DAMN it. And I mean that literally. Damn chronic illness and what it does to little children. I grew up with a very healthy mother. Plus with only two of us attending school, her physical burdens were light. She had a desk job in her later years, and we had a part-time house help. I also enjoyed doing house work, ironing, cooking, baking… I did a lot from age 13. I only saw her struggling after I was diagnosed with IBS and I wondered if she didn’t have it too. Used to massage her and massage the pain and gas away.
My teens have also been helpful with playing with the twins, watching over them while I work, and doing the lifting and caring for me as my back… Even when I’m not recovering from surgery, my back can’t bear carrying them. So I don’t need more help.
As you know and as friends can attest, I am one of those moms who fakes being ok as much as possible. There are some times though when that is impossible. I once blogged about the scary morning I couldn’t walk for about 30 minutes. Each time I put weight on my right leg, it would give way and I’d experience excruciating pain. It happens a few times a year. It happened last night after a family study. (MCP to any reading Adventists.)
And what bad timing it was! My husband even offered to carry me to the bedroom. And this after some heavy thoughts from my son to be eight years old daughter, Amarissa. She’d suddenly asked us what we worry about. The teens have no worries. My seven year old Micaiah worries about bad things happening to random people. (It’s just a thought he made up on the spot. We can always tell when he’s just eager to be’ helpful’ instead of just saying he doesn’t know, or doesn’t do something.)
My poor angel who had asked the question said that she worries about me. See, I’m honest. When she asks me how my night was, I tell the truth. And my nights have been horrific. If I do sleep, my husband has to wake me up as I’m having nightmares and screaming, or I’m groaning and whining from pain. And other times, I’m just not sleeping. I told him I can barely hold on till next year when I can go see a pain specialist. It’s not only my back. But also the arm. Nerve pain is horrible. My only solace is in knowing how many of us suffer incredibly for very long after the op. Suffering so intense that many wish they’d never had to do the surgery at all. Not all. But many.
I still have a dressing on. Anything touching my skin, just fabric, my clothes, causes extra pain. Which is quite normal. But horrible.
Anyway, this is about my daughter. We tried to tell her that everything would be ok and not to worry. But then later last night, she put a note under my door. This is my angel with visual processing disorder. Her writing has come a long way though she still can’t write in lower case. I don’t know if it’s age, or if the exercises by Dr Erica Warren are helping. But yes, I’m impressed with how far she’s come. When they were gone for a drive, I’d written her a letter and put it under her duvet because she’s been boarding me with letters. I mean it literally but lovingly.😊😅
(Naynay – mentioned in the letter-is one of my three tear old twins. And speaking of which, she too doesn’t forget my issues. Every now and then, she raises my sleeve, touches the dressing on my arm and says, “Mommy has an owie… Sorry, Mommy.”❤️)
What a sad note. So I got out of bed and went to try comfort her. (I see therapy for this next year, by the way. On top of the other therapies for dyscalculia and lots muscle tone etc) I asked her if she’d ever seen me cry due to my suffering. She said no. I asked if I stay in bed all day because I am suffering so much. (I wish I could but there’s too much to do.) She said no. I asked her if I laugh and smile. She said yes. I asked if I look like I’m ok. She says yes.
Basically, we discussed how though my nights are bad, it’s not only because I’m in pain. And that it’s not extremely bad to have bad nights. Sometimes daddy also keeps me up, and we then giggled about snoring because she and her sister both have that problem (so do I sometimes) and his even loud farts wake me. And asked if she needs to worry about farts and snoring. She laughed and said no.
I told her that she’s a very small girl to have such big worries. That’s when her teen sister mentioned that one day, she went to her crying. Why? I have IBS and have found that following the Monash University FODMAP diet results in fewer flare ups. But it severely restricts what I can eat. So, she compared what I had cooked for them and dished out, with what was in my bowl. “We have so much food but mommy has so little..” And she cried.💔
I wish I could close her eyes. Blind her to my reality. But they watch me cook and they ask, “Can you eat cauliflower? Can you eat broccoli? It’s so yummy…I wish you could eat it.” They hate that I can’t have whole-wheat bread. They tried some gluten-free products and hated them.🤣 I’m sure that doesn’t help!
We left on a happy note. Them teasing each other about throwing pillows at each other for snoring. But honestly, it’s hard. I’ve got two sweet friends who constantly ask, one every single morning, how my night was. Both of them also have bad nights and i I think that’s why they’re so empathetic about mine. I wish, really wish I could tell them I rested.
Until then, I’ll put my game face on. I’ll keep smiling, laughing and showing up as much as I can. And make sure my girl has a normal amount of ‘worrying’ instead of the terrible burden she is bearing.
When I tokd her that God wants her to give her worries to Him, she said, “But then He will be sad.” I reminded her that she is able to carry all our sadness and WANTS to take hers too.
Thoughtful. So thoughtful it hurts. How many children worry that they’ll make God sad if they tell thin they are sad?
Today had begun on a bad note. No sleep. And that it egg still painful. But, I’m a great actress. His grace is sufficient. And after the last school exam the teens are writing, I’ll go away for a weekend alone. As my teen explained to my girl when she mentioned that being alone won’t take any pain away, “But then Mommy can rest. She won’t make food. She won’t wash dishes, she won’t sweep the floor, she won’t have Ratie always pulling her…” (My third autistic angel, Oreratile, has gone from ignoring me to always pulling my arm…Be it for nuts, to go outside, to put her on the trampoline… Ots constant. When I’m ironing, when I’m dishing food out, when I’m wanting to sit. It’s very different, and I’m enjoying the sudden attention. But it’s not exactly restful.😉
It won’t change anything. I won’t feel brand new. But hey, it will be a break. And we all need those once in a while. Just like children of unwell parents need a break.
And a prayer or two.