I’ve just put the boys to bed and I’m sitting here watching Gilmore Girls and drinking a margarita. Today was a good day. The tantrums were few, the laughs were many. A day filled with swim lessons and slime. Visits with good friends and perfect pool weather. Shopping for bike helmets and trampoline jumping. I take it back…today was a great day.
The past year has been filled with many not so good days. I have spent most of my time just going through the motions. Surviving. Wake up, smile, breakfast, lunch, dinner. Is it bed time? Please tell me its bed time. I did my best to do the “right” things for my boys. Playground, playdates, let’s go see the new movie. I really did try. But did I enjoy it? If I’m honest, very little. I remember so many times I would watch my husband play with my boys and see the sheer joy of it. I’m ashamed to say the feeling I felt most was jealousy. Gratitude that he is the father he is. That he was picking up my slack. Pure, unadulterated love for the man I married and the children I carried. But in the deepest, darkest parts of my heart I was green with envy. Why couldn’t I enjoy things the same way? Why did the simple frustrations of dealing with little humans wear on me that it didn’t seem to wear on my friends? Why wasn’t I enjoying these moments that I almost didn’t get to have? I was always acutely aware of how I “should” be feeling and how actually was. I think I did a decent job of disguising it. I hope I did.
After months of literally getting sick about every other week my doctor referred me to the ENT he trusted most. She told me she didn’t want to perform a tonsillectomy on me unless it was truly necessary. That the recovery was much harder for adults. It would be very rough. I told her that it couldn’t be much worse than living the way I already was. She consented. The pathology report came back showing chronic tonsillitis and a bacteria called actinomyces. My pulmonologist was concerned. This bacteria is part of our normal oral flora but for someone with a compromised immune system it can spread and wreak havoc. I saw the same infectious disease doctor that treated me in the hospital. Two months of antibiotics prescribed. A chest CT was scheduled. Results came back showing a small nodule in my right lung. Tiny, really. 4-5mm. Nothing to be concerned about. Except that it was new. Except that I’ve had a chronic cough for a long, long time. Now it would be three months antibiotics and a repeat chest CT. We’ll go from there. My hopes of having another child have been delayed.
I shed a few tears. I prayed a lot. I asked Him when all of this would be over. I told my doctor I must be allowed a drink here and there. I can’t have no baby and no alcohol if he would like me to retain my sanity. He agreed. It is a frustrating setback. But the amazing thing is that I’m feeling better. Like I am slowly waking up. That I’m making my way through the fog. Sometimes when I wake up I actually feel refreshed. My cough is not as frequent. There are moments when I feel like my old self. My family and friends are starting to notice.
And finally I’m allowing myself some grace. It was not until I started to feel better that I realized just how awful I have felt. I mean, I had a pretty good idea but I never allowed myself to wallow. I was simply existing. My body and mind were always working. Always trying to heal. No, I was not the best mom that I could have been. But I tried. I think they knew I was trying. I hope that they will not remember me at my worst. And thankfully, I have the rest of my life to make it up to them. I have many more years to enjoy them. They make it pretty easy to do.