"Caring for a sick child is exhausting," wrote one mother on a blog that I frequent. While her son doesn't have cancer he has a newly diagnosed heart condition which requires frequent doctor and specialty visits.
Exhausting just doesn't seem like strong enough a word. Sucked dry? No rest for the weary? Debilitating maybe? The past week and a half of being home has been wonderful for us as a family but I seem to have come home a different person. An old person, perhaps (does turning 30 do that to a person?!). It isn't just me, my husband has become infected with it too.
Physically speaking, it can probably be summed up as a rush of adrenaline keeping you functioning for a short time but once the risk is over your body is empty of any source of adrenaline. It's more than a tiredness that sleep can fix. It is a bone weary, emotional fatigue that sinks into every fiber of your being. It is a "I can sleep for 12 hours and still wake up tired. The smallest things seem so big, such as the houseplants dying before my eyes but the thought of picking up the watering can too much."
I'm functioning in the ways of schooling the kids, getting food on the table, and keeping the house fairly picked up but emotionally I am just drained. Hubby comes home from work and just wants to sleep. We have become old overnight.
I don't write this for sympathy, as I assume that with time our bodies will adjust and we may become human once again. I write it to tell the truth. Caring for a sick child isn't just exhausting, it is a draining, crippling, debilitating physical and emotional roller coaster. Please excuse me while I head off to bed!