Vic’s Roller Coaster….


 The Voyage
Located at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, this roller coaster is a wooden hybrid consisting of a steel structure and wood tract. The lift goes up 163 feet, before falling 154 feet, then up and down 107 feet, and once more up and down 100 feet. Not only that, it goes through five tunnels, and it is the second longest wooden roller coaster in the world with a run of 6,442 feet. The top speed for the roller coaster is 67.4 miles per hour, third fastest in the world among wooden roller coasters. If the drops and trips through the tunnels was not enough to make you cringe, there are three 90-degree bank turns.

The life of someone who is chronically ill can be equated to being on a roller coaster ride.  Physically (and emotionally), you can be up and hopeful one minute and down and despairing the very next. The illness inevitably takes unexpected and unpredictable turns. One disease can dispose you to or give rise to another. Cortisone suppresses the immune system and is used to treat inflammation.  Cortisone weakens Vic’s bones further and has resulted in her developing Addison’s….This is frightening.

Every chemical that enters your body has a side effect.  Correct and adequate pain control, a healthy diet, balanced lifestyle is needed to minimize the effect of the illness on your daily life.  Living with illness affects every part of your life and every significant relationship you have.

There have been times in the past couple of months that all Vic can do is lie in bed and breathe.  Completing simple tasks is a cause for celebration….if Vic is able to get out of bed, showers and put on clothes, all in the same day, it is a major achievement.  There have been days (few and very far in-between) that she has been well enough to pick up the boys from school, take them for a milkshake.  She attended Jared’s confirmation and Jon-Daniel’s prize giving… We are so grateful for the good days!

Vic is going through a grieving stage where she (once again) is experiencing profound grief for the life that she had known and which has been lost forever. Vic is feeling lost and confused.  She is on the down ride hurdling to who knows what stage of her journey.

Vic is so sad that she is unable to actively participate in her children’s lives.  Most friends have stopped calling. Her sense of identity is blurred. She has been reduced from being a wife and mother to “a child”.

Danie and I planned to go to dinner on Friday night.  Vic was not well so we decided we would go on Saturday.  On Saturday Vic had another lousy day.  She fluctuated between being confused and weepy.  She was up and down like a little jack in the box.  By Saturday night she was asleep on her feet.  The intestinal cramping kept her awake.  She was weeping from pain and frustration.

Last night Vic cried “Mommy, I am such a burden.  You don’t have a life because of me.”

“Sweetie you are not a burden.”

“I am” Vic sobbed.  ”You can’t even go to dinner with your husband because you don’t want to leave me alone.”

“Sweetie, it was our choice to stay home”  I said

“But I have ruined your life” Vic cried….

Jared spent the weekend with a friend.  The child never goes out.  The two of us are too scared to leave.  I suppose we have become overprotective control freaks.

I have come to realize that I must take a break. It is not only for my own sanity but for Vic and Jared’s sake’s too.  My protective behavior is a bad example to Jared and is causing Vic distress.  My entire family is concerned that I will “crack” under the pressure.

I hope to fly to England for just over a week to spend some time with my UK children.  I have so much to arrange.  I must sort out the toy cupboard in the girls’ bedroom to make space for a nurse; I must appoint a nurse; get adequate medication in; get Hospice to okay the trip; buy groceries to see the family through and cook a couple of emergency frozen meals..

Vic’s symptoms wax and wane on this roller coaster ride of hers. Her illness is slowly depleting her energy reserve. A cold or infection can overwhelm her ability to fight it and her overall health and functioning can change dramatically – very suddenly. There will come the day that we will not be able to clear the partial obstruction or to contain the infection…..

I hope that it will not happen whilst I am away.


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I am a sixty plenty wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend. I started blogging as a coping mechanism during my beautiful daughter's final journey. Vic was desperately ill for 10 years after a botched back operation. Vic's Journey ended on 18 January 2013 at 10:35. She was the most courageous person in the world and has inspired thousands of people all over the world. Vic's two boys are monuments of her existence. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. I will miss you today, tomorrow and forever my Angle Child.

10 thoughts on “Vic’s Roller Coaster….”

  1. I so appreciate your openness. I pray that nothing will happen while you are away. I pray that Jesus will bring you comfort.


  2. I always found the roller coaster metaphor powerful during my cancer treatment, recovery, relapse, treatment, and recovery again and I think you have captured it well with Vic. Good for you to get away for a week – caregivers sometime forget that they need care too. Best wishes.


  3. A break sounds like a good idea, it’s only a week and you need to recharge your batteries. I pray that you will be able to leave with peace of mind that Vic and the boys are in good hands and that her condition will remain stable while you are away.


  4. Continued prayers and empathy for Vic – and for you. I understand her emotional roller coaster. Seems just so unfair and still trying to make sense of why bad things happen to good people. Sending love and please make your own wellbeing on the highest of priorities… it’s really important!! x


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