It Never Rains…
… but it pours.
And ain’t that the truth?
So, it’s been a WEEK, folks.
Honestly, there’s no way to write this without me sounding like some kind of professional victim or something, but I’ve always wanted this blog to be an honest record of my life, so let that record show that this week has sucked mightily. And then it’s sucked some more.
On Sunday, we got the awful news that Terry’s mum had passed away during the night.
On Monday, my own mum was admitted to hospital, and remained there all week. She has/had glaucoma, which was thankfully treatable, but while we’re obviously grateful she got the treatment she needed, it was really freaking upsetting – for my poor mum in particular, obviously, but also for me and my dad, who were worried sick about her. Just to make matters worse, my mum was taken to a hospital in Edinburgh, which was hard for us to get to, especially with a newborn in tow. My dad ended up just driving through in the afternoon and staying there until late in the evening every day, but Terry and I weren’t able to juggle that kind of travelling/being out all day with caring for Max, arranging a funeral, and dealing with the constant sleep deprivation – not to mention the fact that Terry’s foot is still very painful, and that, having optimistically declared that I was “almost back to normal” after my c-section, my recovery unfortunately took a bit of a step backwards this week… but I’ll get to that soon.
On Wednesday, Max hardly slept at all. He’s had a bit of reflux, which is MOSTLY under control now, but, for whatever reason, Wednesday was a Bad Day: I was up most of the night with him, and then Terry took over during the day, to let me get some sleep. I basically didn’t see daylight at all that day, which added to the nightmarish quality this entire month has had for me – everything still feels totally and utterly surreal to me right now, and the whole “sleeping in shifts/ barely being able to leave the house,” thing really isn’t helping.
(The sight of him in this little outfit DID help a bit, though, not gonna lie…)
On Thursday, my mum was scheduled for surgery, and I was becoming increasingly anxious about an aspect of my c-section recovery, which wasn’t going as well as it should. For once, this actually wasn’t just my health anxiety talking: I’m not going to go into the details, but suffice it to say that it was something the hospital had told me to look out for when I was discharged, and which I’d mentioned to the health visitor the previous week, hoping she’d just reassure me that it was totally normal, and nothing to worry about. Instead, she got a concerned look on her face, and told me to keep an eye on it, and call her if it wasn’t any better in a week. Well, when you say something like that to someone with severe health anxiety, you’re basically dooming them to a week of sheer hell, really… so I had my week of hell, and, when things got worse, rather than better, I called the health visitor back on Thursday morning.
Terry and I are having to basically sleep in shifts at the moment, so there didn’t seem to be much point making the bed yesterday ? Everyone told us how hard the sleep deprivation would be with a newborn, but it’s actually the loneliness that’s getting to me right now, from the fact that we rarely seem to be awake at the same time ? . . . #motherhood #rawmotherhood #realmoms #realmotherhood #newborndays #parenthood #thisparentlife #themagicineveryday #lifecloseup #developinglife #motherhood #motherhoodunplugged #parenthoodunplugged #rememberingthesedays #momproblems
(When you post something on Insta about how you’re having a hard time right now, and the first comment is someone high-fiving themselves for being the first to ‘like’ it…)
Honestly, by the time I called her, I’d had Terry Google my symptoms extensively, and he’d reassured me that it didn’t sound like anything to worry about, so, although I was worried sick, I was hoping the health visitor would just say, “This sounds totally normal, Amber, stand down the vigil!”
Instead, she said something more like, “Yeah, I’m not liking the sound of this at all: I need you to get to a doctor, and I need you to get there TODAY – in fact, I’m going to call the doctor for you right now, and get you an emergency appointment.”
Which… yeah. Cue total and utter meltdown. This was basically my worst nightmare coming true, and, on top of everything else, I was now faced with a doctor’s visit (Which might be totally fine for anyone else, but which is totally traumatic for someone with my level of health anxiety), plus potential hospitalisation and further surgery, which I knew to be the worst case scenario with this particular symptom.
Thankfully, the doctor wasn’t concerned about my symptoms, and just sent me home with instructions to rest up and try not to do too much (Which, HAHA, LOL, but anyway…). When someone with health anxiety is told they need an emergency doctor’s appointment, though, it’s very, very un-fun for them – and it felt like the absolute last straw to me. So, even although the doctor said the words, “I’m really not concerned,” and “I think your health visitor has over-reacted to this…” about five times during my appointment, I’m honestly STILL not particularly reassured (I was literally in and out of his office in 5 minutes flat, and felt that he didn’t really give me much of a chance to properly describe what was concerning me. As a health anxiety sufferer, one of my biggest fears is what I think of as “Boy Who Cried Wolf Syndrome”- I always worry that any new doctor will just look at my notes and think, “Oh great, my last appointment of the day, and it’s a hypochondriac – let’s just try and get this over with as quickly as possible, then!” I know there’s a tendency, even amongst people who know me, to just dismiss my health concerns as yet another manifestation of anxiety, and although most of the time they ARE, well, the boy who cried wolf was eventually right, wasn’t he?), and am basically expecting to drop dead/be rushed to hospital at any second.
When you’ve been up since 5am, the morning light is particularly welcome ? . . . #bloggershomes #designporn #designinspiration #designideas #designlovers #designyourlife #designinspo #designblogger #designblog #interiordesign #interiors #interiordecor #interiorobsessed #housetour #currentdesignsituation #finditstyleit #modernhome #whitedecor #scandistyle #interior4all #homestyle #abmathome #kitchendesign #whitekitchen #ikeakitchen
(My kitchen looks clean here. My kitchen is not clean.)
So, I’m writing this on Friday morning. My mum will finally be discharged from hospital today, and I managed to get a few hours sleep last night, thanks to Terry, so things are not QUITE as bleak as they felt on Thursday, say – or any of the other days during this week from hell. People keep telling me it will get better, and I know that’s true, but I’ll be honest: this past month has been the hardest month of my entire life – and that’s up against some pretty stiff competition, really – and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m really struggling right now.
I also just want to say here that I’m not writing this for sympathy or advice: I know I’m very fortunate in that I have a lot of support, and, even with my parents out of action this week, there are tons of friends I can call on in a crisis, and who’ve been in touch offering their support. So we will be OK… eventually… it’s just a really tough time, basically, and something I think most people would probably struggle with, if they found themselves in our shoes right now. (My counsellor has been in close contact with me this month, and actually happened to call me on Thursday, when all of this was going down: she agreed that what I’m feeling at the moment is totally normal, and told me she doesn’t think I have post-natal depression: she will, however, be keeping a close eye on me, which I’m grateful for…) Dealing with a newborn is hard enough, after all, but when you’re dealing with sleep deprivation AND bereavement AND another parent in hospital AND a partner with chronic pain (Terry’s foot is STILL not back to normal yet, which means that neither one of us has full mobility right now…) AND recovery from surgery AND a health scare of your own… er, I really AM starting to sound like a professional victim now, so I’ll knock it off, shall I?
As a writer, it’s really important to me to be able to tell my story honestly, and without sugar-coating it. Actually, I think it’s important that we ALL do that. I would much rather read an account of someone’s REAL life and actual, human emotions, than just see an endless use of the #SOBLESSED hashtag from someone claiming their life is totes perfect, and that they’ve never had a single negative thought in their whole life, ever. So while I want to make it clear that I’m not posting here for sympathy or advice, I do want to be able to continue to write about this time as honestly as possible: I say this because I’ve had a few comments recently of the, “BUT SOME PEOPLE HAVE IT MUCH WORSE, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY!” and “JUST BE POSITIVE!” variety, and while I can acknowledge that yes, things most definitely could be worse right now, I also feel that they’re actually BAD ENOUGH, THANKS, and sometimes it helps to say that out loud, and just get it off your chest.
And with that said, I’m going to go and wash my hair for the first time this week. I might even make the bed, if I’m feeling particularly fancy. Wish me luck…