Thursday, August 27, 2009

Responsibility, Fears and Uncertainty

Life can be filled with so much uncertainty. Sometimes I wish that I could just turn my brain off, for a time of rest! I'm not a big worrier, because I try my hardest to put my fears in God's hands, but I do tend to analyze things A LOT! And, sometimes this causes me to think of the many "what if's."

Since having Gavin in my life I have actually felt more free in many ways. I am able to let the small things just go, more than I used to be able to anyway. I don't worry about as many things as I used to. I realize that there are so many more important things in life, besides the little things that used to bring me down. I've realized that there are MANY things that you just can't control and that I shouldn't waste my time even trying! This includes; Complex relationships (I can't change them, so why invest so many emotions into them?), My children (how they are dressed and some behaviors that they exhibit.....I now try to pick my battles better than I used to, because some things really JUST DON'T MATTER!), How things look, etc. What I'm trying to say is that there are so many more important things to focus on!

On the other hand, having Gavin has also brought about more thinking and more worries. I feel like I need to be so responsible with this gift that was given to me! He is fragile in so many ways and it's up to me to make sure all of his needs are met! Things don't just get swept under the rug with him. I can't decide that if I'm tired or not feeling well at night, to just go to sleep and think to myself that "I'll just do it tomorrow." EVERY night there are things that HAVE to get done! There are medications to make up. There is his food to mix up. There are breathing treatments to give him.....Etc. I don't get to decide when to do these things....there is a strict schedule and they need to be done! With our other children, things could always be put off, if needed, for another time or day.....This is definitely not the case with Gavin!

As for relationships, some may not be such a worry for me anymore, but there are others that are SO MUCH MORE important to me! My relationship with my children is more important to me. I have a very strong desire to give them all that I can and to make sure that their lives are not over-burdened by having a special needs brother. I want to make sure that they are doing well and having lots of fun too, because life is definitely not easy on them, having a brother who requires so much more than the average brother does.

My relationship with Joel is more important to me too. Being married is a job in itself, but when you add the added stress of having a child with special needs, it is so much more complex! I am hopefully more loving in some ways towards him, but I also don't let things just slide either. I can't! Our relationship is already put into the strained category just with the stress of having to care for a special little guy and all the extra work and worries that come with him. I am always looking for ways to improve our relationship and I put a HUGE focus on communication now. (Let me tell you, this is a full-time job in itself!) But, I know that it is also SO VERY IMPORTANT!

Little things that never would have crossed my mind before, now just pop into my head. Since Gavin is so fragile, sometimes I wonder how long he has to live. I was at a store this week and I was looking at clothing in his size and sizes that he will fit into next. I suddenly had the thought that I shouldn't buy him anything in the next size because he may never get the chance to wear them. What a morbid thought, huh?! But, I've had these thoughts about him before. I have never had such thoughts about my other children and God only knows how long they will be on this earth as well. I guess it's because Gavin HAS fought to just stay alive so many times and because he still has a heart defect and is so fragile, but I don't like having to think this way!

I am fearful of the flu season coming and having him get sick again. I've heard that the swine flu will affect 50% of the population and that they expect 90,000 people to die from it! This is not something a Mom, who has a fragile child, wants to hear! Should I even send Gavin to school this year? (I say send lightly, because like my cousin's husband said to me, "When do you and Gavin start school?" Even he knows that I won't actually be leaving him at school by himself for awhile! I'm going to be starting school again right along with him!) But, seriously, is this a good time to put Gavin in a compromised situation?

Also, traveling with Gavin is never easy. We have to pack so much more than we used to! There are so many things that we have to take along with us for him! This weekend we are traveling the farthest we ever have, with Gavin. This kind of scares me. We are going to visit my Dad, Step-Mom and Sister, who live about 8 hours from our home. Gavin has never been to their home, because he has never been as stable as he is now, and I was fearful of traveling that far with him. Now that I am planning for this trip, I am allowing these fears to pop up into my head. Should we travel this far away from his doctors and the hospital that has all of his records? What if he becomes sick? What if he needs to be hospitalized? Should I pack his O2 monitor and some oxygen, just in case? He has been doing so well lately, but I still wonder about these things! UGH!

So, these are the thoughts floating through my head each day, and especially lately. Lots to think about......but lots to be thankful for too!

Somedays I wonder how I stay so sane? But, I actually know the answer to that one.....By God's Wonderful Grace!

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1


Lacey said...

Take Gavin and run. Run away and have fun. I would say take some O's just in case. I always need the one thing I forget to take. We have been to the ER with Jax almost every time we take him out of town. But I won't stop doing it. This last trip he was the most fragile he's been, but I need all the fun times I can with him, because I never know what can happen from day to day with him. Just go and have fun.

Annette Gysen said...

I definitely see why you can never do anything entirely fear-free!Life becomes so much more complicated when you have to consider a person with fragile health. I hope that you're able to have an enjoyable trip and that Gavin handles everything well!

Hope said...

I agree. Take him and go! Have a great time! I was scared to take Ava a few weeks ago, but we packed up her 18 oxygen tanks and went.

Have fun!!

Michelle said...

It is amazing the things that now enter our minds isn't it? There are so many things I would like to say in this comment..but I don't want to write a I will pray for peace and rest for you, Alicia. Take Gavin and try to have a good time. Just try to remember that just bc you are going away from home doesn't mean something bad is going to happen, it could happen if you stayed. I hope you can go and have an enjoyable time even though it will be stressful. Sometimes it floors me how closely our minds seem tuned. Do you feel that way about me? Sending you hugs and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alicia and family!!!
May you have a SAFE and enjoyable vacation. i know its never a vacation for us mom's. but at least its away from the norm.
We just got hig speed internet so i can leave messages now!!! :)
WE will be praying that Gavin travels well and stays healthy.
With smiles like those he would brighten anyone's day!!
Patt Ybema

Alicia said...

Why, oh why is there always something to stress, worry and think about?? Ugh.

I hope and pray that you have a great trip with no need for a hospital or even a clinic. Have a great time and try not to stress. (I know, easier said than done)


Anxious AF said...

I hate worry! And I hate the swine flu! But I love that smile Gavin is giving me!

Michelle said...

Alicia, not sure if you've already embarked, but we live just north of Seymour, I'm not sure if we would be on your way to or fro, but I would love to meet you too. We are little less than hour from Louisville, KY. My email is If you get this and want to try to hook up (if possible) drop me a note. If you don't get this, I hope you guys have a safe and fun trip.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

I hope you go and have a wonderful time! It is hard to travel with these little ones, but we have to continue living life and enjoying it.

The fears and thankfulness you talk about are in my heart as well. Fears of the future and the unknown, and the amazing blessedness of today. It's our normal! :)

Inspired said...

You are so amazing to be so open about what's on your mind! You've got a lot going on in there ; ) Hope you can find peace of mind (which is WAY easier said than done).

Love you to pieces!