Sometimes I can't sleep because my mind is racing with all the things I need to accomplish.
I had x-rays of my hands and feet last week - I have some sort of growth coming from a bone in my left hand. Painful and concerning. I'm eagerly awaiting results while trying not to think about the possibilities. I also need to get bloodwork done for three different doctors at two different hospitals. And go to the bank, grocery store, and thrift store this week.
My eleven year old daughter has concerning thyroid test results so has an appointment with her primary care provider to further investigate. My thirteen year old is having sleep issues, my five year old is having some sort of reaction to food, and my eight year old is having Aspie meltdowns on a regular basis. The fifteen year old is being fifteen in his own special way. We have upcoming eye doctor appointments times five and dental appointments times four. I need to find counseling for one or two of us, occupational therapy for another, and physical therapy for me. Although when we'll fit in any type of therapy is beyond me.
Oh, and we have homeschool co-op, Tuesday Night Sunday School, church choir, Daisy Scouts, Dungeons and Dragons days, MtG tournaments, and worship, not to mention housework, a home repair list the size of my forearm, and a revamp of our family finances to tackle. I lead breastfeeding support meetings every month and am silent auction coordinator for an upcoming seminar. I'm on the TNSS planning team, am lector at church, and also do Coffee Hour at church every couple months.
This is our life. I'm not complaining. All of this - ALL of it - can be seen as blessings. Really.
When I go to my doctor appointments, I get time to myself. I drive there alone and listen to whatever I want to listen to. I get to sit in waiting rooms, relax, and do some reading. I sometimes even stop on the way home and treat myself to a coffee or even a movie, husband willing.
When I take my kids to their appointments, it's one-on-one time with them. We give ourselves plenty of time. We talk, blast their favorite music, or mutually enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Sometimes we stop for a treat or a spin around the thrift store before we go home.
When we all go to our various activities, they feed our spirits, they soothe our souls, they stimulate our minds, and most are just plain fun. Each medical appointment brings us closer to health, or at least to understanding disease. The housework and home repairs mean we have a roof over our heads, even if finances are tough. That we have finances to figure out means my husband has a job, which is a tremendous blessing.
I can worry about all that needs to be done, the diagnoses to come, and how we're going to fit all of this into our schedule, or I can feel blessed that we have health insurance, income, time, love, faith, an amazing family, and supportive friends.
Some people look at my life and say that I should let go of some of the burdens that I take on so I can concentrate on my health and my family - that perhaps volunteering or helping or homeschooling or ...or...or are too much. Perhaps they don't realize what blessings all of these things are - that in my world of chronic pain and illness and depending on others, being able to give support to someone else helps me feel balanced; that using my brain to think about things other than medical appointments and teaching strategies and finances helps me to not feel overwhelmed with life; that doing what's best for my family is difficult at times, but is always, always, a blessed burden.