It seems that we, as humans, are quite adaptable. Certainly this changes a bit as we get older, more set in our ways. Life happens, whatever it may look like, and we adapt, we absorb, we deal. But not all the time, I suppose. In theory, this would be our innate reaction: fight or flight.
The ability, whether by intention or not, to go into battle with both guns blazin’ or to flee and run for cover.
Admittedly, I seem to do both.
Sometimes I jump into the ring of fire, feeling that flow of adrenaline, ready to take on the world. Other times, it’s as if all the strength in my body is drained and even finding the will to flee is a chore. I simply melt.
This is normal right?
Normal…who determines that definition anyway? Lately, two air quotes accompany the word “normal” when I speak it because I’m not really sure what that is…what it means.
My lovely friend, Annie, gifted me with a book recently and notably I have had a little time on my hands to soak in the sentences. It is called “One Thousand Gifts”. While I am not finished with it, I am absolutely moved by it. Challenged and inspired.
The author essentially starts keeping a list. Not a wish list for an upcoming birthday or a bucket list of things to do or places to visit, instead a list of things she is thankful for. Some would call these: blessings. And not a few…ONE THOUSAND. That may not sound like a huge deal until you try it.
This reworking of her brain, of the way she thinks, changes her for good…for the better. She starts seeing the world differently. Not in a slightly-annoying-somewhat-unrealistic-this-won’t-last kind of way, but deep down to her core her sense of gratitude took precedence in her life.
As I read the book, I wonder to myself how often I jump quickly to worst case scenario, glass half empty feelings. Sometimes I may try to trick my mind into thinking I’m just a realistic person who likes to be prepared. But if I am honest with myself, perhaps I am currently wired that way…seeing the negative first. Perhaps I must start my own “list” to really be aware of how much there is to be thankful for.
Today, I tested it out a bit. And now, at the end of this day, I feel better than I have in a while. Did everything go perfectly today? No. Did I bounce around with a toothy grin all day? Nope. But I sure saw things a little softer, in less of a harsh light. Of course I felt all the emotions I have most other days, but it is how I feel tonight that I want more of. More peaceful.
Audrey had another blood transfusion today. Normally, I might worry what that means and need to know exactly what her blood gas numbers were. Not today, I didn’t ask that question because it really doesn’t matter to me. I trust that if she needed blood, she needed blood.
Her surgeon carefully and precisely removed two of her tubes today. Her left chest tube and her PD Catheter. This is a step in the right direction, the fewer tubes, the better. Her right lung continues to have a pneumothorax in the lower area and some build up in the upper area. So, they watch this lung. When it is ready, the tube will be pulled from that side as well. All in due time.
Her arterial line is shot really. She needs a new one and has for at least a couple of days now. The team made a valiant effort to place a new line but, similar to other line placements in her short life, it was unsuccessful. We are awaiting a decision on how they will move forward.
She continues to eliminate fluid and does so hour by hour. She still has about a pound of excess fluid to lose, but she’ll get there.
She’s getting milk continuously every hour through a nasal tube at 5mL every hour.
She remains on the heavy sedatives/pain medication to keep her comfortable. The weaning process at a later time will be just that, a process. But they are trained and prepared for handling withdrawals in infants.
Physical therapy will be evaluating her body tomorrow, Friday. There is a bit of a concern with her arms and wrists and how she is naturally holding them while sedated. She may have to wear splints to help position them better to avoid a shortening of her muscles and a lack of full range of motion.
She does have cycles of activity, she’ll sleep heavily and soundly most of the time but occasionally she’ll be repositioned or something will stir her and she’ll move her little arms and legs, squirm her head and peek open her eyes. It is so good to know she’s in there.
I could go on and on about her status, but overall, an upward trend continues. For this, we are grateful.
The path is long and there is no Google Map to guide us through. We roll with it. Look for the gifts. Adapt. That is good for today. Tomorrow, it starts again. We fight. She fights.
I’m not sure how many sets of eyes will read these words, but one thing I know for sure, each one of you would be a number on my own “one thousand gifts”.
Love and hugs,