“Caving” to protect loved ones
This week is half term, a week where I should be able to enjoy spending quality time with my children. A week where most people have gone on a short break with their families or out enjoying day trips to the coast, a theme park or walking through the tantalizing British countryside.
Not so for me. My children have been very good at finding things to entertain themselves, such as inviting a group of friends over for a sleep over, or the boyfriend to watch movies, creating new polymer sculptures, playing computer games and the like…
While I rest & recover. Last weekends activities took more out of me than I care to admit to my family. In all reality it was just a regular weekend, a nice casual stroll around Canterbury on Saturday, followed by a family celebration on Sunday. We had a rest day on Monday followed by dinner with my Mum.
Then Tuesday came along. This ended up being quite a busy day. I was already in more pain than usual from the previous days but still needed to do a run to the dentist and then another run into town. On my way back I realised that driving is becoming increasingly difficult. The pain in my elbows is making gear changes and steering far more challenging than I ever expected. But I tapped into that last little bit of energy reserve to get the jobs done.
But on Wednesday, I caved! I went into my little shell, hiding my pain, hiding my emotions, hiding my fears, my hopes, and my dreams. My new medication is yet to start working for me. Okay, it has only been a week and I do understand that the Gabapentin needs to build up slowly in the system…
But I am so very tired now, and in more pain, new pain. My arms and legs feel like the bones are being crushed from the inside out. The muscles feel strained and sore, as if I have been lifting weights or taking part in a long marathon or bike ride. As much as I love my partner and my children, my entire body feels bruised and I am even finding hugs painful (but I won’t stop hugging).
The waves of crushing pain led to nausea, followed by my brain running through all my fears. Real fears; How do I earn money when pain makes me so tired that I can’t concentrate on anything? How can I carry on showing my family how much I love them? How do I tell them that I am frightened that we will lose everything? All because the pain leaves me feeling unable to do anything.
I no longer feel guilty about not being able to do everything and have forgiven myself for thinking that I have caused this (a thought that I had for a long time), but I have now reached that point of what next? I am currently signed off sick, but with the last 18 months of unreliable work attendance due to this debilitating illness I am not sure if I will find a permanent placement when we get the medication right. This leads to my biggest fear and the one that I hide the most, Will we lose our home?
I have been trying to find new ways to work from home, work that I can do around the illness like the proof reading, but this is slow and irregular at the moment. So I am in a vicious circle of fear, pain, trepidation and fatigue. I am just thankful that full on depression hasn’t hit me yet and that in amongst all the pain I can and do find things that make me truly happy even if I am unable to do them every day.
But, yet I still find that I “cave”, my coping mechanism to protect my family. This I need to work through – this blog is helping!