A voice yelling my name at 4AM is a difficult way to start the day. Miss Maggie decided to yank out her tracheostomy tube in the middle of the night. I heard the yell and instantly bounded down the stairs, or so I thought. When I arrived I learned that the nurse had been yelling for 10 minutes. (why she didn't use the extra telephone line, I don't know). She did get the old one back in. so Maggie was safe, but she could not get the supplies she needed to replace it and tie it around her neck. I did that in about 10 minutes and went back upstairs to bed. It was hard to go back to sleep with the adrenaline pumping like that.
This is not an unusual occurrence, in fact if you've read these posts for any amount of time, you've seen the same story before. Unusual or not, it's jarring and not something you get used to. This incident and so many others are examples of Maggie's fragility and tenuous grip on health. Even when the adrenaline slows down after an incident like this, the reality of Maggie's situation creeps back into my mind.
No one in this house lives life half way, including Maggie. You have to LIVE your life. Yes, Maggie has numerous life threatening conditions, but she lives her life to its fullest potential all the time. Sometimes folks are afraid of Maggie's health issues and we try to set minds at east as much as possible without denying the reality of her situation.
Recently one of the professionals working with her expressed concern about Maggie's rapid change in status. She's right to be concerned, and we have to be wise, but I don't want fear to prevent Maggie from living her life. I turned to her and said kindly and simply, "She's dancing on the edge of a cliff. Let her dance."
I don't know where it came from, but that image has stuck with me ever since. The cliff is always there, we can't ignore it and we have to respect it, but we really can't do anything about it either. I like the image a lot. In fact as I lay awake this morning and some of that fear and dread started creeping in, the image comforted me.
Forget that hackneyed "Glass half full" analogy. I'm sticking with this one. Maggie is dancing away and we can either watch the dance or watch the edge. I'll take the dance, thank you.
I have to add this picture because after I wrote this I remembered this picture of Steve at the top of Half Dome Last year. I think this may be where I got that image. Maggie gets her dancing ability form her dad. My wildest activity is typing fast.