There is so much to organize, strategize and accomplish on any given day, especially in a world where I deal with family, business and nonprofit outreach. Add in a son with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), another son with Auditory Processing, a daughter who is trying to find her way as a typical preteen, and my father who lives with us who has Alzheimer’s, it can be quite a full plate.
Experiencing the Calm of Spring Break
I was really looking forward to Spring Break this year. The kids and I like the change of pace. We have rest days and day adventures where we just go, explore and play. I was struck by how well everyone was getting along and the fun they were having. My ASD son had been having difficult days at school for the past few months. We think due to puberty and stress from a mainstream class in which he struggles, but, during this week, all was calm and in balance.
New Meaning to Spring Break
That is until I lost my balance, falling down steps and fracturing my left arm in two places and dislocating the elbow. I had now given new meaning to “spring break.” The pain was excruciating and the children were quite scared. My youngest is the one who saw me fall and was screaming, ”Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” Trying to move was a real challenge given the pain and inability to move the left arm. I did a little flip and could lean up against a wall at the bottom of the steps. My father heard the commotion and came to see if he could help and he almost fell. My husband was busy elsewhere and unaware of the happenings. So, there I sat assessing the damage…strategizing next steps…observing the kids reactions…all while hurting.
Being I practice holistic care and use complementary methods for healing, I started using Reiki immediately on the arm along with deep breathing to regulate the pain. My children are Reiki attuned as well, so I had two of them working directly on the arm and my other was helping me to breathe. It was interesting, how powerful their energy was, and how sacred the space felt as we all worked together.
Understanding a Hypersensitive State
When my husband learned what had happened, he came to us. He could help me to stand and we were pretty sure I had broken the arm. We left for the ER, and the children stayed with my mother in law. The drive to the hospital took 20 minutes. I was amazed at the oscillation in pain given the movement of the car. For years I have spoken about the sensitivity of our joints and bodies, especially for our children with Sensory Processing issues…how their world can be so different from ours because of their hyper or hyposensitivity and miswired processing of input. Now I was experiencing how important that elbow joint is and how overwhelming my hypersensitive state was. I had a new appreciation for our children.
That “Super Woman” Thing
X-rays confirmed the dislocation of the elbow and two breaks. The doctors were concerned about the pain and ability to pop the elbow back. I had refused general anesthesia due to a sensitivity. They gave me another pain medication but still were concerned. I had been deep breathing, quietly using a healing tone and chant, and meditating. The doctor was surprised when he reduced the arm and I barely flinched. Ah yes, a positive note for these holistic strategies…yet, one more example of how I do my “super woman” thing to manage everything.
The Importance of the Break and the Brake
Over the next weeks, I would realize the importance of the “break” – the break for rest and the brake on all my activities. I am quite resourceful. I have to be. I always had to be. My caregiver role in life started as a small child.
I was healing well according to the doctor, who was amazed at the speed of recovery given the seriousness of the injury. He attributed it to my being healthy and using the healing energies right away. I attribute the healing to the power of love…love of family and friends helping me …and love of Self.
Learning to Do Less and Receive More
The hard part is really seeing and knowing when to ask for and accept help. Again, I am resourceful: I’m a special needs mom, teacher and minister…I know how to do…but do I know how to simply Be. There is much frustration over how many things need to be rescheduled and how many people were relying on me for certain programs. There is the uncertainty of how this arm will heal over time and how it will affect me personally and professionally, especially for the Spectrum Yoga programs.
Then I breathe. With a sense of gratitude, I realize this could have been much worse. Healing is occurring. I am asking for help. We are working together as a family to “share” the workload more. My friends take turns making me laugh and pointing out when I still choose to struggle when I could just ask for assistance. Actually, I am getting good at receiving. I’m starting to like it. My friends now joke I might “expect” this…then what? Imagine all dynamics changing because I learn to set boundaries, do less and receive more. Hmnnn.
As mothers, in general, I think this is a challenge for us. As a special needs mom, it can be especially true. Yet, what is also true, is that we need a “break” every once in a while. Hopefully, some of you reading will see the wisdom in this, without actually having to break anything. May we each find loving support for our daily lives and appreciate the healing of simple rest and renewal.