“They Fuck You Up, Your Mum and Dad…”

“…they may not mean to, but they do.”  This Be The Verse – Larkin.

I worry a lot about how my chronic pain is affecting the children and how it will in the future. R and I try to keep the day to day stuff discrete – I don’t advertise taking my medicine and R and I discuss serious stuff, complication, future plans, possible surgery/not surgery and my fears in private, I try not to show when I am very upset. But this pain is all-encompassing. It is ever-present no matter what ‘phase’ I am in. At best, I am cautious in what I do, how and when in case I relapse, at worst I can’t do anything because I have relapsed and am in pain. And there is no way of hiding this from my babies.

It breaks my heart when I cannot get up off the floor due to a back spasm and Summer Girl helps scoop me up. When she strokes my hair after I have been sick and asks me what I need. Admittedly she has always been a compassionate and empathic girl. I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum with both my pregnancies, and more so with my Winter Boy. My Summer Girl was just 3 years old, and would be rubbing my back as I hurled into the Great White Telephone. I would be unable to stop her as I was ‘busy’ and she was soothing and reassuring even then. But then it was different, it was always going to pass, there was always going to be an end to that difficult patch (and it ended literally the moment the placenta was ‘born’ I almost immediately asked for coffee and toast having not really eaten for 9 months) and I could explain that to her with certainty. I can’t do that now, although I lie and tell her it will most definitely get better, just in a little while.

I am less concerned about Winter Boy. I mean yes it does affect him, he can’t always have cuddles and sometimes I get cross when he jumps on me from the top of the sofa, or bounces on my stomach and I have to stop him. He understands that if he kisses my back it will make it all better, and tells me he is going to look after me. But in time, should this situation ever resolve, it will hopefully leave his memories for better times.

But Summer Girl, she is 6. She understands so much more. She as memories already and this is forming a huge chunk of them right now. Last week she went to school in tears on several mornings, in particular on Wednesday, my Dark Day when I had to crawl to the toilet and cried from pain and vomiting. She did not want to go because she was scared to leave me. And this evening, having again witnessed me vomiting she was hushed away from me by R while crying hysterically ‘mama! mama! I want mama!’ and crying that she does not want me to be sick and have a bad back any more, and even as I threw up I cried at not being able to stop it coming up, so that I could go and hug her and tell her it will be ok.

I cannot make this go away for her. And It might not go away at all, if surgery is not viable this could remain for a long time. Years. And what memories will they have? of a sick mummy, who they had to be careful around, who had mood swings and who did not do what other mummies do? I cannot bear that their childhood is being clouded by this. It dominates everything at the moment. It was never meant to be like this for them. This is not their future. No. I am not going to let that happen. I have to change it.

So, having been torn in many directions regarding medication, and pressure from my GP to take it, I am not going to take the Pregabalin prescribed today, the nerve blocker that is just as likely to send me into a zombie like state and struggle to function any day of the week as the other never blockers. I am not willing to put my children through another 4-6 weeks of me trying adjusting to it, and for the side effects to mess us up even more than we are now, and I am going to find a way to accept some level of pain, manage the ups and downs differently and Get The Fuck Over It. Somehow. I will resolve myself to adjust to this properly, emotionally. For the sake of my children. I will still have good days and bad days, but if I am not high on medication every single waking hour, then I stand a chance of the good days being really good.

And then maybe the children will have memories of their mummy sometimes not being well but always happy and smiling, determined and fun, memories of their mummy being who she should be, not this shell of a woman who is here right now. And maybe I won’t fuck them up too much.

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6 thoughts on ““They Fuck You Up, Your Mum and Dad…”

  1. You are being too hard on yourself when you have so much to deal with already. My girls are horribly aware of my hip complications, emphasised by my need to stand in Tesco hanging off a shopping trolley weeping because I couldn’t move, breath, call for help. But Ella is now 9, Lex is 6 and with the wee one turning 4 I’m sure they all know.

    Be kind to yourself too. They will remember a strong woman who fought and fought hard. x

    • Thank you. It is good to hear that maybe they will remember differently, but right now they can’t possibly see a strong woman, as I am not in any way strong. I am in bed too much, crying too much, puking too much. But today, that is changing. Starting with R and I having coffee/breakfast, followed by the gym. Then I am going to prepare everything for us to make Roo’s birthday invitations when they get home from school/pre-school. I am going to change my Attitude to this Mess. How is your hip now? How do you cope day to day?

  2. I had to change my lifestyle completely. Left the job I was in which required me to sit for up to 12hrs a day and I now spend most of the time on my feet. As a weight bearing joint my hip couldn’t cope AND the condition I have means that sitting is the worst thing I could be doing. I couldn’t take in a lot the consultant was telling me as it sounded so horrific having not been able to find anything through private health care etc. Its a rare condition and had they caught it when I was younger it would have resulted in major surgery. As it stands it’s too late, the damage is done and within 5yrs the replacements will start happening. I have a supply of strong pain killers if I need them but try not to. I should be dropping weight, it’s on the ‘to do’ list.

    One day at a time, in essence, one day at a time x

  3. I am so sorry to read what you are going through…the sad thing is that its so similar to my story….the thing I will say is that children do move on and they do forget! I have managed to find the magic ingredients that helped me out of this situation and now my children can see me swim, smile more and be more carefree – its a gradual process though…. They are considerate (some of the time!) which I think is a hang over from having to help me up the stairs or knowing I’ve been in pain but that’s not a negative. You will get through this however impossible it feels right now. The journey is always different for every person but sometimes the ingredients of what can help can be the same. If you have the inclination then please have a look at my blog….I know how back spasms can make you feel – my last whole body spasm nearly finished me off!! Best wishes.

  4. Pingback: 12-15 WEEKS! to see the neurosurgeon « Wine Can't Cure Back Pain

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