August 14, 2010

Never More Than I Can Handle...

One of my favorite quotes is actually from Mother Theresa - "I know that God will never give me any more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."

Chanting that in my head on occasion has helped me deal with quite a few stressful situations, particularly as of late.

The baby and I are still getting used to each other, as happens with all precious new additions. It's not as though they pop out and suddenly you're 100% on top of everything; knowing the meaning of every cry, knowing exactly what their reactions will be to everything, used to being a mommy (again), etc. It takes some time to get into a routine, learn about who the baby is as an individual person, etc. And, the baby too has to learn about you. So, in the interim, settling into a pattern can certainly be a stressful undertaking. It's worth it, absolutely, but still stressful (like anything that's worth it, really).

But, lately, there have been a few more challenges unfolding here that are equally as stressful, with a much less pleasant potential outcome.

My uncle had a stroke. It was minor, for a stroke, but it was still a stroke. As a result, he's had to undergo surgery to place a stint in one of the arteries leading to the brain, become partially paralyzed (on his left side), and has a few other medical concerns that could lead to his being unable to continue living an independent life. My uncle is like a second father to me, so this has hit closer to home than it might if he were more of an "extended family member".

His condition worries me. And, I know this is a nightmare for both him and my father, as this is how their father died. Long before I was even a twinkle in my fathers eye, my paternal grandfather died from a stroke. It started the same way it is now with my uncle. He had a series of small stroke after "small" stroke until he was finally left entirely bedridden and paralyzed for over a year. At the end of that humiliating time, one last stroke ended his life.

Currently, my uncle is in Illinois. And, my father is out there for another week helping to take care of his finances, as well as where he'll be staying more long-term while he is recovery and going through physical therapy (and occupational therapy, recreational therapy, etc.).

However, should he continue to need care beyond which family members can provide on a part time basis out there, my uncle will have to come out here so that I can take care of him all day long.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind doing that. He took care of me for a many years. He continues to be a care-giver to me in many ways (the house that my family and I live in, is owned by him, so we don't have to worry about spending $1000+ per month on rent in CA). I owe him, and I WANT to do this for him.

But, with a new baby in the house, and two small children besides, it would certainly be a challenge ensuring everyone, including my uncle, gets the quality of care that they need from me. I'm willing, even happy, to do it. But the concern over how I'll be able to spread myself so thin and still take care of everyone is simply more stress.

On top of all that, there is the concern over my grandmother and her sister. Grandma and Aunt Gloria ended up in the hospital right around the same time, one right after the other. Grandma has pneumonia, which is quite serious for a woman of her age. Aunt Gloria may have to go in for surgery on her intestine.

As mom said, "What? Is this hospital week or something?!"

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