Fall has descended on our sleepy little mountain town and the constant weather changes are wreaking havoc on my body. I’m having shoulder surgery in 4 days and my to do list is getting bigger while I have less and less ability to get it all done in time. Not to mention the meds you have to go off of prior to surgery are some of the meds that keep my joints in check and keep me mobile! Getting out of bed today would not have happened but there was too much to do to stay in bed. So, it took me almost 2 hours, but I got vertical. (Yay) But, today was a busy day; the post I’ve been drafting for today has been set aside for this instead… Because, today was BUSY.
Two of our girls had dental check-ups in the morning and two more had well checks with the pediatrician in the afternoon. The in between madness that occurs when you have 8 children is our normal but today was exceptionally busy and I’m a mess. (no, that’s not a typo, we have 8 right now… I know I haven’t gotten there in my writing, but I will, I promise.) Anyway, is it ok to say that out loud, that I’m a mess? I think so… I think if more of us said it maybe more people would hear our message and our fight would become less of our war and more of a communal cry that has to be answered.
My wonderful husband was manning the house, cleaning and keeping up with our newborn and 3yo son with special needs while I ran the girls to the morning appointments. Yes, my husband is awesome and no you can’t have him. HA! The dental appointments went well. The girls did beautifully and it was the morning so I felt as good as I could today. I usually feel a little better that first half of the day than I do on the back half. Anyone else feel that too? So, it was good. I got to be home for a couple of hours in between, but of course didn’t hydrate well and shoved a couple of pieces of cold chicken breast in my face instead of eating a meal and was off again with our newborn and 10yo this time to the pediatrician’s office. Busy day, body not cooperating and no fuel is a recipe for disaster for healthy people; I made bad choices today and I’m paying for them.
I was standing in the pediatrician’s office with our newborn and 10yo answering all of the parent questions… How is she eating, sleeping, pooping etc? For our 10yo. same and then some. All of the usual stuff. Here’s the thing; at one point I couldn’t SEE the doctor. My POTS has been acting up all day and my super great hydration (NOT) and no fuel was definitely not helping. So, I just took a pause and sat down. I don’t think she noticed, neither did the girls thankfully. My body hurt in every single place and I could barely keep up with the conversation because my shoulder (the one I’m waiting on to have surgery) was screaming, my legs were burning, my back felt as if someone was prodding me with hot pokers and my arms were on fire from carrying in the infant seat and then holding 10lbs of beautiful baby girl while we waited to be seen. It was all I could do to not break down crying right there in her office. Then came immunization time and getting them loaded back up to head home.
The pain was too much. I couldn’t take one more second, so here I am writing to you from bed. My body is still hurting in every, single, place and my skin hurts where it’s touching the sheets and where the 10lbs of sleeping baby is drooling on my chest. My husband got everyone dinner, baths and is getting them all tucked in and I’m in bed. He didn’t even need me to say it, he knew when I walked back in that I was toast. This is when the mom guilt comes on STRONG. Shouldn’t I be there with him? A good mom sucks it up and tucks in her kids, even when it hurts. She reads to them, sings to them and kisses them goodnight in their beds even when she’s nearly in tears from the pain or feeling faint because her POTS is out of control that day. Right? I usually do and I have to do it no matter what when my husband isn’t here, but I’m telling myself to remember what we talked about a few days ago. Today, I got out of bed when I thought I couldn’t and did the appointments and running around. Today, I chose to run myself into the ground because it was what my kids needed from me. Now their Daddy is taking over and I get gentle hugs and kisses from my bed while they see their Dad picking up where I left off. Does it make the guilt go away? Absolutely not, but they don’t know that. They got to see their parents working in partnership today to get it all done and I think that’s more important than missing a night of singing to my babies.
Don’t allow the guilt or the voices of negativity tell you you’re a bad parent because you’re chronically ill. Try hard not to feel bad when you have to say, “That’s all I have today and I need to go to bed.” You’re not alone and you can do this… We will walk the road together. The bad days and the good… all on our journeys, but together. I’m going to rest up and get some fluids pumped in me. I pray you all get some rest for yourselves tonight. Keep fighting for a better tomorrow and I will too.
“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” – Susan Gale