The No-Pity Party

At our appointment today for Maggie’s leg* we had to wait in the “fracture clinic.” Walking into this waiting room is kind of a shock: crutches of all sizes, slings, and appendages firmly ensconced in every shade of plaster in the rainbow. Maggie was the youngest patient by at least six or seven years. I heard two elderly women clucking quietly and saying “Poor girl.” I gave them a smile and a nod of appreciation as I tried to comfortably position Maggie in a seat at the Duplo table.

It wasn’t until I heard them say “And ready to pop with another one, too” that I realized they were talking about both of us.

It’s so easy to fall into a well of self-pity. Being seven+ months pregnant and helping a toddler who’s lost most of her mobility navigate a two-story house, feeling bad for your baby and watching her struggle…it’s tough. I’m tired. We all are. But Tom came home yesterday with stories of coworkers’ children who are suffering more grievous injury or having open-heart surgery. The sister of a friend lost her house and everything in it in Hurricane Irene. Another good friend is in the ICU dealing with the fallout from an incident in April that hasn’t been fully resolved as well as new wrinkles to his recovery.

Perspective. It’s a good thing, isn’t it?

I hate dwelling on “What might have been” because if I allow myself that, I’ll never stop. But this is a mere inconvenience. It’s a blip. Sure, it sucks, but it’ll be okay soon enough.

So in the spirit of karmic balance, I set about correcting whatever injustices the world dishes out in my own way. For the sister of the friend: donation to a fundraiser in their name, a new box set of favorite books and a teddy for their daughter. Emails to the friend taking care of the friend in the ICU asking after them both. Supportive notes. Telling my sister and her family that I was thinking of them as they went into Day 3 of post-Irene power outages with a toddler and thanking her for the footie pajama hand-me-downs that she thoughtfully sent a few weeks ago–they fit perfectly over Maggie’s cast. Sending birthday cards. Loaning out books on peaceful pain management during pregnancy to strangers. Reaching out.

Do you feel left out? I care, y’all. Or at least the pregnancy hormones do and that’s the same thing.

Am I still grumpy? A bit. Baby 2 won’t get its feet out of my ribs and I had a return bout of morning sickness today. I’m still logged in as “away” or just not logged in at all on my chat programs because I just don’t feel like talking to anyone (which has really been the case more or less since I got pregnant. Apparently my hormones are most charitable when I don’t have to speak). But I’m feeling like I’ve done a little good in the world, and that, along with a brownie, feels much better than feeling sorry for our little family.

*And the best news? The cast came off. The doctor said “I see no reason to put it back on. It’s probably far more inconvenient than it is helpful.” WORD, DOC.