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thoughts about health


Mom just told me my face is pink, and my temp is below normal--that usually means it will be shooting up four or five degrees shortly. But most of all, I just am feeling exceptionally whiny today, and the only reason I'm writing this is that I'm afraid if I don't write it somewhere I'll just feed on it, and that's not good. I'm having a hard time not judging myself for having negative feelings, giving myself permission just to feel this way--all the things I've been working so hard on. I feel like I've regressed a few years and lost all that I had gained. And right now isn't a good time to go crying about it.




Earlier this week, a phrase kept popping up in my mind when I was having the scary times with the asthma. Really, it was a prayer of sorts, and I didn't know where it came from. This kind of thing has happened to me before, and later I found a verse with the exact wording. Maybe I had heard it a long time ago, or maybe God just handles my thinking sometimes. Who knows? Anyway, this was what I was going to post to One-Hope the other night, and it's what I was going to use for the choir devotional tonight--until I had to go crying about Abbey and land myself back in bed. Part of me really wants to go in deep into the denial stuff right now and do whatever I want to. Fortunately, I'm smarter than that, and I'm trying to hold on to that. I never wanted to be stuck home all the time, but I feel like that's who I'm becoming. The world is going on, and I'm stuck here; and maybe it's all in my mind or I'm somehow bringing it on myself. I'd like to believe that. But being in the ER and seeing the person in the next bed having the same problem, knowing how it feels even though your X-rays are fine, not being able to get two words out and then feeling like leaping and shouting after 20 minutes on the machine... It does something. It drives something home. I wanted to believe what the doctor said, that needing the machine every day is a sign of poor control--and I don't LOOK sick, medically or to the general public. But I know how I feel, and I know how I COULD feel ... and I know that it's not well controlled. Not now. And how many times did I do that denial dance and keep it from being better controlled. It's not normal for a few little tears sliding down my face to send me into a coughing fit. It's not normal for a person to have a two or three-week long infection every eight weeks. It's not normal to wake up and realize you've forgotten to breathe. And that's what this week has been like for me. And I wonder why I'm out of emotional strength.



I've gottenoff track. The prayer that kept coming to mind... "Lord, please breathe in me the breath of life." And why not? The inhalers sure weren't doing it! But besides the obvious physical application, I kept thinking about breath being essential to life and God being the source of all life. That's where I was headed with my devotional thought, which I'm still working on.



Last night I was looking for some specific verses, and I knew that I had used them in correspondence with Vicki. So out comes my big Vicki file. Browsing through I found what I needed. But it's hard to browse through that file without just going back there. This is one of the reasons I only do it at certain times. I thought I could do it safely last night.



The last thing in that file is a transcript from her online memorial service--the only service most of her closest friends were able to attend, myself included. And I read it. All of it. The thing that struck me was how "together" I appeared--and of course in hindsight I know it was appearance only. But I was the one who organized the whole thing... I couldn't handle not being "together". But I was dying inside, and I never let anybody in. I never let go, even at the time I should have been able to let go. I had blocked out that time period, but I remember now. I can't block it out any more. I've come a long way in some ways, but in some ways it's still so fresh, so "right there" beneath the surface. It has colored every friendship I have formed since then, and I don't know how to make it stop. It has been magnified by every loss I've been through since then, and I don't know how to stop that either. I don't know how to contact ANY of those people now, and I know they all went on and somehow healed. The one who was probably closest to Vicki besides me told me about three months later that it was time for me to let go, that she wouldn't want me grieving like that. Well, that's probably true, but it's a lot easier said than done!



But I tried. I tried so hard to just let go and get on with life. Instead all I did was hide it. I didn't tell anybody about my fear of crossing streets. I didn't tell lots of things. What I did tell was too much for most people. Eventually, I didn't even tell God. When I was a teenager, He was the only One there and I counted on it. I counted on it like you count on waking up in the morning. Something changed in me after Vicki died, something that I don't like. So much of what I've done since then has been based on fear: fear of losing more friends, fear that maybe God really isn't there or (if He is) that He really doesn't care, fear that I'm pushing people away with all my emotional baggage... The only way I've been able to manage it was by being for others what nobody was for me. I think in some ways I've managed my whole life this way, and it's one reason I like baby days. It's not exactly the "adult" thing to want somebody to hold you, and even if I thought it was ok nobody's here to do it. So I gravitate to the babies who need that. I get mad when other staff try to make them "get over it" and go away and play. Some days that's what keeps me going: giving to them what nobody can give to me. Some of them give it back--they lay their heads on me or hold a handful of my hair just because they feel like it. They don't know I need it, but they don't need to. And that's how and why I get so attached to some of them. And that's why I cried about Abbey. Realistically, I know that I may not feel up to baby days for at least a few weeks, and it's probably not going to be a great idea to go exposing myself to the little bugs going around which I will not have the immune response to fight off--as if I do anyway.


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Sarah Blake LaRose
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