A week ago my already tumultuous life took a crazy turn as the police began preparing to apprehend the three men charged with TC’s assault.
While I attempted to focus on TC’s therapists as they gave me directions for how to transfer him from bed to wheelchair, my phone rang off the hook, first with questions from eager detectives, and later with insistent calls and requests from the media.
In a 24 hour span I talked personally with the Chief of Police, did 5 media interviews, answered countless calls from detectives and prosecutors, wrote a paper for grad school, attended speech, occupational, and physical therapy with my husband, and learned the hideous details of his attack. Oh yeah, and I made my kid eggs.
This was an atypical day in many ways, but equally exhausting to each of the days since August 18th. I keep waiting for life to calm down, to develop routines, and get back to some semblance of normal, but so far this “marathon” is feeling more like a triathlon.
TC is making progress, but it is slow and terribly inconsistent. Some days we have clear conversations about Jack and the recovery process. Days like today he is run down, frustrated, and incoherent. He had wonderful visits with friends over the past weekend, laughed about old memories, and even told his friend from college he was looking forward to having two more kids in the future (we’ll have to see about that one).
Now we are dealing with another bump in the road, this time in the form of an additional surgery. TC has developed an infection on his head that must be addressed by surgery. He will have to go another hospital for this procedure and may need to go through the process of being formally discharged and readmitted at rehab. Ah, the complexities of the healthcare system. I won’t get started.
In the meantime Jack has become a force with which to be reckoned. Not only is he entering the terrible twos at a particularly terrible moment, he has become mommy obsessed. He is desperate for every ounce of my attention, refusing to let me leave the room or even hold a conversation with another adult. While he doesn’t understand the details of why his daddy looks different or isn’t living at home, he certainly knows something is amiss. I’d love to give him every ounce of my energy and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, by 5pm I am running on empty reserves of both.
I hate that TC is missing this time in Jack’s life. He has always been the most involved father, taking him to doctor’s appointments, picking him up early from the nanny, taking days off of work to stay home with Jack when he’s been ill. My heart drops when I think of the many things he has missed so far: new words, bath time, new favorite toys, a pronounced love for “El-mo” – all of these wonderful experiences I have exclusive access to, but am too drained to enjoy.
The days will go on and TC will continue what is likely going to be another 6-8 weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. I’m praying for big markers of progress during this time and hoping that the additional two surgeries he is scheduled for don’t interfere with his current trajectory. As I try to quiet my brain in the late night hours, I dream of a little house in the country where we can go for the next phase of TC’s recovery: a serene location away from the craziness of our current day to day lives where real healing can begin to take place. It’s the only thought that relaxes me and allows me to see the possibilities for what our future life could be.