Monday, September 3, 2012

Fear- of illness, together with playing the role of do-it-all mom.

"The plague of prolonged illness is the constant tendency one has toward self-pity. It is an affliction that I try harder to reject than the physical pain... While I believe that 90% of the battle resides in ones positive state of mind and a strong determination to win, willpower and mood are constantly undermined... [illness] erodes not only the body, but dignity and self respect. The most difficult art to perfect is the art of being ill gracefully."
(excerpt taken from "A Private Battle", by Cornelius Ryan and Kathryn Morgan Ryan. copyright 1979)

 I am coming out of my barracks. I am trying hard to shake off the self pity. That last part of the quote rings true for me not regarding my friends so much, but my immediate family. I am constantly fighting the battle of self-respect regarding my children, and even my husband. I want them to see a healthy mommy and wife, up and around, being productive and busy. I want them to see my face in the mornings, and I fight the constant fear of losing their respect because I am in bed so much. In the final analysis, it is *my* self respect that is being slowly, insidiously, eroded away. I fight against this every day.

That procedure 11 days ago, with the stitches adjustment 4 days ago, really was much more involved than I was first led to believe. I am only now getting some relief from the pain and discomfort from that. The stitches are supposed to dissolve on their own, but there is no sign of that happening yet.

On Friday, three days ago, I felt fluey... a-gain. I got into bed. I tried a few times to get out, but my dizziness and aches wouldn't allow it. Any time I did get up (to get ready for Shabbat and have kiddush and some dinner with my family) it was pure pushing myself. My stitches hurt so much, and I felt awful. Shabbat (Saturday) was the same. In bed all day. Couldn't even last to be at kiddush that time. Robert had a quiet meal with the children. I was achey all day, sure that something Very Wrong was happening.

I am better today, after yesterday being a day of pushing through again, but a bit better than the day before. I just cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I feel achey and intense fatigue so often. Maybe I should go off ALL the drugs and see then. Nope, don't worry, that isn't realistic. I have seen glimpses of what might happen if I were to do that.

I am thinking, though, of having a complete blood work-up done. Anyway I have to see the nephrologist soon (kidney doctor), and he always wants a zillion tests. I just feel that there is Something wrong that we can fix and I will be all normal again.

Wishful thinking?

Despite it all, my relationships with my children are flourishing, baruch Hashem. On Shabbat, each one of the three younger ones took time to hang with me in my bed. I am a sitting duck to them when I am ill. I managed to read books with them, and even teach some English reading to boot. Ya'akov was having a day of not feeling well himself, so he & I hung out resting all day; him lying on a sleeping bag with his pillows and blanket next to my bed. It was sweet, actually. I *know* they respect me. But I also know that I let them down a lot. And I often hear comments that abba does this, abba does that, shopping, lots of cooking, working, bringing in the money, and I am lower on the totem pole. That hurts.

Azriel doesn't even remember me as a musician, and to the others it is ancient history. I am weaker now. At least, that is how I see it, as if from their eyes.

OK, gotta go plow on with the day...
Pick up Shifra, then put together some dinner for later.  After I pick up Azriel, I'll watch a friend's baby for a little while (I *love* this baby), then the babysitter comes. I then go to pick up Dov, take Shifra to ballet, go to a parent's meeting at Azriel's school, then meet Dov at the orthodontist. Return home at the end of it all, and go right to bed, please Gd. Robert comes home late this evening; he spent last night overnight in his school (saves two trips of an hour each for him to stay Sunday nights). I will keep the babysitter here until he arrives, I think.

I know this seems awesome, and indeed, for me this is a a Very Scary day. I have been scared of it for a few days already, as I saw the activities/responsibilities mounting up for this afternoon. This, after almost three days totally in bed, and stitches still sore.

I gotta go. Say a little prayer of strength and smiles for me today.


  1. you should wear a superman cape to help you fly.

  2. Reading the quote at the top made me think of the book that I am reading that my daughter told me to read; "Tuesdays with Morrie an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson." The book is about mortality but also about appreciating life.

  3. Is there anyone else you can hire, have help or volunteer to run some of your errands. Having you rattle off what you - have probably already done - does sound pretty daunting, even for healthy people. don't worry about how your kids see you, you want to get strong to be with them for a long time. and that time will come.

    I just want to share a bit of my experience with you, which is pretty minor in comparison. as you know i was taking steroids for this lung thing i had, I had to be weaned from it very gradually, so when i finally went down to 5 mg. of prednizone, which is the replacement dose, when your body starts to make it on its own, it was like i woke up overnight. i stopped feeling exhausted by mid-afternoon. i used to come home from work and do Sudoku until going to bed, not too happy that i wasn't getting anything done, but at least i was holding down a full time job.. when i stopped taking it altogether, around May this year,(that was a year and a half) there was another jump in energy level and then I started running around and trying to get a zillion things done, So basically i think it's the meds that make you so tired. even if you're taking them for health and healing!! There is no other way out but to rest and your kids seem to adjust to that. tho it's hard when they are growing up, there is no question about it, but you need to take care of yourself first, and i know that is a hard dilemma for a committed loving mommy.

    Have you thought of taking herbs? i didn't realize how powerful they are until I tried them.They may be able to help you heal.
    Anyway, feel better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!