It's a tough week because it's grey and cold again and Emma is ill (since Saturday) and so the three of us (Emma, Will and I) are staying in and trying to make her better without going nutty. The pediatrician said it was a virus so all we can do is nurse her, feed her, cuddle her and give her plenty of rest and warmth. And wait until her body recovers.
I always find it tough to stay in but even more so when I am not sick myself. Having said that, I kind of enjoyed taking care of Emma. I mean consciously doing everything I could to be there with her (she has never been sick this long), preparing her favorite snacks and bathing her... and we had some fun moments, talking, painting, watching a movie together, giggling over William's silly noises, and snuggling up in bed with a Mr. Man book.
Emma painting in our play-room
Happily, I have also been able to step out a little thanks to our devoted cleaning lady G. who has graciously taken over for the vacationing sitter. Hence, I still made it to the hospital and dr's today and will go to the ophtalmologist tomorrow even if Emma is still not 100% better and able to go to kindergarden. Not the most exciting outings, but at least it minimizes frustration and postponing and waiting...
Emma painting away
So what's with the doctors?
Well since December when my stress levels and migraines became unbearable and I was told that my blood pressure was not ok (by the eye doctor) I have been doing all sorts of tests (an eye test, blood tests, hormone tests, an MRI, a heart ECG, a heart ultra-sound, a 24 hour blood-pressure test happening as I write), and seen various specialists; an eye-doctor, a dentist, a cardiologist and a neurologist as well as the thyroid specialist and last but not least a psychotherapist because if my heart is pounding so hard I believe it's because it needs to be heard and I need to let it talk.
I was inclined to believe that the stress and sadness of my father's death and the sleepless nights and no-pause days (no 1 or 2 hour naps when you can step out of being a Mum in front of the telly or a book) were to blame, I nevertheless decided it was top priority to sort this out because I cannot function with migraines. Let alone entertain & look after Emma and Will.
Emma and Will crawling together
It has been a scary and stressful process - even just getting round to the doctors and appointments with my kids timetables and no grand-parents around to help. My thyroid meds have been changed, I have removed all external contraceptives from my body and have been taking blood pressure meds for 2 weeks now as well as a mild dose of anti-depressants to help me manage the emotional side. (Although the dr said that my serotonin levels were totally depleted due to prolonged lack of sleep and stress and so I needed to fill the pool up again.)
Hopefully I will have some news this week after handing in my carry-round blood-pressure measurer (which incidentally is driving me NUTS blowing up every 30 minutes!) at the hospital tomorrow. I am having a hard time not finding this annoying despite trying to be positive and humorous about my sci-fi looking accessory. I am not a good sick person. Being a sick parent is even tougher.
My fashionable 24 hour accessory
It's kind of scary having to do all this. I feel and have felt many different things; Wobbly is an understatement. Doing this made me feel ill. And weak. And in order to look after kids you need to be strong and fit. Falling short really scared me. But I also felt strong and determined to get better. It also made me think of my Dad and how he had been ill when I was a little girl and then gotten better, also of him in hospital at the end of his life and that made me sad. Ever so sad. I really wished I could pick up the phone and talk with him.
I also realized that I need to put myself first more - or last less - because I need to be well, fit and happy to be there for my family and kids. The cardiologist & neurologist (both men) told me that I need more recreation in my life, more time for me and things to to balance the stress of my son's screaming and unpredictable sleeplessness. My father would no doubt have approved.
I also felt humbled and grateful sitting in the waiting room of the hospital because I was next to people lying in beds attached to machines and at the same time I felt scared and wished I was somewhere else. I also remembered my open heart surgeries in 1997 and 1999. And the people who were by my side during those difficult times. It also made me remember that we are mortal. And fragile.
I felt angry at this world where pharmacies (and food shops and the Internet) sell things that we are made to believe are going to help us when in fact they may be harmful. I mean when you are ill, you want to be able to trust your pharmacist and rely on your doctor.
I felt very little and alone queuing at the hospital (it's huge!) and asking the administrative personnel to repeat instructions in German slowly. It reminded me of how my friend I. had been with me when I needed to find a good Obgyn when I was in Izmir just pregnant with Emma. (thank-you I. I will never forget you not letting me be alone...)
Simultaneously I was grateful that I had someone to leave the kids with so that they did not need to be there (bacteria, ill people, scared and worried people including me - once I walked out I could smile and be myself with them, but not there in the hospital). I also doubted a lot. What if... what if?
Anyway, hopefully tomorrow, or at least by the end of this week, I'll know more. And hopefully it will be good news.
All good vibes welcome! ;-)