courtesy of 3poppies photography

Monday, 28 November 2011

Finding strength beyond my own

My time and energy recently has been spent mainly pacing the floor with my 5 month old trying to pacify him. We've had, and are still having, doctors appointments and hospital appointments to try and find something that will get him better. Nothing seems to be working, and so I've even resorted to giving up chocolate (well, dairy, but I'm only bothered about the chocolate!) to see if that helps. I've not noticed that it makes too much of a difference. I've read it might take one to two weeks to notice a change , eeek! It's a good job I love him!
I've been through a bit of an emotional roller coaster these past few weeks. I always feel down when my health takes a turn for the worst, but having to deal with a sick baby who requires so much attention and energy and little sleep was a real test to my limits. The situation hasn't changed to make me feel better. I did. I realised it was no good praying for a miracle to get my baby back, instead I pray for wisdom for myself and the doctors to discover what will help. Then I research his symptoms, I look for tips that other mums use to cope. I pray for strength to handle the pacing and rocking, the lack of sleep. I accept and even ask for help. This is a very big step for me. Nearly five years of illness has not made it any easier to receive help. I prioritise where I will spend what little energy I have. The housework and food preparation are put on the back burner, whilst I try to give time and attention to my older son and husband when baby permits. Changing my attitude towards the situation has helped me cope with it a hundred times better than a 'why me' attitude. It's amazing what strength you find where you thought there wasn't any!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas countdown

I start counting down to Christmas after my birthday in October. I begin by making lists of everything I need to do and buy and who to get presents for, then I make my way through the lists. This year time seems to be going quickly and with all the illness my mind just hasn't been on Christmas at all. Having M.E there is no option to go last minute Christmas shopping as its all done on the Internet. Saying that though, I attempted a trip to Tesco last Saturday and made a promise to myself I would never do that again! It was survival of the fittest, every man for himself. Needless to say I barely came out alive. Luckily I was with my mum, so I left the goods with her, and sought peace, rest and sanity in the car while she finished up. Finding peace, rest and sanity in the presence of two young kids tells you what it was like in Tesco!

I think I've come to terms with the fact that my baby is probably going to be ill for the duration of the season, so instead of fighting against it I'm going to try to adapt and work around it, which will mean doing everything with a baby in one arm. I made my first list this week to prepare for Christmas. A list for who I need to BUY presents for. Today, I bought my first presents! I had a toddler in one arm, baby in the other and I somehow managed to navigate my way around Tesco's website and thanks to club card vouchers I got all the presents for free. Great feeling. Let the Christmas countdown begin ... Just not too quickly!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

My favourite things

I've been hesitant to write my blog for fear of becoming monotonous. Life has got tough and I've been finding it a struggle to think of positive things to write, or even to write about my life humorously and then who would want to read the rants of a moany old grump. But, this is life as a mum with M.E. It's flipping hard work.
The inspiring quotes that people are bombarding Facebook with are not really cutting it with me at the moment. Instead I'm going to put Julie Andrews to the test, she sang 'I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don't feel so bad' in the Sound of Music. Let's see if it works.
1) cheesy but true - my husband. He's so silly and random and treats me! He never expects me to do anything during the days and so there's no pressure to push myself. Perfect!
2) my shower - a hot shower for me is like how I imagine addicts feel when they get their fix. It's a need (for cleanliness, and muscle relaxant to ease my pain) but also a pleasure, time for myself.
3) my snack cupboard - not the cupboard itself, but the delectable treats within - yum!
4) my iphone - my life in my pocket.
5) my baby's cheeks, chubby legs, sausage fingers etc - kissing them has healing properties
6) my toddlers facial expressions - he can make me laugh when nothing else can.
7) my new boots - they actually make me feel like a million dollars.
8) my scriptures app - can delve deeper and learn more without having to cart books around.

That's enough for now. It's important to say these are in no particular order. Don't want people worrying about where my priorities are!
It worked though. Life may be tough, but there are great things in it!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Living with the aftermath of illness

Whew! What a week! I'm hoping the illnesses that have lasted for weeks have come to a head and are now making their very slow departure. We will be, however, left with the aftermath. An insane amount of washing will have to be done to get rid of the bugs. The house is going to be sterilized to zap the offending bacteria and I am left with a baby who now will probably only be able to settle to sleep nursing or in my arms, and likes to share my bed. These bad habits were developed thanks to his Incredibly sore throat and antibiotics that irritate his stomach. He used to be so good at settling himself and sleeping wherever.

 I also took a beating this last week. My threshold for energy has been reduced. It doesn't take much now for the heaviness and pain to kick in, ouch! When I think of doing sleep training and losing valuable resting time to do it, it literally fills me with dread. It was the last of the antibiotics yesterday, I'm still hoping he'll go back to my lovely, easy baby, but I'm not holding my breath!

With my energy levels dwindling I'm having to find different ways of filling our days. With a toddler its a constant challenge to find something to entertain him and teach him. At the moment he is like a sponge and soaks everything in, he is learning very quickly. This actually is a blessing as we no longer need to take him out everyday to entertain him and wear him out. We can stay in and bake, draw, play, even some gentle cleaning that he helps with. This is all as long as baby permits and all of it will be while I sit on a chair. I can't afford to push myself now, with two children to look after I don't have the same opportunities to recover.

I've had my moments these past two weeks, but I love my boys and I'm so grateful we've got them. It may be hard, but they are so worth it.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Times and seasons

Fail to plan and you plan to fail ... Wise words and very true in my case this week.
 My diet lasted all of 9 hours because I failed to plan. I have many reasons of why I failed and why I am no longer on the diet. Mainly that my youngest has been very poorly and consumed all my time, all my attention and all my energy. I could pretend I'm frustrated that my plans have been foiled, but I'm not. I'm a comfort eater and Tunnocks teacakes have got me through the awfulness of today. Twice this weekend I've asked my mum to bring me chocolate to help my sanity  and until I can cope better I don't want to give it up.
Times and seasons, times and season's is my mantra and I've been saying it over and over again these past few weeks. I've been told I'm brave having kids whilst being ill with M.E, I've been more inclined to feel crazy for doing it recently. Why did I do it? I've asked myself a lot, rhetorically, not looking for a response.
Why DID I do it? Because we love children, because they add to our love for each other, because  they make the days worthwhile. My two boys will grow up together, play together, fight together, experience life together. If I can get through the tough part now, I'll hopefully have enough energy to enjoy that.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Discovering miracles

  I'll tell you anything, give you everything...just let me sleep!
 I feel like I'm being tortured by my child, but I can't reason or bargain with him. I can't even blame him, he's too poorly. I've got to take it on the chin and smile, hiding the zombie like state within.
It's a poor state of affairs when I look back on my 'bad days', when I was bed bound, with fondness. Yet this is where I found myself today, only briefly mind you. I wouldn't actually like to go back to those days, but the thought of a day in bed today sounds bliss. My body feels like lead. A painful, achy lead. I'm fortunate that my parents live close, so when my husband goes to work, one of them can help. But there's a lot of time that I have to  fend for myself with a sick baby and active toddler. Hard work, life is tough. Then I stopped and wondered how on earth I was doing what I needed to do without getting the necessary rest. Only one way - divine intervention. Literal miracles are occurring in my life every day. I could NOT do this job without them.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


I've been trying to avoid it, but the worse I get and the more I struggle, the more  I can't avoid ... the awful diet.
It came to a head last night with me telling my husband 'if I ever say I want more kids, shoot me'. Then I realised (much later) that its not the kids that's the problem, its my health. I'm inclined to whine and complain when I'm on my own, a trait I'm not proud of, but the time has come to stop complaining and do something about it. I don't want to become totally house bound again and the cold weather is already taking its toll on my body. When I did the diet before - it worked. Its time to try it again, Eek! I love my food, particularly junk food, especially whilst breastfeeding. The diet is going to be pretty bland in comparison with my diet now and it also requires so much more effort, a lot of preparation for all meals. No more just making a sandwich. It doesn't make sense to me that I have to expend energy I don't have in order to get more energy. But so it is!

I remember from last time that I felt much better, but it also got me down due to the strictness of the diet. So this time I will allow myself one day every few weeks where I can eat normal food. I think this  will help me stick to it, because not even the incentive of better health can motivate me to stick  to it all the time. The diet calls for me to refrain from gluten, dairy and sugar. Right now these are my three main food groups! That's not all though, I can't eat rice or potatoes, except new potatoes. There's only certain types of fruit, veg fish  and herbs that I can eat. Yep, its strict.

This week I'm preparing myself to start. If there are any good recipes that you know that fit into this diet, then please, please, please share!