I really don’t like being sick, I don’t think anybody does. During the twelve months Andy was in hospital, I experienced around four occasions when my sickness completely knocked me out, and I was unable to visit him. This was super tough, but it was also the only way that I’d give myself a rest, especially in the early days. It also seemed to work out that I became sick on the days that I planned to treat myself, for example, the spa night away where I spent the day/night in bed, whilst the others had “the best meal ever” downstairs. It turns out that stress can do some crazy things to your body and that stuffing your face with popcorn only feeds the stomach ulcer you didn’t know you had.
Since Andy has been home, both of us have been in pretty good health and the back-to-back infections he was highly prone to have stopped. We are so thankful for his good health as we know life would be much harder if dealing with continual flu-like symptoms, (especially since he doesn’t have a very strong cough at all). When in Musgrave, he needed a cough assist to achieve any kind of cough and this hasn’t really improved any in the last few months. I have also managed to avoid the many bugs that have been doing the rounds and haven’t been knocked out the way I had been last year.
The thought of being that “hardcore” kind of sick scares the life out of me, as I look at our daily life and think yeah, that’s not going to work for us. So anytime I have felt a migraine coming or get the sniffles, I try to keep going and beat it. So far that has worked out okay, but I don’t know if it has been anything to do with my own skills. Last Wednesday I woke up feeling pretty rough, my voice had changed, now sounding a lot more manly than usual and I counted two ulcers in my mouth. Although I was feeling a little sorry for myself, I went into denial mode, telling myself it was just a sore throat and would go away in a day. I continued with the plans set out for the week and just piled on more makeup than normal. I try to have at least three makeup free days throughout the week as that makes the bedtime routine much quicker and I can rub my sleepy eyes throughout the day without looking like a panda. But not this week! My makeup was my best friend and I’m pretty sure it worked. I didn’t look sick, therefore I wasn’t sick, right? When I say that being sick isn’t going to work for us, I kind of mean it. Although I’m not talking about anything major, I am so aware of how important my own health is for Andrew, as I cannot help him if I need the help myself. This weekend has been really quite difficult as we don’t get any help at the weekends (a choice we’ve made ourselves) and there have been a number of times that I’ve just wanted to crawl into bed and be looked after myself. Andy is still very good at this, but it isn’t an option for more than a couple of hours and our schedules haven’t allowed for it.
I’m not entirely sure of the reason I am sharing this with you tonight and trying to put my thoughts into words hasn’t been the easiest but I think it has been good for me to reflect today. Reflecting first on how amazing the guys working with Andy are. When we were told that we needed to go down the direct payments route in September, I was so unsure whether we would get anyone to help or not and the whole process scared me a lot. I remember feeling one day that we would get it sorted and that I didn’t need to stress about it. I think I stopped stressing for a day and then started again, but when I look back, we got exactly the number of people we needed and the process was relatively easy.
When one of our three guys came to me in January to tell me that he had been offered a full-time post in his other job, honestly, I cried for the rest of the day. In a move so unlike me, I cancelled my plans for the rest of the day as I knew I needed to have the ability to rub my stressed face and just chill. That morning, I had been on the phone with numerous people, trying to sort out the many things this new life has to offer us. (Who knew it would be so difficult to get Andy the things he is entitled to?) So after getting absolutely nowhere with any of my to-do-list, I was not ready to hear that I needed to find somebody new for the job. I was also totally gutted that we were losing such a great guy and fearful that we wouldn’t find another like him.
I knew that I needed to advertise the job role so I made a couple of videos to share and I put up the old advert on Facebook. I was a little stressed and worried about it, but I also felt God very gently telling me to trust Him. It seemed a bit lazy that I wasn’t doing much to get anyone but at the same time, I kept getting this strong sense that it would work out. I actually sat down before writing the last two blog posts with the intention of asking you on here, but it never worked out. It felt like too much effort to word it and I took that as a nudge that I didn’t need to. Tomorrow will be exactly one month since I sat crying in my kitchen, but tomorrow is also the second shift for one of Andy’s two new assistants. I am continually learning to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and only sometimes do I feel like I am doing it, but it does my heart good when I do.
I woke up this morning knowing that I just needed to stop. Driving to Dublin yesterday was fun and I would have felt bad to let anyone down, but I was exhausted. I heard church today was amazing, so I am going to catch up on that tomorrow with a cuppa and a blanket and look after myself. This life can be pretty hard at times, especially when I am feeling poorly personally. I feel that I may sound a little dramatic, as it’s just a cold (and now five lovely ulcers), but the reason I have not stopped this weekend is because I have been scared to. It scares me that I could potentially not be well enough to look after my husband, and it hurts to think that I now have those thoughts; that the reality of our life is that Andy does need help that he didn’t before. This life is a daily struggle for us, as it is for many others, (some of which may face much bigger circumstances than our own) but we are so thankful that God is good.
This was us being all cute in Dublin last night, it’s hard to get us both smiling at the same time
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4