Tender

Tender

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ramblings of a feverish mind

I'm sick. Oh, yes, so sick I can't ignore it. So sick I can't keep anything in me and the panic feeling of needing to purge while dreading the act is pretty much constant. I can't stand properly. Everything aches.

I had my warnings. I don't have time to be sick, so I ignored my body's irritable poking, treated it like whining. Now, here I am. Laid flat. Reminded just who is in charge here, after all.

My parents came this morning to visit. They were understanding in the way they are - disappointed, worried, wishing they knew so they could have avoided bothering us (and coming to the infectious zone) as if calling them should have been the first priority. My dad couldn't help but blame me a bit "it must be losing too much weight too fast" (I've lost about 15 pounds in the last SIX MONTHS).

My mom asked if I wanted her to stay to help with the kids rather than head to their next destination (they live far away, fit in lots of visits each trip). She asked with her shoes on, my dad half out the door, the reluctance in her voice barely masked despite her best efforts. She means well. She would have stayed. Neither of them gave protest when we said we'd be fine, though it must have been clear that I was not fine, not at all.

My kids don't understand. They are ready to burst into tears at slightest provocation. They keep running to my room while I'm resting to ask if I'm better yet, startling me awake. I try to be there for them but fall back, exhausted; I run from the room for another toilet break. They bang on the door.

My husband is quietly just doing. Doing and doing and taking care of the kids. He would take care of me, too, if he had an idea how, but I can't bring myself to ask one more thing of him when he's carrying the full family burden and we don't even have any food since today is my grocery day.

So it's me. Can I care for myself? After 4+ years of letting my body fall to the bottom of the priorities, pushing my own needs and desires aside for everyone else, can I take one day for me without guilt, without shame?

This time, I have no choice but to do it. It's how I let myself think about it, and how I feel about it, that poses a choice.

I'm working on it. I'm closer than I've ever been. The pangs of guilt around my parents dissipated very fast. The pangs of guilt around my kids, I've accepted and gently handed them the responsibility to try to understand. The pangs of guilt around my husband taking the burden - those are harder, because he would be further burdened by even knowing they exist. But I'm almost there - more grateful than guilty.

This illness is a check-in on how I'm doing with me. I can't give myself an A+, but I can see my progress. Two years ago the mess in my mind would have been as bad as the mess in my body. Today, that's not the case.

The real test will come when I'm slightly better, when I have a choice between treating myself gingerly or pushing always to the limit.

Right now, I think I'll just go back to bed.

5 comments:

  1. Well, I certainly hope that you heed your body, slow down, EAT WELL, and get better. I am so aware of the importance of nutrition to overall good health and happiness, and sleep is another necessity. Take care of yourself! molly

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  2. So sorry to hear you are soo sick :( I hope that you can allow your husband to take care of you and the kids... after all that is what a partner is for.... he may not do it like you would.... but let go and heal yourself. The kids and him will survive.. even if they eat peanut butter sandwiches and pancakes for a few days LOL
    As for you my friend... lots of warm ginger tea...lots of fresh squished juice...lots of liquids and lots of rest....
    be well, sending healing thoughts your way

    ((hugs))

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  3. Oh I have been there, this past winter one day I woke up like that, I literally couldn't even get out of bed to let the dog out, I couldn't keep anything down for 24 hours, and there is just nothing you can do but wait, and get better. You and the kids and your husband will all be okay...and yes, sometimes you have to put your body first, it gets cranky when you don't...I hope you feel better soon.

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  4. Oh please get better, my dear new friend. Lots of hugs and well wishes your way. And please remember this great piece of advice I heard just on the airplane while I came home today: to put on your own oxygen mask before you help another.

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  5. It sounds like you are really suffering with your illness. Does anything bring you relief? What has your doctor said?

    Guilt is such a poison, isn't it. I feel for you, having so many obligations to your family. And knowing the kids worry... It seems you've put yourself at the bottom of the pile. I hope things get better soon, or that you at least improve and find ways to cope.

    My blog is mostly about my experiences with health and disability issues. If you're anything like me, venting here and finding a community of readers who care, really helps.

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