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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Creating drama

For the past five years, (medical) drama has become a normal part of everyday life. With Preschooler in Chief either heading into the hospital, having an extended stay at the hospital, or recovering from his many interventions, surgeries, or procedures, drama is just part of our normal lives.

When he was discharged last spring after an eight-week stay, we were convinced that he'd be back in there within a couple of months for additional time-buying surgeries to avoid the inevitable heart transplant. Only he got better. He recovered. He started growing. He started having energy and feeling good. So here we are almost 14 months without a hospitalization, without that normal drama. That is a record that we hope will get more impressive with each new week.

When Computer Security Friend was at our house for dinner last week, he said, "When you don't have drama in your life, you make your own drama." He was referring to some of the older women at his church who were in a tizzy because the pastor had some pregnancy photos done. And you could actually see the skin on her belly. And her husband was touching that unclothed skin. The horrors!

His comment got me thinking. Since I don't have PICs drama to occupy my thoughts, have I been summoning unnecessary drama into my otherwise peaceful life? I've been worrying about my age as the 35-year-old milestone approaches. Along with that, I've been worrying about the little lines around my eyes. I've been worrying about my sexuality. I've been worrying about the less-than-perky pieces of flesh that nourished two babies for almost three years. I've been worrying about my legs and the fact that they will never be flawless. They weren't when I was 12; they aren't now that I'm 34. In the meantime, I'm filling my calendar with doctor appointments as I cling to what I see as my fading youth, beauty, and sexuality. But that's just the little stuff.

I've been worrying about where I'll be 10 years from now. With two new rejections arriving over the weekend, I wonder if I'm going to find an agent. I've been worrying if my marriage is strong enough to make it through all of this worry and stress and drama and individual goals and aspirations that ultimately take us in different directions. I'm sure some of this is the fact that our 10-year wedding anniversary in approaching and I don't know many people who have had successful long-term marriages.

I've been so overwhelmed with these things that I worked myself up into having some kind of panic or anxiety attack a few days ago. Four pounds have been shed in two weeks. My resting heart rate was hovering around 125 beats per minute (normal is 60 to 80). My stomach was in knots. Eating was difficult. Sleeping was traded in for a reclined physical rest as my brain raced with all of my flaws, my failures, my unfulfilled aspirations.

Medications have been prescribed. Anxiety has been temporarily toned down. Is there such a things as a normal and balanced life? The more I look around, the more I'm convinced it does not exist. Everyone has some kind of drama--work drama, kid drama, health drama, marriage drama, family drama, fertility drama--nagging at them.


  1. wow, that's an interesting thought. I don't think you're creating your own drama- but the church ladies definitely are creating their own drama. your situation is different, that's not drama, it's just the normal worries of everyday life. i wouldn't worry about it, just trying to cope IMO is enough, i mean, it's not easy. with husband, kids, your own job, self-image and happiness. it's a lot to handle. i think the only way to do it is to take it one day at a time. also, congrats on your son's health! i cannot imagine how hard that situation has been for you and your family. :)

    La Petite Belle

  2. I do think we can be trained to feel stressed, without recognizing it. When things in my life seem on paper to be going well, I sometimes feel even greater panic than I do at those times that I am consumed with dealing with events "worthy" of an increased heart rate and loss of appetite. I am so impressed that you've had the wherewithal to get some intervention. Happiness is not a birthright; but it is also not a privilege. I applaud your efforts to regain some of it for yourself.

  3. Hey, totally life is EVER perfect, no body is EVER perfect. You have to embrace life the way it is. When you are content but know there is a whole world waiting to be adventured you can start to relax and really enjoy the life that has been given to you.

    I always hate those questions that are like "What would I do with a million dollars?" The fact of the matter is that I will probably never have it, so why become dissatisfied with the things I DO have.......A healthy son(for the moment), a husband that loves me AS "WE" age, A roof over my head, food on the table, and the ability of knowing that if I have come this far with THIS body, with THIS husband, and THIS child that was not born the way I planned, I know that I can overcome anything that comes my way. I am strong, I am loved, and I am content... and with that I am truly happy.