My sister's normal was a job she loved, a big, bustling family coming and going at her house all the time, so healthy she very rarely even caught a cold, and a joyful giggle and bouncy personality. Suddenly she became a woman on her death bed, her family quiet and subdued, tears, medical procedures, pill and doctors all in one long, awful night. Christmas night 3 years ago she had an acute onset of severe back pain. It got so bad she collapsed. Russ (hubby) rushed her to the ER. She had a previously unknown abdominal aortic aneurysm that ruptured. Emergency surgery repaired that but she threw so many clots that her kidneys died.
Her new normal is a ton of pills, hemodialysis 3 times a week, a double heart bypass last summer, constant monitoring, and a slew of doctors of all specialties who now know her on sight. She was recovering and had accepted this as her "new normal" when her little granddaughter Ashley was diagnosed with leukemia this January. That was a blow with stress levels we were afraid would just destroy her.
And you know what? She's back to giggling, her big family running in and out all the time, and that ornery personality which was her trademark. She says, "I can live with a 'new normal.' What I won't be able to handle is accepting it as all there is." Go, Linda, go! She reminds me of you, Rachel. Down once in awhile, but never out!