an OT (occupational therapy) spot available for my middlest. He begins therapy for his food/texture/variety issues the week before school starts. It's at least a starting point but it's a starting point that once again makes me realize how big this iceberg might be. He will have to leave school early once a week for therapy because it is the only time slot available.

My littlest is finally starting to heal from surgery. His bone is healing nicely but his incision has taken a long time to heal. He had a reaction to the stitches and while his body was rejecting the stitches and trying to push them out, the incision got infected. Thankfully with a round of antibiotics, a mom who can handle pulling stitches out as they began to emerge from his body, and an AMAZING medical team, his incision is now also on the mend. He gets out of the wheelchair the first week of school and then starts physical therapy. He'll be on crutches for about four weeks after getting out of the wheelchair. He also will have weekly therapy.

I'm finding myself already anxious about the new school year. Two kids in weekly therapy plus nightly homework puts me on edge. And there is still more screenings to go. The specialists who evaluated Ev for his food issues all unanimously agree that he has sensory issues but we are on a waitlist for the screenings that can give us a formal diagnosis.

In the midst of it, sometimes I forget how to breathe for a few moments. I feel the familiar tightness begin to close around my chest and use all of my coping skills to keep myself from falling off the precipice into the bottomless cavern of anxiety. It's good to be able to put words to those feelings. They seem as random as they are overwhelming until I actually write them down.

I have a favorite wine glass. I once joked to a family member about this glass in the midst of last year which was truly the most miserable school year EVER for my middlest. I told this family member that on really tough days when my son was screaming at me and melting down, that I could count on my wine glass to encourage me and remind me that I am strong, bold, fearless, beautiful, amazing, gifted, and incredible. I realized after I said it that I wasn't really joking. That glass gave me words to remember who I am. Sometimes I'm a little thick so seeing the glass was a tangible reminder that I can do this.

Along the lines of sometimes needing a reminder. When littlest was in the hospital for surgery, I found a bracelet at the gift shop. I rarely ask for jewelery so Hubby immediately agreed when I asked for it. I would turn it so that the words I needed most were facing me. I love, love, love this bracelet.

Though neither of these things define me, they both encourage me. Do I need a glass and a bracelet to be who I am? Absolutely not, but I do appreciate the reminder of truth that both items give me. I'm strong, stronger than I feel. I'm brave, braver than I feel. And most importantly, God is my rock and my fortress, a very present help in trouble, my strength and my shield, and I can rest in His arms knowing that he will carry us through. 

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