Monday, November 7, 2011

On Honesty...on Perfection...and accepting help...

Everyone is watching.  Don't forget to be perfect.

That's a lot for a 4-year-old.  And then even more as she's growing up.

Sit still.  Stop fidgeting.  Don't fight with your sister.  Everyone can see you.

Preacher's daughter.  Born and raised.  Missionary daughter since the age of 4.

We expect more from you.  Better.

Church school disciplinarians were always disenchanted to discover I was really a normal kid after all.

Boarding school with all of it's rules.  If only I'd remembered to be perfect.

Years of freedom helped me discover the me buried deep inside the resentment and the anger.

I forgot again in my attempt to be the perfect wife, perfect mother.  And it almost all fell apart.  The fact that it didn't is a testimony to True Love and tenacity.  

Last September I made, and kept, the commitment to run a 5k.  Then signed up for a 10k and dropped out due to a back injury.  In May I signed up for a half marathon and started my training.  Training for the half marathon was grueling.  Especially in the summer.  With two kiddos and a husband whose work schedule refused to conform to my own needs.  I was at the Y two afternoons a week running 5-7 miles on the treadmills then dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 on Saturday mornings to be able to run an hour, two hours before the heat and humidity became unbearable.  By mid-August it all became too much.  My body literally gave out on me.  Ovarian fibroids developed into a cyst and ruptured.  A persistent pain in my side and an odd numbness in my neck and along the side of my face.
I ran the half marathon doped up on naproxen and Tylenol.  And puked my guts out at the end. 

Two separate issues.

When I started consistently losing sleep due to being in pain, I sought professional help.  The doctor really thought the pain in my side was my gallbladder.  Abdominal study ultrasound showed normal organs all the way around.  A HIDA scan showed that not only was my gallbladder functioning, it was functioning at a level he'd never seen before.  So while there was nothing amiss with the gallbladder or any of the major organs, no one denying that there was, in fact, Something Going On.  He called me back in for a follow up.  More questions.  More probing.  More listening.  Tentative diagnosis...severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  And, yes, my loving husband has already run the "grumpy pants" joke into the ground!

It wasn't until the next morning that I was able to really dig and find out more about IBS and the medicine I'd been prescribed.  While there is a correlation between IBS and anxiety, it's not always related.  However, the medicine that is supposed to ease the muscle spasms and keep the intestines from seizing up is also combined with an anti-anxiety medication.  Just in case.

I've never denied the existence of stress in our lives.  Given the life we've chosen, how could I?  And not a week goes by when some new stress rears its nasty little head.  A husband with one of the most stressful jobs known to man as well as a chronic, possibly crippling disease, a daughter with the same chronic disease who, along with her brother is also in the High Spirited Child category. An old house that decides to be cranky every now and then.  And then running my own cake business on the side.  However, I would never think or admit that it's to the point where I/we need to talk to someone about it or that I would need help from an medicinal source.  It's not a matter of denial--more a matter of, at what point have I had two seconds to put the thought together that maybe, just maybe everything landing on my small shoulders might be too much?  Even during the years when I really should have talked to someone I didn't...because I was supposed to be Perfect.  Those were the years I attempted self medication.  With alcohol.  Not recommended.  But this amazing man who loves and supports me unconditionally walked beside me then and he's walking beside me now. 

Friday night was the best night's sleep I've had since the beginning of August.  While my neck and side are still stiff and tender, there is no longer the mind numbing-I'm-about-to-throw-up-then-pass-out pain I've been experiencing.  Saturday was an extremely productive day.  And Sunday I was drawing up plans for taking over the sunroom for my own sewing/craft/mommy space (I was shoved out of the office when the Boy took over my desk top).  I strung together entire, complete sentences.  Because I was no longer in pain.  And because I actually slept.  I have a feeling the entire family just might benefit from Mommy being on a mild Happy Pill.

I dropped the Girl off at preschool this morning.  Came home and set out for a two mile run.  It was going to be my first run in three weeks.  I almost cut it short thinking there was no way I was going to make the whole two mile loop.  But I didn't.  And I made the entire two miles.  Without my insides threatening to strangle me from the inside.  Logging the run on my training program I realized I tipped over the 100 mile mark for the year.  

My next 100 miles will be healthy and smart ones.  While I may not be the Perfect Parent--and I'm okay with that--I am the Healthy Parent in this family.  

1 comment:

Christina LMT said...

Thank you for your honesty in posting this, Dori.

It very much *is* okay to not be perfect. And more than okay to admit it.

There's no shame in "better living through chemistry". BTDT. :)