{sometimes, it’s just hard}

The last couple of days have wiped me out. I know part of it is due to my own inability to trust, my default being anxiety. I spin it around and around in my head as the pit in my stomach grows larger and larger. 

It happens every so often when Bernadette has labs. It starts with the anticipation along with the reminder of how much trauma around blood draws and IV’s she has experienced. It’s the reminder of how many times I’ve held her during the draw or stick and how my attempts to soothe her fail every single time. 

I most often picture the moment she was hospitalized for RSV. The nurse had an extremely difficult time placing her IV in the ER. Somehow, the group of people in her room were able to get one in that was only positionally working. Meaning, it had to be in just the right place to work. The team at the hospital we were transferred to decided with how sick she was, it was inadequate. I sat the corner of her room while two different teams of highly trained professionals attempted to make one stick. To which they were all unsuccessful after nearly a couple of hours of trying had passed. 

I sat clenching my fists as one of the anesthesiologists questioned why she was upset. That experience about did me in. Bernadette’s arms were black and blue by the end of it all and still, no additional IV had been placed.

I won’t deny the fact that labs are important, especially for someone who may be at a higher risk of developing certain issues over time, like Bernadette. It is recommended that kids with Down syndrome have labs every 6 months to a year to make sure things are looking good. 

At her two year labs, it was discovered her thyroid levels were off. She was quickly started on thyroid medication to treat hypothyroidism as well as orders to get repeat labs done every 6 weeks while her medication was adjusted properly. It makes sense. I wouldn’t want her getting too much or too little of the meds. It’s important for brain development. 

In between labs, the results from her sleep study came back (which I will go more in depth in another post soon). Her sleep apnea is down to mild-moderate from severe. Good news! However, the doctor noted she is restless when she is sleeping and suggested it would be a good idea to have her iron levels checked. That meant, more labs. 

Yesterday, I got the other girls off to school and took her in. I had a moment of anxiety as I handed over her information but I quickly dismissed it. The last set of labs weren’t super terrible so maybe we were on an upward trend. 

Nope. We were not. In fact, it was one of the most rough lab draws I have experienced with her. It literally broke my heart as she screamed while they had to stick her twice before they were able to get what they needed. Painful. 

Being a mom is not for the faint of heart, is it. 

Finally, it was over and we went on with our day. Bernadette was grumpy which carried into today. Can you blame her though?

It then became the waiting game. I saw the results in so I glanced through them. I, unfortunately, did not go to med school and don’t have much knowledge when it comes to reading lab results. 

Here’s where I went wrong. Google. End of story. 

My nerves got the best of me. I begged God to calm my anxious heart but I let my mind wander. After all that I had read, I told my own self I couldn’t help it but go there. 

Hours passed slowly by before I heard from the doctor. Nothing to be worried about but she does have low iron. 

There you have it. 

I spent all day, literally the entire afternoon with a pit in my stomach worried about what the results meant. I look back and realize what a waste of a day that was. Nonetheless, it’s a day here and gone. 

Of course there is relief knowing the labs weren’t anything too worrisome other than getting her on some iron soon. 

It forced me to stop and think. Am I really taking my worries to God and trusting Him with them? 

Here’s the thing. I think what happens in these moments for me is it feels like a huge dose of reality. Taking my two year old in for labs every so often is the pits. I’m not going to lie about that fact. Her upset face glaring at me through the screaming is burned into my brain. And my heart aches over that. It’s also true that this will not be the last time we go in for labs. And that also is the pits. 

I am thankful there is the ability to be able to check her blood for things. But, it’s also hard at the same time. I know these two can coexist. It’s not an either or. It is “this is extremely hard, but it’s also good to have things checked out so we can figure out how to fix it.”

A number of years ago, I was experiencing some anxiety. It was rough. David encouraged me to read though Philippians and memorize Philippians 4:6-7.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

It doesn’t mean I won’t have to go through hard things or that in those hard moments I won’t be sad or experience strong emotions. I have to trust God with it all and really pray about it. I need to redirect my focus and regain perspective. God has literally carried me through so much and has been so faithful through the ups and the downs, through it all. I know that whatever any of us faces in the road ahead He will remain faithful to walk us through it all. Even if it’s hard. 

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