I wanted to have a little time to myself tonight to not think about all the crap that has been on my mind lately, so after the sun got behind the house a bit I pulled my rolling garden seat out of the carport and stationed myself in front of my front flower bed. As I pulled the grass that has grown up amongst my hostas and periwinkle, I realized I’d left my faux pearl bracelet on. Somehow, it seemed like the perfect illustration of the way I feel.
Every day, I’m running into things that interrupt the life that I was feeling pretty good about. Weeds that are ruining the view that I was enjoying very well, thank you. I dig my fingers in, get dirt under my nails, yank the intruders out by the root… but I know that tomorrow there will be more sneaky stuff that I need to get after.
Not only is my mom facing a recurrence of her brain tumor, but my daughter has some kind of respiratory challenge going on that we’re trying to get to the bottom of, and the non-profit agency I work for is merging with another agency and my job is at risk.
So some of the weeds I’m pulling every day are in the form of having to act as an advocate for my mom and daughter and their medical issues. I have found that asking questions and keeping track of appointments and medications is not all there is to being an advocate… I have also had to double-check prescriptions when doctors tell us one thing and do another, I have had to follow up when we are told that chemo appointments will be made and they aren’t, I’ve had to re-order records to be sent from one doctor to another when the promised work hasn’t been done by the office staff, and I’ve had to put my foot down about prescribing something when an actual diagnosis has not been made.
Just this last weekend my mom went home from the hospital with orders that said “no changes to meds” after the doctor who saw her three days earlier had told me himself that he wanted to increase her steroid to help with swelling in her brain. Because of that screw up, mom was immobile and disoriented the day after she went home. Had I not taken it upon myself to tell my sister to increase the dosage to what the doctor said he was going give her (I was out of town at the time) mom could have gone into a coma before we could get in touch with the doctor today to double check his instructions.
But I mentioned pearls, right? I guess what I see as the pearls is the positive attitude I try to maintain through it all. I don’t spend a lot of time stressing about it, I just do what needs to be done. It doesn’t do me any good (or anyone else, for that matter) to dwell on the challenges and wallow in my frustration and feel sorry for myself. Things just have to happen, and decisions need to be made… I just have to put on my pearls and dig in.