The week has been a mixed bag. This coming Tuesday Ellis has a heart catherization procedure and it could be an outpatient procedure or turn into an overnight stay if there’s profuse bleeding from the cath site. That decision will be based on her condition after the cath. Mid June, she will have her fourth heart surgery at a new hospital for us; from Stanford to UCSF. Lead up to it has been mildly overwhelming with administrative things to emotional processing for us.
It’s been on our schedule radar for a couple of months but it’s soon becoming reality.
I’ve become braver, it seems, because I’m crying less worrying about the process. Gearing myself up for a big experience like this makes me less emotional. This self-preservation mode allows me to run on adrenaline and to focus on what needs to be done there and now. The emotional stuff gets buried for the time being. For that I’m grateful, however, I hope it doesn’t implode and lead to a depression relapse after all is over and done. When normalcy resumes, that’s when the buried emotions flare up, like it’s done in the past. There’s a pattern of running on adrenaline, putting out fires, attending, caretaking, and when things are transitioning back to normal, the unbearable sadness overtakes me.
To make up for missed time this summer, I’ve added a few fun outings to our schedule in the past few weeks. It’s been a scheduling nightmare switching lesson times, debating activities (less risk exposure), driving to appointments, working on our own school lessons, spontaneous outings, picking up take-out, etc. It’s like packing in all the things I think they’ll enjoy and we get to enjoy them before Ellis recovers from her surgery. We’ll be stuck at home for that period.
FISH TANK DRAMA:
Last time Ellis was in the hospital (October 2021) our fish tank population declined by half from a mysterious fish illness. I’ve made modifications since then for a healthier habitat, but our interest in it declined significantly. Since then Elliot has been talking about switching up the substrate from gravel to sand, and I wanted to make him happy. “Ok,” I say, “why don’t we just do it.” What was I thinking.
We picked up seven pounds of sand and Elliot was beaming with joy at the fish store when an employee we met last time complimented him on his knowledge of fish breeds and habitat; that interaction boosted his confidence. It was the first time that an outsider acknowledged his fish learning and affirmed to him that YouTube is indeed a great teacher.
Anyhow, we came home with the sand. You would think it was a bag of gold due to all the smiles and loud talking. Each had a task to perform in replacing the substrate.
About 15-30 trips to the bathtub with a heavy pail of water, the trips did a number on my back and arms. But it was hard to stay positive when I saw drips of water falling from their elbows to the floor, water toe prints on the fabric chair, and pieces of loose gravel on the floor from the fish net.
Once the substrate was replaced, fish transferred from holder tank to main tank, floors and bathroom cleaned, I could feel my skin parched to my bones and fingers throbbing from grabbing the rim of the heavy pail.
But then the mystery lingered. Why wasn’t the water clearing up?! Then the epiphany.
Last time we added 1 pound of unrinsed sand, which eventually cleared, but this was 7 pounds. In the midst of all that excitement, we missed the essential step of rinsing out the sand’s dirt particles. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
When I told them the news, they looked dejected. Well, I was not going to let some dirt particle get in the way of murkifying (not a real word) this good memory. The pain had to account for something pleasant.
I cleaned out the tank 3 more times: careful not to stress out the fish, disrupt the sand, or make more drippy mess in the house. It’s still cloudy but you can at least see the fish swimming around. They don’t look ill or weak; taking that as a positive sign. But I turned into the biggest grouch from this back-breaking work. My good intentions backfired in the end with my grumpiness.
However, this morning we all sat in front of the fish tank marveling at the natural look of the sand and talking about our next plans for the tank. In the meantime, I have more water changing to do and pain relief patches to apply to my sore arm.
Thank you everyone for reading my ramblings. I appreciate you taking the time and if you skipped parts of it, that’s cool too. I get that everyone is busy.
Hope you have a great weekend and time to refresh for the upcoming week! I want to end with an encouragement that you are all special people and there’s only one “you” in the world.
Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. I'm an avid nature photographer and a daydreaming thinker. My posts revolve around photos of nature's beauty, homeschooling adventures with my 2 kids, sporadic reflections on my child's heart condition, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and other mish mash things. Hopefully you'll leave encouraged, pensive, or smiling at the simple things of life. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!