Losing the Battle – to Win the War!



Friday’s thrilling adventure at Borough Hall ended as so many days do.  So excited to tell her story, so amazed by her experience I thought she’d be on the phone all night.

But as we walked up the street to the parking lot she whimpered.  “My knee.  The old pain.  How could it still hurt with the Celebrex?”

Good question, I mused, as I tossed her a cursory answer about the weather, and people’s joint’s aching.

I left out the part about how MOST of those achy people are at LEAST 40 – not 10.  But she knows that already. Can’t put much by her.

never never give up

We headed home, but as things often do here the downward spiral had begun, and it was a quick one.

I soaked her sore knee in an epsom salt bath for some relief, but the migraine that she had been battling all through school was starting to win.

By about 7:20 she told me she was going to bed.  Never a good sign.

No fever.  No signs of “illness,”  but we are frustratingly used to this.  There is nothing tangible that any doctor can seem to figure out as to where all this pain comes from.  Yet it does.  All over.  It’s real.  It’s torturous to watch, and it frustrates the free-spirited agile athlete trapped in this painful body.

She woke around 9:30 this morning.  I was already at the bank.  The text simply said “headache.”  My husband is a man of few words.

When I got home at 11 to take her to her 12:00 appointment she was in a dark bedroom moaning in pain while Felix rubbed her head.

We tried some saline, some food, her morning pills.  No success.  No appointment.

I ran to the party we planned to attend as a family, to wish one of our favorite 5 year-olds a Happy Birthday.

I woke her at 2:30 like she asked.  The CYO meet was at 4.  The highlight of her week.

We tried a warm shower.  More saline.

“I just can’t do it,” she half whispered, half screamed.  “WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME?”

My stomach sank.  That was the proof positive that things were not improving.  She looks forward to every one of those meets.

After reassuring her that it’s nothing she’s done, or does… she told me to text her coach and tell him she was really sorry.

And she was.

Another fun event missed.  Another pleasure lost.

overwhelmed 4


My 10-year-old amazes, impresses and consoles me, as she says, “Cowden’s may have won the battle today – but it won’t win the war.”

She spent the better part of the day in her bed – willing away the body pain and the headache.

She doesn’t want to feel like this.  And I have to tell you – she handles it pretty damned gracefully.

No one she met yesterday would have believed this was the same kid.  From a full on powerhouse of a conversation with a respected elected official, to barely being able to lift her head.

That’s how we roll here.

That’s where her sense of urgency comes from.  She NEEDS people to know the real deal.  Whether they want to or not.

small battles

It’s 2:30 AM Sunday.  They have been resting for hours.  I had to sort out the banking mess and the subsequent paperwork it generated this week.  I needed a new list.

See my mind is so often preoccupied that I forget… a lot.

Because deep in my nagging Mommy gut, I feel like there is more.  We are missing something.  And I hope its minor.  Or that I am wrong.

No one can explain all this pain.  And lots of people have had the chance to try.

People wonder how I stay so organized, or why.  I think it’s because I spend a lot of time waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I’m over making plans.  I get it.  We can try to commit to things in advance, but our acceptances will always be tentative.  We have to make our decisions in the moment.

The win/loss column waffles sometimes, but we will by the grace of God, the power of prayer, and our love for each other, come out on top.  Failure is not an option.

We are BEATINGCOWDENS.  We will!

winning or losing