Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rolling with the punches...

Life sure can throw some punches. Some are total knockouts...others just kind of take the wind out of you for a while. And then there are those times when you take the knockout and get the wind knocked out of you all at once. But what is the saying? You gotta roll with the punches? That is all we can do. Roll with them. Learn from them. Gain strength from them. And move forward.

I have found my strength in having Coulby. In having both of my children, actually, but especially in having Coulby. It is very painful to re-live those first few days of his life because I honestly did not think I would live through them. There was so much despair and uncertainty. I went through the motions every day, but felt mostly numb and alone in the world. It did not seem like life as I had known it, and me as I had known myself, would ever exist again. But in the darkest of hours I found my courage and my strength. And as time pressed on, I found that I was living; that I could survive. My experiences with my son have made me a better person. I appreciate the small things in life so much more now. I realize how fragile life truly is, and try with all of my might to find something positive in everything (even when I do not want to).

That does not mean that I never fall anymore. I did just the other day. Coulby seemed just a little "off," drained of energy way too early in the evening, having excessive behavioral issues in school, and just not having much interest in food or drink. All of the warning signs of imminent metabolic danger. After two nights of this, I let myself succumb to the worry and frustration of the situation. I felt the anger boiling up because something might have been about to happen with Coulby that could require hospitalization. I started to doubt my usually keen intuition. All of these things are those which I try to suppress. Because there is no point in allowing them to consume me. My husband and I both agreed that we needed to take the situation in hand and schedule an impromptu visit to Hopkins to make sure everything was looking okay with Coulby and his metabolic health. This was the punch that knocked the wind out of me.

I was already down when I got the knockout punch. My husband's uncle, only 48-years-young, died suddenly. Such a special person taken so young was just too much to bear. It seems that we are never given just one challenge at a time. And sometimes it seems like you will never stand up again. But we learn to do just that...somehow. Maybe not right away, but eventually.

Our family gathered together during our time of loss. And Coulby was seen at Hopkins today. His impromptu visit resulted in an ammonia of 25 (woo hoo!!) and a very reasonable explanation for his behavior. He has been fighting off a virus (at home, mind you...another woo hoo!) and also received the H1N1 vaccine. His already compromised immune system also had to react to the vaccine, and in doing both of these things at once, it caused his body some distress. Not enough to land him in the hospital, but enough to have potentially caused a metabolic crisis. By tonight he was fully charged and had regained some of his appetite. What a relief that was. And yet another reminder to me to stay strong even when I feel like I cannot.

The pain of losing a family member will not subside easily, and in all honesty, I am still in shock. But I will rely on my strength to start to stand up again and slowly accept things the way that they are now. I am glad to have known my husband's uncle and only wish he could have had more time with us here on earth.