Life 16

Sometimes life is hard, sometimes I struggle to just see clearly through the fog that is the shroud of my day to day activities.  Sometimes when you add in to it pain, recovery and recouperation it is hard to see much past the end of my arm, let alone to the coming weeks and months.

I underwent pretty major surgery on Friday 1 July and anticipated that I would be fine and well and back out of the hospital over the weekend.  Oh how wrong was I.  I finally was realised the following Friday at 9.30pm after much discussions and some tears on my part as I was missing my family.  My surgery was much more complex than originally anticipated and has meant that I am unable to eat solid food for approximately another four weeks and am very much in pain, however, those of you with young children will understand when I say that they have no understanding of concept gentle.

Whilst I was in hospital I was bitter, upset and in more pain than I can remember for a long, long time and more than that I was scared of how we would manage as a family once I was back at home.  I am so lucky that MadDad is a real family man and he took all of last week off and has been working part time this week, but this is when we got into money trouble last time I was in hospital.  We are also struggling to keep on top of everything, without the assistance of my lovely mum.  Previously she would have looked after the boys and even done some ironing and cooking for me.  This time we are having to manage with just the two of us, which means me looking beyond the dust and MadDad having to learn to iron!  He is doing a fantastic job feeding us all and even cooking meals to accommodate my need for slop!

But come next week, I am going to have to be back on top of my game taking and collecting the boys to and from school and dealing with their after school activities as he has to be at a clients in Newcastle.  And you know what I am scared, I am bitter and I am full of questions.  Why do we not have any particularly close local friends who can help?  Why do the outlaws not offer to help?, Why me.  Then I read that back and realise that it has all turned in to a pity party and feel foolish for writing it, but it is somehow as though the words lose their power when they are pout on the paper or the screen.  That their potency drops just by sharing them with the world and that I understand that we can accomplish anything as long as we all have each other.

So I am going to grab life, try to live it to the full.  To make the most of everyday and try and look positively toward the future and the next round of surgery on my road to recovery.  I want to say a great big thank you for those of you who are travelling with me on this journey of hope and discovery with me and make sure you  hold on tight as I don’t expect things to get much less bumpy!


16 thoughts on “Life

  • Midlife Singlemum

    I am going to be practical here and maybe a little controversial. I know that you have not lived in your area for a long time so maybe you don’t have very close friends. But why not make a list of aquaintances who you know well enough and ask each of them to do one thing for you. E.g. phone, explain your situation and ask your neighbour if she would pick up the boys from school for you on Monday (say ‘no’ if it’s not convenient, etc…). I have neighbours who I wouldn’t call friends (we nod ‘good morning’ on passing), but if they were in your boat I would be happy to do one or two school pick-ups. I wouldn’t want to do it every day but that’s why you ask a few people. You may be surprised.
    Also, why not ask some one of your in-laws (or friends from farther away)directly, if they could come and stay for a few days next week while MadDad is away? Again, you may be surprised. Many people are flattered to be asked.
    At the end of it all you could have a party to thank all those who pitched in.
    I hope this is helpful – I don’t want to be patronising. Wishing you a speedy recovery, love, Rachelxxx

  • Midlife singlemum

    I know I’m getting dangerously close to a slap in the face as you probably only wanted a bit of sympathy, but I thought of one more thing so you’re getting it. Are there any school friends or school mums who could take your two after school one day for a play-date, including supper and being dropped home before bedtime? We are talking emergency situation here.
    sorry, sorry, sorry. Rxx

  • Jean

    You’re absolutely right that nothing can be achieved by self-pity and it’s great to see that you’re filled with positive mental energy (even if it’s taking your body a little while to catch up).
    You WILL recover, but in the meantime, I fully agree with Midlife SingleMum. If there is any way you can get even a little help, grab it with both hands.
    Could your husband get in touch with your Public Health Nurse to see if some help is available there?
    I wish you a speedy recovery.

  • Sally

    Midlife Single Mum is completely right.

    Although you may not think they’re ‘close’, you do have friends – parents of the boys’ classmates will (I’m 10,000% confident) be happy to help with the school run if you ring and ask them for their help – or maybe the boys can do some after-school play-dates and then get dropped home?

    I’ve asked other parents for this kind of favour when I’ve been stuck a lot less than you! Single parenting sometimes means swallowing your pride and asking for help, it turns out.

    Explain to the boys that they’re going to have to give their after-school activities a miss for a week or two – a family doesn’t just take care of its children, they take care of each other – and it will do the boys no harm to learn that sometimes Mum isn’t well enough to do things and they’ll need to occupy themselves elsewhere.

    Above all, don’t compromise your health with this notion that you HAVE to be on top of your game after 2 weeks – it’s nonsense. No, you don’t. You have to be resting, recovering and taking the time to let your body heal. And your family love you enough to understand and support that, and so will your friends.

  • Cathy

    I’m going to echo the other comments here and say – ask! I’ve been asked a couple of times by other mums at school, and been really glad to help – but if they hadn’t actually asked I wouldn’t have realised they needed the help. And, do you still see the lady who suported before? (Racking my brains to remember the name of the charity?!)

    I’m sorry I’m too far away to offer practical help – I’d be round tonight! – but I’m here on-line if I can help any other way x

  • Catharine Withenay

    You are getting wise advice. Keep positive, keep smiling, keep asking for help. If the boot was on the other shoe, you would help others, so don’t be afraid to ask. Most importantly: rest and recuperate – it’s what will keep you going in the long run. xx

  • Lynda Freebrey

    Hi Jen. So, so sorry to hear of your awful last few weeks. Was on holiday so didn’t pick up from Twitter other than you were in hospital and in pain. Oh, how I wish I lived near you so that I could help you out… Such a shame that, as yet, you don’t have friends you could turn to for help.

    If you are like me, you won’t be able to ask for help. I can always give, my mum taught me that, but she didn’t, bless her, teach me to be able to take !

    I would have thought that, through the NHS, you would be able to get some help at home. If you have undergone major surgery you can’t be expected to run a home with children, surely to goodness.

    Don’t ever worry about pouring out your feelings on your blog, those of us who ‘know’ you understand that, what else are friends for? Not only to share the happy times, believe me!

    Oh, how I wish I was already retired, I would be up there to help you for a few weeks, like a shot, no problems ! (Whether you would want me, is another matter !)

    I believe in positive thinking, but days when you need to wallow, don’t worry, we are here to listen.

    Sending much love.

  • swanbythelakeside

    Your Comments I’m exactly like you; I get so resentful that people don’t offer that I’m scared to ask! However, I think asking people to do very small things for you (and being prepared to take rejection) is first step. I’ve never had my mum around to help or any family members, but I can remember feeling that intense frustration of water water yet not a drop to drink – all those people I knew yet NO-ONE around to do simple domestic help when I was sick or in trouble or had to be in two places at once.
    I felt so angry that I was in this position, not angry with individuals as such but just the way my husband and I were so isolated/shy.

    Someone asked me to help out the other day by having their child at a very inconvenient time, I wanted to say no, in fact I wasn’t at all welcoming because I had so much on that evening, but in the end I did it – you may find people do the same, grudgingly help out, but then feel better for it and find helping you much easier than they thought, and really enjoy your children visiting.

  • Erin

    I know that if I lived closer, I would be more than willing to help out. I suspect there are mothers around you would gladly help with the boys, if you ask them to! I don’t often volunteer to do things like that because I don’t want to stop on any toes, but if I were asked, I’d help in a heartbeat. (If that makes sense…)

    Wishing you a speedy recovery with lots of delicious smoothies and soups!

  • Susan Mann

    I really wish I was closer by to help, I really do. I’m sure there are people, mothers at the school whom would be happy to help, I know it’s hard to ask but what do you have to lose. Big hugs. x

  • Emma

    You really have been through the mill recently haven’t you, but you sound like you are really coping with it and the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to shine through. Wishing you a very speedy recovery. Emma 🙂

  • Belinda

    Hi Jen, this was my first visit to your blog, and I was so sad to read your above blog. I know how you’re feeling. I had a major operation a couple of years ago, and although my family were around to support me I didn’t get the same from the in-laws and some of my friends. It is a life changing experience, but one that will make you stronger. You will soon realise who your true friends really are. I too live far away, and as you don’t know me I’m sure you wouldn’t want a stranger on your doorstep. However, it’s clear from the above comments you are very special and loved. I hope you have a quick recovery and get better soon. xx

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Belinda » Thank you very much for your kind comment. I know what they are like, I had a double mastectomy a couple of years back and they didn’t even visit me in hospital, so I should know better. But my mum was alive then and it didn’t matter. You are right what doesn’t kill us makes us much stronger.

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