Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Asking for Help

I come from a family of hard workers/educated yeoman farmers/ heavy lifters.  Seriously, I was raised to take care of myself (and others), to not require or ask for much, and to handle whatever comes along---with a smile on my face and a song in my heart (and on my lips) no matter what was going on.  I am not a whiner.  I have a high threshold before I begin to complain. I can stand a lot. I can be brave.  These traits were implicitly rewarded  in my family.  Do your part.  Try not to have many needs.  Don't ask for help.
Translation:  You can do this.  You can get through it.  Just keep on going.  Plow on through.  Chin up.  Nose to the grindstone.   Are you getting the picture?
   I haven't written in a long time.  I have been in a dark place.  My role as God's wife has been tested. And, just as I figured and sort of knew all along, I never really was God's wife.   That was just something I had tried to squeeze my way into.   You see, for these past few months, I have worked harder than ever to "fix" Taylor's pain, to figure it out, to dig around and find one more answer.  What I did find out from a doctor at Johns Hopkins is that Taylor does have degenerative osteoarthritis of the cervical spine.  On a recent Friday afternoon, the orthopedic surgeon simply said, "Taylor is not going to ever get better.  You are into managing pain from here on out."  So, there it was.  Harsh. Truthful. Words not palatable but information that shifted our course.  So, for the past five years I had been on a barefoot trek across the medical Sahara thinking there would be a cure---a way towards healing and physical wholeness for Taylor's spine.   News flash mama:  No. That won't be happening.   Regroup.  Smile.  Sing.  Move heavy furniture all by yourself.  You can do this.   Really?  I don't think so.
      Last week I asked for help.  I hate to admit I need help. It feels a bit like failure.  Even knowing all of the things I can say to myself about how healthy it is to see a professional, I still drag my heels.  Let me try one more time to do this on my own.  But I knew I was going under and I was beginning to be afraid.  I do not know how to read this life map about how to raise a son in chronic pain.  Forget the retarded part.  That is a piece of cake.  No kidding.
 Retardation=piece of cake. 
Chronic pain=This is way too hard. 
    So I went to see a counselor.   And, I sat there and cried.  I told her I don't know how to be a  mother to Taylor.   I don't have answers.   Heck, I don't even know the questions.  But, I did something huge for myself:  I took care of myself.  I asked for help.  And I got help.  I was heard and acknowledged and comforted and assured I wasn't crazy.  (Well, I can't swear to that last thing.)  I shared my stories.  I guess I already told you I cried.  And then some more.
And, I'm going back.
For help.
It's ok to ask for help.
Is there a bumper sticker that says that yet and can I have one?
Anybody else want one/need one?