Saturday, July 8, 2023

Processing, and Hold on to Your Hats, Here We Go!

First Time Holding Puppies

I know, kinda a strange title...
Let's hit the second part first. Today is a quiet day, not much happening here and only William, Aaron and I at home. Michael is reffing a tournament and then heading to the RSL game for his birthday with some friends. Joseph and Sarah are also going to the game with David (who doesn't live here anyway). Jonny, Avanlee and Elend are still with Avanlee's family. Aaron and William are napping and I just woke up. Yep, pretty quiet...

You know, the calm before the storm? But in this case, it's a pretty wonderful storm.  

Joseph is here until next Saturday when he gets married. Jonny, Avanlee & Elend come back early Tuesday.

And Andrew comes home Friday!!  YAY!! Yeah, this is the week that makes the past two years seem like forever. He's our sixth missionary and with each of them, while we were in the midst of it, it just seemed like normal, everyday, whatever. They were gone, but they were supposed to be. This last week though, before they come home, draaaaags on. 

So Friday, Andrew gets here and then we have the wedding dinner (that I'm in charge of). Saturday is Joseph's and Sarah's wedding (she's awesome!) and reception. Sunday, Andrew will speak in church and we'll have people over here (that I'm also in charge of). Monday I may not get out of bed. Just kidding. I'm sure there's something else on the horizon, I'm just not looking that far ahead right now.

Now the processing part,  it's not nearly as nice.

Last week actually was pretty good. We had everyone (who was in town) over to celebrate the 4th with a cookout, and then they scattered to various fireworks displays. Michael, Aaron, my mother-in-law and I were able to go to the Saratoga Springs Temple open house on Wednesday. Aaron had a cardio appointment on Thursday that went well.  (I think this may have been somewhat a formality since we've never seen this doc in clinic, only in the hospital and she's been his specialist for over a year.) 

But we've now been home just over two weeks, and my brain has begun to try to deal with the events of our last stay. Our visit to the temple was amazing, and poignant. I remember taking Aaron to the Provo City Center open house seven years ago.  At the time, Aaron was in a pretty good place. Oh, we had our ups and downs, but overall, he was pretty stable. This time, this time I'm still in a state of hyper-vigilance, watching, worrying (yeah, I know that doesn't really help), and wondering what comes next.

Generally, only temple recommend holding members can enter the temple once it is dedicated, unless it's a child being sealed to their parents.  However, I recently learned that if a handicapped child is over the age of 18, and has not been baptized because they are considered not accountable, they can be present for the marriage of a sibling. So if he lives to 18 and one of his siblings is being married, he can be there. When I learned this, it was amazing. But on Wednesday, as we sat in the Celestial Room, all I could think of was, "what if this is the only time we get to do this." And it was hard.  

I just learned that a sweet friend's daughter will not be with them any more. She was admitted to a different hospital just before Aaron was, and discharged this week so she would pass at home and not at the hospital.  My heart aches for her. And also for me.  Vicarious trauma and anticipatory grief is real.

I'll be honest, this last stay is somewhat of a blur to me. As I think of what happened, I have a hard time reconciling it with three weeks. In many ways, it seems to have been much shorter, like time stood still for some of it. Or moved at warp speed. Or something. A pretty common trauma response. 

So over today and tomorrow, I'm going to sit with it, and let myself feel. I'll smile and talk with Aaron, play with puppies, and read a book that is complete fluff, no intellectual value at all. I'm going to work on myself, and give myself grace. 

"Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.” 
― Jennifer Brown

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Smiles and Family and Puppies, Oh My!!

Home for ten days, and what a ten day's it's been!  (In all the good ways.)

We got home last Wednesday and kinda collapsed. 

Thursday night had his brother and family coming in from Saudi Arabia for a reunion.

Friday night was the big reunion dinner, the only part we were actually able to attend.

And Saturday??

Saturday brought puppies!! 

Yeah, puppies. The ones I was expecting 5-7 days later!

Oh, boy.... (and girl and girl and boy and girl).

But Aaron is doing really well. He's gone to school and is slowing getting his strength back.  We're creeping up on his feeding rate, veeerrrrry sloooowly. No need to rock this boat AT ALL!

I took him to our local hospital for follow-up blood work last weekend and he looks about as good as ever! So that's a relief. When his doctor called me last Saturday, I had momentary panic. Obviously, Aaron comes first, way before a dog. But Sophie was in labor and I was terrified that I was going to have to figure out how to take Aaron back to the hospital and take care of her as well. Nope, just good news!  

He's even smiling and playing a bit again. Sleeping well at night, pooping (yeah, that's important too) and overall on a good trajectory. Even his sats are looking good! For those who might have been following along in the hospital, we had both pre-ductal and post-ductal monitoring going on. At home, it's only post-ductal. I mean, can you imagine trying to keep a pulse/ox probe on this kid's hand when he's feeling good? Me either. So this was this morning, post-ductal. Thank heavens, literally. 

I'm starting to process through our last stay, and it is a process. Things got really ugly there for a while. Towards the end of our visit, I had an opportunity to speak to new residents coming in. These brand-new doctors just barely got their MD. They're fresh, they're excited, and maybe a bit terrified as well. But speaking with them, sharing both the good/funny and hard experiences I think helped me as well. 

And then of course, puppies!! I was just barely starting to get my feet under me when they showed up. The first several days are "supposed" to be light on me. Maybe they were and I just don't realize what's coming. But my sweet mama dog, while very attentive to their cries and worried if they fuss while I'm weighing them, was pretty oblivious to where she was sitting or lying. So multiple times a day (and night) we had to rescue them from being squished. It was like, "oh, there's noise and wiggling under me, but no biggie." Um, yeah, it was. Finally, last night I was able to leave them alone in the room, and wouldn't you know it, she decided 2:30 am was a good time for a bathroom break. 

That's okay. It's all good. We got this, right?

They are really adorable! If you know someone who needs a cute cavapoo in their life, they'll be ready for their furever homes come the last week of August. Let me know!

"Happiness is a warm puppy."
~Charles M. Schulz