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.
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.