Saturday, August 13, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On...

During World War II, the leaders of England plastered posters everywhere urging the people to "Keep Calm and Carry On" in face of the evening bombings by the Nazis. The people adopted this stoic response to the chaos surrounding them each morning as they emerged from their bomb shelters to survey the damage.

I recently discovered that the advice is Biblical:

"Stay Calm; mind your own business; do your own job..." I Thessalonians 4:11 (The Message)

So my new favorite motto was echoing in my head yesterday as my boys had their annual orthopedic appointments. We had x-rays first -- which are a challenge in themselves as we work to keep Benjamin positioned correctly. But I remained calm.

 And then met with our dear Dr. L, Dad's partner.

Mason went first. His x-rays didn't really show any surprises. But he does need to have the hardware removed from his knees and femur that were placed there during his big surgery last summer. It will be a day surgery and yet, I felt my resolve to stay calm melting a bit.

Benjamin went next. His x-rays showed some scoliosis changes that further melted my resolve. But I stayed strong until our Dr. L said we might have to consider bracing my boy at night.


Do you know that my B wears braces on his teeth that require me to stick my hands in his mouth periodically throughout the day to connect the bands between his upper jaw and lower? He loves it. (Not.)

Do you know that my B wears braces on his feet to keep them in good position and allow him to stand in his stander each day? Braces that cause all manner of pain for him and have to be adjusted regularly to prevent pressure sores.

Do you know that my dear B wears wrist braces at night to help with the wrist changes his cerebral palsy are causing? He has learned to sleep in them because day-time wear is painful for him.

So do you see how I might have started to scream at our dear doctor when he said that about adding a back brace? In my head, I was running from the room, screaming, crying and taking Benjamin with me. In my head, I was throwing away all the braces. All! In my head, well, in my head, I was not staying calm or carrying on.

Don't worry. It all stayed in my head. On the outside, I remained calm...

Please do not misunderstand me. It is important to help Benjamin reach his full potential. It is important to save him from future pain and discomfort in any way we can. But it is also my job to make sure, he still gets to be a kid. That he still gets to sleep at night so that he can function during the day (this is a struggle anyway with all the gear he already wears.).

It is a fine line. And I fear I don't always walk the tightrope very well. Thankfully, when Dr. L conferred with Dr. Dad, they determined a back brace is not called for at this time.

So for this day, I stayed calm and we were able to carry on.

And the blessing of God's grace is that I don't have to carry tomorrow UNTIL He has given me the strength to do so.

Deep sigh.


Tony & Kellie said...

God could not have given B a better mother! You are awesome and even though you have your thoughts your love shines through in your actions! They must all be so proud to call you mom! I know God is proud of you! Love you my friend!

Jay Curatolo said...

Carol, your post has proven once again what a constant source of perspective you are to those whom you have been given the opportunity to influence. Thank you for your vulnerability and the grace with which you show it. I have become convinced of one thing - When I stand before the Lord, I will be proud to tell Him that Carol Shrader contributed to my own journey as a special-needs parent through her display of endurance and faithfulness. I know that there are many times when you simply don't want to be the example for others to see... you just want to scream and cry and shout your way out of what you must face
daily. But Carol, my Raina may never have met you, but
part of the fabric that makes her her, is made up of a little dose of Carol. I am a better father because of you.

LuEllen said...

Amen Brother...Amen.