The nurse explained, “He’s on the phone with the surgeon discussing the options. He’s concerned about the right side.”

I frown. “I thought the issue was with the left side. I didn’t think he’d do anything anywhere else.”

smiling doctorShe paused. “I don’t know. He’s done all his measurements and they are concerned about the right too.”

She left, and I sank into the hospital-grade loveseat, confused and worried. He’s talking with the surgeon. They’re concerned about both sides now. My stomach had been twisting and wringing for days (I call it “stress stomach”) but now it sunk as if a brick had dropped inside.

Surgery.

It was the last thing we wanted.  Of course we wanted the best for our son, but we didn’t want the best to include surgery.

Two hours later, the doctor walked into the waiting room with a huge smile on his face. It had looked grim, but the surgeon and he agreed to give some things a try and those things were wildly successful.

“His numbers are the best they’ve ever been,” he glowed.

“So, he doesn’t need surgery?” we asked.

“We’re optimistic that he’ll be able to wait at least a few years.”

We wept prayers of thanks after he left the waiting room. I could feel the tension flooding out of me and relief pouring in.

Maybe it’s my age – I’m twelve years older than I was when we first started this journey as parents of a child with a chronic medical condition. I can’t bounce back from a night of hospital-bad sleep, a week of pre-op preparation, or the months of waiting for a procedure and its verdict. Maybe it’s that we have three kids now, and they’re all much older and have feelings and worries and fears of their own that we are trying to help them through, in addition to our own. Maybe in a sick sort of way, I need the constant state of tension and readiness to keep me going.

Or maybe I can no longer hide from the other parts of our lives that remain unsettled.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been a wreck since we got the good news last Friday. All the good nights of sleep hasn’t been enough to restore my energy. Instead of joy, the prevailing mood has been discouragement and despair.

It doesn’t make sense. We got good news. But I am tapped out.

***

Life: unmasked buttonOn Wednesdays, I host a link-up for anyone willing to step away from the pretense that all is well, take off their mask, and write naked. I believe being real about our hard days has tremendous capacity to encourage others who are struggling. Life isn’t perfect all the time, but we can help each other get through the tough times when we acknowledge that and come alongside.

If you’ve written anything unmasked, link up below! Please link back to this post so your readers can find others willing to bare it all, and then make sure to visit at least two others and leave them encouraging comments.