I am a PushmePullyou

Many, many years ago I saw the original 1967 version of the Dr. Dolittle movie based on the series of books by Hugh Lofting. Just about the only things I can really remember about that movie are Rex Harrison singing the song, “If I Could Talk to the Animals” and the PushmePullyou!

The PushmePullyou was an animal that looked kind of like a llama with two heads. It had two sets of front feet, one set on each end. This poor animal couldn’t go anywhere because both ends of it wanted to move forward!

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Credit: 20th Century Fox

I feel like a PushmePullyou! I can’t make decisions. I move forward then I step back. I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t.

I used to pray everyday that my children would be safe and healthy. And I believed with all my heart that they would be because I prayed. But then one day- the day that my daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer- my naive, child like faith was shattered. Up until then, I guess I sort of thought that praying worked like the way a good luck charm is supposed to work. For a long time I wondered (and sometimes wonder still ) what the use is in praying if God is going to do or allow whatever he wants to do or allow anyway despite what I pray for.

I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes no matter what we pray, bad things happen to good and innocent people. For the past thirteen years ever since the day Bethany got sick I have lived with the sickening, oppressive feeling that disaster, catastrophe, and bad things are hanging over my family like a cloud just waiting for an opportune time to burst and pour down upon us all those bad and catastrophic disasters .

My husband and I can come up with plan after plan and make decision after decision about Bethany’s medical treatment, her behavior treatment, her education, her therapies and her future. Then just when I think we’ve really made our final decisions, BAM!!! all the doubts, fears, worries, and what ifs come flooding in and I begin to think about all the bad things that can happen if we carry through with those plans.

We could send her to school on the bus in which by law only a nurse can administer to her the life saving medication she needs to stop seizures. However, we would have to fight the school district to provide said nurse. And besides… I am not at all comfortable with a stranger exposing my daughter’s teen age derriere on a school bus to administer this RECTAL medication anyway. Nor am I at all confidant that I would actually be able to make Bethany get on the school bus in the first place if she decided that she didn’t want to do so.

Should we we pull up roots, disrupt our whole family, and sell our house to move closer to the perfect school for children with autism so that Bethany wouldn’t have to ride the bus to this school for 45 minutes twice each day? At this school Bethany could make friends, get occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and as an added bonus also get behavior therapy, art therapy, and music therapy all of which would be paid for by the school district. At this school she could also possibly be sexually and physically abused, or go into status epilepticus and die in the arms of someone who doesn’t even love her?

Should we we send her to school hoping to improve her life, and maybe give her something to look forward to so that she might possibly be happier? The last three times we tried sending her to schools her health rapidly deteriorated to the point of having so many seizures that she could not even lift her head off of her pillow for years. Or should we play it safe and keep her at home where she may be as happy as she can possibly be anyway?

Should we give her certain medications and hope for the best? Or should we decide against them because they might damage her liver, make her even more aggressive and violent, or suicidal or even kill her with a fatal rash? If she were to suffer any of these side effects we would regret that decision and probably never forgive ourselves. On the other hand, if we don’t try these medications we will always wonder if our decision has prevented her from having an improved life free of seizures and behavior issues.

So you see…I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t. No matter what decisions we make concerning Bethany’s health, well being, and future, there will always be pros and cons, there will always be regrets, doubts, and what ifs. I will always wonder if the other decisions… the ones that we abandoned would have been the better choices for her. I will always wonder if because of decisions that we did or didn’t make whether we have prevented Bethany from having the happiest and best life possible. I will always wonder if because of the decisions that we did or didn’t make whether we have prevented all of our other children from having the happiest and best lives possible.

I am a PushmePullyou.

I am linking this post to:
The Sunday Parenting Party
Let’s Get Social Sunday #25

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7 thoughts on “I am a PushmePullyou

  1. (((Hugs))) It is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. I wish I could give you that magic phrase that makes it all better. I truly do. But, I can pray for you, and I am. I’ve said many times, “I know God has a plan for us. I just wish He’d clue me in on it.” It’s so hard knowing which path to take, which way to turn, and what’s going to just end up being another nightmare. (((huge hugs)))) Mama.
    Kristi @ The Potter’s Hand Academy recently posted…TOS Review Crew: Christianity CoveMy Profile

  2. I’m so sorry. Sending you Hugs and Prayers. She was a gift to you. All your children are and you love them. You do your best and it is good. And they are loved by you and that is their first glimpse of Gods love for them, imperfect and beautiful, flawed and priceless it is. Hugs. Prayers and so much respect Mom and Dad.

  3. Not only are you a PushMePullYou and damned if you do, damned if you don’t, but it sounds like you’re between a rock and a hard place, too. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll do with Bethany’s best interest at the forefront, because you love her and want her to have the best life possible. Whatever decision you make will feel ‘right’ because it will be. :) ((HUGZ!!))
    Stacy Uncorked recently posted…Annoying Colds Cause Foggy Brains, Punctuation is Necessary, and Craig Morgan is a Hero – Random Tuesday Thoughts RebelMy Profile

  4. Oh, my heart goes out to you! What trials you must face! I can only imagine what it must be like for you. With so many worries, questions and concerns, this is the perfect opportunity to put your trust in God. Beg Him to “Take this cup” from you. (The cup being your worries and struggles ) Tell Him that you are going to let go, trust, and leave it all up to Him. He alone knows best. I hope I don’t come off sounding like a preachy know it all, that wasn’t my intent. Also, I realise that my advice is easier said than done. God bless you. Hugs & prayers!
    pinulotta recently posted…How the Sacred Heart of Jesus has Touched My LifeMy Profile

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