My Blogging ‘Hiatus’
I’m baaaackkk…. as I’m sure you already figured out from my Mini Meyer Lemon Bunt Cakes post (seriously, make those, so good). Well guys, my little hiatus from blogging didn’t end up turning out quite like I had expected. I wrapped up my last post told WordPress to publish it on the appropriate day, and logged out expecting to go enjoy more celebrations with family, and then relaxing, playing with the kids, reading, etc. Instead that night we found ourselves running Tristan to the Emergency Room.
I don’t think I have the heart to go through the whole long story and all the details, but I’ll give you guys the Reader’s Digest version: Out of the blue Tristan started getting tons of unexplainable and weird bruising, including bruises that looked like little red pin point dots. It was odd enough that we ended up taking him into the ER. Tristan ended up being diagnosed with a blood disorder, ITP, or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. ITP is essentially low platelets in the blood, caused by the body creating antibodies that attack it’s own platelets. ITP is relatively rare and sometimes comes on following a virus in children; but no one can really explain for sure why it happens.
This diagnosis explained the strange bruising T was getting, especially the little red pin point bruises which are a hallmark of ITP. This actually happens because platelets are a part of the blood that prevents bleeding and aids in the clotting process, so when the platelets are incredibly low the body can’t prevent bleeding or always clot normally. The bruising from ITP is actually superficial, and while it looks incredibly scary, is actually relatively harmless. The real concern with ITP is actually brain bleeds, internal bleeding, or uncontrolled bleeding; because in an individual with ITP the blood doesn’t necessarily clot well enough to prevent those things. (I’m not going to go into the details, but at one point there was concern about Tristan having a brain bleed, but his CT showed all was normal in his brain. Thank the Lord!)
As you can imagine the whole night at the ER, the crazy bruising, and the worries about serious bleeding, was all absolutely terrifying; but there was actually really good news about the whole situation. As far as blood disorders go ITP is generally the least serious thing one could have. (Aside from the bleeding concerns of course.) Best of all, in most children ITP will actually resolve itself with in six months. (After six months if it hasn’t resolved it’s considered chronic, which is a whole different animal.) Because ITP usually resolves itself doctors often choose not to treat the disorder, but to watch and let the body heal itself.
Flash forward to the next day. We ended up back in the ER with T. At this point the doctor did end up deciding to treat the ITP, so we ended up getting admitted to the hospital. We were there for two days as he was treated. I’ll be honest, it was a miserable and harrowing experience. While the staff at the hospital was kind and compassionate, the treatment made Tristan really, really, sick; and there isn’t much more horrible then watching your child hurt. But we made it. And the treatment gave Tristan a really good temporary boost to his platelets so we were released to go home and wait for his body to do the rest.
The healing process was simple in a way, because all we could do was wait. But, in another way the process was anything but simple because T was on some pretty serious activity restrictions to make sure he didn’t bump or hurt himself in any way that could cause any serious bleeding. Let me tell you, keeping a VERY active four year old calm for months? Not an easy task. Honestly, I spent the next few weeks watching T like a hawk and trying not to freak out.
But, I’ve gotta say we’ve been blessed because it has not taken the possible six months for the ITP to resolve. Just this past Tuesday (Valentines), Tristan had his second follow up appointments with the hematologist. At both his appointments his platters were in the normal range; but at this second appointment the treatment from the hospital was fully worn off, so we that that we knew the ITP had resolved! T is now considered back to normal and off all his restrictions!
Now that we’re on the other side of the whole thing the shock, exhaustion, and fear have begun to wear off. And I’ve really come to see that the situation could have been so, so much worse. Guys, they were testing for things like Leukemia and HELP at first. Or he could have had brain bleeding. Or we could have been waiting four more moths for the ITP to resolve. Or it could have never resolved. And recognizing this, and knowing that my son is ok, I find I’m just so incredibly thankful. The last few says it’s such a joy to see T back to himself and starting to do normal things again. And to not worry that something terrible will happen if he bumps himself? Amazing. I think it’s going to be a little while before everything feels totally normal but we’re well on our way and it’s so good.
And that was pretty much my ‘hiatus’…
Changes to the Blog
While none of this is nearly as important as what’d gone on with T…
As I’ve been going through the last two months I’ve found myself reassessing how I use my time, particularly in relation to blogging. Or maybe I’m just the kind of person who thinks about these things a lot, I don’t know. Spending so much time with my eye on Tristan so intently has certainly reminded me how much I enjoy being with the kids. Not that I ever ignored them before. But this was really focused time where I wasn’t thinking about the blog, or on Twitter, or Instagram, or whatever. And while I’m so thankful I don’t need to be a helicopter parent anymore I don’t want to loose all of that focused time either. I also find myself with a pretty big list of other things I find myself wanting to do with my time. I have ideas for photography projects, paintings I see in my head but just have’t sat down to paint, house projects I want to finish, books I want to read, family and friends I want to spend more time with, and so much more…
And the truth is, time is finite. Time on the blog isn’t time spent elsewhere. You, well, at least I can only keep so many balls in the air at once. Possibly you guys are more talented then I. But I wonder do you guys find you have the same problems with finding enough time for everything you want to do? Surely I’m not the only one?
You guys, I am blessed to be home with my kids, so I get a lot of time with them, but I want to really be present with them and enjoy it not focused on 60 other things or the chores I need to catch up on because I spent too much time writing a post…. or… well you get the idea. Plus, I want to use some of my time for some of those projects I have in mind. So it seems like it’s time to try reallocating my time a little bit.
I’ve put a lot of time and energy into this blog in the past three years and I’m not ready to just quit on it. But, I have decided to tweak how I’m doing things at least for now.
First, I’ve decided I’ll be posting on much less of a regular schedule. Though honestly, this has been happening more and more over time anyway and you’ve probably already noticed if you’ve read for any length of time. I guess I just feel an obligation to say so formally? So bear with me? Basically, my plan now is not to nail myself down to a quota or particular schedule but simply to post when I have something good to share. For a large part of my time blogging I’ve followed a posting schedule, and while sometimes this has been a very good thing, I think I’ve also written many a post that’s less then interesting because I felt pressure to stick to my schedule. So hopefully this will result in more time for me as I need it, and better, more interesting posts for you guys.
I’ve also decided to change the structure of my posts a bit. Going forward I plan to separate posts about my personal life and recipes rather then mixing the two up in one long post. Recipe posts will have more of a head note/recipe/photo structure. I’ll keep life stories, news, cool stuff, whatever, to their own posts. You wouldn’t know it from this rather long post about what’s going on in my world, but generally the part I find hardest about writing a blog post is finding interesting life story stuff to talk about. My life is great, but mostly its pretty routine and I don’t feel like it’s necessarily interesting enough to write a big ole post about. So if I’ve got interesting news to report you’ll get a life post. Again, hopefully this will result in more interesting posts when I do write them. But possibly, you’ll end up seeing more recipes since the pressure to come up with some interesting story to share with it is off.
At some point I’ll probably tweak the design of the blog to display these different types of posts in separate columns or something. I’ll also figure out at some point how to set up my email list so that you can choose to get recipes only or everything delivered. So that’s my plan going forward and we’ll see from there. Any thoughts on the changes? Anything you guys would like to see happen here at Feed Me that would make things more enjoyable for you? I’d love to hear any feedback!
Anyhow, that’s the life stuff for now! So, we’ll talk soon. Well, at least when something interesting happens. :) Bye.