Tuesday, June 22, 2010

it's only lemons right now

It's official. Josie fractured the growth plate at the base of her hand- beginning of her wrist- and has to be in a soft cast for two weeks. I petitioned for a waterproof cast, or at the very least a removable splint so we could enjoy our few times of water play, but no such luck. The doctor flat out refused, and I'm trying to figure out what I am supposed to do for the two weeks of swim lessons we are signed up for over the next two weeks.

I thought I was okay with all of this, or at least as okay as I could possibly be with two children with injuries less than a month apart. Turns out, though, I actually wasn't. I walked out of the doctor's office and promptly burst into tears and cried for an hour while I drove around in circles with the kids in the back seat.

I'm so tired, you know? I feel totally defeated, and it doesn't help that Josh's work and travel schedule is all over the place and makes him completely unavailable to help. I feel like my life is totally out of control, and I'm overwhelmed, and frustrated, and angry, and nothing I do seems to help.

I looked back over the last week and realized that in ONE WEEK, I did the following:
1. Organized the kid bathroom cabinet
2. Organized the master bathroom cabinet
3. Organized the linen closet
4. Painted an old nightstand we had for Gabe's room (navy blue, so it took 4 coats of paint)
5. Weeded through ALL of Gabe and Josie's old clothes in the plastic containers in the basement (about 10 large containers)
6. Reorganized my closet
7. Painted the entire living room a new color (that room has 6 windows, a doorway, an elaborate fireplace mantle, and 4 beams across the ceiling, so it took a loooong time, about 16 hours of painting)
8. Researched and purchased a swing set (actually two swing sets, because I bought and returned one, a story for another time)

In that same week, of course, I also took care of the kids, made dinner every night, did tons of laundry, attended our regular activities, and packed for the Berkshires. I was out of control, obviously. I hardly slept last week, and stayed up until all hours of the night doing projects and planning projects and picking paint colors and scouring websites for ideas. At the end of my crazy week, I looked back and realized I was nesting, without the whole pregnancy thing, and I couldn't figure out why.

I think I've got it, though. I can't get control over my life. I can't stop the kids from hurting themselves, I can't help incompetent doctors and unfortunate accidents and traumatized kids, but I can organize my house. I can get a grip on the things in front of me, so I'm going crazy trying to control the things I can actually control- i.e., the bathroom cabinets. The linen closet. The living room paint color.

It isn't a solution, but it does help a little, and who knows. Maybe this will actually help me to complete our house before we've lived here for 5 years. I finally feel motivated to get curtains hung and closets organized and pictures on the walls. Feeling a little less overwhelmed and insane would be a nice result, as well.

On a related topic, does anyone have any experience with a child who has had a traumatic injury? Gabe is totally freaked out over his finger and is refusing to put it in water, refusing to let me touch or wash it, refusing to use it, and will sob uncontrollably if I insist. Yesterday I was trying to get him to just wet his finger in the tub, and he was sobbing and saying, "It's too scary Mommy, please, it's too scary. I can't do it. It hurts." It is enough to break your heart, I tell you. I don't believe it actually hurts, I think it is a psychological thing, and I don't know how to help him past this. Will it just take time? Should I not rush him?


Anonymous said...

So sorry about your bad luck. You're a wise person and will get past these trying days. Your family are in my prayers. Iris

Anonymous said...

Kid anxiety can be a powerful thing.

I think I would check with the doctor, or at least mention that Gabe is saying it hurts, to make sure that there is no cause for physical concern. But after that, I'm not sure how to help, but maybe the doc will have some suggestons.

For a month after a stomach weird thing, Neighbor Boy was afraid to eat---or I should say that each time he ate he was afraid he would throw up. Running to the bathroom and waiting....it was heartbreaking. Over time, and not asking him about it, it gradually just went away.

Now that I think about it though, it did take going to the doctor to investigate whether something was really up with his tummy. Maybe that helped him believe he was really ok.

Sorry--I don't really have any good solutions, but I feel your pain. You have sad such a tough few weeks. Hang in there--you're doing great. May the next weeks be nice and boring.

--Neighbor Lady

Stacy said...

Do not rush it. Take the opposite approach.
At bath time ignore it, instead focus on getting him involved in active playing. Bubbles, boats, cars, those soap paint crayons etc.... he will naturally end up getting it wet and washing it. This will allow him to be in control and will not freak him out.
You just have to divert and not focus on the finger.
And don't say anything or point it out when he does it!!!!
just smile and know that it worked!
It will pass.
you will find that many times diverting their attention to something else, not putting focus on something, and semingly ignoring it will yield the best results!

HUGS on everything! being a mom will never be easy, and clearly it is believed that you are a very very stron woman that can handle lots of stuff!!!!

Theresa said...

Oh, that's just awful about Josie. I do the same thing when I get upset: go crazy over the house/organization. It helps me work through my frustrations and you will work through yours. You are a good momma, eventually things will get back to some semblance of normal. *hugs*

liz said...

What they all said. And give yourself plenty of slack.

jwg said...

When my grandaughter broke her arm in the beginning of the summer a few years ago we were able to get a cover for her cast at a medical supply store. It was thick rubber and covered the whole arm and hand and it had a rubber bulb that let you pump out the air between the cast and the cover so it adhered tightly. You had to release the vacumn every once in a while so the arm could breathe but it worked well. She was even able to swim in the ocean. maybe you can finds something like that.

Chatty Cricket said...

ok so I think what Stacy said suonds right. I don;t know SPECIFICALLY about traumatic injury, but I do think in occupational therapy the "fear" gets turned into a game that distracts. Sort of.

So maybe fill a water table in the back yard and throw in boats and water toys and let him play- eventually I think he'll just forget and start using his hand in the water, and totally extend the fun to the bathtub. The bath might be a particularly difficult place for him to deal with his fear of hurting/touching/cleaning his finger because the whole point is to get wet, and to get clean.

On the stress? I am sending you lemonade vibes. You're going to have one hell of a full, delicious pitcher one of these days.


Knit and Purl Mama said...

Wait - are you pregnant with number 3 too!?? I'm confused over the whole nesting thing....!? Are you!??!

Hope both kids are okay and stop injuring themselves! My kids are klutzes but luckily I haven't had to see the inside of the hospital with either of them yet (knock on wood).