My space….

Apologies in advance, this may be a long, random, and scattered post. I’ve had about 5 different posts circling in my head for the last few days and no time to sit down and write. I wish I was one of those well organized bloggers with an outline and a plan. But, that’s not me. I just sit down and start talking with my fingers.

I’ll admit there has been a huge struggle going on lately between my head, my heart and my reality. The things I want to do, are not the things I am getting to do. My circumstances, just don’t allow me to be where I want to be. I’m desperately trying to embrace the here and now, and just be present in it, but it sucks sometimes. I’m currently reading “Present not Perfect”, to help me wrap my head and heart into where our life has called us for these moments. And, just resting and creating enough space to “be” and “accept” without running totally ragged on chaos. I very much encourage you to check out “Present not Perfect” by Shauna Neiquist.

There are 3 big areas of passion in my life, that I feel certain God created in me that are just void right now. I keep praying, God why did you ignite these desires and passions in my heart, yet not provide the opportunity for me to pursue them. I couldn’t work them out if I tried at this point. It’s just a big closed door. I pray, if this isn’t in your will, if I am just day dreaming up these passions and desires, remove them from my mind and heart. If you don’t want me using these gifts in the way I feel like I should, take them away. It is too heart breaking for me to continue to feel this way and not be able to do anything about it. Yet, my passion grows stronger. Things keep popping up to “confirm” these desires in my life. And, yet, my inability to act remains. The immediate demands of my daily life are keeping me from pursuing my hearts desires. I quiet honestly have no freaking clue why this is right now. But, I do know I ran into a lady at church on Sunday who I greatly admire for some work she has been doing, and she is in the same boat. She feels God gave her this ministry, yet the demands of her real life are holding her back. It’s just frustrating. So, pray for Molly, pray for me that in what we are called to do, we honor God in the waiting to fulfill.

One thing I have always craved is my “space”. It’s a hard thing to explain, and the space I need is often different. Most people would classify me as an extrovert. I make friends fairly easily, I’m loud and outspoken. I can speak in front of a group, and I love a good party. But, really, I’m more of an ambivert, if not a true introvert. I have many extrovert characteristics, but at my true core, I’m pretty introverted. I hate noise and “racket” and “chaos”. Nothing makes me happier than a quiet night home alone with a good tv show or book. When I come home from work at my very extrovert oriented job, I just need some space to be quiet. I don’t like the kids, Jeff or Grandma to bombard me with conversation or questions. Jeff and the kids have figured this out. They know to let mom come in, go to her room, change clothes, and be quiet for a minute. I’ll come back out, but I need a minute. Much like when my kids were toddlers, I now have to go to my room and sit on the toilet. Not because I need to poop for 30 minutes, but because before I can ever get in the door Grandmother is on top of me asking 500 questions, telling me what I need to do next, and telling me what has gone wrong. I. JUST. NEED. A. MINUTE. So, I go to my room, and I lock the door (which now has an actual keyed lock) and I sit on the toilet. We had to put a keyed lock, because she would pick the lock, come in anyway, open the bathroom door, and stare at me while I am on the toilet. Get outta my space.

Another space Grandmother has invaded is my cul-de-sac time. Moore’s landing has a pretty unique setup. All my friends and my neighbors friends always talk about how different our neighborhood is. It’s probably the reason our 5 year plan house will be our forever home. It’s just too good to give up. Anyway, about my space in the circle… This is just mom chill time. We’ve worked or adulted all day, came in and fixed dinner, took care of the kids, and we just need a minute or an hour, whatever. We often end the night with the kids begging to go inside and get ready for bed, and we’re like just 10 more minutes- play just 10 more minutes. Talk to the girls, bitch about life, and know it’s a safe place. The problem, Grandmother has realized how therapeutic circle time is. Circle time is also her new favorite time of day. She loves to chat and socialize with all the ladies. Umm, I was here first. I need my cul-de-sac time to complain about you driving me crazy; and I can’t complain about you driving me crazy with you sitting right beside me. Besides, I know none of the stories you are telling are true, and it just isn’t in my nature to not correct you. And, I am just weird about my neighbors thinking they have to entertain Gran. But, you know what is amazing about my neighbor’s they don’t mind at all. They are so good with Gran. Even nights I am not at home, they bring her out and chat. The other night, they had to bring her back in several times, and she just kept wondering back out. I feel so guilty for not wanting her there. Because, she desperately needs socialization. She sits home alone all day with no one to talk to. She watches out the window all afternoon just waiting for the first person to head outside. She bolts out that window with lightening speed when it’s circle time. So, for now, I’ve given up my space. I still go and hang. We have a great time, and I still visit and chat with my friends. It just isn’t my off time. Because, when Gran’s around I am always “on”.

Many times, people ask me how I do it, or how much longer I am going to do it. Well, at 6:15 this morning, I would have told you I can’t and that today was THE. LAST. DAY. Gran has been on a tear this week. More agitated and more worrisome than normal. It’s been a hard week. But, when I stumbled out of my bedroom door this morning, she was literally nose to nose to me. Despite my many threats, I have yet to install a coffee bar in my bedroom. So, nose to nose pre-coffee we are….. She lights in to me about 10 different things. None of which I really remember at this point as I hadn’t had my coffee. Everyone in this house knows to not even hug me or tell me they love me until I have at least smelled my coffee, drank half a cup preferred. It’s been a long week sister, just back your ass up and let me have a cup of coffee. Before 7:00am we have already had a shouting match. Yes, I know this is totally irrational on my part. I have absolutely no idea why I allow myself to get sucked into this. It’s like arguing with a 2 year old. Totally pointless, makes no sense, and by the time you’re done she doesn’t even know what you’re arguing about. Misty Woodford, keep your mouth shut. She tells me she has got to do something different because she can’t live like this anymore, and I say no freaking kidding, none of us can. I was DONE and DONE. If Jeff hadn’t been gone with a friend all day, I would have probably loaded her up and found her a nursing home. No joke. I just couldn’t take it anymore. But, sense he wasn’t home, I had two kids to take care of and who knows how long all that would take. I just locked myself in my room and folded at least 14 loads of laundry. It’s a miracle we still had clean clothes in our closets and drawers, because I haven’t folded clothes in over 2 weeks.

So, how much longer am I going to do this. I seriously don’t know. I keep saying not much longer, yet we keep relishing in the mercies of our Lord that are new every morning. I have no clue how we do this. It is all too much, it really is. At this point, I just pray I haven’t totally scarred my kids for life allowing her to live here. But, really, what else are we supposed to do. We still can’t afford an dementia care facility, she doesn’t qualify for any financial aide, and the $1200 a month she draws doesn’t pay for the $7000 a month facility. So, here we are. Just putting one foot in front of the other, praying for new strength for tomorrow, because we don’t have another choice today. But know this, I am not perfect, I’m not even amazing. I truly can’t do this. And, if wasn’t for the amazing Grace of God I would have totally screwed all of this up and be in prison to boot. I’ve got an amazing village to help me make it all happen. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Even Doctors Trust Their Gut

As many of you know, Grandma was supposed to have 2-4 toes amputated today. The plan was to take at least the 2 pinky toes on each foot, maybe the 4th toe as well. It’s been a long process. She’s battled infection for some time. Because of her heart condition, it isn’t necessarily advisable. Over the last couple months, it has become apparent that it is just a necessity. The risk of spread of infection is worse than the heart risk. So, we went through the approval process with her cardiologist and Medicare. Medicare approved the surgery, but not a hospital stay following. We haven’t felt comfortable with this decision. She can’t walk well under normal circumstances, she certainly won’t be able to walk well after foot surgery. But, we’ve just been praying about it and trusting that God would work it all out as intended. And, we had a plan. Should she fall coming out of surgery, she could go to rehab to help her regain her ability to walk…..

Surgery was scheduled for 12:45. We arrived at 12:15 and they took her back almost immediately. After looking her over, checking her vitals, and prepping for the surgery, the doctor called me back. Her feet were very swollen today, her vitals weren’t great, and she just didn’t look good. In addition to that, she has developed a pretty significant infection in the 2nd toe, yet the 4th toe has cleared up some on the right foot. All things considered, the doctor said his gut was just telling him today was a “No go”. I just breathed a heavy sigh of relief. I must say, Jeff and I both weren’t feeling great about today’s surgery. Again, no specific reason, just a gut feeling this wasn’t a good thing. So, we cancelled the surgery. We met for a little while and regrouped on the plan.

Grandma will see her heart failure cardiologist on Thursday for her big annual check up. This will include an echo, EKG, and stress test. Also, a pretty thorough check-in regarding her overall situation. We’ll talk to him about her bone infection, the threat to her heart and body from the infection, and the risk of surgery. Again, nothing we are doing at this point is about prolonging life, just improving quality for the time we have. Based on our visit on Thursday, we’ll have more information about making a decision to reschedule. The doctor is also submitting an approval request to medicare to take toes 2 and 5 instead of 4 and 5. I like this plan better. Toe 2 provides her no stability as it is hammer toed on top of toe 1 anyway. This will require we do each foot on separate occasions, so 2 surgeries instead of 1. But, I just feel like this is a better option for pain relief. I also feel it will help with infection as it provides space for the toes, and still removes the bones that are compromised.

I’ve learned more about toes, hearts, and healthcare systems than I ever cared to know. But, I’ve also learned that my God always provides. Today, I’m thankful our doctor’s gut was inline with mine. Which, I know to be an answer to prayer. Thank you again for lifting us up continually. One. Step. At. A. Time….