I've been wanting to blog about so much for quite some time. I have been extremely hesitant. For starters, I'd be exposing my emotional weaknesses, but more importantly I'd be sharing my intimate fears, concerns, and thoughts about Lauren's condition. It's a peak inside of my ever troublesome mind, which fills me too heavily. If you know me, you'll know that I easily am able to empathize and feel so much emotion whether it's happy or sad with many people. One thing I do struggle with is sharing my own with others. I'm private with my emotions.
My biggest fear is that when I'm down or having an off day emotionally, I may come across as being too negative or complaining. I understand that hings could be worse; in fact, this thought gets me through so much. Lauren is amazing, and I wouldn't trade her for any perfectly healthy, physically abled child on the planet. So, please understand that I know what a blessing and miracle my daughter is.
I'm making a vow to myself, whether I post it here or write in a journal, for the sake f my mental clarity, and general well being I need to write these feelings. You may not know, but I had always had good blood pressure. The strangest thing, from the moment I received Lauren's diagnosis my blood pressure has been way too high. Like, seriously high. It's something that I am still struggling with. Because of this, I feel that I can't keep those feelings hidden and locked up inside of my chest. I have a constant nervous energy in the top of my belly. In fact, it's become such a constant in my life that it's "normal." So, here goes...
Last week I decided to take a little drive on a hunt for photography sessions. As I'm grabbing Lauren to head out the door, I smell it. It's a smell that's not too pleasant, but brings even more unpleasant feelings. Laurens' colostomy bag has broken. I had just changed it the night before. So, we go downstairs to change it. Me, thinking in my brain, "how in the world is Lauren going to handle these mishaps in school when she gets older..." Then, I look down at her and see that she is smiling, holding onto the bottle of stoma powder. She has such an innocence. No clue of the harshness or realities of the things that lye ahead. All I want to do is protect her from it (but instead I make mental notes to prepare her for it-take it on face-forward). What she experiences is going to be her normal. She won't know a life without these challenges or differences. Is this good or bad? Think about it. What if the kid next to you passed gas, but it was loud, and they did it all the time? What if you knew that kid next to you had a bag of poo just sitting there right under their shirt? Would you feel distant from them? Would you be grossed out? If you were the boy, would you ever be able to think of her as being pretty? If you were a peer, would you want her as your friend?
Once, I get her finished I grab my keys and look down and realize that I forgot to put her braces and shoes on. So, off downstairs we go. I show Lauren her socks, braces, and shoes and say their names. By now my mind is in a deep place and I begin to think about braces. How they are a flashing light to strangers that read, "Hey, look at my legs-something's wrong!" Obviously, this is not what I want and may not be true, but it's where my mind travels.
I'm sooo ok for someone to ask about the braces. In fact, I feel better when they do. I can see the glance, and the struggle with the braces. Should I ask or ignore it. Trust me, it's ok to inquire or ask. It gives me a chance to quickly and lightly explain. I think once that's out, they feel more comfortable, which in turn makes me feel better too. (funny thing-at first I kept thinking, why are people always staring at me lately? Does my hair look crazy... Then I realized, it's not me they're looking at-it's Lauren, who is strapped to me in her bjorn)
See? I know it's not the most serious or worst thing that could happen, but these things are a constant in my life. When I go to bed at night, I wake up with the same feelings. It doesn't leave and I have a feeling it never will. I will tell you this though, my life with Lauren brings me more smiles and laughs, than tears. She has the ability to move me so far into the happiness spectrum, I wouldn't think it would be possible to feel any other emotion sometimes.
So, in closing, I'd like to thank you for riding this journey through my words. I know it's not the same as living it, but it's going to give me an opportunity to share Lauren's progress, setbacks, and an opportunity for me to release the anxiety and stress that I have been silently carrying for way too long.