The coach benched me

IMG_2248This week has reared up and bitten me in the butt. The weather and the pressure fronts are to blame, mostly, and I’ve tried hard not to be insufferable to live with, but I am not the do-nothing type. I don’t do down time well. Living with an invisible chronic illness really stinks. A lot.

We all basically forget I have this thing. I have weeks and even months at a time that are good and I have virtually no issues that force me all the way down. We all get used to me doing all the mom things, doing all the this and thats, driving the mom taxi, running the errands, making dinners and cleaning house. Then a front will move through and weather will sneak up and it will bring with it a particular brand of harshness that seeps into my bones and changes me from the inside out.

I have something called Chiari Malformation. It’s a fancy name for “Squished brain” because my brain is too big to fit into my skull and it squishes down into the brain stem, causing nerve issues and pain galore. There is a day-to-day factor of this thing I live with, but mostly it’s livable. In general no one would know I have an issue. When these pressure fronts move in, however, things change. I’m sidelined, taken out of the game, subs put in.

This week my family got their reminder because the coach had to play them. I’ve been benched and the couch is where I’m doing all my parenting and have-to’s from. It stinks. They’ve really stepped it up this week, however, and I have to say I’m really proud of them. In spite of why I am seeing it all, it’s nice to know that they can take over and keep things going, doing the cooking and the chores, getting gone what needs done, and doing it all without a single complaint.

Thanks guys. When a mom is sidelined, it’s really hard. Knowing that things won’t fall apart and that you’ve got it covered really does ease the pain more than you’ll ever know.


I saw HOPE yesterday!

I opened up the door yesterday bundled in my gray coat with my scarf and hat and gloves and prepared to be blasted to the bone with a brrrrrrr factor that would leave me shivering long after the van had been on its way across town. Instead I was greeted with the sounds of robins chasing each other and a sky so blue I had to squint to look at it. There wasn’t a cloud in sight. I was absolutely amazed. I was actually so in shock that I just stood in the middle of the front walk, a dumb, lopsided grin plastered on my face with spontaneous giggles erupting as I happily took it all in.
IMG_2235That’s the thing about winter. It is so long and dreary, so devastatingly cold and brutal that you almost forget there is ever hope of it ending. Yesterday my soul reawakened and I felt as if my lungs took in fresh air for the first time in months. This wasn’t air that was cycled through my air ducts at home, heated and forced out, over and over. It wasn’t air I took in that was so cold it felt like it had liquid nitrogen mixed with it so each breath felt like it froze parts of my insides solid. This wasn’t air warmed through a mitten, because the wind was blowing so hard and frigid it took my breath away. No, this was a deep inhalation of pure, luscious, beautiful, pure, healthy oxygen that revived my soul, not just my body.

Dare I think it? Spring might ACTUALLY consider making its way to us in the next month or so. I’ll not be so illogical as to even utter the words, “in the next few weeks.” That would doom us to an eternal winter that would have not just friends but complete strangers pounding on my door wanting to know why I dared to toy with the fate of all the innocents around me. So I’ll leave it unsaid.

Instead, I’ll revel in my newly expanded lungs and the blue skies. I’ll let my face beam brighter than the sun with its hopeful joy. I’ll giggle randomly as I remember the odd lack of chill in my car as I got in it after it sat in a sunny parking lot. I’ll allow myself to sing loudly to the radio, not caring what the people in cars next to me think, all because this blessed hope has thawed winter’s desolate landscape and reclaimed it once more.

Hope is alive. 
Winter will get the boot. 

I saw the light
and it was a beautiful sight!


This post is reposted from my parenting blog over at Will Settle for Chocolate