The girls have two weeks off from school starting Monday – a long spring break – which we kicked off with an unplanned sleepover with their cousins. This is the four of them crowded on the couch having tea. I can’t remember the last time we had a sleepover at our house. It was definitely before Ana got sick. They all seem so grown up now. We took a trip to Target and watched a Jim Carey movie. Ana bought (more) nail polish.
Ana has been feeling so good that she’s practically climbing the walls. We still need to be careful about germs and also watch her diet, but these things are hard to do because she feels so much better. Still, we’re trying our best and that means tons of hand sanitizer and minimizing Ana’s exposure to crowds (walking around a big store is okay, but going to a crowded theatre is still something we’re avoiding).
So, we’ve fallen into an actual pattern of normalcy. I know I keep mentioning this, but I’m finding it hard to really accept it. When I think of everything she’s been through since August, well, recovery is more than just a minor miracle, you know? Ana’s weight is steadily increasing. It looks to me like she still has some fluid in her stomach but it’s not getting any worse and it’s definitely not where it was when she was on those serious diuretics. She is filling out – I can tell just by looking at her. She’s at about 75 pounds. When she was discharged from Columbia, she weighed about 67 pounds, and that quickly dropped to around 63 pounds after the diruetics drained all the excess fluid from her body. That’s as thin as I ever want to see my child get.
This was a lazy weekend with great slabs of time spent doing not much. It almost feels wasteful to me to spend a weekend like this – like I should consciously be preserving time somehow – using each moment to its absolute extreme potential. I don’t even know how I would do that. Every time I sit on the couch and fritter away precious minutes watching t.v. or checking email, I feel as though I should be playing a board game with the girls, or riding my bike, or organizing something somewhere in the house. Cleaning, working, parenting, writing, exercising on and on and on. I don’t know why I feel guilty just letting myself relax. Part of it is that I SHOULD be exercising, at least. I think once I start getting back into THAT routine, a lot of the feeling of wasting time is going to go away.
But I also feel like each moment is a found moment and if I use this gift of time with all of us together in a way that doesn’t honor the miracle of Ana’s new liver, and of the donor who gave it to her, and of the doctors who rescued her, then I am being disrespectful. And maybe I’m inviting that darkness to take a second look at us – sitting here, wasting this gift of time – and maybe it will decide not to be so generous next time.
And this is how my mind works. This is me trying to explain the constant worry and guilt that is crushing me because I can’t entirely let go, even though I do enjoy a good long Sunday nap. I think this might be a reaction to trauma too. I wish I there was a safety net I could buy, or make, or conjure up to throw around Jim and the girls – something unobtrusive and invisible. Maybe then I could finally stop worrying.
Ah well. It’s almost cycling season. I’m looking forward to getting out on the road again.
Ana will get her blood drawn tomorrow in New Paltz and we’ll hopefully get the results back by or before Wednesday. I’m hoping for another week of good numbers. It will bring us that much closer to her full recovery AND getting the okay for her to go back to school.