Lessening the Burden

We’ve been home from the hospital for over two weeks this time, and I’ve gotten into the groove of administering IV antibiotics first thing in the morning and again in the evening, along with the line and bag change. This morning, a strong cup of coffee and a lovely, gloomy Pacific Northwest morning accompanied the simple prep activity, and it felt much less bothersome.

I think it’s very important to find ways to think of yourself when you have constant, heavy responsibilities to attend to on a regular, inescapable schedule. In the hospital, Jason’s doctors were always telling me that I needed to take care of myself in order to take care of him – but, in all honesty, that’s much easier said than done. It’s so difficult to step away from a sick baby even to get a quick shower in, much less to take the time to moisturize or pluck, or, heaven forbid, spend a whole twenty minutes indulging in a refreshing facial mask.

I haven’t had time for hot water since Jason was born. I literally eat spoonfuls of instant coffee to give myself a boost.

But now, I’m working on changing that in small ways, as much as I can – because it’s just not sustainable to keep going as I’m going. I’ve gained too much weight, I’m always exhausted even when I get a decent amount of sleep, and the day-to-day care that Jason needs right now feels annoying and demanding when, in all honesty, it’s really not that bad or that much. He’s stable. I need to appreciate that, and, in order to do that, I need to be in a better spot, myself.

Today, I took the extra 1 1/2 minutes and heated water while the antibiotic syringe was sitting out to warm, and I mixed up some coffee in my judgmental-looking kitty cup for the first time in months. I opened the blinds to see the glorious PNW morning, took that first sip of strong, black coffee, and started prep. It took no time at all, and didn’t feel the least bit stressful; my mind was calm, my mood serene, and that sense of “have-to” just wasn’t there.

Those itsy bitsy changes made all the difference in the world, and sipping my coffee slowly seemed, too, to slow down the passage of time, so that it was as if I had a whole long section of morning just to myself before it was time to go in and start the AM medicine routine.

We all have responsibilities that wear on us, schedules that drain, and worries that consume. It’s really and truly very important to make time for ourselves, even if it’s just for some hot water and a cup of tea, or a bit of sunshine. Everybody needs chances to feel whole and human, rather than existing solely as a slave to routine.


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