Monday, October 28, 2013

Who I run 4

The title of this post may be a tad misleading. I mean, let's be honest here, I don't run. Well, unless you count the time Ellie and I were in Rangeley and got out of the van to get a closer look at a moose on the side of the road only to have it sort of shake it's head, snort and stamp it's foot much  like a bull does before it charges you. Then I ran. Oh, yes, I did. I might have even left Ellie in the dust although, in my defense, I did yell to her to run so it's not like I totally abandoned her. Besides, we all lived to tell the tale so that's what really matters here. Am I right? Thank you.

At any rate, one of my new friends from the 4Paws organization where Tess will be getting her seizure alert dog in January sent me the link to the WhoIrun4 website and told me they thought it might be something I would be interested in for Tess. After looking over their site and then reading the many posts on their Facebook page, I knew I wanted Tess to be a part of it.

The idea is, a child with a special need or health issue gets matched with a "running buddy" who in turn dedicates their runs to that child. It is really an awesome idea. Now Tess, who has never been able to run a day in her life, goes on runs often by way of her buddy who posts to Tess thru their Facebook page and tells her how many miles, and where they ran, that day. Oftenvtimes the runner will take photos of things they saw on their run that they think their buddy will like. It's totally a win-win situation. The runners will tell you that often, when they feel like they just can't complete their run or their marathon, they will think of their buddy and all of the challenges that their buddy has to go thru everyday, and it gives them the extra motivation to continue and not give up. And the relationships that they forge are really quite heartwarming to read. Dare I say, you might even get the warm fuzzies from reading them.

Tess was matched last week with a running buddy and it has already been so fun to read to her what her buddy posts and show her pictures that her buddy took for her while out running. And I must say, Tess seems to really enjoy it as well. She gets her excited head bob and big eyes when I bring her my laptop and tell her that Cathy (her running buddy) has posted something for her. Below are some snippets taken from posts and pics Cathy has shared with Tess just this past week. (I share with permission from Cathy-because she is awesome in case I haven't mentioned that fact before.)

I mean, really, how great is this?! I love the idea that two people who were strangers just a week ago, are now buddies and cheering each other on. 

And once again it reaffirms my faith in humanity and just more proof that there are way more good people in the world than bad. 

And the warm fuzzies are especially nice when it’s your own child who gets to be a part of them. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Choosing thankfulness

It's been a tough week and I am tired. Exhausted would be the word, if I had to pick one.

Last Sunday Tess developed an upper respiratory infection which quickly escalated to a trip to her pediatrician on Tuesday, which then led to us leaving his office and immediately heading over to the ER where he met us to admit Tess into the Special Care Unit of our local hospital. While there she ended up being given IV antibiotics, IV Potassium and a second antibiotic thru her gtube. She also required a lot of suctioning and oxygen. At one point her temperature went as high as 104.5 and her heart rate was in the low 180's while her respirations hit around 50-60 breathes per minute. Scary stuff.

Then, about two days after she was admitted, I got sick with it. Let me tell you, it was not pretty. I have not felt that miserable in so long that I can't even remember the last time. Luckily, the hubs came and stayed with Tess so I could go to the hotel and sleep for the night. Blake was coming home for the weekend so she decided to drive up that night and went to the store to buy me "sick" food and spend the night with me. And since no good deed goes unpunished, as she was leaving Hannefords, someone she did not know at all hollered to her in the parking lot to, "Put some clothes on you f^*#&^g whore!" Good thing she has her mother's sense of humor and just laughed it off.

 At any rate, by the next day I had decided that even though I felt horrible, I was in fact going to live, so I dragged myself back to Tessie's bedside to help with her care so Charlie could leave. Pretty soon, the doctors and nurses who were coming into her room began asking me how I was feeling. One sweet nurse even made me a cup of her peppermint tea and told me to drink it and then lie down while another nurse asked if I wanted to use their private locker room to take a shower. I'm pretty sure I must have looked absolutely gorgeous by this point.

Tess was taking her sweet time getting better but was finally released yesterday (Monday) morning at my and the hubby's insistence that we thought she was better and we were comfortable bringing her home. However, she is still quite sick. As in, sitting right next to me with her oximeter alarm on her toe all day to keep track of the level of oxygen in her body and the suction machine right next to that to grab all the gunk that she struggles so hard to cough up. Behind me is the oxygen concentrator which is currently pushing O2 into her lungs because she is not maintaining a safe level on her own. Next to that is her pulmonary vest that we have to put on her every 4 hours to try to loosen up all the congestion in her lungs. So. Much. Medical. Equipment.

It was a long night and has been a long day so far and I just want her better already!

Needless to say, my attitude could also be better. I have been grouchy and short and feeling quite sorry for myself. Not very attractive and something I would very quickly tell my girls was not very becoming if they were acting like that. So if I wouldn't allow them to have this kind of attitude, why should I allow myself to have it? Naturally, it got me thinking about how to change it. I am a firm believer in the old adage that you may not be able to control what happens to you but you can control your attitude towards what's happening to you. A friend recently made a comment to me that has stuck in my mind and it is along those same lines. She told me I could choose how I wanted to feel. I could choose to be angry, sad, bitter or any other negative emotion, or I could choose to find the good and the hope and the joy that, even if I had to look really hard, was sure to be there.

Well, huh.

So while I was finding myself setting up a nice little pity party as I was hooking Tess up to the oxygen this afternoon, I decided to try to change my attitude; I decided to practice being thankful in that moment.

And it dawned on me, all the things that just a minute ago I was feeling so sorry for myself about could be spun in another way;

What if I was thankful that when Tess got so sick last week, Sheila was here to help me just when I needed her the most and works in the very hospital we were going to and was able to help Tess while she was there?

What if I was  thankful  that we have a hospital that Tess can stay at that is pretty close to home so that Charlie can come and go when we need him?

What if I was  thankful  for the oximeter that keeps track of Tessie's O2 so that I can accurately be able to monitor how she is doing?

What if I was  thankful  for the oxygen concentrator because it means I can help keep her safe at home, at least for the time being, whereas without it, she would surely need to be in the hospital right now?

What if I was  thankful  for being so tired because it meant I was able to help take care of Tess and she is still here to take care of?

Although I am fairly certain the pity party train hasn't been completely derailed and will rear it's ugly caboose on occasion, in this moment at least, I am choosing my attitude.

And I choose to be thankful.

                              photo credit:Google Images