I hope it’s okay for me to write about all of this. I’m not asking permission from anyone. I mean, I know it’s okay for me to write about this stuff as far as my typical readers are concerned.
The thing is, all of this stuff is making me feel anxious. Anxiety is not a feeling I’m used to. I’m what people often refer to as “laid back.” A long time ago I heard the quote, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but won’t get you anywhere,” and I kind of took it to heart.
I’m not a worrier. But I’m worried. And when I’m worried, or when I feel anxious about something, writing is my therapy. This is how I alleviate my anxiety in those rare moments that I feel like it’s overwhelming me.
A little over a week ago, I shared that my mother inexplicably broke her sternum. I’ve since learned that it’s a fracture, rather than a clean break. It’s good for me to know that because, in my mind, that’s kind of what I was picturing. However, I’ve heard throughout my life that a fracture, be it hairline or whatever, is actually worse than a clean break. Awesome.
Here’s the update with mom… She had been staying with my grandmother, almost the entire time since they returned from their trip to North Carolina. But over the weekend, she decided that she would go back home on Tuesday (yesterday). Part of her reasoning for waiting until Tuesday was because it coincided with my stepfather’s appointment with a urologist. I’ll come back to that.
Another reason for wanting to get back to her own house is because she did not want to continue being a burden on my grandmother. And, you have to understand my grandmother, she’s in her 80s, but doesn’t believe it about herself. She is constantly on the move, constantly doing things and having friends and family over for incredible meals… even if it exhausts her. Taking care of her daughter on top of that? Mom just couldn’t stand adding to her stress.
Mom explained to me that she’s been prescribed a number of medications to help with the pain and to help her sleep… with varying levels of success. Mostly, she’s just feeling a ton of pain. In her words, she’d rather give birth again than go through having a broken sternum.
Kids, the broken sternum is on top of other things. While I like to think of mom being in good health, the truth is she has her issues. No, she doesn’t have any type of heart or lung conditions, so that’s good. But several years ago she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, meaning she deals with high levels of pain on a regular basis. She also gets migraines a few times a month. The pain that she often has to deal with is debilitating, at best.
When mom is feeling good, she’s the kind of person who wants to take care of the people around her. She’s a giver. She’s not used to asking for help when she needs it. She’s the kind of person who will pour out of herself until there’s nothing left, and still try to give some more. Like I pointed out in a recent post, you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself. And I know I’ve said this to mom dozens of times.
Being the one who likes to take care of others, she’s having a hard time letting others take care of her. It also means she will be tempted to take on too much in the state she’s in.
Earlier, I mentioned my stepfather’s appointment with a urologist yesterday. I’m gonna try to give the back story and hopefully not get the info wrong. Some time ago, a scan showed something abnormal, which led to his needing a biopsy last year. Thankfully, at the time, the biopsy showed nothing. A more recent scan showed something abnormal once more, and so another biopsy was ordered. Yesterday, the results showed that he now has cancer.
I got that from mom in a text last night as she was back in the ER for the pain she was dealing with. I have yet to hear any details because, when I checked in with her today, she texted to say she had a migraine and has been sick all morning. I don’t know the details about my stepdad’s diagnosis. And I don’t know anything more about how mom is feeling after her trip to the ER.
I worry that mom will try to take on too much when she should be doing nothing but resting and recovering in the coming weeks. I worry that she won’t ask for the help she needs. I worry how my stepfather is dealing with his diagnosis and how it will affect him moving forward. I worry because I feel so helpless in all of this. I worry because I’m not sure that writing all of this down has helped me to stop worrying.
Pray. Please and thank you.