Recently, Aaron had his Epilepsy doctor visit. After his appointment we had to walk over to the building next door for Aaron to have some blood drawn. His liver function needs to be checked routinely due to one of his newer seizure drugs. Aaron wasn’t thrilled about that because he really wanted to hurry up at the doctor and then go to Pizza Hut like we had planned. Eating lunch out, after all, is the real reason Aaron was with me that day. At least that’s the real reason according to Aaron. Going to the lab was just another annoying delay in reaching his true objective. The Pizza Hut Buffet…oh, and Wal-Mart after that. We mustn’t forget the all-important Wal-Mart visit!
The next morning found us going down to the air base for yet another lab visit for Aaron. This time we were preparing for Aaron’s 2-year physical, so labs had to be done ahead of time for that. No matter that we were getting some sleet and snow – we needed to get this done. Aaron had resigned himself to no lunch out that day but instead I would take him to his day group on my way home. However, our van engine light came on, so I had to go back over to our side of town…run to our shop to ask about the light…and by then, I just decided to keep Aaron at home. Happy Aaron! A tiny bit frustrated Mom. And an even happier Aaron when he heard the words “Taco Bell” come out of my mouth.
On the following afternoon, the air base called to tell me that they had messed up on one of Aaron’s tests. We would need to come back and have more blood drawn. UGH!!! Fasting blood work, which would mean getting there in the morning. But the next morning I had to take Gary to his foot surgeon appointment. Gary, who still wasn’t driving due to his surgery.
I’m just scratching the surface of my life right now. And honestly, I’m not complaining. I’m just reporting. (Thank you, Alice Zwemke, for giving us that wonderful statement so many years ago!!). 😊
There we were on that cold Friday morning, back at the air base lab. Aaron was dreary and slow, tired in several ways. He pulled up his shirt sleeve without being told because he knows the routine so well, looked at his new watch perched halfway to his elbow the way he must always wear it, and slowly stretched as he waited for the tourniquet and needle.
“I’m tired of this,” he muttered in his resigned monotone voice.
There went my heart. I wanted to scoop him up in a motherly hug, but it wasn’t the time or place for that. Besides, motherly hugs rarely have a time and place in Aaron’s autistic world.
But I had another reaction as well. The depleted side of my spirit nearly kicked in. My thought was this:
“YOU’RE tired??! I’M the one who’s tired!!”
Yep. Those truly are the words that swarmed around in my head.
Tiredness has been closely following on my heels lately. Not just physical tiredness, although that is certainly present, but a soul weariness that has crept into my spirit.
All of us reach that point at some point.
“I’m so tired of ________.”
Then all of us can fill in that blank…or several blanks, right?
With Aaron, being his mother AND his caregiver, I am pulled this way and that.
Seizures. Autism. Medicines. Side effects of medicines. Weight loss. Low sodium. Needs to eat more. Needs to drink less. New medicines. New side effects. Blood work. Behaviors. Routines. Disrupted routines. Needing caregivers.
Sometimes I’m just so tied up in all of it.
And tied down to all of it.
Discouragement can sneak in unexpectedly. A comment. A picture. A thought. I can let it get to me in ways I know I shouldn’t.
Discouragement can roar in like a Kansas tornado. A seizure. A behavior. A disappointment.
What I do at that point with my discouragement is key to my frame of mind from that point forward.
I can nurture a heavy spirit, or I can let the Holy Spirit do His sweet work in my heart. I can’t change my situation, really, but I sure can work to change my attitude.
I do this through thinking more about my blessings than my burdens. No matter what, I do have so many blessings and it does my tired heart good to think about those instead of wishing for what isn’t.
Another thing that helps me is to go to my Bible, especially the Psalms. For instance, just read and hear the wonderful instruction and hope in these verses.
When I thought, “My foot slips,” Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.
It’s not a shallow pep talk. It’s listening to God Himself and trusting that He knows where I am and what I face…and He cares!
Then sometimes there are extra nuggets of love from Aaron himself – rare as nuggets of gold – that warm my soul and remind me of the value of this life that God has given me.
Not long ago, after some seizures and while we watched a show, Aaron looked over at me and surprisingly said:
“Mom, I’m glad you’re caring for me.”
He rubbed his hands together happily as he saw the smile on my face.
“I’m glad I’m caring for you, too, Aaron,” I replied.
And very, very glad that God is taking care of us both!