Second month

Today is Wednesday.

On Monday I started getting a headache in the morning. I was reading my book on a train journey and my neck got sore. All day it got worse and worse. I definitely took painkillers at some point.

Through the night it was horrible. The pain was so bad it woke me up. I took painkillers about 5am when I couldn’t cope any longer. I stood up to get the pills and my whole neck and shoulders were stiff, tense and so painful.

All of Tuesday I was fighting the pain. Couldn’t move my head well and if I bent down the pain was so sore as I came back up. I fell asleep on the sofa for about 10 mins. I had no energy and just felt so miserable.

It started to fade into the evening and I was starting to feel better but still exhausted when I went to bed. Really drained.

Through the night last night I had pain again. It was only in the right side of my neck from my shoulder to the bottom of my skull behind my ear. I couldn’t find a comfy position to lie my head. The only way it wasn’t sore was on my back. I didn’t take any painkillers in the night and haven’t all day. I’ve been tender in my neck all day.

I’m starting to think it’s tension headaches. Maybe also muscular in my neck. I’ve also realised I’m so desperate for answers I’ll come up with a new theory everyday!

On a happy note I dyed my hair today and I really like it!

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One month

That’s it. I’ve done it. One full month since I started this blog.

Definitely not a full month of no painkillers though. Failed completely on that. I have avoided it more often and suffered through some awful pain without them. Just could not function without the help. Everything I say makes me sound like I’m addicted though! I really hope you know I’m not.

I have even stopped writing here whether I had pain or not. So any chance I had of trying to figure any of this out has gone out the window cause I’ve not got any evidence of how I’ve been and when. I was really bad with pain at the beginning of the week but I’m feeling really down about it again, like when I first spoke to my doctor, so on days like that I have no will power and no ability to write anything.

Due to this I’ve decided to try again. I’m going to try for another month. I’m going to try to write something most days and especially when I’m unwell. Even if it’s just a sentence so I can look back at the end of the month and see when the pain has come.

It’s not the best. I’m not feeling any better and can’t even say I feel closer to figuring it out. I’m probably going to go to the doctor before the month is up cause I need a solution. If I can do what she asked me to then I can say it made no difference and her theory is rubbish. Until I’ve done it she’ll just send me away again.

Feeling crap and I’ve not even had any pain today! Just sick of waiting for pain!

4.12am

I’ve just been up with my oldest cause he needed his inhaler, a drink, the toilet, piriton and a story. You know, the usual requests at 4.12am.

Now he’s back to sleep and I’m wide awake. I’m thinking about all the times in the past that I’ve been up at 4.12am.

When I was a kid it was probably through sickness or if I had a bad dream. I used to be terrified of death and think about it too much. I remember being so worried about someone I know dying. Someone like my gran. That has since happened and I was right. It is horrible and so sad. I’m just glad I got my whole childhood without going through that pain.

As a teenager being awake at 4.12am would be at parties. House parties where trusting parents would leave their responsible teenager in the house on their own. Where a crowd of other 17 year olds would descend and create havoc. I often wonder if those parents knew and just figured it’s safer than being out on the streets. Then again, as a parent now, I can’t see them agreeing to what we got up to. They probably believed that a couple of friends came round for a gaming night. One thing I would say about that crowd of kids. We never left a mess. I don’t know any of them anymore but they were a good bunch of kids. Some folk might say they were irresponsible to have parties, but to all pitch-in the next morning and make sure no one got in trouble makes me quite proud of that wee group of friends. I’m just so pleased my parents lived out of town and I didn’t ever host one. I was never that good a liar, especially to my parents.

At uni 4.12am meant writing. I studied playwriting and being a true procrastinator my best and most inspirational time was at night–no distractions. I would start writing around 9pm and keep going until a draft was done. 7 or 8 hours of uninterrupted creativity. Absolute bliss. I’ve never been able to figure out a new way of writing since I had kids. There’s no way I can do that now but short bursts of creative time just don’t do it for me. It takes me a while to warm up and get going and I lose my train of thought if I have to stop-start. Maybe I could figure out a day a week where I just stay up late and do it. Sacrifice some sleep to get things done. Maybe.

As a fully grown married adult. 4.12am was probably mostly sleeping. There would have been the occasional box-set marathons though. We got really into 24 when we first lived together. We got Love-Film deliveries. A package of DVDs to the door that you sent back two days later. Ahh the good old days when rental was dying a death.

With a newborn 4.12am became my regular friend. My oldest didn’t sleep through till 9months, my youngest was 11 months. I breastfed them both so it was me, everytime. Lovely husband did his part. Especially when they got bigger and we knew it wasn’t milk they wanted. He was always better at settling them. I would just whip the boob out at the first sign of trouble so never really learnt how to put them down without it. I remember watching out the window of my bedroom and seeing an older guy taking his old dog out for a walk. I think it would’ve been around 4 in the morning. I saw him a few times. Maybe he worked shifts or maybe he couldn’t sleep. I wonder if he still goes out at that time, over 4 years later.

Now the boys are older 4.12am is toilet break. Unless I’m up with oldest son for the reasons listed above. I usually can’t go a full night without needing to pee now. I’m glad if it’s earlier cause I can go back to bed and know I still have hours before it’s time to get up. It’s when my alarm is about to go off that I get disappointed with my body! This body has done incredible things over the years but not being able to tell that it’s nearly morning is a major flaw. Don’t wake me up when I only have half an hours sleep left! That’s just torture.

More recently 4.12am has been something I dread again, like when I was young and thinking tough thoughts. Now it’s a fear of the pain when I wake up in the night. My first instinct these days is to search for the pain. That’s not a great way to greet 4.12am. I wish I didn’t have to.

So I guess I’ve seen my fair share of 4.12am in my 34 years. Some good, some bad, some happy, some sad. I’m sure there will be many more cause the middle of the night isn’t that bad a place to visit every now and again. If the headaches stop I might even enjoy a wee bit peace in the madness that is my life!

Can’t sleep

Isn’t it the worst? Wishing you could be asleep, dreaming about lots of lovely things– unicorns or food or beach walks or star gazing or life under the sea or a game of tennis or cuddles from a dead relative or anything at all. Instead I’m lying awake in a hotel room with three sleeping, dreaming angels around me.

We all had to go to bed at the same time and since I’m a night owl I’m probably awake cause I’ve had the equivalent amount of sleep that I usually have but it’s still far too early!

Oh well. At least I’m not up cause little one is. It could’ve been a disaster doing this. Like most things with us- we got away with it! We muddle through and make it work, somehow.

That should be our parenting motto!

I suppose I should try to sleep. See what dreams may come. I think I’d like one about unicorns…

What I think they’re thinking.

She hasn’t even had it for that long. Why is she complaining? A few months. It’s not even constant. She has more better days than bad days so really she should just suck it up. Deal with it. We all have bad days. We all want to spend the day in bed sometimes.

Why does she get to clock out whenever she feels like it? Maybe she should pull her weight a bit more and stop wallowing. It’s self pity and it’s not attractive.

She’s like a child moaning about something none of us can see. She can’t prove it. It might even just be something she’s made up. For attention or to get other people to do things for her. Who knows? I’m not saying that but what if? You know?

It could all be in her head too. Maybe she really believes now. Has convinced herself. How can she go from completely fine one minute to needing to take to her bed the next? Sounds suspect to me.

The doctor thinks it’s self inflicted. You do hear about mums who can’t cope popping pills. What’s next? She starts medicating the kids too? Well, if it works for her then maybe it’s an easy option for the kids too. Get them sleeping better.

I’m not judging. Behind closed doors and all that, but really, the state of her.

Day 16

Technically it’s Day 17 as its half 12 at night. I got involved in watching Sliding Doors on TV and didn’t realise the time!

I’ve been so busy this week and felt like I’ve had a constant list going through my mind of things to do and things I’ve not done.

Today was no different. I was waiting for pain, thinking I must be stressed and if it is tension headaches then all this will definitely trigger it. I’ve been fine all day. Not even a niggle.

The only thing different I did compared to last week when I ended up taking pills was made sure I bought food to eat at work.

I can be guilty of sort of forgetting to take breaks and eat. I answer the phone, make calls and I’m customer facing all shift so its actually quite hard to pick a moment to discreetly eat anything other than snacks.

Take into consideration the days I’ve ran out of time to eat breakfast due to sticking to getting everyone where they need to be on time and it could be half 2 or 3pm before I actually eat something.

Could these headaches be that easily solved?

Let’s hope so!

A Letter to My Kids on a Good Day.

Hey boys

You’re both all tucked up in bed and your dad and I are watching yet another episode of the ridiculous Brexit soap opera on TV.

I’ve been thinking about what it’s like to be with you on a day like today when I feel completely myself and don’t have a headache.

I love being able to talk and play and get down to your level without pain or being distracted. I know I still have jobs to do so may seem busy and can’t do everything–like writing a storybook and making crafty things but even just walking home from school and chatting about buying a new school bag is such a joy to me.

Having these sore heads has made me really appreciate days like today that are just normal days. You both are my absolute joy and even when I’m in pain you can still make me smile and feel loved. I just wish I could be 100% myself everyday for you. To fully take care of you, show you how loved you are and fill you both with confidence.

Then again who in this world is 100% the best version of themselves every day?

I hope that I can fix all these things and figure out my health soon but even if I don’t I will tell you every day how lucky I feel to be your mummy and to get to keep you forever. I will tell you everyday how much I love you. And even if I’m sore and feel unwell I will always give you kisses and cuddles–even when you’re too old for them!

I will do everything for you both everyday of my life because you are the centre of my world.

As much as I moan about feeling unwell I know I am a really happy and lucky mum!

Love you both so much.

Sleep well my gorgeous boys,

Lots of love,

Mummy

Xxx