Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Blog 54 b...Keeping Going...

Blog 54 b...Keeping Going...

The reason why I’m a stay at home mum, housewife, is simple really: I suddenly became ill. Not devastatingly ill as in cancer; so no great sympathy required, but ill with what has been deemed as an undiagnosed chronic pain. An unbelievably bad pain in the lower part of my back that drives me to want to knock my head on the wall, any wall, anywhere just to have a different pain for a few moments. On the really bad days I want to curl up and die: yes dramatic as it sounds and I have scoffed at people who said they had a bad back…so perhaps this is my payback… there are times that death would be the only relief during the darkness of yet another sleepless night. I cannot describe it clearly and I don’t want to become obsessive about it but if you have had a difficult labour then multiply that pain by 100 and you’re almost at the same point…if you have never experienced labour pains…imagine the worst toothache and multiply it by 1,000 and possibly you’ll have some idea.The difficulty with my pain is that not even morphine in the hospital's casualty relieved it…whereas labour and toothache eventually go away…my pain is my new companion, it goes everywhere with me and dictates to me what I can and cannot achieve.

 Years ago I would have jumped at the chance to be at home all day; especially with a brand new baby…out of my power; unfortunately finances dictated for me as it does for many young women that you have the baby you have struggled so long for just to hand it over to someone else to enjoy whilst you go back to work. In my case teaching other peoples’ ‘babies’. Sod’s law really. I used to teach in an upstairs classroom and look out of the window at lucky young mothers pushing their designer prams around the corner to show their baby off to other new mothers. So I had to return to work when my first born son, the ‘Intelligent one’, was just 10 weeks old…I’d had the bonus of 3 extra weeks as he was early otherwise he’d have been just 7 weeks old if I’d gone long term…full term? Can’t remember the saying, needless to say he was a brand new itsy, ditsy when I had to hand him over to the mother in law. Worse nightmare for any new mum. She was going to give him his first feed of the day, walk him to the park in his new, shiny, clean pram. She was going to have the benefit of snuggling him, bathing him and getting him ready for bed by the time I got home from work. He was not going to remember me. I used to lie awake at night thinking of all the worst case scenarios of family get togethers when he would run to her not me, she’d be holding the teething ring as he cut his first tooth, she would be the one holding his hand when he took his first steps, and OMG she’d be the first name uttered by my longed for little one; he’d not be saying mmmum he’d be saying nnnana……..the fact that it’s ddada that most babies find easier to say never occurred to me as I stood at the side of his cot in the dark watching him breathing softly and gently in the crack of light from the landing bulb: just aching to hold him and smell his hair and kiss his tiny fingers.

 Nope I didn’t get to stay at home then nor did I get to stay at home with the ‘Cutie- pie,’ who by the way was a total shock; be warned ladies when you think you’re approaching the menopause and everything’s okay ‘down there,’ I was 41 when ‘Cutie- pie’ came along…thanks to a very memorable weekend in London for Valentine’s Weekend. I say memorable not because it was romantic but because ‘Hubby’ and I had not been speaking, we’d fallen out over something, possibly money, I’m no longer sure [funny how you can blank some things from memory] but it was memorable because I insisted that we had sex in our hotel room as I’d paid a fortune and I wasn’t going to waste all that money and the preparation of new undies, new hairstyle, waxed private little bits [actually not so little I’d never shifted the baby weight even after 3 years] and the coaxing of the ‘Intelligent one’ to stay overnight [2 actually, the Saturday and the Sunday] at nana’s…of course ‘Hubby’ relented once I’d taken his sky remote off him, “But I’m still not talking to you,” that was fine by me I was going to try out the imaginary sex fantasies that I’d read about during a staff meeting once [well the staff would leave these magazines lying around] whereby you think of a scenario and a sexy partner etc. etc…it was all in the mind...so a bit of peace and quiet would suit me fine.[Actually it suited us both, not only did ‘Hubby’ speak to me again afterwards but we ‘did it’ again…a first for us!] Hey presto…baby number two was brought home from London. I should have guessed really as I was violently sick at school at the end of the March and sent home. When the sickness didn’t falter a visit to the doctor’s confirmed that it wasn’t a bug but a baby…What?? We had tried for years to get pregnant and no success; so was the secret to getting pregnant ‘doing it’ twice in a hotel room whilst imagining I was some buxom wench [hardly imaginary for those of you who know me] being ravished by the handsome Lord [handsome is a fair description of the old ‘Hubby’ in his prime.]

Nope, no chance of giving up teaching at that particular point in my life as a mother [although I did get a chance later on.] and just enjoy myself with the children. Nope I get to stay at home all day with a pain! Apparently it is quite common amongst people of all ages that a chronic pain can be left with no diagnosis and you simply have to get on with life as no diagnosis equals no cure. Obviously there has to have been something wrong for a pain to appear but apparently the pain can linger due to the brain not switching off the correct signals. I woke up suddenly one Sunday morning with the most dreadful pain in my back that felt like I had been stabbed. That was 4 years ago. I spiralled downwards in the cycle of investigations from x-rays, to ultra sound scans, to colonoscopy, cystoscopy, to thousands of blood tests [ok not thousands but you get the idea of loads of them…and my veins aren’t good] CT Scan, MRI scans, I’ve had more tubes than the London underground stuck up places I hadn’t thought about for years and Kidney investigations and a bladder biopsy which made me wee on the operating table…yes my boys aren’t the only ones who pee where they shouldn’t!

 Weeks gelled into months, months floated into years: I spent what seemed forever comatosed on the bed/sofa watching Fern Britton get slimmer and slimmer whilst I got fatter and fatter…well lying around does that you know plus all the toast and Horlicks not to mention the tablets. I could quote whole sentences from repeatedly watching the Gilmour Girls [whilst secretly wanting their life style, ah to live in a quaint town with a coffee bar within walking distance and everyone knows you...] I lost my job [temporary teaching contract ran out at the early stages of illness, the contract was not re-newed, sore point but that’s life] so there was nothing else to get up for; I was now unemployed as well as ill: on bad days I don’t think I got washed, combed my hair or even brushed my teeth; I couldn’t stand up straight, in fact some days I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk, I shuffled, I was in pain and I cried…a lot. Out of the blue an aunt from Ireland rang to see how I was. Her attitude was different to ours…you don’t take one opinion and put up with it, you do something along the lines of a second opinion or research and so I found myself agreeing to visit her for a few days as her neighbour is a leading Bio-Cranial Specialist. So I was on my way! How on earth was I going to cope with the airport?

 I have very limited travelling experience…I was once going to Ireland with my sister for a family wedding, we were teenagers. We were getting the Irish overnight ferry from Liverpool at the time when there were troubles and security was tight: we were being searched [not stripped searched thank God, although the security man was rather a dish in his uniform] The security guard asked my sister a question:
Guard:“Where are you going?”
Sister: “Ireland”
Guard: “Where in Ireland?”
Sister: “Belfast”
Guard: “Where in Belfast?”
Sister: “My Uncles”
Guard [getting agitated]: “Where does ya Uncle live?”
Sister: “ Summerhill…oh no hang he moved, I don’t know the address but it’s near where he was living.”
Guard [red faced] “In Belfast?”
Sister: “Oh no, he’s in Bangor near our grandma, have you ever been to Bangor, beautiful beach and…”
The conversation was brought to a halt by the guard who by then looked like he was going to have a heart attack from frustration as he turned to me and asked, “Where are you going?” to which my sister quickly answered “She’s coming with me to Belfast and we’ll both staying at my uncle's…”

This time I was travelling on my own, flying from Blackpool to Belfast was a terrifying thought: I had to keep telling myself it’s a short flight, I only had hand luggage, it’s a case of on and off...but I was spurred on…I was going to be cured…

 Blog 54 c coming soon...next week same place...
Copyright ©GML 2012


  1. Excellent. I wish I could be as honest in my writing. Looking forward to next weeks.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement...it'll keep me going...by the way I've noticed a few missing words after I published it...tried so hard to make it perfect!!!

  2. A great read. Some interesting information within!!! A mixture of laughter, fear, pain and honesty. Looking forward to reading your next blog.

    1. Thank you, hope you keep on reading...your comments are valued [apologies for a few missing words...must be the excitement!!!]