My mom adventures in Fort Collins


21-Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 9

In all of this gratitude stuff, there is still life. There is still living life, and there is still the mundane. When I look at this gratitude challenge, I don’t know that I wanted or expected a transformational experience–and perhaps it’s too soon to tell–but I did want to be intentional about cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude.

In my limited time here on Earth, I have found that challenging my hypercritical nature is worth a shot. I don’t want this to sound like I’m beating up on myself, but my tendency to find fault when there is so much to affirm and recognize as good in this life is upsetting to me. Venting or ranting doesn’t always help me. Some people feel better when they get something off their chests, or have their heartache out there and verbalized. I sincerely enjoy reading or hearing rants at times, because these rants are oh-so-human and something I can relate to, but ranting and venting doesn’t look good on me.

For me, venting makes me feel like I’m a petty, shallow, ungrateful jerk. I’ve done some ranting this week, and since this is how purging my feelings feels sometimes, I spent some time feeling crummy and low. I don’t really like to feel this way, and I’d like to feel empowered to change this. I have no dreams of becoming Pollyanna, and I don’t want to ignore reality, but I would like to have more love, forgiveness and acceptance in my heart.  At least for me, I’ve learned  that this doesn’t begin with an outpouring of how I’ve been wronged, unappreciated or disrespected.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week feeling discombobulated. In order to feel more “in control” of my life, I have done what the women in my family do when they want control: I cleaned my house. Unfortunately, while I cleaned and organized my house, my baby was getting sick. At the end of the day yesterday, I had a clean house and the beginnings of a sick kid.

This morning, I felt completely confused. Ruby complained that she couldn’t walk. Not that she didn’t want to walk, but that she couldn’t walk. My husband and I pondered the possibilities. Body aches? Growing pains? I made a doctor’s appointment for the afternoon (after turning down two slots that conflicted with my schedule–now I feel like a weirdo for keeping a hair cut appointment given how sick she really was, but I didn’t know then what I know now). By noon, she had tried and failed to make it to the bathroom on her own accord. At that point, any shifting or movement of her body was enough to cause tears.

To recap:  Yesterday, I’m cleaning my house like a fool trying to gain control over some sillyness, and today there was a period of time when I thought, “What the H-E-double L is wrong with my baby???”

Fortunately, I have much to be grateful today. Instead of feeling powerless and further confounded by life, I feel at peace. We were able to bring Ruby into the doctor, and the doctor gave me information that has helped our girl. As far as we know (and time will tell in this regard), she has a rather manageable diagnosis of toxic synovitis. This sounds like a scary disease contracted by using poisonous synonyms, but it’s actually an inflammation of the hip joint.

What do you do for this condition–a condition in which Ruby had body aches so severe that she couldn’t walk or even reposition her body without pain? You take ibuprofen. Honestly, it’s been like a miracle drug. Cory had given her a dose of acetaminophen at 8 am and 12:30 pm, and it never occurred to me to administer ibuprofen instead of acetaminophen or in addition to the acetaminophen. After a dose of ibuprofen and a two-hour nap, she was noticeably better this evening. I gave her another dose this evening and I am feeling so hopeful that she’ll feel better tomorrow.

Looking pretty sick on the couch

Looking pretty sick on the couch

Looking slightly less sickly

Looking slightly less sickly

Her birthday is coming up, and Lord knows a little girl doesn’t want to feel down and out for her birthday. I am so grateful for her health, my health, the health of my family, the fact that we can receive healthcare when we need it and have access to over-the-counter drugs without thought of how much they cost or what we’ll have to sacrifice in order to buy them. I can’t imagine how folks with chronically ill kiddos do it, but this experience makes me so empathetic for those families. How’s that for cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude? Nothing like life to put things in perspective.

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2 Comments so far
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Wow, that is scary! I’m glad that the pain is manageable with ibuprofen and that they were able to tell you what was causing it. A sharp perspective slap is sometimes the only thing that will reground me in gratitude too (I struggle with a critical nature as well).
I could definitely relate to a lot of the rest of this post too though.The guilt after a rant, the cleaning when I feel out of control, and the scary realization that we really control nothing.
I’m so glad that Ruby was feeling better and I hope she feels a lot better today.
Don’t be too hard on yourself (the face I see in those pictures is one secure in her mama’s loving and caring nature!).

Comment by RFL

A sharp perspective slap–that’s a perfect phrase for this. Thank you for your thoughts and your continued reading of my blog. Means a lot. I’m happy to report that this morning the little girl is feeling LOADS better and she even surprised herself by walking, “Look, I’m walking!! I’m even walking!” Whoa, what a whirlwind 24 hours. I say it all the time, Parenthood is not for the weak of heart.

Comment by jaymers




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