I’ve been trying to figure out how to get back to this space regularly. There’s been a lot going on. Ginny has posted several times about grief not being a straight line, and that’s been very true in our home this spring and summer. I’m tired of posting about it. But when I’m tired and emotional, happy pictures on my blog just don’t happen.
Last weekend was scary. Little Kate got so overwhelmed with the emotional state I’ve been in that she made herself sick. She only vomited once, but it was enough to put her already stressed self into a tailspin.
From Tuesday until Friday afternoon she ate one meal. No other symptoms. Just a hunger strike. She was refusing to eat.
Thursday, we found ourselves in the ER for IV fluids. Friday, we were thinking she would have to go back when I got on her level and told her that a second visit would not be as pleasant as the first. The ER doctor had told me privately that a feeding tube was the last resort, but that if we couldn’t keep her nourished, they wouldn’t hesitate.
I don’t like to scare my kids. I’m not that kind of mom. But apparently it was enough to help her understand the importance of food. We started small, smoothies and yoghurt. She quickly graduated to sandwich crackers and hotdog. She’s eating lots of fruit, too.
She has charts she fills out for how much she’s eating and drinking. She’s celebrating small successes, and teaching me to do the same. We are loving her hard. We are setting boundaries to help her feel safe. Honestly, it’s working for all of us.
Control is such a touchy subject, isn’t it? She took control of a situation (albeit subconsciously!) in order to make herself feel safe. I’m realizing we all do that, in small ways. And that routine is the key to not needing to take selfish and unhealthy control of our personal situations. This has been a wake up call to me. It’s not that I shouldn’t feel how I feel. It’s more that I have been unaware how deeply it was affecting our home.
I’m focusing on routine these days. I’m focusing on listening carefully. On being here, now, in the moment that’s happening around me. It’s so simple, but I forget to do it. I think I can say that for the first time in a long time, things feel better.