Hello, 2017! And Hello, to those of you who once read this blog! I did not succumb to the insanity of motherhood nor get kidnapped by aliens. Though I teeter on the edge of the first one on a daily basis.
No, life simply swallowed me with other demands on my time. Like two children, one of which is old enough to start “extracurriculars”. Like a part-time job. Like aging pets who needed frequent vet visits and medications. Like a husband who works long hours, leaving me to handle the necessities at home.
Life. Is. Exhausting.
This past year, in particular, tested the limits of my faith, my sanity, and my determination to persevere. In truth, the Fall of 2015 set the stage for the start of 2016. It started with my husband leaving on a business trip to another state, a middle of the night ER visit for me due to a nasty and undetected UTI, and my mother (and chief babysitter/helper) being rushed into cardiac bypass surgery. Mind you – that all happened within a 48 hour period.
My husband came home, I started meds, and my mother came through the surgery with flying colors. I thought all was well again, even though I underwent a hysterectomy and two weeks later caught a virus that left me with a month long sinus infection. I tried three different antibiotics before it surrendered.
Looking back, those things all foreshadowed the start to 2016.
- The first week of January I ended up in the ER – twice. No diagnosis. The doctors’ best guess was an allergic reaction to meds coupled with a new virus.
- While home from work on a sick day, I discovered that one of my kitties passed away in her sleep. I was now an emotional wreck as well as a physical one.
- My immune system hung in tatters and health issues continued to plague me. I lost 13lbs in a matter of weeks because I couldn’t eat. I had severe chest and abdominal pain. I spent the next 7 months undergoing a battery of tests and being bounced from doctor to doctor.
- Despite meds, I suffered from panic attacks. I experienced moments that felt as if I hung onto my sanity with my fingernails; as if my mind might shatter into pieces at any moment.
- I cried and prayed a lot, begging for relief so I could go back to work and care for my family.
- Finally, despite no firm diagnosis or treatment, my body started healing. Very slowly, but in a positive direction. I returned to work and could finally care for my family. My husband took a promotion at work. Things were looking up!
- October 1st I walked away from my job of 13 years due to administration changes. I could not work for an organization and people who had such a poor track record of ethics and employee relations. I had no backup plan or job, but I felt God calling me on to different things.
- My husband spent two weeks overseas in October for business, leaving me to care for the kids alone. Thank God for my family! However, October also brought the loss of another kitty due to cancer and the news that my endometriosis had returned and I needed surgery. Again.
- I managed a small long weekend at the beach with my Mom and kids, despite feeling vaguely unwell. Returned for pre-op testing only to find out I had another asymptomatic UTI.
- In November I underwent the removal of one ovary, almost a year to the day of my hysterectomy.
- Two days later we lost another kitty to old age and poor health.
- After a brief reprieve, December arrived with runny noses and chest colds. I became plagued by migraines and sinus issues.
- Besides making me ridiculously itchy, testing showed I have numerous allergies which instigated and exacerbated the sinus issues. The sinus issues were causing (the majority of) the migraines.Included in the list of allergens – cats! Hello expensive HEPA air filter, constant vacuuming, and careful maneuvering of blankets, bedding, etc. Not to mention the increase in meds.
- The week before Christmas my husband came home sick, spent the weekend in bed with body aches and such. Five days later my daughter came home early from school with a fever. On Christmas-Eve Eve, we took a trip to the ER where she was diagnosed with H1N1 flu. We spent Christmas in quarantine – no church services, no family dinners.
- Despite having less than a week left in the year, I held my breath, waiting for something else to happen.
- Thankfully, 2016 finally gave up. Here’s to 2017 – I hope it’s nicer than its predecessor.
I’m not telling you this to gain sympathy. I know 2016 was a bad year for a lot of people, many with much worse issues than mine. I tell you so you know where I’ve been.
More importantly, I’m still here. Take that, 2016! You tried your best to break me – physically, emotionally and spiritually. But you didn’t!
Instead, I learned what it means to find strength in weakness. I learned what it means to rely on God for the next breath, the next moment, the next day. I learned that I will take the “insanity of motherhood” any day over the prospect of truly losing my mind.
My kids still drive me nuts – they are currently sitting on kitchen chairs opposite each other, forced to stare at each other until they can speak and play nicely with each other. I do not and will not lack content for this blog.
Right now, though, I’m taking a deep, cleansing breath and asking God that 2017 be a year of healing and positive change. If the only crazy thing I face is my kids, I’ll take it!
I leave you with some positive moments from 2016. God Bless and Happy New Year!