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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Losing it at the ER

I know this won't be an uplifting post, so this is not for the faint of heart.  I like to use this blog to vent and express my feelings honestly and sometimes bluntly.  I have never pretended to be a super Mom even though people keep telling me that I am.  They have no idea, they just assume I am.  I was given this life without a choice, and I have had to deal with it the best I can.  And lately, I haven't been handling it so well.  Carter had RSV and pneumonia just 3 months ago and missed Christmas with us.  He was life flighted and spent 9 days at the hospital.  He and I got sick more times than I can count after that, and just a few weeks ago both of us got strep.  I ended up in the ER myself because I developed like an abscess and swelling so I could hardly breathe.  I am still not fully recovered- I can hardly taste food and my lymph nodes are still swollen.  Anyway, this caused us also to miss our anniversary celebrations.  They were postponed for over a week and it was only half as long.  We now have medical bills trickling in that I will have to pay over time.  All of these frustrations have left me emotionally and physically tired.  I also feel I have lost a lot of faith in God and prayer.  I know it might sound weak, but I can only take so much.

Being Carter's mom has been THE hardest thing I have EVER gone through.  I have been divorced before and lost close friends and a wonderful Grandma.  But this has tested me above and beyond.  Everyone says "this too shall pass" or "we'll pray for you" or "you are amazing."  Let me be clear.  I am not amazing.  It is my wonderful husband Chris.  He is steadfast, patient, immensely strong and holds me up when I would have fallen many times.  Our families have also lended support and some friends.  But the sicknesses won't stop coming no matter what anyone does.  I know it's been a terrible winter for many and sickness has been rampant, but I feel especially hit by this.  It's hard to constantly be tested and miss out on precious sleep.  I am tired.  I want to be happy- better yet, I want Carter to have a strong immune system and to be strong and be healed.  I know that won't happen, and it makes me so sad.  I have little hope for the future, in this bleak moment.  I know I am choosing to fuel my anger/sadness/ pity party but I need to once in awhile.  I have wept more tears in these 3 years than my whole life.

I often think selfishly and how this all affects me and my baby Sierra, but I tend to miss that Chris and Carter are suffering too.  An empty pot can't give to others without first being full itself or at least partially.  I know many have helped and have wanted to, but it's not enough.  I am painfully aware of my shortcomings as a mother, and only hope one day Carter can forgive me.  I am prone to depression and anxiety and am a bit obsessive compulsive.  I like routine and order and cleanliness.  Today, Carter was asked to go home from preschool, because his eyes were goopying green stuff, he was breathing fast and had a fever and cough.  I was at a friend's and had to cut the visit short to pick him up, it's a 30 min drive, and brought him home.  He was breathing fast, had fevers off and on, goop in his eye and increased heart rate.  I also had to drive almost the same route a few hours later for my dentist appointment, but was told upon arriving my appointment needed to be canceled.  I was pretty mad- I also missed out on going grocery shopping which I love to do.  My wonderful friend and neighbor, a nurse, came over to check Carter out a bit later, and suggested like we thought, that he needed to be taken in.  After over 4 hours in the ER and just a chest xray which was not conclusive, as usual, and watching them poke my poor Carter in the hand for an IV when it never works the first time, I had it.  I blew up on the nurse, even though I know it wasn't her fault, but I couldn't take it anymore.  I was sick of waiting, answering the same questions over and over, and waiting for nothing to happen.  They are so SLOW!

Because of his history they were reluctant to let him go home.  My husband suggested firmly but kindly I go home and sleep, and here I am now.  My husband has to go to work in 5 hours, but he is still at the hospital with Carter waiting with him for a room.  I am sorry for not being stronger, but I know my limitations.  This anger inside me has made me a bitter person.  I pretend to strangers or acquaintances that I'm okay, but I'm not.  I don't know what to do anymore.  I feel like I am circling the cycle of grief or acceptance, only to stay on anger and short burst of elation.  I don't know how to accept my life and trials with poise.  I know there are many in similar or worse situations, and that is what makes me even sadder.  I have much empathy for people and feel their pain deeply as my own.  I often find myself in tears over posts on blogs or Facebook because life is just so hard.  For so many.  So I don't pretend my life is the worst, it's just so hard.  I know spring is here but I am not feeling the joy.  I hope the warm weather will help Carter be stronger, but I doubt it.  I don't want to ask for prayers for me, but for Carter.  He is a sweet, innocent boy that didn't ask for this.  He has endured his life stoically, bravely and patiently.  He is amazing and an example to me.


  1. Heather... I am SO sorry. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. You need to know that you ARE incredible. Struggling is not a weakness. Not to go all churchy on you.. but you know me ;) ... but the Savior, who was absolutely perfect, struggled in gethsemene. He struggled so much that it caused even Him, a God to tremble and shake... he struggled so much that even He asked for the cup to be removed from Him. The very fact that God entrusted you with his sweet Carter is proof enough. And don't let that discourage you. God knows who you are better then you do. He knew how hard this would be on you and he knew the way you would handle it.. but he still trusts you - he loves Carter and knew life would be hard for him, but sent him to his "perfect match" in a mother. You are being who he needs you to be for him.
    When ever someone has told me "This too, shall pass" I have felt like it was more for them then for me. Like it would bring peace to their minds knowing that they couldn't wrap their mind around the reality of what was happening and saying it allowed them to stop thinking about it.. maybe I'm wrong... but when you are the one who has to "Pass" through it... when the days seem so long and the nights seem even longer, when there is no light at the end of the tunnel and when it "shall pass" may mean horribly sad things.... the old saying doesn't do much for a broken heart. It is so hard to go through moment to moment having no idea where you are going to get your strength from. What I have gone through is far far less than what you are going through. I have a light at the end of the tunnel.. but even with that, even with having had so many amazing spiritual experiences, for some reason it's hard to ask every moment of every day for the enabling power of the atonement. It seems so odd when I think about it, because I know that miracles have happened. Maybe when you are just so low, it's hard to reach up for help. Through the struggles with my little Ben, I have had such a hard time. Especially when he had his RSV. I hated it. I hated having to pin down his little body and use a pressurized machine to suction his little nose while he screamed... I hated holding his little arms down while I had to give him his breathing treaments and shove the nebulizer in his face for a few minutes while he screamed... I have hated taping tubes on his face, then having to hear him scream when I've had to take the tape off....... I swear I could see his little innocent face looking up at me asking me "WHY?! Why are you torturing me? Why are you doing this to me?? What have I done?!" No matter how much I would tell him, he was incapable of understanding. I knew that what I was doing was keeping him ALIVE, literally saving his life. but all he saw and experienced and understood was torture. One time as I was crying while doing these things to him, I had the strongest impression. Sometimes, we look up to God and ask "WHY?! Why are you torturiing me? Why are you doing this to me?? What have I done?!" ... and I had a picture in my mind of God weeping, wishing he could explain to us that what he was doing was "saving" us. But he knew no matter how hard he tried to explain it to us, in our mortal "infancy" we just wouldn't understand. I guess it's at that point,that we need to Trust Him as we would hope our children would trust us. .....

  2. I have all faith in his enabling power and am so grateful. I think about the early pioneers pushing their handcarts and the accounts of just when they felt they were going to collapse, or couldn't go any further,they felt as if angels were pushing them. The angels couldn't take away their trial, they were still bone cold, exhausted and worn... they still had the miles to travel and the bitter cold to travel through... but they made up for what the pioneers were lacking... they made all that the pioneers had to give, even if it wasn't much... enough. The atonement does that for us. He can make us "whole" or fill our cup to overflowing when we only have a few drops to give. It doesn't take the journey or experience away, it just makes it possible.
    You and Chris are doing an incredible job. You tell yourself that. Remember that the adversary knows you. He knows your weaknesses and reads our faces to find where he can break us. When your "self talk" in your mind is discouraging and disparaging, know that it is not of God. But a loving Heavenly Father WANTS you to make it, he wants you to be happy, he WANTS you to feel peace. The words he would quietly whisper through the Holy Ghost would never be that you are not good enough or cannot do it... it would always be reassuring, comforting and loving. Don't let the adversary make you think you are less than who you really are. No matter how many times you lose your patience, no matter how many times you seriously wish it were different or want to give up... you may not have chosen this, but God, who knows you perfectly CHOSE YOU. It's pretty incredible, he knows your divine identity, he knows how much Carter needs, and he CHOSE YOU, weaknesses and all. Even if you are having a hard time with your faith and trust in God, HE still has faith and trust in you. Don't ever forget that. Try to have faith and ask for Heavenly help to get you through moment to moment...... search for SOME good in the day from each of your family members and quickly write it down.. even if it's just ONE thing a day.. even if that one thing is a stretch... just do it, then when you are down and feel your world collapsing, you can reach for that notebook and remember the good in your world. ....
    Heather, I am so sorry you have had to make so many sacrifices. It must get so old and so hard constantly putting your NEEDS, not just wants, but NEEDS aside for others.. you do this every day without any recognition and without any hope that you will eventually get your needs met, and a lot of times without any sign of gratitude. You really are a hero to Carter. He may not know it, he may not know or understand or even seem to be grateful for all of your sacrifices, but God knows and he is and you WILL be blessed for it.
    D&C 58: 3-4 3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

    4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.

    You better believe I will be praying for you and your sweet Carter and the rest of your family... Good luck Heather, I am thinking about you.

  3. woah.. that was really long! sorry

  4. Thanks Debbie, love you too.

    Cara, you are wonderful to spend the time writing me. It was touching and I thank you. We also have to suction Carter, do breathing treatments, oxygen, etc. He doesn't understand it and sometimes he cries and others he just submits. It does make me sad to watch because he can't talk to me and ask me why or what's going on. I don't know if he can understand what we say either. It is so very sad to me to see little ones suffer in anyway. It feels like a punishment and not a protection. I sure hope Carter will be crowned with glory and many blessings as you say. Thanks again for sharing!

  5. Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain. Helen Keller

    Hang in there honey a good happy moment is around the corner. I miss you and Carter and your family. Sorry things are so hard. I am thinking of you and praying for Carter.

  6. Sweetie....I know only too well the "faking it" process. I never want to admit how sad I am, how angry I am, or how much I hurt over a surprise divorce I did not want. I always feel like no one really wants to hear it. They say get over it, buck up, move on, deal with the cards that have been dealt to you.....What you, Chris and your sweet children are going through is hard...very hard. But the post you just wrote is honest, and that is all you can be. I am proud of you for it. It is your blog, for you to express yourself, to vent in any way you need to. We each handle our life trials differently. I have no idea what I would do in your shoes. But I am here for you. I can't pretend to know what you might want or need. So again being honest is the best way. I am only working part time for the time being. If there is anything I can do please let me know. I would usually just jump in but as I said...I have no idea what you need or want. What would help the most?
    Please let me know.