Joy, week 28

I really have no right to title this post “Joy.”  I’ve seriously considered dropping this project here and now, walking away, and never again showing my face at Hopeful Homemaker.  It’s just been one of those weeks.

A week when:

My oldest daughter was away at camp.  Good for her, sad for me.  I lost my best helper for the week, but it was sure nice when she came home on Friday!

A simple dentist appointment turned into a root canal, during which the side of my face they were working on was numb but the other side of my face, the side where my TMJ is the worst, was throbbing with shooting pains up through my jaw and into my ear for two hours.  I guess I have a small mouth, because it also tears the corner of my mouth, leaving an ugly scabby sore that takes weeks to heal and looks like I forgot to wipe my mouth with a napkin at my last meal.  Want to see me reduced to a crying mess?  Go with me to the dentist.  It doesn’t matter what I do or what they do, I walk out of there in more pain.  And feeling like an idiot.

After 13 weeks, our health insurance company still hasn’t been able to correctly process the claim from my son’s ankle surgeon.  Amazing.  It’s been in the “rush cue” since June 1.  Since all the claims from our June 27 surgery have already been processed, I think it’s safe to say that someone in the “rush” department has been napping.  For like six weeks.   I must be honest and say that we did experience the small miracle of them properly handling the claim from the hospital, which was sending threatening letters and mean spirited callers our way.  There’s nothing like having an almost daily phone call with your insurance company for more than two months.  We should just go out to lunch; I talk to her more than I talk to my friends or family.   Much as I like her, I won’t mind when this is all done and I can drop that part time, unpaid job.

We had seven doctor or dentist appointments this week.  I should have been doing laundry!  Or reading stories to my children.

Now that we’ve met our out of pocket maximum for the year, I had the short lived comfort of thinking that whatever might come next will at least be covered at 100%.  Enter my nine year old daughter with a sudden recession of her gum.  Another trip to the dentist and…. lucky us!  There are three reasons why this happens, but of course none of them apply to her.  Nevertheless, she needs a graft.  Which, naturally, will be run on our DENTAL insurance, which stinks.  If we’re lucky it will be covered at 50%.  So much for out of pocket maximums!

I came home and all I had to say was this:  CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A FILLING?  JUST A REGULAR OLD FILLING, PLEASE.  A REGULAR OLD ANYTHING WOULD BE NICE.  YOU KNOW, SOMETHING LIKE A TWISTED ANKLE, OR A BLOODY NOSE OR MAYBE JUST STREP THROAT?  CAUSE I THINK I’M DONE WITH THIS WHOLE IF IT HURTS THEN IT’S BROKEN AND IF IT’S BROKEN THEN IT WILL NEED SURGERY AND IF IT NEEDS SURGERY THEN SOMETHING ELSE WILL HAPPEN TO EXTEND YOUR HEALING PROCESS.  I JUST WANT A REGULAR PROBLEM, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Sorry about all those capital letters.  That was me yelling via type instead of using my lungs to do it.

I type all this and when I look at it in words it looks so small, so no big deal.  So why can’t it feel that way?  This week I told my husband, “Forget strong.  I’m done.  I’m ok with being one of the nameless faces that disappears into history because they weren’t strong enough.  Nobody has to remember me or tell stories about me.  I’m ok with being a wimp.  All I want to do is crawl in a hole and hide.”

And then I weeded my flowerbed and felt a little bit better.  I said to myself, “Well, I guess we’re doing fine.  At least one of the cars hasn’t broken down or something like that.”

So we drove to Payson last night to visit my brother-in-law and his family and our van broke down.

And that’s really scary because every night I have to give myself this pep talk that goes something like this:  At least my husband didn’t suffer a major brain injury.  At least my kids are all alive.  At least our house hasn’t burned down.  And the list goes on.  So in spite of my efforts to be positive, there’s part of me that’s wondering what’s next on my “at least” list.  I know I shouldn’t, but I’m getting a bit jumpy.

When we finally made it home last night I was sorely tempted to get in the working car and drive to the store to buy three of everything chocolate.  That was when I decided I was being completely irrational so I went to bed.

And now I’m wishing I’d bought some chocolate.

{Don’t you feel special that you get to read all this?  I’m so sorry!  I went back and forth over this post in my head, hoping I’d sort of rally before it was time to type, but I guess I haven’t bounced back yet and I don’t have the energy to fake it.  And here’s the really disturbing thing about all of this:  I have no excuse!  I’m the healthy one around here, the one who can walk and drive and carry the children.  Right now my husband sits next to me with a grimace on his face as he tries to straighten his leg.  I have no right to be disheartened.}

Deep breath.

Why is all this relevant?  Well, because it’s revealed something pretty important about me.  You see, things like this have been happening at an alarming frequency since the first of the year.  Truly, they’re no big deal in the long run.  I understand that, I really do.  Today’s mountains are tomorrow’s speed bumps.  But for some reason I can’t get the proper message to my heart.  It’s like these things are coming and they’re larger than normal and I’m dealing with them and then they’re over, but I’m storing up all this residual stress inside so it’s like it’s still happening even though it’s over.  I’m processing the stress, but I’m just letting it pile up inside me instead of figuring out how to let it go.  So now, when little things happen I have this huge emotional response because inside I’m in crisis.  Inside I’m totally overwhelmed.

So, in addition to all the other ugly things I’m learning about myself I now know that I haven’t yet learned how to cast my burdens on the Lord.  I know how to ask God for help, but I keep all the worry for myself.  Not sure how to fix it, but I guess it’s a significant thing to learn about myself.

Another deep breath.

Next week has to be better.  It just does.  So I’m pulling for clean laundry, a smile on my face, and I’d really like to type a full week of posts, good posts about happy things to help make up for this post.

We’re half done with July.  I hope you have something spectacular planned for the rest of the month!
Have a great week.

Jennifer

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