Read to the end, it's long, I know but just do. In case you haven't heard Carrie is pregnant and she has hyperemesis gravidarum. I explained what that is in a previous post.
How are you doing?
Short answer: I'm fine.
You Wanted the Long Answer?
It doesn't make sense to me. All I have to do is work graves, give Carrie her medicine and take care of her as well as take care of the kids in the evening and put them into bed. It shouldn't be that difficult. So why is it?
This week I would get home at about 8:20, see Tyler for a few minutes before he catches the bus, spend a few minutes with Lydia and then watch her leave with one of her two blessed grandmas. I'd then get the AM IV going and try to sleep a bit before waking up a few hours later to finish the IV. I'd then try to get some more sleep before 5PM. The kids then come home and I feed them, spend a little time with them, bathe them and put them to bed. Then I do the evening IV and try to get some sleep. As soon as the evening IV is done, I leave for work. The longest stretch I slept was for four sweet hours. When I do sleep I'm not sleeping very well. It is like I never fully get to sleep anymore. Usually I can fall asleep in 5 seconds flat now it feels like 5 hours flat which isn't good considering how frequently I have to wake up.
Grateful and Guilty
It's hard dropping my kids off with my parents or my in-laws. Not because they won't be loved and well taken care of, but because I should be able to take care of them. I'm a grown man. They're my kids. I should be the one breaking up the fights, playing with them, doing homework with them, greeting them as they get home from school, taking them to dance and putting them down for naps. But I'm not. For that I feel so grateful and yet still so guilty.
Why am I so Overwhelmed?
I only have two kids. I only have one job. I only have one wife. There's the cat and she can be a little much, always wanting me to pet her, smashing her face into my leg, wanting to be fed twice a day.
I even withdrew from school for a little while so I don't have that to worry about. The grandmas take the kids during the day and sometimes longer. I've even gotten help from friends. Even more friends are helping to feed our family. Seriously we've had some wonderful meals delivered by even more wonderful people. So why am I so overwhelmed?
My Flip Flops Don't Match
I was spending some time with Lydia when she kindly pointed out my flip flops didn't match. It was painfully obvious even to a 3 year old and I only noticed when she pointed it out. Sure enough I had on one bright blue one and one brown one.
I did laundry. Sort of. I put it in the washer. I put it in the dryer. It is now sitting in the cloths bin. I've been meaning to fold it since Tuesday (it is now technically Sunday). I don't want anyone else to do it because I can do it.
People may see my house and think it is a disaster but I am doing the best I can and you know what, if cycling the laundry through and leaving it unfolded in a basket for the next month is how I do laundry, people are just going to have to get over it.
I vacuumed too. You can't tell now because while I was doing a morning IV the kids decided they wanted to crumble frosted mini wheat all over the rug.
I washed down the table but only because Lydia spilled the flower vase and Tyler spilled a VERY full glass of milk.
A Dark Place
I debated sharing this and only do it because maybe it will help someone. There was a night when I was trying to get a major project done for a macro economics class. I had to go to work in a few hours. Carrie looked like she was dying and needed to go to the emergency room. And did I mention my grandma had just died? I needed to do it all. I couldn't give up on my dream. I couldn't leave my wife. I had to go to work. This project needed to get done and I wasn't understanding it and would need to spend several more hours before I did understand it. I was so tired. I had slept for about six hours total the previous two days. I had to hyper focus, I had to compartmentalize. I had to check the boxes but there were too many boxes. I needed five minutes to just breathe but I didn't have five minutes. I didn't have five seconds.
I could not think.
I could not act.
I was shutting down in body and in mind.
I made a decision.
I put my dream on hold.
I will not graduate as early as I had hoped but I will still earn an MBA. For now all I can handle are Faith, Family and Work and I barely handle that. It felt like I was giving up, like I was a quitter, like everyone would look at me and think "there's the guy that couldn't handle it just because his wife got sick". Still I have made my decision. I will finish school but for now the plan has changed.
Whispers of Thought
I was upstairs trying to sleep on my couch when I got the thought: check on Carrie. So I did. She needed me. She needed my help. I don't remember with what but that is because this is not a singular experience. "Check on Carrie" has come into my mind on numerous occasions over the past several days. Each time there is a reason. Each time she had needed something. I tell you that there is a God and he knows what we need. There is no other explanation for it.
Help Me, Help Me
As I mentioned before, Carrie frequently says "help me, help me". She's not necessarily talking to me.
Friday night at 7:00 I checked Carrie's phone (btw don't call her, call me). There was a message from the pharmacist to call by 6pm if we needed more IV supplies. We did. It was too late. The on call nurse called Saturday, I asked for more supplies which got a process rolling. The pharmacist called me and said they tried to call Friday, now she has to pull in 3 people on a Saturday. They left a message even. I explained Carrie doesn't talk on the phone right now, I asked her to call my phone from now on. The pharmacist asked me about what supplies I needed and as I talked with this woman she softened. Have you tried this? This? This? She spent half an hour on the phone with me. That wonderful woman then called our doctor and arranged some changes. She called and texted several more times. "I just thought of this, you should try this..." She was on call and went in to work, spending 4 hours getting Carrie's medicine ready. She later texted me and wrote, "If she would have called yesterday none of this would have happened in the madness of Friday, so I am glad it worked out, and hope she feels better soon." It hasn't been very long but already it seems to be helping a little.
The Divinity Within Us
People have brought meals. They've watched Lydia, made her feel like a princess, an artist and a super hero. They've picked Tyler up from school, done homework with him. There are so many people who have offered to help. Who have asked for ways they can help, that it is impossible not to see the hand of God in this. I pray He blesses you wonderful, beautiful people. You are our angels.
Tyler and Lydia over the last few days have provided me a gift. Tyler put Mr. Potato heads on a stuffed animal and brought it to me. He made funny voices and so I scooped him up and snuggled him. "There, now you can smile again Dada." He has done this a few more times. So had Lydia. Same glasses, different stuffed animal and an incredible amount of love. This is why we are doing this.
Lift up, With Wings of Eagles
In my moments of desperation I have turned to the Lord again and again. He truly does hear me. Not always does he solve the problems before me, sometimes he takes the burden away and sometimes he makes me stronger so I can more easily shoulder the weight. To have my heart feel light, to feel the surge that it can be done, to have clarity of thought is a great gift that God gives to His children. I have experienced that lifting up. Critics of religion call faith a crutch that allows people to hobble through their adversity in life. They have it wrong. My faith is a set of wings that allows me to rise up and be better than I can be on my own.
I pray you may feel God's love for you as I have.
Long Answer Short
Life is a trial, it was meant to be, but we have our family, we have our faith and we are so, so very blessed.