Life On The Go, Go, Go

Wow!  March just barreled onto the scene with great force as our week has been non-stop full!  Since I posted last week our family (or some combination thereof) attended the La Patera fundraising jog-a-thon, the Girl Scout Troop 50649 cookie booth outside KMart, the Dos Pueblos High Drumline’s first exhibition performance in Thousand Oaks, enjoyed a visit from our good friend from Wichita (and Max’s godmother) Susie, was inspired by and so happy for the 11 men and women who graduated from the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s residential recovery program on Saturday, went to Rudy’s cardiology and endocrinology appts, supervised 50 very energetic junior highers during final rehearsals for the school spring musical, finished a major kitchen remodel and prepped for a visit to L.A. this weekend to attend a friend’s wedding and celebrate Max’s 13th bday!  And this was all in addition to the normal routine of school, work, therapy, etc, etc, etc.

It’s really no different than any other normal family of 6 trying to coordinate schedules and balance life together but there has definitely been a shift for our family in the last year from…making a concerted effort to create a sense of normalcy in our home to…”the normal stuff is happening whether you like it or not and you better jump in and go with it or get lost in the snowball!”.  🙂  Ha Ha   It’s all good, though.  It’s good for me to be busy, wake up each day with a healthy “to do” list and embrace the normal stuff as long as I don’t forget the unique stresses that lie just beneath the surface for our family.  This was evident to us this week in a couple of ways.

First, in the midst of a particularly busy day, Olivia came to me and asked “Why was Rudy born with half a heart?”.  Strapped for time, I responded with a quick “We don’t know, Olivia, there is no known cause for HLHS.  It’s just the way his heart formed!”.  With a pat on the head, I sent her off and proceeded with my “to do” list.  Later that evening, I realized there might have been more to her inquiry and asked her what she was thinking about that made her ask that question.  Immediately her eyes welled up with BIG tears and she said that she had been reading her Ramona book and she got to a part when Ramona described how much fun it was to teach her baby sister Roberta a whole list of specific things.  Reading this made Olivia sad because she couldn’t teach Rudy how to do any of those things.  Oh, sweet girl.  I really felt her grief at that moment and understood completely!   This led to a bigger discussion of all the wonderful things she is teaching Rudy and how lucky he is to have a big sister like her and that seemed to help but it was a reminder that the emotions are there…just under the surface ready to pop out when you least expect it…like when reading a book.

It happened to me and Rolf too…Rudy had his cardiology appt with Dr. Harake on Friday and we had a discussion this time about Rudy’s enlarged heart.  This is typical with HLHS patients because the half-a-heart they do have is working so hard.  I wasn’t surprised by the mention of it or even that concerned as I understand this is part of the game.  I was even able to keep it all in proper perspective when Dr. Harake said it might be a bit larger but still within the expected range for Rudy’s condition and they’ll check it all out during the heart cath on the 21st.  Okay, good to know…not to worry…it’ll be alright.  Then we heard about another heart friend up north (a bit farther along in his HLHS journey) whose echo after a routine cath showed rapid heart failure!  A scenario that hit a little too close to home and reminded us again that this is such an unpredictable journey where one can get broadsided without much warning and, BAM, Rolf and I spiraled so to speak.  Of course, it looks different in each of us…Rolf becomes an insomniac and I get real weepy – able to tear up at the drop of a hat – and we both are unable to focus.  Argh!!!  Thankfully the emotional tide is turning and our little heart buddy is at home and stable but the whole episode was a stark reminder that the stresses are ongoing and do effect how we do life in our household.  Heart caths may feel as routine as dental appointments for Rudy but they hold a great deal of emotion and concern for us which surface when you least expect it.

Of course, this makes doing the “life on the go” stuff a little difficult at times but part of balancing life is learning how to balance the “normal” with the “not so normal” and remembering to breathe once in a while.  🙂

There have been some neat encouragements this week as well…we saw a handful of people who hadn’t seen Rudy in a few months and all commented on how much Rudy has grown both physically and developmentally.  Nurse Marie came back this week to take Rudy to school filling in for Nurse Meg who is sick and Marie was amazed at how verbal Rudy is now.  Rudy’s former OT Kris came over to pick up some G.S. cookies and she too marveled at how verbal Rudy is and how well he is moving.  Dr. Harake was happy to see Rudy standing with a little support from me at our appointment and Dr. Lifshitz said Rudy is looking better than he has seen him look before.  It’s great to hear such encouragement and makes the achievements feel even bigger!  Check out what Rudy started doing this week…

Okay, so this may not be an “achievement”…but it’s sure something I can’t do!

A big thank you, too, for the many encouraging words I received after my “mid-life crisis” reflections.  I’ll respond to everyone eventually but thank you in advance for sharing your wisdom and love with me…I am blessed.

Here are a few other encouragements from this past week…

Gpa Dick would have been proud of Olivia's effort at her school jog-a-thon on Friday...she ran non-stop for 40 minutes and was very focused (just like Dad was when he ran). 🙂
Fun with Susie-Q visiting from Wichita!
Rudy kept pretty close to Rolf anytime he was allowed in the kitchen during the remodel...always eager to lend a helping hand!
"I can do it."
Yippy!!! Three months and two weeks after he and the boys gutted the kitchen, Rolf finished the remodel with great satisfaction! It's not only efficient and functional but really pretty too!! Thank you Rolfi!!!!!!!
OT Julie had extra cleaning to do after Rudy's food therapy today...chocolate pudding on the floor and walls, oh my! I'm glad it was the clinic floor and walls and not the ones in my new kitchen!

8 thoughts on “Life On The Go, Go, Go

  1. You try so hard, sweet Rudy. That is why you are learning to do so many new things, I am so proud of you and am grateful that your family helps you learn so many things. Love to all. I hope to see you soon. Grandma Jo

  2. Woah, your March makes me dizzy!!!! You’ve been on my mind and my heart this month…can’t believe I missed your b-day post….must have been my dizzy week! THERE IS SO MUCH LIFE left to be experienced.. (with bifocals, I realize)..and I know Trish that you and Rolf are touching lives for eternity everywhere you go!!! ….and in our eternal segment of life….there will be no doctor appointments or therapy!!! Meanwhile we will pray for that continual perseverence as you are buffeted….I mean “played with” by the waves of life!!!!!!

  3. Can I write again? Give that little Rolf-look-alike a big kiss for us….what a big boy he is…doing so many new things!!! So proud!!!

  4. Rudy and all the Geyling Gang are looking good!!! Trish, I think you should just leave that new beautiful kitchen looking sparkling clean and therefore stick to “SUPERSIZING”!

  5. How lovely to see all of this – such growth, in every way for handsome Rudy! And of course you and Rolf are always living on a volcano, aren’t you? One that threatens to erupt, even when you’re just going about your run-of-the-mill, everyday errands, just living your lives. Because that’s the reality – Thanks for this reminder to keep you and Rolf in our prayers along with Rudy. This is a hard burden, one that never lifts even when it gets displaced from time to time by the seeming normalcy of your days. And I give deep thanks for that normalcy along with you – it’s a beautiful thing to see the pictures and read the stories of how well Rudy is doing in the midst of his beautiful, and very busy, family. Love to you all.

  6. Wow Rudy you are so flexible. Loved all of your videos this week. You sure have a sweet family there taking care of you. Happy Birthday to Max and hugs to you and all. Always praying for you and your whole family. Hope we’ll see you sometime this year.

  7. How come Rolf is wearing the safety glasses and Rudy is playing with the electrical connections? Oh yea, Rolf’s the one who shot a nail gun through his foot!

  8. WOW… what an update on so many fronts. We are weepy and joyful with you, and ever keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. We love you!!

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