Doing the Job
Last week, Lil' Bit got sick. We took her to the doctor who said she had (yet another) ear infection. He put her on antibiotics and we raced against the clock to get her better because if she's sick within 2 weeks of her surgery, they could move or cancel it. We took her back in to her doctor today, and he gave us the all clear. Phew! I breathed a sigh of relief that we didn't have to rearrange all the plans we had made, but put in a call to the surgeon to let him know what was going on. I spoke with one of the nurses and she assured me everything was fine and they would just make sure to give her a good once-over when she came in for the pre-op testing. All was copacetic. Sure, Phil and I got put on antibiotics (because we got whatever Lil' Bit had), but otherwise, everything was fine. Or so I thought.
Part way through my day of napping and recovery, I discovered that I was super hungry and my stomach was upset. I found this odd, particularly since it was last week that I was on the steroids that generally cause increased appetite. But no. The hunger came today. Not helpful. Why? Because I started Weight Watchers about 2 1/2 weeks ago. It's been going very well; I've already released 10 pounds. (In my family, we try not to say that we "lost" them, because generally you try and find things you have lost). Anyway, I was surprised to discover that I had nom, nom, nommed my way through my points for the day by 2:30! What the heck was going on?! And what about dinner?!
It took me a while to realize that the hunger and the upset stomach were my body's way of telling me my stress level is out of control. I didn't think I was stressed. After all, I spent the day recuperating and being told all my plans were still in good order. It wasn't until dinner that I finally figured it out. I was washing dishes while Phil fed Lil' Bit her dinner. She was doing really well, but had some fussy moments. And in those fussy moments, I knew I was "done." "Done" is a magic word in our house. It means that it is time for the other parent to come to the rescue because whoever is "done" has run out of energy/patience reserves. The thing was, I wasn't the parent on duty. Phil was taking care of Lil' Bit. Why was her fussiness driving me crazy to the point I was "done"? It hit me. I was done because I had run out of minutiae to worry about and plan. There's nothing left to do but wait. In calling the surgeon's office, I had to acknowledge that Lil' Bit's surgery is less than 2 weeks away. The hunger (my long-term coping mechanism of eating when stressed), the stomach ache (putting all my stress in my stomach), and being done; they were all signs that I'm finally having to accept that Lil' Bit's surgery is going to happen, and soon.
I can cry. I can scream. I can shout n't fair! None of it will change the fact that I have to take my daughter to the hospital and let them cut her open and operate on her heart if I want her to be healthy. I feel like Dr. Seuss's Grinch--it doesn't matter how much I hate it or try to avoid it, I can't stop this surgery thing from coming. And it doesn't matter that it's the right thing to do. And it doesn't matter that she'll be okay. There is nothing reasonable or rational about how I feel. I am a mother. It is my job to protect my daughter, but I can't. I can't protect her from this. I can't keep it from happening. I can't control it. I can't fix it. I want to rage at the world. I want to rage at God. I want to hold my daughter tight and never let go. I want this not to be happening.
But it is happening. And my world is out of control. So, I want comfort. I want to eat a pint of pumpkin cheesecake ice cream. I want an entire bag of barbecue potato chips. I want a dozen Tim Horton's doughnuts. These are the patterns that have always brought me comfort (hence, the need for Weight Watchers). But I won't. And do you want to know the crazy reason why? Because I can control that. I can control what I eat. I can control not letting my weight loss goals get sabotaged by old patterns. I can control me. And I'll do it. Not just for me, but for Lil' Bit. Because she needs me to be strong enough to get through this, so I can help her get through this. She needs me to "be the mommy." And I remember that I signed up for this job. I fought for this job. I paid good money for this job! So, it's time to pull up my big girl pants and do this job.