• Laura Alvarado-Newson

A heavy heart

My fight or flight reflex is on all of the time. At least that's what a chiropractor told me about 4 years ago. Apparently when one senses danger, either for one's self or for a loved one, the adrenaline kicks into a fight or flight mode (I don't know if this is the best explanation for it, but this is how I understood it). My nervous system does not shut off, I am on and ready to fight, rescue or run all of the time. Of course, I have opted for fighting and rescuing, never running, this would be wrong. Well this explains the inability I have to pursue deep sleep. I am guessing this has happened because of the many sleepless nights caring for my son; even watching him sleep because he was more prone to seizures in his sleep; along with endless nights in the hospital and endless nights during the bouts of sickness. Yes, I have to be alert and ready to go, at the push of a button. This has multiplied by the need to care for my husband; watching for signs of possible strokes, making sure he doesn't trip and yes, even reminding him to use the bathroom; brain injuries are quite complicated and heart-breaking.

I guess this post might be more for me tonight. I can't sleep and I know why. In 5 days, my husband will have his chest opened up and a heart valve replaced with either a mechanical one or an animal's valve, either cow or pig apparently, we will find this out at our pre-op appointment. I found this out a few days ago and for his sake, I am acting like this is no big deal, no need to worry, we got this like we got every other situation. I am afraid to admit that deep inside there is such an enormous anxiety and confusion; I just don't know what to do with it. My body wants to eat all the wrong things, my mind wants to dive into as many movies as possible so I don't have to think and my emotions just want to scream at the drop of a pin.

There are the "what ifs" rolling around in my head and then there's the tending to others while trying to be there for him. Family from all over will be coming, for good reasons of course, but this only magnifies my anxiety. They will ask questions, they will need translation, they will question every single thing the doctors do and say and I am the one that must answer and bear it all and I just don't think I can without losing my cool at one point. Regardless on whether I lose my cool or not, they will question every move I make, every decision I make and find a way to blame me for everything that is happening to my husband. Yes, this is true; if he's fat, I made him fat, if he's thin (which is now), I'm not feeding him enough.

Then there are the children, we still have children, 3 of them that need to eat, will need care and supervision, must coordinate all of this. And Laura, don't lose it! Keep calm, stay brave and positive and don't lose it!

Let's not forget the five days he will be in hospital, the driving back and forth, making sure babysitters and meals are in place and than there's the recovery time. Making sure his incision doesn't open up, keeping tabs on pain meds aside from all of his other meds and getting him to all of this followup appointments.

"God, our lives are in your hands. God, I am scared to death about this surgery! I am terrified about how much responsibility has fallen on my shoulders; I am already so drained but somehow I have to muster up enough strength to get through this week and recovery. Dear God help me! I am crying out to you! Help us! Guide the surgeon's hands, guide the nurses, the anesthesiologist, give them supernatural wisdom with everything that has to do with my husband. Give me grace to face this week, give me strength and unconditional love for all of those who will surround me." Amen!

I have seen glimpses of what God is doing in all of this. I have seen parts of myself I didn't know existed and I know my husband can say the same. May God's work be completed, may we patiently endure this test as it says in James 1. May our endurance grow, as our faith is tested, because we know that once our "endurance is fully developed, we will be strong in character and ready for anything" James 1:4

It is so clear that my character is not strong yet; so Lord "thy will be done".

I am so weak, but He is so strong. So I will keep my hands and my heart open to Him; knowing that my husband's heart and health are in His hands.

Thank you for enduring this whining session. Love you all!

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