It’s hard to describe the feelings that come with the countdown to a hospital date. The March 21st cath was scheduled on the books sometime before Christmas. When it’s months away, it feels kind of good to have a milestone to shoot for–an event where there may be some progress, some new information and maybe a new game plan. But the closer the date looms, the more ominous it gets. At about a month out, Trish and I both notice that things start getting more complicated. There are times when I just wish it would come so we could be done with waiting–and then I remember that this involves Rudy getting strapped to a table, needles, anesthesia and a bunch of instruments getting stuck into a very delicate beating heart. No matter how balanced one tries to be, it’s unavoidable to get your hopes up that it will end with a good report–maybe because the bad reports still sting so badly even when you think you did the best you could to prepare for the worst and not get your hopes up. As a friend recently wrote on her blog, you can get “under-sensitized” on this journey and go into it thinking “No big deal. It’s not surgery. It’s just a cath”–losing sight of the fact that no normal parent in their right mind would be dismissive of this.
There’s a weight that comes with the wait. It starts heavy and just grows. Not sure there’s any way to lighten it but having a full schedule to occupy us sure helps. At our best, it feels like we’re being defiant and not letting this weight crush us from living our lives. Or maybe we’re not all that tough and it’s just fear driving us to do anything we can to distract ourselves. It’s hard to come up with ways to lighten things at 4am, but it’s surprising how even in the midst of an otherwise fun and consuming activity, the reminder of what’s on the horizon can hit you with a pang, a gasp or a shiver.
That brings us down to one week to go, when all of this stuff can cycle around in your brain at warp speed. I think we do a pretty good job of holding things together, but to be honest there’s a lot of turmoil just under the surface. Productivity in the house and work goes down as it gets increasingly hard to focus. Emotions cause you to say things you might not normally say, or misinterpret what someone else might be saying. While staring into space is not all that constructive,a few stupid spousal spats make the case that it might have been a wiser activity to maintain. The whole intensity is raised a notch when it just so happens that several of the families we’re close to in the blog world have all had hospital episodes this week. Paxton had a big surgery today. Owen had a cath this week. Josh had one last week. Moriah’s headed in for some stuff this week too. Always a comfort to know you’re not the only ones going through this stuff, but with that come the twists and turns that anyone walking with someone in these circumstances feels.
That’s not to say it’s been all that somber. Life goes on. There’s been good reason to have fun and we’ve drunk deep. The weight’s there–not sure there’s much we can do about that. So instead of thinking too much about whether we’re acting in defiance or running in fear, we’ve had fun just doing life. Funny is still funny and fun is still fun. What’s coming is coming, but there’s still such beauty in life.
Max turned 13. All that charm now unleashed with true teenager cred! Life and weekends are so full right now we really couldn’t schedule a party (and he wasn’t so sure 13 yr olds do parties), but since we had to be in LA for his birthday we made an adventure. He got to choose our lunch stop so it was our introduction to “Fab Dogs” as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. More ways to have a hot dog than you ever imagined. All kinds of nutritional wrong, but as Guy Fieri would say “FULL THROTTLE!”
Our primary reason for being in LA was to celebrate Lisa and Daniel’s wedding! A joyful day with a family that’s very special to us. Livy was very honored to be the flower girl and fulfilled her obligations beautifully. Trish was asked to sing and Wilson and Max backed her up for a memorable performance.
Max’s birthday celebration continued the next day with a stop at Universal Studios.
Back in Santa Barbara, the events continued:
Down time? Not that much right now…but the daily routine can be pretty rich:
More activity to come this week as Oma and Opa are about to land and they’ll find that taking interest in their grand kids will involve making some choices between the Jr. High Musical, drumline performances, surf lessons, an elementary school track meet, a church talent show and the regular Rudy routine.
We appreciate your prayers for our family as we count down to next Wednesday.