They say that mum’s don’t have time to be ill. The truth us, being poorly, is ten times harder when you are a mum. You have to keep going, you have to still do everything, no matter how bad you feel.
Unfortunately for me, I have an immune system which totally sucks, thanks to the chemo I had twenty years ago and doubly thanks now, to having no thyroid. I seem to get ill nowadays just from “overdoing it”. I wonder if yesterdays #MarchOnCancer was too much for me? Or was I getting ill anyway?
I catch everything going and always suffer to the worst degree. The flu, for example, knocks me out for about 4 weeks. Kidney infections, of which I’m now a connoisseur, usually need at least twenty days of anti-biotics and then kick me harder with a throat infection – the two always come together.
I am so very in tune with my body. I know before I get ill. I know how high my temperature is, without a thermometer.
Sometimes, I can even tell the doctor what is wrong with me, before I reach their office. Like I do with every infection. Like I did with Thyroid Cancer.
I’m so sick of being ill. When I’m ill, I feel like I am useless, worthless and a total failure at being a mum.
I hated the look on my girls faces today, when they wanted mummy, but mummy was in bed, with so little energy, that I couldn’t even cry. The bed sheets on top of me, feeling more like a blanket of rocks. Their sweet little pudgy fingers stroking my arm gently, feeling more like a punch.
Today I couldn’t get out of bed. I don’t know what is wrong, but everything hurts. I have spent the last 22 hours drifting in and out of consciousness, only to wake up in pain and with a fever. I hate being ill and being ill makes me feel depressed. What use am I to them, when I am like this all the time? How am I going to cope with the school run tomorrow, when today I could barely make it to the toilet without falling over. I want someone else’s body now. Someone else’s strength. Because I’m all out.
Now the girls are in bed, I have finally summoned up the energy to cry, and I can’t tell you what a relief that is.
I know there must be more people out there, like me, with shit immune systems, that get ill all the time, whether cancer or tonsillitis. Sometimes I wish I knew some of them, so that I felt less alone, when I’m in my dark place. When I’m lying in bed, full of self pity and hating my body for never giving me a break. Will my kids grow up saying “oh mum’s always ill”. Will they remember all the times I wasn’t well enough to play? Will hospital visits always be a routine part of their lives? Will they resent the messy house, all the times I was too poorly to clean?
I’m a mum, so I have to suck it up and get on with it… but sometimes, being poorly a lot, is really really hard.