Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stress cycles

The past few days are on my list of days I am glad I won't have to repeat. Nothing specifically awful happened, but it feels more like the combination of many stresses and emotions all piling up on each other. I'm waiting for that big cry that finally bursts out and makes everything feel okay, more or less. I have moments when the tears start to surface, but the timing isn't quite right, so I hold them back and move on.

Yesterday I bought William a new DS carrying case to hold all his games because I was tired of them being in a plastic bag and having to carry them in my purse. With a new case, he would be in charge of storing and transporting. William was thrilled until he realized it was a case for a DSi and he has a DS lite. The two charging mechanism are not compatible. Who knew? Not me. Why, Nintendo? Why? So I returned it last night to Target. However, when I got home, I saw his games on the counter and many were missing. William had started to put them in the case and I had just returned the case with 6-8 games inside. They were not cheap games! I panicked. I called the store. They were closed. I showed up this morning and waited outside for them to open. I entered and asked at the service desk and checked on the floor with no luck. I asked an employee for help without giving any details, just that I had returned it with games. It turned out that one of the women helping me was the mother of one of William's friends and knew I was William's mother. She was amazing and sent many people on high alert looking all over the store for the case. A HUGE THANK YOU to Bea for helping to find the games!!

Thanks for all the comments and emails regarding the school situation. I had a good reality check with Lisa this morning (after my over stressed DS search) and today I have realized that William's schedule is so unpredictable right now that it's not even worth my time trying to fight as hard as I thought I should yesterday. He has two chemo cycles and surgery in September and 2 clinic visits each week and several appts. for a new round of tests and scans to prepare for surgery. Then he'll be in S. F. for a month. So for now I'm going to fight the fights that matter today and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. And when he's finally back home with only radiation to deal with, we'll move forward on the school route. We'll take any slots that fit with our schedule for now and worry about how many hours we are receiving later.

It's wonderful having all the boys back, but it's hard at the same time to suddenly toss 4 lives into my already precarious juggling act. When William was admitted for chemo last week, as is standard protocol, I was asked the date of his last bowel movement. I usually can rattle off exactly when it was and all the necessary descriptions of it. When I was asked this time, I thought, "Hmmm, I know I've seen a lot the past few day, but whose was it?"

I feel like I've been thrown in the boiling pot with all the new schedules. I have two different school schedules at the elementary school, one school schedule at home, another school schedule to start in September, 2 soccer schedules (thank goodness twins consolidate some things), clinic visit schedules, medicine schedules, chemo schedules, and any of those that involve William mean that the schedules have very little consistency from day to day or week to week. And somewhere in those daily schedules I must fit in meals, laundry, cleaning, bathing (although daily is extremely optional!), errands, a husband, bills.... And I blog. And I'm only getting to it right now because I have 5 hours to sit in this hospital room while William gets a blood transfusion as I type.

I've mentioned before that I love Sundays. I really do. I get a spiritual boost and strengthen my perspective on life and my purpose in it, but it doesn't mean that I don't think Sundays are stressful and sometimes full of unpleasant moments.

The past Sunday. Ryan and William stayed home since we worry about his susceptibility to infection. I got the boys piled in the car, to church, and filing in the chapel just as the meeting was supposed to start. The only catch was that we had to file up to the front of the room and up onto the podium and make our way into the choir seats because I am the music chorister for the month of August. We sat down, I gave a quick, unproductive, and ignored speech about reverence and then hurried to find the page of the first hymn and stood up to lead the first song. It was good. One of my favorites, "Count Your Many Blessings." It's upbeat and it's message is always a good one. But it's not good when four of my little blessings are wrestling and whistling and giggling to the point that I have to reach back and grab an arm while still waving my other hand for the music. I tried to remain calm, but the sweat had started. After the hymn, I had a brief rest between songs to restore peace and order. Then I had to lead the sacrament hymn which is of a reverent nature to help prepare to partake of the bread and water. The boys were still very disruptive and just as the hymn ended and the prayer was about to start, Clark hit his head on an arm rest and burst into tears. I grabbed his arm to hurry him out, but he held on to the chair thinking I was yanking him to take him out to be disciplined. So I quickly sat back down, whipped him onto my lap, and tried to stifle his cries in my shoulder. And I wasn't wearing a skirt appropriate to have boys climbing all over my lap! Disaster averted. I was able to redo the seating arrangement to reduce mayhem.

The speakers began their talks. The theme of all the talks: trial and adversity. Seemingly appropriate, right? I wanted to listen and glean some words of wisdom and counsel, but Cameron's ball point pen exploded all over his hand and pants. So we hurried out. And evidently the other boys followed a few minutes later because I found them in the boys bathroom playing around when I exited the girls bathroom with Cameron. All 5 of us made our way back up the podium to wait for the closing song. Soren passed the last few minutes running back and forth across the width of the last row of choir seats. I gave up. At least he was doing it quietly. Then came the closing song, a beautiful hymn and another favorite, but I wasn't prepared for the power of the words, "Where Can I Turn for Peace?". I lost it. I coudn't sing. My eyes filled with tears and I couldn't even mouth the words. I had to hold back the sobs and keep waving my arm. The words were touching and perhaps what I really needed to hear that day. And today too!

Here's a clip of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it.

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease
to make me whole?

When with a wounded heart,
anger, or malice,
I draw myself a part,
searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know,
where can I run?

Where is the quiet hand
to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane
Savior and Friend.

Gentle the peace he finds
for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.
---Emma Lou Thayne

So I'm going to count my blessings, take deep breaths, attempt to reduce some stress, restore some eternal perspective and find a little happy pill! (That'll be a post for tomorrow!)

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