16 September 2015

Stepping Up.

cervione, corsica, mark warner, mark warner san lucianu,
The kids and me, stepping out in Cervione, Corsica.
It's been a quiet summer here - mostly jigsaws, train tracks, Monopoly and movies.

Although it's good to enjoy being with the boys while they're still young enough to love this kind of thing, the main reason we had to stay closer to home than usual (aside from the naffest August on record) was that, just before we broke up, I ended up in A&E again with a nasty relapse of my post-concussion problems.

It came on completely unexpectedly and was so worrying that I feared going up to the hospital genuinely might mean never coming out!

Forgive me for sounding dramatic, but, normally, if I got too tired or dehydrated or stressed or all three, there would be a throbbing at the point of impact on the side of my head where the badminton racquet struck me over two years ago, it would buzz a great deal - like it was emitting lots of little electric currents and I would know I'd have to sit or lie down pretty swiftly and let myself kind of blank out, but this time, it was different.  It came out of nowhere.

Well, I say nowhere, it was sparked by the kids doing what kids do - playing up in a way that is perfectly natural for two energetic children, in a way that anyone should ordinarily be able to cope with.

We were going to the cinema on a Sunday.  They were a bit too relaxed as the time approached to leave and an ordeal to get out of the house started.  If the tickets hadn't been booked and paid for, we wouldn't have made it, but they had been, so we were all forced to step up.

And this seems to be the problem - too much stepping up on my part.  The Consultant said it was a build up of pressure that had caused the 'popping' sensation which had moved my newly severe headache from its usual specific location to all over my crown.  It had subsided a bit before I eventually took myself off to get properly investigated a few days later, but my eyes had deteriorated considerably further than they have already since the original accident and trying to learn something new brought about physical pain in my brain.

He conducted lots of tests - usually those they carry out in case of a stroke - reflexes, strength of limbs, light and sound etc. and they, fortunately, all produced results that didn't concern him.  He decided, therefore, that the exposure to radiation for another scan wasn't necessary and an assurance to us both was / is that staying still really does help, whereas should there be anything as serious as a bleed or growth, this wouldn't be the case.

But how often do any of us just sit around?  Six weeks of summer holidays were looming at that point and my pressures weren't going anywhere!

Admittedly, they had been higher than normal - jetting off at short notice on a press trip to Corsica, for example, had brought about military organizing for all four of the children in my care, because, frankly, hosting a couple of young Foreign Language students involves the same amount of  attention as my own two. They needed to be looked after in our absence - beds changed, laundry done and food prepared in advance, to, as much as possible, help out my friends who were kindly staying.  It wouldn't do to just scarper and leave them at home without an adult, when have been entrusted to me and I wouldn't appreciate it if I had a teenager who was supposedly being looked after by a host mother in anther country and she suddenly disappeared for a week - work-wise or not!

One of them had been on Ramadan, fasting during the day for the previous few weeks, then eating and re-hydrating (and going to the loo) on and off all night, torturing me with interminable sleep disturbances and we'd only just got back from (another massive juggling excercise of) a week-end away, were in the throes of end of term madness via two different schools and just as the youngest had got over a bug, the eldest needed carting to a big sports event the other side of town, all of which came at once.

But it never occurred to me not to step up to any of it.

And although it was wonderful to be away, I am still a lone parent with two children and just looking at the other bloggers' impressive array of scary looking cameras made me feel too worn out for words.  It also hit home rather hard how the financial pressures of being a single mum can be heaviest of all.

So, feeling uncharacterstically crushed and unbelievably humourless, I took things in hand and the six week break turned out to be a gift - literally what the doctor ordered!

For its whole duration, I put into practise as best as I could the 'be the change you want to see' and started stepping back instead of up.

I've managed to secure a 'proper' job for the first time since the boys were born and have, at last, been able to get them attending the same school - things which will make life easier daily and help my head feel less like an unregulated pressure cooker.  

It still aches sometimes.  There are consequent early nights to contend with and it remains important not to become too tired, stressed or dehydrated or I will still have to let myself blank out as the lovely Michelle Pannell can attest to after it happened even in her tranquil surroundings!

My drinking days might be done as well - although *sacrilege shock* it appears there seems to be a place for watered down wine in this world.  Who knew?!

And things have improved so much that we were even able to get away for the last week off to visit family and friends along the coast and in Jersey again (something I'll be sharing soon).

It feels good to be back on track and I'm looking forward to catching up with what you've all been up to.

Thank you ever so much to those of you who've left very kind messages during this time.  The sympathy and mickey taking are equally appreciated!

Lots of love,

Slacker Anya ;)

XX

31 comments:

  1. That is scary - especially when it affects your eyesight. I'm glad you've managed to simplify things a bit for this school year. I'm intrigued about your new job. Good luck with it whatever it is. Look after yourself and keep well. xxx

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    1. It was scary Rachel and thank you for your good wishes. It's mostly under control as long as I am careful and I don't know if I'll ever fully recover, but slowing down has been wonderful. The job is a clerical / financial one. No big deal but there is scope to do well. Lovely to see you :) xxx

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  2. Gah I just left a long comment that did not publish. Commenting on phone always hard xxx

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    1. Thank you for trying Lovely. I can't comment on phones and Blogger hates mobile devices so you're doomed, sorry. At least we have spoken and am loving watching your bump and you bloom xxx

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    2. I am so thrilled that both boys are in the same school now. Is it making a huge difference to the mornings and pick up? Also must be good for everything else too: parents evenings, after school clubs and just general logistics, parking and traffic. Your technique of stepping back sounds like it really worked - I get the impression the boys cooperated in that too which is just lovely. Sometimes they love to chill as much as we do. At the beginning of the school Summer holidays I had a lot of PJ days and Aaron was just fine with it. This Summer we watched a lot of movies and despite a few days out, things moved at a slower pace. Lovely to hear you've struck a balance with where your limits are, but very sad that the head injury made this necessary. As a healer you know though that injuries often occur to make us make changes, so I hope once the energy shifts, the head and the head clouds will lift and clear. You're doing so well, you and your gorgeous boys, whether there be 2 or 4 of them ha ha.
      LOTS of love m'darling.
      L xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    3. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to come back and leave such a beautiful comment again. Yes, the same schools has made things easier and bought me a longer day because they finish later. We are more relaxed on the single school run and wax lyrical about how lucky that view we have all the way is and talk about you and Aaron enjoying it so much, every day. Stepping back was no hardship really - it was the making of us, tbh, and yes, the boys were very helpful because they knew I was very unwell when it went 'pop' in my head. I tried to protect them as best as I could and going straight to the cinema helped because it meant being able to sit down and not move for a long time. I'm more sensitve to sound than light so the LO struggles - being naturally as loud as ever -but we get there. The changes have been good overall - and valuable lessons learned. Thank you for your kindness and encouragement and lots of love to you all too xxx

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  3. I'm really sorry to hear about the continued problems with your head injury. I have been stepping back too, long overdue for me, been having some natural therapies which have helped too. Great news about the job! xxx

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    1. Thank you. I think lots of us can't keep up and have to be more choosy about where our energies go. I don't know where I'd be if it weren't for the natural therapies I've used - cranio sacral, osteopathy and acupuncture have felt lifesaving, to be honest and made a massive difference xxx

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    2. PS Just had a lovely long look through your photos - fabulous! xx

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  4. Hello lovely,

    Even if I haven't been in touch, you have been on my mind a lot. I'm sorry I was unaware of all this going on in your life, I pretty much stepped back from the online world too over the summer and am only just picking up threads now.
    Keep it simple seems to be the message here and very best of luck with your new 'proper' job. May it bring you security and happiness xxx

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  5. Hello Gorgeous, Well we've been in touch a bit but there hasn't much to say about being quiet, so I've just enjoyed our normal chats in between our mutual goings on. Thank you for your lovely wishes and your part in everything xxx

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  6. So parry I missed all this because I haven't been about too much over the summer either. You sounds, as always, that you are being wonderfully sensible and grounded about it all, despite the scare. Your are one clever lady and well done re the proper job too xxx

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  7. I'm pleased you've made these changes Anya - especially getting the boys at the same school! Funny you should mention about drinking, I've not touched a drop for a week (!). Might have to fix that tomorrow night though. Wishing you all the best in your new job and hope it opens new doors for you! x

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    1. Thank you Di - you know how hard it's been. am relying on you to have my share of the drink tomorrow. Ish.And I appreciate your good wishes too, thanks again xx

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  8. So lovely to see you back! Sorry things have been tough for you, it sounds like you have had a rotten time but have found a positive way forward. Good for you, well done. xxx

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    1. Thank you. It's actually been lovely to take things much easier than normal and I'm looking forward to going back out to work. Have kept an eye on you over the summer and will be back over at yours asap xx

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  9. I am so sorry to read this. What a frightening and frustrating condition.

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    1. I remember spending time with you just after it happened Anna - was in shock and denial and adrenaline was still pumping round before the pain set in once and for all. Could be worse. At least I am here and relatively ok and thank you x

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  10. Gosh concussions are nasty things, you think you are much better and it sneaks back into your life. Do take care of yourself dear.

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    1. I hadn't realised it could come back with a vengeance like this Catherine and have been quite shocked about it. It's always helpful to hear from someone with any experience of a similar situation. Thank you for your support and understanding. XX

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  11. Wow, Anya, you've been through the mill there. I'm glad you've got things more under control now with both boys being in the same school, plus the job which must make life easier to manage financially. I

    It's important to take care of yourself just as much as it is everyone else. You're no good worn out and prostrate to anyone, least of all you! :)

    I hope the new regime helps to ease your headaches.

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    1. Thank you Sarah. Mostly I don't remember the blanking outs so it's not so bad! It's amazing how I can stave them off until it's safe to be able to let go! You're right about it being important to take better care of myself and it's seems increasingly so as the boys get older, are up later and harder to manage! Thank you for your good wishes xx

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  12. Goodness, all even more scary when you're a single parent as well. I'm glad you're as ok as you can be. As someone with a long term, seemingly never ending, medical condition that impacts on my energy levels I appreciate how hard it is to step back and not feel guilty for it. I don't like to let opportunities pass me by but I am starting to realise that the internal feeling of feeling well(er) is better than the short lived feeling of being chosen for something. I've been living sans alcohol as I prepare for more Reiki attunements and have discovered I'm actually feeling better for it (who knew?). As for camera equipment, I have a gorgeous Nikkon camera but still use my iPhone, or I did until Pip dropped it in the bath....... I hope the headaches ease. Wish I was closer to give you some Reiki xx

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  13. Thank you Gem. It's brought a few things home and the boys are very good about it, but the responsibility is huge and doesn't help the stress! However, I've shed the guilt quite quickly now and am enjoying doing less and being quieter. We've missed out of some opportunities, but none of them were crucial and the kids haven't known what they're missing so it's no big deal really. Good for you with the Reiki attunements. I can imagine they must be an enormous help with your situation. Great to hear from you :) XXX

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    1. And sorry to see about your camera - yikes! My phone serves me well too and thank you for your kind thoughts xxx

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  14. Happy to hear that you took the doctor's advice and made the most of some time off during the summer. I hope that the rest has done the world of good and your headaches have eased. Good luck with the 'proper' job and here's to life being a little simpler now that the boys are at the same school. Anything that makes life less stressful for you can only be good :o)

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    1. Thank you Izzie - it has done us all the world of good tbh and they have very much eased. Thank you for your good wishes re the proper job - can't wait while the paperwork is done and the boys being at the same school has had a bigger impact than I anticipated, so let's hoping I can be back on line later than I have managed for a while and can keep up with lovely people like you more xx

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  15. Wow you and me both - I too was rushed off to hospital with a suspected stroke/heart attack at the end of June and had to have an incredibly quiet summer. I'm beginning to feel on the mend now, so keep your eye on my blog, as some of the things I'm using might help you too.
    Much love xxx

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    1. I am sorry to see that Lisa. I will, but let's chat soon xx

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  16. So sorry to read you have had such a rough time, Anya. :o(
    Glad that you are now back on track. xx

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    1. Thank you. Missed lovely people like you xx

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