Comfort. Comfort is something I seek daily. I seek it in what I wear, what I eat, what I drink, and even in what I consume on social media. And I find immense comfort in cups of tea.
On March 1st we found out our kitty Wicket has a condition called Chylothorax. It is fairly rare, and very scary. Chylothorax is the build up of chyle fluid around the heart and lungs. It's especially scary because as it builds up the lungs cannot expand fully and the person or animal has to work much harder to breathe.
What followed that diagnosis was a month of fear, anxiety, and despair. Poor Wicket had to have the fluid drained from his chest 6 times in 24 days as we tried desperately to get answers about what caused the chylothorax and what we could do to manage the symptoms. My husband and I were both emotional messes; exhausted from lack of sleep, stress, and decision fatigue. Not just decisions, but life or death decisions.
And I found that, for once in my life, a cup of tea wasn't enough comfort. In fact, there was a period of about 6 days that I don't recall making any tea. It just wasn't on my radar. And when I realized this I was surprised.
"For once in my life a cup of tea wasn't enough comfort!"
I recall listening to many audiobooks written by British authors and there are often jokes about how Brits think a cup of tea can cure any ailment and comfort any bad feeling. I believed that, and in some ways I still do. But during this difficult time I could not fathom how a cup of tea could make my aching heart feel any better.
And it wasn't the only thing I stopped doing - I stopped eating regularly, stopped sleeping, and really stopped any form of self care. How could I care for myself when sweet Wicket was uncomfortable and working so hard to get oxygen into his body?
It took about 10 days of this until I realized that it was completely unsustainable. Not eating or sleeping enough was making my anxiety worse. I could not care for Wicket if I was not caring for myself. I know that may seem obvious, but when I was in the trenches I could barely see past my own nose. The self care began slowly - I began to eat at least 2 meals a day, I took naps while Wicket was stable, and I cried as often as I needed.
"Hard moments are when self care, and self love are most important!"
I suppose my reason for sharing this with you is that even though I consider myself a champion of self care - that I failed miserably at it for a while. We all do. We all fall short, we all fall apart. And those are the moments when self care, and self love are most important.
Well here we are and it's been 19 days since Wicket last had to have the fluid drained. I regularly look up at the heavens and say in my biggest voice "Praise the Lord" because we are so thankful he is responding to the medications, supplements, and diet we have him on. We are still aware that we may not be out of the woods, but each day that his breathing rate is stable we are beyond thankful. And each morning when I am drinking my comforting cup of tea I am even more thankful for it than ever.
Thank you all again for your kind words and kind thoughts for our kitty Wicket. He sends his love and purrs right back to you:
With love & tea,