March 08, 2016

One Day Longer

Are you tired of seeing that creepy mannequin head for the past 2 months?  

Me too.

I'll try and do something about that.

I have been tired of seeing her picture stuck in the leading position on my blog.  

But mostly, I have just been plain tired.

When explaining to a friend how tired I was recently, she asked me why.

"Has Bridger been sick lately?  Has he been in the hospital?"

We have been hospital-free for the past 2 months.  Bridger is healthy.  I thought about the source of my fatigue and my only explanation to offer her was,

"No. . .  I have just been doing this one day longer."

I am not sure it made sense to her.  But it does to me.  The daily physical and mental demands are so great that sometimes they catch up to me.  The only explanation to a sudden hit of fatigue is that I have just done this one day more.

I was experiencing that fatigue last week when we were hitting our 5th doctor's appointment of the week (which is topped by 7 appointments this week).  The appointments are not close by.  They require tricky scheduling for the other children to keep their lives going as they should.  It is exhausting to load Bridger in and out of the car and at the appointment.  I usually leave with a huge pat on the back and some very kind words of support from the doctors. . . along with a longer list of things to do to medically manage Bridger.

In that moment of exhaust, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw this,

How can that cute mug not do anything besides put the wind in your sails and make you smile?

On the way home from our appointments we always stop by my favorite Mexican quick serve restaurant for a celebratory salad (while Bridger dines on his drive-thru hotcakes from the neighboring McD's).  It feels more fun to call it our "Celebration lunch" doesn't it? We are celebrating another appointment down.  We are celebrating one more day that he and I did this together.  And that feat calls for a party.

This last party was a celebration in and of itself.  We had just come from his gastroenterologist.  We have been seeing him for 7 years.  For the first 4+ years Bridger was entirely g-tube fed.  Over the course of our time with him and years of intensive feeding therapy, we have seen amazing progress.  

Progress is hard to see when living the Special life.  Every day looks like the day before and tomorrow will be more of the same.  We get giddy when we see someone we haven't seen for a while and they gush at the difference and growth of skills in our child.  It helps us step back and realize how far our child has come -- one micro step at a time.

Sitting there at our dining table I had one of those moments.  I was watching him clumsily hold his fork with his shaky awkward grip.  He intensely focused on his plate as he speared the piece of pancake and slowly made it to his mouth (most of the time).  He spilled his plate on his lap a couple times, but he kept going, piece after piece until he declared with a smile that he had finished.

That moment took years of time, hard work, therapy and medical interventions to achieve.

The smile that it put on my face gives me the energy to keep going. . .

at least for one day longer.