Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Idling High

Luke broke his arm again.



Same arm. Different place. More complicated break.

I remember three years ago when we took Luke in to what amounted to our first "real" emergency room visit. Even in the middle of it, we were able in the midst of it to consider how blessed we have been, that they have been so rare in our family.

Now we are back from another ER trip and almost two weeks in. It was just kids horsing around, and I was fine when it happened. Calm and collected, I communicated with my husband, got some help, and took care of my baby. Left him with his dad when my other babies needed me. We made arrangements and everybody lined up pretty well, and our days went on.

"I do not think I was in danger from suffering from not being overpowered,
thank you Captain." Or so I thought...

Luke will be fine. Mainly, he's bored. But he's cheerful enough, as long as his sister is there to entertain him, and she's happy to do it. He will need to lay up for a while. He will need multiple orthopedic visits. He may need surgery. But this is a very manageable crisis, as crises go.

All the same. 


I think I should be handling it better than I am.

Life—especially life in a large household—is always going to fill up with things. Things to do, things to buy, things to maintain, things to put away. All these things are always going to demand my attention. Going on high alert should mean I can deal with them more quickly, right? Knock that stuff out and check it off the list.

Maybe I'm spoiled. Maybe it's the stress of a dozen personal anxieties, running underneath. Maybe I'm still getting used to the rhythm of "ten kids," and these new coping needs threw me for a loop. Whatever it was, it wasn't too many hours after I got home (ahead of Luke) before I felt that my level of functioning was a bit depressed. Understandable for the first day or two. But it didn't bounce back. I thought—I hoped—I was more resilient than that when it mattered.

I'm not falling apart or anything, just idling high. Just when there seem to be more "things" to attend to, I get less efficient. And then it builds up.

***

I went for my first visit with Luke to the orthopedic (Luke's second—the first was the day after the ER.) We got good news, and it looks as though we may avoid surgery, if we can keep him from re-injuring the arm.

Even before that, Jason was bringing me perspective. This, in its own way, is a gift. This is clarity, he said. If we let Him, God can use these sorts of incidents to bring us back into focus when we are drifting.

How can that work when the event itself drives me to distraction? I'm just thinking out loud here, but maybe the fog of distraction, forcing me to deal with nothing but essentials, drowns out everything but the essentials so that I can let the rest fall away. Maybe it forces me to feel what's missing, so I can intentionally pursue it and pull it out of the fog. And then, as the fog clears, I can deal with what's important enough to remain, as I come to it.

Even the metaphor feels muddled, but I think that's about the size of it.

***

Your prayers for Luke, and maybe my soup of a brain, are welcome.

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