Thursday, November 22, 2012

5 Things I'm Thankful For

We set aside one day a year to reflect on all the blessings that have been bestowed on us, the things we are thankful for, and to subject a family member or friend's home to mass chaos (hosting can be a joy and a major stressor). I don't often like to participate in all the "thankful" postings on social media (they sometimes seem a tad repetitive), but I do have a few things on my list...

A very small fraction of our family.
1. I'm thankful for my family and friends (an obvious choice). They have stood beside me through all my emotional breakdowns, irrational logic, and bi-monthly (*cough-cough* pity parties (no one likes being invited to those). They have celebrated all those little inchstones with the same exuberant joy one would express at winning the lottery (maybe not that much, but it's close).  They have helped me over so many bumps, hurdles, and pitfalls to numerous to list. Most importantly, they haven't made me feel like I'm not doing enough for Rae, they don't think I'm crazy (maybe just a little) when I suspect something else may be wrong, they've willingly been my shields when strangers prod, they remind me that I also need "me time," and they love, Love, LOVE our daughter for who she is and not who she isn't.

Rae and Karen, her Occupational Therapist,
during her session this week.
2. I'm thankful for all the doctors, nurses, lab techs, therapist, case workers, insurance reps (especially Ms. Timmons at BCBS...she called me almost every day to keep me posted about the status of a particular concern), and everyone in between who have helped us maneuver through this Hypotonic maze, offered us hope & encouragement,  and (on numerous occasions) graciously taken the extra 10 minutes (okay...20 minutes...running over into someone else's appointment...sorry) patiently going over information they've already explained two or three times before and listening to me go on and on about our long list of concerns. They never once made me feel like I was wasting their time!

3. I'm thankful for my health (another obvious choice). I'm not in the best shape physically, but I am healthy enough to care for Rae (for now...knock on wood). I had a pretty big health scare this summer and ended up having my thyroid removed it was two and a half times average size, was starting to choke me, and stretched my vocal chords to the point they were about to break (my vocal chords are still not fully healed). Thankfully, it was not cancerous. While at times I feel the strain/pain (physically), I'm still able to get up and down from the floor after playtime or therapy, I'm able to lift her in and out of her crib or the tub, and I can carry her (this is becoming more difficult and my back is starting to file complaints). Under normal circumstances, I'd probably blow off my own health issues (and I still do from time to time), but I have to take it more seriously now. Rae needs me and I need to be here for her.

Rae with Anna, her physical therapist,
during this weeks session.
4. I'm thankful for my online support group (Hypotonia Parents Connection on Facebook). You ladies (and men) are awesome! You just "get it." You don't judge anyone when they get angry and vert or share worries and fears. You offer such wonderful assistance when researching testing/therapy/toy options. You laugh, rejoice, and cry with each member. It's bittersweet that the number of members keeps rising. I'm thankful for each of help me stay sane!

5. I'm thankful for the inchstones. Those tiny developmental drops of rain that sustain us through the periods of draught. Two weeks ago, I was in despair. We hadn't seen much progress for weeks and I was at a loss. Nothing seemed to work and everything seemed to be off the rails again. It's not a good place to visit, let alone feel like you've been stranded there. Fast forward to this week and it was like a fog had been lifted! We have some big (positive) changes and my cup was once again overflowing with joy.

I could continue to list all the things I'm thankful for (my growing faith in God, the roof over our heads and food in our pantry, etc...), but that would be a never ending list. This is my short list. The ones I remind myself of almost every day.

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