Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Compare my day...

Im officially disabled now. Did i say? Its bittersweet really. On the one hand it means a car, getting out of the house and no more hospital transport. Being able to take the children out and making up a little in experiences what they now miss in a mother. On the other hand im very uncomfortable accepting such a label - my brain still insists im fine, in my head im fully able - its only my body thats not with the program.

Every day is a shock to me, i really expected by now id be back on my feet, tweeting things like 'walked to the shop today, tired but glad to be walking!'. Instead i find i have very little to say, who want to hear 'made it to the loo in time again, yay me!'? Ive done a comparison below, it might prove to be depressive reading so dont feel you have to stay, i wont hold it against you x

My normal day.
Alarm goes off at half past six and as soon as i hear it i jump out of bed (yes, really).
I use the toilets, have a wash and brush my teeth. I get dressed and then go to wake up the boys. I wake them up by singing 'Good morning, good morning' and opening the curtains.
 I give them each a kiss and tell them how lovely it is to see them both. They get up and start getting ready for school.
 I go into the girls room and do the same, helping Princess and changing Chickin nappy and dressing her.

Back to my bedroom to turn off Hubby's alarm and wake him up and get dressed.
Down the stairs i go, to the kitchen. While i stick a load of washing in the machine and then prepare the breakfast the children help me out by getting out the cutlery, getting the coats ready and finding the shoes (which oddly enough are never in the shoe box). 
 After eating our breakfasts together we get on coats, wrestle the chick into the buggy and set off on the walk to school, meeting up with a friend on the way.
After walking the mile there, settling the three 'big ones' in to their respective classes and apologizing for whatever devastatingly important thing ive forgotten, i meet back up with my friend and we walk back together, often briefly stopping to catch up with other friends. Sometimes we stop at the shop, and once a month we walk the two and a half miles to the nearest trading post to stock up on tins and washing powder.

Once home i hang out the washing and put on another load - it never ends you know! The chick helps with the pegs and then weighs down the bin while i struggle the full bag out and take it to the big bin out the front. We'll usually play together til lunch, sometimes reading, colouring or watching a show but not today, today is shopping day so we grab the change bag (which i got ready the night before) and run for the bus.
 We have ninety minutes to get round the store before the bus leaves to go back which is just enough time to get all the bits on the list and maybe stop for a little treat at the cafe before we are off home again.
 Once home i unpack the frozen stuff and then the chick and i have lunch together. After lunch chick and i settle on the sofa for a cuddle and very soon she nods off for her sleep. I use this time, putting away the shopping, bringing in the dry washing, hanging the wet load and loading up the machine again. I might check emails on the computer, or do a bit of housework upstairs but i try to be back on the sofa next to her by the time she wakes up.
 Before long its time to go and collect the bigger babes from school, im tired but happy as i go from class to class collecting them up and we walk together. Sometimes we go to the park but not often, i dont like how busy it is right after school. Today isnt a dance day (Princess and Manic each have a dance class at the village hall once a week) so we go straight home.

After the usual chaos getting in the door and unraveling the children and emptying the buggy we set up to do homework or watch half an hour of tv or spend some time in the garden, depending on the day and the weather. All too soon Hubby is home and its time to start preparing dinner. I usually have at least one 'helper' and yet somehow dinner still gets made. The food is eaten, the plates are cleared and the dishwasher is loaded. Time for baths, time for respective bed time routines to begin. Hubby and i take turns with doing the bedtimes and spending dedicated one on one time with each of the children. Then before we know it its our bedtime too and off we go.

Boring, right? Totally predictable, suburban and blah. Nothing special at all. But its something i miss in my life with a fiery intensity. This is my day now...

I hear my alarm and groggily shut it off. Ive barely slept and im so tired, i hate hearing that thing go off. Im aware i wont necessarily know i need the toilet til im bursting so i should really get up and off to the loo.

 So i sleepily shuffle to the edge of the bed and im up and off.
Except im not, it doesnt quite work. I try again to stand up only to be met with a bolt of pain through my pelvis and back, and a weakness in my thighs which tells me i'll not make it an inch off the bed without something to pull myself up on. So i use the 'special' handle on the side of my bed - put there for that very purpose.

Now im up, and a little more awake i head to the bathroom.
 Except that wont work, with any weight on them my legs wont lift off the floor (not without a lot of pain and strain), so i grab for my crutches. Bit better, still hurts more than being in bed did but its lessened enough that i can move now. Off to the loo (i wont go into too much detail but there is a very attractive frame around our toilet now to help me get down and up) and into the other room to wash my hands.

Only now im knackared. Ive only just started and already im done. The pain im in has sucked out what little energy i had just in getting to the toilet. Shall i brush my teeth? It means letting go of one of the crutches - being only partially supported. No, it will have to wait.

I get back to bed and i just want sleep. But im a Mum and i cant give in yet. I want to go into the boys room and wake them up smiling, but I have to settle for calling to them from my bed. Not the same, but it does the job. The girls are up now too - one stone, two jobs i guess. Time to take my tablets.
I cant go downstairs and make their breakfast now, so i get Husband up and he does the down stairs duties with the children.
 I help however i can, doing nappy changes and supervising the dressing, reminding them to pick up their fruit for snack time or take in their bookbag, whatever i can remember.

Now they are all gone. Id love for chickin to stay with me but she cant - even with a gate at the top of the stairs and on the boys room i cant keep her safe. She is too inquisitive and in the hour the school run takes she could pretty much inquire the house to rubble.
 Just me and the boy then, and that is nice. I settle down to feed him and try to nap. Not on my side - if i do the front of my pelvis will overlap and get stuck, and worse at some point in the day it will unstick and un-overlap. So, im sort of diagonal really, ive cushions under and behind me. Im still hurting and uncomfortable but i might sleep.

Maybe i sleep, maybe i dont, maybe i doze or daydream, maybe i just stare out the window. But im close to my baby and im feeding him myself, and that is good.

Home already! Hubby is back, and Chickin is excited. What will i do with her this morning? Is it playgroup day? Are we off to the park maybe? Will i treat her with a bus ride to the seafront or the big park? 
 No, none of those things. I read her a story while Astro sleeps, but she gets bored soon after and goes to find Daddy. I love that they are so close now but i long for our old relationship back. Daddy entertains her now. 
 I switch on the computer and check my bank account, emails and listen online to the radio. The computer will stay on all day, its the only way to keep my brain going. I can hear Hubby and Chickin, doing housework, playing. At some point i get to brush my teeth but usually it involves realizing the trip is going to cost too much in pain and asking Hubby to bring it all to me. Lunch time rolls around and what do i want? Nothing really, i dont really get hungry anymore. But i ask for something, i know i must eat and Hubby will worry if i dont. Something simple it is then, and i eat as much as i can.
 Tablets again. They dont seem nearly as effective as they were, now barely taking the edge off and providing me no comfort, but i take them as they are better than nothing and i am afraid that asking for something stronger will mean giving up feeding Astro.
 I feed the baby again and play with him for a bit but he'll soon sleep. Chickin comes up to see me again and we read a book or watch a dvd. Sometimes she sleeps a bit and i turn to the computer, looking on Rightmove at pretty houses or harassing friends on facebook or twitter (you know who you are ;) ). 

 Hubby will try to pop up between housework jobs but cant stop long, i love him dearly though for his efforts. Before long its school run time again, i try to doze while Astro has a re-fill but often im too achy and restless. Boy do i miss that school run, especially on the cold clear days. The babes are home soon though and i put on my best smile and listen my hardest to their days events. I will do everything i can to stop my misery from becoming theirs. We watch tv, or they go downstairs for homework or to make the best of the better tv selection. Dinner is brought up and i eat what i can, take my tablets again. Hubby is clearly tired but he gets on with the bedtimes. I help as i can, changing a nappy, supervising the pj's or applying toothpaste to brush. If im having a 'good' day for pain i'll sit up for a while and fold some clean washing into piles to be put away.

 The kids are settled and Hubby comes to check if i need anything. We chat for a little while but he is tired so i tell him to go downstairs and enjoy the unrivaled remote or play on his xbox for a bit (he has more than earned it!). I'll feed the babe again and then play around on the computer til he comes up to bed. His comes in here again before bed for a while and we'll watch a bit of tv or chat briefly. He sleeps in the other room now, so his snoring doesnt prevent what little rest i get in the night.

 So, now alone i try to sleep, its often futile but i try none the less. I usually give up in the end, ending up roaming the internet til 2 or 3 am when my eyes feel heavier than the pain and i try to catch the doze and develop it to a sleep. Sometimes it works for a couple of hours, sometimes not and im staring out the window again or daydreaming the hours away til my alarm goes off again.

Its not inspiring, is it? This is why im finding it hard to write posts again - i really dont have anything new to say. Other than stories of how my brain and body are still at odds regarding my physical capabilities. I was having a good pain day on Saturday,so i somehow convinced myself i could stand. Just for a few minutes, just long enough to snap a few pics of the outgrown baby clothes im flogging. I must have been upright for maybe a minute, leant heavily on the side of the bed, before i collapsed in pain and weakness. That set me back four days, that minute - ive been in too much pain to even try and wash in the bathroom - only making it to the toilet out of sheer pigheadedness.

It kills me that something as natural as having a baby has left me like this, and that my problems continue to baffle doctors. Not having a plan, bugs me too. I like to be organised, to know where im going and what needs doing by when. I seem to be floating along on a sea of pain with no particular destination and no use of the experience.

I dont seem to have a proper close for this post, sorry if ive brought anyone down but i have to get it out somewhere and really, thats why i started this blog in the first place x

Images courtesy of Google Images


  1. I can't tell you how sorry I am. I can't really begin to imagine what you are going through, despite you writing so eloquently about it. It seems so unfair & awful x

  2. Becki, you are amazing - you need to know that.

    I can send you some books to read to take you away from the computer for a bit if you want - different stuff that you may not have read before. I've also got some cross-stitch kits here (all bits and pieces included) which you could try to break up the boredom. Do you want me to send them to you?

  3. Your story makes me so sad. I really can't imagine how awful things must be for you. I hope this isn't a permanent thing for you and you do eventually get bet or at least a better enough to lead a normal life again. And I didn't know you were on Twitter so I am now following you there too. Sending lots of love xxx

  4. Wow., what a read - in a good way i Mean because I think we all take our days for granted whereas you can't. How awful that all this pain and suffering has come just from having a a baby. It's such a shame that you can't be the mum you were or want to be. However, I think you are brave and amazing and your family are very lucky to have you in their lives
    Is this a condition that will get better one day - does anyone know? I really, really hope so. I had no idea what you go through so thank you for writing it down xx

  5. I thought my problems were bad - I was bedridden and in the wheelchair for the last few months of the pregnancy, had had the crutches for the first few months, and took so much tramadol I thought I was going to deform my unborn son - but the day after the section I could walk. It bloody hurts and I can't walk far but the physio and the codiene are helping and I'm hopeful I won't need the op they've suggested (which I've been refusing since I was 14 and my back problems first started. I can' have any more children because the damage would be too great and I, like you, would be in a wheelchair after the birth with no clue as to when, or if, I'd ever get out of it. I really, really hope you get better, that they can do something to help properly, soon because having to listen to your babies growing and playing and laughing whilst you lie in bed is shattering, I know that, and I know how it makes you feel as a Mummy.

    If you ever need to talk to someone email me and I'll send you my number. I can't offer anything useful but I can do a right good line in imaginative swearwords for futile rage.

    Huge hugs, huge huge huge ones. You'll walk soon, and then you'll be taking them swimming and to play in the park and all those little things will be sheer magic all over again - I know you'll walk again because you know you will.

  6. I actually teared up reading this. I wish I could give you a big hug. You're really a very incredible and inspiring person, Becki. xxxxxxxxxxxxx