Thankful

I was asked yesterday what the highlight of my weekend was. I couldn’t think of one. I’d been lying on my bed just a few minutes before she asked. A friend had asked how I was, but then didn’t respond-not unusual for her- when I told her. I almost kept quiet when this other one asked because truly, pouring your heart out and getting silence in return means you wasted your time answering the question, but I thought, “You know what, just speak the truth. All of it.” That’s one thing I saw in a video by a father of an autistic child. Share your hard times, because your strength DURING those times might encourage someone going through their hard times too.” (Paraphrasing and adding my own nuances.)

So, I told her the truth. I honestly didn’t have a highlight. Things were excruciating for me, as shared in the post before this one, and though I hadn’t told her, I’d been lying on my side crying from the extreme pain, texting a different friend who also has awful pain issues and asking for suggestions as to who to see next. And on top of that, I added, my little girl might need to go to the doctor today, though I told her that I hoped that what looked like the beginning of mastoiditis would go away. And I told her that the highlight is that we are all alive. (We know how quickly life can get snatched away.)

I’m thankful. It did go away. The bump behind my girl’s ear is smaller, we’re still continuing with pain meds and she slept better. Last week’s nights had been worse than our usual bad nights! If my elbow would play ball, I’d probably be able to sleep a bit more if things stay like this. Usually, we only have two or three bad nights. We think she struggles to put herself back to sleep when she wakes up. And sometimes she sleeps VERY late. Which I prefer because once she sleeps, we’re sorted for the night, she won’t wake up for two hours DURING. The things we end up appreciating!

I’m thankful that she rose to the occasion. I know how difficult it is to find words to empathise with someone constantly suffering. But some people have learnt or naturally have that gift. I try my best to affirm my friends’ struggles and feel I miss the mark often, though my friends say they think I’m better at caring than they are, so my attempts must be good enough at least, and whew, pouring my heart out yet again helped. She bore my burden. (The sentence before this was probably extremely ungrammatical. Oh well!)

Oh yes, I also am thankful for something else. I’m thankful that I no longer need daily meds! No more monthly payments! Woohoo! I went off the expensive BC that we’d been using to control the impact of that ovarian issue and for the last three months, I’ve been normal! No panicky ER trips! No emergency room doctor calling my gynae! No talks of ablating my uterine lining. Dare I say that that part is OVER!?

I do!

So yes, today, I choose gratitude. Thing’s definitely could be worse.

PS I’m also grateful for my other twin.

She always asks to see my scar and keeps saying, “Sorry mama… Mommy got a owie.” Then she rolls her sleeve up and shows me the scar from when she fell and tells me she too “got a owie.” Yesterday she asked if I got mad about having an owie.🤣 While praying she made me laugh, talking gibberish when she can full well pray properly. She usually says, “Dear Jesus, thank you for slippers, thank you for bananas, thank you for family..” So interrupted her and asked to “use real words.”

She did.

“Thank you for real words. 🤣🤣Shejciecdge shd ev ehsbev uteahdvrg. Amen!”

Very obedient!

Hmm

There’s something very wrong with our medical system. Or is this the norm everywhere? I can’t say… When I had undiagnosed IBS in the UK, the doctor in ER assumed I had an STD and sent me to the gynae section. I didn’t know what was up but I knew it wasn’t an STD… But even then, by the time I had the appointment, the pain had gone down, so it was really just an attempt to find out why I kept having abdominal pain, not, WHY I was currently in pain and how to fix it right there and then.

This is different. My elbow is NOT doing good at all. I’m in significant pain with it. And now the pelvis, spine and legs are… Today I told someone that I haven’t sat at the table with my family in years because it hurts so much. I sit to teach them the Sabbath school class; I stand to dish out; I sit to feed the twins; and by the end of that, I can’t stand the pain anymore and go eat lying down in bed.

This is no life.

Three weeks ago, I finally went to the pain specialist in desperation. No sleep, no joy when awake. Unable to teach a full lesson, something had to be done. That day, I told the doctor that excruciating pain was taking me there. But, not a single pain relief method was given to me. And upon receiving the report of the bone scan, I had to ask if there’s anything she could give me for pain.

Bearingin mind my chronic gastritis (damaged stomach lining) I’m not meant to have anti-inflammatories, and if I do, I’m to take a PPI and stop as soon as I feel pain. She gave me 14 tablets of that, plus a script for the PPI and that was it. The anti-inflammatory has made NO difference. Not surprising. She’d said that if I were to go the oral route for pain treatment, I’d need six weeks of anti inflammatories and the pain would quickly return. So, are we saying there is absolutely NOTHING else One can be given for joint, bone, tendon pain besides one anti inflammatory tablet a day?

My friend -who it turned out had also sought help from that same pain clinic-was also treated the exact same way. No pain relief despite having gone because she was in pain.

I’m meant to wait for the procedures -injections into my spinal joints (12 and my hip), then got to give weeks later, radio frequency ablation. Both under sedation at a day hospital. Usually, the patient contacts medical aid to get authorisation (Which I usually get during my phone call requesting it) but they said the practice would contact medical aid, hey authorisation and call me back with potential dates.

They haven’t even contacted medical aid yet. I’m still in pain. All I’ve gained is knowledge regarding what is causing my pain. And a hefty bone scan bill that prevents me buying church takkies for my son. So, no church any time soon! (His formal shoes don’t work for him. He can’t walk in them.)

I had a terrible pity party for myself today. I’ve taken, and now finished, every type of possible available in the house and it doesn’t begin to touch the pain.

Is this what it’s like in every country? That someone who is not athlete can have stress lines in their limbs consistent with damage from athletics or running, enthsopathy in their pelvis, legs and joints, arthritis in neck and spine and hip, inflamed hip bursa and be given NOTHING??

This can’t be right.

Same Point, Different Perspectives

I know she means well, but there’s a lady who because she saw an autistic CHARACTER in an Indian MOVIE, assumes or hopes that youngest will at least have the same outcome as the character in that movie. I wouldn’t expect anything of any autistic child but that they hopefully find a way to communicate their needs if that’s something they struggle with. Look at my own autistic children. So different. And with different futures ahead.

My job is to gather as much as I can from as many autistics as I can find so I can try understand the world of my one autistic who can’t yet get me into theirs. I hope they all know-including my ADHD child-that I’m trying my best to make their lives as comfortable as possible.❤️

Good Job

And during this, my sweet Naynay (Oreneile) kept telling her sister, “Good job, Ratie, you touching me!” It was the most amazing moment of this week. This is a child who used to push her twin away when she used to stroke her arm. A child who even today yells out of her twin touches her, moving away very decisively. But that evening, instead of complaining, or at the very least, loving her leg away, she let herself be touched, and touched her twin back!

Don’t you also love how near the end of my badly shot video it’s like she’s really… It’s as if she’s figuring out how to use her hands for the first time and being gentle and cautious! And yes, the way she took my eldest daughter’s hand to push it towards the toothpaste she wanted is exactly how she communicates that she wants something. By moving us towards it.

It was such a special moment! My sweet girl still keeps talking about how her sister rocked her and keeps hoping she will do it again one day.

I hope so too.

The Kind of Mother-in Law

I’m currently reading the book of Ruth, and man, the way Boaz is so ‘holy’ and treats his workers with kindness and her with gentleness blows me away. He even made sure to tell his workers not to molest her in anyway and the female workers stayed together, which is also protected them from harassment, I’m sure.

Then there’s Naomi. She must have been a wonderful mother-in-law. (MIL). How else do you explain both daughters-in-law not wanting to part from HER despite her leaving their home land to go far away? How to explain Ruth totally refusing to split from her, caring for her and obeying her every command? Naomi must have been a wonderful woman to these two young widows.

That’s the kind of mother-in-law I want to be. At our wedding, my one made a huge speech promising she’d buy us a fridge/stove as a wedding gift. Next year April is our 20th anniversary. We are still waiting!🤣

I won’t go into everything except to say that I have not spoken to her since 2019 when I told her that her disdain for my adoptees was unacceptable and that if she can’t love ALL my children, then I’d have to protect them and my heart that DOES, by ceasing to communicate with her. Needless to say, she complained to my parents 🙄and I was lectured by my father about not being “rude to her even if she’s wrong.” Except my friends read my message and said I was far too diplomatic and” should have told her where to get off,” so THERE!

And I know she and my mom enjoyed putting me down and attacking my very life affirming, personal choices that didn’t impact them and ensured a mom raising their grandchildren. My own mother told me so. So I believe all the varied sources. They had nothing to gain in telling me, and weren’t even in touch with each other to collaborate.

All I can remember thinking was, “But as a mother, shouldn’t you be happy that your son has found happiness? Shouldn’t you rejoice that he has a wife who love God above everything else and wants to live her life to serve Him? Shouldn’t she be happy that we don’t ever have arguments or disagreements about our choices because we see eye to eye on this very homeschooling, modesty, plant-based diet thing she hates so much? Why am I the guilty one and not her son?”

And this is not rare. Many daughters-in-law are crying out for acceptance and love. We go into marriage thinking we’re gaining a new mom. Nope. Not true. There’s a practice in the Xhosa culture (and in many other Black ones) where you basically marry the man then have to go live with his family for a while, acting as a glorified slave. I know of MANY MIL who complain when the husbands help, or if the poor new wife dares to sleep before 10pm. That’s not the kind of MIL I want to be. My husband’s step mom on the other hand was the opposite. She always acted like I’m royalty, hating it if I stepped into the kitchen to help, asking me what I wanted to eat…

If my daughter-in-law is not some stealing junkie who will come into my home to take and not to love, I will welcome her as a beloved daughter, not a servant. We will work together. And I will be thankful that someone wants to spend their life with my son. So help me God!

Too Many of Us?

Well, I did get told that I “look good for 42” and that I had a beautiful dress on. Let me go in order.

I had the scan. People who knew, started asking the same questions. “How did it go? What did they say? How was it?” So, I posted on WhatsApp giving my thoughts and experience.

It went something like this.

I couldn’t see much of the screen as I had to face upwards. My arms were tied together, and so were my feet. The pain for that long time was awful on my elbows and on my lower back. But during the bone scan, they came to ask me questions as I lay there. Asking about accidents, falls, dental history, where exactly I feel all the pain, (Lower back and right foot) did I feel pain in my neck? (No, I didn’t but I do have some bad nights which I attribute to my pillow.)

(That indicated to me that that HAD seen something. But maybe they’d forgotten to hand me these forms when they had given me the admission forms.)

Now, long time readers will recall the post I had put up about the day I got up to exercise but couldn’t. About how my right leg just wouldn’t move and if I put my weight on it to step on it, I felt excruciating pain. I shared that this happens every once in a while, where the pain is so bad that I even yell in pain in front of my children whichI don’t do. I don’t want to frighten them withhow bad it is. I also posted recently about how that same leg was so bad that my husband offered to carry me because I looked like I was going to fall as I tried to walk.

Back to the scan. They asked me to lie on my side and separate my feet. That’s when I could see the screen. And, just as I shared on WhatsApp on Sunday, I could definitely see both my knees lit up, and a spot on the foot. It was unreal though. Both knees? Maybe the radioactive isotope just always glows brighter both on knees? (That’s what also I surmised with a friend who checked in on Friday and on my status.) It didn’t help that my entire tibia looked a bit brighter anyway, so I wasn’t sure now… It all looked a bit bright, but my foot definitely had an area with an extra glow, and my knees too. I figured I was imagining it only because I wanted it so bad.

And I did. I did want it. I realized my lower body was struggling in 2002 when I was at work. It was a very walking intensive job and I was the only one who complained of leg and foot pain. It got so bad that I quit two jobs because they were hard on my back. And that was 20 years ago.

When my now 16 year old daughter was around five years old, I told her to get onto my back so we can play horsie. She refused, saying it would make my back worse. Now bear in mind, I would always go into my bedroom and hide my crying from them. Even today, they have no clue how bad it gets, but I suppose my, “Sorry guys, I need to go lie down quickly. My back is not good” made an impact. It broke my heart. I wanted to play with my children. But even when my body felt like it, my girl already knew it would end in tears. (Literally.)

On a very specific day in 2011, I got onto our exercise bike and started cycling. Immediately, a sharp pain rang out on my lower back. Coccyx area… I stopped. The pain never did. That higher intensity of pain dogged my till today. I recall after one shopping trip in 2012 where I put my feet on the dash as we drove home and couldn’t hide the tears. I asked God silently why me. Why I was in so much pain just from standing doing shopping. And we were only a family of four back then.

I’ve also cried ONCE after a meeting after church that the Board had. I got off the chair and collapsed on my knees, in agony. And also another time long ago when a new friend I’d made asked me after an afternoon at church how my back was, stating that during prayer, she’d been worried about me. She looked me deep in my eye and asked how my back was. Kindness has always been my u doing. I wept. Those were the only two times I’ve not been able to hide it when there are people around. Otherwise, I’m awesome at looking happy and carefree, as most of us chronic pain sufferers are. Nobody asks, “What’s wrong?” though my husband has been saying these past few weeks that I look sad, tired, depressed. (But that’s been from lack of sleep more than the actual pain.)

2011, I saw a doctor. He sent me for an x-ray that showed a degenerated disc in my lower back, and mild scoliosis. He said the degeneration was mild so it couldn’t explain the level of pain I was experiencing and that I probably needed to see a biokineticist who would teach me how to exercise in a way that would stretch my muscles blah blah…I never did. I wasn’t convinced.

I saw a doctor again in 2015 and then a pain specialist. The doctor sent me for an MRI that didn’t show ANY thing wrong. I had believed it would so was extremely embarrassed. I felt like a time waster or faker. The pain specialist said it sounded like facet joint disease so he would inject me in my lower back and see.

I ran away from that one, I won’t lie. Spine and injection didn’t belong in the same sentence. Other specialists told me it was muscular. After all, my tests didn’t show a reason for the pain. I resisted, but was very faithful with my physiotherapy. They even said I was the most compliant patient they’d ever had. But it didn’t make sense. I was the one who did the most exercise out of all my friends, I was the one who worked on her core, so why me and none of them!? Google also said this kind of back pain was diagnosed if no other cause could be found.

I knew it wasn’t muscular but didn’t know what it was. So, I suffered from it for a few more years. Hating church because of the pain, and hating that I have to come back and cry just from cooking. And not even cooking the entire meal!

This year has been the worst. The pain has built to a crescendo that is unimaginable. It’s where I wish people who dismissed the pain could feel it just for 3 minutes, then they’d empathise instead of telling me their isles trivialities and not actually asking how I was. I came to a point where I couldn’t reignite conversation with people who were only talking to me to tell me about themselves and nothing else. My patience is gone. True friendship or nothing.

Two weeks ago, I couldn’t take it anymore. And as you know, I went to a different pain specialist who referred me for this bone scan at a nuclear imaging center in Stellenbosch Mediclinic.

After the scan, I got home and texted the pain specialist’s practice manager, asking if it’s possible to at least tell me if there was ANY bone involvement or if we’re going to go back to “You have mechanical back pain. You need to strengthen your core muscles.” I told her I’ve suffered in pain for many years and that the follow up day of Wednesday is just too far away for me to wait for an idea but that I’d understand if they couldn’t teen me anything till this coming Wednesday.

She read it but didn’t answer. I lost hope. Sunday, I came back home. I’d been told to drink lots for two days to flush the radioactive stuff out my system and had seen that I should avoid pregnant women and young children. So bone scan time became my ‘getaway.’ Terribly hard bed and a wedding party that went on till 10pm weren’t helpful, but it is what it is.

I drove home Sunday did some shopping, came home and started cleaning. The drive home is around 49 minutes long. Shopping was an hour and 15, I only vacuumed and mopped one area -the lounge-and couldn’t take it. And recruited my teens to come help at some points.

Came into the bedroom, lay on the bed and cried. I had even gotten CBD oil from a relative during the week because I’m that desperate. Did nothing for the pain, by the way. I got desperate. I took my gastro meds to prevent further stomach lining damage and then took an anti inflammatory. Dangerous. I’m to stop as soon as I feel pain and am only meant to do it if there’s no other choice. There was no other choice.

I lay down in agony after tearfully looking for the anti inflammatory and getting some food together. Then felt the guilt.

I’d been away and we’d face timed once a day… I should be interacting with the children. So I crawled out of bed, called my middle two to the bed where we lay down. I groaned, “Oh, my children.”

My girl asked, “Are there too many of us for you?” 🤣Oh poor angel! I told her, “No! I am a terrible mother for you. I can’t do with you everything I want to do. I can’t run and jump with you.” She quickly reassured me, “But you’re kind to us. Don’t worry.”

That’s the rub. If I had known it would disable me this much, I’d have not become a mom. This is not the vision of motherhood that I had. A friend of mine, her husband and daughter went to Georgia. (Not the state in America. Or is it a city? But, anyway, they went to the country Georgia.) She said her friends didn’t understand how she could be fine staying here at home. She said she knew I can understand. I can! My husband wants to go to Prague for our 20th anniversary next year. (How many Black people go to PRAGUE!?? I don’t want to go there!) What that means to me is a long painful flight. Nope. Not me. I can’t even manage driving to church and not doing much sitting! Oh, I need to tell you how church went. It went like how I knew it would go, but worse.

Yesterday, after a weekend praying, “ Please God, please let them find something wrong with my bones! I can’t take this anymore. When my husband was massaging my back after I broke down in front of him on Sunday, there was a specific point even in my middle area that definitely was sore. No way it’s muscular, it just can’t be. PLEASE let them find the cause! I’m desperate, you KNOW I’ve begged you to kill me. This just cannot be muscular!”

Monday morning came. I’d resigned myself to not getting an answer to my WhatsApp message. I felt bad. Sad they didn’t bother to respond, and hurt too. After all, I’m the one who’s going to pay thousands for that scan, I deserve to know a bit without having to wait for a doctor to interpret it.

Monday morning came with a response. I quickly sent through the consent form they sent for me to fill in, and received my results.

I was scared, but I looked.

Ok. So, it’s not in my head! And it’s worse than I thought. I knew I had arthritis but I didn’t know it was in these joints. I didn’t know my shoulders were also joining in. And I didn’t ever think the neck pain I sometimes have after bed time was caused by anything in my body, I had even changed what I cover my head with (nothing now) and changed pillow because I thought the neck pain was due to those externals. I’m a bit shocked actually. Shoulders, elbows, neck, pelvis is a bit of a mess to put it mildly, and all the way down to that pesky right foot. It’s sobering. What do you do with all this info when you’re only 42?

But above all, I finally have my answer after 11 years of searching. And my right leg giving way was actually something I should have been getting help with. (Duh, Thandi!) I am so used to pain that in my head, others must obviously experience that. It’s not like it happened every day, after all. But my own friend did say it’s not good. I just didn’t know. And also, it’s taken me 11 years to get here. 11 years of seeking help. And only now do I get the correct test and the answers.

Maybe I’d have again been sent to physiotherapy.

Now, we can make up a game plan. Thank God, it’s not muscular.😭 I would have felt a right fool paying yet again for a test that gives no answers. I’ve been vindicated. What a waste of time and money but we know now. We know. Let’s see what Wednesday brings regarding a way forward.

And yes, Azola, no more high impact exercise. It hurts anyway and I don’t want to be jumping down on degenerated joints, just as I promised you should we find degeneration. ❤️🙏🏾

Black Culture and Adoption

Sjoe. (An Afrikaans exclamation pronounced “Shoo!” It means “wow, hectic, oh my word, we heck naw.)

I didn’t even know we had an understanding regarding what should happen with children whose parents don’t want to/can’t keep them. I thought it was obvious that then you give that child to someone who DOES want them, and that you celebrate with a family that has added a child to the group.

I was wrong.

I’m obviously not Black.

At first, I thought it was just our relatives. I thought they were just plain evil just because of who they are in themselves. But nope, it’s apparently a general culture thing.

Well, according to some social workers who exposed one birth mom to her relatives. And another set who almost did expose a birth mom until the birth mom got a free lawyer to seek a court interdict against them.

What in the world!? Abortions are legal from age 16 with no parental consent needed. But adults who place their children for adoption are mistreated and driven almost to the point of suicide!?? How? The stigma against birth moms is huge. I’ve written about how one birth mom was in a taxi and telling her friend over the phone that her son had wonderful (adoptive) parents who were sending her photos and videos of the little one. Of how a passenger started yelling at her for “throwing” her child “away.”

Society is against the safe placement of babies.

Society is against the adoption of these babies.

The reasons are mostly cultural when it comes to Black people. “You’ll bring bad blood into the family…” “We can’t introduce them to our ancestors ‘cos they are strangers to the family…” And the social workers I’m referring to? They told family members and chose to give the babies to their biological GRANDPARENTS in the name of culture. I suppose so that blood stays with blood. Both these women in the article had hidden their pregnancies. Imagine the pain and humiliation of finding out your social workers had gone and told on you! I’d also have been driven to suicidal thoughts like the one was! How ‘lucky’ the other was to know she could seek legal help and to have found someone to do it pro bono!

These cases have been in limbo for years. The department keeps not granting the adoption of the one whose mom escaped exposure, despite there being an adoptive family that is raising him already! Same with the other baby. They are already with an adoptive family, but the social workers want grandparents -who have never visited the child or asked to see the child – to raise the child and so have not moved forward with the official paperwork.

We are sick. ‘Culture ‘ makes it ‘easier’ to abort your unborn baby even when it goes against who you are. Culture makes it ‘easier’ to abandon your child where it’s not safe but where nobody will harass you and condemn you.

If this my culture, then I’m not part of it. This is where my Christianity comes first.

God never forces. God just wants little children to be happy. And that’s what these birth moms wanted too.

Culture be damned.

My Children’s Money

Black Tax. The bane of those who seem to have more money than their allegedly poorer relatives.

A ‘tax’ I do not plan on imposing on my children.

There’s this notion amongst many Black parents that we children owe them for raising us, and therefore, they will recall everything they ever did for you and tell you that you MUST give them what they want.

Emphasis on want, not need.

Except we never asked to be born. We didn’t have a choice. Our parents DID. Its not our fault they spent want they spent, and more importantly, God demands it of them. He made them stewards of HIs children, and their job was to raise us well.

Some parents are grateful. Some, entitled. As long time readers know, I am estranged from my parents and my maternal family except for one cousin. And it all boils down to… Well, everything about me.

Everything about me is wrong. I should not be modestly dressed. Too bad! I love my long clothes. I should not be eating plant based food. I should not be educating my children myself. And I should not have adopted.

In fact, had I not adopted, I’d have more money to give to my parents. Parents whose money is enough for them -perfectly adequate as the house was paid off long ago and we organized a pensioner’s payment plan for some household expenses. Had I not adopted, I’d not only be spending what I already spend on them, I’d be giving even MORE. Of course. No way I’d want to spend my money on..myself! Or on other REALLY poor people!

Too bad! That’s who we are. We got a bonus and had planned on giving it to a student but she refused it, saying she wanted God (not us, God’s hands) to take care of her fees. So, we found a different student who truly was desperate and had made an online appeal. A student we knew from a church we went to but didn’t know was in such dire straits. This is her final year. So yeah, if I had extra extra money, it would go to someone who actually needs it, not to luxuries for people who have enough.

The crack in my heart came a few years ago. We had sacrificed our money and our needs to buy my parents’ food so that they could treat themselves with their money. As we sat there after packing the grocery away, my mother doesn’t thank us, doesn’t ask how my back is after that shopping trip and drive, doesn’t acknowledge us taking time away from our family, instead she looks at me after receiving a whole lot of grocery and says,

“Hmm… My friend’s daughter took her for a massage at a spa.”

Forget that even I couldn’t afford a massage for myself. It was a crime that I was not paying for HER to get a massage. That stung. I should have cut my losses there and then and realised that I live to give, not to be loved. And that I want more for myself than to be used.

The grocery, personal care items and electricity still come from us.

But that’s it.

I’m not good enough to love so I no longer expect it. The tax took everything from my heart and replaced it with duty. “It’s your duty to take care of us even though we can take care of ourselves.“ And so, I perform out of duty. Hurts. But I can’t make someone love me

I will never do that to my children. Their money is their money. And if they do give me some, they sure will know how grateful I am.

Because I will be. Their gift is a bonus, not something for me to demand.

I didn’t have children in order to gain from them. I had them because I love to love. And I will enjoy loving them till the day I die.

Friday Bone Time

So, Thursday was one of the lowest of my lows. All I had done was fry veggie sausages for the family (minus me as they contain gluten) and gone to the pharmacy. That’s all.

But by the time got to my bedroom after the pharmacy, I was in so much pain that I was crying. I’d even avoided working out that morning because coming takes me over the edge. But still… The standing at the pharmacy got me big time., and I mopped before going to the bedroom.

The original plan we’d made was for me to see a pain specialist next year as we are changing our medical aid plan to a better one and my current one has no more money except for admission costs. But I couldn’t take it anymore. When I can seriously consider CeeBeeDee (wrote it like that in case it gets flagged for whatever reason) oil then you know things are bad.

They had a slot available the next morning.

I took it.

Long story short, it sounds like facet joint syndrome, which would severely limit my activities but a radioactive bone scan will show us. Ok, it’s not radioactive but they’ll inject me with radioactive solution. It’s going to be the injection, a 20 minute scan, 2-3 hour wait, then 60-90 minute scan. I am dreading it. My back will be screaming and I’ll be dead bored lying there for that long. Here’s hoping I don’t end up needing to pee! (You need to drink lots during that 2-3 hour wait to help spread the radioactive solution around and my bladder is already weak.)

Also, she said I’m doing too much given my body’s issues. I should have a nanny and a cleaner. If money grew on trees and there were awesome workers available..

With my and dad’s history of arthritis, it’s also a concern. So I’ll be scanned from head to toe. I don’t know when I’ll see her afterwards.

I don’t know. I’m scared it won’t show anything. That’s a lot of money we will be paying! At the same time, if my facet joints are wearing away, there are restrictions to how much and how to exercise, or how long to sit. It will change my life negatively if that’s the problem.

But,, my life if already negatively impacted, so I’ll roll with the punches.

Bring on Friday, November 25! (As I lie here wondering if my middle back pain is linked to my IBS.)

May I Swear?

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 support.

And a prayer or two.