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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Can you buy one online?

Sucking in, pushing out. That is how it feels to breathe some days. It is not natural or in the background. It is a conscious effort, so very conscious. So very full of effort. My body weight is concentrated in my legs. Lumbering along. Lifting, placing, balancing. Repeat.

These kinds of days happen more frequently when the kids are with their dad. And the kids are with their dad this week. Hours stretch before me and minutes are punctuated by fearful thoughts of which hospital the next doctor appointment will send us to. Of what tests will be performed. Of the risks bulleted in neatly typed rows. Of the consent form to sign. The declaration of bravery. The kiss goodbye just before the gurney rolls beyond the double doors.

And when it’s over for the little boy, it’s really just the beginning. There are the consequences of those tests. The data collected, the discussions, the sharing of medical records. Then there are the speculations, the probabilities, the percentages, and the likelihood of this and that. There’s the portable oxygen concentrator that goes under the seat in front of him.

I have far too much experience navigating these appointments and tests, of reading between the lines. And on days like today, I too easily fall into the dark places of the past. There have been too many ER visits and too many stitches have punctuated a newborn’s skin, a toddler’s skin, a preschooler’s skin, and so on. I also too easily get stuck in the hazy places of the future. The ones that include all of those haunting things and more. There have been few hours in the last 11 ½ years that those images aren’t the undercurrent on which I lumber along, even when I’m not lumbering.

There have been moments that twinkle like glittery flecks in the sand. I see a boy swinging from a rope off the back of a sailboat. I see a boy jumping on a trampoline. I see a boy eating key lime pie. I see a boy pushing pins into a map of the United States that hangs on his bedroom wall. I see a boy selling the lemonade he made from the lemons picked in our yard. I see a boy snagging a fly ball at third base. I see a boy grinning with his Tabasco, his garlic bread, his black pepper and parmesan. I see a boy wearing green. He loves green.

And honestly, the joyful days outnumber the medical days. There are also thousands of beautiful and uneventful regular days. I just don’t know how to quiet those powerful tangents so that I can focus on the sparkly bits. Does anyone have an emotional sieve I can borrow? Do you think they sell one at Target?

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