The thing with being a blogger is that you will always find subjects to write about. But sometimes, your schedule will change when unexpectedly you get inspired to write about something that you hadn’t planned. I haven’t had the best weeks at all – quite the opposite in fact. But it has been a week that has seen me taking stock and re-evaluating work, life and health.
Poorly little man
We were all set for a great week. I was prepared for the Little Man to start the new term and begin Year 1. Packed lunches were made and uniforms were labelled. Bags were packed and there wasn’t anything left to do. I was winning at the whole back to school routine. Then on Sunday morning last week, unexpectedly, the Little Man was sick. An hour later he was sick again. Soon he couldn’t even hold down water and this is how it went on for the rest of the day. As always, fantastic timing right?
He was sick for the last time that night at 7.30 pm and it was shortly after that he was that tired he asked to go to sleep. He never asks to go to sleep, so you know something is amiss when this happens. I was prepared for a long night ahead, and with the worry of him being sick in the night, I decided it best if he slept in my bed. Hubby was demoted to the living room for the night with the cat for company and I was in for an evening of watching the TV on my iPad with headphones. In the dark. Ah, the things we do.
Everything back to normal… or so I thought
The next morning came and it was back to work for us. Thankfully, I was working at home so could be there for the Little Man again. I’m pleased to say he was much better and the sickness had stopped. His appetite had returned and all was well. He was quiet and tired and it wasn’t to be expected. A day being sick is enough to take it out of anyone, as I was soon to learn. I really thought it must have been something he had eaten and we would be back to normal by the next day.
That night the husband went away for a couple of nights for a training course with work, so we put the Little Man to bed and said our goodbyes and that was that.
At 2 am the next morning I woke up with the most awful nausea I have ever had in my life. I had no idea what to do. I felt as sick as a dog and all I could think of was “why does this have to happen now?!” I managed to get myself back to sleep but woke again at 5.45 am and it suddenly became very clear that what the Little Man had had wasn’t food poisoning, but a stomach bug and now I had it. Whilst I was home with him on my own, on the first day of the new school term. Marvellous.
I don’t need to gross you out with the details. I’m sure you’ve all been there at some point in your life. It was horrendous. Along with the typical symptoms I had body aches, pains and shivers. I was hot one minute and freezing the next and couldn’t be more than 3 seconds away from the toilet.
Parenting while poorly
After I was sick, it became apparent that I couldn’t send the Little Man to school. It couldn’t have been food poisoning and it hadn’t been 48 hours since his symptoms stopped and now I had them too – on a much larger scale. So not only did I have to cope with the sickness bug from hell, I had to look after a 5-year-old as well. This is where I say to all single parents out there HAT’S OFF TO YOU! I do not know how you do it and you deserve every medal possible.
We somehow managed to get by in the morning and thankfully my Mum and Dad collected Little Man for the afternoon so I could sleep. I so desperately needed sleep by this point. I dozed on and off all afternoon, in between trips to the bathroom and then when the Little Man finally came home, all I had to do was get him in the shower and into bed. Mum had fed him. Thank goodness for Mums. Aren’t they the best?
I woke up the next day expecting to feel so much better. Little Man’s had only lasted a day, after all. How wrong could I be? Still, there were hot and cold sweats and without any food in me, I was seriously lacking in energy. Somehow I managed to get the little one ready for school and my Mum being the godsend she is, collected him and took him to school. Cue, the mum guilt and the tears for not being able to take him for his first day back myself. Cue his tears because Mummy was upset. Oh, what a palava.
I knew I had the day to try and sort myself out but what I came to learn this last week is that if you are that ill you cannot keep food down, or in, you have to just wait for your body to sort itself out. The husband was due back that evening and so at the very least, I knew I had someone to help with dinner and bedtime. For that much I was grateful.
Taking stock and re-evaluating
In my head, I was worried about everything. Not being a great Mum and missing the school runs. I was worried about work and not being there. Feeling guilty that I had to phone in sick, which I always hate doing. I was thinking about all of the emails that I needed to deal with and the work that I had scheduled in to do. All of this was whirring around in my head but I was powerless about all of it because I just felt that poorly.
Thursday came and I still had an upset stomach and felt ridiculously drained in terms of energy. But I also had a bit of a revelation. I was on to day three of feeling poorly and I realised that I just needed to stop worrying about everything else and just concentrate on getting better. It felt alien to start with because wherever possible I always try to carry on with as much as I can when I’m not well but this was different. My body was clearly telling me to stop and so stop I did.
It’s Saturday as I write this and I’m pleased to say I’m 48 hours symptom-free so I’m finally no longer contagious – halleluja! However, I am still absolutely shattered. I’m not eating properly yet so that is contributing to that, I am certain. But I’ve accepted that I need to listen to my body and only do what I’m capable of.
It’s okay to have a rest
This story wasn’t for me to tell you all about a nasty viral tummy infection but to share with you what it taught me. That it’s okay to take time off when you need to, even if it’s unprepared. It’s okay to just stop. Everything else will still be there and will manage without you until you are well enough. You are the priority and if you are not well, you are no good to anyone. The sooner you listen to your body and do as it tells you, the quicker you will be back, healthy and ready to pick up where you left off.
I am so grateful to my Mum and Dad for helping me this week. In my (almost) six years of being a Mum, I have never felt as bad as I did this week and it would have been a whole lot harder without them. They are worth their weight in gold.
So, next time you feel poorly and try to carry on as normal. Start by taking stock and re-evaluating everything. It’s okay to have a rest. Make sure you do.
How do you cope on your own when you are poorly? Have you ever been in a similar situation? Let me know in the comments.
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