We recently went through evaluations with John to see where he was in physical therapy and occupational therapy. The decision was made to cut down to only two appointments a week. We used to have four to six a week. Between 2 and 4 days a week was spent driving to appointments and waiting. Oh the waiting. I have definitely learned patience through this ordeal.
Man alive was this adjustment harder than I anticipated. I expected to really get a chance to unwind in the extra free time. It produced the exact opposite response. I spent 9 months with no life outside of appointments and John’s progress. We were tenacious in his rehabilitation. It usurped my identity completely. I simply forgot how to be me. During the rehabilitation period the precious little free time I had was spent with one couple who watched my children during various appointments. That was the whole of my life outside of the rigorous schedule I had. Now I don’t need the extra help, so my time with them is few and far in between.
At home I found myself simply walking circles around my house not sure what to do with myself. I suffered anxiety. I cooked a lot and for the life of me, I couldn’t think of what else I used to enjoy. I felt lost.
We did a lot of family activities during this 9 months, which was wonderful. We learned a new way to enjoy each other. But, I forgot how to be content within myself. I prayed a lot about this and what to do about it. I agonized in my free time about the anxiety.
Slowly over the last few weeks I woke up. I created a new routine with built in free time for myself. I borrowed a few books from a friend and remembered I loved to read. I kicked up the homeschooling a notch and remembered I enjoy teaching. I bought seeds and started my seedlings for my garden to prepare for summer. I found little by little that I did remember how to be content and enjoy the quiet. It wasn’t easy to transition back into the realization that appointments are not my identity. Yes, I am a caretaker of a child that requires a lot of attention and time. Appointments are necessary and have their place in my world. But, I am still me. I still have a need to nurture my soul, have hobbies, and enjoy life.
My identity is not gone. I’m still here, after 9 months of driving 1000 miles a month. Appointment after appointment. I won the battle. I fought the good fight and will continue to do so with as much grace toward myself as I can remember to have. I will endeavor to remember to have free time is a blessing and can serve to enhance my relationship with my family and make us stronger. I remember who I am
P.S. Johns most recent mri showed no regrowth of his brain tumor and he is doing wonderfully. We are past the 9 month mark and his oncologist doesn’t want to see him until the year mark. We will be picking strawberries to remember what we have been through and how Jesus has blessed us. Strawberries is where this all began. Read about it here.