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Extra Stress, Hospital Stay, Home and Overwhelmed

This week some extra stress entered my life.  A hospital stay was not on my to do list to say the least.  Chloe has been sick since before Zine had chemo.  I thought much of it was emotional.  Next she came down with an upper respiratory virus that kept hanging on, and all the while she was nursing a headache on and off.  The headache was lingering.  On Thursday, she had taken all the meds she could take, she had tried natural remedies and the headache escalated to the point that the neurologist sent her back to the hospital.

The first medicine was the source of great stress.  Chloe’s body and this medicine did not get along.  There were some scary minutes to say the least.  Laid back usually describes me.  However, at this particular moment I think panic would be better description!  Chloe says she thought she was going to die.  Her heart was racing, she couldn’t breathe, and this mama was stressing to say the least.  Thankful for the the nurse who responded.  He knew exactly what to do and was amazing!  He wasn’t our nurse but he sure handled the situation amazingly.  When this medicine didn’t help, they admitted Chloe for a hospital stay.  Talk about extra stress…I needed to be at home with Zine and I needed to be at hospital with Chloe.  I can’t be two places at one time.

Stressed out!

It wasn’t until about 4 am that they were finally able to get Chloe’s headache under control.  Two and half hours later she was awake asking for more medicine.  So literally that meant she slept from 4:00 to 6:30 am.  I slept less than that.  Can I say exhausted was an understatement?  Thankfully once they were able to gain control of the pain, she was able to sleep as long at the medicine was working.  A hospital stay definitely added extra stress to my already stressed life.

Due to the fact that the flu is rampant right now, Chloe’s neurologist wanted to get it to where we could control her pain then get us out of there.  She said if Chloe got the flu that could be a very bad deal right now.  I told her if my husband got the flu that could be a deadly thing right now!  We are very thankful that the doctor was finally able to figure out how to get the pain under control and let us come home Friday evening with the same medicine they were giving her in hospital.

Praying for no flu to enter our home for sure!

Not more than five minutes after I came in the house, my dad called concerned about my mom.  After talking to him and trying to calm my mom, I decided a call to hospice nurse was in order.  Just to make the story short, I think I made 6 to 8 phone calls during probably an hour and half time frame.  I love being able to be there for my parents in whatever ways I can and wouldn’t trade that stress for the world.  It is a blessing to be able to love my parents during this season of their lives.

However, in my exhausted state, it took me from stressed to overwhelmed.  I started crying…and I don’t like to cry.  But the tears were just flowing and I couldn’t stop them.  Krisann was feeding off my tears and emotions.  Chloe was asleep in her bed still pretty sick.  Conner was gone.  Zine was still locked up in the bedroom and I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom taking care of my parents via telephone.  I just wanted a shower so that I could wash the sick germs off so that I could see him.  He had already communicated to me how much he had missed me and how hard it had been for him.  Zine needed dinner and I had only had a protein bar all day.  (My choice…several had offered and tried to bring me food….I just refused!  And not very many people can make me eat when I’m stressed.)  I could tell Krisann had basically taken care of herself all weekend because her crafting stuff was EVERYWHERE.  The dishes were piled up in my sink.


I could have sat in the floor and cried all evening because there was no drying it up and pretending nothing was wrong which is what I really like to do.  Something unbelievable was happening …I still can’t believe it!  I sent a text to four couples who have loved us well.  My overwhelmed feelings spewed right onto them and I asked, “Do any of you just want to come to my house and be a bit of peace and security for a little bit?”  I knew I needed something or else Zine was going to starve and Krisann and I were going to cry all night.  Sometimes one just needs people to be!

Someone to be with me!  Not do for me!

We are such doers that I think it’s hard to understand the need for being.  But that was exactly what I needed.  After I sent my little message and one of the ladies responded…I tried to back my way out of it.  I’m better I said, I will be okay, I was just overwhelmed at the moment, I’m okay now.  Which really was a lie.  But it was what I said.  My sweet friend said, Karen I heard you.  I am responding for 2 reasons…I want to and I can.  I should have known that once it left my fingers and entered their phones there was no backing out.  Know what this friend did…she came in and hugged me and let me cry.  She also came with omelets, she masked up and got my husband dinner.  And she sat with me on the sofa!   No real meaningful conversation.  No counseling.  She just was here.  And that’s exactly what I needed.  It changed the atmosphere, removed aloneness, and alleviated some of the stress that I was feeling and that Krisann was feeling.

Still learning to receive.

It’s not easy for me to receive.  As a matter of fact, some things are very difficult for me to receive, and it’s even harder to ask!  For some reason, when I ask, I feel terribly guilty.  When someone just does, then I don’t feel as guilty.  God is teaching me that it is okay to say I need someone to just be with me.  If someone can great, if they can’t great.  I’m certain that God wants to develop relationships between me and others so there is no guilt when I say will you just come be with me.

Receiving even more.

Yesterday one of those friends I texted said I’m coming to get your laundry and I’m bringing you some soup!  Her laundry room is going to get a sign that says Karen’s Laundromat!  When she comes in my house she brings this motherly air into my home.  There is the feeling that arises in me that whispers, take a deep breath all is okay, when she comes.  My mom’s presence did that to me for years and year.  When mom was around everything was okay!  I miss that about my mom!  But this sweet friend brings that same feeling in my heart!  God’s whispers of love I feel through her!

God uses people to whisper His love in our hearts!

I haven’t forgotten Part 2 to my Valentines Post.  But decided an update should come first!  I love for God to use me to whisper His love to others.  Why oh why does it have to be so hard to receive??!!

This stressed out exhausted mama is constantly learning to be stretched beyond my comfort zone.  I do love what God is teaching me through this season.  Allowing God to grow and change me is difficult work!

Continue to pray for Chloe as she is still having to take the medicine to function and can only take this medicine for two more days.  She has an appt on March 20 with a specialist.  I will be calling to check for cancellations again this week.  I want my girl to feel good again!


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Kathy

    Hey Karen!
    I’m praying for ya’ll! Just wanted to say that you said it so well when you said, “I just need people to be not do!” As I’m taking care of my Mom and feeling isolated, that’s all I wanted from who I thought was a close friend but they didn’t respond to my request to just be. It’s hard to be ok with that. But I guess maybe God’s trying to teach me a thing or two also.

    1. kksmith8694

      Oh Kathy, I totally get it! It takes that special friend who knows how to just be and not do! Most don’t understand that! When you need someone to just be, call me! If I can come, I will! And I think alone and isolated feeling is normal in yours and my situation. It’s like someone said to me one time, it’s your cross to bear! Others can come alongside and help in some ways but in reality, it’s your cross to carry! And I thought wow…she gets it! What a perfect explanation of what I’ve been feeling! Hugs to you tonight!

  2. Steph

    Thank you for sharing your story Karen. I read most of your blogs and wonder what words I could say?? What does one even say to someone suffering? We have ALL had the wrong thing said to us… And that’s hurtful. So please know I read them and I am sure many, many others read them too and like me are at a loss as to how to respond. Your story is reaching people. And at the risk of sounding cliche I will continue to pray❤

    1. kksmith8694

      I pray for you often! I have long since learned to not take offense at what others mean to be meaningful. It used to happen a lot. Not so much anymore. There are comments that don’t hit my target but that’s okay! I just know people just want to love! And I’m so thankful for that! But yes, I am super grateful when someone knows how to hit my target with their words and actions. Prayers are always appreciated! I am confident that is what gets us through our experiences. Just a while ago, Krisann had a meltdown. I’ve been waiting for it to happen. And literally just moments after I tried to bring some comfort and resolution I got a text message that simply said I’m praying for you. That person will never know how much those prayers were needed. And I’m confident it was God’s way of saying, I’ve got this! Even this Karen I’ve got it! So I am even more confident at this very moment that prayers do make a difference! So keep praying! It doesn’t sound cliche! But I totally understand what you mean. 🙂

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