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Friday, September 29, 2006

Fear, illogical fear

How I long for a nice anonymous, boring life with nothing but the laundry and a three-year-old's tantrums to piss me off.

I don't want any hosptial staffers to know us by name. I don't want anymore exciting ambulance rides. And I don't want to be afraid of what might happen next. I'm just sick of it. Everyday I worry that my son will get an infection that his weak immune system won't be able to battle. Everyday I worry that his heart will get worse and he'll need that transplant sooner rather than later. Everyday I think of the hollow life I will have after we lose him. Everyday I worry that my husband won't come home from riding his bike. His most recent crash landed him in the ER just four hours after we got Toddler in Chief home from the hospital last week.

Have I been afraid all my life? Or do I become more afraid of things as I get older? Am I more jaded? Am I just more of a realist? Or have I just seen too much tragedy to feel safe, cushioned? Fear. Illogical. Fear. Mostly, I think I'm just tired of seeing the people I love hurt and banged up. I know that my son's health problems are not the same as my husband's bang-ups, but I just can't take it anymore. I feel like my head is going to explode worrying about people, worrying about things that I cannot control.

I shared my fears with Father in Chief, and he listened with compassion. And being the logical and rational guy that he is, he set about to fix my fears with knowledge. He emailed me some statistics about how safe road cycling is compared to other life activities, and how the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks of cycling. I appreciate the effort, but that doesn't change how I feel. Feelings aren't logical or rational. If only it were as easy as reading a few thousand words on the topic. If only there was some pill I could take or salve I could apply. Maybe I've just been through too many emotional blenders this year to be able to step back and brush off the illogical, emotional mind-fuck that life is playing on me.

If only I could rewind my life back to when my biggest problem was who is going to walk the dogs. I'd be well-rested, physically fit, and emotionally stable. And my boobs wouldn't be quite as saggy either.

7 comments:

  1. One of my best friends won't get close to anyone and she pushes people away all the time. Every person she has loved and been close to has passed away and it really has burdened her heart. For her to reach out to anybody is HUGE. The fear, I think, would be normal. After so many bad things happening, its hard to be optimistic. Hang in there, though. There ARE great things out there when you find time to look around.

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  2. As a heart mom, too, (DORV/HLHS) I understand all too well that fear. But, if anything, it's forcing me to truly live in the moment because we don't know what comes next. Does this mean I don't feel the overwhelming urge to throw up when I think about what's really going on with my son's heart? It's an awful feeling, but it's a reminder to go play with him a little more, cover him in a few more kisses, make sure he knows at this very moment how very much I love him.

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  3. erika2:46 PM

    BTW, we share the same family name. Galante is my grandmother's maiden name. (They're from Avaleno, I think?)

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  4. What you are going through is definitely unbelievable... in more ways than one. And honestly, I don't know *how* you do it. All I can offer are my thoughts and prayers... and that one day, maybe you will break away from this and be able to smile freely again.

    Vent when you need to--I'm hear to listen.

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  5. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Sweetie - I think we all worry more once we realize we have so much to lose. All of us are vulnerable - even those with relatively good health. A drunk driver can kill anyone - it doesn't matter how healthy you are. Kathy told me about a player's son that caught a virus, it spread to his heart and he died. He was 5 yrs old and perfectly healthy otherwise.

    You have extra fears due to Riley's condition, but I think all of us mothers have that profound fear of loss. I worry the most when I'm out of control - Jack on the school bus, Matt on the subway in NYC, anything that takes me out of the drivers seat and leaves the people I love vulnerable.

    Is it rational?, probably not. But I can't help it. I love them all so much and love our life together and I don't want anything to happen that would change that. But, you can't live in a bubble. Matt has to go to work, despite the terrorists wanting to kill everyone in NYC. Jack has to go to school, even though there have been three school shootings this week and that freaks me out. You have to live your life and try to enjoy it. Appreciate the little things and try not to think about the "what ifs".

    You said that you wish you could go back to when you didn't have so many worries - but you didn't have much to lose then, so you didn't have much to worry about. Now, your life is rich with children and a husband, and love, and joy, and you worry more because those things are so valuable and you don't ever want to lose them.

    I understand completely and hope that you can try to put it in the back of your mind and enjoy the time you have.

    Miss you! Love, K

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  6. Mike Carrato9:33 PM

    It's not just Moms - some Dads feel this way too. :-)

    Suzanne, you have been through more anxiety than I can imagine in the last few years, and you continue to live it every day. Just in the last month you've seen a friend's child lose his battle, then had a scare with Riley, then a scare with Ken. Of course you are shell-shocked! Who wouldn't be?

    All I can suggest is to hang in there and try to live for today, as some of the other commenters have advised. Whatever tomorrow holds, the people you love are here now. Enjoy every minute you have with them and make every effort not to taint the good times today with worries about the future...

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  7. mpnorton1944@yahoo.com3:51 AM

    Hi...You have been through so much in the past three years. You all have done amazing considering it. As the Grammy who lives far away, I have only gone through pieces of what you and FIC and TIC have. It is hard to be so far. I love you all. Grammy

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