Sunday, November 20, 2011

Maybe it's okay.........

First of all, Brock's game was the best.  Even though they weren't able to win and pull off the upset, it was still an amazing experience.  Not only was he playing under the lights at Rice Eccles, but he was playing in a major blizzard....the flakes were as big as snowballs!  It will be a night we will always remember, and luckily he's still got two more years to play there for the state championship.  I hope his coaches realize how much he looks up to them and respects them, they've had a huge impact on his life.  Even though he's feeling totally beat up and sore right now, he's still always so sad when the season ends and football is over.  To be honest with you, it makes me a little sad too! 

We spent the whole weekend here in Salt Lake, and we haven't done that since we moved back home. Being here for a longer period of time made me realize something, something that I probably should have realized sooner, but it really hit me this weekend.......the last 6 months of my life have been hard, really, really, hard- we went through a major trauma.  Not only did we deal with Abby nearly dying at school on May 18th, but then we also had to move with short notice-no notice really, we spent the majority of our summer at PCMC, I had to leave Brittany and Brock in St. George and live away from them, Abby went through a major surgery, we had to learn to accept that someone had to lose their life in order to save Abby, I had to leave my job for 3 months, and now our lives are filled with trips to Salt Lake, medications, biopsies, migraines, etc. etc.  It's been hard.  Any one of these things, even all alone, would have been a trauma, but we've gotten to experience all of them, and in only a 6-month period.  Realizing this made me also realize that maybe it's okay that we're not back to 100% yet, it's really okay.

I think that my expectations for myself have been too high.  Maybe it's okay if I'm still struggling.... a lot, maybe it's okay if I still can't go into the school gym without falling part, maybe it's okay if I'm completely exhausted every night, maybe it's okay that I just need a little more time to recover and figure out this new life.  We've been through a lot, and we're still going through it, so maybe I shouldn't expect myself to be right back where I was before, maybe that's okay.

And maybe everyone else doesn't expect me to be either.  I've been trying so hard to make everyone believe that we are "okay" because I thought that they expected me to be by now, it has been 6 months....but, maybe people don't expect me to "be" anything!  Maybe I've been working so hard to make everyone believe I was okay, when really they were thinking, "How can they possibly be 'okay' after everything they've been through?" who have I been trying to fool, and why????

Maybe it's okay that I haven't gotten everything figured out at school yet or learned all of my students' names,  maybe it's okay that I haven't been able to get back to my 5 AM workouts, maybe it's okay if I still completely stress out every time Abby has clinic or takes her blood pressure or has a fast pulse, maybe it's okay if I still worry when I drop her off with her friends and I still can't leave her home alone, and maybe it's okay that when I hear sirens or see someone doing CPR on TV that it freaks me out a little's really okay.

Maybe it's okay if I'm not exactly the same Michelle that I was before, maybe it's even better now.  Maybe I can now be more understanding of other peoples' struggles and I have lots more compassion.  Maybe now I value my relationships with other people more than I ever have before and I take them more seriously than I used to,  I just know the difference a good friend and having someone to trust can make.   Maybe I don't laugh quite as often as I used to, but that doesn't mean I'm not as fun, things are just still a little heavier still, and that's okay. 

I just think I've been a little too hard on myself and it's time to give myself a break.  Maybe I'm wrong and these things really aren't okay..... maybe other people think it's time for me to get over it and move on and get back to normal, but I realized this weekend that I can't yet and I don't think I should have to.  We've been through a lot, and now I know that it's okay if I'm not completely okay.


  1. I loved this post. You are right.... this is your new normal and you don't need to even try to compare to what you think you "should" be doing/feeling/reacting to. We had a prenatal diagnosis with my son (who is almost three now) and after being in the hospital for most of his first year and weeks at a time here and there since then, I have discovered that I am doing good if I can find the little joy and happiness in each small triumph. Though it has been two years, I still start shaking and have to pull over and cry every time I see an ambulance (because it triggers the times I had to call for my own kid). I can't hear a code blue called in any hospital without sobbing. I refuse to watch hospital shows on TV... too close to home. You have been through total trauma for your whole family and the best way to process through that trauma is to take each little moment that hits you and pause, reflect, and then continue moving forward. A new normal is hard to come to, but in a few years, you will be able to say with confidence that you are doing well.... and you will actually mean it. :) Hugs from your cheering section in Idaho!

    Alli (IHH)
    mom to Grant (HLHS, plus a bunch!)

  2. (Sorry i comment a lot...)
    I have kinda gone through the same thing with losing Aaron. He doesn't get brought up much anymore by other people and i feel like i am doing something wrong when i miss him, but the truth is, it is always gonna be a part of my life, and i will have my moments of feeling troubled and missing him. I think you are doing a great job. I dont expect any parent of a heart child to be 'over' things, especially in your case! You probably never will! That is why you heart moms inspire me. I feel like i got off easy. You guys have so much to do to take care of abby and you are doing great! i agree with alli too, you have to find a new normal. life changes all the time in so many different ways and you just have to find a new normal for life right now. And for you this is just a big change of normal!
    and good job to brock! i saw him play for like one play as i was switching through the tv the other night!

  3. Amen Michelle Amen.You are perfectly okay.You are doing everything right.I remember posting on our blog that becoming a heart mom has made me be a better me. (Although a more tired me)I believe we are here to become a polished rock. All these bumps and bumbles are just here to polish us brighter.Embrace your new normal and before you know it a year will have passed.

  4. I think meds and maintenance for a heart transplant is probably one of the hardest heart mom jobs. I mean I "only" have 4 meds a couple times a day to give to Zeke, and O2 while he sleeps. Which is a lot less than it used to be, but the meds don't fill his stomach, make him puffy, and give him migraines. You are doing amazing and you are completely inspiring. Not to mention you are single It has been almost 9 months since we joined the heart world and I have just in the past few weeks started exercising again. I get 2x a week if I'm lucky. Don't push yourself further than you feel. You are amazing, you are a daughter of God, and He loves you for taking care of sweet Abby. Someday this will all make sense...I hope for someday everyday, but alas, I'm still waiting. Sending love from your heart friends. Good luck this week.--Jenn