Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Wagon is Stuck in the Mud....

“When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration.” ― Dieter F. Uchtdorf

What a week.  And this quote came at a very opportune time.....a very opportune time.

So here's is how we are going to do this, I'm going to give you a day to day version of events....otherwise known as "THE RIDE"....then I'm going to tell you about the journey....because they are two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT things!

Let's start with last Sunday.  Since we are on Saturday, that makes for a pretty nice week recap....don't ya think?

-Baylee couldn't hold her head up.
-Noah had a massive meltdown (hello pre-teen).
-Someone left the freezer open...and ALL of the food had to be thrown away.

-Spent the day talking to doctors talking about post-surgical issues and causes for the head stability problem
-Baylee calls from school telling me she hurt her leg
-Spent the evening in Urgent Care
-Missed Savannah's volleyball tournament

-Drove to St. Louis and spent the day at Children's Hospital ER, just to find out Baylee has a hip fracture
-Made it to Savannah's volleyball game

-Coordinated Baylee's missed school work
-Spent the day on the phone arranging doctors/appointments/coordination of care for her arthritis

-Drove up to St. Louis to meet with Orthopedics and confirm Avulsion Hip Fracture
-Sewage back up in the basement (yup, second one this year)
-Late night (yes, I count 9 pm as late) piano/choir practice

-Cried to everyone who would listen
-Fought with Landlord over who's fault the sewage was
-Retained an attorney (just in case)
-Had temporary crown replaced with my real one!  YAY!
-Had entire basement (that had just been rebuilt in March) ripped out
-Spent the night at a hotel

-Volunteered at concessions for....
-Soccer, soccer, soccer in the rain
-Anxiously waited for Felix to get home from his business trip to Europe

Whew!  What a week!!!

So now we know what happened on the ride.  Let's talk journey...shall we??

I really, really, REALLY hate to admit this...but it has been an extraordinarily bad week.  And I have struggled.  And I HATE struggling.  I honestly feel like I have only been able to tread water.  

On Sunday, I was already ready to throw in the towel.  Felix was gone, he had left on Friday night...and with the time difference to Europe, I knew I was largely on my own this week.  So everything that was wrong seemed HUGE.  Don't get me wrong...a kid (that had jaw surgery 5 days ago) telling you she can't hold her head up, was a big deal.  Losing everything in the upright freezer, was a big deal.  But let's face it....I have weird big deal type stuff happen all of the's just kind of how I roll.  But still....I didn't want to deal with any of it...and the biggest part of IT was yet to come.

And I poured my heart out in prayer Sunday night.  At least, at the time, I thought it was pouring my heart retrospect....I was going through the motions to a certain degree.  I pour my heart out....tell me what to dooooooo.....but I don't think I was asking the right questions.

So when Monday rolled around, I got all of the kiddos off to school, ready to make the week better than it had started.  I talked to the doctors...and one of my feel good moments of the week....they agreed that my assessment of what was going on with Baylee's head, was the most probable answer to her struggles (i.e.  In all likelihood, as the fluid was moving around and decreasing and the swelling from the injection sites was going down, her muscles hadn't yet she was feeling like her head was loose, had no strength....or as we termed it, "a bobble head").  I felt kind of validated.  Then about 40 minutes before the end of school, she called to tell me she hurt her hip, and come get her.  Sigh....really?

So I go to see what the deal was, and immediately even I knew that something wasn't right.  I thought she had dislocated her hip.  Although, mean mom that I am, made her wait until school was out and the boys were out (because I wasn't checking them out), then I would take her to the doctor.  Savannah was headed to a volleyball tournament, and she had to go with a friend.

I dropped the boys off at home, and off we went.  I told the Urgent Care what I suspected, they said they couldn't help her and I told them I just wanted x-rays so there would be something to compare when we went to Children's Hospital the next day.  They obliged.

When the x-rays came out, I was already on the phone with orthopedics arranging for an assessment.  The soonest they could get us in was Thursday...that was with the Nurse Practitioner BEGGING for her to be seen sooner.  Oh well.  At least I had my x-rays.

That night, I was just blech.  I was still frustrating from Sunday and really just irritated at the world.  I couldn't believe this was happening while Felix was out of the country.  Seriously.  I was mad at his job, and mad at the circumstances...just....plain....mad.  Oooohhhh, I was in a mood.

But we made it through the night.  As I was saying my prayers, once again I thought I was pouring my heart out...pleading for help.  And I was.  At least I thought it was.  But in hindsight....again....I think my Monday night prayer, was pretty similar to my Sunday night prayer.

I had gotten in touch with Felix earlier in the day, filled him in on everything, and we decided that I really would follow up with my plan to take Baylee up to Children's ER the next day.  

So on Tuesday morning, I dropped the other three off at school and Baylee and I made our trek to St. Louis.  We did x-rays right away.  And I was somewhat surprised when they said Baylee's hip wasn't dislocated.  I was even more surprised when they said it was broken.  I think I might have thrown up a little in my mouth....for reals.

Armed with crutches, percocet and our appointment with the Ortho on Thursday, we headed home.  Baylee on Percocet is funny.  She is most definitely not meant to be a spokesperson again drug use.  Baylee is not the most affectionate kid.  She isn't prickly or anything like that...but she just isn't affectionate.  On the ride home, I got to hear about how much she loved me, the rest of the world and Peanut Butter.  She really, really, REALLY loves peanut butter.

I had to have someone else pick the kiddos up and take them home.  Savannah had another game.  So I got Baylee home.  Gave the boys strict instructions on how to take care of Baylee and drove to Savannah's game, which happened to be 30 minutes away.  I was a little tired of the car at that point.

I was distracted during the game (Gee, I wonder why), felt guilty, and was so grateful when we went home.

We made it through another night.  Although, thanks to the was an easier night.

I also think that I talked to Heavenly Father more earnestly.  I needed help.  I needed His help. I was overwhelmed.

Got the kiddos to school Wednesday morning, and headed to school to set up all of her school work and how we were going to handle things.  Went to chapel with the boys...and spent the day with Baylee, catching up on laundry and all the parts of life that I had to set aside.

Honestly....I know other stuff happened.  Probably stuff I want to (but don't necessarily need to) talk about happened....but for the life of me, I can't remember what.  I just know I was hanging by a thread, and putting one foot in front of the other.

Head back to St. Louis on Thursday.  I needed food at Costco, but we didn't really have time.  It drove Baylee nuts, but I did stop and get water.  I can't live without my water.

At the doctor, they confirmed the diagnosis of the ER.  But because of all of Baylee's underlying health conditions, we have to take this slowly.  She gets a wheel chair for when she returns to school (which has been the most awesome toy at the house), no weight on her leg for 2 weeks and when she is "ready"...lots and lots of physical therapy!  Woohoo!

When we got home, we found a half eaten lizard in the basement.  And our usually very reclusive cats, were circling around.  I don't know if that meant they were hiding and getting ready to eat the rest or what.  Psycho cats.

Needless to say, I was still having that overwhelmed feeling.  Got home.  Got Baylee settled.  Had all of the arrangements for wheelchairs and fun made.  I talked to Felix and told him how much I was struggling.  I didn't feel very close to Heavenly Father....I didn't understand why all of this was happening.  I didn't feel like my prayers were being answered....I just felt like I was failing.

Then a great friend posted President Uchtdorf's quote, "“When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration.” ― Dieter F. Uchtdorf....and I got a little perspective.  I had been praying my little heart out.  But what had been doing, other than just surviving.  Well.....nothing really.  

And I begin to think.  I can do this.  This is crazy...I know this is crazy....but it didn't mean I shouldn't be doing something.  And the first thing I needed to do, was change my attitude.

So we tried to take it easy.  Just chill.  And then the smell hit.  I couldn't figure it out.

Finally, I went down to the basement (where I had been a kabillion times already that day) and guess what.  A sewage back up.  Only this was worse.  I got all of the musical equipment moved.  PHEW!  Because we have priorities.

And my attitude went down the can.  I called my mom and repeated over and over, "I'm done."  I can't do this anymore.  I broke down.

Then I took Noah to play piano.  Then I came home to the stench.  It was a long night.  It was a long night because I felt so trapped.  Baylee was difficult to move.  Felix was out of the country, already asleep and impossible to reach.  I don't want to go into much detail....but the back up was bad enough, that we had to take on the mantra of, "If it's yellow, let it mellow.  If it's brown...yeah, that stays too."

And I prayed.  And I prayed and I prayed.  

And Friday, I got the three kiddos to school.  The plumber came and augured the main line (which was once again 65 feet outside of the house) and cleared the clog.  His words were, "I don't think it's anything you guys are doing."  Let me give you some context, when we had our first sewage flood, our landlord asked us if we were "excessive wipers". read correctly.

Then Felix talked to the landlord, who appropriately flipped out.  It was appropriate until he asked us if our kids were shoving paper towels down the toilet....

So then the back and forth began.  I updated our landlord once the drain had been cleared.  We tried to find out when we could get the disaster company started.

And I called an attorney.  And we discussed how Missouri law really, really favors the landlord.  And the fact that my children had auto immune diseases was pretty much irrelevant.  It wasn't the best conversation in the whole wide world.

And then the landlord called me to tell me that he wasn't going to proceed until the plumber called him back and answered his questions.   I told him about the conversation I had with the plumber, and he said it was supposed to have been fixed in January....yup, it was.  So I called Felix (because the landlord and I are like oil and water) and had Felix call him to find out when we could get started.  I called the plumber and begged him to call the landlord.

The landlord pretty much told Felix he needed insurance to cover it, and he wasn't sure if they would because it was the second flood in a year.

So I did what any normal person would do.  I cried.  And I called my mommy.

And then at 5, the landlord called to tell me the work was approved.  5 minutes later, Servpro showed up.  Sadly, they remembered the first flood and knew where everything was.  Sigh.

The finished at 9:30, and the kids and I headed to the hotel.  The smell was much better....but I needed to not be in the middle of the mess anymore.

And I prayed.  I prayed with my whole heart and soul.  And I still felt like I was struggling.  I didn't know what to do.  I didn't know where to turn, what to think, what to do.

So the five of us, snuggled up in our room and slept.  Then we had to get up early, because it was soccer day, and I had volunteered to do concessions forever ago....

I dropped the girls off at home.  And off to soccer we went.  I did concessions.  Watched Caleb's game.  Pondered, thought, prayed.

And the thought for the day was, "Is Heavenly Father telling me it's okay to move on? or is Satan telling me he will do everything in his power to get me out of here."

A wise friend of mine said....why does it matter, they are both telling you the same thing.  

Of course, my thought was, "That's a scary thought."

My biggest worry though, is that I am so dark and dreary on the inside I'm not listening to the right person.  And it scared me.

So I got home from soccer.  Went to the store.  Pondered some more.

When I got home from the store, got everything put away, I decided to waste some time on Facebook.  And I got my answer.

"Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner."
Doctrine and Covenants 9:6

And there you have it.  My "Well duh." moment.

What have I been fighting against?  And what on earth have I been waiting for?  A road paved with gold?

My word.  Have I ever not thought that Heavenly Father knew what he was doing?  Obviously, that is where I was this week.  I was fighting to put my will over His.  And why?  Do I know better than Him?  Absolutely not....but stubborn, prideful me sometimes thinks I do.

So here I am on a Saturday night.  My husband is back in the country and almost home.  They didn't take any of my presents away in customs (YAY!)...and I know I'm going to be okay.

Lessons Learned
1.  I never thought I was prideful before, but I am.  I think I'm smart and clever and I can get through anything.  Sometimes I forget I don't get through it all on my own.

2.  Grateful that Heavenly Father sees through my failings over and over again to teach me those lessons I so desperately need.

3.  True friends are those that stick with you, support you and tell you they were just waiting to get their on your own because it means so much more than when someone just gives you the answer.

4.  When you are mad, the words "I'm done." mean something totally different.

5.  It's when "You're done." and you surrender and actually LET Heavenly Father give you the blessings that you truly GET them.

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